To The Woman Who Isn’t Yet Free

To the woman who isn’t yet free,
You are someone.
I don’t care what he tells you or what he tries to make you believe, you are someone. You aren’t a failure. You aren’t worthless, stupid, a burden, or anything else that he tries to make you believe.
You are amazing and he knows it. He controls you because he doesn’t want you to know that you are better than him. He tears apart every detail of your being because if you could see how amazing you are, he knows you would leave him. He silences you not because you can’t live without him, but because he can’t live without you. If he allows you to think for yourself, he knows you will realize that you deserve better.
You don’t deserve what he is doing to you. Nothing that is going on is your fault and things will not get better because of anything that you can change. I don’t even care if you talked back or spoke up, there is a reason you have a voice and you are allowed to use it. He may scream louder and hit harder, but that’s only because he can’t deal with the fact that you have your own thoughts. To steal your voice is to silence your soul; if he can’t hear you, then you aren’t human, and what he is doing, then it’s not wrong.
He isn’t going to change. It doesn’t matter how hard you try, you will never be able to live up to the unrealistic expectations that he has set for you. Despite what he may tell you, he does not control you because you need him, you are being controlled because he needs you. He holds tight on the reins of your life because he knows that if he lets go, you will run free and he will be left standing in the shadow of all that he is; nothing.
I know how desperately you want to cling to the façade of the life you have been trying to create, afraid of the shame you might feel when everyone knows your secrets, but I promise you, it’s nothing compared to the shame you already carry around in your heart. This isn’t your fault and you have nothing to be ashamed of. Illusions can only last so long before the curtain drops, revealing all the is behind them.
You deserve more than this! I know it’s scary, the unknown. “How will I? How can I? What about? What next?” I know, it’s terrifying to take a step forward when you can’t even see the road in front of you, but you deserve better than what you have now. I know that by now he has you doubting yourself “but will anyone else ever love me? Will anyone else be able to put up with the failure that I am?” I know that to change the way you think means having to confront the truth, a truth that will shatter the illusions and rock your world to the core; I know that and I know how scary that is. I know how scary it is to start to think for yourself, to acknowledge your feelings, and to realize just how much you are hurting.

It’s devastating to realize how far down you have let someone else pull you.

I’m not going to lie, it won’t be easy, stepping out from behind his shadow. It will probably get even harder before it gets better, but you can do this! You aren’t as weak as he would have you think you are, you are strong, and you are stronger than him. You are a fighter. You get up every day and you fight for your life anyways, so this, you can do this.
Only some women know what it’s like to have every part of their soul crying at once, the screams in our heads drowning out the beating of our human hearts; silencing the part of us that reminds us that we are alive. Only some of us know what it feels like to suffocate on your own sobs, the very real physical pain that comes from swallowing them down so that no sound escapes our throats. To hide away the feelings that you are constantly told should never be allowed to exist, while they well up in your chest with a pressure so intense you are certain that if you still have a heart, it may actually stop beating.
Only some women know what it’s like to nurse their wounds in the dark and pray that no one sees. To cover them up and hide them away, struggling to get through the day while your entire body is screaming in alarm, knowing  that you are hurt, and yet knowing that you are not allowed to.
Only some women know what it is like to never rest, to literally never have a moment when you feel safe, when you can let your guard down. To constantly be on alert, ever ready to fight for your life. When somewhere along the line, that feeling that you get when the hair on the back of your neck stands up, it became your baseline. Fear that encompasses your days and drowns out your nights, never ceasing, always haunting. With each rising of the sun comes a new day, new opportunities for failure and new ways to be broken. The setting of the sun bringing nothing but silence to the world around you that only intensifies your terror, screams that seem to echo the loudest at night, yet screams that no one ever hears.
You are a survivor, everyday, but you deserve to be more than a survivor, you deserve to have survived. You deserve the life that comes after “surviving.” You deserve the life that is lived when you have survived.
You can do this, I know you can. There is a reason that you have been able to endure all that you have. There is a reason you haven’t given up. It’s because you are stronger than him, stronger than this, and deep down you hoped it would eventually get better.
It will get better, you just need to take all the fighting strength that you have and fight for what comes next. 
Fight for your freedom, fight for the chance to be who you were meant to be. Fight to get out.
Fight for the after.
Fight for the life you will have after you have survived.
You are worth it.
Many women have gone before you and they will all tell you the same thing; the after is amazing. The life that comes when you have reached the point of “survived” is unfathomable when you are where you are now.

You can handle what comes next, you were born for this, you were born with the strength of a warrior, you prove it every day, and you are strong enough to fight for the after.
You really only have two choices. You can be the woman who moves from survivor to survived, or you can wait to become the woman who went from surviving to victim.
Be the woman who makes it to the after.
Know that you are worth more than just surviving and that you deserve to be able to say that you survived.

Fight to heard. Fight to be the amazing person you were meant to be.
Fight to be able to say that you survived.
Be the woman that survived.
I have faith in you my fellow warrior.

With all the love in the world, 

Someone living in the after, who is wishing you were here with her.

I’m looking forward to your arrival my precious warrior sister.
Photo Credits

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  • Anonymous
    June 10, 2014 at 7:56 am

    It's actually “reins” (not “reigns”…) Great post though!

    • NotMyShametoBear
      June 11, 2014 at 2:53 pm

      Ah thanks!

  • Mzfuzz
    June 10, 2014 at 2:37 pm

    Love it. Awesome as always, Eden.

    • NotMyShametoBear
      June 11, 2014 at 2:53 pm

      Thanks hun 🙂

  • afairytale84
    June 10, 2014 at 10:54 pm

    This is such a wonderful post. Beautifully said.

    • NotMyShametoBear
      June 11, 2014 at 2:53 pm


  • Anonymous
    June 11, 2014 at 7:27 pm

    Awesome. I am one of the women who made it out to the “after” and I never imagined life could be that hard or could be this good.

    • NotMyShametoBear
      June 11, 2014 at 2:54 pm

      I’m so happy you are in the after with me 🙂


  • Anonymous
    June 13, 2014 at 12:33 am

    Hi, Eden!I am not precisely the surviving person, that “Before” to whom this post was devoted to. I am a different kind of “Before” – a person who has also survived and is in the process of healing closer to the afterlife. I can tell You that this road to after sometimes seems as hard or even harder than surviving, cause now it's just about surviving the same things – just they're beating from the inside and can't be run away from. As hard as it might be, I can sometimes feel that it is getting almost good. One step and I might be there, but this (hopefully) last one seems to be the toughest! You are part of this journey, the white line in the middle of a dark road, and I feel thankful for that very often – while reading Your blog, while I am jogging, in the bus, before sleep, in all the weirdest places, where I suddenly need a role model. I mean – there are no guidelines how to lead a life without defense and pain for people, who have been living in the survival mode most of their life, and I often find them here. Thank You for that. Also, thank You for this post – I think it might make a difference, and I know how important and amazing it is to hear these kinds of things, cause they're so rare and precious, and needed. :)Helen

    • NotMyShametoBear
      June 12, 2014 at 2:54 pm

      Thank you for the honor of allowing me to be a part of your journey Helen, I know that I am honored to have you as a part of mine 🙂

      I wish you nothing but the best in your healing. It will get good, it will get better than good, I promise you that. One day you will feel like you have “made it.” Until you get to that place though, we are all here together, struggling, smiling, crying, surviving, and healing.

      So happy we can heal together <3



  • Anonymous
    June 13, 2014 at 1:46 am

    This is one of the most incredible things I have EVER read, and one of my favourites by you. Thank you for writing this.

    • NotMyShametoBear
      June 12, 2014 at 2:54 pm

      Wow, I’m speechless and for me that is hard to do. Thank you so much for all your sweet words!


  • Anonymous
    June 13, 2014 at 6:47 pm

    “You really only have two choices. You can be the woman who moves from survivor to survived, or you can wait to become the woman who went from surviving to victim.”It isn't necessary to disparage people who identify as victims by positing them as the failing flip side to “survivors”. They too survived, they are of course survivors, but they are also victims in the most righteous sense, as are the others who choose to shun the label. You may not have intended for this to be the case but at face value this is the dichotomy you are presenting: survivor or “something less”, that you clearly see as an undesirable choice.Given that most abusers manipulate and blame the people they abuse, brainwash them into feeling guilty, feeling responsible, deserving of the ill will and mistreatment that comes their way, it is critical that the recovering abused know that what happened was not their fault. That they were not the creators of their pain. They were not the perpetrators, perpetuators, enablers, willing recipients, or instigators of their own abuse. They were the victims of the actions of others.This label erases the ground-in sense of culpability that so many come away with, and allows them to relinquish the burden of assumed responsibility. “I did not cause this, create this, or deserve this. I was the victim”, is one of the most powerful realizations or affirmations available in the process of regaining personal strength and self-trust. It is a nonjudgmental term which does not imply weakness or unwillingness to move on.Some people endure their abuse while retaining a sense of self, of knowing they are not the problem. Others are not so lucky, and need to be reassured of their innocence. If anything, the women who cannot even see themselves as victims need more understanding and support. Please rethink using “survivor” and “victim” as antonyms.

  • Anonymous
    June 13, 2014 at 11:28 pm

    I'm sorry but I am going to have to say that I respectfully disagree. The way that I read it was that “none of this is my fault. This situation is not my fault. I have the choice to believe that I deserve better and try and get out of the situation, or I will always remain in a victimized state. If I stay in this victimized state, I might never make it out and my life might end in death as a victim and I deserve better than that.”I don't believe that she is telling anyone to shun the label of being a victim once they get out of the situation, I feel like she is referencing the current state of affairs. “You are a person who is surviving and you deserve better than to be just surviving, you deserve to have survived.” Her blog is testimony to the fact that victims issues are an ongoing process to deal with once you get out of the situation. Look at the title of her blog, 'it is not my shame to bear.” She is the testimony that being a victim was not her fault. She fully admits that she was victimized, but she is trying to show us that once you get out of the situation, you can be a victim who has survived. I'm sorry that you missed the point of a really great piece. I LOVED the disparity of surviving vs survived. I don't think she was flipping a switch on the victim label once you leave, I think she was pointing out that you could be an eternal victim by death if you don't stop just surviving.

  • Anonymous
    June 14, 2014 at 12:03 am

    To the first anonymous, I don't want to get into an argument on Eden's blog (sorry Eden!!) but I also disagree.The definition of a victim is “someone who is injured or killed as the result of a crime or an accident.” Eden merely pointed out that once you stop surviving, you are an eternal victim. That is pretty much a fact. Everyone deserves to be more than someone who is continually injured and to have that transition you have to reach the “survived” point. You say that Eden is calling people “survivor or something less” but I don't see that. I kind of feel like that might be a bit of your own projected feelings, because I see her saying that you can be someone who is not being injured or someone who is not and she clearly points out that no one deserves to be injured. I guess I'm not sure why you think she is calling them “something less” as if they are worth less.You go to great lengths to point out that victims are not responsible for their victimization and Eden did the exact same thing, so I guess I am confused as to why you think she believes otherwise.This was probably one of my favorite pieces and it's kind of sad to see it being nit picked apart. I loved her portrayal of someone who is being victimized, learning that it is not their fault, and then making if out of the situation.As a woman who is living in the after, having survived, yes, I was a victim, but I refuse to be a victim forever. I have survived and I am damn proud of it!

    • NotMyShametoBear
      June 14, 2014 at 2:54 pm

      I’m sorry if I made you feel as though I was referring to victims as “less than,” my intention was to point out that they deserve more than to be forever victimized.

      Being a victim is not a shameful thing, because nothing that happened to them was their fault. You can say that you have “survived” while still being a victim, but unfortunately some people will only ever be a victim when they deserve to have also survived.

      That was my point and I’m sorry if it didn’t come across that way.

  • Anonymous
    June 14, 2014 at 12:17 am

    Love, love, love this. Thank you so much for writing it.<3

    • NotMyShametoBear
      June 13, 2014 at 2:54 pm

      Thank you for reading 🙂

  • Anonymous
    June 14, 2014 at 6:59 pm

    Oh my goodness, Eden, OH!My!Goodness! Oh my goodness, oh my goodness, oh my goodness…that is exactly what was going through my mind as I was reading this post! It's so significantly perfect timing. You see, my Mother was hospitalized almost 2 weeks ago…I will show her this. I want her to read this. I want her to know. I want her to see. I want your post to give her the courage. I want her to know, that it isn't just her loved ones that feel this way. There are other Women. Across the world. And they're speaking out, sharing, supporting, encouraging. Letting other Beautiful Women know. I want her to know She is strong, and She is amongst the strongest Women in her lifetime. I want Her to know that we, her loved ones, are saying this, not only because we Love her, because it is the truth. Your post will be proof of this…Thank You, Thank You, Thank You, for writing this.Thank You.

    • NotMyShametoBear
      June 14, 2014 at 2:54 pm

      Aw, well thank you for letting me know that it made an impact!! I wish your mom nothing but the best. She really is lucky to have you <3

      Send here here! We will lovingly accept her 🙂

      I know it's hard when you want the best for a loved one and they just can't see the reality of the situation they are in. Above all, just keep reminding her that she is loved and not judged, and that you only want her to live the life that she deserves.


  • Anonymous
    June 15, 2014 at 3:18 am

    Love your support, and I will certainly keep you updated.

  • Anonymous
    June 15, 2014 at 6:01 pm

    Why? Why? Why? Why did I do it? Why did I call him? I told myself I wouldn't. No way. Not with everything that's happened, and is happening. NO WAY-He hasn't talked to me decently since I told him how I feel…months ago He didn't call me on Mother's Day(because of his anger…I suppose), like he did in years past. He only cares for himself. Although, my Mother's condition is not his fault – but I watched him destroy her healing…He's not a father (or a husband for that fact)…at least not by my definition.Doesn't matter what the day is. I need a break from him – from his abusive behavior – I told myself NO!But I did it anyway – I just did it. I called him, to wish him a happy father's day. WHY? Because I don't have a bone of his in my body, that's why. I'm not like him. He did teach me. By watching how he treats others, taught me to NOT be like him. I don't hate him, he's my father.He was normal and civil today. Why? Because my Mom is now hospitalized?I told myself, NO.BUT, I'm proud I did it :)As nasty as he can be.I'm a bigger person than him…even though I'm his daughter 😉

    • NotMyShametoBear
      June 16, 2014 at 2:55 pm

      You called your dad? Is he the one that hurt your mom?


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