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Submission (Anonymous)

Age: 26
# of pregnancies: 7 pregnancies, 5 live births.
Kids Ages: 8, 6, 4, 1.5, 4 months

My whole life I have been insecure about my body. I was emotionally abused as a child by one parent and the other parent basically turned the other way and told me to be quiet. This left me feeling unloved for many years. I felt unloved at home, not liked by peers because I had such low self esteem that I was awkward around other people. I wouldn’t look people in the eye, I had no social skills (we lived in the country with no neighbors) so going to school was so awkward and I was super self conscious about my body. I was always a bit chubbier than the rest of my peers, eating became my comfort since I had no one to really talk to and befriend. In high school I went about and thought having sex with a guy would get them to love me WRONG so wrong. I had many sexual encounters and never a serious relationship (partially my fault due to fear of intimacy) I so badly wanted an intimate relationship but wouldn’t open up. At 16 I met my first 5 kids dad. I got pregnant three times at age 17. The first two pregnancies I lost due to miscarriage. The third pregnancy I carried until I delivered my beautiful baby girl. I got pregnant again at 19 had my second daughter and again at 21 and had my first son. Needless to say their father like myself was immature and not ready for a real relationship or kids. He cheated many times, couldn’t hold a job and basically told me how lucky I was that he stuck around cause no one else would want me. He told his friends in front of me that I needed a boob job, tummy tuck, and butt implants many times….I was humiliated like that at least three times that I remember. Eventually I broke it off in 2016 at the age of 24 going on 25. An old high school crush contacted me shortly after and we began speaking.

We began dating in April 2016 and I found out I was pregnant in May. He asked me to marry him and I agreed. Once again I lacked judgement and before I knew it I was in a physically abusive and verbally abusive marriage. I had our son in January 2017. In August 2017 he confessed to cheating on me many times. I was and still am heartbroken. In September I found out I was pregnant yet again. I tried to make things work, talk about why what was lacking what I wasn’t providing but he refused and continued seeing one of his side chicks. I filed for divorce and we got divorced January 2018. I had our second son in May 2018. Although we have remained together on and off until presently. He has shown signs of maturing in some areas and takes anger management while I go to counseling. He promises he will never cheat again but I don’t believe it…just kind of waiting and trying my hardest so if he does again I will be able to walk away with my head held high knowing I tried and gave it my all. Anyways I thought my body was bad back in high school lol nah it’s so different now. I must have horrible genetics because I have stretch marks all over my tummy, my thighs, butt, arms. My tummy also has a horrible flap of fat and loose skin. The other night my ex was going through pictures I had sent him because he asked and stopped one and commented how it was not flattering because of “that”. He couldn’t even say my tummy but I knew what he meant. Anyways he is right it isn’t a pretty sight and I pray that if him and I don’t work someday I may find a man who can get past it. In the mean time I have 19 pounds to drop till I am at my goal weight and will try to bring my body fat percentage down and gain some lean muscle by eating correctly and working out. Wish me luck, I have come to some sort of terms with my body and I love my kids so I would do it all over again. Ps sorry that my photos are nude from the waist down I just used the pics I had sent my ex. I believe I was/am about 4 months postpartum in them. Sorry about the nudity.

Categories: Belly, Child Loss, Four or More Pregnancies, Postpartum, Submissions
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We Believe Survivors

ibelieveyou

TW: Sexual Violence

These past two weeks have been awful for so many survivors of sexual violence. To not only hear these triggering things being spoken of so often in the media, but to hear them being denied and erased, and to hear these survivors, particularly Dr. Ford, absolutely torn apart both in the media and in congress.

To have an abuser refuse to acknowledge an abuse (which is, of course, the most common patten) is deeply damaging. To have an entire nation refuse to acknowledge a specific instance as well as an entire culture of abuses can be traumatizing – and I am not using hyperbole when I say that.

I listened to as much as I could of the hearing in DC today and, even though I am not personally triggered by this subject, I could only handle so much. I have so much respect for Dr. Ford for sitting through that as bravely as she did. She is truly a beacon of strength. She is a American hero. I believe her.

And I want you, my readers, to know that I also believe you. No questions asked. I believe you. I know that the statistics of false rape reports are fewer than 2%. I know that it is hard to come forward because of fears of not being believed, or because of fears of retaliation from your abuser and/or their community. I know that most rapes are never reported and I know that 36 years makes no difference whatsoever in terms of legitimacy of your claim, or in terms of your trauma and healing. I don’t need explanations. I believe you.

Friends, please make sure you are registered to vote and get out there come November and help take this country back from those who would harm us. Women’s health is very much on the line right now and we must take that more seriously than ever. Every vote counts, but we need to get out there and make our voices heard. We’ve seen the direction this country is headed in – let’s take it back!

So much love to you all.

Categories: Activism, My Own Ramblings, News, Political, Sexual Abuse/Violence
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positive self talk here

You know my life has been hard recently. This is the most difficult year I’ve had to live though, actually. And I think that in times like these, we forget certain parts of our normal self-care, self-talk, or other skills we’ve learned along the journey.

It’s a strange sort of growth I’ve been doing in the past couple of years. It’s where I’ve finally embraced that I don’t have to be 100% happy with how my body looks just because I’m a body positivity blogger and advocate. I used to struggle to be a good role model, but it just wasn’t authentic to who I am. Ironically, I’m actually – finally – more comfortable with my body than I ever have been, despite also being at a higher weight than I ever have been. So I’ve done a sort of roundabout way to grow that part of me, taking a couple of steps backwards (maybe… and maybe not) and a few more forwards.

But somehow, despite that, I’ve lost my positive self-talk.

I struggle every day right now because I am simply weighed down with too many Things to handle and many of them are Big Things.

A good friend once commented that antidepressants are like a life raft. You still have to do the work to get yourself to shore (or, for lifelong depression, down the river of life), but they keep you afloat so that you can do the work to get yourself where you need to go. That’s so real for me. But right now, all those Big Things are also on my raft and I cannot begin to move forward because I am just trying to keep us all afloat.

Here’s what I forgot: That’s work, too. It’s hard work and it’s worthy work.

I have forgotten to remind myself, every day, of all the ways in which I am worthy; I have lost my positive self-talk.

That’s allowed the demons back in and all I can see is all the ways in which I am failing at things (um, like this website, for one?). What’s worse, is that I’ve entirely forgotten how it’s not shameful to be a woman who is proud of the work she does. I’ve become meek in this way recently. But the truth is that it is right, correct, to be proud of me, to take pride in me, and it’s fucking badass feminist warrior woman to do it publicly.

So here’s what I am going to do, and I hope that you will join me. In fact I ask you to join me because I could use your support. Let’s name all the ways in which we are worthy. Today, right now. And then tomorrow. And the next day. We can come together to create a safe space where we will know that we can say whatever good things about ourselves that we want without any fear of looking ‘conceited” or full of ourselves, or whatever other bullshit the patriarchy has taught us to silence us. Are you in?

I’ll go first:
-I fight every day for my kids, for their rights and their needs to be met.
-I have gone back to college, I am about to graduate, and I’ve earned only 2 B’s in the last five years!
-I spend time with my children each day, listening to them, laughing with them, and helping them to find solutions to problems, and helping them learn how to cope with the shit life throws at us.
-I keep going. Sometimes I crash, cry, scream, and sleep. But then I get back up and I keep going.
-I paid the bills this month.
-I have kept us fed.
-I have done laundry, and the house is… not the worst I’ve seen. (haha!)
-I have done exercise consistently these last couple of weeks.

Every day I do little things and huge things. I am proud of me for every single one of them, no matter how small. Because they are all work, and they are all worthy.

How about you? This can be body-related or not, because our esteem is tied to our surfaces as well as our hearts and minds, and each reflects on the other and affects it’s growth or stagnation. What are you proud of? Tell us here!

Categories: My Own Ramblings, News
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