I have pretty much been a Phoenix rising from the ashes for quite some time and could be a poster child for the concept of being a "Beautiful Disaster". 

I'm a 1977 model (January 7, 1977, to be exact). Soooo 44 and cringing just a bit as I've been so off course from my personal dreams and aspirations. It's been one downward spiral tailspin after another. After every crash and burn, I've somehow made it back to my feet to start the climb once again. 

The odds were relatively stacked against me from the start. I was basically an "oops" and unplanned. My mother hated me from the start. Even as a baby, it was clear that I took after my dad's side of the family (recessive traits and all). I was and am still nothing like her at all. We have no genuine common ground. If you were to look at it more from a scientific perspective of the animal kingdom, the woman who birthed me was basically rejecting me which just became a familial abstraction where I was predominantly scape goated and very much the "black sheep" of the family. My mom used to say such phrases to me as "nobody wants you", "you're just like your father" followed by "I hate your father"... those were the just some of the harsh words at the ages between five and six. Some of my first memories. My older sister by four years was the " golden child"... Other common phrases from the mom were such things as, "This world is going to eat you alive".... Not to mention the beatings and so forth. 

I did try to run away when I was about six and a half. That didn't turn out well at all. While I was trying to run away, a stranger grabbed me and proceeded to assault me. I was screaming at the top of my lungs and a family that happened to be driving by heard me, stopped and intervened. That became a huge nightmare of being taken to the hospital by police, having parents show up and I was clamming up. I was later forced to testify again at the man who had attacked and assaulted me. By then I was seven. That was just a whole other trauma as I still recall the snide and slimy cross examination of the defense attorney for the man who assaulted me. It was bad enough for the judge to interject and warn the defense attorney for his misconduct in court. The court case turned out to be a beast of its own in terms of traumatic nightmares. 

As a child and still being returned to a toxic abusive environment, I just wanted to forget it ever happened. My mom wasn't about to let that be the case.  She refused to allow me any therapy for the trauma. Looking back at it now, that little maneuver of hers was to cover her own ass. She didn't want me talking to or telling other adults what things were really like at "home"... A freaking poster child "Mommy Dearest". I knew all too well what the sting of a coat hanger felt like across the back repeatedly. 

I was still a bit of a rough and tumble tom boy of sorts despite the never-ending abuse. Another hurtful common phrase from the hateful mom was, "My son"... just because I wasn't as feminine and prissy like my sister was. I was climbing trees, crawling through bushes, playing in the tall grass, etc. All things my sister would never do.  I was simply more of a "wild child" which was fitting coming from my dad's side of the family but not my mom's side. 

My grandmother from my dad's side actually apologized to me in my youth at one point and proceeded to tell me that some people should never have kids. She was referring to my mom of course. Even then it was kind of a "Gee, thanks grandma....now what"...

It's not like everyone was blind to my mom's behaviors. But, it was more a time where people would look away and turn a blind eye where kids were treated more so like " property"... Basically what I came to realize was that no one was ever going to swoop in and save me me. Most of my childhood was dictated by her and she was the driving for to reinforce such notions as me being "nothing" and having no "worth" or "value"... Psychologically and Emotionally I completely fragmented. I have lost count of the number of suicide attempts now. At least three during adolescence. As a young adult I was diagnosed with PTSD, Anxiety, Depression, Agoraphobia (dislike of crowds), and bipolar disassociative disorder along with a serious issue with suicide ideology. I had grown to deeply hate a part of myself over time. 

As an adult I tried to seek help, but that didn't ever go well. Even to this day whenever there's anything medical I have clearly stated how I don't want my mom informed of anything or allowed to see me, but someone always falls for her "mom" act and lets her in no matter what I instructed...this is even as an adult. I haven't been able to escape her even when hospitalized. Let me tell you, such things are not conducive to any kind of genuine recovery. 

In any case, I eventually worked my way into the veterinary field as an unlicensed veterinary technician at the time. (I'm leaving out the tumultuous years in retail)...I loved my work as a veterinary technician. I felt as though I had found my calling. Everything went sideways when a primary care physician recommended I get the rabies vaccine among a few others due to my work. Not long after I had a major neurological event that presented similar to a stroke. There was some wrong doing by a neurologist that did a poor job of a lumbar puncture that caused me to temporarily lose the use of my right arm and have weakness in my left leg. It took serious physical therapy and occupational therapy to get back. And then, this hospital decided I needed my gall bladder removed. Well, they botched that surgery and just nearly killed me. That required a stent being put in and I had to wait for the infection from the botched surgery to clear before they had to go back and do a massive reconstructive surgery.  The botched surgery followed by what had to be done to correct that made the neurological issues be set aside for a time. But, down the road, I was further diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. The botched surgery coupled with the adverse vaccine reaction leading to the multiple sclerosis diagnosis costed me my work as a veterinary technician. In the interim of recuperating from the corrective surgery, there was a fluke incident where an iPod spontaneously combusted causing an electrical fire. I managed to put the fire out but had inhaled a lot of smoke. The fire department showed up and insisted I had to go to the hospital. Once at the hospital, just for good measure, the doctors there insisted I had to go into a medically induced coma for a few days. And yet I rose again. 

After this came a terribly physically, emotionally, and psychologically abusive relationship where the guy in question took me for all I had. I couldn't bring myself to believe it at the time. But once he bled me dry of all resources, he quite literally dumped me and left me high and dry on a mountaintop. That was also including him literally destroying my vehicle. The whole ordeal forced me with some orchestration from him to have to return to the family home and beginning of where all the abuse began. 

I got away briefly again working for a woman as her personal assistant, but that went south in a few months time once she started sexually harassing me (claiming everyone does it) and I could not ignore her neglecting a boy she had in her custody that had special needs. That turned in to me up and leaving, but still reporting her to CPS. Given my own experience, I sadly don't believe that poor kiddo will have any easier time going forward. It actually broke me to have to leave him in that situation. I did what I could legally, but that was it. The system didn't help me so how can it help him...Soooo back to the family house I went. 

I finally went to a world renowned hospital (Stanford) and started getting the specialized treatment I need now, but it's still a long climb up out of the hole. I'm actually slowly trying to work on my own upcycled clothing biz on the side that revolves around working with reclaimed/recycled sari materials. 

Point is I fallen time and again, but still keep getting back up. So yes, your clothing line of Beautiful Disaster resonates deeply. 

I’m one of those that first came across your brand through social media being Facebook and Instagram. Like many promotions, your products were beautifully pictured and your size inclusiveness got me to look twice. 

It can be challenging to have dramatically fluctuating weight and find higher quality gear such as yours. 

Aside from your eye catching product that caught my attention, I noticed in the statistics that several friends and acquaintances that I have had also liked your product and ads. 

Seeing that, was/is pretty much another form of “word of mouth” these days. And so I was sold on your brand seeing other friends and acquaintances also liking your product. 

It carried a bit more weight for me because the friends and acquaintances that I noticed who had liked your product were ladies I had volunteered with at the Marine Mammal Center as well as a few other “dirty jobs”. 

These ladies and I have a bit of a higher standard for gear, given our more rugged, rough and tumble, exposed to the elements kinds of experiences we shared. 

Sooo from my first purchase from Beautiful Disaster, I was completely elated by the quality of merchandise matching the themes’ beauty and uniqueness. 

I would have to say that the Phoenix IV collection has resonated the most with me at this point in time and is my favorite. Mainly because of the numerous times I have “crashed and burned” in this wild thing we call “life”. I’ve lost track the number of times I’ve had to pick myself up (rising from the ashes) to “carry on”. I also love the color scheme of the Phoenix IV collection the most. 

I’m already making plans to coordinate a bonfire 🔥 experience at the beach and am contemplating sitting by the fire and wrapping myself up in my Phoenix IV blanket. I currently have it waiting folded and tucked away in my truck. 

My other favorites so far for their messaging is the “Perfectly Imperfect”, “Hating Me”, “Butterfly”, “Timeless”, “Wolf”, “Snake” and “Dreamcatcher” collections. Of course I like the others as well. But, Phoenix IV and these others are my favorites out of what I’ve collected so far. 

After that first purchase, I started to look more closely at the brand and started to understand more of what it was about. That became a moment of “oh, wow” this is something I’m genuinely finding deeper inspiration with and really feeling that sense of it being a tribe well beyond just beautifully branded high quality gear/swag.    

Now, I just naturally feel compelled to want to share and promote it. 

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March 24, 2022