During a Jan. 24 appearance on Bachelor Happy Hour podcast, Clare Crawley opened up the abusive relationship she was in before becoming a contestant on Juan Pablo Galavis' season of The Bachelor. "I had just gone through a really, really abusive relationship going into Juan Pablo's season," Crawley told podcast hosts Becca Kufrin and Rachel Lindsay. Up until recently Crawley kept that aspect of her life hidden from Bachelor producers and friends.
"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," Crawley explained. "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."
It wasn't just that her romantic life had hit a low. Crawley made it clear that her entire life had seemingly hit rock bottom. "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," the Bachelor Nation star shared. "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."
Being able to pull herself out of such a dark place is behind a lot of Crawley's confidence today. She explained, "once you start believing in yourself — even if it's just barely believing in yourself — it builds and it builds and it builds." Now, she can look back on her own journey with amazement. "And after a while, you look back and you go, 'I can't believe how far I've come.'"
Now she knows how much she can handle. "I'm a courageous woman now," she asserted. "Even when I am weak, I still have the courage within myself to do hard things. That is something that I'm proud of now." By sharing her deeply personal story, Crawley hopes to let other viewers who may be going through hard times know that "it does get better and things can change."
Of course, she also hopes to find a man who appreciates her for the strong woman she is. "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 future Bachelorette shared. "Anybody can love you for the easy fun times and the smiles and the laughs."
Here's to hoping Crawley finds the sort of love she's looking for and that, in the process, she inspires a viewer or two.
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic abuse, call 911 or the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1(800) 799-SAFE (7233) or visit thehotline.org.