Share a little bit about yourself.
My name is Suzanne Freyjadis and I am the Founder & CEO of Soft Landing Society LLC. I live in Portland, Oregon and I absolutely love walking in the forests among the trees. I moved here from Austin to heal after recovering from cancer & being in a coma. I worked hard for three years to get stronger and when I learned how to walk for the second time, I left my abusive husband and moved here. That was two years ago. A year after I left, I realized that I wasn’t the only woman struggling with a lack of support for women, not only to help us leave, but we also need support after we have left. I interviewed hundreds of women and decided to use my video game development skills to support women, one game at a time. I don’t get to do my hobbies, which include cooking & crafts as much right now because starting a company is no easy feat, but I am determined to succeed because women who are trapped in abuse or have left abuse need all the support I can give them. They need new tools, because the ones we have don’t work really well.
What drew you to work with cancer survivors and/or caregivers?
I’m a survivor of oral cancer as well as a subsequent 6-week long, medically-induced coma. My husband became increasingly abusive when I was sick to the point where I knew that I had to leave. A lot of my understanding came with Kelly’s help. Women who are already in abusive relationships and get cancer are at an increased risk of escalating abuse from their husband, wife or partner and my goal is to support women so they realize that they are valuable and give them different tools so they can figure out how to leave and how to create a new life once they have left.
How do you help people with emotional recovery and what interventions do you use?
I am creating games to support women so that they can leave. I’m currently raising funds through a GoFundMe to create my first game. This game will help the players learn how to put themselves first, which is one of the first big steps in preparing to leave. I developed this game when I was working on healing from cancer & the coma as well as figuring out what I needed to do so that I could leave. Not only to protect myself, but also my children who ended up being my caretakers since my husband refused.
What self care practices do you recommend for recovery and healing?
I use yoga, as well as other methodologies I learned from Kelly. I’m still using the game I created to remember to put myself first, which is more difficult some days than others. Kelly is the such an amazing, inspirational & kind woman who not only supported me through realizing I was not only recovering from cancer & a coma, but also living in abuse. Her yoga classes, as well as the Yoga & Talk program were not only foundational to my ability to heal, but also led me to life long friends.
How has covid-19 affected you physically and emotionally?
It’s been really challenging since I’m an extreme extrovert. However, the focus on starting my company has big a lot of my focus so I haven’t missed things as much if I wasn’t so focused there.
How has being a cancer survivor prepared you to better deal with the pandemic or how is it making it harder to cope?
When I woke up from my coma after the cancer surgery I knew that I had big things to get done. No more waiting. Finding out that my husband was abusive, was just one more thing to tackle before my life could start. So if anything cancer has taught me that I can survive a lot and keep moving. I think that is one of the key lessons we can learn.
What is something you’d like to share with the community to help them along their healing journey?
Just move forward. That’s all we need to do. I think we often try to do to much too quickly. I know I did. But Kelly would always remind me that we heal at our body’s pace.
WILD CARD: What is your favorite saying, quote or personal motto?
You are never alone! It is one of the mantras I tell myself and it is one of the tenets of my company. Women shouldn’t have to be alone. We have the internet and zoom calls. It isn’t the same, but we need a robust support system so that we can thrive.