Speak LOUD

You Are Not Alone with STEVE SIMPSON

April 28, 2023 Tiffany Barnes/STEVE SIMPSON Season 5 Episode 138
Speak LOUD
You Are Not Alone with STEVE SIMPSON
Show Notes

Today I’m talking with Steve Simpson, an award-winning author, businessman, and volunteer. Steve started writing as a child to escape a traumatic home life, and through his experiences with foster care, therapy, and self-help groups, was able to create a new start for himself. Today, he is here to speak loud about his own experience with abuse and to assure other people that they aren’t alone. 

Living a False Narrative

In early childhood, Steve describes himself as the opposite of an ‘A student’: a ‘Z student.’ He was always cracking jokes and interrupting and consistently failed classes because of the physical and verbal abuse he was receiving at home from his father. He recalls being jealous of the ‘smart kids’ whose home lives he believed to be perfect. Steve developed the narrative that he was stupid and that it didn’t matter how much effort he put in—he would never succeed.

Steve says that he started cutting class as early as 3rd grade, and would go to the library and ask for a pen and paper, where he would write poems and short stories. He was always looking for a way to escape. At 11, he attempted suicide, telling people who didn’t understand: “I don’t want to die—I just don’t want to live.” 

The Power of Self-Help

A turning point came in Steve’s life when he entered the foster care system. He stayed in two homes, both of which he recounts as good experiences, but the real trigger for healing was the mandated self-help group he attended. He states that it was the best thing to happen to him. Suddenly, he felt welcomed, and discovered that the so-called ‘smart kids’ in his group were fighting many of the battles he was at home. 

The self-help group supported him not just in his personal life but in school. Steve learned how to study and found himself doing better in school, going from barely passing to achieving high honors. In his teen years, he finally realized that it wasn’t his fault, but his circumstances that were creating the negative narrative.  

Writing The Survival Handbook

As an adult, Steve has written four fiction novels that he directs towards teens and young adults who are experiencing abuse or considering suicide. The books are works of fiction with abuse victim handbooks hidden inside. Steve wrote the books as a way for the right tools to get into the hands of kids who otherwise wouldn’t seek out help or who didn’t feel safe. 

Steve says that he wrote the kinds of books that would have helped him. He wanted the reader to leave feeling better about themselves and encouraged to find help. “If you are an adult,” Steve says, “you are involved.” He believes that it’s the adults’ responsibility to call out abuse and support victims, especially if they’re children. 

Listen in to learn more about the impact of verbal abuse, the dangers of misdiagnosis in abuse victims, and Steve’s five-year-plan. 

Resources Mentioned

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Find Steve’s books on his website

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