As a child, I believed many of the LIES children of domestic violence learn, like feeling Worthless, Unlovable, Angry, and Hopeless.
I was not in a child’s place for the majority of my childhood. My mother had me when she was a teen, and in a sense, we grew up together. She is a successful singer with over 15 years of experience in the music industry. During her first and second marriages, she relived her own painful experiences as a child within the relationships. She expressed herself violently with her first husband, and had trouble communicating with compassion. When she remarried, there was a lot of growth that had occurred on her part, but my second step father was a narcissistic monster. He was a Tsgt. Sergent in the USAF with a “squeaky clean” record. Despite this public persona, when the uniform came off, our home transformed into a tyrannical playground for emotional, mental, and physical abuse. We were stationed in Japan, which gave limited options for relief or support from outside parties.
As the eldest child in the house, I was always the protector of my younger brothers and my mother. When fights happened or things got broken, they looked to me as their comfort zone. I myself was also feeling the direct hit of the physical and emotional abuse, but I had to be the strong one.
During my teens and early adult years, I had many hardships with drugs, alcohol, self-injury, abusive relationships and low self-esteem. It took me years to get past the hurt and attempt to heal my wounds. I was a cutter for seven years of my life. I was on hard drugs. I had been drinking everything from cough syrup to vodka and prescription pill cocktails since I was 14.
I left Japan after I graduated high school, traveling and hitchhiking around the US, visiting people I knew from my past, trying to figure out where I belonged. After a failed suicide attempt at age 19, I decided that healing was no longer optional – it was a must – and committed to loving myself fully and letting go of the past. I had to be strong. I finally decided I had to take control of my life and deal with everything I was running from. With the help of trusted family members, friends and spiritual counseling, I was able to give up my destructive behaviors and move forward in my truth.
In 2013, a close childhood friend suggested that I become involved with CDVA (www.cdv.org) and explained the message and mission to me. When I found out that CDVA existed, the message brought me to tears. For the first time in my life, someone was telling me that I wasn’t alone and that it wasn’t my fault. I was compelled to join the mission and share my story as a vessel for healing inspiration. I couldn’t believe how many children and adults just like me were suffering in silence and questioning their true potential, all while living in fear that these LIES were the only way.
I currently live in New York City. I’m a monthly blog contributor for Loving on Me, and a certified Kripalu Yoga Instructor. In 2014, I founded Transcendence Yoga, a private collective, using Yoga as a therapeutic tool through personalized classes catered to adults and children suffering from PTSD. My yoga practice gave me the compassion I needed to identify my triggers and realize that I have the ability to transcend the traumas of my past. I personally know how yoga can restore the body, mind, spirit and soul. I’m proud to be able to share the techniques and skills that have been so powerful in my own growth and healing… and show other children and adults alike who grew up with domestic violence that they are worthy of love.