For our second interview in the ‘Overcomer Series’, we’re having a chat with The Unbreakable Ruth. Ruth is a life coach with a passion for empowering women to achieve the life of their dreams. I first came across Ruth’s story a couple of years ago and to be honest, I was gob-smacked. For most of us, domestic violence is something you hear about on the news and it’s very easy to forget that it’s usually closer than we think. In fact, it might be happening in the flat/house next door to you right now.
I’m not a Debbie Downer (I hope) but I thought it appropriate to invite my readers to pause for a minute in the middle of the red hearts, chocolates and incessant Valentine’s Day marketing. I invite you to pause and think about (and pray for) those who will not spend Valentine’s surrounded by smooth chocolate and satin but will nearly have their life choked out of them by the calloused hands of their abusers. Think about those for whom love has not set them free but bound them in fear and torment. Those for whom ‘love’ is a death warrant.
I present to you, the story of Ruth, an Unbreakable woman who has tasted the fire and has come through on the other side battered but unconquered.
Many thanks to Ruth for sharing her story. I hope this encourages and blesses you!
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Love, Dammy 🙂
Thank you so much for agreeing to this interview! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
My name is Ruth Oluwadare, popularly known as The Unbreakable Ruth/ Beeks. I’m a happy woman with two lovely boys and a transformational coach passionate about empowering women to live their dreams and breaking off restraints to personal fulfilment. I also run ‘Beeks’ a fashion concierge and personal shopping business.
What is the inspiration behind your name ‘Unbreakable Ruth?
My life experience, simply put. I am that woman who has been through hell, went under something that should break her but emerged as ‘unbreakable’ and thankfully, strong enough reach back and help others.
How would you describe the early years of your marriage? Were there any alarm bells?
I never had a ‘honeymoon/stars in your eyes’ phase like majority of people do. To put it bluntly, I pretty much went from the church altar to the slaughter house. To be honest, there were signs, but I was naïve and ignorant. I ignored every warning and proceeded like a lamb to the slaughter, thinking that my submission will be the silver bullet that solves everything.
When was your earliest ‘oh boy I’m trouble’ moment?
3 days after I moved in with him after our wedding, hence why I said there was never a honeymoon period for me. I think the lights finally came on in my head when I discovered he was into pornography and was unapologetically having affairs with multiple women. He also confiscated my passport and other documents, leaving me trapped and at his mercy.
How did you come to the conclusion that your marriage was unsalvageable and that you had to leave?
I knew that the damage was getting beyond repair when I started forgetting things including my name and my kids’ names. Living in a permanent state of chaos and fear had left me so disoriented. Also, he would do this thing of making me recount how badly he hurt me only to turn around and tell me he couldn’t remember the incidents and therefore did not owe me any apology. How could I possibly live with someone who deliberately causes me physical and emotional harm but conveniently has his hard drive wiped every time it happens?
How did people in your life react to your decision to leave your husband?
I literally became an orphan in the UK; people I thought would be there for me stylishly deserted me and those that didn’t started sowing seeds of fear in my heart. One person went as far as telling me my kids will be taken from me by the government, on what basis I do not know. It was really tough because I didn’t have many friends in the UK, as my ex-husband always managed to come in between me and any friends I managed to have.
What support system did you have whilst living with your abusive ex?
My dad was a rock throughout the ordeal. He would call me and assure me that he was in support of any decision I wished to take. When I made my first attempt to leave the relationship but changed my mind, he was not angry though he wished I left. When I finally left, he was obviously glad and supported me all through.
I also had a group of very supportive friends on a WhatsApp group. They literally walked with me through my low moments and cared for me. I later found a friend here in the UK who has been a great support to me over time.
What would you say was the biggest impact of living in an abusive relationship?
No one can manage abuse no matter how smart you are. I was married for nearly 7 years and apart from the physical beatings and emotional trauma, the greatest impact on me was that I lost myself in the process of trying to resuscitate a ‘dead-on arrival’ marriage.
Looking back, did your ex-husband exhibit any signs of being controlling/abusive during your courtship?
Yes, he did, but like I said, I was naïve and excused these behaviours. During courtship, he made me promise that I would never share what went on between us with others. Naively, I didn’t know that the promise was in effect a ‘gag order’ and a one-way ticket to isolation.
Did your children understand what was going between you and their dad? How were they affected?
My younger son wasn’t affected so much because he was barely 2 years old when we left, except for when he (my ex) came back and tried kidnapping them which was very traumatic for them.
My older son was more affected by it all. It took counselling, therapy, coaching and on-going affirmations from me for him to recover; not to forget the ceaseless prayers mixed with tears and relentlessly holding them tight, reminding the Lord that He gave them to me. My son was my first client as a coach, haha 😊 He was quite timid at some point, but that is in the past now. We have managed to get to a point of balance and healing.
What would you say is the biggest misconception people have about domestic abuse?
Some people think they can manage abuse or ignore abusive behaviour as long as the man is not physically abusing them or if he is a ‘good provider’ for the home. Some people also think that the more submissive a woman is, the easier it will be for her to win her husband over. I’ve also come across others who say you need to pray more and spend more time in the ‘war room’ so you can win your spouse over. Tragically, what this boils down to is blaming the woman (victim) for not being submissive or prayerful enough.
Since leaving your ex-husband, how have you rediscovered your purpose and what has helped you on your journey of self-discovery?
I am a deliberate person by nature, so before leaving my ex, I did some research about his personality type and how that affected those around him. I knew that beyond physically leaving that dangerous and toxic relationship, I had to do some intentional uprooting and reconditioning of warped thought processes/feelings I had internalised from being with him. I went to seek professional help and through many hours of counselling and therapy, I’ve been able to dig deep and uncover some ‘stinking thinking’, re-condition my mind and deal with the after effects of the trauma I passed through. My deliberate actions plus my drive to be more than an object of pity, motivated me to get a life coach who would walk side by side with me as I literally learned to live again. Working with a life coach has been one of the most incredible and rewarding things I’ve done.
How has adversity shifted or changed your overall perspective on life and faith?
Without a doubt, I know God is interested in everything about me. I have therefore learnt to read the Bible for myself and ask God questions about things that confuse me. I have grown to a deeper bond with Him to the extent that I literally feel his presence when we are ‘gisting’ hahaha 😊.
With regards to life, I firmly believe there is more to life than what we know and if we don’t persist, we cannot get the result we want. The path may be full of thorns but life always rewards persistence. If you just keep hammering on the same spot, something is bound to give way.
How do you reconcile the physical and emotional trauma you have experienced with the knowledge that God is good?
One thing I did was to tell God how I felt. I expressed my frustrations, questions, disappointment. I wondered why He allowed such a heavy load of suffering to fall on my frail shoulders; but I gradually came to the understanding that like Joseph everything meant to destroy me eventually turns out to be a tool for moulding me into His perfect vision for me. Yes, I could have made better choices/decisions but still God preserved me and my children through it all. Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, I can boldly declare that God can turn our darkest trials into a message of hope for others. So, indeed, God is good.
What advice would you give any woman or man experiencing domestic abuse? Leave! God needs you alive. No, he does not hate you for making a mistake. No, He is not judging nor condemning you. All He ever wants to do is LOVE you, heal you and turn your test into a testimony. He specialises in turning our mess into a powerful message.
If you could tell your 18-year-old self anything, what would it be? Words are cheap, actions are everything. Not everyone has good intentions or pure motives like you.
Once again, huge thanks to Ruth for sharing her story with us! Truly, God is able to redeem our greatest pain and turn it around for our good. If you want to follow Ruth and her work with women, you can find her on Instagram and Facebook
If you are in the UK a victim of domestic abuse, or know someone who is, check out these organisations/helplines:
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