It’s been a little over a month now since my Goalcast video went viral. It’s had close to 35 MILLION views and hundreds of thousands of shares and comments.
The number one thing I didn’t anticipate is the sad reality that about one in five of the comments are from women who have lived through domestic violence, or are currently living it. My heart goes out to all of them – all of you. I've done my best to respond to as many comments as possible.
There are a few things I wanted to share about my experience of putting my story out there. Specifically, I want to talk about the danger of assumptions, the inner game work required to be willing to be so visible, and how the video impacted me emotionally.
If you haven’t see the video yet, it’s here.
I “ugly cried” in front of millions of people and it was a fabulous opportunity to get over myself.
If I can do that, I can do anything.
I had no idea of the emotional impact that using my voice and speaking up would have on me. Some of the trauma resurfaced, but I'm dealing with it.
I remember feeling super nervous the week before the video was released. I was bracing myself for negative comments about my appearance, about my tone of voice (maybe my accent), my message, my delivery. I’d primed myself not to take it personally. I did some serious inner game work and mental preparation. I kept my mind focussed on the bigger picture – which was the impact my story could have in the lives of others.
The lesson and where the impact resided was that my willingness to be vulnerable was the key to the video going viral. My story and the haunting memories of my first marriage, aren’t even about me. It’s a universal story that illustrates pain – pain that many people in toxic relationships can (sadly) relate to.
After scanning through several hundred of the comments I noticed a considerable volume of people expressing their opinions on what I “should” have done.
Assumptions are super dangerous and a powerful reminder of why it’s so important not to jump to conclusions.
It’s impossible to think that a tiny 6 minute video can accurately convey 10 years of emotional pain and distress. It was never designed to be a factual narrative with a linear timeline. It was designed as a piece to evoke emotion and inspirational resonance. Here's just a few of the types of comment and themes I was seeing:
“Why didn’t your parents help you? Shame on them.”
My parents did help me as much as they could. They lived in different states (they are divorced). I lived with my mother when I was just getting back on my feet – saving money to get my first place.
“You should post a photo of your alcoholic ex-husband as a warning for other women since he beat you every day for 10 years.”
He’s never been an alcoholic. Drunk on the night he ruined my stuff? Yes. Also, I was not beaten every day – and once is enough. There were at least 40 incidences in 10 years. And no, I won’t post a photo of my ex because that’s not fair. I have forgiven him (not forgotten) and he’s happily remarried and on his own path. I let him go with love and wish him well.
“You shouldn’t get married at 19. Problem solved.”
I was actaully 21 and four months pregnant with my son. The video didn’t mention that I was pregnant.
“10 years? Why do women stay that long? Why did she only leave after he ruined her stuff. I don't get it.”
It takes a woman (and some men) up to 8 times longer to leave a cycle of abuse. I tried to leave 8 times. I didn’t leave right away after all of the my stuff was ruined. I went back, twice. Then within 6 months I left for good and I NEVER looked back. You can only every leave when you are ready. For me it was a messy process – I write more about the actually catalyst in Dear Universe.
There have been so many different projections and assumptions of what I “should” have done.
I had a few people tell me that I need to build a bridge and get over it because I am clearly still emotionally hooked by the story.
Newsflash: It happened 10 years ago! I am okay now.
I’ve had numerous therapy sessions. I’ve spent thousands of dollars healing my heart. I’ve had countless conversations with God/The Universe about the purpose of the pain and of being in such a disempowering situation for 10 whole years. And you know what?
And at first I was afraid, I was petrified.
Thank you, Gloria Gaynor.
I went through it so I could share my story of hope. I could share the message that time heals, life moves you forward and you will be okay.
I wouldn’t change anything – even if I could – because I turned my pain into power.
I spun that bullshit into gold.
Did the video equate to a gazillion book sales? Nope. Did it mean that our website crashed because of the increased volume of traffic because people were super eager to find out who I am? Nope. Did I give people hope?
I did it through a willingness to show up, tell an old story and create a legacy for my children. Especially for my two oldest children that lived through this experience as well.
The lesson here is that life shows up in direct proportion to your bravery. If you’re willing to be vulnerable, you could save someone’s life. If you’re willing to “ugly cry” in front of millions of people, then you can do anything.
Much love xo
If you want to discover HOW I left 10 years of domestic violence behind me and rebuilt my life from scratch, then you must get a copy of my latest book called Dear Universe. It’s a powerful transformative resource and I have shared so many personal stories of my life over the last 10 years to get me to where I am today. Get it for yourself – you won’t regret it.