Courtney Stodden is celebrating their freedom after passing their driver's test at 28 years old.
The model and actor took to Instagram on Wednesday to share videos from the day that they got their driver's license, sharing how it was "the first step to my independence" over two years after ending their marriage with actor Doug Hutchison.
"At 16, I got my marriage license instead of my drivers license," Stodden (who uses they/them pronouns) captioned an Instagram post announcing the latest life update. "I have been suppressed for so long; My worth was so shattered by the men in my life, that I thought it wasn’t possible for me to be an independent, full human. This accomplishment may seem small to some people, But I assure you - it is anything BUT small."
Since splitting with Hutchison, who was 51 years old when they wed, Stodden has spoken out about alleged grooming that they experienced in the relationship and how the marriage impacted their self-esteem.
Now, Stodden is living life on their own terms.
"I've never felt the wind in my hair, driving down the PCH - independent from it all - but that beautiful and scary journey starts now. I’m 28, and I finally got my drivers license on 10.4.22," they wrote. "Living in a world surrounded by toxic masculinity, I didn’t have a chance to believe in myself. This journey is mine."
Stodden previously told Yahoo Life that they work with multiple therapists to work through various trauma from childhood and their past relationship. In the latest Instagram post, they gave credit to one for "continuing to guide me out of the control and censorship I've been groomed to believe was my forever reality." Stodden also shared gratitude for their fiancé Chris Sheng "for pushing me to grow in the moments I feel like giving up."
Across their social media, the model has aimed to spread positivity and provide impactful messages to followers.
"You are worth your sanity and freedom. You are worth your life," they wrote. "Believe in yourself — I believe in you."
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