Former tennis star Jelena Dokic has revealed the tragic truth behind her physical transformation.
Dokic shared an old photo on Instagram of herself during the peak of her tennis career next to a current photo, revealing the extent of the abuse she suffered at the hands of her father.
“What is the most common comment I see when it comes to my body, size and weight? ‘What happened to her? I can barely recognise her’,” Dokic started in the caption.
“Really? What happened? You can’t recognise me? Let me tell you what happened.
“I survived being a refugee twice, I was bullied, I lived in a domestic violence filled home for 15 years and I was beaten unconscious, I was abused physically and emotionally and got beaten for the first time when I was six years, I was called a whore and a cow since I was as young as 11. I had to escape home, I battled anxiety, depression, PTSD and trauma and I almost committed suicide,” she shared.
The 39-year-old has always been open about her struggles with depression, online abuse, body shaming, and the family violence she suffered throughout her career.
In the photo, Dokic has a visible bruise on her leg, and added that despite everything she’s been through and achieved, the most important thing to her was that she survived.
“I still managed to do pretty well, I managed to be top five in the world as a tennis player and a grand slam finalist, I am a best-selling author, commentator and speaker but most importantly I survived”.
She slammed body shamers who only saw “weight and size change” by sharing that she is much happier being a size 16 compared to a size 4.
“I will tell you the difference between these two images. The one on the left is a size four, scared to death, beaten unconscious and that bulge on my shins is from being kicked all night,” she wrote.
“The one on the right is me at size 16, I have survived it all and I am here healing from my trauma and thriving.
“I will take the size 16 over the size 4 any day if it means I am happy.
“If it means I turned to food to try and survive, then so be it. But I am here, I am happy and most importantly I made it through.
“So, there is the answer, once and for all. I went through hell and back and I survived and today I try to help others. That’s what happened. And for those that still don’t get the point, well that says everything about you,” Dokic concluded in her post.
Many have shared their support for Dokic and her courage to tell her story.
“You’re so inspiring Jelena 👏🙌 Keep up the great work!!” commented one follower.
“You don’t need to justify anything to anyone. Most of us know a warrior when we see one. I’m so glad you’ve made it through and continue to stand up for yourself time and time again ❤️” wrote another.
“Thank you, Jelena 💙 We are all worth so much more than our bodies 🦋” chimed a third.
Images: Getty, Instagram
This article first appeared on Over60.