Jeremy Weisz 7:08
know are yours? Um, I mean, this may be a weird question but what did you eat while you were there? Do you remember any of the details at that time?
Dr. Erica Miller 7:18
I remember little details and I remember what I was told. We had peasants came from it was in Ukraine in peasants came to the barbed wire, and I don’t know what the pay them for. But before we could be able to get some eggs, potatoes peel of potatoes was very little to eat and I remember flashes of my mother giving us food in she would not eat and be insisted that she shared some food. Because people over the four years they died from Thai food in starvation. Did didn’t get to us fast enough to the ovens. Russians deliberated us four years later. So food was scared and I’m scarce and I must tell you something really interesting. I have pleasures of things that they think end oh my gosh, like the wow factor with Freud. I eat very slowly. I too, I chew slow. And I did not know it’s good for you. But it’s kind of annoying when you’re in the restaurant, whatever. And you know what people are, are finished. And so in the early years, when I was married, we’ve been a bit humbling economically, and I could not finish the proof. And I was too embarrassed to say, pick it up. I’ll take it home. Because one meal, when I’m in a restaurant, then I take it home. I have two more meals. So it’s occurred to me that food the so scarce, that you have it in your mouth, you chew, you know, you want to hold on to it a long time. That is my explanation. Maybe I’m in lala land, I don’t know. But it makes sense to me. Because food you’re speaking was really scarce. And I must tell you another quick story, the brutality of people in the kindness of people that was a guard in German big bed, wolf guard at the gate. And I was a very curious little kid. And my mother said, make sure you do not go to the God checkout to go there. Because lots of stories how I was, you know, I did not listen, I was a bad kid. I just wanted to understand the universe. So guess what, I did not listen to mama. So I crawled very quickly in here, this big dog. Remember, I was seven and a half or something like that. So he turned around, grabbed me, by my, you know, grabbed me something. I don’t know what I wore. And I thought it was I did listen to mama. He’s going to kill me now. So he said, she looked at me with this very mean face. You’re doing here this doctor pays for little girl What’s your name? And I said Erica, and he looked at me and so helped me I don’t lie need to believe me in a heartbeat. His face soften up and it looked like his eyes were not the the monster any longer in you said I have at home with a little girl Her name is Erica to sing me the song, which was like almost branded like a cow. They blend it so you know who do you belong? That song of the Heidi blend and blindness align on its highest Erica on the meadow. It’s a very famous German little song and then they were so and then so you’re pushing me down, go back, go back to your mother or something like that. So I just picked myself up and then in a heartbeat I looked. I scared kisum a candy bar. Okay, now, I could not possibly bring the candy by home. shared with my mom and my sister because they would know that I was a bad girl. So I thought and even then I was noticing but I remember this moment I felt guilty but I gobbled up the the chocolate so that but my mother wouldn’t find out when there and then it started peekaboo in with his guard. So got some chocolate. So my point being is the brutality of people and the kindness of people. And we experience all of us. We have to be mindful there are many layers all of us cut
Jeremy Weisz 11:34
Did you witness any brutality there? Do you remember?
Dr. Erica Miller 11:37
Yeah, yeah. On the way on the way on the train that took us to nowhere if we did not to be able to get every time. First of all, be there there I mean masses, and they catch a card started and they open the cattle cars, and then they started pushing and I think the Romania and because real man and in Germany bit by your neck in Romania to bionet they’re heading people. And one of them was my father. And one of the things he was on the on the ground, it was raining. He looked like a stuffed puppy because we couldn’t take with us anything. I was told. So hit three suits on who knows what. So they were lucky because they were beating him and I wanted to go and help. So yeah, there was a fatality baby screaming just like it Schindler’s List. I mean, I don’t need to describe the day they may have. But again, I wanted to go and help pop up in my mother just kept me back. So I would not be shocked. So yeah, so that that was that, you know, in more there’s a lot of stories in my first book from trauma to try and not mean to just sell my books and that, but it’s like,
Jeremy Weisz 12:48
the way people should always check it out.
Dr. Erica Miller 12:50
Once again, just thinking about It’s a story of the Holocaust, commemorate the thing yesterday. Today there are many Holocaust They’re the Epidemics that disaster they’re going through one right now. But yeah, so I have flashes of that brutality. The unknown The biggest thing is like uncharted territory. If you have now with a virus, it’s like a big train stop every time every station they open the gates of the train and they push in more people and then they came in and hit people. So be there in the in the back in the back in the back of the of the of the castle car. And I remember thinking oh my gosh, I’m glad I’m here so they will not get to us to beat me before they keep on going. You know, and a kid did not know what goes on so to entertain myself I remember thinking to myself, we they been the train goes Tata Tata Tata Steel t to juice shorts. Again, you have the shorts. I used to hear the word Dirty Jew. So I made a song to myself and why the train was rolling. I used to think Did you dirty do so when when we got Congress and I asked Mama, Vietnam dirty, you know whatever, don’t talk so I did not have a voice so when I don’t stop right now, so when my son says Mother You always have to say but you feel whatever it is I chew very slowly so food in my mouth, and I my voice I’m irrelevant at speaking out there and positive and inspiring and relevant. Why else am I here? I have many chances. So many of us never mind the camp. You know, you go on the freeway. So for me to be here and have a conversation with you and feel so alive that I’m going to lift 123 Do you hear me? Tell me by 123 ask me.
Jeremy Weisz 14:54
Dr. Erica Miller 14:56
because a woman in France she lifted Bernie Sanders Other, she lifted hundred 22 in 64 days, you hear me if she can lift 122 in 64 days, I can lift 123 and I can be in the book of goodness of whatever life choices. I go to the gym every day for 40 years rate and fit like a fiddle in pescetarian I have a wonderful attitude positive and I’m not in love Ireland, my cup is half full and not empty. So there’s an I am healthy I have the only thing I do take medicine is Synthroid, I have you know, whatever, goiter whatever that is, but I if if Trump doesn’t hit me, I have a chance to be living that hundred 23 because they whoever they are, they say we pick our time of death. And my friends when they know already and please, you know what? I know. I’m weird, and I love being weird and different. Don’t tell me I cannot do it because I’m Jewish. I have to die. Because I’m a girl. I cannot climb the tree. To the boys. I cannot be married, have kids and have a profession. Are you kidding me? So being in the moment, it’s very relevant. I don’t mean to preach to your audience. I just share it on break. I know it’s weird, but I have a casket in my home at the bottom of my bed, a beautiful piece of furniture. And you know what? I had a an artist paint me laying there in a white dress, which I have already is an angel. So again, to me to please the youngest, I’m going to have a party rehearsal. Because rehearsal, I’m going to have a rehearsal, because meaning to life is death. Big stress, everything is a big deal. Again, you’re all going to die. So that’s meaning to life is death. So yeah, you die and then they buy a casket. You’ll never see this beautiful piece of furniture and You never hear what people tell you unless you do I don’t know but the next world I don’t know about that. So yeah, I’m going to have a party and I’m going to have to take a bait mainly to make a point I’m you know I’m a preacher I’m a teacher be in the moment the past is gone learn from it have visions for the future without visions you don’t go no overs, but being the moment and when you mentioned my I’ve many mantras but the one is with great gusto gusto I don’t know which one is right. Gas means courage. It takes courage to survive BBB okay, because Be honest and also resilience pieces in the universe. Look at us Jews. Are you kidding me? Great respond gratification. You have a PhD you have a doctorate you know, you have to postpone the gratification to get some rest. And then gusto is live with passion and purpose because he I don’t know why I’m here. Just because I’m Jewish doesn’t mean that I’ve special relationship there is a God I know nothing. I know there is more than meets the eye and I’m not Einstein that but he thought, but again, being a life in the relevant and you live long and well healthy, a part of the community, there’s more more equal among all the good stuff that I’ve researched that I live by. Then I go to an event up in Mount Everest, just last year. Are you kidding me? The youngest from National Geographic 17,000 feet? Yes. Don’t tell me I cannot do it. man jumped out of a plane with my granddaughter in New Zealand six months later in occur. Hey, she said I’m going to go and jump. I said if you can do it, I can do it. So she says Bobby, you know what skin. I said, You know what, if the parachute doesn’t open, what a wonderful way to exit the world. So my point being is this live in the moment and this also passed. Lots of negativity around us whether you’re in Chicago or in Chicago. I’m in hidden hills. It’s a sunny day today. It’s about 80 degrees and sunny. How’s the weather where you are? Not so nice. Okay, so right so okay, I better shut up so you can ask me more questions.
Jeremy Weisz 19:18
No. So, talk about the mantras. You said you have many mantras. What is it? What’s another mantra that you have that?
Dr. Erica Miller 19:26
Okay, I used it up. It’s all connected.
Unknown Speaker 19:31
That Oh, gotcha. So it’s all it’s all of them combined.
Dr. Erica Miller 19:33
Yeah, the past is gone. The future may never be be in the moment so important because I can see all the stressors are the kids, the getting there. What about acne or getting there the AED What about meantime, you might never get there. You might never retire. I never go to it. Get a grip.
Jeremy Weisz 19:53
So, Dr. Miller, you know, you said when you’re young, you didn’t have a voice. What’s interesting is I could see how some people it may turn out they hide that voice forever and it feels like you’ve gone the opposite. And what was there something that flipped in you or was it was it always like that?
Dr. Erica Miller 20:14
Oh this like that, or is it a case in point? My sister? God, she died seven years ago does it same time with my husband? You know what? We live long enough. I was married for 53 years. Good, good unit. And I miss him more now than ever too bad. His time was up. I’m glad I’m still here. Okay. My sister five years older. She was beaten down all her life. Passive What can I do? And I noticed that from her family, never nothing. In me just the opposite. Don’t tell me I cannot do it. So yeah, as a psychology major in a PhD, whatever titles I have. Yeah, there’s definitely some traits that we bring with that. resilience and that kind of counter phobia that I experienced was the opposite. My mother had nightmares for for the Nazis everything to the end of her life. So yeah, it’s like the are similar but they’re different. And you take this guy from Uganda that come in, you know that you just mentioned from over from shorts, and look what he made a life of himself and then you’re here and I obviously I ran, you know 10 mental health clinics for 40 years but I saw patients clients, and it’s like, everything is a big deal. It’s like my, you know, blaming my father, my mother, you don’t blame her. Hey, like, I’d
Unknown Speaker 21:42
love to sit down when your therapy session
Jeremy Weisz 21:45
is a you just slapping people around? Like Don’t worry about it.
Dr. Erica Miller 21:49
You know what I do? That is my dog. That’s really amazing. Because again, here I’m the mother but she has her father’s gene. He was a depression boy and they have copies of everything. She’s freaking so when she says, Oh my god, I saw I was so good. The Lord knows what if I could not I didn’t wash my sheets. And we don’t have any sheets on the mattress. I said, Are you kidding me? At least you have mattress. People are sleeping on the floor. I did. So I don’t want to hear about it. I write on issues. I talk to myself a lot. I think to myself, I smile because I live with myself. Everybody is somebody your father, they’re dying on me. So I don’t want to hear it. So cognitive therapy, like patients, it’s not like, I it’s not I don’t have the answers. But you know, but you have a partner now and I I missed that part because I don’t see. I don’t see. The time is mine. And it’s very seductive in my kids, friends, they don’t know it. They say can we please come by? They have, you know, relationship issues. So I feel very about that part. But it’s like, you know, what, where, where do you want to be? What works? What doesn’t work? Now you have a question. Nomi how are we going to get there? Because I’m a problem solver. And that’s not my job is not that you cannot do what can you do? You know, so I don’t mean to bark, but it’s like, I’m not normal. And most people have never experienced that we’re going through right now. So
Jeremy Weisz 23:15
yeah, no, I love it because you know, what you provide for people. Your family is a perspective, you know, a viewpoint and perspective that most people don’t have at all, like almost no one, right? So I remember one of my favorite books by Viktor Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning in so, you know, you talked about your mom, she had nightmares all the way to the end was there and it seems like you’re just like a resilient human being that was naturally like that. Is there anything that you think back on that, you know, haunts you or you’re just like I’m just pushing forward no matter what.
Dr. Erica Miller 23:52
I’m, I’m still very lucky that I’m detached. I was able i that is something that I was concerned About in graduate school, when we wouldn’t be so in a group session and be so patient and then behind the supervisor, Dr. Sharma, and in my colleagues, they used to cry come out, I mean, the pain that people go through and I said, I always know it’s their problem not mine. I’m so wonderful defense. So he said, I won’t forget that Dr. Sharma, hey, some of us never get there. Luckily near you, so I am who I am because of it in spite of it. when when when the Russians liberated us, whatever and we started walking, my father barely could stand up and the whole story in my system was waiting and crying in my hands on smart father. They kind of said go without me. He was crying. He couldn’t walk. And my mother who was a frail, passive, you know, you know, no, no self is nothing person. She was a strong God and I knew I had to be strong to mama. So I was there be stronger. I did not cry. I gave them I have to pepper pepper. So that’s kind of me it’s like that that opportunity I don’t visit on anybody but there are lots of trolls I was able to I have to help I have to I have to you know be strong for mama or this and by the way i near like 11 at a time
Jeremy Weisz 25:20
huh you’re 11 years old at the time
Dr. Erica Miller 25:22
open coming back yeah almost 11 right coming back up but also you know, snippets snippets and the one the two things that I need to tell you because it’s funny. I’d like to logo Tommy Do I look good amazing. Okay all right here I was looking this little room you know this little window that he shared with some Ukrainian family home big story that they told a Russian with my father collaborated with the Nazis because he brought in their office doesn’t matter. But it was little tiny robots one bed. So my mother my sister me. I don’t remember Papa was a little window. So ever. day morning I looked outside and those Jewish candle with those uniforms they’re picking up dead bodies because people died from starvation and typhoid when I looked out there little kids seven years old ages, they look so ugly. So I talked to myself I still do tomorrow maybe I will be dead. I don’t want to die ugly just before I die I want to pose guess what I am posing. I have I am going to have the celebration of my death and they in our in my and you know my beautiful casket. So the point being that is a memory and dislike that meaning to life is death. Tomorrow I could be dead. I never thought I would be 30 I never said that to my kids. Whenever I had a husband and two kids. I decided this is the time to go back to school. And eight years later, I had my PhD. Guess why? Because in a room and we just got the 20 People want little room. It’s like monkeys have you been in Bali? You know, I haven’t it monkey colonies. They’re all huddled together and allows themselves right. So I was with my mother father, little, you know, little family this one woman. Obviously she lost everybody. She was all alone and all the woman made before she was veiling her contorted face was horrible for me. I was seven, so I wanted to go in touch her in my mother again hold me tight. I did not know it then. But I knew someday I want to heal that contorted face. Guess live in Israel after you know after the arm after the air for this embed. The only medical school was a Jerusalem, there’s no way I could. So timing have a vision. I always knew when the opportunity would be right. I did not. I did not obsess about it. So when I felt safe, when my son went to first grade, he’s younger than my daughter’s three. Then was the time for me to go back eight years. Nobody wanted me to do it. You could not stop it. I needed to heal by healing others may I hear myself. And guess what? We’ve worked mainly with probation departments. Domestic Violence, anger management, sexual harassment, it’s about respect. So yeah, we are who we are because of it in spite of it. And they’re similar in different some people sit in a corner like my sister, and that pastor does till they die, and then there’s me Look at me look at enemy than me. audience of one or there’s a 400 I just I just connect and this lucky to be alive.
Jeremy Weisz 28:41
You know, thank you for sharing that and you’ve had some really heal the grit and, and guts transitions. I mean, I can’t even imagine at age seven, like I have right now have an eight year old like ripping them from their house going on somewhere. We’re going to be basically in a, you know, a barbed area with Yeah. Imagine that at all. And then, you know, moving on you went, I think you went to Israel at age 15. You went to Israel that point but before we go on to Israel, anything from that time period in the when you were in the cage, and that no prison camp essentially, that we didn’t talk about that would be important to any story or anything important from that time period.
Dr. Erica Miller 29:38
Okay, again, I keep on saying, you know, the Jews, not just the Jews, I don’t want to sound because the whole world is not Jewish. There is zillions of people in a situation. I don’t have memories of who or what was in my life there other than my mother, my sister and my father, but I remember it’s important to see It’s like right now, what can they do what they cannot do? I remember. I remember we were on stage singing and dancing, they had producers, they have teachers. I learned I never been to school. I remember seven. So I was never been the first time I’ve been to school and became back in Romania, the fifth grade. So somebody had to teach me math and reading and writing my mother. Thank you sermon. So again, people do over the need to do in order to survive. So yeah, I don’t know in that that’s the case if we have to just be mindful that we can do it and some people are more resilient than other because like, you know, you know, you go you are deported you hide in the yard, you go to China, you open a little store, you listen that you don’t just survive, you keep on plugging you keep moving forward. That is the lesson that I can look for me.
Jeremy Weisz 30:57
Doctor, really during that time period, were you thinking at all that you would not survive that, or were you not even thinking because you were that young that that was even coming to your head?
Dr. Erica Miller 31:10
No, it was not. I just been I saw when I looked at those dead, ugly people, and I thought, Hey, I could be made that. You know what, I don’t want to die ugly. It’s affected me. No, I never saw that. I’m not going to live. When I came out as a young person as a young mother, then I can. I thought, I mean, how come I’m still here? And I did not feel the remorse of survivor’s remorse that you’re here. So, yeah, no, it is like, I just bent along I just, I just in the moment and against the appreciation for, for just figuring things out. I’m a problem solver. How do you do Where are you better? How can you How can you deal with whatever there is in order to move forward So I am fearless. So when I go to those meetings feel as women, you know, when I was in Iowa who knows that I was in, it’s like, people are blown away, because I’m 8586 I was, if you could see me I wear leather pants. I was Don’t tell me that I am an elder that I cannot have long hair that I have to come. I am defiant. Because society traditions You know, they’re good, but it’s everybody I I feel very much alone. And I think what gave it to me the inner strength is you cannot count on anybody. Because he did die. I never saw that wanted to be married. I never said I wanted kids. Even now why is it because you know what you here you are and you’re dead. You know the losses by Obama. So that’s what I saw. I have issues with intimacy. I have two good kids and five grandkids, everybody down and everything. Definitely matriarch, we travel together and all that kind of thing. But again, yeah, to be alone, I’m used to it. So I don’t feel kind of terrible. I have my rituals. I just before you, I did the gym, I did all kinds of things, whatever. And so I’m self contained. Because you never know, you cannot count on you. Only one you can count on is yourself. And that came from my beginning, that can internalize it. Nobody told me that. So my strengths are probably the other side is vulnerability. And there’s a trade off than I am, you know what I mean? So nobody would believe me that I can, you know, the other day. I like in the cows a whole day. I pretended that I’m sick. I just I just needed to more I just need to do nothing. Okay. And then Okay, pick yourself up and go. So I don’t even share it. Then I have an accident in my car, whatever. I don’t call my kids. I don’t like my mother. She had no life. I call them So I take care of myself, Mother, I’m so proud of you. Why didn’t you call me? So my point being is the are who we are, that are affected differently. And it’s like you make lemonade out of lemons of life. Yeah.
Jeremy Weisz 34:15
All of us so Israel. So you had a dream to join the Israeli Air Force. Why? Why did you Why was that one of the things you wanted to do?
Dr. Erica Miller 34:24
Okay. Don’t give me a you know, wanted to Iraq.
That is the duty girl, Israel just like guys, when, you know, 70 and a half, 18 years old, you’re suppose you have no choice, except when you’re religious. You can say that you’re orthodox, then you do not have to go as a girl. So they had a few girlfriends that I remember. They all they got married. And I thought it was horrible. The country needed me. So yeah, I didn’t volunteer. You have to. But yeah, I wanted to go to Air Force because of the blue of the blue shirts. You know, not green. I like the blue better. And then and then the pilots. Oh my god, this is our airline pilots. I had such crushes. I wanted to go to the Air Force. And they said, How? How do you think why would you go into there? It’s so hard to get in Air Force. Everybody wants to go to the Air Force. Right? Is it? Waiting? See? So I’m delusional, but I want something really I make it happen. Oh, if I don’t make it happen, maybe I don’t remember. So because I had a, I went ignite three years at night school. So from 15 till about seven and a half. I went to high school at night. Nobody, none of my friends did go. I just you couldn’t stop me. I was curious. And then I took a job during the day and all that kind of thing. So, so because of my skills, I was educated, I spoke English I was, you know, whatever. So I said, I want to go to the Air Force. And why would you do that? Because I can take care They have the pilots of the airplanes of their whatever. So yes, I got into the Air Force and I can tell you those two years in the Air Force being in this band just seeing where they, you know where the bullets are coming from and being nice maneuver, but being part part of the country, plus a majority. You cannot imagine what it meant for me to come from a Catholic country like Romania looking behind you are in the class and I came back in fifth grade. Everybody made us of crosses the Catholic country. I was the only little Jewish kid I didn’t see anybody else to come to Israel was hard to do let us go out but before denied, just a year after Israel became a state to come and to feel to feel the magnet of being the majority of seeing police. We’re seeing three cleaners, all Jewish, my father when he saw police, I used to cross the other side. He was scared But a thority but good to me. So I embraced it all I went to a boot I learned the language data. So being in the Air Force was absolutely i mean, then my first love I did nothing I don’t want to get married I don’t need nobody would ever in my first love you know Aaron Oh my gosh. And so funny. Okay I don’t know by the time you better watch my time
it’s what the two years or three years ago
my daughter says mother It would be nice if we would go next. I go every two years to Israel as part of APEC. I’m a senator club, whatever we go to Israel, but really nice to go to the base camp very rare for two years in Israel. It’s next to the Lebanon border. I said that would really be cool. So she arranged you cannot go in there. It’s kind of a hidden on reconnaissance closed by whatever by the way, is invite from us. If you know he was the president of Israel, or one of the top He was my commander in chief Boyd. I have a crush on him too. It was really interesting because then he died a few years ago. He was only about three or four years older than me. But then you’re 17 and a half somebody Thank you, sir. 24. So yeah, so event in so we had to prove I was in the Air Force. And they made such a big fuss over me. 70 years later, they had somebody to come back. And I took pictures and they said don’t don’t don’t because you cannot put it on Facebook. But my daughter sniffed me with a gorgeous pilot, you know, the same like on my father’s from my desk. I have him here on my on my bookshelf, and I baited so yeah, so is it so the Air Force was absolutely again, empowering and unique. I’m special. And my company to me not like my my girlfriend’s no guts. They they’re very jealous of me because then I they hear Never stuck with the kid that has whatever. And I was traveling I was doing and all that kind of thing. In those days for a young girl like me, I was an automated 24 to travel all over Europe to come visit my system. The rest is history. So yeah, there’s another chapter and by the way, the movie The script that I hope the red carpet maybe you’ll be invited now that you want to be involved. Okay. There we are speaking about that. Is that the vision that the story, the vision, the excitement of being the majority in Israel, and it also Yeah, the different chapters so that was Israel and then I happen to stumble. You just come and visit my sister came to Santa many times, because I needed a moisture guy My heart was not into but everybody was pressured members and all is made of 2425 Okay, going mad, and boy, she would never first let me out. And then destiny happened just like you and me met My husband to be a Jewish boy from Independence, Missouri. You know what, again, a blind date. And no, it was not a love affair, but it was the best unit ever. Because again, I was ready. And yeah, it’s a big story. And so then a new chapter
Unknown Speaker 40:17
sets you up on the high, your husband you met on a blind date? Yes, somebody who set you up
Dr. Erica Miller 40:24
for the destiny. I was visiting in a in a woman being a cousin of a cousin who was visiting care. And so she been to those High Holidays. So she went to show you she said next to a woman with a young man. And and you know, so she said, Is he saying, I was just visiting here and I was an older man. So she said, she said to the mother, is he single? And she said, Yes, he is. So the rest is history. I’m telling you, it’s just absolutely destined and I don’t know what the mean destiny. I don’t know what it means. Is the free wheel or are we a robot? That is we are predestined to just do move, whatever. So I know it’s both because yeah, there’s freewill. But it’s also destiny. The Unexpected lurks in the bushes. So life is an amazing journey. I miss my I’m not there yet. I miss myself already. what goes on in space? Are you kidding me but goes in personal medicine. And the genome splitting is absolutely looking at them. So hyper doesn’t hurt any.
Jeremy Weisz 41:30
So your favorite story from the Israeli Air Force? What sticks out to you is a memory
Dr. Erica Miller 41:39
beat error. My first and only loved I mean, I mean, my first boyfriend. And then again in the movie, but ever Unfortunately, that’s why you cannot come close to somebody we were together eight months like this and the love story, and then your display will shut down again. So my favorite memory was being bitten Hi, because I live in Tel Aviv and in the air force that I was was close to Haifa. So people that are around Haifa could go home, but it’s too far for me. So I stayed on the base and in here the motorcycle Becka so my memory of being behind them hugging really close, go through Lakeside barriers to Kinneret to spot being behind him. The memory of the motorcycle in the freedom and the view then the excitement of being alive in the majority being in the in the land. That was only a dream before. Those are the memories there lots of memories, but that sticks out going to school at night. My mother would never find a husband or be too smart. In my whatever it is, is there any government Tourist Information Office for two years because I was educated, meeting all the stores, how I got the visa even to go and visit because they won’t let girls out because they wouldn’t come back. So I lost have moments but Israel in by the way, I was very guilty that I left and never came back. There was nobody. There was never a deal. I left Israel you mean? Yeah, I just came just to visit, I believed that all Jews should be in Israel. I don’t believe in anymore. We need to be scattered all over the world just the way we are. But I feel very, very strong. So I was married I had two kids, I did not have the citizenship here. I felt so guilty that I went to University of Judaism. I became a Hebrew teacher, just to keep in fact, at least to do something to connect. I had nightmares because I used to judge young people that used to go for it’s a hard life. It was a hard life in Israel. It was not like in you know, in America, but you know, but I guess I saw like, the lion want to get for blood. Once again. I saw the opportunity. I saw here that I could become a doctor. I saw the opportunity I’d never had it. So part of me, I the guild. I’ve worked with on it, but I did what I found strong. If I would not have done that, if I would have been a nice little housewife being two step behind my husband that he expected just like his mother, I would probably have been just pressing been in bed and I’m getting out because there is a low part of me. So I just follow my heart.
Jeremy Weisz 44:19
What um, at the time, what would you say the percentage of women in the Israeli Air Force?
Dr. Erica Miller 44:27
Okay, and a memory spotty, maybe conveniently, I don’t remember. The only friends I had in two years old guys. I really, there must have been more all you on there again, took care of the pilots. They used to call the needed to be their planes to be ready and all that so I was one of the guys. I always related to the guys all my life more than to the girls. Because again, I’m a high achiever. You know what I mean to you know what I mean to climbing trees and swimming, all that kind of thing that the girls in education So I don’t remember. I cannot imagine there was no other girl. But not in the airforce, remember?
Jeremy Weisz 45:09
Was it? Do you feel like you were treated differently or the experience was a lot different? Because you’re a woman during that time.
Dr. Erica Miller 45:16
I know. A lot of attention because I was tired spit Spitfire, like you see me now. I was excited. I was engaging. I was curious. And I saw an actor very powerful, because I was very important. They all needed to come to to the office. I was in charge of the office. They came they needed me. And I just, you know, before I got close to Aaron, but ever I heard his voice I started to, again, my imagination went bananas. Because I’m a Scorpio I’m a very sexy imagination. So my I never felt I never felt because I’m a woman just the opposite.
Jeremy Weisz 45:57
What brought you then you went to LA
Dr. Erica Miller 46:00
Just don’t come and visit my sister. They had a hard time she married in Israel today the half time the two kids. And he had an end here that was a bit old. And she asked, come be here or buy your house. I need somebody to be she didn’t have any kids. So my sister and her husband, Israel, he was a Sabra. They came into relocated to Los Angeles. So before I’m getting married to Marshall, whatever his name was, I thought that would visit I would go and visit Europe, visit other you know, is there any, you know, offices, and then and then, you know, then come back and get married. So, it was supposed to be a visit and then like I said this and he happened, because I almost like, this is my opportunity. And it was not easy for me to decide to stay. So, so yeah, so it just happened. Bingo, that she was here from Israel, Vienna, whatever, nameless and whatever and the rest is history. So we had a wonderful year and in June He was smart. He was in a funny, we built a nest. Two really good kids. He was a loose cannon real estate. He was the teacher but he was born in the summer. It’s like when we just married they had bought it for the first house. He bought it. And he bought the duplex and they kept on. So when there was a crash in Austin, Texas, and we were in a bad property here, he sold in Los Angeles and we bought in Austin, Texas. And he did really good by us. So is this opportunity. If not for me, he would not have done because he was scared that he’s going to fail. His mother depression person, very insecure. And to me, being in Israel, there’s no failure. Something doesn’t work out to try something else. So we made a real good team and in our in life has been an amazing journey. It’s going to continue healthily 223
Jeremy Weisz 47:54
Amen. The 10 mental health clinics you know, some people will have gone on, you know, maybe had small practice, you know, maybe done some teaching and you kind of just seemed you go big or go home. So what is maybe some of the lessons or from that time period of, you know, managing running 10 mental health clinics overseeing over 40 clinicians? What did that that part teach you?
Dr. Erica Miller 48:28
Take advantage of opportunity.
I did not plan for that. But again portunity was the Jerry my husband. He was a marketing guy, you know, but the teacher but real estate, isn’t that. So, I graduated and I had my PhD and I entered you have about 3000 6000 hours that was 5060 years ago. So I met forte foundation. And because it’s marriage and family and all that, and because I had PhD and get my hours see the owner the director made me kind of in charge so I I took the phone calls and then I took people that I wanted to see and I Dahlia but then she could not handle that people came to me not to her so it was very hard for her to have me there. So I needed to leave and I didn’t have a license yet. So really interesting so somebody told me so I had to leave that when you go and you know go insane on the mountain in Los Angeles. There’s the Reverend there church in $400 you get the you get the title, the Reverend so with the Reverend then you can have account counseling. So that’s what I did. And then I had an office and my husband because he was a marketing guy says okay, I can get you I can get your patients. So he went to the union and you know, union and it says, Hey, I will take insurance for food. Send me your send me your your people. And then a number of therapists from the for the foundation, they followed me. So they opened a clinic and one clinic in Los Angeles area. And then they came like horse. So I needed more. And somebody said, if you were to open an office investor live in Orange County, whatever we could, we would love to have you because you accept insurance for food. So my point being is it’s a team effort. It just happens. You have to be you know, not everybody. You have to have guts, because curse you have overhead Are you kidding me? You have to pay you know, and you have to pay and all that kind of thing. So I am open and then I say I’m in the process of evolving forever. I mean it I after the opportunity, so that’s what that’s what happened. I didn’t plan for it. But the Jerry skills of this getting and then and then I was a therapist, but then it was a neat as I opened all those offices, there was a need for An administrator somebody that runs the show. I did not guess what, as an executive director of Miller psychological centers, I picked his people, the therapists, psychiatrists, social worker, I supervise them and you know, so we it was the courts, but my point is it being open and opportunity in scale and having courage. It takes courage and life is an amazing journey and it’s a team effort. It takes a village
Jeremy Weisz 51:29
remember office part about running that many clinics and that larger organization
Dr. Erica Miller 51:36
you know, but I’m very I’m a detail is a minimalist and I mean, sharks are really good tools. And I just, it was, it was like a piece of cake. Like now when I run and I don’t break I share. I have 11 building 300 tenants in Austin tenants. And you know, everybody in the team, everybody’s important. I treat everybody like we cannot be each other So you have to have the organizational skill. I took organizational psychology, you know, as far as in a part of the classes, and I went in again, you know, no wasteful, how do you know, hospitals can be efficient and all that kind of thing. So I have the need tools are being very organized, detailed, and being able to sit around and be multitasking. So, to me, it was a piece of cake. I just fell into it. I miss seeing patients I still do, because it’s me to have someone that comes in Why are you here by now? Where do you want to be in five years? Before we start, I need four sessions to the testing to see what makes you tick. And then let’s see what your background is in big deal not to dwell on it. You’re smiling. Hey. I missed that. Because I have no long term patience. Very interesting because I had to really, you know, come in From cspp California School of Professional Psychology, it was a clinical like Freud in kind of thing. cognitions I just adapted later. So I know how to work long term. And I had because it’s Hollywood, I had a name recognition people that had money, because I saw them three times a week. And my my longest face and it was five years, three times a week. And he was my he was my Eagle Eye in my pack, very detachable, like to take him home and heal him. So, yeah, so I missed that, because I’m very clear. And not everybody. You cannot reach everybody, but I feel that. I mean, people even know that the same phone on my head is the same one that I had 40 years ago. And I still have phone calls and hang up. They want to hear my exit voice. Because again, I’m very firm, very clear. Yes. Like this doctor. It sucks. Lots of suck. Okay, thanks. You can sit there and twiddle your tongue. Okay. Hey, what can we do? You’re not alone. Yeah, me. And yeah, you know, you have to agree that you’re not going to kill yourself. It’s not going to take in my practice. And guess what, in 40 years? It’s not funny people. I mean, people
Jeremy Weisz 54:14
kill themselves. No, that’s not funny. It’s just a matter of fact that you can’t join my practice. It’s almost like you’re making them sign an agreement.
Dr. Erica Miller 54:22
Uh huh. Yeah. Right. And I had close calls, but the cover in the middle of the night because I think somebody you know, says that, you know, if the Abyss is very deep, people kill themselves. And I get it, you know, but, you know, I get it very much. So, yeah, I’m not a saint, and I’m not whatever, psychic, whatever, but I have really good good tools like experience and, and something you cannot learn. You got it, you know, so, I miss Antoine.
Jeremy Weisz 54:53
Well, you know, I have two last questions. And first, thank you. Thank you for sharing your stories. Thank you for sharing You’re gusto you know, and everyone should check out DrEricaMiller.com who actually also happens to be the name of my sister in law. But Dr. Erica, er ICA m i ll er comm check it out. There’s some amazing content videos, check out her books. And if you’re a native speaker, you know, if you couldn’t tell from from her talking already, she can move people to action.
Dr. Erica Miller 55:29
And the nice thing is that I’m a vagabond forever. I like to travel. So I’ve been trying to come to Chicago, you can be the keynote speaker and you know, who know I’m there in a heartbeat all over the world. So hey, your audience if you need somebody to inspire somebody, no matter what group it is, I then accordingly, I can I can interact and relate because, right,
Jeremy Weisz 55:55
check it out. DrEricaMiller.com Dr. Eric Miller now So last two questions. Dr. Miller is one I always ask since inspired Insider, what’s been a low moment that you had to push through and what’s been a proud moment for you, when you think of a big milestone that you are especially proud of? What’s been? I mean, we talked a lot about different challenging and low moments. Maybe you don’t consider them low moments, but what’s been something good to push through?
Dr. Erica Miller 56:26
Okay. Let me start with the proud this moment. Yeah. Hey, the proudest moment is when I graduated with a cap, you know, with graduation, but I had my mother, my father, my husband, my two kids, whatever. They applauded me, that moment, in spite of it, because of it. It was unheard of, again, grade us. Eight years non stop. I still was cooking, and we still travel. But again, can you imagine a graduate student, whatever. So that was the proudest. Now, I know an extra Friends, I don’t have many friends my age because they’re all nice people but they’re boring, right? But one friend that she went back to school her husband was an attorney and she wanted to be an attorney. So you can never make it. So she proved to him that you can make it. But again, she dumped me because I did not reach out to her. I was I’m very passive. Okay. So, the question, the question that you put to me, she used to say, You’re sowing denial. You You’re saying what other people they are not even think so I cannot think it sounds incredible. I don’t remember a low moment that I you know, they abyss. Yeah. When when Jerry died, and I was expecting was notice something he was kind of dying. And so I needed about a week I wasn’t they come in my kids. They’re very worried about me because all his friends or his friends were worried about me. They wanted to go away. I just knew it’s a new life for me. So yeah, if you can, that it was a low point, but I was planning what do I do next I wanted to write, maybe this is too strong of a word. The other day because again, I feel kind of restless because whatever I decided because I kept up with all my bills, my my plug for the, you know, for the website, all my things, everything. And I didn’t feel like making any more so I laid in on the couch the whole day and make I believe that I’m sick. How else can I excuse laying on the couch? There’s so my things to do cleaning clauses or whatever. So no, they good moments. The other ones is like when I say life doesn’t owe you anything, you know, but it’s an amazing journey. Embrace it all. It sounds so kind of Lala. But no, I really feel that it’s a self imposed. It’s like you embrace it or the second thing of life. I’m just glad to be alive. So I cannot give you any doubt other than I’m human. I get frustrated But no, I just I, I just if I have the mantra, I’m lucky to be alive. Life is an amazing journey. I hope I continue to help them You better do something about it. So when all those young people are worth a piece of me, how seductive is it? They want to grow old like me. So all my friends are young people young like you all the people that are either in the dead or they are in homeless or they are in you know, in the retired nothing wrong with this. So when Jerry died, it’s so funny. My daughter, my son, Johnny is a big shot lawyer attorneys, right. They came and they ganged up on me, Mother, you you don’t have any friends. You’re all alone. I really think the thing that you should go, you know, in being that very high end retirement place that flexes
so I said Are you finished?
Did never leave my home and I wish next time you are in Los Angeles, My home is like Dracula’s castle, a European girl all the ceilings, everything is textured in my home is this an amazing? It is like you know, it’s like a museum. My kids were living it they’re very conservative. So my point being is I’m just you know, I’m all over the place and I i at the end of life my everything is in order my will even my speech that it gives, I want you to read them. I have the casket whatever. So I can continue more of the same. I’m here and I’m talking to you. And there’s no dimension my family said most likely that I’ll be Alzheimer’s. If I am I’m going to ask somebody to kill me and possibly in California.
Jeremy Weisz 1:00:49
Let’s end on this because I know you have to go What’s the title of your movie?
Dr. Erica Miller 1:00:56
Okay, we don’t have it’s from drop from time to time. We don’t have But yet first in debt is a real challenge and if you’re like me I know you like me be bonded in a heartbeat right? It’s all you know because this became a producer or somebody in excess would like to play me they have an agent because the script is kind of juicy I helped it along it’s all based on my story it a little bit imbalanced because if I could not miss who’s going to buy it and whoever’s going to buy it is going to do anything they want because he can I just want red carpet because there’s meaning but the diamond doesn’t you have to know who do you know in order to have a filmmaker and not somebody deciding to you know to whatever Wait, I don’t have time to wait. I wrote the movie but I’m still here. So the title will come something has to be something something attractive. Tom at the time said boring maybe just add a car this is a wildflower maybe something in you know I know a lot but I know it team kind of like brainstorm Besides, like, by the way, play to society, you know, growing up with other people, you know, call, you know, communication, learning forever. The team makes it happen, but it’s comedy, but there is, you know, movie whatever show. I don’t know the name yet. But again, just because I envisioned doesn’t mean it’s going to happen who do I think I am? But I just, I just put the word out into your own universe, and you’re part of my universe now. Have your eyes open to somebody, I can email them. It’s all finished, but somebody has to see it. If not, it will never happen and I don’t accept it. I was I got into the Air Force. Remember?
Jeremy Weisz 1:02:38
I’m going to look for my notes. Dr. Miller, I think the title somewhere in here, I don’t know. But um, I’m going to take a picture of this and send it to you. And I know you have to go but it’s always an absolute pleasure talking to you. Everyone should check out Dr. Erica Miller comm for more and just thank you
Dr. Erica Miller 1:03:00
Yeah it’s I hope we meet again because destiny sauce together right make it will do
Unknown Speaker 1:03:06
Dr. Erica Miller 1:03:08
it was fun for me to go by
Unknown Speaker 1:03:16