Here’s Why They’ve Chosen their Latest Show to Benefit the Canadian Women’s Foundation
“When we deny the story, it defines us. When we own the story, we can write a brave new ending.”
– Brené Brown.
Songs For A New World is a show about new beginnings, new perspectives and newfound hope when life is at its hardest. It tells the story of our failures and our discoveries. It’s about the stories and the experiences we share. I’m the co-producer and a cast member of the show. And I’d like to share my story with you.
A year ago my fiancé left without warning. A year ago I was told to leave my apartment, and that it was no longer my home. Before I could fully grasp what was happening, I was packing my things, and said goodbye to my dog and the life I had been building for six years. I moved into my parent’s basement on the eve of my 30th birthday, accompanied by my shame and grief and failure. Without warning my life and my future changed forever, and I believed it was entirely my fault.
With separation came clarity. I started to piece together what I had been through. It would take me months of therapy and support from my friends and family to realize and accept that I had been in an emotionally-abusive relationship.
I don’t have any visible scars; he didn’t hit me. Emotional manipulation is subtle. It’s so gradual you don’t notice its effects and how it changes you. Your confidence is slowly stripped away. You are whittled down to a point where you second guess everything, and question your own reality. You sense you should speak up, but you hesitate because you are afraid. Eventually you stop speaking up at all. You begin to accept that this treatment is normal, and that you don’t deserve better.
That was my experience, and there’s so much more I could say about what I went through – what so many of us have gone or are going, through. Instead, I’d rather focus on what comes next.
This has been the hardest year of my life; it has also been one of my best. I found clarity, freedom, and a feeling of joy I forgot existed. What felt like the end was a new beginning, a fresh start, and a new world of possibility. I regained my life.
Right now you might feel trapped, scared to move away from an unbearable circumstance and into the unknown. You might feel you can’t say anything because you believe your words don’t matter anymore. You might feel hopeless, isolated, and alone.
If there is one thing this experience taught me it is that you are never alone.
We Are Here to help. We Are Here to support. We care. You have more support than you may know.
I want you to know that you matter. You have value. No one should ever restrict your world and the space you hold in it. If someone in your life is making you feel undervalued, insecure, and emotionally, and/or physically unsafe, please hear this: You are stronger than you know, and braver than you give yourself credit for. You hold within you the power to expand your life beyond anything you can imagine.
There is hope.
There is a New World.
It has been exactly a year since my story shifted. And on November 27 we open Songs For A New World, a show I have had my heart set on doing for as long as I can remember. This year gave me the freedom and the confidence to see it through.
It is all thanks to Matt Lacas of We are Here Productions, Chelsea Johnson of Cue to Cue Productions, and the exceptional cast and crew, for making this production a reality. All the money raised will be donated to The Canadian Women’s Foundation: a charity that helps women and girls move out of violence, out of poverty, and into confidence and leadership. You can get your tickets here for our Toronto shows on Nov 27, 28, and 29, 2019.
My voice will not be suppressed again, and if my story can help just one person move away from abuse and into a new life, then I will shout it from the damn rooftop.
- For more information on emotional manipulation:
- For local support (from the author):
- Thrive Counselling serves the Milton, Halton Hills, Burlington, and Oakville, Ontario areas and some of their locations offer free walk-in therapy sessions