Are you ready to put yourself first?
Hello, my name is Traci Severson and I live north of Dallas though I was born and raised in South Dakota. I found my way to Texas via Los Angeles and Denver. I am a certified life coach guiding women through relationship transitions due to divorce, relationship breakdown or being a partner in a neurodiverse relationship, which means at least one person in the relationship is on the Spectrum. We dig deep to find out what it is you’ve locked away while you’ve tended to everyone else, as you’ve most likely put yourself last. You are given the space and freedom to dream about what it is you truly want moving forward. We work through those issues that have you stuck while working to discover who it is you want to be, where you want to go and how to get there, guilt free. Ultimately you’re given a key to unlock the life ahead.
If you’re curious as to why I think I am a great fit, read on…
Here’s my story:
I grew up in a really difficult household, and the world difficult hides a lot of the darkness in my childhood home. I’m not going to go into it here but needless to say my desire to escape as quickly as I could framed my future life in ways I could not have imagined at that time. I had dreams of my own. I loved the idea of traveling and seeing the world but before I did that I had to find a way out and I did that through another man. I thought I was in love with him and I thought that he would take care of me, but looking back I think I fell in love with the idea of escaping the environment that I was born into and pretty quickly came to realize that what I had done was run into the arms of an abusive man.
It’s strange to be put in a box, to not have a voice, to not be able to move freely even in your own home and to be called horrendous things in front of your children. His hold on me was so tight I was in constant fear of what he might do when I went against him. I knew I needed to leave and I also knew it was going to be the hardest thing I would ever do in my life. In fact, on the day I tried to leave he blocked the door, said I wasn’t going to be worth anything, closed the bank account, told me I could become a prostitute “because the going rate was about $50” then threatened to call the cops if I left the house with the kids. This was a relationship I needed to leave to not only save myself, but also save my children.
After 10 years of marriage, I left him. But, of course, that is not where this story ends. Anyone who has been married to a narcissist knows that that’s not where the story ends. It took two and a half years, numerous court visits and $50k in legal fees in the early 2000s. Imagine what that would translate to now. At the time, the state of Texas did not award alimony. While I was making just a small income of $16k a year after having been home with my kids for the previous 10 years he chose to terminate his parental rights so I would not benefit from child support.
And while I had left him, that was still one of the scariest times in my life because I didn’t know what the possibilities could be for my life. I didn’t know which way to go or who to turn to for help. I had no family near me and there were no offers of monetary assistance. I had to figure things out. So step-by-step, decision-by-decision, that’s what I did.
My troubles weren’t over after the divorce. Financial ruin followed me. My husband giving up his rights to our kids was also supposed to come with the idea, per the attorney, that he is merely a stranger in our lives once the documents are signed, yet he wouldn’t remove himself from our lives and I felt constantly threatened. In that space of uncertainty and unknowing I found a strength I didn’t know I had. I did the things I didn’t know I could do and I found a way to survive that made me stronger because of the experience that I had.
When I realized I had to make a change I was aware it was not going to be easy. And though I had learned I was stronger than I ever realized and had more resilience than I was mindful of, it wasn’t a life of ease. I still faced a lot of challenges and I continued to deny myself because of my own sense of unworthiness and my own fears about what I was really capable of doing and becoming. I started seeing glimpses of possibility that I could actually have a different experience and I began diving into self-development. I was realizing that I was trapped in my own thoughts and my own stories. I had been creating my own limiting beliefs that weren’t even truly my stories but had been passed to me generationally and in difficult relationships. I started to understand I had even more strength and even more power, not to survive but to actually thrive. I started to recognize I could actually help people because of my experiences, because of my pain. That this wasn’t just a waste or just an experience I was going to put on the shelf, but that my experiences were actually going to be helpful to people. People just like you.
After my divorce I rebuilt my life one piece at a time and eventually remarried. This time I felt it was going to be better. I knew it would be. I’d learned so much about myself and about relationships and was ready to put it to the test. I even went so far as to believe it was the fairytale I had dreamed it could be but soon I could see that something wasn’t quite right although I kept moving forward thinking that things would change. The arguments were happening often and out of nowhere. Over stupid shit. Things I said to my partner were taken out of context which would end in fighting. I wasn’t being heard so I tried to change the way I delivered the things I said. It didn’t help. I started walking on eggshells. No amount of changing helped what was happening. I was devastated. I didn’t want my kids to be exposed to yet another misaligned relationship and I certainly didn’t want them to witness another round of learning how a woman should be, or rather shouldn’t be treated. I mean, the kids were growing up quickly and the last thing I wanted was for my daughter to identify that it was okay to be treated in this way and I desperately did not want my son thinking it was okay to treat a woman in this manner.
When I met my partner he had a group of friends but those friendships quickly disintegrated and soon he had no friends and wasn’t interested in having any. When we would go out with my friends I was always monitoring the situation by constantly watching to see that was he comfortable and also hoping no one would say or do the wrong thing which would set him off. It was exhausting. I’d always been surrounded by friends and was used to getting together with them often but suddenly I was doing things on my own and going out without him, as he was not interested in being social. This was difficult for me because all of a sudden I felt I was the one who had forgotten how to socialize. Of course all this created an uncomfortability for me around my friends because I could only imagine they could see how uncomfortable my partner was when he was around. It led to me making excuses to my friends about what was actually happening and left me feeling very isolated and confused.
Occasionally when we had friends over he would “check out” and when I later realized he hadn’t come back from whatever he was doing I would find him off on his own on the computer or doing something else. I always worried that our friends felt that they weren’t welcome.
What I have come to realize is that most people cannot relate to what happens in a neurodiverse (ND) relationship so their ability to be supportive and understanding is limited. It’s damaging to be told that it’s normal to go through the things you’re going through when other people don’t understand the depth of the issue because they’ve never experienced it. When other people diminish or disbelieve what you’re going through there’s a term that’s used to define this type of behavior - Cassandra Syndrome - and many neurotypical (NT) people in ND relationships experience this. It’s difficult to find people who truly understand that you’re not overreacting and often people try to pass off that this is normal behavior from your spouse. I’m here to tell you that it isn’t and you deserve more.
To you, the one reading this right now thinking that you are stuck, that you are trapped in a box, that your breathing holes are getting taped over and you can’t find a way out, let me be the person to tell you that the top can be pulled right off of that box. I’d love to help you step out of it and find the freedom you didn’t realize was available to you. Or if you’re the one in a neurodiverse relationship and need help navigating it, have questions about what’s going on, suspect your significant other may be on the spectrum or simply need some support, I’m here for you.
1:1 coaching via Zoom, FaceTime, Facebook
***Initially we will connect for a FREE 30 minute call which will allow us to get to know one another. It’s important you arrive to our call in a place free of distractions. I want to make sure you’re in a location you can speak freely and give your undivided attention. During this call we will define where you are now and where you’d like to be.
1:1 session - $75/55 minutes
Package of 4 - $290
Package of 8 - $575
FREE connection call:
If you are ready to get to work and want to jump right in, schedule here: