All stories are different.

My childhood sexual trauma started a bit later than others. However, I was still an adolescent. My brain and body still had a long way to go in terms of development. It happened for years until I knew something wasn’t right. I wanted out more than anything, but couldn’t find it in me to say “NO.” Well, The Haven Retreat taught me that “no” is a complete sentence. I know that might sound insane (because that is what I thought), but through training and baby steps, the women at The Younique Foundation have already helped me KICKSTART my healing journey.

The day I left for the retreat, I was very anxious. I wasn’t sure what to expect. The first day was definitely the hardest, but once we all shared a bit, I knew this was the place for me. No matter how BIG or small YOUR story is, we were all there for the same reason. I had never felt so relieved after sharing because holding all of those secrets in for so long kept me ashamed, scared, worried, etc.

The hardest part of the beginning of my healing journey was physically getting in my car and driving to The Haven Retreat. The easiest part you may ask…? Feeling so loved and accepted by multiple women that guided us through the four activity-filled retreat days.

At first, it wasn’t easy, but once we all started to open up about our day-to-day lives and how our childhood sexual traumas have completely made us the women we are today, we all became ONE.

Even though each and every story is different, we were all there for the same thing. For once, we could ALL relate to one another.

I thought I had my “breakthrough moment” when I first got help in 2013, but to be completely honest, the retreat was my breakthrough moment. It’s been over a month now since the retreat and I feel like a new person. I’ve learned how to deal with my “trauma voice” and, to me, that is HUGE. I can’t even tell you the last time I had a panic attack! This retreat saved me.

I’ve still got a long way to go, but this has been a wonderful start to my healing journey.

To the other survivors out there who have thought about applying to the retreat but haven’t finish the process… PLEASE DO. Don’t hesitate to do something FOR YOU. I did this for ME, and I cannot even begin to explain the changes I have felt mentally, emotionally, and physically.

Start your healing journey now.

 

-Aly, Survivor

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