I started blogging in January, 2009, anonymously, sort of, using the name of my beloved dog Gracie (1994-2011), at a site called graciespeaks.com. Drawing strength from her big, courageous heart, I finally began to blog under my own name in 2010.
Blogging has been a big part of my journey to talking openly about my experiences as a domestic violence victim, turned survivor, turned advocate and teacher, and today my bio reads like this:
Financially secure, well-educated, and childless, Angela Kelsey defies the stereotypes of a victim of domestic violence. But for years she was just that.
Now Angela challenges conventional wisdom about victims of abuse. She starts conversations about a topic which is often kept hidden under the heading of “dirty linen” or a “family matter.” She shows people the signs of abusive relationships so that they can help women leave. And she gives hope that the cycle of violence can be broken and a better life is possible.
Having been to hell and back herself, she offers a non-judgmental approach, realizing that shocking numbers of us, or our friends, sisters, and daughters, will have these experiences at some point in our lives. Despite the financial resources at Angela’s disposal, and the fact that she had no children to consider, leaving was an excruciating process. For a woman who has little or no money of her own and children to care for, the obstacles to leaving must seem impossible to overcome.
For the past twenty-two years she has been actively involved in the management of her family’s commercial real estate development business, and prior to joining the family business, she received a PhD in literature from the University of Florida and in 2010 she received an MFA in Creative writing from Florida International University.
But in 1999, within weeks of her picture-perfect Coral Gables wedding, her now-ex-husband shoved her during an argument. For most of the next eight years, she stayed with him, hiding her roller-coaster life and her bruieses from family and friends, working to change things on her own and maintain the façade of a happy wife and successful businesswoman.
She has asked herself unflinchingly how she got into such a situation, why she stayed for as long as she did, and what finally gave her the courage to leave. Her answers cut to the core reasons why women, across lines of class and culture, stay with men who batter them. Her exploration is the basis of a memoir, a book inching toward completion.
When Angela talks about her experience in an abusive marriage, she bridges the gap between people who think this could never happen to them and people who know all too well that it can.
Angela Kelsey speaks, writes, and teaches to tell the truth about her life and help other women tell the truth about theirs.
Simply put, I want to tell my stories, in written and spoken form, and help other women tell theirs. I’ve traveled a long way since 1999, and I want to share what I’ve learned.
I live in Florida with Mr. Z and American Bulldogs Sadie and Jake.