About me  —

Ellie Jade Stevens

Hi!

I’m Ellie. I wanted to create a platform where I can speak about sensitive but REAL issues in the world and link them to my own experiences. I often talk about issues on my social media platforms and this has had an extremely positive influence on my followers, I often receive messages saying how speaking out has helped somebody in a similar situation and therefore I wanted to expand my audience and share my experiences/ talk about topics on a platform that has the potential to reach many more people and so here I am!

So a little background information:

- I am nineteen years old

- I’ve been through A LOT of bad stuff throughout my teenage years which have led me to the point I’m at now where I’m able to share my stories and help others going through the same things

- I am bisexual (and proudly so) and I am also a feminist but I am also a human rights activist for both men and women.

- I believe in equality for BOTH men and women and therefore I touch on topics which affect both genders and all sexualities.

Topics

What you can expect to see on here:

So what can you expect to find on here that could possibly help you?

• Mental Health Talks
• LGBTQ+ Talks
• Feminist topics
• My own experiences with : Mental health, sexual abuse, medical problems, abusive relationships, my sexuality etc.
• Talking about medical problems/chronic illnesses
• Male problems including the above
• Political and world issues
• ETC.

Topical talks

BODY CONFIDENCE

From around the age of 9 I have consistently been unhappy with my weight. Being the 'fatter' friend in a toxic friendship group definitely had an effect on me. I feel as though had I had been a different weight or size I may have been liked more by my peers and whilst I had absolutely no developmental problems as far as puberty went, I was still rejected based on my appearance.
At the age of 9, primary school age, just about to enter the stages of puberty as I was to find out a year later when my period started, I had gained a little bit of chub around my stomach area which had no explanation at the time, (we later found out I was bloating slightly because I was going through changes). It was because of this that the girls in my class would look at me disgusted when we got changed for PE, which at the time was in the classroom, separated from the boys.
I began wearing bras at the age of 10 when my boobs began to develop and was picked on for that too. "She hasn't got boobs it's puppy fat." Which left me feeling degraded for what I was going through because nobody else at the time was starting with visible changes to their appearance. When my period came, I had to use the teachers toilets because the school didn't have sanitary bins in the student toilets and once again was picked on for being different.

Once I moved up to secondary school, things didn't get much better in terms of being accepted, people hated me for no reason, I would get called fat and chubby all the time even at the size of 8/10. I felt more self conscious than ever and found myself hating myself for the first time.
At the age of 12 I was sexually assaulted, something that really knocked my confidence in more ways than I could imagine. The feeling of having my privacy invaded was too much for me and so I began to self harm because I hated my image and I hated how I was made to feel about myself. I would call myself fat, I would look at myself in the mirror and feel physically sick and I would fluctuate between binge eating and not eating at all which caused my family to become concerned.
I was a healthy size 10 up until the age of 14 where I moved up to being a size 12 because I had started to fill out my curves a bit more and once again I felt my confidence drop to an all time low. At the time I saw my curves as an extremely negative thing, I absolutely hated them, I hated how big my thighs looked, I hated that my thighs had dimples in them and I hated my stomach.

At 15 years old I was raped. One of the worst things that can happen physically, emotionally and mentally and it was extremely damaging to my self esteem. I remember sitting in my room the night it happened sobbing silently to myself feeling dirty even after spending 45 minutes in the bathroom trying to scrub myself until I felt clean. I had bruising all over my neck which caught attention at school which left people spreading rumours about me having a "shagger" on my neck. Little did they know that this bruising was from being forced into something so disgusting by somebody who had lied to me to get me there.
Just before my 16th birthday I met my boyfriend, the same boyfriend I'm with almost 5 years later. He made me feel special right from the start. He knew I was a bigger size than most girls and while now looking back I wouldn't consider myself fat at all at the size I was back then, he really helped me to learn to appreciate my body despite still struggling to get over what had happened to me.
Over the next few years I continued to self harm because of self esteem issues, flashbacks and bad memories of what had happened and whilst this was going on I continued to battle with my weight before reaching the age of 19 and being a solid size 14, not my healthiest weight but also not a weight I know I should be majorly concerned about.

I look at my body now and all I see is a broken woman who has done nothing but fight with her body to love herself and has gotten nowhere in the process. I look at my stretchmarks and want to hide myself away until they disappear, but I know they won't disappear. I see my scars and I'm reminded of what happened to me and I'm taken back to those same feelings.
It's a long and hard journey to becoming confident and I don't think I'll ever be entirely happy with what I see when I look in the mirror but I'm slowly and surely learning to accept who I am and to embrace it as much as I can. I know I can make the changes I want to change and eventually I will but for now, all I can say is:
you will never be completely happy in the skin you're in and the best thing you can do is learn to look at yourself and be proud of your imperfections no matter how long it takes you to get there.

TRIGGER WARNING - SELF HARM IMAGES INCLUDED

TW: self harm images included

This is mental health. This is depression and anxiety. This isn’t being ‘sad’. This isn’t feeling ‘nervous’. This is hating yourself to the point where you want to scratch the old skin off in the hopes that the new skin that grows will make you look better even though it’s completely irrational. This is being so anxious about returning to work without knowing why that your skin starts to itch so much so that you scratch until you bleed.

Self harm isn’t always cutting yourself or overdosing. As some people may no I’ve been struggling a tonne with my mental health lately to the point where I’ve resulted in hurting myself again instead of seeking help like I know I should have done. And while in the past I have resorted to cutting, I’ve also turned to other methods on impulse like scratching without thinking.

Mental health is thinking irrationally and spontaneously about what it is that’s bothering you and acting upon impulse which is why I end up hurting myself most of the time. It’s having to cover up what you know you’ve done to yourself from fear of people finding out.

I know I can’t control my thoughts or feelings most of the time and I should seek help when I need it. I know I need help, I know I need support and I need to talk about my feelings but the fact of the matter is, it’s scary to admit you need help, it’s scary to admit that you’re struggling because you feel like people won’t believe you or that people will judge you for it and you feel as though you’re not normal for feeling this way.

But the truth is, more people suffer than you’d expect and so many people are made to suffer in silence from fear of being judged. People nowadays make jokes about self harm and think that mental health is a ‘trend’ to be unique. I can tell you first hand that it isn’t funny, or cool, or ‘hipster’. Self harm is part of a mental illness that affects me every single day of my life. There isn’t a day where I’m not reminded that it’s there in the back of my mind even on the good days.

I’ve lost sleep over my illnesses, I’ve stopped eating for periods of time, I’ve gone days without speaking a single word to anyone and isolating myself from others, I’ve hurt myself, broken down and picked myself back up on my own all because I feel as though I don’t deserve to tell anybody how I feel.

I’m done being silent. I am who I am and although I have problems with my mental health, my physical health and my emotional health, I am strong despite my flaws and I will stand and fight these thoughts through the set backs, the downs, the ups and the relapses to make myself a better person and to be the person I want to be.

Which is why I’ve finally taken the steps of self referral to get help. It’s been 7 long years battling depression and for 7 years I’ve convinced myself that I don’t deserve the help that I’m entitled to. I rang my GP and asked for help, I booked the appointment to be assessed just like I did the first time when I was diagnosed.

Don’t let people think it’s okay to mock mental illnesses, or romanticise them, or make them seem “cool and edgy”.

Please don’t suffer in silence.

MENTAL HEALTH STORY

I’ve decided to share my story as I feel that mental health is something that is severely overlooked every day because people don’t see the severity of its effects.

I feel as though one of the reasons so many people overlook mental health issues is because of how many people self diagnose themselves just to try and seem cool or whatever the reason is for self diagnosing. If you THINK you have a mental illness I strongly advise you to seek help, only professionals can diagnose you, don’t try to make it seem like you have something just because you feel a little sad or because you have “mood swings” occasionally that’s not mental illness, that’s called life.

Mental illnesses are so much more than that.

I was 12 when I was diagnosed with anxiety, I went to see a councillor about how I was feeling because I had reached such a low point at such a young age. I was constantly miserable, I lost complete interest in the things I used to do. I used to love exercising, I used to love reading, I used to love going out with my friends to the park. But I started to feel nervous every time I passed a group of people who looked older than me, even if I knew who they were or if they looked like nice people, the fear of being noticed or acknowledged by them scared the shit out of me. I hated going round to the corner shop because of the fear that there would be more people there than I was used to.

I couldn’t put my hand up to answer questions in my classes like I used to from the fear of saying something wrong and being laughed at, I’m sure none of my classmates would have done that but I was paranoid that someone would say something about me if I did. I started to eat food in my room because I was nervous to talk to my family, my dad used to make comments about me being a “hermit” because I literally never left my room. I used to shake every time I had to go somewhere in public that I knew would be busy. I hated shopping centres, the town centre, I hated going to the swimming baths, the library, I hated being invited out with my friends because I was anxious all the time and so eventually people stopped asking me to go out. This went on for about 3 years.

That’s when depression came along. I’d kept myself isolated for so long because of how scared I was to face my fears that I began to feel mad or miserable all the time. I spent so much time with myself in the walls of my room that I started to notice every single flaw I had. I felt so crappy about myself, I was critical of every feature of my body, my stomach was too fat, my thighs too chunky, I hated my nose, I hated how my fingers looked short and stumpy. I would sit for hours and pick away at my insecurities and then cry about how bad I made myself feel.

But depression isn’t only about not feeling good about yourself, it’s about never wanting to do anything, never wanting to be around people, it’s about never wanting to leave the safety of your bed, it’s about feeling so drained physically and emotionally that you feel tired all the time even when you’ve slept for hours, I remember sleeping for hours every night, coming home from school and taking naps all the time just to try and escape the reality that if I wasn’t sleeping I would be putting myself down or thinking things I knew were irrational.

Things had gotten so bad by the time I was 14 that I had begun self harming, but I was absolutely terrified of my parents finding out, so I would do it on my legs where nobody would see, to avoid being caught out. In school I would wear leggings under my school trousers so that when I got changed for PE nobody could see my legs, but eventually I was hurting myself so much that I moved onto my stomach and my arms, that’s when my friends started to notice. I didn’t tell my parents, instead I went to my nan. I told her how bad things had gotten and that I felt I couldn’t cope with my own emotions by myself anymore. From then on, she checked up on me almost everyday.

I met brad when I was 15, I was honest with him from the get go. I told him that I suffered with mental illnesses, I told him that I was sad more than I was happy, that when something was wrong I would generally keep it to myself but close myself off from everyone else. I expected him to run a mile but here we are almost 4 years later and I cannot thank him enough for being there through all the shit I’ve been through.

I’m 19 in 2 weeks, yes I still suffer from my mental illnesses, yes I still hurt myself but it’s nowhere near as bad as it used to be, I’m still extremely insecure about myself, and I still put on a front to everybody but I’m here. I survived one of the darkest periods of my life, i faced my demons and although they’re still lurking in the back of my mind, although I still get urges to do things I know I shouldn’t, although I still think irrationally sometimes, I can breathe a little more than I could before.

I’m so proud of myself and how far I’ve come and I won’t let anybody try to tell me that I need to “get over myself” because I know how much ive struggled and I know how long it’s taken me to finally feel somewhat okay. I look so much healthier and happier and I’m proud to show that off.

These pictures show how much better I look than I did before, I’ve erased previous pictures because they remind me of a bad time but I will never be ashamed of who I am.

I also want to thank Brad for everything he’s done, I couldn’t have done it without you, I owe everything to you and I cannot describe how much I love you.

You never know what people are going through. And we should be aware of that more than anything else.

#mentalhealthawarenessday

CONSENT

If you think what somebody wears determines whether they consent to something I honestly pity you because you haven't been taught anything at all.

How can someone sit there and say that somebody's "asking for it" just because of something they put on their bodies? How can you say that somebody got raped because of "how they were dressed" Its fucking disgusting.

You're telling me you expect me to believe that someones UNDERWEAR indicates whether or not they consent to sex? You're telling me that lingerie shops are inviting girls to promote rape? "Buy our lingerie but just so you know, if you get raped its on you for wearing it because it has lace on it or it has a G string" No. Because it's nothing to do with a persons underwear.

Have you even stopped to consider that the underwear is UNDERNEATH the clothes? How on earth could she have enticed someone to rape her with something that couldn't be seen unless he was already in the process of forcing her into sex.

You're telling me that when I was sexually harassed at 13 I was asking for it because of my choice of underwear that day? At 13 years old I wasn't even considering the possibility of anything like that ever happening to me. And you're telling me it was because of something that wasn't even visible to the eye because it was underneath my clothes? Bullshit.

If a woman wants to wear lingerie with lace on it she should be able to fucking wear it without being slut shamed or blamed for anything that happens that's not her fault at all. Are we expected to wear granny pants and cotton bras to make ourselves as visually unappealing to men as possible to decrease the chance of being raped?

Are we supposed to cover up every bit of skin on show just because some men can't control themselves? Can we not walk out of the house in the clothes we like to wear without considering whether a man mind not be able to control himself at the sheer sight of a woman?

We shouldn't have to live our lives picking our clothes asking the question "will I get raped in this?" or "will men take this as an invitation to have sex with me?". Men should learn to fucking control themselves and if they can't they should be locked up for it.

Why blame the innocent women of the world for something that isn't their fault just because of something they feel comfortable wearing?

And its not just women.

Men are raped too. Is it their fault for wearing boxers that have certain logos on that might entice people to sexually assault them? If you see the letters "FCUK" printed on the boxers are we supposed to take that as a sign that he wanted it? No. It's an item of clothing. Its a brand name.

Stop trying to find excuses for people who have no self control and actually do something about it. Rape isn't something to be taken lightly. Rape happens everyday. Blame the rapists not the victims.

Abusive Relationships

How to deal with them

Many people I’ve spoken to about my experience with an abusive relationship have always been confused as to what constitutes as abuse and how I knew what was happening.

My experience was pretty straight forward in identifying the abuse, but in some ways that made it harder to get out of.

The person I was “seeing” was emotionally, mentally and physically abusive and whilst the physical abuse was obvious, the others took a while to figure out because the truth is, if you’ve never been in that situation before it’s hard to realise what’s going on.

I was manipulated to believe that I was in the wrong for a lot of things, for not replying to texts straight away when I was with family, for not wanting to FaceTime, for not wanting to send explicit photos, for not wanting to go out and meet him And at the time I felt guilty because I’d had it drilled into me that boys that showed you that much attention were the “good ones” and that it was the boys that ignore you who were “bad”.

For a while I wondered why there would be constant arguments and he would always turn them around on me, we were never officially together but he would always try to make me believe that we were so that he could keep his hold on me, he never wanted to commit to a relationship but expected me to act like his girlfriend and for a while I was naive and I felt like I was trapped.

He would tell me he was going to kill himself, hurt himself or disappear when his “needs” weren’t met and as somebody who was battling self harm at the time I believed him. He would send me graphic images of self harm, tell me that he’d done it because of me, tell me that it was my fault for upsetting him. He would tell me to fuck off, that he was leaving, that I was a bitch for not wanting to do the things he asked me to and I felt worthless.

I finally realised it was time to get out of the situation the day he forced me to have sex with him. He grabbed me so hard around the neck that I had a huge bruise and then forced me to have sex with him even though I had told him I didn’t think I was ready to. I left his house when I could get out of there and ignored every message, every call, every request he would send me on social media and because he never knew where I lived he couldn’t find me.

I was 14/15 years old the entire time this happened and I was terrified, I had severe anxiety and I would be petrified of leaving the house, of going to town from fear of seeing him, I was scared of posting on social media from fear of him seeing it but in the end I knew I couldn’t carry on living like that. I knew I needed to try and move on and live my life.

I made new accounts on my social media and blocked him straight away so he couldn’t find them, I changed my phone number, I didn’t add people I knew he was friends with and I didn’t check up on his social media

5 years on and I still don’t check his social media, I don’t talk to anyone who knows him, I stay well away from his house and I get on with my life. Because what happened to me was awful but it was a learning experience, one that I took seriously. I knew that what had happened to me should be something that I can grow from, not something that stops me living the life I deserve and that’s why I want to urge you to do the same.

Block them, change your number, make new accounts, ask for help! That’s the best thing you can do for yourself, ask somebody for help when you are struggling and please please do not suffer in silence for your own mental health, for your own sake.

Please be safe, be kind, be gentle to yourself and be strong.

Childhood

The reality of what growing up has become for some people, this is MY story

At 3/4 years old my dad’s ‘best friend’ made me feel uncomfortable around him. I remember this incident every single time I looked through our photo albums and saw him in the pictures. He had told my dad he wanted to go to the shop and asked my dad if he could take me with him to get me some ‘sweets’. I said I wanted to stay home with my dad but my dad made me go with him not realising that his friend made me feel uncomfortable. I cried the whole way to the shop as his friend held my hand way too tightly and all but dragged me to the shop with him.

At 12 years old I was sexually assaulted by a few boys the same age as me, they touched me in places I didn’t want to be touched just because I had more developed breasts and curvier hips. I went home and cried myself to sleep that night.

At 13 years old, somebody a good few years older than me messaged me on snapchat and begged me to send him nudes. He did this every single day after school and even though I refused he still told his friends I had sent them to him which resulted in his friend coming up to me in public and embarrassing me in front of his friends and my own friends.
Later that year, somebody I knew from my childhood messaged me and would say things he thought I would want to hear such as ‘we can go on dates etc if you give me a chance’. I engaged in what I thought was a normal conversation until he started begging me to send him nudes and then he would give me forced alternatives such as ‘send a nude with your face in or come and meet me to have sex’ I became so scared that I ended up changing my number. He told people I had sent him a nude and I was severely bullied for it despite them knowing whether it was true or not.

At 14 years old I was harassed by somebody who knew my brother and would constantly use my brother as an excuse to message me and when I ignored his messages he would flip out at me over it. He began pestering me to send him nude images and explicit videos and threatened to tell my brother that I was begging him for sex. He began asking me to meet him to have sex with him because he thought that I would be ‘great in bed’ and that I had a ‘curvy body’ and nobody likes girls that are ‘too skinny’. He would constantly make comments about my breasts and because we lived near each other, when I saw him in public he would shout comments to me from across the road. I told my brother 6 months later and confronted him which he didn’t like. He still requests to add me on social media to this day so I have to keep blocking his accounts.
Just before my 15th birthday I was catcalled by a group of boys in a silver car whilst walking from the bus stop to my house. When I ignored them they drove alongside me the whole time I was walking, shouting things at me and laughing as they made degrading comments about my body until I all but ran home and sat on the floor hallway crying.

At 15 years old I was raped by a person I was talking to. I had met him in town once when I was out with friends and he seemed nice so when he added me on facebook I accepted thinking nothing of it. He would message me daily trying to start a conversation but would flip out at me over the littlest of things even when I wasn’t meaning to upset him. I agreed to meet him one day to chill with our friends only to find out that the friends weren’t coming and he was actually taking me to his house. When we got there he forced me to do sexual things with him that I wasn’t comfortable doing and then he had sex with me.

At 17 years old, I had split from my boyfriend for a brief period of time and during that time somebody added me on snapchat through ‘mutual friends’. I thought it was somebody I had met at a party and so I accepted to see who it was. It turned out that somebody who didn’t like me at the time had given him my snapchat and he would ask me daily to send him explicit pictures. I never sent them and eventually he gave up asking me for nudes and began saying that somebody I knew had sent him nudes of me. He would force me to talk to him almost every minute of every day for around a week because he threatened to kill himself if I didn’t. He would throw questions into the conversation such as ‘where can I buy a good noose from?’ or ‘how many paracetamols does it take to kill yourself’. I would cry myself to sleep every single night that he would message me and even when I repeatedly blocked him he would find ways to message and harass me until eventually I got a new number, new snapchat and changed all of my social media to escape his messages.

A month later, somebody had given out my new phone number to somebody in Rotherham who would call me at all hours in the morning on No caller ID and send me text messages from a blocked number explaining very explicit and graphic details such as how he’d like to ‘spend the night’ with me or how he’d like to come and pick me up because he knew my dad lives around the same area of Rotherham as him. I became scared of going to my dad’s house from fear of him finding me. Eventually I had to once again change all of my social medias and my phone numbers.

Now at 19 years old I still have flashbacks of all of these moments. I can remember every single detail of what I went through and I have never once explained any of these incidents in this much detail from fear of not being believed, from fear of being called frigid, from fear of being labelled a ‘slut’ for ‘talking’ to all these boys. Because at the time these things happened nobody would ever ever believe that somebody could encounter this many bad experiences with boys. But the sad thing is that this is the reality of what I went through growing up and this will never ever leave me for as long as I should live because the reality of it is, this never goes away.

There are so many girls out there who go through this shit and it’s fucking disgusting. So here’s my story, the whole story, here’s everything I’ve had to live with for 19 years, everything I’ve kept to myself because so many girls are shamed for trying to tell their story. This is the fucking reality that young children have to go through and nobody bats a fucking eyelid until somebody dies.

If anything like this has ever happened to you my heart goes out to you and I am so so sorry if you have never been believed when trying to tell your story. I will always be here for you 💚

OH HEY, FOR BEST VIEWING, YOU'LL NEED TO TURN YOUR PHONE