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Over the years, Sheryl Underwood has been very open about the sexual and emotional trauma she experienced as a small child. So yesterday, as she and the other co-hosts of CBS’ The Talk discussed Tina Turner forgiving her late husband Ike Turner for abusing her, Sheryl shared that she, too, had to forgive.

We’ve all heard the saying – “Forgiveness is not for the other person, it’s for you.” And Sheryl has taken that to heart because we all know what happens to us mentally, physically and emotionally when we hold on to anger, even toward those who have perpetrated the greatest sin against us. Basically, holding on to it can literally destroy you. And for Sheryl and other women like her, the best thing to do was to forgive.

“I didn’t have the best life with my mother, but I had no other choice but to forgive her and forgive those that took advantage of me sexually, that abused me when I was too innocent to make certain decisions for myself,” She said. “Because if I didn’t forgive them, that darkness in them would come inside of me and I didn’t want it. I could not survive with that type of hatred in my heart.”

But don’t get it twisted. Forgiving someone who has sexually abused you takes time. But when you get there, it’s freeing. I mean, where would Sheryl be right now if she held on to what she calls “darkness?” Would we have been introduced to one of the funniest comediennes in the world? Probably not. The 54-year-old has created an amazing career, and there’s no way she would have survived the cutthroat nature of the entertainment industry without releasing that rage.

“Comedy was the thing that really helped me. Having a sense of humor and then using that so that I could be strong enough to be a hero to anybody else that was going through something…I really wanted to make people laugh…I just wish that someone would’ve done for me sooner what I plan to do for everyone,” she said.

You can check out the segment below.

Renese spends her early mornings writing, her days securing insurance for TV shows, and her in-betweens blogging about the silliness and seriousness of life on her blog.

Follow Renese on Twitter: @reneseford

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