Recognize and Break Free
GET YOUR FREE GUIDE + AUDIO
Could you possibly be in an abusive relationship? Download this free guide to learn more about what abuse is and how to safely plan if you find yourself in an abusive situation. Discover essential insights into recognizing abuse and taking steps toward safety and healing.
Learn How To:
- Recognize Abuse
- Safety Plan
- Reclaim Your Space
What’s included in the eBook?
- 30-page eBook
- Step-by-step Safety Planning Guide
- Accompanying Worksheets and Audio
- Access to the Transformation Community
“You Deserve To Be Treated With Respect And Dignity.”
I was at the height of my career...
I had my own radio show at night on a country station called Country Nights Live with Elissa. It was a request and dedication show, and listeners would call in and dedicate songs to other people within the community. It was so much fun!
One particular night...
An old flame calls me on the show, and we rekindle.
He said and did all the things that made me feel good by Love Bombing me, a common thing that abusers do. I believed everything he said, basking in the Honeymoon stage.
So when there was an ultimatum presented for me to move in with him, I left my home and career.
Right away, on the first night that I was in Michigan with him, I started to experience red flags. My pride and ego consumed me. I had just walked away from my career and moved to a different state with no friends or family to help support me and I wasn’t willing to admit I made a mistake to claim defeat so early.
I thought, “I can't go back.” This was the beginning of the abusive cycle.
“Feeling safe as a survivor is THE most important aspect in healing.”
The cycle of domestic abuse may start like this:
- Love bombing and honeymoon stage
- Isolation from loved ones
- Small physical things like hair pulling that become more violent
- Emotional and mental abuse, like gaslighting and attacking your worth
- Apologizing and small glimmers of hope/change
- Leaving and coming back
When you experience abuse, it's never just mental, emotional, physical, sexual, or financial. It often encompasses all of it.
Because of that, I started to believe everything that he was saying that I was, and that was really hard.
On average, the women or victims who try to leave an abusive relationship try to leave seven times. I lost count of how many times I left and went back and left and went back.
The thing that made my situation just a little bit harder is that in Michigan, I didn't have a support system. By the time I was ready to leave, I had a three-year-old with this person.
“You have the strength to get through this”
I felt a lot of shame from this cycle, I kept thinking:
- How could I be in an abusive relationship? I thought I was smarter than this. There must be something wrong with me.
- I wish I had family & friends around to help me get out of this situation.
- They used to be so good to me. I know the goodness is still in them, and this is just a rough patch.
- I have no one to help me and nowhere to go. How am I supposed to leave when they control everything?
- I’m scared to break up my family. Should I stay for my son?
I kept thinking I wouldn’t be able to make it without him. I was addicted to this relationship. The pull was so strong.
I would have to go through the withdrawal process, and I felt like I couldn’t do that alone. Many don’t realize that leaving the cycle of abuse is quitting an addiction cold turkey.
I would have to reprogram my thinking.
My mom was in a mentally abusive relationship before she met my dad.
One of the things that she always told me was, “Liss, one day, you're just gonna wake up angry. And you're just gonna know that's the day.”
During the Summer of 2019, I had taken my son outside to play in the yard, and I sat in my jeep all day. I could not get myself to go into the house.
I waited for him to fall asleep. Then I went in, grabbed the laundry that was in the dryer, threw it in a laundry basket, and away I went.
In the moments and days that followed, I did some couch surfing with my son. There were nights when we slept in my jeep in either people's driveways or parking lots. Sometimes we slept in the shelter parking lot because their shelter was full.
Still, I began to understand that I never needed my abuser to begin with. That I was powerful on my own. And even though I didn’t have much, I had everything I needed already inside of me. RESILIENCE.
My son and I went through a transition program after we left, and I was lucky enough to have one of them in the city that I was living in at the time.
Eventually, I met another single mom who had just broken her relationship. My son and I moved in with her, and we just raised our kids together for a wonderful, beautiful year. It was a village.
"You don’t own the shame and guilt."
Domestic Abuse Survivors are generally so immersed in their guilt and shame that they think that they are alone because, after leaving, so much comes up.
There are periods when you feel great, and you feel like you're back to normal. But then you may find yourself in another relationship or situation that is also abusive, whether is romantic, familial, or a job.
That’s what happened to me.
Abused women tend to fall right back into the same patterns, especially if we haven't done our healing. It’s not uncommon, as it takes self-awareness to know what the cycle looks like.
That’s when I really started to see the power of education because I was able to intellectualize my feelings, gain confidence in learning practical things like nutrition and cooking, and finally feel like I would never need my abuser again.
From that, I envisioned this badass woman walking out of the foggy woods with a pack of wolves. She's got battle scars and dirt everywhere...
but she’s a fighter!
As a fellow survivor and advocate...
I understand what it means to feel validation about your experiences and emotions. There’s always someone who asks, “Why didn’t they just leave?” Since I’ve experienced it myself, I get it.
It’s not that simple, and it’s not your fault. It’s important that you know you’re not alone and that you, too, have everything inside of you to heal and walk into the future with hope.
As we progress in your coaching, you’ll come out of the fog realizing:
- Just because I was in a domestic abuse situation doesn’t mean I’m not smart. It does not mean that I’m not a good person. It does not mean that I don't love my children.
- I’m glad that my family & friends are here to support me now, despite being isolated from them.
- I was addicted to this relationship, and now I recognize the strong pull that was there as I was going through the withdrawal process.
- It was hard and scary to make those phone calls and take those next steps, but I've done it.
- My abuser used our kids to control me. As a survivor, I now have the tools to see that and never need my abuser again. I don’t own the shame and guilt. That’s on the abuser.
Although there is much to process and learn, I promise the tables will turn once you gain the knowledge of how abuse looks and its cycle.
You may feel broken, but the best thing about that is you have all of these pieces lying around you to pick up one at a time and put back wherever you choose, in the image you are now.
You are a phoenix. You are born again...
You will rise!
Episode 11: Rising Strong - Empowering the Warrior Within through Community and Education
Elissa fearlessly shares her transformative journey and the impact she is making in the lives of other women who have experienced similar trauma. Together, Megan and Elissa discuss the complexities of abusive relationships, the significance of education in recognizing and overcoming abuse, and the power of community in the healing process.
“Educate yourself. Heal yourself. Build Community. Learn to Take up Space.
Have Moments of Joy and Happiness.”
EMPOWERMENT THROUGH ACTION: START HEALING
A guided action plan from your perspective is the best way to put you in the driver's seat of your healing. Since trust can be hard to give, exercises for assumed positive intent is highly important to guide you and build community around your healing.
By creating aligned actions you can incorporate from week to week, you will have the plan to move with purpose. Adding new actions weekly can help you create new habits that will lead to your healing. In the time we work together, you’ll feel relieved, strong, and empowered.
As an advocate through the YWCA West Michigan in their emergency housing, I had the honor to transform resources for survivors and establish a knowledge board to help survivors educate themselves. There is a holistic approach within the YWCA, that also puts an emphasis on health, self-care, and nutrition to help with mental blocks and food insecurity.
That’s why for daily self-care, I introduced healing through trauma-informed yoga classes by collaborating with a local business that holds space for survivors. I also brought in a chef to teach survivors how to feed themselves and their families on a tight budget by transforming their kitchen staples into full meals.
Outside of my coaching and hands-on work, I have started my own social media brand called the Survivor Sisterhood, helping to educate and create a community of healing in survivorship.
I’ve also been hired as a voice for sexual assault and domestic abuse victims' videos for fundraisers. One fundraiser went on to raise over $90,000 in one night.
As for speaking engagements, I tell my own story of domestic violence at community fundraisers and, in return, meet so many survivors who said I had helped them feel seen and validated in their experiences.
Currently, I am working with local law enforcement to help them better understand the domestic violence experience and to teach them how to handle their domestic violence calls.
Learn more about our Unleashing Your Design for Life One-on-One Coaching Session.
private coaching testimonial
"Elissa is moving and captivating. Her love is so genuine and pure, and her authenticity and genuine connection..."
Elissa is moving and captivating. Her love is so genuine and pure, and her authenticity and genuine connection with me made me want to dig deeper to heal the parts of me that stopped me from becoming the best me I could be. She inspired me to open up in a way that was scary by creating a space that felt safe and a space that made me feel like it was okay to tell my story. - B.G.
TRANSFORM YOUR RELATIONSHIP
If you’re feeling the strongest connection to my coaching style for transforming your relationships in relation to Domestic Abuse…
Get in touch to schedule your Coaching Clarity Session: Recognize Barriers & Uncover Your Path to Success.
I understand that no one service fits all, and to ensure you get the best from me, an assessment is done to help me deliver my promise.
If you're seeking support to navigate the aftermath of abusive relationships, I'm the ideal coach for you. I'll tailor our sessions to your specific needs.
Unlocking transformation within your relationship is just a conversation away!
BOOK A CLARITY SESSION
Unlock the Power of Survivorship: Elevate Your Event with an Inspirational Keynote!
Looking to infuse your event with resilience and empowerment? Collaborate with me to design a speaking engagement that will resonate long after the event ends.
BOOK ELISSA HERE
My personal mission as a coach
...is to help heal 25% or more of this world's population who need healing from abuse. It’s not something I can do alone, but I firmly believe that healed people help heal others.
To create a ripple effect of healed survivors who want to aid in the support of others' healing journeys starts with me, and the person in front of me. By gaining knowledge of what the cycle looks like, patterns that make you vulnerable, and sharing resources - it can be a way to prevent and protect domestic abuse from hurting the next person.
If you want to see if I’m the right coach for you, book your 20-minute Discovery Call!
BOOK MY FREE CALL
Follow me on social media and say Hi!
Join for new articles every Monday and gain insight into what’s keeping you stuck and ways to move forward. Once you subscribe, expect a “gift” of a video, a self-assessment tool, and my "Finding Purpose in Your Pain" journal to start healing.