... This early response to rejection preceded the next two decades of self-judgment and isolation. I blamed myself when things went wrong; I kept my feelings to myself. This lack of openness mixed with toxic environments significantly damaged my self-worth, leading to perfectionism and self-destructive behaviors.

Over the last eight months, I decided to try vulnerability. I published dozens of emotional essays, including my experiences with emotional, physical, and sexual abuse, painful self-discoveries, and my numerous flaws. I began oversharing my stories on social media and owning my truth in relationships, even when it seemed embarrassing.

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Photo Credit: Unsplash, Leon Ell