Hello, my name is Megan and this is my story. When I was 16, I was one of the happiest people you would have ever met. I was at the top of game in swimming, was doing well in school, and had started dating an 18 year old guy, who we will call Alex. Alex was tall, muscular, and just all around good looking.  We had a great relationship in the beginning. He treated me really well, was very sweet, got a long with my family, would surprise me at random with dinner, gifts and even show up at my swim meets. I was young, so of course I was completely taken by him. We had been dating about 7 months and then suddenly things changed. It wasn't even like there was a build up to it, what happened out of no where. It was summer and we were hanging out at his house waiting for the rest of our friends to show up for a cookout. While we were waiting, he disappeared into the kitchen for a few minutes. I thought maybe he was getting us some drinks or snacks or something. That wasn't the case after all. He walked over to me, grabbed my by the hand and pulled me to standing position. From there my whole life changed. The next thing I knew I was being launched across the room. I flew into the wall and as I was bent over trying to gain my bearings, he reached down and grabbed me by the throat and slammed me to the ground. The next thing I knew his other hand was undoing my shorts. The more I kicked and tried to get him off me the harder he pushed on my throat. I must have passed out for a minute or two because when I came too, I was being raped. I couldn't move. I couldn't yell. I was frozen. It felt like time was going so slow. When all was over, I felt tears running down my cheeks and my body shaking. I was in complete disbelief and didn't know what to do. I pulled myself together, grabbed my stuff, ran out to my car, and left. I went home, thankfully no one was home. I jumped in the shower and I have no idea how long I was in there but I remember falling to my knees wondering what in the hell just happened. What did I do? What didn't I do? Why would he do this? I remember scrubbing myself at least 4-5 times because I felt so dirty. I don't remember getting out of the shower or really anything after that. A few days later by brother came up to me and asked me what was going on because I had been really quiet, took a week off from lifeguarding, and played sick when I had a swim meet. Which was definitely not like me to miss any meet. I stayed inside and wore zip up hoodies and turtle necks for about a week or so until the bruising on my neck went away. Alex tried calling me a few times and even came by my house. My family told him I wasn't feeling well so he would leave. My brother knew something was up and wasn't buying it or me not feeling well at all. So he pulled me aside and said "what are you hiding?" I completely broke down in tears and showed him my neck. He was furious, outraged, and wanted revenge because he knew Alex. I begged him not to do anything but I really don't know if he listened to me or not. I also begged him not to say anything to our parents, that I just needed a couple more days for the bruising to fade. I told him I would tell them when I was ready. 

Well that being ready took years. I buried it so deep and never talked about it or told anyone for a very long time. Two years had passed and I decided to join the military. It wasn't until a guy named, we will call him Travis, that things changed. He was in the military too and it wasn't until about 16 months into that relationship when intimacy started coming about that I started shaking and broke down. He just sat there and held me until I was ready to tell him what brought it on. Finally, I told him. He was so understanding and compassionate. There was no pressure or anything from him. He let things happen as they were going to happen and when I was ready. He is the one who convinced me to go talk to someone to help me. So I did and when I came home for a visit, I finally sat down with my family and told them what had happened. Lets just say there were a lot of emotions at that table but it felt good to uncover this secret I had held onto for so long. It wasn't until then that I really started to enjoy life to the fullest again. 
After all that, after about 4 years mine and Travis's relationship ended. We went our separate ways in the service but I will always be thankful for him, how he was, and what he brought to my life. I ended up serving 8 full years of active duty. 
I took self defense classes, a little bit of martial arts, continued in therapy for a while and vowed to myself that I will not let what happened define me or my life. 
For the longest time I was embarrassed and ashamed of what had happened to me but I came to learn that I was not alone. I found a group of many women who had been through their own situations throughout their life. 
When I found Beautiful Disaster, the sayings, the blogs, and just everything drew me in. It was yet another group of strong women who had been through their trials and came out stronger in the end. 
My life now is pretty good. I have been married for almost 9 years now and this man understands me better than anyone, sometimes even better than I know myself. He is the calm to my storm....he just gets me....and understands my past. 
My life was a disaster for a long time because of that one situation. It is still a disaster now but in totally different ways. As for being beautiful....my life is beautiful because I am strong enough now to talk about what happened. Plus, I may not be the most beautiful girl in the world and my life not be as smooth sailing as I would like but I am my own kind of beautiful and my own kind of disaster and I am perfectly fine with that. 
My favorite item is Bella Rose Collection. The saying fits me perfectly because no matter how much I may feel or be worn down there will always be a part of me that is strong. 
Thank you,

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April 23, 2021