revenge porn

What I Did to Heal From Revenge Porn

revenge porn

On a day just like any other day two years ago, I woke up to a bunch of calls from my friends and family. They were asking me what was wrong and some were even scolding me. My nude pictures had been leaked on the internet. As if that wasn’t bad enough, they were personally sent to my parents and my siblings too. Unfortunately, I wasn’t surprised because I knew that this day would come. I had been receiving threats about it for close to a month. At the time I thought it couldn’t get any worse, but I was wrong.

My ex-boyfriend and I had just broken up and he was not happy about it. I started going out with my male friends at the time and this made him extremely jealous. He started texting me and calling me at odd hours, pleading that I’d take him back.  He had hurt me, so I wasn’t going to do that. When the begging didn’t work, he started to threaten to leak my nude pictures online. 

The thing is, I had never sent him any nude pictures. I hadn’t even taken any nude pictures with him, so I was one hundred percent sure that he was bluffing. I told him to shove it where the sun don’t shine and I cut off all communication with him. The calls from my friends and family came two days later.

When I saw the pictures I wanted to kill myself. I wanted to stop existing. He took the pictures when I was very drunk. In fact, I was passed out on his bed. He had chosen to lift my clothes and undress me so that he could take the compromising pictures.

I was never comfortable in my own skin. I had lost a lot of weight so I looked very skinny and my breasts were saggy. That was one of my biggest insecurities. When I saw that those pictures were out there, and that everyone could see me for who I really was underneath my clothes and makeup, I wanted to shrink into nonexistence.

My parents signed me up for therapy, and I know it sounds cliché but it worked for me. I was able to see that I was not the one in the wrong. Yes I got drunk and yes I got into a relationship with an abusive man, but how he treated me was on him. I was not at fault. 

The hardest part of it all was accepting my body and the fact that my pictures were out there. After countless sessions, I finally accepted one thing. This is my body. I can wish it to look however I want, but there are parts that can’t be changed. I need to accept that because I have to live with myself. That realization was the beginning of a completely new chapter for me.

I followed the matter up with the authorities and had the pictures pulled down. He was also charged, but that wasn’t all I did. I followed a strict workout and diet regimen to get healthy again. I also stopped drinking, and I finally acquired that body confidence I had desired for so long. 

Working on self-esteem is a never-ending journey. Sometimes I look in the mirror and I don’t like the way my hair sits, or I dislike the pimples on my face. But every day I still choose to wake up, show up, and work towards being where I want to be in life. Above everything else, I practice being kind to myself. I know that I’m beautiful, strong, and valued. So it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks.

This story was selflessly submitted by Cynthia N.

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