My name Francye, I live in Georgetown New York. My "Beautiful Disaster" story began when I was just 3 years old, when I saw my grandfather die from drinking rubbing alcohol. I remember when the paramedics came into our home and took him out on a stretcher, and that is when it all started.
We then moved to Maryland in the early 70's where we lived in 3 places, one of the places was a farm, man I loved living there, until the unthinkable had happened. My uncle was watching us and molested me, when I was 5 until I was 7. I told mom but that was her brother and it was never spoke of again.
As the years went by we grew to understand that mom was an alcoholic and dad was a gambler, one night mom took a bunch of pills and tried to OD, I will never forget her telling dad to get the spiders off of her. Then the next day she was gone into a mental hospital where we went to visit her. Meanwhile dad was gambling and lost everything.
My sisters and I had gone into foster care for abut 9 months. When we returned home dad was not there and we had to move and leave everything behind, that is when my brother came and moved us to North Carolina. We were there for about a year when mom and dad got back together and we got to move to Texas. Dad told mom he had a house, once again another misconception, as when we arrived we had to live in a Salvation Army Shelter, there was no house, not for a long time, and of course us going to school was not easy because the kids knew where we were living and were very unkind if you get my drift.
From there we finally got a house, but of course we never had much but we had each other. We lived in Texas for 25 years where I met my 1st husband. He was great to me and I was young. When we got married, and had our 1st daughter his mom never did like me and the story goes, when I was 17, I had Nicole. His mom got into the middle of everything we did and I could not take it any longer so I decided it was the best for our daughter to stay with his mom for a while.
His mom got an attorney and asked me to meet me at his office to sign over what was supposed to partial custody. Well, it turned out to be full custody and I lost her and never to see her again. I was devastated to say the least, that was in 83.
Well, we had a 2nd child. I left her with my husband as I felt so distant from her and felt that I could not possibly take care of her the way a mom should.
The story continues, I met Dennis that same year. We had a very bad relationship with a lot of domestic violence towards me, it was horrible. I could not leave as I had nowhere to go, and got into drugs really bad. I did everything but heroin, and going as far as making bathroom crank just to get high. I was on drugs for a very long time and when my mom passed away in 87 it just got worse. In the mean time, Dennis and I had two little boys, and the violence was still there until that faithful night that changed everything.
It was January 23rd, 1992, Dennis and I decided to go out. We were fighting, and decided to score some crack, so we stopped at a convenience store in Houston, and then it happened. We were robbed at gun point, at night. I was sitting beside Dennis and I heard the gun go off. I heard Dennis take his last breath which I didn't realize it was until the paramedics came. That evening, I will never forget. Once, I was digging in my purse for my ID and I found the bullet, it was a 9mm with a blue ring around. That is something that you can never forget.
The next thing was how am I ever going to tell his mom and dad that their son was dead, so I called his sister, and she came to the hospital to get me. I was devastated with guilt, that he died to save me, that at that moment regardless of all the domestic abuse I had suffered from his hands, he saved me. That night I did the last of the drugs and never did them again. It will be 28 years free of the hard debilitating drugs that had taken over my life. I quit cold turkey.
That night still haunts me to this day, and no my story is not over yet, as after the funeral, I left Texas, no one knew where I went for 6 months. I was in hiding, running from my skeletons I had created. I had to find a place that I thought was safe from the all awful things that had happened ever since I was a small child.
I kept running for years with the boys in town, but the skeletons kept following me, from Texas to California, to Colorado to Texas and then landed in New York November 15th 1999 where I have been ever since.
Ever since I finally took control of my life, came face to face with those exact skeletons I have been running from and decided it was time to stop running. I got my GED in Texas, and started college at 36 in New York. I got an Associates Degree and graduated in 2002 with a 4.0. That is when I knew I was going to be okay.
With all the hardship I had gone through, I survived. As you put it so elegantly, my life is a Beautiful Disaster and what didn't kill me, really made me the strongest version of me I am being right now.
When I walked into the Battlefield Harley store in PA and I saw your clothing line, I knew right then and there I was in the right place in my life to be me. I picked out my tie dye sweatshirt, "Glow though what you go through." I love that saying, and your clothing line is ME. In every word I feel so empowered, and I thank you for putting that out there for me to find and others like me to find and it really does mean a lot.