My parents gave me an amazing childhood. They did everything they were supposed to do to keep my siblings and me happy. They always uplifted us with words of wisdom and love. I was always the kind of girl who didn’t have the best self-esteem. I never thought I was overly pretty, sexy, sweet, all around good person. The person that everyone else saw never matched up to the “me” I would see in the mirror everyday. I struggled with loving myself all of my life. When I was younger I had a skin problem on my arm. People would make fun of me because I had this gross infection spreading. Friends wouldn’t want to hug me because of it. That really took a toll on me, knowing that it was something I couldn’t change. Once I reached high school I wanted to date. I always wanted to find someone who would appreciate me and love me for who I am. All I wanted was someone who could be my best friend, who could uplift me and make me, feel like I am important. In my junior year I met this guy, he rocked my world. I thought he was the one for me. We started dating and it was going great. For the first time in my life I felt like I was pretty and wanted. Little did I know this would be the guy to change my life forever. We dated for three years. The first year was great, I’m religious and he said he would go to church with me so we went every week. I grew up in the church so finding someone who had the same religious faith to me is important. He was sweet and charming. After a year though everything started changing. He became more vulgar; instead of referring to me by my name he would call me Bitch. He used to pock fun at me to the point where id sit and cry. He told me how I needed to lose weight or how I should gain weight so other guys wouldn’t want me. He told me my makeup was too much. He said I wasn’t smart enough, pretty enough. He took me apart little bits at a time. Slowly my self esteem starting going down. I started believing all these lies he filled in my head. I would stop eating so I could get thin, I would keep my mouth shut so I wouldn’t come across as stupid. I was so in love with this guy that I wouldn’t leave him. I had it in my head that no one would love me. This is how love is. This is the best ill get. I ended up moving to Pittsburgh, PA after my senior year of high school to be back with my family. This upset him because he took it as me not being serious with our relationship due to the fact that I would move so far away from him. We stayed together trying to make a long distance relationship work. I flew down to see him every now and then. After time, he started becoming resentful towards the whole situation. This is where our relationship took a turn for the worst. After two years things started getting crumbling. He told me my dream of becoming a makeup artist/hairstylist was a stupid dream and not a real career. I took that into consideration so instead of becoming a hairstylist I decided to do nursing. Well lets just say nursing was definitely not for me. As soon as he found out he told me, typical Becca, never accomplishes anything. He told me he was an atheist. He started filling my life with so much negativity to where I forgot what it was like to smile through the day. I was still a virgin. I wanted to remain one till marriage. One night he got into a huge fight with me. He told me how I needed to put out; it was my job since we have been dating so long. He said if you love me you’ll have sex with me. Over and over I told him I wanted to wait till marriage that I couldn’t have sex. That night was the worst night of my life. He pushed me down onto the bed and wouldn’t let me move. I can remember it like it was yesterday. He told me to be quiet that it will be fine. I screamed for my life. I never thought anything like this could ever happen to me. I punched him, bit him until I drew blood, I fought for my life. I never tried so hard to push someone off of me in my life than I did that night. Every muscle in my body was fighting for help. I looked up and saw his mother standing at his door looking in. I screamed for help but all she did was look the other way. That’s when I knew there was nothing more I could do. No one would save me. If I am screaming for help and not even his own mother would help me, there would be no one there that could. I had to sit for two hours enduring this rape. Crying, feeling so disgusted with myself. After it was over I grabbed my stuff and walked out the door. I didn’t say a word to any of my family or friends. I told one best friend and she insisted I go to the hospital. I had bruises all over my body from him holding me down and fighting me. I refused going because I felt so ashamed. I felt disgusted with myself that I could ever let something like that happen. Why didn’t I see the signs before? How could someone who said they loved me do something so hurtful? I didn’t want anyone knowing what happened, not even my own family. I went home telling my parents that we just broke up. Never said I was raped. Months later I was so depressed. I didn’t sleep much, eating was hard for me, I wanted nothing more than to escape this world. I hated god for letting something like this happen to me. I remember sitting on my bed crying to God asking How could you let this happen? How could you just let me sit there and get raped? I started to lose my faith and really second guess everything I was brought up with. I tried to commit suicide 4 times. I covered my emotions so well that no one knew I was dealing with such a problem. My mother didn’t know I tried cutting my wrist one room away from hers. After a year went by I felt myself dying. I couldn’t keep this a secret anymore because it was ruining my life and health. One night I came to my mom and told her what happened to me. She cried and hugged me for a long while. I received counseling which saved my life. After I was able to work through my emotions I thought to myself: why should I let this man take my joy. Why should I let this horrible incident ruin my life. How can I make a difference? That’s when it clicked. I needed to make this a positive. After a year of dealing with my pain I went back to my ex boyfriends house. I wanted him to tell me to my face what happened that night. At first he denied it and then he finally said that he raped me. He balled into tears. He told me how sorry he was and how he has to live with it everyday. You know what I told him? I said I would never forget what you did but I choose to forgive.
After that I decided to start making a difference. I want to be able to share my story with others. Instead of feeling ashamed of what happened I am blessed to be able to share what I went through knowing I could be saving someone else. I choose to be better instead of bitter. I refuse to be ASHAMED and I refuse to play the life of a victim. When I started at Paul Mitchell, I had no idea the opportunities that would be there for me. When I first met Tina, it was like God pushing me towards her. For some reason, I knew I had to speak to her about my past. So I did just that. I approached her and had a one on one conversation with you. Stepping outside of my comfort zone has lead me to some amazing opportunities. She invited me to accompany her at an event so I could speak to young girls and tell them my story. Since then, Tina has become a great mentor to me.
I am so proud to say that I am ten times better of a person now than I was two years ago when I was sexually abused. My faith has restored itself. Instead of being so mad at God, I realized he didn’t let it happen, I did. That night when we were arguing, I heard that voice saying you need to leave. Over and over I had that feeling in the pit of my stomach that I do not need to be here, yet I stayed. Every time I tried committing suicide, I had this overwhelming feeling and would hear a voice say its not your time. You have a purpose. God was trying to help me, I just needed to have the faith and courage to take hold of it and make my life better. Now I am leading of our Be Nice Or Else club, along with being involved in 3 other clubs. I am also apart of Tina’s Transformational Leadership group. Life is way too short to be upset. You have to take all the negatives in your life and turn them into a positive. I am so grateful I have the ability to reach so many people. I make it my purpose to smile everyday, to talk to people who I might normally would have never gone up too. I was told once that being vulnerable isn’t a sign of weakness, it shows your strength. If you are willing to open yourself up to something so painful, in my eyes you are the strongest person. My life mission is to speak to as many places, people, and organizations as I can because sadly there are too many people who stay quiet. All it takes is one person to take a stand for what is right. Everyone is beautiful in their own way, my goal is just to show those people that they are loved and they are never alone. There is always light at the end of the tunnel, no matter how far you have to travel to reach it.
I am so blessed to have everything I have today and I am so grateful that I can now look at myself in the mirror, not seeing the broken girl who didn’t have a purpose but someone who is strong, courageous, beautiful, and so excited to living a great life. Every single person has a purpose; you just need to find what makes you passionate.
You ARE beautiful!!! Be proud and rock it out!