Ever wonder how sharing your personal story can change your life and inspire others to change theirs too? Join me, Amanda Quick, on a heartening exploration into the art of storytelling. I share my deeply personal journey from the darkness of an abusive relationship to the triumph of gaining full custody of my children. Find out how this challenging endeavor led me to not only pen down a book about my experiences, but also to create a unique storytelling process.
Delve into the transformative force of acceptance, release, and transformation as we navigate the art of storytelling. Hear firsthand how I used this approach to reframe my narrative, heal my emotional wounds, and empower myself. Walk away with valuable insights on how to use the same process to rewrite your own story. Remember, every story told is a beacon of hope for someone waiting to break free from their own internal chains.
In the end, I underscore the importance of creating safe spaces for sharing our stories. I also reveal my new, exciting program that takes you further into the art of storytelling. This program is an exclusive platform for you to share your narratives and transform your experiences into a powerful force of change. Join me in this intimate space where we unravel stories, connect on a deeper level, and ignite a revolution of change through the art of storytelling."
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Hello everyone and welcome back to the Amanda Quick Show. I'm your host, amanda Quick, and today's episode I want to talk to you about the power of sharing your story. This is something that, if anybody can take away anything from my work and the message that I have to the world is this that there is so much power when we share our story through our lending, through our lessons, through our truth of experience with others, and when we do so in a way that helps other people feel less alone, helps other people see possibilities, it opens up doorways. It opens up possibilities, and this is something that I feel is going to be a big part of what I'm putting out into the world and what I hope other people receive from listening to me. When I first published my book now nine months ago one of the biggest things that people said to me or responded and messages to me is I have a story too. I have a story too. I want to write a book. I want to share my story, but I have no idea where to start. I have no idea where to start and it's overwhelming and terrifying, and so I haven't basically started, and most of the time, that message ended with can you help me. And what I want to say to those people and anybody out there listening who's been listening to me and says, hey, that's me too, or I've always wanted to write a book too, or any of that is you first have to start. But you have to start with the right intentions, and the power of sharing your story begins with this piece, this intention that you're set why? Why do you want to share your story? What's your end goal? Because if we don't understand why we're doing something, then in a lot of ways, it's really easy to derail us. It's really easy to hear negative feedback or get told no by a publisher or have the Facebook trolls come after you and have you shut down and stop. But if you know why, why you're doing this, that keeps you going in a different way and it gives you momentum in a different way and it gives you power and it gives you drive. And that, to me, is what keeps us going and why you want to share your story is probably the most important part of actually sharing it. And for me, when I succeeded at getting full custody of my children in 2020, I felt like I succeeded at the impossible, like there was no possible way. This was going to happen and yet it did. And it did two weeks before the world shut down and everybody was quarantined, which meant my children were never quarantined with their abuser or my abuser, and I never had to fight over COVID, quarantines, lockdowns, any of it. It was just over, and it was over in a divine timing way that I just still, to this day, blows my mind. And not only did I succeed at the impossible with impossible timing, but I did so in a way that gave me the space to heal and to know that all of this was for a bigger purpose, and for a bigger purpose so that I could share this message. And the call to write the book began before it was even over. I had people telling me in the midst of the chaos that this was like a lifetime movie, sorta, you can't make this shit up. And they're not wrong. It was insanity. You couldn't make it up, and yet I was living it. It was my life, and every day, every week, there was a new big blow-up episode that would happen. That was crazier than any of the soap operas, any of the lifetime movies, and that was the life I was living, day in and day out and the call to write that story and to know that there was something bigger in it just got louder after I succeeded, after I knew we were safe, after I knew that this was an impossible outcome. But it wasn't an impossible outcome that nobody else could achieve. There was just nobody else out there who had achieved it and been willing to talk about it, because I'm not gonna say I'm the only person out there that succeeded, because that's just not true. But I do know for a fact that nobody else who succeeded in the way that I did has written a book about it. My publishers did a research they do market research when you're about to write a book or publish a book so that you can have comparables what keywords to use, how is that book doing what market today, and etc. And they searched and searched to try to find a comparable memoir that was talking about the wife's story in this situation and not a single book had been written until mine that shared the wife's story like I did and that was striking for me. I was just honestly shocked because there's tons of perpetrator stories and there's quite a few now victim stories, but there's nobody speaking about it from the angle that I lived and I wondered why. First of all although I know the answer to that the amount of shame and guilt that people are holding when they find themselves married to somebody who did such atrocious things, especially if they didn't see the truth right away and especially if they stayed that's astronomical. Nobody wants to write and tell the world what they did or what they didn't do by leaving, and yet to me, that's exactly what I had to do. That's exactly what the whole point of the experience was. The power to share that story and write my own narrative was so, so important, because I knew that it wasn't just about me sharing my story for me. I don't need. I've heard myself talk through my own stuff plenty of times, but I'm not doing it for myself. The reason that my why to write my book and publish my story was to help other people feel less alone in their own. To help other people realize they're not the only ones. They're not the only ones who stayed in abusive situations. They're not the only ones who didn't see the truth of the person they were with. They're not the only ones who turned a blind eye because of the need to have financial safety and stability and a family unit and all of the reasons that I had. They're not the only ones and they're not the only ones fighting for custody from their abusers and their children's abusers. They're not the only ones who are struggling to be safe financially, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, sexually, all of it. They're not the only ones and so many people out there don't know that they might, you know when their brains realize like, of course, statistically they're not the only ones. And yet, because nobody's talking about it, because it's not public knowledge of what people are going through, they sure as heck feel like the only ones. I know. When I share my story in some circles, especially in the beginning, I shut the room up. The room would go quiet. Nobody knew what to say. The shock that hit the room when I said I was married to somebody who was arrested for human trafficking, especially when I'm still with the man, just takes people back. They have no idea what to say. Anything that they've gone through feels incomparable. It just doesn't even have a response, and I recognize that. And yet, while my story may not mirror everybody's in specifics, there are a ton of parallels in my story that do mirror people's experiences. There are a ton of people out there who have versions of my story or pieces of my story or can relate in some fashion, and so my why is to reach those people. To reach those people and help them see they're not the only ones and that there is a way through, there's another possibility. On the other end, there's an opportunity for them to become the writers of this story and they can choose to write the ending how they desire it and they don't need to sit in the victim of the systems and the relationships and everything else. That there is an opportunity to step into power in a different way. That's my why. My why is bigger than myself. I'm not writing to trauma bond. I'm not writing to vent to the world and get it off my chest. Yes, writing is very cathartic 100%. Rewriting my story through the lens I have today, reliving it in detail, took a ton of work. It took a ton of tools and healing as the things came up and out of my system. It was a very healing process to write the book, but that's not why I did it. I wrote the book to reach the broad spectrum of people, to share my lessons, to share the guilt and the shame and the trauma, because I believe when we stop hiding it and we bring all of this to light and we bring it out into the open, all of the charge that comes with the judgment is gone, because nobody else can have a bigger judgment of me than I did, that's for damn sure. Nobody else can have something worse to say than I did to myself, and so, truthfully, they can't hurt me because, well, I've said that to me, I've felt that already and I've processed it. It doesn't hold a charge anymore. I know who I am, I know why I'm here, I know what this experience was about and everybody out there who has a judgment about it and has something to say about the choices I made and oh, believe me, the internet trolls are. They had a field day when I first put the story out there, and yet I took every single one of those comments as another opportunity to test it against myself, to test it against my field, to test it against my beliefs. Was there any truth in my experience left of what they had to say? And if the answer was no, it really didn't bother me. If the answer was yes, then I got to dig into it and go okay, why do I still think there's something there, and it was again another opportunity to release more parts of this so that I could be so strong in myself as I got my message out bigger. And so the power of sharing our stories is multilayered, multidimensional. It is about healing ourselves. It is about processing our stories with new perspective. It is about having the opportunity for other people to hear your version. You know I've talked a little bit about my mom and in my book I share a little bit of her story and her history with my father, and her and I are fascinating in our life experiences. We lived very parallel lives in different decades and yet our versions of experience with the father of our children was not that dissimilar. No, my dad was not arrested for human trafficking, nor did he have the same deviances, but he did have anger problems and he didn't have addiction problems and he did, in a sense, mentally and emotionally abuse my mom and I don't remember this as in the same way, because I was a young child, but when I was nine they separated and I was no longer really a part of his life anymore, and because of who my mom was at the time she worked in the mental health field and she's still a licensed marriage and family therapist and she's worked in addiction treatment centers and she had a lot of love schooling, a lot of background on the right way to you know, share information with children. The right way to process this stuff, based on all the data and evidence at the time and the school of thought especially back then, was to protect the children from these, these horrors in a sense. And I remember the morning when I was nine years old when I woke up and my dad was packing. He was packing his clothes and he had a closet that was not far outside my bedroom that he kept all of his extra stuff in and he was in that closet packing as I was getting ready for school and it was like what's going on? And he said I hit mom, I have to leave, and my sister was five. I was nine. We don't know what that means and I remember that moment. But I don't remember much after that and I don't remember ever hearing more about what happened that led up to it. I do know that that night I woke up with an earache and I went upstairs and apparently had interrupted the fight that had just happened and I don't remember any more details. I wasn't told until I was much older, later, years later, what all exactly happened, because the belief back then was to not tell kids that, not burden them, not hurt them in a sense, with those truths. And yet what I think people didn't know back then was really that in a lot of ways the opposite was happening, because I didn't get any more details other than I hit mom, I have to move, I have to leave, and then he basically vanished and we did supervised visitation briefly and then that stopped and I was able to see him on his birthday and our birthday and Christmas for about 10 or 15 minutes to exchange presents. I didn't, I didn't understand. I didn't understand. I got okay, you hit her, you can't live here. I don't even remember us being a happy family. That didn't bother me. I didn't understand why he couldn't be a part of our lives. And the older I got, the more questions I had and the lack of answers I got, and I don't even really remember asking my mom, but I do remember feeling like it didn't make sense and the only person willing to give me answers was my father, and so I got his version of the story. I got his version of what happened and it wasn't until I went through my own traumas with my own children's father that I got my mom's version, because she was following best practice, in a sense, and she was trying to do what she could do to help us not repeat her patterns. And yet, by hiding the truth of what had been going on my whole life and before, by hiding the extent of the mental and emotional abuse she had been going through, by hiding all of that, I never really saw all of those pieces and I never was able to put this understanding together, and instead I blamed her. I blamed her for not letting me have a relationship with my father. I blamed her for protecting herself, essentially because I was a child and I didn't understand, and in a lot of ways that set me up to actually do the repetition of the pattern, because I still didn't understand. And so I think this is really important, because a lot of people ask me you know, what about your children? And how can you go out and tell the story with them still young? And I truly believe that by sharing my story and bringing it out into the light, into the world, I am protecting them, I'm empowering them, I'm making it so they will never, ever even be abusable in that sense because they will know too much. They will know too much about what's possible out there. They will know too much about how predators act, how they manipulate, how they think and all of it. They will know because of their not only direct experience, but because we talk about it, because they can feel it, because it's out there and they're still young enough that they don't get the gory details. That's not appropriate. Yet they don't understand what sex is deeply enough, but they do know what safety is. They do know what's okay and what's not okay from a law perspective. They do know that some things are only okay for grownups to do with other grownups and not with children. And they do know what hurting kids would mean and what that would look like. And so, in a age appropriate way, we've expanded on what's happened as much as they can understand and accept, and that will continue to change. And at some point they probably will read my book, when they're ready in their time, and they'll have their own reaction to my experience that they also were a part of. But the power of sharing my story means, no matter what happens, my story through my experience and my truth is out there for the world, and I think that that is probably the most important thing for people to do who have experienced big, big trauma, trauma events is to share the truth of their experience through whatever medium works for them. Not everybody wants to write a book, that's fine. Not everybody wants to start a podcast, not everybody wants to do YouTube channels or whatever. It doesn't matter what and how you do it, but the why you do it and the energy behind that, first of all, is what matters. And then the next piece of this is how you go about it on an energetic level. I had this whole program come into my mind about something I could help teach, especially as people were coming to me saying, hey, can you help me tell my story? And I didn't quite know how I was going to do it. And it's still in development, if anybody is curious, but I am working on it. And this idea of the power of storytelling there's a framework to it, there's a component that if you're going to go out into the big, wide world and share your big story, you have to go through a process, not for your sake or for your audience's sake, but for both, because in order for you to be sharing your story with the intention to help and to support. You need to make sure you're in the right headspace about that story, and I find a lot of people want to share their story. They know there's messages in it, but they're still. They're still in the trauma. They're still in it. And what I think is really important, when we know we've got this work to do, is to go through what I call the art of storytelling, and art is an acronym for accept, release and transform. The art of storytelling is about the art and catharticism of writing and sharing your story with the world, because we first have to accept that this happened to us, that this happened to our families, our children, our lives in some fashion. And not only do we have to accept that it happened, but we have to accept the radical accountability of the part that we played in it. And this is a hard one, because nobody wants to say, like I caused this and I'm not saying it's your fault, not by any stretch of that, no, but there are choices that you made that led you to that moment. Whatever it was For me. I made the choice to marry the man. I made the choice to stay, even though he was cheating on his second wife with me. I made the choice to then continue the relationship with him, to have children with him and, furthermore, I made a choice to support him after he was arrested. I made the choice to believe him. I made the choice to see my perspective and what I wanted to be true over what the rest of the world was saying. I made so many choices not knowing what I didn't know, refusing to see other possibilities that led me to the point where everything started to shift. It led me to the point where my children were in danger. I made the choices that got me to that moment in time. Now I'm not responsible for somebody else grooming and manipulating my kids, no, but I am responsible for my choices and I am responsible for realizing that I was still giving energy to the hope that I could be wrong and that he could be safe and that maybe all of this wasn't real and I could have my family back. I made the choice to sit in that energy and to feed that trajectory, and that was a really uncomfortable place to be to see that and realize it and to see that I made the choices that put my kids in danger. I did it. I did that, but I had to accept the radical accountability for that. I had to own it. I had to see it for what it was and I had to go okay, no more. And then I had to do the work to release it and to transform it and to recognize the fear and the shame and the guilt, and everything that had been holding me back had to go. I had to release all of the pain and in my experience I had to do it very quickly because time was of the essence. But a lot of people don't quite do it as fast as I did and there's no wrongness one way or another. Some people really need this part to take longer, to release the emotional wounding, to release the probably decades of suffering attached to it, to release the childhood trauma pieces, to release everything that led them in an emotional and mental, spiritual and physical level to that place. Because once they've accepted their part in it and they've got that accountability piece, they also then have to transmute everything that that created. And that release piece is where a lot of the healing and clearing work on an energetic level comes from. A lot of people like to focus on that piece. I think it's a very important piece. Yes, because it's the lightning. It's the lightning of the density of the stories and the emotions. It's realizing where all of this originated from, whether this lifetime or not. It's realizing what is tied to what and why we have the beliefs we have, and what does that mean, and how have we recreated the story so many times? And all of that work. That's where this is here, this release step. But for me personally, my favorite part of this is the transformation, the transform step, the last part, because when we release and we give ourselves the opportunity to be open to some other meaning, if it wasn't about the belief that you weren't good enough, or that you didn't matter, or that you were a bad partner, or that you were unlovable, or wherever those creations stand from, if those beliefs were gone and they were cleared, what could this experience mean instead, what could this experience create for you? How could this transform your life in a way that you could be in control of the outcome? This, to me, is the fun part the creation, the opportunity. When I talk to people today and I tell them what I've been through, I receive a ton of sympathy and condolences and it honestly doesn't even really resonate with the energy I have anymore, because I'm not a victim anymore, I'm not sitting in. This happened to me, this happened for me. My experience being married to somebody arrested for human trafficking, somebody who was sexually grooming my children that was the greatest gift that this life has given me thus far, because without that experience, without that knowing, I would not be who I am today. I would not have the understanding, the spiritual abilities, the breadth of knowledge, the perspective, the mindset. I wouldn't be the parent I am today. Without any of that and yeah, it sucked. And no, I wouldn't wish it on anybody. It's not that kind of gift, it's not the one we spread around and we give to other people. No, but for me that was the gift that I needed to become the person that I needed to be, and I only have gratitude now, today, for that. I see so much about that experience and the choices that I made, with no information of what was coming as the opportunity that it was. Had I not gone through that, I would not deeply and compassionally understand what it's like to be mentally and emotionally manipulated, to be gaslit, to stay in a relationship that's not healthy. I wouldn't know why people did that, I wouldn't understand the addictive cycle of abuse. I wouldn't understand what it's like to gaslight yourself so that you stay in this situation that you think is safer. I wouldn't understand what it was like to not trust yourself in that way, to give your power to the systems that are supposed to protect you and supposed to protect your children. I would not understand the gravity of all of that had I not had the experience that I have. I would not get why the world operates like it does. And yet today I know all of that and a whole lot more, and I know how hard it is to see the the possibilities and the opportunities when you're in it. I remember being furious with my mother. It was probably only three or four days after my ex-husband was arrested. She was sitting in my living room and she looks at me and she says this is gonna be a good thing one day. And I looked at her like what are you out of your fucking mind, mom? This is not a good thing. How dare you Now there's a time and a place to tell people that 100%, and she didn't do a great job of reading the room there. But she wasn't wrong. She wasn't wrong, that there would be someday that I understood in a different way and I couldn't hear it then, and I Don't expect anybody in the midst of the chaos to hear it either, because that's not where they are, that's not the world they're living in. But today, where I stand, because I took back that power and because they chose to rewrite my story Through my lens, through my lessons, and because I also chose to share that story with the world, I can see that now. I can see now that that is the best thing that has happened to me and to my children, and Nobody's gonna say that abuse to their children is a good thing. But my kids have a different level of understanding Than most people out there, most adults out there. They have a different level of understanding of safety in relationships. They have a different level of connection with me. They have a different level of understanding of trusting their own bodies, their own intuition. They know that each of them are vastly different and that they operate very differently, but every single one of my children trusts themselves. They trust their knowings. Whether their knowings come from their bodies or their minds or their emotions doesn't matter. They trust it and they know when something is wrong and it doesn't feel good or not right and they feel safe enough in their relationship with me to have an open conversation about it, and that is something that probably 90% of adults out there don't have. And Would we have that today without those experiences? I don't know. I certainly wouldn't be the parent I am to share that with them. I certainly wouldn't have that Conversation with them. In the same way, I wouldn't see them as the beautiful, unique, different individuals that Are gonna go out and do very different things in the way that I do today. And so If I look at it through that lens, I Can be grateful. I Can be grateful to my ex-husband and I can choose to forgive, because I know how much trauma he went through in this life and previous lives. I know that those, those experiences were not ones he was willing or able to face and I can't honestly fault anybody for that, because it's it's heavy, deep work and their choice to not do that work Digs their hole deeper and that's their decision, not mine. That's not the world I live in, that's not the place I want to be and that's not the parent I am. But I'm not gonna make somebody face their demons. I'm gonna choose to live in a world where I Create my life and I hold the boundaries against anybody who isn't choosing to live that way, and so I Wish everybody out there had the strength encourage, yes. But if they don't, then I trust that their experiences will be created in a way that will help them in whatever fashion they desire, whether that's to Make things worse for them that's their decision or to grow and change and evolve in this life or the next one. Again, not my call. I Think that choice is one of the most empowering things that we can offer, and so I step away from imposing my choices on other people, even if I don't agree with them, and so, because of the power I have now in sharing my story, I had the choice to write my perspective, my vision, my understandings, and invite other people to not necessarily take on my installation of how the world works, but to write the story for themselves. To write the story of how you want other people to see you. How do you want other people to read your story? What do you want them to know about what you've been through, about how it felt at each moment, about the lessons you've learned? How do you want to transform that into something potentially Empowering, beautiful, in a new way. How do you want the ending to your story to go? Because it's not over yet. I know my life's not over yet. My, my book is finished, yes, but the next one and the next one, I'm still living. I'm still living these experiences. I'm still living and Accepting, releasing and transforming what happens next so that I can share that with the world again and again. And that, to me, is the beauty of this whole journey. The power of sharing our story or message with the world is Truly to gift the world with all of the possibility, All of the opportunity, and hand them back the pen. Hand them back the pen to the book that they've been living, written by somebody else, and instead give them the pen to write their own. I hope you enjoyed this episode and that it resonated in some fashion. The art of storytelling. The program is coming. More info can be found on my website Amanda, quick healing comm. There is a waiting list. I will happily email you all the details once it is complete. Lots of love, everybody. You.