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Body Confidence, Self-Love & Relationships

Body Confidence, Self-Love & Relationships

Happy Valentine’s Day My Beautiful Pelican Lovers

I hope you all had an amazing Valentine’s day whatever you decided to do. If you are coupled up then I hope you had a wonderful time. If single, that’s cool, I hope you lit that candle and had a nice meal showing yourself the love you deserve.

Considering Valentine’s Day is a day of love I wanted to use the time to talk about body confidence in relationships, especially when we have stomas or scars.  I have not had a good past when it comes to this. As I always say I am going to be brutally honest and I won’t sugar coat anything. We don’t do that around here.

My past-relationship experience

For those of you who don’t know I was misdiagnosed for 7 years. As a dancer and a professional signed model, I was always told by doctors I was anorexic. I knew I wasn’t and so did my family and friends. I collapsed December 2017 and my parents were told I wasn’t going to make it. I am only here today because of my fitness (I am going to talk about the importance of fitness next month). At the time of this, I had a boyfriend whom I was with for 2 years. He was there the day I collapsed at home and went blind. I am not going to sit here and slate him to the ground because for the first few months of me having a stoma and a scar he was there for me. It wasn’t until later down the line he changed, and the emotional abuse started.

Being in the profession I am, at the time having a scar was heartbreaking, as I said before I looked at my stoma before I looked at my scar. The fact my stomach looked like Freddy Kruger had come and had a bit of fun on it was one thing, but the fact I would have this for life was another. I was heartbroken. I was adamant my career and life were over. I couldn’t look in the mirror.

Negative comments & low-self esteem

My beautiful cousin Jessica had to come and change my scar dressings alongside my mother as I couldn’t even look at it. It was just all mentally so hard to take in as well as being so underweight.  I needed my ex to be there for me, a support system. Instead, he gave me nothing but stress and at times said the most horrendous things. When he was mad for reasons that didn’t even concern or involve me, he would say things like ‘nothing worse than having a shit bag,’ ‘dirtbag, dirtbag, dirtbag, go cry about that.’ The worst one, when I was ready to leave him, was ‘if you move on don’t shit on anybody’.

Honest to god I can remember exactly where I was the day I first had a message like that, I was sat in my bedroom and it was a sunny hot day outside. I remember everything, I remember reading my text in disbelief. That comment affected me in ways you can’t imagine, I was SO hurt. The one person who was meant to be my best friend could actually say this. The ONE person I had always supported. I would post photos of my scar after finally having the guts to do it only to delete it because he would get jealous and say I was doing it for attention. He didn’t think about how far I had come, and how much it took for me to upload this photo. The only reason I continued to stay for half a year-long after that was because I had no confidence in myself and was comfortable in that relationship because I would think, “who would love me with these things?” His nasty words had got planted into my head.

When we finally broke up it was the best thing that could’ve happened. I spent a few weeks away from everybody, not getting out of bed, having a real bad time mentally. I came home a few times and would throw things around my room, I had a mental breakdown. I was so damaged and so hurt. I just was done with men and uninterested. I was so angry I allowed somebody to disrespect me so much.

Knowing my worth

I was recommended a book by one of my best friends Emily. It’s called ‘What a time to be alone’ by The Slumflower. Now for anybody out there, Woman or man, who has endured something like me or similar or having a hard time mentally no matter what it may be, this is the book YOU need to get. I swear by this. This book, and Emily, I could say for giving me it saved me. It got me out of severe depression, and it turned me into a QUEEN. I can tell you now. If anything, the book at times triggered me because I was livid I let that person treat me the way he did. That’s not me, I am a strong, sassy, fierce Queen. It changed me for the better, I finally began to find myself and remember who I was. I was coming back but this time harder than I ever thought before. I started going extra hard at the gym getting myself strong mentally and physically for my reversal preparation. I meditated. I gave myself the love I needed. Everybody would tell me how I was glowing. YES, I Queened up. I needed that PUSH.

I would get messages from guys and I literally wouldn’t reply. I knew my worth, I knew what I deserved and could bring to the table so sorry if it’s being ‘rude’ or ‘prestige’ I was waiting until a KING showed up. I’m a Queen, after all, I don’t settle. One thing I can tell you ladies, please stop looking after men who don’t look after you. I read something the other day, and this is 100% accurate.

“No man deserves access to you just because he took you on a date and told you what you thought you wanted to hear. Lay those hoops out in front of him and make him JUMP. Let him know that in order for him to experience closeness with you he must show you how determined he is to prove his loyalty and respect. No man deserves the benefit of the doubt without earning it. That’s why it’s called a benefit” – @theslumflower.

This also applies to you men out there who also may have something similar happening to you. We as humans with stomas and scars are just like any other human out there except we may have more emotion, we may have more insecurities (which we shouldn’t have but it’s the harsh way social media is today). When looking for a Partner we need somebody who understands you are going to have ups and downs, who understands your body and condition and how sometimes they need to be patient when trying to understand everything. I can tell you now I was not opening up to anybody again until I knew they deserved that.

A new, healthy relationship

So, months had passed and I was still on my anti-men wave, when a duck lover by the name of Ollie decided to message me. He seemed nice, seemed like he had his act together, so I agreed to go on a date with him. I actually remember the first date we were in Chiquito’s and I came in and he was sat there in one of their Mexican hats with a big cheesy grin on his face waving at me. That did make me laugh. I am in general an open person. I did have doubts for a bit to start with about meeting him because of the past and my scar and I was not willing to ever go through something like that again. My girlfriends all encouraged me however to go as I had photos of my scar all over Instagram, so he would’ve seen them.

He never made me feel ashamed or embarrassed about having Crohn’s or a scar. It was a big thing for me. Early on in our relationship, I had left some underwear at his house and I literally had a meltdown and cried. I was ready to just straight up block and delete him because I wasn’t sure if maybe anything had been in my underwear. Those of you who have had a reversal like me, know sometimes it’s hard to get to the toilet and sometimes you might find a bit of poo left in the undies.

My biggest fan

I messaged my girls like adamant that was it because I was so embarrassed. I remember messaging Ollie like ‘sometimes there might be Crohn’s in my underwear.’ I legit couldn’t even say the word poo that’s how embarrassed I was. I genuinely wanted a hole to come and swallow me up. He replied saying it made him sad I was embarrassed, and he wouldn’t care even if there had been and that there wasn’t anything in them anyway. I mean I wouldn’t even know to this day if there had been because he is genuinely so lovely and caring. There are no faults to say about this beautiful human being, he is genuinely heaven sent.

He goes on at me if I have forgotten to take my tablets, he asks questions about Crohn’s Disease and he kisses my scar. I still can’t cream or touch my scar and he even offers to that. I am not quite there yet but maybe one day. I am still on my journey. I am very grateful to have him in my life he loves my sphynx cats like they are his own and lets them run havoc around his house so that’s a winner in my eyes.

It’s hard to believe I have found somebody so so supportive and he is literally my biggest fan. Funnier thing is I know I get a lot of wind but oh my goodness, Ollie has worse wind than me and he doesn’t even have a chronic illness. He owns it though so it all good, just like I own mine (I probably make us sound like Shrek and Fiona right now).

I wouldn’t have it any other way. I have been blessed to have found an Ollie, a true man and a King because men like him especially in our society today do not come around every day.

Finding the right person

I guess what I am trying to say is the right one won’t ever make you feel ashamed of something beyond your control. The right one will push you to do great things. The right one will want to and go out of their way by their own choice to educate themselves on your condition and the right one will be right by your side through everything. In order, however, to find the right one you need to have started your journey of loving your body. Being grateful for your body and that, hey, it might give you problems, but you are alive.

If you cannot learn to love and respect your body you can’t expect others too. When you learn to love and respect your flaws you will know your worth and who can and cannot have access to them.

Love

Natalie-Amber x

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For more advice on relationships with a stoma, click here

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