Bachelorette Clare Crawley Opens Up About Past Abusive Relationship: 'I'm a Courageous Woman Now'
Crawley, 39, is the ABC franchise's upcoming Bachelorette, and shared on the Bachelor Happy Hour podcast Tuesday that she only just recently began telling people about the period of her life because she wants the "man of my dreams to see the worst of me."
"I had just gone through a really, really abusive relationship going into Juan Pablo's season," Crawley said, admitting that she just recently told friends and producers about her past.
"I want the man of my dreams to see the worst of me, to know the worst of me. Not to have maybe compassion or anything like that, but to maybe see it's not always easy and confident and strong and empowered," Crawley said.
"There's a lot that I went through that I want them to know the hard, ugly, embarrassing struggles of my life to appreciate the woman that I am today, and I want a man to love me for that, and not just for the easy makeup and hair," the TV star shared. "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. It's been something that I've hidden for so many years," she continued, "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."
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"At one point, I was living in my car for three months, and I barely had a job making minimum wage being a hairstylist's assistant when I first started doing hair. I was in an abusive relationship, and I just had lost my dad, too, so I was at, I would feel like the lowest of lows," Crawley said.
Crawley said that the journey through self-love might take small baby steps, but "once you start believing in yourself — even if it's just barely believing in yourself — it builds and it builds and it builds."
"And after a while, you look back and you go, 'I can't believe how far I've come.'"
Crawley added that she hopes by sharing her story, she can show viewers that "we all go through pretty awful stuff sometimes."
"I want to be able to share my message and it's a message frankly that I have been — like I said it's not a lot that I've shared with anybody. Even on any prior show that I've been on, it's nothing that I've shared before."
"It does get better and things can change," Crawley said.
"I'm a courageous woman now. Even when I am weak, I still have the courage within myself to do hard things," Crawley told Lindsay and Kufrin. "That is something that I'm proud of now."
If you are experiencing domestic violence, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233, or go to thehotline.org. All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.