Winning Women with Regina Shearer

I am honored to be asked to be on the Winning Women radio show with Regina Shearer, where women share their journeys. Please join us and listen in, tomorrow July 9, at 4:00 EST. I’ll be discussing my own journey that led me to be a victim’s advocate and prompted me to run for office. Feel free to email and call in questions.

Options to tune in:

-Download the RGB Internet Radio App from the Apple or Google Stores. (It is a FREE app, broadcasting music 24/7, along with a few other shows. All you have to do is tune in at 4:00)

-If you have an Alexa, you can say, “Alexa, enable RGB Internet Radio” and after the first time, all you have to say is, “Alexa, play RGB Internet Radio.”

-If you have Google Assistant, you only have to say, “Play RGB Internet Radio.”

-You can go to the website: and listen to it from there.

If you can’t join us tomorrow, the broadcast will be available later next week. I will post the link when we get it.

I Believe I’ll Wear Green

I’ve recently decided to take a huge step in my advocacy and work to break the stigmas surrounding domestic violence. As I’ve continued to help individuals in over 36 states, as well as a few other countries, some of my biggest frustrations are the laws that we come up against. Laws that bind what fellow survivors can do to implement their safe passage to a new, safe existence. As an individual, there isn’t a lot I can do to make the necessary waves of change. I’ve found myself, in great exasperation, saying that someone has to do something. When public individuals are glorified for harmful behavior and laws protect the ability to harm, we have to start looking at how to fix it. Even in my own therapy, as I continued to heal what was on the surface, it was never as successful as digging deep and figuring out what was at the root of my decisions. I have decided to run for office, at my state’s level, but I have no intention of making this about politics. This will remain about my continued journey in survival.

To launch my campaign, I needed to get headshots done. As soon as I scheduled them, my mind started swirling. One of the bigger decisions was what color I wanted to wear. I decided on the color green. It’s actually not a color I owned, but there was something about it that felt right. After I shared the pictures, one of my friends commented on how much she liked green on me. She remarked that she’d never seen me in it. In that moment, the color green became incredibly significant. I remembered exactly why this color was nonexistent in my wardrobe. Joe hated the color green and was adamant I never wear it. I had a couple of shirts over the years, just for holidays, and he ended up destroying both. It’s funny that until being asked, my brain hadn’t even contemplated why it felt significant. Why when I first saw myself in the mirror I had to take a few extra seconds to examine it. How interesting that a color can feel like strength, independence, and hope all at one time. 

As I step into this new part of my journey, I believe I’ll wear green. 

Surviving the Beach

Every survivor I have talked to has a different definition of what life is after surviving the undertow, what their beach looks like. For some, they dry off quickly and go about skipping down the beach. For others, they sit feeling lost and look at the water as it begs them back. For me, I have the blue skies, the laughing children, the warmth of the sun, and also shells. Some that are beautiful and interesting to look at and many others that are jagged and cut my feet. A few shells hide in the sand where I can’t see them and a beautiful stroll turns into sitting and nursing a sore on my foot. Those broken shells are the ones nobody really talks about. After all, shouldn’t I just be grateful to be on this amazing beach? However, they are there as broken memories and dreams, reminding me of more painful parts of my journey. Surviving is a process. It took me 19+ years to live and get out of that existence, it’s only been five years of learning to live outside of it. It’s not a desire to dwell on the more painful aspects. Quite the contrary, I’d love to forget them. Just like many other survivors, part of my daily life is also coping with PTSD and it has a funny way of creating these broken shells for me to find. Recently, I stepped on a shell that dug in a bit and has kept a nagging pain in my foot. It’s one that brings about a certain amount of grief. A grief for what has been lost. Something that when I was so busy enjoying the “I have this great new life,” I forgot to process and throw back out to sea. This is the uglier side of surviving that so many don’t talk about because there’s a part of it that seems gratuitous. Even typing this out, I find myself deleting and typing over and over. In the struggle to survive, I lost an opportunity for friendships. Between frequent moves and trying to protect our fragile reality, setting up any lasting relationships or traditions went by the wayside. Even though “normal” is incredibly relative, I missed out on parenting in a normal way. One that every move wasn’t domineered over and critiqued. A life where I didn’t live in fear of the repercussions from any mistake made by myself or my kids. I grieve two decades of a life where I didn’t get to explore my own interests, who I was, and experiences I wanted. That’s a tough one. When others reminisce on what they were doing in their twenties and thirties, that shell wants to dig in. I don’t have a lot to contribute. I am in my mid forties and my life is starting now. My surviving looks like trying to figure it all out, later than most, and balance the loss with the hope of what can be. Recovery does not stop when you step out of the water, it’s a long process of discovery. One that I underestimated. If you are on this journey, hang in there, I’m right there with you.

Independence Day

The Martin Family October 2015

Today is a day that, even before my brain realizes the date, my soul feels. It’s a heavy feeling, a bit anxious. It was a shift in our existence. It’s been 5 years. Five years since the night that would thrust us into the undertow. Today is the anniversary of our independence. I wish I could say that I had walked away, that one of the multiple times I’d loaded the kids up in the car that I’d had the courage to keep going. I can’t though. I was so afraid of what Joe would do to me or to the kids if we left. He had made his threats and done enough to make me think he would follow through. He had successfully convinced me that we were alone. I was confident that no one would believe me or help us. April 6, 2016, everything shifted. This is an excerpt of the transcript from my Protection Hearing describing the end of our last night under one roof. This comes with a trigger warning for fellow survivors. If you choose to read it, please be aware that it is intense and broken.

April 7, 2016 marks the day that we started the process to gain independence. Today, we celebrate our lives, our growth, our happiness, and our strength. I am so grateful for where we are today.

Happy Independence Day to my trio.

If you’ve not yet found your Independence Day, don’t give up hope. Reach out, you are not alone.