Shannon King

by Terry Watson | July 15th, 2015
Shannon King

Shannon King

Shannon King is Simply Unique! She is also the innocent five year old girl with unique features (natural born red head with freckles) that received a lot of attention from the time she was born. She often wondered what life would have been like had she been born with black hair and no freckles. She is also the 12 year old tween who struggled to understand her unique make-up, and the 16 year old who sought love in all the wrong places and used drugs to numb the pain of unsatisfied needs. King is also the 20 year old adult discovering that life throws you curve balls more often than expected. She is also the soon to be 30 year old woman who understands how her past experiences help to shape her into the woman God created her to be.

King was born a military brat with one older brother. Her journey started the day she realized she was different. She dealt with self-esteem issues while her parents were intertwined in a domestic relationship. “Some days you saw the love other days you witnessed the pain. They fought and verbally abused each other for years to the point that my brother and I found ourselves in the middle of their cheating affairs. My brother knew about my fathers affairs and I my mothers,” she says. They had their own family closet of mess to deal with and no one on the outside knew the half of what was really going on in the corners of their home. Her dad was a heavy drinker (morning, noon, night – breakfast, lunch and dinner) and her mom battled self-esteem issues on top of other unknown issues, which she says correlate with how she experienced drinking and self-esteem issues. Her mother’s battle blinded her. “How was I to know how to block the judgement of others and see the beauty in myself if she couldn’t do it for herself,” King asks.

King says both of her parents hid their years of trouble deep within only to play them out as they attempted to raise their kids. They had a pretty decent middle-class lifestyle. However, she says there was fear, betrayal, guilt, shame, abuse, and a string of other mental health issues brewing heavily within the years that would cause her to endure the greatest pain of her life.

“I was molested at age 12 by a family member’s boyfriend. We were in town visiting family and I was invited to spend the weekend with my cousins family,” she says. While watching a movie, the boyfriend of someone at the house used the opportunity to apprehend her innocence. “I couldn’t believe what was happening. I wanted to get up and scream ‘STOP’, but I froze and kept my eyes closed tight as my heart raged against my chest. The next morning I cried to my cousin’s aunt that I wanted to go home. I said nothing to no-one,” she says.

That was not her last encounter with molestation as several more followed as she grew older. Astonishingly, the one that hit closest to home was when her father molested her for two years at the age of 15. “There were many times I awoke to my father in my room and only God knows the things he done to me and for how long as I slept,” she explains. Though she told her mother of her fathers’ actions, the torture continued. At age 13, she was raped and it resulted in a pregnancy and eventual abortion. King says her mother passed it off as a tumor that was removed by surgery. At the time she says she didn’t recognize it as rape, but yet she still awoke to a man having sex with her. Those years were the scariest and most devastating times of her teenage life, but not the last.

As the years went on King says she found relief in drugs, alcohol and highly promiscuous acts. She dated and experienced the same verbal and physical abuse once dealt by her parents. In 2005, her roads became a little darker. After her parents announced they would be getting a divorce, her father shot her mother while she slept and eventually took his life the following morning. A year later, as the verbal and physical abuse continued with her boyfriend, King says he told her he wanted to kill her and how he would do it. “I struggled tremendously after my parent’s death including fights with family members, homelessness, drugs, alcohol, and promiscuity. If you could name it, I felt it and dealt with it,” she says.

Soon things would take a turn for the better in her life after she gave her life to God in 2009. King has also started a foundation, Simply’ Unique Purpose whose focus is “Putting A Voice On Childhood Sexual Abuse And In Support to Help Prevent Child Sexual Abuse”. She also is helping survivors and supporters to embrace and understand the abuse, support the fight and learn the epidemic traits for generation sakes, support and encourage survivors to go from silence (victim)–to sound (survivor) –to healed. King also strives to motivate others to seek and reach their destined purpose and provide love from a survivors perspective.

In addition to being a inspirational speaker, King is also a board member of I Am A Queen, a foundation geared towards empowering teenage girls. King also graduated from ECPI in 2009 and obtained a B.A. in Psychology from Guilford College in 2015. She currently has plans to pursue her masters in Social Work in 2016.

When it is all said and done, King would like for her legacy to be about inspiration and the journey to discovering one’s unique self. “All I truly want in the end is to see others living a happier, fulfilled life by not allowing what they went through to defeat them. All I have endured could have took me out on numerous occasions. Instead I took that pain and turned it into a service to help others,” says King. “I choose to show others how they’re Simply Unique, one step at a time”.

 

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