My name is Ella and I lived in an abusive marriage for almost 11 years. Ultimately, my children and I could not walk away; we had to run fast and hard to escape. I turned my back on 20 years of life, our home, my amazing career, and all of our friends. There was no farewell party for us, just dust left in our wake. Sometimes it’s just that bad; sometimes you have to hide.
As a result, my little tribe and I live a pretty simple existence. It’s hard to build a new life when you are always looking over our shoulder. The result of the abuse is chronic PTSD and anxiety. The truth is that not all wounds are visible; after the bruises heal the soul is left deeply scarred and I am left to always look over my shoulder. People like to ask questions, but the answers give away clues to our history and our history is still chasing us. We stay low.
I started Rebel Thriver as a way to connect to others and to share my story. I created a community that I desired and need to thrive rather than just survive, and I knew that I was not alone. The label of survivor wasn’t comfortable for me; I needed more. I so desperately wanted others to see that they could have it too…you can choose to thrive in spite of your situation.
I believed that Rebel Thriver could help people have a new perspective, help them to change their lives; what has happened is that it has changed mine. Everyday, thousands of people join into the conversation to share their thoughts, fears, and to support others…people they will probably never meet. It has become a blessing beyond my wildest dreams. We have built a tribe of people who virtually hold each other’s hands through the ups and downs of life.
We only get one chance at this sweet life, so I encourage everyone to wake up and live…remember that this is not a dress rehearsal. You may have been knocked down, but that story does not have to define you, for you hold the pen to the story of your life. Raise your eyes to the sky, throw your shoulders back, and put on your imaginary crown and say, “Today is the first day of the rest of my life”. Make it count.