Monday, April 21, 2014

It's About Time For Some Updates!!

It's been a while since I have updated you on previous postings, so I figured it was probably time to do that!

As I said in my previous post The “Exorcism Is Near,” the nutcase neighbors are moving!! One select finger has been waving them good-bye every time I drive by their house. That probably makes me a terrible person, but hey, they are moving so at least I'll be a happier terrible person! They aren't moving fast enough for my taste but at least they are getting out of town. I can’t believe they even lived here this long seeing as how their house is significantly smaller than mine and they have two large dogs plus their daughter.

Speaking of housing sizes, have you guys ever noticed anything strange in the pictures that I post of my house? If you remember in my post “On My Way to Homelessness” I talked about how my ex used to essentially chuck the credit card at me after an assault and tell me to "do something to the house." It was a double edged sword back then. I always felt a little sick actually taking him up on that offer, but to be honest my life was in such chaos that a part of me felt that if I could make my surroundings perfect and beautiful, maybe my life would be too.

FAIL.

Either way, I now understand the flaw in that reasoning and when my ex split and left me with nothing, I sold all my belongings because we needed money. I'm not kidding, I sold pretty much everything that wasn't literally attached to the house. Except for the furniture that we utilize on a daily basis, I sold it all. I would have sold the TV right off the wall if I could have found a buyer. So how does all this look now? Well I have a great house with not a whole lot in it. People often come over and they are like “Um…where is all your stuff. Like your ‘stuff.’ Like.....all that stuff people always have. Why don’t you have any stuff? You only have furniture. Where is your stuff?”

No small appliances here! I literally have dishes, one pot, one pan, and a baking pan. No joke.


Notice any DVD's? Video equipment? Decorations and trinkets? Nope, don't have any!

In the past two years I have come to realize how much I love the simplistic lifestyle. I actually love not having any stuff. LOVE. IT. Do you want to know another reason why I love it? Because I have the space to set up a dance studio in my house. As an update to the post "I'm selling my body," I am now teaching several strip tease classes a week. In an effort to save money on babysitters and cut down on my running all over town, I'm teaching the classes out of my house. So, in a home with three bedrooms, a living room, dining room, kitchen, library, and a family room, where do you think would be the most logical place to put a strip dance room?

The dining room of course, because that seems logical, am I right?

I still need to get more mirrors but they aren't cheap! Sorry, had to crop out the reflection)

Let me tell you, nothing breaks the ice for new guests coming over like having to explain why you have a room consisting only of mirrors front and center in your house.

As expected though, just like I talked about in my post "I'm Selling My Body," the fact that I teach strip hasn't been well received by everyone. Some people have been downright angry to say the least. The thing is, I really don't care what people think. Now I'm always open to a calm conversation, but I've been told that actually arguing with me is like arguing with a wall. That's probably about right to be honest. I don't feel the need to push my opinion on people, I don't need to "win." I'll say my piece, or as I call it "I'll speak my truth," and it's up to you whether you want to receive it or not, but what I refuse to do is angrily debate the subject. I've found that in most instances when someone is angry its almost impossible to have a logical conversation with them because their defenses are up, so I don't even bother engaging in the conversation. How does that look? Sometimes you receive a text message from a guy you are casually dating telling you that you are going to hell for teaching strip. Instead of arguing with him you make up a text message that makes him think you aren't getting his messages so that he stops texting you.

I'll admit, I was a little pleased with my creativity

Needless to say I'm not seeing this dude anymore.

As an update to the posts "My life is completely unrealistic" and "I didn't win the battle" the new schedule is going great. I’m a couple of weeks into my new job(s) and my new life, and I am so giddy with excitement that I should probably be medicated. My life is so much more manageable that I am just generally more relaxed. I didn’t realize how tightly wound I was until I wasn’t. Wednesday's I am still cleaning houses, but the other days my not-for-profit days. I drop the kids off at daycare early enough that I have time to go for a run, then hit the dance studio or gym, shower, and then start my workday at 8:30. I made the decision to not take a lunch break so that I can end my workday at 4:30. Since the daycare is only a few minutes from my house I have time to do things like run an errand, grocery shop, do laundry, clean my own house, and manage my finances before I pick the kids up at 6pm. Then, since I've had time to get things done, I get to spend time with my kids and do things that we haven’t done in a while since I can afford to devote my full attention to them. That part is extremely important to me, I don't want daycare to raise my kids. I want to be involved with their lives and be able to spend quality time with them. My children are my first priority and they deserve to actually be parented, not just dragged through life with me.

Now we actually have time for things like family reading night:

I can't even remember the last time we hung out in our library

And cashing in a gift card for a mother-daughter pizza and movie night

"Thumbs up mommy!"
The kids have gotten to spend more time in their playroom over the last two weeks than they have in the last year.


The girl child's teacher bought her a bike for Easter and we actually had time to ride it!

Can we say best teacher and friend ever?

Tuesday and Thursday nights after the kids are in bed I teach the strip tease classes and the rest of my weeknights and weekends are free. Doesn’t that sound marvelous?

I mean yes, kids get sick, plans change, but on a day to day basis, this is working in a much more realistic fashion and I have had time for myself that I haven't had in years. I didn't realize how much I needed to slow down until I did.

What is even more marvelous than that? Its transition time for my little guy. As I talked about in my post "On My Way To Homelessness," my two year old boy child has been in an intensive therapy program recovering from a suspected traumatic brain injury. Well, we are just about finished!!! For the next six weeks he will be transitioning out of his therapy programs! How does that look for me and my family? I’m no longer driving him all over the planet to get to his appointments. All of his therapists are now seeing him at the daycare center as they transition him from his therapy programs into the mainstream world. YAY!!!!! My baby is better than new and I could not be more proud. His future looks not only bright, but normal. I never knew that normal could be so amazing.

As you know from the post "I Didn't Win the Battle," I'm at risk of losing my home. Losing my home terrifies and saddens me for all of the obvious reasons, but it also breaks my heart for so many more. When most people buy their first place they envision it as a starter home. Something you live in while you gain equity and move to a bigger place. Not for me. I'd never had a place where I really felt at home. My whole life had been so uncertain that when my ex and I started looking for houses, I knew that I was looking for my forever home. I didn't want to move anymore. I was tired of being shuffled from place to place. It took me two years to find this place and I fell in love with it instantly. Not just the floor plan or the ample green space. Not the fact that the school is only stone's throw away and there are parks and trails completely surrounding us. Not just the things that you can find anywhere. There is something different about this place, something special. It was well under our budget, not the big single family home my ex wanted, but it was everything I wanted, and for the first time, a dream actually came true for me. This Easter was a special time for the kids and I.

Remember the post "Beware of Frisbee's?"  Frisbee boy's parents stepped up in a BIG way and paid my mortgage for the next six months!!! I have six months to get my butt in gear and figure out how I am going to support us. I have six months to figure out how I am going to hang on to the only place in this world that I have ever been able to call home. The first place where I am almost completely surrounded by people that care about and love me. I know I'm loved here. I know I'm wanted here. I don't want to lose that. I've spent my whole life being nothing more than a burden to people and when I pull into my driveway after a long day at work and the neighbors surround my car, helping me unload groceries, bringing me dinner, and carrying my sleeping children inside, I feel like a part of the family that I've always wanted. I'm terrified I'll lose it, but I'm pushing forward with the nonprofit because despite what a lot of you may think, it seems like my best chance and I truly believe it's my life's purpose.

I'd like to thank all of you who peddled my name around for freelancing jobs! You guys ROCK!! I'm currently working on a few articles with the sweetest editor woman and I can't wait to share it with you guys soon. I'll be sure to link you guys over to it when the articles post. I'm really hoping that with the help from Frisbee guys parents, my one day a week cleaning clients, strip classes, and some freelance income, we might just make it!

Since I'm going to be staying here a while longer, I did some checking around and found out I qualify for a land line telephone for only $6 a month. Hoping to avoid anymore incidents like the one in "Damn Straight I'm Going To Wear It," where the five year old girl child thought I was dead and just continued about her business, we now have a 911 phone. This phone came with many, many, discussions on how she should call for help in an emergency.



“So wow Eden, your life seems pretty great, is it all raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens over there?”

No, psh, of course not.

Remember how I was really struggling with deciding if I wanted to take my story to the news in an effort to publicize the not-for-profit? Well every fear that I had has been completely trumped by a new one, one that I hadn’t even thought of before.

My parents.

They reached out to me and basically told me that if I was going to go forward with this nonprofit and publically announce that I wanted to help other women overcome what I had gone through, that it would smear the family name and they weren't about to let that happen. You see the thing about my parents is that they don't make threats, they make promises. I have no idea what to do, so for the time being, I'm doing nothing.

Speaking of hearing from mothers, do you know who I haven't heard from? My crazy mother-in-law!! I guess after I finally told her off, as explained in the posting "Do you remember that time you finally told your ex mother-in-law everything you ever thought about her, well I do because it was today", she finally took a hint! I don't miss her and I certainly don't miss the weird shit she used to send me, as I loving referred to as "a box of crap." Seriously, if you haven't read that post hop on over and take a look at the weird stuff she used to mail to me. You know what else I don't miss that she used to send me? Pancakes. Who does that? Seriously, who in their right mind mails someone pancakes. Not even homemade ones, just run-of-the-mill gluten free Bisquick pancakes that she would cook and mail to me in bulk. What the hell do you do with mail delivered pancakes? Microwave them for breakfast? If you live out of the country and don't know what a pancake is, it's not anything great. It's not like a cookie, or a cake, it's like mailing someone toast. Or scrambled eggs. I'm not even kidding. Why would you mail someone toast?

Well, I think that about catches you up on the life of Eden Strong. Have a wonderful day everyone and keep smiling!! Statistics say that we look at our reflection an average of 71 times a day. Wouldn't your day be a lot happier if you saw someone smiling at you 71 times a day?

Just sayin.....





22 comments:

  1. I am so glad that things are working out for you. I think focusing on the not-for-profit was the best choice. I believe that God doesn't give you more than you can handle. For you to go through all you have gone through, and to come out of it they way you have, shows how strong God thinks you are. Not a lot of people can go through what you have gone through and come out of it as well adjusted as you seem to be. That's why you are meant to do this. Who else could help these other women as much as you could? You will be able to understand what they are going through and empathize with them in a way most people can't. I wish you all the best and pray for your success. :)

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    1. Awwwww, thats exactly what I needed to hear. Thank you!!! You rock my world :)

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  2. Eden, I've always said that when you start to go for what you really want, hold on to your hat. God won't work without you, but once you show that you're ready, things start happening that you'd never have imagined!

    As for your parents and their threats, notify Mr. Attorney Man right away, and document, document, document. It may or may not help if your mother knows that you've taken these steps--you'd know that better than I would.

    Blessings on you and yours! (And I completely agree about the wonders of simplicity--I'm in the process of downsizing both my own stuff and my mother's, as she's moving in. Should be interesting...)

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    1. Hi Ruth! Documenting is a good idea. Sometimes I tend to just ignore it bc I don't feel like I can deal with it, and then when I need proof that it happened I have none!

      Good luck with your mother moving in lol!!

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  3. I think, if you haven't already, you need to talk with Mr. Attorney Man to see just what your parents can do if you go forward with your story. They have used intimidation your whole life...don't let them do it again. Make sure you understand the extent of what they can do legally and where you are vulnerable to what they may do illegally. If you are, or can be, protected in these areas then move forward if you want. If not...then I say we just SHOOT them!.....oh....wait....typed what I was thinking instead of what is practical! If not then I guess you must reevaluate telling your story.

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    1. I'll have to mention in to him. I'm not sure if that falls under the family law catagory, I mean they are family...but that might be more of a criminal harrassment issue rather than a civil family law issue? Something to look into for sure though.

      I actually spit out my drink when I read "shoot them." Hahaha!! If only it were that easy....

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  4. So glad to hear you're happy and surrounded by people who care about you! Stay strong despite your mom - don't let her take away all the progress you've made. They only have power over you if you allow them to have it. Keep pushing forward! Good luck with the next 6 months!

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    1. Thank you Bridget!!! You always make me smile ;)

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  5. I concur with the documentation of any and all crap your family threatens you with. To be utterly cynical, anything they do do just adds further credibility to your story and will make them look worse. Dave Pelzer's family largely kept quiet, yours would be wise to follow suit.

    Sorry guys are being such jackasses about the stripping, it's clear that these are knee jerk reactions, if they listened to what you were actually doing they should see there is nothing exploitative about it, and as for 'damnation', oh please. Still it's a good test to see if a guy is worthy of being part of your life.

    I'm glad things are working better for you since you downsized the cleaning and built up the classes. I hope you get to keep on living in your house. Let's hope those wretched neighbors get gone soon.

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    1. Oh wow, I haven't thought about Dave Pelzer in a really long time. I remember reading his books when I was in high school and being like "Yep, yep, yep, I agree. Yep. That happens." Poor guy. So his family never spoke up?

      The damnation part was crazy! Who even talks like that??

      Yes, I need the wretched neighbors gone. They were out of town this weekend and I must have thought, oh, at least 75 times "Wow, this is so nice!"

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    2. I don't think so. His brother Richard wrote his own book, which was about how Dave's books had made him face up to the truth of what had happened and his role in it, as well as the way he had also been a victim of his mother's violence after Dave escaped.

      Who knows, maybe one day one of your brothers will have a similar epiphany.

      Have your neighbors found a buyer yet?

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    3. Oh really? I definitely want to read his brother's book!!

      No buyer yet, to be honest the inside of their house is ugly as hell so I wonder how long it's going to take. Brown stucco bathroom walls, black toilets, part of the floor is missing in the dining room!! The laundry closet is missing doors, the appliances are at least ten years old. This could take a while :(

      But...this is weird. I haven't seen the girl nutcase neighbor, their daughter, or their dogs in weeks. I haven't heard any yelling through the walls, NOTHING. I haven't seen her car or the dogs outside. Just Mr. Nutcase. I'm so nosey but I totally want to know where they went lol

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    4. Do you have a Spy Neighbor that you can send in for surveillance? Hehehe!

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    5. Haha! My babysitter said she saw her outside with the dogs, so maybe she is still there and has retreated into her house out of sheer terror from the evil glares I give her, and only retreats out when I'm not home. In that case, AWESOME!

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  6. Things are crazy and I haven't been able to read in a while, but took a minute to catch up with this post, and I just wanted to say I'm glad you're happy, girl, you deserve it :) <3

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    1. I miss you girl! Glad you made it back over here. Hope things are well with you :)

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  7. It looks like things are really starting to slowly fall into place for you. That's awesome. And Frisbee Guy's parents deserve a huge award for that gift they gave you. I'm so happy for you and what a huge relief it must be for you to have that weight lifted off your shoulders!

    Want me to shake my fist at those putting you down for teaching the strip classes? I have a very stern face and can do a scary fist-shake. ;)

    I agree with what others have said. Document EVERYTHING your family says/does/threatens/whatever and take it to Mr. Attorney Man if need be. Protect yourself and your family.

    Also, throw a party when your neighbors finally leave!

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    1. Haha!!! Yes, shake your fists at them! And then do the same at my mother and my neighbors! Make it a weekend trip!!

      Census agrees, documentation it is!

      Frisbee Guy's parents rock :) I am very blessed to have them in my life!

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  8. I totally agree with the consensus to make sure you know your legal protections and rights where your parents' threats are concerned. I wish I could see the look on their faces when they realize they have completely lost their power over you and that you are no longer the person they intimidated, bullied and abused for all of those years. Man, when you use those Wonder Woman deflector bracelets for the first time they're gonna be shocked! When the lightbulb goes off for them and they realize that you are no longer afraid of them it's gonna be a sight to behold. Try not to go alone, if you can help it. Even bring your attorney guy if he's up for it. Then she'll KNOW you mean business!

    About the idiot dating fails, be glad they showed their self-righteous, pious character early on. They saved you the trouble of a life with someone constantly scolding, criticizing, tsk tsking you and trying to instruct you [read: control] of how you should be living. The right man will love and accept ALL of who you are and will trust your decisions. Besides, who wants a prude, anyway? Ick. If I wanted a lifetime of boring sex I'd just keep it to myself! My husband would LOVE it if I teached (or took) stripping classes. It's not only empowering, it's incredible for your body! Don't give up, Eden. There are more men out there like my husband who will embrace your stripper pole and, in all probability, ask for private demonstrations after class. ;) Come to think of it, your classes are a built in "test" to see if a guy is worth your time. If he objects you know to just move on to the next opportunity. If not, then you continue to explore and see if he's right for you.

    As always, be blessed. You are an incredibly strong woman who has turned shame into empowerment, weakness into strength and fear into ferocity. Don't let ANYONE make you forget that. Not even for a moment.

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    1. I agree, I should find out what I should legally be doing with my parents before I get in too deep. I bet I can probably google or Avvo it. Trust me, I overwhelm Mr. Attorney Man enough with my ex, my blog, and my nonprofit, I'm not going to throw my parents at him too!

      As for the date guys, I think guys have some preconcieved idea they don't want to date someone who teaches a strip class because I share my sexuality with everyone and leave nothing for them. Like I must walk around all the time in stilletos and a mini skirt (leather of course), picking up johns and going down on people in the closets. I actually dress fairly modestly and am picky about who I mess around with. Oh well. Their loss as yea, if you pass the test, I am a lot of fun in the bedroom yet I've only ever willingly slept with one person so I'm not some girl who has been around the block 85 times. ;)

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  9. You are a minimalist - Living with only the important things! Check out theminimalists.com - I absolutely love their website & it reminds me to focus on only who & what adds value to our lives. I think it's great that you don't have so much "stuff" getting in the way of what you truly cherish.

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    1. I've never heard of that site but it totally sounds up my ally! Thanks for sharing!!

      Yep, I just need my babies and a roof over our heads :)

      *hugs*

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