To say I’ve gained a significant amount of weight since my rape on September 16, 2017 is a bit of an understatement.
My story can be found here…
Originally when my raped happened I couldn’t eat at all, but I also couldn’t leave the sanctity of my house either. It was something I didn’t even realize until recently. I am usually the type of woman who can never sit still. I always have to be doing something or going somewhere, expending energy as though if I left it contained in my five foot frame I would explode. Only this last week did I realize that I had become a recluse.
I told myself I was focusing on my emotional and mental health, coming to terms with what happened to me. But that wasn’t the case at all. I was hiding. I was hiding from him, because he is out there somewhere and makes no attempt to hide the threats he has made, despite the piece of paper that separates us. When I left my medical career two years ago, I replaced long days under fluorescent lighting with even longer days soaking up the sun on long hikes and howling from the edge of the ocean at the moon. I was fulfilled. But after my rape, I stopped walking anywhere. I stayed quietly in my bed or on my couch with the blinds drawn, the covers tight around me and the lights off. I stopped howling at the moon. I stopped doing everything that I loved for a multitude of reasons and I won’t even attempt to list them all in one post, but the main theme was fear.
I looked in the mirror last week. I mean I really looked at myself for the first time and didn’t recognize the image staring back at me. It wasn’t just that my physical appearance had changed. It was easy to see the fullness in my face and the thickness of my thighs. No, that wasn’t what I noticed. It was what I didn’t see that scared me the most and it had nothing to do with my physicality. I didn’t see confidence. I didn’t see passion. I didn’t see the fire in my soul that had always stared back at me. I didn’t give myself that knowing little nod that used to greet me in the morning, before heading off to explore the world around me. I didn’t see excitement for my day. I saw nothing.
I saw a woman lost.
I saw a woman so far removed from the true essence of who she was that I wept for her. I knew behind that reflection, was the woman that I am and I have to get her back. Anyone who knows me, who knows my story will tell you that the thing I have always been able to do is appreciate and hold on to the good moments in my life as a make-shift life preserver. That I have been able to find gratitude in every single day, that forgiveness is the cornerstone of my existence and the message that I am most passionate about, that I love living, despite the depression that has threatened me in the past. But lately, I haven’t been living. I have been advocating for myself from the safety of my home, afraid to venture too far.
That ends today. Today I am taking my life back. Today the reflection in the mirror, although still vastly different from what I remember only a few short months ago is starting to change. I saw a little bit of fire. I saw a little nod. I saw a slow, diminutive grin replace a blank stare and I am making the choice to stand up and be even bolder than I ever dreamed about being before. I am washing away the intolerance I have had for myself and replacing it with divine acceptance. I am stripping down today and taking the most honest photographs I can of my body. I am going to shine a light on what was taken from me. There will be no angles, no holding anything in, no hair and makeup, no filters, just me. And yes, they’re going to be nudes because I am going to strip down today to the base level of what I am so I can build that woman back up. She needs me. She needs the faith I have placed in her ability to withstand all the storms, all the failures, all the trials that this life keeps throwing…she needs me and I need her. Forty nine days from today, I will follow up and release my before and after photos. Forty nine days from now, I will have made my way back to the woman I was and my voice will no longer be a whisper but a roar for who I am.