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The story that eventually brought me to Two-LifeStyles started when I was only 6 weeks old. My father beat me for crying and waking him up. I was born into a home that was effected by domestic violence. My father was physically, verbally, emotionally and financially abusive to my mother, myself and my sister.
As I grew into early childhood, at the age of six, I was introduced to a new form of abuse, sexual abuse, by a family member, an uncle of no blood relation. Then when I was thirteen, another man in the family of no blood relation began to abuse me sexually. When I came out with the facts as to what was happening to me, no one believed me and then, spiritual abuse was introduced to my life. I was forced to dress a certain way which I felt made me more vulnerable and I was prayed over so that the lying lustful demons would leave me.
There were three other men that used me in this manner from the age of thirteen until I was eighteen, because I didn't see the point in telling anyone because of the reaction I received the first time. So, at that point in my life, I had already been exposed to every type of abuse out there. Now, for another twist in the mix, I had liked girls since I was six, but I was dating guys because it was the "right" thing to do and I met a man that traveled and worked hard so I married him, finally, after putting the wedding off on seven different occasions. I really didn't want a man but I didn't want to be disowned by my family either, simply because I wanted to be with a woman.
Before getting married, he showed signs of abuse by raising his hand at me once but he didn't hit me and he was always accusing me of cheating on him with some other guy. After marrying him, this emotional abuse continued for seventeen more years before I got the courage to leave. By this time, it had become emotional, financial, spiritual, sexual and physical abuse. I spent thirteen months without this man in my life and then I came back home after fourteen months. We were separated again within three months. And in all honesty, I don't think he realized he was abusive because I didn't until an event in my life occurred that September that brought me through the doors at Two-Lifestyles in October. I started the classes to satisfy the social worker but when my case was dropped only five weeks in, I remained because I had learned so much in only four weeks that I wanted to remain so that I could be a better mother and a better woman. As the months passed by, these women became family to me.
Two-LifeStyles is a place where a group of women can come together, share their experiences with tears, hugs, and eventually laughter. Here we bond together as women to encourage and empower one another through engaging conversation and receiving education on the matter at hand. I knew that I wanted to forever be a part of this process so when I had the opportunity to become a survivor leader, I jumped in and began to do what I could to help other peers. I took on the role of survivor leader immediately after graduating from the program. I continue to grow and learn from women as they share their stories each week. To be a survivor leader, in such a diverse group of women that have been brought together with one commonality, is an honor that I will cherish for the rest of my life.
Let Two-LifeStyles educate you about self-love, self-respect, standards and boundaries through the engagement process that will encourage and empower you to be a stronger, more powerful, confident woman. I promise, you will never regret it because you will walk away with more than you came with._ Miranda