Saturday, April 26, 2014

Here's Your Chance! (Super Fast Post)

Just as a quick update since a lot of you have asked, no I haven't gone to see my mother yet. I called my father and asked to meet with them, to which he said they will "think about it." Figures. They bug the hell out of me trying to get me to get in contact with me and then when I suggest we meet they are all "whoa. Whoa there daughter, we aren't so sure about this." That right there proves that they do not do well when they feel their power might be threatened. They have been literally begging me to give in to all their requests to visit, to which I obviously ignored, but when I suggest it, "well gee, that's wasn't our idea so it sucks." They know something is up and their cowardly stripes are showing.

When I find out when I'm going to be seeing them, I'll be sure to let you guys know before I go. I'm going to need the prayers and well wishes!!

With all the comments and emails that I received on the subject, I figured I would open the floor to you guys and see if you have any other questions for me. Anything you have been wondering? Burning questions? I know a lot of you have been reading for a long time and following my story, so here's your chance to let me know what you are thinking!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

I'm Going To See My Mother

I run on a near daily basis. Miles upon miles fly by under my feet and while I run for exercise, I also run for a deeper purpose. I run because it is a very controlled way to deal with the anxieties of my past. For a long time, running was the only coping mechanism I had for the horrors that were forced upon me. Did you know that the most basic instinct we have as living creatures is our fight or flight response? Dating back to the creation of our existence, we as human beings have been programmed to protect our survival. Our brains are hardwired to tell us that if our very existence is being threatened we need to either fight or flight (escape, run, flee). Whether I was a child or a wife smaller than her husband, I always knew that fighting back wasn't an option, so I had better get as far away from the situation as quickly as I could, and so I ran. I chose flight.

As I was growing up, when I could tell that the level of safety in my home was becoming unfavorable to my survival, I would run. I literally ran and I didn't look back. I figuratively ran from my childhood into the arms of my abusive husband and then I literally ran from him on the many nights I escaped his grip and made my way out the door. Not to mention, if you spend any time living on the streets you will not only learn how to run, but you will learn how to run fast.

I can recall several times when I'm pretty sure running saved my life. My memories are littered with recollections of climbing out of my bedroom window, jumping down to the ground below, and slipping silently into the dark of night. I remember one time when I jumped from my ex's moving car and after stumbling, I took off running as fast as my legs could carry me.

Giving into my "flight" mode has been a big part of what has kept me alive.

Obviously I am thankful for that, but what about now? Recently I've found myself in situations where I have literally run from things that brought up emotions similar to the one's I felt during an assault. Last September after the first assault from the guy that my ex sent after me, I found myself sitting in the office of one of Mr. Attorney Man's colleague's. The colleague was asking me questions about the assault so quickly and with such directness that the emotions and fear I felt during the assault came exploding to the surface. The next thing I knew I found myself running to my car. You guys, I literally stood up in the middle of this man talking and RAN out of this guys office, down the stairs, and out of the building.

That is a perfect example of a flight or fight response going haywire.

Monday, April 21, 2014

It's About Time For Some Updates!!

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

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

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


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

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

Saturday, April 19, 2014

I Learned My Kids Were Weird From Facebook

I was reading through my old Facebook statuses from the last couple year or so and I realized something, my kids are every bit as strange as I am. I now bring you 

“Eden’s life with children, compliments of cut and paste from her Facebook.”

When I picked the boy child up from daycare, I asked him if he had made good choices all day. He looked at me with his guilty face, one raised eyebrow, and said, "Well.....I 'yistening' now, ok?" He ended it with a tone that implied "so, are we gonna be cool?" 

While shopping for pants today I was in the dressing room with the girl child when I started taking my pants off. She very loudly asked "Mommy, why are you going potty in here?" Totally mortified I felt the need to very loudly announce to everyone else in the dressing room "MOMMY IS NOT GOING POTTY, SHE IS JUST TAKING OFF HER PANTS TO TRY OTHER PANTS ON." The girl child looks at me and then says "No, you are definitely going potty because I can see your butt so you have no underwear on either." Oh my gosh, kill me now. I can hear everyone else in the dressing room attempting to stifle their laughs. "NO HONEY, MOMMY IS DEFINITELY NOT GOING POTTY IN HERE AND YES I AM WEARING UNDERWEAR, ITS JUST IN A STYLE THAT YOU WILL BE ABLE TO WEAR WHEN YOU TURN 25." Congratulations kid, we are now hanging out in here until I can be absolutely sure everyone that is currently shopping has left the store.

Expressing sadness over someone who had just died, I assured a small five year old that they would see this person again in heaven. I was a little suprised when the response was "No I won't! The man that does the talking at the church said she didn't go to heaven!" Uh....what? "Only her head went to heaven, he said they were burying her body."

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Anyone Up For A Little Branding?

This past week I was asked to speak to a group of women about my nonprofit. I was told it was going to be about 30 women and to just talk a little bit about my past and about how the nonprofit had come about.

I used to do quite a bit of public/motivational speaking to large groups of people, so 30 women was really nothing to me.  In fact, as I left my house that morning I told a friend "I'll call you later, I'm going to go have a little kumbaya session with a few women." As I was driving there I started thinking about what I was going to talk about. "Started," as in "this is the first time I am thinking about what I will be talking about."

Imagine my surprise when I get there and the first thing they say to me is "Ok, lets get you the microphone and get you up to the podium for your presentation." Um.....microphone? Podium? PRESENTATION!?

I'm trying to play it cool but inside I'm all OHMYGOSHWHATTHEHELL!!! "So... how many people are you expecting today" I nonchalantly ask.

"Oh, at least a 90, probably more."

Ok. So I am not here for a kumbaya session, I'm giving a presentation. Well this is just freaking fantastic, I have exactly four minutes now to put a presentation together. Wonderful.

What does someone do when they are thrown for a complete loop and have absolutely no idea how they are going to fix this?

You fake it.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Things That Make You Ask "Why?" Part 5

 It's time for another edition of "things that just make you ask why?" Courtesy of Eden's phone.

Why did I call the police, which is something I never do because I don't trust the police? Because the guy at the car wash hit my car with his cleaner cart and refused to give me the business insurance information.

Why did I have a heart attack at work? Because I didn't look at my clients couch before I put my hand on it to lean over and clean the picture on the wall. FYI, mousetraps HURT. I somehow didn't see any of them. Not when I put my right hand on the couch and it snapped, not when I screamed and put my left hand on the couch, not when I backed away out of sheer terror and landed on the couch behind me. Not at any point did I see any mousetraps before they snapped. I mean really, how was I expected to be looking around logically with all the screaming and flailing around that was going on? Seriously though, that was quite stupid of me. Of course there would be mouse traps everywhere, I mean, why wouldn't there be?

Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Exorcism Is Near

Y'all want to hear about the time my drunk ass was caught throwing shoes at a guy's window at two thirty in the morning and then I shot a dude with a gun? 

Sure ya do.

Seriously though, did I call it, or did I call it when I said that my only hope was now that the female nutcase neighbor was pregnant that maybe they would move? Hell yes, thank you very much. I've written about them so much I don't even know what link to include here, so if you are new scroll to the bottom of the blog and click on the tab that says "neighbors" if you want to get caught up.

I honestly cannot even begin to explain how relieved I am that they are leaving. Seeing them on a daily basis is a pain that has yet to ease, time has not been healing this wound. Everytime I see them I am reminded of not only one of the worst nights of my life, but the pain of being thrown away because of it. I just want it over, I just need them gone. I need, I want, to feel comfortable in my own home again, to feel comfortable in my own skin. I’m appreciative for some of the lessons that dealing with them has taught me, but my life will be easier with them gone. The kids won’t be confused as to why they won’t talk to us, I won’t always feel on edge, and the rift that this has caused between our tight knit neighborhood should be healed.

I am so happy.

It didn’t always used to be like this. I was actually friends with Mr. Nutcase Neighbor before Mrs. Nutcase Neighbor even existed. He moved into his house when my daughter was about a year old and he worked an overnight shift at his job. Because I was a stay at home mom and he was home all day, it wasn’t uncommon for us to hang out. We’d sit outside and watch the girl child play and just shoot the breeze. We actually spent a lot of time talking about his dating life and dreaming up new ways to secure him a long term girlfriend. There was one day when my ex came home to find the two of us in the middle of a water hose fight and let me tell you, I thought my ex was going to kill him. Later I found out that Mr. Nutcase Neighbor thought the same thing.

When Mrs. Nutcase Neighbor came around I was pretty excited for him. I offered up my zoo membership so that he could take her and her daughter and helped him clean his house for when she came over. She moved in pretty quickly and that was the first time I really met her. 

Mrs. Nutcase Neighbor and I soon became what I thought were good friends. Nearly every night of the week you would find us sitting outside under the stars or during the winter sitting around a fire just chatting it up. The girl would seriously drink like 15 beers every single night. I’m not even kidding; I actually started counting because I couldn’t believe it. I don’t know how she ever got up for work in the morning or how she even still has a liver. Now I like drinking, don’t get me wrong, but not every night, not even every week.

The closest that I’ve ever been to even getting drunk was one particular night last summer when we jumped the gun and started partying on a Thursday night. We were all sitting outside and at one point I remember looking at Mrs. Nutcase Neighbor and realizing she looked a little blurry to me. At almost that exact moment she tried to hand me another shot to which I replied “No thanks Hun, you are starting to look a little funny,” to which she replied “Hey! Don’t judge me and I won’t judge you!”

Alright, she’s gone.

Monday, April 7, 2014

So Maybe I Should Have Added A Few More Details...

Well, I initially started writing this post as an update to previous blog postings, but after I spent the weekend cringing every time my phone would alert me to a new blog comment on the posting "I didn't win the battle," I'm going to go back and explain some things that probably should have been explained in the original posting. This is sort of going to be a straight forward blog, not our usual sarcasm picture filled funfest, because really, how fun can I make a posting like this? So, if you are new here, I'd suggest starting somewhere else because this posting is going to be boring to you.

Before I even tackle that though, I'd like to welcome all the new readers that followed me over here from my recent article on Skepchick. I'm glad that you are here!!

Alright, lets go back to the posting "I didn't win the battle." I can see from the comments that a lot of you didn't agree with my choice to leave my cleaning job and work on the not-for-profit. Initially I was replying to the comments but when people started throwing rocks at each other I decided to step out. I have enough drama in my life, I don't really want to get in an Internet war with people. With that being said, I do appreciate the constructive criticisms that you guys brought up and I am taking them all into consideration.

I do however want to go back and touch on a few things that I probably should have included in the original posting. What you guys need to understand is that you are reading an extremely condensed version of my life that I have consolidated down into a five minute read that you can tackle while on the train or sitting in a school pick-up line. You can't see the back story, you don't get to view the details, you only get the surface story. I know that a lot of you are invested in my life and I walk a fine line between trying not to bore you to death with the details and yet keep you updated.

So now I will go back and bore you with some of the details.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Mind If I Pop You With My Stick?

As you all know, my life has been undergoing some major changes recently and it has been nothing short of stressful. This was a long few weeks. A really, really, long few weeks.

One night I found myself sitting at the kitchen table and just feeling absolutely overwhelmed. I felt an overwhelming rush of emotion come over me that I know all too well. It happens to me several times a year. Not enough to really drag me down, but enough to know it a little too well.

That feeling that wells up from my innermost place and erupts to the surface in a selfishness that I’m not proud of. That feeling that always leaves me asking,

"Why me?"

Why me? Why was I chosen to be born into a family where I was unwanted from the start? Why did no one care about me in even the most practical of senses? Why, of all the people in the entire world, why was I so unlucky to meet the one man who would spend years tearing me apart in ways that most people can’t even imagine? Why was I chosen to bear a daughter with special needs and a son who would be damaged by his own father? Why didn’t I get to finish college? Why do I have to struggle so hard financially, when I am working harder than anyone I know? Why me? And why now, when I’m feeling so down, can I not pick up the phone and call a mother that cares? Why in times of crisis, do my own parents, the one's who brought me into this world, not care even care that some of my most basic of needs are going unmet? Why have they never cared? Why me?

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Because Normal Is For Boring People

So, yall want to hear about my weird week? Sure ya do, I know half of you tune in daily to watch the train wreck that is the life of one Miss Eden Strong.

I’m ok with that.

Monday: I dropped the kids off at daycare early so that I could run to the grocery store before work. Apparently 7am on a Monday morning is not prime shopping time. I feel fairly confident in making that statement seeing as how I was literally the only person in the store. Since no one else was there, I also felt fairly confident that I could ride my shopping cart as if it were a children’s scooter even faster than I normally do. As I stood at the beginning of a very long aisle, a little voice in my head said “Girl, I bet you could make it to the other end of the aisle with only three start off pushes. “

Yes Eden, challenge accepted.

After three start off pushes I was surprised at how fast I was actually going, a little bit proud even. I was also surprised that apparently at 7:10am other people enter the store. I almost took out an old lady that stepped into the aisle just as I was crossing the finish line. I did not hit her. I did however see her giving me “you are crazy eyes,” so I decided that it would be appropriate to wave at her and announce “HAPPY MONDAY” as if I were some kind of deranged Santa Claus.

Tuesday:  I’m one of those new age hippies that believes in natural healing and homeopathic treatments, so in a work services trade I clean a chiropractic office for a couple hours a week and in return they treat me and the kids for free. Everyone loves to keep the highway of your body healthy, am I right? Crazy? Eh, it’s all the same these days anyway.

Speaking of anyway, one of the chiropractors there is a guy that I went to high school with. He was a grade level higher than me and I’m fairly confident that we didn’t know each other. I am fairly confident of this because I don’t remember him and he must not remember me because he asked me for maiden name one day. “Oh and why is it that you would want that? Could you possibly be looking me up in your yearbook?” I asked him.