Founder/CEO, The Introverts Adventure Club Disabled Adventuress, survivor, ex-academic and a former police detective taking you on a healing journey and empowering you to live, not just exist. Writer and photographer giving unrepresented voice. Author of The Unexpected Journey: Adventure Against All Odds
Dee's talk broadcasts May 08, 2024, 06:00 PM
Book My Place
About this speaker
Hi! I’m Dee, and I always dreamed of being an explorer! But I was born with complex disabilities – both physical and severe Autism with ADHD (AuDHD).
Thus, just like Bilbo Baggins, I was only enjoying my world from the comforts of my home. But everything changed when I reached for the works of JRR Tolkien and used his fantasy to navigate the world.
I started a semi-independent life and became an academic in reproductive physiology. Not realising how vulnerable I was, I got into some serious pickles: I was raped twice and had to run away from my abusive ex-husband.
But I didn’t give up – I started a fully independent life and even became a police detective. I wanted to help people like me and feel safe. And yet, after four years, I was sexually assaulted by a uniformed colleague. But this was only the beginning – I was subjected to four years of sexual, racial and disability harassment and discrimination despite trying to conform and fit.
I developed complex PTSD and trauma-induced conditions like chronic pain (Fibromyalgia) and Neurodegenerative Conditions. To top it up, I live with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, causing my joints to partially dislocate with each move, and Endometriosis makes each time of the month precarious and painful.
It was all too much. My mental health reached the nadir, and I lost everything. My fiancé, my house. My life.
I wanted to go…
This thought of ending my life was like a supernova explosion – I WANTED TO LIVE! And live the life I wanted. Not life driven by society, parents, misogyny, work or my conditions. This was when I decided to make my dreams come true and become an Adventuress and Travel Writer.
I got rid of my possessions, packed a tent and set off to do something impossible for someone like me – walk the 630-mile-long National Trial atop the highest and steepest cliffs of England.
And I did it.
Empowered, I quit the police, helped Women’s Rights organisations to bring about change with Violence Against Women and Girls, and started rebuilding my life and healing.
Today, I want to help others like me by sharing my story and founding The Introverts Adventure Club, where I make the outdoors and nature more inclusive and use it for healing and empowerment.
Are you ready to join me on my journey?