"Changed the way we think about the issue" - Mahroh Jahangiri, Harvard Law
In 2008, I had it all: I was young, educated, enjoying a successful management career at a Fortune 500 company, married to a great guy, and the proud mother of amazing twins. I owned a beautiful home, a luxury SUV, and a fluffy Maltese named Jasmine. My financial portfolio was well-rounded, with savings, a retirement plan, company stock, and a college fund for my twins. However, just two years later, my world collapsed. In 2010, I got divorced, remarried, suffered abuse during pregnancy, got arrested, lost custody of my newborn baby girl, was separated from my twins, lost my job, and was facing a 20-year prison sentence. True story. Look it up.
Over the next seven years, I was incarcerated or on home detention. My health and relationships deteriorated. Depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts were unrelenting, leading to the development of numerous unhealthy ways to cope. I became angry, jaded, defensive, and bitter, and was in denial about all of it. My identity was shaken, and I questioned my abilities and self-worth. I was ashamed and profoundly disappointed in myself and my circumstances.
As I navigated false-start relationships, dead-end jobs, and recurring bouts with depression, I would reach a breaking point, somehow recover but couldn’t seem to get a breakthrough. My coach asked me what I wanted. Annoyed, I sarcastically replied, "I want my life back? I worked hard for it!" Her response was simple but eye-opening: "Mmhm. You set yourself up for that success. You're still Marissa Alexander" Her words landed awkwardly so I let them sit for a moment. Then, I realized that I had created the life I wanted once, but now, I was feeling overwhelmed and burdened. My passion, confidence, and ambition had been replaced by resentment, anger, and fear. I wanted IT to change.
I didn’t have a plan or a guide. I didn't know where to start but I made a decision to change things instead of waiting for them to change. Through trial and error, prayer, my village, and therapy, I pushed through, sometimes day to day, sometimes moment to moment. Sure, I tripped and tumbled, ended up with some scrapes and bruises, but guess what? It was better than sitting around waiting for something to change.
I chronicled every step of my journey - the good, the bad, the ugly, the unfair, and the unjust. While compiling entries for my memoire, I discovered that I'd actually created a blueprint, a roadmap for overcoming setbacks and restoring confidence under the most challenging circumstances. I emerged on the other side, stronger and wiser - my relationships, finances, career, and health have been restored and I am happier and living a more fulfilling life than I could ever have imagined.
Now, I am eager to help you achieve your goals and dreams by applying the same process and principles to your life. Remember, you're not alone on this path. I believe in you - you have the power to transform your life, too.
Let's conquer this journey together.
I believe that authentic conversations are necessary to promote unity and equality, and address social, health, and economic issues affecting our families and communities.
Family and Relationships
Domestic and Intimate Partner Violence
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
LIFE OR DEATH, FREEDOM OR PRISON: THE TRUTHS AND CONSEQUENCES OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
As a former survivor-defendant, I understand the dilemma domestic violence victims face: tolerate the abuse and risk our lives or defend ourselves and risk our freedom. I share my experience with the criminal justice system, and insight into post-conviction collateral damage.
IT'S A CRIME TO SURVIVE: THE CRIMINALIZATION OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SURVIVORS
I examine the polices and practices that lead to survivors of domestic violence becoming defendants. I discuss awareness and prevention strategies, and identify the resources needed to help abused and formerly incarcerated women live a better quality of life.
ESTABLISHING AND MAINTAINING VIOLENCE-FREE RELATIONSHIPS
I invite women and men to join discussions about solving the crisis of the domestic, dating, teen, and gender-based violence, and sexual harassment. I encourage open, no-judgment, dialogue to gain insight, create awareness, and promote violence-free interpersonal relationships.
CO-PARENTING IN THE AFTERMATH OF AN ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP
I share how I overcame the trauma of an abusive marriage and learned how to become a healthy person and co-parent.
SELF-CARE HABITS FOR PERSONAL AND INTERPERSONAL SUCCESS
Making self-care a priority saved my life, and helped to put me on the path to physical, mental, and emotional wellness.