I remember the first time I walked into Beautiful Disaster Clothing. I loved the edgy designs and vibe of the boutique. I bought a BD tank for my best friend and a Handsome Devil t-shirt for my son. As much as I loved what I saw, I didn’t buy anything for myself. I’ve been in and out of the store at least a dozen times since then, still haven’t purchased anything for me. Perhaps my aversion had been subconscious. I felt like I related personally to the branding but I never viewed myself as more than an ordinary disaster of sorts, much less a beautiful one.

I grew up hearing things like, “Pretty girls wear dresses.” or, “Your long hair would be pretty with ribbons in it.” oh and, “Let me put some make up on you. You’d look so pretty with a little eyeliner.” Make up, ribbons and dresses just weren’t my thing. I was that little tomboy who loved the holes in my jeans, my hair tucked under baseball caps, and tennis shoes that made me feel like I could outrun any boy on the block. But none of those things were “pretty” and the word ‘beautiful’, well, that was reserved for sunsets and poetry, not for someone like me.

With time it all made sense. You see, I am as gay as a summer day is long. I didn’t know I was different until the people around me said things which caused me to look at myself as different. I never understood why other kids would ask me, “Are you a boy or a girl?” I mean, I’m a female and had no qualms about my anatomy. Well, until it started to hurt when I caught those Hail Mary football passes, but that’s a story for another time. It seemed when I was at my highest level of comfort, people around me would stare or do double takes with a look of discomfort. This didn’t feel beautiful. I didn’t feel beautiful.

The need to feel accepted soon overpowered the need to feel comfortable. I hid myself, even from me. My lack of self acceptance led me down a path of abusive relationships, denial, suppressed anger, guilt and self loathing. I was love starved but incapable of accepting love because I never learned to love myself. I hated the way I looked, I hated the way I walked and I despised that every effort I made to be what society deemed beautiful, made me feel like a fraud. I was ashamed of the person that I’d become. I wasn’t beautiful. I was a single mother; quick to encourage my children to do and be what made them happy and remind my daughters that they were flawless, no matter what anyone said. I loved my friends and my kids without limits. I believed they deserved nothing less than the love and acceptance that they desired and I was going to do my part to make sure they had some of that. Why couldn’t I do that for myself though? How had I become such a hypocrite? The horrible things I did and said to myself for so long took their toll. That anger and hatred was poison and it seeped into the most significant relationship of my current existence. When it ended, I cradled the shattered pieces of it and me in a dark place for a long time and then I sought help.

I still don’t do dresses, make up, or wear ribbons in my hair. It’s a lot shorter now, so the ribbons wouldn’t be as flattering as they might’ve been back in the day but I love myself for freeing this person with something as simple as a haircut! The veil has been lifted and I recognize the beautiful qualities and talents that I posses. And when I look in the mirror and love what I see looking back at me, before I can pick it apart, I fucking gift wrap that, hand it to myself and say, “Thank you!”

While love and acceptance is a basic human need that we all seek, I have learned how to love this Beautiful Disaster. I have designed, much like you, my own version of beautiful.

Note from the owner:  Rebecca you are powerful, thank you for sharing your words and your story. Welcome to our tribe.

Original Submission: 7/7/15

Would you like to share your story and be featured on the Beautiful Disaster Blog? Please email christie@bdrocks.com

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July 07, 2015