I am a Beautiful Disaster, I think I always have been. Growing up wasn’t easy, I was passed around between parents, grandparents, and foster homes. I was basically raising myself with the help of all of them but nothing stable, so at 16 I got married got pregnant right away and had my first son. I was divorced by the time my son was a little over a year old. Here I was with a kid being a kid myself, no high school education no income no nothing.
I picked myself up got a little job waiting tables and got my GED, I met up with an old high school boyfriend and had my second son, we weren’t meant for each other and we both wanted our lives to go in different directions. So here I was with two sons to support on my own. I knew I wanted more, for myself and my little family.
So I decided my life was what I make it and I will do what I always wanted to do and that was to help others, I applied to the local police department, and became a volunteer officer, I continued to wait tables until after a few months I had proven myself and was offered full time paid position. I went through the police academy and I just knew I found my calling. I was hooked. That was in 1999.
I loved every bit of the job, I worked hard, took every training in every area I was offered. I kept working on myself to always do better, for me and for my boys.
Fast forward to 2010 I had worked and studied and made it I was offered a position of Chief of Police, I jumped at the chance. It was a dream come true. Women in general make up about 6% of Law Enforcement and Women in a supervisory role only about 2%. So my little family now married to a great man, and my boys relocated to a new state so I could purse my dream.
In early 2012 I responded to a domestic violence call where a man severely assaulted his spouse. I won’t go into the gory details, but during that call a very large corpse fell on top of me from above. This incident caused a severe spinal injury, torn bicep, and damaged both of my ulnar nerves. Leaving me with 6 herniated discs in my spine, and permeant nerve damage and little to no feeling in my hands.
It was hell on earth, but I continued to attempt my normal life, and I kept working, My doctors eventually, told me enough was enough and I had to medically retire in mid-2013. It was devastating I must of cried for a month.
It was the lowest I have ever been in my life, I would stay in my house for weeks on end, not only from chronic pain, but the depression associated with what I had become. Serval times I considered eating my pistol and putting an end to my own misery. After a few months of no longer working, all the tragic calls, events, and years of public service started to haunt my dreams and daily living. At that point I knew I needed help, ( combat related PTSD) I felt like a burden to my family, my community and my friends.
My loving husband saw what was becoming of me and woke me up one morning and told me that’s it, get up get dressed. He told me we were heading out to a local car show. He knew of my love of vintage things and said oh they have a pinup contest you should enter. I said honey I am way to old, decrepit and out of shape for that… He told me I was a beautiful disaster, a hot mess, and a train wreck, but I was going just the same, he was getting my ass out of bed and out of the house.
So I went, I faced my fear, I entered that pinup contest and yes I was the oldest one, and had really no clue what I was doing, but I went home with a little crown on my head that day, and a glimmer of hope. I started researching everything pinup, I found a community of women from all backgrounds and a lot of them were perfectly imperfect, damaged and broken just like me.
I have since combined my love of all things vintage and pinup, with community service. I formed a non profit last year The Electric Pinup Dolls. We are a wonderful group of women, all ages, sizes, and backgrounds. We host charity events, club get togethers, photoshoots and pinup pageants, all over the Seattle area, we managed to raise over $10,000 for charity in 2017, I hope to beat that this year.
Through Pinup I found myself again, I no longer feel like a burden, I feel I can still give back, and serve the community. I am on a quest to find other women that are that broken, Beautiful Disaster that I am and show them the same glimmer of hope like I first saw that really saved me.
I can so relate to the wonderful stories I have read about the women who like myself picked ourselves up, dusted ourselves off and can be ok knowing we are perfectly imperfect.
I now know, that it's ok to be just how I am, my life has taken me on a roller coaster ride for sure, and I never imagined I would be where I am now. I still have my ups and down’s but I am not looking back. I am a Beautiful Disaster and wouldn’t want it any other way.
Brenda Cavoretto AKA
The Black Widow Bettie
President Electric Pinup Dolls