Saturday, April 9, 2022

I have a podcast!

I'm still here! It looks like it's been a hot minute since I've shared. Life has been crazy! My daughter Jess was diagnosed with Thyroid Cancer in December and had to have it removed last month. There were a lot of up's and down's with this of course! 

I've my own health issues that I'm digging into right now but I realized that I haven't dusted off my beloved blog in forever! If I didn't share this in the last blog post here I am now...

I started a podcast last July (I know that was almost a year ago!). I posted episode #221 today! Yes, you heard that right I have over 221 episode's! I've been blessed with having many speakers, presenters, and Survivors of various emotional traumas come on to be interviewed! 

I was invited back to St. Jude House to share my story this month! I'll be heading back monthly to share and also to incorporate a healing tool from Vision Boards, to talking about finding a job, to self-love, and more! That I'm able to give back is so important to me. I have said it before and I'm saying it again... 

This life is so surreal to me. To think that I was at a point of suicide, depression and also unsure if I was going to see the age of 40 back in 2009. I had little hope and my faith was waning that I would make it out safely. I was haunted by the images of victims of those lives taken away by someone that supposedly loved them. (Stacy Peterson and unrelated Laci Peterson)

My own self-doubt crept in that I would be able to make it on my own. Fast forward to the present where I am safe, living comfortably surrounded with those that love and support me. It wasn't easy to get here. Honestly, there were a lot of times when I wanted to give up, give in, and throw in the towel. I'm glad I didn't and I'm sharing to let you know that you aren't alone! If you need to talk or a remind that you will get through this I'm letting you know that you will! 

There is The Survivors Cafe that is a small group of victims/Survivors of different emotional traumas that share, inspire, and empower one another. These ladies are AMAZING and my own recovery has been amplified by the support given! 

So more about the podcast! Could you please share it with someone that needs a dash of hope, to know they are not alone, or to find empowerment?

Hope when there was none can be found on most major platforms! Please do me a few favors could you rate (5⭐️). "Subscribe", "Follow", and leave a review on your favorite podcast platform. These steps help my rankings so I'm able to reach more listeners and grow.

Google Podcasts

Apple Podcast
Pocket Casts

Stay safe!


Friday, November 12, 2021

Safety Planning For The Holidays


The holidays can be a volatile time for a victim. This time of the year can be a cause for financial hardship, employment issues, and more. How can you keep yourself safe or help a loved one in an abusive situation?

If you are a family member or friend with someone in an abusive situation it can be hard to watch the roller coaster of emotions watching from the outside. 

  • Consider checking in with your loved one may be difficult as the abuser tries to maintain control of the victim as much as they can. They may monitor calls, texts, emails, and so on try to figure out a plan for contacting when it's safe for the victim. Think about having a code word (safe word) between the two of you in case they need you to come over, contact the police, or need to leave.

  • If the victim is traveling with the abuser ask for an itinerary of how they will be traveling and where they will stay if traveling overnight.

  • Consider giving or keeping a stash of money for an emergency if she needs to leave right away. This can be used for a car ride or for an overnight hotel stay.

  • Check out what available shelters are nearby if she needs to escape right away or if it's safe to offer to let her stay with you. Time limits should also be discussed this may seem harsh but the victim can overstay her welcome or become dependent on you instead of finding her path to healing.

  • Know the emergency numbers for whatever area she is traveling to.

  • Be on standby if needed and also take a friend or support person with you. Domestic violence is just that violent and bystanders or good Samaritans can be harmed especially if they are alone in the situation. Calling law enforcement is the best suggestion for keeping all of you safe.

  • Offer to babysit. Chances are she will have appointments she needs to keep. Dropping off food, gift certificates, or making a meal for them, ask if they need you to pick something up for them or run errands they may be nervous to do.

If you are a victim much of what I covered also applies but adding a bit more information.

  • Keep your important numbers on speed dial-close family/friends, 911, or co-workers.

  • Have a safe word or a short phrase that you can use with someone that you trust. If something goes sideways and you need help right away this is a good way to ask for help without giving your abuser a heads up that this is what you are doing.

  • Use a safety app such as Aspire App to help alert your support team. Find this in your favorite App store.

  • Keep your phone charged and within reach.

  • Make sure to keep money on hand just in case you need to leave in a hurry.

  • Do you have a family member that you are close to that can spend the holidays with you or attend the same family function with you in case the situation becomes scary.

  • Try to minimize your time alone with your abuser. Try to keep space in between you and not to get backed into a room with no escape or get backed into a corner. Know your exits. Stay away from the bathroom if possible. Many bathrooms are not always designed to have a window or they may have small windows making it hard or impossible to escape.

  • If you are going to a holiday gathering find out in advance if there will be alcohol, sports/gaming, or substances available during the visit.

  • Sharing your situation with a neighbor can be hard. They may already know that your relationship is volatile and want to stay out of it. But, if this person is someone you trust and they seem concerned about your welfare ask if they can do a wellness check or if you have a special bulb that's lit up in emergencies they can call for help without coming to your door and putting themselves in harm's way.

  • If you are meeting your abuser for a visitation exchange contact a friend to go with you. If you can not find a friend, make sure this is done either in the daylight or in a public well-lit area. Contact your local police department and give them the "Cliff note" version of your situation and ask if they can meet for the exchange. They are happy to assist with this and will give you instructions on how to handle the situation.
Consider talking with a shelter about your situation. They may be able to put together a safety plan for you in case you need to leave right away. They also may have other resources for you to use in planning. Stay safe and know you are not alone! Check out these websites:

National Domestic Violence Hotline- 

Safe Horizon-

Sexual Assault Hotline-

See today's video-based from this post here:

Saturday, October 30, 2021

Why Does She Stay?!

One comment I see and hear often is, "Why Does She Stay?!" or "I would have left after the first punch!"

There are very private reasons a victim stays in an abusive relationship. It could be as simple as not being able to be free because the abuse is happening to you as a child under 18. But, nothing about abuse can be viewed as simple. Abuse is evil, has devastating long-lasting effects, and can repeat in future relationships. 

Now I say, "She" in this video below but abuse can happen to anyone. It doesn't discriminate! No matter your age, sex, religious background, socio-economic make-up abuse can be found throughout our planet. 

There are many personal reasons a victim stays and these include in random order:
1) Fear- Of change or fear of the abuser
2) Guilty- Maybe she didn't try hard enough to work on the relationship
3) Lack of resources- No job, car, money, or even a lack of support

Find out more here-

Someone out there needs to know they are not alone and that they can survive. Perhaps you are a parent or friend of someone trapped in an abusive relationship and need to know how to help. My goal is to share awareness, offer empowerment, and educate others about emotional traumas and domestic abuse. Here I will share my story and also stories of courage and healing from Survivors, Coaches, to Therapists/Counselors.
Find help and info here-
National Domestic Violence Hotline-
Sexual Assault Hotline-

What Is Abuse And What Does It Look Like?


Abuse is more than physical...

It's more than just physical! Know you are not alone and if you need to find resources or help message me privately. I've been there and know how difficult it is to leave and to stay gone. I neglected to share that there is also Immigration abuse.

Abuse can be all about an abuse of power
Substance abuse
Cyber abuse
Elder abuse
Emotional abuse
Mental abuse
Sexual abuse
Teen dating violence
Financial abuse
Verbal abuse
Physical abuse
Immigration abuse

Find the link to this video here-What does abuse look like?

Someone out there needs to know they are not alone and that they can survive. Perhaps you are a parent or friend of someone trapped in an abusive relationship and need to
know how to help. My goal is to share awareness, offer empowerment, and educate others about emotional traumas and domestic abuse. Here I will share my story and also stories of courage and healing from Survivors, Coaches, to Therapists/Counselors.
Find help and info here-
National Domestic Violence Hotline-
Sexual Assault Hotline-

Stay Safe!

Sunday, July 11, 2021

Giving Permission

Today's #SoulfulSunday is all about giving permission. For who and about what? For you! How many of you put others first? Are you a people pleaser? Don't feel are deserving?

Learning to trust yourself, trusting your guts, and that you make wise decisions is part of learning how to give yourself permission. Make a list of things you want to do or of what you would like others to do for you! Slowly work through this list. Remember baby steps!
Here are a few examples of what you can give yourself permission for:
Love for yourself
To heal from your past
To trust yourself
Establishing Boundaries
Consider asking a friend to join in this journey with you! Do you allow yourself to have permission to do things or do you struggle with doing so? Find the video from today's Soulful Sunday here- Give Permission

Coming soon!
I am hosting a FREE 3-day Self-love challenge on Aug 1st, 2nd, and 3rd and it is open to anyone that would like to learn how to start caring for that face staring back at you in the mirror message me privately or comment below and I'll add you to the private group a day before the event. "Live" videos will be recorded so you don't miss anything. What supplies do you need? Pen, paper, and an open heart. Feel free to share!

Did you know I have a Podcast? You can find it here: Hope when there was none Podcast

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Using the "Grey Rock Method" to deal with a toxic person

So what is the Grey Rock Method? 

It was first mentioned by a blogger named Skylar who wrote an article on In 2009 after leaving a relationship she poured out her story to a stranger. After she shared he told her that he was a malignant narcissist. He then told her what he did to his girlfriend when he experienced something similar. The idea is that your responses are as exciting as a dull rock. This doesn't attract attention and blends in with your surroundings.

With a toxic person, you are a shiny trinket to them. Like a cat playing with a Christmas, they enjoy batting around those ornaments. With the abuser, you are that ornament! They want what you have. Your tears, your reactions, screams, or when you throw things this gives your abuser fuel. Don't give them what they want that is your energy. They crave your reactions. In a sense, they are addicted to drama and you may notice it seems like an endless cycle of problems or issues with people or make otherwise simple situations escalate into something big.
With the Grey Rock method, you become that rock. You channel boring, non-nonchalant, or canned responses. Now, this may not be a long-term fix for you or your situation.
When possible go “No contact” keep a paper trail, do your correspondence in writing instead of face-to-face. Having a history or documentation of your situation is important.
It may be practical to go no contact. If you have to have contact because children together, or you have a job where there is a toxic person or holiday gatherings with toxic family members try using this method. Let's dive in!
When you do this method you are in going to use responses that are not engaging. You will keep your end of the conversation to being brief and a matter of fact, using a simple- Yes, No, Meh!, Eh?!
Use little to no emotion when responding. Maybe they ask how your weekend went, you can reply, “It was fine”, or if they ask
Don't feed their drama! This can be addictive to them but to you as well!
Don't give out personal details about your life or things going on with you.
Keep it as impersonal as possible.
Keep busy during these interactions. Don't stop what you are doing!
Step back and observe the behavior of your abuser rather than let them push your buttons.
Put emotional distance between you and this person. It can be hard especially if you have deep feelings.
Don't tell the person this is what you are doing.
You may want to pace yourself so they don't catch on Remember this is temporary.
If this is between friends, family, or workplace consider finding an exit strategy that may include physically leaving the situation, holiday gathering, or the relationship.
In a sense, you are manipulating the situation and disconnecting yourself as well as those emotions that you may need to deal with to start healing.
Focusing less on the drama from your relationship and more on yourself so you can learn your triggers and more about your wants and needs.
Avoid bringing up the past! Bringing up past wounds can spark an argument. Don't take the bait!
What is the Yellow Rock Method?
You are using the Grey Rock method but adding; Please, Thank you! Or “Hello!
This person is going to paint you in a bad light. Let it go! Shrug and walk away.
The ultimate answer for this is to leave. This may require lots of thought prayer and planning. If you need help with don't hesitate to message me privately. Know you are not alone on this journey. I'm cheering you on!

Someone out there needs to know they are not alone and that they can survive. Perhaps you are a parent or friend of someone trapped in an abusive relationship and need to know how to help. My goal is to share awareness, offer empowerment, and educate others about emotional traumas and domestic abuse. Here I will share my story and also stories of courage and healing from Survivors, Coaches, to Therapists/Counselors.
You can find my books and my Journals here-
Find me on Facebook here-
The Survivors Cafe on Facebook is a private community for women-
Find help and info here-
Sexual Assault Hotline-

National Suicide Prevention- Lifeline-800-273-8255

Sending you lots of love and BIG HUGS! Mel

Did I mention I started a podcast?! I did! Find this here-

Thursday, May 20, 2021

What is Trauma Bonding?

A victim may feel powerless to leave. They make you feel empathy for them. They may even feel they can't live without this person. 

This can also be called, “Stockholm Syndrome” in an abusive relationship. It can be formed quickly and last even after a relationship has been severed. (Find the video for this here- What is Trauma Bonding?)

There can be times of love, tenderness, and then cruelty. The victim can have a paralyzing fear and feel helpless. The abuser isolates the victim slowly convincing them that they are the only one they can trust or they are the only one they can trust. This can make “no contact orders” hard to keep. Victims may no longer trust their instincts.

There can be a “Honeymoon stage” of a happy relationship, then a build-up of things that “go wrong” which can explode into jealousy, rage, bitterness, and then apologies from the abuser. With the cycle starting all over again.

You may create coping skills to deal with your situation. Your identity, self-worth, and your own needs may get lost during this relationship.

The abuser may attempt to control or mold the

victim, they may showering them with gifts, a hug, promising to listen to the victims concerns or to reward the victim because they did as they were told.

Can use sex as a punishment, could be highly addicted to sexual or does not respect No means no!

How do you know if you are in a Trauma bonded relationship?

You can feel powerless or stuck but try to make the best of your situation.

There are times when you don't love/like or want to be with the abuser but don't feel that you can leave.

You may feel that you don't deserve better, no one will want you, feel inferior, you may begin self-destructive behavior, prostitution (With the belief that's all your good for), self-harm, or that you somehow should be punished or mistreated by a person.

You may promise you won't do whatever it was that set the abuser off.

You may rationalize that your partner isn't always this way. Or they are only this way when they drink, use drugs, have little to no money, or if they hang out with certain people.

You may feel you can change the person, or if you have a baby things will change, if you get married things will change, or if you get a better job you won't argue about money.

You overlook the bad in the person because of all the “good” they do. For example, they help or are active in church or the community.

Your family or friends have confided they believe you need to break it off with this person but, you defend the relationship.

You physically feel sick thinking about leaving or that you may die if you leave. That you can't live without them.

The other person lets you down or doesn't support your dreams, thoughts, or ideas. Toxic people threaten to sue or to change custody or child support if you don't comply or listen to whatever is irking them at that moment.

Can you heal from this toxic relationship? Yes, you can! How?

  1. Go no contact! This may mean you have another person check messages or voice mail messages. If you have to co-parent drop off and pick-up children in a public spot. Don't engage your abuser! If this doesn't work stick to the facts ignore heated words or exchanges. Don't respond! Abusers don't listen to boundaries so it is up to you to make sure you protect yourself by stopping harassing or abusive messages.

  1. Be careful during family get-togethers, school, or holiday gatherings. Even if your children or family want you to make an appearance explain the best you can and try to avoid the situation if at all possible.

  2. Let your boss, school, or medical staff know what is going on. Your abuser may try to get you fired from your place of employment, paint you as the aggressor, lie about things that happened between the two of you or worse.

  3. It can be hard not to let your mind and heart wander to the past. But, remember a healthy relationship doesn't make you feel unworthy or belittled. Consider jotting down the reasons you left your relationship and look it over anytime you feel like going back.

  4. Start trusting your instincts again! If you feel off about a person or situation trust yourself to take things cautiously. If you are starting a new romance or relationship don't leave your children or furbabies alone with this person until you can truly feel that you trust them. It may take time for this to happen and trust the instincts of your children and or if your pet doesn't like this person. Introduce this new person slowly.

  5. Slowly rebuild your life again. This may mean you move to an entirely new place, let go of old friends or family, find a new job. Take every day with small steps. What did you want to be when you “grew up”? What are your favorite hobbies? What have you always wanted to do? Or where did you always want to go? Join a health club, or start walking. Exercise is helpful when you are healing. It sends good vibes to your body and can increase good endorphins to your brain and the rest of you! This is a great stress reliever! You don't have to sign up for a marathon or hot Yoga. Start slow!

  6. Start journaling your thoughts and feelings, let the tears flow, cry or scream if you need to. You don't have to keep this you can tear it up or save it to use for legal purposes. When you are going through a traumatic relationship you may forget things. This is our bodies why of protecting us! It's normal and natural. Don't be hard on yourself for not remembering things.

  7. Talk to a supportive friend or counselor about your past. Learn new patterns to help you overcome any issues with trust, boundaries, taking steps to heal, or coping skills to help with PTSD, Depression, Anxiety, or other health issues.

  8. Listen to uplifting and positive music, podcasts, reading good books, or movies. Do some soul work with digging into your Bible/Torah/etc... Do affirmations, mirror work, grounding, or meditation.

  9. Believe in yourself! Don't be surprised if after time health problems lessen or go away!

One last thing how do you know what's a healthy relationship?

Someone that says, “I understand.” or “I hear your concerns, I love you.” (No strings attached) and the words align with actions, there is mutual trust, has boundaries and respects yours, no hidden agenda, open communication gives partners time to grow, heal and evolve.

I hope these help! Don't hesitate to message me privately if you need to talk. 

Stay safe and BIG HUGS!