Jen welcomes her guest, international philanthropist, speaker, author & coach, Michelle Jewsbury. Michelle recounts and shares her story of domestic abuse and how it has led her to inspiring and encouraging victims to break free and survivors to speak up about domestic violence.
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Breaking the Chains with Michelle Jewsbury
Hey everyone and welcome back to Success to Significance. I’m your host Jen Du Plessis. Today with me, I have a dear friend of mine, Michelle Jewsbury. How are you? How are you doing?
Yeah, I’m doing good, Jen. How about yourself?
Good, good, good, good. So, um, you know, I’m really excited about this, this podcast, and, and you know, we’ve wanted to, to do this for a while and for those that are listening, Hold on because this is a firecracker in all kinds of ways.
Michelle is such a firecracker in all kinds of ways. Um, but let me just introduce you to her real quickly. Michelle Jewsbu ry is an international philanthropist, speaker, author, and coach. In 2016, Michelle focused her efforts on ending domestic violence, and we’re gonna talk about her story here.
Her desire to help victims of, uh, domestic abuse came from her personal experience in a relationship in July 2017,, and so as a result, she has founded Unsilenced Voices, which is a 5 0 1 3 C non-profit that she travels all over the world. We’re gonna find out all about this to encourage victims to break away from, we’ll call it the chains, right?
The chains that keep you there, because my father was an alcoholic. I understand. Understand what goes on there. Right. Um, and she also um, prepared and her personal memoir called, ‘But I Love Him’ and I love the name of that. I have to always slow down when I say that. She offers digital courses and private coaching programs to help people overcome challenges to create an even more personal and professional success. So welcome to the show, Michelle. I’m so happy to finally have you here, and I can’t wait to actually hear your deep, deep, deep story.
Oh boy. Yeah, it’s,
I mean, I’ve read it. I’ve read your book as soon as you gave it to me. I read it. But there’s something about you telling your story and not on a stage.
So I’m so excited about this welcome.
Yeah. Yeah. Not on a stage. It’s interesting when you say that because it is different, right?
It’s, it is, You try to keep yourself a little above it so you’re not emotional and you know, and sometimes you get there, but, you know, it’s all, it’s all good. So, So let’s talk from the very be I actually wanna talk before that because I know you were in a relationship.
Um, with someone who is abusive. But before we say, you know, tell us about that relationship. I wanna talk about you before that, the, Michelle, before all of that, and you know, because we now know as a result of this domestic violence you have created Unsilenced Voices , but I don’t know you way before.
So tell us a little bit about your upbringing and, and all of that. good stuff.
Great. Okay, so I hope you have 25 minutes. No, I’m joking. . So, uh, I was born, uh, in North Idaho to two loving parents. My mom and my dad were the love story of the town. Uh, when my dad died, my mom shortly passed after that and people came up to me and said, You know, your parents were the true love story, right?
And, um, so I, I’ve always grown up with that knowing that I, I wanted that type of fairytale romance per se. Well, um, Growing up, my daddy was military, so moved around my whole life and, um, we relied on family. You know, we, as my brother and I, and my mom and my dad a tight knit little family and moving around.
I would make friends and remake friends and have to. Make new ones and remake new ones and leave them. I moved a lot during my, my childhood years. Um, but I, I always wanted to excel. So I was varsity cheerleader, National Honor Society, did really well in school, hated school, but did really well in school.
And, um, I, I knew that I wanted something more, right? So when I was. 16 years old, I fell in love with theater and I fell in love with acting, just the craft of acting. And in, in school, I, I played different roles in different theater presentations and, um, different theatrical pieces. And I, uh, I even, I, I never shared this.
I even went, uh, with my high school to, what was it? It was, it was a solo, uh, like a monologue competition where I did really well and I was like, I wanna be, Actress. So I went to, I went to college for one year in Idaho and I was like, Screw this. I’m moving to Hollywood. And that’s what I did. I packed up my car and, and moved to Hollywood at 18 years old and, you know, stars in my eyes, and the glitz and the glam and, and I loved it, you know, things were going really, really well.
Um, starring an independent place and doing everything that I, I felt that I needed to do. I thought I was on, on my way to stardom. Uh, before, uh, I jump into what happened after meeting somebody, you know, I had other relationships that were really great. I, I ended up, um, experimenting a lot when I first moved to Hollywood and experimenting in drugs and alcohol, and I ended up moving away and then coming back and.
And then that’s when I met somebody. So I actually, I actually found God, uh, lying on my back high on cocaine in 2010 and decided that I needed to go back to Hollywood to, um, just pursue my dream again and get myself clean and, um, Sober. And that’s, that’s what I did. So I found God, I became clean and sober.
Um, I mean, I still like to drink wine. I mean, Jen and I have partied multiple times together. , but, but nothing crazy like that anymore. Yeah. Yeah. And, uh, so I moved back to Hollywood and, um, you know, I, I started going to a really great church called Mosaic. And then I ended up meeting this guy, this blonde haired, blue eyed boy.
I had met him years prior at an Amway function. And, uh, he pursued me. He started to court me and, uh, tell me how beautiful I was, talented I was, send me flowers and gifts and, and all of these things. All these nice pretty things that, uh, attract people to narcissists. Mm-hmm. . And, uh, I fell for him. I fell for him head over heels.
And then the isolation began. He, you know, wanted me to move away from LA and I ended up moving, uh, closer to, you know, the, the coast with him. And, and, uh, I left my congregation and about four months into our relationship, uh, my head went through the wall.
So say that again cuz I know you’re talking fast. What happened after four months?
My head went through the drywall. Hmm. So, uh, a lot of people ask me why you stay after that and it’s the emotional manipulation beforehand. Yeah. And Jen, you have a lot of story as well with, uh, with your dad and things that happened in your childhood and, you know, my parents were amazing as far as their love story, and they were the best parents that they could possibly be.
But of course that there was, you know, a. Small thing of neglect that happened in my life where I internalized all that, made it really huge. So then when somebody showed me the love and the care that I so badly desired, I jumped right on it. Right? So the emotional manipulation that began to happen, I didn’t see it.
I didn’t recognize it. You know, when, when I was pushed so hard against the drywall that my head literally went through the wall. I literally stepped forward and looked behind me and just thought that I needed to patch the hole. I didn’t, I didn’t think I needed to run.
You know? And of course Paul was like, I’m so sorry I won’t do that again. The apology stage
And that’s what keeps most women trapped. Yeah. And uh, you know, I ended up staying with him for four years. I endured a lot of physical violence. Um, lots of emotional abuse, sexual abuse, and financial abuse. That’s something a lot of people don’t talk about, which we can cover Jen. Uh, but the financial abuse, it was, um, it’s very disheartening because you.
You are fully reliant on that person and that person is telling you and dictating to you what you can and cannot do with money. Yeah, you can or cannot work. In my case, he didn’t want me working, so I would live on credit cards that I added his name to, which were in my name. Right. And you know, he made a lot of money.
However, he never really, shared it, right. Yeah. I remember multiple times just digging through pockets. His, his, um, his pant pockets, when I would clean up in the morning when he went to work and hope that there was cash. And oftentimes there was, you know, he put out a lot of cash. And that’s how I, that’s how I lived,
Wow. Yeah. And I, you know, I’m thinking, I’m thinking at this, you know, and I know that, uh, you, you never married him, you know, And I find that really interesting too, that, you know, the, the, um, the dreamy kind of, you know, thinking that, you know, being in the cloud of, you know, puppy dogs and butterflies and all this stuff, is that, why didn’t he ask you to marry him? You know, in all of that too. And, and I think that, that you were, you know, that was a blind piece too for you, is why isn’t that happening? You know, if he truly loves me and he truly isn’t gonna do this again, he truly wants to take care of me. Why is that not happening? You know?
Yeah. And he would tell me all the time, you know, I definitely wanna marry you, you know, I love you. You’re amazing.
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Learn more about Michelle Jewsbury
Michelle Jewsbury is an international philanthropist, speaker, author, and coach. In August 2016, Michelle focused her efforts on ending domestic violence. Her desire to help victims of domestic abuse came from personal experience in such a relationship. In July 2017, Michelle founded Unsilenced Voices, a 501(c)3 nonprofit focused on inspiring change in communities around the globe by encouraging victims to break free and survivors to speak up about domestic violence and sexual assault. She has since completed and published her personal memoir, ‘But I Love Him’.
Michelle offers digital courses and private coaching programs to help people overcome challenges to create even more personal and professional success.
Get in touch with Michelle:
Keep in touch with Michelle: text UV to 26786
Book: But I Love Him
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