NYLA JOHNSON TILLMAN
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.