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Recovering from financial abuse together.

What is Strong Women Thriving?

My Story

I grew up a survivor of sexual abuse and married a man who was abusive and drove us to financial ruin. What I have come to realize is the connection. First, surviving abuse as a child increases the odds that you will end up in an abusive relationship. And second, if you are the victim of any other type of abuse, there is a 98-99% chance you’ve endured financial abuse as well.

Abuse comes in five basic forms: physical, sexual, verbal, emotional/psychological, and most recently identified and being talked about is financial or economic.  I believe there is a tie in between all this that we need to understand better and learn to heal from.  I am here to help facilitate that conversation.

I realized my marriage was abusive, at least verbally and emotionally, what I didn’t recognize until recently was that there was financial abuse as well.  This term and the identification of the situation are relatively new.  I just thought we endured one of the toughest economic times in American history.  The reality of what happened and all the levels it has affected me on has become clearer over time.  When asked to describe what happened, this is the abridged version that I tell:

At 47 years old I went through a divorce, a bankruptcy, four foreclosures, unemployment, a move, and starting a business all with a pre-teen in tow, in two and a half years.  The only asset I owned was a five-year-old Honda.  I started over.  I didn’t have a choice but to survive.  After all I had a child depending on me.  And, I did.  I pushed and I fought, and I struggled, and I worked very, very hard, to get past all of that.

And now, I’m happy to say that I have a thriving nineteen-year-old who has graduated high school (and that was more challenging than you can imagine) and is an Eagle Scout.  I couldn’t be prouder, or more relieved, that we both survived the last eight years.  I also have a successful business, own my own home again, and have recently bought a new car (for the second time in five months, but that’s another story). Thriving is now part of my makeup as I continue to increase the abundance and joy in my life. It is time for me to pay it forward.

I’ve learned a lot of lessons from all that I’ve survived in my life and I feel compelled to use those lessons to help others overcome their struggles and to learn to thrive, not just survive.  We are all faced with challenges in life, and we can learn and grow from them.  But we also need support to get through them, and that’s what I’d like to offer you.  It’s time for me to help you tell your story and to figure out what you need to do to overcome the hardships that you face and recover from the abuse you have endured.  I’m here to be your guide, your support, your mentor, your mirror, your best friend and confidant as you uncover the keys that will enable you to soar again.  Surviving is tough and it is no way to live.  I want to help you thrive as we all should. 

I like to ask people to tell me the one word that best describes them.  I love the reactions I get.  Most people have never thought about it and if they just listen, don’t try to figure it out, but just let it come to them, they come up with one word that feels right.  For me it’s STRONG.  I have related to this word for as long as I can remember and when other people describe me to someone else, they almost always use this word.  We’ll talk about this more later, but I want you to stop now and listen to your heart and see what you hear.  What is your word? 

I hope I can help you to see that you too are strong and that you are not alone.  We are all in this together, and together we can help each other become the best selves we are meant to be.  Thank you for joining me on this journey to recovering from financial abuse.

Financially Savvy:

We define financial savvy as one’s ability to manage their own money with acumen and confidence; feeling strong and powerful in one’s ability to handle money, make decisions on how to spend, save, and invest money; a mindset of confidence related to money.

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Women Surviving Financial Abuse

Women Surviving Financial Abuse is about supporting one another in recovering from financial abuse. Together we can create a safe space where we women who are either living in an abusive relationship or who have extricated themselves from one, can come for support and advice. No one should have to figure out how to recover alone; we are stronger as a community. Women who have endured financial abuse can learn to thrive personally and financially; we’re here to help anyone who chooses to overcome the hardships they have faced in abusive relationships.