MY STORY: LATARSHA HAUGHTON
Updated: Apr 12, 2020
My name is Latarsha Haughton. I was strippened of my self-worth at eight years of age, when I was sexually abused by an older cousin. For many years, I kept this a secret. I was raised in Baltimore, Maryland by my biological father. We moved numerous times. I never had much stability. He constantly put me off on others and neglected to take on his responsibilities. My mother lived in Detroit, Michigan. She allowed my father to have custody and believed he could better provide for me. Little did she know, that wasn’t the case by any stretch of the imagination.
To add to my trauma, I was being sexually molested by my biological father. This lasted until the age of 18... my senior year. It was four years of living hell. He manipulated me into believing that this was how a father expressed his love and that it was completely normal. He constantly yelled at me and made me feel like a burden and not good enough. I longed for his love and approval. I loved him so much as a little girl. I never thought in a million years I would experience that kind of pain.
High school was absolutely miserable for me. I could not focus on my studies. I found myself dating numerous boys to numb my pain. Often, I would have sex because I did not know how to say “no”. I got absolutely nothing out of sex, it left me feeling empty on the inside. I would say “no” on the inside, but the words wouldn’t come out of my mouth. I began to hate myself and my life and envied others.
My senior year, at the age of 18 I was impregnated by my father. I was terrified and didn’t know what to do. But I knew that I had to get away. I thought by giving birth to my child, it would stop my abuse and numb my pain. In my warped way of thinking, I thought a child would provide me the type of unconditional love I longed for. My pregnancy and the birth of my son ended the sexual abuse. For many years, I continued to get involved in toxic relationships. I dated men that cheated and lied to me. I found myself looking for broken men that I could fix. It made me feel needed, which made me feel better about myself. In hindsight, I believe they preyed on me because I was myself broken.
At the age of 25, I met a man I thought was God sent. The relationship produced a little angel named Autumn. She was the most precious thing I had ever seen since the birth of my son. Just like previous relationships, it ended because of his infidelity, manipulation and lies.
At the age of 26, I became a Christian. I was heavily involved in church and wanted my kids to know and love God. I learned how to have a personal relationship with God and started yearning for God more and more. I raised my children as a single mother and focused on my children, my church and our relationship with God. I remained celibate for 4 years.
I started hanging out with a coworker, I was not physically attracted to him...he wasn't my type”. Eventually, we started dating and got married shortly after. He sold me all kinds of dreams. After the first month of marriage, he started cheating on me. After six months of marriage, he had two other women pregnant at the same time. I forgave him because that was the “Christian” thing to do. The marriage was extremely toxic. Three years later, he had a third child outside our marriage. I felt trapped and that somehow God was punishing me for past sins. I became so depressed. I tried to commit suicide three times. After my third and discharge from the hospital, I finally started therapy and began down my road to recovery.
I began trauma therapy and EMDR with my therapist. She helped me realize I had lost my self-worth at a young age. As I continued treatment, I began to acknowledge my strength, intelligence, and beauty...just as God intended and wanted me to realize. My therapist helped me realize that I had to forgive my father for all the abuse in order for me to take back my power and begin the healing process. After years of therapy, full of confidence and renewed self-worth, I was ready to step out on faith, so I filed for divorce.
Shortly after, I began a non-profit organization named Breaking the Silence...Healing the Pain. This organization brings awareness to sexual abuse, emotional abuse and domestic violence. We are dedicated to helping others break their silence and begin their healing process. We are the voice of individuals who feel as if they are voiceless. We offer support groups to ensure victims of abuse and know and feel they are not in the battle alone. We provide outside resources for therapy, housing assistance and employment referrals.
My life had turned in the right direction. I decided to put my story on paper. I began writing with a co-author and realized that I needed to contact my high-school sweetheart. I needed him to sign a disclosure to use his name in my book. We had not spoken in nearly 30 years. When I contacted him, he was excited and stated he would help in any way. He resided in Atlanta, GA and I lived in Red Lion, PA...about 750 miles from each other. We rekindled the flame and started a long distance relationship. Three months later, he sought a job transfer and relocated to Maryland. December 2019, we celebrated our 2 year anniversary. I’m now married to my best friend. July 2019, we relocated to Tampa, FL. We realize that God has abundantly blessed our lives.
Latarsha Haughton -Founder of "Breaking the Silence Healing the Pain" non-profit organization.
FACEBOOK- @BTS HEALING THE PAIN