From Survivor to Thriver

Emma Rose Eremiyski "Hope and joy are still possible when you give your trauma and pain to God."

Tell us a little about yourself.

My name is Emma Rose Eremiyski. I was born in the Philippines to a Spirit-filled believer mom and a Navy dad. I moved to the US on my 1st birthday and grew up on Navy bases throughout the coast of California. I have three younger brothers in my immediate family and an older half-sister and half-brother whom I’ve grown close and helped raise us.

I have a BA in Psychology with a minor focus in Leadership & Organizational Studies, and an MBA and MA in Human Resources Design. I spent the last 15 years working for several organizations supporting people initiatives, as well as talent and change management efforts.

I’ve had the opportunity to learn from great organizations with high-performance cultures such as In-N-Out, Chick-fil-A, Accenture, and their many Fortune 500 clients in the PacWest.

Throwing myself into my education and career for the first 10 years of my life was one of the ways I tried running from the pain. I depended on my self-sufficiency and self-security to keep from being hurt by anyone. But in 2017, I felt God calling me to use my life, gifts and story, to help people pursue health physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually, so I started my passion project Whole Health Foundation where I’m developing programs and products for healing. I am currently the Culture and Employee Engagement manager at a home care company, I am a founding board member of KISS, and I’m pursuing a PhD in clinical psychology.

What was life like before trauma?

I’d say life before trauma was probably before 7 or 8 years old. I remember having lots of energy, being carefree, wanting to please while also having fun, sometimes being a little loud and always being determined and self-assured. I remember bossing my brothers around since we were latchkey kids while my parents were working and I was their 2nd mom and I’d tell them how we’d set up the Nascar tracks, when we needed to do our homework, and how we needed to hold hands as we walked to the liquor store to buy Hot Cheetos down the street. It felt pretty innocent and free.

What was life like after trauma?

I broke every rule I had for myself. I went into high school wanting to be pure and not drink until I turned 21, not have sex until marriage, and not smoke. Once the violations happened, I felt so shameful, suicidal, and started to drink, smoke, and seek sexual attention from boys at parties and gatherings. I would black out often and self-harm. When my grades started slipping and my parents were getting so angry about my constant need to go out and not come home at a certain time, out of exasperation, I told them what was happening when I fell asleep and why I did not want to be home. My dad looked at me with disgust and my mom wanted to take me to the hospital. After that point, it was never discussed or brought up ever again. Everything was covered under the rug. I made the agreement that if no one was going to look after me other than God, then I better move out and shape up and build my own safety and security. So, I moved in with my half-sister and started working my first jobs.

How would you describe your Stages of healing?

Acknowledging – Seeing what’s broken, what’s hurt & addressing that with God even if the person who may have done something to make you feel that way doesn’t.

Processing – After acknowledging what happened mentally, there’s the emotional processing that follows. The deeper layers of processing things that may not initially have been given language that allow for spiritual integration & meaning. This has been with trained & untrained supporters & in conversation with God while journaling.

Growing – This I feel happens throughout processing. I feel like God’s taken me to deeper levels of understanding & growth in how I receive & show love for myself, others & with Him as He has picked me up from pain progressing to joy. I’ve seen qualitatively & quantitatively the history of growth over the last several years from doing a “whole health check-in” with my journal.

Thriving & Sharing – As I’ve grown beyond the pain of trauma, I realized I want to support others in their thriving by sharing the hope that joy is possible. Your story is not over at trauma - thriving is on the other side.


Your story is not over at trauma, thriving is on the other side.

Where are you at in your healing journey?

I’m currently thriving and sharing my joy with others, but sometimes I still find myself revisiting the various stages of healing as new revelations about my behavior for healing come up. I definitely don’t feel trauma gets to hijack me anymore, but I’m still learning new patterns for living and thinking with the help of God and the people around me who love me and allow me to grow and be myself.

What has been the biggest breakthrough in your recovery?

Being able to see myself with God’s eyes, knowing He sees me the way He sees Jesus

Mark 1:11, " And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”

What does “completely healed” look like to you?

Continuing to do the healing work day in and day out and helping survivors experience true joy in themselves and in their relationships.

Does forgiveness play a part in your story? Who have you had to forgive?

Definitely – I needed to forgive all of the men who I loved who hurt or abandoned me. I was also able to forgive my abuser (a close family member) quietly in my heart with the help of therapy in college. And at one point years later, God even gave me the grace to forgive him in person, verbally with the support of my parents.

What advice would you give a survivor going through trauma right now?

Hope and joy are still possible when you give your trauma and pain to God.

What would you like other people to know about your story?

God’s told me He’s redeeming all 31 years of my life that were taken from me.

What is your ...

Love language: Words of affirmation, Time & Gifts