Kimberly's Story: Beautiful Disaster Is Acceptance
I have known about Beautiful Disaster for a few years but have only been a Tribe member for two. And what makes me a Beautiful Disaster? My answer is complexly simple; I am paradoxical. I learned early on there is no such thing as perfect and there is irony in everything we do. Throughout my life I have chosen to embrace my oddities in my thoughts and understanding because these things made me unique. My motto: There is a flaw in the design. Which means, we are all a design woven into fabric that is infinitely flawed and through those imperfections we are in fact perfect. This is why I identify with Beautiful Disaster, because this brand – this identity - captures that human design so well. BD is acceptance without judgment coupled with support and unconditional love.
Growing up for me came with many challenges. After secretly witnessing many arguments and fights, my parents split up when I was very young. I moved out of the suburbs to the city with my mom and two brothers where life became more about every man for himself. I wasn’t allowed to see my dad because the people in our lives at the time were violent and threatened him to stay away. My mom started a new relationship with a man who would eventually become my tormenter for the next seven years. The first time he touched me inappropriately I couldn’t do anything. I was literally frozen. I couldn’t speak, move a muscle, or wrap my mind around what was happening. I felt ashamed and as time went on, I thought it was my fault. I felt more and more ashamed and disgusted with myself, which ultimately kept me from telling anyone. Throughout this hell, we moved around constantly. I was always changing schools and having to start over again. We went through serious financial issues where we often didn’t have groceries or couldn’t pay the rent. We relied on handouts from charitable organizations, and I recall living out of a run down, roach infested motel at one point. I tried to spend more time at friends' houses just to have somewhere nice to stay, if only for one night a week. And it got me away from the evil that shamed me.
After seven years, my parents decided to get back together. This led to a whole new set of challenges. While I was elated to have my dad back in my life and be away from that evil man, things just weren’t the same. Tensions ran high in the household, and I was already severely emotionally damaged from the trauma I had endured for many years, so I found ways to distance myself from them. At 15, I started drinking, doing drugs and engaging in promiscuity. I was on a downward spiral and couldn’t care less because I had zero respect for myself. Within a year, I had turned to self-mutilation as a means to control my pain and anger. This all led to me getting into a relationship where I was emotionally abused and controlled for six years. I allowed someone else to dictate who I was, what I did and was forced to accept that I wasn’t the only woman in his life.
By the time I was 21, something in me changed. I was no longer willing to endure and was ready to stand up for myself. I had witnessed other women go through similar trials and tribulations and it infuriated me. But I couldn’t stand up for them if I couldn’t stand for myself. I spent the next several years trying to rebuild my life. This meant having to reteach myself about self-respect, love, and acceptance. The road was a hard one traveled, with many more bumps along the way. I had finally spoke out about my trauma, which went a long way in healing. Then, I lost my father three days before Christmas in 2017, which absolutely devastated me. I ended up pregnant three months later with my son who was due to arrive on my dad’s birthday. It was simultaneously the happiest and saddest moment of my life. My son has helped me during the struggle of grief and self-love. It was because of him that my now husband and I first engaged in conversation. Now I am beginning a new life without fear and self-hate. I am happily married, I have my son and stepson, and am starting a career in Engine Assembly.