Healing 2 Grace

Survivor | Inspirational Speaker | A​dvocate | Author

Survivor | Inspirational Speaker | A​dvocate | Author

Greetings from Sheila

H​ow She​ila ​He​aled 2 Grace

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When I was a child, it wasn’t unusual for me to find myself feeling sad and alone. For most of my life, I lived with these two emotions. But one evening in 2014, more than a decade after my divorce from a man who was terribly abusive and violent towards me, I felt extremely lonely, even when I was in a room filled with people. To mask these feelings, I would dress my sadness up as beautifully as I could and hold my tears until no one else was around.


On this day, I exhaled and cried and I finally made the commitment to act on a thought that haunted me for most of my life… suicide. I decided that the easiest way to end my life would be to hang myself. As I stood on a chair with an extension cord around my neck, I began to think about my life – abandoned as an Infant, molested as a toddler and teen and severely abused during my marriage… oh, my marriage.


I never understood how someone could say, “I love you,” and in the same breathe, take his hand and grab my face while pushing the back of my head into the wall or taking plates out of the cabinets and throwing them at my face, while promising to make sure that I would be unrecognizable. After several beatings during my marriage, cleaning the blood from my face and praying that the swelling would go down quicker this time than the last time he beat me, I believed every threat that he spoke to me. How could I not? The most devastating threats were the ones that included my young child. I was told repeatedly that I would never see my child again, if I didn’t do as I was told. Throughout this marriage, I was verbally abused, hit in the face, beaten and forced to have sex.

As a result of this horrific treatment, I remembered crying inside every day. In my silence, I was hoping that someone would save me, would help me, but I also knew that no one could help me because they had no idea of the abuse that I was experiencing and keeping secret. Even after the divorce, I spent years playing out the events in my mind, trying to make sense of the madness that was my marriage and trying to cope with the feelings of brokenness, fear, anger, shame, humiliation, pain, guilt, low self-esteem and my tendency to act out these feelings in negative ways in my relationships with others.

But as I stood on the chair with that extension cord around my neck in 2014, something happened. Something compelled me to take the extension cord from my neck and to get off the chair. I fell to my knees, I sobbed and I prayed. In the midst of it all, I felt God’s presence and I knew in that moment that I was not alone. What was also revealed to me was how much my past was still showing up in my present and that I was living with so much trauma and fear. Now, through my awakening and with God’s grace, I wanted to live, live a different kind of life, begin the healing journey and be free of the mental and physical abuse of my past. With determination, courage, faith and professional help, my personal Healing 2 Grace began. It still continues but now, I use my journey and the lessons that I have learned to inform, inspire and encourage others to choose a life that is free from abuse and domestic violence and filled with health, joy, purpose and empowerment.

Today, I am the Founder of Healing 2 Grace, Inc., a nonprofit organization which is focused on the reduction and prevention of abuse and domestic violence among professional woman, ages 40 to 65, through evidence based and culturally specific intervention. We assist these women to expose the fear and shame that is often associated with abuse and domestic violence while silencing the destructive voices of the past to increase their levels of self-worth, wholeness and empowerment. The healing journey is not easy nor does it have a time frame in which to be completed. But, the purpose of this journey is to be freed from the negative effects of past trauma. This happens by embracing, not running from the pain, and being open and willing to share your story in an environment that offers safety, support, trust and cultural competence rather than continuing to suffer in silence or to act as if everything is okay when it is not. In sharing my story, I hope that professional women who are affected by abuse and domestic violence will be inspired to choose life, health, help and joy.

YOU ARE NOT ALONE!


-Sheila

​​Healing from the Inside Out!