Motivating Stories from Local Women
Every woman has a story to tell, and no two stories are alike. Meet the women who have persevered through challenges and tribulations and come out the other side stronger than ever. These unique individuals have seen their fair share of adversity but continue to inspire those around them with the lessons they have learned and their love of life. Read on for a truly motivating story by a woman who experienced them firsthand.
Photography by Emily Long / Photos taken on location at Hunter Museum of American Art
Cindy Deering, Chattanooga
As a child, I was unwanted. I was not loved or protected, and I experienced emotional, mental, and physical abuse. I was even callously handed off to deviants for profit, and it was not uncommon for me to go hungry or sleep on the streets to escape the rage directed at me.
On my own at the age of 15, I would excel professionally but constantly stayed in cycles of defeat, not recognizing that deeply rooted emotional issues were sabotaging my success. I spent decades confused by how I tried so hard and cared so much but always seemed to be fleeing from turmoil with no safe retreat in sight.
The perpetual danger that kept me at a hyper-heightened stress level, the PTSD, and the effects of malnutrition as a child did not just damage me emotionally, but also took a serious toll on my physical health as well. While I was striving to do better for my children as a single mother, I was hit hard with debilitating symptoms, and the medications I was prescribed only made my condition worse.
Without a safe support system, I became separated from my children, and desperate decisions followed as I tried to become self-sufficient while dodging harm in a gypsy lifestyle. Ultimately, I ended up completely destitute and surviving alone on the streets of Chattanooga.
The more that I am able to process my story, the better I am able to really see where I was, and the more amazed I am at where I am now. The only change that would redirect my future had to happen inside of me. Thankfully I discovered Christ along this journey and found the authentic love that I had longed for all of my life.
That love empowered me to finally break free from a lifetime of oppression and navigate my own way off the streets to build a new life with a great purpose. I became more productive and creative than ever as I infused my passion into creating the Cindy’s CHOICE concept that features integrity-centric businesses that make a difference together. We are primed to make an impact, and I am absolutely elated that I am the one getting to live this destiny.