Today I’m talking with Mary Jean Winn. Mary Jean grew up in northern Utah and has spent a lifetime she describes as not recognizing her own self-worth. She has 6 kids and 12 grandkids. Mary Jean is a business owner and a writer, and is starting a non-profit to help others find their own empowerment and identity.
Being Silenced on Abuse
Mary Jean shares that she’s repressed the early parts of her childhood as a result of her abuse and has struggled to piece together how that early programming has affected the person she is today. She had a father who was physically abusive to her, her siblings, and her mother, and one of her earliest memories is of abuse witnessed at 9 years old.
Throughout her childhood, Mary Jean didn’t go to therapy and didn’t speak about what was happening to her. People didn’t talk about abuse. Physical discipline was more common, but the line between discipline and abuse was often in question. Everything was silent, according to Mary Jean, and no one ever came to help. In her opinion, the worst thing that someone can do while abuse is happening is to be silent.
Speaking Her Truth
As an adult, Mary Jean has found comfort in writing about her experiences. She has filing cabinets full of journals that she uses as a healing modality. Being in survival mode for the majority of her life, she found there was a lot for her to process.
Mary Jean’s book, “Lessons I Learned On a Dirt Road,” is a project 30 years in the making. The title was inspired by the clarity she feels while out in nature on a dirt road, where she feels the most grounded and closest to God. Although she struggled with the structure of the book, she hopes to begin the process of publishing in September. There is a need for her to tell her story. “You have your own roadmap,” she says and encourages listeners to make sure they’re not following someone else’s.
Connecting People in Need
Mary Jean’s nonprofit “Building Connextions” aims to create an empowerment center for at-risk people. She calls it a connection center where people can learn how to find their voice and live their truth in a safe, comfortable environment. The nonprofit is in its early stages, but Mary Jean is excited about the amount of potential it has.
Mary Jeans wants to be a guide for people who are struggling, helping them find their best path in life. She’s in the process of putting together programs and growing the nonprofit into her dream, showing others how to live the life they’ve never lived before. Mary Jean hopes listeners know to never give up, even in their darkest moments. If they keep putting one foot in front of the other, eventually everything will pass. This is a lesson she has taught to her kids and herself.
Listen in to hear more of Mary Jean’s journey, why she decided to write her book, and what modalities she uses to stay on the right path in life.
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