Like countless young women before her, Brittaney Lynn Shane became so engrossed in her relationship that she lost herself along the way.

An impassioned Facebook post published on Dec. 4, 2015, has gone viral because of its heartbreaking relatability and empowering message. Shane, of Oxford, Ala., posted a selfie featuring her vibrant red hair and a confident smile, but the accompanying text is where she bared her soul. Shane lists all the ways in which her ex-boyfriend attempted to control her, down to the length and color of her hair, the amount of makeup she wore, her tattoos and piercings, and even her weight. She admits that with every cruel remark and pointed jab he made, she complied with what he wanted. Shane recalls, "You pointed out every single flaw I had. So I lost every bit of confidence I had."


Shane writes that after nearly two years together, he left her for "a younger, prettier girl" despite all the changes she had made. At first, she thought she was to blame for not being good enough, but a later epiphany completely shattered her perspective. She realizes, "You weren't out of my league. I was out of yours. I wasn't the one who wasn't good enough for you. You were the one who wasn't good enough for me. You couldn't accept me for who I was. When I took you the way you were."
After that breakthrough, Shane embarked on a journey to find her true self again. Rather than adhere to the arbitrary rules she used to follow to the letter, she has grown out her hair and experimented with color, delved back into the world of makeup, gotten new tattoos and piercings, and embraced her body type. In a powerful declaration of self-love, she proclaims, "I finally see myself looking back at me when I look in the mirror. Not the girl you had created. You have your life. Your new love. Your side of our story. But you no longer have me. Not in any way, shape, or form."

Really loving my blue hair 💙

A photo posted by Brittaney Shane (@youngcrazycatlady) on

Though it may seem a daunting task, Shane is in the process of undoing all the damage her previous relationship inflicted upon her, and her inspiring Facebook post may help others who are trapped in a similar situation. Shane's affirmation currently has over 360,000 likes, more than 35,000 shares, and a comment section overflowing with supportive statements and shared experiences.

Shane's empowering Facebook post can be read in its entirety here.