May 04, 2023 • bachelor insider
Nick Viall Supports His Fiancée Natalie Joy as She Opens Up About Childhood Sexual Assault
*Content warning: This article discusses sensitive topics like sexual assault and suicidal ideation. Please only continue reading if you feel comfortable and safe doing so.*
Former Bachelor Nick Viall proposed to his fiancée Natalie Joy earlier this year after 2 1/2 years of dating.
Now, the couple is sitting down for an exclusive chat about mental health on “The Squeeze” podcast.
During the conversation, Natalie got candid about her own mental health journey and opened up about a traumatic experience that she’d never discussed publicly before.
Natalie told the co-hosts Taylor and Taylor Lautner how she eventually found eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy (EMDR), saying, “I had all of these past traumas resurface all at once, and it kind of exploded my life. I had tried therapy before and Nick encouraged me to and it was terrifying. I had no idea how to go about it and found someone online. I get on the phone with this random person and we had two sessions, and in the second session I was like, ‘Okay, I guess I’m going to tell you everything I’ve been through.’”
She went on, saying, “This is the first time I’ve ever talked about this, but I was raped at 10 years old. When I told that therapist this, she was like, ‘Well, why do you think he chose you? Why do you think out of all the kids he picked you?’ And I was like, ‘Holy f*ck, I don’t know,’ and it terrified me. I didn’t ever want to talk to anyone about this again. Having all of this stuff resurface and slap me in the face, which I always knew at some point it would, was exactly what I needed, and I immediately got into therapy after that.”
Natalie said that Nick has been extremely supportive and helped her find a better therapist and resources like EMDR.
She explained, “I just recently started therapy, which has been a completely life-altering experience for me. I have learned so much about the way I process things, the way I value people in my life, and the most important thing has been learning how my brain works. I am in a specific therapy called EMDR. It’s for people who have experienced any sort of trauma. It stands for eye movement desensitization and reprocessing.”
Natalie shared how EMDR therapy works and why it’s been so helpful for her.
She said, “You’re able to revisit trauma, desensitize yourself from it, and reprocess it in a way that’s like watching a TV show. It’s been totally insane for me. For a long time, I’ve been a compartmentalizer, and for people who don’t compartmentalize, it can be hard for them to understand. It was like putting every bad, traumatic, terrible thing that’s happened to me into a box in my brain and living outside of that box. I would think that everything in that box was a lie and none of that happened to me and it was all a nightmare.”
Natalie got candid, saying, “I honestly survived that way and I knew it wasn’t healthy, but if I didn’t go about it that way, I probably would’ve taken my life. Now, I’m in a place where I am able to look at everything that’s happened to me and accept it for what it is and acknowledge that I’ve survived and that I’m okay.”
Nick took to social media to share how proud he was of Natalie for sharing her story and how he knows how much her vulnerability will help others.
The former Bachelor wrote, “I hope you all take the time to check out this podcast episode. I’m extremely proud of Natalie for having the strength to share her story. Thank you Taylor and Taylor for creating such a safe space. I love you Natalie.”
If you or someone you know needs mental health or sexual assault resources, click the links below.
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