Hi, my name is Meagen Csomos. I am 25 years old.
I have always been in awe of the images you capture, bringing out each individual woman and her inner beauty. But, I watch from a distance.
My body is not perfect nor lovable and it hasn’t been in my eyes for over 19 years.
From a very young age my father groomed me; the favorite child, the child that would come at his beck and call and tell him anything that he needed to know, even if it wasn’t safe.
At six years old he began to sexually abuse me.
It hasn’t been until much recently in life that this has begun to affect me more and more. He, as an officer of the DPD, was never found guilty. Even though he outright said, “It was an accident.” He still continued to serve on the force, his face being posted on the news and social media for being such a wonderful and kind officer. I read the comments on all of the posts about how he had helped individuals, clothed them, saved them from fires, ect. I felt like shouting “CAN’T YOU SEE HE’S NOT LIKE THIS?! HE HURT ME!” But who would believe me? The court didn’t so many years back, even some of my friends didn’t.
The weight gain started around that time, he would force me to eat even after I was full. I was disgusted about myself and ashamed of the amount of teasing I received from my weight. Eventually I just started to eat more out of a sick habit and the weight piled on.
It was hard to look at myself, all I saw was a confused hurt girl looking back at me. So when I started dating in high school, I felt like the emotional and physical abuse I went through was okay.
It wasn’t until after high school and I started college in a different town, the depression hit. I had self harmed throughout middle school and some into high school, but the depression hit different. I was alone. I had nothing but my thoughts eating at me. So I started sleeping 14-16 hours straight, eating way more than I ever did before, and often skipped class to huddle in bed. The emotions ate away at the person I thought I was.
About two months being in the new city, I met my husband. He seemed like a godsend. Pulling me right out of the hole I was digging myself with his humor and kindness. I stopped gaining weight for a while and found myself with more energy than I had in the past six months.
A year later, I found out I was pregnant. I was overjoyed, nervous, scared, and worried. What is this child turned out like me? What if I find out that this man isn’t what he comes off to be? What if he abuses our child like my father did me? The further along the pregnancy, the more anxious I became. Looking back now, I don’t know how he asked me to marry him or how I survived the entire pregnancy. The thoughts ate and ate.
I had an emergency c-section and 38 weeks due to pre-e. But due to my weight and the weight gain from pregnancy, they told me they couldn’t do a bikini cut. That they had to do a “classic cut” I am now the proud owner of probably about a 6 inch incision going from my belly button down. I infected. I cried. PPD set in, hard and I didn’t admit I needed help until almost a year later.
The meds only worked so much and I started to feel myself get worse. I became angry, picked fights, would fall asleep on the couch no matter what, ate until I thought I would puke. Hated myself even more. The negative thoughts swam and came out of my mouth directed at my husband and myself when he wasn’t around.
I was tired. Of myself. Of my life.
My family intervened and told me I needed to see a therapist. Who then diagnosed me with chronic PTSD, chronic depression, and anxiety. I cut my father out of my life. I was moving forward a little with therapy. But I wasn’t committed. I skipped sessions. I lied through sessions. And I felt stuck. I stopped seeing her for several months. Then when my father showed up again on the news, this time after being arrested for drinking and driving, I felt those old emotions and triggers coming back. After all the damage he did to me, now he was being arrested?! So back to therapy I went, but found myself still stuck and unwilling.
I wasn’t even able to look in the mirror anymore because all I saw was my father staring back at me. I didn’t feel deserving of love. I cried multiple times a day. My now 4 year old son was starting to show the effects of all my emotions and that’s when it hit me hard.
I needed to get help and get it for real this time.
For a little over a month now I have been seeing someone new, who delved right into trauma processing and triggers. Who is teaching me how to love myself more, to work through the worst and darkest parts of my being. To be able to look in the mirror and feel happy, to feel like I could be loved by my husband, son, family, friends…
I am seeing myself in a different light. I am learning to love my stretch marks, my body, my c-section scar, learning to love myself, and to know that I am also deserving of love. I don’t need to hide myself away in shame.
That I am an amazing human being.
I want to raise an amazing human being (or even beings some day)
That my husband does love me.
That even though my body may have suffered in many different ways, it’s still mine. My story.
Learning to embrace it.