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Makayla's Story

I grew up in a very toxic, unhealthy household. I experienced a lot of mental and emotional abuse. My siblings and I were taken away from my parents when I was six years old, and we were placed with my mom‘s mom. I was angry and rebellious. I often ran away from home. Because I was promiscuous with boys, my grandmother decided it would be best if I moved to New York to live with her sister/my aunt for a fresh start. Shortly after I arrived, my uncle began sexually molesting me. I told my aunt. She believed me and told him he needed to leave. He committed suicide by shooting himself in the head. When that happened, I felt my family turned on me. They made it seem his death was my fault. They made me go to his funeral and pretend nothing was wrong. I couldn’t take the pain, and soon after, I ran away.


I was taking a GED class when I met my abuser. I told him what I had experienced in my home life, and he told me I could stay with him. He was one of the first people to show me love in a long time, so I latched onto him. The first three months of our relationship were amazing, and then his drinking picked up. It was like living with Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. I never knew which one I would wake up to— the nice charismatic man I met, or the monster. His abuse started as verbal and mental. He called me names. He called me fat. He often reminded me of what I had gone through in my home life. I told myself things would get better, but they didn’t. They got worse when his abuse became physical: hitting, punching, choking, and kicking me, spitting on me, etc. It got so bad that I was hospitalized.


When I was released from the hospital, there was no room in the domestic violence shelter. I lived on the streets, homeless for two months, sleeping on park benches. It was the middle of winter. I felt hopeless, and like I was going to die. But I gathered my wits and found resources. I got back on my feet, and that inspired me to create the Butterfly Effect Project. I have close to 18,000 followers. I’m often interviewed, and I’ve been quoted in a book for sale on Amazon. I have helped people all over the world. I’ve been on TV, and I have my own podcast. I want to inspire as many people as I can to make sure that nobody else feels as hopeless as I did.


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