As a kid, I never thought about my body or its shape much, until I had a boyfriend in high school who pinched the skin on my back and told me that it shouldn’t be there.
After that, I really hated my body and I didn’t treat it well. I went to the gym all the time to try to lose the weight I thought I shouldn’t have. Even when I got super skinny, I still wasn’t happy with my body. And ever since then, I looked to men as my saving grace. Which doesn’t even make sense, because they seem to be the ones to say the worst stuff about me, but it was still the attention that I was getting from them.
I don’t know, high school was just rough. I remember coming home a few days a week and just not eating, or I would stop eating, but I was still fat. And I would just be so disgusted with myself I would literally like punch myself in the stomach and say how gross I was. Or I would punch myself in the head and I couldn’t wear my hair up for weeks because I would have welts on my head. And of course, someone I know saw me one time, doing that, and they were like, “You’re ridiculous, I don’t know why you’re doing that.” But never once did they say “Oh, what’s going on? Why do you feel this way?” And I never really had anyone to ask me why I felt the way I felt. So the only way I could get through my emotions was pain. And rugby always helped with that too because I was out there getting beat up on the field and stuff and I wouldn’t have to do it myself. It was great! I could hide it and someone else could do it for me.
And then I got into college, and of course..I always…it upsets me now because I always say, “Oh, when I was in college…” but I was only in college for a semester. But, one of the reasons I was only in college for a semester was because I went to a party one night and um…you know…all my friends were guys. I was one of the guys, and um, these two “friends” had spent at least two hours in a room alone with me trying to convince me to have a threesome with them.
I kept saying no, and I kept saying no, and I kept saying no, and they broke me down so much because it was the first time I really got positive attention because they were like, “Oh you’re beautiful, you’re gorgeous, let’s do this!” So after two hours of that I kind of just said yes, and um, they ended up raping me, and I had said no so many times, even to this day I think sometimes, “Oh, I let that happen, it wasn’t rape, that was my fault.” And it’s so stupid because I spent so long saying no before hand. And I spent so long saying no during the actual act, telling them I wanted to stop, and they just finished and left the room and left me on the bed.
And of course thinking about it now I know better, but one of my friends at the time that was also in the Army came in and he was like, “What’s wrong, are you okay?” And I cried to him, I poured my heart out to him about what had just happened and he um, he ended up trying to do stuff with me. And so I finally got the energy and the courage to get out of the room, and when I ran out of the room, there were five guys lined up at the door. Apparently the guys had gone back to the party and told them they could all have a turn with me because I was “the college slut.”
I ended up hiding in one of the rooms at the party and crying on the bed, locking the door. And my only real guy friend at the time came in and he picked me up and he actually walked me to the elevator, walked me to his room, and tucked me into bed.
And so...I've spent a lot of time up until recently dealing with that. And then I met my now husband, and I could never trust him. I had met him just out of my semester at college and it took me a lot of time to trust him and, you know, he really broke down my walls which is crazy. Because...I had always seen myself as strong and I made the choices I made, and…I had always been taught, “You make the choices you make, and that makes you strong.” So, he was the first person to really allow me to be vulnerable with him. And then we were together five years and he proposed, we got married, and I got pregnant right away.
I was so excited and I just remember saying, “Oh please God, don’t let it be a girl. Don’t let it be a girl.” I was so afraid if I had a girl, she would go through the same things as me. I thought, “I’m not strong enough to have a girl.” It was hard to deal with and I was so happy when I found out it was a boy. And even now I say, “Oh, I always wanted my boy first so I don’t care what I have next.” But that wasn’t the truth. More so, I prayed to God every day that I would not have a girl because I was just so scared.
And then I had my son, and it was like everything that I had been through was washed away, having this boy. Because I want to raise him to be strong and good with women, and to treat them right, and it’s hard because sometimes people will do stuff around him and I’m like, “No, that’s not right! That’s stuff I’ve been through before!” But we want to raise him to be a good kid who treats women right.
And now I’m pregnant again, and I’m scared shitless. I’m so scared. If I have a girl, I just I want her to be strong because I wasn’t. I look at it and I’m like, maybe I was strong, maybe more people need to hear my story but it just…I think my biggest problem is fear. I’m just so fearful of what ifs - “What if someone thinks this? What if someone thinks that?” And it’s just scary. I’m just always scared. I’m working on that now, my fear. Not so much like, “I’m scared of heights, let me jump from a cliff!” But more like I’m just scared of the “what if.”
I have no reason to think my husband is going to leave me, but because of my past I’m constantly like, “He wants to leave me, I’m gross, I’m fat, I don’t know why he’s with me, I have no personality, I’m not smart, I’m stupid, I have nothing to live for.” And he always reminds me that I’m good. And that’s really helpful, when you have someone there that’s good to you.
I go through periods where I almost push him away because I don’t deserve him because he’s so great and he sees it and he always says “Why are you trying to push me away?” And I don’t know the answer to that. I just feel like, something is going to happen so I put the worst in my head thinking, “Oh well, I’ll be fine if it happens because I’ve told myself I’ll be fine if it happens," or I can say, "I knew this would happen."
But then I look at my son, or there are nights when I’ll just look at my husband when he’s sleeping and…I’m really blessed. I’m really lucky to be where I am given what I’ve been through. I used to cry all the time about my situation and where I’ve been and what I’ve done and what I’ve gone through and I can’t cry anymore. I finally have gotten to a place where I’m like, I am strong. I am a strong woman. I have a great support system. I am blessed beyond belief. I’m about to have another child. Like, that’s what I’ve always wanted and yeah, there are hardships. But I have people to get me through it and most importantly I can get myself through it.
I know I don’t need anyone, but it’s great having people.