Fuel Your Legacy

Episode 187: Michelle Jewsbury, Overcoming Obstacles Trauma

Episode Summary

Welcome back to the fuel your legacy podcast each week we expose the faulty foundational mindsets of the past and rebuild a newer, stronger foundation essential in creating your meaningful legacy. We've got a lot of work to do. So let's get started. As much as you like this podcast, I'm certain that you're going to love the book that I just released on Amazon, fuel your legacy, the nine pillars to build a meaningful legacy. I wrote this to share with you the experiences that I had while I was identifying my identity, how I began to create my meaningful legacy and how you can create yours. You're going to find this book on kindle amazon and as always on my website, Sam Knickerbocker calm. Welcome back to the fuel your legacy show. We are excited to have on this week's guest, Michelle jewsbury actually went to a coaching seminar. I go to a lot of seminars, anything I Do to level up my game. I'm doing it and chews upon on stage on a panel and shared her story. And instantly I knew it'd be a perfect fit for this podcast, my master, Hey, would you be willing to give me some of your time? 45 minutes an hour so we could get your message out there and share it because it's so powerful. And thankfully she said yes, months. And that's why we're almost in February recording this you won't hear this probably till maybe April or March, April or May but she has just done so much in life. It's gonna be hard to kind of summarize this, but ultimately, she has a mission to help people who've been through domestic violence of various sorts, who feel like they've been silenced, and not be able to share and share their story and get the help that they need. And either through personal experience or other experiences. She's going to share A lot about that what are some of the obstacles that people go through the breakthroughs that are necessary to one be willing to share? If you're in that position, what things are you struggling with personally? And why wouldn't you go? Help yourself and share that but also how to help others who may be going through that. So, so, so, so excited to share this with you. First, share something that nobody knows about you? Right? Not too secret, not too personal, but something that few people will say few people know about you. I love the water. And I love dangerous sports. So I'm a danger seeker. So I love you know, I want to go skydiving I scuba dive all the time I've been Of course parasailing and bungee jumping. But I love extreme sports, skiing. You name it. Cool. Awesome. So what we're gonna do, I'm gonna have you just in Introduce yourself and give a lot more history of your background kind of where you came from what got you into following this passion and where it's taken you in traveling and the people you've been able to help? Great. Yeah, so my name is Michelle jewsbury. And I was brought up in a wonderful household with a loving mom and dad and I've got a younger brother as well. My daddy was in the military, so I didn't see him often growing up. So my mom pretty much raised us when my dad worked a lot. I mean, my mom worked as well, but she was the primary caregiver. And, you know, we moved around a lot. My father was military. So I've been to shoot like six different schools at least, and I learned how to make friends and then leave. So it was troubling, but it was our life. And we were brought up knowing that our family would stick by each other and we would help each other out. Well, test for a little But my mom trained me in the restaurant industry. And I had spent over 12 years in the restaurant industry from hosting to serving to bartend and manage. And I knew that I wanted something more. I knew that there was something more out there. So roughly 2011 I moved to California to pursue an acting career. I love acting. And I was doing well. I was producing my shows. And it was going great. So I was on my way. And then I met this beautiful man, blue-eyed blonde hair, swept me off my feet. So we started dating roughly the beginning of 2012. And four months into the relationship, my head went through the drywall. So that's kind of what started propelling me in the direction I am now. I didn't realize or understand what I was going through. I didn't understand that. It was The beginning of a domestic violence relationship. I never experienced that my parents didn't hit each other. I wasn't hit as a child. I mean, the occasional spanking, but I wasn't beat. And, this was something that I, I had no idea how to get out of. I also had no idea what it was. So I stayed with him for roughly four years. And in those four years, I was beaten multiple times, psychological abuse, sexual abuse, financial abuse, and of course, physical abuse. Much of the emotional manipulation kept me there. Well, when I finally escaped, I started documenting what happened. And when I started documenting that started coming out in a play format, because of my background in theatre, and I wrote and performed a 65 minutes solo show in 2016. All about my experience in my abusive relationship. Because I did that so many people, primarily women, but a lot of men as well came up to me and told me their stories about domestic violence. About what they've gone through. And I started to realize and understand that I'm not alone. And there are hundreds of thousands of people all over the world that experienced this. So I decided that I wanted to do something more. And I ended up starting a nonprofit organization called unsilent voices in 2017. We help survivors of domestic violence, sexual abuse, and now we're starting to be advocates against sex trafficking worldwide. When Ghana and Sierra Leone Africa, we're expanding to Nepal, and we're doing our first-ever event in Los Angeles in the US area, May 30. So super stoked about that. But I knew that I needed to speak up, I knew I needed to be the voice that to give voice to the voiceless. And I then started developing a course called our masterclass where we help people overcome obstacles because a lot of people experience trauma, depression, you know, top-level CEOs, for example, 30% of them have severe depression. So how do we break free from that? And then you also have to look at the statistics for domestic violence in your workforce. One-third of the women to one-quarter of the women experienced domestic violence. And then we're also talking about one to 10, one to 11 men experiences as well. So that's kind of how I started on the trajectory where I am now. That is just so crazy. There are so many ins and outs of that that I'm sure you're keeping out of the story. Having haven't gotten to that yet. No, none of it. I just told you everything that happened to me. Let you ask me some questions. So I'm curious when you say I'm four months into this relationship, you experience this tragic I mean, I, in my mind, that's tragic. Your head goes through a wall. It's not like a small deal. It's not you're like, Oh yeah, that's normal. What was the psychological process of a? Got to see. So I have this premise in my head. We'll start with this, okay? I have a premise in my head that we have a very, very small few moments in our lives that end up dictating our lives. And often those moments come in either time of extreme elation or ecstasy, that are like deep emotional or like from a neuropsychological perspective, searing certain highways in our brain of how things are going to happen. So we have these emotional reactions and they're very brief. And then our body switches into and because of protection, either from Fight or Flight, or standstill and just and just let it happen or remove your yourself from the emotional attachment to your body so that no matter what's happening to your body, it's not happening to you emotionally. Right? So there's there are different ways that we deal with different types of abuse, but not just abuse, we deal with this. with happiness, we deal with this in all different areas of our lives, we have this small moment, of the reaction of feeling, and then immediately our body switches into how are we going to interpret this feeling? Does that make sense? Yeah. Okay. So what I want to know is, what was that moment for you at what point did you like? Did the feeling of extreme betrayal or feeling of like, what the heck is going on? And the deep rejection? When was that in that story, okay. And then what did you go to as far as how did you deal with explaining that to yourself? So that very first incident I told myself that Paul, we'll call him Paul. He was just super stressed at work, that it was an accident that it was a mishap that I must have triggered him some way. And what's crazy is there was emotional manipulation that led up to this very first incident. And that emotional manipulation was him. You know, blaming me for things it started our relationship started wonderfully. He courted me flowers, we went to ballgames we laughed, we dance, but his praises slowly turned into insults. And it was like a Jekyll and Hyde. So he would show his vulnerable, vulnerable side and show how amazing he was out in public. And then behind closed doors, he would still show that side except he would also start putting me down like why are you doing that? That's stupid. Don't be an idiot. You deserve more than that. Things like that, where I started to question myself and my values and what I wanted in my life. So when, when that first thing happened when he pushed me so hard, my head went through the wall. I walked back and then turned around and looked at the big dent. And I was like, Huh, I got a patch that that was the only thing that I thought I got a patch that I did. That's what I did. Right? And then slowly but surely, it got worse. The physical abuse, the emotional abuse, it all got worse. And I'm a very strong, independent woman. I came from a great household. I, of course, we all have some issues growing up. So some of that impacted me, allowing myself to stay in peace of relationship. But I so badly wanted that relationship with Paul. I loved him so much, and I was willing to sacrifice myself on some levels to stay Without understanding who was destroying me the I think the key things there this is exactly why I asked the question and is I got the response that I thought I would get but I have said the way I did intentionally that feeling of blame shame, guilt all those things generally are happening before these bigger experiences so when I asked him what was that time that you were being where you were you initially felt betrayed when you initially felt that it was probably months or me'm out how long at least weeks before this where he started saying, Well you deserve better than that. Why are you doing that? Don't be an idiot, right? It's those little comments that are programming our brain that that type of behaviors, okay, from this individual, and, and we do a cost. We do a cost-benefit analysis, guys. To ignore that we do this as is. But it's just naive at best, right? We do a cost-benefit analysis, what's the benefit of this relationship? versus if I leave? What's the cost? What do I lose? Right? And, and to one level or another? Not necessarily on this level, but no matter what relationship you're in, there's no Prince Charming out there who never has a bad day. There's no refunds or whatever, who never has a bad day look, no matter what relationship you're gonna be in. There is sacrifice there is a level of, you know, they're not everything that I think I would want necessarily like they have their word weird quirks, but those quirks aren't hurting me. Those quirks are just like, for instance, my wife, for when we first met, she would wash the dishes with cold water. That does not make sense to me because it's cold water right? But in her mind, it made sense malaria, whatever, right? Like there's going to be some differences. where you're like, Okay, that's different. But, but those circumstances don't necessarily have to lead to being disrespected, definitely not abuse in any form. So I understand there's going to be differences in the relationship. But there's a, there is a line between differences and abuse. And sometimes it's a fine line. Right. So I speak all around the world and I've been on, KTLA and lots of news stations. Good morning, San Diego, and you name it right and, and a lot of what they ask is these red flags, and there are red flags. However, it's a fine line distinguishing between the red flags that are going to lead to an abusive relationship and the red flags of just you know, a day, right. The difference there, you know, somebody that you should be with or somebody that you shouldn't be with, right. So, when, when Paul, for instance, started to put me down slightly Put me down. I thought initially, that it was him just giving me his advice, right? But that advice turned into like derogatory insults. And that's where, if, if you're listening to this podcast, that's where you got to assess your relationship and look at everything that's happening and look at how he or she is treating you, but also the people around them, right? So it's really important to be able to distinguish that line. Hmm, no, I completely agree because it's so smaller moments that lead up to then we're in this abusive situation. And as she said, her thought was not anything like oh, that shouldn't have happened. Why do you treat me this way? Immediately, her thought was, I must have caused that. Which, again, this is another fine line where I'm like, I love that thought process. How am I responsible for this? Not that Because I want somebody to feel the guilt and shame of being abused, right? That's not the purpose of asking how am I responsible for this? The purpose of asking like, how am I responsible for this so that you can determine if I don't want this to continue happening? What am I going to change? Right? I'm clearly in this situation. Nobody forced me into this situation necessarily. There are choices that I made. And if I'm getting out, what choices Am I gonna make in the future? These are the deep learning experiences if we use that way, so I think it's important to ask yourself that question, how am I responsible for this, but not from a guilty guilt or shame perspective, but from what am I gonna learn from this type perspective? Yeah, exactly. And there's a reason why people stay in abusive relationships. And you know, it all stems from childhood and adolescence, nature-nurture controversy. But yeah, you know, even me, I'm responsible to the level of I allowed myself to stay, I allowed myself to say because of some attachment disorder, orders that I had that I didn't know I had at the time. But it wasn't my fault that it happened to me. Right? And that's, that's what you're saying, Sam, your audience, the people who are listening, if if you've been in an abusive relationship, or you are in an abusive relationship, it's not your fault. But now you got to take that step forward to get out of it. Right. And I think, for me, I don't have a long conversation with my brother because he was talking about coaches, and how he thinks it's bad and wrong that a coach charges X amount of dollars for coaching. And then what if that person that got charged that money doesn't do the coaching and so now they're in a bunch of debt or whatever, they wasted a bunch of money and they don't get their money back? And he's saying, well, then it's the coach's fault for not giving their money back make no and it's not even the guy's fault who paid the money and didn't do it. There's no fault, per se there. There simply is what is And how are you going to respond to it? How are you going to know? How are you going to refuse to be a victim in a mentality? And say no, I'm choosing only to be a, an active agent who can control my, my, my environment? That's the only question? How are you choosing to control and create your environment versus allow your environment to be created by somebody, somebody else? So what I'm curious about is how did you like how did you know to speak up because there are so many people who get in these relationships and even get out of these relationships? But rather than doing what you did, and start speaking up about it, they hide it still they're like, Okay, well, that one was gone. Let's, let's just focus on going and finding somebody better set whatever they tell themselves, right. But how did you know that speaking up would be a healthy thing for you? Well, I didn't at the time, you know, in the very beginning, when I started doing documenting what happened to me. It just kind of came out in a play format. And I just knew that I needed to get it out, right? And get it out of my body and my soul writing therapy is something that we are huge advocates for emotional therapy, right? I ended up seeing a psychologist for over four years. And from there, I just, I felt this calling this, this, this innate desire within me to speak up, right, because injustices happen all over the world. And to change these injustices, we have to talk about them. Well, when it came out in play format, it was very therapeutic when I beat myself up on stage. And I knew that I had to keep going and I was scared. I was so scared because my abuser was a very, very powerful guy. And he would threaten my life. He's threatened my life multiple times to kill my family. And he had a lot of money and power behind him. And I knew that if I spoke up, it was going to cause him to get angry. And I had no idea what was going to happen. So I remember, I moved out of the place that I was at for a very long time, I moved into an apartment building. And I didn't put my actual address on anything because I would always I was fearful that I would come up in those elevators, and either he or somebody that he's hired would be on the other side with a Glock, and that I would be harmed. Right. I would think that but I still knew I had to speak up. Well, lo and behold, that never happened. And now I'm super stoked that I spoke up but it's so important to get it out. Right. And you don't have to speak up publicly if you if that's something that you're uncomfortable with. But you have to get it out of your soul. Yeah, I completely agree and it's interesting because it's it takes a lot of courage to speak up and share some of those deeper emotions and for personal experience, right. And, I grew up in a family of 11. And there were levels of abuse, there were levels of physical abuse, domestic violence type abuse, and, and then a lot of emotional manipulation, gaslighting, I mean, just a whole range of things. And a few looking for me being where I am now. All of our family, my parents are still married, never got divorced, thank goodness all of our family love each other as far as I'm aware, and I have nothing but love and respect for my parents. And I understand that what went on was not good and nobody should go through that. And I don't hold that against them. They're different humans now. They operate differently. They respond to everything's different now than it was Then, and so I can separate the two beings and I can forgive right and forgiveness doesn't always mean that you remain in the situation of where you're at. Some people think, Oh, I can't forgive them because that means I'm, I'm condoning their behavior. I'm allowing it. No, it doesn't like you cannot allow hatred to be in your body and still avoid and not participate in things with people who are causing you harm. And there's a big difference there. And forgive. We're a difficult thing. I had such a hard time forgiving Paul, because, I mean, I was being emotionally abused, you name it, but that was also the best and the worst relationship I've ever had. And I remember after escaping, I used to sit in the back of the church and just cry my eyes out because at first, I hated him. I was so angry, right, so angry at what had happened. And then I started to let go of clench my fists and let go of what happened to me Give it up to whatever you believe what I believe gives it up to God. Right? And, and because of that then I started to understand that hurt people hurt people. And although I was a victim in that relationship, he was also a victim in prior relationships with his family, whatever that looks like, right? He was also hurt. So I, I forgave him. I said, you know, it doesn't make it right. It's not that I ever want to get back together with that man. But I forgave him for what he did. And it's so important to do that because when you hold a grudge when you're so angry, then it's really in you that you have those feelings. holding a grudge and not forgiving somebody doesn't hurt the other person. Right? It only hurts you. So you have to forgive them to forgive yourself and move on. Yeah, I completely agree and The hard part for somebody who's listening to this is if you're stuck in that cycle right now, the last thing you want to hear is what Michelle just said, I get that. And I just invite you to journal like, like, what if you're driving, if you're sitting in your house, whatever, sit down and journal-like, why does that trigger you? Like, what about what she just said, triggers you and explore that it might, you might need a box of tissues, you might need a punching bag or a pillow, right? But allow yourself to feel and explore not hurting anybody else but explore why those things trigger you. Because that self-discovery is where I believe you're going to gain some of the most insides of yourself and the most love for yourself and others and I think compassion is huge there. So I had this experience with my family growing up, and I decided maybe it was last year. Getting on stage I was going to share this experience. And I invited my mom and dad too, to be there. And afterward like, well, that's not really how I remember it. Right? This is key. The reason I'm sharing this specifically is there's going to be times, especially if you're in this type of situation, where the way you experience something may or may not be actually what happened, your memory of that event, and your interpretation of what happened, may or may not be even close to factually accurate, and it doesn't matter. I think it would matter if, in a court of law, you're trying to put somebody in prison. At that point, we need to know what the facts are. And only because we need to know what the fate of this person is short of that. It doesn't matter what the facts are, to you or them. What matters is what was your experience of it and what story are you telling yourself about? who you are because it happened. That's what matters. And so, like, as Michelle said, it was therapeutic, not only for me to go up and share these experiences on stage, but also I believe that helps. My parents see more of where I'm calling from and see that as bad as my perception of that was. There's still an immense amount of love and forgiveness and compassion for them. And there's, there's, there's movement, there's Trent, I move past that, and that doesn't have to be part of our relationship or define our relationship. And that's an important part of healing for all parties involved, I believe. Yeah. No, it's very, very imperative and forgiveness is key to growth. Yeah, that's awesome. So when you were first decided, Hey, I'm gonna go do this on stage. Did you have people who I mean you kind of already said you were scared for your life, but you have other people were like, that's a bad idea? Don't do that and kind of naysayers telling you that they maybe shouldn't pursue that therapy the way you want it to. Well, so yes, yes and no. Oftentimes, I had people be like, well, aren't you scared? Why are you doing that? That's stupid to speak up, you could get hurt. But it's the same naysayers who tell me that I shouldn't go to Africa. Right. And those naysayers don't lead the life that I want to live. And that's very important. You listen to the people that you want their lives. You don't listen to people who are not living the life you want. And what I mean by that, is that a lot of people give you unwarranted advice. And that unwarranted advice is none of their damn business. And we don't want their advice, because they're not living. The wonderful, amazing, successful, financially free life that we want. So why the heck are we gonna listen? So that's what I thought. The whole time. So when people were telling me well don't do this, or don't do that, and like, I'm gonna go with how I feel I'm being led. And you can say whatever the heck you want about it, but I'm doing. Yeah, that's awesome. I think that that comes. That type of commitment can also come from being in such a bad place and already having to decide to get out of that. That's a, you're just stacking wins in your favor as you continue to follow how you feel. And I say that because that's if you're in this type of situation, and you're like, Okay, how do I deal with this? Sometimes it's as bad as Michelle's was, and there's a need to intensely remove yourself from the situation. Sometimes it's not that bad like I had a situation where I felt that I was being, for lack of a better word manipulated by a superior in, in my work environment, and because of My past experiences from my childhood, then that type of communication doesn't align with me and all wall up and I ignore and like, the problem is if that person has information that I need and want from a business perspective, then I need to find a way to make that relationship work. Yeah. And, and it wasn't like it was physically harming me necessarily, but it was suppressing my ability to perform in my best levels, if I have these types of people around me, and so rather than removing myself from the situation, moving to another city going to another company, rather than doing that, I simply went and sat down talk to him and explained, I chose to be vulnerable first, explain my situation explained. These are my boundaries. If you continue to treat me this way, then I will have to remove myself from the situation, right? If you can't, if you can't respect my boundaries, then at that point, I know you have zero Respect for me. And then then I can walk away. But there's a lot of times where we get offended, or we feel like we're being emotionally abused or physically abused or whatever. And so we're having all these feelings inside of ourselves. And we're never doing the decency to the other person to even let them know that we're feeling these ways. And we and then we start feeling this animosity, this anger, this resentment towards these people who are quote, unquote abusing, manipulate and gaslighting us, but we never even let them know that that's how we were feeling in that situation. I don't I will not allow you to claim victimhood in that situation, because you didn't even try. You know, like you didn't even attempt to have a real conversation. And it's important to understand the distinction where you've done your best to get out now there's going to be people who are just malicious. Okay? Get away from them. They're not serving you. But there's a lot of people who because they were raised to communicate a certain way that's how they communicate. There's a lot of people who don't like to communicate, that's fine. I never walked them in my office or anything, they are free to go whenever they want. And I don't feel the need to change who I am. And that's okay for me. But I don't intentionally hurt people. Yeah. But if somebody said, Hey, this is her, Phil, then I'm going to make a decision. Well, you can avoid me for the rest of your life. That's fine. I'm not going to change who I am. Or I can say, well, that's not really how I meant for that to come across. This is what I meant. Hopefully, we can move past this right. Yeah, but you need to have your boundaries and know who you are. Yeah, yeah, exactly. That's, that's interesting. So that's for sure. Because that's why you know, the nonprofit is called unsilent voices because people need to speak people need to use their words. Communication is key to change, right communication and collaboration. So you've got to be able to communicate even with those people that you don't want to talk to him. Right. So it is you know, you got it you got to speak up, you've got it, you've got to tell the world what is wrong in you. And then there's a great book out and it's called boundaries. And it's a really good book to read. Listen to if you want to that talks about some of the boundaries that we should put in place and how sometimes that line gets crossed because we're not starting with our boundaries and we need to be Yeah, absolutely. So when you were in this relationship were you earning income as well? Were you just completely living off of his income? How to have that work when you just like left cuz I'm assuming you were no longer living at home, or even close to your parents at that point? No, no, I so I had moved to Hollywood to pursue an acting career. My parents weren't around here. So when I started dating him, he doesn't live. He didn't live in Hollywood. So I ended up moving in with him roughly four or five months, somewhere around the same time that my head went through that wall, moving in with them. Then he didn't want me working. So this was the control tactic. So he was very set financially. He made a lot of money. He, he was very successful, right? And he tried to encourage me not to work. And then he put it as an ultimatum while you have to quit your job, because if you don't, if you go to work right now, then we're done. So then he forced me to quit. And, I didn't work. I was bored. I was very, very bored. But I was also walking on eggshells the whole time around him. So I would pick up the house and manage the cleaners. I would take care of the dogs. I know, but I couldn't work. So there were some times where I didn't have any money. And this was the financial abuse. He had had me add his name to all of my credit cards, so we could use our credit cards for all of the expenses. Now, I do Do that listening to him? Right? So then we use my credit cards for free? Well, he would tell me that he would pay them off. And then he didn't pay them off. And he left me with a boatload of debt. His name was on it, but my name was first. So the creditors looked at me. And when I had no cash or no income, sometimes I would like to feel in his pockets when I was putting away his clothing to see if there was any cash because I had no money. And it was crazy because we were living in a nice home, he was pulling in, you know, hundreds of thousands of dollars. But I was broke, right? And I didn't have access to any of the funds. So when I, when I escaped, I ended up coming back to the restaurant industry. Thank God I had that training early on because it was easy in right especially in the LA area. You can get a job as a server or a bartender, all those were and then I started making that income and that's you know, that's Small income. But then of course now speaking and traveling, and now I'm, I'm financially able to do whatever the heck I want to do. But at first, now I was very much controlled by Yes. I, when I'm working with people going through some of these mental struggles, it's really important to me to make sure that both spouses are, completely understand where their money is. And they both must understand how it's being spent. And I've been started working with more and more couples. And it's fascinating as they, you'll sit down with them, especially when they're not entirely they're not married, they're just living together or they aren't married, but their finances are separate. Whatever the case may be, and you'll hear this like, Oh, well, she spends too much on clothes, she wastes her money here, and then they'll say, Oh, well, they spend their money on toys and they're wasting their money on gambling or whatever. And there's all this like Almost judgment about how each other spends money, and so majorly unhealthy. And so a lot of what I do is just helping people learn to communicate about money on a level of what do they value. And I'm not here to tell somebody if something is good or bad expenditure. I'm just here to show you actually how you're spending your money and ask you if it aligns with your values. And if it does, great if it doesn't, what would need to change. And it's interesting to see how people can soften their communication about that. But anytime where one person is, in this situation completely dependent on the other person financially. Even if accounts were to get set up, I would encourage everybody to still maintain ownership of all of their things, not to have your spouse own and Anything financially for you? That's me that's how I help my clients because it's, there's a time to share stuff. But there's also a time where it's like you just never know what can happen. And the financial abuse, it's a real thing. And if you're not aware of like that's a possibility, then they're just not. I mean, it's a business contract. A marriage contract is a business contract. And people need to understand the financial implications of a marriage contract. Yeah, I mean, there are, there are certain relationships we're sharing. The finances make sense, right. And then there are certain relationships where it doesn't because one person will control the other person, and that's when it's unhealthy. And that's what happened to me is that I ended up leasing me a vehicle that I wasn't even allowed to drive. I was driving around a beat-up old pickup truck for a while because he thought that I wasn't great. For him getting me a car, although the car was also in my name. So it was rough. And then that that third year, I ended up leaving and we stayed in contact for that fourth year where he was still financially abusing me emotionally manipulating me, but we weren't physically together. And it was so crazy. I, I had lost my dad that year. And then I also tore my ACL that year, I needed knee surgery. And he would say, Oh, I'm going to take care of you. Don't worry about anything. I've got you like, all of this stuff to manipulate me to believe that he was going to pay off these bills these debts. And lo and behold, he never did. Yeah, that's crazy. So get financially educated yourself. I don't care who you are in the relationship, whether you're the one who's sitting at home, and not earning money. There's nothing wrong with that. I'm not saying that's not a bad thing. But I'm not saying that's a bad thing. If that's what makes you happy, and everything's good, that's fine. But I believe that it's still your responsibility to understand where the money is, how it works, and just how money works in general, how credit works in general, like, there are certain things just about life. Imagine if you couldn't read or write, like, or your spouse couldn't read or write. Like, that's what it's like if you're financially illiterate. It's the equivalent of not being able to read or write, how would you feel about being in a relationship, where you're the one who can't read or write and you have to have somebody else read and write everything for you. Like, there's just so much room, even if it's helped, like, not maliciously, there's just so much room for misunderstanding across the board. It's important to get to the point where you understand how money works, and, and start, at least understanding it even if you're not practicing it. If you ever have to practice it, you should be able to Yeah, you know, that's a very good point. But when you're traveling Something in an abusive relationship trauma, just the first thing is, is getting out, secure, secure an exit strategy, figure out how to save yourself, save your children. Don't stay because your kids don't stay in a relationship that's harmful because of some external reasons. And a lot of you know, going back to money a lot of people do stay because a lot of people also say. After all, they don't know how they're going to gain any. And then when you're in that relationship, it's really hard. But there are, especially in the United States, there are services, there are shelters, there are places that you can go to. I worked on Skid Row for six months at the Downtown Women's Center, and amazing, amazing organization. And women would go there to get resources, talk to case managers, get clothing for interviews, being able to integrate back into the workforce. They had study preps. They had You know, resume, coaching, you name it. So there are resources to help you integrate. So if you are listening to this podcast if you are in an abusive relationship, or you have experienced some type of traumatic incident, you don't have to stay stuck in your circumstances. You can't get out and it's healthy to get out. For sure. Yeah, I want 100% so after you got out you did the play. How did you take yourself from where from there to now being able to travel the world and create this influence for the world? Really? It's not just for America, it's all over the world. What was that transition like? And when did you side okay, I my story is not just for me and the few people who are coming up to me, but my story is an international one that needs to be be shared, and we can make a movement out of it. Yeah. So after I had written my plan before my play, when I said that multiple people came up to me and just started to relate with me about their experiences and how they've been in the same situation. I started to understand that wow, you know, I'm not alone. And I'm speaking up and I need to continue speaking up. And I didn't know I was gonna start my own nonprofit. So I, I was working as Vice President for another nonprofit called Beyond vision Africa. And they were based in the US but worked in Sierra Leone. So I took a trip to Sierra Leone. When was this, this must have been 2016. And I was able to talk to women about domestic violence because that's what I had. And I started to understand how bad how severe it was over and I was like, Okay, I've got to do something. So when I got back to the States after that trip, I left my VA and started working at the downtown Women's Center for six months, volunteering my time, twice a week on Skid Row. And then I started interviewing for other normals, and one in particular called Art and abolition an amazing nonprofit organization that works Kenya to rescue young children who sell their bodies for a bag of rice. And I went, I flew up to Oakland was a great meeting, I got to meet a lot of the board members. And I'm a spiritual woman. So I felt God's presence within the organization. But I didn't feel like I was supposed to be there. The next day I walk around the streets of San Francisco, have my why and my clam chowder, and God sent me a song he sent me this guy, we started talking, and he said, you should start a nonprofit. And I said, Well, that's not the first time I heard this. So this is the time I probably should listen. And we were 501 c three within a month and a month later, I was in Ghana, and it's all through just meeting people. You know what the reason we went to Ghana first is that one of our board members, Dr. Bennett Annan is a Ghanaian and I ended up meeting him through an acquaintance of mine, and he's like, you know what, you can just go stay at my family's place and Donna, and I said, Okay, so I did. And then that's how we started there. And now we've got six partners between Ghana and Sierra Leone, we have a partner in Nepal. And we are growing our partnerships with multiple organizations here in the United States. So I just, this is a movement, this is something that won't stop, right. And then I published my first book called, but I love him, which is the same title as my play. I published that in February of 2019. Last year, and for your listeners, if you would like to receive a complimentary digital download of the introduction of the book, all you got to do is text obstacles to 6786. That's awesome. I think I think that right there is so crucial for people to I'm gonna talk about the overall principle of this right here. When you take a step out, it's darkness. A lot of the time, right when you're going out of your comfort zone, it's like where am I going? It doesn't matter. The question is, are you willing to go where you're led? Or are you going to question everything, you're questioning everything, it's gonna be really hard to grow. We look at people who are very successful by and it doesn't matter at what stage you are, maybe you're a multi-millionaire. And you're like, man, well, what does it take to be a billionaire? Right? What does it take to be? earn $100,000 a year was to take on $50,000 a year, it doesn't matter where you're at on that scale, you look at somebody who you deem as successful, and what's the difference between them and you? And I would say, almost always, in my experience, the difference is who takes action faster and is willing to trust their movements. And those people have more opportunity, and I'm saying that in like, quotation, air quotes because they don't have more opportunity. They see more opportunities, and they act on more opportunities than you do. But in my opinion, everybody has an opportunity. The question is, are you open to seeing the opportunity and are you willing to act on it when you do see it? Yeah, you have to follow where you're being led. So I use a phrase often, and I say God can't steer a parked car. Because you can't. If you stay stagnant, and you don't do anything, and you want all your dreams to come true, but you are not taking that step forward, then it's not gonna happen. But if you start moving, and even if you move in a direction that isn't going to get you to your goal, then God can steer you in the right way the universe can steer you in the right way. So it's so important to take that step forward. Because if you don't, then you won't be Yeah, I completely agree. Completely agree. Awesome. So now if we wanted to get at like support your either your nonprofit or support you and your endeavors or even work with you and how could we get in contact with you and how can we help you? How could the feel your legacy audience become more engaged with you? Awesome. Yeah, there's a couple of ways so if you go to unsilent voice says.org you can get information about the nonprofit. We're looking for grant writers right now. We're also looking for some assistance. And then in the LA area, we're doing our first event where we're going to be providing legal assistance and resources to survivors and also educating the community. So we need help with that event. We need sponsors, vendor sponsors, venue sponsor, lunch sponsor, Speaker sponsors, you name it. So if you know of anybody, you can reach out to me at admin at Michelle jewsbury Comm. Am I ch e Ll E. Je wsbury.com. And then if you're interested to learn more about our masterclass and our intensive and private coaching, you can go to unsilent my voice calm, awesome, and, those links are going to be in the show notes here. And also her name will be on there right there. So you'll be able to if you're like how does she spell that it's all right there for A media to see ya know, you'll find her She's awesome. So this is a second last section of the show is called legacy on rapid-fire. I'm asking you five questions looking for one word or one-sentence answers. The first question has to be a sentence. Okay. You have to answer it with a question. And you have to answer the question with a sentence. Okay. So the first question is, what do you believe is holding you back from reaching the next level of your legacy? The only thing that I see that could be potentially holding me back would be the funding, but we're going to get that I'm not worried. Okay, awesome. What do you think the hardest thing you've ever accomplished has been the hardest thing I ever, probably that play, writing and performing that play that was so difficult, emotionally difficult and timewise I mean, I would, I would rehearse that thing like four or five days a week. That's awesome. What do you think your greatest success at this point in your life is? Being able to spread the message traveling all over the world and being able to talk to? Okay, and what do you think if you were to share one secret? That is a habit, mindset or behavior that you believe has contributed most to your success? Will that be? Just keep swimming? Just keep swimming. I love it. Love it, and what books would you recommend to the few of your legacy audience? So there's a couple. So I have a very good friend who wrote a book called millennial samurai. His name is George channels. And it's about the characteristics that are essential for the 21st century. And then the other book would be by john Maxwell called failing forward, amazing book. And then, of course, thinking Grow Rich by Napoleon. Awesome, love. I love the authors that are gonna opt to look up the millennial Samurai haven't heard that one before. So no, he's George. Genesis one of the most intelligent men I've ever met. Well, now I'm excited to read that one. Okay, so this is my favorite one favorite question. I saved it for last. And the question is focused around what legacy you're building. But this is the prep for the question, we're going to pretend that you've died. Okay, so you've been dead now for six generations, that could be anywhere from 100 to 200 years, depending on how big generational spans are. And if you were to be dead, but be able to come back and watch your children or your great, great, great, great, great-grandchildren sitting around the table, talking about your life and the impact that you had, what would you want them to be saying about you? What do you want your legacy to be at that point? On silent voice? For sure. So I I'm on a mission to start and continue this movement, to create equality between men and women, right to create The world that we live in with no violence without abuse, and unsilent voices is that so and eight generations from now, you know, when I am deceased, if we're still on this planet, I foresee people talking about Michelle jewsbury as the founder of unsilent voices and that the organization has created this sustained movement to create change. That's awesome. I love it. I'm glad that you're already thinking people are going to be thinking about me, not from a bad vanity perspective. But from how much impact did I have? I don't think George Washington, or Abraham Lincoln or any of those people were sitting there thinking, Man, I'm just so vain. I hope people remember me. And Napoleon did that. And Napoleon Hill, the other Napoleon, he's remembered specifically because of his vanity, but not in a good way. Hey, so what do you want? Sure. legacy to be and how are you intentionally creating that? I love that. So with that, we're gonna wrap this up for today. But thank you so much for listening if you honestly if you guys are in this situation or know somebody in this situation, please feel free to tag yourself or start a conversation, reach out to Michelle on social media and just say, Hey, I heard you on the fuel your legacy podcast, I'd love to chat for a minute. I'm sure she'd be willing to do that. And then yeah, if this is helpful to you, and you want more people to hear it, share it, and rank and review it on iTunes, Google Spotify, make sure that other people can hear this as well. I love doing this. It's one of my passions to share these messages with you. And I hope that you're also going and paying it forward and sharing it with others. So thank you so much, Michelle, for taking your time and joining us on YouTube. Thanks for joining us if what you heard today resonates with you, please Like, comment and share on social media tag me and if you do give me a shout out I'll give you a shout out on the next episode. Thanks to all those who've left a review it helps spread the message of what it takes to build a legacy that lasts and we'll catch you next time on fuel your legacy.

Episode Notes

Michelle Jewsbury is an international philanthropist, speaker, author, and coach that
has traveled the world as an advocate for the less fortunate. In August 2016, Michelle
focused her efforts on ending domestic violence. Her desire to help victims of domestic
abuse came from personal experience in such a relationship. In July 2017, Michelle
founded Unsilenced Voices, a 501(c)3 nonprofit focused on inspiring change in
communities around the globe by encouraging victims to break free and survivors to
speak up about domestic violence and sexual assault. She has since completed and
published her personal memoir. But I Love Him is a painful yet inspirational true story of
a strong, independent woman caught in the horrifying cycle of domestic violence and
how she got out. You can receive a complimentary digital download of the introduction
of the book by texting OBSTACLES to 267-86. Michelle coaches individuals and
entrepreneurs to have tremendous breakthroughs by overcoming obstacles and
defeating fear and failure.
Recognized as a valuable resource in the speaking industry, Michelle Jewsbury is the
go to professional speaker who uses her story of survival as encouragement and
motivation for others. By using reflective techniques in her presentation, Michelle
creates “A-HA” moments that lead to transformation. Attendees leave inspired,
revitalized, and ready to pursue their journey with renewed focus. With a confident yet
calming approach, Michelle’s story makes a lasting impression on the audience and
gives them the Power to Take Their Lives Back!