I have been holding onto this blog for a while now…unable to bring myself to write for it because I connected sooooo deeply to her trauma and how it mirrored my own childhood trauma.
If you follow me on Instagram Stories (IG: @lindsayraephotography) you have seen alot of me posting about mental health acceptance and self preservation lately.
That is because at 33 years old, on my birthday actually, I had a nightmare while visiting home back in Florida and finally asked my mom about this lifetime-fucked-up reoccurring nightmare I have had…. and she had me connect to an aunt who finally confirmed what I had somewhere deep down always known to be true. I finally unlocked the part of my childhood that had been (literally) blacked out for all of these years.
This has lead me on a mission to help other people in my world learn to understand how they might be reacting and responding to trauma (big or small we don’t get to decide how someone elses experiences have impacted them in the present…trauma is not a game of bigger/better, it is deeply to personal to the person who experienced it)
I spent the better part of my morning this morning talking to my best friend back home about her own trauma…about how I remember so many of the fucked up things that happened to her because I was also there for it and that it makes so much sense why she responds to things how she does when she is triggered. We talked about therapy and normalizing having and seeing a therapist, especailly when you are doing the work of holding emotional space for others, it is important you also have someone who can hold space for you (I al looking at allllll of my boudoir colleagues, Nurses, Teachers, Lawyers, etc. on this one!)
I think the word “trigger” has been sensationalized and turned into a joke by those touting right sided political views. But triggers are a very real thing and understanding what triggers you is insanely important in a journey to healing.
Our generation of Xennials and Millenials are experiencing the world in a very different way than our parents did. We no longer live in a space where we need to keep silent, we are shouting on the rooftops about our experiences and connecting with other women who have gone through the same things.
I say it often but the Self Love Experience is not just about body acceptance….it is about ‘whole self acceptance’. It is about being able to look at a photo of yourself and see everything you have survived…be it a miscarriage, a death in the family, a sexual trauma, a demoralizing partner, etc…..we are all surviving one thing or another and many of us one thing AND another.
Please take some more time a read below how this babe used her own Self Love Experience as part of her own journey to healing:
” This photoshoot meant so much to me. At first I thought it was a fantastic gift to my husband, who is my best friend and biggest fan. He believed in me when I had no belief in myself. But afterwards I realized something as I impatiently waited to for the proofs to be ready…I needed this reminder of my beauty, strength and resilience MUCH more than he does.
I’ve worked so hard to become the woman I am today. I am a survivor in so many ways. I survived childhood sexual abuse at the hands of not one, but two different family members. I have two sisters who suffered the same fate. This left me to go through my adolescence always trying to de-sexualize myself. I didn’t want to draw attention to myself because we were left feeling that somehow these things that happened to us were our fault.
My journey to healing has been long and painful.
At 17 I met and fell in love with my son’s father. We had a toxic love/hate relationship that lasted almost 15 years.
He used my inner most secrets and my scared inner child against me. He was emotionally, verbally, physically and financially abusive. I remember desperately trying to loose the baby weight because he wouldn’t touch me with the extra pounds. I became almost hypersexual because it was the only way I felt he actually saw my worth. He devalued me to the point that I didn’t believe I deserved to live. Leaving him was harder than staying…but, I survived him, too.
I’ve done a lot of therapy. And medication…but nothing has helped me heal more than telling my truths. I am lucky enough to have a profession in which I get to bond with women on a daily basis. I have made these connections with so many women who are survivors in their own ways. I live to tell these women how they deserve to love and be loved. We are all a little broken, but still we thrive!
Empowerment has become our love language…
I cannot wait to hang my artwork and have the visual reminder of how far I’ve come from that scared little girl to the woman whose resilience has paved the way to a life full of love, peace and happiness.
My body has created life and harbored evil. It has grown and shrunk and changed but still, it’s mine. I took it back. I don’t give anyone permission to control me, my thoughts or my physical being.
I love me.
These photos show how absolutely beautiful glass can be even after it’s been shattered.
I hope everyone who reads this will take from it one thing:
If it doesn’t bring you joy, walk away from it.
Life is too short to spend with people who dim your light instead of polishing your shine
Xoxo” – Mrs. R