February 2, 2020

Super Bowl Sunday. A day in which my life changed forever. It is a day that led me to realize that we don’t always need to put on a brave face and look to the world as if we are strong and holding it together. If I had continued to do so, I may not be alive today.  

It was a day that led me to leave my abusive husband. I sold my house. I packed up everything I wanted to keep. And I decided to donate everything else to the local domestic violence shelter.  

What surprised me the most on the day that I visited the shelter was the desperate need for blankets and sheets – an amenity so simple that I’d taken for granted. And yet, for these women and men, it wasn’t always a guaranteed item they had access to on a daily basis.  

The National Intimate Partner Sexual Violence Survey found that 1 in 4 women and 1 in 9 men in the US have experienced contact sexual violence, physical violence and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime. Around 85% of domestic violence victims are women, and physical assault by an intimate partner impacts 1.3 million women each year. Those statistics have to change. And that's why I started Thread Talk in October 2017 to help.  

The journey hasn’t been easy. And it turns out that being an entrepreneur is one of the most challenging things I’ve ever done. But I’m so proud of what we’ve accomplished in this short amount of time.  

This work has given me the opportunity to meet a lot of survivors over the past two years. One survivor I think of often is a woman I met when I first left my husband. She told me I would likely go through the five stages of grief as part of the process of ending my marriage. That’s how it had been for her, and when she’d hit the anger stage, she’d gone into her kitchen and broken every plate she had. She told me it was OK if I wanted to smash plates too.  

I never did break the plates in my kitchen. Instead, I took her advice as license to accomplish things I never thought I could do... like raise my voice for causes that mattered to me and to make a lasting impact in the world to the best of my ability. So, that’s what I’ve done, and it’s given me more satisfaction than broken plates ever could!  

The photo I am sharing with you today was included in my Empowered Portrait photoshoot which was granted to me by Find My Fearless: The Empowered Portraits Experience. It is part of an art piece I designed to hang on my wall to always remind me of my strength and that I have permission to do things I never thought I could - “Go Break Plates”

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