'Trauma Survivor' Cheryl Burke Admits She Gets 'Stuck In Fear' While Trying To Start Over After Divorce

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Apr. 19 2023, Published 3:30 p.m. ET

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Cheryl Burke is preparing for whatever the future holds for her.

Getting emotional about her past trauma in an Instagram post on Tuesday night, April 18, the 38-year-old touched on trying to rid herself of her past troubles to make room for what the world has in store for her.

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"I'm 38. I'm a trauma survivor. I'm 5 years sober. I'm recently divorced. I retired from my career last year. I feel like in many ways I'm starting over," she wrote in text over a video of herself looking at the camera. "While letting go of the past is helpful, new beginnings scare me and are often overwhelming. I try to stay grateful, but sometimes I get stuck in fear."

The Dancing with the Stars alum — who confirmed last year that she was leaving the competition dance show — concluded, "I know life will sort itself out, it always does."

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Burke captioned her honest post: "Life can be so simple but so complicated at the same time. #healingjourney #selflovejourney #gratitudeattitude."

Despite entering unknown territory, her DWTS friends proved to be there cheering her own, as Peta Murgatroyd replied in the comments: "Onwards and upwards babe! You got this ❤️."

"You can do anything," Emma Slater enthused.

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This wasn't the first time Burke has opened up about her past struggles, including how her childhood trauma impacted her adult relationships.

Sitting down with the Red Table Talk hosts last year, the professional dancer detailed her "grooming experience" after her stepdad hired a family friend to babysit her when she was 5 years old.

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"I never physically felt hurt," she admitted. "Like, there was moments — and I’m gonna say it now — like, it didn’t feel bad? It was actually intimate."

"And he was my definition of love. This is what love equaled, right? Seeing my father’s infidelity, being abused by this old, retired mailman — I didn’t really know what a healthy relationship is or was. There wasn’t a stable father figure in my life," continued Burke, as she explained her earliest memory was "seeing [her] father with another woman."

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Burke also revealed during the episode that her teenage boyfriend whipped her with a belt in front of his parents while they did nothing.

Burke went on to marry Matthew Lawrence in 2019 but called it quits three years later. The former flames finalized their divorce in September 2022, with her hinting that infidelity may have played a part in their demise.


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