As a child, California-born Angela Legh knew tragedy, uncertainty, and messy emotions. She was six when her family home burned down. In fact, she discovered the fire, or “dancing lights” on the porch. Her family escaped safely, but then she was shipped off to a family friend’s house as they looked for another place to live.
“I didn’t know who this person was. She was a strange woman. It was traumatic.”
After moving from place to place, Legh’s parents divorced. Even so, she considered that as freedom from the darkness.
“As we drove away and found a new place to live, I just felt freedom and guilt for not caring that I wasn’t going to be around my dad. He just brought darkness into our lives, and I didn’t want to have that around”
Fast-forward to adulthood, and Legh used these incidents as a catalyst for change and growth. She is a development coach and the author of a children’s fairy tale series: The Bella Santini Chronicles. These books were written to help guide pre-teens through the emotions she felt as a young girl. The text acts as a tool to help children process and work through feelings of abandonment, bullying, and a host of other situations. The stories also helped her process her own feelings about her divorce.
“What the world needs is, instead of pointing our fingers and blaming, we need to see where our responsibility is in that interaction, even if it’s just, ‘Hey, I stayed there and took it.’ That’s still a responsibility, a choice we made. When we take responsibility, we step out of victim. It’s when we’re in victim, we can’t change anything.”
Four years ago, tragedy struck her again as Legh’s family home was destroyed by the 2017 Tubbs wildfire. That was also the catalyst for when Legh began to take control of her life.
“It was like the rug was pulled out from under us. I was forced to ask really hard questions because, if life can change that quickly, if your whole world can turn upside down in five minutes, then why was I spending time in a relationship where I was miserable?”
Leah realized she was in victim mode and couldn’t see her responsibility in that she stayed. It was hard to leave her marriage, though. She didn’t want to hurt her husband, but she had to choose herself.