Sunday, January 26, 2014

How It All Began

I just looked at my traffic reader that tells me how many people are reading this blog. Someone come resuscitate me.

First off, let me tell you, I am ASTOUNDED at how this blog has grown. I was literally laying in my bed one October morning, three days after I had been raped in my house, and I was completely falling apart. Like I was the definition of falling apart. I could barely think straight. Everything that had happened, was so unconscionable, that I felt like I was walking around in a dream. All I knew was that I was hurting. Everywhere. Inside and out. Physically and mentally. On top of that, I knew that the two neighbors, who were my best friends, weren't talking to me because I had been raped. I was utterly humiliated because of it. I felt dirty, used, and scared. I was really scared. To top it off, because of them, I felt like one more person, in a long line of them, had seen something wrong with me. Had seen some terrible quality that I must possess that people see, and say "Ah ha, she really is worthless."

I had a man steal my body and my friends break my soul.

I hadn't slept in days, and I was at my breaking point. I made some half coherent phone call to Mr. Attorney Man asking if I could put my kids in foster care. I was literally just done with my life. This wasn't like me. Usually the world throws something at me, I catch it with one hand, and yell back "Is that all ya got!?" But the rape, it broke me. It had just all been too much, for too long. I didn't care if one day it might get better, it wasn't better now, and I was tired of waiting for the "one day" to come. I was just so tired. I was tired of having to remind myself to breath. I was tired of walking through a world so clouded with despair. I was just, so, tired.





I don't know why, but I decided to climb into bed with my laptop and write. Writing has always been very cathartic for me. Sometimes when things get so jumbled up in my head, its easier to reflect on them when I can see them on paper. Sometimes, when I can read in a black and white format what my brain already knows, only then am I finally able to let my heart understand. This time I didn't know what I was going to write about, I didn't have a plan or a script, I sort of just opened my computer and let it all pour out. At the end of the day, the "It Is Not My Shame To Bear" story had been written.

I felt better, I really did. That whole day, sitting in my pajama's, in bed, with my laptop, it was healing. I reconfirmed to myself that I did belong in this world. That even if no one saw it now, that I knew I had to reason to be here.

Several weeks later, I started wondering if other people felt the same way. How I wished that I had someone that I could talk to, that had really been through what I had. Not just the women in the support group who had been raped. Not just someone who didn't have a family. Not just someone with an abusive ex. All of it. I wanted someone who understood not just the situations, but all of the feelings that went along with a lifetime of trauma's. I needed to know, that I was not alone.


So I put up the blog. Now up until that point, I had never even set up my own email account. I had no clue what I was doing. I had to google photo credit copyright laws, how to insert links, how to import/export for back up purposes, how to design templates, and you know what? It sucked. I hate computery stuff. I really do. I just want a little computer fairy to come do all that stuff for me. I have like ten other things I'd like to figure out how to do on here, but they escape my knowledge.

Anyways, it has been 90 days since the blog went up, and like I said, I am ASTOUNDED. I can't believe how many of you are on here. I can't believe how many of you take the time each day to read what I write. Not even just read, but comment!! You guys, I love your comments!! You are all so smart. So much advice, so much support. I want each and every one of you to know how much I smile when I read your comments. I reply to each and every one, so if you post anonymously you won't get a reply notification, but if you go back and look, my reply is there. I want to keep the communication open, I don't want anyone to feel like they are talking to a computer. On top of that, I know what it's like to walk around feeling invisible. I acknowledge each and every one of you, and what you have to say is important to me.

I had a lot of fun reading the comments in the "Updates" post where I asked everyone to comment where they were from. It was really neat to see how we all circle the globe. I love that image, people from all around the world holding hands in support. Just goes to prove that none of us are ever really alone. I'm still waiting for my Ireland family to comment though....just sayin'....

I love how this blog is flourishing. I love that you guys are comfortable enough to be sharing your stories and opening up. I get so many emails everyday from different readers that aren't ready to publicly share their stories yet, but just need someone to talk to, and it warms my heart that you have found a safe place to do that.

So I guess what this post has really turned into, is a great big THANK YOU. Thank you for taking the time to read. Thank you for taking the time to comment. Thank you for your kind words, your self esteem boosters, your amazing advice, and above all, thank you for reminding me that I am not the only one struggling. I read so many comments each day from readers thanking me for putting it all out there, and how healing it is for them. Well thank you, for letting me know that you appreciate that, because that is incredibly healing for me. Thank you for being the awesome people that you are.

Just in case no one has told you recently, what you deserve to hear everyday, allow me to remind you,

You are amazing. You are precious. You are smart. You are beautiful. Don’t let anyone tell you differently, and don’t ever forget it, because
                                                             
                                                              YOU. ARE. LOVED.





Photo Credit I Love You: http://www.flickr.com/photos/kubina/
Photo Credit Help Me: http://www.flickr.com/photos/francoforeshock/
Photo Credit Angel: http://www.flickr.com/photos/onkel_wart/

43 comments:

  1. No, thank you! Thank you for being open and honest and telling it like it is. I haven't experienced anything like what you have but there is something in the way you are dealing with this that resonates with me. You inspire me. If you can get through all of this, then I can get through my stuff too!

    You deserve the hits and the love from your readers and if you need any help with the computer-y stuff, let me know - I'm no expert but have been around a while and have picked up things that may help! xx

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    1. Aw, you can get through anything too. And if you feel like you can't, just post here and I'll help ya!!

      Thank you for your sweet words and your everlasting encouragment.

      You rock my world!

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  2. I have always really hated the statement that 'Misery loves company'. That being said, it is in a very strange way, somewhat comforting to know we are not really alone in the midst of our own trials and tribulations. So now, you are not alone and you have proof!

    You've come a long way, baby! haha Keep on keepin' on!!! We are hanging in right with you!

    Much love and many hugs from the east coast

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    1. I'm imagining you cheering me on with a big foam finger haha.

      I'm so glad that we can stick together. No more misery here. Healing loves company ;)

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  3. I have just binge-read a bunch of your posts and the one that (oddly) resonated the most (right now) was the one in which you internalize people judging you because from the outside it looks like you have "so much", while you're actually living paycheck to paycheck and scraping together your mortgage payments monthly and figuring out what to balance while juggling the other necessities.... I want to help you, financially, since it's CLEAR that you're doing everything right to help yourself in other ways. Won't you please set up a Go Fund Me or a Kickstarter campaign -- whether it's for something concrete and specific, like your daughter's summer camp, or for a rainy-day fund, or something amorphous? I don't know whether you can contact me through Google (or Gmail) or what have you, but I'll check back here in case the only way is by commenting (I'm chicken to put an email address on here, but I will do it if I can find a way to anonymize so that only you can reach me!).
    Best to you,
    Dew

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    1. Dew, quite a few have asked Ms. Eden Strong to set up a PayPal button since we would like to help her along in her journey. Thanks for keeping the pressure on her! LOL

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    2. Aw, you guys are the best. I actually looked into it the other day. Without being a legitimate company, I can't open a paypal with anything other than my name and my bank account information. So I'm stumped!! I mean I'm not super comfortable taking anyone's money anyways, bc my pride gets in the way, but I didn't make my mortgage this month :( But I did look into it, and I can't figure out how to do anything anonymously. :/

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    3. And also Dew, welcome to the blog!! I'm so glad you have found your way here :)

      You can email me at notmyshametobear@gmail.com if you want :)

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    4. This is a time you can put a burr in Mr. Attorney Man's biscuit (isn't that a nice word hahaha) and ask him how you could/should proceed. I cannot believe there is not a legitimate way to accomplish this. He will be a happy man you were his client waaaay back in the day when your book gets published and you are on tour. LOL

      Ask him!

      Much love, many hugs and a few nudges from the east coast

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    5. I'm one step ahead of you! I sent him an email on friday and we are supposed to talk within the next few days :)

      If my book ever gets published lol. Gah, I hate editing. I left my publishing company due to editing conflicts. I want my words to be in my voice. The weirdness that I am, the odd way I speak. Its me. So a very awesome self published e-book might be coming your way soon!

      Thanks hun!

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    6. I'll add another nudge over here. Would love to help out with what I can.

      However, this comment is more along the lines of book publishing and your last sentence. Have you considered self-publishing with Amazon? It would be for their Kindle books, and I'm not sure how it all works with them, but I know they do let people put their own books up for sale there for no cost. You get a 70% royalty.

      Just a thought. :)

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    7. Haha, I didn't even know I had an account here (leave it to me to not realize I was signed in to Google. That jcarson84 is me.

      I think I need to go make sure it's using the right email address before I continue using it though. For now, I"ll stick with Jennifer.

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    8. Thats funny about the names. I always forget where that I have accounts until I try to set one up and it tells me the email is already in use lol.

      I am thinking Amazon is the way to go. I was looking into that last week. Meeting with my attorney soon to get the clearance analysis done and look over everything I've done. I'm excited!! Thank you for your advice :)

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  4. Reading the beginning of this post, I really wish I could just reach through this computer and give you a big hug. Guess we'll have to settle for a virtual hug instead. :)

    I'll echo what's already been said - thank YOU for opening up and sharing, for being strong and brave enough to put your story out there. You really have created an amazing site here for people to come together and share their stories. I'm so glad you're getting so much out of writing here and the comments everyone leaves for you.

    And I just realized I never commented on the Updates post so I'll wave a big hello from Pennsylvania.

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    1. Hi in Pennsylvania!!

      I just love ya. Thats about all I can sum it up too. Thank you for reading :)

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  5. I will join in the "please find a way so we can donate" camp. I pay for books or magazines I want to read and would love to be able to make a contribution to you in return for the honor of reading your amazing writing. I'm sure our donations would cover the cost of a P.O. Box if Paypal isn't an option.

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    1. Aw you guys are making me all teary eyed and weepy!! I've never had anyone really care about me before, and to think that all of you do just makes my heart happy and crying.

      I literally just emailed my tax attorney to ask him how I should go about this. I sitll can't believe you guys would do that for me. Thank you!

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    2. It's time for the Universe to send some good your way. Let us be the vehicle. ::Hugs::

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  6. Thank you for creating a space such as this to share your story with us all. As I've said in previous comments I relate so heavily to everything you post.

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    1. I'm so happy you are here Louise :)

      Hugs!!

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  7. Sorry me again I wish there was a way to open up a paypal account so we could send you something. :)

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    1. Haha, you guys are all too much!!

      I'm working on it. Trying to figure out how I would go about that. I'll update you guys soon. <3

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  8. I would love to donate and help your family out. If you find a way to make that possible, I would love to help!

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  9. Awww. Thanks lady. :)) You are an amazing woman. For some reason I can't follow your blog through blogger, which is bullmess, but I saved the link to my favorites & I check back daily for your new posts, to make sure you're doing alright & healing well. Just remember that you are the one who brought all of us here together, so we owe you the biggest thank you of all. <3

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    1. Aw thats neat. Like my little fan club. Awesome haha. Love you!!!

      You can try subscribing via email if you want. Only if that's easier for you. You just put your email in the little "get an email everytime I post" spot on the lefthand side of the blog.

      Either way, I'm so happy you are here Toni :)

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  10. This post made me tear up! You're such an amazing woman, to be able to just go on and on even after everything that's happened to you. I'm really glad that you started this blog, I try to stop by as often as I can to see how you're doing and I think about you and your family a lot.
    Lots of love <3

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    1. I don't know about amazing, but I'm trying to make the best out of a bad situation. I'm so glad you have come along for my journey <3 ((hugs!!))

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    2. You are very good at making the best of it, and it gives me hope that I can do the same. I'm glad you're letting us share this journey with you, I think it can help you, me and others! /hugs

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    3. You can do it too! And if you can't, pop over here and we will help you out :)

      I am so thankful, blessed really, to have all of you coming along with me!

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  11. This made me tear up! I follow your blog (I just started reading a few weeks ago), and I have commented before but I just have to say you are the coolest :)

    And, while I saw in a post a while back that your daughter said it (I remember because it was so cute!), I thought maybe I could throw in a little something to you from all your readers- just in case you need it, too:

    You are amazing. You are precious. You are smart. You are beautiful. Don’t let anyone tell you differently, and don’t ever forget it, because

    YOU. ARE. LOVED.

    :)

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    1. Oh my gosh, this was the first thing that I read this morning and you have NO IDEA how much I needed to hear this today. I wish I could throw my arms around you in a great big "thank you" hug. Thank you!!

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    2. Still the OP here, just added my name/URL this time when commenting :)

      And aww! Of course! I'm glad I could help the way you've helped me through your blog. I just read your most recent post about your freak out- girl, no shame in letting it out, and I hope you're feeling better today.

      I hope this doesn't sound weird, considering we've never met (oy vey, interwebs!), but as a fellow survivor I have looked up to you since I started following your blog. Your honesty, humor, and healing journey have helped me to finally look everything in the face and be like "Well THAT was a big ol' suckfest, but dammit if I'll let it keep me silent and down for the count!" I am the oldest, and the "black sheep" of my family, and I always wanted a big sister. I'm a few years younger than you, and reading your blog makes me feel like I sort of do have a big sister, and it makes me feel stronger- like I'm not alone :)

      I really hope that's not super weird haha. Sorry if it is! You and your blog are just making a very positive difference in my life right now and I wish I could explain how much I appreciate it without sounding like a goober :)

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    3. Aw, I always wanted a sister!! You can be my honorary little sister, and since you don't live here you won't be able to steal any of my clothes ;)

      You're not super weird. Well, maybe you are, but I'm super weird so I think we will get along fabulously, my new little sister. Now go make me a snack or something sisterly.

      You rock girl, don't stay silent, it just stifles your soul

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    4. I actually just "SQUEEEEE"'d out loud. You made my day! But I guess now I'll have to find someone else to steal clothes from :P

      I think that's a part of why I see you like a big sister- your sense of humor/silliness is unique and AWESOME and surprisingly like mine. You're the best, girl! And you're helping me learn how to use my voice :) One snack, coming right up!

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    5. Haha!! You are making me laugh too! We would be a ton of fun together.

      As long as you make my snack right. Otherwise I'll have to beat you up or something sisterly. I'll tell on you and get you grounded.

      ;)

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    6. MOOO-OOOM, EDEN'S GONNA BEAT ME UPPPPPP, TELL HER TO STAAAAHHHPPP :)

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  12. Precious...you are just the most precious human being! Thank you for allowing me to read your life story and making me see that I too am someone special, even if only for myself...that has been the biggest problem for me with myself....I never loved myself so I never have thought anyone did either. I allow myself to be used because I let them treat me just as I did myself.
    I am somebody...a human being with thoughts of my own, deserving of love and respect...and consideration!

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    1. You are worthy and deserving of love!!! Every part of you. You are amazing, you are beautiful, you are precious, don't let anyone tell you differently and don't ever forget it because you are loved.

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  13. I've been through hardships, and yeah, not at your level (that's pretty intense my Love), but like I've voiced so many times, I'm here for my reasons, and you're a bit of a miracle, because....of so many reasons.

    I'm glad you made the choice to post. And I'm sure I'm not only speaking for myself :)

    Thanks again Eden!
    Nathalie
    xoxoxox

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind words and that little hug for my soul :)

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