Let me start by introducing myself. My name is Amber Day. I just turned 29 and am married to my some-what annoying husband, Dj (because let's be honest men know how to be annoying). Together we have a handsome blue-eyed boy that is my world.
My story is probably like so many others. While that fact alone is beyond tragic to accept as society's norm, it has become so.
I come from a broken home, though in all honesty, I think that my parents splitting was probably the best thing for all of us, even with all the events that followed. We lived in a tiny little town in West Virginia surrounded by family. I remember those days fondly. The only blemishes on that time were the men that my mother dated. It was like she read the handbook on what guys not to bring around your daughters and completely ignored every word of it. But we had our family to escape to. Especially our grandmother on our dad's side. She gladly took us whenever we called. We were her world after my dad and his siblings became adults.
We still saw our dad but it was the obligatory six weeks in the summer and with our step-mom. He got remarried in a matter of days of the ink drying on the divorce papers and had a new family. Don't get me wrong, I love my step-siblings. But we, my sisters and I, have never been a priority to him. But I will go more into that in a bit. Summers were always fun but just showed me that we weren't permanent to him. He would always talk about how he wanted to do this and that with us after our summer break. But he never followed through. We hardly heard from him on the night he was supposed to do his weekly call.
A few years later and many creepy men later, my mother met my step-dad. He was in the military and we had to move to a new state. It was a big and unwanted change. From the age of 6 to 12 years old, I experienced physical abuse—beaten with pans, switches, wire hangers, etc. basically anything that DSS would consider as abuse, by both my mother and stepfather, and constantly reported it to my teachers. Now they were good and honestly cared. They reported what we said to DSS. But their mistake was to send us home to them. And they knew we reported it. We were threatened until we changed our story. Didn't matter if they had seen the welts with broken skin on my legs from a bad beating the night before. "We had lied because that's what kids do."
When I turned twelve things got both better and worse, depending on how you look at it. My step-dad began grooming me and eventually molested me. The summer before seventh grade my mother found a diary that my older sister had. She had written out everything that he had done to her. I didn't know I wasn't the only one. My mother confronted him with all of us in the house and eventually took us to the house of a previous boss that adored us girls. He and his wife called the cops and reported the entire thing. In the end, my mother ended up taking his side over ours and we were placed in my father's custody.
From there, things were only slightly better. Instead of physical abuse, we endured mental and emotional abuse at the hands of my step-mom. As any female knows, we have body image issues. No matter what others see in us, we know our "flaws." My step-mother pointed out every single thing she deemed as our flaws. We were her Cinderella's. We had no life other than to cook, clean and be "perfect little Christians." She constantly told me that once I was 18 I was out of the house, which was funny since her own children lived with her and my father until they were in the mid-thirties. Not once did my father stand up for me.
Both of my parents left me with so much self-doubt and insecurities, I don't I have the money to afford therapy to deal with it all. I struggle with self-love and self-worth. I have questioned how is anyone able to love me if the two people who should have been there and show me love chose others over me? It hasn't been easy and I still question it. But my husband and my child have helped in ways they will never understand.
Because of them, I make sure the ones I love know I am there for them. My child will never doubt whether or not Mommy loves him and if she will stand by him. Because I will.
I love what this brand stands for. It empowers those who feel like they are nothing but a hot mess. My life may have started off as a tragedy, but I am living proof what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. As my favorite shirt of yours at the moment says, "I am beautifully broken, perfectly imperfect, beautiful in my flaws, all together I am a Beautiful Disaster."