During a recent interview with Lilian Garcia on Chasing Glory, WWE NXT Superstar Shotzi Blackheart commented on being a survivor of sexual abuse and sexual assault prior to turning 18 years old, and more. You can check out some highlights from the podcast below:
On being a sexual abuse survivor: “I had a pretty rough childhood, to be honest, yeah. I bounced around from like, my mom’s to my dad’s, and to friends’ houses at a really young age. I dealt with like, a lot of sexual abuse for years, and after — when I finally came out about it and like went to — I went to my middle school counselor and, he’s in jail now. He’s still in jail. But some of my family didn’t believe me … some of my family didn’t. My dad really helped me through all of that, and so did musical theater. That’s why I connected with performing so much. It was like a big outlet for me. And I was a really depressed kid, but not onstage. It just all went away. So that was my therapy.
“But because of that, it was hard for me to stay anywhere, ’cause I just constantly felt like someone didn’t want me there because I was being blamed for what happened to me. It was tough, but I know that I’m a lot stronger for it. And I found, like, theater and performing through it.”
On her story hopefully being able to help others dealing with it: “I don’t really get to talk to a lot of people about it. Because I feel like, especially with sexual abuse, people get really closed off and feel really awkward about talking to people about it. It means a lot to me to talk about it right now, just because I know that so many girls deal with this. It’s like a crazy amount. And I encourage girls to come to me and talk about it because I’m so open with it.”
On getting help dealing with the trauma of her abuse: “I had to do a lot of therapy afterward. And I found like, a really awesome therapist. And so that helped a lot. And like I said, performing was always just like therapy in itself. So I think I always chased it, so I think wrestling is therapy for me too. And now I just need it. It’s in me now. But yeah, it was hard for a while. I was really depressed, but I work on it every day. Trying to stay positive and not letting it get to me.”
On being sexually assaulted in high school: “I had fun in school, except for high school. High school was the worst. I deal with — girls were really mean to me in high school, it was the worst. And I was raped in high school, like my freshman year … But like, I told my best friend and she got me to come out about it. And everyone at school did not believe me. And like, they just labeled me as a slut. They were just like, ‘She’s lying, she’s a skank.’ And I just got bullied. I would come to school and go to one period, and then I I would get bullied so much that I would just run back home. So I had to change high schools like halfway through my freshman year. And then I just was like, ‘I don’t want friends. I just want musical theater. I just want to hide in the theater.’ So I kind of did. I just stayed in the theater, I ate lunch in the theater, I just focused on musical theater.”