Callie’s Story | RAW session at Duluth Boudoir Photography

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What single word do you most identify with?..

FREE…

Callie was a applicant that was accepted for a RAW session. She willingly and openly has expressed her story to me and for all of you to read. RESPECT that. All these amazing woman have opened their door to us and trusted us to be their stories keeper. To let them be heard.. to not feel alone. I highly suggest listening to the song while you look through the images.

It was 1987 and I remember it like it was yesterday. My sister and I were outside playing and my dad called me into the garage. He looked at me and asked, “Callie is there anything going on at daycare that you would like to tell me about? Anything strange or anything that makes you feel uncomfortable?” I innocently responded with “No Daddy, why?”  “No, reason. But if you ever feel uncomfortable or like you need to tell mom or I something, please do.” “Ok Daddy,” and off I went. I remember what my dad was doing and I remember the tone in his voice. He was worried and I had no idea why. 

Ten years later, the nightmares started. I started remembering everything. EVERYTHING! I would wake up every morning more angry than the day before. I had so many questions. I had so much confusion. Why did I not tell my dad the truth when I was six? Why didn’t I tell him how uncomfortable I was? Because it was a normal routine for myself and other kids at the daycare. We would get dropped off, play with the other kiddos and then came lunch time. We always tried to pro-long lunch time because after lunch came nap time. Where certain kiddos were more behaved and had the “luxury” of sleeping in the provider’s bed. (Just writing this makes me so sick) The luxury, of napping with her husband. A sick man that abused children for years. A sick man that would make us do things, say things and loved to “cuddle.” 

The time came when some kids were telling their parents about what was happening. Kids that realized it wasn’t normal. That what he was doing was wrong. And then there was me, the girl who thought to herself, what he was doing was normal because he was doing it to other kids. It was part of our routine right? Due, to those children speaking up, this lovely human being served time in prison and paid the price. 

But did he, being that it didn’t all start coming back to me until I was 16, was he the one to pay the price or me? Oh man did I hit rock bottom for a few years to follow. I loved to party, I loved to break the rules, I loved to cut words into my arms and legs for the rush of feeling pain. All of these things would make it go away right? Hell no, I saw a therapist for quite some time. I was on a selection of medications to help me, I was searching continuously for “outs.” I was in high school weighed 130 pounds, wasn’t the prettiest, skinniest or most flirtatious. I was bullied for my looks, actions and for sticking up for others. But little did those people know how much pain I felt every morning I would wake up. 

That son of a bitch sure did some damage and every once in a while the memories bounce back. But then I laugh….I laugh knowing that I have prevailed through this mess. 

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33 years later I have prevailed! I am currently the proud mom of three beautiful girls ages 11, 7 and 5. Beautiful, confident, determined and driven girls. Girls that are proud to tell their mom their feelings, to talk with me about positives and negatives going on around them. Girls that know who they are and what they want. 

Yes I am scarred on the outside from their three c-sections and have some crazy veins and stretch marks to add, but hell what’s better? Making it through some crazy ass times in my life these past 39 years and being able to tell the story or hiding behind these “scars” that each have some damn good stories to tell.  

My name is Callie and I am a survivor! A survivor of child verbal and sexual abuse. A survivor of depression. A survivor of cutting and feeling the rush! A survivor of verbal and mental abuse! 

Yes, things may never be normal for me, but I will take my kind of “normal” to lead and teach other girls and women about grabbing ahold of who they are and who they want to be and killing it at this journey called life. 

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