Love What Matters

A few weeks ago I received a request to share my story by a wonderful media outlet called Love What Matters. Their platform reaches 8 Million people. I was in shock and at the same time honored. I was asked specifically to share my adoption story.

As I was preparing I felt this tension to keep it light and also to be brutally honest. In reality my story isn’t light. It isn’t just a beautiful fairy tale story. It is heavy and tough, full of failure and fear. I couldn’t, in good faith, keep the harsh reality of my story while only sharing the beautiful healing moment. I think that would defeat the purpose of the gift given.

The reason I share such a personal journey is because I truly believe healing cannot begin unless we can recognize the ugly brokenness and failure surrounding our lives. My desire is to reach anyone who has been in that place of wrestle and heartache! I want the hopelessness you feel to be replaced with hope. I believe sharing my story might help one person step into another day.

To you, the person praying to make it another day this is all for you. Those triggers you feel, press into them. You are not alone. You are loved. I think about you and that is why I share. I feel your moments of brokenness and want you to know you can make it through this! Put one step in front of the other and fix your eyes on a bright future ahead. It won’t be easy to get there but it will be worth it to fight to get there!

You can heal. We can heal. We must heal. We will heal. I believe healing is possible, not just for me but for you as well. Somewhere out there I know there is another beautiful soul crying out for healing in their mind, body, and spirit. I will continue to share my story for you.

Read the adoption part of my story here.

My Memoir Begins

Thank you for the support over the years! Please follow my journey as I continue to write and share!

Sharing my story is not easy. I have been writing it into a memoir for quite some time and the trauma of reliving and trying not to make it a sad story is difficult. I want the reader to feel two things, you are not alone, there is always something to be greatful for. I have rewritten and reworked it several times. I finally feel like I have landed on a good mix of how to share! I truly hope to share it with you all soon! In the mean time, here is a recap of my work over the years! Also included is a picture of my family being lighthearted! I love yall!

Youtube:
https://youtu.be/vB9izoW1YIA

This is a link to a song I wrote called Farewell Oh Fear:
https://youtu.be/UFiz26V11jQ

Here is my story that I shared at Hardin Simmons University where I went to college:
https://youtu.be/grOJECwnNwg

Marriage Testimony for a private group and a song I wrote:
https://youtu.be/dqkH6WPK2iM

My story through Buckner International:
https://www.buckner.org/blog/always-forever/
https://www.buckner.org/article/reflections-of-gratitude

Books that have helped me:
The Body Keeps Score by Dr. Bessel Van Der Kolk
The Deepest Well by Nadine Burke Harris, M.D.
Rising Strong & The Gifts of Imperfection: by Brené Brown

I have an album of music I wrote from my own life experience:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qt3ZEPDZgK4&list=OLAK5uy_mk_D2hlS_oh7TNWEG9hHdF8dnm1sRmtSo

Here are interviews I have done for podcasts:
https://youtu.be/fOAJErf_YKg
https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/encore-always-forever/id1567412469?i=1000560186305

My story with my church:
https://beltway.org/article/stephanie/

Therapy

Therapy is scary because reflecting on your most traumatic moments can be a challenge. It’s a sacred experience though, to be in a place of authentic vulnerability and learn that your darkest moments created your greatest purpose.

—>my greatest desire is to reach hundreds of thousands of people who have experienced childhood trauma and trauma from life, by loving them where they are. If we don’t love people where they are they won’t trust us. Lack of Trust is one of the casualties of abuse. Restoration of trust is the best way to reach others with love and hope!

❤️To the mom’s and dad’s who were babies when you became a parent. You are loved and there is support waiting to meet you where you are. I believe in you and you are a rockstar!

❤️To those addicted to drugs, alcohol, porn, food, or whatever is throwing you into a shame cycle, you are loved. There is help for you and I believe in you!

❤️To those who are stuck in foster care without a family in sight, I freaking LOVE you and I believe in You! Go create that family you dreamed of when the time is right! Until then, I love you! I delight in you! I adore you!

❤️To those in foster care waiting for your parents to get you back, I freaking love you and I am cheering for your parents to do the work because you are and have always been worth it!

❤️To the single parents, I believe in you! I love you! You have got this!

❤️To the broken not listed above, I adore you, you are loved! You’re going to get through this!

❤️❤️❤️I truly wish I could hold the entire world in my arms and tell everyone it’s gonna be okay. For now, my heart is holding you, I am fighting for you, I am thinking of you! I believe in you! You GOT THIS!

🧨To anyone who just needs to scream at someone without them taking it personally, I am here! I might have feedback but I promise to love you and listen more than I speak!

26.2 Training Why?

4-12-2022

Today I ran with gratitude but to be completely honest I also silenced a sting. A few days ago was Siblings Day! I have amazing siblings who are alive and well. They make me so proud. But I also sat in silence that day because two of my amazing brothers are dead. They are gone! FOREVER! Part of me was jealous on siblings day because so many people shared their posts about their in tact bond. Truth is, I don’t have a bond. Well I do but it’s different. The two siblings that died by reckless living and suicide were the two that I was closest to as a child and now they are just a memory that lives on in their children and my advocacy against child abuse.

As I ran today part of me doubted I would be able to truly make the difference that I hope to make in this world and the other part of me assured myself that I am a survivor full of hope and passion for change! I will continue to run! I will continue to speak out against child abuse and domestic violence for myself, for my siblings, for my students and for anyone who needs to be encouraged to pull themselves out of bed in the morning as they clear the fog from their terror filled minds! Not long ago I was in those shoes or in that bed! I wanted to sleep until the breath in me faded away and my soul ascended into the peacefulness of passing from this life to the next.

There have been days I truly wanted to die. I am a survivor of many types of abuse. I STAND TODAY AS AN OVERCOMER! Love found me and helped me heal from child sexual assault, parental alienation, parental incarceration, emotional abuse, my mother attempting to murder me, partner violence, emotional control, and socioeconomic hardship resulting in homelessness and social emotional struggles. My birth parents have mental illnesses that has often gone un-treated. I don’t always blame them but I do struggle with the part they played in my violent and terror filled upbringing. I also wish they were paying my therapy bills and college debt but I guess that is selfish of me and I digress.

My sweet (rugged) brothers had it rough like so many. We all did! They are gone forever and I am navigating this world as I heal step by step and try to make sense of this dark void. I know I was made to live. Truly LIVE as a light for many known to me and those unknown. Truth be told I often doubt but that will get me nowhere fast. The thing that I know I am to do is run. Run to fight! Fight to run! Run to live! Live to run! I am made for such a time as this! I will give those silenced, a voice. Even those terrorized to their grave. Death may have taken you but your memory lives on still. In my steps. In my actions. In my life.

My first 5K is coming up and I would like to raise $1000 for Big Country CASA! They help children like my siblings and me have a voice! Will you please consider giving to my run by visiting https://runsignup.com/stephanieellison

I would also love to thank Abilene Christian University for this incredible campaign that I RAN across today while cutting through campus! I felt this in my core! It inspired me to keep running and keep speaking out!

4-6-2022

I signed up for my first organized run! There is no better way to kick off my journey than this! CASA helps children have a voice! They literally give a voice to the voiceless! Let’s go make a difference in the world together!

I would love your support both in kind words and donation! I would love to raise $1000 for CASA for my run! The details can be found here: https://runsignup.com/stephanieellison

Follow my journey! ❤️ Read my why here: https://simplyencourageblog.com/2022/04/06/my-why-26-2/

Dream of Greatness

I didn’t deserve to be abused. I didn’t cause it. I experienced horrific situations and not only suffered from broken bones but also a broken spirit! I developed grit and walked with a spirit of resilience and a spirit of rebellion against my abusers. I found people who believed in me even if I struggled to believe in myself! I pushed! I pressed in! I paused! I pushed harder until I started to see greatness that many recognized long before. Beauty from ashes.

I now believe if I can, you can! I will believe in you when you don’t have it in you to believe in yourself. All you need to do is trust me when I say get up and go! Fight for the life you want! Fight for freedom! Beat those odds stacked against you. Walk in authority because you have greatness within you. We all do! Some never choose it. Don’t be that person! Work for it and fight the good fight! #childabusepreventionmonth #childabuseawareness

My Why! 26.2

Here we are in April! I am training for a 26.2 and I have been waiting to discuss my why. Here it is! I was an abused and neglected child. I broke free at 15 but the harsh reality is that many do not ever make it out of abuse alive. I reached a point in my life 23 years ago where I had to make a decision to become a homeless runaway youth and face the unknown or possibly die at the hands of my birth mother who had attempted to murder me. Her addiction had a death grip on her and my birth father had been incarcerated for sexually abusing me and my siblings. After I ran away I filed for and became a legally emancipated adult at 16 and began a journey of pushing through painful emotional experiences in order to attempt to break free and truly heal.

Now I am an advocate for children all over the US facing the lonely journey of creating a way where there seems to be none. I run for them! ALL at risk youth and children needing to know they can create their own greatness and leave behind destructive patterns! We can heal! We are not forever broken! We are all part of one big family! You are not alone! I run for my brothers! One who took his own life and the other died by suffering in his own addiction. I will continue to believe they were worth more! Their lives mattered and although I could not stop their suffering I believe I can use their stories to challenge others to grasp onto hope! Run from all that is holding you back from the greatness within you! Rise up!

“National Child Abuse Prevention Month recognizes the importance of families and communities working together to strengthen families to prevent child abuse and neglect. Through this collaboration, prevention services and supports help protect children and produce thriving families.” https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/preventing/preventionmonth/

A SINGLE STEP…

Today I will start running. I will start training for a marathon! Why? Good question. Stay tuned to see the documentation of this journey. It’s time to run. It’s going to be hard. I cannot emotionally focus my energy there though. Honestly everything in life has the potential to be hard. Even laziness is hard. It’s just a different kind of hard. I will accomplish this and at the same time I will be writing about it.

I am not an athlete. That is what I have told myself over the years. That isn’t completely true though. I have physical strength! I am capable of learning skills that would qualify me as an athlete. If I am honest, I say I am not an athlete because I have never believed I could be great in this area. But the definition of greatness is defined by growing a skill and achieving something! I can achieve my goal of completing a marathon, becoming an athlete, and achieving greatness. It’s a mountain and I might walk part of the way but I am going for it anyway!

Starting today I will take my fist step in training. Today I will continue to write my story! Today I will point my entire life in a direction I have always desired to go! A new direction. A new journey. Go with me.

Subscribe to follow my journey! Thank you Danny Ellison for the support, Renee Booe for the encouragement, and Roy Juarez for the challenge! Challenge accepted!

This is Roy and this photo is to document the day he talked me into it.
Day one complete!

18. Adult?

I am missing my brother so bad right now. An older woman who has brought abuse and trauma towards me and my brother since we were kids recently told me he didn’t love me while attacking me for sharing my story publicly. In reality she is probably scared I will expose her ugly, bitter spirit. Part of me wants to but I won’t. She needs prayer and perspective. She probably has her own inner war.

One thing I do know, my brother and I were bonded and we loved one another fiercely and not one abuser will be allowed to rewrite that.

Childhood trauma affected us and we were left to try to piece our lives together into adulthood. People often lose compassion and empathy for anyone suffering as you continue to grow and cross the threshold from child to adult at 18. It is easy to feel you have to put on your adult pants and move out of the way and navigate the aftermath of the storms alone! 18 isn’t a magical number where you automatically have it all figured out. We all need support, encouragement, and love.

🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼 Today I encourage you to find a young adult to encourage. Ask them what they need. Connect them to resources that may be helpful! Look around and spread love and kindness like confetti. Goodness we all need it! ❤️

Broken together.
We were bonded forever.
I miss you everyday.
Go rest high on that mountain.

STORY BEHIND THE PAINTING

Working with children in crisis is something I am honored to do! This group of paintings is so special to me! Find out why here! This book is an amazing Valentines’ book for your special little loves! There is a heart search and a place for you to write a special love letter from you to them! Get your copy from:

❤️Amazon: Always Forever https://www.amazon.com/dp/1648718256/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_glt_i_TEJEKCHVF23Y0B830GRV

❤️Texas Star Trading Co (Abilene)

❤️Winn Publications: https://winnpublications.com/?product=always-forever-by-stephanie-ellison

❤️Moose Mountain Coffee

STORY BEHIND THE PAINTING

PURCHASE YOUR COPY OF ALWAYS FOREVER HERE ON AMAZON

Meet my brothers Shawn and Daniel.  They both died tragically, one in 2006 and the other in 2020.  Like many people in our country they both battled mental health. I included them in my book because their lives mattered and they will never be forgotten.

My  siblings and I survived a traumatic childhood but both of my brothers died trying to overcome the grief of generational torment.  Suicide took them but I will never let them go or be forgotten.

One way to connect to our babies is by spending time with them.  Taking them to the zoo is always a fun way to connect and bond!  I placed the elephant behind my brothers because it symbolizes “the elephant never forgets”.  I too will never forget them or all that they fought to overcome. As you connect to your babies my prayer is that you find ways to help them heal from any pain that comes their way big or small.  Help them see that they matter just as my brothers lives matter.

-STEPHANIE ELLISON