Tonight's special guest is Sky Lea Ross from Pasadena, California, a survivor of child abuse (including being burned with cigarettes, scratched by fingernails, slapped in the face repeatedly, referred to with racial slurs and profanity, etc.) and neglect, causing her to be deprived of a 'normal' childhood. Born and raised in the poorer parts of Northern Pasadena, Sky had to navigate the resources available to her at a very young age, and came from a family with a history of chronic mental and physical illnesses as well as disabilities. She went into foster care at age 15. This opened more doors for her, introduced her to a loving and supportive foster mother, and allowed her to pursue higher education. Now working towards her doctorate of psychology (Psy.D.) in Marriage and Family Therapy at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology (downtown LA campus), she has dedicated her life to fighting for social justice/human rights and providing therapy as well as educating others on the importance of mental health and self-love/care. "In the coming years, I wish to complete my degree and acquire my license," she says. Meantime she's publishing a collection of poetry and writing her autobiography, 'Cheated Out of Childhood', which is based on her online blog by the same name. "I feel that I can offer a lot to the show as not only am I a survivor myself, but now a professional," She writes. "I'm dedicating my dissertation to researching the long-term repercussions of child maltreatment on psychology and physiology in young adults. I feel that surviving through interpersonal trauma and abuse so early in life has an impact not only on our development, but can impair us throughout the life span, as well as give us inherent resilience that our peers may not have.
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