Sunday, July 27, 2014

I Really Hope I Don't Stand Mr. Attorney Man Up For My Court Hearing

I might have to go to court on Tuesday.

I'm a pretty confident person and have yet to meet a person that I won't talk to. I'll march right up to anyone and introduce myself, never getting embarrassed (even when I should be) by my socially graceless ways. I've been told that when I am up on a stage that I "command the audience's attention" and yet when I go to court....yea that never really works out for me very well. I've actually spent quite a bit of time in my town's ugly courthouse lately for cases involving the abuse victims that I work with, yet when I walk into court for a case of my own, I become trauma.

**OH MY GOSH YOU GUYS a spider just come down from the vent in the ceiling and was hanging like 1.5 inches from my face. I just lost about 5 years off of my life and learned that I can leap over the back of a chair directly from the sitting position.***

When I walk into court for a case of my own I become exactly the person that my ex beat me into being. I can barely get my eyes to look up from the floor and when they do, they are usually brimming with tears. Every cell in my body is screaming at me to run and my self esteem seems to vanish with the sunlight as I step inside.

I become nothing. I feel nothing but shame, terror, and devastation. The courthouse is the tangible monument that encompasses my pain. It's the place where my marriage ended and it's the place where my ex legally threw my children away. It's the place that I admitted the abuse and the place where I defied my ex husband and sealed my fate on the impending rape. It's the place that has torn down emotional walls that I worked so hard to build up and the place where I've been forced to face the demons that I kept locked behind those walls.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

It's A Miracle That I Have Any Friends

I often times look around at my group of friends and I start to wonder how I have any.

Seriously, how on earth do I have any friends? I'm all weird and poor and needy and crazy. I am crazy. I mean seriously, there is no beating around the bush on that one, there is definitely something a little off kilter about me and I'll be the first one to admit it.

Why yes, I did go shopping with my friend like this.

I mean really, I can't believe that anyone would willingly venture into public with me these days.

For example, I offered to do a little shopping for a local women's shelter. When I got the list of what they needed me to buy, I was a little...unprepared. Even as a woman, this was going to be a little embarrassing.

So, I figured, if I was going to be embarrassed, why be embarrassed alone? I invited one of my guy friends to go shopping with me. What I neglected to tell him was that we needed to purchase 200 rolls of toilet paper, 50 boxes of tampons, and 30 packages of pads. Lovely. This won't be uncomfortable at all. AT ALL.

Monday, July 21, 2014

I Just Don't Even Know Where To Start

“I mean she’s really pretty and all man, but divorced with two kids? You could totally do better than that. You don’t need all that baggage in your life.”

“You can do better than that” meaning that he, Piano Man, could do better than me, according to his best friend.

I wasn’t supposed to overhear him say that, but I did.

I wish I could say that it shocked me; that I had never felt so offended in my life, but I can’t because I’ve heard it all before. I’ve heard it to the point that the shock has worn off and to be honest, that saddens me more than the words that I overheard.

He knew that I overheard. I didn’t say anything, just told him that I hoped he had a great night and then I left.

He showed up the next day with flowers; roses. He felt awful. He told me that he and his friend ended up getting into it, him telling the friend that he liked me because of what I’ve gone through, because he is attracted to my strength. That if I hadn’t gone through what I had that I wouldn’t be “the amazing person” that I am today.

Just what I’ve always wanted; a guy that likes me not in spite of what I’ve been through, but because of what I’ve made it through.

My own real life prince charming.

Yet really, he has no idea what I’ve been through. No idea how deep the scars run, no idea what I struggle with on a daily basis. He knows that my husband left me and that I don’t have a family, but the details, he knows nothing of.

He wants to know, he tries. We were spooning on the couch the other day, my body fitting so nicely into the curve of his as we laid there, his arms wrapped around me from behind.

“Eden, tell me your story. I know there’s more to it than you let on. I gather from the work that you do that you have been through quite a bit, would you mind sharing some of it with me? I just want to understand you better.”

He couldn’t see my face as I laid there, snuggled into him and suddenly fighting the urge to let my body shake with sobs. I didn’t want him to know, I didn’t want him to see me like that.

I laid there for what felt like an eternity, trying to figure out what to say, trying to figure out anything to say at all.

“Eden, babe, you awake?” I heard him ask me.

I thought about it. I closed my eyes and wished I wasn’t awake; wished that I was a million miles away from this moment. I really hate this moment.

“Eden, whatever happened, you can tell me, I’m not going to judge you. I really do just want to understand you better. I want to know how you got to be the amazing person that you are.”

I tried. I tried to form some sort of logical thought, a sentence that could sum up 30 years of horrors. I tried to open my mouth but I just couldn’t. I felt like I was fighting to gain control over my own brain as my heart was screaming “don’t make me do this, please don’t make me do this.”

Long gone is the physical evidence of abuse, but the the emotional toll it has taken on me, I wonder if those wounds will truly ever heal.

I don’t know if he eventually accepted the thought that I was sleeping or what, but ever so gently he whispered into my ear “You are so beautiful and I’m not just talking about your appearance. You’re safe now and whatever happened doesn’t matter, I’ll never hurt you.”

He said the words that I so desperately wanted to hear and yet what overtook me was a feeling I am actually ashamed of.


I instantly felt incredibly angry as if some other being that was hiding deep inside of my soul where the ugly lives had just come roaring to the surface like a wild beast.

I didn’t say anything but I was positively seething.

I realized right then how utterly damaged I really am. How I wonder if any amount of healing will really ever mend the torn and tattered parts of me, the parts that my past have ripped my soul to shreds.

Here I am, lying with the guy that most girls in my situation pray for, and I’m angry with him because I am convinced that I am being held by the arms of a liar.

“Don’t lie to me” I thought through hot seething breaths. “Don’t you dare make a promise that you can’t possibly keep. Don’t you dare trick me into letting my guard down just so you have more ways to hurt me, more access to the parts of me that are most fragile. Don’t you dare lie to me.”

I am so damaged.

As we have talked about before, anger is a defense mechanism. Anger is a powerful emotion that allows you to feel strength in your weakness. "I'm angry!" 

No, I'm not angry. I'm terrified. I'm terrified because I feel vulnerable. Vulnerable and unsafe.

It’s not fair to him and I know it. He has done nothing wrong. He has done nothing but treat me right, nothing but make an effort to make me a priority in his life and yet, it scares the shit out of me.

I don't know what it is about him, he has done nothing wrong, and yet, I don't trust him at all. I do everything that I always promised myself that I wouldn’t do to the next man that came into my life; I take every injustice that I’ve ever had done to me and I project them onto him.

I deem him guilty before he has even had a trial.

I don’t know if I can do this. I don’t know if I can ever open up my heart again. The fear that lurks around behind me on a daily basis; the ever present shadow cast by the nightmares of yesterday have backed me into a corner where a part of me has curled up and died.

“Don’t wear a scarf, he could strangle you with it. Don’t leave your phone charging by your bed if he sleeps over, he could strangle you with the cord while you sleep. Hide all the kitchen knives, you don’t want him to have access to them. Don’t ride in the car with him. Ever. You never know where you might end up.”

Don’t trust anyone, ever, because the entire world is out to get you.

This is me.

I hate that this is me.

I don’t want this to be me.

I want to learn that there are safe people in this world. I want to learn that even if I open my heart up and things don’t work out, that I won’t be destroyed; that every person is not out to hurt me. I want to prove to myself that not only am I strong in the fight, but that I have strength in my vulnerability.

I need to take things slow.

I need him to let me take things slow.

I don’t want to close my heart off to ever loving, to ever being loved again. I don’t want to halt my healing, deem the rest of my life unfixable and give up.

I want to get past this.

How can I ever truly be healed if I avoid the parts that hurt the most?

I need to do this. I know that I need to do this. I need to know that I’m still in there somewhere, that I won’t be my own worst enemy and suffocate out my potential by refusing to let parts of me ever see the light.

I need to grow.

I’m ready to let the light shine in.

I just don’t even know where to start.

Above all, I don't know if I want to start with him.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

A Week In Eden's Life; Super Fast Weekend Post

Hi Everyone!!!

As I explained in the post "Please Excuse This Brief Interruption," I'm taking some time to be with my family over the weekends, so today's actual post is taking place over at Lifetime Mom's.

In the meantime, I see that a few of you have posted asking me to write a post on sexism. To get the discussion up and running, I invite all of you to leave a comment explaining a time when you felt discriminated against because of your gender, or just about a time when you felt that your gender gave you less of an advantage. I can't wait to hear everyone's opinions and stories!

Before I go, let me catch you up on a week in Eden's life;

Someone lost their first tooth;

I have no picture for this because ew yuck, but we are deep in the throws of potty training over here. I have to say, I suck at potty training a boy. Like, I don't have a penis, I don't know how to pee out of it, and quite frankly I don't want to know. I also don't want to see all the tricks and fun things you think you can do with it because I am your mother and this is scarring me for life, so can we please just get this over with???

In other news, the kids were very generously taken to a local play center with Frisbee Boy's Mom as a belated birthday gift;

On thursday my friends invited me to go Salsa dancing with them. It only cost a couple of dollars and I had a free babysitter, so I figured "eh, why not." I agreed to go however before I realized that Salsa dancing is done wearing heels. Heels.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

"I Want My Friends To Think I'm Sleeping With You"

It’s been a while since I’ve told you guys about one of my bad dates, hasn’t it? Trust me, just because I haven’t talked about them doesn’t mean they haven’t been happening!

Well, I now have a new favorite bad date! A guy that my friends and I now refer to as "the one percenter" blew the competition out of the water. It wasn't easy to find someone who topped the conceited guy that I went mini golfing with and it was a near Olympic event to find someone who could steal the gold from Sparkles, but have no fear people, I found the man that beats out the rest. He is the much elusive "one percenter," and I, Eden Strong, had the pleasure of going on a date with him.

Now without further ado, for your reading pleasure, I bring you, THE ONE PERCENTER;

A couple months ago I got asked out by a seemingly decent guy. Based on first impression alone he didn’t seem like someone that I would have been interested in going out with, but my friends, who are always looking out for the “basics” of my best interest, were impressed by his job and his supposedly great family.

So because I am intrigued an idiot, I decided “aw, what the heck, I’ll bite.”

He TOLD me that he was taking me out for dinner and didn’t ask my opinion before choosing a place that was an hour from my house. I wasn't super pleased but I'm not one to get bent out of shape over something minor, so I didn't say anything and just let it go. As I got nearer to the restaurant I was having a little trouble finding the place amidst the outdoor mall it was located in, so I gave him a call for directions. He navigated me there and as I pulled into the overfilled parking lot I saw him waving at me from the doorway of the restaurant. There weren’t any open parking spots in that particular lot so I ended up parking two lots over and walking back to the restaurant.

When I got to the front door I didn’t see him anymore. I stuck my head in the door and looked around the waiting area, which was empty, and then I headed back outside where there was quite a crowd, thinking that maybe I just hadn’t seen him outside.

After standing around for a few minutes I went back into the restaurant and yes, I hadn’t seen him, but no, he wasn’t outside, he was inside the fairly empty restaurant where he was chatting on the phone with a friend.

“Oh sorry” I said making my way to the table. “I didn’t know that you had come in already, I was looking for you outside.”

“Yea, I didn’t really see any point in standing outside and waiting for you since it looked like it was going to take you a while to walk over here” he replied.

I wasn’t really sure what to say to that, but thankfully I didn’t have to come up with a response because before I had even had a chance to wrap my brain around what he was saying, he interjected my thoughts with “although, if I had known what your legs were going to look like in that dress, I definitely would have waited just to watch you walk that body over here.”

Um….ok…..on that note….awkward….

Monday, July 14, 2014


I had a funny story that I was planning to post today, seeing as how this place has been a bit more serious lately than it has been in past times, but unfortunately an issue of greater importance has arisen.

For those of you who read the comments, you know that the trolls have been hitting this blog really hard for the last few weeks. Comments, emails, and threads outside of this blog, most spawned by the same one or two people, have cast an ever present dark shadow over the safe place that this was supposed to be.

“You are such a whore, you deserve to be raped the way you tease men. I hope someone does it again since you sure didn’t learn your lesson the first time around.”

“If anything you are saying really is true, then why even bother going on? Why don’t you just shut your mouth and stop whining about it online; do the world a favor and just disappear.”

“Eden is maladjusted and creates the drama that is in her life. She needs to grow up and just get over the fact that she didn’t have the childhood she wanted. What 30 year old still thinks about their childhood anyways?”

“I can’t believe anyone would continue to read the awful writing that is Eden Strong. All of her pathetic little readers cheering on her pathetic little life are just as pathetic as she is.”

“Someone needs to figure out who this lady is and have her children removed from her home. Clearly she is unstable, no wonder her husband ran for his life. Whatever judge awarded her custody should be fired immediately. Those poor kids are ruined for life.”

“No way is this lady for real. There is absolutely no way anyone could have lived a life like that. I’ve never seen such bad writing in my life. She reads like a high school wannabe writer, pretending that she lives this fantasy life, and you are all falling for it like the idiots that you are.”

“The only reason anyone reads your blog is because you are pretty. No one cares what you have to say and no one gives a shit about you. The only reason you even have a blog is because you have the body to make up for your thoughtless brain.”

"I can't believe you are all reading the rants of a narcissistic psychopath. Clearly this girl needs help."

Those are just a few of the phrases that have either been posted on my blog, a site thread created about me, or emailed to me over the last week alone.

Maybe the trolls are right and you guys have been coming here day after day just to waste your time reading the bullshit that I write; or maybe I’m not even a real person at all and you are being brainwashed by the mythical life that I have born from a severe mental illness.

Maybe I should just pull this blog down.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Please Excuse This Brief Interruption

Hi guys!!

This weekend I promised myself that I was just going to relax and be present with my family. No working, no blogging, no running errands, just being still in the moment and enjoying the life around me. I need this sometimes, as everyone does. It's really easy to get so wrapped up in work and your "priorities," that you forget who and what your priorities really are.

A few months ago when I wrote the post "my life is completely unrealistic" I had hit that point where I was working so much, so hard, and so fast, that I had completely lost myself into the abyss that I call work.

It wasn't until I really hit that wall of "I can't do this anymore because my life is falling apart" did I realize that while work is important, my legacy is everything that I don't get paid for. Being present for my children, being there for my friends, and making myself a priority so that I am able to be who the world needs me to be, those are my priorities.

So the weekends, they are now off limits for work.

It really has not been easy. I see my computer and my to do list and I'll admit, sometimes I simply cannot stop thinking about everything that I need to get done. I feel bad that I might let someone down because I'm not getting something done that I need to do for work. I see the kids playing right in front of me, but my mind is on everything else that I feel I should be doing instead.

I find that I tend to bargain with myself; "If I just do this one quick thing, then at least I'll have gotten something done and I won't feel quite as guilty about not doing anything productive today, especially when I have SO much to do!"

Nope, I'm not giving in.

I'm not giving in because I've lost the perspective on what my real priorities are. I've made work and the people that I work with a priority over the people that love me. As guilty as I feel for possibly letting down anyone that I work with, the fact that I feel guiltier about letting them down than I do when I let my own children down in order to appease others, just goes to prove how very much I need to change my viewpoint on priorities.