SHATTERPROOF Thriving After Domestic Abuse

I’m Mickie Zada and I lived in abuse…for 34 years…from age 19 until I was 53. I believe we create our realities, and I chose to stay in a damaging relationship for so long because I thought it was my Calling. I was wrong. I changed me. I am now an enthusiastic participant in Life. “The words ‘I am’ are potent words; be careful what you hitch them to. The thing you’re claiming has a way of reaching back and claiming you.” A.L. Kitselman I am a strong woman, a fabulous woman, over 60 years old. I am a Change-agent. I am an encourager. I am uniquely qualified to speak to living in abuse, getting out and surviving to the fullest extent. I know what it takes. I know the fear. I am a survivor. I am a coach. I am happy to have these “I Am” words to reach back and claim me! The actions I teach and share are those that I’ve learned in my Journey from choosing to live in abuse to choosing to create my authentic life; safe, sound, Real. I invite you to read through this web page. Think about who I Am. Read blogs, listen to some podcasts, watch live videos. Do we connect? I am open and exposed. Choose to reach out to me or not. What I know for sure is that I lived the life of abuse, and got out, and I’ve thrived, to serve as a beacon to other women. If you live in abuse, or you’ve recently escaped, it’s my Mission to support and encourage you to choose and live a healthy life. The materials, the tools, the support is here. It’s your responsibility to grab hold and change yourself, from the in-side out.
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SHATTERPROOF Thriving After Domestic Abuse






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May 24, 2018

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


May 16, 2018

Most CPAs are black and 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; 

  • Life patterns affect our current lives 
  • Our old ways of doing things may not fit who we are today 
  • Everyone else is “normal’, why am I not?
  • Why am I stuck HERE…how do I begin living my authentic life

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  Her podcast is Financial Karma

May 9, 2018

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

May 2, 2018

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.

Apr 25, 2018

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   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.

Apr 18, 2018

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:

  • “…on the flip-side, people loved him.”
  • “We dated for 3 years; none of the abuse was evident until after we were married”.
  • “There was just something not quite right”.
  • “Eventually you know what it’s OK to ask about.”

Learn more about Carol Sanek at 

Her direct email is

Apr 11, 2018

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!

Learn much more at and

Apr 4, 2018

My guest, Bonnie Frank, created and managed a flourishing business, from scratch and on her own, while living in the midst of a very damaging relationship.  She created her business by live-stream, every day, in spite of grueling accusations, confrontations and undermining by her abuser.  

She live-streamed, with high energy and a smile on her face.  No one knew what was really going on away from the camera.  She did what she had to do to support herself, to maintain her own sanity … and her ability to be a responsible Mom to her two young sons.

Bonnie Frank is an amazingly strong, centered and inspirational entrepreneurial woman.  Because of this conversation, I have changed my perception about staying or leaving an abuser when young children are involved.  She is the epitome of making hard choices and tough decisions based on individual realities.

Listen to the podcast and learn more about this dynamic woman and her business. Bonnie L Frank, Business Coaching and Consulting, may be accessed at  Join her face book group at Totally Awesome Women Entrepreneurs

Bonnie is offering a free one-on-one 20-minute consultation for your business!   Schedule your consultation at

Mar 29, 2018

“And yet, our society seems to think we should brush ourselves off after a life-altering change, go back to work and be OK.  But, what does OK mean?”

That’s a quote from Heather V. Shore’s new book, Deeply Wounded Hope.  Another that made me smile is God saying to her “Patience is accepting God’s timing. I answer your prayers in ways you never imagined.”  

In her book and during our conversation Heather shares with us her inspirational life story of surviving and thriving after leaving, domestic abuse.  She speaks to us like close friends, inner circle confidants and like-minded survivors…all of which we are!

More about Heather is available on her website:


Mar 14, 2018

Today’s guest, Lindsey Ellison, wrote in HuffPost, “While our culture gets criticized for being too pro-divorce, I’d like to counter that criticism and say we are a culture of over-tolerance. We tolerate bad behavior and bad relationships for far too long.

We are rewarded for “sticking it out” and are scolded by our society if we don’t. I am often amazed to hear what my clients and readers tolerate in a marriage, and how they feel guilty for even having thoughts of ending the relationship.

Perhaps religion, our childhood influencers or the media interfere with our definition of a good marriage versus a bad one. To me, it’s pretty simple. One makes you happy and the other makes you miserable.”

Our conversation addresses living in abusive marriage and the necessity of personal growth in escaping.  If those living in abuse (men and women) don’t change how they perceive the quality of their lives and relationships, nothing is likely to change.


Because we are used to how we’re living…we don’t think deeply about how we’re being treated … it’s fearful to admit we are living in abuse … we wonder if we really are living in abuse, especially when there are no physical bruises.  

These thoughts and emotions are common. 

You are not the only one.  You are not alone.


Mar 7, 2018

Anna Seewald, Founder of Authentic Parenting, brings clear insight and provides helpful advice for those of us raising children after experiencing domestic abuse.  We discuss the core of her teaching which is, “to be a great parent we need to work on ourselves.  By raising our children, we are raising ourselves, too.”  

She says “I believe in helping children by helping their parents. I have helped hundreds of parents around the world in the emotional job of parenting.” 

Our discussion includes touching on Programmed Patterns, those things WE learned as kids and have passed on to our kids.  We can-not change our past reality, or that of our children, but we can learn from our experience and apply the lessons.  

To be a great parent it’s important that we uncover those programmed lessons in ourselves…embrace in-side work… so we’re able to help our children heal from their traumas, and make sense of their past experiences.

It’s not our job to make our children’s lives easier.  We can’t change our story or theirs.  Reality is reality.  We can model and help our children gain strength from the past … apply the lessons learned … create a happy, safe and loving life.

Learn more about Anna Seewald and her missions at 


Feb 28, 2018

Addressing tough issues with confidence, encouragement and love of life, this show is both entertaining and inspiring. 

My guest is a survivor of sexual abuse (including rape); partner abuse; and is the mother of twins who were abused by their biological father after a judge granted him visitation rights when the children were three years old.

She loves to meet new people whether online or just around the corner.  Can’t live without music, traveling and chocolate.  She loves psychology, learning, nature, reading & writing. Four cats, a boyfriend and kids keep her crazy busy. 

An enthusiastic participant in life, she believes we can have it all no matter our past.

Alianne Looijenga is the founder of Professionals Against Violence (PAVE) Podcast and is an international speaker who talks about activism and her experiences as a survivor of severe abuse, assault and rebuilding her life after trauma.

Alianne’s Contact Information:




Feb 21, 2018

Do you know there’s a service dog a program for women suffering from PTSD as a result of sex trafficking and domestic violence?  

There is!

Lydia Wood founded an organization called Freedom K9 Project, specifically to meet the needs of women survivors of domestic abuse and human trafficking.  Lydia said “Integrating into normal life after trauma can seem impossible, but we work with the dogs and the survivors to create a team that leads to the healing of the survivor.”  She “gets it”!  

Freedom K9 Program pairs service dogs with human partners.  Lydia describes the selection process and training the dogs receive.  And, the application process for the survivor; it’s detailed so that the woman receives the dog best suited to her life and healing process.

One of the strongest aspects of this program is that it’s structured so that the abuse survivor is eventually able to manage living a normal and healthy life, after PTSD and without her service dog.  WOW!

Listen to the podcast and get more information at


Feb 7, 2018

As a home-schooled young woman in a small, relatively closed community, at 19 Sarah was attracted to and married a handsome, charismatic and charming young man who swept her off her feet.  Almost immediately, though she was not physically attacked, his rage at the slighted provocation, criticism of her, dangerous, erratic driving, holes punched in walls and smashed dishes created fear and anxiety in her life.  She found that she cowered from her husband, chose not to express her own concern and anger at his behavior and learned how to avoid sparking his fury, as best she could.

After their second child was born, Sarah sought therapy.  It was then that she accepted she was living in domestic abuse.  Three years ago, Sarah escaped her abusive relationship and embarked on a personal growth path.  Taking a huge breath, she left her career as a hair stylist to earn her Associates Degree and paralegal certificate. She now is employed as a paralegal, intends to finish her BA and enroll in law school; Her motivation is to fight for survivors of abuse, especially in law as it relates to child custody.

Sarah describes the frustration of dealing with her abuser, her children’s father, arranging regular visits, holidays and special occasions.  She shares the solution suggested by her attorney, Talking Parents.  For more information about that free program, go to 


Jan 24, 2018

Don’t you love synchronicity?  I do.  When two totally separate events come together to make sense, I love it!

In the past several days I’ve had people tell me they are lonely.  I’ve been surprised; that’s not something I hear very often.  And then, I read a statement on Facebook:  Loneliness is a sign that you are in desperate need of yourself.  (it’s a Rupi Kauer quote)

I realized that when I was lonely it was because I didn’t know who I was.  I was in desperate need of myself!

This show discusses loneliness and makes several suggestions to combat the emotion…the action is called personal growth.  When we change the way we look at things, the things we look at change.  Sound familiar?

Listen to more podcasts, watch live videos, read blog posts…download a free checklist “Was I Really Abused?” and other free papers and ebooks.  There are some DIY classes available now for under $10.

Inspiration and empowerment for survivors of domestic abuse:


Jan 17, 2018

Without regard to what the abuse was doing to you, were you taught not to embarrass your family by talking about your abuse?  Was the message loud and clear that talking about the way your abuser treated you would bring dishonor, disgrace, to him and the family?

That is the lesson Mickie allowed to direct her actions and responses for many years.  Once she left, she believed that thought-process was resolved.  

Last year when, upon defending herself in a workplace harassment situation, she was told that she had brought embarrassment to her employer.  There it was again!

A poem from Milk and Honey, by Rupi Kaur, brought the parallel of both incidents into clear focus.  Listen as Mickie unravels “no bigger illusion”.

there is no bigger illusion in the world
than the idea that a woman will
bring dishonor into a home
if she tries to keep her heart
and her body safe

Milk and Honey
by rupi kaur

Jan 10, 2018

I was momentarily ecstatic when I read the news brief about me and Surviving Abuse network.  Then the fear, the anxiety, the knot in the pit of my stomach erupted!

WHAT IF…WHAT IF…WHAT IF… the ramifications this publication are negative or my abuser reads it?  I am shocked that I still experience those long held thoughts and fears.  I’ve been out of abuse for 15 years!

Am I a fraud…not completely willing to walk my talk?
Please listen to more podcasts, read blogs and watch live videos at    Interested in sharing your story as a guest on this show?  Contact me at

Jan 3, 2018

Odds are good that you have heard these Top 10 Lessons but, as a survivor of abuse, they are all buried.  Our old buddy, Fear, has over-ridden putting them into practice, even in your new life.

No matter how long you’ve been out of abuse, you have the option now to create and embrace the wonder-full life you imagine…you know, the one that you allow to shine bright light into your heart and imagination, every once in a while.

Mickie details the Top 10 Lessons she compiled through Google research, and she describes a practice you can use to intimately describe your authentic life, as well as a baby-step you can take right now to begin living a life you love. 


Dec 20, 2017

Even if you’ve been out of domestic abuse for decades, I bet you are still being held hostage, in your head, by your abuser.  There are thoughts and experiences that bring back that empty feeling in your stomach, make your heart race and cause the familiar burning dread of fear and guilt in our hearts and minds.  Until we accept that we were really abused and that it’s OK to embrace the options and support available to us, our abuser will continue owning real estate in our minds. If you’re like me, your first response is “I’m past all that!”.  Maybe you are.  14 years after leaving, I still was not. When I began talking about my experience, I began to truly heal.  Please, listen to my story and see if any of it resonates with you.


Dec 7, 2017

The number of American troops killed in Afghanistan and Iraq between 2001 and 2012 was 6,488.  The number of American women who were murdered by current or ex male partners during the same time was 11,766.  That’s nearly double the amount of casualties lost during war.

Join the conversation:  Domestic Abuse is real and we don’t have to live with it!  Surviving Abuse Network is one place for you to participate with a sisterhood of domestic abuse survivors.  Together we will make a difference.  #1in4domesticabuse

Nov 15, 2017

The theory of Collective Collusion addresses the fact that society will side with the perpetrator when abuse is brought forward. 

WHAT??      And why??

Because society does not want to question the Father figure, the Authority figure. If Authority is questioned, the implication is that we are ALL just poor, weak human beings.  Nope, can’t let that happen!

#Metoo has opened Pandora’s Box. I’m hopeful the wave of open discussion about sexual harassment and abuse will flow into the realm of domestic abuse, too.  Most of our abusers are not famous.  They are not news worthy.  Unless a victim is murdered, domestic abuse rarely rates above the crease news.

In this episode, Mickie presents her theory and opinion of society’s stance.

Please, join the conversation that abuse is real and we don’t have to live with it. Post hashtag #1in4domesticabuse.  It does not mean you have experienced abuse.  It does mean you are willing to bring domestic abuse out of the closet and into the light.

Learn more on my face book page Surviving Abuse Network


Nov 8, 2017

It’s the holiday season, right?  And, the best way to resolve frustration, loneliness, anger, distress … holiday blues?  Eat.  

In “Eat, Pray and Love Yourself” Mickie tells an embarrassing story about the power of a box of chocolates had over her! 

This time of year, we do set ourselves up for being hurt, disappointed, feeling like we don’t quite fit in, not included.  Don’t you agree? What is it that causes those emotions?

Programmed Lessons; things we have been taught that control a lot of our reactions and feelings.  We are able to change those Programmed Lessons and baby-steps are one way to begin shifting how we feel about and how much we choose to enjoy this holiday season.

Also, check out the private face book page,  “Surviving Abuse Network”

You’ll find a really good recipe for Mulled Wine with Cranberries there, too!
Happy Holidays!


Nov 1, 2017

Since you left your abusive relationship, do your friends and family think you may have lost your mind?  You had it all, right?  Nice home, strong businesses, important jobs, a good relationship…well, that’s what it looked like.

Was it a mid-life crisis that spurred you to finally leave?  I doubt it, but whatever it was, HURRAAAY!  

Now you’re able to create the life you love.  Change is exciting, and somewhat disconcerting.  Choose to join groups and meet ups for business women.  Find online groups.  Decide to finally write that book, start painting again.  “He won’t let me” isn’t a good excuse anymore, is it?

Join me on face book’s two pages, Surviving Abuse Network.  One is an open page (it has the Survive Abuse logo and my pictures).  The other is a private page, ask to join!  It has a picture of a bird in its cage with the door wide open.

Thanks!  See you there!


Oct 11, 2017

He was kind and caring, and then he turned mean and violent.  He told me it was my fault he got so angry. I believed him for the longest time. I believed he wanted to change.

If you are a survivor of abuse, you have experienced all those emotions and beliefs.  Each of us thinks we are unique; No one else would choose to live the way we did.  Wrong!

Listen to the stories of 4 women who have escaped abuse.  Pay attention to their statements about what they would say to others.  Your story is not that unique. And, you are not alone.  Abuse is real and we don’t have to live with it!

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