Today I hand the mic fully over to this client.
Read below to hear her story!
“Have you ever felt so beaten down, so useless so depressed, so unworthy, so defeated that it seems like there is no end in sight? Because this girl has. My story goes back to when I was young starting in middle school. I was not a popular girl in any sense of the word. I didn’t really have any friends, in fact I was teased almost every day. I used to get called a monkey, people would say “oh does the monkey want a banana” , walking through the halls my peers would walk by me and make monkey faces at me. I can even remember a time where a guy sitting in class pulled a tissue out of the box and pretended like he was pulling out of my bra and shouted “look the monkey stuffs her bra”. I became bitter, I started getting in fights, I started to withdraw, I started to be depressed and anxious all the time. I was becoming a person I never was and that I certainly never wanted to be. After middle school, I met my first “true love”. He was a “dream“ or so I thought. Had I already found the one I would spend my life with at 16? Possibly…. it started off amazing, he was proud to call me his girlfriend, he wanted to show me off, he wanted the world to know. But, a year in a switch flipped. My “dream” turned into a horror movie. Then started the mental and physical abuse. I would hide the marks with makeup, smile in front of everyone, but cry myself to sleep, I put on a really good show. Until one day the show was over. I was walking down the hallway of my high school and during the change of periods, with him by my side, he caught a glimpse of me looking at a guy walking past. He grabbed me by my hair slammed me to the ground, spit in my face, and started kicking me. He was quickly pulled off of me and I was taken to a safe space. Traumatised…. if that’s even the word…. “did that really just fucking happen?” It replayed and replayed in my head for months. But somehow I still “loved” him, but later found out it was the idea of being loved. I had annexed the friends I did have, lost my outgoing personality, lost my life as I knew it. “Why wasn’t I good enough?” “What could I have done differently?” “ Maybe if I hadn’t been so hard to deal with he wouldn’t have hit me.” Crazy right? Anyways, After that I started over compensating just to try and fit in again. Partying, wearing the skimpiest clothes I could find, and sleeping around ALOT. I wanted that girl back, I wanted her back so badly I would do it no matter the cost. It all became so overwhelming. Why couldn’t I just be good enough? I was spiraling, I became depressed and anxious to the point that I literally was making myself sick. I lost a ton of weight, I couldn’t keep food down, had constant abdominal pain, I was sure there was a medical reason for feeling this way. I went to so many doctors, specialists, you name it I saw them, just to find out in the end that crippling anxiety was the reason for my “illness.” The next year I didn’t return to school because of the embarrassment. I received in home tutoring and became a hermit. After high school the cycle seemed to continue. I kept attracting these ASSHOLES and it all came back to “I’ll just never be good enough.” I had no purpose, I didn’t know where I was going in life, I was lost. Working at a local pizzeria I met a guy that, again, seemed great. He seemed to have his head on his shoulder, a good job, he treated me well, he made me smile, my parents liked him, I felt like I was getting myself back. One day my mom who worked at a local high school called me and said “ Jessica you have to meet this guy that just started teaching here.” Here we go…. “Mom you know I’m living with someone right?” “But Jessica you are going to marry him I just know it.” Thinking nothing of the conversation I went home that night and received a message from a women, we will call her Karen. She proceeded to tell me she had been seeing my then boyfriend for quite sometime and that he had told her he would leave me for her. Well apparently it wasn’t soon enough for her. That night he came home I had one of his dress shirts on, high heels, cute panties, and amazing dinner ready, you get the gist. Got him all riled up ( I was actually really proud of myself for how Well I planned it out??) just to present the message to him that I knew what he’d been doing. He begged and pleaded for me to stay, he said “ I’ll marry you tomorrow if that’s what you want.” For the first time in my young adult life I stuck to my guns and moved out the next day. I swore I wasn’t going to put myself out there again, I wasn’t going to be vulnerable, love was just never in the cards for me. But finally after weeks of being badgered by my mom, in an effort to shut her up I went to meet this “mystery man.” I will never forget it. My mom pulled him out of a football meeting, which still to this day mortifies him ? as he stumbled to find any words he gave my mom his number (which I never intended to use). A few weeks later I get a text from an unfamiliar number and who is it but the mystery man. He was very persistent to say the least. He sent me message after message to just go to lunch with him, and by this time what those words meant to me were “hey let’s hook up”. So to get him off my back ( which never happened) he’s still on it until this day… pun intended… I went to lunch with him. And that’s what it was… just lunch…. he was a gentleman. HOLY SHIT! About 2 weeks in I knew I was in love with him. This was no “puppy love” this was head over heels in love. My mom was right and 2 years later we got married (and she never let me forget it). We started trying to have kids right after we were married, miscarriage after miscarriage, negative pregnancy test after negative pregnancy test. 7 years of infertility treatment, I gave up. I broke. I begged for him to leave me. I couldn’t give him what he deserved. This wasn’t what he signed up for. But he didn’t give up on me. In September of 2017 we gave it one last shot using IVF. On November 27th 2017 we found out our lives were about to change in a Big way. I was PREGNANT! I always dreamed of having a dream pregnancy. The cute belly, the baby kicks, all the things….. well as you can see from my story thus far that is far from how it went. I threw up every single day until I was 32 weeks pregnant. In the midst of all of this on April 20,2018 my mom got diagnosed with stage 4 non small cell lung cancer and was given 6 months to live. I won’t get into everything that my mom did for me in those months, but even at her sickest she fought to see my son be born. I gave birth to my son at 34 weeks on July 5,2018. After that my mom decided to stop treatment and was ready to be free of her pain and suffering. She spent everyday she possibly could with my son over the next 3 months. He was her baby. But I digress. I was hit hard with PPD and PPA, and October 22, 2018 my mother was called home to the angels. I lost my best friend. I wanted it all to end, I wanted to be left alone, self care was non existent and I felt like I was a shitty mother. At that point even that innocent, sweet, miracle baby couldn’t save me. I had to be hospitalized, I started therapy, and medication and came back stronger than ever. And then December 28,2018 on my mothers birthday I found out 5 months post partum I was pregnant on my own. How in the ever living fuck was I supposed to do this? I couldn’t be good enough for 1 child how was I ever going to be good enough for 2? I could barely keep my head above water. After many long nights of worry and questioning the pregnancy ( I hate even saying that) we decided it was time to tell our families. We got negative backlash and feelings of disappointment. I think that’s how we thrived and came out on top. And then life kicked us straight in the balls again. On March 15,2018 my son and I were sitting in the living room after he had woken from his nap. The next thing I hear is smoke detectors going off and the smell of smoke. I quickly ran to see where the smell was coming from. There were flames coming from the wall in the bedroom my son and I had just come out of about 20 minutes before. Almost 4 months pregnant I threw my son in his car seat, called my husband because what in the actual fuck ( in which his response “call 911 why are you on the phone with me!!!!!) called 911, got the dogs out of the house, threw everyone in the car and pulled the car into the road. Within minutes our home, my husbands childhood home, the home we were supposed to raise our family in was engulfed in flames. 5 fire departments, the Red Cross, every police station in surrounding area were trying to get the fire under control. Not a diaper, a bottle, a container of food, or a pot to piss in, every single memory gone in the blink of an eye. To add insult to injury later that evening after the Red Cross had put us in a hotel the town fire sirens had gone off. My husband looked at me and said “it’s our house again, I know it’s our house.” Our home caught fire a second time and at that point, our home was a total loss. We spent the next 3 months living in a hotel. Myself, my husband, our almost 7 month old, my mother in law, and a baby on the way. If there was ever a silver lining it is being able to sit here and tell my story. After those 3 months we found a new home and shortly after my son turned 1 on July 25,2019 we welcomed our second son. Here came the PPD again rearing it’s ugly head, but this time ten fold. I felt dead inside, I was never going to be a good mom, a good wife, a good anything for that matter. Again being on medication and seeing a therapist I started to feel more like myself. But then I started having the body image issues. How was I supposed to rock this new “mom bod” I had never seen a stretch mark on my body before kids and now my whole body was over taken by them. I needed to do something for myself, I needed to feel beautiful, I needed “Jess” back. One day I was scrolling through good old Facebook and found that Lindsay who I’d been following for quite sometime had posted a Black Friday special. I immediately booked a shoot. Then the self doubt kicked in. “What would people think?” “What will my kids think of me when they get older?” All the what ifs. The day came for my shoot and as soon as I met Lindsay and Natalie I felt like I’d known them forever. From the personal styling, to the hair and makeup, to the “fuck yes”, “oh my god”, I was getting from Lindsay, I knew that this was just what I needed. I felt fucking perfect. I felt empowered. I felt strong. I felt good enough. I embraced my body for what it is. Things that I still feel to this day. Things I Haven’t felt in years. I know what you are thinking “get to the point already.” So here it is. Everyone has struggles. And to anyone taking the time to read this YOU CAN GET THROUGH ANYTHING! You can leave that toxic relationship, you can beat domestic violence, you can regain your confidence, you can feel good enough because you are good enough! If you are going through hard times- I see you sis, if you need a listening ear- I’m here for you, if you need validation- I’m your girl. If you need living proof that anything is possible- LOOK AT ME! This experience was exactly what I needed. Lindsay and Natalie are fucking godesses. They truly care, they encourage you, they want you to be empowered. Even still I’m facing new obstacles. My life is far from perfect or a fairytale. But this experience has truly taught me the meaning of “if life throws you curves you gotta learn to swerve.” You are beautiful, you are strong, you are worthy, you are fucking amazing. Each and everyone of you. It took me some Lindsay to bring me back to life. And I am forever grateful. Do this for yourself. Fuck everyone else. Live life for you. Eat the whole pizza, eat all the cake, drink all the drinks, wear those two piece bikinis and wear them proudly stretch marks and all!!! And most importantly love yourself EVERY. DAMN.DAY! With this experience came much perspective. I don’t care who judges me, who likes me, or approves of me…because I LOVE me and that’s all that matters. I can honestly say that I feel like I am the best version of me that I have ever been. I feel like a better wife, mother, sister and friend. And no it’s not because of a few pictures. It the experience. It’s Lindsay. It’s her encouraging me, showing me and helping me prove to myself I am a women of strength. It’s a self love experience. I have never shared my story to this extent, not many people know the real me. But here I am, bearing it all. From the bottom of my heart, Lindsay Rae- you have changed my life for the better and I will never forget what you have done for me. I feel like I have found a forever friend in you. I’m “me” again and I’m never letting her go again. Thanks for listening to my TED talk.
Love and Light,