OUTSIDE THE LINES

Busting out of the lines to hear real stories from beautiful souls

Category is – Something that has impacted your world

ADVENTURE TO FREEDOM

A few years ago, I did a “Trash the Dress” photo shoot after having finally kicked out my abusive, thieving fiancé. 

I knew I needed to get rid of my unused wedding dress. I thought about selling it, I certainly needed the money. But more importantly, I needed closure, and so I destroyed the dress. It was one of the best days of my life. I dressed up, felt pretty, and went out with my best friend and her mum to take some therapeutic photos. I had a bouquet of dead flowers, I wore some black leather boots and had a red flower in my black dyed hair. We spent the whole day taking photos and gradually trashing my dress. We rubbed dirt into it, cut it with scissors, tore it, and eventually I took it off and we burnt it! 

The man I nearly married was a textbook narcissist, his goal was to be in control. He stole my heart, then he stole my freedom and my belongings. Nothing that I owned was mine anymore. He moved into my house, paid no rent and always had a sob story as to why he needed cash. I lost not only everything I owned, but I lost who I was, he stole that from me. 

Having the photos from that shoot is incredible, I feel so empowered when I look at them. Having one of the photos turned into a line drawing was something very special. The artist, Ronnie, is the friend that was there with me at the photo shoot. She saw behind the scenes, and so her art captures something that the photo doesn’t. To me, this picture illustrates my determination to thrive.

Trashing my wedding dress was allowing me to take control back. I have burnt that one link I still had to him. My life is my own life, in a way it had never been before. I feel such a sense of freedom, my life feels lighter. I did a lot of healing from the trauma of that relationship, trashing my dress.

Burning something so beautiful and expensive was symbolic of the relationship I’d had, where he’d stolen everything I had. That chapter was now over, I could now enter the next chapter of my life, and I did so with a newfound strength.

— Beth