Stories are important. We have never ever told our story together before. This year we are ready to do it. For years we haven’t been able to talk about our story. Too much pain, too much sorrow….even too much shame.
This is the story of a really difficult marriage. No one chose for it to be difficult……but it has been. It’s not difficult now…it’s really quite amazing. It hasn’t always been this way though.
SO this is my husband and I. We’ve been married for 27 years. 13 years ago he had an accident that changed everything. You can’t imagine what he’s been through, what we’ve been through. (we took this photo earlier today after filming the first of several short videos to begin telling our story)
If you don’t know me, I’m Melody Ross…I started Brave Girls Club in 2009 with my sister Kathy….because of what happened during those rough years of our marriage.
Lots of people don’t know the story behind Brave Girls Club. In 2004, my husband sustained a traumatic brain injury. Over the course of the 6 years of his recovery…where he was pretty much “gone”….all manner of hell happened in our life…some of it was because I made poor decisions, some of it was because crummy people took advantage of our situation, some of it was because life is just really hard sometimes and things happen that are completely out of your control.
So this accident took him away from us for about 6 years. It was a frontal lobe brain injury so it took away his personality and all of his behavioral filters. He was trapped in a human body that he couldn’t control. His brain went haywire.
Miraculously, and through tremendous miracles and prayer from thousands of people from all over the world (so many of you!)….he has recovered 100%. I think he’s better than ever.
But those years were really long and really difficult. By the time he was recovered, we had lost everything we’d worked so hard to build (and we had worked so hard to build a LOT from scratch)…except we didn’t lose each other, or our family, or the lessons.
We got married young, and we immediately got to work on our dreams. We built a business called Chatterbox from our kitchen table that was worldwide and very successful. When he had his accident we had been in business for 7 years. We had bought a 100 year old house and restored it with blood, sweat and tears. When Marq had his accident….we had a 13 year old, an 11 year old, an 8 year old, a 3 year old and a 2 year old.
After his accident, I couldn’t hold it all together…I tried so hard, but so many terrible things happened one after another and it was just too much, I was too inexperienced, too naive…and too overwhelmed…..and one by one…things burned to the ground. That is where the shame comes in. Because I couldn’t hold it together….we lost everything we had worked so hard to build. By the time he was recovered…our home was gone, our business was gone…our savings was gone….and we were at ground zero. Well….we were below ground zero…we were in a deep hole.
He was an avid & excellent athlete and had his accident while surfing on the lake. He is and has always been an incredibly fun, smart, kind, and a freakishly good athlete. He has had to give all of that stuff up.
For 6 years, he was either in our bedroom in bed…or in rehab or with a doctor or at a hospital. His personality changed. He was essentially gone. It was more horrible than we can describe…for us, for our children. It took SO MUCH to get him back.
My sister Kathy and I started BGC when we were just about on the other side of it…. because she helped me so much during those years and we were constantly talking about how there was not a resource or a place for women to go when their life falls apart. There were not nearly enough places to encourage, life up, inspire, remind and HELP each other as women.
I looked and looked for a place during those horrible years.
I vowed that if we made it to the other side…we would make a place. Kathy and I worked on the business plan during all of those years…just a dream we had….and we worked really hard to make it come true. We have…and it’s been amazing.
At Symposium this year….Marq and I will begin to tell our story TOGETHER…and we are working on a book together. We are working on a program together to teach resilience in relationships as well as personal resilience.
In the next few weeks, we will be releasing short little videos that give you a preview of the different elements of our story. I hope you’ll stay tuned.
We want to tell our story because we both remember the miraculous days when we would meet people who had actually made it to the other side…and even though our life was so hard….those people gave us hope that we could make it.
That’s what we want to do for you.
We hiked to the top of the cliffs above our favorite lake…as we will be doing for several more days this week….to tell you pieces of our story.
We are rooting for you.
We hope you’ll join along as we start to tell our tale.
So much love,
melody & marq ross
PS….by the end of this year, the name of Brave GIrls Club will be changing to Brave Living…so that we can also serve men, boys, children, couples and all humans in the way we have for 8 years with Brave Girls Club ♥ Marq has already held 2 men’s retreats teaching Soul Restoration for Men….and they were incredibly powerful and successful…we have already certified several men to teach it as well….so be on the lookout!