I Was Living Life as If I Were Alone in a Crowded Room

Kenzie, a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, talks about attending The Haven Retreat.

Before attending The Haven Retreat, I was living life as if I were alone in a crowded room. I have family and friends who love and support me dearly, but no one really knew what I had been through. No one could look me in the eye and understand the darkness, the shame, and the unbearable pain of what I was going through from the sexual abuse I experienced.

I learned a lot of valuable information and skills that have helped me understand my reaction, reconnect with my body, and cope with my past. Nothing prepared me for the overwhelming love, support, and connections I made from the other women who were brave enough and willing to be vulnerable with me. These women stood beside me, cried with me, laughed with me, and shared with me their beauty and helped me start to see mine. I am forever grateful to them and the staff at The Haven Retreat.

I’m now taking the time to get to know myself again, more fully than ever before. I’m discovering that who I’ve wanted to be is who I am, it’s who I’ve always been. It was never stolen from me but lost deep inside and I’m beginning to search for it. For years, I have been silenced by my past, from the pain and shame of what I had experienced. I will no longer silence myself. I have a voice, and I have discovered the power of using it. There is strength when you discover that your story doesn’t have a horrific ending. I’m not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become. I choose to be a Survivor!

-Kenzie, Survivor

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