Brave • Strong • Resilient
Trigger warning: In this episode, we talk about kidnapping, rape, and domestic violence.
First and foremost, Nataleen Henry is a survivor in every sense of the word. Indeed, her story began in a completely heartbreaking way. However, it certainly has a happy ending. Today, Nataleen uses dance as a way to heal from her past abuse and bravely taps into her own voice to help others heal as well.
A Tragic Beginning
Tragically, when Nataleen was just sixteen years old, she was kidnapped and raped. Her instincts of self-preservation kicked in, and she decided not to fight. Obviously, this terrifying event shook Nataleen to her core. This trauma left her unable to trust anyone. She never reported the attack or told anyone what had happened. For years, Nataleen suffered in silence. Subsequently, she fell into a deep depression.
The Abuse Continues
A few years later, Nataleen found herself in a long-term physically abusive relationship. Unfortunately, she struggled intensely with low self-esteem and low self-confidence. Nataleen believed the relationship was founded in love even while the cycle of violence continued.
Eventually, and very fortunately, Nataleen had a realization. As a whole, she couldn’t live this way any longer. She was a woman of faith, and she knew there had to be a way out. Nataleen’s bravery saved her life.
Healing for Abuse
Without a doubt, Nataleen knew she needed to heal. She began to study dance and learned to use her art as a form of expression and deep healing. Christian dancing, specifically, is her chosen method of worship and healing. There is a great power found through moving your body, and Nataleen discovered this could be used to grow closer to a higher power and create a sense of peace.
Helpful Resources Mentioned in Nataleen’s Interview
If you or someone you know is in need of help, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233. There are resources available; you are not alone.
- Even in the dark moments, you can still be resilient and strong.
- Using your past experiences, no matter how painful, to help others is a true example of bravery.
- Healing is a beautiful thing.
As a survivor of abuse herself, Nataleen supports Women’s Aid, an organization in the UK that provides help to those experiencing abuse in any form. This nonprofit offers information, resources, and direct support those directly impacted by domestic violence as well as those who work with victims. The national helpline can be reached directly at 0808 2000 247.
Nataleen now connects with other women, through both dancing and speaking engagements, to offer encouragement. She uses her voice and bravely relives her story of abuse and healing in order to empower others. Additionally, she shares her art of dance at weddings and spiritual conferences.
Nataleen recently wrote her memoir, Beauty for Ashes. The book is going to be released in December of this year. Unquestionably, we encourage our listeners to check it out when it becomes available.
SHARING GRATITUDE WITH OTHERS INVITES THEM TO MORE EASILY FIND THE BEAUTY AND BLESSINGS IN THEIR OWN LIFE.
We need YOUR HELP!! Share what you're most grateful for from the past year in our annual Gratitude episode. In doing so, you'll be featured on the show. Your contribution helps us spread love, joy and gratitude to others! Give us a call at 312-646-0205. Leave a message with your name, location, and what you’re most grateful for over the last year. We’d love to hear from you! Submissions will be accepted until November 4th, 2019.
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