As a little girl, I grew up between two realities. I would love escaping into virtual snippets of life, escaping my loneliness as a child. Lonely at home, lonely at school, loneliness prevailed all around me.

At least Jordan Knight from the New Kids on the Block was my savior. Boy, did I have a crush on him. We ended up in a long-distance relationship until I hit puberty. If only he knew!

As a middle child from a Moroccan family of five living in the Netherlands, racism, poverty, religion, opposing cultures, bullying, and a lack of attention and affection were part of my mundane reality.

A reality I was desperate to escape and did the unthinkable at the age of 10; attempting suicide.

I was hospitalized. During my recovery, the doctors forced me to tell my mother that I had stolen her medication.

Needless to say, it was a dark period growing up. Until the age of 14, I managed to survive by escaping into the virtual world.

One Friday morning, I took my bike and my backpack and headed to a shelter for runaway teenagers. I had prepared my great escape for weeks. I was convinced my family would write me off and pray that I would end up in hell because I felt like I was the outcast of the family.

But, I was oblivious to reality as I had been living in my bubble for so long, as had my parents. I found out that my great escape was their worst nightmare.

I will never forget the evening my late father begged me in tears to come home as they could not live without me. Only then did I realize that they did love me; they just never showed it. Nothing was ever the same after that.

Soon after, my father suffered a heart attack and couldn’t work anymore. He spent most of his time in Morocco leaving my mother with the care of five children by herself. Four, to be precise, as my eldest brother grew up in special care because of his disabilities. We only saw him during the weekend.

My teenage years continued to be excruciating. I felt everything so intensely from one extreme to the other. I was tremendously sensitive to noises, gestures, and people’s mind. I could feel what they were really thinking. I could feel if they liked me or not, except when I developed a crush on someone. Then my senses would get all mixed up, and I perceived the opposite of what was true.

But then again, we all have been there in the world of unrequited crushes.

Growing up, high school and college were exciting and draining at the same time. I was so sensitive and suffered immensely as I did not have any boundaries nor an identity of my own. I continued to feel out of place, and I had no idea I was actually an empath.

“20 Beautiful Women: 20 More Stories That Will Heal Your Soul, Ignite Your Passion and Inspire Your Divine Purpose” is a collection of personal short stories from 20 more authors, speakers, and life coaches bonding together for the common goal of sisterhood, and to transform women from the inside out.

Best-selling author Saba Tekle has compiled these stories from women who have experienced devastating circumstances, loss, and disappointments.

The one thing that connects us all: we had the strength to heal, find our purpose through our pain and now passionately help others in the areas of self-love, spirituality, health, relationships, and forgiveness.

Many of these stories, told here for the very first time, will empower you to make real changes in your life, heal down to your soul, find your passion, and live your divine purpose, now.

Continue to read my journey of belonging and 20 more beautiful stories from authentic women across the world. You will find stories you can connect with, learn from, cry with, and grow from. It’s a must read for anyone desiring connection with other real women and true transformation.

Stories from the heart

Thank you for taking the time and reading my stories, stories written to inspire you. Follow me for more inspiring and motivational blogs & videos on




    Thrive with EQ

    Hi, I am Nadja, a burnout survivor, a resilient human and a creative writer.

    My mission is to help busy professionals achieve Success with Serenity by maximizing their emotional intelligence so that they can excel in all areas of their life with peace of mind!

    I am happily divorced (yes, you read that right!) and my greatest gift in life is my six-year-old son Adam. We live our potential every single day and enjoy each moment of our human experience in the 21st Century.

    I co-authored the best-selling book, 20 Beautiful Women Volume Six, where I shared my journey of belonging growing up as an Empath.

    In my spare time, I enjoy creative writing, meditation and I try very hard to exercise some of the most complex yoga poses!

    I am Dutch; I was born with my heart on my sleeves, my soul on fire and a mouth I can’t control (well, I do control what comes out, but speaking truth to power for positive social change is essential to me).

    I write about emotions and feelings, you know those things that make a lot of people uncomfortable in the digital age.