“Telling a story is tough. Telling your story when you have lived through it can be tough on a level that some will never understand. But if I can help one person, it is worth the journey.
So here is my story. I met and fell in love with an alcoholic. I didn’t know he was an addict until it was too late and we had already had children. He was a ‘functioning alcoholic’ and hid things very well. But he progressively got verbally and physically abusive.
One night, I was thrown down a flight of stairs. It felt like life was moving in slow motion and all I could think of was that if I accepted this way of life, then my daughters would believe that this is what love was and they would accept this behavior if it happened to them. The thought of that was FAR too much for me. I packed up my kids and fled.
My husband found me eventually, but I did file for divorce. When he was granted supervised visits with our children, I had to find something that would keep me occupied (body, soul, and mind) for the 90 minutes he was allowed with the girls.
I found a Zumba class. And it rescued me.
During this new journey I found something that sparked so much inside me, made me feel alive, beautiful, understood, strong and empowered. After a few years of standing in the back of class, blending in with the crowd and desperately trying to stay hidden, I decided my time had come. I wanted to be in front, not because I wanted the spotlight, not because I craved everyone staring at me, but because I felt I could help. I could help people feel what I finally felt… hope.”
– Teresa Allen; licensed Zumba® Instructor; became an instructor to continue inspiring people to embrace their journey, find their love, and always keep hope alive
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