Looking back, I can’t decipher where exactly I went wrong. I don’t know how I got to the point that I did or when I crossed the line, but sitting here in this cozy coffee shop, drinking chai tea and telling you my story, it is undeniable that somewhere, I went wrong. Perhaps you may be thinking that as the victim I shouldn’t blame myself for being in the “wrong,” but I ask you to wait for the rest of my story.
No one can tell your story for you. There is not a single other person who will have felt just what you have been through the way you felt. Although family and friends, counselors and coworkers, roommates and sorority sisters can provide some level of comfort and compassion through your hardships, nothing will ever prepare you for what life throws at you.
I guess a part of me felt like if I am sad about letting go, then maybe I’m not at that place of acceptance that I thought I was. But I was wrong. It is sad. I must grieve. I loved, gave my all, and almost died doing it. Letting this go is incredibly sad, but on a much different level. I started to realize that it was okay to be sad, and later that night, as I threw these things into the flames, I also knew that it was okay to let go.
I was harming myself and unable to stop. I literally couldn’t stop sabotaging my future. How could I become who God intended for me to become when I was engaged in a permanent cycle of self punishment and self-hatred?
Fasting. Starving. Dwindling near death. Groaning in hunger. That’s the only way, right?!
I lived as a chronic dieter for 15 years, because I thought there wasn’t any other way to be thin.
Fast-forward through the next few years of self-loathing, self-hate, self-doubt and self-sabotage.
There was a night when I was watching Miss America 1995 with my mom and it was the night that Heather Whitestone was crowned as the first deaf Miss America. I turned around to my mom and said, “I want do that, I want to be like her”! My mother knew it would be a great start in helping boost my confidence by entering me in pageants.
This is my faith story. I decided to write it because every time I’ve read my bible lately, I’ve had a hard time concentrating because I keep trying to write this story, my story. I’ve had hesitations sharing it with the world because I don’t want to offend anyone from my past.
You’ve seen it a thousand times before. Those motivational pieces about getting out of an abusive relationship. They’re touching. They’re helpful. They all say the same thing:
Oh, that isn’t the story you were told? Then, what are you supposed to do if you find yourself in these glass slippers? Is there really a protecting prince deserving of your heart? What if you are left with only pieces?
As I start to tell her, she matters, she is beautiful and wonderful, I start to realize no amount of words I tell her will ever make her really feel like she is worth it. Nothing I say can convince her that she has value.
Over the past year, I hit some of my highest highs and lowest lows. The modeling industry is no joke. Most of you have only seen the edited side of me. After hours in the hair and makeup chair and after professionals retouch every blemish and trim inches off of my body. Sure, it can be a very glamorous profession …
Too young? Yes, I feel like its too early, but this is the curve ball that was pitched and I’ve been preparing to swing. It is difficult to remain in a state of thankfulness for what I have experienced.
I was in Disneyland, my favorite place in the world, when I received the news that my mom had suddenly passed away from a heart attack in our home in Seattle.