Delighted to be shining a light on Min Grob founder of CCChat magazine.
Min is a campaigner raising awareness of coercive control, following her own lived-experience and is the founder of CCChat Magazine- a free online magazine on and around coercive control. She started organising conferences in 2015, started the magazine in 2017 and also speaks publicly both on her personal experience as well as more broadly.
What brought you to creating CCChat?
It all started by accident. I was working at a law firm, in 2015, paying off a legal bill that my ex should have paid. He refused to pay and to prevent the firm sending my file to their recovery team, I offered to work to pay it off. He must have found out I was working there as he started walking past the law firm, several times a day which caused a lot of fear and anxiety, but the police response was pretty dismal. This was before coercive control had been criminalised and I quickly realised that the police had a really poor understanding of what was going on. That night, I decided, with no real thought, to hold a conference and the next morning I’d booked a venue and two speakers and then thought yikes, what do I do next? Originally, I only ever expected to do one conference.
I had just started my CILEX training and had fully expected to complete my training and to become a lawyer but there was so much interest around the first conference and the whole conversation around coercive control was opening up everywhere, so I decided to hold more conferences. The magazine came about because it’s actually really exhausting to singlehandedly organise a conference and, at the time, I was still very much having to deal with post-separation stuff, family court as a litigant in person, a house move and desperately juggling to pay bills with trying to organise an event that relied on ticket sales, so it was really stressful.
Also, as more conferences started appearing and some with serious funding behind them, so they could not only pay speakers but also offer tickets for free, it became more challenging and exhausting to compete, so the magazine was a way of keeping the impetus going but at a much less arduous level than running an event and then hoping that ticket sales will pay for everything.
The magazine is another area where I don’t have any experience, so it’s been a case of learning on the job and trying various things to find what is the best fit. I think I’m at the stage where I’m ready to expand the magazine into something more, an upgraded version if you like, and I’m really excited about it.
Who or what inspires you?
I like that you include *what* because although it’s nice to name people who have been inspirational, it’s probably fair to say that my biggest inspiration comes from going out and looking at the sky, which I admit does sound quite weird. I live with a panic disorder and so much of the last ten years has been spent in a semi permanent state of fight or flight.
It’s taken a long time to understand what’s been going on in my body and even longer to get to grips with how to manage it and the biggest help, by far, has been going out in nature and seeing the blue sky, seeing the green grass, watching the clouds or the sea and absorbing the beauty of nature and noticing how much it uplifts me to be able to carry on. I’ve never been much of a person for meditation. I had a really bad experience and have struggled with it ever since just because I was told it would be good for me. It’s been incredibly freeing to acknowledge that it doesn’t work for me, isn’t a positive- not now anyway, and going out for a walk and enjoying the sky on a clear day, or looking at the clouds when it’s not has been really beneficial for my mental well-being.
What is the one thing you have always wanted to try?
Rock climbing, but I’m scared of heights so haven’t plucked up the courage. In a fantasy world, I’d love to learn how to fly. I’d also really like singing lessons. I love singing although I’m sure my neighbours would prefer it if I didn’t! I have a quite significant scar across my neck and when I sing it irritates the scar tissue and makes me cough, so I’m not sure whether something could be done about that but, in a fantasy world, I’d be able to sing Hallelujah and reduce people to tears of joy instead of currently, to tears of despair!!
If you could live anywhere where would it be?
By the sea. Definitely. That would be amazing. Especially if it was somewhere really warm and then I’d learn how to sail a minicat and maybe try my hand at waterskiing- although it would have to be somewhere with no sharks. Jaws put me off going into the sea for years!
If you won the lottery what would you do?
Move to the sea, buy my kids cars so my non-paying Uber-mum role could stop. Have an orchard and a large kitchen garden. I’d love to open up a wellness spa for people who are traumatised or suffering from anxiety and depression. There’s not enough at the moment that is affordable, for people who have been abused and are either struggling or finding certain aspects of life challenging, but who don’t need critical care.
Quick fire questions
Tea or Coffee
Coffee-but if there’s only instant coffee, then tea
Sweet or Savoury
Savoury or salty sweetness. Sorry Stella, I’m not trying to be awkward, honest!!
Books or Audio books
Audio-unless the narrator has a voice I find annoying.
Audio books have been an absolute life changer for when I’ve needed to read but have been out side my window of tolerance and so haven’t been able to process the written word. When my anxiety is particularly bad, I listen to the audiobook whilst walking or driving. It’s just enough activity to distract away from all the panicky symptoms and I am able to take in information.
City or Countryside
Countryside with easy access to city. I love living in the country but I find septic tanks, bad WiFi and dirt tracks a challenge.
Many thanks to Min- much love and light from Stella’s open road trip. To read CCChat magazine and find out more please click on the links below.
CCChat Magazine is available on http://www.yumpu.com
Link to current issue:https://www.yumpu.com/en/document/read/65184797/ccchat-magazine-issue-20