We all have a starting point, the place that sets the tone of who we will become. Mine started began very early in life.
I was raised in Brooklyn, NY, by strict grandparents, and was surrounded by a large extended family, on both sides. My urban neighborhood was suffering from one addiction or another, but somehow, I always found a way to remain true to who I was.
I grew up in the struggle of poverty but had no idea I was in it. I believed I had everything I needed and wanted. Afterall, I had cousins and lots family all around me.
I was always in some make-believe place making clothes for my dolls or acting out what my adult life would be. I loved to escape inside my own imagination.
I was going to be the next Gloria Vanderbilt. She was THE fashion designer of that time and I wanted to be the new and improved version of her. (If that was ever possible!)
However, while my mind always drifted and often wandered to places I innately knew existed, abuse surrounded my world. Every relationship I saw was tethered with a level of dysfunction, abuse and just a lack of true commitment or understanding.
My parents lacked the tools necessary to sustain a household of 3 children, they stayed together in spite of their lack of knowledge. I’m sure this had everything to do with the co-dependency they shared for one another.
My aunts, on both sides were all subservient and all my uncles were uncommitted.
The women in my family had all gone through abuse and the infidelity of their men and stayed. They were abused in some form or fashion and still managed to remain so dedicated and loyal to these men.
I thought it was because the men loved them so much, they didn’t think they would ever receive such love anywhere else. I was right, this was their thought.
I grew up thinking this was the norm.
This dysfunctional way of thinking landed me in the very same scenario.
I was in a relationship with someone older than me. He had grown up in a similar environment.
At the time, I believed that staying with him was my only option.
I was stuck in an abusive relationship and to make matters worse, I had a baby.
Mirroring all the behaviors my female role models exposed me to; I cooked, cleaned, did loads of laundry and was the good “housewife:” the perfect partner for my son’s father.
I did as I was taught. He worked and I stayed at home with my son, taking care of everything else.
Soon enough I learned that the longer you allow something to exist….
What a concept?
The level of abuse and dysfunction was at a level that was becoming unbearable for me.
I began to fear for the future, but most importantly, my son’s future.
I didn’t want my son to become like his father or my uncles, treating his wife with such disrespect and disregard.
But I stayed, I felt I had no other choice.
I endured more abuse.
I thought that my family could help me escape this abuse, once I shared the truth.
However, I was shocked when my grandmother’s response to my abuse was: “What did you do to him to make him behave this way?”
I began questioning myself. Afterall, I was known as a spit fire, so I could see why she would ask.
I was as submissive as I could be.
I didn’t talk back.
I did as I was told.
The women in my family didn’t see anything wrong with the abuse I was going through -they were in the mist of their own nightmare.
My son was 6 months old when I started to see what his future could look like.
He such a gentle soul, as a 6-month-old baby usually is. I’m sure every mom feels this, but this feeling was heightened for me every time I was faced with the hostility that existed in my world.
My routine was standard for my world. I’d wake up at 3/4AM via an assault from my son’s father.
Afterwards, I’d check on my son, bathe/clean myself up, make breakfast for my abuser and see him off to work.
I became numb to the reality of what was happening.
I couldn’t see a way out.
The moment my strength showed up, my world as I knew it would be forever changed.
One night I decided I wouldn’t take any more of this abuse.
I was tired of doing everything I could to make this person happy only to be abused within hours.
I was tired to being afraid, not only for my life but that of my son’s as well.
I was determined to end this cycle of my life.
I went to a sporting goods store and bought a baseball bat. I made sure it was a good one, and that it was heavy.
I was so desperate to get out, any way I could. I didn’t think about how illogical this was.
I had only known hostility. It seemed to be the answer for all things in my world.
Fear breeds Fear…
Anger breeds Anger.
No one around me ever had conversations, we yelled.
No one heard each other.
We spoke over one another and the loudest would be deemed the winner of that argument.
It was usually the male of the household -because when all else failed give ‘em a good whack to get your point across.
So, the idea of buying a baseball bat and conceivably using it was not a foreign concept. It was how I knew to literally fight back.
Standing up for myself was an empowering moment. While I didn’t have to use the bat, I knew doing so, I would have to pay the consequences of my actions.
The next day my abuser came back with a vengeance.
But that night my nightmare ended.
I had an out of body experience.
I was on the floor after having been knocked down.
My son crawling out of the room, witnessing the atrocity taking place.
I was devastated, angry and afraid.
I was watching this from the ceiling of the kitchen, where this was taking place.
At that moment, I knew I had to break the cycle of abuse I was in.
I made the decision that I would not be a victim of this cycle.
My need for something more pushed me to find my strength and come to life.
I fought back.
I fought for all the years of abuse I endured.
I fought for my son’s future, for my future.
In order to avoid being arrested I was forced to leave my home with a baby and a backpack.
The prospect of being homeless felt more like a victory at that time.
I found the physical strength to leave.
I thought I was free -after all, I was walking out of that apartment.
With no place else to go, I went to my grandmother’s house.
Everyone was afraid to take me in.
They were conditioned to not get involved.
They were conditioned to fear Men.
I didn’t want to take my baby to a shelter, so I stood my ground and remained in my grandmother’s house.
I was determined to keep my son safe.
I was broken.
I felt like I was damaged goods.
The women in my family looked at me as if I were a throw-away.
I knew I had to move forward, and so I did.
I was in college, working full time and raising my baby.
I worked enough to afford an apartment of my own - still a full-time student and single mom.
By this time, I’d gotten myself out of one bad relationship and back into another.
My need for wanting to be in a relationship made me a prime target to be taken advantage of. I was looking for my identity and self-worth in someone else.
With no tools to sustain a healthy relationship, I was repeating the same existence I’d seen growing up.
After 10 years, I was blinded by the trappings I thought made for a successful relationship.
I knew that while I had physically escaped my abusive past, my mind was still behaving as a person who wasn’t worthy.
I was constantly engaged with men who were not emotionally available;
Men who were not equipped to be in a relationship.
Men who were unavailable.
I knew that I too was not equipped to be a relationship.
I realized I needed to shed the belief that I didn’t deserve happiness.
I needed to learn to self-worth and practice what that meant.
I started my journey to self-discovery after having been in a few failed relationships.
I was tired of always searching for my worth in someone else.
I wanted new feelings, new thoughts -about me, the world and relationships.
I wanted to feel powerful, not just physically powerful but emotionally powerful.
I began to seek the knowledge toward self-discovery.
I sought out and learned the best methods for Mindset shifts;
I learned and practiced Cognitive Behavior Therapy;
I became a Yoga instructor and learned different methods of meditation and breathing exercises that calmed my mind and my body.
I also became a Certified Life coach.
It would be years of practicing and failing before I was able to create the perfect program that actually worked.
I began to see the world differently.
The world FELT different.
I began to truly believe that happiness IS mine and I didn’t need permission to own it.
I began to recognize the dysfunction my old beliefs were mired in.
The road within this journey wasn’t an easy one, there were a lot of internal rewiring that needed to happen.
This transformation in my life was such a tremendous change that I needed to share this.
I knew so many women just like me suffering within their relationships needlessly.
Working with other women who were in my same shoes gave me purpose in life.
Going through my program helped me find my husband.
Knowing my self-worth put me in the path of a person who sees ME.
We’ve been together for over 10 years.
I have been able to help hundreds of women find their self-worth and reignite the spark in their life, relationship and overall happiness.
I’ve helped women find the connection to themselves and ultimately with their partner.
I’ve been honored to guide so many women that long to feel this reawakening and find love within their relationship, as well.
Marriage is not an easy process.
This is my second one.
It requires a level of work and commitment most aren’t used to.
Like most long-term marriages, there are challenges.
Even those of us who studied the techniques to acquire a lasting relationship need assistance.
We are not exempt from the challenges that exist when sharing your life with someone else.
I learned the hard way, that it’s easiest when we learn from people who are just a few steps ahead of where we are, right now.
I am a firm believer that coaches can help us move our lives forward so much easier, especially, when they have literally “been there done that” as well.
I wanted to develop an even more in-depth knowledge of how relationships can become successful -even when the other end seems to so dark.
Even though I was successful in helping other women, I knew well enough that I could benefit from seeking outside help for the challenges my husband and I faced.
Every good coach knows when it’s time to be coached themselves.
I was honored to work with Dr. Orna Guralnik, PSYD through the process of Couples Therapy and learned so much about myself and about helping others, even more. I firmly believe that every coach who coaches others, should go through the same process that they are teaching their clients.
My husband and I were really lucky to be chosen to share our story on Showtimes Couple Therapy. A documentary that provides an intimate look at what couple’s therapy really is.
Going through the process myself, has given me so many tools I am adding into my new program REBUILD YOUR CONNECTION and REIGNITE THE SPARK IN YOUR RELATIONSHIP and am passing on to my clients.
I’ve been able to come out of this process with more knowledge, insight and depth into what it truly takes for a relationship to be successful.
I can empathize with my clients along this process.
I understand exactly what you are feeling during the different stages and know exactly what it takes to come through the other side successfully.
All of our hard work and my continued quest for knowledge, has kept us in a successful marriage over 10+ years.
I want you to know that I’m nothing special.
I’m just someone who was in your very same situation…
Lacking the connection in your relationship;
Unable to communicate effectively to your partner.
Unhappy in my relationship and not satisfied within married life.
Until, I figured out the proven steps that it takes to make a success marriage work.
I’ve made it my mission to share my knowledge with you, to help prevent you from experiencing the heart aches I experienced in my past.
If you feel inspired by my story, I welcome you to watch a free training that I put together just for you!
It highlights the 5 Surprising Keys to Predict A Long-Lasting Relationship & Avoid Falling into That Same-old, Same-old routine.
These strategies will successfully help keep you and your partner connected.
I hope that you join our group of amazing women who are working hard to Keep The Spark Alive.
If this resonates with you, I welcome you to join our powerful Facebook group called Keep The Spark Alive With Coach Elaine Dais. Click the link to join, today! You will be happy you did.
See you inside the group!
Rainbows and sunshine,
Elaine helped me see what I needed in order to re-connect with my husband. She was thoughtful and kind. What she taught me has improved my relationships with my family as well.
I didn't realize I could shift my thoughts the way I did to achieve the outcome I wanted. Elaine helped me realize I could do anything I put my mind to. I am grateful for her in my life.
Elaine is the ultimate motivator. She has an exceptional way of pushing you outside of your comfort zone with pure motivation rather than intimidation. Elaine helped me discover what my limits were, how to push past them, and most importantly, how to fall in love with fitness. For that, I will be forever grateful.