By Allison Ramsey
Coding is not for everyone. It takes an analytical mind, a person who loves infrastructure. It involves a lot of sheer will, and knowing when to walk away from the computer before you might break it, then dreaming the solution to the problem while you’re sleeping.
There is a power that comes from understanding you can authentically create something from nothing online.
With your hands and knowledge, you can create innate systems to help better others lives. One time, from the other room in the house, I heard my daughter tell her girlfriends, “Yes, my mom can create a picture on the internet. She can create anything on the internet.”
Meeting My Husband in Turkey
My husband and I met in Turkey when my daughter, Lily, was little. It was an immediate connection.
We quickly prepared to move back to the USA because of the rising governmental unrest in Turkey. About one year later we got married in a small ceremony. He opted out of inviting his family because of past traumas with them, especially because mental illness runs in his family, so he did not want to invite them.
Given that he was unable to work until he was approved for his green card, I supported our little family for a little more than a year and a half. And, because of his culture, I adapted to assuming most of the cooking and cleaning, while he carried heavy things, killed bugs, and served as the protector.
Until, I needed protection from him.
In the early years of our marriage, we both aimed to improve our skills and created a side hustle income by launching a tech start-up together. We coded non-stop and created a stunning, easy-to-use platform for Natural Health Professionals to find more clients.
But, along the way, I would often need to leave the room because he would become frustrated with something in the code and then start yelling at me, “You are so stupid, why do I have to work with all idiots, dummies!?”
I’d work all day, come home to cook dinner, take care of Lily and help with her homework, then work with him until 12am or later, only to wake up at 5:30am to repeat. Our tech company grew successfully and he also landed a software developer job, but then everything spun out of control beyond repair.
Then, came the fast downward spiral.
Up until now, I had read every coding book alongside him. I helped my husband write an epic resume, created technical questions and answers for him, quizzed him, woke up early with him before interviews, quizzed him again, made him breakfast, wrote millions of LinkedIn messages for him, and emailed responses for him. I later learned that in an interview for his software job, he said he solely coded and founded our company.
At this same time, the company I worked for began to suffer financial issues, so I had to leave my full-time job. It happened during the summer, when Lily was off of school, and I wrongly assumed he would be supportive of me in the same ways that I had been of him.
The new daily routine became his pressuring me the second I walked into the house with:
“How many LinkedIn applications did you send today?”
“How many emails did you send about a job? You mean you have none? Well, why not? Why are you so dumb?”
“How many interviews do you have lined up?”
“Why are you not being productive?"
“Don’t you know how to write an email? Sounds like you’re not writing emails right, if you have no interviews? I cannot believe you are not using your talents and just sitting around?”
I would leave the room crying when, after asking him repeatedly, kindly, and firmly to stop, he wouldn’t.
I’d sometimes even find myself crying in the closet, because the small dark room somehow felt comforting, to which he would not give me reprieve, but would instead come after me with more.
“Why can you not have a conversation about this, why are you running away? I like women who work, one of the reasons I married you is because of how hard you work! You’re like a steady luxury SUV, yet right now you’re acting like some sort of fragile car!”
Within another short year, I’d suddenly have to deal with him being in and out of jail, alcoholism, mental illness and more.
We went to counseling.
I refused to admit that divorce was an option, already having been divorced once before, it was never an option for me. Yet, with the constant abuse present, ours and his safety being compromised daily with his mental instability, everyone was telling me this was what needed to happen.
One night, after an extremely hurtful diatribe, he said, “You cannot leave the room because you remember the last time I brought you back in here and threw you on the couch, ordering you to listen. Shut up and listen.”
When he was in manic mode, he sometimes he thought he was a different person, with a different name, that people were plotting against him, that I was plotting against him. He would even chat about ordering a Russian bride, to be his second wife.
Finally – and way later than was necessary – we needed to make a choice for him to take control as much as possible over his mental state, or only put his life in danger. On that night, he asked me to sit on the couch again. I had been asking him to stop, multiple times. I heard a loud knock on the door.
It was the police, the neighbors had called them.
He proceeded to tell them that he was probably going to leave this house because it was unhealthy for him. But, the police did not buy this, so they asked to talk to me, and we went into another room.
The police turned on the light and looked at my red tear stained face.
They asked me to see my hands, and examined my face for abuse. They asked me what had happened. I said I was upset by the conversation.
They told me, “Ma’am you deserve better. We hope you ask him to leave. We hope you seek better for you and Lily. You know you can ask him to leave and never come back, right?”
The next day my daughter and I came home to an almost completely empty house. My husband had unexpectedly moved out.
I hit the ground when I entered the house, crying, shouting, and stomach immediately in knots. Lily, now a young girl, also stood there also shocked. We sat down on the couch, and she held my hand while I hysterically sobbed uncontrollably.
My husband asked me a few times to get back together and start having more kids. I agreed to, only if he committed to go to counseling for one year. Still, I offered to come with him, always being there for him, and perhaps one marriage conference at least every year. He would always agree in the moment, yet never follow through.
I quickly became the sole breadwinner again. I worked two jobs, and started preparing to launch into having software developer job full-time.
All that time I spent helping him, all those hours of preparing his resume, LinkedIn messages, reading coding books, preparing technical interview questions and answers and going over them with him, it was all for a higher purpose, and it had showed me my true passion in coding.
I often felt drained, lived on coffee, and aimed to support my daughter with sheer determination fueling my inner fire of doing my passion. I landed a software development job and started working a lot of overtime. I loved the CEOs of the company, and my team lead. It was perfect timing as Lily was older and more independent.
I still missed being there when she got home from school.
Fast forward to a few years ago, when I decided to launch my own tech company as the sole founder of Empire Life. I now have the chance to be there when Lily gets home from school most days. I also travel often for international speaking.
I can now reflect on my bravery in launching myself into coding, into the unknown of life and marriage, and of finding my way on my own again. All of this created the foundation to especially support women in tech with my current company, Empire Life.
We can all be the empresses of our own incredible lives. I’m living proof.
About Allison Ramsey
Allison Ramsey is the founder of Empire Life, a conscious tech and digital marketing company that guides influencers in launching and scaling their online empires. The Empire Life Academy is a full system to guide you with the exact tech tools, roadmap, and automations to launch your online empire with everything you need to accelerate your success.