confidence

‘I ran to the intersection. She jumped out. We embraced tightly, crying, saying I love you in 2 different languages.’: Woman adopts Iraqi girl in wake of bombing, reunites with birth mom 10 years later

“I glanced at our local paper. There, staring back at me, was a 4-year-old little girl with big, sad eyes surrounded by scarred skin, a head with virtually no hair. The room blacked out around me. I cut out the article, placed it in my pocket. I was determined to help her. Little did I know when I clicked ‘send’ on an email to the journalist, I would be sending away my old life as well.”

‘My boys asked me to build a fort. Seriously, it was amazing. Until they asked me to spend the night with them.’: Mom learns to accept all the things she ‘just can’t do anymore’

“I did it. I obliged. I smiled and pretended to have fun. I slept in that teeny tiny space. But I paid for it the next morning. Boy, did I ever. Y’all. I can’t do that anymore. I’m too old, or too grouchy, or too in-love with sleep. Whichever it may be, I just can’t do that anymore. I’d give just about anything for my 16-year-old body again.”

‘I’d kill myself if I looked like you.’ Everywhere I went, I was the center of attention. I accepted that dying wouldn’t be such a bad thing.’ Man with venous malformation birthmark finds ‘happiness and confidence’

“My birthmark grew bigger and bigger. I got used to others pointing me out, whispering, laughing. Throughout my teenage tears, I avoided public places, family events. Any situation that involved people. I always put on a brave face, but in the background my confidence was constantly taking a hit. I couldn’t bring myself to face the world.”

‘I was teased that toothpaste had calories. I hated the whispers and stares. I thought it was cool to not get my period anymore. I’m ashamed of this.’: 43-year- old mom finally confident in body image after struggling with eating disorder most of life

“It intensified when I left my parents’ home and went to college. I drastically reduced my food intake. I hate thinking about the look of shock, disappointment, and concern on my mother’s face. She hadn’t seen me since Christmas, so when I came home for Spring Break, my mother was worried sick over my frail appearance. I felt guilty, but not guilty enough to change.”

‘I keep telling myself, ‘Today is the day.’ The day I get it together. Workout more, eat healthier. Serve less frozen foods. Then, week after week, I don’t.’ Woman explains self-care is more than a ‘bubble bath’ or ‘weekend out with the girls’

“We’d never want our children to run on empty. Put themselves last. So, what are YOU doing? Life isn’t meant to be a series of checklists and drive-bys. Stop trying to fill up everyone’s cup and take a look at your own. It’s empty, isn’t it? That’s not living, sister – that’s just going through the motions.”

‘If not your breasts, they’ll attempt to convince you your worth depends upon your thigh gap, complexion, weight.’ Mom shuts down 8-year-old daughter thinking her body is ‘flawed’

“My darling girl, there is something I must get off my chest before you grow into yours. As you get older, society, men, even some women, will try to convince you that your breasts — their size, shape, level of ‘perky’ — are what define you as a woman. Hear me clearly when I firmly inform you, they are wrong.”

‘My husband left to work on a ‘project.’ Receipts for bars, motels showed up on MY credit card. I demanded he show me his texts. ‘You’re not going to like it.’: Woman gets huge wake-up call after husband leaves for ‘work’

“Shaking and my heart pounding, I scrolled through comments. ‘I miss you.’ ‘What are you wearing?’ ‘When do I get to see you again?’ I don’t know how it started. I woke up with purple bruises on my throat in the outline of my husband’s fingers. I never questioned my decision.”

‘Her hair loss isn’t from stress.’ The pleasant chit-chat stopped. ‘There’s no cure for this.’: Little girl diagnosed with Alopecia starts head scarf company to ‘help all of the bald kids’

“We noticed a handful of brown curls on Rosie’s pillow. ‘Maybe she’s stressed about the new baby?’ The next morning, even more curls. ‘Maybe she’s allergic to her shampoo?’ Monday came and the last of her hair fell out. Our pediatrician assured us it was stress. It wasn’t. Our hope that this would be a temporary condition, even a funny story someday, slowly faded. Instead, we had to get used to the unkind stares and finger-pointing.”

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