I am Gretchen, a very grateful, loving and Godly 53 year old. I was adopted at the age of 6 months. My adopted parents were amazing! I have an older brother and an older sister. They both were also adopted. I was a Daddy's girl. I am the baby of the family, I will admit pretty spoiled. 

I started drinking alcohol when I was around 12. Started having sex then also. I thought at that time and truly until recently that, if a guy had sex with me then that meant he really liked me. I went through years of sex and much heartache. My Dad died when I was 15. That really did me in. Sex and alcohol. 
I am originally from Ohio. I moved to Connecticut when I was 19. Met my first husband in 1990 and gave birth to my son in 1997. We were divorced in 1999. He was a good man, we just grew apart. I was married again in 2001. I thought my knight in shining armor. He was perfect until the night of our marriage when he then laid down the rules. No speaking to my family as much. Had to go to work and straight home. Could not go out with my friends anymore. Things just got worse. My son, Gareth was 2 when we met. He was a typical boy...he did act out and get 'in trouble' at pure school. One evening I came home from work and I could hear Gareth screaming. I ran into the house and my ex husband had him locked in the basement as a punishment. I went to open the door and my ex hit me and pushed me out of the way. Then, started the abuse to both me and my son. To me sexual, physical, and emotional. To my son physical, emotional and then later in life, when he was 16 and in counseling, sexual also. We moved back home so I could take care of my mom. I prayed and prayed and prayed for a way to get away. God answered my prayer and he reenlisted in the army and was stationed to Kosovo for a peace keeping mission for over a year. When he came home, he went back to Connecticut and we got divorced. Well while he was gone I really started drinking heavily and was very promiscuous. 
 After a year of drinking and job changes, I met my third (ex now) husband. He was also military. Things were good. My mom ended up dying in 2011. She was my best friend truly! A year to the date she died Dec 31st 2011..My third ex husband said he wanted a divorce. I had been drinking and started misusing my meds. Through all of this in my life I know God was by my side. 
I ended up meeting Billy, I thought he was my everything. Until I followed him into a crack addiction. That was until he told me one day that he had ruined my life and the only way for me to get better was for him to die. So, he committed suicide on July 1st, 2017. I was devastated. I have a friend that lived in Crossville, TN. She asked to stay with her and start a new chapter in my life. So I moved to TN in October 2017. I got mixed up with the wrong crowd and ended up on a two year meth addiction. 
In those two years is when I found Beautiful Disaster! I loved the poem/saying that I have now tattooed on my thigh. The stories on your site and the sayings on your clothing kept me going that there us HOPE to get through anything! On September 24th I walked into Cumberland Heights treatment center! I did have a three week relapse. But through the grace of God I pulled my self up! 
I went from the activities aide at a nursing home to the assistant director and NOW the concierge of the building! I am beyond blessed! I have true relationships now. I have a guy best friend ( who is recovery) that I truly adore...and him me! He knows my entire story and last year for Christmas he gave me a gift certificate to your clothing line. This is me today in my sweatshirt. I am almost 18 months clean. I am so blessed!! I am honored to be a part of your Tribe!! I love all of you!!! 

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April 28, 2022