Are you aware that nearly 700,00 children are abused in the U.S. annually? That means approximately 20% of girls and 8% of boys will be sexually abused before their 18th birthday. Childhood sexual abuse is traumatic at any age but the most vulnerable age for children to be exposed is between 3 and 8 years old, and it has been reported that of those children molested under the age of six, 50% are abused by their family members. The long-term affects of childhood abuse can be devastating and they appear mainly in the form of depression, guilt, shame, self-blame, anxiety, sexual problems, relationship problems and eating disorders; a correlation author and certified clinical nutritionist Natalia Rose knows oh too well. I had the opportunity to speak with Natalia as she broke her silence and took a leap of courage to publicly share her story.
Me: Natalia, what was life like growing up in Los Angeles?
Natalia: My Father was in the music industry he worked with Berry Gordy to make Motown sound move from Detroit to L.A. So my Dad was a big wig in the music business. It was a very unusual childhood because we had all these Motown celebrities moving through our house all of the time and my parents had big parties. I remember going to the studio with my dad when he recorded some of the most amazing music of all time from Michael Jackson to Lionel Richie, the Pointer Sisters and more. My Dad was recording day and night in the 60s, 70s, and 80s. I was born in 1975. I have a brother and we grew up in an intense and busy household. My father was an avid golfer so we grew up between home and the country club. My mother through all of this kept an immaculate household, so it wasn’t a child friendly house. However she taught me the cutting edge in health. We were juicing and colon cleansing long before it became popular. I had the most incredible wardrobe growing up because my mother took me shopping on Rodeo drive every Saturday. Neman Marcus knew me by my name; I was in all of the fashion shows.
Me: So where did life take a turn for you?
Natalia: Well I believe the root of the dark turn was when I was 3 ½ years old and at day camp, the teenage camp counselor wasn’t watching me, my mom drove up in her fire engine red Eldorado, I was so excited to see her and I looked both ways, and thought I could get across the parking lot before the bus came. My mom was getting out of her car and she screamed as I was run over by one of the camp school buses. It ran over me with the front set of tires and then the back set of tires. When they got me to the hospital the whole team of doctors said, “She’s not going to live and if she happens to live she is going to be in a wheel chair her entire remaining life. She will never be able to have children because her eggs have been destroyed.” I had my lower chakra area severely traumatized.
But if that wasn’t enough, a year later at the age of 4 ½, my brother and I were sent to our Grandparents house in Louisiana because our parents had to go away for a while. It was 6 weeks with my grandfather and full on sexual abuse. I was put in my grandfather’s bed repeatedly, he tried everything, and he was angry when he couldn’t penetrate because I was too small. There was a lot of heavy touching and he would have done more if he could have. My grandfather drank and he was a bad character. I remember once my brother ran to try and get help at the Sheriff’s office and nobody would listen to him.
Me: Did you ever tell your parents what happened?
Natalia: Yes, I told my mother and she immediately got a legal case going and we all went back to Louisiana where this took place and I had to speak before a judge and jury which felt like the longest time because I was just a kid. I told them in explicit detail what happened to me. I knew this was my moment even though I was only 5, I wanted my grandfather convicted, I knew what he did to me was wrong.
Me: What was the outcome of the trial?
Natalia: My Grandfather didn’t even show up for the trial, he said he was sick and he was let off, and after that I never had respect for authority or adults from that point onward. I felt a sense of freedom because I didn’t have to do what anyone else told me to do.
Me: What long-term affect did this have on your life growing up?
Natalia: Growing up in Los Angeles it was very image conscious and having been objectified by an older man, I’m sure my internal programming led me to the unconscious thought process of, “If I can look amazing then I can control my life and survive.” My goal was to become untouchable through beauty and brains. I focused on figuring out how to be the ruler over my life. I excelled in school and was sent off to boarding school, but that’s when things started to take a turn. I started to put on weight by eating foods that I had never consumed before – Southern foods like fritters, biscuits and pies. That started a 7-year journey of a vicious eating disorder. I believe that was hugely connected to the sexual abuse. It started with anorexia the year I was in France on a year-abroad program, I went on a severely restrictive diet; I am 5’7” and I got down to 86 pounds. Then at the age of 16, the day after I learned my father died, I fell into a downward spiral of purging. That’s when I entered the bulimic cycle for about 7 years, it was really bad, It was a way to express what needed to be said to others. Since I couldn’t do so verbally, I expressed it all completely into the toilet and I flushed it away. It was through my suppressed throat chakra’s inability to speak the truth that caused me to expel it in the toilet because I knew the people who most needed to hear it wouldn’t listen anyways. Taking in the food wasn’t the exciting part, the purging was – it was a satisfying release of my trapped emotions. I also suffered with suicidal thoughts. Through all of my adversities though there was a resilience building inside of me.
Me: So what happened after boarding school?
Natalia: I had to figure out what needed to be said before I could heal from the bulimia. As for academics, I went on to NYU and after graduating with a degree in film and televisionI was going to go back to L.A. because I had an internship with Mel Gibson’s production company and there were loads of opportunities out there. But, my now ex-husband proposed so we got engaged and I stayed with him in New York City. I took a position in PR which was great, it was an incredible 4-5 year career with Robinson Lerer & Montgomery, I was working with highly intelligent people, and big accounts like AOL, so I learned everything I needed to know to start my own business. That’s when I realized what my true calling in life was and I opened my health practice. It was the year 2000 and my daughter was born. Then 2 years later I had my son. Then I had the incredible good fortune of meeting Judith Regan who set up the imprint Regan Books with Harper Collins. That’s how I got my book deal and we went on to publish several books together. My business was booming and I was working with high-end clients and offering my services through Frederic Fekkai Salons & Spas and the Elizabeth Arden’s Red Door Spa & Salon on 5th Avenue. Then my 3rd child was born. I of course kept successfully running my company and 4 years ago we moved as a family to Cape Town, South Africa. I absolutely love it here, it’s my soul home.
Me: Where are you at today and what advice would you like to leave your readers with?
Natalia: Today I say, “Bring on the challenge, it’s a chance for me to flex my muscles and build my strength. Our hardships and the offenses we are subjected to can provide the most fertile land for incredible growth. I believe it’s extremely important for those that have been abused and want to be a strong positive force in the world to tap back into innocence, that’s where the life force is. Innocence is the substance of the life force; the substance that animates life, and it’s incorruptible. To be able to stay fluid and loving is essential for being an effective person that is a light to others; it’s the capability to listen, understand and not judge others. It’s not an amor that defends rather its the muscle that protects your innocence.
One of the best ways to bring yourself back to the place of innocence I believe is to read the book Women Who Run With The Wolves. The book teaches us how to get back to our wild truth, our innate nature before we were harmed and the best way to do this is through dance and fluid movement; this is non-organized movement like a drumming circle or free dance form. Moving beyond the personality; our personality is a shell that we wear that prevents us from getting in touch with our truth; the primal spirit, the original animating force and fire of life.
I know how dark and impossible life can feel, but I’m so glad despite all of the suicidal thoughts that I had, that I never ended my life. I know the suffering can be intense but all people need is a few pieces of correct information that will turn their perspective around completely. There is a way for life to be great and I am living proof of this.
My line of work today teaches people how abuse shuts the life force down and how they can push through, go within and tap into their innocence, bringing their fire of life back. I help others identify the areas of their life that are siphoning off their power. The end result is for them to have all of their energy and power brought back home so they can live the life of their dreams.
Natalia Rose, CN, is a Clinical Nutritionist and author of eight books; in her private practice she educates and guides her clients and students about the sovereignty that can be gained through removing all the blockages in the body, emotions, mind and spirit. She instructs her clients and students in the mechanics of deep cellular cleansing and for those who are ready, she helps them bring heaven to earth on all levels of their being.
In addition to consulting for some of the world’s most image conscious actors, models, socialites and media doyens, Natalia has been featured on NBC, FOX News, MSNBC, The View, NPR and in publications such as The New York Times, USA TODAY, Women’s World, First For Women, The Enquirer, Yoga Journal, Hamptons Magazine, Psychology Today, and more.
Natalia Rose believes that cleansing at a cellular level is the key to vibrant health, emotional balance and mental clarity. She teaches that heaven on earth begins with heaven in you – that each individual is a pivot point from which disease, fear and competition can be transfigured into vibrant health, love and interconnectivity.
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The #SHEROproject will include stories of SHEROS from around the world throughout the rest of 2019. In an effort to support our thriving SHEROS, there is a panel that will be selecting the most inspirational story for the 2019 SHERO of the year award, which will be announced on 12/1/2019.
The SHERO of the year award winner will receive a 4-day/3-night retreat at Multiversity. An opportunity to explore their potential in an environment like no other; get away for rejuvenating downtime and immersion learning on their state-of-the-art campus in the redwoods of Scotts Valley, CA and experience the perfect blend of learning, vacation, and space for reflection.
1440 Multiversity is a place to experience time differently—exploring what matters, while surrounding yourself with fresh air, delicious food, many ways to unwind, and opportunities to connect with yourself and others. SHERO, during your stay, you can look forward to daily 1440 specialty classes such as yoga, meditation, qi gong and Pilates. Or enjoy hiking in the 75 acres of redwood forest surrounding the campus and finish off your day with a soak in their signature infinity tub.
The creation of 1440 Multiversity stemmed from a desire to establish a beautiful and nurturing physical location where people of all walks of life could come together in community—to explore, learn, reflect, connect, and reenergize. Each featured SHERO will receive a private invitation to The B.E. A S.H.E.R.O. Foundation annual Gala in Las Vegas 2/8/2020 where they will be interviewed on the red carpet. B.E. A S.H.E.R.O. foundation’s mission is to provide resources needed to support, sustain and empower young girls and women under the age of 25 who have been abused, abandoned, and exploited. We intend to accomplish this mission by bringing other agencies with similar missions together and being a resource center for these organizations.