The Entire Neighborhood Found Out

The Girl Child’s new window finally went in!!

When they were taking it out they showed me the spot where the BB bullet had hit the window.

Can you see the big bowed crack? I kept waiting for the glass to fall out because when the wind would blow, the two broken halves would flex independently of each other.

You have to look a little harder to see the crack from this angle

There were about 15 of these BB bullet holes in the screen
The point of impact

So the new window is in and it feels good. I was fully prepared for the embarrassment that I was sure was going to accompany the installation; the public, visible, nursing of my wounds in a glass and silicone form.

I was prepared. Prepared and armed with explanations, reasoning, anything that I thought might lesson the intensity of how poorly I was sure that this was going to reflect on me, just like the many times before when I’ve wanted to hide away the truth of what had happened.

To this day many of my friends and family, if not most of them, have no idea of the abuse in my marriage. I was such an expert at strategically placed clothing and thanks to my connective tissue disorder, bruises were easily explained away with a medical reason. I was so ashamed, so embarrassed, and so completely convinced that it was all my fault, that I told no one. Ever.

I took pictures though. I honestly thought that one day someone might find me dead and in the event of that happening, I needed a record of the abuse so that someone would know to get my children away from their father.

I rented a safety deposit box and after leaving a key with a friend, I hoarded the pictures away; mere paper memories holding the tales of injuries gone by.

**Trigger Warning** I’m posting some of the mild pictures below


But today the window went in; a visible display of an injustice against my family. There was no hiding it, no pretending it wasn’t happening. No strategically placed curtains covering the healing from an act of violence.

Today a window went in and a door opened.

“What happened to your window?”

“My ex shot it.”

That’s it. My ex shot it.

Reasoning? Excuse? Rationalization?

I don’t have one, because I don’t need one.

It’s a daily struggle to remind myself that his choices were HIS choices, and that the responsibility of HIS choices can ONLY be owned by him.

I cannot own the wrongful acts of another.

Today though, as my home was healing, my heart was weary, and the neighbors were watching, I remembered; This is not my shame to bear.

My ex shot my window. My ex hit me. My ex raped me.

I don’t owe anyone an explanation as to why that happened and to be honest I don’t have one. Furthermore, I don’t need one. There is nothing that I could have done that would have rightfully put me in the position of being injured. There is nothing that anyone can do that would justify them being abused.

You don’t need a reason for an injustice being done to you and above all, whatever did happen is not your shame to bear. It is not your embarrassment to carry, not your situation to justify, and not your job to explain what happened. It is not and never will be anything that you need to hide, because you, I, did nothing wrong.

Would you be embarrassed if you were sitting at a stoplight and someone rear ended your car? Would you hide away the scratches, refuse to let anyone help you, and pray that no one noticed? Of course not, because you didn’t do anything wrong. The problem begins when the situation becomes emotional; usually at first it’s fear and confusion. “What happened? Will it happen again? Why did I let that happen? Why didn’t I stand up for myself, why didn’t I fight back? What will people think of me if they knew that I allowed this to happen? Wait a minute, was this my fault?” Eventually, thanks to the reinforcement of our abusers, fear and confusion are overtaken by shame.

The emotions that accompany abuse overcome our rational judgment and cloud out the obvious facts of the situation.

Someone wronged you in an unacceptable, inhumane, illegal, and outright horrific way.

There is no reasonable explanation or justification to change the fact that someone abused you.

You were abused and that is the ONLY relevant fact to the situation.

Today a window went in and I gave no other explanation than “my ex shot it” because the details of the situation don’t matter and they don’t affect what the end result was.

You have no reason to be ashamed of an end result that you did not choose.

There is no justification for abuse and you don’t need an explanation for the act carried out by another.

I really wish that I had been able to understand that years ago and I won’t lie and say that I don’t still struggle to accept that sometimes, but I’m getting better.

I didn’t choose this. Abuse is a painful act that is forced upon you by another person.

I refuse to be ashamed of a choice that I had no part in making.

Today a window went in, the public, visible, display of a wrong done against me.

For the first time I let the world see, without explanation, what had happened to me. I was ok with everyone seeing my wounds.

I was ok because this is not my shame to bear.

The actions of an abuser are never the fault of the abused and therefor the abused do not need to give an explanation for the faults of another.

Open your curtains, open your window, you have nothing to hide. Let the light shine in and force the darkness out, for it’s the darkness that hides our secrets; secrets that were never ours to keep in the first place.

The only real secret you are keeping, is the one that you are hiding from yourself;

This was not your fault.

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  • Anonymous
    August 4, 2014 at 7:35 am

    Thank you Eden. What about invisible acts of abuse such as verbal and psychological?What if others see the abuse and take it as an invitation to judge? What if they end up blaming you entirely, and you end up worse than where you were before?You were strong to post photos of your bruises. It was absolutely not your fault, and like you say, not your shame to bear. (I am glad you have photos of proof.) I'm glad the girl child got her room back too 🙂

    • NotMyShametoBear
      August 4, 2014 at 4:15 pm

      I struggled with that a lot, I will say it was the emotional abuse that tore me down and ruined me more than anything else. I did have a few people say that the abuse was my fault. I realized that I didn’t need those people in my life. If they thought that little of me (in their self righteous and un empathetic form) then they were not someone that I wanted to be around. Did it hurt? Sure it did, but evil comes in many forms, some are just softer than others.

      I’m glad the girl child is back in her bed too 🙂 She was getting REALLY tired of the floor. See how big that window is against her bed? She could have fallen right out or glass could have fallen on her!

  • Anonymous
    August 4, 2014 at 10:24 am

    Eden, I'm also curious as to what your stance on forgiveness is. I know that it is a big part of Christianity and that you are Christian, but I was wondering what your personal view on it was as far as it relates to healing from abuse. Thank you

  • Anonymous
    August 4, 2014 at 11:22 am

    ((((((((((((((((Hugs))))))))))))))))))) You are 100% correct – this was not your fault, and you should feel proud of yourself that you are out of that and doing right by yourself and your children.

    • NotMyShametoBear
      August 4, 2014 at 4:15 pm

      Thank you 🙂


  • Anonymous
    August 4, 2014 at 4:15 pm

    This is probably going to be a challenging question for Eden to answer because it isn't just about her, there are also children involved.Even Jesus, who turned the other cheek when it came to himself and even to the point of death, got angry in the Temple and threw tables around and called the merchants a Den of Thieves, because he felt they had desecrated his Father's house, which was to be the solace and support and sanctuary of his Father's people.So there is a difference between forgiving your own enemies and forgiving the enemies of those who rely on you totally and absolutely. You really cannot speak for them as easily. (Especially those who are small and helpless and who you are responsible for.)Also, forgiveness does not mean forgetfulness. Even when your grandmother forgives you for breaking the vase, she doesn't forget you did it. (Or if you did it deliberately or accidentally, when you did.)Forgiveness is great for the soul, certainly, but it is much easier to forgive the past than the present, the present is still a changing situation, and having one's child SHOT at is a very big deal, particularly when the perpetrator was aware they were present and chose to take that action anyway. (Sort of the epitome of “Deliberate” there, don't you think?)Time and distance is a healer, as is forgiveness, but other than Mother Theresa, most of us fall a bit short of being Christlike (and even Christ defended and protected his beloved flock, more than himself.)All that said, the important thing at the moment is that Eden has clearly been able to forgive the most significant person in the situation, who is herself. Many victims blame themselves (I could have left sooner, I brought it on myself, I should have known better, I knew I couldn't believe them, I am a bad person, etc., etc.,) and she has been able to cast off that erroneous thinking and reaction, and place the blame directly where it belongs, which is on the abuser.And this is a great step all by itself, and this must be recognized. Along with the fact that at present it might be too far a stretch and too quick a jump from that just yet to the eventual destination where she forgives THEM. Or at least lets go of the fury and resentment, which is currently her defense and shield against the continuing abuse.That day is perhaps still down the road a ways. (ie letting go of the spectrum of emotions entirely and eventually one day being able to release the abusers to forgiveness.)Which is ok, she has been through a lot, and yet is still behaving in the most Christian and loving fashion possible, given the situation (no spite, malice, retaliation, simply avoidance and detachment, and the determination to keep her helpless dependents as safe as she can.)

    • NotMyShametoBear
      August 4, 2014 at 4:15 pm

      That is a tough question and I think anonymous #2 did an excellent job!!

      Let’s see, I agree that forgivness and forgetfulness are different things. I think that I have forgiven him. As much as it pains people to hear, I really don’t hate him. I hate what has been done to me, I hate that I feel so lost sometimes, I hate all of that, but him as a person, he is no longer a target of my anger. I do have moments and situational feelings where I wish that a bus would run him over, not going to lie, but I would say that on a day to day constant basis I do not hate him. Have I forgiven him? I think so. I had to forgive him, carrying that much hate around would only bury me in bitterness.

      Have I forgotten? No and I never will. Just because I have forgiven him doesn’t mean that I will ever allow him into my life again.

      I know that people will judge me for forgiving him, but I think that has to be a personal decision. I wouldn’t tell anyone else to forgive someone, it was something that I needed to do for myself.

      Truly, I do believe something is VERY wrong with him. Normal people don’t go around acting like that, it just doesn’t happen. I will never forget his actions but I have a hard time hating someone that clearly has so many issues. Since I am a Christian, I do believe his time will come and I’m sure that judgment will be made. I just personally don’t feel like that job is left up to me.

      I think there is a big difference between forgiving someone and moving on to a better life, and forgiving someone and allowing the situation to continue. I’m not a fan of the latter.

      But like I said, that is just my opinion on my situation. 🙂

      For some reason links don’t work on here, but cut and paste this into your browser, it’s the post that I had written on letting go of the anger.

      So yea, I guess that really is the best answer that I have. Ask me again in a couple of years and maybe I will have something a little more insightful to say lol!

  • Anonymous
    August 5, 2014 at 12:44 pm

    When you said you were abused i was really envisioning worse

  • Katy Anders
    August 5, 2014 at 5:05 pm

    This is an amazing blog and although I don't remember how I find it, you consistently blow me away with the unflinching honesty and strength of your writing.Also, your commenters are the oddest bunch of commenters I've ever read…

    • NotMyShametoBear
      August 5, 2014 at 4:16 pm

      Aw thanks Katy 🙂

      We are an odd bunch around here lol!!

  • afairytale84
    August 5, 2014 at 5:33 pm

    Not all abuse leaves bruises or other visible injuries.

  • afairytale84
    August 5, 2014 at 5:38 pm

    YAY new window! What a relief that must be for all of you. I hope Girl Child is sleeping peacefully now. :)”There is no justification for abuse and you don't need an explanation for the act carried out by another.”I really like that. And the quote about refusing to be ashamed of something that was done to you. Because you didn't do anything to be ashamed of. The abuse was done to you by your ex and your ex family, not by you.I especially love the comparison you made about not being ashamed/embarrassed if someone hit your car and you were injured. You sitting at stop sign, red light, etc. and getting hit by another car isn't your fault and most people wouldn't hesitate to say, “Yeah, some bastard ran a red light and slammed into me.” And yet most people who are abused cannot say “Yeah, some bastard decided to throw me down the stairs.” It's so sad, because there's nothing to be ashamed of. And yet there are people who will say you deserved the abuse, which is beyond absurd.I'm so glad you're letting go of the shame. Yeah, it's a struggle and probably always will be. But you're strong. And you're moving in the right direction. So thank you for posting this because I really think your words are going to help a lot of people. 🙂

    • NotMyShametoBear
      August 5, 2014 at 4:16 pm

      Oh my gosh it’s such a relief!! She looks so funny she is ALL sprawled out on the bed everytime I go in there. She looks like an ad for a mattress commercial.

      I’m glad you liked the post 🙂 It feels good to know you guys are getting something out of it and I’m not just talking to myself lol!

      I like your example of someone throwing you down the stairs.

      Taking it day by day over here!


  • Anonymous
    August 5, 2014 at 5:41 pm

    Eden did say she was posting “mild” pictures of the abuse, probably due to their sensitive nature. I'm almost certain these were the least of her physical injuries. Above that though bruised like that, especially the neck one, look horrifying to me. Is that one on your back a whip Mark or a burn? That's awful 🙁

  • Anonymous
    November 9, 2014 at 6:29 am

    “Would you be embarrassed if you were sitting at a stoplight and someone rear ended your car? Would you hide away the scratches, refuse to let anyone help you, and pray that no one noticed? Of course not, because you didn't do anything wrong. The problem begins when the situation becomes emotional; usually at first it's fear and confusion. “What happened? Will it happen again? Why did I let that happen? Why didn't I stand up for myself, why didn't I fight back? What will people think of me if they knew that I allowed this to happen? Wait a minute, was this my fault?” Eventually, thanks to the reinforcement of our abusers, fear and confusion are overtaken by shame.” <—This is so poignant!!

    • NotMyShametoBear
      August 9, 2014 at 4:16 pm

      Thank you 🙂

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