“Don’t be afraid to begin. I promise you will thank yourself.” -Pilar, Survivor-
When I was a child in school, I was taught to be afraid of the creepy man down the street. I was taught to be afraid of the scary van that slowly moved down the road waiting for an innocent child to come up and take the candy they were handing out. I was never taught to be afraid of my own family.
When I was six years old my abuse began, and for nine long years I was trapped inside myself.
At the age of 15, after three suicide attempts, soul-gripping OCD, and more self-harm than my body could handle, I disclosed to my mother and began my healing journey. Not only was I a victim of abuse for years, I was re-victimized when nearly half of my family chose to protect my abuser.
Now, four years later, I tried multiple times to talk myself out of going to The Haven Retreat. I was scared. I was terrified. But in the end I was so glad I went. In Utah, I found a whole new peace.
I learned that what I was doing every day to help myself was the right thing to do. I learned that there are women that looked up to me. I learned that the little girl inside of me who was once quieted by the lies and secrets of abuse could come out of the dark and run freely. She could now let me take care of the hard stuff.
It doesn’t matter if your healing journey started years ago, or the minute you walk off the plane to the retreat, you are welcomed with open arms. You are welcomed without judgment. You are accepted. You are loved. You are a survivor. The Haven Retreat is exactly that, it’s a haven for the strongest women on earth. Don’t be afraid to begin. I promise you will thank yourself.
– Pilar, Survivor