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Interview: Lisa Mead talks about Breaking Good


Lisa is a kiwi mum of one 12-year-old boy. Inspired by her son, Dakota, in 2018 she left her corporate job to run Social Currency – an accounting firm donating 10% of revenue to supporting at-risk youth – proving that sustainable social change is possible. With a personal story of overcoming the odds, Lisa has so far invested over $100,000 towards mentors and role models for tamariki in Aotearoa. Lisa talks to NZ Booklovers.



Tell us a little about Breaking Good.

Breaking Good is my journey before, during and after domestic abuse. It's a book that rips off the lid of the unspoken things our society is more comfortable leaving in the dark and quiet. I share my darkest moments. Whether someone is living with, recovering from or wanting to help someone else dealing with domestic abuse, this book is an insight into the journey and most importantly the healing from traumatic experiences. This book is intended to reduce stigmas, encourage people to talk more about their own trauma or difficult experiences, and to understand addiction better. It will bring most to tears, but most importantly stir hope for the possibility of positive change in their lives. Was it difficult to write about your own life experiences? It was terribly difficult to write early on as I'd suppressed many of my memories and digging them up for this book meant that I also had to work on healing from the trauma at the same time. There were moments of writing where I would have tears streaming down my face blinding me from the laptop screen and I'd have to keep going because I knew how important it could be to someone. My son would come into my office and ask me if I was ok, bring tissues and rub my shoulder to encourage me. He understood what I was doing and was an amazing wee support in that way. I had to explain that I'd be ok soon, I just had to finish typing first. What was your process when writing this book? I wrote as much as I could over a period of three months, most days, about the period of time when I experienced domestic abuse. I wrote a list of key events and experiences that I wanted to cover, and gradually ticked them off. I then wrote other key timeline events down as they came back to me on various days over the following few months - I'd record them on my phone and use the text app so my recollections could be typed quickly. I then took a break for a few months as it was emotionally difficult for me to work through the trauma of my memories. When I got back to writing I ordered my memories in the document, filled in the gaps and read it over to make sure I wasn't missing anything. I wanted to make sure I covered domestic abuse in it's detailed terms to answer the questions I see asked of survivors so often. I wrote with the intention and purpose of sharing all of it - the ups and the downs and sharing with the world what it feels and looks like. What do you hope readers will take away from reading? I hope that readers will see that it is possible to overcome any adversity, forgive any wrong done against them and feel real hope for the future. I hope they also come to understand domestic abuse better, heal from any trauma and know how to help someone else who may be struggling in a situation like mine. If a soundtrack was made to accompany this book, name a song or two you would include. Hit me with your best shot - Pat Benatar

Eye of the tiger - Survivor

If your book was made into a movie, who would you like to see playing the lead characters? Nicole Kidman and Sebastian Stan What did you do to celebrate finishing this book? Went out to dinner with my son and my mum and had a Cosmopolitan 🍸 What is the favourite book you have read so far this year and why? My favourite book that I've read this year is Real Talk by Tania Carr. It's a quick read, with a collection of personal, raw and inspiring stories from people all over Aotearoa who have overcome adversity and are sharing their light with the world.

What’s next on the agenda for you?

I'd like to get an audio version done, with myself as the voiceover. I'm really looking forward to sharing this story with people, seeing what happens, the feedback and supporting women's refuges, possibly doing some speaking events and reducing the stigma around domestic abuse with my Instagram page/initiative @sodontcallmebrave