self worth

‘At 15, I became pregnant with my daughter. I had to raise a child while still growing up myself. I received hate and rumors spread.’ Teen mom beats the odds to graduate college and ‘reach success’

“Everyone recognized me by pregnant belly, rather than by my face. I dealt with dirty looks and whispers in the hallways. In college, I got pregnant with my son. It wasn’t easy. I have been in abusive relationships, been days away from planning a wedding, only to find out I was ‘only an option.’ I wanted to give up, on everything. But I was strong for my children.”

‘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.”

‘Did you tell her about the drama at work?’ I noticed my husband get uncomfortable. ‘There is a rumor your husband is sleeping with a girl who works with us.’ He laughed.’

“The week after bringing my son home, I couldn’t get a hold of my husband. I had the urge to check his social media. There they were. Messages between him and a girl. He would tell her where to pick him up, where to meet. Most times were in the middle of the night when I had laid pregnant and asleep. ‘HE WAS LYING TO YOU!’”

‘I was cussed out by parents who wanted to attend field trips but missed the THREE notes that went home. When they did attend a trip, they sat on their phone the entire time. The filter comes off now.’

“I’ve had parents tell me I’m not allowed to tell their child ‘no.’ Watching them come in… dirty clothes… chaos at home… and knowing they need more than you can give them in a classroom of 21, with less and less support, multiple languages spoken, several different disabilities… it breaks you.”

‘You’re an angel,’ he said to me after a night of being told I was worthless. The sun started to shine through the window, it reeked of booze and I had yet to sleep. I wanted to be that ‘angel.’

“My grandma passed away, and everything came crumbling down around me. I was alone. I needed him more than anything now. I needed his support, I needed him to hold me and listen to the speech I had prepared for her funeral. Instead, he did the exact opposite. ‘I need space,’ he said. SPACE?!”

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