10 years ago I was living the American dream…
I lived in a big house surrounded by acres of natural beauty.
I drove a brand new SUV with all the bells and whistles.
I was a wife of 20 years,
stay at home mom to two amazing teenagers…..I had it all.
And having it all only nearly cost me everything!
One night, as I laid in my bed in my broken body, with my shattered heart…I considered ending it all.
My kids….are the only reason that I am here today. That night, I chose to live for them.
A lifetime of abuse…physical, sexual, emotional, psychological, verbal, religious, mental and financial had left me unrecognizable to myself.
My physical body, which was a reflection of my spiritual, emotional and mental bodies, was so broken that taking care of my basic needs….was nearly impossible.
I had..among other things….fibromyalgia, drop foot, 3 ruptured discs in my lower back and complex regional pain syndrome… the most painful form of chronic pain in existence. It tops the McGill pain scale surpassing amputation, cancer and childbirth.
I endured 3 ineffective spinal blocks before undergoing spinal surgery to repair the 3 discs impinging my sciatica nerve.
About a month after my surgery, when I was able to sit upright for about 15 minutes, I literally dragged myself to a lawyer and filed for a divorce.
Despite being a financial hostage in my marriage.
Despite hearing my entire life that “God hates divorce”.
I knew that filing for divorce was imperative for my very survival.
The divorce process proved to be as twisted and painful as my marriage had been.
I was threatened and verbally assaulted by my lawyer.
I was mocked by the judge and opposing counsel.
I was dismissed by the guardian ad litem appointed to represent our children.
I was accused of alienating our youngest child while being alienated from my eldest.
I was sent to “experts” who tried to prove that I was faking my disease.
I was betrayed by my very best friend of 13 years.
Like a grizzly bear caught in a trap who chews through her own leg to set herself free….it took almost 2 years, 3 lawyers, countless dollars and every bit of courage and strength I had to free myself.
On that brisk fall day in 2014, as I walked out those courthouse doors with tears streaming down my face…all I could think about was how many more women would walk through those doors and endure the abuse that I had just survived.
I KNEW I had to do something…..I had to do SOMETHING.
Healing my life and finding that something became my reason to live.
I became a Certified life coach and a Certified Domestic Violence Advocate. I began advocating in the very courtrooms I had recently been abused in. I began facilitating the very support groups I had once attended.
It soon became obvious to me that the systems put in place to support and protect abused women were not effective.
As Albert Einstein once said, “We can’t solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”
In my quest to heal and find that something…..I worked with a physical therapist, pain expert, acupuncturist, integrative doctor and holistic healer to slowly piece myself back together.
I dove deep into my shadows.
I sat in the dark and honored the cries of my inner child.
I held her as she convulsed from abuses she had survived.
I healed and integrated past lives.
Once I reclaimed my true self, I created this space to share my truth, my wisdom, my love…. to help others reclaim their power and break the cycles of abuse in their lives…..so that we can all live lives free of violence and abuse.
This space is my story….it’s your story….…it’s humanity’s story.
This space is that SOMETHING.
I believe that we are the ones we’ve been waiting for….that we are the heroes of our own stories.
It’s time for us to share those stories and allow them to bring us together.
To empower others and lift each other up.
It’s time to become the change we wish to see in this world.
It’s time to reclaim our voices and break free of the silence that’s been our captor.
To use our voices to spread love….not hate.
To speak our truth.
To speak our wisdom.
And I believe that together we can create a world where everyone is seen, heard, honored and safe.
Until next time, be gentle with yourself and remember, you are so much more than you have allowed yourself to believe.