In The Rising Podcast

Episode 133: Robyn Lucas Talks about Domestic Violence and Starting notOK App

March 08, 2022 Bettina M. Brown with Robyn Lucas Episode 133
In The Rising Podcast
Episode 133: Robyn Lucas Talks about Domestic Violence and Starting notOK App
Show Notes Transcript

Domestic Violence: 

It's a devastating, but common issue.

In the U.S. - over 10 million adults experience domestic violence annually. 1 in 4 women and 1 and 10 men will experience it in their lifetime. On a typical day, domestic violence hotlines nationwide receive almost 20,000 calls. And Covid-19 has only exacerbated the problem.

In the new book - Paper Doll Lina - author ROBYN LUCAS - delivers an honest and deeply moving portrait of life as the victim of domestic abuse - something she experienced first-hand during her 19-year marriage. The book debuted on September 1, 2021, but the topic is timeless.


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Speaker 1:

Greetings and welcome to in the rising podcast. My name is Betina brown and I'm the host of this show. And I really enjoy talking about living a life in alignment with your hopes, your dreams, and your goals, walking away from shame and blame. That does nothing for you. But the reality is many, many people are in shame and blame and gaslighting and abusive situations where goals and alignment sounds really nice, but it seems farfetched. It seems like it's a unreachable. And today I had the privilege of speaking with Robin Lucas. Who's the author of a book, paper Dolina , but also shares that she has gone through her own story of domestic violence. And I feel this podcast episode is important. Not just if you have been in these shoes , but perhaps if you seen or know , or can recognize some of these instances or nuances in people around you. Thank you so much, Robin Lucas for being , um, within the rising podcast in me today, I'm really excited to talk about a topic that's incredibly important and that is of domestic violence.

Speaker 2:

Yes, yes , yes . It's definitely a topic that needs to be talked about more.

Speaker 1:

It does. And, and first and foremost, where do you feel in our country? In our, in our culture? Why don't we talk about domestic violence?

Speaker 2:

Hmm . Do you want the can answer or do you want my honest opinion? <laugh>

Speaker 1:

I was the on, we're not doing the can

Speaker 2:

<laugh> yeah, yeah. Honestly, I think that we don't speak about it and we don't have enough love , you know, legislation against it and, and that sort of thing, because it's so pervasive. I mean, when you really look at the statistics, we're talking about one in four women and seven men , four and seven trans people, 40% of police officers, spouses have complained about domestic violence, 60% of church people, people who go to church have , uh , experienced domestic violence . And we're talking about people in leadership here mm-hmm <affirmative> um, so I don't think that we shine enough light on it because we don't feel comfortable talking about it because a lot of the perpetrators , um, are people in power and , and just it's so pervasive, you know, I mean, one in one in full four women , one in four women , um, and those are just people who have been, you know, who've either reported it or who have been hospitalized or who've admitted to it. You know, I , I dare say the number is much higher than that.

Speaker 1:

Yeah. Yeah. I've read we're

Speaker 2:

Numbers . We're not , we're not comfortable talking about it cuz you know, it's uncomfortable. It is embarrassing. You know, for me it was embarrassing to finally admit that, Hmm I'm stupid enough to have been in an abusive marriage, you know, like <laugh> who does that? You know? Um, but you're not stupid enough. You work room , you were, you know, manipulated into staying, you know, when , and once you start kind of changing that narrative, then I think it becomes more acceptable.

Speaker 1:

Yeah. And I think you hit the nail on the hammer hammer on the nail or whatever you both ways <laugh> You dug the whole , um, when you said your comment, how was I stupid enough? Because I've had many women on this podcast where that is something they literally say like, how did I not see it coming? But it's not about stupidity. It is about groomy. Um, yeah . Describe how that grooming kind of happens, what that looks like, please.

Speaker 2:

Oh boy. Well, I can personally say that for , in my, my case. Uh , my mom is a narcissist. Um, you know, I grew up in a semi abusive kind of household to where I thought that that kind of behavior was normal. It , it was normalized. So when I ended up in my marriage, I thought that it was normal for a man to throw a temper tantrum. You know, I thought it was normal for the control and the, the way that I was spoken to, I thought that was acceptable because I've, I've experienced in the past. Um, grooming is the small , um, instances where you start accepting it, like the small things like, oh honey, maybe you should not go see your mom this weekend, cuz I wanna spend time with you <laugh> you know, and then that of course escalates into, you know, you not talking to your mom for five years. Um, and I mean, it , it happens. It's a thing. It , it, unfortunately, I mean, look at the whole thing with , uh , R Kelly right now, you know, he, he groomed girls when they were younger , um, and took advantage of them, you know, mm-hmm

Speaker 1:

<affirmative> and, and on that topic of grooming is that so many of us don't realize that we've been groomed prior to a relationship. And so that is something that can definitely make it difficult, like , um, with legislation at that point. But it is then an awareness thing in schools is what some of my , um, guests have said, like, just start talking about it in schools or churches or anything that this is what grooming looks like to maybe bring that awareness in because it is then about that acceptance. How, how do you feel through your new book paper Dolina that you have been able to describe that scenario? What, what did you pull from to describe , um, Lena ?

Speaker 2:

Oh boy, well, Lena is, oh , okay. So paper Dolina is ultimately about a story of survival and hope. Um, it's about a woman, Lena , the tile character, and she has a self realization that she's been in a toxic and an abusive marriage for, for many, many years. Um, and throughout her journey, she starts to find pieces of herself and put herself back together. Um, you know, there's romance, there's, you know, her reconnecting with her best friend, but me personally , um, I may or may not share some characteristics with Lena <laugh> . I think that Lena is a lot stronger than I ever was. Um, I think that she kind of made some better choices than I ever did. Um, I love her as a character. I think that she's she's, she, she does what she has to do. Um, did that answer your question or am I does toeing around it? Okay .

Speaker 1:

No, it , it , it does because you know, when we write something of fiction, there's something that we pull from, right. Even, you know, oh yeah . The rings right there . We pull from something just with that. Um, and so that's just, you know, when it's so a , a topic like domestic violence and we're writing this story where, you know, what was the inspiration or do you feel like I'm now able to tell a story , um, but still able to bring awareness. That's not necessarily your story, right? Like an autobiography. Yeah.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. It's definitely not an autobiography. I never met a that's super hot celebrity. Um , <laugh>

Speaker 1:

<laugh>

Speaker 2:

No, I'm just, I'm I'm justing um, I tackle really heavy topics with joking. Um, just because that's kind of my coping me mechanism. No , uh, let's see. I, I wrote Lena , I wrote PI Dolina in about nine weeks and to be on, I did not realize what I was writing. I , I didn't realize the story I was writing. I thought it was just gonna be a romance novel. Um, and the woman, you know, just was gonna have some issues that she had to overcome. However, as I was revising it, I started to see some parallels within my own life. So I was in turn putting a part of myself into the story without even been thinking of it. It kind of happened naturally , um, putting parts of myself and not just myself stories of women that I know personally stories of, you know, other women that I've heard from, you know, I ended up, you know, inserting some of their stories. Um, so it is a personal book in the sense, I know that these types of abuse situations happen because I personally know different people who this , uh , similar things have happened to , um , including myself. So I think there is a piece of me in the book. Um, can't say how much, but yeah, I definitely think that I, I pulled from some of my personal experiences.

Speaker 1:

Yeah. And , and , and I, I think your book definitely resonates with people having, you know, having everyone has a story, right. Somehow closer to alignment with your, and , and , and definitely Rena in , in the fictional character. But they're like, that is something that is so familiar. And that's how I felt reading your book, like, wow, this is just a familiar scenario, right . It from the beginning. Um, and so I really do like that you have some something out there for women to read, so that at some point in time , and I say, women, cuz it's a lot women, but it's everyone, right. Everyone can do be in this situation because it's , it's through sometimes these small little nuggets that you start to pull pieces together. It's not always a broad awakening. Like, wow, this was abuse.

Speaker 2:

Hmm . Yeah. Yeah. I mean, that's the thing, right? So in media we oftentimes see abuse as the black eyes and the bruises and the broken bones and that sort of thing. Right. We don't think about abuse in the sense of coercive control of the mind games of, you know, the gas lighting and the manipulation that can occur. Um, and I like to think about it as, you know, death by a thousand tiny cuts because that's exactly what it is. It's, it's losing bits and pieces and bits and pieces of yourself until you wake up one day and there's nothing there. You don't, you don't recognize the person in the mirror. Um, it's a mind game. It is. It is. It's almost like mental brain in washing . You know, when, when, when, when you read about people being in cult, like why were you in a cult? You know, why did you say in a cult, why did you have that cult mindset? But I think that abusers oftentimes use the same or similar tactics abuse. Doesn't always happen in a relationship in , in an abusive relationship. So like, you're not, I'm gonna go , I didn't go 19 years in all 19 years, all 365 days, all 24 hours within those 365 days were bad. Um, because it doesn't happen like that. You know, it goes through that abuse cycle, you have the love bombing, you have the affection and then you have this low manipulation until it turns into, you know, the , the abuse. And then you have the I'm sorry cycle. And then it goes back again into the love bombing because they're so sorry. Oh, they're love me . Oh , maybe we're changing. Maybe we're working on our marriage, you know? And Lena goes through several cycles of this in the book. Um, which I think is important because it shows you, you know, Hey, you're not the only one who this happens to , you know, people stay because they hope that, you know, this time is different. This time there's a turnaround this time, you know, maybe it's not gonna be that bad, but this time always happens. You know, it never gets better. It never truly gets better until the relationship ends mm-hmm

Speaker 1:

<affirmative> and that cycle is what feels like the crazy making. Right?

Speaker 2:

Oh gosh. Yes . Mm-hmm

Speaker 1:

<affirmative> and that's what we, a hundred percent I, I have my hands up and I'm like, yes, yes, <laugh> , that's exactly it. Um, is this constant cycle and then the I'm sorry. And then that intense emotional of this hope. And, but with having hope there , having hope is , um, sometimes seen as a bad thing, but it's the fault hope when you're in that cycle, that's bad. It's not having real hope. Right? Yeah. Um, there's that

Speaker 2:

Difference? I like the way you, you phrased that, the false hope, because it , it is ultimately you wanna your marriage to work, you know, like, I mean, come on, who really wants to be divorced. You want your marriage to work. You want your relationship to work out . Um, especially if there's kids involved. So, you know, you have to hold onto that, oh, maybe this time is different. He didn't really mean that, oh, he is just having a bad day. Uh , and then we start rationalizing it, right? Oh, he was having a bad day or he didn't get enough sleep or he is having stress at work, you know? And Lena rationalizes husband's behavior the same exact way.

Speaker 1:

Yes. Yes. And so there is that accountability that, you know, we all have rough days, but we are still nonetheless accountable for our actions, especially as adults. Mm-hmm <affirmative> with this. When you talk about domestic violence, that it, it , that we often feel pity or sad or caregiving to the person doing the abuse because they need this help from us. Or they need our love mm-hmm <affirmative>, but they are adults that are fully capable and responsible for their own actions and behavior. And , um, I like how you bring that out because it is all about control and there's even financial control. Right. We don't always talk about that. Um, would you like to expand on that as well?

Speaker 2:

Yeah. Yeah, definitely. So financial control , um, is it can be something as small as, you know, not small. I'm not saying that one is greater than the other, but it could come in many forms, right? It can be your spouse, not allowing you to work. It could be your spouse sabotaging your job. So you're no longer able to work. It could be your spouse calling you a thousand times when you're at your job. So it puts your job at jeopardy. It could be, you know, him limiting or them limiting your amount of hours , um, because men and one and both , you know , can be abused. Mm-hmm <affirmative> , um, it's, it's, it's a gamut of things and it can even escalate to where they're monitoring every single dollar, every single penny that's that's spent , um, and, you know, questioning you about that and, and not really allowing you to have access to the money because it's their money. Especially like if you're an at home mom or something like that. Um, you know, I was technically an at home mom for 19 years. Um, so then they're done that, have a shirt, you know , um, and it's really important for us to, to understand, you know, kind of the phases. I mean, because it's not acceptable to be in a relationship and not know the budget, not know, you know, the coming and going of the money, even if you're not the one per se you know, making the money , um , or earning the paycheck, you're still a , a part partner in this partnership. And , and that's ultimately what a relationship should be. It should be a partnership mm-hmm <affirmative>

Speaker 1:

Yes. And so I, I really love all of these points that you're bringing up. What would be, say one thing that you, for someone who's read the book or just was like wanting to have a conversation with you to say, well, I'm, I'm start to that . Maybe this is not that this is a real false hope. What would you say to that person , um, for inspiration or motivation or , um, I guess, any guidance, what would you offer?

Speaker 2:

Uh, well , I would offer them, you know, first of all, make sure that you have good relationship. You , you have good friendships and, and good family friend relationships that you can really lean on. Um, because all too often abuse happens in silence. So you're isolated typically from your friends and your family, you're isolated from your loved ones. Um, I would, I would first suggest that you reestablish those relate because you're , you're most likely isolated once those are established , um, talk to your partner, bring up the, the , the points that you're having, you know, the , the concerns that you're having and if they will , and not willing to work on it, if they're not willing to make the proper changes, you know, you can do it through therapy counseling. Um, but if they're really not willing to stop that cycle, then you may need to kind of seek some additional help and, and even consider ending the relationship. Mm-hmm <affirmative> .

Speaker 1:

Now you've been, this was the last question, cuz we're on a short time schedule and you have much to offer, but

Speaker 2:

Sure, sure.

Speaker 1:

One thing I do like to ask people sometimes is, okay, you've risen to this point, where do you you've done so much. You've um, you know, you've gotten out of your relationship, you've written this book you're, you're starting to feel and be more in your true path. Robin, what do you see yourself still rising to? What is on the horizon for, for you ?

Speaker 2:

I love writing. I'm always gonna write. I , um , I'm actually working on book two right now, which is Nancy's story. Um, that's Lean's best friend , so you're gonna get to see Nancy again. Um , but I just wanna use my voice, I think throughout this process , um, you know, from, you know, me getting out of my, my marriage to me, writing the book and, and having it ultimately published to kind of using my voice for good right now. Um, I wanna just continue use my voice. I , I wanna continue to , um, and empower women and help them . And I would love to one day , um, have a nonprofit . My, the reason why I didn't go to a shelter unfortunately, was because in my area they didn't allow dogs And had they allowed dogs. I would've gone, but they did not allow dogs. And there was no way I was gonna leave my, my dog , um, with my spouse because I , I loved my dog . Um , and I'm not the only one that has had to make that decision, you know, stay in a toxic environment or take your dog, you know, and I know I , it may sound stupid, but you know, we love our dogs, they're family . I would love to they're family . You know, I would love to open a shelter , um, that wouldn't , you know , you can bring your dog or like a tiny home village or something like that. Yeah . Um, just for temporary housing for people who, who really need to make the changes in their lives to, to leave those relationships.

Speaker 1:

Well , I think that's, that's a great vision. I'm I really look forward to continue

Speaker 2:

To , to follow you

Speaker 1:

And congratulations on your , on your book, congratulations on everything you've done and you know, the best to you Robin . So I felt this podcast episode was important as Robin shared, you know, domestic violence is sadly prevalent. It is not just something that affects women in the relationship , um , or men in the relationship or children or grandparents, domestic violence is anything that is behind closed doors. And with today's world, there are so many different variations of what is a family and what is behind closed doors. It does not matter on gender relationships. It matters only that the , we can tell something is up. So I encourage you to listen to this podcast. Again, Sharet with someone that you think this podcast may be a benefit for, and absolutely read her book, because even though this is a fictional story, there's so much that can be related or relatable to you. Again, if you find this podcast, how helpful go ahead and share it with others and leave a five star review. It does so much to put this show in similar topics in the hands and ears of those that it can make a difference for. Let's keep building one another up.