Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The Post Where I Show You My Ex

Since my ex left, I have made an effort to push myself through uncomfortable situations just so that I could prove to myself that I could do it.

Details withheld (I really don't feel like being scrutinized by the trolls) last year the kids and I were offered the opportunity to go on an all expense paid trip to Disney World, a place that my ex and I had previously gone every year. Looking back, it was only place that I really ever felt "happy" with him. Away from his mistresses, drug dealers, and armed with the knowledge that people could hear us through the hotel room walls, he was always on his best behavior and I, so desperately searching for any hint of feeling loved, spent each trip fooling myself into thinking that I was with a man that loved me.

Disney was sort of like a little bubble world for us. We left a lot of the bad at home and walked around each day in the little bubble facade of a happy life; a bubble that would burst the second the plane touched down on the tarmac in the city where we lived.

After my ex left, when the opportunity came about to take the kids, I wasn't sure that I could emotionally handle it. I thought about it and then I booked a room at the same hotel that we had always stayed at. If I was going to get past this, I needed to get through this. I wasn't going to hide from things that hurt me anymore, I wanted to prove that I could be strong in my vulnerability.

So we went on the trip and did it hurt? 

Hell yes it did. 

Sunday, July 27, 2014

I Really Hope I Don't Stand Mr. Attorney Man Up For My Court Hearing

I might have to go to court on Tuesday.

I'm a pretty confident person and have yet to meet a person that I won't talk to. I'll march right up to anyone and introduce myself, never getting embarrassed (even when I should be) by my socially graceless ways. I've been told that when I am up on a stage that I "command the audience's attention" and yet when I go to court....yea that never really works out for me very well. I've actually spent quite a bit of time in my town's ugly courthouse lately for cases involving the abuse victims that I work with, yet when I walk into court for a case of my own, I become trauma.

**OH MY GOSH YOU GUYS a spider just come down from the vent in the ceiling and was hanging like 1.5 inches from my face. I just lost about 5 years off of my life and learned that I can leap over the back of a chair directly from the sitting position.***

When I walk into court for a case of my own I become exactly the person that my ex beat me into being. I can barely get my eyes to look up from the floor and when they do, they are usually brimming with tears. Every cell in my body is screaming at me to run and my self esteem seems to vanish with the sunlight as I step inside.

I become nothing. I feel nothing but shame, terror, and devastation. The courthouse is the tangible monument that encompasses my pain. It's the place where my marriage ended and it's the place where my ex legally threw my children away. It's the place that I admitted the abuse and the place where I defied my ex husband and sealed my fate on the impending rape. It's the place that has torn down emotional walls that I worked so hard to build up and the place where I've been forced to face the demons that I kept locked behind those walls.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

It's A Miracle That I Have Any Friends

I often times look around at my group of friends and I start to wonder how I have any.

Seriously, how on earth do I have any friends? I'm all weird and poor and needy and crazy. I am crazy. I mean seriously, there is no beating around the bush on that one, there is definitely something a little off kilter about me and I'll be the first one to admit it.

Why yes, I did go shopping with my friend like this.

I mean really, I can't believe that anyone would willingly venture into public with me these days.

For example, I offered to do a little shopping for a local women's shelter. When I got the list of what they needed me to buy, I was a little...unprepared. Even as a woman, this was going to be a little embarrassing.

So, I figured, if I was going to be embarrassed, why be embarrassed alone? I invited one of my guy friends to go shopping with me. What I neglected to tell him was that we needed to purchase 200 rolls of toilet paper, 50 boxes of tampons, and 30 packages of pads. Lovely. This won't be uncomfortable at all. AT ALL.

Monday, July 21, 2014

I Just Don't Even Know Where To Start

“I mean she’s really pretty and all man, but divorced with two kids? You could totally do better than that. You don’t need all that baggage in your life.”

“You can do better than that” meaning that he, Piano Man, could do better than me, according to his best friend.

I wasn’t supposed to overhear him say that, but I did.

I wish I could say that it shocked me; that I had never felt so offended in my life, but I can’t because I’ve heard it all before. I’ve heard it to the point that the shock has worn off and to be honest, that saddens me more than the words that I overheard.

He knew that I overheard. I didn’t say anything, just told him that I hoped he had a great night and then I left.

He showed up the next day with flowers; roses. He felt awful. He told me that he and his friend ended up getting into it, him telling the friend that he liked me because of what I’ve gone through, because he is attracted to my strength. That if I hadn’t gone through what I had that I wouldn’t be “the amazing person” that I am today.

Just what I’ve always wanted; a guy that likes me not in spite of what I’ve been through, but because of what I’ve made it through.

My own real life prince charming.

Yet really, he has no idea what I’ve been through. No idea how deep the scars run, no idea what I struggle with on a daily basis. He knows that my husband left me and that I don’t have a family, but the details, he knows nothing of.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

A Week In Eden's Life; Super Fast Weekend Post

Hi Everyone!!!

As I explained in the post "Please Excuse This Brief Interruption," I'm taking some time to be with my family over the weekends, so today's actual post is taking place over at Lifetime Mom's.

In the meantime, I see that a few of you have posted asking me to write a post on sexism. To get the discussion up and running, I invite all of you to leave a comment explaining a time when you felt discriminated against because of your gender, or just about a time when you felt that your gender gave you less of an advantage. I can't wait to hear everyone's opinions and stories!

Before I go, let me catch you up on a week in Eden's life;

Someone lost their first tooth;

I have no picture for this because ew yuck, but we are deep in the throws of potty training over here. I have to say, I suck at potty training a boy. Like, I don't have a penis, I don't know how to pee out of it, and quite frankly I don't want to know. I also don't want to see all the tricks and fun things you think you can do with it because I am your mother and this is scarring me for life, so can we please just get this over with???

In other news, the kids were very generously taken to a local play center with Frisbee Boy's Mom as a belated birthday gift;

On thursday my friends invited me to go Salsa dancing with them. It only cost a couple of dollars and I had a free babysitter, so I figured "eh, why not." I agreed to go however before I realized that Salsa dancing is done wearing heels. Heels.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

"I Want My Friends To Think I'm Sleeping With You"

It’s been a while since I’ve told you guys about one of my bad dates, hasn’t it? Trust me, just because I haven’t talked about them doesn’t mean they haven’t been happening!

Well, I now have a new favorite bad date! A guy that my friends and I now refer to as "the one percenter" blew the competition out of the water. It wasn't easy to find someone who topped the conceited guy that I went mini golfing with and it was a near Olympic event to find someone who could steal the gold from Sparkles, but have no fear people, I found the man that beats out the rest. He is the much elusive "one percenter," and I, Eden Strong, had the pleasure of going on a date with him.

Now without further ado, for your reading pleasure, I bring you, THE ONE PERCENTER;

A couple months ago I got asked out by a seemingly decent guy. Based on first impression alone he didn’t seem like someone that I would have been interested in going out with, but my friends, who are always looking out for the “basics” of my best interest, were impressed by his job and his supposedly great family.

So because I am intrigued an idiot, I decided “aw, what the heck, I’ll bite.”

He TOLD me that he was taking me out for dinner and didn’t ask my opinion before choosing a place that was an hour from my house. I wasn't super pleased but I'm not one to get bent out of shape over something minor, so I didn't say anything and just let it go. As I got nearer to the restaurant I was having a little trouble finding the place amidst the outdoor mall it was located in, so I gave him a call for directions. He navigated me there and as I pulled into the overfilled parking lot I saw him waving at me from the doorway of the restaurant. There weren’t any open parking spots in that particular lot so I ended up parking two lots over and walking back to the restaurant.

When I got to the front door I didn’t see him anymore. I stuck my head in the door and looked around the waiting area, which was empty, and then I headed back outside where there was quite a crowd, thinking that maybe I just hadn’t seen him outside.

After standing around for a few minutes I went back into the restaurant and yes, I hadn’t seen him, but no, he wasn’t outside, he was inside the fairly empty restaurant where he was chatting on the phone with a friend.

“Oh sorry” I said making my way to the table. “I didn’t know that you had come in already, I was looking for you outside.”

“Yea, I didn’t really see any point in standing outside and waiting for you since it looked like it was going to take you a while to walk over here” he replied.

I wasn’t really sure what to say to that, but thankfully I didn’t have to come up with a response because before I had even had a chance to wrap my brain around what he was saying, he interjected my thoughts with “although, if I had known what your legs were going to look like in that dress, I definitely would have waited just to watch you walk that body over here.”

Um….ok…..on that note….awkward….

Monday, July 14, 2014


I had a funny story that I was planning to post today, seeing as how this place has been a bit more serious lately than it has been in past times, but unfortunately an issue of greater importance has arisen.

For those of you who read the comments, you know that the trolls have been hitting this blog really hard for the last few weeks. Comments, emails, and threads outside of this blog, most spawned by the same one or two people, have cast an ever present dark shadow over the safe place that this was supposed to be.

“You are such a whore, you deserve to be raped the way you tease men. I hope someone does it again since you sure didn’t learn your lesson the first time around.”

“If anything you are saying really is true, then why even bother going on? Why don’t you just shut your mouth and stop whining about it online; do the world a favor and just disappear.”

“Eden is maladjusted and creates the drama that is in her life. She needs to grow up and just get over the fact that she didn’t have the childhood she wanted. What 30 year old still thinks about their childhood anyways?”

“I can’t believe anyone would continue to read the awful writing that is Eden Strong. All of her pathetic little readers cheering on her pathetic little life are just as pathetic as she is.”

“Someone needs to figure out who this lady is and have her children removed from her home. Clearly she is unstable, no wonder her husband ran for his life. Whatever judge awarded her custody should be fired immediately. Those poor kids are ruined for life.”

“No way is this lady for real. There is absolutely no way anyone could have lived a life like that. I’ve never seen such bad writing in my life. She reads like a high school wannabe writer, pretending that she lives this fantasy life, and you are all falling for it like the idiots that you are.”

“The only reason anyone reads your blog is because you are pretty. No one cares what you have to say and no one gives a shit about you. The only reason you even have a blog is because you have the body to make up for your thoughtless brain.”

"I can't believe you are all reading the rants of a narcissistic psychopath. Clearly this girl needs help."

Those are just a few of the phrases that have either been posted on my blog, a site thread created about me, or emailed to me over the last week alone.

Maybe the trolls are right and you guys have been coming here day after day just to waste your time reading the bullshit that I write; or maybe I’m not even a real person at all and you are being brainwashed by the mythical life that I have born from a severe mental illness.

Maybe I should just pull this blog down.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Please Excuse This Brief Interruption

Hi guys!!

This weekend I promised myself that I was just going to relax and be present with my family. No working, no blogging, no running errands, just being still in the moment and enjoying the life around me. I need this sometimes, as everyone does. It's really easy to get so wrapped up in work and your "priorities," that you forget who and what your priorities really are.

A few months ago when I wrote the post "my life is completely unrealistic" I had hit that point where I was working so much, so hard, and so fast, that I had completely lost myself into the abyss that I call work.

It wasn't until I really hit that wall of "I can't do this anymore because my life is falling apart" did I realize that while work is important, my legacy is everything that I don't get paid for. Being present for my children, being there for my friends, and making myself a priority so that I am able to be who the world needs me to be, those are my priorities.

So the weekends, they are now off limits for work.

It really has not been easy. I see my computer and my to do list and I'll admit, sometimes I simply cannot stop thinking about everything that I need to get done. I feel bad that I might let someone down because I'm not getting something done that I need to do for work. I see the kids playing right in front of me, but my mind is on everything else that I feel I should be doing instead.

I find that I tend to bargain with myself; "If I just do this one quick thing, then at least I'll have gotten something done and I won't feel quite as guilty about not doing anything productive today, especially when I have SO much to do!"

Nope, I'm not giving in.

I'm not giving in because I've lost the perspective on what my real priorities are. I've made work and the people that I work with a priority over the people that love me. As guilty as I feel for possibly letting down anyone that I work with, the fact that I feel guiltier about letting them down than I do when I let my own children down in order to appease others, just goes to prove how very much I need to change my viewpoint on priorities.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

I Saw My Mother

"Eden, whatever happened to your mother? Did you end up going to see her?" says all the emails in my inbox.

Well....sort of. Yes, I "saw" her...I "saw" her as I pushed my way past her and entered her house.

Yep, that happened.

Now you see, if you remember from the post "I realized that I am the ugliest person at the gym"  I had asked my mother if she could sit down and talk with me about my plans for the nonprofit; her response being to go completely ballistic and via text tear me into a million tiny little pieces that she used to ignite the fire that was my brother. Basically I got bitch slapped via text for a few days by both of them. Amidst the bitch slapping though, there were several texts that pertained to some items that I had left at their house when I moved out thirteen years ago.

When I disowned my family nineteen months ago, it wasn't planned. Don't get me wrong, it was absolutely necessary and should have been done a long time before that, I just didn't know that I was living our "final moments" until in retrospect I realized that they were.

When I was permanently kicked out of my house thirteen years ago I didn't have a new home to move into. I wasn't moving to my own apartment or in with my ex, I was moving into someones fully furnished guest room; complete with their out of season clothes hanging in the closet. I packed a couple of suitcases and the rest of my stuff I left behind. When I left her house a short while later and moved in with my ex, I went back to my parents house, retrieved a few more of my things, and the rest I moved into their basement; a basement owned by literal hoarders.

A basement that houses everything from thousands of empty medication bottles that "might be needed someday" to a TV from the 70's that only plays a picture in shades of yellow and green but "will work when we get it fixed," to nearly everything my brothers and I have ever owned in the entire existence of our creation. The basement is like some dim and dusty museum of memories that look a lot happier than they actually were.

Thirteen years later and for no reason other than the fact that I had not yet retrieved them and that my hoarding parents only ever descent into the basement so that they can cram more stuff in there, my things were still in the place where I had packed them away. Now though, after going nineteen months without any real contact with my family, I was starting to think that I might never see those things again. Of those things, there were really only two that I wanted back.

Two things that since the moment I found out I was pregnant with a girl, I had dreamt of passing down to her.

Those two things being the doll that had been my best friend and a dollhouse that had housed the loving family that I had always wanted to be a part of; the family that lived out the memories that I longed to be mine.

After the text bitch slapping I didn't hear from them for several weeks until my father texted me late one afternoon and told me that the items would be at his office and that I needed to pick them up the very next day.

I was pretty angry. This to me just seemed like another ploy to get me to talk to them on their terms; like "hey, we know that we have absolutely no bargaining chips left with you except for the fact that we have a couple of items that we know meant a lot to you, so if you don't come get them this instant, you will never get that cherished moment that we know you have always dreamt about having with your daughter."

I took the bait.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Sure, I'll Have Sex In The Parking Lot, Why Not?

Nothing like a little Monday morning conversation with your best friend.

Well, my date with Piano Man went well.


We went to a pretty nice place about 45 minutes from my house. I snuck this snazzy little picture for you guys while he was reading his menu:

You’re welcome.

I had a really nice time. The conversation never ceased and I’m pretty sure we spent the majority of the night laughing louder than twenty people in the entire restaurant combined. He has my same sarcastic sense of humor and we found ourselves finishing each other’s sentences with the same bizarre and uncommonly used phrases, proving that he is a good match for my ridiculous level of weirdness.

When dinner was over he asked if I wanted to take a walk in the little downtown area nearby, but my boy child had not been feeling well when I left the house, and my mommy heart really wanted to get home and check on him.

Piano Man said he understood and walked me to my car. It was about nine o'clock and when I had gotten to the restaurant the place was totally packed, leaving the only available spot around the back of the restaurant in a lot that was now empty.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

He Makes My Clothes Fall Off

I really don’t like the police and yet I keep dating their detectives….

Bizarre I know.

Very shortly after I broke up with Doctor Dude and Secret Agent Man, I met someone. He has the same name as my father and he is a detective. I am ok with just about none of that, although, because I am pretending to be a mature woman, I am attempting to see past that.

This dude, whose name I do not like because he shares it with my father, is a 38 year old gun crimes detective in the large city that I live just outside of. I’m talking murders, crime scenes, interrogations, the whole nine yards. It really freaks me out when I know that he was standing around a dead body earlier in the day and now we are eating dinner, but what freaks me out even more is that when he is on call, he quite often gets called in for domestic issues. Rapes, pistol whippings, things that make my own body want to turn inside out and vomit.

When I work with the abused women in my groups, I hurt for them. I'm not desensitized to their feelings and it actually upsets me when I know that they are hurting; yet as I watch him work his cases, I see him feeling….nothing. We talked about it one night, me asking how he deals with that stuff day after day and he basically told me “Eden. I’ve worked a few dead baby cases. I just can’t look at them as people anymore. They are just shells and that’s it.”

He is very sweet to me and we get into in depth conversations that last for hours, but we have never talked about my ex or any of the details of my past. It is not something that you will ever find me willingly bring up and my guess is that the tone I used when I said “he left and it’s better off that way” and the fact that I am working on a nonprofit for abused women has caused him to put two and two together, therefore leading him to just leave the subject alone.

To be honest, for the most part I like it that way. I like not having to jump right into conversations about things that cause men to run; the things that scare people away before they even get to know me.

On the other hand, it makes me nervous that he has become so calloused over time. It worries me that when it does eventually come up, it might seem insignificant to him; that because he is so used to dealing with horror on a daily basis that he might be unable to grasp how deeply affected I've been by what he might consider to be small problems.


The two of us decided to just take things casually with the intention of coupling up, but in the meantime keeping our options open. So, in the meantime, I bought a dishwasher.

I haven’t had a working dishwasher in over a year, but thanks to a grant for single mothers that I applied for months and months ago, I was awarded a small amount of money towards an appliance repair or purchase. I had a repair guy out to look at the dishwasher and they basically told me it was toast.

So…I needed a new one, but what is a girl to do when she has only a small amount of money to spend and yet needs an appliance that will probably cost her twice as much?

This is where I would like to tell you that I walked into that appliance store and using only sheer intelligence and the force of my awesomeness that I successfully negotiated the appliance deal of a lifetime.

Buuuuut....I would be lying through my teeth.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Would You Ever "Sleep Your Way To The Top?"

After I posted the post  “And Before I Knew It My Boobs Were On The News”  I got quite a few emails asking what my opinion was on women using their sexuality to their advantage.

Now just because I write a blog, that does not in any way, shape, or form make me some kind of expert on women’s issues and sexuality, but since so many of you had questions, I figured I could give you my opinion and then open the comments section for everyone to voice theirs.

Let’s be honest here, sex is one of the major driving forces in our world. Hunger, thirst, sex, they are all things that people crave and they are things that heavily influence our decisions. Sex is so important to us that we have sex doctors, sex medications, sex toys, sex clubs, sex movies, sex everything, and yet sexuality is still so taboo. There is an obvious reason why companies choose sexually appealing people to model their cars, their clothes, their brands. There is a reason why good looking celebrities are splashed all over the front of magazines. Sex appeal very much has a place in this world and is a highly influential force in our lives. Many feminists are against women using their bodies for gain because it objectifies them and while I get that, I have a different take on the matter.