Friday, January 15, 2016

I'd Like To Officially Welcome My Parents And My Extended Family To My Readership Base (Yep, they are here)

So…. I’ve gotten a lot of emails asking me how the party went for my grandmother. You guys remember what I’m talking about, right? The 90th birthday party that was being thrown for my grandmother, the one I wanted to attend because I wanted to be there for her, but it was going to be incredibly awkward because I hadn’t seen much of my family in years?

Well, I didn’t go.

I was planning to go, but I literally couldn’t go because I was uninvited and told not to come.

Yep, that happened.

Why did that happen you may ask?

Because just days before the party, my family found this blog.


Yep, that happened too.

*GASP*

I know.

But honestly, whatever.

So let me tell you how things went down. My article about Christmas on welfare ran on the cover of Yahoo, someone in my family saw it (I have a pretty good inkling of who it was just based on the phrasing of a comment that was left on my blog and the events that occurred shortly thereafter, but I can’t say for certain). Among other things, the comments went on to ask how I could embarrass my family like this by "pretending" that I had been abused. I immediately messaged my surrogate mom (aka Frisbee Boy’s Mom) and Mr. Attorney Man and basically said “well, here we go!”

I sat back that night and imagined the whispers and shudders that were rippling across the interwebs of my extended family, and then I went to sleep.

Over the course of the next couple of days I continued to get nasty comments on the blog from my family, and then one night as I was sitting in bed, I got a text message from two aunts (yep, they collectively sent a text, because no one in this family can do anything alone) telling me that they had read my blog and that I was uninvited to my grandmother's party. They said “we just don’t want you to be uncomfortable,” but the tone implied that this was more about them being pissy, than any genuine concern for my feelings. At first I replied with a simple "OK!" because I really have no desire to get into it with them, but then as I sat and thought about it, I realized you know what?

Nope.

This is exactly what is wrong with this family and why I wanted to get the hell out of it. So with that, I followed up on my original answer.



My text was never responded to, which I knew was going to be the case, but you know what? I actually didn’t expect anything less from them. This is actually EXACTLY what I would have expected from my family. Not a phone call, no actual conversation, no attempt to understand, not even a “wow I read your blog and I'm angry,” or a “what the hell, can we talk about this?” kind of thing.

NOPE.

Nothing.

Silence.

A total exile.

Which is funny, because they are the ones that have been trying to get me to come back to the family for the last three years, ignoring all the times I've tried to tell them what has gone on in the past, or in my marriage. It was always me that was expected to set my feelings aside in order to appease my family, and nothing I said was ever understood beyond what seemed to them, to be my defiance to obey, and a long lasting grudge. The more I separated myself from my parents, the more my extended family resented me for it. Nothing I ever needed them to understand was talked about longer than the breath that they used to dismiss me with, and all the evidence of me screaming for a new life, was met with anger that I was making any noise at all.

Then, when I finally spoke up about it in a way that they could no longer ignore, banishment.


And that, THAT, is why I can never, and will never really be able to consider those people to actually be family, because that is not what family does.

That is a cult who is more worried about their reputation than the people in the cult. Those are people who would rather turn a blind eye than to try and understand something that they don’t want to believe is true; or even take the time to find out if it might be true, because if it is true, then what does it mean for the family?

You see the thing is, our brains are programmed to believe what we want them to believe. It’s why, when a tragedy occurs, that we have such a hard time processing it.

“This is not what I was expecting, this can’t be happening, how could this have happened? This isn’t happening; this is just a bad dream. Is this really happening?”

Our brains are programmed to believe and trust in the things that we have come to know and become comfortable with. Logical thinking is based on learned knowledge; knowledge that is based upon patterns, memories, and ideas that have become normal to us, and it is heavily based on what we expect to see.

We see what we expect to see. 

So when we stray from what we think we know and the thoughts and ideas that we are comfortable with, our thoughts feel unbelievable; unbelief that is furthered by the difficult task of questioning ourselves and what we thought we knew.

“If that really happened, then how come I didn’t see it?”

“If that really happened, then why did I miss the signs?”

“If that really happened, then what else don’t I know?”

"I can’t believe it, so there is no way that it happened."

As Michael Shermer says in his book “The Believing Brain,” “We form our beliefs for a variety of subjective, personal, emotional, and psychological reasons in the context of environments created by family, friends, colleagues, culture, and society at large; after forming our beliefs we then defend, justify, and rationalize them with a host of intellectual reasons, cogent arguments, and rational explanations. Beliefs come first, explanations for beliefs follow.”

My extended family is going to believe what they want to believe, and any explanations for those beliefs will just have to follow later because first and foremost, they will defend what they thought they knew.

Which is sad because the evidence against their beliefs is all there if they had even bothered to look.


There is a reason why I completely and utterly cut ties with my parents. People, especially single mothers, don’t just cut off their support system unless they feel that they have a better chance at survival without it.

There is a reason why someone’s husband just up and disappears from not only his wife, but also his children, and his own family; and usually that reason has been playing out long before the moment that he left.

There is a reason why I am so wholeheartedly invested into the nonprofit that I started.

There is a reason why my platform is based upon shattering the stigma's of what we think an abuse victim should look and act like.

There is a reason for so many things that they just don’t care to know, because believing only what they see before their very eyes is easier than believing something that is uncomfortable to think about.

I would know, because in high school I told my aunt what was going on and instead of helping me, she turned around and told my mother. Obviously my mother did not confirm my claims, and that was the end of that.


Except that it wasn’t.

I went on to repeatedly try to kill myself, each time claiming that I could not spend one more minute with my parents, but it was easier for everyone to just believe that I had depression. I went on to call the police after yet another fight with my parents turned physical, but it was easier to just believe that I was troubled, even when I moved in with my aunts and showed no signs of this “troubled” behavior that my parents claimed I had. I then ran into the arms of a guy that everyone knew was bad news, but it was easier to believe that I was stupid than to understand that I had not been treated any better at home, and thus had not learned that I deserved any better. My husband disappeared and it was never really talked about, and when I disowned my family it was easier to just believe I was “acting out,” than to put the puzzle pieces together and figure out what was going on.

But abuse?

It can’t be true, because no one saw it.



If a tree falls in the forest and no one was there to hear it, did it still make a sound?

If a woman got raped, but no one heard her scream, did she still suffer?

If a child was abused, but no one noticed, was it still abuse?

Blinded by happy family photo’s, family birthday parties, and Christmas around the tree, no one cared to look past that to the kid who had emotional and behavioral issues up to the sky, was incredibly awkward, just not quite right, and never seemed to be able to look anyone in the eye, because it was easier for them to see what they wanted to see rather than everything they actually had to look for. When I got married to a man who pretended to adore me just to hide his own failings, it further masked the traumas that were going on within our house.

The brain believes what it wants to believe; because questioning things that are uncomfortable, well that’s just too much work. When people are confronted with the idea that there are things that they may not have seen, and are asked to question their own memories, it’s hard, because “how could I have not seen this?”

“I could not have missed this.”

“Did I miss this?”

“Would I have missed this?”

“What else did I miss?”

“I couldn’t have missed this.”

“I didn’t miss this.”

And suddenly, after talking themselves out of questioning their own beliefs, everything is right in their life again, because nothing was ever wrong.

Their foundation is not shaken, their brain did not fail them, and in turn, they didn’t fail anyone else.

Because if it’s not true, then they didn’t fail me.

But perception is not always reality, and beliefs do not always make something true.

When I started this blog, I talked long and hard with Mr. Attorney Man about what it would might mean for me personally and professionally if my writing was ever connected to the nonprofit, or if my family found out. I knew that the subject of my writings might embarrass some of the people that I work professionally with, I knew that accusing someone of something might have legal repercussions to it, and I knew that the backlash of a very large family who is hell bent on protecting their reputation, would be a shit storm to deal with.

So I prepared for the storm.

About a year ago when my name started to become more well known and my blog started to attract more attention than I knew what to do with, Mr. Attorney Man and I started to spend quite a bit of time talking about the legalities of it all, what I could prove via documents. records, and witnesses if I needed to, and further, I started reaching out to people in my life and letting them know about this blog. I told my surrogate family, I told my friends, and eventually I told my nonprofit board members.

They have all known what I’ve been doing with this blog, and they have all been cheering me on. Many of my friends and nonprofit board members are my biggest blog fans, and I've been very blessed that they have all been so accepting.

In fact, people have been cheering me on for longer than I even knew and I have been utterly astounded at how many people from my church, my circle of friends, and people that I grew up with have come forward claiming “Ah ha! I knew it!”

They knew because instead of looking away, they looked closer. 


So for a long time many people have known about this blog, except for my family.

And when my family found out last month, that storm came down hard.

But after a storm, comes the calm.

I am calm and I am at peace.

For me, it’s over.

No more hiding. No more trying to be anyone that I’m not, and no more trying to pretend that I’m OK. No more secret writing career, no more secret past, no more secret life.

This is me.

My extended family finding out, it was the end game for me. It was the final curtain in the performance of a lifetime, of my lifetime; the show of “I’m Alright.”

I was never alright, and now the show is over.

My family knows, the curtain has been torn down, and the final act has been played in “I’m Alright.”

It’s over for good.


This blog, it was always the beginning for me. It was where I started my healing, where I found my voice, and the place that I found myself. You’ve watched me from day one when I sat in my bed with my computer, recovering from a sexual assault, and questioning my entire life.

You’ve watched me as I found my voice, shed my shame (sometimes shed my clothing), found my parenting stride, stepped into the dating world, gotten my heart broken, fixed my mangled heart, started my nonprofit, watched it thrive, made great friends, and found all of you.

I’m here.

This is where I am.

And now my family knows.

I've spent the last several years tearing down the stage props from the performance “I’m Alright,” but as much as I’ve been trying my damnedest to raise the curtain on “It Is Not My Shame To Bear,” it was never totally all the way up, because there was still so much to hide.


I was still hiding from my family.

But today, the curtain is up.

As for my pen name, I will be keeping it because although some Internet people are hell bent on invading my privacy, I do have two children who I am not trying to fully and voluntarily parade around the planet, and I personally think it's an irresponsible move to offer up my personal information (which Mr. Attorney Man reminds me of on a daily basis). But beyond that, I no longer have to worry about what will happen if people find out, because aside from safety purposes, I'm not hiding from anyone anymore, and everyone in my life already knows that this is me.

This is me.

As for my family? Well, as I always welcome my new readers, today I would like to welcome my family.

Welcome family, as you can see, I’ve been writing about you. I’ve also been stripping, swearing, raising two amazing kids, dating, having the time of my life, and yep, talking about you.

I’m sorry that it’s not what you expected or what you would have liked to read, but what can I say?

This is my life, this has been my life, and I’m sorry that you never noticed.

I’m sorry that you never really knew me.


I'm sorry that you never really took the time to know me.

As for my mother, if you wanted me to write nicer things about you, well, then maybe you should have been a nicer person.

In life traumas will happen, maybe to you, or maybe to someone you know. They will feel horrific, unbelievable, and you will have a hard time grasping the reality of their truth, but that doesn’t mean that they didn’t happen.

Rape, it happens. Abuse, it happens. Children get abused, husbands beat their wives, people have affairs, spouses become drug addicts, fathers abandon their children, and situations occur that we would rather pretend do not exist.

They do exist.

I exist.

Just because you didn’t see it, doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.

If someone refuses to believe that something happened to you just because they didn’t see it, then that is on them. There is no less truth to what you went through just because you were the only one who went through it.

You went through it, and you matter.

You are important, and so is what you are feeling.

Stand firm in what you know, and stand firm in who you are.

You are important, and what you went through matters.

It did happen.

It did exist.

You exist.

And for anyone that doesn’t want to believe that?

Well that’s on them.

As for us, we have no shame to bear.

Welcome to the show people. I haven't always been alright, but I have no shame to bear.

This is my life, even if you're just seeing if for the first time.


Things in life do not cease to exist just because we refuse to believe in them, but refusal to acknowledge life beyond our eyes is a commitment to a closed mind.

I've never seen a dream, but the only way to make them come true is to acknowledge their possibility to exist.

I don't need to see everything in order to know that there are things in life that I have simply not seen. Like the wind, although I've never seen it, I've seen enough evidence of its impact to believe that it's real.

Abuse continues, because of its ability to hide in the places that we can't always see.

Abuse is silenced, because of people who refuse to believe.

I won't be silenced anymore.

Extended family, welcome to the blog.

I won't stop talking just because you want me to.

Things don't cease to exist, just because they make you too uncomfortable to accept.


********************


Photo Credits

91 comments:

  1. You were not fibbing when you said a doozy of a blog.

    Shame on your aunts for uninviting you and not putting your grandma above their idiocy.

    Im glad you dont have to hide anymore. I pray God changes their hearts so they can see what was happening and so they wont hide the next time there is evidence that someone is being abused so that they can save them, maybe.


    I think you are so courageous. Im glad the interwebs brought me to your page.

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    1. I did warn you lol!!

      I'm glad you are here too :)

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  2. I love that first image of the guy being shocked.

    I'm so sorry you didn't get to go to your grandmother's birthday, will you get to see her another time?

    Does this mean we're going to get more angry troll comments now?

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    1. I literally laughed out loud when I first saw that picture, I'm glad you laughed as well :)

      I'm not sure how I can see my grandma, she lives with one of the aunts that uninvited me :(

      Delete
  3. "Eden" I am someone who knows you in real life. I won't post my name here to respect your privacy, but I'll email you later. Many more people believe you than you could possibly know. Not to sound creepy but a lot of us have been watching you since you joined our church in high school and what we saw with you mother broke our hearts. I can't attest to your childhood, but I've seen enough, and if the way your parents acted when your husband left is any indication of how they treated you growing up... we were appalled. No one should have to go through life with such a contingency based "support system," and it's why so many of us at church stepped up to help. Stay strong!! I love the pen name you have chosen, it suits you well.

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    1. Thanks love :) Got your email, and I called and left you a message!

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  4. You GO girl! Be proud of your accomplishments and what you have overcome. You, proud mama and beautiful woman, by simply sharing your amazing writing talent with the world, are bringing hope and strength to many who really need it...many more than you will probably ever know. (PS. I'm signed on as unknown for technical reasons I think - but my name is Carolyn and I live in Michigan). :)

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  5. You GO girl! Be proud of your accomplishments and what you have overcome. You, proud mama and beautiful woman, by simply sharing your amazing writing talent with the world, are bringing hope and strength to many who really need it...many more than you will probably ever know.

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  6. I was worried that something like that would happen (regarding your Grandma's birthday), but I am glad that you spoke your mind. Keep it up, continue not letting them get you down, and don't stop being a good person. smile emoticon

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  7. AWESOME POST!!!! Love it!! You just took away their power by outing them and yourself, so to speak!!

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  8. You are awesome sauce. smile emoticon

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  9. You are amazing!! It is so good to see you standing strong. Love to you and your fabulous kids!

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  10. I read the Yahoo article and some of the comments. They were total a-holes. I told them I saw it on FB and those who wanted to support and lift up this family can go there. Andrea Z.

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    1. Yahoo commentors can be so mean! Thank you for your support :)

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  11. Well, I was wondering how you were going to addrrss the "outing" by your family. Well done my surrogate daughter, very well done. It's a shame that your family doesn't see you for the amazing person you are but many of us do! And you're right, if your mother wanted you to say nice things about her, she should have been a nicer person. But even in that, they're all making it about them when, as a goo parent, the focus should have always been on you. You matter, you exist, very proud of you and we love you!!! XOXOX
    Frisbee Boys Mom

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    1. Thank you for being such an important part of Eden's life. I'm so glad she has people like you in her corner!

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    2. HAHAHA! You commented under your "pen name!" I love it!!! And I love you too ;) Thank you so much for always taking care of me and picking me up when I fall down. I couldn't do it without you!!

      Delete
    3. Thank you Steven for always having Eden's back when the trolls surface.

      And yes Eden, done intentionally ♡

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  12. Anything that has any real value comes at a high cost. And when the things you feat most happen to you, you are free from the fear of them. For every one of them are tens of thousands of people who need to hear about what you have been through. Who knows? Maybe a couple of them might even come to their senses. (I know, I know ... often a fine line between optimism and crazy.) A guy I know recorded a song once that says, "It isn't going to be much fun when the rabbit gets the gun." Sounds like the rabbit has the gun now, and they're just gonna have to deal with it. -Kim

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    1. Thank you for sharing that with me Kim :)

      *hugs*

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  13. Well sucks about your gramas birthday... But I always believe things happen for reason when they do. So it was time they seen your blog. You think it's the final chapter? Probably not, but now they know. And now, I hope they know your better off without them. Cause no one needs that kind of "family"...

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  14. Well, ... That Sucks!

    I pray that just one person in your extended family will not only believe you but believe in you.
    However ...

    take a lock at THIS extended family! we are way better :)

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    1. I have built an amazing family of readers, you are right!

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  15. When I first read this, I felt sad for you. Then I thought about it. I'm not sad for you anymore. I'm GLAD for you. I'm glad that you have the strength to stand up and the balls to end the b.s. once and for all. Now cut them off. No more texts. No more calls. No more explaining. You deserve better, and so do your kids. I wouldn't waste another thought on them.

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  16. It breaks my heart to see the comments of people who don't know what they're talking about on that Yahoo article.
    "What kind of mom on welfare can afford an attorney?" They don't know he's working pro bono for you
    "Maybe if Eden would've skipped that girls night out, she could afford a $20 gift for her kid" They don't know that you sold most of your furniture and items and your house is empty just so you could pay a month or two's rent.

    You're probably so over it, Eden, but it bothers the rest of us.
    Oh, well. Such is life.

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    1. Exactly!!

      It does bother me sometimes, but then I have to remember that their judgments are on them, and there is nothing I can do about that. If they want to live in hate, them so be it.

      Delete
  17. Wow! There is nothing left to say. Just,screw them all.

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  18. Wow. Any normal human being, even if they had their doubts about your writings, would have reached out to talk to you. The fact that your aunts slammed the door in your face without even bothering to talk to you says a lot about what kind of people they are. If someone says they have been abused, you don't shut them down without even a conversation unless you A. Don't want to deal with it, or B. Already know it's the truth and don't want to deal with it. Either way I applaud you for getting out of that family, they seem damaged beyond repair, while you on the other hand are healing others through your own healing.

    I love this blog!

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    1. I couldn't have said it better myself! And thank you :)

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  19. Good job Eden...you rock!!!! It is your family's loss to not acknowledge the person you are and what you have been through!

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  20. *waves happily* Hi Eden! I am hella glad you're finally here, and not hiding anymore. What a huge weight to have lifted!!!

    Many of the realities of your life will stay the same, but they will feel vastly different simply because you've decided to lay down the huge burden of "what if."

    Thanks for your courage and your willingness to share this whole process with all of us. I, for one, am proud and honored to know you.

    Also--I hope, Eden's Family, that you are all reading this and begin to peek into reality. But you probably won't, because you work so hard at not seeing. Too bad for you! You lost an amazing woman, and we gained her. Enjoy your misery, because you guys bought yourselves the shitty end of the stick with your choices!

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    1. Exactly, I already feel as though the burden has been lifted just because of this fiasco :)

      And thank you for sharing in this journey with me!! You've been here since the beginning and I love it!

      Delete
  21. Finally!!! Eden, I love this and I love the amazing person you have become in going through this. I "knew" before you told me and I'm so proud of you. We, your friends, would never turn our backs on you because we love you!! You are my hero!!! Fuck your family, you proved a long time ago that you didn't need them. Your kids are beautiful and proof of your amazingness. We all love them and we love you. I'm going to hug you so big when I see you!!!

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  22. Good for you, Eden! Breaking the cycle of abuse is such a rare thing to witness. Especially coming from as whacked-out a family as you do! Love and hugs, kiddo.

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  23. Almost didn't know how to respond to this, but I will now.

    You officially have nothing to hide, Eden. It's all out there, and you've finally been able to tell your side of the story. Their names aren't attached to this, so that whole protecting their (likely imagined) reputation is bullshit. Hell, these are the people who thought divorcing a violent meth addict was "shaming the family". Like seriously? They are clearly not grounded in reality if they think normal people think like that.

    And I really do find the timing of this a little strange. Maybe it's my own upbringing, but I always find myself wondering "did they plan this?" when something goes wrong. As much as I know you wanted to be there for your grandma, I'm just hoping you felt more relieved when this happened than anything else (and it sounds like you are.)

    Really looking forward to the direction things will take now. I'm hoping at least SOME OF THEM will realize the badass niece/cousin that they missed out on.

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    1. Thanks CD. They are lucky I haven't posted their real names on here! I can't imagine my brothers would find job hunting very easy if there names were to come on on a google search in association with this. Even I'm not that much of a bitch.

      Delete
  24. Eden you have to be the strongest person I've ever known (even though I don't know you other than your blog). To endure all you have for as long as you have is really unbelievable! Incredible and beyond what any person should ever have to live through! You,re a superwoman and my hero for all your strength and you unconditional love for you beautiful children! So overwhelming impressed beyond words!

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    1. Aw Jim, thank you :) I'm not sure what to say. I'm definitely not anything special, many people go through this stuff every single day (and handle it better than I!)

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    2. But thank you so much for your sweet words!!

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  25. Good for you. Sounds like your family needed a reality check as well as mental health services. You are far better off without them.

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  26. Eden, I was really shocked to read your blog, but I don't disagree with much of it. I've known you for a long time and I know your parents. Your mom has a lot of diagnoses, but I truly believe that most of it can be attested to her manipulative and narcissistic personality. It's easy to explain away your behavior with a host of mental health issues, but just because you have manipulated everyone into the fantasy of how "sick" you are just to excuse your behavior doesn't make it right. She seems to find these diagnoses online and then play the part in an effort to actually get that diagnosis, all the while using the label to excuse her actions and manipulate the people around her.

    This is not your fault and I'm happy that you have separated yourself from her delusions and your dad's gullibility.

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    1. Are you one of Eden's ex-husbands?

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    2. The OP was talking about Eden's mother, not Eden. It was in defense of Eden bc her mother has problems.

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    3. The OP was talking about Eden's mother, not Eden. It was in defense of Eden bc her mother has problems.

      Delete
  27. Wow! I came across your blog a few months ago and favorited it on mine because I was going through something similar with my extended family and had to end up cutting some of them off because they are too toxic.

    They were the people that I used to be so eager to get to know and have in my life but I was always mistreated by many of them, as if I was inferior. To add, later I found out just how petty, spiteful, backstabbing, and deceitful some of my cousins can really be. After years of biting my tongue, I finally had enough of their toxic ways and cut them off. Why keep people like that in your life? I reasoned.

    Family can be your WORST enemies. They use blood as an excuse to mistreat you but they have no right to do so and you are definitely NOT obligated to stay and put up with their crap. Cutting ties and liberating yourself from a circle of pain is the best feeling ever.

    Glad that you finally found freedom!

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    1. I hope that you are doing better now :) Thank you for sharing your story with me! I am glad that you have found your way here :)

      *hugs*

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  28. Do you still need socks?

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    1. A sweet person has offered through Facebook, thank you SO very much for caring :)

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  29. Hey, I read your entry on yahoo! I was bedless for a few weeks and currently am hungry because I am out of food (Thank God I am Childfree or else this would be way more difficult). Anyway, here:

    http://www.bedsforkids.us/

    This is a non-profit that gives beds to kids who need them! I was able to get what I needed by networking and googling my pants. While I did this I ran across this nonprofit and a few others that I'll put at the bottom. Good luck!

    https://www.ashleyfurniturehomestore.com/en/A-Hope-To-Dream
    http://www.bedsforkids.org/

    With a little research you can pretty much get anything you need for free.
    http://angiesangelhelpnetwork.com/help-for-low-income-families/free-to-low-cost-computers-for-kids/

    The last is for a free computer.

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    1. I'm so sorry that you are going through that :( Do you have any food pantries near you that could help you out?

      Thank you so much for the website, I am totally going to look at the beds for kids one. I did apply at the Ashley Furniture store one, but I never heard anything back. Thanks for the computer link!!!

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  30. When I get home from work I always check your blog first it's like reading a really good novel Love it:)your honesty and caring for the people and issues that are so important in your life make you who you are and it is your family's loss. Stay strong and keep on keeping on :)

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    1. Aw, that's so awesome!!! Thank you for sharing that with me :) It's good to know that people appreciate the time it takes to keep this up and running :)

      Thank you for your encouragement!!

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  31. I don't know where to start but this is the first time I read your blog and it really opened my eyes because I HAVE been that person judging those who choose welfare and have nice cell phones and nails that are perfect.....my eyes needed to read what you wrote and I assure you that although I have NEVER made anyone intentionally feel badly, I am not sure I did enough to make them feel good. You are a very strong and courageous woman and the children are so lucky to have you. I wish you peace and lots of good things and know that you have gained a follower and a believer and a supporter ! Hugs from one mom to another !!

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    1. Susan, that is SO neat to see you say that. What an awesome person you are to be able to self-reflect like that :) I have a feeling that you are going to make a lot of people feel loved :)

      Thank you for your kind words!

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  32. I'm glad this burden is finally lifted Eden, you shouldn't have to be "hiding" from those people who pretended to be family. If they're not going to cop to their culpability here then they can go kick rocks. You shouldn't have to deal with that abuse, especially as an adult who's making her own way in the world.

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    1. Thanks Trevor :) I agree and it's good to see you confirm that.

      *hugs*

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  33. You are awesome. I don't know what else to say, so I'll just leave it at that.

    Go you!

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  34. Sister (in Christ)January 22, 2016 at 5:32 AM

    When I read: "You went through it, and you matter", I thought: Thank you, Eden. Thank you for being a beautiful voice in a world of darkness, and thank you for sharing your story. You have helped me and other people so much -- you helped us realize we are never alone, no matter how alone we feel.

    *Hugs* and I'm praying that your life is filled with true love and kind people who love you for you.

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    1. Aw thank you! I love reading your comments and I'm happy to see you here today.

      You DO matter, you matter to me, and I'm sure you matter to so many other people. You are important!!

      Thank you for your encouragement.

      *hugs*

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    2. Late reply, but thank you so much, Eden!! ^__^ I hope you are doing wonderful!!! I sometimes forget how loved I am, how loved everyone is too. We are always loved by God even though it's hard to see/remember sometimes, so thank you for reminding me of the truth again <3

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    3. Also, I'm super blessed to have been able to read your blog! Thank you, God!
      Sharing your story must undoubtedly be very painful, but also freeing. I hope you heal everyday, and also remember you are loved always, too :)

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    4. Well, if you ever need a reminder of how important you are, I'm here if you need me :)

      As always, thank you for your sweet words!

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  35. AMAZING response, Eden. You are courageous, and that courage will allow others to stand up and have courage in their own lives, I KNOW it will. Thank you for going first, being an example, and fighting for truth. Hugs.

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    1. Thank you love :) I really appreciate that!

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  36. Eden - I happened to read your article on Yahoo this morning and it made me cry. Then after seeing your name I found your blog. As an abuse survivor (although it was many years ago) I applaud what you have done with your life. Bless you, your babies and your friends. Thank you for being strong enough to write all this down. You never know who you're helping with your words. Be happy sweet girl!

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    1. Aw thank you Libby, you put a big ole' smile on my face!

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  37. Hello. I just started reading your blog because I can relate. My husband and I come from dysfunctional families. I also spent some time in an abusive relationship and I have a chronic illness that I passed on to my son.

    My husband was molested as a child by his brother. I have tried to bring it up and get the family to go to counseling, but I always end up being the bad guy. To my dismay, my husband continues to have relationships with a family who treats him like a doormat, including that brother. I've tried to get him to stand up for himself or go to counseling, but he won't follow through. His family is much like yours-If they don't talk about it, it did not happen.

    I do wish he could see that sometimes life is better when you separate yourself from the abusers.

    Maybe I can get him to read your blog.

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    1. I'm sorry that you and your husband are going through that. It's no easy task to unravel that mess :(

      He is lucky to have you! Keep supporting him, let him work through it at his own pace, and never stop telling him that he deserves to be happy, healthy, and feel safe.

      *hugs*

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  38. I think you came here (Earth) to spread the message that its OK to ditch your "family". I really do. Your family was no family. They are shit. Other people have shit families as well, and thanks to YOU, they might also have the courage to leave theirs.

    Peace and blessings to you and your family!

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    1. Haha! Well that would be quite the interesting purpose! Glad to help out :)

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  39. Hi, Eden. I came across one of your articles on Yahoo (the one about your ex suddenly leaving). I've been reading your blog for the past hour and I'd just like to ask you to never stop telling your story. Never. I feel like I'm in the same boat. I've been treated badly by most of the people who should've cared about me and whenever I try to tell my story, I get stifled. Still, I keep sharing my story to anyone who would listen. I can count them with one hand but it still helps. Imagine having all of us as witnesses to your life. I say you're better off.

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  40. I just found you through a Yahoo article, Eden, and applaud your honesty, courage and desire for a positve focus. So much resonates with me, though the circumstances were different, and my children were older.

    Finally choosing to separate from my previously intelligent, hard-working alcoholic husband 5 years ago, was the hardest thing I have ever had to do, mainly because, to me, you don't kick a person when they are down; however, after 2 years of putting my all into enabling him to change, some aspects were worse, I was exhausted, and, after crying to myself for 18 months, I realised I had to let him go his own way. My main thought was 'This is his journey now, and it certainly isn't going to be ours.' I was astonished by the rush of energy released by that empowering decision- it kept me going for two years and six jobs, and any opportunity that came along, and helped me stay strong and happy and support my children through the change in our family.

    I avoided bad-mouthing their father, and told them that 'with an addiction, you do not have free choice in the way in which we understand it'. (This is true for many issues, as our behaviour follows examples of what we have seen, and we don't even realise we have a choice, but we follow blindly.) I was able to be a friend to my husband at a distance, and challenge him because no-one else did and I knew him so well. He never managed to make changes, but at least we didn't have to watch his decline on a regular basis, and we were all at peace with the situation, including him, by the time he died. The result of it all is that I have two awesome children who, while they have sadness in their lives, never felt abandoned by their father, and who know that 'life is all about choices' in creating the life they want. They also know that it is not up to anyone to make you feel good about yourself, because you are handing your happiness to others. Only when you know inside that you are a good person can you be a good partner to another. I embrace being single and rediscovering more about myself.

    It is very important not to focus on what we don't want, or it brings us down and we will actually bring it about, as our brains do not process negatives! You are right to change your focus to happier things. And I will end this 'essay' by saying that it is vital, not selfish, to do things just for yourself, and ask for help, as that shows you value yourself, and enables you to be in a good place to help others. Which you clearly do for many, Eden. It is easy to develop habits, and when they no longer serve the original purpose, we need to modify or change them. You are not the same person who started this journey, so you inevitably need to make changes. No apologies!
    xxx

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    1. I applaud the way that you have handled everything, because so many have not come even near doing that well. You sound like an amazing person, and I wish we could meet in person so that I could absorb some of your wisdom!!

      Thank you for taking the time to write to me, and congrats on a job well done!

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  41. I really enjoy reading your blog, especially your posts about family because I'm going through a similar problem of my own. Sometimes we find that family are often our worst enemy, and I learned that the hard way. There's some of my extended family members that I had to cut off and as far as I'm concerned, I will never have anything else to do with them. It just feels so liberating cutting out toxic sources from our life, doesn't it? I'm glad that you finally found liberation by removing yourself from your toxic family members.

    It's funny when you mentioned that your family found your blog, because the saaaaame thing happened to me as well. Apparently they must've been stalking my business and came across it, then when they read what I had to say about them they got pissed, but it served them right. After all of the pain they caused in my life, they needed to finally see the truth about what I really thought of them.

    After reading my blog, a couple of them who I was talking about called themselves trying to sneak diss me on my facebook page but little did they know, that was all the ammo I needed to finish cutting them off. Afterwards they called themselves trying to feel bad. Lol, pathetic.

    I can say that you did the right thing by expressing your feelings about what your family put you through, and you shouldn't feel guilty about doing so either.

    You can read my posts here: http://derrickfarrier.blogspot.com/2014/12/family-or-enemies-disclaimer-as-much-as.html, and http://derrickfarrier.blogspot.com/2015/05/distance-respecting-boundaries.html

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    1. You are right, it is VERY liberating! I don't think I've ever felt as good, stable, safe, happy, strong, and loved, as I do WITHOUT a family. That right there says something.

      I'm proud of you for doing what you needed to do too. More power to you, and high-five!!

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  42. Sorry im late in posting. Officially proud to be reading this as someone youve helped. and to hell with those people! sometimes youre just the black sheep. and im glad to see you guys are doing great!!!! way to go standing up for yourself! -Marshana

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  43. I'm just catching up on your blog and all your posts as I've only seen bits and pieces via yahoo...but OH EM GEE!!! The powerful amount of FREEDOM and inspiration I feel while reading this post is freaking awesome! While reading this post, I see that you are the one holding the power, not the abuse or abusers. Such an inspiration! Thank you for sharing such intimate details in your life, past and present.

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    1. Thank you :) This has definitely been a freeing journey!!

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