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NYLA JOHNSON TILLMAN

Her Story

I grew up in a house full of tension between my parent's bickering and fighting as a child.  I constantly worried about their relationship, and eventually, they divorced, leaving my mom resentful toward my dad and taking her anger out on me with whoopings.  I spent a lot of time feeling alone and abandoned by my parents as I went back and forth between two homes.  As they continued their lives, I was stressed,  left unprotected, and experienced molestation.  Recently, these childhood traumas have resurfaced in horrific experiences where I was okay being in an abusive relationship to feel loved; as a result, I was sexually assaulted and jumped by a girlfriend during the school year over that boy.  I was dealing with depression, I had an identity crisis, and my father verbally and physically beat me and kicked me out of the home in the middle of the night to further the pain I was experiencing.  

 

I didn't see my life as a graduate or beyond my dreams, but I'm thankful to Exposher; I receive counseling and currently go to therapy.  I am in my healing process learning to accept my parental support isn't stable, but with the help of a friend who encourages me, whose family lets me live with them, and who has my back, I am to see beyond my circumstances.  I'm currently stressed facing homelessness due to the severed relationship with my father and my mother moving to Texas.  Still, I hope that by staying in Los Angeles, I can find focus and push forward with my plans to attend college. 

 

I dream about successfully selling my art, traveling the world and seeing new things, going on late-night drives, and finding new music.  I enjoy cosmetology and would love to get an internship at a hair salon and learn how to do hair.  I would use this skill to help me pay for college.  I plan to pursue a major in Psychology to become an art or music therapist and open a community center for children needing emotional support and life opportunities.  Although I've gone through so much, I still have dreams, and having a scholarship helps relieve the stress I feel about entering trade school and finding housing.