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Imagine being trapped in an abusive relationship. Terrified of remaining in it. Yet at the same time, terrified of the thought of leaving it. The fear of the unknown, of having to start again, of having to rebuild your life.
That was the position in which Deborah found herself.
In this frank and open episode, Deborah discusses what it was like, the fears she faced, and the shame that is associated with those fears.
We discuss how that fear can paralyse us to do nothing and just accept that this is what we deserve, and how that fear builds on low self-esteem, lack of confidence and little self-belief to keep us living in a dark place.
And most importantly, Deborah talks about how overcoming those fears can lead you to creating your blockbuster life and living life on your terms. How by overcoming the fear it is possible to live again, love again and start over.
Join us as together we discover –
- That you don’t have to stay stuck in the relationship through fear.
- That perpetrators of psychological abuse use fear to keep you there.
- How to start over
- That the fear you’re currently in is only temporary.
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- Episode Transcript
Note – this is currently a highly automated transcription, so some of the text might not be wholly accurate – we are working on improving this over time!
You’re listening to the Keith Blakemore-Noble radio show, helping you transform your deepest fears into your greatest strengths. Here’s your host, Keith Blakemore Noble…
[00:00:11] Keith: Hello. Hello. Hello. Welcome to another. Fantastic. Great to have you here. It is great to have my guest this episode. Let me tell you about my guest for this for this episode. So my guess was the owner, a managing director of a UK industry leading business recognised by inside the magazine is one of South Wales is top twenty entrepreneurs to watch. But she had a happy marriage on the new board, son. And they lived in a lovely home in a sort ofthe area sought after area. Life was good. At least it was good. Until the business became insolvent. Marriage collapsed. She lost custody of his son, became personally bankrupt. I realised she was stuck in a cycle of abusive relationships and self sabotage behaviour for some people listening. I know that’s going to sound very familiar. She went through a number of years of hell, was trying to work out what happened and how it’s Earth to get out of the mess. You then had to start living again and That was when her mantra, whatever it takes, came to the fore as how she created both light camera action on DH. Step into your spotlight programmes. Knowing that she wanted to change and needed to change, she did what so many people don’t do. She decided to do something about it. She rewrote her script. We started with the writing, her books, whatever it takes. Living with leaving and surviving cycle people. Abuse on DH. Create your blockbuster life, How to step out of the wings into your spotlight. The books and coaching programme share Storey and the steps it took to change her life. They following the steps, deciding to rewrite the script to step out of out of the wings into hurts Offline, she created create her own blockbuster life. She changed the four main areas of our life. Now she waited for me from a place of being bankrupt, with no income, having a savings plan on clearing all of our debts. Battles with weight and fitness became a thing of the past. She developed a healthy relationship with food with alcohol and exercise to become Fisher healthier than she has ever be. After years of lurching from one abusive relationship to another. She met the love of a life and then to the truly equal, healthy relationship, which just gets better and better for me. Unemployed and unemployable. She got a job at the exact salary she looking for, on with the holidays and pension that she wanted. She also realised a lifelong ambition of becoming a professional actor of the age of forty two. It chose to undertake a BSC on his degree in psychology and counselling with you. Joe longer lives her life hiding in the winds. Afraid of the spotlight. She has claimed her rightful place in her spot life living her block. Boston, like that is my guest this episode Deborah Meredith. Deborah, How are you doing?
[00:03:35] Deborah: I’m very well, thank you. Keep. How are you?
[00:03:38] Keith: I’m fabulous, as always. Thank you. Fabulous is always is great to have you. You have accomplished so much and change your life around in so many ways. I know on what we could talk about, what we’re keeping that keeping this short. So for me, the thing that really stands out of everything that you have you gone through, it’s all that abusive relationships I think I think that’s that’s a bit that’s really going to stand for so many people. So, um, I mean, I’m guessing when you’re in that sort of relationship, there is a lot of fear around the fear of staying stuck in that relationship. Also, the fear of leading that relationship is a my clothes. There
[00:04:28] Deborah: you are. It’s quite difficult, actually, because a lot of people in abusive relationships don’t actually realise it on which was the case for me. And it’s the case of lots of people I work with because I work with how Khun, survivors of domestic abuse, to rebuild their lives. I thought I was unique and abusive relationships they really pick away at your self confidence. Your self esteem herself were so when I discovered having left the relationship that it had bean abusive, I just thought it was me. I was stupid and how could I possibly have been taken in like that? But I was aware when I was in that relationship and unfortunately had a number of other abusive relationships as well that sense ofthe treading on eggshells, and I think we’re all familiar with that phrase on DH. There are times in our lives where we pull feel like that. Maybe we’ve got a boss who’s in a bad mood, or there’s a family member who’s angry about something. But when that becomes your day to day life, that becomes your normality. So you start spending all day long in fear of upsetting the person you’re living with. This and that’s very much how I unfortunately, lived most of my adult life in relationships on DH. It’s taken a long time for me to recognise that, and that’s how a lot of other people in abusive relationships they live on a day to day basis. So there’s living in fear but not being acutely aware that you’re afraid if that makes sense. But it’s just that knowledge that if you put a cup in the wrong place or you say the wrong word or dinner is put on the table at the wrong time or it’s too hot or too cold or the children making noise or dog barks. Oh, you haven’t ironed shirt correctly that something is going to happen to punish you for that now. In some instances, it might be physical punishment. In other instances, it might be named coin. And again it’s that chipping away, you stupid woman. Why have you done this? You know I don’t like you never get anything right. But what I expect of you, that sort of thing. And it’s that beer off those insults, physical abuse, and it’s a horrible place to live. But when that becomes your normality, you think everybody else is living like that.
[00:07:02] Keith: Ah, I think you have a very important point that when that becomes your normality, you just assume that’s that’s how likely is work for everyone. How? How? How do you begin to realise that that’s no, actually, how life is for everyone, and it’s not how life should be for you. What? How do you sort of first out going on that enlightenment, I guess, realising
[00:07:30] Deborah: so me. And it’s something if you read my book, she’ll see this sort of a theme running through it. It was very much my gut instinct on something would happen, and I know deep down well, this isn’t right. What because I had no actual proof? I thought it was just me and again, this is how abuse getyou makes you doubt yourself so whilst this will voice sort of in my gut was loud and clear. I chose to ignore it because I thought, but I was incapable off making the right decision, that I was thinking of wrong thoughts. And why would I possibly think that about a man that loved me? So I started to ignore this voice. But it was always there was the one constant on DH. I got to a stage where for me, When I left the psychologically abusive relationship, I had a son in that relationship and he was about three years old on DH. One day it was one weekend and he came up to me and he said, Let me Please don’t cry. Why are you crying? I love you. He says that we fall too often. This isn’t right on. My actual thought was for the sake of my son, I need to leave because this isn’t a healthy environment for him to live in. But I left. I didn’t think anything else needed change. I was the one that left. I have no idea where I was gonna go, so I decided that putting my son’s welfare first I wasn’t prepared to drag him around spare beds, sofas, spare rooms until I got myself settled. So I left him there on DH. Hindsight’s a marvellous tool, and I realised that that was very much the wrong thing to do after the event. However, that’s another storey. But for me, it was that gut instinct and wouldn’t work him with survivors of domestic abuse. They always say to me, I knew something was wrong, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. On DH is very different. If you’re in a physically abusive relationship which, unfortunately I’ve bean in, you know that it’s wrong to hit somebody male or female. It is wrong to be violent towards somebody else. So you have the evidence there. But even then, you’re scared of leaving because your partner will tell you Oh, I’m so sorry. I’m never, ever going to do this again. You you made me do it. You won’t me up so much, sir. Course you stop believing it. Your phones on DH, then you believe them that they’re never going to do it again because they’ll treat you like a princess for or principle. If you were in a same sex relationship, they will treat you as if you are then number one priority, the absolute love of their life. And you end up in what’s called this cycle of abuse, where you have a period of calm, and then gradually it starts to build up and build up and build up until all of a sudden bang, it explodes again. And that might be physical. That might be a torrent of verbal abuse. You know, it might be other sorts of abuse. You know there’s economic, there’s sexual abuse goes on in relationships, but all of them fake this cycle of abuse. So you have this period. This is honeymoon period, if you will, after each attack, where you think it’s okay that it’s not gonna happen again. They mean it. And each time it happens a little bit more of yourself with self confidence, self esteem is chipped away. So the next time it happens, you think, Oh, this isn’t right. But oh, no, it’s all right, they said. They’re never gonna do it again. And you keep giving them the benefit of the doubt on DH. It’s actually statistically it takes on abused partner thirty five attacks before they leave
[00:11:33] Keith: Wow. Say that. Say that they can’t less important point there.
[00:11:38] Deborah: The victim of domestic abuse Statistically will be attacked thirty five times before they make the decision to leave
[00:11:48] Keith: my this
[00:11:50] Deborah: incredible, isn’t it?
[00:11:51] Keith: Yeah. Oh,
[00:11:54] Deborah: just I’m aware of that. I’ve been through it and it still sends a shiver up my spine. That statistic. You know, there’s North a lot of people that don’t get out because the fear of getting out the fear of what their partner might do keeps them where they are on DH. You know, this is what we’re talking about, the fear. So you’re in a relationship that fills me with fear and because of that fear, because your left doubting your own ability to live life without your partner through in that period, that honeymoon period is telling you that they’re going to look after you and you can’t survive without them on. They’ll do anything you want them to do because you love each other dearly. If you believe them anything. Well, if I do leave, where am I gonna go? How am I going to survive? What am I going to use the income? How am I gonna know which bus to catch. How am I gonna get a car if you need transport? So all of these things go through your mind? Anything? Actually, I’m better off where I am. So it becomes a case of, well, better the devil. You know, it’s
[00:12:59] Keith: a horrible
[00:13:00] Deborah: cycle, but that fear keeps you trapped in that relationship. You’re scared of the relationship, but you’re scared of. How am I gonna cope when I’m on my own? Because you don’t know how to
[00:13:11] Keith: which they just a great question. How do you end it on DH? Start over a CZ. You say that you got all those fears going on. How do you start over?
[00:13:25] Deborah: How do you start over? It’s actually making the decision. Making the decision that this has to end is the toughest thing you have to do. Once you’ve made that decision, starting over is right. I’m gonna see relatively easy. And it is very difficult to start from nothing. And I don’t want to dilute that at all. You need to be resolute and you find a strength that you never knew you had. But making that decision to start over is step one in the process. Once you’ve made that decision, there’s lots of agencies out there who can help you to start over. And if you are in a an abusive relationship, particulars children around those women’s hostiles. You’ve got refugees but women’s aid, et cetera. Who will help you to get back on your feet? But you know, if you want in that position and you speak to family, speak to friends. You will find there will be people who will be prepared either to put you up to lend you some money for a deposit on the rental property on Let’s let’s remember, if you’re in that situation, you need to get out. You don’t need to be rented a four bedroom house. You just need somewhere. Even if it’s just a one bedroom flat, you need somewhere for you on. If you have children, the kids that is safe, you don’t need to have everything that is required. You need so much someone to say it somewhere to sleep, a kitchen and a bathroom. There’s something to cook on. Somewhat. Use the bathroom. It doesn’t have to be your dream house. You’ll get to your dream house at the end. But now you need a place of safety wherever that may be. And when she got there, then you slowly start building one step at a time. Tiny, tiny steps. You know, it’s things like Let’s go out, Let’s go and get benefits If that’s what you need to speak to citizens of bikes making it legal advice Hey, maybe it’s about going out and just trying to find little part time job that will, perhaps fitting with school hours on DH. It’s taken a job that props don’t really want to do anything that will give you a small sense of independence. You going to stack shelves going, be petrol should bet petrol. Garrett assistant. You know anything to give you that little bit of independence and that little bit of income so you can start again because once you’ve got that, then you give yourself breathing space. Then you can decide what you want to do and take steps to do that.
[00:16:14] Keith: Yeah, some very, very useful, very practical tips there. I like the way you say it sits each of these small little things all that’s up, one on question that they’re coming comes to my mind. There though is I know that for some people in abusive relationships, there is the fear that what will What will my partner two when I leave one. If they tracked down and find me, What if it makes it worse? What if it makes them attack? What will they do? How do you have your handle? That’s that’s sort of side of things.
[00:16:53] Deborah: That’s a really, really tough one. And if you want genuinely that scared, you ring the place. And what I learned from my own experiences, unfortunately, is a wonderful number one. Oh, one. I think it is for ringing the non urgent police line. You bring them on DH, they keep a log of all of your course, so that should something they will know. So if you don’t physically threatened if you haven’t got the person stood outside the front door threatening violence for you one oh, one To track your fears, let them record your fears. Because island, it was very often what was going on in my own head. What I imagined was goingto happen was far, far worse than anything that did happen on DH. It’s that classic case off standing up to the bully. You stand up to a bully, you shock them. They don’t know where it’s coming from, but that takes an awful lot of resolve. Al. It’s taken me many, many years to get to a stage where I don’t worry about that anymore. It’s taken me years of actually getting through that experience. All those experiences. It’s taken me many, many months, accounts linked to get to the stage where I don’t feel scared anymore. Don’t get me wrong. There are still days where I have to deal. He’s my son’s father. There are days I have to deal with him on. I’m quaking in my boots. I’m absolutely quaking in my boots, but I No, no. There is nothing he can do to me that is any worse than anything he’s already done, and I survived it now. Luckily, he wasn’t physically abusive, but my first husband wass, and that’s where if you are scared that you were in immediate danger of assault or worse, you ring nine nine nine. It’s a simple Is that on DH? Don’t sit there and think, Oh, I’m just making a mountain out of a mole hill here because you’re not you know, one in three women are murdered by their partners. Well, you know, it’s the statistics of crazy. And the police would rather have it on their radar that you are at risk. Then come to your house and find a dead body.
[00:19:21] Keith: It doesn’t make sense,
[00:19:22] Deborah: you know. Please. Now, like the one of one was fantastic. Because eventually for May, when I got to court, they were able to provoke produce a long list off issues, right? They could see that this was consistent. Harassment?
[00:19:42] Keith: Yes. So you’ve got that recalled more? Yes.
[00:19:48] Deborah: And it’s all of those little things we say. Oh, this is ridiculous. This is irrelevant. Yeah. I carried notebooks in my handbag for many, many years, but I would write things down with a date in a time that they happened. So if I was text message, if I was a phone call and email, even a conversation, it made me feel scared. Uneasy. I jotted it down. So I had a note, and I kept track of it on my computer. So that combined with the log that one no one heard and in fact, actual fact, it was them that tell us that telephone me. It was them that told me I was in an abusive relationship. I found the one day I left the relationship and I started feeling really scared. He’s threatening to come on park. It’s like my flat is telling me he’s at my flat. He telling me he’s driven back. And four, I’m scared of what he’s gonna do. I’m too scared to leave. I don’t think he’ll come in, but I’m scared to leave. I don’t know what to do. And I must have been on the phone to them for Ben. Our They were fantastic. And they said, This is an abusive relationship. How long have you been in it? And I said, Oh, well, I’ve left it now. I’ve bean out of it for X number of months. A nice doesn’t really abusive, you know, This is crazy. I was always question their expertise day in, day out. So don’t underestimate how helpful they could be. They might not turn up on the doorstep, but they will keep those next for you, and it will help you in the long run.
[00:21:22] Keith: That makes a lot of sense. And would you start using one o one. T record these things after you’ve left. Or would it make sense to kind of do that before you reach the point of believing?
[00:21:33] Deborah: If you’re in a position when you’re in the relationship and you’re feeling scared and you’re too scared to stay but too scared to leave, you bring one of one and you get it locked, because when you do leave, they need that log. Go Pacific News. They need to know now. Obviously, if you were in immediate danger, they will come around. They won’t do anything without asking you unless they believe you are in immediate danger. I have a number of issues where I had to ask them. So just could they possibly drive by? I didn’t want him to approach him. I didn’t want him to know that I contacted the police, but could they just drive past my street while they were on their owns? Just so he could see that there was a presence locally and it was little things like that that made a difference.
[00:22:25] Keith: Wow, I’m killing for you. Everything but you through there has enabled you to to remove yourself from those abusive relationships on going to actually develop really a powerful life the life that you I would deserve, I guess that that would be you and be and be who you are. That countless other people with us? Well,
[00:22:56] Deborah: yes. Well, when I was going through it and, you know, as I’d come out of it managed to get myself a little flat. I thought, This is crazy. I must have learned something from all of this. That’s just the person I am. I believe in learning from all of our experiences. And I thought, this has all been worth it. If I can help just one other person avoid anything, anywhere near similar to what I have bean through on. That was not just the abusive relationships. It was the bankruptcy. It was the business failures. It was losing custody of my son, who I’m happy to say no lives with me. Um, you know, So it was looming the lessons from that. And that’s why I started writing. Initially it was cathartic. And then a friend said, Why don’t you turn this into a book? Ice? That was it.
[00:23:46] Keith: So you have got a couple of books out there from grabs and so much, so much stuff. But they can help people in massive situation. For somebody who’s in that situation. Or perhaps somebody who knows off someone in that situation, or even just people who are just interested about that something, what’s the best way to find out more or to even get in touch with you?
[00:24:12] Deborah: I think the best way to get hold of me and find out what I’m doing is buying my website, which is www dot not a rehearsal dot co dot uk. On on There are my coaching programmes, my books, What’s on so any of the events I’m speaking at any events I’m running on and I’ve got a block up there which, you know, hopefully inspires some people as well to show that life can be quite good if you just let it
[00:24:40] Keith: brilliant, I guess very important source of inspiration, which people will get from that is and all their own. Exactly. Yeah,
[00:24:51] Deborah: and that’s the key. You are never alone.
[00:24:55] Keith: That’s right. The defect is so much for sharing for sharing that day. But I don’t underestimate how how powerful a transformation raid there and how deeply unsettling many of those experiences where I thank you so much for taking a little time and you like to share. Not with this Frankie. I hope people will be watching or listening to this. I hope you’ve got a lot of activities as well. I never said the best way to find that. Mohr. He’s to go to her website, www dot not a rehearsal dot co dot uk. If you go to the Web site for this for the show Keith label noble dot com go to no show there. Find this episode. You’ll find Debra’s contact details on her social media profiles, et cetera. Ahs well, so you can really find the best way the world for you two to get in touch with her. That’s that’s That’s basically it for today. Secretary. Thank you so much for taking time to be with us. Thank you, dear. Listeners and viewers were taking your dino two joints. I hope you’ve got some here to this. You’ve learned something from Debra’s journey through two Earth years of being in such relationship and really inspiring that there is. They can’t be liked at the end of the tunnel. Life can be so much better on DH. Let’s just maybe with Debra’s favourite quote, this is a quote from Henry Ford. Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right.
You’ve been listening to the Keith Blakemore Noble radio show Helping you transform your deepest fears into your greatest strengths. To find out more, please visit KeithBakemoreNoble.com
About my GuestDeborah Meredith
Not A Rehearsal
- About my Guest
- About your host
- About the show
I was the owner and Managing Director of a UK industry-leading business, recognised by Insider magazine as one of South Wales’ “Top 20 Entrepreneurs to Watch”. I had a happy marriage and a new born son. We lived in a lovely home in a sought after area and life was good.
At least, it was good until the business became insolvent, my marriage collapsed, I lost custody of my son, became personally bankrupt and realised I was stuck in a cycle of abusive relationships and self-sabotage behaviour!
I went through a number of years of hell whilst trying to work out what had happened and how on earth to get out the mess I was in and start living again.
That’s when my mantra ‘Whatever It Takes’ came to the fore and it’s how I created my Lights, Camera, Action and Step Into YOUR Spotlight programmes.
Knowing that I wanted to change and needed to change, I decided to do something about it.
I rewrote my script which started with writing my books: Whatever it Takes: Living with, Leaving and Surviving Psychological Abuse and Create YOUR Blockbuster Life: How to Step out of the Wings into YOUR Spotlight
My books and coaching programmes share my story and the steps I took to change my life.
In following these steps and deciding to rewrite my script to step out of the wings into MY spotlight and create my own Blockbuster Life I changed the four main areas of my life; I went from a place of being bankrupt with no income to having a savings plan and clearing my debts.
Battles with my weight and fitness became a thing of the past and I developed a healthy relationship with food, alcohol and exercise to become fitter and healthier than I’ve ever been.
After years of lurching from one abusive relationship to another, I met the love of my life and entered a truly equal, healthy relationship which just gets better and better.
From being unemployed and unemployable I got a job at the EXACT salary I was hoping for and with the holidays and pension I wanted. I also realised a lifelong ambition of becoming a professional actor at the age of 42 and chose to undertake a BSc (hons) Psychology & Counselling with the Open University.
I no longer live my life hiding in the wings, afraid of the spotlight. I’ve claimed my rightful place, in MY spotlight living MY Blockbuster Life.
About your hostKeith Blakemore-Noble
Fear Strategist, coach, international speaker, multi-time best-selling author, hypnotist, occasional magician, and presenter of this show.
And someone who, for far too many years, was massively held back by a very strong social phobia – speaking with strangers, or even meeting strangers, was at best deeply uncomfortable, and at worst utterly terrifying for him. For far too many years.
So he did the logical thing – he pursued a 20 year career in IT with some success (becoming a Fellow of the BCS in the process).
Until one panic attack too many, which forced him to reconsider his life.
So he studied NLP and hypnosis, used those tools to conquer his own fears and phobias, and since 2010 he has helped others around the world to transform their deepest fears into their greatest strengths through his coaching, speaking, books, and trainings. Indeed, since 2010 he has helped over 5,000 people to transform their lives.
Having travelled the world for a while doing this, he has settled back in his native Scotland, where he is focusing on the next step in his journey of helping as many people as he can to conquer their fears. Which includes the launch of this Show!
About the show
Since 2010 Keith has helped over 5,000 people to transform their lives.
Now he brings the distillation of his experience into a weekly show designed to help you to transform your deepest fears into your greatest strengths.
Some episodes feature Keith running solo, discussing topics related to fear, phobia, mindset, and taking an interesting look into where it all comes from and what we can do about it.
In other episodes, Keith invites a special guest to join him and to discuss their experiences in overcoming their own fears, so that we can gain some insight into how we might do the same, or even to explore the more esoteric areas around fear – sometimes in some unexpected yet very interesting ways!
Presented in both audio and in video, across multiple platforms, so that the show can meet those who need it where they are.
- Keith’s 6 Step Model For Change
- Earliest Memory – Pump My Fear
- Why Doesn’t Change Last?