Destination Change: Episode 10 — Yvonne Vollaire

Episode 10: Yvonne Vollaire
  • Episode: 10
  • Guest: Yvonne Vollaire
  • Date Recorded: November 27, 2023
  • Date Released: December 16, 2023
  • Length: 40 minutes, 25 seconds
  • Questions/Concerns: Contact Us

Yvonne Vollaire has been active in the drug and alcohol treatment industry for over twenty + years with intensive involvement in civic, private, and non-profit organizations. Yvonne has been serving justice-involved individuals and specializing in gender-responsive services for incarcerated women and has managed numerous programs in custody and community-based organizations.

Yvonne has spearheaded the Sheriff's Community Alliance, composed of community and faith-based organizations with existing funding sources dedicated to providing a seamless continuum of care for our retuning citizens being released. Her most recent assignment was contracted with the Los Angeles Sheriff's department (LASD) serving as the Director of the Gender Responsive Rehabilitation Program at the Lynwood County Jail.

Yvonne has invested in creating a safe space for women wanted to exit the sex work industry. Yvonne is the author of Connecting the Dots: Repairing Generational Trauma, a Workbook for Women in Addiction, Incarceration & Exploitation. Yvonne’s work is motivated by her past trauma, incarceration, and self-healing to connect the dots. Yvonne is a mentor to students, a sponsor to women in the recovery community.

Show Notes

Some of the things we discussed:

  • you can buy her book on Amazon here
  • she mentions Gabor Maté
  • she mentions her organization, Bold Recovery
  • she mentions the programs at the correctional facility Twin Towers
  • I bring up the webinar she did for us. It's available for sale and offers up 1 CE (free for NBHAP members) and more information can be found here

Listen Here:

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Podcast Transcript (click to open for the transcript of the episode) -
Angie Fiedler Sutton
Welcome to Destination Change, a podcast where we talk recovery, treatment, and more. I'm your host Angie Fiedler Sutton with the National Behavioral Health Association of Providers.

Today's guest is Yvonne Vollaire. Yvonne has been active in the drug and alcohol treatment industry for over 20 plus years with intensive involvement in civic, private, and nonprofit organizations. Yvonne has been serving justice-involved individuals and specializing in gender responsive services for incarcerated women, and has managed numerous programs and custody for community based organizations.

Yvonne has spearheaded the Sheriff's Community Alliance, composed of community and faith-based organizations was existing funding sources dedicated to providing a seamless continuum of care for our returning citizens being released. Her most recent assignment was contracted with the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department, serving as the Director of the Gender Responsive Rehabilitation Program at the Lynwood County Jail.

Yvonne has invested in creating a safe space for women wanting to exit the sex work industry. She's the author of "Connecting the Dots, Repairing Generational Trauma" a workbook for women in addiction, incarceration, and exploitation. Her work is motivated by her past trauma, incarceration, and self-healing to connect the dots. Yvonne is a mentor to students, a sponsor to women in the recovery industry, and a friend of the podcast. Thank you very much for joining us today, Yvonne.

Yvonne Vollaire
Thank you, thank you for having me.

Angie Fiedler Sutton
For those who are regularly listens to my podcast, they know what my first question is always the same. Basically, let's talk a little bit about kind of how you got into the recovery industry to begin with. I mean, your bio kind of mentions that, you know, you're motivated by your past drama, and your past incarceration. What made you decide to go into this industry versus all the others that are available out there?

Yvonne Vollaire
Well, it's a long story, I'll try to make it brief. But I was motivated by the family system that I grew up in. So I'm a third generation of incarceration, I grew up around ... my father was incarcerated. My mother was addicted to substances. And my grandfather, and my grandfather was also incarcerated.

So I think growing up in an environment where addiction was very obvious, and part of addiction, I experienced the loss of adults. And so those the loss of adults led me to figure out where are these people and I found out that they were incarcerated. One of my early childhood memories was visiting my father, you know? So my mom, spent a lot of years visiting my father, incarcerated, I remember and then my mom divorced my father, got remarried, and my stepfather was also an, you know, part of the addiction. He had an addiction, and, and he was also incarcerated. So I grew up visiting a lot of male figures in prison and camps and jails.

So I think what that did to me was, it made me not want to follow in that those footsteps. And not only did I see that, but you know, watching the dynamics from addiction, which were a lot of violence, domestic violence, and a lot of pain, you know, like poverty. You know, my mom, we suffered in poverty, because, you know, like the basic family system, you would have a father that was employed and a mother that was home on nurturing the children, but in this case, the the family dynamics get confused. And so my mother became not only a mother figure, but she had to be a father figure. And her frustration, you know, impacted me in so many different ways.

So it's me, and then I have a brother. So my brothers from my stepfather. We had two different fathers. We didn't ... my mom was unable to create a lot of like, siblings, or brotherhood or sisterhood. So I remember like, on Christmas, me going to my father's family, and then my brother going to his father's family.

And, you know, fast forward. You know, as a kid, one of my tragic memories that I know that impacted me the most was that my stepfather was in the restroom. And he called me over and when I walked in the restroom, I was seven years old, and he was tying off, he was a heroin addict. And then he said, Yvonne, go get me a lighter because this lighter broke. And I remember skipping and running to the kitchen, looking all over for a lighter saying I'll never do that. I'll never be like that. And even thinking to myself, who would do that to a kid, I'm just a kid, you know.

So I think a lot of things impacted my thinking, that led me down that path. Because I feel like, even though I didn't want to do these things, I gravitated towards other kids in the neighborhood that were also products of their environment. So it was like a trauma bond. And so then I first started exploring with alcohol at 11 years old. And I remember drinking, but not liking the taste, but loving the feel of me being able to escape from what was to be that, that those experiences.

Now, I don't want to say all my experiences were bad. You know, because, you know, as a person in long term recovery, I tried to look at the assets and the liabilities, meaning that I got a lot of good things from my mom, and my family, the family system, that made me strong to overcome a lot of the obstacles. But it took a lot of work for me to get to where I'm at today. And that's why I wrote the book, "Connecting the Dots, Repairing Generational Trauma", because in that process of growing up, you know, seeing a parent incarcerated, growing up and seeing a parent be involved in domestic violence and growing up and being poor, you know, like struggling financially, like. I remember, I had a friend come over and my mom said, you have to clean the kitchen before you go anywhere with your friends. And my friend was helping me and then he said to me, you have plates and cups and silverware, but none of them match. And I thought, Oh, wow. It made me so conscientious at that moment. But I didn't know that silverware and plates and cups had to match, you know.

So it was just little things that stood out to me, that reminded me that this is not normal. You know. The other thing is that, because we both me and my brother, we both started experiencing with alcohol and drugs at a young age. My brother became full blown schizophrenic by the age of 24. And to have a brother that was so handsome, so charismatic, so intelligent, so smart. He was all American sports. When it came to sports, he was an overachiever with trophies and football, baseball. And then to watch him decompensate. That was really hard. And I think that was the turning point for me that pushed me into going to school, because part of me wanting to go to school was trying to figure out, like, why is this happening? Why is it happening to me? And does this happen to other people? And wanting answers because by that time, I had three little girls, and I did not want my kids to have that same experience. I wanted to give them the most that I could based on what I was able to give, you know, we only can give what we know. So you know that prompt me to go to school.

Angie Fiedler Sutton
Perfect answer exactly what I was looking for. You yourself are a person in recovery, but you also help with people in recovery. What does it mean to you to go through treatment and go through recovery? We talked about journey, it being a journey here.

Yvonne Vollaire
Okay, so I was exposed to 12 Step at an early age because my mom started getting clean when I was 11. So you know, I was a kid in the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous, running around. And so I was introduced to the process of recovery. But by the time my mom started getting clean, I was on the path of self destruction. So I was a kid that I'm going to be 60. So as a kid, in that year, not a lot of girls were doing drugs or going to jail. So, you know, I started my treatment in juvenile hall at the age of 11.

So because at that time, there wasn't a lot of girls, people looked at women and kids at that time as you know, crazy. So you know, I my my recovery started a lot in in the, as they say, jails, institutions, right. So institution meaning that I started going to psych wards at 11. I was being evaluated by psychiatrists and wanting that they wanted to put me on tons of medication. And so I went through a lot of treatment facilities, introduced to treatment facilities. And I remember, they all started in custody, you know, that all my programs started in custody.

And so I remember, when I was around 18, I was sitting in a treatment program. And, you know, back then it used to be a very confrontational approach, more of a therapeutic community approach. And I a turning point for me was, I was sitting in his treatment, and I used to be a victim of my circumstances. And that's what would fuel my addiction. You know, so I remember saying all these things about what had happened to me when I was a kid, all these things I went through, and I remember somebody in that group told me, you know, what, Yvonne, you need to shut the F up. We're so tired of hearing about you, about poor you, poor you all the things that happened to you and look at, you're sitting here doing the same thing to your kids. You know what, you're nothing but a hypocrite.

And I remember putting my hands underneath my legs and saying, okay, just sit still and take it in. Because part of my mindset, okay, it's on and cracking or fighting after this group. But as I sat there, I started to have this calmness come over me. And I said to myself, she's absolutely right. I'm a hypocrite. I talk, I talk, I talk about all these things that happened to me. But here, I'm doing that to my kids. You know, and, and that was one of the motivating factors that helped me in recovery is that I did not want to repeat the same behaviors. And I did not want to expose my kids to the same trauma. You know, because growing up in a family of addicts, that, you know, you know, a lot of things happen to kids. And, you know, like me, I'm a survivor of sexual abuse. And this occurred when nobody was taking care of, you know, nobody's watching. So I think not wanting to pass that on to my kids and give them the opportunity. Although, today, I see life different. You know, I believe that we are resilient of any traumatic experience that we can overcome, because we're all survivors of trauma. You know, Dr. Gabor Maté says all of us are going to be have some form of trauma.

Angie Fiedler Sutton
Yeah. Especially now with with COVID.

Yvonne Vollaire
Oh, yeah, exactly. So But if we're around a loving community, they can help us find that resiliency, we can bounce back just takes time for everybody's timing is different.

Angie Fiedler Sutton
You touched on this briefly a little bit already, but some of the barriers that people will come across, in moving forward and treatment. And, you know, we we talked about it as a journey, but it's obviously not a straight journey, either. There sometimes back trips. So money, obviously, is one issue. You talked about being poor, what are some of the other barriers that you have come across?

Yvonne Vollaire
Well, for me, it was a family system, you know, I was that person that went home, you know, after treatment, I could have been in the most best treatment facility, and they did six months of awesome treatment. And I went back to the same environment. So for me, the bit, the challenge was going back home, and wanting my family to be in recovery. You know, it's like, survival guilt, like I want them to be where I'm at. And they want me to be where they're at. You know, so going home?

I make a joke of this, but I was that person that came out of jail, which was in an custody treatment facility. And I slept on my mom's couch, bogarted the remote control, and fought with the kids that were mine. So you know, I will go right back to that, that situation. And my mom not being able to understand the recovery process that I went through. She wanted to help me by keeping me in a place where I use the word exploitation because sometimes our family exploit us by they tell us you need to get a job, but they don't want us to because they give us chores or assignments to do that don't allow for it. You know, like my mom. She was good at saying hey, I'll give you $20 If you go pay this bill or if you go do this errand for me if you just go and do this or stay home and clean this or clean that are do this project for me. And I couldn't say no, because I felt emdebted to her, because she took care of my kids.

So I didn't have a voice. And a lot of times I would relapse because I didn't know how to navigate the responsibilities of having somebody take care of me. So the roles had shifted, because you know, me being incarcerated, me struggling, and in my addiction, my mom is very codependent. So she would pay for things, she would send me money, she would come and visit me. So when I came back, I owed her. It's just like the drug dealer, you know, if you owe them, then they can exploit you and make you clean their car, go to the store, take care of their kids, clean their house. So it's the same exploitation that we see in real life. You know, it was hard for me to even, I've always was able to get some clean time, but I didn't, I wasn't in the recovery process. I was abstinence because I forced myself to be part of a family that wasn't in recovery, or didn't accept recovery or didn't have knowledge of. So it wasn't until I moved away from that process, and began to be independent and made friends and made, you know, formed relationships in the recovery community that I was able to sustain, and maintain recovery, and get into the recovery process as well.

Angie Fiedler Sutton
Now, one of the other barriers that I know you, you would probably come across is the stigma. I mean, not only the stigma of being someone in recovery, but someone who has been in prison: that dual. Let's talk a little bit about that stigma. And you know, what kinds of things do you recommend people do to try and help overcome that?

Yvonne Vollaire
Well, I used to feel like that because as a kid, growing up in that environment, education wasn't first. So you know, like my teacher conference, my mom never came, any kind of school activity. So I wasn't motivated to even do homework or learn to read, I didn't even know how to read. You know, I still struggle academically. But, you know, I didn't know how to read and I didn't know how to put that first because on my dinner table or a family events, it was like, who got out of prison? Who's selling dope, who's running this? Who's married, who's having an abortion, who's getting you know, who just got arrested?

So, you know, not like other people, you know, I have a friend that they're when their babies are born there, everybody flooded them with college gear. And also at the minute they're born. They're not It's not like, are you going to college, it's what college are you going to they promote education. So it was just the family system. But you know, me coming out of prison, getting my kids, I think that I've always been blessed with this drive, to want to make it you know, they say you're either Blessed, blissed, dist. And that's how you, you gain. You know, sometimes careers are opportunities.

And I think I was blessed with a personality is overcoming, and I always smile, I always like love people. So I think for me, I did not have any skills. I remember being 30 years old when I, you know, and saying, Wow, where would I work? I remember I, my first job was at McDonald's, then I was working at the Ralph's. And all these jobs. They didn't, there wasn't a motivation in me. Because every time I was there, I thought about stealing, or I thought about doing something illegal. So I had to do I had to find a job that ... that was fulfilling.

You know, and I always tell people, hey, where can we go in life where we could get paid for what we love to do, and I got into the counseling profession. And you know, for me, it was going to school, taking one class, taking another class, and just being a part of that, that community. Now, that doesn't work for everybody, because I know that we all have, we have so many talents and skills that we can use, you know, and it's just about creating that resume of all of your experiences, even selling drugs, you know, even being a porter in prison, even, you know, dancing or playing musical instruments, all the things that we know that we're, we're blessed with as talent, art, tattoos, you know, graffiti, all these things that we're blessed with can be turned into revenue. You know, and we just need to can have like a coach or a mentors, people pushing us in that direction. You know, and for me it was education.

Angie Fiedler Sutton
Well, speaking of which, you know, the bio mentioned that you're a mentor to students and a sponsor to women in recovery and community. As a mentor yourself, what are some of the things you found yourself telling the people your mentee?

Yvonne Vollaire
Well, I spend a lot of time not judging. You know, and I spend a lot of time trying to build a rapport, I spend more time looking at people's strengths than their challenges. Because I'm very, I can be very critical. If I let myself go into a critical mindset, I can do that. I focus on people's strengths. And I focus on helping people to discover their strengths. And the women that I ... that I mentor, that I focus on that and the women in recovery, you know, I try to help them connect their dots. And then the students, I try to help them develop in a professional manner, exposing them to the different avenues that we have in our profession. And just like, like listening to podcasts, listening to webinars, doing training, reading an article, going on YouTube, anything that's going to help the brain change their thinking patterns, that will open the door or the window for them to see the world in a different, you know, different perspective.

Angie Fiedler Sutton
Now, how would you recommend if someone was interested in becoming a mentee or mentor, how to go about doing that?

Yvonne Vollaire
Well, first of all, you got to look at the resources in your area. So what depending on what area. There's so many beautiful resources that are available for mentoring, sponsorship, depends on what direction you want to go. I know that the local colleges, they have so many free programs right now. And a lot of the colleges, even secondary colleges, they have a lot of great programs. If you're interested in contacting me, you can go through you, Angie, and you can come get in touch with me through Bold Recovery. We put on workshops, we consult, we have all kinds of different connecting people to different trainings and different avenues, depending on which direction they want to go.

Angie Fiedler Sutton
Awesome. Now let's talk a little bit about your work with the Sheriff's Community Alliance. How did that come about? And what exactly do you do there?

Yvonne Vollaire
So my whole career has been working with justice-involved individuals. As I said, I started working with men and Tehachapi. And then I went to a community correction program. But the last 12 years I have dedicated to working with women. So when I started working at the shoot with the sheriff's department, it's an in-custody trauma-based program. We are very limited as we know that the funding is very limited to the treatment aspects. So I had to come become creative and figure out how can I get these women aftercare programs because our program wasn't designed like that.

So I put on a few provider fairs. And so these provider fairs gave me an opportunity to tap into the resources in our community, bring them in, and we did it four times a year. So every quarter, we would create these provider fairs and then I labeled that the Sheriff's Community Alliance, which is a network of providers that have existing program funding. So they would come in and the women would get to meet them. And they will get to tell them exactly what was expected from their program. So this way, they got firsthand expectations like okay, if you need a driver license, you go to this DMV; if you need the Department of Rehabilitation, you contact Suzie Q; if you're going to residential, if you want to go to outpatient, if you want mentoring, if you want to go to college, these are the contact people in your area. And so we did that. And we were able to match people up prior to getting out of jail. That's what the Sheriff's Alliance does. It provides the connection aftercare a smooth transition. And if anybody's interested in visiting any of those resources, they can go to Twin Towers. And at Twin Towers on the second floor. It's the release area. We have windows where every person that's getting released from the county jail can access any services there.

Angie Fiedler Sutton
Well, that actually leads into another good question. What other I mean, you've touched on this briefly, but some of the resources that you use on a regular basis that you might want to recommend to others,

Yvonne Vollaire
Well, the Community Transition Unit is part of the Sheriff's Community Alliance, so they are located at Twin Towers. And what they do is they offer reentry services to anybody in the seven facilities at LA County jail. So if you have a loved one in the LA County Jail, at Pitchess at, you know, or at MidCentral, or Twin Towers, or at Linwood, they have the CTU. They interview the the inmates, or clients, and then they link them up to resources prior to getting released. But anybody's welcome to go to the to the CRRC: Community Resource Reentry Center, it's located on the second floor at Twin Towers. And do

Angie Fiedler Sutton
you have any like online resources for those who may not be in the in the Los Angeles area? Anything that you would recommend in terms of online or that, for example, BHAP is a good resource?

Yvonne Vollaire
Exactly. Yes, it is. And you guys have tons of resources and job postings and education and opportunities. So I mean, you're national, so you're the best resource.

Angie Fiedler Sutton
You also are a presenter, you've presented webinars for us as well as done presentations for CCAPP at their conferences. Do you normally stick to women in recovery with correction? Or do you talk about other topics?

Yvonne Vollaire
I usually stick to what I feel comfortable with. And I know best is anybody that's been incarcerated - men, women - that have been impacted by incarceration, and trauma. Because I feel like there's so many different influences that get people into down that path.

You know, I mean, like, I think one of the things that I've realized, like working with the women is that the way we treat women that want to go to treatment is different than men. So if you go if a male is interested in going to aftercare, everybody in the family is cheering them on, they are right there to take them clothes, to take them shoes, to take them goodies, to give them money, go visit and put money on their books, but if a female wants to go to treatment. They have all the challenges all the barriers, because whoever's taking care of the kids usually says no, that's enough. You already did that program in jail, you need to come home and get your kids. Oh, you know what you need to come home and get a job, you need to come home and pay the rent, you need to come home and help us out here at the in the house.

So it doesn't it's not designed for women to be able to go through programs, and they get all that cheering. I mean, I go to the women's jail and nobody is jumping over anybody to put money on their books, or go visit them. But if you go to the men's jail, there's a line of women - moms, sisters, aunts, neighbors, cousins, wives, girlfriends - all in line to try to put money on the men's books. And sometimes there's even competition: who can put more, who's gonna get more, you know, validation from them versus if it's, if it's females, nobody's there. You know, you they matter of fact, they'll even say, you're a disgrace. How dare you go to jail on leave your kids? How dare you get caught up in those relationships, that land landed you in jail. But they don't go to the core of the issue that women have encountered.

But the flip side is that because I've worked with men, the thing is 98% of women have been impacted by sexual abuse. So have men 98%. But guess what, only 65% will cop to it. Women will admit to it. Because most of the time, men are getting molested by another male. And women are getting molested by a male. So I think it it does something to the brain that rewires the brain on how they think. And I think men have a harder time explaining or admitting to their experiences, but it comes out in other areas of their life. And then you get these two, these two amazing people that link up together. So it's the trauma bonds that link them together and they produce kids like me. Yeah. That you know, hopefully, but our jail system is filled with some beautiful, amazing people who have had some very traumatic childhood experiences. And we need more people to dedicate themselves to being role models and, and helping with this population. So I really appreciate the work that you're doing.

Angie Fiedler Sutton
Now, your bio mentioned that you've been in the industry for over 20 plus years, what are some of the things that you've noticed some of the trends, some of the things that have changed some of the things that, you know, how is it different now than it was when he first started?

Yvonne Vollaire
When we first started, we used to go to any lengths to build this industry to do the work. Now, people want to do everything online, there's no face to face. I mean, sometimes I think, wow, every agency I have, you know, talking to people from different agencies, and they'll say, they don't have as many clients. And I don't know what it is post COVID. We're doing more Zoom, or this, oh, yeah, telehealth this platform to do a lot of learning. Even schools, you know, a lot of people are coming into this profession, they're going to school, they're doing school online.

I think the change is, people are getting paid more. But the clients are, I think, also shifting, because the of the trauma, and the mindset of people that drugs have changed. I think drugs are doing a lot more damage to the brain. I think we're seeing more kids with autism, we're seeing more kids that are products have addictive families. And the way we see addiction, you know, now we have more generations of incarceration. I mean, I'm just telling you, I'm a third generation, and I work in the jail, I've seen third, three generations together a grandmother, the mom, and the daughter all in custody together. So where are those kids? You know, so the, also the foster care system, just the family dynamics has changed. So anybody impacted by that is going to be wired a certain way. I have seven grandkids. But I have three preteens. And I see their brains are wired different by social media, through the phone, through the school system now on how we're learning, or the food that we're eating. So I think there's a lot of changes that we're all going to see coming soon.

Angie Fiedler Sutton
Which, speaking of any prediction is the wrong word, but predictions as to where you see the industry going in the next five to 10 years.

Yvonne Vollaire
I was telling somebody today that I see as going towards a more telehealth, you know, approach. Even me right now in the program I'm working with at the jail, they want us to do more groups, and less one on ones. So we're doing less one on one interaction, less mentoring one on one. And everything is online. You know, like, our whole HR system is online. Like, we have an HR department, but we do all of our own HR work, you know? So they'll they'll give you like, they'll send you an email on steps, okay, this is what you do to access your A, B or C, you know, documents. So it's not like we used to have like, oh, we would call HR and they would just email us the forms. No, you got to do everything yourself now. Everything is like you make phone calls. You call people and you're on Okay, press one for this, press two for that, press three. You can't even get into you can't get a person. Everything is online. There's even restaurants that I love. I try to call and say okay, I'm gonna just pick up my order. Oh, no, you got to go online, you got to put the order in. There's no person to talk to. So what is it? AI? I think they're moving closer to taking over in the near future.

Angie Fiedler Sutton
Now, if someone wanted to get into the industry, or you yourself was starting today versus 20 plus years ago, what kind of advice would you give yourself or give somebody coming in?

Yvonne Vollaire
I would say that this is a great profession. And I think that there's so many avenues that you can use your talent because you know, me I like to be on the front line with people. But there's other space in this industry like to do newsletters, to do grant writing, to do administration even in the addiction field. So I would I would say is, you know, get involved in an addiction studies program. And I love that they moved away from calling it chemical dependency. They're calling it addictions. You know why? Because we're addicted to so much, you can put the pipe down and pick up the fork. So we are looking at addiction differently now, you know, and we're looking at a new generation of addiction of gaming, gambling, sex, porn, medication, all kinds of different addictions. So we're looking at the behaviors rather than just the act. You know, we're looking at and I think that getting involved in in the addiction studies and then getting familiar with this with the state, the certifying bodies that we have in California and linking up with the certifying bodies and understanding the process of getting certified and what that expectation is for you.

Angie Fiedler Sutton
Now it was there something that you wanted me to ask that I haven't or something that you thought we were going to talk about, but we haven't?

Yvonne Vollaire
About the book.

Angie Fiedler Sutton
Okay, can you talk a little bit about that at the beginning, but we can talk that some more, tell me a little bit more about the book and how you came about writing it and more that.

Yvonne Vollaire
Okay, so, um, you know, working in the working with women in custody, I spent a lot of time trying to figure out who was coming into jail, because you know, generations now, you know, the women that were coming in could be my grandkids. So I wanted to see what the trends were. And what I noticed that the sex work industry had just boomed. I don't know why it was because we're in California, we're near Burbank, and that's the capital. But what prompted me to write my book, the workbook that I did called Connecting the Dots, is called Repairing Generational Trauma.

As a person in longtime recovery, I wanted to make amends to my children. And my whole thing is, I had to forgive my mom, so that my kids can forgive me, and their kids will forgive them or, or we're going to produce more children with resentment and anger. And that would become more self destructive. So you know, writing the book Connecting the Dots, has given me a platform to have an open dialogue with my own children. I have three daughters, I have three daughters. And my whole thing is if I leave this earth, and when I leave this earth, I want to make sure that I made an amends with my my daughters, and I want them to know that they are going to make mistakes, because you don't have to be an adict to screw up kids. Just don't be there emotionally. So you know, make being able to make an amends. And having the dialogue and conversation of repairing generational trauma is not only the addiction, it's creating a better family system for the next generation.

And that was helped me because my daughter, my oldest daughter, who was more impacted by my addiction. She has a book club. So she does a book club. And so she picked my book. And so I was able to do my book club with my book and her book, in her book club, with three generations: my daughter, me, and my granddaughter. We all did the workbook together, along with 10 other girls.

So it opened up the door for a lot of women to start work, figuring out ways to work with their kids. So you know, the goal is to have more daughters, and moms have a dialogue of like, how their their parenting impacted them and how their parenting might impact their kids. And how can we fix that? Because it's not, it's it can't be all bad. You know, we have to try to look at our assets and the liabilities, we have to look at our strengths and our challenges. We can't just look at everything. Just like oh, it was the worse. Pour me Pour me another drink.

Angie Fiedler Sutton
That is excellent. Anything else that you wanted to talk about?

Yvonne Vollaire
That's it. Awesome.

Angie Fiedler Sutton
You've been listening to destination change. Our guest today was Yvonne Vollaire. Thank you again for being here. Our theme song was "Sun Nation" by Ketsa and used to be a creative commons license by the Free Music Archive.

Please consider rating and reviewing the podcast on Apple podcasts so we can get more listeners. In the meantime, you could only see more about the podcast including show notes and where else to listen to on our website If you have any questions for the podcast or suggestions for future topics, please email us at Thanks for listening.


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