In this episode, I talk with Stacie about the severe emotional and physical abuse she endured as a small child, by the hands and mouth of her step-dad. Stacie shares how it has affected her to this day and what triggers her PTSD, as well as an abortion she had as a teenager.* Please note that this episode is sad and very raw. You will for sure need tissues.

Stacie grew up bouncing around from place to place because of eviction notices. Her mom was a single mother and would bring guys around all the time. Of course, they were allowed to stay at their house, wherever it was.

Stacie talks about one particular “daddy” they had for a while who was unimaginably abuse, both physically and emotionally, to Stacie. She did have a brother and sister, as well, but Stacie was the one who got the shitty end of the stick, if you will. To the world, he looked like such a great guy, taking care of his family. But behind closed doors, the monster came out.

From drinking her own vomit, dumping snow on her while she’s taking a bath, telling her she was fat (as a child, mind you) and would put her on an extreme exercise regimen and then would say she was too skinny, to making her stand in the corner all night long or while her family would go out, accusing her of trying to kill her little sister, being swung around by her hair, to beating her with his fists as if she was nothing.

Stacie Shonkwiler - Quote 1

After her step-dad accused her of trying to kill her little sister, he beat her so severely. He told Stacie’s mom to call someone “before I do something worse.” Stacie was taken by a social worker to the ER, then to a children’s mental hospital to be evaluated. From there, she went into foster care. Stacie could finally breathe and be a kid. She wasn’t afraid to go to sleep anymore. When they went to court, (Stacie found this out years later) the step-dad had said that he was trying to “break her” like he broke horses with his dad when he was a kid. One morning, Stacie’s foster mom and foster sister came in her room crying. They had to break the news to Stacie that the judge had ordered her to go back home.

At 17 years old, Stacie found herself pregnant. She ultimately did decide on abortion. She does not share her reasons for why, but she does share the aftermath of the decision. The pain she felt, what other people in the room were saying and going through, etc.

Stacie Shonkwiler - Quote 2

When Stacie was 19, she joined the Army National Guard. Previously, she had been running away from God, but one of the items they gave her at training was a Gideon’s Bible. As she began reading through it, she could feel God again and started to change.

At 22, Stacie met her (now ex) husband. Stacie spent those next 24 years in her marriage growing her faith in God and having two sons.

Listen to the full episode to hear all the details.

*Please note: this is the guest’s story. Their story is how they perceive it. It is not my judgement or responsibility to determine whether or not this story and the things said are true. Please be open minded when listening to/reading these stories.

-If you see something, say something.

-Stacie’s favorite product: rose oil
-Stacie’s song recommendation: Defender by Jesus Culture (listen on the Hard Knocks guest list on Spotify)
Stacie’s Instagram
-My ending song recommendation: Let It Die by Three Days Grace (listen on the Hard Knocks playlist on Spotify)

Appreciate where you are in your journey, even if it’s not where you want to be. Every season serves a purpose.

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