Feeling silly in this episode… a cute analogy of life being like popping popcorn.
When we pop popcorn, we have to make decisions…timing of our decisions is important, or we’ll burn it, right?
You’ve got to listen to the kernels pop, paying attention until the popping is far apart, and you have to stop the microwave before the popcorn burns.
Just like life, we have to keep our eyes and ears open to the opportunities in front of us. We have to be patient and time our decisions as best we can.
Life is like a bag of popcorn…much more like life than I ever considered before!
Like many of us, Justine said a lot the early signs of abuse were just missed. Her guy was her Russian tutor…he was exotic, charming, bright and caring. Those are the traits she chose to pay attention to. She was a young college student, 19 and vulnerable.
Justine Wentzell transformed from domestic abuser to an advocate for survivors. Her book, Pocket Full of Dreams, is available on Amazon https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=a+pocket+full+of+dreams . Her You Tube Channel is called “Tea with Justine” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7hJpc1GqaDk and it falls under her blog, “Love, Justine.”
A busy woman, for sure. High energy, enthusiastic about creating the life she loves, and helping inspire and encourage women on the path to healing and recovery from domestic abuse. Meet Justine Wentzell.
“Hello, I as Suzanna. I’m too Emotional. I’m also too Sensitive, too Needy. I’m Incapable. Unqualified. I’m Like a Sailor (if I cuss). Life a Virgin (when I play innocent). Like a Whore (when I play). I’m often Mistaken and very often Wrong…unless I’m right, then I’m Out of Line. Then I Have it Coming.”
My guest is Suzanna Quintana. The words above resonate with me…you, too? We can’t do anything right…and when we do, we are out of line, aggressive, we “have it coming”.
Suzanna is a writer, abuse survivor, women’s advocate, feminist and single Mother of 3 boys. She serves as a guiding voice to those ready to escape their pain and claim their space in the Light of freedom.
Want more information?
Who is Mickie Zada? What is Surviving Abuse Network? We are part of a growing wave of change…Join us in refusing to accept status quo!
Women are not equal in lots of places…but especially not in many of our homes and, certainly, not in the court system. Do you know that 70% of abusers manage to come out ahead in our court system today?!?
The goal of Surviving Abuse Network is to bring the reality of domestic abuse out of the closet and on to center stage.
Equally as important is making it clear to those of us attracted to abusers, if we don’t change, nothing changes.
I am not victim blaming. I lived in domestic abuse for 34 years. I don’t blame myself for that.
Our attraction to abusers is the result of a lesson, a pattern that was programed into my brain when we were kids. The programmed pattern controls our thought process, our emotions. It tells us that abuse is normal.
When I identified that programmed pattern in my own mind, I was able to deal with it and eliminate my attraction to abusers. You are able to do that, too.
Learn more about programed patterns, hard wired lessons that affect our lives and we don’t even know they are there.
Why I do not accept status quo and how Surviving Abuse Network challenges the current norm? I am traveling to the beat of a different drum, just like you!
Here’s the fact: Domestic abuse affects 1 in 3 women in the United States. 1 in 3!
Domestic abuse is real, and we don’t have to live with it!
My guest says, in person and on her website, “I want to put a stop to survivors of abuse feeling broken, unfixable and absolutely frustrated because it seems nothing they do is helping. Honestly, it really pisses me off when survivors are not able to have the lives and relationships they deserve. Whenever I hear stories of survivors giving up, falling deeper and deeper into despair, or worse, being further traumatized by people who are supposed to help, I get so upset. It also reminds me of my past and how excruciating life was for twenty plus years.”
“I was definitely convinced that there was no way out of the pain, constant instability, and feeling of worthlessness. It sucked, but I found a way out and I would love to support you in doing that as well.”
Rachel Grant is the owner and founder of Rachel Grant Coaching and is a Sexual Abuse Recovery Coach. She is also the author of Beyond Surviving: The Final Stage in Recovery from Sexual Abuse.
She brings to the table a passionate belief that her clients do not have to remain trapped or confronted daily by the thoughts or behaviors that result from abuse. Through her own journey of recovery from sexual abuse, she has gained insight and understanding about what it takes to overcome abuse. This makes it possible for her to relate to and appreciate your struggles intimately.
Learn more about Rachel and download her free checklist, “3 Stages of Recovery”, go to wwwRachelGrantCoachong.com
He swept her off her feet, even bought her a house with a big back yard for her two lovely daughters. She believed she had fallen deeply in love with an ideal partner.
On the first day of their honeymoon, he grabbed her hand, squeezed it very hard and said “Now that you are my wife, you will do as you’re told, how you’re told and when you’re told.” The relationship deteriorated quickly. A few months later she literally ran for her life.
Susan Ball used her traumatic domestic abuse experience as the impetus for her transformation into coaching women who have experienced, or are experiencing, domestic abuse. Her company is called Empowered Her. She believes every woman can heal from domestic abuse.
Blog posts, additional coaching information and a free ebook titled “5 Ways to Love Yourself Courageously Enough to Walk Away” are available on her website email@example.com
My guest, Christen Sacco, is a shining beacon of Light for women treading the darker paths of Life. She is proof positive that we can make different choices, that we do create our realities and when we decide we deserve better, our lives will change.
At 20 years old she had quit college because she was pregnant. With a 5 month old infant, feeling like she had no marketable skills, and her abuser telling her there was no chance she could make it on her own (and that no one would want her with a young baby in tow), she struck out on her own.
Christen worked full time, went back to college to earn a business degree and was an active, loving, caring Mom to her son. It wasn’t easy. She says, “If I can do this, anyone can! Don’t give up!”
Fifteen years later, Christen is a motivator, writing a book about domestic abuse and actively speaking out to bring the epidemic of domestic abuse from of the dark crevices of silence onto center stage.
She can be followed on Instagram (Christen Sacco), through her blog at ChristenSacco.com, and on Facebook (Christen Starr Sacco).
Oh, how often I thought that, while living in abuse; “I am never going to be good enough!”
Gia is open, honest, raw and descriptive of her abuser’s behavior toward her. She is the same about her actions, doing everything she could not to incite his anger, fury, dangerous actions toward her. Walking on eggshells. Living in fear.
She tells us how she tried so hard to love him enough, to not say things that would make him angry, to be home immediately after work, to leave work when he demanded she do so.
She describes his unreasonable accusations, how he threatened a friend with a gun, how she finally realized she could not live that way any longer.
Then she encountered a judge who would not allow mention of domestic abuse. The judge refused any evidence or police reports and gave their child’s abusive Dad equal shared custody, without supervision.
Gia’s is a horrific, and not uncommon, story. Listen to this strong woman’s description of her life in abuse, and how she is now creating a safe place to share her story…to speak her Truth!
If you have questions or would like to host Gia on your podcast, she can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Mother, wife, family law attorney, business owner, woman rights advocate and philanthropist are a few of the hats Rania Arwani wears.
Her goal is to educate women in abusive relationships to identify the signs of abuse and motivate them to speak up for themselves and their children.
Rania has domestic abuse in her past; tragic, violent abuse. She endured a long and costly battle for custody of her children and embraced her Mission to become an attorney and help other women the way here attorneys helped her. With her family in Dubai, Rania entered law school in Florida, a single mother of two young children. Thankfully her sister was able to come stay with Rania in the States, but those were stressful, difficult, traumatic years. Her dedication paid off.
This episode is the first time Rania has spoken her Truth publicly. I am proud that she chose Surviving Abuse Podcast for this special occasion!
After listening to this podcast, you may contact Rania Arwani through her web site, www.ArwaniLawFirm.com or call her office at 407-254-0060. If you are looking for legal assistance in divorce or child custody issues, Rania’s website offers a free 15-minute consultation.
A Hijackal® is a person who hijacks relationships, for their own purposes, while scavenging them for power, status, and control.
Hijackals® make you question your sanity and constantly second-guess yourself. That’s their game … and they are very good at it! They play to win … at any cost.
Sound familiar? Of course!
My guest is Dr. Rhoberta Shaler and she coined the word Hijackal®. Her Mission is helping people identify emotional abuse and learn that there is a safer, saner, better world available. Dr. Shaler discusses the fact that there are reasons we are attracted to, and are attractive to, abusers and that there is choice involved in embracing our freedom from their control.
Listen to this fascinating discussion about Hijackals® ; who they are and what’s really going on in the crazy-making relationships in your life.
Learn more about Dr. Rhoberta Shaler at www.forrelationshiphelp.com. Her YouTube channel is For Relationship Help and her podcasts on iTunes and all the other popular podcast channels are Emotional Savvy and Save Your Sanity. On her web site you can access her online television show, Emotional Savvy, and subscribe to her newsletter. When you’re ready, Dr Shaler is available for online counseling, around the world!
People often see the victim of narcissistic abuse as “crazy” and full of fear and doubt. The narcissist shows up cool, calm and collected. Right?
Why is that?
Because the narcissist has the ability to make their victims responsible for any and every negative thing. Even things they make up…using our words! They convince us we are crazy. They convince us we are the abusers! They separate realities and stay calm, while the light us on fire.
You are not, and were not, crazy. You were abused.
Now it’s our choice to change our perspective, to accept that building our own safe, happy and authentic live is OUR responsibility. The abuse was real. We did not deserve it. We did not ask for it or enjoy it. Now it’s our choice to use that experience to grow, and to help ourselves and others heal.
There are two statements I make that some people take personally…statements that they feel are demeaning and insensitive to women who have live in domestic abuse.
The statements are: “If we don’t change, nothing changes” and “When we change the way we look at things, the things we look at change.” A third one attracted the ire of a couple of my community members, too: “You don’t attract who you want. You attract who you are.”
Each of those statements addresses victims of domestic abuse. The people who attack those statements feel that they are blaming victims, saying they are responsible for being in abusive situations, want to be abuse, or somehow deserving.
I use my own experience in this podcast to explain my position and opinion. Like most victims of domestic abuse, I was conditioned as a kid to accept negative behavior by males as acceptable, OK, my lot in life. Not because an adult was abusive. Because my brothers were dyslexic and were allowed to behave unacceptably. My sisters and I were taught to accept the boy’s negative behavior. That led to abusive marriages…for me and every one of my sisters.
Sound far fetched to you? Listen and tell me what you think.
I am Mickie Zada, the CEO of Surviving Abuse Network. Please check out my web site at www.SurvivingAbuseNetwork.com
For 22 years, Chandra Bachu knew what it was like to live in domestic abuse. She tried to escape; staying in shelters three different times, but without money saved, she returned home….to daily abuse.
She said, “I was looking for my way out and didn’t get it. I gave up and stayed because I wanted my kids to sleep on a bed, go to school, and we would not have to fear for our lives, because it would be worse if we left.”
After many years volunteering with Cynthia Pinkney Ministries, she now spends her time helping to give families a new beginning through her organization: A Red Rose Foundation, Inc.
Certainly a like-minded woman, she is quoted online saying
“I believe nothing happens by coincidence. Taking a mess and turning it into a message is what life is about. Giving a mom hope for a new beginning can impact the rest of her life and her children. Environment changes people. Our goal is changing the next generation by helping mom; we are creating a new life for these kids,”
Learn more about Chandra Bachu and her organization, A Red Rose Foundation, Inc. at www.ARedRoseFoundationInc.com
You are creating your own reality…so am I! How do we do that? We gather information, embrace what resonates with us and apply that lesson to our lives.
No one has your exact experience. No one lived the exact same abuse that you did. No one stayed for the same reasons you did…and no one left for the same reasons, either.
Many, many women have lived in abuse. Many, many women have chosen to create wonderful, safe and healthy lives after leaving abuse. Listen to them, ask questions, learn what they have to teach…and know that your Path will be different.
Why? Nobody else’s footsteps lead exactly where you’re going!
Executive Producer of the film “The Last Time”, author of Authentic Me: a Story of Strength, Perseverance and Faith, a keynote speaker, and an employment law attorney and legal advocate for increased awareness of domestic violence, my guest is Tiffany Hill. Her company, TH Authentic LLC inspires survivors to move past the pain of domestic abuse and into their authentic purpose.
Well known for teaching, “Nothing is more valuable than embracing one’s Truth”, Tiffany practices what she preaches. Her personal mantra is, “to live authentically is the ultimate form of happiness.” This truly is a woman who walks in the Light of her truth and authenticity.
Tiffany’s husband/abuser was the President of a university. To protect herself and his position and reputation, Tiffany hid their Private Life well, through Public Lies, convincingly pretending her life was as “normal” at home as she portrayed in public.
Her story is powerful. You will enjoy this conversation.
You may contact Tiffany, and learn more about her, on her website www.THAuthentic.com
People represent themselves as who they have been told they are…not who they really are…not who they aspire to be. My guest, Lisa Vogt, helps people create more fulfilling careers and lives by working and living in those areas that cause their Lights to shine. Her unique ability to expose and empower her clients to step into their strengths and joy, is evidenced in our high-energy discussion and the examples she shares.
Considering changing careers, exploring job opportunities, updating your resume? Lisa’s program “Just In Time Job Application” may be your answer.
Listen to this podcast and check out more of Lisa’s fun filled wisdom.
A coach, podcast host, successful e-book author and all around enthusiastic woman, Lisa’s company, Ever Better, can be visited at www.EverBetterU.com
It’s a common scenario. High school sweethearts. He treated her like she was precious, said all the right things, and she ignored the red flags.
The military sent him overseas so they got married so she could go, too. One night while dancing, he misunderstood something she said and he punched her in the mouth. She was taken to the hospital. The military’s resolve to his violence was to send her back stateside!
Back in the States, during an especially brutal attack, Hope dialed 911. The police response was to tell he if she couldn’t get it together their child would be removed from their home! No support, the abuser was not arrested. Just a threat to put their child in foster care.
In spite of all this, Hope remained confident that there was a better life for her and her child. She knew from experience, improvement and change in her life was her sole responsibility.
Open and honest, Hope’s story of growth and creation of her safe, healthy and authentic life will inspire others.
Anyone may contact Hope for questions or comments at email@example.com
Her 2009 memoir about surviving domestic abuse, titled Crazy Love, is the subject of the very first TED talk by a domestic abuse survivor!
Leslie Morgan Steiner has been a guest on The Today Show, National Public Radio, ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox News, MSNBC…the list goes on! Now she’s my guest on Surviving Abuse Podcast.
She was 22, a Harvard College graduate, a writer for Seventeen Magazine and living a magical life in New York City when her abuser captured her heart. They seemed to be perfect for each other. She is beautiful. He is handsome. He treated her like a queen…in public. Behind the scenes she hid a dark secret. She had fallen in love with a deeply disturbed, mean and violent man.
Learn more or contact Leslie at www.LeslieMorganSteiner.com
Most CPAs are black and white...no gray areas, no mushy stuff, no metaphysical beliefs…certainly no thinking like me!
Deborah Williams is not that kind of CPA.
She speaks about accounting and money mindset the way I talk about domestic abuse;
Because of family patterns, Deb was attracted to an abuser who was also an alcoholic. Since leaving that relationship, she has created a happy, healthy, safe and authentic life.
Listen to Deb’s interesting story of growth and transition. She shares insights and talks about lessons she has learned to create the life she loves.
For more about Deborah Williams, go to www.FinancialKarmaCoach.com. Her podcast is Financial Karma
Stephani Roberts is also a podcaster. Her show also deals with domestic abuse. We are kindred Spirits…she and I … and you. Her podcast is called The Audacious Life.
After separation from her abuser, Stephani described herself as a “frazzled, anxious mess most of the time.” With no family nearby, she decided not to lean on anyone else to get through her separation and transition. She was not married to her abuser, the Father of their two children. In some ways that made leaving easier. In some ways it was much more difficult.
It was a rough time. It was frightening. She was determined to create a new, strong, vital life for her girls and herself.
Within a year of being on her own, Stephani declared, “I’m launching a career come hell or high water, even if it means going to bed at 1 a.m.! This is my change to make a difference and I’m going for it!”
By embracing personal growth, Stephani did change her life. She was determined to never again be attracted to an abuser and embraced the work required to ensure a better life for herself…and be the role model she wanted her girls to see.
Listen to Stephani Roberts’ story of falling in love with a wolf in sheep’s clothing and the process she embraced to create a healthy, vital life and very successful entrepreneurial business.
Stephani’s podcast is The Audacious Life
Download her free affirmation recording at www.bit.ly/affirmation11
She was the most photographed girl in the world (THE Kodak girl)…and became a mafia wife.
Having grown up in Western NY, her story gets intense in New York City at a mafia-run club called Sundowners.
She never knew exactly what went down at the after-hours club where she worked, but the intrigue drew her into the mafia's underworld.
"I end up in San Diego, and I was married to a guy in the mob at this time. he was very abusive."
Wanting to take her daughter away from their abusive household, she knew she could never escape her mafia husband.
Then one day, she grabbed her daughter, got in the car and started driving away.
My guest today is Georgia Durante. She is the author of “The Company She Keeps”
Georgia shares that she buried her abusive past life deep inside for years, hardly ever thought about it or dealt with in, until she began writing her book.
Then things became clear.
4% of our population are sociopaths, according to recent research.
Like most of us, Stacy Brookman unwittingly fell in love with and married a charismatic man who appeared to be loving and caring; All that she ever wanted! He turned out to be one of the 4%... her ideal husband was a sociopath.
She became a lifetime member of the Domestic Abuse Survivors Club.
He could not keep a job, and that didn’t bother him. He suggested they move across the Country, and she went along. He insisted they purchase ever larger homes; he even bought horses. She struggled to pay the bills … he couldn’t keep a job … she went along.
Sound familiar? It sure does to me!
Listen to Stacy describe the hell that her husband created and how she made excuses for his behavior. She describes her embarrassment. She talks about feeling guilt and fear. He even bugged her car, her computer, her phone.
Stacy has now created a safe, happy, and authentic life. After embracing personal growth, taking responsibility for her life, she attracted a real man. A man who loved her for who she was and supported her entrepreneurial ventures. A man with a tremendous sense of humor, who was not an abuser.
Listen to Stacy Brookman’s evolution. She is honest, clear, specific and real. Anyone who has lived in abuse will empathize with her former life. And, admire the life she has created. A safe and healthy, authentic life can be created by any of us and Stacy is happy, living proof.
Stacy’s podcast is called The Real Life Resilience. She writes and teaches writing; Learn more at www.StacyBrookman.com She even offers a free writing webinar on her web site!
Stacy’s favorite poem is Veronica Shoffstall’s After A While. Read it here
It speaks to me as a survivor. I bet it will speak to you, too.
We present ourselves as confident, determined and gritty business women. We keep hidden in the shadows the truth about the life we live at home.
Fear, anxiety and guilt are our constant companions but are seldom expressed. Like many of us, that was my guests’ truth.
Carole Sanek shares with us personal examples of every dramatic phase of the domestic abuse cycle. Her charismatic, funny, and charming abuser manipulated her through control, financial, emotional and physical abuse.
You will relate to the stories Carole shares. They are all too hurtful and uncannily common.
Some of the phrases she used in our conversation could have come out of my mouth:
Learn more about Carol Sanek at www.Carolesanek.com
Her direct email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Ruth Glenn is the President and CEO of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV). She has served with this organization since 2014 and is a domestic abuse survivor. She “gets it”!
We talk about victims wondering “how could I have allowed this to happen to me?” and other realities of domestic violence. Our discussion also overviews programs offered by the NCADV, including their flagships, “Remember My Name” and “Hope & Power for your Personal Finances”.
2018 is the 40th Anniversary of the National Coalition Against Domestic Abuse and one celebration is a gala during the national conference, Voices Rising, on September 23 – 26 in Providence, Rhode Island. Just announced: Jennie Willoughby (abused ex-wife of Rob Porter, former White House Staff Secretary for President Donald Trump) will be a keynote speaker! That is huge!