My True Story #No14
"I don’t remember this girl anymore. She looks super happy, content. Perfect hair, great outfit and make up on point. But that smile is fake; that smile was the sort of facade I used to hide behind for Instagram..." - Laura, UOkHun.co.uk
That One Pic
"On the day I took this picture, I spent over an hour doing my makeup after work before going out with colleagues for a drink. Critiquing every pore, line and aspect of my face and painting myself ‘perfect’ so that no-one would notice my huge black circles under my eyes from working two jobs and trying to run a part-time business to pay off my debts, which, in turn were causing me to lose sleep. I changed my outfit three times as I looked at myself in the mirror with disgust, hating myself for the weight I’d put on over the last six months and wondering which outfit made me look slimmest. There is nothing about this photo that represents how I TRULY feel about myself at any one given moment of the day. Even at my most confident I still have an element of insecurity about one body part or another, or perhaps the way my make-up looks or the way an item of clothing fits me."
The Truth Inside
"I don’t remember this girl anymore. She looks super happy, content. Perfect hair, great outfit and make up on point. But that smile is fake; that smile was the sort of facade I used to hide behind for Instagram. Not even for Instagram really, but also to hide from my family, friends, colleagues; basically anyone who asked me how I was. That smile was the smile I’d use to convince everyone that I was okay. No one had any idea how bad things were for me behind closed doors, and at the time that was the way I liked it.
Not a single person had any idea how my brain was constantly in overdrive thinking about how on Earth it had all come to this. Why was I not good enough for him? Why did I have a sickly feeling everyday that I wasn’t being told the truth? Why was he never there for me when I needed him the most, and why did I always feel like I was to blame? So I would use social media as a vice to make myself feel good enough. I’d post selfies where I felt beautiful, pictures from events where I was happy and could forget about the turmoil going on at home for just a few hours. And eventually, after a while and a few dramas along the way, I realised that I was good enough. I realised that I didn’t need to be gaslighted by a man who was cheating on me left, right and centre anymore. I needed to trust my gut instincts, I needed to not believe the lies I was hearing and I absolutely had to drag myself out of this mess...."
"You should never, ever base your self worth on how a man treats you. For it is most likely that man is hiding from his own guilt, and projecting it onto you. He will make you feel worthless, just so that he can feel worthy..."
"I will never, ever forget my self worth again, and all my smiles on social media now are real ones. I am a queen, a boss babe and I am damn right worthy. And no man will ever drag me down to this point of self loathing ever again."
If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in Laura's story, visit our help page here.