Thursday, August 28, 2014

"Will She Survive?"

First off, I know I don't talk about it much on here for privacy reasons, but the nonprofit is going great! I really can't believe how far we have come. We are officially a registered 501c3 nonprofit organization, we have an amazing board of founders, the support of the community, and we are hitting the fundraising pretty hard so that we will actually have the money to run this fabulous little plan of ours.

Anyways, do you all remember the post I wrote called "I Hope The News Doesn't Find Out My Shed Burned Down?" In that post I talked about how I was struggling with the decision on whether to share my personal story with my community in order to raise awareness for my nonprofit, or if it was too personal to let all those details out in the open.




Well...I finally realized that I didn't have much choice in the matter. If the nonprofit was going to work then I needed to be willing to share my story and allow people the opportunity to see beyond the name of my organization and into the real lives of the people that it will be helping.

I'll admit, it hasn't been an easy transition from keeping that part of my life locked away to letting other's in. I've been doing a good amount of small public speaking events, attending more meetings than I care to even keep track of, and allowing several media outlets to follow my story.

To be honest it has been incredibly uncomfortable. Not the meetings and the speaking engagements per say, but the telling of my story.

You guys know that despite the fact that I come on here day after day and bare my soul to you, that I am a fairly private person in my "real" life when it comes to my past.

My level of discomfort in this entire situation has really got me thinking; "why, when I am someone who refuses to allow society to label me and I truly don't care what most people think of me, does all of this make me feel so uncomfortable?"

I finally realized it's because for once in my life I'm not being shunned because of a stigma, I'm being accepted for overcoming it.

Whoa...that's a new one.

I've been labeled by stigma's my whole life. I unfortunately fall into a lot of stigmatic categories that I would rather not be in; "neglected child, domestic abuse survivor, rape victim, single mom, abandoned wife, divorcee, living below the poverty line, rare medical condition, etc, etc, etc,"

For as hard as I work to break the stigma of societal labels, it is intensly uncomfortable to be celebrated for doing just that.




I haven't really had anyone care who I was or what I was doing in a really long time and now suddenly I'm an "inspiration" and "everyone is so proud" of me.

Can we take a minute to talk about how uncomfortable that is??

My entire life no one has really expected anything of me and what was expected of me was sure to be deemed a failed effort no matter what the outcome may have been, so I really never strived to achieve to be anything and now I have all these people counting on me to succeed.

I'm really afraid of letting everyone down.

I'm finally ok with being imperfect. I'm finally done trying to be everything for everyone and living for everyone but myself. I'm finally done trying to pretend that I live a perfect life. I'm finally being a little bit selfish by choosing to be who I want to be and now I'm the face of an organization where a lot of people are counting on me to be successful.

What have I done?

I don't want to be the face of anything. I just want to be me.




On top of it, there's this part of me that feels like if I do fail at this, then everyone will have been right all along, except that instead of just taking myself down, I'm going to take down all the people that are supporting me as well.

You guys I'm scared sick.

I have all these women that I work with, all these abused women that are watching me to see if I can make something of myself. These women come to me when they are completely shattered; where the only thing they feel they have left is the hope that they can salvage their lives and become someone again.

These women, they are all watching me.

I want, for once in my life, to not only shed the negative labels from my own skin, but to show the women that I work with that it is possible to re define yourself, that you can take all the negative experiences that you have had and use them to build something wonderful. I want to prove that it can be done. I want to show society that when you give people like me the opportunity for success that they will not fail you; that they will shed the stigma of a broken human being and they will let their strength shine through.

I'm so used to just going through life unnoticed that it's very uncomfortable for me to have everyone looking at me. It's what scared me away from writing years ago and it's why I don't tell my friends that I write now. I'm perfectly content keeping my successes to myself because I'm not used to having anyone cheer for me and now suddenly I feel like I have all these eyes on me, watching to see if I will succeed or not.

I'm scared because for once in my life, I truly don't want to fail the people around me.

After all these years, my entire life really, I'm allowing myself to dream a dream that I never dared to dream of before; a future where the world thought I was needed.

I know my past was not lived in vain, I just hope the world is ready for me to make something out of it.



Photo Credit
Cheering
Faceless
Hiding

40 comments:

  1. You very well may fail and you might let a lot of people down as you say. Luckily for us we will all be here to watch it.

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    1. Wow. Really sounds like you care about Eden.

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    2. I'm just saying that Eden might not be as destined for greatness as she would like to think she is. Sometimes reality sucks. there's most likely a reason her husband left her that we don't know about. just become some guy dumped her on her ass doesn't mean she gets to rise up above everybody else

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    3. Can you please shut up? Thanks.

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    4. I find it hilarious that you are always the first to comment, which means you subscribe to Eden's feed, which means you like being here. I think you're in love with Eden and are terrified of your feelings, so you act like a mean, ugly bitch so that no one will notice how in love you are.

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    5. We need 50cc of self awareness over here stat! We've got some anonymous type who thinks sour grapes pass as wisdom!

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    6. Don't feed the troll, guys. Internet 101. Eden, I haven't been on in a while because I've been dealing with my own ugliness, but I will add in my two bits:

      If you fail, you fail. But even if you do fail, you tried to do something to help others, and that's what matters. I think, especially as people who have been abused and been depressed, that success is terrifying to us. More terrifying than failing. We're used to feeling that we've failed in everything.
      Success is scary because it's brand new territory.

      I hope you succeed. I hope you bring light to woman and even men who are in abusive relationships and feel like they can't get out. You are doing what I, and others, are afraid to do: put yourself out there to be a beacon of hope to others. I know that sounds kinda cheesy, but I want you to know that I believe in you, even if I am a total stranger.

      "The sayers do not know and the knowers do not say."

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    7. Welcome back!!

      You are right, this is definitely new territory, I'm not used to this!

      Thank you for believing in me, it's not cheesy, it's reassuring :)

      I hope all is getting better with you, email me if you want to chat!!

      *Hugs*

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    8. The "I'm just sayin" Anonomous who said there was a reason her husband left? Well, yeah (duh!) If you read the previous posts, it's BECAUSE HE WAS A TWEAKER! (Sheesh!)

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  2. I think you'll succeed, but if you do fail? Meh. Failure happens. I've failed at all kinds of things in life, and I'm still happy and for the most part successful. Failure and success can both teach us things.

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    1. Very true. I've failed at many, many things in my life lol, I've just never had anyone else that would be let down by my failures before so this is a new one for me!

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  3. I'm the anonymous commenter from the 2nd comment and I hit return too soon b/c I didn't have the chance to add that you seem awesome and I believe in you. Charge fearlessly ahead! You can do eeet! :)

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  4. I truly believe that if you keep on doing what you're doing, and stay true to yourself, you will blow everyone away! Just like you do with so many people who read your blog regularly. For me personally, you are definitely an inspiration! This probably doesn't help but if for some crazy twisted reason you happen to "fail" well at least you gave it a shot amd that's more than most can say. You're standing up for something your heart is truly in, and that right there my friend, is a success all on it's own. You got this!

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    1. Ah, an "inspiration," no pressure lol!!!

      Thank you for your faith in me :)

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  5. A few comments that popped into my brain, which is in disagreement (in semantics only) with Anon #2 above:

    1. I feel that people aren't watching you if you succeed or fail. They are watching you because *you are succeeding* and they believe in your cause. The success is in the effort. You're not on trial here.

    2. There is no failure. The only failure is keep making the same mistakes over and over. We are walking down a road, we trip and fall. Do we give up and just sit? Keep walking and keep stumbling? Look out for things in the road? Take a different road? As long as you're walking, you're a success.

    Keep it up, Eden. You ARE a success.

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    1. 1. True I guess, I hadn't thought it it that way. :)

      2. You sound like me talk to you guys and now I'm getting my own advice back. Hahahaha!!! Awesome.

      3. thank you for believing in me :)

      *hugs*

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    2. LOVE this perspective, Joel. Right on point, and I totally agree.

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  6. I think you will find that your successes are going to be far more spectacular than your failures. Thing is, nobody can be successful 100% of the time, so some failure is inevitable. But I believe that you, having come so bloody far, are going to be on the mostly successful side, because that's what you do. Look at how far you've come! You're doing awesome, and you're going to continue doing awesome! Sure, there may be some fumbles along the way, but you'll learn and keep doing great. Please don't let the fear of failure keep you back. You've done so much that has required great bravery and fortitude, and you've done it very well.

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    1. Thanks, I needed to hear that :)

      You guys always know the perfect things to say, I'm so blessed to have all of you :)

      BIG *hugs*

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  7. My ex and I used to joke that we couldn't do anything bad, especially involving the kids, because there were too many people out there waiting for us to mess up. Then they could say, "See? i told you lesbians shouldn't raise kids!"

    As though the mess-up would be because we were lesbians, as opposed to messed-up people in general.

    We're all going to screw up, I think. I give myself the freedom to be horribly imperfect, while still trying to do the best i can do.

    I mess up a lot.

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    1. Ha! Oh yes, the big black mark of being a lesbian parent. That would be a tough microscope to live under!

      I mess up a lot too....look who I married!!! ;)

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  8. I hope that others caring about what you do is the new normal for you :) because it should be so.

    No way will you fail in your effort to help abused women. You have done so much of that already. You are passionate and caring and knowledgeable and have great people skills so ending up with a useless nonprofit is just not possible.
    PS what makes you think that reactions in your "real" life is the only thing that defines your success? In my books, you are ALREADY a success.

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    1. Aw thanks, that's really sweet. It is def weird to have anyone caring what I do.....

      Already a success huh? Nice! I really hope this nonprofit works out, these women really need help.

      *hugs*

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  9. "Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass… It’s about learning to dance in the rain."

    You've got this. And you WILL succeed because this is your passion and calling in life. You have succeeded FAR past anyone (abused or not!). You are giving people hope - HOPE never fails; therefore, neither will you.

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    1. Your faith in me is pretty awesome. Thank you :D

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  10. don't listen to any voices that discredit you. they are lies from the enemy and they will be ultimately held accountable for their attacks against you. In the end, truth and good always win, even if not in this lifetime, they always, at the end, do. So hold onto that. God has a plan for your life and every tongue that rises against you in judgement you shall condemn because this is your heritage as a child of God. He will do his work through you, and you can't mess up his efforts, sorry! BTDT :)

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    1. Thanks :) I'm used to ignoring them, a little trick I learned from living with my parents and my ex!

      Genesis 50:20 :)

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  11. The only true failure would be if you didn't try in the first place. I seriously doubt that any of these women would be better off if you had just stood by and done nothing. So do your best (which you do), and be brave (which you are).

    In science, the only failed experiment is one where you don't ;learn anything. I find that holds pretty true in regular life as well.

    Big hugs to you, you awesome thing!

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    1. "You awesome thing" haha. We should start a club and make t-shirts.

      Thank you! :)

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  12. Courage is not being unafraid. Courage is doing what you have to do despite the fear.

    You ARE courageous. You've proven that in the past, and I have no doubt you'll continue to prove that in the future.

    You go, Girl!

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    1. Amazing point on the first line, thank you!

      Thank you for believing in me :)

      *hugs*

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  13. What exactly would you define as "success"? It does sound like you are working towards a certain goal. But in my eyes, life doesn't work like that. There is no end point, at which you can say: "Yep, from now on I can call myself successful." You have successes along the way, surely, but the next day is bound to come and the success of the moment is in the past with new challenges rising.

    In terms of measurable success, you already are one anyway. By managing to get something put together out of nowhere you defy the numbers for neglected children, chronically ill, abused, etc. So yes, you ARE successful up to this point. I'm guessing that women in your organization are not there to see where you're going, they want to be at where you ARE right now.

    So take a deep breath and face the new day's challenges and keep in mind that even if you fail in something today, there's a) a new day and challenge coming anyway and b) look at what you have achieved already. ;) You are doing fine already. Stop worrying.

    *hugs*

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    1. Thank you for sharing your much needed perspective with me :)

      One day, one challange at a time

      *hugs*

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  14. I agree with much of the above. If you've helped just one person get their life back on track then your non-profit has been a success. Sometimes things don't last forever, though it sounds like this project will go on for quite a while.

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