Never Again Will I Hide Behind My Trauma

Lorraine, survivor of childhood sexual abuse, who found hope at The Haven Retreat

At age 60, I have spent a lifetime hiding, my abuse and my suffering, in plain sight. For decades, I have always lived feeling behind, ashamed, an outsider, and always alone and misunderstood. Through it all, inch by inch, I struggled through counseling, lots of self-work, determined to not let it define my life. I was determined to never, ever give up on myself, no matter how long it took. Yet there was always a missing piece to my recovery.

Then, no longer content to be invisible, this student was ready to come out and this teacher, The Younique Foundation’s Haven Retreat, suddenly appeared.

At first, I didn’t see a picture of any survivor my age on the webpage. While I was so glad there was something that a younger me could have benefited from, I wondered and was hungry for, if they had something there for me, so I applied. I had no idea what to expect, except, this would be the very first time I would be in a space where everyone could look in my eyes and know who I was, understand my past. That alone made me anxious and hopeful.  This journey was remarkable.

I never thought of my abuse as trauma as I learned here and this was super significant for me. I always associated that with, and embraced that pain for other people, especially other children when learning of their abused or hurt lives, but never me. For the first time, instead of my reflection of enduring all those years of abuse as a weakness, I felt validated. For my strength. For surviving.

Here, I felt such a great sense of relief. I no longer felt isolated. I was gifted with a new sisterhood, a sense of belonging, and emerged with a graceful awakening to see and love myself as the whole and beautiful woman I am.

-Lorraine, Survivor

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