An Inspiration for Every Story of Strength: Jaydee Graham
It isn’t uncommon for women who’ve gone through trauma to want to forget the experience, but Jaydee Graham is honored to talk about the “trenches” in her life. She is a graduate of the Family Scholar House, a nonprofit organization that helps support single parents who have experienced poverty, unstable housing, and domestic violence. She is also now an assistant program director there. She wrote a book called The Soul Grind: Fighting For Life Amidst the Trenches, which was published in January 2021. It covers her complex childhood being raised in a home with addiction and domestic violence up to age 20.
As part of therapy, Jaydee completed a timeline of her life, which ultimately led her to write her book and create an online community hub with other women who have experienced difficult circumstances. She wrote the book to heal and impact as many people as she could. While she is proud of earning both her undergraduate and graduate degrees, she is much more concerned with honoring the challenges that have made her who she is. “I barely graduated high school so a lot of people want to rest on where I’m at now. I [feel] more honored when people ask me to talk about my trenches,” she says.
“Being in the muck of your life can be relentless, and it feels caked on you. It feels like you’re not going anywhere, but you don’t even see that you’ve made a stride,” she says. Whether women have been arrested, gone to rehab, experienced domestic abuse, had an unplanned pregnancy, or faced any other difficult life situation, Jaydee’s hope is that her book reminds them that they are worthy of help and brave to seek it out.
Location: Speed Art Museum
Jaydee is wearing: Dress, $198, available at AFM Threads, 502.444.1450; Earrings, $10, Shoes, $35, both available at Versona, 502.339.4740; Hat by Griffin Derby City Hatters, $228, firstname.lastname@example.org.