Seeing Light Through The Darkness
This photo holds such significance for me, same bikini yet two completely different people. In the top photo I stand in front of the door looking completely broken and sad. It is that exact door that I had to close and lock after the assault. Every day when I would lock that door or realize I forgot to lock it I would have a terror come over me wondering if he was on the other side. Every noise I heard created so much fear living in what was suppose to be my home sweet home. To have someone come into your home and rip your security away from you and make up feel fearful for your life is heart wrenching.
When I look at that girl in those first photos I wish I could reach out to her, hug her and tell her that things were going to get better. To know I almost wasn’t here 6 months ago is still a process and hard to think about, but I’m working through the process and learning to let go.
I look at the girl in the bottom photos, standing in front of a bright see-through wall with light shining in and see someone that is determined, beautiful and confident. I feel I took my power back, that I now stand strong enough to let my voice be heard. When I eventually went to the police to report the assault, the officer said some women take 20 years to come forward – That broke my heart to know that a woman would carry this pain around with her for all those years.
Since posting my before and after photos, I have had an enormous outpour of love. I have had woman come forward and message me saying that my story has inspired them. That it has given them the courage to finally speak up or take action to change something in their lives. I have sat as women shared stories of being pushed around, badly beaten, hurt, violated, terrified and even fearing for their life. It is unimaginable to know what some women have gone through, some that live to tell their story and some that don’t.
No one should ever be made to feel unsafe and if by me sharing my story helps someone leave or through a bad situation, then everything I went through mattered. I hope if ever you feel in an unsafe situation that you reach out for help. And if you feel you have no one to talk to I am here as your support system always. I wish I had spoken up sooner but believe now I can be a voice for others to hopefully give them the courage they need. If you are or know someone that is in an abusive situation please call 911 or the National DV Hotline.
No one should ever make you feel anything less than beautiful.
So to the girl in the before photos from the girl in the after ones, I say hang in there. Know that this will not be an easy road but that you will come out stronger than you could have ever dreamed. That you will wake up with a new found love for life and that a community will be built because of everything you went through. People will have your back in ways you never imagined. That by being completely vulnerable and raw you will allow others to express that in themselves.
“Rock bottom became a solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life”. – J.K. Rowling
With a grateful heart and much love,