Author Shannon Ezzo’s Fight For Survival
Shannon Ezzo wrote her new memoir, “Battered Blessings: Surviving My Abusive, Toxic Relationship” to empower women and men living in domestic violence. Like Nicole Kidman’s character, Celeste, in “Big Little Lies,” Shannon knew she had a 75% chance of being killed after she escaped her abuser, so her book outlines how to stay alive, both before you leave, and after you escape.
Shannon describes her current life as a happy wife, mother, and business owner, and she answers the question everyone wants to know: Why didn’t you leave? Her book details the psychological grooming and gradual escalation by her abuser, as well as her own distorted thoughts: “I’m not really a victim, I asked for it, it’s not that bad because I don’t need stitches,” and other thoughts that kept her trapped.
“Battered Blessings” shares specific tips on how to stay alive in an abusive relationship, how to strategize a safe escape, why “putting him in jail” doesn’t work, and how to navigate the PTSD, nightmares, and gradually return to a normal, happy life.
Keep reading for an exclusive interview.
Tell us about your book "Battered Blessing."
Battered Blessings is my story of surviving domestic violence. It takes you through a 3-year journey of my life (2015-2018). I walk the reader through how I met my abuser, how we grew together, the red flags I ignored, the toxic behavior I accepted, and eventually leading up to physical and sexual abuse. I wanted to give readers an idea of what it is like inside the mind of the abused so they can try to better understand how people get caught up in these unhealthy relationships. The toxic behavior only gets worse AFTER the abused leaves, so I made sure to include how I left, and the terrible things I had to endure after doing so, as well as how I made a better life for myself.
In your memoir, you describe the traumas that you experienced during an abusive relationship. How have these events impacted your life?
Greatly. I was diagnosed with PTSD, anxiety, and depression about a year after leaving. I was explosive, untrusting, and did not want to be touched or too close to people. I was overly protective of my daughter and short-tempered with the people I love the most. I started counseling in the summer of 2019 and still receive treatment today. I have night terrors that wake up my husband and me on occasion still, and some things that trigger me. But overall I’m getting better and stronger every day.
Why was it important for you to write this book?
For several reasons. I wanted women to feel less alone and empowered by my story, and hopefully, inspire someone to get help. I think the more we can start open discussions about this the closer we come to finding proper safety for the survivors and proper help for the abusers. In my experience, there is little to no penalty for abusers so that makes it less appealing to report. Really with no penalty these abusers just get more irritated from being arrested and tend to take that out on the victim. Even if the abuser gets a little jail time how exactly is that helping CHANGE the behavior? Most abusers come from broken, or abusive homes themselves so they are just doing what was taught to be normal or acceptable. If we could get a program going to counsel, lead and teach these guys a better healthier way of communicating and handling tough situations maybe that could cut down on some of it.
Is there anything that you learned from this experience that you think might help other women in the same situation?
Absolutely, first, there is someone YOU know RIGHT NOW who is either struggling with this or has survived it. That is how common it is. Second, once I spoke out, I have received countless women (and some men) reaching out thanking me because telling MY story made them feel “less stupid” or “less alone” for having gone through similar stories.
Second, when women come together to support and help one another there’s not a lot we can’t accomplish!
Your book sounds deeply personal. What was it like to write it?
Honestly, it was terrible, and freeing at the same time. I had trouble talking to anyone about it, so my therapist suggested I write things down to “get it out”. Five weeks later I had over 500 pages of my life on paper.
Is there anything you hope your readers will take away from your book?
That you are NOT alone if you are going through this. That you CAN get out safely and make a better life for yourself! Since leaving I got married to a wonderful man, I own my own business, and am now a published author and awesome mom!
Are you working on another book?
Not currently, but I have some ideas in mind.
For more info on Shannon, please visit https://batteredblessings.com/