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Be a Hell Raiser, Not a Chump

Mother Jones in tent city

Today, in honor of Labor Day weekend, I’m rerunning this column about Mother Jones. Raise a glass to hard-fought child labor laws and the 8-hour workday and I’ll see you back here tomorrow! — Tracy

I’m struck by how often the catalyst for an extraordinary life is loss.

A friend of mine posts various nuggets of history on Facebook and the other day she featured Mother Jones. (Not the magazine that is named for her, but the labor organizer.)

Mary Harris Jones had a shit hand dealt to her if anyone ever did. Born in 1837, she became a school teacher, married a George Jones and together had a family of four children. Then as a young woman, she lost her entire family. Her husband and all of her babies perished in a yellow fever epidemic in Memphis. The children were all under the age of five.

That would be enough tragedy to send you to the mental ward for life, but Jones rebuilt and moved to Chicago to work as a dressmaker. By all accounts, she was quite successful at it. And then the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 hit and she lost everything. Again. Her home, her business, and all her worldly possessions.

Can you imagine? She reinvented again. In middle age! For the rest of her life (she lived to be 100), she was a fearsome labor organizer — called “the most dangerous woman in America.” What was she fighting for? To keep children out of coal mines and in school. Yeah, radical stuff. There were no child labor laws back in the day. The protections we enjoy today, we owe to protesters like Jones. I like this quote — she said: “I’m not a humanitarian, I’m a hell-raiser.”

She had a smart-ass Irish wit. When denounced on the Senate floor as the “grandmother of all agitators,” she replied: “I hope I live long enough to be the great-grandmother of all agitators.”

In 1903, upset about the lax enforcement of the child labor laws in the Pennsylvania mines and silk mills, she organized a Children’s March from Philadelphia to the home of then president Theodore Roosevelt in New York.

The picture above is her outfitting children with shoes for that march. She was in her 60s by then — leading marches on foot, hundreds of miles. The children she marched with, many were missing fingers and limbs — maimed from factory work. She tried to get the president to give them an audience. Roosevelt was unmoved, but she never stopped fighting for workers’ rights.

“I am not afraid of the pen, or the scaffold, or the sword. I will tell the truth wherever I please.”

Take those words to heart, chumps. Loss can make you brave. When your world has been obliterated, it can provoke a fearlessness that is a gift. What can they throw at you that you haven’t survived worse? Could the pen, scaffold, or sword be worse than losing four children, a husband, and everything you ever worked for? They couldn’t touch her.

She could’ve let that loss kill her. Send her into mourning or the care of relatives for life. No one would’ve blamed her, it would’ve been the expected thing for a woman her age back then. But she did the unexpected thing — she became a fighter. She transmuted that pain into a courageous empathy that did some good in the world.

The futurist and inventor Buckminster Fuller once said: “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”

I love that quote. I first saw it as a tag line in an email from an organic farmer. I think there is great wisdom in that quote for chumps. You do not change things by fighting the “existing reality.” If that reality is infidelity, you will not change it with the pick me dance, by trying harder, by chasing reconciliation unicorns. To change, you need to build a new model — YOU — that makes the existing model (chumpy OLD you) obsolete.

You need to invest in an entirely new reality. A BETTER reality (leave a cheater, gain a life). So often we “fight” instead — we butt up against the existing reality of being cheated on. We fight by trying to prove our worthiness, by obsessing over the affair partner, by staying locked in unhealthy ways of relating, by being the marriage police, when what we need to do is make our old crappy lives obsolete. It’s harder to mourn something, when you’ve got a better something to replace it with.

Did you know Buckminster Fuller was another one of those extraordinary people transformed by loss? If you’re not familiar with Fuller, he was a prolific inventor, architect and designer, who is best known for the geodesic dome. He was also a futurist and humanitarian, and a total odd ball. (He was expelled from Harvard twice: once for spending all his money partying with a vaudeville troupe.)

By age 32, Fuller was bankrupt and jobless, living in low-income public housing in Chicago, Illinois. In 1922, Fuller’s young daughter Alexandra died from complications from polio and spinal meningitis. Allegedly, he felt responsible and this caused him to drink frequently and to contemplate suicide for a while. He finally chose to embark on “an experiment, to find what a single individual [could] contribute to changing the world and benefiting all humanity.”

It’s a grandiose thought — to contribute your life in such a way to benefit “all humanity.” But then again, chumps — why the hell not? If labor marches and inventions aren’t your thing, find something that is. Invest in your better self. If you find your personal life destroyed by infidelity, yes, it’s tragic. It’s also an opportunity. Think of all the things you could be filling your new life with… making that past life obsolete. So what’s going to be next, chumps?

“Pray for the dead and fight like hell for the living.”  — Mother Jones 

Ask Chump Lady

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  • Spotify gave the wrong woman a multimillion dollar deal IMHO.

    If anyone should have a Spotify podcast, it’s YOU, dear Chumplady.

    I often think of others in worse circumstances to give me courage to keep going. My spirits get low when I am tired or am alone too long. Mother Jones is one of my heroes, and the families of violent crime victims are other heroes (Shanann Watts, Laci Peterson, Polly Klass). Eric Clapton’s little boy fell out of a 50 story window. He stayed sober and wrote Tears In Heaven.

    I woke up this morning with gratitude on my mind and watched one of my favorite videos to encourage me. I just have today and I want to do the best I can to enjoy it, love and care for myself, my daughter, our animals, reach out to friends.

    And helping others is really really good medicine for what we are going through.

    Thank you everyone here for helping me.

  • I’ve been noodling on some ways to raise hell after my divorce. If I didn’t have a young child, I’d go on every talk show to raise awareness about the destruction of sugar daddy dating sites. I’m a freelance writer and am thinking I might pitch some anonymous articles and do some writing for nonprofits that help women. Mother Jones makes me want to look into other activism – there has to be a way to shut these things down.

    I am struggling with one thing: my FW hired one of his sugar babies for a job on his team. The right thing would be to report his abuse of power – too many men get away with this shit. But I’m scared of retaliation. And I’d sacrifice my daughter’s child support. I’m parking this until after the divorce for now.

    • You might consider looking at getting involved with Female Dating Strategy if articles and podcasts are your thing. They have an unfair reputation as a ‘hate site’ but this rumour is generally propagated by pick-mes and FWs themselves.

      I don’t agree with 100% of everything I see on there but I recognise that they do good work in pointing out red flags to anybody in the dating scene as well as dangerous things normalised by popular culture (such as sugar daddy sites).

      I’d go so far as to say that male chumps could apply FDS train of thought to women too, though they might find the language somewhat off-putting.

      • I originally found the FDS subreddit after a Murdoch-held media source that poses as “lefty” (Vice) hired a female shill to write a poison pen article casting the Female Dating Strategy sub as extremist. After reading the sub, I figured that the things that distinguished this sub and its spinoff platforms were distinctly anti-porn, don’t support violent/traditional-role kink, are anti-sex trafficking and take a “don’t be a side chick/don’t fuck your way up the professional ladder” position which are at odds with the corporate media’s general “sex pozzy,” anti-monogamy presentations of feminism.

        The latter media presentation is sold as the latest feminist wave but, if you look at it closely enough, it’s not so groovy. It’s like a Mobius strip that starts out looking groovy and “liberated” (go to school, join the work force!) but then does a loop-de-loop in which women are relegated again to objectifying themselves and embracing exploitation in the name of “liberation.” I got a chill when listening to the tween friend of my daughter’s arguing for the simplistic benefits of BDSM from a proto-feminist vantage point. This is a girl with zero personal experience who was merely parroting what she’d read and seen on platforms targeting Gen Z. I was relieved when my daughter started making influential and intelligent counter-arguments. In not so many words (and using a lot more slang), my daughter argued that young people are having their sexual proclivities decided in corporate board rooms and foisted by a sick culture and then are having these proclivities repackaged as “freedom of expression.” I’ve been talking to my kids about this stuff since they first started asking questions about it but I had no idea how far-reaching and twisted the proto-feminist media campaign would become. Glad I got a jump on it.

        I haven’t yet formulated a totally solid argument about how “sex positive” (its expansion to depict any form of sexual expression as inherently good and the “sex work is work” view), pro-porn and anti-monogamy serve wider corporate and institutional agendas. I just have the sense that these things are not exactly supportive of women’s equality for many reasons. And there’s the fact that every fascist and totalitarian regime in history has been distinctly anti-feminist (including the Soviet Union: and we’re now arguably in an age of corporate totalitarianism for which even supposedly left-leaning media are in service ( Like Hitler, Mussolini and the Soviet Union, totalitarianism always first shows its face under a groovy, liberal guise, then does a bait and switch (all destroyed labor unions the second they came to power). This bait and switch strategy was first recommended by Plato as the fastest way to shut down democracy: bamboozle the “humanitarian elements” into supporting piecemeal totalitarian policies disguised as “humanist” until this created a watershed. So Murdoch buys a majority share of Vice Magazine and the entryist fun begins. And curiously the branch of feminism that doesn’t support the porn industry and critiques aspects of sex-pozzy trends in general is targeted.

        Maybe the root of corporate anti-feminism lies in what evolutionary scientist Richard Wrangham argues would happen if women– particularly mothers– formed coalitions and held equal power: there would be less war and more environmental protections. Not because women are morally superior in all ways to men but because maternal instincts tend to generally lean towards protection of children. In other words, unless pumped full of jingoist rhetoric and put under intense conformist social pressure, most moms wouldn’t want their kids ending up as cannon fodder in wars for the oil or mining industries. That’s a hindrance to profits.

        Anyway, regardless of what platform the Murdochian empire uses to attack– either openly righty or pseudo-lefty– if Murdoch is targeting you, you must be impeding a doctrine of some sort– some economic or related ideological agenda that serves Murdoch’s media and investment empire which includes porn, fracking, strip mining, anti-labor, anti-ecology, anti-public health option, private prisons, global security and surveillance, school privatization, the arms industry, etc., etc. It’s a great honor to be included on the hit list of foes and means a humble sub had become formidable enough for a take down.

        It’s also scary. If Mother Jones was agitating today, Murdoch and similar corporate media conglomerates would have applied the Mobius strip reverso marketing strategy and made short work of destroying her reputation and character even among progressives with multi-pronged blitz attacks from a bevy of seemingly independent news sources coupled with endless op-eds making ornate rationales in support of child labor revoiced in a progressive key. Testimony would be included from child laborers themselves who would have been sponsored to form an astroturf “workers rights” organization in support of happy child loom and mine workers. “Studies” would appear in headlines arguing for the developmental and health benefits of child labor. Limbless child workers would have been framed as “born that way.” There would be an OnlyFans-equivalent video platform in which glowing children using Insta beauty filters proudly demonstrate their skills with a pick axe or loom with the poppy new hit single “Arbeit Macht Frei” playing in the background. Critics would be framed as anti-labor elitists and even “anti-child!”

        • “I haven’t yet formulated a totally solid argument about how “sex positive” (its expansion to depict any form of sexual expression as inherently good and the “sex work is work” view), pro-porn and anti-monogamy serve wider corporate and institutional agendas.”

          I think this must be boiled down to its most basic human components; namely that sex serves its intended purpose – outside of procreation, that is – when it is a loving, mutual, exclusive act between two people who invest and believe deeply in one another. You’ll notice that the words ‘love’ and ‘commitment’ have been completely removed from mainstream talk about sex.

          If you give sexual intimacy cheaply, you will bear the psychic scars of underselling yourself, being discarded and disrespected and subsequently, you will dislike yourself, build no meaningful romantic bonds and ultimately find it far harder to effectively advocate for yourself.

          This makes you a lot easier to control. You’ll be quicker to align yourself with smooth-speaking organisations just to feel an empty shell of belonging and pride. This is in keeping with the increasing authoritarianism we’re seeing.

          There’s also the fact that “sex-positive” movements exclusively serve predatory men. They’re asking you to substitute massages and orgasms for choking and spitting. They’ve successfully rebranded abuse as ‘kink’ and speaking out is, ‘kink-shaming’.

          I think any woman advertising how kinky they are or doing that God awful ahegao face is like a turkey championing Christmas. Ironically, it’s always the ones screaming about the patriarchy while serving it perfectly.

          “Not because women are morally superior in all ways to men but because maternal instincts tend to generally lean towards protection of children.”
          There is a certain movement targeting places like mumsnet and it’s becoming apparent that paedophilia is far more widespread than anybody ever imagined. Subjugate the women to get to the children.

          I do think it’s exhausting when people say, “how did this dictator happen” and you think to yourself, “well look at the crazy shit YOU’RE signing off on and ask that again”.

    • I think you are right in putting a pin in the work thing. You and your daughters financial health are top priority.

      However, you don’t know now how this will play out. My fw got his whore hired as his direct report. When that happened I was still in infidelity (unknown to me). However, in the last month of the year of discard someone filed an ethics complaint against him. He had petitioned the city counsel for a raise for whore. It was granted. Long story short his house of nasty cards fell all around him. He got demoted (was lucky to keep his job), whore got transferred to another job in the city.

      If she had been smart she would have dumped him and kept the new job, but she fucked that up by putting two police officers in extreme danger (dispatcher). She got fired for cause.

      Sometimes those situations self fix, and the chump has nothing to do with it. They can’t keep that shit hidden as well as they think they can, and generally co workers look the other way until something pisses them off. And a woman getting a raise for fucking her boss pisses folks off.

      For me too victims I have full support for them, for lay whores who knowingly get their jobs/raises on their backs, nope.

      • Thanks for validating that parking this is the right thing. I’d like to think this is an unspoken bargaining chip in the divorce. He’s been surprisingly compliant with my requests so far. But he’s still defending his decision to hire a webcamming amateur whore with no office experience rather than calling a staffing agency, so I’m not foolish enough to have too much hope. I think you’re right about these situations self-correcting. He had to lay off the sugar baby – not because he grew a conscience but because he was ordered to downsize his team. He’s had several people quit on him recently. I think his mask is slipping at work and he’s giving off asshole vibes.

    • No one has ever been able to stop another person from drinking, using, smoking, murdering, stealing, lying, assaulting, raping, cheating, screwing around with married people, or anything else. Some people care about doing the right thing and practice using their free will to do good, be kind. And there will always be those who don’t.

      The only power I have is to not do those things, and not associate with those who do.

  • Well, it’s like you’re reading my mind or something! I’m under-going my own metamorphosis!
    Blonde to Reddish Brunette hair (I love it, the FW would not, so bonus score points).
    Changed my name (my family hates it, but too bad no one asked me if I agreed to their name in the first place).
    I’ve taken up activities that I never did before.
    Transitioning my job into longer-term opportunities.
    Becoming more of an activist.
    And above all, questioning & challenging all the “systems” in place that keep us “in place”. (please note this took me several years to get to this place, so please don’t think ya gotta do this right away if it’s early days… and on the other hand, don’t stay stuck for too long either!)
    We are Survivors! Time to examine what parts are really us & what parts are someone else’s construct & change, rebuild & transform from what no longer works. Happy Labour Day to us Works in Progress!

  • Surviving the shitstorm has made me fierce. I don’t take prisoners! It’s almost 6 years to DDay1 and I am absolutely at Meh. I’ve always practised service to others, to my community and to women in my work. To support, mentor and advise- I’m no shrinking violet when I have the opportunity to voice my opinions on life values. I will continue to lead and do my bit to change this world. Everyday since DDay; I wake up to a better world and a better person (that’s me!) For 36 years I accepted less than nothing from a paper mache man! I have not Re partnered, perhaps I never will. I have peace, gratitude and joy
    The wonderful film that you posted; VH, features the voice of Brother David Steindl Rast. He has a fabulous TED talk on Gratitude. I must have listened to it 20 times or more. It’s beautiful

  • For my part I’ve gone through something of an ego death and I now tolerate far less in general. I’ve spent a lot of time on my own, working on my boundaries and now, I will not be shouted at, condescended, insulted. I will not be making excuses for others flaking out and I won’t overlook undesirable traits. This was accelerated by the pandemic, which really taught me to thrive in solitude AND showed me everyone’s ugly true colours.

    I was gaslit by many to tolerate poor situations because my recognising shit sandwiches was me being iNsEcUrE, etc. lol no

    When provoked, I concentrate on keeping my body in check and I just give silence if words fail me. My aim is this; if you’ve disrespected me and I say nothing, I want you to imagine the sound of a gun being cocked. This is not submissive silence.

    I’m also training myself out of JADE (justify, argue, defend, explain). With healthy people you’ll only ever need to rephrase something once at best. You won’t be put and kept on a backfoot.

    I’m learning to listen to my body because it’s the easiest and ultimately it doesn’t matter what the situation is or why; if I’m uncomfortable with it, I’m uncomfortable with it and I won’t gaslight myself into the losing battle of making peace with obvious bullshit.

    I haven’t made much ground on the anhedonia yet but I’m sure when I do, I’ll be unstoppable.

    • Thank you for pointing out JADE & dealing with provocation or disrespect. Silence & Calm are strength-based responses & so many of us think they are weak, yet they are not.

      • I don’t mean silence as in keeping quiet/putting up/shutting up…I meant it as you did, when provoked/disrespected.

        • Definitely. When I was young, I did actually default to calm but as I began romantic relationships, I was groomed into ‘opening up’. This was obviously a ruse to get me into bed but it also served to erode my calm and normalise “passionate” outbursts because “love” had to be fought for even though the pushback was from the person you’re meant to be loved by. Nonsensical.

          I don’t think it helps that screaming matches are normalised by media. I sort of looked at media for some level of guidance and thought, “hey, this is what adults do, they fuck and scream at each other and any betrayal is just them being ‘complicated’ or the chump not being adequate in some way”. It’s nice to see shows like 90 Day Fiancé start to call out gaslighting and minimising but we do have a way to go when it comes to modelling healthy boundaries to the next generation.

          Shouting and explaining never felt good or natural to me and even calmly explaining over and over never lead anywhere healthy. It just set a precedent of me having to defend even my most basic rights (and failing, of course).

          I’ve found that short calm responses to rage generally result in silent treatment and accusations of “treating them like a child” (from a person whose default reaction is screaming, oh my). Well, if the shoe fits…

          Love isn’t a person who is determined to see the bad in you and make it up if it doesn’t exist. So they aren’t worth the energy.

  • I just got home from traveling to care for an elderly relative. This was trip #4 after her husband suddenly died. This time, she fell and broke her pelvis. Thankfully the next-door neighbor has been very involved and was overseeing the in-home caregivers, but this was too much.

    We had to put her into a nursing home (thankfully a really good one), but I thought several times about just how much my ex didn’t like her and how he’d fight me every which way if I wanted to fly out and help her. She never had children, and I come from a small family. But I had no doubts or impediments towards going. So I advocated and pushed and got my relative to safety.

    Now I’m home again. My local thing for the last few years has been abused and addicted women. A friend asked why because something they go back to their abusers, drugs, and alcohol. My role is to suggest resources and provide encouragement. I’ve had lots of practice with boundaries and letting go. Some of them are thriving and making their way, and some are not. We’re still here when you need us, I say.

    Yes, it’s good.

  • I love this: “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”

    In my chumpdom, I tried in the roughly 2 years after Dday to “make XH see….” He wouldn’t or couldn’t. Doesn’t matter which. He’s a substance abuser, lies without any compunction, selfish, and perhaps a sociopath as he derived pleasure from harming his own children. I could not change him. With CL’s invaluable writings, and the support of the great Chump Nation, I built a “new model” for my life: filed for divorce, went no contact, secured the best award I could, raised my kids solo but sanely and well, took the CA bar exam and got a remote job in a growth field, dated to determine if I wanted another partner (found out I did), helped others in all areas of my life. The result is that 8 years after Dday, the model of my life in 2014 is obsolete — I kept the parts I love like parenting and caring for pets and my law career and exercise and sobriety, but replaced everything else. Life is peaceful and meaningful now.

  • This is fire. Thank you for writing it! It stirs my soul up so much. I love you Chump Lady!

  • I did good, meaningful work when married to Cheater but every day of that marriage was like pushing a boulder up hill. I still do the same work…its hard, gut wrenching grief work, but I do it well and I often divert people from terrible despair. I find joy in it because I know that individuals who dont go down a black wont take their kids and spouse with them.

    So my new self is doing it bigger. I just finished a journal article for a really prestigious academic press. I want to defend my work to naysayers so I got a Masters in Bioethics so I leave most of them firmly in the dust.

    My big win this week was that my problem child got a job…not just any job but one that serves humanity and he is really good at it. (He is aspy in a way that leaves him seeming like an asshole even when that’s not the goal). He, however has a savant level capacity to deal with the homeless. I supported his ass between jobs hoping he could find a job where he would use this weird but real skill and this week it happened. Im doing my best to keep his Hellraising pointed in the best direction.

  • I’m not quite to total meh, but I’m killing being a solo parent. I’m patiently teaching my daughter how to drive, supporting her at school, running our business without the fuckwit and dating a nice man.

    To help some people, I’m keen to write a book that explores what “middle class”abuse is like. When I was referred to Womens refuge, they gave me things to read but it was mostly about hiding from physical harm and not psychological abuse and control. It was geared for the “stereotypical” kind of abuse some think of-the woman getting beat up and she’s on the run then goes back to him and the cycle continues…It was really good info that that scenario but it wasn’t as helpful in my case. Although they said I was their most common type of client, there was a lack of understanding in the written materials of the kind of manipulation I suffered. I also found too many self help books that had perfect endings and I found them annoying and isolating. I felt like when I was in the midst of pain I needed to hear that it sucked for them too, not that life will be perfect again one day. One of the issues I had was “fantasy thinking”. At refuge I got a hard dose of acceptance therapy, and this was useful and excruciating. So watch this space! I’m applying for funding to get a book out there that I hope will help a few people learn a bit more about different aspects of abuse.

    • That’s so valuable FKA – and definitely something that I could have benefitted from.

      A couple of years ago, one of DDs mental health support team suggested I was being abused and I thought that because he’d never laid a finger on me that it couldn’t possibly be true but I can see now I was the typical boiled frog.

      • Thanks, and it’s interesting because the women’s refuge knew exactly what to do with me, and they were wonderful. But their written material was outdated and not fit for purpose. It was designed to save lives from immediate harm (very, very important!). But it gave no real tips about how fuckwits abuse you post-separation, via the courts, the banks, child support, etc. That’s the kind of thing I didn’t anticipate and I didn’t know what to do about it. The lawyers that they referred me to as well weren’t quite the right fit. I’m keen to help widen the word that abuse has many forms

        • That is a great idea. I too was subjected to a lot of abuse but it wasn’t the endlessly life threatening sort, so I dismissed it. It was, however so awful to live with and kept me on-edge for years. I see stuff here and recognize it clearly now. One form of financial abuse was spending which kept the family budget forever compromised and limited my options.

        • Look at Tina Swithin’s site and Safe Relationships Magazine site for resources for your book. I initially found some of Leslie Vernicks articles and book helpful too ( it’s a religious aspect about leaving an abuser of any type)
          I think the aspect of how we feel in a relationship as well as what’s done physically is important. Exploring the reasons we feel..sad, depressed, worthless, suicidal , unhealthy etc. as a reason to let something go. Most people don’t see anything thing other than hitting as abuse discounting marital rape, lying , neglect, etc as abuse too.
          At one point I wanted to hand people the wheel of abuse and say he hit every spoke on that and I left when I could!
          I gave my attorney a copy of the Post Separation Wheel of Abuse from Tina Swithin. All attorneys and judges need to see and understand this.

    • There is a book called “The Verbally Abusive Relationship and How It Works” by Patricia Evans that I found to be very eye-opening.

    • Not sure if you will see this so long after the original post. Look at “Not to People Like Us.” A study on abuse in middle and upper classes.

  • Labor Day weekend, and I sit here, alone reading so much wisdom from CN! 2 years ago was D-day 2 which absolutely floored me. 12 years earlier, I had completely forgiven, knew it would never happen again, and then, it did, so much worse than the first time. Somehow, I found all of you, and with the help of a lifelong friend found the strength to leave a 37 year marriage and am filing for divorce with the complete support of my adult children! I am retired, but plan to return to work because I am good @ what I do and know that I help folks! Thank you, all, from the bottom of my heart. I know, without you, I would have stayed in that horrible situation, thinking it was my lot in life.

    • Kathy: Glad you found the strength to leave the long marriage. Sorry you had to go through the cheating and then have it happen again…no good deed goes unpunished or so it seems. You are doing the right thing. The posts today have been uplifting. I wish you the very best.

  • Tracey,
    I am starting my own farming practice. It has taken me moving mountains to get here, but I firstly have Lease with apiarists who’s bees I host on my land. Next I am aiming to grow garlic as sustainability is important to me. I’d love to grow flowers and shrubs to sell, also.
    Starting a farming practice with NO husband, no brothers, no Uncles, no cousins, no parents supporting me is not easy. So, I’m taking baby steps and seeking information wherever I can find it.
    I will add an education component as I truly want Littles to come to learn on my land. It is all in the works.
    Wish me luck Chump Nation!

    • Where I live there is a farm that advertised for classes for homeschool groups / families. I think it’s great. Even if they come and work with you.

    • YAY! You rock!
      Love this!
      More power to you and GOOD LUCK.
      Love Chumpantidote lol.

  • Excellent, encouraging, inspiring and meaningful topic, CL! To recalibrate lives, we Chumps have to set our sights on something new, better and more worthy than the former model of life we came from. That takes, first and foremost – desire. Then to look away from the carnage to new ideals, vision and better models. Sure, it’s strange, different and filled with unknowns. That’s the climb needed from misery, suffering and defeat. It’s the metamorphosis from cacoon into butterfly.

    We’re not all destined for the accomplishment of Harriett Jones. However, we all deserve to cut the rope, not live in the memories and emotions of our past, and create a future with meaning and purpose to self and for others. Failure to do so would be defeat.

  • Hey Tracy, you saved my life.
    You ACTUALLY saved my life.

    In the depths of my despair, grief, anguish, depression, I found you! YAY!
    Lol like an Angel your messages synced with my soul.
    I began to laugh! Instead of crying I was laughing AT fw NB lower case only.
    At times I even read posts from CN to it, laughing my head off.

    Didn’t know at the time I was about to embark on over 5 years of hell though various Courts in efforts to LOCK THIS SHIT DOWN for ever!

    Aha I raised hell all right.
    I had to.
    I was divorcing one of the devil’s hench babies – a demon I call it. I found out it had been seeing Family Lawyers for 20y! .. I had some catching up to do (took me 2y for it’s 20+ lol).
    It had seen EVERY Family Lawyer within 150 kilometres, to “conflict me out”.
    Only ONE was available to me, 5 mins away, who I’d engaged as a Conveyancer years before. Thank you GOD!

    Read up to 700 pages of Family Law per night for years, everyone thought I was a Lawyer lol!
    No, I was a FIERCE MOTHER.

    I fooled the fool of fools!
    I joined FB for the first time.
    Posted airy fairy pics and holiday snaps out of sync so it would never know where we were lol.
    Demon was blocked BUT it had it’s wily ways, so I used this to my advantage lol.

    My Angelic Lawyer rescued us legally. NO ONE would touch our case due to it being the most complex case they’d ever seen. My brave YOUNG Lawyer told her boss she had to represent us, as no one could within 150klms.
    I had a saintly Lawyer, her Barrister friends (all female lol which would IRK demon no end).

    I timed things perfectly.
    Just as I planned I Got the house (my house), ALL the kids 100% in MY care, my dog, my cat, MY chickens.
    Victims Service put CCTV ALL around our home pronto.

    And would you believe it?
    The ONE thing demon wanted more than anything? MONEY. It got 5.89% of the asset pool lol.
    Better still?
    MY HOME sky rocketed in value (due to c19) and appreciated 300% since Divorce.

    Awww poor, literally, poor fw, couch surfing because it gambled the whole 5% lol.
    + had Lawyers bills out it’s ass (I paid ours as I went) and the cherry on the whole cake eater’s cake is, Child Support Agency caught up with it! Hahaha.
    Demon has never contributed more to the kids than SINCE divorce. Dang it! Demon had to get a JOB lol!!

    Oh do I think of demon? Only to visualise all the STDs I saw listed in the subpoenaed GP documents IT lodged in Courts for hahaha! What an idiot.

    Driving our own karma.

    On the other side now, living our best lives.
    We did MORE than survive, we THRIVE now.
    Kids are all in Management jobs, at Uni, running their own businesses. My precious eldest finishing her Psych Honors!
    I’m earning more than double demon with no drain like it around. Preparing my new Business too lol!

    Been on trips all around the world with a gorgeous FAITHFUL man.
    Wearing necessary BLING to match the sparkle in our lives, that was NEVER there before.
    We now have a “home” in Seattle, a “home” in San Diego lol and our beautiful home in Oz.
    Just for my sanity a happily agreed upon pre-nup lol.

    Onwards and UPwards Chump Nation.
    Love you Tracy!
    PS: Can’t wait to write the fw obit!!

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