Wednesday, April 5, 2017


As a writer one of the parts of this crazy life I LOVE is the fact I get to meet extraordinary women. We each have our own story. On our journey through life there is usually a part of our story that changes us not only as individuals, but often changing the direction of our lives. In meeting Amanda Houle, I came away realizing the incredible privilege I have when such strong women are willing to take a stand and share their story in order to help others.

Amanda inspired me to want to tell mine one day! For now, please read her story of survival.
Amanda Houle~~~MEd, Ed, Psychoeducational Specialist, Parent Consultant, Child Behaviorist.

A few details about me. I am thirty-five years old. I was born in Methuen, grew up in Salem, NH, with loving and supportive parents. Growing up one of my teachers said, one day, I would be a journalist because I had such a bubbly and inquisitive personality which isn’t too far from what I do. I’m an educator but that’s not all.

My boyfriend of 4 years put me in the hospital not once but twice. For close to 15 years, I have dedicated my life to helping others. I am an empath. I truly believed I could save him and help him to be a better man, so he could treat me the way I deserved, or so I thought. I knew what he experienced in life but what I didn’t know was the cycle of abuse or have knowledge of his narcissistic behavior. We had fun and created wonderful memories. We had good sex, stimulating conversation, and a puppy. We were a family.

Domestic violence has no stereotype.
We met in my last semester of grad school. He was supportive of my dreams. I was beginning to make really good money over 100k 2 years after grad school. But things changed. It started very early on with verbal abuse, and I just thought this is how a relationship is. Fighting is normal. It’s a vicious cycle and when in the honeymoon phase, it's perfect.  I was happy or was I living in a dream?
There was no trust. He was a pathological liar, and I couldn’t see. I tried to make him leave many times.  I was comfy. I loved my job, my apt, my city. I didn’t want to pack up my whole life that I worked so fucking hard for. Why do I have to give it all up? It was hard so I stayed always thinking it will get better. He will change. We will work on it. I even started therapy to help, tried to get him to but nothing worked.
The inevitable happened. I ended up in the hospital. I had to uproot my whole life. I struggled and still do. I have moved back to Brooklyn 3 different times since I left him. The 2nd time a year later. I thought we could be friends. Boy was I wrong. He put me in the hospital for the second time and my injuries were even worse leading to surgery this time. I was even more alone. Due to lost time at work, I fell behind financially and once again had to make the decision to leave. I didn’t want to move. I had my heart set on staying. I was happy but, yet miserable. I fell into deep depression. I suffered with PTSD. I wanted to die. My dog saved my life.

What happened in the past is something I live with every day. Each time I look in the mirror I see the scars on my face and I am reminded or when I do yoga having difficulty placing my finger flat. It gets easier but some days are HARD because I miss my old life, my city, my park, my friends, my amazing spin classes, I miss my old life minus the bad times. When those dark days hover, I seek help through daily exercise. I also keep a journal, read, enjoy yoga, working out and have received support through EMDR (Eye, Movement, Densensitization, and Reprocessing) from a doctor who specialized in trauma victims from the Boston marathon and counseling.

Starting over is never easy.

BUT, I am stronger and wiser. I have learned more about myself and my resilience that I ever imagined.  Anyone living through this cycle,  I am here to tell you this…


You deserve more. You deserve a true, trusting, endearing relationship. One that sets your soul on fire. Never settle. You are enough.

My goals for the future are to be able to reach families all over the world to empower and educate them to live a happier life. I also want to help women  realize that they are an amazing species. That we deserve the very best and not to let anyone in your life take advantage or bring you down. 
If anyone is dealing with any of the subjects discussed, please, reach out and ask for help. Some useful links are below.