By Laura

Today is a special day for me. It marks the one year anniversary of the final time I left Dale. I had tried to leave 3 or 4 times before but , like many women in unhealthy relationships, I kept coming back. I have heard it said that a woman in an abusive relationship will leave the abuser an average of 7 times before she will actually stay away. 7 times! Wow. It didn’t take me that many tries but it did take a few!

Vyckie offered me a place to live, support and love and understanding. No strings attached, no time table, no rent required. Just a place to clear my head and figure out my life.

I remember that it was April 14th, 2008, because it was the day before my birthday. Yep…a Tax Day baby. I always say,”No one is happy on my birthday but me!”

Thank you Vyckie. I like to joke that she is one of my saviors…. but it’s true. She had a very pivotal role in helping me extract myself from my failed marriage and oppressive religion. I lived with Vyckie and her kids for 6 months and experienced a lot of late night “bitch” sessions, eye opening conversations about religion and relationships, and unconditional acceptance. Not to mention more than our fair share of laughter. It was wonderful.

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  • pluralist

    Laura,Celebrate today! You’ve done an amazing thing in escaping that life and starting this blog with Vyckie.Love and Peace,Elizabeth

  • pluralist

    Laura,Celebrate today! You’ve done an amazing thing in escaping that life and starting this blog with Vyckie.Love and Peace,Elizabeth

  • Elaine


  • Elaine


  • Anonymous

    Congratulations, Laura! I’ve really been touched by your writing thus far. Hope to keep seeing more of it! Kristin

  • Anonymous

    I’m so happy for you, Laura. I haven’t read all of your story yet, but it is inspiring to know that you had the courage to walk away, even if it took a few tries. And thanks to Vyckie for showing real hospitality to a friend in need. Peace, Kari

  • Edwina

    Congratulations! And happy birthday, too!

  • Michelle Kennedy Hogan

    Congratulations! I haven’t read all of your story yet, either – but I’m looking forward to it and wish you the best!

  • Maria F

    Laura, Congratulations and Happy Birthday !!! (I’m an April Baby too)

  • adventuresinmercy

    ((((hugs)))) to you both.Molly

  • Tapati

    Congratulations! What a milestone! It took me a few tries, too. It’s par for the course. No one knows how hard it is to leave if they haven’t been there.I wrote this essay called “Why Don’t You Just Leave That Jerk?” back in the 90s. I try to explain why it takes time and why supporters need to be patient.http://www.labyris.com/jerk.html–Tapati

  • Lou Ann

    Congratulations, Laura on your whole new life! And blessings on your birthday tomorrow as well….((((((hugs)))))

  • Jadehawk

    congratulations, and happy birthday!! 🙂

  • tapati

    WRT Vyckie taking you in, I have read that the ex-FLDS members are similarly organizing and shining a beacon to those still in the movement so that they have somewhere to go when they leave. Often leaving a fundamentalist group means fleeing with the clothes on your back and little more. I am sure someday you will be in a position to pay it forward and someone will come to stay with you.Oh, and Happy Birthday! :)–Tapati

  • Volly

    Congrats and happy day(s). Aren’t milestones wonderful? They literally show how far you’ve come.Enjoy!v

  • Anonymous

    Congratulations, Laura! Wow, what a WONDERFUL day to celebrate!!! You must be so grateful for Vyckie, that she was there help you as you were coming out of this mess. I can’t imagine going through something so horrendous, all alone.

  • Blondie

    The more I read this blog, the more it reminds me of some of the stories I have read about women who have escaped from the FLDS cult. I can hardly IMAGINE what it would be like to be in your situation. It’s so much easier to sit back and think “I would have done — or —,” but the fact that I was NEVER under those circumstances just shows that I have no idea. It is unimaginable, and I am just thankful I have never had to make a decision like that. I admire both of you so much.

  • Emma

    Congratulations, Laura! And happy birthday! 🙂

  • enlightenmentgirl

    Congratulations and happy birthday Laura! You have a wonderful eye for the moving details in your writing. I look forward to hearing more of your story.

  • Holly

    Congratulations and happy birthday! 😀

  • Linnea

    I’m too late for the anniversary, but not too late to wish you a HAPPY BIRTHDAY, LAURA!!!