This is my almost-four-year-old little boy; his name is Avery for those who haven’t had the opportunity to meet him!

He is the one who inspired Viva Por Ti Photographyhe has transformed me personally and professionally which some have heard me say before.

But today I am going to elaborate…today I give you the good, the bad, and the ugly!

I used to be extremely guarded—I used to carry walls up around me everywhere I went. Some may ask what caused me to be so guarded, but it was my environment. An environment that showed toxic love.

I had a close family member who would constantly tell me how I wouldn’t be anything in life. This person would say that I would be living on the streets and pregnant at 16. Growing up I was called names that I shouldn’t have been called at such a young age.

This caused me to have little to no confidence and I struggled with all relationships. If my own family could hurt me—then anyone can.

For a while, I started to self-destruct. But I had this amazing teacher in high school who said, “What will you gain from this? How will this better your future?” I couldn’t answer that question because my actions would’ve led me to failure if I continued.

At that moment, I made it a point to put all my effort into school and I was the first generation to graduate from high school let alone college.

Being guarded and not wanting to get close to people deprived me of many things. I sabotaged friendships because I didn’t want them to judge me. I had this mentality that I didn’t need anyone, and I can handle everything I go through alone.

If I am being honest, I had the BIGGEST/UGLIEST attitude—and I didn’t care if I hurt your feelings. If you weren’t one of my main ones, I didn’t care to get to know you.

It wasn’t until I had Avery things changed…where I began to soften without even knowing. I literally turned into a whole big ass bowl of emotions.

After a very traumatic birth with Avery—I suffered from PTSD, postpartum depression, and anxiety. My son’s father was far from supportive—our relationship had ended due to lying and cheating.

Once I had Avery, it seemed like he felt like he owned me. He started to become very verbally abusive which led to minor physical abuse.

I felt nailed to rock bottom—here I am finally becoming a mother which is something I begged, pleaded, and prayed for but I was struggling so much. I couldn’t leave Avery alone because I was afraid, he would stop breathing. I just knew I wasn’t in a good place and I needed help.

That’s when I got professional help and it was the best thing I could’ve done.

I’ve learned to manage my PTSD, depression, and anxiety without any medication. Some days are harder than others, but I know I can get through it.

Now I radiate love—and I no longer carry any hate or anger around me even for those who wronged me.

I’ll approach a random person and start talking to them without feeling odd.

I have more confidence than I ever had before.

I’ll meet up with a stranger and walk out feeling like we’ve known each other for years.

I open myself up completely to all of you because I know many others struggle in silence—because I used to be one of them.

So, here’s to the good, the bad, and the ugly.