While it was an experience that left me with scars, I turned them into beauty marks.

"When I was 16, in the midst of my parents divorce, I found out that my father, that I spent years trying to impress, was not my father. I was informed over the phone by him in a rage as our family unit was in dissolution. The remainder of my teenage years left me in a pretty dark place. There were a lot of changes in my family overall those following years. I built up a lack of self-confidence feeling that the ones I loved felt I never deserved to hear the truth. It was as though everyone knew. My world stopped making sense and threw new responsibilities at my feet, and all I could was run! I left everything that I had grown up with to try and understand my life, because I felt like I shouldn't have one.

I learned that opening myself up to others released my pain. I held my fears close to me, and it wasn't healthy. In order for me to love who I was becoming, and the people I was becoming myself with, I had to build my self-confidence back up! Day by day I remind myself that because of this pain I endured, I can do anything!

My worth is defined by myself and what I choose to pursue in life. It took a lot of tears, but this experience overall pushed me to be my own success story, to show myself that I had worth. While it was an experience that left me with scars, I turned them into beauty marks."

- Zachery [Portland, OR]

Kashara JohnsonComment