Today we are honored and excited to feature Hope and her story, Hope has been submitting her photos and wearing Beautiful Disaster for a long time now and we appreciate all that she stands for.

Everyone, Meet Hope….

My story starts out a bit differently.. I was raised in a very religious Christian group that wanted to separate itself from the outside world as much as possible. They had rigid views on what role the women in the group were supposed to have. We were brought up to be meek and modest, and submissive toward men. We wore long dresses and skirts, had long hair, and were not permitted to have tight clothing or anything that would draw attention to our physical attributes. This included makeup, nail polish, hair dye, high heels, etc.

We attended “meetings” (they didn’t want to call it a church) every Sunday, Wednesday, and Friday and would go away to camps over holidays, which we did not celebrate, to keep us from being exposed to worldly temptations. We didn’t have TVs, higher education wasn’t really encouraged and the majority of us were homeschooled.

I became aware that I didn’t really fit in at a fairly early age and tried to rebel in what small ways I could. By the age of 14 I had become so miserable and depressed that I began self harming and started to become desperate to figure a way out. When I was 17 a man came along from the outside world and starting paying attention to me. My parents wouldn’t give consent for the courtship but within a short time I’d fallen hard for him and left my family and Christian friends that I’d grown up with to be with him. My family disowned me for it and the group of Christians decided I was to be shunned to keep me from being a bad influence on the other young people. I was completely convinced that I was going to be just fine, I’d found true love and there was nothing we wouldn’t be able to overcome.

It didn’t take long after I moved in with my then fiancé to realize all that glitters isn’t gold. Cut off from my family and everyone I knew it was easy to keep me isolated and he gradually became more and more abusive. I was naive and malleable and it wasn’t long before I was convinced of his telling me that I wouldn’t be able to survive without him. Physical, mental, and emotional abusive takes a toll on a person. I lost myself completely in trying to keep him happy and make myself into the person I thought he wanted me to be. I was sure if I could just do well enough I would somehow be able to make things better.

I lost sight of who I was, I began to believe all the hurtful things he was saying and doing to me and was sure that he must be right, it was my fault that things weren’t going well. I walked on eggshells in fear of doing something that would set him off, was beaten down and cheated on and he still managed to make me believe that I didn’t deserve to be treated any better. It took years to come to the realization that some things are too broken to fix and despite my upbringing and belief in for better or worse, death do us part, divorce truly was an option.

The first time I tried to leave and told him that I was serious about wanting a divorce he tried to commit suicide and I felt trapped into staying. It took a long time and a great support network of friends and family to help me find the courage and strength to finally leave and truly believe that I deserved to be happy.

My life is a lot different now, I’m tattooed and pierced, rarely wear skirts and swear far too much. I’m with an amazing man who has gone above and beyond to show me what a truly loving and supportive relationship is supposed to feel like. My relationship with my family has been reestablished and it is great to have them in my life again. My sister was actually the one who got me a shirt from Beautiful Disaster and I absolutely fell in love with it and feel like the meaning behind it sums me up perfectly. Having to discover and re-learn who you are as a person is quite the journey, and I’m having a hell of a lot of fun figuring it all out along the way. Being a Beautiful Disaster feels like it should be my personal warning label and I’m proud to represent it in any way I can.


Original Submission: 3/17/15

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March 17, 2015