#wegotout. Oh yes, we did!

Recently I posted something on Facebook which started a dialog about the way we deal and have dealt with breakups. It was a lively discussion. If you aren’t a fan of this blog on Facebook, surf on over and clicky the likey button. (There is extra content and we have a pretty good ol’ time chatting it up some days!)

A lovely woman named Mary Juleson Herrington posted this:

I’m sure my grandparents would have kissed like this.


I love the image of this strong woman dancing around her burning wedding dress, celebrating like my grandparents did on V-E Day.

Then Mary added, “Every August 4th, this will be the 12th year, we call Bagel and Cream Cheese day. My ex tried to kill me b/c I asked for more cream cheese on my bagel. That was the day I left.

Let that sink in a minute.

Twelve years ago Mary asked for a bit more cream cheese on her bagel and her then husband tried to kill her.

Mary walked out the door and she rebuilt her life. (I hope to publish Mary’s back story in another post.)

That, my friends, is something to celebrate.

Mary wrote: “So, every 8/4, I now have a gf [gluten free] bagel with tons of cf [casein free] cream cheese on it and we celebrate freedom.”

We draw strength from sharing our stories and from hearing the open-hearted and courageous stories of others. In celebrating our sister’s victories, we celebrate our own.

Another reader’s day is August eighth and she offered to have a bagel for Mary on August fourth if Mary would return the favor on the eighth. There was some discussion of designating the fourth National Bagel and Cream Cheese Day in Mary’s honor, and the eighth Kick ‘im to the Curb Day for Heather.

Let us celebrate the victories of these two women and of all the women who have clawed their way out of difficult, unhealthy, and often violent relationships. August is our month to encourage one another and to celebrate the reclaiming of our lives. Have a bagel with more than a schmear of cream cheese! Take a pic. Post it to Instagram and/or Twitter, send it out via Facebook, or email it to me.* Use the hashtags #freedombagel and/or #wegotout. Feel free to leave well wishes and/or to tell us your Un-Anniversary story in the comments below.

Happy Un-Anniversary!

Happy Un-Anniversary to those who join the party!


Also, if you can—it is always a good time to give to your local domestic violence shelter: goods, time, and cash—all are usually welcome. Don’t judge. Help.



As Liadan pointed out below, the Violence Against Women Act is currently up for reauthorization in Congress.  Parties are divided over different versions of the legislation in the Senate and House, with the Dem-sponsored Senate version favoring expansion of the law to provide more services to illegal immigrants and LGBTQ individuals. The two bills are currently pending reconciliation. You can contact your Congressman here.


16 comments to #wegotout. Oh yes, we did!

  • Liadan

    I always donate to my local shelter on Valentine’s Day. Unfortunately, our nearest shelter for 200 miles has to close. Our state took away funding. The Federal Government can’t get Congress to pass the renewal of the Violence Against Women Act that funds more shelters.

    If you are inclined to donate, now is the time. A message to your representatives to pass VAWA would also not be amiss.

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  • Ironically I have an “anniversary” in early August too. Originally August 7 was my wedding anniversary. This year would have been 13 years if we hadn’t gotten divorced. We split up on April 24, 2006 and so 6 months later when we were still far from our divorce being final although my current husband and I were newly dating when our wedding anniversary rolled around. I was feeling a bit down and my (now) husband showed up at my apartment with a movie, a six pack & 2 quarts of ice cream (my vice…lol). We had a fantastic date night and ended the evening with it being the first time we had gotten intimate. So now, instead of letting my former wedding anniversary get me down, I celebrate it with a 6 pack, a movie, some ice cream & a little nookie if I’m lucky. LOL I consider it to be a celebration of my rebirth as a strong & independent woman.

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  • Valerie Juleson

    I’m Mary’s Mom and Lizzie and Sara’s Nana – I will be having my bagel and I also did the wedding dress BBQ dance with my daughter! So many Moms and Dads are also wounded and bitter over their child’s hopes and dreams being smashed because of abuse…perhaps there is no greater pain for a parent.

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  • Lori

    What is it about August? My former anniversary is in August, as is my birthday–the day my husband of 38 years announced we needed to get a divorce. (He later declared it was my “birthday present.” I came down with shingles as a result. Thanks! Most memorable birthday gift ever.) I did not suffer the same kinds of abuse as these wonderful women, but when you are married to someone with Borderline Personality Disorder (something I did not figure out until afterward), abuse of some kind or other is on the menu every day. So it really was a birthday gift, in a characteristically twisted way, and I celebrate it as well. Today I will be lifting a cream-cheese laden bagel with fresh chives from my garden in honor of ALL of us who are finally free, and those of us who have yet to walk through that door.

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  • I apologize for coming late to the party, but for Mary and for all of us I raise a bagel with tofutti in honor. We struggle and get through and come out stronger. Maybe the bagel is a proper symbol…a circle never broken…maybe we do have a hole (or more) but it doesn’t make us weaker. Love to all!
    Melissa D recently posted..The Nanny, Part IIIMy Profile

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  • Laurie A. Couture

    What about men in abusive relationships? Almost 300 studies, including of women themselves have shown that men are the primary victims of domestic violence and women are more likely to perpetrate domestic violence against men and children. This site, being gender-biased spreads hatred and disinformation. Why not be inclusive of everyone?

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    • Biased? Guilty as charged. This isn’t a news site. This is a place where personal stories are shared. I don’t spread hatred or disinformation. If you are claiming that men are the primary victims of domestic violence, then YOU are spreading disinformation and I would prefer you not do it on this site. Regardless, violence is wrong wherever and whenever it occurs.

  • Laurie A. Couture

    I want to clarify that I 100% support Mary and her children and my heart is with them. I just would like this webpage to not be gender-specific and to include everyone who has been the victim of abuse. I grew up seeing men nearly put to death by abuse, too, and I adopted a son who was traumatized by abuse as well. We are ALL in this together. It should be sugar-free, gluten-free, dairy-free bagels for everyone!

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  • When I built my fire pit I thought my children and I would gather around it roasting marshmallows. We’ve done that, but more often I’ve used it to burn some of the mementos of my relationship with the Ex, some extra unnecessary wedding stuff and the papers that chronicled the end of my marriage and my discovery of his affairs. Good fires. Good fires.
    Roxanne recently posted..Road Trip Entertainment — Our Music and MoviesMy Profile

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  • My “un-anniversary” is May 5th (Viva el Cinco de Mayo!); my ex later claimed that he WANTED to serve me papers on my father’s BD (4/22), it just didn’t work out for him…

    I lived under the dark penumbra of the implied THREAT of violence (Ex only slammed me back into the kitchen cabinets once but is an avowed gun nut; try having a rational discussion in the marital bedroom when you know there is a Glock w/in easy reach under the bookshelf, eh?)

    I need to have [another] memorial bonfire myself when the weather cools off a bit!

    [Are you sure Laurie is not related to Tyler??]

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  • Well, isn’t August just a busy divorce month! On August 4, I was divorced 4 years. On August 12, I would have been married 17 years. Wow. Doesn’t seem possible. I guess I will stick with August 1st as my independence day, even though, in all honesty, I have gained my independence slowly…one day at a time.
    Isn’t it ironic that it takes so long to heal after a bad marriage. You would have thought that I would have been dancing in the streets on that first August 1st. I guess that’s what happens when a marriage breaks you. You have to wait and celebrate the reconstruction of your life. August 1st was just the ground-breaking ceremony!
    StrongerMe recently posted..D-Day: Where were you?My Profile

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  • John

    Thanks so much

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  • Yes I can understand Mary’s celebration of divorce. I have now been going through a divorce from bagel mary’s ex-husband for almost a year. Same story he was so sweet had a kid got married and then the nightmare began. Treating me as property and hurting me when i wasn’t acting to his expectations. Going as far as rapping me and trying to strangle me because I didn’t want to have sex. This has devastated my life and I know I still have a long road ahead of me. I have reached out to people who love me but I still cling to hope that one day I am able to move forward in my life and find a way to be happy again. The final date set in court to get divorced is on February 14,2013 Valentines day and I will be celebrating!!!!

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