PearlPerri Fashion & Visionary Art

I thought that telling my story would be easy, rehearsed like the millions of times I’ve shared before but then I sat here through each new line and it stared me in the face. I’ve been in and out of therapy for about 22 years, you get used to sharing the same thing over and over again. It’s almost like taking about college, “I studied this and then I decided to study this, my junior year was a rough one but I made it out okay.” 
I’ve been playing it off and making excuses for bad parenting for years. Psychologically I understand why things happened the way they did and that has been enough to help me move by and lead a semi-adjusted normal life. 
Well, if you’ve met me, my life is far from normal but it is mine and I am not held back from my past but I am empowered and driven by it! Yet, sometimes it hits me right in the gut…
I never know where to start since it’s a list of events so I guess I’ll start there. 
My twin brother and I were born July 4th, 1991 in Denver Colorado to Erika Bugge and Matthew Bratcher. My little brother was born August 4th, 1992 to Erika Bugge and David Earnest (that’s the Earnest part of my name). After my Step father, David, my mother was married two more times and then finally engaged before her motorcycle accident in August of 2003. Her accident left her incapacitated and unable to take care of herself, she was 32 years old. 
My childhood is segmented by my father, stepfathers, and my mothers learned habit of marrying her way up the military ranks for her personal gain. My mother was raised by her mother, Jeannette, who kidnapped her from my grandfather at a young age then at age 17 was dropped back on his doorstep. Jeannette raised her to believe, you marry your status, beauty is everything, God will provide all, and with God on your side you are always just in your actions….
Families will continue learned cycles of dysfunction until a generation realizes it and takes actions to break the cycle. 
My mother’s cycle was to Marry, sleep with a higher rank above her husband, sabotage the marriage, brainwash kids to sever ties with father, “burn” any and all trace of relationship, and disappear into the next project. The order of men in our lives, that I can recall, before my mother’s accident is
Guy or Event
Location of Home
Matthew B. Jason and my biological father) 
Denver, Colorado
David E. (Adopted father, Andrew’s biological father) 
Airforce Base, Colorado
David’s Commanding officer
Airforce Base, Colorado
Smedley or “Red” (Extremely Abusive father) 
Ft. Carson, Colorado 
Foster Care
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Raymond R.
Colorado Springs, Colorado 
Ray’s Coworker
Ft. Belvoir, Virginia
Ray’s Friend Jeff S. (Neighbor down the street) 
Ft. Belvoir, Virginia
Marine officer Unnamed 
Springfield, Virginia
 Navy Guy in Virginia Beach
Virginia Beach
Motorcycle Marine Veteran
Falls Church,  Virginia
Robert P. (Mom’s final fiancé) 
Springfield, Virginia
Mom’s Accident 
Springfield, Virginia
General and a couple of other men visited my mom
Falls Church, Virginia
As you can see, shit was bananas when I was a child and I don’t remember a lot of it. The brain tends to block out trauma as a defense mechanism. The worst time period was age 3-4, when Red was our father, I have only three memories from him. Those are; being suffocated by his hand (this is where I’m sure I was raped), my kitten mittens being crushed by a fallen bed, and the day he was arrested for severe child abuse. After that I think we were put into foster care for a little while after a babysitter molested my brother’s and I. This time period of sexual abuse coupled with my mother forcing me to go to therapy, after she caught me masturbating at 4, locked up my sexuality for about 20 years. 
My timelines are all segmented and torn so I really don’t like going into each year and each bit of abuse. I used to say that my mother tried hard to take care of us but in reality she spent her money on her vanity, instead of her children or home. Our childhood was filled with sexual, verbal and emotional abuse, hunger, lack of attachment, no stability, anger, no home, rare happiness, and very little parenting. Things looked up in a very small way from 5-8 when Raymond was our father; at least during his stay we were able to form a couple years of fatherly love, attachment, and stability. Another vivid memory I have is the day my mother manipulated me into hating Raymond so that she wouldn’t feel guilty forcing a divorce. I was absolutely devastated when she told me he had chosen another family by writing a fake letter with a photo of Ray with his Godchildren. I found out 12 years later that the letter was created by my mother. 
After my mother divorced Raymond, she never remarried but slept around, dated, and was engaged for a brief time. This time period sucked! For 4 years my mother uprooted us 3 times, 2 middle schools; always some guy fucking my mom on the couch in the living room, hiding in her room, or taking her to some fancy event for the military. To make matters worse in 2002 my schizophrenic, bipolar, evangelistic, biological grandmother moved in to my room. I would wake up in the middle of the night to her screaming bloody murder at a giant demon that was not there. Our days after she moved in consisted of her trying to exercise the demons from my little brother, brainwashing us with religion, and turning us against my grandfather and step-grandmother. 
 Finally, in 2003, the universe decided that my mother could no longer take care of herself or her three children, and was involved in a motorcycle accident. The time leading up to my mom’s accident Jeannette had brainwashed my brother’s and I into thinking that my step-grandmother and grandfather were dangerous people. Unfortunately, for her they ended up getting custody of my brothers and I shortly after the accident because the courts could not reach any of our fathers. My grandparents graciously took on three adolescent, abused, troubled, and broken teenagers. They gave us the life we almost never had
For 6 years, from age 12 to 18, we finally had love and stability but unfortunately because of the brainwashing my brothers and I were completely closed off to love and affection. My brother’s and I each experience adolescence into adulthood differently. My twin brother became a popular attractive jock, my little brother was in and out of psychological treatment centers, psych wards, and schools, and I was an overweight, pissed off, weird theatre kid. High school was very hard for me to get through because I was filled with so much anger and so much hurt. I spent my time at school drowning myself in singing, theatre, and working after school. In my free time I was cooking and doing minimal security at a rock night club (my grandparents had no clue). I drank a lot, smoked a pack a day, and was extremely codependent. So essentially I was a high functioning, depressed, workaholic, anxiety ridden, love addicted teenager. Theatre saved my life, it kept me out of real trouble and it gave me a way to fit in and express myself. All of the trauma I suffered as a child had control over my life really until after I went to college and dropped out in 2010. 
In 2009 I was cast in my first feature film and could not keep up with my college education while filming as well as being in an extremely emotionally abusive long distance relationship. By 2010 I had left college and my relationship to start my community college classes while auditioning/acting, face painting, and working full time. I did this until 2011 when I started to really dove into my acting, face painting, and working full-time. School was not working out for me at all, because of my childhood I never learned study skills, simple math, and cognitive reading. In 2011 I met a boy named Connor and we decided with his two high school friends that we would all move to Los Angeles to pursue our dreams of being in the film industry. 
In the summer of 2012 I moved to Los Angeles and spent my time working as much as I could to get by and auditioning and acting when I got cast. I realized that I spent most of my time in serious relationships, the occasional extra work/independent film, and practicing my singing. The only thing that I have had for me my entire life is my voice! It has been the one thing that kept me alive and going through all of the crazy shit. I look back on LA and realize that all of my acting classes where focused on musical theater. Most of the performing I did in La was with another Singer Songwriter as a backup singer. 
I started singing when I was 5 and I have never stopped. Unfortunately, I have never really pursued it because of the things I made up in my head and the things I let people tell me. I used to sing in competitive choirs, church, weddings, services, birthday parties, movies, Barnes and Nobles, and The Washington National Children’s Opera. 
In 2014 my grandfather’s cancer came back and my life is LA was falling to pieces month by month so I decided to move back to be with my Gpa and Gma. I spent my time doing a whole lot of nothing really from 2014 to mid 2015 I was in an extremely emotional abusive relationship with a childhood sweetheart. I worked full-time, went back to school part time, and spent what little free time I had smoking pot and partying. I didn’t really party much before this. In the spring of 2015 I finally ended my relationship and decided to get more focused with school, acting, and modeling. The summer of 2015 my gpa was given 6 months to a year to live and that is when my grandparents retired to Winchester, Virginia and I moved in with a new boyfriend. The end of 2015, I was working full time, and that was pretty much it. I saw my grandparents when I could and I started to lose myself in my relationship. In the winter of 2015 my gpa started to get worse and he could no longer sing anymore, that was the saddest part of that year is not hearing him sing. I started smoking pot all of the time and drinking a lot, on the plus side I was modeling a little bit here and there and managed to book a big gig as a body paint model in New York city in the March of 2016. Sadly, on my trip to New York my gpa Passed away.  This was the start of the worst year since my childhood.
2016 started out with my gpa’s death and my decline in to alcoholism. My relationship started out amazing, very happy, very fun, and full of life  (I thought so). For about 6 months, I was working at a job I loved, I was working out, I found yoga, I started making friends. By middle of the year I was drinking more, smoking more, modeling less, and my job became a hellish place. Fall of 2016, my boyfriend suffered a mental breakdown while we were on vacation. The week we returned was the most traumatizing week of my life! During this week my ex was going through mania, my gpas memorial was that weekend, my little brother’s court case was that week, and I was about to go to court to get custody of my 43 year old mother….
By the weekend; my Gpa was put to rest, I did not get custody of my mother, my little brother was sentenced to 24 years in prison, and my ex had finally come down from his bipolar mania. 
From August to November my relationship dive bombed into misery, every moment waiting for my ex to find something wrong with my life. I stopped singing, because I wasn’t enthusiastic enough about his music. I stopped modeling because he didn’t want me so close to other models. I stopped seeing girlfriend’s because I was bisexual. I stopped EVERYTHING. I found myself working, drinking, crying on repeat for three months on end. I found myself lost in this abyss where it was easier to stop doing everything I loved because it would mean a fight was avoided. 
Finally, by the middle of November I had it! I wrote my ex a letter and I came home and asked him to sit there and listen. I read him the letter and I told him that I was leaving and going to move out that Wednesday, and I left. 
Best and first choice I’ve made for me in my life!!!! 
It has not been that long out of that relationship but I have done more for myself and my soul in the past 3 months than I have done ever in the past lifetime. I vowed to NEVER stop myself from being me or doing what I love for another soul again. That is exactly what I have being doing. I have been working for myself doing all of the things that I love since that day I walked out. 
I am currently working on my personal training certificate, I will get certified in the fall for yoga, sing on a daily basis, model every week, fire spin when I want, body paint when I feel like it, get naked in the right moments, travel to see friends and get to know new ones, explore my sexuality when the moments present themselves, dance when opportunity strikes, draw when my heart inspires me, and am a vocalist for a punk rock back. 
I will live the rest of my life in my fullest and most authentic expression and discovery of me! I will share my gifts with the world and shout my story to each end of the earth in the hopes that someone will be inspired and moved enough to make a change. Your past should NEVER be an excuse for who you choose to be and what you want to do with your life. 
You have the power to make a change and create the you you want to be and the life you want to have!!!

Written by Moses Grossman — March 20, 2017

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