Okay, ready? Take a deep breath here, good. Take a deep breath. Whoo, stop.
Hello and welcome. Thank you for tuning in to the It's Your Story To Tell podcast. I am your host for today. Elissa with the DV Survivor Sisterhood over on Instagram. You can find me from the It's Your Story To Tell page. I am a domestic violence survivor, advocate, professional speaker, and one-on-one coach with the It's Your Story To Tell coaching collective. And I am so excited today to introduce my friend Brandy to the world.
The theme for this week is community. And the reason that I have Brandy here today is because in my survivorship, there were years and years and years after I left my abuser where I was trying to heal and I just felt so alone in all of the thoughts, feelings, emotions, and experiences that come along in DV survivorship until I met Brandy.
And like, it's, I can't believe that I'm already starting to get emotional because I just say your name and like tears want to come out like a waterfall. But Brandi, if you could just introduce yourself, let our listeners know a little about who you are and what you do, where you live, that kind of thing. And then we can jump into our conversation that I'm so excited for.
goodness. I'm Brandy. I just turned 47. I am a single mom to four kids. I lived with a narcissist for a very long time. I still have a hard time admitting that I was abused, but it's the truth. I have been, I'm completing my journey with the next two surgeries of fighting a super rare form of cancer.
I have amazing kids. Like, I bake and decorate cakes as a hobby. I really enjoy that. And Elissa is amazing. So.
Thank you. So Brandi, you and I first met at a fundraiser called Dress for Hope with American Cancer Society, downtown Holland, Michigan. And there's this superpower that we have as survivors where after you've been through
victim and survivor. You don't even have to speak. There's no words that are communicated. It's just this superpower where you just know. And that's what happened with you and I, I feel. And
Yeah, we were attracted right away. It was just a given.
You came over to me at the fundraiser and just started talking like we were best friends all about your life. And I remember, I think at that time you had like, did you have a Mohawk? Something like that.
I did. I had purple and pink hair and I'd shaved the sides because I had lost it during my fight with cancer. So I decided that I was just going to have fun. Here is hair and it grows back. So I started coloring it and shaving it and all types of randomness.
You felt to me during that initial conversation when we first met, you felt full of joy, which is something that you have always felt to me, even in the moments that you've been extremely vulnerable with me. There's just this joy about Brandy and in meeting you that night, in the way that you came up and talked to me.
like we were best friends, you left me wanting more. You left me being like, I wanna know that girl. Like I wanna be friends with her. And it was just this brief conversation, like we were friends and we'd met before. And just to paint the picture, I was in a red polka dot dress, like little house on the prairie looking dress, and you had this crazy mohawk.
You look so cute though! You look so cute! Mm-mm.
We couldn't have been any different. But the thing that bonded us was that survivorship.
Oh yeah, and you had your son with you, and I was just in awe. Like I was in awe of you. I was like, look at her, she's gorgeous. Like I really wanna be her friend. And it was just like, I'm the type of person who when I meet people, I want to leave them better than when I met them. So like if I leave and you have a smile on your face, I've definitely, I just...
did what I came to do, I guess.
And you still do that now because on your social media, baked up 420, right? You leave all of these incredible messages to your followers. And they
That's on I'm Your Daily Grin, actually. The, yep, I'm Your Daily Grin. Baked at 420 is my baking page, which you can go on and see all the fun stuff that I bake. But I'm Your Daily Grin. I just go on and let people know they have a best friend. They do, and I care about them, and that they can do hard things and they can have all the feelings and feel them all. Just don't unpack and live there.
I'm your daily grin. I'm sorry.
Just don't unpack and let there.
You do such a beautiful job. I'm your Daily Grid. But to be a little bit vulnerable, you have shared with me in the past that those are for you sometimes.
They are. They are definitely for me. I struggle with seeing myself the way other people do because of the relationship that I was in. I definitely worry about sharing too much, talking too much, having too many feelings, not wanting to be seen, not wanting to take up space because there was always some alternative to why I was just being genuine.
And that's what I am is just genuine. I genuinely love people. I genuinely want to get to know your story. I genuinely want to give you a hug. And that was always misconstrued in a very different way. So now that I'm by myself with my children who reinforce that I am amazing, I make these messages so that when I'm not feeling amazing, I too can go back and say, Hey,
stop being so mean to my best friend. Stop it, because I would not be mean to my best friend. You know, I would definitely be there to give them the opinion that they know they're gonna get from me because I'm very blunt. I'm very much, hey, let's talk about this. I don't wanna dance around it. But I'm also empathetic and understanding that their feelings and experiences are not my feelings and experiences.
So I have to be understanding to that.
Mm-hmm. I think I'm in awe of you the way that you are able to just turn on the camera Sometimes and it's like your brain and your mouth are so connected Like these things just spew out of you whereas sometimes I want to take like seven or eight takes before I finally get something right and so I feel like
No, you feel like what?
Sometimes I mean, I feel like.
you are in, when I see you do the work that you do, which is why I reached out to you for community in the first place, that you're just in the right space doing what you do. You're supposed to be doing it. It feels like it flows for you.
It does. It's getting to the point where I can actually do it in front of my kids now. I used to only do it by myself and my car. And my children watch it on social media. And you know, my Zachariah just said to me, I watch them all, Mom. I watch every one of them and it makes me feel good because then they can see that I'm in a good place and it helps their anxiety. It helps.
So I got on there initially to keep track, because you know, kids will be kids and I don't want to have to sucker punch somebody for messing with my kid. So I was like, okay, let me join this. And then all of a sudden I have 16,000 followers on TikTok and I enjoy that. I enjoy knowing that I have influenced, inspired, heard, made somebody feel seen like.
how I felt at one time, and I never want anybody to feel that way, ever, ever.
I think that's a common theme in survivorship too. Once you've experienced something, you're like, wow. I wouldn't even wish that on my own worst enemy. So.
Nope, that's fair. That's a very fair statement in that we definitely feel it on a different level than somebody who's never experienced it. And even though all of our experiences are individual to us, we can say, well, with my experience, I can definitely feel you on that.
It's not a tip for tat. It's a holy shit. You went through that and that sucks.
Mm-hmm. So now that we have painted the picture of our friendship and who you are, I would like to dig into when we decided to become closer. I love you so much.
I love you too.
Last winter, I was so low. So low and just feeling so alone in my survivorship. I gotta take a deep breath here.
Yeah, I love you.
I love you too.
And I just decided to start reaching out and using that super power that I have as a survivor to other survivors. And you've not come out and said, I'm a survivor, at least that I had seen. And so when I messaged you, it was like, all it took was that one a message. And I think I
kind of set it up as like I was conducting my own research because I didn't know how to approach other survivors.
You did. You did say that. You were like, I want to put together this thing and I just want some people to tell me about their experiences. And I was like, did this woman just ask me to admit that I am a survivor of domestic abuse because rude, rude. But then
I'm going to go to bed.
I was going through counseling myself and I was learning so much and my children were teaching me so much that I was like, I want to inspire. So okay, I will talk about it with you. I will show you the vulnerability. I will show you the feelings that come along with this and let you know that it's okay. It's okay because there's two of us. We're not by ourselves right now. We can do a video and cry in the video.
There were definitely times that I was more vulnerable with you than I was with my best friends. Just because I knew I could be, that's what you wanted.
So, we had messaged, right? That initial message had happened. And then we just started talking on Snapchat and talking like we are now, sending videos back and forth to each other, talking about what happened during that day, talking about how we were feeling, how we were struggling, how we were happy, how we were celebrating, all of the above.
I went back into Snapchat and I saved a video that I had sent you of the first time that I really opened up to you and was vulnerable with you.
And I'm going to ask, I'm going to play it for you. And, uh, just, just a warning. This is very upset Alyssa and I do drop the F bomb a couple of times, just for anybody listening. Um, but I want you to listen to it and I want you to, um,
react, just kind of bring our listeners back to where we were. This is why community is so important. Listen. Can we just talk for a second about how fucking fucked it is to go through something trauma, like an abusive relationship, and then have to also, like, once you leave and you have some time alone, right, like you're healing those fucked up things.
those fucked up things that they put you through that you didn't do shit to deserve, right? But now, it's like, I feel like I'm pretty much past that, right? And now I feel like I'm entering this nether, just like wave of having to look at myself now. And like, why did I fall into that? You know?
And it's so, it's like almost harder than healing what somebody else did to you because you can justify that and you can make them the villain and you can be like, yeah, that was fucked up what they did. But now it's like, wait, there's more. And now it's like, oh, I have to stare at myself. Yay. And ask myself those questions of why that are so uncomfortable.
I just wanna like shove them in a little compartment that's like, with a no on it, that says like, save for later. But like secretly, I never want later to come. So this shit is hard.
And I'm ex...
I'm sorry. And I know you're gonna tell me, like, don't be sorry.
Would it be normal?
I remember that day. I remember what I was feeling for you. And um...
Any, any survivor listening should not be sorry. You did nothing to be sorry for. And sorry is taking accountability for somebody else's actions. Those actions are not yours to carry.
You often say, Elissa, that I facilitated this, or being me. I don't think you know how much I healed allowing the vulnerability that you gave.
because nobody had seen that part of me. Only you. You're the one who got the.
The message is crying about how I missed my abuser on my way to work. You know, like...
And it's not so much we want to be normal, we don't want to fit in, we want our pain to mean something, we don't want to do, we don't want to go through, we don't want to admit that what we went through makes us survivors. We often look at it as how the fuck didn't I know?
what was wrong with me, and that's not the truth. It's what did he trigger that I haven't healed, and now I get to go heal and be free from the abuse of somebody else's brokenness.
I just, I remember that day. I remember wanting to hug you. I just, I always just wanted you to know that it was not for nothing.
It was not for nothing. And you, even though you never knew, were inspiring as you were healing.
I didn't know. Well, I think there were times that I would see... I watched your transformation just like you watched mine. And... One second. Megan, I think that your mic is on.
Oh, okay. It's okay.
You ready? OK.
I watched your transformation just like you watched mine. There is so much power in being vulnerable and I've, that is a hard lesson that I've learned since moving to Michigan. The most genuine friendships that I have formed, like with you, have been me being vulnerable and showing up in my truest form. Even if that meant...
that I cried because I just wanted to be normal. I just wanted to feel normal. Or if that meant that I showed up and was the 80% on the days that you felt like you were 20, right?
There's so much beauty in that that...
I want survivors listening to this to be able to embrace because that's why I want to talk about this today. That's why community is so important. Healing is a job that yes, you do on your own, but healing is also a job that you do with other people.
Well, and healing isn't linear. So healing doesn't have to look like anything to anyone except you. So whatever healing that you're doing, we want to be there to just say, hey, honey, we see you. We see you. We're here for you on your terms. That's the biggest thing. Like I, I always
now and forever will allow people to come to me on their terms and then I will respond in a way that just says, okay, I understand your terms and I'm not going to cross those boundaries. So like, that's just the edit.
I don't think that you understand sometimes. It's hard for me to admit that I did anything in your life. I just was there. I loved on you. That's all I wanted to do. And it's funny because I watch you climb this amazing ladder. It blows my mind where we were and where you are.
And I say you because there are some things I could be doing to definitely embrace my survivorship. But I don't because I still struggle with what are people going to think. So I don't. I know you do, but you definitely carry it better than I do. You know, the my.
Brandi, do you think that I don't?
the My Best Friend videos, if I didn't make them actually talking about myself, I probably would not post them. Because I would worry that people thought I was weird or whatever, but now where I'm at, I watch where you're going and I'm like, I fucking want to be there. Let's go. Let's do this shit. You know? Like...
shared with you so many times I've wrote in journals forever that I feel like my purpose is to use my voice to help heal other people. And that was part of why I was so lost last year was because I was not letting myself fully lean into that. I wasn't being honest with myself. I wasn't really out there sharing my story of survivorship.
then you do that.
You were really the first person who opened the door and said, come on in, babe, share your story. I've got so much validation waiting for you right here, which is exactly what I needed, which is exactly why I do what I do now, which is exactly why I've started the support group starting October 3rd. It'll already be started by the time you listen to this, but you can join the next one.
Oh, you're just amazing. I don't think you... Like, I'm still sitting on my couch trying to figure out how to admit that my abuse was the same intensity as somebody else's. I often... Well, and that's exactly it. Unfortunately, my mind has not gotten there yet. It has not. So your abuse to me was worse than mine.
But that doesn't matter because abuse is abuse.
because there was a lot of physicality in other people's abuse. My abuser did not physically ever hit me, ever. He did do a whole lot of other abuse though. So like sometimes, um, and not so much anymore where I feel like when people start talking about domestic violence,
Thanks for watching!
I was brought up in the 80s. Domestic violence meant somebody was hurting you physically. Because even now, people don't really admit that narcissism is a true form of abuse. Like, this person made me believe that I was too much of everything.
I couldn't wear certain things, I couldn't go certain places, I couldn't even hug my brother without some idea that was disgusting and perverted. But now it's like, holy shit dude, that was horrible. That was horrible to have your whole personality perverted because of somebody else's damage, right? Like, holy shit dude, I hugged my son and all of a sudden...
This is being misconstrued. That's disgusting. You know, and then to be consistently have that reinforced, you begin to think where you didn't used to think, you see somebody hugging and now all of a sudden your brain is like, oh, there must be an alternative motive there. It's that type of thing.
For me, it was I couldn't look good. Like I couldn't do something for myself that made me look good. And that's just who I've always been. I've always been a girly girl. I love doing my hair. I love makeup. I love fashion. That's just who I am. And when I first moved to Michigan for my abuser, we would hang out with this group of friends and we would always go to their house.
So there was always a point in time when we were in the car and we were going there. And when we were in the car, he would always tell me how terrible I looked, that I wore too much makeup, that I shouldn't have put on this and this, and that I'm so embarrassing. And to be like, I'm surprised that I'm even talking about this because I talk about, for one, I talk about survivorship, right?
You this is why community is so important. I just have to point this out now because I don't I'm still just like you scared to talk about my actual abuse I
Yeah, absolutely. I don't, I definitely don't share it, even with my, my counselor. Most times, like, because I still have a problem. Well, not, not even a problem. I just don't know how to process that my personality, my true authentic self got so pervertedly manipulated that now I have to now I'm having an existential crisis.
Because I don't know who the fuck I am anymore. Like, I know that I genuinely love people. I know that I'm not out here thinking creepy, gross thoughts when I hug somebody and I truly envelop and exchange the energy there, right? Because the whole point of a hug for me is to heal whatever energy is hurting you at the time. So I absorb your energy, I'm thankful for that.
and I can distribute it and do whatever I want with it. But like, to know that the person who's supposed to love you the most, be your best friend through the sickness and health and all this other shit is literally perverting the very thing that attracted him to you is mind-boggling to me. So you knew that I called people honey and sweetie. You knew that I hug everybody I meet.
You knew that I wasn't one who wore makeup and all the girly things that you like to do. But if I wore a dress and hugged somebody, there was, oh, you want him to look at you. And it's like, dude, just pump the brakes. Pump the brakes. Because that's not happening. But now that I'm... No, no, can we what?
Can we, go ahead, but now that, but now that, can we revisit when you and I were speaking via Snapchat, like every day, you were my lifeline, I was yours. And there were the moments where you were heading to work and, or you were getting off of work and you would regulate yourself.
I loved it.
Yep, I loved it.
with me, I think. And you had referenced earlier that you were talking about missing your abuser, which is so common, because we're breaking that trauma bond. I talked about it on a.
Well, and I don't miss him. I miss the version of him I made in my head. That's the person I miss. I don't miss my abuser. I don't miss him personally. I miss who I created in my head to get through the trauma I was suffering and my children were suffering. And now that I've been out for three, almost four years, I still find myself missing my marriage. Not.
the idea of what you think partnership and love and romantic relationship should be. Yeah, I get that. I have, and I know that there's other survivors that can relate to this, but like the thing that I miss the most is the idea of family. The family that like I created. That's what I mourn the most, I think.
And that's a hard one because you watch your kids, you watch your kids suffer too.
That one is.
Yeah, I watch my kids cry about it. We just looked at pictures the other day and we all cried because we remember a time that he wasn't as bad as he is now and he was tolerable, right? But now like we just looked at all those pictures and then we got a visit and instantly we knew why we were not there anymore. Like exactly and I feel like that's the universe saying, remember, don't go back to that. That's not where we're headed.
You know, we've come a long way and that's hard to remember when you have so far to go, you know, so far. But where you are right now is just beautiful because now you're not there. Right. And that's where I'm. That's where it helps me when he comes into my house and says dumb shit to my kids. Like, all right.
They're old enough to understand now. I don't have to, exactly, exactly. So.
There's the door!
That is so liberating and freeing though. So liberating and freeing. I moved to a place that had codes on the door and purposely didn't give him the door code because I was literally in my castle and it was safe. And it was safe.
Yeah, exactly. You have to pay the toll to cross the bridge, buddy.
I, the thing that like, I've really, to be completely honest with you, to be completely honest with you because I just feel you're such a safe place for me. And I have not admitted this to anybody besides my therapist and Victor, my partner. Oh Lord Jesus, there's a fire.
Mm-hmm. Oh, Lord.
Here it comes. What's happening here?
Um, I am struggling so much with the idea that I still live in fear. And, and how it just feels so-
not necessary, but it's still like, it's still like this, this like film that lives on top of me. It's like the film that you pull off of like a brand new computer screen. That's what I feel like it is. Like it's just there and I know that it's there, but it's like see-through. So it shouldn't be there.
It's like this tangible feeling. Mm hmm. Yep.
Yeah, so like absolutely like a Saran wrap like dude, you know, but I was just thinking about I catastrophize I'm horrible at that. So like I could literally catastrophize just sitting here on the couch. My glasses are right there and give you one big hell of a story how they jumped off got whatever. So I am still very much right where you are Elissa, especially now that he's quote unquote coming around again.
So I often worry that he's gonna start a physical fight in my house because he knows that's what I'm the most afraid of is him and my kids getting into some type of physical altercation. And so it's a very real fear, absolutely. I don't think it's unnecessary. I think that it's important to our survival and maybe there's just an unchecked box that we have to go back and say, okay, we're safe.
Victor and our safe home where he keeps me safe, where I keep myself safe, where I know that forgiveness doesn't allow access and forgiveness is for me so that I cannot be afraid. Right? So I often have to say to my kids, I need a hug. I need you to ground me right now because the places I'm going in my head are ugly. And then I realize, Hey, wait a minute, it's okay. It's going to be okay. This is my house.
I have the keys. He just knows the address. So I...
Right. That's what I was just gonna say. Sorry.
It's me, it's not you.
or that's where grounding exercises come in. And I have a few that I use personally when I'm feeling like that. This is like the most, I think, obvious one, but I walk around my house and I touch my things. Because sometimes I feel like there will be days when I wake up and I look at my closet door, something as simple as looking at my closet door, and I'm like, am I on vacation? Because...
My closet door, like they're nice. I've never owned something like this before. This doesn't feel like my life. And I know that that's like disassociation, right? But so then there's those times where I walk around and I touch my couch, I'll look in my office, I'll pet my dog, and I'll just say like, I am safe. What's your favorite grounding exercise? What do you use?
I think that stuff is so important though. It's so important. I actually am a fidgeter and I have Dermatilomania, so I'm a picker. That's what I've used my whole life throughout, childhood to adulthood, all that stuff. However, I'm getting better. And so now my most favorite grounding exercise is to actually rub my leg with my hand so that I'm here.
in this moment, I can feel this and all the things. I really do like getting hugs from my kids because it puts me in a place that says they're protected, they're here, they're safe, you're safe, everybody is safe. So I really think that those two are the best for me, they work the best, and I think it's good for my kids to see that like, hey,
you're healing just as much as I am, let's hug this shit out. Like, you know, and they'll come up to me and ask for a hug. That's one of their grounding experiences. Like, hey, I need a hug from my mom to remind us that dad doesn't live here anymore. You know, and the car is a safe place. So that is a huge grounding. If I really need, like, if I'm really overanxious and rubbing my leg doesn't work or getting a hug, I will go sit in my car.
lock the doors, turn my music on, and that's where I'm the safest. And that's where I tell my children that's where we're the safest. You can say anything you wanna say in the car. It doesn't go past these doors. It's, you know, you can scream, holler, do whatever you need to do right here in the safety of this car.
Brandi, I have something to tell you, and I don't want you to respond right away. I want you to sit in it for a second, and I want you to feel it, okay? You are breaking cycles.
Um, that's not fair. That's not fair. I know, but it's not.
But you are. And it's important for you to feel that and to recognize that in yourself.
You are doing an incredible job and you are doing an incredible job at such an important job.
My counselor would say I'm supposed to say thank you.
Dang, those counselors.
dog. Sorry, my kids just walked in the house. Can you go take him in your room with you?
in a minute. Um, sorry. They just walked in and the dog is psycho so he has to say hi to everybody really loudly. So and the funny thing is it helps.
You know I do not do well with that stuff. So to sit in it just makes it that more uncomfortable because I don't, I'm really just being me. So like the idea of breaking generational curses, the idea of inspiring people, the idea of allowing people to heal, like I don't see it as anything other than just being brandy.
Does that make sense? Like...
I think it's beautiful. I do.
That's really just it. I don't think it's above the realm of possibilities to love people for who they are and to understand that their behaviors are often the result of unhealed, unheard, unloved trauma. That's it. People are not their behaviors until you meet an abuser. Abusers are definitely very much their behaviors. But the people who come to you
from abuse or the people who have survived abuse.
That's not fair. It's just not fair. You're... You... Yeah. I just like to be a genuinely good person.
be you. It's the best thing I got. It's literally the best thing I got is to be me. So if that helps you feel the way you do, okay.
I think that...
It's kind of what we all struggle with though, because in abuse, we touched on this a little bit before, but we were so attacked for who we were, so attacked for who we were, that we lose sight of who it is that we really are. And then once we leave, we have the choice and the freedom. And a lot of the times we don't see it as a choice and a freedom.
Oh, that was terrible.
to start doing the things that bring you joy, to start doing the things that bring other people joy, to start doing the things that heal you, and in return, break cycles and heal other people.
It's incredible to me that community and survivorship and just sitting down and having the conversations like you and I have had so many times and the conversation that we're having right now, how healing that is. Why isn't it talked about?
It definitely is.
Well, because people, especially us survivors, don't want to say, holy shit, that is happening to me. How did I let this? Because a lot of us are very intelligent, successful. We're a lot of what abusers want. They want to take down a powerful woman, right? They want to walk into your life.
and say, oh, you thought you had your shit together. Let me show you something, right? So then to me, it's exactly, you're an awesome supply for me and it's gonna take me years to dismantle my supply because she is so strong. That's why a lot of us stay in these relationships, 15, 16, 17, 25, 35 years, because it's taken that long to break us down so far to say, hey, wait a minute, this pump the fucking brakes. This is not who I am.
We're a great supply. Mm-hmm.
I don't know what is happening to you, right? So I think about it as like laundry, okay? So when you meet your abuser, you're in the spin cycle of your life, you're doing great, you're feeling wonderful, and then you forget it's in there for like three or four days. So then you gotta rerun the cycle, and that's the cycle of abuse. You build up, you build up, you build up, bam, it's over. So then you put yourself in the dryer. I'm outta here, bitches, see you later. You go in the dryer.
and then you come out wrinkled like, what the fuck? I don't even remember how I got in the dryer. Right, right? So now you gotta invest in a steamer and an iron and the starch spray and all that so that you can figure out how to get the laundry folded and put away, right? So I'm still wrinkled, let me tell you. I'm gonna have to throw myself back in there two or three times, I'm just saying.
But it's important because sometimes when you come out wrinkled, there's somebody else holding and they get to flip the towel one or good two times and now you're like, oh, there it is. And that's what you were for me. Like you made me being my authentic self normal again. It wasn't perverted, it wasn't misconstrued. It was, okay, this is Brandy. She presented as Brandy and this is my experience with Brandy. So like it reinforced for me that
My true brandy is not perverted or meaning it in any type of disgusting way. It's just an authentic brandy. Like, that's just who I am. Healing.
I met you where you... Yes. I met you where you were at and I brought the wrinkle releaser.
You did! You just said, let me get you! So, for sure. It wasn't just a one-sided healing, like you feel or think, or maybe you think or feel. Elissa, you have no idea how much healing you allowed for me. You allowed me to be me. You allowed me to say things to you that I wouldn't say to even my best assistant, Oferainen, who is literally like...
you know, the bee's knees, right? And then I have my Cathy and, you know, all these other people you think I could go to have been through their own experiences, but none that was as close to mine as I could get without meeting another person. So then crying to you about it, talking about it, all of that made sense because I knew that when I had
verbal diarrhea and sending you 27 snaps at midnight, you were not gonna judge me where I was and how bad my stink was. You weren't gonna be like, woo, I don't want any of that. You were like, all right, I got you. You had me as much as I had you. And that was like, so when you keep telling me how much I helped your healing, I didn't see it because you were so busy helping me.
So there's that.
digesting. What you just said.
Yeah, sitting that for a while. How do you feel about that? I'm just saying.
That's, thank you. That's exactly why I wanted to talk about community today. It is so important. It is beautiful. It is validating. To be torn down by someone and to believe that you just are not worthy the way that you are. And then to finally come along and to meet someone who can meet you where you're at and to say, you are the bee's knees.
That is truly impactful. It changed you, like you just said, changed me and healed me in a way that I still, almost a year later, have not found the words for.
I just, yeah, I don't.
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha
Thank you, Barbara. Okay, thank you. Thank you. You're just amazing. You're amazing because you just make me always feel so accepted. And that's always what I've ever wanted. Like, I always, the entire time I was in my marriage, it was just like I never belonged anywhere. Because I didn't know...
how I could act. You know, if I acted like you were my best friend, all of a sudden I was sleeping with you. It's like, geez, if that was the case, I wish I was there. You know, like that was the type, that was the type of craziness that goes on in his head. And it's like, you gave me a place where I could just reclaim what I had lost being with him. And that was just loving you.
loving you unconditionally with no weird sexual connotation, no ulterior mode of being thought of. You just genuinely wanted to be loved and I was genuinely wanting to love you. It just made sense. It made, it still makes sense. It still makes sense. We might not Snapchat 17 times a day, but I'll be damned if I don't tell you about amazing things happening in my life.
You said you wanted real. This is real. This is what we would be talking about. It would be real.
Thank you so much. This is exactly what this would be Elissa and Brandy on Snapchat right now.
It would be, it would be. So, you know, I like to be able to share those things with you. I also.
I totally forgot I was talking about my train crash.
That's okay. I have one. I have one last question for you. If you could give our listeners any advice when it comes to healing and survivorship, what would it be?
allow yourself grace. Love yourself like you would love your best friend. Stop being so fucking mean to my best friend. Just stop. Allow yourself the tears, allow yourself the joy, allow all of it. Just don't unpack and live in the spots that make you sad, the spots that make you angry, because I just heard the saying that said
Anger is love disappointed and that is so fucking true. So remember to create a loving environment for yourself. So then anger just isn't a part of you anymore. You deserve that, you deserve that peace, that joy, that freedom, and you're seen and you're heard and you're loved. You're not by yourself.
You're not by yourself. I promise, too. Brandi, I want to thank you for making time for me today. Yes.
I can't hear you if I take it out.
It does kind of sound like bongos now.
It definitely does. My phone is doing something weird. It keeps telling me that the recording stops. It's just doing all types of weird stuff. But I...
Yeah, it sounds, yeah.
Okay, so Megan, do you want me to close out on my own or what do you wanna do?
Yeah, Brandi, take out your left headphone.
It stops. Yeah. Can you hear us with your right?
Yeah, well, yeah.
Yep, I had to put it in the case.
Okay. We'll do that. It was.
Lord, I don't even remember what I said.
Here we go. We can try it. Oh, Lord. I'm ready. So ask the question again, because I don't even remember the question.
Okay, ask him to come through you.
Okay, lemme take a deep breath and move on because there's so much of you that just makes me not wanna be serious. Okay.
Okay, I just want to say thank you for making time and space for me today. And I have one last question before we round out this episode. And it would be, if you could give the survivors and listeners any advice when it comes to survivorship, what would it be?
Be graceful with yourself. Be nice. Be nice to my best fucking friend because you wouldn't say half the shit you say to yourself to your best friend. So don't say it to yourself because you are your best friend. And you are allowed to feel whatever it is you're feeling, happy, sad, glad, mad, whatever. But those negative ones, don't sit and live there. Don't unpack and live there. You know, I heard the saying that said
Anger is love disappointed and that cannot be more fucking true. So love yourself the way you want to be loved and you cannot be angry anymore. It allows for you to be nice to my best fucking friend. And that's all it is. Be nice. Allow grace. And I love you. You're heard and you're seen and you're validated and you're normal.
Mm-hmm. And you're not alone.
You are. Never. Never ever.
So thank you for speaking with me about community. Thank you for being the person to meet me where I was at in the moments where I desperately needed somebody to. Thank you for being so willing to make the time and space to
bring to the forefront how important community is in survivorship. Thank you for your beautiful advice and your joy. And thank you for just simply being you. And I just want to say really quick, Brandi is, I'm putting you on the spot right now, but Brandi is joining our support group and she will be...
And she will be with us if you do feel the need to join the DV survivorship. Wow. Let me start again.
My daughter would have revoked my speaking privileges at that point. She would have said, it's done, Silver, you're done.
If you would like to join our survivorship support group, that's a tongue twister. You can come and be in a comfortable space with myself, with Brandi, with other survivors who have already signed up. I will leave a link for that in the description of this podcast. We would love to see you and to have you. It's completely free to join and free to keep coming to.
It is, it is. Say it fast five times.
We... I haven't asked you yet Brandi, but I would love for you to be a facilitator for me.
Oh lord! No, you know what? I would really love that. I would actually really love that because then that, yeah, I would just really love that. I would do that. I would. Oh, absolutely.
Okay, cool. Thank you so much. This is the Come As You Are group too. I don't care if you come in your messy bun, come with no bra on, come after you put your kids to bed, come eating your dinner for all I care. Again, link will be in the description. And I just want to say again, thank you and thank you.
I would have it no other way.
for tuning in to the It's Your Story to Tell podcast today. And I want to... ..
We are honored. We are honored to listen to your story. We are.
We are. I want to encourage you listening to subscribe, rate, and review the It's Your Story to Tell podcast. And we also have started a new mini podcast called It's Your Story Unveiled if you ever feel the need to join the... What do I want to say, Brandi? The... I don't want to call it a... The sisterhood.
the sisterhood of survivors who have also told their stories. Look at-
really is. Alright, so truth tellers, that's what it is. They're telling their true. So, yeah. Power.
You can contact myself or Megan to share your story on Your Story Unveiled as well. Thank you so much for listening. Have a good one.