Dreams Do Come True

I do not have many childhood memories that are filled with joy, laughter or a sense of normalcy. My earliest memory of abuse is at age five. From that time forward, my mind and heart needed to find something that I could relate too, feel safe, find a connection. At my darkest time in life my horses, dogs and cats were my family, my safety, my reason in life. I dreamt I was Cinderella, and I found solace with the animals as she did.

They needed me as much as I needed them. I found my purpose. Luckily, over the years, my life has revolved around my two- and four-legged family.

As I grew up, I stopped dreaming of being Cinderella until the day I pulled into the long wooded snowy driveway at The Haven Retreat. Upon leaving my home, I was in absolute fear. Walking into the airport, I almost turned back. Something pulled me and said have faith. Face your fear. You can do this. And, I did!

Upon arriving at the retreat, we were met by two massive doors that would change my life. They were the doors to healing, strength, acceptance, and best of all I was surrounded by women who were just like me. I was not an outsider for the first time in my life. I looked into their eyes and I saw myself in many ways. I silently felt comfort and a very strange sense of peace.

Over those four days we spent together learning, sharing, growing, it was exhausting, emotional yet exhilarating, powerful, and strengthening. These women are and will always remain to be the bravest sisters in my life. We are connected. We are warriors. It’s okay to be who we are.

I never thought I would have had the chance to say, I felt like Cinderella again. Not the Cinderella locked away with abuse, but the ballroom dancing, joyful, beautiful Cinderella. Thank you to everyone who helped me live my dreams again.

-Katrine, Survivor