Phoenix Warrior

I wear my scars proudly. They are my battle wounds.

So I finally received my ten-year plaque a couple of days ago from Starbucks which I should have gotten in January but I will get to that later. I brought it home and temporarily placed it on my coffee table and it keeps staring at me and making me think about my journey with the company and as a person over this past decade. Wow it’s so weird thinking of it in that time frame. So much has changed around me and within me during this time and Starbucks is a big part of that!

So let start from the beginning of this journey… I was living in San Francisco and a store manager for a Subway overworked and so underpaid. I realized how unhappy I was when the owners made such a big deal about me going home to Sacramento for a few days due to my grandma being in the hospital. I couldn’t believe how heartless they were being! All the hours and love I put into that store and they couldn’t allow me a few days for my most important mother figure at the time. So after discussing things with my roommate and good friend at the time I gave my resignation letter and told them why I was leaving and that I would find a company with heart and that knew my worth.

I left that job on faith in myself knowing I would not just find a job but I would find a home with Starbucks. I found an open house event they were having and was one of the last to be interviewed and I clicked so well with that manager that we talked till everyone was gone. It was my most memorable interview still. She knew the perfect store for me and yes it was. My first store will always have a huge piece of my heart. I was trained by an amazing person who I am friends with to this day and I still keep in touch with some of my coworkers I first met at that store. Now I am 6 stores, many states away and ten years and a few months down my amazing journey.

Life before this time was really difficult. I would let my depression and anxiety rule my life to the point it would affect my jobs. I would call in sick or even quit because of just letting the sickness take over me. It wasn’t until I took this job that I finally realized I just needed the right kind of place to be. Starbucks became my family, my home and a reason to get out of bed everyday. I finally felt like I belonged which is rare for me. When I put my apron on I am able to come out of my socially awkward shell that I’m living in and talk to people and connect with the world through something I am passionate about. It’s so freeing to just be me at work. I stopped dreading getting out of bed and my depression became so much easier to manage. I have grown in so many ways this past decade that I can’t even remember completely how I started out.

I have come out of my shell in so many ways. I became a coffee master and had to have a whole coffee seminar in front of my peers which is terrifying! I have met so many higher-ups in the company and led so many sampling events. I am now a shift supervisor at my current store which is so many more new challenges in many ways. Especially learning stress management and trying to not feel bad for needing lots of me time to recover for all the chaos! I would never change any of my journey though.

The most beautiful part about working there has been the friendships I have made over the years. I have met so many amazing people from customers to coworkers that I truly cherish. It’s funny just how many of my friends of my Facebook are Starbucks related one way or another. I have been through good times and bad times and my Sbux family has seen me through it in so many ways that I am so grateful to have so many awesome people in my life that I know will have my back and I would do anything for them! You know who you are!

The last few months have been rough due to a transitional period at my store which is why I got my award late and I started to question everything. Even though the year looked like it was starting good, I had a week off from work, I was nominated Partner of the Quarter and I made it 10 years! Then two days into my week off I got horribly sick and everything went downhill from there. While I was on vacation I found out my manager wasn’t coming back from their leave and resigned and so until just two weeks ago we were without a manager. I was tested in so many ways these past two months and really wondering if my journey should come to and end or if I’m just at the halfway point.

It wasn’t until that plaque kept staring at me and I started remembering the start of it all and the memories that I found my joy and love for this career once again. So for now I’m thinking maybe I’m just really beginning my coffee and life journey.


I’m sorry everyone that I haven’t been writing! At first I was having a tough time with things in my life then I dove deep into one of my passions in life. My business. I have been starting my own natural skin care line and it brings me so much joy and sense of accomplishment​! There are a few inspirations and drives behind how it all started.  Let’s rewind back to my life in San Francisco to start. That’s where I became friends with my amazing best friend​ Mel. I was struggling physically due to my physical issues and the high volume stores I was working at back then so taking baths became my saving grace if only for momentary relief. Then the awesome Mel introduced me to a whole new bath world! She showed me how to make ordinary bath salts into a healing retreat. She showed me how to take dried herbs that help according to what you need and grind them with a mortar and pestal to create a magical bath experience. Then to really ruin me for life she took me to the most amazing store ever that you can buy bulk salts and herbs. Oh how I miss that store.

So now I live in Nashville and shortly after moving here I meet my Nashville bestie Christopher. We both liked natural products as well and he introduced me to diffusers​ and what goes into them? Essential oils! That’s when my obsession really began to take off. I started reading a lot about what oils do what and wanted to know more. Started incorporating them into my bath soak mixture and then next thing you know I am where I am now. Still learning all I can, trying new recipes and everything in between. I have really been enjoying making different body oils, trying to perfect body lotion and body wash as well as anything natural I can make instead of buying from the store full of chemicals.

So thanks to my dear friends and family as well as my past I have been given inspiration and drive to find my niche in life aside from helping others. It also helps me so much with my emotional issues when I’m working on my products I feel so happy and creative. Feel free to pop over to my Instagram or Facebook and see what I’m up to in my apothecary adventures! Also if your interested in any of my products feel free to message me in any format I am also willing to ship.

People who don’t know me well think I’m the type to make a big deal out of my birthday for superficial reasons but there is a whole meaning behind my celebration every year. I never got my sweet sixteen birthday like most teenagers my birth mom at this point was really changed. She came to me and said on my birthday that she would be gone all day taking my little sister and this child she helped take care of to the park for the day. She was taking them to Funderland which was this tiny amusement park within the big beautiful park William Land this place is a staple of my childhood and I have many fond memories there. She said that she was taking them out on my birthday because they deserve it more than I do and that she would not be celebrating my sixteen birthday at all. Then to make sure I really have a terrible birthday she locked me outside I only had access to the sunroom and back yard. She wanted to make sure I didn’t to try leave so she made me get undressed and give her all my clothes that I was wearing. I just sat there all day crying not believe my own mother would do this to me and treat me so horribly.

Time went on and things got worst especially after we had to move due to losing the house which was my fault of course. She blamed her marriage ending on me and everything else she could think of and acted as if I was just a burden she had to deal with. This other memory is the big one she knew what she was doing wrong so most of the time she would keep me locked up unless she needed her Cinderella to clean or help with my awesome little sister or whatever she demanded and at this time she sometimes would lock me up in the back of the house which was the laundry room area. So she comes home from running errands and comes to the laundry room and says you see this and she is holding a box of black trash bags. I bought these for when I hit you or push you down the stairs or whatever the punishment and if I happen to hit you the wrong way or you lose too much blood and you die these are for you. I will not bury you I will dispose of you like the trash you are, I will chop you up and throw you out. So let these bags be a reminder to you that you better be on your best behavior or I just might hit you with the bat in the wrong place.

After that day she would always tell me that I would never leave that she would make sure I wouldn’t get out of her house alive. She swore all the time that I would not live past my eighteen birthday and if anyone came looking for me she would tell them that I got knocked up and ran away from home. She said of course people would believe that because you’re a whore and a horrible daughter.

I always thought the miracle was me finally leaving that day in December but I later found out from all the doctors that saw me during the police investigation that a lot of the physical trauma I went through I should not have survived as well as being malnourished. So everyday and especially every birthday is a miracle and a celebration to me that I beat her by living!

I was watching the newest episode of Jane the Virgin and tonight and it brought up so many issues for me. One thing was Jane’s’ mom is so fierce so amazing and in so many ways reminded me of my birth mother. It made me sad, it made me not angry for once in my life! I was mourning the loss of such an amazing mother. It showed so many things that reminded me of my childhood before she lost her mind and how she did so many things to make my childhood magical.

Then her mother in this episode got breast cancer just like mine did. I may not have the same ongoing relationship like that character but, A mom is a mom. My mother has breast cancer and I wonder everyday if i will get that call that she is gone forever.  The love truly never goes away even when they try to kill you.

Her breast cancer haunts me to this day to the point that I had my own scare this past year. I found a lump and went to the doctors and they were very concerned due to the shape of it. I got referred to a specialist and went through lots of tests and luckily it was benign! Through that time I became so horribly depressed. I really thought I was going to leave everyone I hold so dear to my heart. I became so angry with my birth mother blaming it on her. So on and so forth. I didn’t want to hurt anyone. I didn’t want to leave anyone. I also felt my legacy wasn’t truly spoken yet.

It still lingers. I have to go now every year to get a mammogram and opposite that I have to get a breast MRI every year as well. So every six months I go to the breast specialist seeing if I am ok. I am also supposed to go to the genetics specialist to get a test to see if I have the gene markers for breast cancer from my birth mother but I have been so afraid to do it.  If I test positive then it would mean for me that I would need a double mastectomy. I wouldn’t even second guess that decision! I have seen too many people with cancer in my life and so many suffering and leaving this life. I would rather cut them off then put my loved ones through that horrificness.

Watching this episode brought me back to so much feelings I forgot I experienced during that time I was was waiting for the the appointments and results. I felt so lost, uninsured and so scared. If it wasn’t for my Dad, bonus mom and all my good friends I don’t know how I would have made it through this time! Especially Christopher! It was a trying time and still is not knowing if I will get what she has. In so many ways…… Let us hope not!!!


People always say the past is the past but when what happened in the past affects your daily present life it makes it difficult to keep it in the past. I haven’t had a pain-free day in over 20 years though the actual abuse slowly started when I was twelve but the true horror started when I was fifteen. Most people have great memories of their high school years mine were about survival and getting through another day. My birth mother didn’t just do the so-called typical abuse that you would normally hear about it was more like something from a crazy horror novel. I spent a lot of time during last two years I had lived with her with many injuries most people couldn’t have handled without any pain meds and I can still smell the dried blood that seemed to become apart of my life.

Some memories are a distant blur but the violent injuries she inflicted on me are crystal clear to this day. She was right-handed now this is important because I am left-handed and she did all the major damage to my dominant side which has made things a challenge. I had no idea just how bad I had been damaged until the State of California had me completely checked over. I had bones that were broken and healed back deformed due to not being treated, multiple head injuries and many others but since i was in survivor mode i had no idea just how intense these injuries were that I was enduring on a daily basis.

I am now thirty-seven years old but my body feels more like a 60-year-old. I have joint issues in my hands, knees and hips and it has gradually gotten more painful over the years. It seems as though everyday I wake up in more pain than the day before no matter how much rest or soaking I have done. I used to be able to tough through it but now that I am older life is really catching up with me. I get angry lately thinking that her letting me live is more torture as the days go on because all the damage she did to me hasn’t gone away and will not. The past twenty years it just seems to slowly eat away at my body. Sometimes I still wonder why I actually survived when medically I shouldn’t have, if only to feel like an old lady before I even hit my 40s.

I’m not asking for any sympathy. I am just sorting through the emotions and trying to figure out how I can go another twenty years like this. I am mentally strong and have come a very long way but people can only handle so much in one lifetime! I would enjoy being able to wake up tomorrow feeling nothing and have a good productive day, possibly create a new body oil scent or clean my apartment. I just want to feel like a normal person for once! Is that too much to ask for?

I am like a Phoenix nothing can keep me down I will just keep rising from the ashes!



The more I stay here the more I keep being rebroken. There are only so many times I can find all the pieces of me to put back together. I am afraid of missing what could become if I leave but afraid of what I may wilt away to if I stay. You warned me that you could never love me and I should have listened but I was a fool I believed in love and hoped my love would be enough but instead it’s tearing my soul away. I wish it didn’t have to be like this but like you said nothing last forever. I love you my friend.

You can do it get up, get ready, conquer another day. For most people their daily stresses are simple. Hoping to make it to work on time, have an easy day at work, etc. Then there are people with daily mental battles that makes it a huge feat just to have a reason to leave your safe place, your bed.

So many people deal with mental illness and you would have no idea with most of them unless they shared it with you. I personally struggle with anxiety, depression and PTSD. I have come a very long way with my mental health the past 20 years but there are somethings that are still a challenge. Lately just trying to stay happy and positive has been a real struggle. Don’t get me wrong I am very grateful for all I have, amazing friends and family, a nice apartment, food, a job and I’m still alive. It’s not that I want to feel sad it just happens. One minute I’m truly enjoying my life and feel “normal” then bam! a dark cloud of gloom shows up, sometimes for just a little bit or sometimes for days. No matter how much I try to fight it the gloom just surrounds me and swallows me whole.

Then there is the awesome PTSD. Now let me stress the fact that anyone can suffer from this after being through or witnessing a traumatic event. Most people think it’s just an issue that veterans deal with but it can even be someone just suffering from a sudden loss of someone close. Everyday can be a challenge in many ways for people dealing with PTSD, even if they are actively seeking treatment for it. They deal with many things that we refer to as triggers.  It came be anything from smells, to objects or places. It also depends on what their traumatic experience was. One thing to always remember if you know someone who suffers from this is they deal with many things but to be more aware of what the call arousal and reactivity symptoms they are ongoing and can make the person stressed. Having difficulty sleeping, being easily startled, feeling tense or on edge and having angry outburst. This may make it hard for them to do daily task like sleeping, eating or concentrating.

For me my personal struggles with PTSD are complicated. I’m definitely on edge and easily startled, kinda like a jumpy cat. So many things happened in those few years that she went truly crazy so unfortunately I have so many triggers. Lots of household objects have or had bothered me. I have this past year been working on overcoming my triggers as they show up though that is not that easy. Smells can definitely bring me back or tastes. The worst by far though is putting a writing pen to close to my face, it literally triggers physical pain flashbacks. I hate that feeling. Then their is when I watch a gory horror movies and for example beat someone with a hammer especially if it’s a head shot I will relive my previous injuries and my scars will start doing this weird crawling thing. So I try to avoid allowing myself in these situations when I can. There is also having someone raise there voice at me or verbal abuse. I will shut down and unlike the other PTSD suffers I don’t have violent burst instead I have emotional breakdowns and will just cry uncontrollably. I have this problem with holding too much it due to her making me not show emotions because I would be punished so my dam gate now is broken now so to speak. I hold everything in so much that it finally bursts from being flooded from holding too much in then all heck breaks loose. I’m hoping now that I’m writing actively it will help prevent me from doing that now that I can express myself openly.

Stress…Shae why do you worry so much? I have anxiety I worry about worrying lol. My mind never stops, ever. The running joke is when people say they need to talk to me my response always is what did I do? It’s never bad though. You name it I probably stress about it. I also have to terrible habit of over thinking on everything no matter what it is. My favorite is anxiety attacks! Especially at work. Oh boy. Not a fun experience what so ever or having one when you trying to go to sleep from stressing about getting enough sleep because you have to get up at 330am and your brain just won’t shut off and you just want to scream! Yes I’m sure there are many out there that can relate to that.

So now to past year I have been doing a lot to work on all of these daily battles. Number one is just getting out of bed somehow I manage that. I have two diffusers in my apartment that I use for aromatherapy depending on what I’m needing. Sleeping, stress, inspiration, energy, detoxing, uplifting and etc. It really helps me plus I use those oils to make my own bath salts for my physical pain. I also started making my own body oil line with uplifting scents which keeps me busy and gives me my creative passion I need in my life. I try to meditate but I’m really most relaxed when I’m working on my herbs. Between the smells and the healing energy it’s just peaceful. I hope you have or can find your healing passion.
Thank you all for taking the time to stop by have a beautiful day!

This week has been a struggle in many ways but the biggest of them all is dealing with the one injury I still can’t seem to be okay with. I have a prosthetic eye and I woke up with it swollen  so I had to do what I haven’t had to do in over 19 years, take it out for a few days and wear a patch. I thought I had emotional issues about the whole thing due to the bullying I suffered in highschool due to it but it isn’t. I was having a hard time and my friend said to me that I was making to much of a deal about it and I need to get over it and at that very moment I realized it wasn’t the patch, it was the root of the whole thing. How I got here.

It’s the fact that I will never understand why I had to lose my eye in the first place. I realized I still haven’t completely processed the fact that the first person I trusted with my whole soul and loved unconditionally completely blinded my left eye. It just doesn’t make sense to my brain and my heart. This was my mother. My protector. My world. My best friend. My everything. I just would like to know what could go through someone’s head that would do such harm on their own child. As well as the ultimate question. Why? I know what she said to me when she did it but I want to know the true reason. It wasn’t her first attempt. So there has to be more to it.

The other thing is I wish people would not tell me how to handle things or process things that may come up that trigger me from my past. Unless you have experienced anything remotely close to what I have gone through or are a therapist you have no idea how to deal with my daily demons.

Some days I just sit here wondering if it was all just a truly bad nightmare and never really happened. Then I look in the mirror and realize it is a reality. I still will never forget how I lost my vision that night. I was in the kitchen exhausted from days of no real sleep and I tried to sneak a nap while she was sleeping. I was sitting on the floor with my knees to my chest and resting my head on my knees. She comes in yelling about me sleeping and not cleaning and says I’m sinning with my eyes by resting them so she is going to gauge them out like the Bible says. Then takes a ball point pen and stabs my eye, blood starts coming down my face and she gets mad and says I better not get blood everywhere and has me go to the bathroom and get I the tub. She tells me to just stay in there and tells me it’s my fault I made her do that and that I need to be a better child.

It’s still so real but at the same time it’s like a distance bad dream or another lifetime. I really don’t know how I got through hours or days with that woman. People say it’s because I’m strong but I just don’t know. I feel like there is something else to it. I always said I would share my story with the world though it took 20 years since I left that house better late than never as they say.

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