I founded Rebel Thriver 2012 as a place to share my story; a story that society wasn’t comfortable hearing about. I wanted to meet other women who had lived similar experiences as I did. Being a survivor of domestic violence is extremely isolating. It feels like a scary, dark, dead end street most of the time and I wanted to change that. I decided to start a public discussion about what people were usually whispering about behind my back. I wanted other women to know that if it could happen to me, then it could happen to them.
Did you know that Domestic abuse affects 1 in 4 women?
- Domestic violence affects 1 in 9 men.
- On Average 20 People per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the USA.
- This is over 20 Million people a year.
- Intimate partner violence is 15% of all crimes in the USA.
- 20% of all women in the USA have been raped.
- The Domestic Violence Hotline receives over 20K calls a day.
- You are not alone. Domestic Violence does not discriminate across financial, racial, sexual, intellectual, or religious lines.
I grew up in a beautiful family, but we were taught to keep our personal “mess” private. When you opened the front door you put on a smile. I became a great actress, so convincing that I was able to hide the abuse from everyone, even myself. I didn’t want to continue living like this. I wanted to live my life without fear or shame and I wanted total freedom from the cage I had been put in.
It’s amazing how one relationship can change the entire trajectory of your life.
I survived a 12-year marriage to an extremely violent and sick man. It ended the night that I fled with my small children and left behind my entire life; my home, career, colleagues, friends, and even our identities. I did all of this in order to protect my children from their father.
What I have found is that the initial support that is available immediately leaving abuse is much akin to triage, and it often dissipates as quickly as it appears. Limited resources create a void where growth is not easy if you don’t have support. Additional holistic support is necessary in order to be able to see personal transformation into a whole and healthy person.
When support is not there to help a survivor transition, recidivism is much more likely. Not to mention depression and a tendency towards suicidal behavior. After I left, there was no one to help me figure out who I was after I had been systematically broken down to a shell of my former self. I had no roadmap for finding my way home. I didn’t understand the changes we had suffered on a neurobiological level. Trauma therapy wasn’t very common (it still isn’t) and I didn’t understand what the long term effects the trauma would have on our brains. I was sailing on the seas completely rudderless and afraid. I needed other women to connect to. I needed a lifeline.
Sometimes you have to be your own hero.
While I was grateful for having survived my marriage it didn’t take long for me to grow uncomfortable with the label of ‘survivor’ because I felt it was limiting. I wanted to THRIVE and I wanted to help other women right along with me.
It was at this time that I created Rebel Thriver as a place for others to come together, to be accepted, and understood. I believe that healing comes faster when we are connected to people with similar traumatic experiences. It is in the shared stories of struggles and triumphs that humanity takes root.
Rebel Thriver exists to inspire, educate, encourage, and offer support to survivors so they can learn to live grounded and thriving lives full of hope for tomorrow. Do-over’s are encouraged & supported!
If you are feeling lost right now please know that new beginnings are possible! The first step is to accept that you are worthy of a life full of love and joy. Living in the liminal space that we all face after leaving abuse isn’t easy, especially if you don’t have the right kind of support.
I have learned that as humans we are all survivors of something. Life is intrinsically messy. Regardless to if you are working through the recovery of an abusive relationship, a rape, sexual abuse or childhood trauma, we are all working on letting go of the past in order to be able reclaim our lives to live in the present.
I believe that when you have more than you need you build a longer table, not a higher fence. I am here to shine a light on the truth of domestic violence and to SMASH the STIGMA associated with it. I want to help guide you on your path to your new life.
*If you are interested in Transformational Life Coaching with Ella please Check out the Life Coaching Page for more information.