I never thought I would be here, at this moment, speaking up and out about launching a business that was created out of the most devastating times of my life, needless to say, this business venture is INCREDIBLY personal on many levels, and is still difficult to talk about its background origin.
I was encouraged to begin this blog by a wonderful and intelligent woman who met with me just recently. She is only the 3rd person to hear the motives (story) behind my business. The motivations for my company come from a very dark and almost deadly place.
When I was a little over 3 years old, I had experienced the suicide death of my father. My memories of him are far and few but I did remember that he was a respected Sergeant for the police department. He was what I would call a “community cop”. He went around to the residents to check up on the elderly, always making sure everyone was taken care of. He had a huge heart and a passion for his work, as well as, many talents for law enforcement, (expert shooter and a gifted memory) he even persuaded my mother to go to the police academy; to become an officer (which she did), and I was just a big daddy’s girl right from the beginning.
My father was diagnosed manic bipolar in the early-mid 80’s, not really sure when, and he ended up having to retire early due to his medical condition. This ended his career and his dream. Shortly after, his condition got worse. His behavior became very extreme. Extreme from both sides, good and bad.
My mom would tell me stories on how he was just the most amazing and kind-hearted person at times, and at others, he would become very violent for no reason at all. He began to have incidents that would put me and my siblings in life or death situations not realizing or being able to control his behavior.
That day……….my mother said she had a ‘gut feeling’ something was wrong. She had been working at the police department the night before, and ended up napping on the living room couch. when she woke, she glanced over into the dining room, and saw my father laying in the doorway, and she said she just knew that he had done it. She grabbed me and my siblings, frantically pushing all of us outside with a neighbor, and of course I had no idea what was going on. I couldn’t comprehend at that time what suicide was, or understand, why I would never see my father again.
My mother tried to recover, but it was never the same. She was on her own, with very little money, and eventually, we ended up moving. She had decided to send my sister to my grandmother’s because it was to overwhelming for her. My sister wouldn’t move back in with us until almost 6 years later.
My mother did what she could to help with what I had seen of my father’s suicide. She placed me in therapeutic sessions through the early elementary years. Counselors asked a lot of questions about that day, but all I could do was focus on my Dad being in a good place, and that he was finally safe. I tried to hang on to the few positive memories I did have verses reliving a memory I didn’t even want to acknowledge; let alone talk about.
The magnitude of my father’s death didn’t hit me full-force until around age 10-11 years old, when I finally understood what suicide was, and then the questions of “Why did he do it? “Didn’t he love me?”, ruled my life. I looked for answers everywhere, even my church when the priest proceeded to tell me to accept the “fact” that my father was burning in hell for all eternity for committing a cardinal sin. This instantly pissed me off and ended my relationship with the church. Quick to follow was a massive depression, guilt, hopelessness…his suicide devoured my spirit completely. When he died, he killed a small piece of me as well.
In the following years, I would become sleep deprived due to graphic nightmares that kept me up every night. I knew it was my mind trying to relive that day, but I refused to allow the memories to surface. I pushed them down, and began covering them up with things I found beautiful. I was able to find relief in an unexpected place that opened the door for me to begin consuming knowledge about the fashion industry, and at that point, I fell in love with it. Not realizing that my new found love would be exceptionally bittersweet.