I Have Been Focused on Listening to What I Want

For me, I wasn’t expecting to open any new wounds at The Haven Retreat, since I thought I had dealt with a lot of my trauma. I found out that wasn’t true on the third day.

Like many other survivors, I have dealt with the feeling of worthlessness and felt that my voice was second to others. I grew up thinking that I wasn’t pretty enough, smart enough, or just flat out not worth loving. I would constantly try to please others and make sure their needs were met above my own. My makeover session at retreat exposed the thorn that had been long rotting and blocking my healing.

Everything seemed to be going well at first during my makeover. Then came the waterworks, I thought I could just go through the photo session, but my body/mind kept telling me that I couldn’t do the pictures. I didn’t feel like me and I felt like a doll. Eventually I processed that I was automatically going into the mindset of doing what I felt others wanted from me and not what I wanted. My makeup artist helped get me to a place where I felt safe and free to be me. I was able to finally take my photos, puffy eyes and all.

Ever since that day, I have been focused on listening to what I want in my appearance, my life, and my happiness. Moral of my story, “embrace the real you and truly love yourself, not other peoples’ version of you.”

-Kim, Survivor