When we are drowning in a sea of abuse, we need someone to toss us a Life Raft. Those life rafts may only be a metaphor. My life rafts are the inspiring stories of people who have survived abuse and gone on to thrive and find joy.
Five survivors’ stories are so compelling that they have become my primary role models ~ I call them my Kitchen Cabinet.
I’ve included Maya Angelou on the Life Raft page because she has been Oprah Winfrey’s primary mentor. And, I’ve included Elizabeth Gilbert and Sandra Boss because they are my visitors’ favorite Life Rafts. You can click on the links to read my posts about their stories:
Tina Turner is the Chairwoman of my “Kitchen Cabinet” of virtual advisors and mentors. She is a life raft without equal.
We share a birthday. She is nine years my senior. We both grew up in the St. Louis area. We also share a history of domestic abuse at the hands of very powerful Scorpio men able to negatively impact the trajectory of our careers.
You may have seen Tyler Perry’s movies. You probably don’t know that his comedy comes from his efforts to lift himself up from where you are right now. Madea was his alter-ego who helped him survive, thrive, find joy, and become outrageously wealthy. See also:
- PUSH/Precious: Nominated for Six Oscars!
- Review: Tyler Perry’s MADEA’S BIG HAPPY FAMILY in Seattle
- Happy 40th Birthday, Tyler Perry: I Can Do Bad All by Myself
- Bravo: Tyler Perry Up for 19 NAACP Awards Tonight on Fox
- Tyler Perry: “It’s going to be all right.”
Eve Ensler tells the story of how her father physically, sexually, and emotionally abused her and how these experiences shaped her world view in Insecure at Last: Losing It in Our Security Obsessed World. The central premise of her book is that striving for security does not, in fact, protect us. We must rescue ourselves. Peace will come from securing basic human rights and from making our end goals compassion and honoring all people.
- Eve Ensler: Until the Violence Stops
- Eve Ensler’s New Play: O.P.C.[Obsessive Political Correctness]
- Happy Birthday, Eve Ensler!
- Eve Ensler: Washington Post Op-Ed [UN & the Congo]
- Bravo, Eve Ensler! Hillary Clinton Visits the DRC
- Eve Ensler Takes the “Terminator” to School over Cuts to California’s DV Shelters
- California: V-Day Call to Action & New Legal Right for DV Survivors
- V-Day, 2010: Building The City of Joy
- V-Girls: I AM AN EMOTIONAL CREATURE by Eve Ensler
Slowly, I discovered I could find mentors, role models, and friends in books. I am indebted to the generosity of authors who shared their stories and became my life rafts. The book that has been my most valuable life raft is Gloria Steinem’s Revolution from Within: A Book of Self-Esteem. She has helped me understand and appreciate how the intellectual constructs of researchers like Alice Miller manifest in the reality of our lives. As this web site grows and evolves, I will do a more in-depth explanation of what I have learned from both women. See also:
- Painting by Alice Miller
Alice Miller was born in 1923. She received her PhD from the University of Basle and worked as a psychotherapist in Zurich, Switzerland for 20 years. Since 1980, she has been the intellectual warrior leader for abused children around the world.
Her initial motivation was to understand Adolph Hitler. She believes there is a direct link between child abuse/domestic violence and world peace. To this end, enlightened/helping witnesses are the key.
Phenomenal woman, that’s me.
Elizabeth Gilbert is the quintessenial role model for leveraging a person’s talents to learn how to survive, thrive, and find joy. When life handed her the lemons of a bitter divorce, she squeezed those lemons into the stratosphere of best-selling books.
Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India, and Indonesia was on the best seller lists for over a year. She’s been on Oprah, and Julia Roberts will star in the movie.
In true Pretty Woman tradition, she rescued herself before she met the charming Brazilian “prince” Felipe.
- Elizabeth Gilbert: Eat, Pray, Love
- Movie Review: Eat, Pray, Love
- Committed: Elizabeth Gilbert’s Sequel to Eat, Pray, Love
- Journey to Joy (Day 2): Smile with Your Liver
- Journey to Joy (Day 3): What Do You Really, Really, Really Want?
- Elizabeth Gilbert’s Secrets to a Happy and Successful Life
- Michael Lisagor: ROMANCING THE BUDDHA