Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The woman behind the picture - Part 9: Melissa Manville

In my life I have always struggled with feeling beautiful, inside and out.
It’s been a constant battle in my mind. I know my father in heaven thinks I am beautiful, I know my husband does. My family does too! I don’t have it figured out yet, no one does. I am going to tell you a couple of stories in hopes that you will understand where I am coming from and see how I am trying to see my beauty inside and out.

I loved school in elementary. I had lots of friends, always had someone to play with and felt good about myself. Grade 6 is the first time it happened. A boy much much bigger then me stopped me in the playground on the way home from school and told me I was ugly and had no friends and then proceeded to push me to the ground then chase me as I ran home! Then in grade 7 there were a few kids who would tell me I was ugly and that I had a big nose…. I started to retreat and slowly had fewer and fewer friends because I didn’t try to make new ones. If these kids thought it, then everyone else did too… right?…. I hated school. But eventually tried so so hard to make friends but they weren’t always the best friends. They would say nasty things behind my back. Then my parents (for reasons unknown to me) decided to move out of the city to a small town. This was the best thing to ever happen. The community was 90% Christian and they were so welcoming and I loved it! No one cared what you looked like or what you believed.
So here I am having fun with all my friends. But I still didn’t consider myself loved or beautiful. What was wrong with me? Nothing… I had a church leader very close to me. I talked to her about it, she told me to pray and talk to my father heaven about it…. Well duh why hadn’t I thought of that.
After high school I moved out to Calgary, I was excited to start a new chapter in my life. I soon realized that I didn’t have a plan, no dreams or goals. I just dated any shmuck that gave me a little bit of attention. I thought I was loved by these guys. I had one boyfriend who was manipulative and angry.  We dated off and on for about a year. I had friends who told me to not see him but the attention that he gave me always sucked me back in. I finally ended it after one night when we were “hanging out” he tried to force me to have sex with him. Things started going in that direction and then something clicked in my mind and I ran out of his house and made him drive me home. I stopped seeing him after that at least not alone. I told him that I didn’t feel good inside when we were together. My best friend at the time started taking me to the gym with her. We would work out together and do positive up lifting things. I remembered what I learned in high school; that I am beautiful and that I don’t need negative influences or negative attention to make me feel beautiful. I began to do things that I enjoyed, I learned how to long board, I rode my bike. I made a choice that I would only date guys that made me feel beautiful.

I still look in the mirror some days and look at my nose and think, “why can’t you just shrink?” and I get the same unhappy and self destructive thoughts that I had.  But then stop I lean on the knowledge that He loves me and that I am beautiful. To this day I have to remind my self of this and re learn that fact.

October 29th 2010… was the worst day of my life. I felt that my body had failed me, failed Steve, failed Gods plan. I remember feeling like the ugliest person in the world when I got the news that I was pregnant, but that it was an ectopic pregnancy. How could this happen?  How could my body do this to me? It wasn’t until I got pregnant again with Porter that next January did I really realize that it wasn’t my body that had failed. God had a plan for me. I think about it almost daily and think “wow” Heavenly father has control, and he knows what I need. I see the beauty in that, the beauty in his creations. I look at the scars from the surgery and think these are marks from heaven. You may think I am weird for thinking this but it’s like they are there to remind me how precious life is, how beautiful God is, How beautiful I am. These marks make me who I am.

Beauty is a hard subject, even after these experiences that I have had I still struggle with feeling beautiful. Just recently I have decided that I want to become the best I can be physically and spiritually. I find beauty in the fact that our bodies can do so many things. Why not see what mine can do. I am trying to find new talents and develop my spirituality by reading good things. I am pushing myself, growing into the best me possible. I always feel good when I push myself and that makes me feel beautiful.


  1. I was really looking forward to your story. It did not disappoint! Thanks for sharing. It makes me want to seek out the good things in my life too.

  2. Thanks for being so open and honest. A good reminder that acceptance has to come from within. We will not feel loved and beautiful if we don't love and accept ourselves, no matter what everyone else around us says or feels....it has to come from within! Thanks for sharing this Melissa! You are beautiful!

  3. Thanks for sharing your experiences Melissa!