Well, what makes me a Beautiful Disaster? Let's start with having to learn lessons at the age of 10 years old. I was always dad's little girl and my mother always was with my older sister and my baby sister most of the time. My life changed when my father died in a motorcycle accident.

The day of his funeral, my mother told me I could survive on my own and she had to take care of my sisters. That day, if I wanted anything I had to earn it on my own. We didn't have a lot of money and my mother was living paycheck to paycheck.

I started odd jobs (babysitting at first). My mother always had me doing different jobs for people she worked with and most of the time it was babysitting, cleaning their houses, making meals for people, etc. When I was a teenager I started to work other jobs around town and donated my days off working with kids at the home of the blind and at the orphanage near my house. I felt if I couldn't get love from my family, maybe I can give love to others. By this time, I had several close friends and some boyfriends. On my 17th birthday, my world changed again. One of my dearest friends since childhood was now dead.

We were out in his car going to celebrate and were hit by a drunk driver. I still remember the accident like it was yesterday. My friend John had saved me from getting injured by throwing himself on top me in the car. He still has the scars on his back. My friend who was driving died instantly (glass had cut his main artery in his neck). When this accident happened, my mother was on a trip with my older sister. I was told they couldn't come home, and to take care of myself. Thank god, I had my best friend's family to help me and my one Aunt Betty who was my rock. This was the second death that hurt so bad, that the pain was unbearable. After this my aunt knew I was at that breaking point. She helped me get through it and helped me become the person I wanted to be. I took charge of my life, I got good grades in high school, started to get more friends and got into the college I wanted.

I went to my mother for my college fund that was suppose to help me with expenses and was crushed when she told me that she had used my college money for house expenses and that the money was gone. I couldn't afford it even with my savings, so I ending up going to community college. I started at college right after graduation. I was on my own working three jobs to make enough to cover all my expenses. I was eighteen years old, had a wonderful boyfriend who cared for me. We were both catholic and decided to wait (yes I was a virgin). My world came crashing down again. When I was so happy with my life - it happened. I was at a meet and greet party for all new college students at the local bar/restaurant. My closest friends were meeting me at the location. They had to leave me for a little bit for a class and would be back right after. We got drinks and I was meeting people from my classes.

Trigger Warning: A guy came over and tried to pick me up and I declined his offer. I told him I had a boyfriend and wasn't interested. He sat next to me for a few minutes, when I started feeling very weird. The room was spinning and I felt like I was sick to my stomach. This couldn't be because I didn't have alcohol yet. I tried to get up and go to the bathroom but couldn't stand. He helped me up and then started to take me towards the bathroom. Before I could do anything I couldn't move my body. He then took me into a storage room and raped me. I was drugged with the date rape drug.

I felt like it was a nightmare and I would wake up soon. I could see everything happening and couldn't do a damn thing about. When he left I thought it was over, but he came back with another girl and put her next me on the cold floor. I had to watch her get raped just like me. He then left the room again. We both looked at each other and we tried to move but the drug was still in our system. My two friends had come back and couldn't find me. Buddy and John went to look for me near the bathrooms. They heard a noise coming from the storage room and found us. This crushed me seeing my friends faces and the pure horror when they found me. I was taken to the hospital and found out that there were four of us girls that were raped by the same guy. He was a chemistry student. My whole world was gone.

My friends told me I had to put this guy away and not let him win. His father was wealthy and tried to pay us off. My high school boyfriend couldn't handle it and we ended our relationship. I had no self esteem anymore. My friends helped me and I pressed charges with the other girls against our rapist. He had physically and mentally abused us during the rape. When I contacted my mother to tell her what happened, she was away again with my older sister. They couldn't help because they were away on vacation and I could handle it. I was abandoned by my family and had to rely on my friends. After the rape, I had to put a restraining order against the rapist. He started to stalk me and show up at my classes. He kept telling me that no one would want me (leave me notes on the car, would follow me).

By the time of the trial, I was broken. If my friends weren't in the courtroom with me, I probably wouldn't have made it through court. He was put away for 5 years, but got out after 2 years for good behavior. Our attorney made sure the records were sealed and that our addresses would not be revealed. He haunted all of us, he would send cards on the anniversary date of the rape. The rape took everything away from me. I thought I was not worth love and I felt so abandoned from my family too. I tried to date again but I just dated broken people. I then decide not date. My friends were there for me and took me out to have fun. That is when I met the man who would change my life again. I wasn't looking for love at the time, it found me. We started to date and he learned about the rape. He just wanted me, he didn't want the past to break me. He was kind and he would wait for me to be ready in our relationship.

We dated for 4 years and finally got married. I thought my life would be smooth sailing. Then life hit me again. We lost our first child (stillborn), we were devastated. I couldn't function, I was numb and my faith was gone now. We told my mother that I lost my child. I wasn't with her for 5 minutes, when she told me that my husband will leave me since I couldn't give him a child. I would like to say my husband didn't leave me. This made us stronger in our relationship. I have had other demons that keep coming to the surface (mostly due to abandonment issues).

I've realized even though these painful things happened to me, they were not my fault.

I have learned to let go of what my family thinks of me. I choose to be around  friends that have become my family (not by blood). I did have other children too. My husband has been my rock and has kept me grounded. I am very happy for my strength and who I am now.

My favorite Beautiful Disaster items are Phoenix and You Don't Know My Story. I feel I can do anything and be true to myself. I would like to thank everyone for sharing their stories. You are warriors that have survived a lot. Everyone of you will be remembered by those who know your stories. Always be true to yourself and love yourself too.

Maggie D.

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May 07, 2021