Keep moving on #WhenIBecameFree

Every day is a new adventure with #WhenIBecameFree. This morning started off early and after only a couple of hours of sleep. At 8 a.m. I met the director of the Juneau County Economic Development Corp at Beyond the Daily Grind for some coffee. Terry was waiting for me when I stumbled through the door after only a couple of hours of sleep. No make-up on, my hair having a really bad day, I still managed to pull myself together enough to explain about the project and my thoughts on how it all tied into economic development within a small community like ours. Thankfully, Terry was already on board in knowing how devastating domestic violence can be to a local economy.

Often when we speak about domestic violence and intimate partner violence we concentrate on the victims and abusers, rarely do we look at the domino effect and the negative impact on just about every aspect within a community; schools, churches, and businesses. Every blow will reverberate throughout a community, whether it is lost time from work mending wounds to the children witnessing it and going to school where they cannot concentrate lashing out at others or fading into themselves.  It is a heavy weight for any community to shoulder. 

Needless to say, it was quite a deep conversation to have when I barely had the sleep out of my eyes but it was one I think will help move along the awareness that the #WhenIBecameFree project aims to accomplish. 

We have to start looking at and addressing these issues and we must be prepared to build up or create the needed resources to heal our communities. 

How does that all happen, well, I do not have all the answers but I do know it doesn't happen from turning our heads from the obvious. 

From that little meeting, my day was filled with reminders on just how messy domestic violence and child sexual assault can be on every member of the family and those connected to them. Top it off with community gossip, the battle zone grows. 

This project is, no doubt, my baby. I've put my entire heart and soul into it. I am extremely protective of it and need to be. There have been a few occasions now where I've had to say no to some people who gave signs they weren't ready to go public, or that they were doing it for the wrong reasons. I need to trust that the person sitting before me is ready or that the project is the right fit for them. I spend a lot of time in making those decisions because I can do more harm than good for both if I don't. Today I made that decision which resulted in an onslaught of anger towards me and a lashing out at people not even connected to the conversation, behavior cementing me in my decision even more. Yes, abuse is messy - healing takes work, a lot of work. It is a lifelong journey. 

Now that I am getting to the end of collecting stories I need to concentrate on the writing process while keeping the momentum going in outreach, awareness, and fundraising.  I have a lot of the material already written and waiting in the wings to get inserted into the book. It is the flow I am most worried about. During that time I expect to spend a lot of time at home which will also give me the opportunity to get focused on selling my house and moving down by my boys in Memphis. If I can get down to Memphis, as my dreams plan for,  I will work with Kyle and Justin on the outline for a children's book on emotions and trauma.  Kyle will illustrate it and Justin I can count on for staying sensitive to the child I hope the book reaches. I will also be concentrating on my health and getting these autoimmune disorders under control, as much as I can. 

Rather than writing this blog post, I should be trying to get some sleep but I know I needed to vent a bit and reflect back on my day. This blog and writing got me through some tough times and nurtured healing. In a way I guess you could say it is the medicine I need to keep moving on........


Your support will help keep the project and me going to completion. All stories are being compiled into a book and mini-documentary -

GOOD NEWS - for that mini-documentary I will be working with a student from ILead Charter School who is an experienced videographer, Thomas Houy.

50 percent of the profits will go to Survivors Offering Support (S.O.S.), of Juneau County and to a crisis fund and Kelli's Haven. I will also donate 25 percent of the funds to ILead Charter School! The remaining profits will help recoup some of my losses and pay for promotions. This is not about me getting rich, this is about making our community and others - building resources and awareness.

Any and all donations are welcome!

Go Fund Me Page

Any way you choose to support this effort is greatly appreciated! Even if it is just sharing my blog, the website, or liking and sharing the Facebook page.  

Thank you to Wisconsin River Meats  and Benders' Family Restaurant for being official sponsors of #WhenIBecameFree. Give a like to their their Facebook page (click links above) and let them know how appreciative we all are that they are supporting survivors finding their voices!
Also,  my baby boy who has donated his own hard earned cash and in-kind support as he will be writing and performing the music for the video, Kyle Roberts.  Give a like to his Facebook page.

Soon to be added as a sponsor will be The Dirty Turtle.


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