HOW DID YOUR STORY BEGIN? “My mother used to body shame me. She still does but we are on super low contact so it’s not bad anymore, and luckily I have a great Step-Mom, who shows me how a parent should act.
I have a past that includes sexual abuse. It’s common for survivors of child sexual abuse to get heavy so they feel safer around men because ‘they won’t touch me if I’m fat and unattractive’. Unfortunately for me this wasn’t the case and the abuse continued.
My childhood impacted everything, my sexuality, my worthiness and self-esteem. I’m lucky my dad gained custody or I’d be more like my sister who didn’t get to leave my Mom’s house and has had her life ruined.
My Dad never once made me feel small or bad about my body, if I gained weight he didn’t shame me and he encouraged me to move in a healthy way which focused on fun and not ‘exercise’ for weight loss.”
DOES YOUR STORY STILL AFFECT YOU? “It’s hard to say. I’m still heavy and do go through serious bouts of depression but my self-esteem is fairly intact, I do have C-PTSD and anxiety. I believe I’ve raised children that have healthy body esteem and know their worth is not measured by their body shape or their sexual choices.”
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE YOUR YOUNGER SELF? Don’t listen to people that say your body demonstrates your value. It doesn’t. Your body is simply the way you get around the planet. What matters is what’s between your ears and what’s in your heart. Be a good person and respect others, respect yourself and don’t let people stay in your life if they don’t show respect. It’s cliche, but love yourself because if you can’t how can you expect someone else to?”
I’m so proud of CL for sharing her tough story. She’s been through a lot to get to where she is now. And she’s so right, set boundaries in your life about what you will and will not tolerate from yourself and others and hold on to them powerfully.