Editor's Note: Fandoms can save people from many different situations. Coupled with Jared's, Jensen's and Misha's leadership and the Always Keep Fighting initiative, many people are seeing a light in the darkness for the first time in their lives. In Part 1 of this story of friendship and courage, Heimatstern shared the path that brought her to Supernatural and to meeting her new friend, Yolanda. In Part 2, Yolanda shares her powerful story for the first time. Please support Heimatstern's and Yolanda's courage and welcome them to The WFB Family!  

Strange how, when you least expect it, a lighthouse will shine in your darkest hour, from a direction least expected.

Unbeknownst to us all until it was too late, we found out that the person who came into my mom`s life after my dad died was the high priest of a satanic cult. What a shock for a 12 year old whose life as she knew it was pulled away from her.

I got to see the dark side of life when my world shattered around me. For four years of my childhood, I experienced evil in its truest form. It is not something I would wish on my worst enemy. I could not protect my mother from what was happening, but in a way I protected her by taking it all on myself, instead of letting it happen to her. If the cult members left my mom alone, I was okay with that. I would wear the scars and know that whatever happened, she was not going through the same abuse.

For 35 years I locked all that happened to me away and never spoke to anyone about it. I put it in drawers into a cupboard of my mind and closed the doors. I could cope with life if I did not have to face THAT. But the funny thing about life is that nothing stays hidden forever. Sooner or later it will open up and the drawers will pop out, and then I will have to deal with it.

I met Heimatstern on Facebook through a fan book site of another series we both loved. One day, she mentioned Supernatural and recommended I should watch it. I immediately said no, as I have fought against anything that would trigger my doors to open up. I sent her an e-mail explaining why I did not want to watch Supernatural, explaining my darkness and my fears of demons, and for the first time ever, opened up to another person to explain why and where it came from. She left it alone and we carried on as usual.

Weeks later, I went on YouTube to look for a song and came across these two guys who seemed to have so much fun and energy. I clicked on the link and that is where I met Jared and Jensen. I soon realized they were the actors of the series Heimatstern told me about, Sam and Dean Winchester from Supernatural. Even though it petrified me, I wanted to see how this all fit into the scheme of things that go bump in the night, especially in my life. I became intrigued by the story line and for the first time ever, dared to throw caution to the wind and watched Season 1, Episode 1.

Wow. I kept watching and moved on to the second season, then the third and so on…

Even though my fears kept me awake at night, I had to see how the Winchester brothers dealt with all those demons, on top of having issues of their own. I was hooked, and I had a lot of catching up to do, so I binge-watched all the seasons in a very short time.

Sam, the younger brother, was as damaged as I was.

Dean, the older brother, was so badass on the outside, but like a marshmallow on the inside.

Castiel was the angel with a heart of gold and a certain innocence about him.

I saw parts of myself in all three of them. Through the show, I went on jobs with them, and my heart broke when they faced some of the same fears that kept me awake. I sighed in relief when they overcame whatever they encountered. Their lives became a part of mine, and I started looking at the possibility that just like them, I could overcome my fears and carry on with my own life. It was not easy and I faced an ever darker growing world around me. Leaving it and going to where there would be no more pain started to look good to me.

THAT is when I saw Jared going through his own hell. The part of my heart that was still intact broke into a million pieces as I watched him overcome his darkness, but I also saw Jensen, the brother who was there to lend a helping hand and to support his little brother. The love they have for each other, and the bond which kept them together, became my bond with them. Watching Jensen support Jared and Jared being there for Jensen when needed became an important part of my life.

I know that I will never meet them because I live on the other side of the ocean, but I have something similar to the bond they have: I have Heimatstern who has my back. She will never fully know the importance she has in my life and how much she has helped me face my fears. The thing that keeps us connected are the fears we face and the love we have for the brothers, as well as the actors who portray them. We laugh and cry and fight the bad just as hard as those guys.

Misha sneaked into my world as well, and together with them, I can deal with whatever I have to, to keep me going and to rid myself from the Purgatory I am trying to escape from.

Supernatural became my Lighthouse in the Dark. Those that are keeping the light on in order for me to see and be safe have become the safety I go to when the darkness becomes too much to handle. It seems strange that my fears became my strengths, to stand up and carry on.

I watch YouTube as much as I can, trying to get up to date on the conventions and panels the cast are in. Jensen, Jared and Misha can act like boys having way too much fun, but they quickly turn serious when talking about topics that are important to them. I cried when Jared spoke about his health issues and how he is dealing with them. I cried when Jensen spoke about the things that made him cry. By the time Misha talked about his life, I was already in ‘crying-a-waterfall’ mode.

I have learned to see the little things and have taken note when their eyes speak more than the words coming out of their mouths. I love Sam, Dean and Castiel, and I love Jared, Jensen and Misha. The characters mean just as much to me as the actors who portray them.

Even though it is hard, ALWAYS KEEP FIGHTING has given me the strength to stand up and carry on.

Because of Supernatural, I learned to face my fears and know that I am strong enough to see it through.

Because of Sam, I learned that if I keep in mind what’s important, I will see another day, no matter how dark it will be.

Because of Dean, I learned that while I show the world a badass attitude, it is okay to fall apart.

Because of Castiel, I learned that there is good in the world, even when I feel lost and left out in the cold.

Love, acceptance and friendship make the world a better place. Thank you to everyone who brings Supernatural to life.

Thank you to my Lighthouses in the Dark.

Yolanda, South Africa, June 2018