7: Healing from Abuse (with Melanie Banayat)
Overcoming the trauma of past abusive relationships is super difficult; Melanie Banayat shares her story of healing from abuse, including physical, emotional, and sexual abuse, and learning to trust, form deeper relationships, and to live a fulfilled and happy life.
Nuggets of Wisdom in this episode:
- “Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.”
- “Back when I was a kid I experienced quite a bit of abuse – physical, emotional, verbal, sexual. And when you’re a kid you go through it. You figure out a way to survive it. But then I was stuck in that pattern and ended up getting into a lot of other relationships. I was a magnet for this behavior. I finally realized at 40 years old I had lived a long life of toxic relationships.”
- “I was definitely frozen and not functioning well.”
- “It sounds like this really horrible, ridiculous, tragic story, and it was in many ways, but it wasn’t the end of me.”
- “I had to learn how to trust people again.’
- “My safety plan was to learn how to stand confident and not be that flashing red light for narcissists that says, ‘Here I am. Come take advantage of me.’ I learned how to stand tall, how to look confident, and even though I was faking it for a long time, it was very helpful for me, and eventually, I wasn’t faking it anymore.”
Some of Melanie's Favorite Things:
- Personal habit: Saying no when I need to say no and saying yes when I need to say yes.
- Easy meal: Leftovers.
- Possession: Ergotron Fit (a contraption that her computer sits on and allows her to stand or sit when she works).
- Book: Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
- Best advice received: To go on a trip to begin her healing from past abuse.
- Happiest memory: “When I stood up in court and I chose to use my voice for the first time and I won. That was one of the happiest moments in my life, that I stood up for myself and was no longer taking the abuse.”
Melanie's Happiness Formula:
- Always take time to assess and evaluate your personal truths. If you’re off course you need to assess and evaluate and get yourself back on course.
- Make sure you’re really addressing your emotions, whether they need to be released somehow, and really learning how to regulate your emotions.
- Always have some sort of safety plan in your daily life, which includes having healthy boundaries and having really healthy relationships, and not isolating yourself.
A Challenge from Melanie:
“Stretch your brave and speak the thing that’s limiting inside of you right now. Whatever that is, let it come out with someone you trust, who is safe.”
- Free Meditation Guide from Jen
- Stretch Your Brave Hack Your Story
- Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
- Ergotron Fit
- Melanie's Website
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Jen Riday is a mom of 6 and life coach who loves to help women experience massive happiness as they let go of stress, sadness or other chronic emotions of negativity.
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