As a young teen, just as my body – to my great excitement – was starting to change, I was gang raped. The excitement of becoming a woman was taken away from me and the relationship I had with my body turned from love to pure hatred. They say that the body is a temple and my temple had been invaded, scorned, hurt and permanently destroyed. I was never fat, but started perceiving my wide hips and full buttocks as being fat and I developed a serious complex. Not even in front of my husband did I feel comfortable and I was convinced that he secretly thought I was unattractive and even disgusting.
When I got pregnant, I started worrying about my weight gain and how my body would change. What if I couldn’t lose the excess weight after giving birth? What if I got stretch marks? What if my husband would never want to make love to me again? I did like my pregnant belly, though, and was able to see the beauty in it. It was the time after the delivery that I was worried about.
Then I gave birth to my beautiful baby boy. A few days later I stood in the shower and looked at my body in the mirror for the first time. My belly was still round as if I were four months pregnant and my whole body looked full and soft and feminine. “It’s beautiful”, I thought to my surprise. The femininity that I had previously regarded as unattractive and “fat” now looked pretty and inviting. For all these years I had disrespected my body, I had consciously hurt myself in order to punish it for having been raped, for simply having been there, for not having been able to escape. Now I was in awe: it had carried my son for nine months, had put up with the strain of being pregnant, it had miraculously given birth to a perfect baby and was now producing the nourishment to sustain him. But it wasn’t just due to the respect that I made peace with my body. I truly find it beautiful. And I finally love being a woman!
“Anonymous”, 29 years old
21 thoughts on “The aftermath of sexual violence + the beginning of healing (Anonymous)”
Wow, what an amazing story. You are so strong and beautiful.
You are beautiful.
Your story breaks my heart. I’m so sorry for the terrible experience you had in your youth. It’s an awful thing that should never happen to any one. I think it’s wonderful that you have found a way to love your body. You are quite beautiful in many ways.
That is one of the most beautiful and intense posts I have ever read. Thank you for sharing your story.
Wow, what an amazing post. You’re inspiring and very brave. And you look fantastic!!
first picture – 38 weeks pregnant
second and third picture – 5 weeks postpartum
Oh sweetie, what a strong amazing survivor you are. I am so happy that you have your sweet baby boy, these babies are truly healing. I am so sorry for what you went through as a teenager, it’s absoutely horrendous. You are strong. You are beautiful. You will do great things. Take care and I wish you nothing but the best in motherhood and life.
wow! you are amazing!
i think you look simply marvelous, wonderful, perfect, lovely. may you continue to find peace of your journey of healing. that was a big step, sharing that with us & i feel honored to be a part of your story as a reader & longtime participant of SOAM.
Very touching story; you’re such a strong woman! Congrats on our baby boy your body looks great!
The first paragraph made my heart ache. I’ve been there too- and I’m so glad that you have found peace with your body. You are a beautiful mother.
Your body is so beautiful! I am so sorry that such a horrible thing happened to you. Thank you so much for sharing your story with us!
You are amazing. Being able to come through your experience and see the good things you have, it’s a strong thing to do.
I have to say, you have really nice boobs! And 5 weeks PP! Your stomach looks WAY better than mine and I’m 10 months PP now. Awesome!
You are an incredible woman! How amazing that having your baby was so healing for you. He is lucky to have you for his mother.
What a beautiful post. It brought tears to my eyes. I’m so happy for you to find love and healing.
You’re an amazing and strong person. You’re also very beautiful. Love to you and your family!
That was an incredible post. Thank you for sharing. Your story made me sick (the world can be a terrible place) but your strength is so admirable. You are obviously a VERY strong person. Your baby is lucky to have you for a mommy. I believe there’s nothing that can stop you now. You’ve already been through so much. And you’re all the more beautiful for it. Seriously. You are so beautiful.
Wow. You are so beautiful and strong. To react with such grace and dignity and courage to something so horrific is truly the mark of a great soul. Bless you.
Thank you for posting… I was raped of my virginity 18 years ago at the age of 16 by a 26 year old man. Everyday I scream in silence as I pretend to the world that I am normal. The hatred I feel for body has never been quelled… Thank you for your courage I hope that I can find that peace someday.. Your post brings me hope
Your story gave me the chills. i am so glad that you grew to accept and love yourself. motherhood is a beautiful and wonderful thing. congratulations on everything
You just made me cry.. which isnt hard, considering im 27 weeks pregnant and a tad emotional.
I don’t have a story nearly as fasinating as yours but i was extremly self consious before i got pregnant and now i have a new outlook. :) Your story is touching and im glad you shared.
(sorry for spelling)