Hello. I am Angelika Breukers and I am a transformational coach and speaker helping my clients find their amazing selves and live the life they choose.
My approach to coaching is based on real life experience. That experience was gained from the story I am about to tell you. I have softened the edges a little to spare the feelings of some of my nearest and dearest but please be warned, my story may contain triggers.
My young life
I was a happy and content child up until the age of five-and-a-half, enjoying kindergarten in my native Germany, making friends, and grasping life by the horns.
But one day my father, who had always been a drinker but could be kind and funny, changed my life forever. I was trying on a new school dress with my mother. She had stood me on a table to save her back and then left the room to fetch her sewing supplies to make an alteration. My father walked in and spoke to me inappropriately then touched me in a way he never should. After quickly threatening me to keep quiet, the moment passed. In that moment, my innocence was destroyed and the sparkle I had always had just disappeared.
As the months went on, the abuse escalated. He kept me in fear with abusive language and threats while all the while manipulating me to do his bidding. The abuse was emotional as well as physical and I felt shame, guilt, and a disconnection with any other human.
When I was around seven or eight, my father told me I should work in the sex industry when I was older. Scared, horrified, and frightened, I withdrew from the world around me. An Uncle asked what was wrong one day. When I told him what my father had said, he was kind and gentle in telling me not to worry, my father was probably just drunk when he said it.
But the seed was sewn. I did my best to put my father’s words to the back of my mind, but the abuse continued.
After experiencing abuse at the hands of my father, I knew my life wasn’t the same as other children’s, but I didn’t realise how much better their lives were. During the first seven years of my life, I had soaked up messages like a sponge, as we all do. I had formed beliefs about myself and about others in the world. My beliefs about myself were not positive at all. And so, I struggled.
The negative beliefs I had about myself made me suffer. But I suffered in silence because, even if I had found someone to listen, I would not have had the words to explain my thoughts and feelings at such a young age.
And so, I rebelled. I stayed out late, made bad choices. But I was also filled with anger and frustration, and I couldn’t tell anyone why. To the outside world I looked like I cared about no one. But that was not true. I wanted to be liked, loved, and nurtured. I wanted to feel safe. I knew my mother loved me but threatened by my father, I couldn’t tell her what was going on.
Struggles at school
At the age of eight I had to repeat a year at school.
‘Angelika tries very hard, but she just doesn’t seem to be able to do it.’
That is what my teachers wrote in my school report, and I was crushed. What we didn’t know at the time was that I had dyslexia, which meant I just couldn’t learn and study like other people. There was no diagnosis or support and so I continued to struggle, believing myself to be ‘stupid’ until my adult diagnosis in 2002.
The first turning point
I was a young teenager before my mother found out about the abuse. My father left soon after but remained in the same town. I felt scared every time I left the house, I dreaded bumping into him and would hide in shops to avoid him.
At the age of around 13, I made a choice. I would not be scared of him any longer. I paid him and his new partner a visit and, while I can’t remember what I said to him, I left with a feeling of liberation – the first glimmer of acceptance in my long journey to today.
A long and winding road
I left school at 14. My mother had already told me I should forget education, get married and have children. But I wanted to learn, so I did an apprenticeship, making fur coats. I was pleased with my success in that role, but I had decided I wanted to be a nurse, which required more qualifications.
My existing struggles with learning proved too tough so I gave up on that dream after trying to attend evening classes. Everyone around me told me I could not do it, but I wanted to prove them wrong.
When I discovered a book called Siddhartha by Herman Hesse, I was inspired to start my transformational journey. I read more of Hesse’s books and learned about spirituality – I had found my way of learning and I started to connect with the ideas I was reading about. I read more and more, finding ways to learn and explore the world – the school of life was a much better teacher for me than the education system.
When I was 17 my family moved away, leaving me to live alone. It was a lonely time, and I began to dwell on my old negative thoughts. When, nearly two years later, a man came into my life, I was pliable and in need of company. I thought he was kind and caring, but as time went on, he began manipulating me to enter the sex industry. He said, if I loved him, I would do this for him. With very low self-esteem, I believed it was my only choice. Add to that what my father had said to me when I was young, and it seemed this was my only path.
That phase of my life taught me a great deal about reading people and situations – a phase which I stayed in for almost ten years.
Believing in myself
Once I finally realised that my partner did not have my best interests at heart, I started to believe in myself. I allowed myself to believe that being an escort was not the limit to my abilities – I had choices.
I put the word out that I wanted a job and a friend of mine put me in touch with someone who needed someone to work in customer service. A new beginning! And one that lasted this time.
Around 15 years ago I was told by a tarot reader that she saw me facilitating workshops and teaching – an idea I poo poohed immediately. And it was not until around seven years ago that I realised I could use my ‘colourful’ life experience to help other people who are stuck, overwhelmed, and feeling hopeless.
I love my work and I challenge myself every day to keep learning, accepting, believing, and making positive choices. My experiences have made me who I am today. I love who I have become and now I can rejoice in being true to myself.