US TEAM TAEKWONDO MEDALIST FIGHTS BACK AGAINST ABUSE AT THE HANDS OF HER FATHER
As USA Hall of Fame Inductee, a 4 time US Team medalist in Taekwondo and an owner of a Martial Arts Academy, no one would have ever imagined that I was being abused by father, but I was. I kept my secret of 43 years of abuse inside and no one knew what was happening to me behind closed doors. I taught others how to defend themselves, but could not defend myself against my own father. I finally escaped in 2004 at 3am with my dog and a bag of clothes to discover a freedom I had never experienced. I thought I would be ok, but I was far from it. I was about to venture on a journey that would include body reactions, triggers, rage, betrayal, healing and finally...thriving. I was finally able to get to the place where I discovered a newly found love and compassion for myself.
Abuse can suck all of the strength and hope from you, but as a survivor of longterm abuse, my passion is in empowering others to overcome, to succeed, to see the best in themselves and to reach the highest levels in whatever they choose to undertake. I have been on a journey of my own for 58 years now and have made the decision to continue on the path that empowers me…empowering others. In writing my Memoir, "Our Time", I am making myself vulnerable to criticism and to judgement, but I feel that helping others outweighs my own ego. I hope by reading it, that it helps those who have suffered at the hands of others to realize that they, too, can overcome. It is also about the small victories I have had during my healing journey. I am proud to say that I am a survivor. Some days it is still one breath at a time, but I am breathing still. I am an enthusiastic, inspiring voice for those who have not found their voice yet. I share my story through my music and my voice. My intent is to spread the word of hope to others through sharing my journey. I can be reached at email@example.com. I am interested in speaking engagements that inspire and empower others..
I was born in West Covina, California in 1960, grew up in Wichita, Kansas and ended up in Amarillo, Texas. When I was a little girl I always felt like my purpose was to try to make a positive difference in other's lives. Music played a big part in my life as well as martial arts. In later years, I discovered that those were two things that saved my life...music and movement. Taekwondo gave me a positive outlet for my rage and pain. Music gave me a voice I was too fearful to use otherwise.
I am a 5th degree black belt in Taekwondo Choi kwang do and owned a Martial Arts Academy for over 14 years. I was a US Team Alternate in Taekwondo for 4 years, a National, International, US Olympic Festival medalist several times. Ironically, my father was the one who encouraged me to get into martial arts. He knew that I would learn how to defend myself from others, but because of fear and the trauma bond that he had developed between us, he also knew that I would not have the emotional capability to protect myself from him.
After escaping abuse, the healing power of music came full circle. I started writing my own music. The first song I wrote was on a rainy night. Thunder and lightening were all around me. My faithful companion, Peasers, was beside me as I sat on the bed. I remember contemplating suicide at that moment as tears were rolling down my face but instead of going through with it, I picked up my guitar and started writing the song "A New Beginning" and the rest is history.
Now I am an established voice on the music scene with the release of my debut CD “Free”. I continue to produce new music and was awarded "One To Watch" for her songs "My Son" and "Until Then" in 2016 for my songwriting. Inspired by my own life experience, I employ acoustic guitar to create simple, heartfelt tunes that engage my listeners to sing along. My unique sound is an easy listen and has been described as “contemporary folk” filled with emotion.
I started writing my Memoir "Our Time" after I escaped but put it aside soon thereafter. It was too much to handle, too raw. After going to see Therapist, Joan Childs in Florida, who after hearing my story, told me that my story was a 10 on the scale of horrific, Joan encouraged me to share my story to help others. Upon my return home, I rewrote my story and self-published it in August 2018.
I have been overwhelmed by the feedback and how many people have told me that because of my book they have now found the strength to use their voice, thereby freeing themselves from their personal prison. Some have even shared their abuse with me for the first time. I find that sad that abuse happens so much, but at the same time, empowering that others are using the power of their voice to escape their emotional prison.
Since 2004, my journey has had it's ups and downs, but I continue to find hope in every day. I take it a breath at a time on some days, but am always grateful for the gifts the universe has given me.
I have been interviewed on Nationally syndicated radio shows such as The Neil Haley Show, Biz Talk Radio, People of Distinction with Al Cole, Women on TV with Shea Vaugn, On Point with Carlette Christmas along with many other stations around the country. I have had many speaking engagements and book signing and look forward to sharing my story to help others. Peace...