Intentionally Fearless: The Liberation of Maya Jane Clark, Chapter Five, Cartwheels of Life

Do you need to follow Maya Jane Clark’s story from the beginning? Start here with the Age Verification: The Liberation of Maya Jane Clark!


Hello, all! It’s Maya. I hope that the day finds you reading this in a happy and healthy state of mind. Me? I’m doing OK.

Today is a jumping off point, only about a couple years after the fact. Flashing back and facing forward at the same time; my head is spinning.

I’m feeling slightly dizzy and a little unsteady on my feet, like I use to when babysitters would challenge us to cartwheel races; upside down and round and round. We would race across three lawns by cartwheel, to the randomly established finish line. The winner was crowned, and slightly unable to stand up straight. I will admit my hair is currently as crazy and tangled as it was after those races, too. Consequently, I feel a bit like I’m standing in front of my childhood home and just finished as the winner; unkempt, dizzy, wild hair. But I won!! (Hmmmmm, were these cartwheel races the beginning of my competitive streak? Yeah, maybe!)

We are about to dissect the truth of discovering abuse. It’s in the form of letters to friends, and diary entries.

WAIT!! WAIT!! WAIT!! I just felt a huge eye roll and exasperated sign throughout the universe. Please let me explain. 

Writing good old fashioned letters was a way to break down everything I was discovering. Smaller portions. It was too much for me at the time, and honestly, it was too much for them. Too much all around. Those closest to me could not fathom the level of disease and despair. The reality I faced, the truths that kept coming at me, and all the healing that took place (and continues to take place) will all be fleshed out over the course of my time with you.

Here’s the deal, though……the letters and diary entries are the originals. This is key. It has to be. (My first born tendencies to be perfect are getting the better of me. Yikes! Makes me skin itch, folks!) It doesn’t matter what I would find out later, over the course of years, about Marc and his family. It doesn’t matter what other events unfolded over the years from the moment of discovery. We can hash all that out later.

All that matters NOW in our journey together, is this is how I explained the situation to my closest friends THEN. Consequently, this is how I am choosing to explain it to our Safe|In Harm’s Way launch readers (that’s you, peeps!); the same way my friends found out back when it occurred.

Now. Then. Back to now. Dizzy, yet?

Hold on. Get ready to cartwheel race towards a finish line that is still being randomly set. It will make you laugh, cry when you fall, and finish the race worn out and dizzy…..but all in one piece. Promise.


Chapter 6 – Dear Janey

SOUNDTRACK:

Ms. Amy Winehouse. Does it get any better with her haunting voice and lyrics? For this particular article, I think not. 

Here is the deal with our music suggestions- it’s meant as a sound track. Maybe the entire song fits the groove, or maybe a few lyrics within the song or maybe just the vibe. I will make sure to call out the “why” of selection. But the really cool thing is your opinion. What song do you think would fit, too? Better? Why? We can start to create a musical dialogue and I have to admit the thought makes me very happy to collaborate in that way.

Why this song? It’s the opening lyrics (sorry, expletive warning here) because the more I discovered about Marc and his family, the more the phrase kept coming into my head. On repeat. LOUD! Plus, I like the middle verse which goes a little something like this:

No, you ain’t worth guest list
Plus one of all them girls you kiss (all them girls)
You can’t keep lying to yourself like this (to yourself)
Can’t believe you played yourself (out) like this 

Amy Winehouse- Me and Mr. Jones

Join and follow the Maya Jane Clark playlist on Spotify!

 

Intentionally Fearless: The Liberation of Maya Jane Clark, Chapter Four, Pray

Do you need to follow Maya Jane Clark’s story from the beginning? Start here with the Age Verification: The Liberation of Maya Jane Clark!


Let’s Take a Prayer Break, please. Hello all, it’s Maya.

Sometimes on this path, the sky gets dark. The clouds gather and the wind picks up. The sky (like my brain and body) just seems to twist and turn in zigzag thunder bolts where nothing seems to appear real. I’m turning my head and body to try and find the sun, but I ain’t got nothin’. The weeds of fear grow quickly and block the path. There’s rocks and my shoes suddenly are ripped and torn and I’m tripping over everything. Whaaat?

But I know the truth. I know that behind the dark clouds is the truth and I can speak it confidently, plus have patience in the outcome. If I just continue to put one foot in front of the other, the weeds fall back and the path becomes clear again. Each step I take finds the sun in my eyes a bit more. Another 29 steps forward, and I have to put on my sunglasses because the sun is bright, the clouds are now a perfect shade of light-blue and medium-navy. There are no weeds, just the bright purple lilac bushes that line the path and stand tall against the gentle breeze. My pathway is dust free and my open toed sandals reveal a perfect pedicure. Peace!

How does this happen? How does the magic of the truth break out from behind fear? Prayer.

As a lapsed Catholic who firmly believes in God, I consider dance as a form of prayer. When things have gone from bad to worse and I just can’t seem to see my way past unending panic and fear, I dance. I will pull over to dance in a parking lot. I will dance in a store while grocery shopping. I will dance in public and I choose to dance every single morning when I get out of bed. I can’t wait to see what song pops up on Spotify because that’s how I am already anticipating the newness of the day and the prayer that will begin with music.

You know, I have had so many people say “I’ll pray for you.” And, I believe they do. Knowing I have people praying for me helps fuel the dance. Gives the dance extra power for not only myself, but everyone I am dancing for. Because it I tell someone I will say a prayer for them, I really mean I’m going to boogie down. My arms will be over my head and a leg jump, plus hip swivel that releases an electrical current all the way to heaven for God and his (her) right hand dog, Beattlejuice.

Best,

Maya

Chapter 5 – Cartwheels of Life 


SOUNDTRACK:

The Safe| In Harm’s Way have a lovely battle cry song. It’s by the band Joseph. The attached link is beautiful because it is just one guitar and the voices of three sisters. “Burn the White Flag” is our psalm for the day. Man o’ man does this song fit our path. Please feel free to click on the link, turn the volume up and PRAY!

The Band Joseph: White Flag

Join and follow the Maya Jane Clark playlist on Spotify!

 

Intentionally Fearless: The Liberation of Maya Jane Clark: Chapter Three, Vodka with Extra Lime

Do you need to follow Maya Jane Clark’s story from the beginning? Start here with the Age Verification: The Liberation of Maya Jane Clark!


 

The abuse delivered to me and my children at the hands of a man named Marc De’Saude is extensive; over many years and multi-layered. I feel compelled to lay out some trigger warnings.

There is going to be talk about sex. Please don’t be fearful  The discussions will not be pornographic in nature and explicit. I mean, I could go there since you’ve all agreed it’s OK to delve into the really-really’s of abuse. It isn’t pretty, and the abuse inflicted can be pornographic in nature and violence.

I hope I don’t loose any audience members because of the sexual nature of the abuse and the discovery. One thing the Safe| In Harm’s way team agrees on is that the story must be told, and most importantly, the dots connected on what exactly this level of abuse means to survivors and their family. It’s easy to want to turn away and think “no way”. No way did THAT really happen. Except it did happen. 

So we will be speaking about sexual abuse in general terms and the aftermath of that type of abuse.

I can’t promise there won’t be cursing, but I will try. My mom always said, “Maya, smart girls don’t curse. Cursing doesn’t get you noticed or heard in a positive light.” I will honor her wishes……sometimes.

It will be hard. First, I don’t want the message to be lost because of cursing, but damn-it, sometimes a really good curse word is warranted. And, sometimes multiple-hyphenated versions of the same curse word tell an even better story. This is because the abuse strays into tunnels that are so overwhelming and physically, spiritually and morally corrupt there are no words to adequately explain the level of depravity upon the face and façade of a self proclaimed “good man”.

Vomit. Vomit is an action that often made its way out of my body from the sheer disgust of a man I let touch me in intimate and loving ways. Now the thought of his touch makes me vomit. How do I even start to use the English language to accurately explain that level of disgust?

Baths. Baths that would take two hours and multiple fills of hot water before a child would come fetch me, always trying not to cry and begging me, “Mom, please get out of the tub.” I just couldn’t soak the stench of him, and all the other men and women he brought into our bed, off me no matter how long I scalded my skin. All those people he had sex with, without my consent or knowledge. Ohhhh, and don’t forget, when I came home from work trips, he would make love with me in the same bed. Sheets unchanged. What words give a glimpse into that kind of sadness, bodily fluids and fear of disease he exposed me to? No words, but a good old curse word.

But before the abuse, cursing, vomit and baths there was a love that I cherished and worked hard to nurture. There was a life I absolutely adored and wanted to secure forever, and it was lived in ignorant bliss of knowing nothing of his secret life. Complete and total monogamy from me. Devotion. Love. There were plans to be grey- haired and holding hands and family dinners surrounded by music, wine and our grand-kids. There were dreams we made lying in bed, all tangled up and naked. Should I talk about those years, because the abuse discovered looks even worse in comparison to what I thought was my dream man and reality? Yes. I should, because the abuse discovered looks even worse in comparison to what I thought was my dream man and reality. BOOM! Answered my own question with the question itself.

The level of abuse needs nothing more to highlight its ugliness. It is evil incarnate. In truth, I wish there was a way to water it down so people don’t walk away and think “no way”…. because, well, “way”.

Watering it down? Yes, there is one perfect reference. The best explanation I can offer comes from Netflix’s “Stranger Things”. Season Two, Episode Five. At about the 43 minute and four second mark. If you haven’t watched “Stranger Things”, do it. It’s amazing and an easy binge. I will highlight it for you without giving away any spoilers to the overall plot. No worries for spoilers. Promise.

So…….Two characters, Jonathan and Nancy, have tracked down a man named Murray and told him about a huge government secret and their friend, Barb. Murray explains that the only real way to get the story across is to water it down- the general public can’t fathom the level of information and deception. Murray explains, it’s like putting tonic into vodka so that the vodka is more palatable. (As soon as I figure out how to edit snippets of video, I will insert. I can’t figure that out, yet. Patience please.)

But I can’t water this down. The truth is the truth. I will just serve up the information, Grey Goose shots with extra lime style, and there will be no tonic to help it be more palatable. I hope you can keep it down for the night, and not end up with a huge hangover.

The articles I have written are done chronologically. They will be put into this website chronologically from the exact moment they were written. What does this mean?

The level of sadness and depression will not be masked. The level of anger and hatred that rise up occasionally will not be changed. It’s all there. Good, bad, ugly, hysterical, joy, skipping and peace will all remain in the proper context of the article written at that specific moment in time.

I’m doing this because the information about Marc and his main known sexual partners and actions just keeps coming to me, even years later. NOW I know. THEN (as in during our relationship), I didn’t. I don’t want to go back and edit articles to reflect any gained knowledge. There is a certain ugliness to the lack of knowledge I had at the time of chapter creation. There is also a certain beauty, because my brain could have only processed information in chunks.

Heal. Discover the new information. Heal. Repeat. To have full knowledge at the very beginning, seriously would have admitted me (and rightly so!) into the mental ward for an extended stay with zero Hilton Honors points.

By not editing the originals to reflect the new knowledge that unfolded over the years, I’m honoring the multiverse and God’s slow discovery process for me and my family. This will serve as a testament of gratitude for the process of protecting me, when I didn’t even know I needed the protection.

Honestly, I’ve been carried through the discovery with such gentle hands and guidance; I’m lucky and blessed beyond measure by powers higher than this earthly realm. (I also think our puppy, Beattlejuice, sits at a throne in heaven and helped everyone sort this all out and filtered it down to us. That tiny 13 pound puppy thought he was a 150 pound Great Dane, and he carried himself as such. I know he brought this about to protect us all.

Holy hell!! I was just weeks shy of marrying Marc. Beattlejuice certainly helped save me from his heavenly throne!)

If the abuse discussed could be a trigger, the article will have a warning. I want people who have been traumatized to be ready and in the right state of mind to receive the information. If they want to receive the information at all. The triggers for trauma victims can send a perfect day into fetal position. Been there. Done that. Oh, about 829 times. It’s not pretty and I’d like to spare others the trauma if they’ve endured and survived their own abuse.

We are about to begin our pathway; several chapters in and only about four baby steps onto the path. Please hang in here with me. Please don’t close down the computer and walk away from the abuse because it’s too much to handle.

Had I walked away from what I first saw, because it was so grotesque and insane, I never would have discovered Marc’s level of abuse. I would have married him and continued to be abused in filth and living with his puss filled soul (WOW! That sounded angry, right? I am a bit angry at this very moment. Not editing the anger out.)

Instead, I turned around and faced what I discovered. That choice has made all the difference in the world. Maybe facing down this demon with me, will allow you to escape a situation you’re not ready to know exists or help someone who needs to escape. Maybe you’ll discover what gaslighting is and realize you’re living it. Maybe the signs I never knew along the way, are living out in your world every day and you will suddenly be woke to the reality. Maybe you’ll leave. Maybe you won’t. But, maybe you will take more courage in leaving….someday.

Narcissistic Abuse at the hands of a Cluster B type personality disorder true narcissist? Folks, you’re about to earn a master’s degree in that circle of hell.

I’d like to give a special thanks to the Safe|In Harm’s Way team. Their encouragement and love is beyond measure and I hope to repay them all someday. They allowed me space and time, because re-living some events can find me sobbing in a grocery store and not being able to stop the tears, or, you know, the whole fetal position thing. They would give me time and grace to heal and move forward again.

And…..here is the really cool thing; while I’m putting out my story, they will be doing homework on all the laws and processes and ideas and resources that are available to help those being abused. What they find will be brought to you on the website, in one brilliant Amazon-esq one stop shop without the payment. Brilliant! I just get to tell my story and they will provide every imaginable resource to help survivors leave.

I like how I have picked up their lingo. I like how their mission statement is flowing through my brain now. I like how we have a plan in place that could morph and change, and we are plunging forward knowing the end result we want to achieve, but still not exactly sure how we will arrive at our destination. As our fearless leader Janey constantly reminds us, “Ladies, we just need to take a drink of water, we don’t need to swallow the entire ocean. Let’s do this small drink by small drink.”

Chapter 4 – Pray


SOUNDTRACK:

The world needs changing, and an army is needed for the cause; you could help be the army. Come take my hand, I’ve got your shot of vodka poured and circled the rim with extra lime. Let’s put our glasses up, speak the truth, and start to change the world by exposing the truth with confidence and patience. 

You ready? Here we go.

Rihanna- Cheers (Drink To That)

 I’ll drink to that!

Join and follow the Maya Jane Clark playlist on Spotify!

Intentionally Fearless: The Liberation of Maya Jane Clark, Chapter Two, Ms. Sheila’s Affirmations

Do you need to follow Maya Jane Clark’s story from the beginning? Start here with the Age Verification: The Liberation of Maya Jane Clark


Guys!! It’s Maya. How ya doin’?

Can We Head Back to High School English Class, please?
My high school years were spent in a mid-sized city in the upper Mid-West. It was a small school with high academic standards. Once you reached junior year, you were required to take two classes with the English Literature teacher; one of which was composition. Ms. Sheila led our class.

Hand to God, every time I write, I channel that fine woman who completely terrified me.  I imagine she is standing over me with her bony hand (she was a bit like the Crypt Keeper) on my shoulder and correcting each fragmented sentence, punctuation and paragraph formation.

When I am stuck on what I want to write, I pray to her for guidance. I fear her and love her company in spirit (wait, would she hate my parenthesis usage? Would she hate my …… ? Would she hate this random rant? Hell, I’m not sure, but I’m pretty sure she just turned over in her grave with my cursing.)

Anyway, Ms. Sheila always taught us to write in the form of a preface first; tell the reader what you’re going to write about. Next, on to the body which was writing about the topic you are choosing. Closing? Re-position the preface and tell the reader what you just wrote about.

Kindly now flash back to Boy George and Culture Club on your Walkman, because I’m about to outline what the rest of the Pathway is going to look like. Consider this the preface…kinda-sorta.

While the team has been working on launching Safe| In Harm’s Way, my component has been my own labor of love from the very moment of discovery. It’s morphed and shifted, and it has been beautifully organic. In fact, until I began to write this very article, I hadn’t clearly seen the process take shape until this very moment.

(I’m pausing now to offer a prayer of gratitude. Holy cow- this is amazing! Give me a second, please.)

  1. I just finished a tear-filled Marco Polo video session with a Safe| In Harm’s Way team member. This is unreal. Here’s why.

I have about 465 articles written. Most of them are housed in my iPhone, in the notes section, and almost all were done talk to text. There are several reasons for this. First, I drive a lot for work. I cover several states in my job’s capacity and talk to text helped me utilize time more efficiently on the road via blue tooth.

Secondly, before discovering Marc’s secret and abusive life, I spent a great deal of time with Marc’s child (because he chose not to spend time with his child). I caught a nasty eye infection from the youngster and spent the latter part of the mid-2010’s with eye infections. These infections made me look like I was crying all the time and ultimately ate away at my eyes lens’. I had to have corrective eye and cataract surgery; not covered by insurance. (Thank you very much Marc; especially since I never would have spent time with you or your offspring had I known what you were doing! But I digress.)

Long story, short- I couldn’t see. So if I wanted to write, talk to text was my only option. In the mornings, I would correct the punctuation and flesh out the details because I could only see best in the morning. I also have articles written on random pieces of paper and notebooks, plus post-it notes. Lots and lots of post-it notes.

But it didn’t start out that way.

How it started was with quotes and affirmations I began to place into my Outlook calendar, with reminders that went off all day long. 24-7. Every time my phone  would Ding, the kids would comment, “Another affirmation for Mom. What’s this one? Who texted it to you?”. It was a little frustrating for them, because sometimes I am being notified with the Ding Classic Alert pattern, 7-8 times an hour. I can understand how that could be intrusive, but I LOVED IT!!

When I discovered what Marc had done to me I lost my mind. Literally. Couldn’t speak. Couldn’t think. I’m sure I sounded like a crazy person to anyone I spoke to.  And that’s OK, because I was crazy at the time. I completely lost my shit.

How and why? We have hundreds of articles addressing how and why, plus connecting the dots of abuse. Do you remember those grade school era connect-the-dots pads of paper?  Remember those!?!? You drew lines from one number to the next until a picture was made from connecting the dots and drawing lines. I loved those. It was so cool to me and I obsessed over the order and the beautiful pictures that developed, when I completed them as a child.

However, Marc’s dots and line connections I completed as an adult- well, those were far, far different. Marc’s exercise in pencil creations always created pictures of fear and grotesque strangers he had sex with from Adult Friend Finders and Craigslist and…..well, I lost count of how many secret sites he had joined. These connect the dot pictures are ones I never imagined could be created. Or, pictures of him screaming in my face because I didn’t fold the towels correctly. The list could go on and on. I don’t feel like coloring them in and hanging them on the walls of my bedroom like the third grade me. Plus, I’m digressing in a huge way, and I have a feeling Ms. Sheila is getting really mad from heaven right now. So, back to the topic at hand of affirmations.

Affirmations. Affirmations are what I used to regain my sanity. I still use them today.  I had a Safe| In Harm’s Way team member tell me about this process and I thought “well, that’s stupid” until I had no choice but to try SOMETHING or go insane. Yep- I did it. I began to put affirmations and inspirational quotes into my calendar. Apparently, it’s been a successful effort to remind me all day long, that I could manage to somehow survive.

And, I’m just realizing right now, at this very moment, that those affirmations brought me to the point to begin writing. In other words, THEY WORKED. They worked and I didn’t even realize the affect all the positive notes, prayers, saved texts, etc, etc, etc had on me. I just naturally one day started to write.

I’m fortunate. I am so lucky.

Of course, we must start this path at below sea level; way deep down the ugly path of discovery.The exact moment and the exact time I discovered Marc’s evil. This will take a bit of time where inches are measured and not miles. The map gets murky and it’s hard to tell the direction of my path because Marc’s deception is thorough and covers twenty years- almost ten of those years spent with me. Instead of bathroom breaks on this long journey, there will be moments of car sickness and vomit. It’s rank and ugly and his actions make my stomach churn, hurling the Velveeta Cheese queso and chips (I’ve made those two food sources into a new food group that any dietary junior-high food pyramid doesn’t ever touch) at each rest stop.

And then, I am going to do something I really don’t want to do. UGH!! WHAT???? I don’t want to do it, but some really smart editors tell me it is a must. I have to be honest, I was not happy initially. Not happy at all, in fact, slightly angry and sad. They had a big ask, delivered over a conference call. Ultimately once I calmed down, I had the most beautiful realization. They were absolutely correct.

I have to write about the good times.

The beautiful love we had. The gifts and travel and jewelry and flowers. How my kids wrote him letters of love and appreciation every Father’s Day. How my Dad and Mom gave their blessing on our wedding and life and loved his children as their own grandchildren. How my siblings went to events for his kids. How my former husband gave his children Christmas presents. How much I loved our life and him.

Why don’t I want to? Why would I discuss a decade of lies built by Marc- lies we all willingly accepted? None of it was real. But here is the I thing the smart editors have driven home to me: I/WE DIDN’T KNOW IT WAS LIES AT THE TIME. I/WE THOUGHT THE DECADE OF LOVE WAS REAL AND TRUE. I/WE THOUGHT THIS WAS FOREVER. (Yes, it’s in all caps because I am shouting!)

Marc worked very hard to craft the most beautiful life for me, my children and family. We all bought it. Marc created the most fabulous facade to cover his secret life. We never knew.

After flashing back to the beautiful life built on lies, I will layer in the bridges and shortcuts, also known as affirmations. Why would I not? The affirmations (as I mentioned above) are quotes, songs, prayers, voice messages from friends, voice messages from old boyfriends, etc. Anything that gave me joy or hope was placed into my Outlook calendar, set on daily reminders with the Ding Classic ring tone and went off to remind me of the beauty in the world. They remain today. I still add new ones now. I love it; it’s not stupid at all.

From affirmations, we will move on to the articles I’ve written and still write today. Now here comes the really cool part. It’s going to be multi-faceted, because while I have 465 articles (sit back and enjoy, we are all going to be friends for a long time!) there will be guest stars.

Didn’t you love guest stars on the old TV shows, like when the characters from Full House would cross over into Family Matters? It will be kinda like that. Other abuse survivors will step in and tell their story. Safe| In Harm’s Way team members will step in with their own survival stories. Why? Because once I started speaking the truth, other women and men came forward to tell their stories. They’ve agreed to tell the truth of their experience, too. This is going to be a true thing of beauty and healing. As our SIHW mantra goes, we have joined hands and are going to change the world.

One team member for SIHW keeps raising her hand to remind us of the joy in this process. Misty keeps saying, “Maya, the level of depravity with Marc, is a chasm that is as wide as the Grand Canyon. But don’t forget about the joy and the beauty and wonder that happened, too. Write about THAT!!”

And she is right. There have been the most beautiful connections made at key points in this journey. The new people that entered my life based on these connections are going to weigh in, too. What was happening in their life as we met up on this road? How did their journey beautifully mesh with mine at moments of pure joy and celebration, and also lift me up when I was on the floor sobbing and unable to move? It’s going to be so cool to have those moments brought to life in this channel. I will be writing from my side at those exact moments and they will be writing from their side. I can’t wait! Why? NONE of these people would even be in my world, and now near my heart, had horrific abuse not occurred or had I never discovered the abuse.

Finally, since healing is life long process, I will continue to offer the good, the bad, the ugly and the pure and total joy that comes with healing mentally and physically from trauma. It ain’t easy, and the truth about the process will help heal others while it heals me. Selfish? Yes. Changing the world for others? Yes. I never want anyone to feel they’re alone in this world. Let’s talk about it. Be confident. Be patient in healing. Speak the truth. While we are at it, let’s hold abusers accountable. Really! NOOOOOOO- they don’t get to any more!

So, there you go, Ms. Sheila. We are going to begin this journey with car sickness and vomit, discuss a beauty filled life built on a foundation of lies, build bridges with affirmations, move to the articles that include guest spots and beautiful winks from the universe, and end with a continuation of healing from trauma. Oh, and let’s not forget the months where I almost lost my eyesight (hmmmmm…..think I hold a bit of a grudge about that? Yeah, cause I do!!)

I think I can feel the soft tap, tap, tap of Ms. Sheila’s bony fingers as she considers my grade. It’ll probably be a B. However, as I always did back in the day, I will argue with her for an A-.

Chapter 3 – Vodka with Lime

SOUNDTRACK:

Since we have flash-backed to the 80’s, a little Boy George seems like a good idea. Gosh, makes me dance the Pony, feather my hair and use enough Aqua Net to start a fire near any lit cigarette. 

Culture Club- Church of the Poison Mind

Join and follow the Maya Jane Clark playlist on Spotify!

 

Intentionally Fearless: The Liberation of Maya Jane Clark, Chapter One, Maya and Marc

Do you need to follow Maya Jane Clark’s story from the beginning? Start Intentionally Fearless: The Liberation of Maya Jane Clark here!


 

Wow. Hello there. Sooooooo…….I’ve started this introductory letter oh, about 41 times.  Many different versions. Many different ideas. So much so, I’m just spinning round and round and round.

Enough already. Time is now. Let’s not burn the day away any longer.

Ultimately, I have figured the best way is to start with my name and work forward from there.

Why not just stand up and speak who I am and give courage to other women to do the same? Why not ensure that any other woman who comes across him will not suffer the same fate? Gosh, that fear is real for me; some other woman (and possibly her children) is going to be unknowingly exposed to his filth and disease.

Well, I’m scared out of my mind. Still. Years later. I fear him, his 20 year network of cohorts and his family; who upon confrontation after discovery, pretty much seemed to know he was troubled in his first marriage…..but left those pieces of information unsaid to me and my kids. Classic! Truly cluster-b-personality-type-flying-monkeys.

After all, I was going to change him. I was going to give them back their son and brother, with my love and the love of my family.

Consequently, turns out, now I must protect myself. I must protect my family. I must ensure a man who looked me in the face and claimed to love me, also lived a secret life the entire duration of our relationship; from the very first second until well beyond the time I left him. You know what? I bet I’d win a huge chunk of change by betting that he still is living that life. Why would he not? He hadn’t been caught for almost 20 years. Certainly, my leaving him didn’t stop his actions. I know this to be true. I wish Vegas had odds on him. Oh well.

He lived a life filled with insanity, disease, deceit and drugs all in our own home and when he traveled for work. And when I traveled for work, and when I was sleeping and he had “business dinners”. And in our own bed. And here and there and every where…..Basically, every opportunity he could get, he took; any stranger’s or neighbor’s sexual appetite, he valiantly attempted to satisfy. Based on what I found, he happily engaged.

I had zero knowledge of any of these covert actions. He made sure my life with him was conducted with outwardly grand actions to convince me of this undying love.

There were all the other layers of abuse, besides the numerous affairs, all conducted while I remained faithful and monogamous. Drug use, financial abuse, physical abuse, mental abuse, unsafe living conditions and emotional abuse all were weapons of choice for Marc.

My family lived in a tidal wave of overwhelming loss from his lies once I found out. We never knew. Until one beautiful day we did, or at least we started to know. It’s several years later and the revelations still just keep on coming. And the pictures- WOW!! I had to look at pictures, and then look up random definitions on Urban Dictionary to find out what I was looking at. “Oh!!!! So THAT’S what that is. OK.” and then run to the bathroom to vomit.

The team at Safe| In Harm’s Way are so cool. They worked hard on protecting me, allowing me space and time to heal, as they built this entire site around me. I love them for it. Shout out loud for the people in the back, “THANK YOU! Thank you, team Safe| In Harm’s Way, for building this while I took the time to heal. You ROCK!!”

So- now back to me. Who am I? My mom is a huge fan of Greek mythology. I can’t even tell you  the amount of times we watched “Clash of the Titans” as a youngster, with my Mom explaining all the gods, goddess’ and the history the movie left out. (Side note: I’m a Medusa fan. Loved that chick! She was pretty bad ass.)

My name came from Greek mythology. The Greeks spelled it as Maia and the legends say she was the mother of the “messenger” God, Hermes. Her name also translates to brave warrior and great mother. As an adult, I kinda dig the connotation of birthing the message and being a warrior Momma. When I was a kid, I thought it was weird. However, apparently Maia was beautiful, which made the five-year-old me happy and fostered hopes of a future Ms. America crown, just by name alone.

Hello. I’m Maya Jane Clark and it’s a pleasure to meet you.

Who did I meet and fall in love with? Marc De’Saude. Who abused me in a systematic and calculated way? Marc De’Saude. Who still scares the hell out of me today? Marc De’Saude.

Maya and Marc.

We had it all. Beautiful huge home, a blended family that worked hard to get along well, a fabulous and very active sex life, travel, fun, dreams, prosperity, and a love that was “deep and everlasting; a connection I’ve never had before” (His words).

Plus, “I just can’t get enough of your smell” (His words).

Plus, “Tangle up and dream with me. What fabulous life will we lead?” (His words).

Plus, “Our grand-kids are going to have the best family adventures.” (His words).

Plus, “Sweet-pea, our love is a love to be envied.” (His words).

ALL. LIES. EVERY. SINGLE. WORD.

Over the course of almost a decade, all those words Marc spoke to me, plus others more wonderful and beautiful that served to lift our Perfect Couple status higher and higher- were all lies. And on a random and uneventful evening, it all came to a crashing halt.

Marc lifted his middle finger to the sky (God, Universe, Multiverse, whatever deity you subscribe to) with a big “F$&K you” on our love and life we created. Each and every second of each and every day together- from the very first moment we connected, were all lies and filth. And in so doing, he covered every inch of our inner and outer selves in filth that I never knew needed to be power washed with Lysol, Karen Silkwood style.

The twelve words (thirteen without contractions) that forever changed my life and the lives of my children?

“Baby, don’t be livid. I’ve done something really bad. Really bad.”

It’s been a pleasure to meet you! I’m glad you will be along for this ride and I hope you learn something along the way that saves you or someone you love.

Best,

Maya

Intentionally Fearless: The Liberation of Maya Jane Clark, Chapter 2 – Ms.Sheila’s Affirmation


SOUNDTRACK:

Music is so important a component here. Each chapter of my journey will have a corresponding sound track. Why?

My family loves music. Currently, we are kinda digging early 70’s rock (Let me tell you, there is a sweet joy when one young son says, “Mom, turn up the radio, it’s Fleetwood Mac!”)

Anyway, there’s music that saved me on this pathway. Music that inspired me and music that halted actions I wanted to reign down on the guilty parties involved.

The music will serve as a soundtrack to articles more often than not. Heck, as we get this ball rolling, if you are reading one of my articles and think of a better song- tell me. I’d love to hear what music you thought of on any particular article. Oh!! And watch for our Safe| In Harm’s Way playlist on Spotify.

The lyrics I woke up to in my head today are:

Love, love, love what more is there?

Because we need the light of love in here

Don’t beat your head

Let the love in there

There are bad times

But that’s okay

Just look for the love in it

And don’t burn the day away

~Dave Matthews Band, 2006, Live Version of “Pig” from Weekend on the Rocks

Dave Matthews Band, “Pig” Gorge Amphitheater, August 2019

Join and follow the Maya Jane Clark playlist on Spotify!