PositiveVibes Magazine recently had the opportunity to speak with Juliet Ramos, a survivor, mental health advocate, and podcast host. Ramos owns and operates the BrokenGirl Unchained (BGU) brand, including, of course, her BGU podcast, her BGU blog, and other creative projects and entrepreneurial pursuits. She explores various topics in her articles and episodes—such as mental health, loss, love and sex, and heartbreak and divorce—and she is completely “unchained” when speaking on these subjects, offering both her personal opinions and professionals’ perspectives. Indeed, it was her own mental health struggles and a tumultuous divorce that initially inspired Ramos to create BGU and share her story, as she “felt an obligation” to be the support system for others that she never had. An intense yet genuine empath, Ramos details her experiences, perspectives, and how positivity plays a role in her life in this unfiltered interview.
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PVM: Could you tell us a bit about your personal story?
Ramos: I am 39 years old, and I feel like I am the best version of me today. I feel like I have been broken in so many pieces that I had to figure out a way to put myself back together again. I’m a suicide survivor. My ex-husband— I met him in 1996, I was 14 at the time, and I married him in 2004, six months after our son was born. I married him again in 2007, meaning we had the “big” wedding. We divorced in 2017, and we divorced because there was just so much trauma and so much disrespect that I just couldn’t take it anymore, so I left him.
The “trauma and disrespect” Ramos mentions here specifically refers to, among many other incidents, a messy legal battle between her ex-husband and her parents, who were his employers at the time; he sued them. Ramos also shares that, during their marriage, her ex financially and emotionally abused her. Nevertheless, her ex has managed to convince Ramos’s family and an unjust system that she is the one who cannot be trusted, leaving her completely alienated. Today, four years after the divorce, Ramos continues to battle her ex and fight for the right to be with her two daughters—all of this while combating cancer. Last summer, for instance, her ex called in a false suicide attempt and an emergency order, claiming that Ramos was mentally unstable and using drugs.
PVM: How exactly were you able to change your narrative, or turn these negative experiences and emotions into positives?
Ramos: That’s the thing. I wanted to show my kids that I can change a negative and flip it into a positive in any situation. There’s so much hate in the world. I didn’t want to be a part of that. I did not want to be that person. [BGU] is not a smear campaign [against] my ex-husband, because I wish him well. I want him to get healthy. I want him to be a healthy parent, and a co-parent with me, and a healthy parent to my children. My children deserve [two] loving parents. But I wanted to be everything that he was not.
If [my ex-husband] came to me tomorrow and said, “You know what, Jules? I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to hurt you. I lost sight of who you were,” I would melt like butter. I honestly would. I would melt like butter because everyone makes mistakes. Everyone is imperfect.
PVM: You’re very open and honest, even when things aren’t so positive. How do you decide how much to share?
Ramos: I’m going to be absolutely honest with you because that’s just who I am as a person. Right before this interview, my ex-husband let my girls come for the, you know, overnight. [My daughter] and I had a big argument about what I share. She’s like, “Well, I don’t want my business out there. I just don’t.” And I’m like, “Sweetheart, how am I supposed to get the support system that I need to get you guys back?” I understand. I’m not trying to exploit anyone. I need to respect my daughter, and I need to respect her story, and she should be able to tell it in her own words. However, at what point is it going to be okay or, even, at what point is someone going to do their job so I can protect my children? And if I voice how flawed the system is, then maybe, just maybe, someone will find it in their heart to point me in the right direction so that I can get my girls back.
Ramos clarifies that her stories are not malicious exposés but, rather, sincere attempts at expressing her problems, getting the help she needs, and helping others deal with similar issues. For those who deem her “crazy” or criticize her transparency, she says, “They’re not livin’ it.” In other words, they can’t understand her actions until they see things from her perspective.
PVM: You feel a certain way about the word “crazy.” Can you tell us a little about that?
Ramos: Passion versus crazy. I hate when people call me “crazy,” because I’m passionate.
She goes on to explain “not everyone’s heart beats the same.” Therefore, everyone will have different emotional reactions and behaviors based upon their personal experiences. While outsiders may find it easy to describe her using an unfavorable term like “crazy,” they have not lived the negative stories that have resulted in her positive passion.
PVM: You also speak a lot about narcissism. How do you distinguish between what women should consider self-love and empowerment and, on the other hand, self-degradation and narcissism?
Ramos: There’s healthy narcissism. We all have a little bit of narcissism in us and narcissistic characteristics in us. It’s healthy to a point because that’s where you have your confidence. That’s where you are able to put down those personal boundaries, right? Because you know your worth. You know that you’re deserving of love or that you’re deserving of a good environment for you and your family. So, it could be healthy. However, when you start manipulating, and you start hurting people [or yourself with] your actions, that’s when—it doesn’t matter your gender—that’s when it becomes unhealthy.
PVM: Since you talk a lot about strong women, would you consider yourself a “feminist”?
Ramos: I love women. There’s something to be said about a woman that is strong. That is what empowers me. Not any of what you see on TV, or on the Internet, or any celebrities. . . . I love a strong woman. I think they’re beautiful, and I think they’re amazing. I just wish I had more of them in my life! So, to answer your question: Am I a feminist? To a certain extent, I am.
PVM: Would you be willing to talk to us about any events or projects in the works?
Ramos: We’re actually going to be starting a documentary on my fight in the family court, and we’re going to be pitching it to some pretty big people in the industry. So, I’m excited about that. And, again, I don’t want to hurt anyone. That’s not my goal. My goal is to raise awareness and to change how the family court system is run.
I’m so excited about this, I can’t even express to you how excited I am: I have been asked to be a model in Karen Michelle’s women’s empowerment fashion show. . . . And, again, I love strong women, and [Karen Michelle] is the most classy woman I have ever interviewed. She is poised, and she is just a sweetheart. I love her, and I am so honored to be a part of that movement.
We’re also going to be starting a suicide prevention subscription box, and it’s going to be “Unchained in Wonderland”. . . . Not only do I love Alice in Wonderland . . . but there’s something to be said about owning your “crazy.” So, I thought it would be a good way to give back to people that battle depression, that battle anxiety, that battle with personality disorders, and really give women (because it is a female target that I’m trying to [reach]) these boxes to let them know it’s okay to be a little crazy, girl. It is okay! It is okay to not feel your best every day, and to cry, or to be a little manic sometimes. It’s okay. You’re human, just like everybody else is.
PVM: Finally, do you have one piece of advice for young women?
Ramos: Travel…Travel. Travel. Travel. Don’t settle down. Don’t have kids yet. Just travel because you’re not meant to see one part of the world; you’re meant to see all of the world. And always, always don’t settle for less than you deserve. And get good credit!
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PositiveVibes Magazine highly encourages you to check out Juliet Ramos’s BrokenGirl Unchained blog and podcast for more detailed and in-depth discussions. Ramos is entertaining, she is raw, and she is real. Not only does she hope to be a champion for women, but all of society. Thank you, Juliet, for showing us what positivity looks like from your perspective.
Interviewed by Kiersten Wright