Monday, January 13, 2014

Updates!!

So I figured it was probably about time to update you all on some of the previous posts.

And before I start, on a totally unrelated side note, I just wanted to let all of you know that I am typing this post while wearing adult footie pajama's, eating popcorn, and drinking wine, under a giant blanket on my couch. And you know what? This scenario is every bit as awesome as I anticipated it being.

Anyways, carry on.

Let's start with "That Time I Found Out I Might Be Going To Hell." Remember dweeb face? Actually turned out to be a really great guy. We casually dated for a while, but he was ready to get serious much faster than I was, so I let him go. Great guy, some girl will be lucky to have him!

Remember my Total Whack Job mother-in-law from "Remember That Time You Finally Told Your Ex Mother-In-Law Everything You Have Ever Wanted To Say To Her? I Do Because It Was Today." Well, I have not heard from her since I hung up the phone on her, and I have to say, not only does it feel very liberating, IT TOTALLY ROCKS.





Who could forget Sparkles from "Yes, This Actually Happened Unfortunately." After receiving numerous text messages and voicemails from him, and my repeatedly telling him that this was never going to work out, he finally stopped calling me. Only after I sent him a very pointed text message flat out telling him that he was weird. (In my defense, I had already asked him multiple times to stop calling me.) Can't say that I'm sorry to see him go. I'm sure he will find a new victim soon, he seems very determined.

From the post "He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not," you all felt very strongly for my dear friend as I broke his heart. I tried to reconcile with him, but he asked me to give him his space. He still loves me, and it hurts him to know that I don't love him back. I know that a lot of you felt that maybe I did love him, and that I just didn't realized it yet, but I can only say what I know, and what I know is that I did not love him in the way that he wanted to be loved. If he ever came back into my life, I would be thrilled, but at this point, it would still be as nothing more than a friend. I feel awful that I hurt him, that was never my intention.



"Trust: An Almost Four Letter Word" yielded some amazing advice from all of you guys, and I can't wait to use it on my next relationship. Derek and I have moved on. It was short and sweet, but the distance became a real issue for me. His job doesn't transfer, and I have built myself quite a happy life here, so while I loved most everything about him, it didn't seem fair for either of us to continue getting attached, so I ended it. I wish him the best, and I'm sure it won't be long before he finds someone as amazing as he is.

Ah, the Nutcase Neighbor's. I don't even know what link to attach there since they have appeared in several posts, so if you haven't read any of them, click that link and work your way backwards via the links in the other postings. I'll be honest, I am still struggling with them. The hurt runs deep, and I'm having a hard time taking my own advice to let go of the anger. Seeing how they treat me on a daily basis is like getting continually kicked when I am down. Unlike letting go of my parents, I can't get away from them, seeing as how we share an adjoining townhouse wall.

I can't say that I'm dealing with this all that well, because it just keeps coming at me. Snippy text messages from her, comments she is making to the neighbor's about me, just generally being mean.

She knows how much I struggle financially and she owes me quite a bit of money from several house cleanings that I did for her, so I finally got up the nerve to approach her about it. I told her that as I had promised when we were still friends, I would write off some of the cleanings as her wedding present, but that I really needed to get paid for the other work I had done.

She laughed at me.




Two weeks later I saw her husband outside and I decided I would try and talk to him. He was getting in his car and I said "Hey, why aren't you guys going to pay me?" He said "I never paid you before and I ain't payin' you now. It's not my issue."

"Ok, well your wife paid me, and she isn't paying me now, so really, what is the issue? Why are you guys so mad at me? This is your chance, why don't you just air your grievances to my face, and let me know what I did wrong."

You know what he said!? He said "Well you are going to have another issue when I back over you with my car, so I suggest you move."

WHO SAYS SOMETHING LIKE THAT TO SOMEONE??? With my daughter standing next to me no less!

I asked him "did you just threaten me?" and he replied "No. of course not. That was a warning. Or a promise, however you want to take it."

WHAT IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE?

It literally took every ounce of self control I had not to throw a brick through his car window later that night.

A week ago I saw them out on their new four wheelers, on my front lawn no less, and I knew that they were literally having fun with the money that I needed to feed my family. They know that I struggle to provide for my children, and that right there was their way of saying "I feel more important than your children."

A few days ago we got about a foot of snow. I looked out my window and saw that the other neighbors were collectively shoveling my driveway and cleaning off my car. I quickly put on my snow gear and joined them in the effort. When I was done, I noticed that the nutcase husband neighbor was shoveling his driveway all alone. I figured maybe it would be a good time to extend the olive branch (again), so I went over and said "here, let me help you," and I started shoveling. He looked at me, went inside his garage, and sat down. I thought about it, and I continued shoveling. Either he was going to see that I wasn't going to back off and I was trying to be the bigger person, or he was going to get really pissed off. Either way, it was kind of a win-win situation for me! I finished shoveling his driveway, wished him a nice day, and he never even looked up.

It really hurts my heart that because I was raped, they hate me so much. That I am such a liability as a friend, that we are now sworn enemy's. So that's where I am at with them. I am trying to use this experience as another way of personal growth. It really has been good for me to remember and put into practice all of the virtues that I hold dear. Because man, I seriously want to punch someone. Actually, two someones.

I find myself repeating the same affirmations every time I see them:

I will not stoop to their level. I will not treat them the way that they are treating me. I will hold myself to a higher standard than they deserves from me, because at the end of the day, I will not let them steal my dignity and my self worth. I refuse to allow them to influence me into lowering the standards of what I expect from myself.

I am not enjoying this situation, make no mistake, but I know, that in one way or another, good will come from this. Even if the only good was just an opportunity for personal growth, I will be thankful that I am continuously given the opportunity to reaffirm the kind of person I strive to be. And that, will have to be good enough for now.

That's it for the updates people! Now I have two favors to ask of you, if you would all be so kind.

First off, just for my own curiosity, it would be AWESOME if everyone could post the state or country that they live in, in the comments section. You are welcome to post anonymously or however you like, I just think it would be really neat to see how far across the world we are all bonding from. Not to mention, it would be kind of neat to know who I was talking to all the time.

Secondly, and this is purely out of a selfish nature, I will admit,  if you wouldn't mind sharing the blog link on your facebook, or by email, or however you would like, it really is my dream to continue to see this blog growing. You know what is better then reaching one survivor? Reaching a million survivors! There are so many us of out there still living in the shadows, let's help bring them to the light.

Well, I think that is all the updates that I have for now. I wish all of you a very smiley day!






Photo Credit Broken Heart: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dskley/
Photo Credit Cheers: http://www.flickr.com/photos/edastrauch/
Photo Credit Sad Face: http://www.flickr.com/photos/67776729@N06/
Photo Credit Have A Nice Day: http://www.flickr.com/photos/alexheadrick/

160 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. I hope its warmer by you than it is by me!

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  2. olympia, washington

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  3. Brisbane, Australia

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    Replies
    1. I want to see Australia! I'm coming now, pick me up at the airport!

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  4. Lund, Sweden
    Found your blog a while ago. I haven't been trough anything like you but I have to say, wow! You are an incredibly amazing person! Found you trough xojane , do not regret going in here!

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    1. Wow, I've always wanted to see Sweden! How neat! So glad you have found your way here :)

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  5. Sidmouth, Devon, England!
    I love sitting and reading my email when I have a new post to catch up on. I cannot believe some of the people you have to put up with in your life - I thought I had it bad but your strength continues to give me strength!

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    1. Aw, thanks Emma :) I'm trying to imagine you saying that in a very neat English accent haha

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  6. Kansas, Kansas City area
    The neighbors, the neighbors, ahhhh, the neighbors! You ARE doing the right thing with your approach though I will admit that I wish I could supernatually reach through the pages of your blog and throttle both of them! But while I really never truly wish bad on those types of people, I have generally found that in the end their spite and hatefulness comes back at them. Some of them even learn from it and turn into better people! Let's hope your neighbors have an awakening. Just know you are a good woman (don't think I could have continued shoveling when that A**hole walked into the garage!)!

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    1. Yay, Kansas! I hope its warmer by you than it is here! I hope they learn from it, or something, because my gosh, my will power is being tested! I can't believe how outright mean people can be. Which really shouldn't suprise me at all seeing as how my life is filled with mean people, but I can't even fathom treating someone like that. Craziness.

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    2. People sense insecurity and previous victimization, and are empowered to themselves abuse. It's cruel, but that is the conclusion I came to when I asked myself why even new people I met inevitably began treating me the same way. Your original abusers mold you to be a victim for them, and then the victim you are allows others to take the role of abuser - you unwittingly expect mistreatment, so they take advantage of you. Stay strong Eden, but don't let your future fame go to your head (because you will become famous). Remember all of your past and own it like you have been doing. You are full of light. (Sorry if this post is creepy or offensive in any way, what I say doesn't matter.) You are a really good person. I was just thinking the other day, do you know what are huge luxuries that only this modern age provides in plentiful supply? (most things but) spices and honey! So many different spices are cultivated and harvested, and they are so delectable and uncostly. Bees have to chew so much pollen in their tiny mouths for a little bit of honey, and what we scrape off of honeycombs isn't even all they produce. I went to the store and bought a bottle of honey and little bottles of spices, and I am so happy.

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    3. I agree with everything you said about being molded into the victim roll, that is some great perspective!!


      I didn't even know bee's chewed the pollen!! That is actually a bit creepy now that I am thinking about it....but yes, we all need to be aware and thankful for even the smallest of luxuries in our lives :)

      Thank you for being on this journey with me

      **hugs**

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  7. hailing from Stamford, Connecticut.
    Thank you so much for writing this blog. you really are something incredible. (not LITERALLY incredible, like some people seem to think. can't understand why anyone's reaction to reading your posts would be "...nah, I don't believe her."). reading your words and stories fills me with hope. that sounds totally corny, but it's true. I'm a sexual assault survivor who has been mightily struggling with my trauma these past few years. your going through all the things that you have and coming out on the other side with an attitude and perspective like you have is nothing short of heroic, in my opinion. you have thrown me into a few serious realizations about the nature of trauma and the self. thank you so much.

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    1. Hi there!! I'm so sorry that you have had some troubles of your own, but so happy you are here :) I don't know about heroic, but it warms my heart to hear that you have found a place that you can relate. You don't know how much your kind words mean to me, especially on the days where I struggle and wonder if anything will come of my broken life. Blessings and hugs to you in Connecticut

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  8. Revere Massachusetts, not nearly as close to the ocean as I use to. Sadly it is not possible to pay medical bills and a mortgage. I blog Steps from the beach which I don't post enough in, and I am going to start posting again. I hope.

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    1. I'll check out your blog! Yay massachusetts!

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  9. Your neighbors sounds like horrible people. I am sorry you have to live near them.

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  10. NLR, Arkansas....and yes, it is MUCH warmer here than it is your way! I am wearing a pair of shorts today! lol It's supposed to get colder in the next few days tho.
    Girl you know you are a MUCH stronger person than I could ever be. I couldn't say I could have gone and helped the neighbor with their shoveling much less continued after he sits his lazy butt down in the garage. Wonder just what kind of blood runs thru such ruthless people like that.
    I am one that would have caved had my male friend decided that he was inlove with me, which is why I have had so many stupid relationships. I couldn't hurt them although in the end it probably hurt them even more so than had I stopped it just as you did. I'm an idiot! lol
    Gotta say tho...seems I have learned so much in these last few months than I have ever when it comes to getting to know myself and finally liberating myself from thinking I HAVE to be in a relationship. You would think after 48 years of being on this earth I would have known all this by now. Yeah...I'm a slow learner of such matters. HA!
    I am so glad you and I are friends, I love ya girlee girl!

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    1. I want warm weather and shorts too!!!

      You are getting your strength my dear, you are getting there :)

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  11. I meant to say too that by the neighbors coming over and helping you clear your drive and vehicle and your "nutcase neighbors" were left to their own shoveling....that should speak volumes to you as to how they are feeling about you as well as volumes to the nutcases, maybe they'll stop telling ugly rumors about you.
    I pray the Lord will continue to do a wonderful work in you girlee and the help you are giving yourself thru this blog will help soooo many others.

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    1. Haha, I thought of pointing that out, but realized it would make me seem a bit egotistical lol

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  12. I'm reading this from Melbourne Australia. I'm very happy that you have this blog to talk about your life and to process what has happened to you but I have to say that it hurts my heart to see that we can fail the most vulnerable in our society in such a spectacular way. Good luck to you in your recovery and I think it's a win that you haven't heard from the ex MIL. I nearly cheered out loud when I read your original post about her!
    I thought that I had posted previously on a different post but can't see it so maybe it didn't publish. I recommended picking up Gavin de Becker's book "The Gift of Fear". It's an incredible read for anyone who has survived sexual assault or domestic violence and it will help you to learn when someone is being predatory or not acting in your best interests. I recommend it to all my girl friends as we as women are continually taught to ignore our intuition so that we aren't "rude" or "bitchy". I think that perhaps you more so due to your abusive childhood as you had that instinct of self protection completely trained/beaten out of you.
    Regards,

    Nicole in Melbourne

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    1. I love that you nearly cheered during the MIL post, that is awesome lol! I will definitely check out that book, thank you for the recommendation. I definitely could use some skills in reading people, I always miss when I am being preyed on. Everything you said in the last few sentences made me go "Huh. I never thought about that before." And THAT is why I love my readers! You guys are so smart :)

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  13. Chicago, IL. You are inspiring. I think it's amazing that despite everything you have been through, you have been able to maintain such a positive attitude and outlook.

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    1. City Folk!! Thank you :) I'm a work in progress, but hopefully I'm getting there!

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  14. Astoria, Queens, New York :)

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    1. Yay!!! This is so fun seeing where everyone lives. I am ironically watching an episode of "trauma life in the ER" right this minute that is in a Queens ER.

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  15. Vancouver, Canada. Hang in there, babe. I'm hoping and trusting that none of your other neighbours believe the nutcases, eh?

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    1. I can't say for sure, but I think it says something that they were all shoveling my driveway, and not the nutcases. But maybe that is just hopeful thinking lol. Yay Canada!

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    2. Yeah, maybe they thought there are two of them and only you...

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    3. Oh... writing from Reno, Nevada.

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    4. I'm very jealous of all you warm weather people!

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  16. A few posts back you were wondering how to trust someone enough to have a relationship with them, or how to know who was safe to trust or how to spot when your boundaries are being pushed. The blog baggagereclaim.com has loads of articles about this kind of thing, and I have found it really well written and useful to clarify what kind of situation is ok, and who is being a douche. I don’t know if you already know it, or if someone else may have mentioned it already, but it is worth checking out.
    Best wishes for the future.

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    1. Thank you so much for the tip! I'm going to check it out now :) I need all the help I can get these days lol

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  17. Spring Valley, Wisconsin

    Which sounds pretty, but it snowed five inches last night and last week we hit record lows of -22 degrees (actual temp, with wind chill it was more like -45) Gross. I have forgotten what grass looks like - I hope it's warmer where you are. I enjoy your humor in the face of so much adversity - keep on writing!

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    1. Ugh, snow. Its pretty cold where I am, we got a foot of snow last week, but it melted over the weekend. Love the snow when it first falls, but when it becomes a frozen tundra of road slush, its so ugly lol!! Stay warm my little Wisconsinite!

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  18. San Diego CA. You are truly awesome, inspiring and your blog helps me to get that not-so-alone feeling. I have totally added the link to your blog on my FB page.

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    1. Thank you Alli! I want to come to CA and get out of this cold. I am extremely jealous of you right now. Like seriously jealous. Enjoy some non frozen weather for me. Thanks for sharing the blog hun!!

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  19. I am totally obbsessed with your blog!! I kind of feel like I'm stalking it a little bit. Hi from Orlando Florida!!

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  20. Souther California here. The land that winter and rain have forgotten. I've been reading your blog for awhile now. You are finding your strength and yourself which is inspiring. I feel like I have overcome my abusive past but still find myself in tears over some of your posts. I guess there are still a few things I haven't dealt with. Keep going! We are all cheering you on!

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    1. I want to move to the land that winter and rain have forgotten! I think you sent all your bad weather here and stole all my good weather.

      I am so glad that you have come aboard the journey. We can all learn a little bit from each other, and I look forward to hearing your insights!

      ((hugs))

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  21. Cincinnati, Ohio. This is my first comment but I've been reading for a while... I keep coming back to see how you're doing!

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    1. Welcome Ohio!! Thanks for checking up on me, that makes my heart smiley :)

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  22. I live in Missouri. I also want to tell you that I have spent all day reading every blog post and I know you hate this but you truly are inspirational. I've had a rough life and there is no better feeling when all you feel is alone than finding someone like you, brave enough to stand the criticism and share with the rest of us so we know that we are not alone at all. I can't thank you enough!

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    1. Well that is quite the compliment, thank you!! ((blush))

      I am so glad you have found your way here. You will never be alone here :) Sending you the biggest of hugs!

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  23. Long Island, new york. woo.

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  24. I JUST found you today through xojane. I am just blown away. I wish you continued healing, and you've got yourself a new reader. I live near Detroit, MI, and feel free to stop by my place... I haven't posted in a little bit, but we like to eat and laugh and listen to music. I wish you all the best, and thank you for sharing your story.

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    1. Welcome Melanie!! I am so glad you have found your way here :)

      Your place sounds like fun :) Hugs!!

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  25. Replies
    1. Ohio!!! I've been there a few times, when I was younger. Welcome to the blog!!

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  26. Charlotte, North Carolina

    I absolutely love your blog! I've been a lurker for a while and you're optimism and positivity is inspiring. After all you've been through you have every right to be mad at the world, yet you choose to live. It makes me feel silly for being so bent out of shape over the most trivial things. I pray that God continues bless your family. You have definitely gained a subscriber!

    -Gemma

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    1. Gemma! Welcome out of the shadows haha :)

      I've always wanted to see Charlotte NC, I hear its BEAUTIFUL.

      Thank you for your sweet words and your prayers, they mean the world to me :)

      Welcome to the blog hun, hope to see you in the comments often!

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  27. Replies
    1. TN!!! I bet its quite a bit warmer by you than it is by me. I'm jealous. ;)

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  28. Cambridge, England
    Thank you for writing this :)

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    1. England Represent!!

      Welcome and thank you :)

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  29. I'm in Tallahassee, FL. And I am totally posting your blog address on Facebook. You are amazing. Xoxo

    Brix from xojane

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    1. Awwwwwwesom!!! Welcome to the blog! I am very jealous that you are in FL, and I am sitting over here in my frozen tundra of snow. Hugs!

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  30. Hello there...hope your day was good today...it would be nice, if all external articles like xojane are listed in a post...there is no indexing...missing them..
    QUESTION: 1) is ur relation with ur siblings nice in childhood, and now...or are they abusive...?? It would be good if a post is written about them..
    2) any new updates from dweeb one..

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    1. I was thinking of putting the links on the side of the blog, but I can't figure out how!

      #1 My siblings and I grew up almost as if we were in seperate familes. I don't have contact with them now, and yes, one is abusive and they are both mean as hell.

      #2 Did you read what I posted about Dweeb face in the above posting? I broke up with him, he wanted to get serious much sooner than I was ready for.

      Have a nice day!

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    2. Eden, I havent actually seen, i had just skimmed through this post and probably missed that...and, it would be good to know whether your whole week was good...

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  31. Gothenburg, Sweden. It's been a while since I read your blog because of some personal things I'm going through, so i may be a bit late to the party ;)
    What you said in another post about being strong so that others don't see through the cracks just hit home to me, I didn't know how to explain it before but you gave me words to, thank you so much for that. I think it's amazing to see how you can still laugh when weird things happen to you, it's such an important thing, and I'm really happy to see you haven't lost that which many others who have been through similar things have lost. Yes, we do all break down at times and that's not a bad thing, we have to let the tears out to make room for other feelings.
    I'm sorry if I seem to jump from here to there a bit in this comment, too many things I want to say and not all of them coming out right! But thank you for sharing your story, it's amazing to read.

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    1. You're never to late for the party, you just made a fashionably late entrance :)

      Thank you for your sweet words, and I'm glad that you found something here that you could relate too. It makes it feel a lot less lonely, doesn't it?

      I hope to see you around here often, it makes me feel less lonely getting to know all of you!

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  32. Replies
    1. My first Iranian commentor! How neat!!!! Thanks for sharing!!!

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  33. Hi!

    First of all you are very brave. Everytime i read your blog it give me strength and some thing (i dont know some energy) started growing inside me :-).
    and i am from india, currently leaving in Riyadh, saudi arabia.
    So thank you for such wonderful blog

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    1. Aw thank you!! Wow saudi arabia. I bet it is quite a bit warmer by you than it is here by me!!

      I am glad you have found your way to the blog. Welcome :)

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  34. Just realized I missed this one! Columbia, Maryland reporting in! Two+ hours from the beach and two+ hours from the mountains with a bit - no, a LOT - of bipolar weather thrown in!

    Looks like your writing is far reaching with helping and healing! It takes a really excellent communicator to connect so deeply - and that is YOU!! How very cool!

    Much love and many hugs from the east coast

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    1. Wow, that sounds like a great place to live!! Bipolar weather and all lol!

      Thank you for your sweet words. You guys make me feel all giddy and smiley like a little kid haha.

      Hugs!!

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  35. toronto, ontario, canada. about your crappy neighbours...take them to small claims court. seriously. they owe you the money and the relationship is already over. nothing to lose there.

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    1. Canada represent!! You know I looked into it but it was $300 just to file, and they don't owe me much more than that. Ugh so frustrating. I was joking that I was going to steal their tires and engine parts one night and sell them on the black market. If only I was that mean.

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  36. São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil. I found one link for your blog in a facebook post of a Brazilian friend. :)
    And... about your neighbours, my dad says that when someone doesn't talk with us due a stupid thing or motive, they are doing us a favor to not speak with us at all. If they are not decent to pay what they owe you, or if they don't have any kind of basic human regard or respect with another human being, you don't need them, and they definetely don't deserve to have you as a friend.

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    1. Welcome from Brazil!! So cool that the link was on facebook :) It is so much fun seeing how far across the world this has gone! Thank you for commenting :)

      Your dad sounds like a very smart man. Thank you for sharing his advice with me, I needed it!

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  37. Hi!
    I have been reading your blog for a little time and really enjoying it. Its not just the essence of what you are writing and your personality but also your writing style that I love. Thank you for sharing!
    Athens-Greece

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    1. Aw, thank you for your sweet words!! I'm so glad you have found your way here. Welcome to the blog!

      I have ALWAYS wanted to see Athens. I'm a little bit jealous of you right now :)

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  38. Heidelberg, Germany

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    1. Germany!! I used to be a nanny for a German family. Welcome to the blog!!

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  39. Chandler, AZ.
    Your neighbors are insane and if I lived anywhere near you I would let my dog poop on their lawn daily.

    I think writing this blog is a form of therapy/release for you? Down the line what do you plan on telling the kids about your family? Just curious, you don't have to answer. :)

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    1. Can I borrow your dog? ;) Because they let theirs go all over my lawn. Ugh.

      My son is too young to understand, but my five year old daughter, I tell her that sometimes people make mean choices and do mean things that hurt people. When that happens, if you tell them that they are hurting you and they still don't stop, that its ok to not be around them anymore. I never tell her that my family or her dad is a bad person, I just say that they made some mean choices that hurt me.

      They are her DNA so I don't want her thinking that she has
      "evil" in her.

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    2. I am divorced as well with a 5 year old and 3 year old and sometimes I find it hard to answer their questions. Single mom life is tough. Sounds like you do have some good friends, so just remember they are there because you are awesome and deserving. They wouldn't be there if you weren't.

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    3. Thank you hun :)

      I agree, answering their questions is hard, and it sucks!! My daughter asked me "mommy, will any daddy ever want to love me?" Breaks my heart :(

      So glad you are here :)

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  40. I'm from Chile. Your blog is amazing, I read all your entries and I just wanted to tell you I'm proud of you. I'm proud of you because you are trying, trying to heal, trying to be positive regardless of circumstances, and because you are sharing your story. And just by doing that you are bringing a little happiness to the world. So keep this up, because it’s AWESOME. :)

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    1. Chile!!! Thank you so much :) That means the world to me! I am trying lol. Can't say for sure if I'm getting anywhere, but I'm trying!

      I'm so greatful and thankful that all of you are reading and sharing in my journey. Its so healing and supportive to have all of you alongside of me. :)

      So THANK YOU for being awesome!! Welcome to the blog, sending you a hug!

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  41. Hi!

    I am from Latvia. :)

    I was shocked to read that You are here for only about 90 days, because I feel like You're an inspiration for me soooo much longer, like some 2 years at least! I often feel like Your blog posts with Your value system in every single one of them are like little, shining road signs for all the people trying to grow out of darkness in their lives or just get better, and I feel very grateful to You for that.

    Take care and have a great day!

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    1. That is so sweet of you to say! Thank you so much :) I'm just so thankful to have all of you guys here with me! It makes me even happier to hear that the blog is helping you out :)

      I actually had to look up where Latvia is. Haha! Yay Latvia! Welcome to the blog, and thank you for sharing where you are from. It is SO FUN to see all the countries that are here!!

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  42. A little town called Fairfield, in the beautiful state of Maine :)

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    1. Sounds idyllic :) Thanks for sharing!

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    2. It is absolutely amazing. I've spent most of my life in this little town and even though I have lived in other states for short periods of time, I always come back because this is home for my babies and I. By the way... I love your blog you are incredibly strong and I love your sense of humor :)

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    3. I'd love to see it sometime :)

      And thank you!! So glad you are here :)

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  43. Replies
    1. Love New Orleans! I've been there a few times to help build a youth center, and came down after the hurricane to help out. Very welcoming community :)

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  44. Found you through a random comment on Time Magazines site and I have to say, your blog is blowing me away. May you persevere and seriously, your neighbors are absolute douchebags. Don't even bother wasting your time. But if that guys gets nasty again and threatens you, hold your phone up and ask him to repeat it louder. That should shut him the hell up.
    Long Valley, NJ

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    1. Thank you!! Glad you have found your way here :)

      Not a bad idea with the phone lol. I'm totally going to do that next time!!

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  45. Hi, I'm from Singapore and I found your blog through XO Jane. I'm really proud of you and look forward to reading your blog all the time.

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    1. Aw thank you! Singapore, how neat!!!

      ((hugs!))

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  46. Vail, CO here. :) And let me just say you are helping so many by writing this blog. My experiences are similar to yours. And for some reason I will never understand, it seems as though most abused/neglected kids dont want to share their stories. A quick search of the net will almost exclusively produce nothing but parents looking for support. Where are all us kids? We need support too. So, let me just say Thank You! I appreciate you.

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    1. CO! I have some friends that own a farm there, the pictures they post are just beautiful.

      That is really interesting about the google search, I never knew that. I appreciate all of your for being on this journey with me, for making me feel brave when I feel like I'm fallling apart. You all rock my world :)

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    2. Well if your ever in my neighborhood look me up. I have 12 year old who took babysitting classes and he is desperate for some babysitting gigs. Come in the summertime! It is amazing. :)

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  47. Charlotte, NC.

    I followed over here from xojane. I admire your bravery!

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    1. Welcome, so glad you are here!! I've always wanted to visit Charlotte :)

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  48. Alberta, Canada. You are one brave lady! Respect.

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  49. Sending you love & happiness all the way from Johannesburg, South Africa! xo

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    1. Yay!! South Africa is on my list of places to eventually visit :)

      Hugs!!

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  50. Cambridgeshire, England : ). You are a true inspiration x

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  51. Sending you lots of love and hope. Keep being awesome!

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    1. oops meant to add I'm from Wilmington, NC.

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    2. I'm sorry, somehow I missed this. Welcome Jessie!!! So glad to have you along for my crazy ride :)

      **hugs!!**

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  52. Hi from Italy! Or, as we say here: ciao!

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    1. That's awesome!! I'd love to see Italy some day :)

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  53. Chicago, IL

    New reader, found you through MFA Mama's blog.

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    1. Welcome to the blog!! So glad you made it over here!! The more the merrier ;)

      Thanks for commenting!

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  54. I found your blog through a post on Scary Mommy last night and spent most of my evening in work reading from beginning to here. I've already started recommending you and posted the link in my blogger group on Facebook, and now instead of going to sleep after night shift, I'm still reading. I won't say you're inspirational because you said (and it was an interesting perspective that makes a lot of sense) that that puts a hell of a lot of pressure on you, but I will say that you should be very, very proud of yourself for not only surviving, but doing so with a panache and style that makes you stand out from the crowd.

    Huge respect coming to you from me in Barcelona, Spain (originally from Liverpool, England. Yes, like the Beatles).

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    1. Welcome to the blog!! Thank you for sharing my page, I really appreciate it!!

      Thank you so much for your sweet words :) Too funny about the Beatles! I would LOVE to visit Spain someday, seems so beautiful.

      Thank you so much for taking the time to read through the entire blog! I love having new readers and I can't wait to get to know you :)

      *hugs*

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  55. Newton, Ks.
    Found you through scary mommy. I will share on my fb page. I'm going to be starting my life over soon and you give me hope that I can do it and have a better life. Nothing as hard as what you've gone through, just a cheating husband who might turn nasty once I tell him I want a divorce. Anyways thanks for sharing your story!

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    1. I'm sorry to hear that you are also dealing with an "oh so fun" ex. You can do it! It often gets harder before it gets easier, but in the end you will be surprised at how wonderful it can be. I'm here for you if you ever need to chat.

      Thanks so much for sharing the page!!

      **hugs**

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  56. I discovered your blog last week (on Blogher), and have been slowly catching up from oldest to newest.
    I'm reading from Saskatchewan, Canada.

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    1. Yay Canada! I've never been, but I heard it's cold ;)

      Oh and P.S., I have a few million geese I would like to return to you :)

      I'm glad you found your way here, welcome!! I love chatting with my readers so I'm glad you said hi!

      *hugs*

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    2. Well, I'll try to comment more as I continue reading. Thanks for the response. I forgot to tell you, the comment you made at the start about footsie pjs, wine, and popcorn? That's my profile pic for google plus (and probably on my blog), minus the popcorn! Footsie PJs are the best (perfect for cold Canadian days).

      And - you can keep the geese, haha!

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    3. Haha!!! Nice!! Great minds think alike! We are setting the new style trends :)

      Oh come on, I've got the sucky family, the awful ex, the special needs kid, TAKE THE DAMN GEESE BACK.

      hehe ;)

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    4. I can't argue with that. Send 'em my way.

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  57. Chicago, IL!..I'm a little late to the game here. I stumbled upon your blog though a yahoo article and now just trying to get caught up to the present day :) Thank you for your honest reflection and strong sense of self. It is appreciated.

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    1. Better late than never!! Welcome to the blog and I am so glad you are here!! Thank you also for your sweet words :)

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  58. Hickory, NC (and even later to the blog). Got here last week (found it after reading an article or two elsewhere) and although I read a few of the most recent, I decided to go back and start at the beginning last week to better understand the context.

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    1. Welcome!!! I'm glad you found your way here :)

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  59. I'm in El Paso Texas. I found your blog yesterday. I tested your link to my best friend as I don't Facebook and I don't blog.
    I tried logging in to comment but I don't have access for whatever reason.
    nikki

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    1. Strange! Well either way I'm happy to have you. Thanks fo much for taking the time to comment!!!

      *hugs*

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  60. Santa Cruz, Bolivia.
    Better late than never :) Starting from the beginning...

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    1. Yes! You just made a grand enterance :)

      So glad you found your way here!!

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  61. Pennsauken NJ. Found you by reading your article about Christmas on Yahoo. Love everything about this blog. I also sent you an email. I would love to help out this year and send you the puppy surprise and something for the boy child as well:) Please respond to my email and send me a PO box or address I can send them too! Not only do your kids deserve them but you deserve their happiness too!

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    1. I'm sorry I didn't respond to this sooner, I somehow missed it. Thank you so much for your sweet offer, I hope that you had an amazing Christmas!!

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  62. Idaho Falls, Idaho land of the cold and snow too. :-)

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    1. Welcome!!! But the question is, do you LIKE the cold and snow?

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  63. Replies
    1. Seeing as how its currently 11 degrees outside right now, I'm very jealous of you!

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  64. I'm working my way through your blog on a slow day at work but I'm very much enjoying it so far! Keep at it if not for your sake then for min e:)

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  65. Paradise (not really, but darned close) Queensland, Australia :) - found you by way of a link on Kidspot and it was slow at work so I have been binge reading your awesome blog.

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    1. I've always wanted to go to Australia!!! It's on my dream list!!!

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  66. Howdy from Houston, Texas!

    I've also been binge reading your blog, found one of your articles yahoo. My story is no where near close but I can relate on some topics, especially when it comes to having trust issues.

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    1. Welcome to the blog! I hope you feel "at home" here amongst people going through the same things you are :)

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  67. Farmington, Michigan

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  68. Just found your blog and I'm reading through from the beginning! Probably won't comment much in general, but I live in Memphis TN :) I won't say that you're "strong" or "inspirational" since I think you mentioned that is intimidating, but I will just say that I can tell you've been through a lot of crap that you don't deserve, and I believe you, and I wish you peace and blessings! Also, you probably know this, but you're really really funny!

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    1. Welcome to the blog Gila!!

      And thank you for all of your flattery ;) I'm thrilled to have you here!

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  69. North Carolina.... and there aint no way I would have shoveled their driveway!! These people are self- righteous sociopaths and they will never feel GENUINE sadness or compassion for you or anyone else. Stop. Trying. You are doing the same debilitating behavior you can equate to your parents/ mother...ignore, let go, have no contact. Don't be a chronic people pleaser by trying to win their love as if they are your mother etc....FU@K EM. PS...I love your blog... and your "Family" and dont mind being your "blog sister" :) You have too many of us that care for you !!!!!

    Definition of your neighbors........

    A sociopath can be defined as a person who has Antisocial Personality Disorder. This disorder is characterized by a disregard for the feelings of others, a lack of remorse or shame, manipulative behavior, unchecked egocentricity, and the ability to lie in order to achieve one's goals.

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  70. Alameda, California and I just found you and am trying to catch up. Sending you much love!

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