Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Because No One Ever Told Me


The first time I found myself standing in a courtroom was when I was 18 years old. 

Several months earlier I had broken up with a guy that I had been dating for two years. The break up was bad; so bad in fact that the next morning when the police showed up at my parent’s house looking for me, I realized how bad it had really been.




The night prior I had kicked my way out of the boyfriend’s locked car and run into a Walgreens for help. I left before the police showed up and then ran all the way home.

Standing there that morning with the police at my parent’s front door, I remember looking to my parents for help. I was terrified and embarrassed. I desperately wanted them to step in and save me.

The officer went on to explain that they had received a call that morning from the mother of the boy I had broken up with, stating that her son’s car was damaged. The now ex boyfriend had told his mother that I had damaged it during our break-up and the mother wanted to press charges. The police were suspicious because all the damage to the vehicle was on the inside of the car and in their words “typically the damage done in a nasty break-up is to the outside of a vehicle.”

The police questioned my now ex boyfriend and he told them that I had gone crazy and destroyed his car in the parking lot of a Walgreens.

The police told his mother that they would see what they could do and then headed to my house. On the way, they decided to stop at that Walgreens and see if anyone working the night before had seen anything.

Low and behold the same manager from the night before was on duty again and he told the police that the night before a woman claimed to have seen a boy screaming at and "holding onto" a girl in a car, when the girl kicked the dashboard, climbed out the car window, and ran into the store. The manager said that the boy had gone running after the girl until the woman stepped in the middle and told the girl to go inside while she yelled to the store employee’s to call the police. A few minutes later the girl ran from the store and they didn’t see her again.

Now the police were standing on my parent’s front porch asking me what happened. In typical Eden fashion, I didn’t say a word. Not one word. I remember my lip quivering and my eyes squeezing back tears as the officers repeatedly asked me what had happened. I remember the police woman asking me about a bruise on my neck and then my parents telling me to go upstairs.

As I sat in my room I could hear the police telling my parents that they needed to talk to me, that a witness had seen me involved in an incident, that they could see a bruise on my neck, and that they were pretty sure I had damaged the car during a domestic abuse incident.

My parents told the police that I had always been a handful and they would do a better job of controlling me.

I was written a ticket for vandalism and the police told my parents that a judge would sort it out, but that they suggest I get an order of protection if I wanted any chance in having the charges dropped in court.

When they left I got the lecture of a lifetime. I admitted to the fight, to my boyfriend hitting me, and to kicking my way out of the car. I told them that I couldn’t get out and so I panicked. I burst into tears, told them that no one would ever love me, and that I was scared.

I got in trouble for causing a scene that would bring shame to our family.

My father took me down to the police station and requested that a judge be called in on a Sunday to sign an emergency order of protection. For nearly four hours my father and I sat at the station while barely a word was spoken between us. When the judge showed up, he was none too happy to have been dragged away from a family event to deal with me. He told me that I was old enough to know better than to be getting in fights with boys.

The incident was never spoken of in my family again.

Several months later I found myself standing in a court room, terrified out of my mind, no idea what I was doing, facing criminal charges, and the only support system I had was my new boyfriend (now ex husband).




All the charges were dropped when my ex boyfriend failed to appear, but police records showed that between the time of my incident and the court date, he had been arrested for breaking into a house.

The judge said that my case was ridiculous and sent me on my way.

Two years later my new boyfriend threw a ring box at me and I ducked to miss it.

“Well I was going to fucking ask you to marry me but I don’t know why I even thought you deserved it” he said to me as I sat there in tears.

We were supposed to have been going out for dinner but something I had done, nothing that I even remember all these years later, had caused him to scream and throw things at me.

The proposal; nonexistent.

My answer; yes.

Why the hell would I have said yes?

Because my parents reinforced that it was ok for a boy to hit me. 

Because they hit me when they felt that I deserved it and then when a boy hit me it proved them right.

Because no one ever told me that being hit was wrong.

Because I had only ever been told that I deserved it.

Because no one had ever told me that I deserved better.

Everyone knows that the things we say have the power to affect people, but they don't often realize that sometimes the things left unsaid hurt even more.

We inadvertantly teach the people around us everyday how the world views them and what they should expect from it by the things we say and the things we leave unsaid.

Take a minute today and let the people around you know that they are worth something. Take that message beyond your family and friends; thank your colleagues, appreciate your barista, compliment your dry cleaner.

Allow them to catch a glimpse of their self worth through you, because you might very well be the only person who does.

I wish someone had told me that I was worth something....anything.

I wish someone had told me I deserved better.

I wish that someone had told me before I said yes to the only person who bothered to throw a ring at me.

Notice the people around you and help them expect more.

It only takes a minute to let someone know you notice their worth.

It only takes a minute to change a lifetime.





Photo Credit



34 comments:

  1. Your family is so like mine. I don't know if I will ever get over it. I am so sad and so so so so furious that they didn't do a better job. I am an adult and they continue to abuse me verbally, emotionally and religiously (yes, religiously, did you know there is a such thing as religious abuse?) at least they stopped sexually abusing me after my dad got prohibited by the court from seeing my daughter for a year. I can't wait until they die. I feel like that's the only time I will be free. I don't know how to move forward emotionally and mentally from this victimhood stance. I am sick of feeling like a victim. I want to be a conquerer and mostly I am. I have a great life now, but on the inside I still have so much pain and dysfunction. I've done so much therapy that I feel like more won't help. I feel like I won't be able to have a healthy romantic relationship until I learn how to move past this. I don't know how to move past it. So I've resigned myself to lifelong singlehood

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    1. Aw :( Hun! I'm sorry :( I oddly have a post written that I almost posted last night about being to scared to get close to people again (choose this one instead obviously).

      I don't have any great advice since you obviously see me struggling as well, but I am here if you need to chat or vent!!

      I'm glad that you are here! You are amazing, special, unique, and you have things to offer that other people don't because you are YOU.

      I hope some day you are able to let someone close enough to celebrate with you how amazing you are :)

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    2. Thanks Eden. In my better moments, like now, I know I will be ready to let someone in again someday. But not yet.

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  2. Never too late to learn, right?

    I believe that's right, anyway. I don't know how much people can change, but it's gotta be possible to learn from the past.

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    1. It's definitely possible to learn from the past :) I just hope I'm learning the right things lol!

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  3. Today at work (methadone clinic) I had a client scream at me and tell me I was stupid (he was mad because his girlfriend left without him and I was taking too long to dial the number to ring her mobile on my desk phone) and for a while after I hated both him and myself; myself for how incompetent and startled I must have looked, not even apparently being able to dial a phone right. I wanted to SI really badly, I felt so sick and, ugh, like an IDIOT. Like I used to feel so often.
    Then I remembered, just out of the blue, waitressing at my friend's pop-up cafe a couple weeks ago, a lady saying to my friend 'God you're busy today; lucky the girl you've got working is very good- and what a nice smile' and I remembered how I glowed for hours after, knowing someone I don't know could be that kind. And I thought; shouldn't I value the kindness higher than the nastiness, when someone's been gracious enough to give it?
    So yes, I absolutely agree; it makes a difference when you tell someone they are worthwhile, even in a little way!
    Thanks for another thought-provoking and moving post Eden!

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    1. Thank you :) I'm sorry you had a rough day!! I'm glad someone else was able to remind you of how special you are though :)

      *hugs*

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  4. The best case scenario in dysfunctional families is usually that someone will break the cycle of violence and abuse, and not pass it along to their own children.

    That's you, Eden!

    You couldn't control the cards you got dealt in life, but you sure as hell managed to parlay them into a winning hand.

    Congratulations on being the best case scenario! Your children will probably never realize how much they have to thank you for.

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    1. Aw, nothing like a little pressure! Lol

      Thank you very much :D

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  5. It probably wasn't the child safety lock, it was probably a car that when locked and running needs to be either unlocked by the driver or have the drivers door open first. Just in case you ever get stuck in a car again!

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    1. Ok. Embarrassing admission here...I was in the back seat (doing things teenagers do) when I decided enough was enough, I coudln't pretend for one more minute, we "needed to talk." Obviously not a well thought out plan, because who breaks up with someone in a car, in a parking lot, but whatever, it happened. I tried the door, it was locked, and essentially kicked my way to the front of the car and right out the window. I didn't even try the front door handle. I guess that's what panic does to you, makes you dumber :/

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    2. Not dumber! It's well proven that adrenaline inhibits fine motor skills (like opening a car door) because it shunts blood to your major muscle groups (arms and legs) to prepare for fight-or-flight. What you describe is completely normal. Stop kicking your own ass, lady! I almost did the same thing once when my dad and I started arguing in a car and the doors were locked. Total freak-out!

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    3. Haha. Well the back door was definitely locked and when I climbed to the front seat. The window was open so out I went. I didn't even think to try the front door handle. My brain was just freaking out "the doors are locked". I was actually trying to kick him because he was pulling me back in the car and kicked the dashboard instead. His face was like "my car! my car!" so I kicked it again. I broke the turn signal thing right off the steering column.

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    4. Sorry, random "and" got in the first full sentence

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    5. Too bad you didn't kick him in the face instead. Jerk. I did like that the cops in this story clearly tried to help you, but your stupid jerky family got in the way. :(

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  6. I never thought being in an abusive relationship would change the way I see corporal punishment, but it did. If you come home from work and see your neighbor has strewn his stuff all over your lawn, and then you find your neighbor and smack him on the butt with your hand, you are guilty of assault and battery. If it's immoral to put your hands on a full grown, independent adult, it is immoral to do the same thing to an 8 year old who depends on you to survive.

    I rarely tell anyone that this is how I feel unless I'm asked point blank (and then I usually hear, 'oh you don't have kids so you don't know' ... so why even ask me?) but this post is highly relevant to my own experience so I thought I would share.

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    1. I'll never forget my daughter bopping another kid on the head at playgroup with a toy. She must have been about 13 months old and the other child was the same age. I took the toy out of my daughters hand, told her "we don't hit friends" and put her in time out. The other child was not crying, no injury, barely phased, but I still apologized to her AND to her mother. The mother looked me straight in the eye and said "in my house we believe in corporal punishment and I haven't seen her hit anyone."

      I was like "yea, we don't believe in that at our house" and I got a HUGE lecture from the mother. In fact just last week I had some friends over and one of them brought up "do you remember when xyz's mom was trying to get us all to physically discipline our kids?" It was THAT out of place.

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    2. I think a part of it is insecurity. If a parent really is totally secure in their decision to ration out calm, measured spankings as punishment, they wouldn't try to make the whole world do the same thing. If I went to school to study history, I wouldn't get personally offended when someone wants to study English or Engineering.

      The problem is, in my experience, parents are usually spanking as an immediate reaction to vent their own frustrations. Study after study shows it isn't effective and it has unintended consequences but I still read and hear people in my life talking about "out of control kids just need to be hit at home more."

      I knew you'd get what I was trying to say, Eden. Thanks.

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    3. I bet you are right on the insecurity part. I hadn't thought of it like that before. Other people are just too self righteous. I don't feel like I need to have a political style debate during playgroup thank you very much lol!!

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  7. This echoes my own experiences so much. I let myself get physically, verbally, sexually, and emotionally abused by so many friends and boyfriends because my family had verbally and emotionally abused me for my whole life (and my parents were very verbally and financially abusive to each other, as well). My mom, to this day, gets a kick out of flexing her power in front of family members. My own aunts, uncles, and grandparents would witness my abuse and say nothing. My family had taught me that love looked like cruel words and ripping me apart for the smallest of mistakes and tearing me down in every way possible- basically, love was being someone's punching bag. I've actually tried to explain this to them (stupid me, I know), and of course they don't see the problem. Thank goodness I now know differently.

    Anyway, I'm sure you already know this, but you're not alone. It can be really hard some days, too, when it all comes back and feels just like it used to. But we're all survivors, and we're tough as nails, and now we can make sure no one else ever has to feel the way we did. And thanks to the internet, now we can be here for each other on our dark days, too :)

    Hugs, girl. Thanks for the beautiful writing, for continuing to be a positive role model, and for making me feel less lonely. <3

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    1. Most people think of family and think happy thoughts, its amazing how detrimental the word "family" had been to some of us. I'm sorry that you went through that. High five to you sister, you made it out and that makes you amazing :)

      *hugs!!*

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  8. This may not compare to your experiences, but I had been having problems with being the only one who wants to work and learn in the classroom and others were interfering greatly with that in various ways. I had a particularly bad day at school and had been talking to someone about it online and he told me that it's not ok, if it were in a work place the offenders would be fired etc. So I told my mom and we tried switching classes around. When someone found out i was doing classwork right outside the door of my english class they put me in the "stupid class" because they thought it was my problem and not a classroom problem. My mom knew otherwise and pulled me out of school in the 11th grade, and I actually graduated early with a ged.

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    1. stupid or special

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    2. I'm glad that your mom was on your side. It's amazing what a good support system can do!

      *hugs*

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  9. Again I offer you hugs if you would like, and mint chocolate brownies. Also I'm planning on experimenting with making these pumpkin bars, so you're welcome to try those as well.

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  10. Why edit out the bit about the child locks, Eden?

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    1. Did you read the other comments? I hadn't really explained in the blog that I was in the back seat and was too panicked (or dumb) to try the front door handle. It was confusing people so I took it out rather than add in an entire (ly boring) paragraph

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    2. Funny how the trolls take the time to memorize your posts, but not enough time to read the comments.

      Any good writer knows to clarify something if they haven't clearly explained themselves and this piece doesn't support all that nonrelevant information so it made more sense for her to delete the confusion.

      TROLL, THIS IS A BLOG POST ABOUT SOMETHING THAT HAPPENED TO HER TEN PLUS YEARS AGO. Do you really need a play by play? Do you need every single detail? I don't know about the rest of the readers, but I don't want a minute by minute play-by-play. Per Eden's above comment she was in the backseat "doing things teenagers do" when she stopped it and broke up with her boyfriend. Yea, I can see why that conversation might have turned sour. One minute she's macking on him and the next she is breaking up with him. His reaction was unacceptable and it was within her right to do so, but yes, I can see why it might not have been the best time. So she climbs to the front of the car and climbs through an open window because she was not thinking clearly enough to try that door handle. Kicks the dashboard at some point. Guess what, I DONT CARE. The post wasn't about that, it was about the stuff that happened after that. I don't want to waste my time reading a bunch on nonrelevant information.

      What a sad little trolly life they must lead, investing their pathetic little lives into something that is clearly so upsetting to them. Says a lot about the important lives they are leading.....

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    3. Didn't memorize them, and I did read all the comments. I know Eden is going to delete this comment again, but I will say that ONE commentor suggesting that the child locks were not the reason she couldn't get out of the car, does not confusion make. If this isn't a valid point, then why does Eden keep deleting my comments?

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    4. I'm deleting them because you are trolling and you know it. I've made it quite clear that I won't tolerate trolling over here anymore. This is not the only place these blog posts run. They are syndicated on several other sites so you are only gaining a narrow glimpse of a bigger picture and screaming "FACT." It became apparant that I was not clear in my reasoning as to why I couldn't get out of the car so I cleared it up. The last time I checked this was my blog and I was free to edit it as I please.

      Any further comments or responses will be deleted.

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  11. After I got out of a 4 year abusive relationship with my bf, it ended by him trying to kill me. It was a 2-3 hour ordeal that I don't know how I survived. But I'd had enough. I was ready to die. Dying was better than the shit life I had to go home to. My ex, my mother and her favouritism of my brother (she took my blue inhaler and gave it to him - which I really needed at this point), my job where I was also being bullied and others were taking credit for my work, etc... I stood up to him and this time I didn't back down. I took every hit as long as it wouldnt cripple me. I didn't fight back because I knew he would have me done and put me in prison, and my luck just wasn't that good. Anyway, I called him on it, I was getting bored of waiting to die. So I told him to 'Just fucking kill me'. He looked shocked and confused. So I kept saying it. And kept saying it. And every time he backed off a little more. He'd lost his power. He wasn't scaring me. I had nothing to lose. And he had no leverage. Then I had an Asthma attack (after being strangled and screaming for 3 hours). He panicked and called and ambulance, whilst pretending to be upset. As soon as I yelled at him saying he caused this he immediately stopped.

    When I was in hospital I was panicking that my mother had thought I had just been staying at my bf's for a week and I was scared that she was gonna get angry, throw me out, and go through my unopened mail (which she often did while I wasn't at home, which was also her excuse, she wanted to know what I was 'up to'). So after much pestering from the initially scary black nurse, I agreed to let her call my mother, on one condition, that my mother was not to give me any shit or hassle about the fact that I was lying in hospital having being beaten up by my bf. with a strange look she agreed.

    When my mother arrived she did nothing but bitch about the nurse and the fact that she had said this to her. I tried to tell her that I told her too but she ignored me. She just was making out she was a bad nurse.

    So I come to my point. After coming out of hospital she blamed me. After several times of her saying this I asked her straight to tell me the reason/s it was my fault, She said nothing. She just sat there and stared at me. Looking at me as if I was the worst daughter she could have asked for.

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  12. Howdy! Would you mind if I share your blog with my twitter group?

    There's a lot of folks that I think would really enjoy
    your content. Please let me know. Thank you

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