About Stephanie

I am a 36 year single mom of my 7 year old son, he is my entire world. His father walked away from him when he was 3 and I have been both mom and day since. My life is in no way easy but it is amazing. Having come out of an abusive relationship and healing, I became a more better me for me and my son. I learned how to be grateful for everything and learned how to live a more meaningful life. I have gained amazing friendships through my healing process and have been able to help many others all over the world. I started my own nonprofit organization to help others. I am in the process of writing a book on abuse to help others understand that they are not alone. I have become a strength for so many. I’ve taken that strength and created a life that I would only be able to dream of.  You can connect with me on my website, Follow Your Instincts.

My Story

I was in an emotionally abusive relationship for two years, all the red flags were there but I tried to ignore them. On top of the abuse after I was finally able to get out of that relationship and kicked him out of my house, the abuse didn’t stop. He continued to stalk and harass my life for a year. He would follow me everywhere I would go, call, text and email me daily over 100 daily. I had to finally get a restraining order to stop the abuse and even that didn’t stop him. He had been arrested several times for violating the order. He could not follow the law when it came to anything, it wasn’t until I changed my phone number and cut off all contact with them that he felt defeated and that is when he posted naked images and lies about me all over the web.

The images and websites started to pop up daily, new sites and new images. People started to notice and I started to lose it. I was in such a deep dark place over these images that I was close to killing myself, it wasn’t until I read my own suicide note to know that I was in such a dark place. I was able to handle the harassment and stalking even after all the abuse he did to me while we together, it was easier to just do what he said so it wouldn’t cause a fight and even when I thought I couldn’t do anymore, it was never good enough. I was verbally abused on a daily basis, I was treated like a piece of trash. He accused me of all the things he was doing to me. We got married and even though I knew deep down in my gut that I shouldn’t have, I had thought the marriage would change him, but it didn’t. In fact it only got worse. We were only married for 6 weeks and that is when I found all the concrete proof of his cheating, lies and addictions.

It wasn’t until after a year of leaving the relationship that he started with the naked images, he made his entire life all about destroying my life and got very close to it. Having those images and lies about me on the web with my name and address was too much for me to take. When I realized that I need to make a stand and stand up for myself that is when things started to turn for me. I was afraid for my life but I wasn’t going to stop. I went to court and fought all the way till the end. At one point he was remanded for posting the images. A year in court and a year of constant anxiety and stress was very hard to manage with a full time job and a son with special needs.

Eventually, when court was over and he was sentenced, the sites stopped appearing and the removals was even harder. It took a lot of money, time and legal sources to get them removed. It has been 9 months since this nightmare has fully ended for me and life has become beautiful and amazing.

My Healing Journey

When I first kicked my ex out, that is when my healing began almost immediately. I felt free, I no longer had the anxiety of him being home and starting with me. I felt peace, I felt that I can finally be myself. I read a ton of books, joined support groups, therapy and anything I could to help me. The biggest healer for me is when I wrote my book, writing out my entire life and then rereading it was so therapeutic for me. I was able to look back and see exactly the abuse I was enduring and all it did was make me a stronger person. It also made me want to help others.

I had the support of great friends and they helped me get through the court hearings and sat by my side every step of the way. It was never easy and each day I didn’t know what was going to be but I was able to get through it no matter how bad it was.

When it was all said and done, I felt alive again. I started traveling and just doing all things I would never have done. I opened up my world to new things and it took me on this joyous journey called life. I didn’t date for 2 years, I was afraid to ever let my guard down and get hurt again. That turned out to be a good thing because it made me realize how high my standards should be and what I deserve in life. I wasn’t looking for a new love or relationship, I just wanted to enjoy life.

It was only just recently that I met someone, while I am still having a very hard time letting my guard down and letting him in, he is understanding and respects my choices. It was never something I planned and it kind of just happened. We bonded from the start and he made me feel comfortable enough to tell him my past with the abuse. He listened and understood and that is when I realized that he is respecting my boundaries and this is how the start of a relationship should be. He is amazing to me and my son and I never thought that another person would make me happy again.

I was happy before him, by rebuilding my life and living my best life and now I am happier being able to share my happiness with him. I am honest and up front with him about being scared to move forward and he so understanding. There is no pressure and I feel respected and that it what everyone should feel in a relationship. While I don’t know where this will go with him. I do know that I am willing to give it a chance and that just shows my growth, growth to allow me to give myself to someone again. I never had that real companionship with anyone and it is an absolutely amazing feeling to be respected, adored and just knowing you make someone happy.

“You have the power to change your life. You may have not known it then, but the struggles you went through showed your courage and strength.

To My Younger Self

Dear Younger Stephanie,

If I would have known then what I know now, this life would have been completely different. However, I believe that everything happens for a reason. You didn’t know you were going to be abused and hurt but you got through it. You didn’t know you were going to be humiliated by having your naked images on the web, but you got through that too. You didn’t know you were going to be a single mom, but look at you, you are successful, have your own home, you travel the world and you make it look so easy, that is your strength shining through. It took you years to even realize just how strong you are going to be. 

You didn’t know that you were going to become an inspiration to so many people in this world and it was going to change your life. You have the power to change your life. You may have not known it then, but the struggles you went through showed your courage and strength. You shine like the sun and there is nothing stopping you anymore from being exactly who you want to be. 

If you would of known how hard life was going to be, you would might have been here today. You almost took your life because you were more afraid of your son being hurt for what has happened to you, but it was never your fault and I am so proud of you that you are here. You took a negative situation and made it into a powerful and positive one. You have written articles, published stories, and have become a woman that many look up too. 

You didn’t know when you were younger just how powerful you were going to become. Your life will be amazing and you will be happy. Happy within yourself and happy with others. You will learn to trust again, that I promise. 

When you get to the day that you hear a complete stranger tell you that you are the reason they are alive, you will forever be grateful for your past and how you have become a survival for others. 

Don’t look back because you’re not going that way anymore. 

Love Me