Entertainment

Cheryl Burke Opens Up About Matthew Lawrence Divorce, Childhood Sexual Abuse, & Sobriety In Powerful Full Red Table Talk Interview

[Warning: Potentially Triggering Content]

Cheryl Burke Talking candidly about all the traumas she has faced over the years.

dancing with the Stars Pro . Appeared in the latest episode of red table talk on Wednesday, where she opened up about how she experienced years of sexual abuse, physical abuse and toxic relationships that eventually led to her addiction to alcohol. by joining Jada Pinkett Smith And Adrienne Banfield-Norrisas well as trauma psychologist Dr. Alfie Breland-NobleCheryl shared the first time that she has been sober for four years now – but she’s had a hard time with it since her divorce Matthew Lawrence earlier this year:

“It just isn’t easy, especially during this divorce. [It’s] waving at me. I didn’t want that. My parents got divorced and I don’t feel well. That plan was not working. I’m not proud of it, of course. But then there is a point where I have to put myself first and my self-control first.”

100% he needed to put himself first.

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He continued:

“And I’m choosing not to date. Date yourself, right? It’s easier said than done because, you know, there’s a difference between being single and being single. And I’m just trying to adjust and take the time.” Because I give it to myself. But one day at a time, one minute at a time.”

The 38-year-old television personality spoke about the abuse patterns and trauma she experienced over the years, recalling how it all started when her parents divorced when she was only 2. He said:

“My first memory as a child was seeing my father with another woman.”

It’s rough – but unfortunately it gets worse.

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Her mother started dating a man who later became her stepfather. When they got married, her stepfather sometimes needed someone to look after her and hired a “retired postman in her late 60s” to look after her. Cheryl says that he started molesting her when she was only 5 years old:

“It was more of an aesthetic experience. Because it wasn’t orgasm. It was other — you know, stuff that happened, sexual acts — but I never felt physically hurt. Like, there were moments — and I could do it.” Just gonna say, it didn’t feel bad. It was really intimate. He was grooming me, and that was my definition of love. This is what equals love, isn’t it? Seeing his father’s infidelity, Was being abused by this old retired postman, and I really didn’t know what or what a ‘healthy’ relationship was. I’ve never had a stable father in my life. It’s like brainwashing your childhood moments when It really matters.”

This is why grooming is so insidious. heart melting…

The television host said the abuse “continued for many years and no one said anything” before her older sister’s friend “done the right thing, ran to her parents’ house, and told them, and then they Contacted my family.” Cheryl ended up testifying against the man at the age of nine—and was sentenced to 24 years in prison. Eventually, Cheryl got into ballroom dancing—she said something like “saved my life”:

“Ballroom was something that was fun, but you had to grow up fast. Here I’m wearing little skimpy dance costumes, eyelashes, fake tan and I’m 11. It was amazing. I mean, dancing Thank God for doing it, it saved my life.”

While Cheryl is grateful for dancing, she didn’t realize until later in life that it wasn’t always a safe environment:

“But within this industry of the competitive ballroom world, it’s a man’s world. The man follows the woman — off the dance floor and onto the dance floor. And with that comes abusive partners and abusive coaches. What’s sexual abuse and mental abuse? Were the tasks of? 100%. And am I just realizing it? Yes, of course, as I continue to work.”

Burke then looked back on her high school experience and alleged that she had two lovers “who were physically and emotionally abusive on another level.” He explained:

“To me, love equals abuse. Love equals infidelity. Love equals manipulative, narcissistic behavior.”

That’s when she told about the incident when she was terribly terrified whipped with a belt In front of her ex-boyfriend’s parents, who sat there and did nothing. Despite the terrifying moment, Cheryl remembered being in denial about what had happened at the time:

“It wasn’t like he was hitting me. He was beating me. But I would look at these welds and even so, I was like, ‘Oh, it’s not really there.’ I feel like I was in shock, and fight, fly or freeze. Got in my car, he jumped in his car, kept banging on the back of my car so I could move on, and I’m not allowed to make friends Well, let’s talk about dancing. I was not allowed to stop after school events or even, God forbid, look at anyone.”

He added:

“Because of this person who was so controlling. It didn’t stop my relationship with him because I was like, ‘Oh, everything’s gonna be okay.’ I was addicted to it. That’s what I’m trying to reprogram into my brain, is that constant adrenaline rush I’m so addicted to. It’s not sustainable.”

This is what eventually led her to drink to “numb” everything going on in her life:

“I was just in survival mode. I used alcohol to numb. And I’m an addict and I was a working addict. When I wasn’t drinking, people were saying, ‘What happened to you?'”

Cheryl then said that she felt she was “only attracted to stereotypical men” and “mom daddy figures” – to the point where she was “disgusted” by her first dance partner because he was too “cute”. Later, he touched her divorce from matthew and revealed that he married her in 2019 only to see if she was “good enough”:

“I mean, when I first got into this business in 2006, we dated, and then took a break for a decade, dated again. An ex for a reason, okay, but also ‘I guess, for me – and it has nothing to do with my ex – I wanted to see if I could get married, because there was a lot of ‘Am I enough?’ Then there comes a point where I need to put myself first… I owe it to myself. The trauma bond, however, is real.”

We’re so appreciative of Cheryl for being so open and honest about her story. you can see full red table talk Episode (below):

If you or someone you love is experiencing domestic violence, you can get help by calling 800-799-7233 or texting START at 88788. Additional resources can be found here https://www.thehotline.org/,

[Image via Red Table Talk/YouTube, Matthew Lawrence/Instagram]