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Clare Crawley is opening up about a painful time from her past — and how she's learned to overcome it.
In a candid Instagram caption on Wednesday, the former Bachelorette, 40, discussed the impact that being sexually abused as a child has had on her adult relationships and mental health, calling the experience a "vicious cycle."
"Self love is the act of giving a voice to your truth. So here is mine," she wrote. "As a child of sexual abuse, my young adult years were spent in unhealthy relationships feeling unworthy of the good ones. It was a vicious cycle, because the more I chose the wrong men who treated me poorly, the more I believed I wasn't good enough."
Explaining how her past trauma influenced her decision to get breast implants, Crawley said that "it was money that would have been better spent on therapy to heal my wounded heart."
Adding that she "ended up spending the money on therapy anyway," Crawley also reflected on how far she has come in her healing journey as she prepares to remove her breast implants.
"Cut to now. A woman who has learned to love herself deeply on the inside, knows her worth, and will fight for herself no matter what," she continued. "I've learned the toxicity that these implants can cause on our bodies, as it has done to mine. So I am stepping away from something that no longer serves me … not my heart, and certainly not my health."
Crawley added, "Surgery is this week! We are taking it back to Clare 1.0, who is lovable and worthy just the way she is."
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Crawley's message garnered supportive comments from fellow Bachelor Nation stars. While JoJo Fletcher and Michelle Money both commented with multiple red heart emojis, her ex-fiancé, Beanoit Beauséjour-Savard, wrote: "Such a powerful move Clare!! Beautiful inside and outside you are ❤️💪🏼."
Outside of Bachelor Nation, Ryan Lochte's wife, Kayla Lochte, used three clapping hand emojis as she wrote, "You go girl," and added #HealthyIsSexy. Crystal Hefner, who has also opened up about removing her breast implants, commented: "I love this and thank you for being a voice for all of us ❤️."
While appearing on the Bachelor Happy Hour podcast in June 2020, the reality star said that she "had just gone through a really, really abusive relationship" before filming Juan Pablo Galavis' Bachelor season, which aired in 2014. Looking to her future, Crawley said she wanted "the man of my dreams" to "know the hard, ugly, embarrassing struggles of my life to appreciate the woman that I am today."
"Anybody can love you for the easy fun times and the smiles and the laughs. I want somebody to love me for all the hard stuff that I've been through," she continued. "It's been something that I've hidden for so many years, but until I've owned that part of my life and looked at the stuff I've been through as shame, but to look at it as my superpower, and these are the things that have made the woman that I am today."
Crawley is currently dating her Bachelorette finalist Dale Moss. After they got engaged and left production early on her season last year, they called it quits in January before later rekindling their romance.
If you suspect child abuse, call the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child or 1-800-422-4453, or go to www.childhelp.org. All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.
If you or someone you know has been a victim of sexual abuse, text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 connected to a certified crisis counselor.