I Truly See the Strength and Beauty that is Me

I had lived all my life in a safe environment and had a relatively sheltered home life and upbringing. I experienced a lot of shock, fear, and devastation when, as a young teen, I first found myself in a situation where I fell victim to being raped by an older guy I did not know. I experienced feelings of guilt and shame regarding the incident and because of this, I kept it a secret. I tried to put it behind me and move on. I took on beliefs about myself that I was tarnished. I thought I was less worthy. I thought I was damaged goods. I thought I was no longer pure. I felt week and helpless. I thought I was unlovable. I decided I was a victim. I became ill and diseased. I experienced failed relationship after relationship. I must be unlovable. I felt like a failure. One thing that took me years to realize is that keeping this in the dark and in secrecy only perpetuates the problem.

I kept it a secret. I thought I “handled” it okay by sticking it on a shelf and trying to move on. I didn’t realize the damage it caused me for many years. I had no clue the heartache I would continue to find myself in for years because of what that incident did to me, including a divorce and a called off engagement. I had no clue the health issues that would develop because of it all, including a handful of chronic illnesses and auto-immune diseases. I didn’t understand the way trauma, unresolved trauma, truly affects our physical bodies!

In the last several years I have come to know these truths about myself: I am brave. I am strong, stronger than I ever could have imagined as a timid little girl. I am worthy of love. I am pure. I am beautiful. I am lovable. I am the hero of my life, a victor! I am healthy and whole. I am a leader. I matter! I am a light, a beacon, and a strength to others. I am loved and supported. I am seen. My worth is infinite and divine!

I am also grateful for The Younique Foundation, what they stand for and what they do for women who have been victimized in their childhood/youth. I see a beauty and strength in the woman in these photos that I had not yet ever really seen before. The old me would find this thing or that to pick apart and critique in my photos. I am able to enjoy the photos for what they are. Thank you for helping me truly seetru the strength and beauty that is ME!

-Jennifer, Survivor