I Struggled to Even Know Who I Was

Most people can look back at their childhood and have memories of love and laughter. I look back at mine and only have one memory. That one memory has controlled my life and taken so much from me.

I was sexually abused by my uncle at the age of 10. My family, apart from my parents, my brother, and an aunt, turned their backs on me. They didn’t believe me. They hated me and disowned me. From that moment on I felt alone and abandoned. I struggled to even know who I was. My childhood and my good memories were stolen from me.

Sadly that wasn’t the end of my abuse. I suffered abuse at the hands of another uncle and a close family friend. After that I became a shell of person, believing that there was no such thing as safe touch. Believing that I could never be loved, only used. Believing that I was not worthy of love and that I was damaged and would never know true happiness.

I spent a large part of my life bouncing from relationship to relationship looking for someone to love me. Looking to fill the void that was left behind as a result of my abuse and the loss of my family.

I attended The Haven Retreat in August 2018. I went in scared to death and still believing that there was no repairing the damage that had been done. I truly believed that there was no fixing me and that this was how my life would be forever. Little did I know that this would be the stepping stone to healing and happiness.

I came home feeling like a completely different person. For the first time in my life I had hope. I had a way and most importantly I had a voice again. It has been a long road and I know I still have a long way to go but I am healing, and I am strong. I look at life so much differently now and I owe that to The Younique Foundation. I searched for so long trying to find a way to heal and be normal. I no longer want to be “normal.” I’m not normal, I’m a fighter, I’m strong and I’m not going to spend another moment of my life being a victim. I’m going to rise from the ashes and fight.

I can’t have that little girl back that I lost so many years ago. I have mourned her loss, but I have the power to be who I want to be and not allow my abusers to dictate what that looks like. This is my life and my journey, and I am FINALLY excited for the road ahead!

Thank you for the opportunity. Thank you for tools you provided me. Thank for providing a safe place for me to begin and the amazing women you have brought into my life I now consider my sisters!

-Cheryl, Survivor