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Submitted on
May 11, 2013
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I have discovered this is a common theme with other nude models I have met. Those of use who experienced childhood sexual trauma and later became a nude model is a catalyst for healing from the past, really a way to empower ourselves.

Most of my upbringing I was sexually abused by several people most notably my stepfather who later went to prison. In addition to the abuse I was not loved by my mother and had the responsibility for caring for my youngest sister during my teenage years. Already a classic introvert, I was extremely lonely and lived in survival mode everyday. My first taste of freedom was when I left home the day after my 18th birthday.

In my late teens I went to modeling school and for a few years was a model in the local town. Mostly fashion shows. Throughout the years I would do shoots for amateur photographers. Then in graduate school I had my first nude shoot in Big Sur, California with a professional photographer. It was my first taste of being comfortable in front of the camera in my own skin, nude. I had always loved being in nature which is where we did the shoot. As a young child I would wonder in the woods, finding my solace away from the trauma, talking to the trees, playing in the creeks.

In my mid forties I went through some incredible changes. I was training to be a burlesque dancer, attending Burning Man events, dancing at drum circles and starting doing photo shoots again. I also started working at an arts college as figure drawing model. The professor and I began to collaborate on a project about the abuse and my recovery from it in pastel drawings. In the abuse my nudity was used as a tool to please someone sexually and now I had found the venue of artistry. I had taken my power back. Indeed I am learning to set boundaries as there are some things that can trigger emotional wounds. However, I have always been fearless and as long my gut instinct tells me this is a path of healing I will continue to evolve.
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:iconcleomsf:
cleomsf Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2014
Hello,

I am a Producer at Fusion TV and looking to do a few stories with women who have used Burning Man as a time and place to heal past traumas.  Would you be available to chat this week about working together?


If so, please email me offline: Cleo.Stiller@Fusion.net  

Kindly,
Cleo Stiller
Cleo.Stiller@Fusion.net 
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:icondollcollector999:
dollcollector999 Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2014
I don't know you but I like you.
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:icondharmawpb:
DharmaWPB Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2014  Professional Artist
aw you are a darlin
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:iconbluesplayerpixels:
Bluesplayerpixels Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
A very inspiring story for women and men who have been through this type of tragedy and to know that there is help and hope for them.
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:icontchalla811:
tchalla811 Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Thank you for sharing. I have learned about you and more than i did before about sexual abuse healing.
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:icondharmawpb:
DharmaWPB Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2014  Professional Artist
Thank you dear
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:icontchalla811:
tchalla811 Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
You are most welcome. I am better for reading it.
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:iconshifflett:
Shifflett Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2013
I'm sorry to hear you went through such a traumatic childhood. As long as you're at a place in life that fills you with confidence, you're on the right track. Keep up the good work.
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:iconboudicah:
Boudicah Featured By Owner Dec 14, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
It's almost eerie reading this and placing it in the context of my life — abuse, rape at an early age. Then, finding myself when I was diagnosed with Parkinson's at age 32. 
Thank you for sharing your story. 
Best wishes,
Boudicah
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:icondharmawpb:
DharmaWPB Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2013  Professional Artist
Thank you for your comment and my Heart goes out to you to the events in your life including your diagnosis. I used to go to Parkinson support groups when I was a pharmaceutical sales rep to become more familiar with the disease, this being years ago. I felt so much love in the room, especially the caretakers. I don't know if you practice energy work? I work on my chakras due to training I have and really not unusual for people who have trauma early in life to follow such a path later in life. I find it helps heal and issues I am having be it mind, body and spirit. Blessings to you Boudicah.
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