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Welcome to Not My Shame To Bear!!

I'm so glad you are here! This blog is not only the story of my past, but the story of my healing. It's the ugly, the happy, the crazy, and everything in between. As you join me while I shun my family, struggle to single parent, overcome domestic abuse, and guide my children through parental abandonment, you will also laugh with me as I fail at dating, make an everyday fool of myself, and never fail to tell you much more than you wanted to know.

Above all this blog aims to make you laugh and will succeed in making you think.

Whatever your journey, whatever your story, I'm glad that you are here.

Before you begin this journey with me though, you might want to start where I started, at the beginning. Just like me, in order to look forward, sometimes you first need to look back.

Just click the link below to see where my journey started.




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You are amazing. 
You are precious, you are smart, and you are beautiful. 
Don't let anyone tell you differently and don't ever forget it because you are loved.

-Eden Strong




48 comments:

  1. I stumbled onto your story from a Google search of how to deal with abusive parents now that I'm an adult, and was amazed at all the obstacles you had overcome.

    The thing that intrigued me the most was your decision to disown your abusive family. I began to realize that maybe the best thing in my situation was to stop feeling an odd sense of obligation towards a group of people who continually harm me and my family. I feel like for now, it would be better for everyone involved. We would be cutting out the x factors.

    Anyways, thank you for sharing your story. It has helped me to see things a bit more clearly. My best to you and your children

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    1. I'm sorry that you are having to deal with this :( When having a family is such a primal necessity if you will, it's hard to wrap your head around the fact that maybe family isn't what you need.

      I hope you are able to figure out what is best for you and I wish you all the luck and blessings in making the decisions that you need too :)

      I hope you "see" you around here and please reach out if you need anything! There are a lot of super smart people in the comments section!

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    2. just saw this story while eating my lunch. i'm sorry to hear about your struggles. real men hug their wives and hold them up, not abuse them. i'm not perfect but i love my wife and kids and would die protecting them. keep up the good work and i wish you well!

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  2. I too came across your story after I googled " have you been dis-owned by your family ". I am too familiar with many of the things you wrote about, I applaud you for having the ability to move on with just your kids. My Husband and I have no kids and live next to my Mother and siblings who have treated me as if I were worthless since birth. Why, I can't break ties and let them go, I do not know. I always think things will change and then they never do. I too, have told myself that I need family around me, only in the same breath knowing they've never been there for my anyway. I applaud you Jane for having the strength and insight that I do not. Here I sit at work with well meaning co-workers dropping in asking how Thanksgiving was and then seeing their pity when I say, "it was good, it was just me and my Husband, but it was good." I hate that I have saddled my Husband with this burden, he only has his Sister left but they are close. So he doesn't understand the dysfunction I am so used to. Thank you for listening, and I hope we can be friends.

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    1. I'm so sorry that you are going through that :( You are not alone! As you can see from the pages of this blog many of us are trying to redefine the meaning of "family" and who we should allow to fill those roles.

      Thanks for reading and I hope you stick around, there are a lot of wise commenters with some great advice for people like us!

      *hugs*

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    2. Hi I came across your story as looking for some kind of help not sure how to contact you. You went through so much I was so so saddened and upset to read it I am glad you were strong and got away. I feel my sad life does not compare. I need a friend someone to talk with I feel so sad and lonely, I am in an abusive marriage :-( :'( x

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    3. You are not alone and there is no comparision when it comes to abuse, it all sucks. You can email me at notmyshametobear@gmail.com and I'd be happy to talk with you.

      I hope to hear from you soon.

      *hugs*

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    4. Hi ok thank you x

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  3. Eden Strong,

    Thank you for writing this. My experiences were similar, but despite my strength, (or perhaps because of it) I find it easy to forget and get caught up in the ideals of others: acquaintances, public figures, the media in general, especially around the holidays. I find it rather offensive to receive holiday greetings from toxic, once-dangerous family simply because of the time of year. I was just questioning my several years-long refusal to have any contact with a few of those people. Luckily, like therapy, reading your posts helped me to snap out of it. It's important to keep it real and realize that there is little value in having merely a facade of family support, knowing that they not only do not support you, but in fact tear you down.

    I wish you and all of your readers well-deserved peace & harmony (holiday season or not).

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    1. ^ Just to clarify... "like" therapy, but by no means a substitute, and I understand the legal disclaimer :)

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    2. I'm sorry I didn't reply sooner, I somehow missed all these messages. I hope your holiday's went well and that you were able to find the strength you needed to stand firm in your choice. It's not a coward that runs from their family, it's someone strong enough to stand up for what they need.

      You can do it :)

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  4. This breaks my heart. I was fortunate that I didn't have to deal with the physical abuse that you did but I understand the emotional and mental abuse. My mother has 'disowned' me a few times in the past, but she always comes back and acts like she did nothing wrong. Until my little brother and sister are away from her I can't in good conscious break ties with her. I was adopted and have been told I was a mistake, I can't imagine what it is like to have your biological parents treat you that way.

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    1. That sounds so rough, especially with the adoption aspect. I wholeheartedly understand not wanting to break ties because of younger siblings, I did that for many years :(

      I really hope you are able to find a path that gives you what you need.

      Sending all my support and *hugs*

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  5. I suck. I found this blog searching "boobs on TV." Yeah I'll just throw myself out.

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    1. Haha! I do believe that's called "porn." You might get some more accurate search results that way ;)

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  6. I stumbled upon your site after some quick "stalking" after reading an article I saw on Yahoo! - Why I'm Perfectly Fine With My 3-Year-Old Using a Pacifier. After reading that I stumbled on I Stopped Listening To Doctors Because They Almost Killed My Child.

    First with the pacifier thing - I am the mother of a 6yo. I still let him have his “boys” at bedtime. Now maybe you are reading that and thinking "6?!?!? No way in hell I'd let it go that long!" Here's his story. He was born a preemie (27 weeks). His twin brother passed away at 23 days. He has been in the hospital for one reason or another every year since birth. The boys (so called because they are the type with a stuffed animal attached) go with for each surgery and hospital stay. He has never been the type of child who is okay being alone, and I honestly think a part of that is not having his brother. Having the boys with him make his feel comforted. They also serve another purpose - he is a really bad teeth grinder. I noticed that when there is no paci in his mouth he has the ability to get those teeth together and grind away; it's almost unbearable to hear. Then again, maybe that's just me making an excuse. He is a happy, very sociable child. He has good speech and his teeth are not sticking out. The boys have a sense of security the nothing else can match. He only uses them at bedtime or when he’s really not feeling well, aside from those two times he never asks for them; they stay in his bed and he does not go get them. He has been told that when he loses his first tooth that the boys will lose their pacis; he can still have the boys as friends, but there will be no paci attached for the sake of his permanent teeth. Will I hold true to that? I guess we'll see :-)

    As for the second article I just have to say thank you! All this week and last I have been feeling like a complete and udder failure as a mother. After a recent battle with a stomach virus my son encountered two doctors who are extremely worried about his weight. He still has yet to break into the 40 pound range. Mind you he had a pediatrician he saw every year up until this past year when she left her practice, leaving me to find a new one. Every year I would mention his weight. Every year I would be told he is healthy, does not have a compromised immune system as he’s rarely sick, has get color, has tons of energy and socially and emotionally on par – don’t worry, he’ll eat when he’s hungry. Now a new pediatrician who has only seen him after 48 hours of vomiting and a hospitalist who has only seen him after a 3 days hospital stay tell me there has to be something wrong with him. The pediatrician actually says to me that I need to feed him sugar and bad fat to make him gain weight. They want me to make my child who eats relatively healthy – fruits, veggies, chicken, little candy and cookies and cake since he doesn’t’ care for them – and teach him bad eating habits so that as an adult, when he has health issues, he cannot break the bad habits he formed as a child. Guess I’m looking for another new pediatrician.

    Then I read about you and your story. I can’t go into detail, but I’ll just leave it at a lot of it resonated with me. You are very lucky that you have found your voice. I envy that in you.

    Well, now that I’ve gotten all that off my chest and you know way more about me and my son that you ever wanted to, I thank you for listening and look forward to more relatable articles 

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    1. Hi!! I'm so glad you found your way here :) You have to do what's best for your kid, and screw anyone else!! My daughter turns 7 this month and is 38lbs. Her doc just says that as long as she is growing she is fine. You know how they put kids in percentiles? Like "56th percentile for weight?" As long as they stay close to the same percentile they are fine. My daughter has pretty much always been in the12th percentile for weight, and her doc says it just it was it is! When she did drop down to the 4th then he was concerned because she had essentially stopped gaining weight, but within a few months she was back up to the 12th again. Listen to the docs, but also listen you your instincts! There is a reason we have them! :)

      I'm glad you found your way here and I look forward to hearing from you again.

      *Eden*

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  7. I Love your Words. It opens up a whole different world for me of how there are other people going through or have gone through worse than what I have. I thank you for your blog and I am thankful that I found you. I look forward to reading more about your journey, where you came from and where you are headed.

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    1. Aw thanks love. You are NOT alone and many have gone through MUCH worse than even I have.

      I'm glad you found your way here :) I look forward to "seeing" you around.

      *hugs*

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  8. Thank you for sharing your story, I too found it while looking for guidance. My experience has been less physical and more mental/emotional. I blame myself often and even tried to end my life because of it.

    I have accepted this is how things are with my father, stopped talking to him and have decided to move on to greener pastures.

    I will always love him, I just wish he loved me too.

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    1. I'm glad you found your way here but I'm sorry for the circumstances that led you to seek it out :(

      Acceptance is a powerful tool in having control over our future, I'm happy you were able to take that step :)

      *hugs*

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  9. You are a true inspiration...your story touched me in so many ways.if there is anything I can do for you,please let me know...you are a true hero Eden Strong :)

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    1. Aw thank you :) I don't know about a "hero," but I'm happy if I can make any difference at all.

      *hugs*

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  10. Do you still get letters from your mother? If you do, I think it would be better to write "Refused" on them and send them back so she won't have the satisfaction of knowing she was able to insult you.

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    1. I do not. You're right, it may have been a little more satisfying to send them back, but I think at the time I just didn't want to devote even one single second of my life to her, and moreso, I think I just got to the point where I didn't even care what she thought. I didn't even care to get the satisfaction of her knowing I wasn't reading them, because I didn't care enough to even try to win the battle. But, I'm banking your idea for next time, if I need it :)

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  11. Your journey and your words are very empowering. You're a light for many. I cannot imagine surviving what u did - and yet, u did! And you seem so emotionally healthy. I admire you.
    I stumbled upon this site when I googled 'disown family'. I feel I should. It's all so subtle, but I'm tired of false faces and bullshit. I love my parents and I feel they live me - kind of. Not sure...they don't treat me w value...and I've done soooo much f them. It's my siblings and extended family I want to let go of. I'm a good person and been there f others so much. I just don't fit in nor do I resonate w them. I'm more introverted, nice, an empath and single when they're all extroverted, fake, mean and married w kids. I'm just tired of all the weird looks, excluding, .... I can feeeel that they don't like me. (Cousins, siblings...)
    Why do I care so much? Why can't I just not show up anymore, why does it hurt me so much inside? Why do I feel loyal to my aging parents? I love them a lot, but they never stood up f me when my brother was verbally and emotionally abusive f years. And never acknowledged it. No one was there f me.
    Why am I the 'servant'? Why do I feel responsible? I feel I've missed out on my whole life. I feel this odd sense of duty to my parents. I feel I have to be their til they pass. (They're old, I'm in my 40s). The only good thing about their passing on will be that I'll be free to move away.
    I can't wait f the day I never have to see the rest of my family again. I can already feel the relief just thinking about it.

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    1. You have to take care of you, and if they aren't adding to the quality of your life, then it's OK to walk away from them.

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  12. So I am new to your blog- I have a lot of catching up to do, You popped up on my FB feed and as much as it broke my heart, it gave me a little ray of hope on how we as mothers will go through unimaginable struggles and still raise amazing children. Here is to getting to know you better xoxo

    Also, is there anyway the public can help you or ypur children in anyway?

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  13. Thank you so much Claudia :)I'm happy that you have found your way here!!

    Honestly, the best thing that the public can do for me and my kids, is to keep talking about the issues that my blog raises, so that other mothers and kids don't continue to try and hide away what they have been so shamed into hiding. That would make me feel amazing :)

    *hugs*

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  14. I have just read your Yahoo article and I must say it was an interesting read. I'm real sorry that all happened to you and your kids, you seem like a pretty strong women! Also nice blog, you must have put a ton of work into it! I'm still pretty new at all this blogging stuff and mine is kinda dinky, but yours looks superb! Props and good luck in your future goals :)

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    1. I still feel like mine looks plain and boring lol! Thank you for your compliments :)

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  15. I read your story on yahoo; dear lady, my heart breaks for you and your children. I am so sorry your ex did that to you, and it makes me quite angry on your behalf. I will pray for you and your family; just know you are not alone and that there are men like myself who despise what people like your ex did to you.

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  16. Thank you for writing this! it is comforting to know that I am not alone, but sad at the same time. It is hard to move forward one you decide to make the stand to walk away because not many people understand, expect my therapist. I have been out of contact with my parents for two years now. My mother hates me and sees me as an excuse for her life failures because she had me, but the thing that hurts me the most is that my father allowed it. I am so glad I stumbled across this today.

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    1. That's what I always say: That I'm thrilled to not be alone, but so sad that others have gone through these same struggles.

      I hope you find some healing and comfort here, because you are most definitely not alone!

      *hugs*

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  17. I read your article about sexual coercion and it has meant a lot to me. The only lighthouse I'm having is my anger and my grief, and that's what I've been following although I had no clues of why I was feeling this after a sexual encounter. I have been doubting a lot on myself (still I do) because I didn't find a word or a rational explanation of what I experienced, appart from... "I said yes". I'm starting to understand the whole thing better, how all this works. Yes, I said yes because he told me I was acting like a cock-teaser. I said yes because, when I told him I didn't know If I wanted to stay because I was nervous and anxious, he said I could have said 'no' before going to his house. I said yes because he also was saying that he was a very sensible and emotional guy and then I trusted him as If he was a protector. The information you share in your article has been clarifying for me. It almost made me cry. I hope I can find people who understands this here in my country (Spain). Thank you very much!

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    1. Understanding what happened is often the first step in beginning to heal from any kind of trauma. I'm glad that the article provided a bit of insight for you, and I'm really sorry that you've had to go through all of this in the first place :( I'm proud of you though for dealing with it. It won't go away, no matter how much we'd like it to, so great job for exploring the pain/situation so that you can not just ignore it, but truly deal with it.

      I'm here if you need to chat.

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    2. You are very kind, txs
      Yes, the article helped a lot :-)
      I needed this, because almost anyone was understanding me. I would love to have a community in my city where we could discuss this experiences. For healing, for getting empowered and for understanding better. Before this experience I wasn't aware, but now I see this as part of a network where violences are normalized. Thank you very much!

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  18. Thank you for writing this. Victims never get a break. We get all the questions while the abusers get away with it. We're asked why we don't leave, instead of why they think it's okay to do this. We're asked why we missed the red flags, which were either non-existent or so nebulous they were easy to explain away. When we go to therapy, we are badgered to "forgive." When is the abuser held accountable? Oh...I forget...only if and when they kill us.

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  19. We need an underground shelter source for women, children and their family pets. I'll offer up my home as one to get this started. Having many obstacles to overcome in just attempting to physically leave an abusive home, financial resources and what to do with the family pet always were top of mind.

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    1. There are a few underground shelters that I know of, but sadly it doesn't always end well. Women end up working menial jobs, rarely getting above the poverty line, being terrified for all eternity that they will be found, and moving a lot. And if found, facing felony kidnapping charges. It's so sad that they have to resort to that :(

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  20. I am also a victim of domestic abuse. I live with my husband for 13 years until one day he pretended to go crazy and decided to hit my head with a hammer while I was asleep. It has been almost 6 years now, he is about to get out of the "mental" institution and yet we still are not divorce because the state is protecting him. The state forgot to take care of me the real victim in this case. His doctors started to find out the real stories six months before they think he is already sane. That's when they found out that the domestic abuse had been happening since the start of our marriage. I fear for my life and my children when he gets out but no one are listening to me. There are times I wished I can just run away...far, far away where he can't find us.

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    1. Oh my gosh!! That is absolutely terrifying and I am so incredibly sorry that you had to go through all of that :( How are you doing now?

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    2. Surviving...my head still hurts and have to go back to pain meds plus nerve blocking shots on my head (imagine having 53 staples on my head)...I'm raising my girls by myself, the oldest is in college and the youngest is senior in highschool. Everyday is a struggle financially, emotionally and physically. The bad thing is not everyone understand the effect he did to me and my girls.

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  21. Unfortunately I came across your page typing "Accidentally burned my vagina" bad times, your story made me laugh!

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