Learning to really love myself is the hardest, most rewarding thing I’ve ever done. I spent two full years in therapy in the midst of a messy divorce. Seeing a therapist was a last ditch effort to save a marriage that should never have happened in the first place. (Yeah, I was married before… I don’t talk about it a lot—I also have a really silly tattoo I don’t parade around either, but it stays because… it keeps me humble.)
I remember when I casually told my therapist about the sexual abuse I experienced as a child and teen. She dramatically leaned forward… almost doubled over in her chair, and when she abruptly looked back up with exasperated concern, she told me to pencil in two days a week for the foreseeable future. I was stunned. I didn’t have an eating disorder; I didn’t harm myself or abuse anything — I was just having a little trouble being touched. And, ya know, wanting to get out of a marriage completely consumed by another person’s displeasure with everything that made me, me. It was the first time anyone had reacted dramatically, viewed the entire thing as horrific. I always viewed myself as strong: not letting it affect me, keeping it a secret, not making a scene, attempting to hush the self hate, immense shame and blame I felt. But, I wasn’t dealing with the pain, and I was ignoring the PTSD.
Over those next two years, I learned how to set boundaries, gained back control of the situation with the truth, dealt with the ugly blame I put on myself, and gave myself grace when being intimate made me cry because my body remembered the abuse long after I tried to forget.
I figured out strong isn’t keeping quiet and dealing privately. It’s having the strength to stand in the sun. To talk about the things that hurt deeply, being honest with myself, asking for help when I need it.
Once I graduated out of the darkness, I really started to notice how many of the women I loved and met didn’t love themselves. They talked negatively about their bodies; they were shy about the qualities that made them amazing. I wanted to do something where I could build up the women around me and inspire self love and body positivity!
And that’s how Fearlessly Feminine was born. Out of need, out of love. Out of desperation that women would start viewing their bodies as so much more than what the media tells them. For so long, my body didn’t feel like mine… but piece by piece, through the images over the past 5 years I’ve watched myself take control of what was once only negativity.
I’m still a work in progress. I still see my therapist, which I recommend to anyone! It’s helped my communication, ownership, self awareness and boundaries more that I can express in words. My husband is a straight up angel, and I’m thankful every day for his unconditional love and his ability to never make me feel my worth is attached to anything other than my heart.
Once I got rolling with something, the snowball turned into an avalanche. Self love is something I’m so passionate about and something I see so many women struggle with. It’s heartbreaking watching women tear down their beautiful bodies and doubt their worthiness. Don’t live with lies of self hate. You’re beautiful, worthy, and deserve to be seen, heard and loved. If you need help, ask for it.
Recently, I was listening to someone tear herself down, just saying things that weren’t true. I stopped her and told her the negative self talk had to stop. That she was incredibly worthy of love; she instantly teared up. Changing my narrative from self hate to self love was a game changer for my happiness. So, The Self Love Club was born. I’m thrilled to create a safe space for women to love on each other, be vulnerable and build each other up. If you’re interested, you can join here.
Sexual abuse makes you feel indescribably alone… in the same way as a society we rarely talk about miscarriage, addiction and mental health issues. You feel like you’re the only one. You’re not. If you’re feeling alone, dm me. I’m here to support you through whatever it is that’s holding you back. You deserve more.