I’ve carried this secret with me for more than 3 decades, but there are a handful of people (who I trust) that know my truth. As a little girl l was sexually molested by a family member. It was a hot summers day and I clearly remember his sister and the domestic worker watching through the window as he penetrated me. It only happened on the one occasion (one time too many I’d say), probably because I never returned to that house ever again. I also chose not to tell anyone. Back in those days you didn’t speak out. Children were meant to be seen and not heard. After all, who would believe me and I already lived a life riddled with chaos and drama. I just wanted to forget about what happened and move on. I couldn’t deal with anymore turmoil in my life.
At that point, my secret was safe and nobody was the wiser. Forward several years later, and another family member chose to target me. He would constantly touch me and feel me up, always waiting for his opportunity. Peeping around corners and through windows while I bathed or changed. This time I was older, confident and stronger, okay maybe the correct word was angrier. I wanted justice and I wasn’t prepared to keep yet another secret. So I told my family, but to my shock and horror I was asked to keep this a secret. I needed to protect his family because they would be hurt by his actions. Really, like seriously WTF!!! His family would be hurt!!! What about me???
Here began the unravelling of my life as a woman in a world that protected and empowered men over anything and anyone. I turned into an angry and rebellious teenager. I can honestly say I was a teen from hell. I was so angry with my family, with myself and basically with the world. I felt short-changed and unloved. I felt worthless and didn’t see that l was beautiful and gifted. Worst of all, I felt empty and this is where my comfort eating started. I ate irrespective of whether I was hungry or not. I just had an insatiable appetite to fill that emptiness. Aside from the comfort eating I spent most night’s punching the walls. I was consumed with anger and hurting myself became my outlet.
As I grew into a young woman I found myself constantly attracted to the wrong kind of males (notice I didn’t say “MEN”). My choices weren’t the best, but then again how do you make good choices when you don’t even love and value yourself. Why would anyone else see the value in you when you couldn’t see it in yourself? In my recent post about My Insane Self-Love I mentioned that there were other reasons for my lack of self-love, so this is the story for another day I mentioned. I may have lacked self-love and was totally oblivious to my good attributes, but my life had turned me into a fighter. There was a part of me that just wasn’t prepared to give up on myself. I fought for myself day in and day out. but sometimes it wasn’t necessary. I turned into the person who was permanently in self-preservation mode and I’d hurt you long before you hurt me.
About 10 years ago I finally made the decision to see a therapist to work through my horrid childhood. There was so much to process, and it was probably one of the best decisions I could have made for myself. After months of therapy and years of journaling, I have been freed from the shackles of my past. I no longer needed retribution from the people who hurt me. I’m not angry anymore and speaking my truth today is not about hurting the people who had failed me. It’s about empowering myself and in so doing, encouraging and supporting others.
To be totally honest, I have to admit that the fighter in me that I mentioned earlier is alive and kicking and is a part of me that will never die. I now value myself and I know that I am worthy of the right kind of love. I refuse to settle for less and I certainly deserve only the very best. As Oprah said in a recent speech “I want all the girls watching here now to know that a new day is on the horizon.”, so to do many people associate sexual abuse with just females or girls, but I’m here to tell you that abuse of any kind does not discriminate in any way or form. Nobody is safe from the monsters that surround us on a daily basis, as they are hidden behind the many disguises of life.
To you, the perpetrator I want you to know that “YOUR TIME IS UP!“
And to you my Lovelies, I want you to know that your past doesn’t define you. I want you to know that you are enough, and you are worthy.
Fit Like Mummy
Real women. What are real women? Real women refers to you and me, but it also refers to the woman begging on the street to feed her little child, it refers to the women that are cleaning other people’s houses so that they can provide an education for their child. It refers to that CEO who is working hard all the time, trying to fit in play dates and husband dates to help provide an amazing life for her family. It refers to that single mom that works 2 jobs to support her little one. It refers to all of us. My name is Simone and I am a real woman.
When I saw this idea online, I was immediately excited about it. After all, this is what I aim to do as well; empower women! Ladies, I am a 24 years old and I have two kids already. They are wonderful and beautiful and amazing but I had a difficult time bringing them into this world. I am not saying that my pregnancy was the worst one around. I am saying that it was tough, so for those of you that have had tough pregnancies, I feel your pain. With being hospitalized monthly and going through other emotional drama, pregnancy wasn’t a blast. However hard I wished that it would be like those pictures that you see in the magazines, it just never happened!
After birth, when you look at yourself in the mirror, you might just take a moment to die inside. With stretch marks all over you and a bunch of fat hanging around, you wouldn’t want to take a look at yourself ever again. As most ladies do, you would expect that I would complain but for some reason, I didn’t. It didn’t make a difference to me whether I would stay fat or thin, or whether these marks would stay. You see, these marks are the same as battle scars. With every hard battle, we always have the scars to remind us of what we have been through. The same goes for my stretch marks, I have made the decision to wear them proudly. I am the proud mom of my kids, and these scars are the scars to prove it. I am proud that I bare something that can always remind me of the hardship I went through to have my babies and that will always be my humbling and grounding thought.
I was never a heavy person, I always was a thin, little stick figure. As the days went by after my two kids, I began to lose weight, in fact, I lost so much weight that I am gone back to my high school of size 28 (According to luminance online, this is a size 4 in the UK and size 0 in the US but I’m not sure how correct that sizing is). Now, I look like an undernourished chicken! Ladies, I want to tell you something about weight. IT IS NO BIG DEAL. I may look like chicken little, the undernourished version, but I am content with that. Of course, a little weight here and there would look good on me but hey, it doesn’t really matter. I am happy and healthy and that's all good. To those ladies who have put on weight after having the baby, stop cursing yourself for it! You had another human being growing inside you for nine whole months, you had that little human tear apart your senses and make you crave for strange things like bacon even though you’re a vegetarian. Cut yourself some slack. Things are bound to change in life, and who says a little weight here and there is a bad thing. Embrace it, work it and own it! Be whoever you are, however you are. Become the person who loves themselves and everything about them; no, I’m not saying that you need to be self obsessed. I am saying that you are amazing and wonderful and no matter what shape/size or colour you are, you are beautiful!
I have been battling for years about the colour of my skin; I am a dark skinned woman. Until I just got to the point and realised that if I make it an issue, everyone will. So I began to joke about it, ALOT and guess what? I actually found my jokes funny.. Ha! But throughout life, I have learned that no matter how dark or fair you are and how pretty or not you feel, it’s what's in your heart that matters. Beauty will eventually fade away but what's in your heart will always stay!
To my real woman out there, I have been through the struggle of body image, bad acne and dark skin. I know the stereotypes out there in this world and I have faced the criticism. But who are these people? Who gave them the right to judge me? If you have heard the saying “those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind” then think about it for a second. Do those people that look at you, know your story? Do they know what you’ve been through? And even if they do, have they been through it themselves? No one in this world has the right to judge you and if they do, their judgement shouldn’t matter at all! YOU live with YOU. YOU need to be comfortable in your own skin and love yourself. YOU dont need confirmation from anybody else.
Take a look in the mirror today and say to yourself, “Hello, you gorgeous, sexy, amazing woman! You are beautiful. Remember that!”.
- Simone Gobin
I have struggled with self-acceptance and body issues since I was a child. When I was younger, I had a lot of puppy fat and was teased by my "friends" at school. This made me attempt dieting at the tender age of nine and left me feeling insecure and worthless at times. For years thereafter, I struggled to feel comfortable in my skin, even when my body naturally slimmed down with time and age. But then came the cries of "You're so thin! You surely don't eat anything!" and I felt helpless and ashamed once more.
But eventually, I realised that whether you are thin or fat, as women we face great pressure to conform to certain body ideals and to look or dress a certain way. It made me work hard to feel comfortable in my skin and look how/weigh what I was happy with, rather than what the people around me or magazines/celebs set as the standard of beauty. For me, beauty is individual and the most beautiful thing about a woman is being comfortable in her own skin and owning all her physical imperfections. So, instead of focusing on your weight, focus on loving your body and owning your curves or edges... no matter what, Because no one is ever going to have a perfect body but if you can love and own the way you look, you will feel really beautiful and secure inside and out... and I say this from personal experience too!
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