PLEASE BE AWARE: 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.
MORE ABOUT NATALEEN:
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.
Her memoir, Beauty for Ashes, is newly released and can be found here.