My name is Justine and I am 54 years old.  I am a recovering alcoholic.  I used to think I was the only one who had bad things happen to them and I had gotten in the habit of always asking, “Why me???”, and always feeling sorry for myself.  I had no relationship with God, after praying so hard for so many years “for rescue” without any answer, I gave up on asking for help and decided that I was the only one who was going to save myself.  

     I grew up in a very abusive house, both physical and verbal.  I was sexualized by people I knew outside the home from Kindergarten through 6th grade.  In 6th grade, I learned if you fight back they won’t touch you, so that is what I did. I was made to feel unloved, worthless, fat, stupid and ugly by my mother, never knowing why until years later when I learned that I was a product of rape.  I was always so angry, judgemental, and had no self worth.  I was allowing people to treat me badly and I took it out on my husband and children.  I once had a friend tell me that I was bad luck and they couldn’t be friends with me any longer and I held on to that like it was my signature.  I knew if I continued to be the way I was I would end all relationships with my 3, now adult, children...and I was drinking nonstop, so I started seeing a counselor.

     As an alcoholic, I was highly functional.  I drank to forget...but it fueled all my insecurities and I begged my husband for help because I knew if I kept drinking it would kill me in the end.  During my recovery, I did a lot of soul searching. I had come to the realization that all that I had gone through - I wasn’t alone and throughout my life God was with me.  My prayers were answered through the people and families who God put in my path to help me become the person I am today.  All those “unanswered” prayers were answered by angels sent to me who steered me in the direction for me to be here in this exact spot, helping the youngsters I come in contact with every day.  Because of all my experiences, I am able to understand, empathize, and “see” things some adults cannot to be able to provide support; teaching social emotional lessons to children in need.

     I have learned that the question I should have been asking all those years ago was, “Why NOT me??”.  I am no better nor no worse than anyone else.  For the last 15 years, I have learned to love who I am, to grow through what I go through.  I still have my moments when the memories come crashing to my surface, but I remember that I am a Beautiful Disaster, and a chaotic mess, and I ride the wave, with the help of my husband, to calm waters because I am a survivor.  

I love Beautiful Disaster favorite right now are my Wolf leggings, “Throw me to the wolves and I will come back leading the pack”.  On July 30, 2021, I broke both my ankles and fractured my right leg falling down 3 steps.  There was a time when I would curse those three steps with negativity and spite, but instead I am grateful that I wasn’t at the top of the staircase! The Beautiful Disaster blog has helped me stay strong and keep fighting and to walk.  All the strong beautiful women with their stories have encouraged me to tell my own.  

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January 14, 2022