Life Check

Moving Beyond Childhood Abuse – Robin Marvel


Robin Marvel
Robin Marvel

Robin Marvel had a troubling childhood including domestic abuse, parental kidnappings, drug abuse, and homelessness. She never learned to have self-worth. Robin turned to alcohol and partying when she was fifteen years old to receive validation and attention. This led to a teenage pregnancy which motivated her to not be a statistic and to make a better life for her daughter. Because she was an adult too early between caring for her parents and then her own child, she fell back into drinking in her 20’s wanting to experience the freedom of childhood she didn’t have earlier. This relapse became her true wake-up call to make a change.  She said, “This is not how my story is going to end.”

Life CheckRobin is the author of Life Check: 7 Steps to Balance Your Life joins the Empowerment Show to talk about choice, understanding, forgiving oneself and others, loving oneself, acknowledging self-worth, uncovering the lessons, and moving forward. As food pantries were very important in Robin’s youth, she and her husband started United Hands of Change which encourages people give them a hand-up not a handout.

Are you ready to break the cycle of abuse and alcoholism, release your victimhood, and make a real change in your life?



True North by Tom North

Surviving Domestic Abuse – Tom North

In 1968 a film came out with Lucille Ball and Henry Fonda about two widows with eight and ten children respectively coming together and making a large merged family. It was a box-office success. And it was based on a real family, but it wasn’t the real story.

True North by Tom NorthTom North, child number eleven of twenty in the Beardsley family, tells the full story in his book, True North – The Shocking Truth about “Yours, Mine and Ours.”  The loving family portrayed in the film differed dramatically from the actual Beardsley family. The North children were adopted and their names were changed to Beardsley. But, it wasn’t one big happy family as the movie depicted. The stepfather’s violence, abuse, and even sexual abuse created a life of intimidation, confusion, turmoil, fear and depression for the North children. All hope seemed lost as Tom realized that he was caught in a prison and there was no way out. When he finally left home, he traveled on a journey of survival, self-discovery, and healing. Tom shares what it was like to grow up in that family, taking the road less traveled through child abuse, domestic violence and despair, to hope, and eventually to self-discovery and a fulfilling life.

Listen in as Tom talks about his experience, the book, and how he is now dedicated to helping people realize their true identity and their potential for healing. Tom is an Official Supporter of National CASA for Children.  Buy Tom’s book here and 10% of National CASA Voices for Children.

If you are a child experiencing abuse, know you are not alone. Visit Ginger’s site 4URKids for more information and resources. If you are in immediate danger go directly to law enforcement, dial 911, call The National Child Abuse Hotline (800-4-A-Child, 800-422-4453), or go to your local Department of Child Services or Child Protective Services Agency.


What We Can Do to Prevent and Heal from Child Abuse with Ginger Kadlec

What are the signs of child abuse?

How can you prevent child abuse?

What should you do if a child tells you there is abuse?

How to deal with shame of the child and guilt of the parent after abuse?

There are staggering statistics that one in four girls and one in six boys have been sexually abused before they turn eighteen years old. An alarming 73% of child victims don’t tell anyone they are being sexually abused for at least a year and another 45% of victims keep it to themselves for at least five years, while still others NEVER disclose their abuse.

Ginger Kadlec 4URKids
Ginger Kadlec

Physical abuse, sexual abuse, and neglect of children are difficult subjects to discuss with children and for children to raise with their parents and teachers. There are ways to make it easier for everyone involved. Smart Steps and other programs can come to a school for body safety education. There are also powerful child advocacy centers whose expertise and compassion can help a family when there is a case of abuse. Most importantly, empowering children, building their self-esteem, and letting them know their voice is honored and heard can be the most powerful tool against abuse.

If you are a child experiencing abuse, know you are not alone. Visit Ginger’s site 4URKids for more information and resources. If you are in immediate danger go directly to law enforcement, dial 911, call The National Child Abuse Hotline (800-4-A-Child, 800-422-4453), or go to your local Department of Child Services or Child Protective Services Agency.

Listen to this empowering discussion about what we can do to make a difference in our children’s lives. 


The Reluctant Leader – From Stuck to Unstoppable

From an early age Rae Luskin allowed her life story to be written by someone else.  All she heard and believed where what her family, society, and the media told her: “Don’t aim too high.” “Be happy you have a job.” “You can’t be too thin.” “Don’t tell anyone you were abused.” “You have the perfect life, you should be happy.”

The Winning AdventureAfter years and years believing someone else’s truth, Rae finally decided to write her own life story – and change the life stories of others.  She is now a speaker, author, artist, and activist.  She stands up for those who have been bullied or sexually abused.  She navigates the world as an independent, happy, single woman.  She navigated the complex health care system for an ailing mother.  And she started a new business at the young age of 62.

Listen to The Empowerment Show below to hear Rae’s inspiring story and to learn how to move from Stuck to Unstoppable.  Rae will share with us seven (7) ways to change old patterns and spark new breakthroughs.  Hope you enjoy this inspiring and empowering episode.   Are you a Reluctant Leader?



No Time for Tears: Moving forward from the pain of abuse

On The Empowerment Show I like to keep the stories positive and helpful.  But life is not always positive.  Many of us have suffered amazing amounts of pain, suffering and abuse.  That is unfortunately Stacey Giovanni’s story. Stacey is the survivor of childhood abuse, sexual assault, and domestic violence.  At a tender age of 15 Stacey left an alcoholic home. She then lived on the streets and battled to stay alive trying to make her way in the world. However her story is not one of heartbreak, but hope. No Time for TearsThe book No Time for Tears: A Survivor’s Tool Kit for Healing was written by Stacey in the hopes of helping others overcome abuse.  The book is a tribute to the vast amount of women that are still struggling with abuse on a daily basis. In her journey of life’s struggles and healing she has shared how she not only overcame the trauma of abuse but managed to survive and thrive. Her mission now is to let others know that there is a way out and a light at the end of the tunnel. Now free of trauma she makes it her life’s work to inspire, educate and empower. Learn how Stacey Giovanni has turned a painful life into one of hope and inspiration. Listen to the full episode.

The Responsive Universe

A Catalyst for Change – John Bader author of The Responsive Universe

After the loss of his unborn child, John Bader himself was lost.  As he writes in his book, The Responsive Universe: “Like the wind causing chaos on the ocean before my eyes, my mind was in an uncontrollable tailspin.  Just days ago, I had witnessed my wife give birth to my lifeless son.  A small strand of amniotic flesh had wrapped around his umbilical cord and had suffocated him to death.  The doctors told us the chances that amniotic band syndrome could affect a healthy unborn baby was one in thirty thousand.  I was in shock.  All that I had dreamed of – holding my little boy in my arms, playing baseball, and watching him grow into a man and a father of his own – had been dashed away.  Like autumn leaves falling from a dormant tree, I watched the winds of change whip my happiness away, bringing a cold, heartless winter down on me.  As I held his lifeless body in my arms, I felt sad for myself and a deeper sadness for my wife.  Minutes after the still birth, the doctor allowed us time with our son.  Annamarie watch me with puffy red eyes as I looked into my son’s lifeless face.  As she watched me say goodbye, I could not imagine what she was going through; to have carried this baby for six and a half months and have to say goodbye on his birthday?  It was all inconceivable.  Would I wake up from this bad dream?  We were good people.  How could this happen to us?” The Responsive Universe

This heart wrenching tragedy was not the end of John’s joy.  It actually became the impetus of his reawakening.  The depths of depression and despair became the catalyst for his search for answers which ultimately led to his awakening.  For the next few years, John spent his time studying the major religions in search of answers, understanding, and peace.  Through his search he found not only the answers he was looking for, but daily practices to aid him through the ups and downs of life.  Now he not only uses these tools for his own happiness, but also teaches others how to find peace in the most difficult situations.

Learn more about John Bader’s journey and how he found solace in the practices of Buddhism.  Learn how the Nine Mandala’s hold tactical daily practices you can use to uncover your own power, resiliency, and joy.