Nikki Bella spoke with People Magazine earlier today and opened up about her painful past, which she also detailed in the book. Nikki wrote about two life-altering incidents that happened to her when she was a teenager. She recalled horrifying details about when she was raped at age 15 and then again at age 16, and wrote about how the shame impacted her future relationships.
Nikki revealed how she was raped by another high school student when she was just 15, who she "thought was a friend," she wrote in the book. She was then raped again at 16, after being drugged by a college-age man.
"There is the horrible offense in the moment, and then the shame and blame that follow and feel almost worse than the original pain," Nikki wrote in the book. "When something like this happens to you, you understand the blame-the-victim mentality, how easy it is to feel shame rather than anger, how easy it is to feel like you could have stopped it yourself."
Nikki spoke with People and explained why she held on to the blame for all these years, and the rippling effect it had on her life, her future, and relationships.
"When that happened to me, I immediately just felt so ashamed and blamed myself, and that's what made me want to keep it such a secret," the mom-to-be told People. "And keeping that a secret and blaming myself, I started to lose my confidence. I started to disrespect myself. And then the relationships I got into at a young age, I let other people disrespect me and felt like, that's okay, this is what I deserved."
She continued, "I was like that for a really long time. I would go to therapy on and off. Looking at it now I'm like, 'Oh Nicole, I wish you just would've let go at a young age. So much would have changed for you.' And I think that's what made me really want to tell these stories finally."
Nikki said she's now eager to share her truth in hopes of helping other people who have been in similar situations.
"When the #MeToo movement happened, I was just like, 'Oh my gosh,'" she recalled. "I feel like, if I'm having these younger women look up to me, maybe I can help them and have them not hold onto this as long as I did. It wasn't until I was 28 and in a relationship where someone started to teach me how to respect myself. That's how long I held on to things and felt I had no boundaries. And I'd always look at Brie like, 'Oh, she has boundaries, she treats herself with such respect. How do I not have this?' And I knew why. But I held onto it for so long. When I look back at just decisions I made based off of it, I wish I could have heard my words now as a 36-year-old woman then, and be like, 'You're going to be okay.'"
The new memoir gives readers a look at what life was like for Nikki and Brie Bella growing up, from loss and abuse, to addiction struggles, relationship woes, and more. Nikki said she hopes the book helps.
"I hope whoever reads the book will throw on whatever imaginary cape they dream of and say, 'I'm the hero of my own story and will conquer whatever I want to do!' " Nikki said.