“Hidden” struggles. Bachelorette Clare Crawley opened up about living in her car and being in an “abusive relationship” before appearing on Juan Pablo Galavis’ season of The Bachelor

“There’s so much more background that I have never even talked about, even on that season of The Bachelor, that I held inside, that I didn’t share with the world,” the Sacramento native, 39, explained to Rachel Lindsay and Becca Kufrin on “Bachelor Happy Hour” podcast on June 23. “I didn’t even share with my friends,” Clare noted about her abusive ex. 

Bachelor Winter Games Star Clare Crawley Smiles in Red Dress
ABC/Paul Hebert

Clare said her life had hit the “lowest of lows” before first appearing on the franchise. “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. 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,” she said.

However, the season 16 star is ready to put it all on the line. “I want somebody to love me for all the hard stuff that I’ve been through,” the hairstylist divulged. “It’s been something that I’ve hidden for so many years, but until I’ve owned that part of my life and looked at the stuff I’ve been through as shame — to look at it as my superpower — and these are the things that have made the woman that I am today.”

Her prior hardships have only fueled her desire to find love, and she wants the men on her season to know what she’s been through. “There’s a lot that I went through that I want [the contestants] to know — the hard, ugly, embarrassing struggles of my life to appreciate the woman that I am today,” the Bachelor in Paradise alum continued.

The Bachelor Nation starlet plans on building a lasting relationship with the contestant she (hopefully) gets engaged to during the finale. “I want the man of my dreams to see the worst of me, to know the worst of me,” she expressed. “I want a man to love me for that, and not just for the easy makeup and hair. Anybody can love you for the easy fun times and the smiles and the laughs.”

Clare’s season was put on temporary hiatus amid the coronavirus pandemic, but she’s reportedly set to begin filming in July. The season 16 star has been looking on the bright side of things and said the momentary pause has “given [her] the time” to think what her “message” will be. 

“What is it that I want to share with women my age, women our age, women of any age, anybody? What is it that I really want to share to let them know that yeah, this is one of those positions that is very hard to be in, and I’m so honored to be in it, but more importantly, I want to be that woman for other people to see that we all go through pretty awful stuff sometimes, and sometimes other people, just what you see, whether it be on social media, whether it be what you hear publicly, is not always the case,” Clare said.

We can’t wait to see what her season holds!