Anthony: Hello and welcome to Capes on the Couch where comics get counseling. I’m Anthony Sytko,
Doc Issues: and I’m Dr. Issues.
Anthony: This is issue 158 and we are covering the Cajun of the Marvel world one Remy Etienne LeBeau, Gambit and a present level patron. Matt selected this and I knew that someone was going to get around to picking Gambit one of these days.
It was bound to happen. He’s got a lot of stuff going on. He’s kind of a fascinating character. I also know that there are a not insignificant portion of fans that just really don’t like him. Gambit is a particularly polarizing character among the X-Men fandom. For reasons I’m not a hundred percent clear on, and full disclosure, I’ve said this before, I’m not big.
On the X-Men books. I’ve read a handful of them, I know of them, but the X-Men were never really my bag as a Marvel reader. So I can’t claim any real expertise or knowledge of exactly what it is about Gambit that may have upset people. But I know at least even among our patrons, even among our present level patrons, Ariel can’t stand him.
She hates him. And I think I made a joke at one point on social media that for this upcoming season, I was like, Well, I think Ariel’s gonna be boycotting this episode. I don’t know if that’s true or not, but
Doc Issues: yeah, I don’t know. I have been more affiliated with people that really enjoy the characters, so, Whoops.
Anthony: No, listen, everybody’s got their favorites and everybody has characters that they just. Plane don’t like, I mean, I’m kind of hard pressed right now to think of characters that I just really don’t like, or at least they kind of turn me off if they’re in a book that I’m reading. I, I try to be as open minded as I can, but I understand some people, very passionate readers.
We know from experience that Ariel is one of them. She has very clear ideas about the characters and so she’s not a fan of Gambit. So Ariel, I hope you enjoy this episode Anyway, for everybody else. I hope you enjoy it. So we are just gonna get right to it starting as we always do with our background.
So, Gambit, Remy Etienne LeBeau was created by Chris Claremont and Jim Lee in Uncanny Xmen number 2 66, August, 1990. He also had a camu appearance in an Xmen annual that may have come out the month before, but chronologically speaking, that annual didn’t happen until after uncanny 2 66. So there’s a bit of a debate over what is his true first appearance.
Is it August, 1990, or is it June or July of 1990? It’s really just a cameo, but his full fledged intro is August of 1990. Which also kind of surprised me because growing up, as I’m sure many of us did, at least of our age cohort with the Xmen Animated Series, and Gambit being one of the key members of that team, I had kind of assumed he was around for longer than that.
Cause the show came out in 92. Yeah, so he was only a character for two years and they put him in the show. I just. Guess maybe, I thought he would’ve been in the, the cannon for longer than that, but they were like, No, he’s a big name character, or at least a well received character. Let’s put him in there.
Doc Issues: Yeah, it’s it, it’s good forward thinking in terms of marketing, I guess.
Anthony: Yeah. So Matt, our present level patron selected this one, and this first part of the background was actually one of the precursors to the issues, which, you know, if this is a Matt episode, you know, he’s very eloquent and lengthy in his explanation of the issues.
So this beginning part of the background is a pretty solid summary of about 15 years of 10 to 15 years of gambit stories. You know how we’ve done a lot of characters whose circumstances have come back around to, it’s not his fault, but it is his problem. It’s a doc ism G. It’s definitely a twist on that.
Let’s run down the list. Kidnapped as an infant and raised by a society of thieves who brought him up with a moral compass that was most certainly not in line with the rest of the world. Wound up homeless, captured by in immoral mutant and sold into slavery, got roped into an arranged marriage with Bela Donna to end a centuries old blood food between the Thieves Guild and the assessments guild, and wound up killing the brother of his bride to be in a dual on his wedding day.
Was exiled from his home in New Orleans. Found out he had a mutant power that grew so powerful and wouldn’t let him touch anything without blowing it up. Had no choice but to go to Mr. Sinister to give him brain surgery just to save his life. Gets a simple, innocuous job to do in return. Assembles some mercenaries to locate.
The Morelo community has no ideas. The mercenaries have orders to kill all of the Morelocks. That’s where Matt’s summary ends, which will pick up then when we get into the issues momentarily. But, To run down the rest of his background. So after that, he encounters a powerless storm who was out thieving, and the two of them connected.
And so Aaro brought him to meet the Xmen. Logan didn’t trust him. So the two of them had a dual, which Gambit ended up winning. So he served as an X Man for some time until he was captured by Magni and Saber and Rogue’s Kiss revealed the memory of the Morelock massacre and the fallout led to him being kicked off the team.
So he later rejoined the team after Rogue went searching for him. And we didn’t really get into the whole gait and rogue thing. If you want more info on that, you should go back and listen to our rogue episode. And it’s also kind of funny because a little bit of a, it’s not a spoiler, just an advance announcement.
This week is gait and next week is mystique. So back to back weeks where covering rogue’s husband and her mother, It just kind of worked out that way. But I would advise you to go back and listen to the Rogue episode cuz you’re gonna get a lot of clues and stuff. And we will be referencing things from that episode and just the general interactions with Rogue for this week and next week.
So, after Battle with Destiny, he and Rogue were de powered. So they moved to California to explore their relationship. Both ended up regaining their powers and rejoining the X-Men. But when Gambit was temporarily blind, that he began lashing out at Rogue, who left him mystique, then joined the team undercover as another shape shifter, and she revealed herself to Gambit as a version of Rogue that he could actually touch.
Although Rogue was angry about it, Gambit never actually pursued anything. And that is a whole other thing. We can definitely touch on that next. So he submitted himself to Apocalypse in an effort to infiltrate the team, but the transformation brainwashed him and he became the fourth horseman death. And after Apocalypses defeat, he has returned to normal with the help of Mr.
Sinister. Now the next 15 years of X-Men continuity and stories involving Gambit are really of two things. One, he and Ro on again, off again. Two, something comes up about gambits past, leads the rest of the Xmen to kind of not trust him until he eventually works his way back into the good graces. And then he has to go do a job for somebody or some, Something from his past comes up and he’s not trusted and team kind of puts ’em in a distance.
That’s about 15 years worth of X-Men story is right there, yada, yada yada. He and Rogue get married after Kitty Pride backs out of her wedding to Colossus. You can go back and listen to the Colossus episode on that. So, Gambit decides super pose on the spot. They spend their honeymoon protecting the Bioengineered daughter of Charles Xavier and Thelan, who was a sentient egg hashtag because comics, and then they get teleported to the mojo verse where they have to fight their way out for the amusement of Mojo.
And his viewers, we didn’t really talk about that in the Mojo episode, but go back and listen to that one just because that one’s a fricking riot. So as I said, we don’t normally like to yada yada, but even for 30 years 32 years at this point of characters, there’s really only a handful of types of stories that Gambit is involved in.
Maybe that’s why people don’t like it. I don’t know. I could just be spitball. But in a case now we are going to get into the issues. So the first issue in Matt’s explanation, and again going back to yada yada, with the, he has no idea, the Aries have orders to kill all the more locks. This is where it picks up.
Again. That is a lot of really bad luck for one person, but gambit, tortures and blames himself for way more of it than he should. He didn’t wanna fight Bela, Donna’s brother, but was bound to by the traditions of the clients. He didn’t wanna leave Bela, Donna and New Orleans, but had to, or there would be all out war.
He didn’t wanna get in bed with Mr. Sinister, but he was the only person he knew that could save his life. He certainly didn’t wanna play any part in a genocide and tried everything he could to stop it while it was happening. But at the time, he genuinely believed the job was just to locate them with regards to everything he did in his past.
Most of it is not his fault and way less of it is his problem than the amount he tends to torture himself with. On a scale of zero to Cyclops, his moral culpability for the things he’s done with his life doesn’t even come close to the level of guilt he feels. This is one of the things that I did know about the character is he’s very much tortured by everything he does in his past.
And that’s why I said so many of his stories revolve around something or someone from gamuts past coming back to haunt him. And then this causes amount of distrust with the team. But to Matt’s point, so much of what he beats himself up over is not really entirely his fault, or at least only maybe tangentially. So …
Doc Issues: you got it. So what happens when bad things happen around you? And they seem to happen a lot. Humans are very good at applying blame to themselves. We very selfishly, but for survival’s sake think that we are the cause of so many natural events, or we consider ourselves to be influential in more things than you would expect.
And. It’s because the locus of control is way more easy to tolerate than the idea of chaos, randomness, things like that. And without that level of control, we would become some of us potentially terrified that the next random thing that happens could kill us or injure us or just lead to more bad things.
And we have some magical thinking in terms of momentum that if one bad thing has happened, okay, so be it. That’s not that bad. A second bad thing happens not feeling so good. And what’s that saying that, I know I say it. I think you say it. And I know my wife says it and I hear it at work all the time.
Those bad things happen in threes. Like, Well, who come up with that? Come on. There is no rule that says that that has to happen. But we all do it. We all have that mindset. And so imagine that. You’ve not only thought that for that moment it’s happening, but imagine that you’ve had enough happen that you think that’s how life’s always going to be.
You stop thinking that this is something that’s involving lots and lots of other people that each are making their own unique choices and start thinking that it’s a Truman show. , you’re really the star and except , you’re not the star. You must be the villain because everything’s turning out bad.
We’re switching out correlation and causation. I’m noticing a lot of irrational thoughts with what I’m describing here and it’s very easy for me to say this, talking outside, looking in, but I’ll admit I’ve been there. I’ve had those times in my life where I just assumed that my very existence was leading to negative things, and that’s a depressing way to be.
I’ve also had the idea that the next thing that I did would cause something bad to happen. And that’s a lot of anxiety. And if it happens too much, We’ve talked about this plenty of times with learned helplessness, like, well, it, I mean, bad things are gonna happen anyway, then what, what effort should I put into to change it?
So yeah, all of these things can really screw up how you process reality if you’re not careful. Gait doesn’t get to that point, thank goodness. But in terms of the emotional side of things and the build related to that, it’s clear that he got impacted and hard. Now, does that mean that it makes him less of a likable character?
I don’t know about that. Most, most characters that I could think of that have that type of trauma end up having some endearing qualities. And actually, I, I know we’re gonna get into that as we get into the other issues.
Anthony: Definitely. And when you were talking about the bad things come in threes, I was thinking, Yeah, that sounds like my mom. That sounds like every, That sounds like me a lot. Sounds like a lot of superstitious folks that I know. It’s confirmation bias in the world. And there’s another term for it where it’s not just confirmation bias, but it’s the thing where if you are thinking about something, you start to see it everywhere.
Yeah. I know when I was shopping for a particular model of car, I would start to see like every fourth car was the one that I wanted to get. And you just noticed them everywhere. I forget what the term is for. Look it up and I’ll edit in the show notes, but it’s very similar to that mental confirmation bias where once you start thinking about something, it’s there and it’s always prevalent.
So I can absolutely understand that as I’m sure many of our listeners can empathize with Remy over everything that he’s gone through where it’s, Well, this happened and this happened, and this happened and this happened, and what’s the common denominator me? So I must be the problem. And I also don’t think it’s too much of a stretch to say that we’ve all felt that at various points in our life that whether you’re going through a rough patch, it could be short term, it could unfortunately be a long term depression thing where you feel that you are the cause of a whole host of things that objectively have very little to do with you and are certainly not caused by you.
But because your locus of mind is focused around the things that happen to you, when you do not have that objectivity to see the external creations and, and causes of all of these events, your perception is skewed. And that’s where it’s important to have a trusted friend, a family member, a therapist, somebody to say to you, Is it really your fault or is it X, Y, and Z That’s happening to you.
I know when I was growing up, I would always come home and tell my mom, Everybody’s picking on me. Who’s everybody? Well, well, well, it was Ryan. Okay. Who else? I, I may, maybe Dave was laughing. Okay. That was two. Who, who else? I guess that’s it. So are Ryan and Dave, everybody? No. Okay. That everybody wasn’t taking on you, You know, kind of explain it like that.
Not necessarily invalidate Well, that was a whole other thing, but in any case, you don’t wanna invalidate the feelings, but you also want to provide perspective and clarification to these things and be able to say to somebody, Hey, I understand you feel that this is happening to you. Let’s talk this through.
Let’s, let’s pull that thread a little bit and see what happens. Hopefully you don’t get them spiraling downward into a worse mindset, cuz I’m sure from your experience that can certainly happen. But it is a difficult mindset to break without the help of, as I said, someone trusted.
Who can help you with that. And better, worse Gambit does have those people. But I guess it’s a situation where he’s just been burned too many times, or maybe just by the very nature of his, his childhood or lack thereof and everything else, he’s not exactly the most trusting person. Maybe, you know, maybe rogue can get through to him. And even then it’s a crap shoot.
That’s actually kind of the, the third issue. Mm-hmm. That we’ll, we’ll get into in a little bit. I just realized that, looking at the, the show notes, I’m just kinda spitballing here. But yes, we’ll get into that. See, we do prep for the show, but sometimes things go off the rails. Second issue, deflection and de evasiveness.
Oh my goodness. Remy LeBeau raises keeping people at arm’s length with deflection and evasiveness to an absolute art form. And when you’re a monument to male fan service, streetwise slick talking bad boy with a mutant power that lets you genetically excite the heart rate and neurotransmitters of other people and charm the metaphorical and often literal pants off of them, that is really not a hard thing to do.
Remy is one of those people you can have an hours long conversation with, tell you all sorts of personal details and walk away not even realizing he didn’t tell you a single thing about himself. His teammates, Wolverine Bishop in particular, are the wisest to act and treat him with the most suspicion, but really all of the xmen known.
To some extent. He’s closer to some of them than others. Everyone likes him. No one really seems to have a problem with having him on the team. But apart from ro, obviously no one really implicitly trusts him, especially after the truth about his connection to Mr. Sinister. And the roers comes out, and this is what I was saying before, that inevitably a gambit centered story revolves around loss of trust. And something metaphorically or literally blowing up in somebody’s face.
Doc Issues: I absolutely adore the way Matt described this because there are plenty of people not necessarily in a negative way that epitomize this every day. I see this so commonly I act this. So commonly yeah, I didn’t mean to admit that.
The idea that you can find superficial ways to connect with just about anybody in the world, and I, I apologize when I use the term superficial. I do mean it is not meant to be a lifelong lasting bond. I don’t mean superficial as in unimportant. Because it is vital for us to have these types of connections depending on what we’re doing.
If you are in the service industry, you better be able to at least say what you’re supposed to say to a customer and do what you’re supposed to do for your job and get it done in a way that the transaction happens smoothly. That’s the basics of it for anybody. But when it comes to relationships, people usually want more.
And another way that I could put this is what happens if you always want it to be at that service and transactional level, rather than getting closer for several reasons. And in comics, we see it all the time to say that you wanna protect the people around you. It’s easier to make sure that they don’t get too close in the first place.
After all, there’s a lot of pain that I’m sure Gambit has to share. And. On one hand, misery loves company, pain shared is pain, lessened, whatever you wanna say. That’s one way to look at it. The other is, if I don’t let you get close in the first place, then that means you don’t have to experience it ever, at least in, in once again, that irrational mind.
So it’s a defense mechanism, but not a defense mechanism necessarily for gamut protecting himself. Although yes, it can be. It’s more to protect the other person. It can actually be seen as something that in a very perverse way is altruistic. And when it’s used improperly, it leads to people recognizing that you are the ultimate manipulator.
You are just looking to say, just enough that people recognize you’re human, but not enough to think that you care. That’s a hard balance to strike and nobody’s perfect with it. I think that the fact that he’s had such practice with it, because when you are in situations of danger where you legitimately have life and death on the line, if you say something wrong, you learn how to couch your words. You learn how to make people feel good in the moment, even if it means that in the long run, they’re not even going to make the type of connection that they would’ve otherwise if you had just let them know truly emotionally how you felt.
It is fascinating at how intelligence, wit, charm ability, utility, all of those things can mask intimacy. It’s amazing how much of a patchwork you could put together with those other skills and just drop the emotion out of it, . So I do think if we’re gonna now consider the point that you made with people not liking gambit, I think this one is pretty darn big.
Because when people think that they’re getting somebody who at its worst is like a sleazy, like almost salesman, just, and when I say salesman, obviously people in sales, you’re wonderful. Keep the marketing, do what you do’s. Great. You, you really have a wonderful service. I don’t mean it that way. I’m talking the stereotype used car salesman kind of bs at its worst.
Yeah. It’s the type of thing that becomes its own barrier to just interaction. But below that, there are always those people in that, you know, that. There’s something else and they’re always just keeping it hidden and you never know if you’ll ever get to it and they just usually won’t let you.
I’m noticing how much these dovetail into each other.
Anthony: Yeah. There’s a lot of interplay with this character in particular. All I will say in response to a lot of what you said is communicate honestly. People, we say it all the time on the show, Just be, be honest. Now, honest and and t need to go together hand in hand because so many times people claim that, Oh, I’m just, I’m a real honest person.
No, you’re an asshole. But honesty in communication, can be a very wonderful and freeing thing. It may rub some people the wrong way. And that’s why you have to have the confidence in yourself and what it is that you are saying to be honest and be willing to accept whatever the consequences of that honesty is.
That if you are speaking honestly to somebody and they’re upset by that, you have to be willing to live with the consequences of that. And I think that’s why a lot of people lie. It’s because maybe they wanna be honest, but they’re afraid of the consequences. So rather than be truthful and say, Well, I’m gonna hurt somebody’s feelings, or This person may not like me anymore, it comes down to insecurity.
People would lie to be liked, then be honest and have people not like them. Some people are very strong at that and don’t mind being honest and. Having people like them for who they are rather than pretend to like them for something that they’re not. But that’s unfortunately not everybody. And that’s, that’s a topic for obviously a whole other podcast and, and show.
So last issue, and we kind of talked about it within the first two third issue is related to the second one. Remy’s own massive trust issues with other people. It’s completely 100% understandable given everything Remy went through in his childhood in teenage years, that he’d be extremely wary about making himself vulnerable around anyone.
It’s a lot. The man didn’t have the loving, supportive upbringing most of us have. He’s understandably a jaded, cynical man who expects the worst from people until they show him otherwise. But the only person he’s ever really genuinely led into his life is rogue. And it was a very long, very rocky and very painful rogue getting there.
Gambit guards his heart tighter than Fort Knox, and seems very comfortable with the fact.
Doc Issues: So, Matt, you need to get out of my AOL instant messenger. You need to, just stop digging into my high school yearbooks and like, bang, dude, this one cut.
Obviously, I’m, I’m being facetious in a way, but no, the idea that for whatever reason, if a person has made a decision that they don’t want someone to enter their lives, that is their right. The idea that you do that with absolutely everybody can lead to a very painful existence. So there has to be some sort of balance.
Here’s the part that I think much of society gets skewed. That range is wider than any of us are comfortable accept. Yes, it’s bad for it to be zero. It is unlikely that it’s going to be billions. So if you are simply looking to be an influencer and think that you have the ultimate in terms of a truly fulfilling and wonderful life that way, eh, is gonna be a rude awakening at some point.
If you think that you have successfully crafted your life as a hermit in a shack on a deserted island, then you somehow don’t have a volleyball named Wilson, then I, I don’t think it’s gonna turn out as well as you think above and beyond that. Yeah, the world’s your oyster. There’s gotta be some level that you’re going to be comfortable with whatever that number is, and no, it’s not a magic number.
Yes, it’s going to fluctuate over time. Yes, people are going to be in and out of your lives. That’s another part of this that I think gets skewed sometimes. The idea that you have someone that you’ve known for your entire life and that is the only person that is there for you and, and all of that. And what happens if they go away?
Well, maybe there is someone else, or maybe there’s more than one person. Oh my goodness. So the possibilities. So someone like gambit who kept it incredibly tight for so long and a person pierces the veil, that can be beyond intimidating. That’s a threat. That is the type of response that’s going to potentially lead to more problems because you’re backing into a, you’re backed into a corner.
You’re not sure if this person is going to do more harm than good. And his natural defense mechanisms, as we said, can be very aggressive, but also very charming. And some people like that mix and they pursue further. And that might put him off more, but it may double down on that other person. And you end up in this huge tug of war.
So when people ask how certain relationships may develop and say, How could, How could they have survived all of this? Or how, How do you get over that first hump where it seemed like things were so adversarial? It’s because tension itself can lead to growth. And thankfully with someone like Rogue, and if you wanna really find out where rogue’s coming from with this, listen to that episode, it’s clear that he has the capability of doing this.
The question is how often and how much does he want to. For some people it’s going to be the idea that this opens an opportunity for many more possibilities, and for others it’s like, nah, pretty much one and done. And that’ll be that. If any of you find yourself at any level, at any point, when it comes to the spectrum of interactions and relationships, this is not to shame you.
This is to allow you to know that whatever happens next or whatever happens in terms of how many people at any given time, it can be okay. But here’s the real key part to this. Let the other person in on that part of it too. It doesn’t have to be a secret. Trust me, I really know this one. I really do.
It’s okay. It really will be. Okay. You don’t have to be in the corner saying, Oh God, why am I here?
Anthony: not speaking from experience there, doc at all. Nope.
Doc Issues: Nah, nah. Not, not, not in the slightest.
Anthony: Nope. Nope. Definitely not. It’s, it’s hard. Trust is such an incredibly fragile thing and you know that tourism about trust takes years to build and a second to break. And it’s true for a reason, because it absolutely is. So I understand to a degree why people would be, shall we say, less forthcoming than others.
But the optimist in me always says, When you find those people in your life and when you have that connection and when you have that trust, it is so incredibly worth it. It is such a wonderful and uplifting experience, and I would truly urge people to, to go and find it if you can. Now, I’m not saying go ahead and trust every time Dick and Harry you come across.
That’s the opposite under the spectrum, and I, I get that. But as I said, having people in your life that you can trust, that you can lean on, that you can be honest with, and that can be honest with you, that reciprocate, that trust is a joy that I find hard to describe at. And I consider myself incredibly fortunate and I’m also fully aware that this is incredibly rare of how many people I have in my life that I can trust.
And I think to some extent it goes back to kind of that second point and, and even the first one, that honesty of self. That if you are unabashedly yourself, you may not be for everybody. My sister says this all the time. She goes, I am not for everybody but the people that I am for. Love me. And you have to be okay with that first part.
You can’t be all things to all people, but the people that are there for the good and the bad, the the thick and thin those ride or die folks, if you have them in your life, really truly count your blessings and be grateful that they’re there because it’s. It makes life easier knowing that you can have those people there to help bring you up if you’re going through a rough patch and vice versa.
There’s a joy in that connection and it is uplifting in a way that I cannot put into words and I’m glad Remy has that with Rogue. It’s a shame that someone as charming and witty as him can’t find that kind of connection with more people. Cuz I think he’s got a lot to give if he just let’s that wall down just a little bit, maybe just a little bit more and then a little bit more.
It, it doesn’t happen overnight, but it can happen and as I said, it’s, it’s wonderful when it does. So all that being said, we are gonna take a break. We’re gonna plug a couple of shows and when we get back we will get into treatment. So stick around .
[BREAK FOR PLUGS]
And we’re back. So let’s get into treatment.
So the treatment theme here is Truth in Deception and starting as we always do within Universe. Doc, how are you gonna treat Remy LeBeau?
Doc Issues: So this is gonna sound a little weird, but the whole point of this is he is so good at adapting to situations. He’s a bit of a, I’m not talking Shapeshifter, but he’s a bit of a chameleon, a social chameleon.
He knows how to blend in. He knows how to get you to a certain point where he can manipulate, and I have to avoid that. The problem is he’s so more skilled at doing that. As many people, and I know I’m not giving diagnoses here, but as many people with certain, I think he has some personality pathologies going on that I don’t want to play his games, but I do wanna play games.
What I mean is I want external rules. I want something that is socially acceptable where you don’t know all the information of the other person, and it gets revealed over time through random choices and chance opportunities. That’s how all games are set up. That’s the whole point. And I don’t care if you wanna make this like in person, if you, if you want it somehow to use the danger room where maybe it’s not physical, but just something that is engaging us.
Physically and mentally at the same time because he definitely has that bent spoiler alert, kind of get into that with the skit. But just something where I know that there’s the, these other outside factors, which he clearly is always uncomfortable with. He doesn’t like the idea that other things are in control.
But knowing that and knowing that we are both sharing that experience. I don’t know if anybody else has noticed this, but I know I do. When you’re playing a game with someone, even if it’s a stranger, you get to know them in certain ways, intellectually, emotionally, maybe not their background, not always, but in ways that you wouldn’t otherwise.
And that’s what I want. That’s what I wanna find out. And I don’t think I’ll get there any other way. I don’t think just asking him basic questions is really gonna do that.
Anthony: Well, it’s definitely not because as we’ve indicated, He’s not really gonna answer them honestly anyway. So what you have to do, and this is not always easy, is get those moments where maybe you can catch ’em off guard. Maybe you present ’em with something that he wasn’t expecting, kind of throw him off his game again, if that’s possible.
And that’s where you learn. It’s not gonna be learning through questions, it’s gonna be learning through moments. We’ve all had that situation where somebody does something or says something, reacts in a particular way, and you go, Hmm, I just learned something about you, but I did not know. It could be good, it could be not good, but it’s always an interesting and eye-opening experience. so outta universe, Matt says, Quite honestly and eloquently, not really a stretch to find real world equivalence to this man.
I imagine most people who go to treatment can be intensely guarded and wary about sharing details about themselves. I imagine a lot of patients have things in their past they’re not proud of and that they torture themselves with. I also imagine it can be like a chess match where one person is playing for a staal mate and trying to frustrate the other person into surrender when you’re trying to get through to them.
And having just had numerous conversations with you over the years, even with no person identifying information available, you’ve told me plenty of situations where this is definitely the case. How do you get through to them, if at all?
Doc Issues: So this may come as a surprise based on what I just said about the in universe treatment.
Rarely. But once in a while, if I notice that a person is conscious and intentionally doing that, then I call it out. I will say, By the way, I just wanna let you know. I have to still do my job, even if you win. And when I say the word win, that usually if I use it properly, we’ll startle the person because that’s the whole point.
This isn’t about one of us winning. We’re in this together. The idea is for you to be better than what you were before in terms of your symptoms or your situation or whatever it is. So if I’m saying that I’m not your opponent, you don’t have to treat me that way. That’s only if the person, I think is doing it just very clearly from the start.
And I usually get that at the person has been coerced into getting treatment in the first place. That’s where it’s most common people that are seeking treatment, they may want to guide the narrative, They may want to go down a specific avenue about what’s going on, in which case, I don’t really have as much of a choice if that’s what they’re gonna consider to be the most important.
Issue, most important topic or whatever. Unless there’s something that I think is life threatening, I’m gonna go with it and I’m gonna see what I can piece out here and there. But I usually just wanna make sure the person knows that we can’t do everything all the time. And I’m not trying to bend reality to your win.
Some people are looking for, and, and I’ll relate it back to, to how Gambit was presented. Some people are looking for someone to be the savior and say, The world is something that I can save you from. And that will be a lie. Because if a lot of bad things have happened, I still have to say that a lot of bad things have happened.
My job is to point out that they didn’t happen, quote unquote to you. The events were going to happen and you may have been a victim. You may have played a role, you may have been randomly involved, you may have simply experienced, you may have witnessed whatever the actual details are. I wanna piece that out and, and put back some of those enabling meaning, empowering kind of thoughts and phrases that will allow that person to process it better so that instead of the idea that the world is a horrible place because so many bad things have happened to me, or I cause them, and therefore that makes me a bad person, et cetera, et cetera.
It can be, There are many unfortunate things that happen in the world that I am aware of and experienced, not in a vacuum, knowing that there are many other things that have happened that allowed me to survive to this point. And I have opportunities and have other experiences. Oh my goodness. Heaven forbid, we can get to that other side.
That may take a while. Like, hey, there are other positive things that have happened too that you have actually considered for yourself to be positive, but you never bring up because all this other stuff you feel has to outweigh it as if it’s this magical scale that you’re trying to balance out, which isn’t necessary at all.
And then heaven forbid, is the idea that well see, but these things keep happening and they give the next example that happened last week or whatever, and ooh, I just realized I haven’t done this in a long time, but I’ll, I’ll do it because, hey, it’s a podcast. We’re entertainment and it’s an entertaining thing.
If the person has a coin, I’ll let them use their coin, not mine, because they gotta trust it. And I’ll say, Okay, can you do me a favor? Can you just examine it? Can you look at it? And like, Okay, yeah, fine. Whatever. You know? I’m like, So I’m saying it’s a legitimate coin. Yeah. Okay. Flip it, you know. Don’t call it, just flip it, you know?
And they do. It’s like, okay, that came up heads, you know, And they keep flipping it, you know, whatever. Let ’em do it 10 times. I’ll say, Okay, so what did it come out to be? And what, I’ll just make up a number. Let’s say it’s okay. It came out heads to tails eight. And I’m like, see, that ought to tell you. You know, those coins, they can’t be trusted.
And when you put it that way, the person as you just did, like, they’ll usually give a smirk or give like, cuz they’re like, That’s, that doesn’t make sense. I’m like, Exactly. It doesn’t, but that’s what your brain is doing with everything around you. And that can help just ease the conversation a bit. You know?
I’m not trying to say that you are wrong about the world. I’m trying to say that the world doesn’t care about what you think about it. Things are just happening, it’s the opposite of what many people need to do. Many people, they feel like, they need to have more influence in the world with, with people like this.
It’s like, no, you, you gotta pull it back. Without crushing their, their sense of self worth. It’s like you’re not as important as you think you are. It’s okay. You could still be you. Which sometimes can even allow them to open up cuz they realize, well wait a minute, if I’m not that person that’s causing all this torture and terror in the world, then even if I do screw up, it’s not gonna be that bad.
And things can come full circle and the number of people that I’ve had where I’ve gotten to that point, like directly with my influence in a group of sessions, cuz I work in a hospital, Nah, doesn’t happen. But I can say that I’ve had people that I’ve seen months later in an outpatient program or even just randomly, will send us notes and let us know how they’re doing and I can hear and, and if they’re there or I can read.
The difference that they’ve made for themselves. And it’s, it’s a wonderful thing.
Anthony: It gets back to that confirmation bias again, to bring it back to what you were saying before where, so they’re focused on all the negative things and ignoring all of the positive things, or at least maybe even neutral things that have happened. And there’s, Oh my gosh, all these bad things have happened.
What is it? Well, it’s, excuse me, this handful of things that have happened over the past couple weeks. Okay. But it’s a couple of, It’s a handful of isolated incidents. Meanwhile, the other 97.4% of their life is neutral or positive, but that’s not where their focus is. And it involves, or I would imagine it would involve for you reframing from that perspective to not always.
Go immediately to the negative, to not always focus on the horrible things. I find that is, is not always easy, even as a parent, where if my kid is, especially my son is particularly focused on something and he’s very needy, we hear a lot of parents say all the time, Oh, my kid is being very needy. Very needy.
It’s because we’re coming at it from our perspective of, I have all these things to do and my child is bothering me, or they’re annoying me, or what have you. If you reframe it from the child’s perspective, the child is seeking connection that they’re clearly missing. That if they were comfortable with the amount of connection they had, they wouldn’t be going over the top for it.
But if they’re constantly going, Mommy, mommy, mommy, daddy, daddy, daddy. Play with me, play with me, play with me. It’s because they need that connection and they lack the emotional maturity to be able to say, Hey. These are the things that I need. I saw one parent influencer said that she taught her kids to say, Mommy, I need attention, or I want attention right now.
And she said, So many people give her flack for that. But she goes, Why? It’s an honest statement. Rather than beat around the bush and be annoying with all these things, now I have to figure out what it is that you’re looking for in an effort to give you attention. Just tell me, Mommy, I need attention right now, or I want some attention right now.
Okay, That’s a clear, direct, open, honest communication from a child that needs to be, I don’t wanna say rewarded, but honored and respected. Why can’t we as adults have that, those types of conversations? Why can’t we say to each other, Listen, I’m in a low place right now. I need some attention.
I’m having a rough go of things. I would appreciate if you were to pay attention to me, spouses, husbands, and wives, or spouses in general. Talk to your partners. Say if you are feeling a little distant, I have conversation with my wife. I’ll say, Hey, listen, I’m feeling a little distant right now.
If we can, you know, like reconnect tonight. It’s hard, you know, with, with a newborn obviously. But if you’re just open and forthright with your partner or with anybody really to be able to say, Hey, I need attention right now. I am craving connection. And again, this comes back to trust and hoping that at least, you know, within the confines of a committed relationship, the other person is gonna reciprocate and understand that.
But to be able to say that and have them go, Okay, I understand and reward you with that attention that you’re seeking, that creates. Closeness that builds the bridge, that makes the relationship stronger. We all need that. Every single one of us needs attention at some point. We just need to be able to honestly say that and say that to, to be fair to the right people and get that attention and get that reciprocation.
And so I would imagine bringing it back to some of the stuff that we’re discussing that people in these types of situations many times are looking for attention. And that’s not a bad thing. We, we demonize that because we don’t want to pay them mine. We say it’s great, you need attention, but not from me.
You know, it’s, it’s like NIMBY type of thing. Yeah. That’s great that you want the attention, but not from me. Sometimes. Gotta give to get. You want the attention, you have to be expected to give it and reciprocate. And that’s how society works and that’s how we all get along. So as I have indicated previously, I’ve hopefully will not be embarrassing myself with the accent when I attempt Cajun.
It is not an easy accent to get into. It is an easy accent to butcher, and I just hope that I don’t do the equivalent of Kevin Costner in Prince of Thieves, where I’m slipping in and out of this thing very, very quickly. And you just go, What? Here? It’s not that bad here. You weren’t even trying so, Watched a lot of Cajun videos.
I listened to Cajun podcasts. I even at one point considered seeing if I could find a Cajun podcast or to play gait so that I would just say, Hey, there’s an authentic Cajun, Listen to them. Couldn’t find any. At least not within time. So apologies in advance for whatever it is that’s about to come outta my mouth.
But here’s what happens when we get gambit on Dr. Issues, his couch.
Doc Issues: Hello, gambit. I’m Dr. Issues
Anthony (as Gambit): Bonjour, doc.
Doc Issues: So what can I help you with?
Anthony (as Gambit): Nuttin’. Ah,, just Josh and you. I figured you liked that one
Doc Issues: sometimes.
Anthony (as Gambit): Wow. Heard you were cool.
Doc Issues: Not exactly the life of the party. Sorry.
Anthony (as Gambit): Hmm. Something ain’t right here. Well, you wearing a wild something, you know. I can shorten this real quick.
Doc Issues: No, no. I’ll admit you’re right, but But not for any nefarious reason. I was told things too.
Anthony (as Gambit): No, she told me She ain’t told you nothing.
Doc Issues: No, not anything bad. This is not, This is tough. I’m being vague because lately I’ve been too loose in my descriptions of others. And in your case, I was told to keep quiet, but then I can’t discuss a relationship if I don’t talk about the other person. But they probably don’t want me telling everything. But I know that, you know, it’s complicated.
Anthony (as Gambit): Sherry. Well, she know better. Listen, you trying. I’m buying. That’s why I’m here. I mean, she clearly only told you what you need to know. I sorry for snapping. You like that?
Doc Issues: I’m trying to say that I’ve. Told that you value privacy. I should have just done my usual introduction about confidentiality. But no, I had to play it off like I’m some sort of mastermind interrogator. I get this when I don’t think someone will open up to me.
Anthony (as Gambit): You. Got me in the door. I mean, that, that more than most, I mean, you ain’t coming around my pod any time soon. I, I just got things on my mind.
Doc Issues: Go ahead.
Anthony (as Gambit): So how do you get things outta your head without surgery?
Doc Issues: Say again?
Anthony (as Gambit): So I don’t, I don’t like talking about all the evil business. If you get my drip, I, I just gotta get rid of it.
So if Mr. King get it done and he ain’t trying again, you hear me? I ain’t going back there. Then I figure I should go to someone. That’s of the mind, but not really other mind, like Charles
Doc Issues: I, I’m not sure I say anything in, in fact, I tend to listen.
Anthony (as Gambit): No, see, I, it’s simple. I need you to help me so I don’t let stuff I wanna forget, bother me so much or make me forget it.
Either way. c’est bon..
Doc Issues: Well, if it would as simple, would you have gone through the effort to deal with it in the first place?
Anthony (as Gambit): Touche.
Doc Issues: Anyway. Your natural tendency seems to like push things down, suppress ’em so much that it, it actually accomplishes the opposite effect, you know? So you don’t have the memory itself in your daily conscience, but the amount of energy necessary to keep it that way with even like the tiniest hint or reminder, I mean, all that stuff, it’s gotta go somewhere, you know, it.
How do I put this? It builds up until
Anthony (as Gambit): boom. I know. Just like the power. It’s kinda funny how the physical in middle come to get it like that. It’s synergy.
Doc Issues: You know? We gotta term for that. Psychosomatic
Anthony (as Gambit): Psychokinetic.
Doc Issues: Psychosomatickinetic synergy.
Anthony (as Gambit): Psychosomatic. Kinetic synergy.
Doc Issues: Yeah. Oh man, man, I, I just think, I think we just added to the what? The mental health lexicon there.
Anthony (as Gambit): What? There you go. Glad I could help you there. So what else can I do for you,
Doc Issues: man? You know, it’s cool. Work is well. Wait, wait. Hold, hold on, hold on, hold on. You want the help? Okay. Not me. Why are you trying to make it sound like you’re giving me therapy?
Anthony (as Gambit): I’m just trying to loosen you up there, Doc. I mean, you so uptight. It’s good to see you left. Call me crazy. I, I think you should do it more.
Doc Issues: You realize that for you to make progress, you’re not gonna be able to rest on a good moment with a stranger as the ultimate win.
Anthony (as Gambit): Where was weather shot
Doc Issues: All? It’s obvious you came to the conclusion about your powers and all that stuff with your psyche long time ago.
I’ll admit, give it validation. You’re trying to play me like a puppet and just get along with you so I can rub a stamp. Your style. And don’t get me wrong, your style has flare, charm wit. There’s gotta be more than that.
Anthony (as Gambit): Ooh. And I thought you had no gate in you trying to bite my head off. Look at you. You got yourself a real backbone.
Doc Issues: I’m serious. Are you always? This way, you know, just, just charming and conning your
way through life.
Anthony (as Gambit): It’s only a con if I don’t believe it.
Doc Issues: So you’re happy anyway. Then what’s the, what’s the point of forgetting something that you’re acting like it doesn’t even bother you. But then you said that’s what really does. I, I can’t play games like this.
Anthony (as Gambit): You need a better poker face song.
Doc Issues: You know, actually enjoy poker. The logic, probability, psychology uncertainty. Only way the story gets told is at least two people are willing to see the hand through to the end.
Anthony (as Gambit): That’s pretty deep. That’s that really philosophical. You should write a book there. You gotta shop mind on your doc
Doc Issues: And so do. That’s why I know you’ll let me lose a few hands to you.
Anthony (as Gambit): You wait, what? You me play . Oh, come on Doc. You know you don’t want the smoke., You gon’ lose your office, you ain’t careful. Figure playing some fake chips.
Doc Issues: Yeah,
Anthony (as Gambit): right. Those stakes I’m in. I hope you kept up with Ahaha low because
Doc Issues: Nope, nope, nope. Don’t choose. I choose all blind man’s bluff.
Anthony (as Gambit): So just face reading one card on the forehead. All, Let’s see.
Doc Issues: Just to let you know, two rounds of each turn, you have to gimme one
fact about yourself.
Anthony (as Gambit): Well that’s pretty cool cuz I’ll get to know you.
Doc Issues: Well, well, well, well, And I don’t have to say anything.
Anthony (as Gambit): Now hol’ on, dat ain’t fair.. That ain’t fair. You can’t r a game and expect me to play.
Doc Issues: The real pot isn’t the chips. If you win you can end the session and never come back. After all, you wouldn’t wanna hang out with a loser like me.
And if I lose, I give you feedback on what may actually help you, because I’ll take your information as genuine no matter what.
Anthony (as Gambit): So no matter what if, if I play this the way that I want, I get what I want, even if I lie and it hurt. Laissez les bon temps roulez.
Doc Issues: Funny how that works out
Anthony (as Gambit): all, all in. Ain’t no gonna be no second bet.
Fact for the only round is if I didn’t trust her, you would see you put the equivalent of a bomb right in my hands
Doc Issues: call. And I had a queen
Anthony (as Gambit): Jack. You would’ve call with anything, even with a threat like that,
Doc Issues: but threat,
it was a truth, right? And yes, I would have,
Anthony (as Gambit): See I. You got too many tells.
Doc Issues: Well, I guess we got a lot to learn from each other. I’ll let you call the next game then.
Anthony (as Gambit): So we really gonna make this a thing then.
Doc Issues: Only if you’re willing to be a regular at the table.
Anthony (as Gambit): Better than a couch. You can bet on that.
Doc Issues: Huh? I I thought you say I gah-ron-tee or something like that.
Anthony (as Gambit): Yeah, no, no. Cajun say that said maybe Justin Wilson re his soul.
Anthony: I’d like to think that wasn’t too bad. That was better than Scott and n c s New Orleans.
Doc Issues: I’m not the one to. I also wanna make an apology to, to anyone. I have a bad habit where I end up mimicking, or mirroring is, is probably more accurate because mimicking would imply I’m doing it intentionally what I hear.
And in this one because of family background, it gets a little more pronounced. So I wasn’t trying to mock an accent there if I, if it came through. So
Anthony: yeah, it was just a couple points where I heard you, you weren’t quite going full Cajun, but you definitely had a little bit more of a drawl to you. And I do it too.
I pick up accents or I will shift a little bit. Much to your point, mirroring. My wife always jokes. She knows when I’ve been on the phone with certain family members because I’ll get off. And all of a sudden I sound like a Sopranos character because the Nor Jersey Italian just kind of comes out and like the way that I speak and all of a sudden, like, you know, certain cousins from my mother’s side and stuff and all of a sudden I get off the phone and then I’ll, I’ll be talking to her for like 20 minutes afterwards and she’s like, You were just on the phone with your cousin weren’t you?
Yeah. My cousin Paul. Why? She goes, Yeah, cause you sound like you know a goba. And I was like, Oh, well, yeah, okay. It happens. But I mean, listen, that’s how we talk to each other. It’s just, it’s kind of one of those Hey cousin, Hey, how you doing? Hey. Hey. Alright. Hey
listen, some stereotypes are true. That’s all I’m saying. That’s all I’m saying is just North Jersey Italians, we have a certain flare to us, recommended reading the Mr and Mrs X story or series, I believe that was Kelly Thompson writing or any of the Rogan Gambit minis. I think there have been at least two plus.
Gambit has had a couple of minis. Rogue has had a mini or two, and I think we referenced that in her episode, but it’s all kind of interrelated with each other.
And there he was on X-Force at one point, but I’m focusing more on gambit personally. I think those are good stories, particularly the Mr. Or Mrs. X I, I thoroughly enjoyed that. They just got married and then they’re off on their honeymoon trying to relax and it doesn’t actually work for them.
So next episodes, as I said, next week we’re covering mystique, so we go from rogue’s husband to her mother, and then poison ivy, which would be a lot of fun. And I’m working on a guest for that one. And then may more to tie in with Black Panther. And that’s a bit of a tie back, tie in to the Sue Storm episode that we had a couple weeks ago.
So we’ve got some really good stuff, some creator content coming up on our Patreon doc and I, our booking, Well, I, I’ll rephrase that. Doc and I are going to be talking to a lot of creators. I’m the one doing the booking . Full disclosure, I’m the one handling all the booking. Oh yeah. But lot of creator content that’s gonna be coming out that’s exclusive to Patreon.
So if you’re not already subscribed, go to patreon.com/capes on the couch or links in the show notes and subscribe. One, three or $5. We’ll get you access to a ton of content. We’ll be posting it on social media as well. Interviews with some really cool creators, some big names, some indie stuff left and right.
We’ll see what happens. Maybe some stuff will make it to the main feed, maybe it won’t. You just have to subscribe to the Patreon to find out. In the meantime, all of our episodes are available on our website capes on the couch.com, and you can also check out the other shows on the GU Geek Network. You can go to gu geek.com and see the other amazing shows in the network like Play Comics, which Doc was just on, and I am gonna be recording actually tomorrow night, the night after we record this.
I’m gonna be recording a spot on there talking about Chris or talking with Chris about some video games. You can go and check out the recent Legends of Shields Run episodes where I was talking with the rest of the regulars about she Hawk and they want me now back for Wol by night, which I haven’t checked out yet, but, but I definitely need.
And you can find us on social media, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok at capes on the couch. I promise I will be getting more TikTok videos out. I know I said I was gonna be doing one, doing more. It’s just, it’s time. And I, that’s something I don’t have. So apologies for talkers. I will give more stuff out soon, more videos talking about various aspects.
So I think that’s going to wrap it up. And Doc, let’s say you,
Doc Issues: I know that it can be dangerous to have, you know, charged situations that are too close to you, but trust me, trying to be isolating your whole life was just a horrible gambit to take
Anthony: for doc issues. Hi, I’m Anthony Sytko. Thank you so much for listening. We’ll see you next week.