Tonight's special guest is Shaunda Gilleland from Collinsville, Oklahoma, a child abuse survivor and single mother who shares she knows she's not yet worked enough on herself. Shaunda's mom was a drug addict and alcoholic who worked nights as a nurse and would leave her two kids in the evenings with her boyfriend. Shaunda was beaten and molested many times by the man, and he threatened to kill her if she ever told. But her bruises were noticed in daycare and she became a foster care child. Eventually she was successfully adopted, but the trauma from her youth dramatically effected her later. She drank and got involved with a series of "the wrong men," one of who raped her, causing a pregnancy and miscarriage. By 21 she was married to a man who drank all the time. She decided she was going to fix him and after numerous bad incidents the two began attending AA and Al-Anon 12 Step programs, together and apart. He began drinking again and she felt like she wasn't good enough. "I ended up cheating on him," Shaunda shares, "I was lost and weak and the guy showed me attention." The couple was divorced. "To be honest I always thought that people who had vivid emotions about their abuse were weak. They where deciding to be the victim," she admits thinking. "I have gone through life telling my story as if it belonged to someone else. Until today." She goes on, "I'm learning that its ok to have fear, feel dirty, feel unwanted. One of my biggest issues in life today is that I have no emotions." Shaunda is reaching out for help, but knows she's had some successes, too. "I started a business 2 years ago. It makes happy and excited. It's something that can't be taken away from me." And she goes on, "My son is now 6, and in my world he loves me regardless."
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