I very rarely get deep on my blog. I’ve touched upon parts in the past but I tend to push things to the back of my mind and keep things to myself. People who meet me think that I’m a bubbly, confident, life of the party kind of person which is true – but I haven’t always been, and some days I do slip back to my old ways.
Growing up in a small town where everybody knew every bodies business is hard. It’s even harder when you’re fat, a “goth” and queer. I never really had any friends because those who were friends with me were targeted too, I didn’t feel like I could tell my parents what was fully happening at school and I spent a lot of time at home in my bedroom on my own hating myself. Being different from the other kids meant I was a massive target. I was jumped, spat at, kicked, punched, banished from P.E changing rooms, verbally abused and pushed out at every opportunity. The worst part was,when I retaliated it seemed like I was the one who was sent to be punished.
Coming out as queer (planned or not) in a school where people have it drummed into them that being anything but a circle peg is a nightmare. Unfortunately for me I didn’t have the luxury of coming out to a group of supporting friends – I was outed to what seemed like a tank full of flesh eating Piranha. These people looked for new ways daily to torture me – whether it be following me home and hitting me with planks of wood, putting rubbish into my locker, holding me against walls and holding penknives and other weapons to my throat or just using me as a punching bag for a gang of people.
Growing up like this is horrible. It sucks up every single last drop of your self esteem until you are left with nothing. You are a shell that breathes and exists but nothing more. It feels like nothing will ever get better and you wonder why you even bother. Thats when I turned to various methods of self harming to make myself feel like I was in control.
When you have zero self esteem you start to do stupid things, like talking to boys online to try and get some semblance of self worth. Unfortunately this led to me being contacted by paedophiles twice who pretended they were teenage boys. One of these men were meeting up with girls and sexually abusing them with his friends. Thankfully I never met up with him, but I was still affected by the whole experience – once again feeling like I couldn’t trust anybody. Boys I met in person generally took advantage of my low self esteem and the fact that I was pretty much desperate to feel wanted. This meant that I did a lot of things I’m not particularly proud of to try and feel better about myself – and I ultimately ended up feeling a lot worse. Alcohol and drugs came next and going out all weekend trying to blot out how I really felt about myself and masking it with this “bubbly funny girl” act which I had adopted over the years. I would actually go out until 3AM, come home and set off for work at 6:30 on a Thursday morning, then do this again Thursday/Friday then go out Saturday too. It didn’t matter how tired I was – going out and being drunk and around people who were like me and wanted to spend time with me was addictive and it was the first time I ever felt like I fit in. Safe to say I lost jobs through this method because of how incredibly tired I was.
My late teenage years were a bubble. I tried to go out as much as possible to avoid being at home. Home was a war ground between my parents who very often used myself as a pawn in their games to get back at each other. I say my parents – it was my dad who pretty much used me and manipulated me against my poor mum. Again, queue spending time alone in ones bedroom trying to avoid the world as much as possible.
It’s crazy to think back as I’m writing this to think that this person was even me. I am so different to that confused little girl who just wanted to be loved that sometimes I don’t even believe that I am the same person. My road to recovery started with a website called Tumblr and finding out other people who felt the same/looked like me. I started posting pictures online,which I would agonise over for hours and often delete – however by taking these photos and forcing myself to look at my body for what it is is how I started to accept and love myself for exactly who I am. I grew a large following and grew confidence and support daily. My inbox would start to fill with messages from other people in my situation who had found me and had started their path to recovery inspired by me – which in turn boosted me even further.
And then I found Instagram, which again helped me to find other people just like myself, and with the “effyourbeautystandard” and “honoryourcurves” movements as well as a general acceptance for body positivity – Instagram became like a saving grace for me. This sounds so dramatic, but following others who were the same size, bigger, smaller and all positive about their bodies regardless of their hangups really boosted me and helped my confidence to grow into what it is today. With every new follower and every kind comment, a little bit more of me healed. With this new found confidence I started dressing better, enjoying fashion and clothing and being playful with my look and this again made me feel so much better about myself.
I started blogging on here just over a year ago because I saw other people doing it and thought – I could do that! What blogging has taught me is to really look at myself and realise that there is nothing wrong with me. What blogging has brought me is an incredibly tight knit and overwhelmingly supporting band of blogger babes I am lucky enough to call my friends and who accept me as part of their community. These people accept me for who I am and support me and my mental health problems every step of the way which is something I never thought I would find. I am truly blessed to be a part of their world.
I get messages daily about how I have inspired others and how much I have helped them to feel more confident/stop hating their bodies which is one of the most wonderful things I have ever received. This makes me so happy that I do what I do and it makes me realise that I have a reason to be here, and it is to spread the word of body positivity and to help other people who may not feel as confident/happy with their bodies to see that they are perfect just as they are.
If I could give one message out to anybody who has been where I have then it is this. Things can get better. You can learn to love yourself just as I have – and there are ALWAYS people out there who you can talk to, who will be there for you and will help you within your own personal journey. I’m always happy to answer any comments/emails/facebook messages that you may have, or even just have a chat! Take it from somebody who has suffered – you are not alone.
This post has been extremely hard for me to write, and I definitely couldn’t of written this a year or so ago. Apologies if any points are triggering to readers.
Please comment below if you’d like to talk further