Tear soaked pillow, laying there for what felt like days, dehydrated from all the tears lost. Isolated in my 1 bedroom apartment but that was the way I wanted it. Not talking to anyone for days at a time. Just laying there, wondering what my life would be like if things had turned out differently.
The walls were left bare and I walked around in a daze when I did get up and wander my apartment. I was a lost soul not looking for anyone to find me. I wanted it this way. I couldn’t be hurt. I couldn’t be touched. I couldn’t fall any further into the black hole.
I stayed like this for a couple months. I was lonely, scared, reaching out for help (by not being who I normally was), and depressed. I HATED who I was in the mirror. I no longer recognized the woman that I had become. After all, I was 18, that made me a woman. A woman who desperately needed her family but didn’t know how to tell them that. Didn’t know how to share what had happened without it being MY fault. That is what I didn’t want. I didn’t want it to be MY fault.
I struggled and struggled to find my way again. I met my husband and we started a family, but there was still this blackness inside. Just sitting there, wanting to take over my life again. I tried my best to hide it, feed it the thoughts that it needed to hear. Feeling worse and worse about myself as the years went on.
11 years to be exact. It took me 11 years before I realized that the blackness inside needed to go. I thought I was good at hiding how I felt. Wearing pants all the time, not looking in the mirror, avoiding photos at all costs. However, my children knew differently. They knew without me even saying anything. I wanted them to accept me but I didn’t accept myself. My son started to refuse to wear shorts. My daughter would use the word fat. Those moments of watching them change into different outfits. Knowing that I was becoming that voice of doubt in their heads.
That’s when I knew that I had to make a change. I had to take that darkness and turn it into something that would change me, change the world, and become something beautiful.
I remember standing in front of the mirror for the first time, naked, staring at my belly that was filled with stretch marks from pregnancy and bigger than I wanted it to be. My boobs that were covered in scars from my surgery and were no longer perky. My face that showcased fat cheeks and swollen eyes from the crying that I couldn’t control. I couldn’t look for long. I HATED what was staring back at me. I didn’t recognize her. That darkness inside that whispered those words that I kept repeating to myself was right. I was ugly, fat, and unworthy.
I did it, over and over again. Staring at my red swollen face for days until it started to become easier. I would force myself to look. Caress my skin and whisper that I was beautiful. I was worthy. Every day, I would get up and do it again.
It worked. Whispering, I am beautiful, lessened that darkness inside. Those awful words began to fade away from my memory. I was no longer defined by my body size. I no longer described myself as fat, unworthy, and ugly. I began to see the beauty in me.
It has been 3 years since I started my journey to loving myself and I still lock myself in the bathroom prior to my shower, and stare. Stare at my body that is full of flaws but oh so beautiful.
I may have let him take away my light for 11 years. I may have let that darkness become who I was but now, there is nothing that can tell me different.
I may have questioned who I was and if I was worthy but no more. I am beautiful. I am strong. I overcame the darkness inside to shine a light so bright that there is nothing I can do but to change the world.
I’m Samantha. I’m a size 16. I have stretch marks from the 3 children that I carried. I have thighs that touch, boobs that sag, and a belly that some days, makes others wonder if I’m pregnant. BUT I’m ok with that. This body doesn’t define who I am. This body has survived a rape, created 3 children while being incredibly sick with each one, and all the daily activities that I complete every day without a struggle.
I want you to look in the mirror today and love who you are. Begin that journey of self love. You are beautiful. You are worthy. You are exactly as you are suppose to be. After all, there is beauty through the hatred.