My Journey to Healing: A Story of Resilience and Hope

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Childhood trauma is a complex and deeply personal experience. It knows no boundaries and can affect anyone, regardless of their background or circumstances. My story is a testament to the power of resilience.

I was born into a family that was once filled with love and happiness. I remember the feeling of security and joy as a very young child, around the age of two and a half. However, my life took a drastic turn shortly after those early years. My parents divorced when I was about three years old. My mother remarried, but unfortunately, her new husband turned out to be abusive.

My sisters and I often found ourselves caught in the crossfire of his outbursts. These experiences fundamentally altered my perception of the world and my sense of safety and love. At such a tender age, navigating these challenges was incredibly tough.

Despite these hardships, I persevered. I was taken away from my mother at the age of 14 and moved to Pretoria, where I matriculated from High School Eldoraigne. It was a period of immense struggle, but also of growth because of the therapy I received in highschool. I worked from a young age, balancing jobs with my studies, driven by the determination to change my circumstances.

I was the first in my family to obtain a matric certificate and go on to university. With the help of a study loan, I completed my studies at Akademia, earning a three year diploma in marketing. The journey was far from easy, studying and working full-time without any support was one of these most difficult things I’ve ever done.

Today, I am proud to say that I have built a life I once only dreamed of. I am now married, has two beautiful  children, and uses my personal and professional experiences to help others. I am passionate about helping individuals rewrite their stories, break free from limiting beliefs, and embrace purposeful, joyful futures.

However, the journey here was not without its battles. I struggled with deep-seated insecurities, anxiety, and the pervasive feeling of not being good enough. These are common challenges faced by many who have experienced childhood trauma. The fear of failure and the pain of past experiences can cast long shadows over one’s life. But I learned that acknowledging these struggle and getting help is the first step towards healing.

Joining HealingLeaves as a Brand Ambassador is a deeply personal and meaningful step for me. This organization, founded by André and Dienie Kotze, has been a beacon of hope and support since 1997, focusing on Youth Development, Job Creation, Education, and more. Their mission is to empower and educate communities about the impacts of trauma, especially reconizing signs in those who might be overlooked.

As we’ve just completed Child Protection Week in South Africa, I am honored to partner with HealingLeaves to broaden the understanding of trauma and illuminate paths to healing and resilience. Learning about trauma, understanding its effects, and recognizing its signs are critical steps toward healing. This is a journey I am deeply committed to, both personally and professionally.

Together, we can ensure that no child is overlooked and that every voice is heard. Early intervention is key, which is why we aim to educate parents, family members, teachers, and community workers about childhood trauma and the importance of providing support.

Healing is possible. I am living proof that no matter how challenging the circumstances, there is always hope for a brighter future.

Today, I use my story to inspire others and to advocate for trauma-informed practices in all areas of life.

If my story resonates or encourages you to be a helping hand, I encourage you to reach out and learn more about the programs offered by HealingLeaves. By working together, we can create a world where every child has the opportunity to heal and thrive.

Here’s to a future where no pain goes unaddressed, and every path to healing is illuminated.

*Felicia is an international accredited life transformation Coach, Neuro-linguistic programming practitioner and negative emotions therapy practitioner.

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