As a teenager, I traveled overseas with nothing but an over-packed suitcase and a dream of leaving the remote Colorado horse ranch of my childhood for the big city.
No sooner did I land in France than a man with a big, very nice-looking camera around his neck approached me. He said he could make me a model. He promised me an exciting life of big-city living and a future that sounded too good to pass up, so I went with him and his friend.
They drugged me, took me to an abandoned construction site, beat me and raped me. They dumped me in a park in Nice three days later.
I didn’t tell my family; I didn’t tell my friends; I couldn’t. I felt ruined, and if anyone knew what happened, they’d know that about me. Understandably, I became very aloof. I became a loner. Over time I began to feel completely disconnected from people; I even felt disconnected from myself.
I did become a model and traveled the world alone for my job, which suited me just fine; I never had to connect with anyone on a deep level. One November morning, I walked down the street in New York City and saw someone in Times Square with a sign, “Repent or go to hell!” I thought to myself, “I’m already in hell.”
In that moment, it became clear I needed to start over again….Continue reading at InspireMeToday.com.
Cheryl is a bestselling author, speaker and resilience expert who has coached and led personal development seminars for over 90,000 people since 1995.
Photo Credit: Gail Lynne Goodwin