After escaping New York in search of a more family-friendly location to raise her son, Melody found herself bouncing between friends and family for a place to live. Working hard to provide for her son, she got her own place and began establishing her life in Charlotte, North Carolina. in July of 2013, Melody began dating a guy and things seemed to be going very well. Though things seemed to be going well, Melody found herself no longer doing her freelance work as an entertainment publicist; not because the desire was gone, but because the man in her life didn’t like the time spent away from him. As Melody continued down the relationship path with this man she found herself feeling less and less supported and encouraged; as much as her life was changing she didn’t see the signs of a controlling boyfriend and continued on.
Melody pulled away from the activities in her life that she loved, and as she did, things continued to get worse, not better. The arguments were more frequent and always extreme. Dismissing the argument style, chalking it up to just who they were, she continued to miss the signs of abuse: this time in the form of verbal assaults. having come from a family where loved ones had been abused on both sides, Melody never dreamed she herself would find herself in an abusive relationship; after all, it was something they had talked about and shared in common. But he controlled her time, and the verbal assaults quickly turned into physical abuse. It was an ankle injury that helped Melody finally see her situation in a different light; she was in an abusive relationship and had to get out. As the assaults increased both verbally and physically, Melody found herself being abused financially as well. Her boyfriend was now refusing to pay his portion of bills as leverage over her.
Melody had had enough and kicked him out of her apartment. but things didn’t get easier at that point. He began recording her, breaking into her apartment, and showing up randomly at where she worked and at her friends’ houses. Though things were still tough, Melody began reaching out to her friends who had known all along she was involved in an abusive relationship. It wasn’t until she verbalized the truth that her real change came and her healing began. growing up in Harlem, Melody knew what it meant to be tough, but it was a journey for her to admit she needed help. The more Melody shared her story, the better she felt. She no longer felt alone. She’d even been sharing about domestic violence on her blog and donating time and funds to a nonprofit that assisted victims, but it wasn’t until that relationship was in her rearview mirror that Melody made the connection to her own story.
Today Melody is using her story to help others find their voice. She doesn’t view herself as a life coach but rather a facilitator of healing. She now desires to help victims find their own personal process. She knows it is different for everyone, and she wants to help others find their path. Melody is not focused on her past as a victim of abuse. She knows she is a work in progress, but more than that, she knows there is so much more to her than her past. She is focused on being the best mother and friend she can be, and though she may not always get it right, she wants to continue to share her story and hear the stories of others as they all continue to heal together.
And now, a few questions from the folks here at thread talk:Tell us about a setback and how you recovered.
My abuse situation was definitely my setback. I had struggled financially, emotionally, physically during and afterwards but I had recovered by asking for help, getting support, and changing my views. This was “not my fault” which is something you hear a lot but is harder to accept and believe when there are children involved. I worked out a ton, cried a lot. Started writing. Meditated. Crystal therapy. Sun gazed. i would try anything that made me feel good. i didn’t do things I loved to do during the abuse, so i embraced everything afterwards.What wakes you up in the morning?
My legacy. What I want to leave on this planet, in my community, how I want to be remembered, what I want my son and future children to think about me.How do you show others you believe in them?
By being supportive and encouraging, listening without judgment/criticism, giving - showing up, sharing a resource, time/holding space for someone.Who has influenced you the most?
My son. friends back in NY that i have known since I was 13. friends who are amazing moms, I ask myself all the time “how do they do it?” My friends in Charlotte-career wise, personally, professionally. other bloggers. everyone.everything.What is one thing you still struggle with?
Follow through. I need to write more, I have all these idea. iIve gotten better as everything changes and shifts come. Changing my focus. Getting out of my own way. comparing myself to others. Wondering if I know enough to talk on anything.What positive affirmation statement or favorite song lyric has gotten you through tough times?
There are two things. my son’s name in Arabic means, “complete unique and perfect.” I constantly remind myself I am those things. And secondly a quote I have lived by for years, and is even in my email signature, “every man has his own destiny: the only imperative is to follow it, to accept it, no matter where it leads him.”- Henry Miller
And most definitely, the Rick Ross song, “I'm A Boss!”