A survivor of psychological, financial, sexual, online, and power abuse I hid behind the fears that fell upon me because I married the wrong man- a man with a past that did not reveal itself until after we were legally married. Ultimately, I became the target for a man that was wronged by my now ex-husband. Between my ex-husband's lies and intimidations and the online material posted by a stranger eager to gain revenge on my husband at the time, my name, and reputation were ruined. The ability to eventually get a job after my ex landed in prison became almost impossible as in this day and age people rely on the internet for completing their "due diligence".
Eventually, the lies and fake documents my now ex provided me to deceive and manipulate me to complete his "needs" would land me being sued by the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission), a section of the United States government. I was accused of stealing investors' money. Between the SEC attorney and my now ex-husband, with no financial resources and three young kids to care for, I was intimidated and bullied to sign the SEC settlement which I stated I could not possibly pay. It is rare for people to ask about the validity of online material and all too often, like in my case, there is a story behind it.
Eventually, my three boys and I would end up in the New York City shelter system where I would learn about many more forms of discrimination and discrepancies for thousands of people must endure day after day. Determined to not let the abuses take me down, I started my studies towards a master's in social work in the hope that I can take my experiences and empower others. I am now a psychotherapist working with clients who learn that they have the tools within them to make a positive change.
As a United Nations representative for the International Federation of Social Workers, one of the largest international social work organizations that report to the United Nations, I have been inspired and empowered by others to strive to make this world a better place with justice for all that are unable to protect their human rights. Through hard work and amazing support from family, friends, professors, IFSW organization members and so many more, I am succeeding in my efforts.
Power and control may not leave visible bruises but they traumatize vulnerable people every day no matter a person's socioeconomic background, race, or geographic location. Life is not easy and we all make mistakes but our past should not determine our future. Live life honestly, with dignity and integrity. If you do this, your tribe, your circle of support, will always get you to where you need to be.