Patty's Story: The Beautiful Disaster Tribe Is Where I Belong
Beautiful Disaster is so much more than a clothing line. It is a Tribe and somewhere I feel I belong. It has brought me back from the darkest places in my life and made me realize that I am not alone! I AM a Beautiful Disaster and proud of it!
I grew up with a pretty normal life and had a fairy tale wedding, met my son's father at 18, and got a divorce in 2008, at 28, and quickly spiraled out of control. I was later diagnosed in 2010 with Bipolar Disorder due to the trauma and PTSD from the emotionally abusive and deceitful relationship and marriage I was in with my sons father for 10 years.
After seeing the Shed your Skin Collection, it inspired me so much so that I was led to share my story. On March 30 of this year it was World Bipolar Day. I came out about my diagnoses to all of FB and the world, and it was incredible to see the support I received. I, for once in my life, wasn’t ashamed of my diagnosis because I didn’t choose it, it chose me. All I can do is continue treatment, take my medicine and be 💯 with my doctor!
I felt like this was a big stepping stone in my life. I already have 12 tattoos, each one a different chapter since my divorce. But one I’ve always wanted to get covered up, but knew it would hit me when it was time. This was it!
This tattoo would be a dagger with a snake wrapped around it going down my spine.
First, I’ll tell you what the dagger represents. It represents all the suicide attempts, hospital stays, the manic episodes, the clubbing, the partying when I had a 2 year old, whom I had full custody of. Since my behavior got out of control and before I was diagnosed, my son was temporarily put into emergency custody of my mom. Since my divorce, I have had a lot physically abusive relationships that have ended up with me having to get protection orders and police involved. I’ve been engaged twice throughout the almost 14 years since I’ve been divorced, but both relapsed on drugs and I broke off the engagements.
The state gave me full custody of my son back after two years of my mom having him, and I was properly diagnosed and started my treatment. I began to hold down jobs and currently work in healthcare which is my third degree. I started out as a high school Art Teacher, but I had to move and go to another city and go into a type of witness protection, due to one of my abusive relationships. Because I wanted the best for my son and didn’t want him to change schools, I gave joint custody to my mom for school purposes until I could move back to the same town I was living in where he goes to school and my mom lives.
I am 42 years old and I have lived on my own since college. I pride myself in my successes. I have 2 degrees in Education and have written grants for my students. Started AP programs at high schools where I taught and helped students build a portfolio to get into Art Schools.
I decided after teaching that wasn’t my niche, so I went back to school to become a Certified Medical Assistant over 18 months including an externship. But I still kept my townhouse, car, etc. I worked 3 part time jobs (one as a bartender late at night) and still got up to go to school from 8-4 M-TH. I knew I wasn’t only doing this for me, but my son as well. I knew I needed to better our lives! After I graduated and began my dream job at one of the largest hospitals in the United States, I moved back to my home town and my son chose to stay with my mom. This was a hard pillow to swallow. But, I am grateful for not only my successes but for my sons as well. He is almost 16 and grown up to be a fine young man.
I have dealt with a roller coaster of emotions, but I’ve kept my roller coaster on the rails.
Now, you ask what does the snake represent? All these men that have caused me harm in abusive relationships.
No matter how many times I have been beaten down whether it’s for my disorder or not, I WILL shed my skin (like that snake) and become a newer, better version of myself. Because no one can keep me down.
So, stab me in the back, I just hope that snake doesn’t bite you. Think twice before you tell me I’m not enough, physically or emotionally beat me down. It only makes me stronger and try harder to prove you wrong.
Sadly, on May 11th I found out I have Thyroid Cancer and am having my entire thyroid removed on May 20th, I would appreciate all the positive vibes from the Tribe!!
The past year I’ve been sick and just knew my thyroid was off. After wrecking my car and ending up in the ER several times they found Thyroid Cancer. I had a total thyroidectomy on May 20 and am Cancer Free. I am a warrior and here for a reason. I’ve been through hell and back but I’m definitely a beautiful disaster! You are such an inspiration!