I knew a man who often gifted me with things that were out of the norm, not something you’d find in a magazine gift guide for sure. An elderberry bush. A vintage KitchenAid. A box of day-old goslings. A cow. He was thoughtful at keying in on just the things I wanted, but wouldn’t buy for myself. He was endearing at such times, boyish and excited about his surprises for me.

His behavior toward me grew increasingly angry and irrational between briefer bouts of sweetness, a pattern which began as soon as we moved to Stringtown Rising. He told me that he felt jealous of and threatened by the growing popularity of my website, and frequently criticized me and mocked readers’ admiration of my work. “Your readers think you’re wonderful,” he’d say. “But you’re not wonderful at all. You’re a selfish, selfish person.” If that was said to me once, it was said to me two hundred times (among other similar diatribes), the only apparent goal being to tear me down.

I have never spoken of my personal life and relationship during the time I lived at Stringtown Rising, or explained exactly why I had to leave. But now you know. Aside from my fear of living at such a difficult, remote farm alone, I was afraid he was going to destroy me from the inside out. It was writing this website, ironically the same thing he used against me to mock me, that at the same time saved me. Every day, I got up with a mission to write perky, positive, informative, inspiring posts. I wanted someone to live the good life–even if that someone couldn’t be me. He came home every night and derided me and mocked me and attacked me. He was one person in front of other people, and a different one when we were alone. I was silent in response to him most of the time–and I was silent to almost everyone around me. I had kids at home, so I was afraid of escalating any given situation, so I was very, very quiet, and mostly tried to stay out of his way. When he started ranting, I’d slip away to bed and hide. And get up the next day and write something for you. Thank you so much for being here. You have no idea how much I needed you.

My cousin and his wife, Sheryl, knew from the beginning. Eventually, I also confided in my dear friend here that you all know as CindyP.

And also eventually, I couldn’t take it anymore. I knew exactly what was happening–verbal abuse and mental cruelty–and I was ashamed that I was allowing it. I allowed it because I was afraid of losing my farm, and I was afraid of losing my job writing about the farm. I loved that farm and I was so determined to hang on to it. The night he came home and told me that he wasn’t going to pay his half of the mortgage anymore, I snapped. I told him I was moving out.

I didn’t even know where I was going, but I knew I had to leave.

In a similar way, when I realized he’d stolen the stove that had been donated for my workshop kitchen, I snapped. While stealing the stove is technically a theft, morally, it’s an act of domestic violence, and I knew I had to stop being silent–because this is where silence had gotten me so far. It’s not just a stove. It’s the stove that broke the camel’s back. It’s a final act in a long line of abusive acts. And what abusers count on is your silence and your shame.

So many women read this website, and I owe it to anyone who is reading this today who needs to hear it to say, GET OUT. LEAVE. There is nothing that is worth keeping in comparison to losing yourself. A person doesn’t have to hit you to hurt you. Mental cruelty and verbal abuse is actually far more violent and creates much longer-lasting damage. I stayed for nearly four years, trying to save a farm that I could never save because he owned half of it and the games would never end. He played with me every night like a cat with a mouse.

I found myself feeling suicidal because life was no longer worth living, and I knew I was in big trouble. I thought I was so strong that I could ride it out, tolerate it, to save my farm. But no one is that strong. If someone is tearing you down, GET OUT.

All you can ever save is yourself, and you are worth all the trouble.

This morning, flowers are blooming on the trees here.

It’s an early spring at Sassafras Farm.

No one yells at me here. I like it very much. There is hope and a future. If you are in a situation like I have described or similar, please leave. It will not get better.

UPDATE: If you’re reading this post at a later date, you can see the return of the stove here.


  1. Snapper119 says:


  2. djbrown says:

    Enjoy your new farm!! And email me if I can do ANYTHING.

    You are on the road to recovery

  3. Hengal says:

    Thank you for sharing your story Suzanne. The words you “speak” are very true. Verbal and emotional abuse leaves scars that take a very long time to get over, and some last a lifetime. I was in such a situation in my first marriage. God has blessed me with a true gift in my husband now of 14 years, and I finally know what a true love relationship is supposed to look and feel like. I’m so glad you found your voice and got out. You are God’s devine masterpiece and worth so much MORE than how you were treated. Bravo to you – and thanks for putting this story out there, so other women who may be in the same situation may too, find their voice. God bless you my dear. Only sunny days ahead for you! :sun:

  4. CindyP says:

    I’m very proud of you :hug: Strength comes in many forms. You are a strong woman in so many areas of your life, admitting you weren’t strong enough for that (and I don’t know ANYONE that is) just makes you stronger.

    True, many people can tell you to walk away, you’ll be stronger for it. No, it takes a strong person to stand up for what you believe in. The stove wasn’t stealing from you, it was stealing from Jill and everyone who has donated to The Studio. Every little penny is ear marked…and the over-funding from Kickstarter? The extra wasn’t meant to replace a stove you already had, it’s meant to add more things than the bare minimum to just get it operating as a health department approved kitchen.

    By walking away from the stove debacle, you’re letting him criticize you and your readers once again.


  5. langela says:

    I am always amazed at the cruelty among people who supposedly love one another. I’m surprised he admitted he was threatened. Most of these men don’t have that much insight. Too bad he couldn’t keep working on that knowledge and allow it to change him. I’m glad for you and the feeling of freedom and peace you must feel. I pray that the scars will heal with the help and support of those close to you, Suzanne. :hug:

  6. Faith says:

    I know how hard it is to come out and say all these things. I was in an abusive relationship, for me it was getting a puppy and seeing how irrationally cruel he could be to it that made me snap. Where you were attacked for your (wonderful and deservingly successful) website, I was accused of wanting to cheat (never) and called an idiot and stupid (I’m working on my PhD, those claims simply weren’t true). I had it easier in that I paid the rent and could kick him out, so I did not go through all the moving and location transition that you have. However, I did lose a LOT of my stuff. Nothing truly sentimental (surprisingly), but a lot of items that I used on a regular basis, which was a crappy constant reminder. The worst part was the 10-20 calls a day for over a year…after I explained why I would never talk to him again.

    Anyway, didn’t mean to make this so long. What I really wanted to say is that as much as it hurts to deal with these things, I know how healing it ultimately is. Despite what some may say, you are right to come out and say what a jerk he is. You had posts about how wonderful he was, to leave it at that is simply false. You hurt yourself more and let him have a sustained victory over you if you stay silent. It took me a long time to realize that I had no reason to be ashamed-but he sure does.

  7. momtoadiva says:

    A big HUG to you! I know exactly how verbal and mental abuse is, because my first husband did it to me for years. It can make you think that you really are the horrible, worthless or whatever kind of person they TELL you that you are. I was never sure why I put up with it, because I usually don’t take that kind of treatment from anyone. I then realized that the reason I stayed and took it was because I had seen my mother take it and stay in an abusive relationship with my father all my life. Thank goodness you got out of your situation – you definitely don’t want to show Morgan that staying in an abusive relationship is the thing to do. Although I only know you from reading CITR, I admire you and all that you do and go through each and every day. As you know – you are loved and that your life IS worth living. You have so much to offer others, and from what I see, you strive to offer part of yourself to others each and every day. Bless you!!

  8. brendaE says:

    Thanks for sharing Suzanne. You may have encourage women who thought they were the only ones in that situation. I was in an abusive situation once and thank God I got out also. Good luck in whatever decision you make. This makes Sassafras Farm all so much sweeter and I’m so happy for you and your family.

  9. Ramona Slocum says:

    Suzanne, Thank you for sharing your story. I lived with an alcohalic for 25 years. He was very much like this. He eventually went to treatment after we had an intervention. He was a changed man. They can change if they realize they have problems. He was going to loose his family if he didn’t go to treatment. I am happy he chose family over the booze. He had 20 years soberiety when he passed away. I know the hurt of verbal mistreatment. It hurts deeply. It hurts the whole family. I pray for your happiness in all you look forward to in the future. I look forward to your website everyday. It starts my day out happy. THANK YOU for that.

  10. wormlady says:

    Good for you for varying from upbeat to this topic. Yours could very well be the voice that gives someone that last little bit of oomph to get out of an abusive relationship. I’m sorry you went through that — noone should have to.
    In case anyone is reading this who is hesitating to get out because of children — even more reason to get out now. By staying you are allowing that to be their normal. Abuse is not normal.

  11. joykenn says:

    You have my deepest sympathy.

  12. Anita says:

    I love you, woman. :airkiss: I know I have never once met you, but you’re perseverance and love for your surroundings have put you in a soft spot in my heart for a long time. This post just pushed me to say what I’ve been thinking for a long time. I’m so proud of you for deciding to share this. And you are so danged awesome!!! :yes:

  13. hepkitten says:

    Your strength in sharing could very well give someone else the strength they need to do what they have to do. Good job and thank you. (((hugs)))

  14. margiesbooboo says:

    Suzanne, I offer you any support you need. The idiot 52 has shown the world his true colors. This is why he didn’t want his picture posted.

    I wonder whether, as a sponsor of the kitchen redo, if he has also stolen from me? Can I sue him?


  15. Andrea.tat says:

    I haven’t commented too much recently bc of the work internet ban, and difficulties signing in on my phone. I was reading this on my phone then it froze up and I had to get on the computer and now I am crying. you’re so amazing and strong. Things are going to be so much better now. I’m crying at work about your stove/and just because of your posts. Stealing donated things is so low. You’ll get a new stove though, and lots of other new good things.

  16. mammaleigh says:

    I am so proud of you of everything that you have accomplished. I too was in a similar situation with my ex husband. It all started out the same way you described almost like some are given a manual on how to mess with someone’s mind. He was sweet and caring did things that I never thought I would see in another man. I was also 18 and very very naive when we were married. 2 years later I left for the first time for him knocking me about the kitchen, for not making eggs right. I was told that no one would ever love me the way that he did, I would never find anyone better than him, he used my God, my family, my work against me. Telling me that I would go to hell if I left and scared me in to staying for another 3 years. That was when he hit me again. It has taken me a long time to get to where I can even talk about what had happened. I was 24 when I left; I was scared that he was right.
    I found my current husband when I was going through the divorce, he told me that I was smart and beautiful and that I could do anything that I wanted.
    It is easy for someone who has never walked in those shoes to say, leave, get away. Most of the time though it is heart wrenching, until you do snap. I snapped when he was talking about having kids,(the one thing I had always wanted) and I knew in my heart that I had a child with him I would never be able to leave, that I would never be able to find myself. That was my snapping.
    I now have a beautiful wonderful 3 year old with my current husband. I am very happy now and for 5+ years I could not have said that.
    I know that you are a stronger person for leaving, but you are stronger because YOU did it for You.
    With love,

  17. KarenAnne says:

    Aghh. That whole thing is domestic violence.

    I am so glad you got out!

    This is none of my business, so feel free to say so, but are you a part owner of Stringtown Rising, and hence potentially entangled in a mess with him when it comes to selling it?

    I would get those strong helper guys and a truck and move anything else of yours and the kids out of there immediately.

  18. Becky says:

    Ditto to everything you wrote!
    I was in a mentally abusive marriage for 15 years that eventually turned physical after I tried to “escape”. I was also suicidal, just wanting to escape the never ending misery, but my kids needed me and it kept me hanging on until I did eventually escape by leaving the state (Clay county) one stormy night with the help of friends and family. And is why I left my beloved WV for SC. WV will always be home, but I am much happier here in the south.
    Once I realized just how miserable I was (sometimes hard to see when you are on the inside looking out) it took me a couple of years to realize that my kids would be happier without the constant arguments and such and I would be much happier ALONE. I set a date and began making plans 6 months in advance. I left and never looked back. We are proof that you can “escape” a miserable life. It will take patience and may take time but it is possible if you are determined. To anyone reading this post who is in a similar situation, you deserve better, make your plans and escape the misery. Your very life could depend on it. I know mine did.

  19. Cetta says:

    I’m so glad that you and the kids are safe, and I’m so sorry that you had to live through this. I was there once, too. Thank you for sharing it – hopefully you’ll touch someone who needs to read it.

  20. DancesInGarden says:

    I am sorry you and your children had to go through this. Enjoy your new, BETTER farm. And send the Sheriff for your stove. You will have a signed letter from the friend that donated it, and he won’t be able to prove purchase, so that should be that. At least here it would be. And if not, during the CITR event, we can mob his house and take it back :devil:

  21. barbicakes says:

    I now understand the log in feature to comment, I couldn’t before.

    I too was affected and inflicted by verbal abuse. I didn’t flee as fast as you did. It was a slightly different case, issue, etc. But….that was then and this is now and getting out when your instincts tell you something isn’t right is what anyone should do.

    Good for you…I think the farm, according to the photos is quaint and inviting. whoo hoo…


  22. Karen Patrick says:

    Congratulations from one domestic abuse survivor to another. Feels so good to have it just end. Now go live the life you so richly deserve!

  23. cindi says:

    So sorry that you experienced that kind of treatment and abuse from the last person you should have been receiving it from, Suzanne. I’m so happy that you left before he dragged you down to the point where you believed you deserved to be treated that way! You have got such a big heart and caring spirit…it would be such a tragedy to see anything change that.

    And…good riddance to bad rubbish! He wasn’t just a fool, but a damn fool. Instead of allowing you to bring something beautiful into his life, he chose to throw rocks. Truly his loss, though I’m sure he’ll never stop being so small as to recognize it.

    So happy for you, that you have a farm of your own now, full of promise and everything good. You surely deserve it!! :hug:

  24. pulsk1 says:

    You are very good at verbalizing how you feel. I think most people can’t put into words the hurt, betrayal, bewilderment, anxiety, shame and most importantly the lack of a way to escape that most people in that situation feel. According to several studies, this situation is the single major cause of injuries to women. It is very hard to escape the world that is created to control you. You should stand tall for the strength you had for getting out and keeping out. Congratulations!!

  25. Blyss says:

    Good Job Suzanne! I am proud of you for saying what needed to be said. Knowledge is a powerful thing! I too was a victim of abuse. Mine was made a little worse because I had grown up in an abusive home, and I really should have known better. It took a lot of courage and mental blocking of what had been told to me so often that I was SURE it was truth before I could start to change, and eventually heal. Now you can heal too! Just think: he probably did that because the jealousy had to have continued (magnified even.) Not only did you land on your feet, but you are improving your life in such a way that you are proving to everyone what a talented and strong woman you really are. AND… you don’t need his help! I am sure that was the crux of his jealousy. You didn’t need him to “live.” I don’t know if you can get THAT stove back, but you WILL succeed and get YOUR studio kitchen up and running. And I believe your books will be VERY popular too!
    I am upset that you had to feel pain again over this, but I am glad the silver lining is what has come about because of it. *hugs*

  26. sallysweetwater says:

    Big hug for you Suzanne!! I’ve been in those shoes before and it’s tough to get out, but I’m so proud and happy for you that you did. The agony of losing yourself is a horrible feeling. I’m glad you can build your life your way now in happiness. It’s a wonderful feeling. Take care and know that we are here for you!

  27. TW says:

    Suzanne, it breaks my heart that you, or any other woman would be anything but “honored” in a relationship. I love your positive spirit and the way you use it in your writing. Fifty-two doesn’t know what a treasure he lost and what a beautiful gift he was tarnishing when he had you. You do an extraordinary job with everything and deserve every bit of happiness that comes your way. Thanks for all the ways you bless the rest of us through this blog.

  28. LisaAJB says:

    Yes, 100%. A very good message and I wish it was said more often. And I am very glad you got out. :hug:

  29. doodlebugroad says:

    It is a revelation of your strength.
    Your triumph over all the trials and tribulations experienced at the “new” farm … I too would welcome such hurdles to be free of an abusive relationship.
    From one survivor to another – I’m so very thankful you took back control of your life.
    You are doing great things.

  30. susyque says:

    Thanks so much for sharing your story!I have been there too and you are so right! Get out of there! Don’t let anyone make you feel like you’re not important. They are the weak ones with low self esteem , or they wouldn’t have to knock someone else down to build themselves up.
    I left and was able to buy a nice place of my own. He even contacted the realtor to try and stop me.
    Thanks again for sharing your story and I am so glad you are out of there!!!

  31. mamawolf says:

    God bless you Suzanne. You have been through so much for the last while that you deserve all the good things that are coming your way. You go girl! Appropriate to this site, “chickens will come home to roost” and his deeds will follow him the rest of his life. Love you Suzanne. :hug:

  32. denisestone says:

    If it is even possible, I now have even MORE respect and admiration for you Suzanne. Thank you for trusting us (your supporters) enough to share this part of your life. I too am a domestic abuse survivor. It took me 6 years to wake up and smell the coffee. Now I am remarried to an AMAZING man and I now know what a relationship is supposed to be like. In sharing your words, you have probably changed someone’s life today. There is a woman out there I am sure who is saying to herself, enough is enough. And even if there isn’t, think of what a strong role model and image you are to Morgan. God bless you in everything you do. Haven’t I been telling you for months what a strong and capable woman you are???

  33. corazon says:

    Hugs to you Suzanne! You are an inspiration to many I am sure. I had a physical/emotional abuser once when I was 19 and it happens so slowly and is littered with the nice things and the apologies that its so hard to see until its too late. Once I got out I felt like an idiot for even putting up with that but grew stronger from it and also knew it was not me and was all him. So happy you got out and are a strong independent woman and don’t let anyone take that away from you. Good luck getting the stove back and standing up strong!

  34. Sonia says:

    CindyP, I could not have said it any better. Suzanne, you have over 5000 very strong shoulders to always be there for you and support you in everything you desire to do, and no one will critize or belittle you even if he/she does not always agree. That is what friends are for…through the good times and the bad, we are always there. I know I always will be.

  35. jbowyer01 says:

    (((HUGS))) You just proved how strong you truly are!

  36. FujiQ says:

    I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive and forget. Moving out was just the first step. Those words said and things done stick around. Don’t let them stick on to you.

  37. azladychef says:

    Wish I could support you with more than a virtual hug and prayers, but at least know that they are coming your way. And THANK YOU for your blog! It has inspired to me to create more of a country life right here in the middle of the city. :snuggle:

  38. Leck Kill Farm says:

    I had a feeling that was the case…… feeling came from what you weren’t saying about the move.

    My mom’s pre-snap started when I became pregnant and he told her that she wasn’t allowed to spend time with her only (future) grandchild. The final straw was when he “tried to steal our joy” an hour after my son’s birth.

    I have walked in Morgan’s shoes and for anyone out there with kids that might not have left yet, go now, not later.

  39. pdelainey says:

    I’m so happy that you are strong enough to get out of that negative relationship. I love reading your website, and am so happy that you are loving Sassafras farm. :clover:

  40. gingergoat says:

    I read CITR every day but rarely comment. Please know that I, along with all of you other readers are behind you 100%. It seems as though your new farm came along just at the right time. So glad you are in a better place now. Keep on keeping on – good things are coming your way and you certainly do deserve them.
    Regards, Gingergoat

  41. BethanyJean says:

    I am so happy that you shared your story bc it could save a woman’s life or maybe several.

    I too am a survivor. I was in a toxic relationship for 6 1/2 years and stayed bc we have a child together. It took me many years to realize how abusive he was and then a few more to leave for the final time. I think for me one the hardest parts of leaving was the fear of the unknown and what my life would be like when my dream of life with him was shattered. It took him slapping me in the face telling me stupid i was and our 16 month old son at the time to step in between us and with his back to me said ” no daddy no”. i packed what i could and left.

    After a few months I reailzed that i didnt feel fear of the unknown anymore about life without him but the EXCITEMENT of all the things i could do now!!! i am now married to an amazing guy whom i found 2 1/2 years after leaving my ex husband. we have a small farm, a new baby boy and i rarely see or hear from my ex husband bc he is a narassastic dead beat loser.

    i could have never seen this happiness for my life when i was with my ex and its times like watching my hubby chase the escaped goats around and listen to my 4 year olds hystericial laughter at such a sight that i thank God that i got out alive. there is a light at the end of the tunnel for every woman out there.

  42. maryellen51 says:

    I’m adding my (((Hug))) to everyone else’s. You go girl, we’re all behind you.

  43. wildcat says:

    I’m so glad that you were able to leave that situation. Here’s to your happy new life at Sassafras Farm!

    As for 52… one of these days the Karma Bus is gonna back right over him, for how he treated you. Beep, beep!

  44. dmd629 says:

    Hello Suzanne,
    I’ve been following your blog for a few years now and I love it.
    I admire your strength to leave and save yourself and your kids !!!
    I know verbal and mental abuse well and once my kids were all in school I went back to school myself to become able to support myself and the kids. It was the BEST thing I could have done…not easy by any means but the peace of mind I have attained soooo worth it. I would extend any help I can to any woman in the position I was in or you have been in. Best of luck with all you do and I look forward to meeting you at the retreat !!! Keep strong and know there are always people to help
    XXXX Denise

  45. sunhurteyes says:

    You wrote your story very well. I have a friend in a situation similar to this, but if I were to share your story with her, she would just ignore. And so it goes.

  46. shirley T says:

    You are a brave woman to get out after only 4 years. It took me 17 years and 3 children later to finally get out of a mentally and verbally abusive marriage. I was treated the same way as you were. What hurt me the most was when he treated the girls the same way. When outside the home he was a perfect husband and father but at home he was Satan himself. We left and never had anything more to do with him. He died 5 years ago and his OB only listed a couple of sisters that survived him. That was ok~~we didn’t claim him anyway. Thank you for confiding in your readers. You are loved more now than ever. Maybe someday you will find true love~~you deserve it.

  47. copgrrl says:


    Thank you for your strength. I hope you do not mind, but I would like to use your story when I talk with women who are being tortured by the person they believed in and loved. This is incredibly inspirational and all too often I do not have positive examples of women taking back their power to begin anew and be rid of the hurt. You are sooo right! It is the silence that allows the abuser to “win”. I am so glad that you have drawn your sword! And thank you so much for not ending this wonderful blog and all the fantastic stories that you share. For me, it is my farm… I want to own and live on my own farm too but fiscally it is not prudent in my life right now. So, I can imagine myself in your stories and imagine all the joy of being a farmer. I hope that in 2 to 3 years I can once again purchase real estate. I had to short sale property therefore I am restricted from any purchase for at least 2 years. In the grand scheme of things, that is not too long to have to wait. Gives me time to save for a down and find just the right place. So thank you thank you! Not only do you inspire me to pursue my own farm, but you have been an inspiration to me to make cheese. I started with Ricki Carroll’s book and then I found your blog. I have no idea where this path will lead me but it is the journey not the destination! Please, get a restraining order–give the cops leverage if he begins again! And, please, go here:
    This link gives you information about stalking and stalking laws where you live. Take away his “power”! You are loved and appreciated by all who are here! :woof: :shroom: :sun:

  48. woolylamb says:

    I am so glad you are out of there…. and glad you are sharing too. It is a cathartic thing, and will doubtless help other women to see their own situation and get the flock out! My sis was in a similar life, and now is out, thank God. She is a very strong woman, not naturally, but because she chose to be… like you. (BTW, she found a keeper of a man at 51!) Grow in the Sassafras Farm sunshine!

  49. nursemary says:

    It is very strange how a strong, self confident woman can begin to believe she is useless after being told that by someone she once loved. I know too well it can happen. Every demeaning comment, snicker, dismissal, distortion of the truth, and angry diatribe takes it’s place in your memory. You remember each and every one and he denies them all. But they are there and they come to the surface without warning to remind you of the terrible, stupid person you are. At some point you realize that this person is the only one that thinks this of you. Your family and friends think you are a great person, worthy of love and admiration. When you finally see the truth, you gain the courage to remove yourself from the personal cancer that has invaded your mind and body. Getting away from the cancer, into a place of peace and serenity gives you time to heal and be the person you truly are. It is my belief that men who put their mates down, demean and frighten them, do so because they are insecure losers who can’t handle their own truth. The only way they can deal with that is to shift it to someone else, like their spouse.

    Know yourself and question the motives of anyone trying to convince you that you are something you aren’t.

    I disagree with the reader who says this subject should not have been shared. As bloggers we share our lives with the people who kindly read our words. Not every post will be sunshine and roses. Suzanne has dealt with this with dignity and courage for years. She saved herself and telling the story was brave. I have no doubt that this will fade into the distance as the cows get pregnant and deliver naughty babies, the hen house comes to fruition, classes are held at the Studio, and Morgan gets a horse. Life goes on.

  50. Glenda says:

    Suzanne, I am just stunned by all of this! Thank God you walked away.

    The thing worrying me is I don’t know your legal situation in all this and I know it is an additional expense, but I think you need to talk to a lawyer and see where you stand legally. He may have rights you don’t know about. I do know I would take all those strong young cousins and friends with me and I would remove everything asap! I also wouldn’t work over there doing cleanup alone……

    Take care please.

  51. shirley T says:

    wondering minds want to know~~did the kids know ~ before you moved out~ the real reason you left String Town Rising Farm? If this is to personal ~~ignore the question.

  52. cabynfevr says:

    I knew you were a strong woman but to what extent I had no idea. How wonderful for you that you found the strength to stand up for yourself not to mention what an awesome example you just set for Morgan! Physical abuse is painful but those scars heal much more easily than the ones left behind by an emotional tirant. Blessings to you and your children! :hug:

  53. cabynfevr says:

    ….I was comment #52 :no:
    Couldn’t leave it that way!

  54. STracer says:

    Congratulations to your New Life! It is more than obvious to us your readers that you are a very strong woman. The thought that you were feeling so much negative emotion and suicidal never showed through in what I read during that time. I see that as a sign that you are a pure and true survivor. Enjoy life and your new farm. Things will continue to work out for the best as you put your best out there. Thanks for being here!

  55. luvsclassics says:

    Suzanne, I admire your bravery for writing this post. There are many women out there who need to read your experience. Through this post, it may give some women the push to get out and start living in Peace.

    You will have continued Strength to Fulfill your Dreams!!! [ HUGS ] To You~~~~~

    I always look forward to reading ” CHickens in the Road” and viewing the goings on of the many animals on the farm! Farm Bell Recipes, too.

  56. Murphala says:

    Thirty five or so years ago, I was in a relationship. The other party involved felt it was his duty to inform me what a totally worthless human being I was. I did not stay in that relationship, but that relationship stayed with me. He stole from me. It wasn’t anything material–but it was a big part of who I was.

    I’m telling you this because you and this website inspired me to make a commitment to write again. To do something I loved but for a very long time wouldn’t do because I believed it was wasted time…I wasn’t good enough. I’m a teacher now. As a teacher, I sometimes get to hear how I’ve changed someone’s life. I pay that forward to you. With my thanks!

  57. mamajoseph says:

    This needed to be said; surely there is someone it will help. God bless you and others who need grace and courage to deal with this kind of ill treatment.
    Thanks for being open to share; sometimes there is freedom in just bringing things to light.

  58. Raiquee says:

    Huggggggs Suzanne, you ARE successful, brilliant and we DO admire you. So you can just rub his nose in that from now on! I hope you get your stove back, we are here for you.

  59. cabighorse says:

    Thank you for your words of inspiration. I feel the same about the workplace. In addition to butchering my self-esteem, it was having a negative impact on my marriage and health. At lunch yesterday, hubby asked me to pray hard about my decision, requesting signs from Him that my departure is the way we need to go. Yesterday a How-To article appeared in my mailbox “How To Leave Quit Your Job in a Bad Economy” and now your post. I am more confident my decision is the right one.

    This is the second job in a row, spanning 26 years of mistreatment of people in the workplace (It’s not just me, I see it happening to men and women alike) from power grabbing thugs. My decision to strike out on my own is terrifying. Never before have I been financially independent, but deep in my heart I feel it’s the right move. I needed the motivation to press forward.


  60. Rainn says:

    :hug: I know how fortunate I am to have never known this myself-but know and love several women who have. I admire you all-because you are stronger then any soldier we send to war in Afghanistan/Iraq-because they are armed and trained and supported by our whole country. You are a survivor-a hero-to Every man-woman and child out there. :hug: Peace to you Suzanne. –Rain

  61. BostonSu says:

    I’m so glad you got out. I was in a relationship like that too, and I know how hard it is, once you’ve been emotionally beaten, to find the strength to leave. You are a strong, intelligent woman, and you deserve so much better than that! :hug:

    You’re right, too, people like that don’t change, except to get worse.

  62. smiledarlin says:

    Thank you for sharing. It is always hard to open yourself up to folks, but like you said, if 1 person, man or woman, reads this and is living in an abusive situation- the words are powerful..
    I also lived in a demeaning situation after I was divorced. He always he told me I couldn’t do better, always mental abuse. I finally snapped, left for 2 weeks, and when I came back for my things he said
    “If I give them to you I lose control” EXACTLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    So I picked up, moved away from where my kids lived- their Dad is a great dad and gave them everything they needed. I worked hard at maintaining a long distance relationship with my kids and am still very close to them.
    I heard it said one day, that we teach people how to treat us. Before I married a 2nd time- I told my husband “This is me and my life, if you want to share in that, be a PART of that, great. But you will NOT control me, coz I know I can make it WITHOUT YOU… and happily will if needed.” He understood.
    I think one of my BEST days was when I woke up the 1st morning after I got my stuff back, no job, living with family, miles away from my kids- and realized TODAY WAS MINE TO MAKE IT THE BEST IT COULD BE- BECAUSE I COULD!
    I am proud of you!

  63. marymac says:

    Suzanne, i’m with all the other 57 posters before me, and if you can imagine a huge hug from all of us, you got it! You have shared so much with us and finally this too. I’m typing and crying because I know the feeling too. Maybe not in the exact same way but after being married 40 years and always believing I had to make it work, I finally met a man I couldn’t resist, and it was mainly because he never got mad about any thing . I’m happier now than I ever was all those 40 years. God bless you and we love you, and the best is yet to come!!!!

  64. Stacy says:

    I’m a domestic abuse survivor (no, not a victim), so a huge thank you for being open and honest about what was going on. I’m so sorry to had to live through that, but I’m glad you had the strength to get out. And thank you for sharing; you have a huge following, so you know at least one of those is being abused. You can do it and so can anyone else.

  65. leneskate says:

    Thankyou for sharing. HUGS! You are such a strong woman and I am happy to know you! Bless you and the family. :hug:

  66. angiemay says:

    Oh Suzanne, I am sitting here at work crying for you and the kids. I am so very thankful and happy that you had the courage and strength to get out. Words hurt so much more than someone being physical against you. They last forever!

    Thank you for being here for us. Hopefully our words to you can help you. Hugs to you. I am still crying for you, Morgan, the boys.

    You deserve to be free and happy from such a person. GOOD FOR YOU for snapping!!!!

    I wish I lived closer, I would certainly come see you and give you a hug. Some day, who knows 🙂

  67. Singasongofpopcorn says:

    I just finally registered because this post moved me so, but I read CITR every day and I think you are absolutely AMAZING Suzanne!

  68. MaryBea says:

    Been there too. Your (good) life is just beginning! God bless you and your kids! :hug:

  69. JeannieB says:

    Suzanne, you are an amazing woman, I grew up with a father who was verbally and physically abusive to his children. I am so glad that you stood up to him and got out. Thanks for sharing, you just may save another woman’s life! Love you girl!!!

  70. Blessings says:

    The writing was on the walls of your posts all the time, for those of us who have been through abuse..I’m sure I’m not the only one who saw the signs..Never allowing photo’s of him on your blog, never finishing projects you photographed for the blog, name a few..Then yesterdays post…I was going to comment and say about the stove situation “it is his attempt to stay in touch with you” to have control. He should have known better with his feeble attempt..after all WE your readers from all over the world are here with advice and as shown of “the Studio project” to support you in any way possible.. I’m sure your making the “Studio” a dream come true…Irritated him …because you can make it without his help…when he was counting on it being a set back…what he didn’t count on was being caught, called out ….On the “Blog” he is so jealous of…..Time for him to be stopped…Before he has time to think and or cause You more harm…
    Karma is coming for him…

  71. SanAntonioSue says:

    Suzanne, I can’t speak from experience regarding the abuse. However, as a mother, I feel I can state with 100% certainty that you have done your children a tremendous service by leaving. Life and love, no matter how simple, is complicated and sometimes it takes time to sit quietly and figure out what needs to be done and you need have no shame in that. You should be proud of your gifts to the children: You have shown Ross and Weston (I also have 2 sons, 27 and 24) how NOT to treat a person they love and care about if they want to keep them. As for Morgan, you have given her the invaluable knowledge that she never need be dependant on another person (specifically, A MAN) for her happiness and self-sufficiency. One day, when you’re sitting in your rocking chair on the front porch with your grandbabies gathered ’round, you can tell them how Granny Suzanny came to be at Sassafras Farm and how SHE DID IT ALL BY HERSELF and they will be soooo proud of you (and you should be too!!) Live your life forward and from this day on, put guilt and regret where it belongs: in the past and out with the trash. During a particularly difficult emotional time in my own life a couple of years ago, my best friend(my husband of 28 years) would whisper in my ear when I would cry and say to me “you are stronger than you know”. It took awhile to really hear it, but he was right, I am. And so are you!! We love you (((hugs)))

  72. MousE says:

    Suzanne….. I grew up with a father just like that. It has scarred me deeply. Those who haven’t experienced it don’t understand. I just experienced this at work over the Christmas holidays. One of my oldest friends said, why don’t you just fight back. Well I did. I ended the contract. But she doesn’t understand. She thinks I could have done more. Sometimes this situation is only understood by those who have experienced it.

    Thank you for your generosity in sharing this with us. I’m so glad you got out. I completely understand the sentence, “No one yells at me here.”

    It disturbs me that he is still reading your website, the website that he denigrates and devalues. Illogical. Why can’t people treat each other with kindness and compassion?

    I am glad you have your OWN life. I come here every day, sometimes twice a day, to see what is happening. I value you SO MUCH, Suzanne. You are a wonderful writer, and a great photographer, and I hope to keep reading your adventures forever.

    Hugs to you and your beautiful kids and menagerie!

    Stay strong. Be public. We are here for you. We would all be happy to do anything we could to help you. I know I would!

  73. daria says:

    I admire your strength. No one would have suspected your pain, and I am glad that you were able to escape. The stove is a small price to pay, really. (And here’s hoping he burns himself on it!)

  74. Remudamom says:

    I’m so sorry. You never know. I had a friend whose ex beat her for years before she left and I never saw the signs that were right in my face.

  75. gingergoat says:

    I posted a comment just a short time ago. BUT I KEEP COMING BACK HERE this morning. I feel like this is happening to my sister. I guess we are all sisters in a way. You have so many, many, wonderful friends and that alone should tell you that one mean man CANNOT define you. Hugs and kisses to you and yours.
    Your sister, gingergoat

  76. Flowerpower says:

    It was a very difficult thing you did and I do wish he wouldn’t read the blog and just let go and go on with his life. I hope you have all missed me as I have been in the hospital and ICU. I sure missed you all. On the road to recovery hopefully….and it’s a beautiful day in west tenn. :happyflower:

  77. Yankee in NC says:

    Oh, Suzanne. I am so proud of your strength. I have also been a victim of mental and emotional abuse as a child and again as an adult. I send you giant cyber hugs of support!

    (and I hope that “he” does read all of the comments left here…although he will scoff at them and tell himself he is in the right…he will always justify his behavior.)

  78. carrie621 says:

    I am no farmer, baker or canner, but I read your blog every day. When I read your post about the stove last night, I was just as angry as everyone else. My mother left my father for good 25 years ago, but never “truly” got away. After 13 years of the same mental abuse you described, almost all of her spirit and self worth were gone. Her young daughters were worth more than herself, so she finally worked up the strength to leave. But, he still had control over her through us. The only way he could get to her after the divorce was to be just as horrible to his own children as he had been to his wife. You’re right, it will never get better. I’m writing this on my phone, so pardon the lack of paragraphs. I’m also crying as I type because your story hits so close to home. I’m glad you got angry and finally stood up for yourself. I wish my mother had. I’m also glad 52 reads all of these comments. Here’s my two cents for you, 52. Stop hating other people because you hate yourself. If you continue making it so hard for other people to be around you, or even love you, they are going to stop trying. Just ask my father. He is absolutely alone, just like his father told him he would be if he didn’t change his ways. You are probably scoffing and laughing at all of us stupid women on this blog as you scroll through. But, know this :you’re the joke. She’s not scared of you anymore. She has friends and people she has never met that care about her. You’re just a mean man that has to be mean so thaf someone will pay attention to you

  79. mjpeters says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this, Suzanne. I admire your candor, your personal strength in leaving such a destructive relationship, and the example you have set for all three of your children. The many, many supportive comments here show the great extent to which you touch your readers’ lives each day. You are awesome.

  80. SanAntonioSue says:

    Reads your posts and comments?? Really?? 52: Take care in your thoughts, words and actions, Old Man. Many are watching, like the angels in heaven, waiting to assist Suzanne, from all over this land…..and never forget: God’s got his eye on you, ALWAYS…

  81. STracer says:

    Well if 52 is still reading these comments he really does have control issues. I hope his daughter is reading them too. She grew up with him and ought to know now that what she saw as normal IS NOT. I hope she found a better man than her father.

  82. lifeisgood/ Melinda says:

    Wow! There is no excuse for anyone to treat another human being with less than common respect.

    I have an idea that he thought you were smart and fun and nice arm candy at first and as time progressed and you actually lived together it became more of a situation were he felt like the blog and the internet world was giving you all of the attention. Bullies are like that. If you are getting the attention, then they must pull you down so they can feel better. If he still is reading your blog, then I hope he reads this:

    yesterday, I suggested you let it go. I was thinking more along the lines of the two of you parted as semi-friends and it would cause drama you didn’t need. Today, I changed my mind because this stove situation is more of a power struggle than really about a stove.
    52, you need to man up! You are a grown man, and educated man, with grown children and a life. You know that treating women disrepectfully is not right. You should do the right thing and return Suzanne’s stove. Not because a bunch of women on a blog are pissed, and not because of your history with Suzanne, but simply because the stove was given to her to use for her business and your taking it was wrong. It was not your personal property. You knew that and you took it in secret without asking because you knew she would need it, but you wanted it, so you just took it. That’s wrong and you know it’s wrong.
    Be a man, admit you were in error “borrowing” the stove and allow her cousin to come pick it up. And then I suggest you think back on your relationship and realize that while I am sure Suzanne had her moments (we all do), you were wrong as well to make someone feel so bad that their only option was to leave and start over.
    An intelligent, educated, kind man who was sorry for his wrongdoings would own up to his part in the downfall and would do the right thing. Let’s see what you do.
    Having a couple of round dangling things between your legs does NOT make you a man….doing the right thing by a woman does.

  83. herbalcat says:

    You are stronger than you thought!We can only be stretched so far before we snap. You reached your point and proved that life goes on and can be more satisfying than we thought possible. I do hope your posts reaches out to others in the same postion and shows them that they can be strong too.
    Peace and Blessings!
    Beth 🙂

  84. fbeye says:

    My brother and I run a small butt kickin’ business down in Charleston should the need arise. The first butt kickin’ is free. Subsequent butt kickin’s are priced depending on how fun we had with the first one. We also invite and encourage clients and their friends to join in. Anyone interested?
    Discount coupons are available on our website,

  85. lifeisgood/ Melinda says:

    and one more thing…
    Suzanne, you are in the right place and building your own life is the right thing. And if you ever meet anyone you want to get involved with again, take it slow, really make them earn that right to be in the position of being your partner. And, make sure that RESPECT is the foundation. Romance is wonderful, but respect is the glue that keeps couples together.

  86. mrsdmahogany says:

    It takes alot for someone to throw their heart out to the world like you did. But, it also shows that you have immense power and that you are a strong woman. I myself was in a situation similar to yours, the change of personality happened the day I moved in. It took me 3 weeks and I was out again. Who steals a stove? I mean really….Its a shame that he is like that. His behaviour is ridiculous as well as not normal, weak. Man up and get a life 52.

    Suzanne, stay strong, be happy, you rule your nest now. No one else. Be well!

    Dianna *hugs*

  87. Darlene says:

    I agree with getting your stove back….and you WILL!! If you have to take the lowlife to court put up a button, I’ll be the first to contribute. I’m a survivor also ( survived my childhood and a marriage) and one of the things the lowlifes can’t stand is FRIENDS! YOU have over 5,000 FRIENDS. Lowlife…ZERO. Suzanne, you and everyone here inspire me everyday. THANK YOU ALL!!

  88. Kristi C says:

    Thank you for sharing your story. All of your story: the good, the bad & the ugly. I think that when we share, we empower ourselves, first, and then others. For years I thought my family was the only disfunctional family on the planet. But the more I talked about the mental cruelty I suffered growing up, the more my friends would share about their family’s disfunction. It made it just a bit more bearable when I realized everyone has some sort of disfunction and I wasn’t alone.
    Many men cannot stand it when their partner, spouse, etc is more successful than he. They lash out in any way they can to make themselves feel more powerful. My husband and I joke that I’m his “sugar momma” because I’ve always made more money than he. I’m thankful that he is secure in his role and I in mine.
    Thank you again for sharing.

  89. amateisgal says:

    Suzanne – Bless you for finding the strength to leave. I am so very proud of you! You are on to much better things – a life of peace without abuse.

    Dear 52 – I’m married to a man that respects me, loves me, and does not belittle me. That is a REAL man. If you think you did nothing wrong, you are in denial. Go get counseling. Go get help. And quit playing CHILDISH, manipulative games. Give Suzanne her stove back. It’s time to grow up.

  90. AngelaS says:

    I don’t know if you realize how many women you helped by writing on this subject. Look at all the women who have commented on being in the same situation. One of the aspects of this type of abuse is the alienation. Someone out there is realizing they are not alone and CAN get out. Just open the door and walk through it. Each day is one step farther away from abuse. It is that easy and that hard.YOU are worth it. Pack up the important things. Leave the stuff that is replaceable and go. You touch my heart with your joy for life, Suzanne. You may have brought that joy back to the life of a another woman with the realization that she can walk out that door, too, and thrive. Sorry for the length of my comment.

  91. turtle says:


    Thank you for sharing this very personal story. What makes your blog so special is the genuineness and the very real struggles (particularly the financial ones) that I imagine many of your readers share (I know I do) with you.

    I found your site when trying to find ways to prepare the 5#s of macaroni I bought at Sam’s Club. Google linked me to homemade hamburger helper, with step-by-step instructions from Chickens in the Road. These recipes are now a family favorite, and our go-to comfort food. One of these days, I need to post the Mother’s day card my son made for me with a chicken on it and the wording “Chicken’s in the Road…What recipe is next?” How precious is that?

    Keep doing what you’re doing, and ALWAYS follow your inner voice. You have much to be thankful for, and I wish you all the best at Sassafras Farm!

  92. amateisgal says:

    Amen, Suzanne.

  93. Diane says:

    You go girl!!!! You made one of the hardest decisions any woman would have to make in her life. I suspected a long time ago that something was up with him. You did not mentioned him much at all in the last year or so. I found out at a very young age around 16 how mental abuse works. I had a boyfriend that played games like your ass did. But thankfully I had parents that set me straight. I know the signs and when I see or hear woman in these situations it makes me cringe and sick. When other people put me down it makes me sick.

    I am not sure if you believe in God or not. But it seems as if your life has taken you down a different road. Into a life that is more fitting to your talents and dreams. A pretty place free of mud, dirt and rivers to cross. As pretty as your first farm was at times it was not for you. You was a prisoner there in more ways than one.

    So yes I hope 52 is reading all the comments. I hope he does see the support you have. And that us the people in our homes with our families who read this little blog each and every day because its not only because of the animals, the farm and cooking. Its about Suzanne and who she is and her life and that she chose to share it with us. Too bad this man did not see this and chose to belittle a woman for his own amusement or what ever reason he had. It was not love. And that is a shame. Seems to me you are missing out on something very wonderful.

    And no we do not need to hear from him. Let him be. I just hope and pray that another woman does not fall into his trap.

  94. zshawn says:

    Very proud of you Suzanne! Glad that you are safe and now sound. Sending you some good karma and a hug. Thanks for sharing the deep down nitty gritty. Karma will catch up with him.

  95. Sugarbelle says:

    Sending much love your way Suzanne! Thank you for your courage to write this very personal story. I know it will be what someone needs today to give them the spark to love themselves, to gather themselves up & to leave a life of being trodded upon & abused. I can’t express to you how much joy you bring to me…each day I see joy, hope & endless possibilities galore when I read your posts; these truly feed my heart & spark me with the spirit of its gonna be okay, in fact its gonna be great! Thank you so much for your generous spirit & heart full of love, compassion & strength.

  96. Gardengirl1 says:

    Suzanne, What an amazingly strong woman you are !!! I am so proud of you for doing what was necessary to protect yourself and your children ! I have seen friends who have been abused,but have never experienced it firsthand.It breaks my heart to see and hear about women who are treated so poorly by their husbands. I am so glad that you got out of there, and hope that anybody who finds themselves in a similar situation follows your example and gets out as quickly and safely as possible !You are a beautiful beautiful person and I am so sorry that you had to experience abuse like that!
    I am so very glad that you are willing to share so much with us on CITR!I learn so much from getting on here and reading what you and all the other women(and maybe a few good men)share with us! I love you and CITR and am so grateful for the time and effort you put forth in
    helping us each learn and develop our hidden talents and skills! Don’t ever ever forget your worth !!! You have touched the hearts of many people and are a blessing to all of us who read CITR ! Keep moving forward and don’t look back !

  97. LisaZ says:

    Glad to know some background on your situation. You are strong. You will succeed. Cannot wait for your book to come out, I AM going to buy it. Keep us posted!

  98. wvbetty says:

    Maybe you should “out” 52 and tell us his name, so those of us who live in the area will know who he is and be on the look-out.

  99. Enraged Bunny says:

    We will often go to great lengths to preserve what we love and treasure, to the point that it becomes detrimental to ourselves and those around us we love. I am so very glad that you broke that ugly cycle, Suzanne, and even more sorry that you had to go through it.

    It always amazes me when I hear stories like these from such wonderful people who don’t deserve it. (Though with what evils we humans are capable of, it really shouldn’t.)

    And while part of me wants to be angry, I don’t think he deserves anger. Anger, in my opinion stems from caring and perhaps love in some form or another. He doesn’t deserve that. What he does deserve is pity.

    How pitiful, pathetic and small he must be as a man to think that it’s acceptable in any way, shape, or form to treat a woman or anyone in that fashion. He is nothing more than a grown-up, playground bully, who will be known that way for the rest of his life here by the 5,000+ readers that read this blog everyday.

  100. holstein woman says:

    Suzanne, I am very concerned for the sale of String Town Rising Farm. I will be praying for you to get it sold and get completely cleared of 52 and his schenanigans.
    I’ve been through this also.

  101. Diane in Upstate NY says:

    I have been where you are, and lost nearly everything when I walked away. He stalked me for 10 years and I nearly lost my job because of it. He was arrested several times, but always got out of it with a slap on the wrist, or less. I was afraid to live my dream of having a farm because I knew he would find me, and there would be no one nearby to hear me scream for help, so I lived in a tiny apartment surrounded by neighbors. But I finally did it, and you were one of my inspirations. I’ve bought my little place in the country two years ago and out my kitchen window I see chickens, goats, sheep and llamas. I have raised and eaten birds I raised and soon I will be milking my goats. Am I still vigilant? Yes. And I still hear his sneers in my head sometimes. You might, too. But we got out, didn’t we? And you are inspiring others like us to get out and walk away free.

  102. GrammieEarth says:

    Great post(s) Suzanne. I’m completely in agreement with telling us about the kind of person you dealt with for several years. I hope it gives another thought / strength as to the situation they are in now. Someone mentioned man or woman…I agree with that statment. Men shouldn’t take it from a woman either. It IS often hard to leave and in the longer run it’s more often MUCH harder to stay.

    I’m another reader that has been in your shoes…and walked. Once, twice and hopefully the third time was the last! Unfortunately I didn’t get very smart very fast…I have run into a couple of situations in the past few (9) years that I had an inkling would only get worse, despite the fun parts. Luckily I have learned to listen / pay attention to those little clues that pop up, even during the ‘just friends’ phase. I might have been wrong, but I feel better than I might have!

    You are loved. A (specific) coward is not. You are keeping it that way…KUDOS

    Hey, since he stole from you, your future and all of us…can we do a class action suit? 🙂 🙂 🙂 :devil2: :devil2:

    Keep on keepin on! :hug: :hug:

  103. shannan says:

    I can’t think of anything to say that hasn’t been said already and most all of it I agree with. I am so proud of you and will be thinking of you often.
    “Sometimes you need to step outside, get some air, and remind yourself of who you are and where you want to be”
    Hugs to you, Dana

  104. tinamanley says:

    I’m so glad you had the courage to leave. We need you. Don’t ever forget that you are loved.


  105. lovetogait says:

    I was so moved by your post today. I don’t read many blogs but yours has entertained and educated me for quite a while now. How courageous of you to do what you have done….it sucks about the stove but getting it returned or being compensated for it just may not be worth the involvement it will take – which was probably why he took it in the first place! Another manipulative move.

    Keep on writing – your web site is the best. You are very, very good at it! And enjoy YOUR very own new farm! Hope to attend one of your workshops one of these days,

  106. Bev in CA says:

    I grew up in an abusive situation. For many years I was in foster care. I am now 70 years old. The saddest thing about this is how it affects a person’s self-worth. As a child you wonder if it is your fault. As an adult you tell yourself it is not but on the inside it is always on your mind. I am so proud of you and the decision you made to get out. So hard. Never discount the fact that children are aware of things going on in daily life. Love and respect should always be a constant. As you can see from all the comments just how much we all love and care for you and your family.

  107. foofeee says:

    Suzanne, I am glad you left. My late sister-in-law was in an abusive relationship. It started with verbal abuse and went from there. My late father-in-law was verbally abusive as well. He told his older two kids how stupid and worthless they were. (My husband was the apple of his eye and didn’t suffer as much from the verbal abuse but never, ever use the word stupid around him.) My SIL knew no different. She had men telling her she was stupid and worthless her entire life. She refused to leave even when I offered to help. His abuse turned physical. Her husband ended up causing her death. She had a severe headache and her worthless husband refused to take her to the ER. He made her do her usual housework and go to the store. She collapsed at the store and died a few hours later of a brain aneurysm.

    Take care of yourself! Put yourself and your kids first.

  108. GrammieEarth says:

    I said

    “You are loved. A (specific) coward is not. You are keeping it that way…KUDOS”

    If I could edit, I would remove “A (specific) coward is not”. Not that I don’t feel that way, just that I don’t want “you are keeping it that way…KUDOS” to be taken in the wrong context.

    You are much loved by many. It is you that keeps us coming back. KUDOS!

  109. SanAntonioSue says:

    And on a side note ( I had forgotten): Maybe just let the stove issue go. As far as I am concerned, he can have the thing!! No need to bring any bad ju-ju from a hateful person into your new house. I, and I like to think many others here, would much rather watch you work the farm, tend to your young-uns and animals and be happy and live in peace. Moral issue aside, the stove(and him) wouldn’t be worth the time, money or aggravation. The sooner you don’t have to have any more issues with him, the better! If you’re in need of a stove, I think I can confidently state that all of us here would gladly help in any way we can and see to it that you get one, just let us know!! Blessings and peace to you :hug:

  110. kdubbs says:

    “I wanted someone to live the good life–even if that someone couldn’t be me.”

    Suzanne–Never, ever in a million years did I read your work and think that THIS was the place from which you were writing. I am both impressed by your ability to share such wonderful stories in the midst of what you were going through and saddened by the revelation that you were in such a bad place. Like some of the other posters, I wondered about things like unfinished projects, but I never suspected what was really going on. I’m lucky to be married to a great guy who willingly– or at least mostly willingly ;)–pitches in and does all kinds of labor to make all of our hobby farm projects happen. I used to wonder why 52 wasn’t out there building you a much-needed barn… now I get it.

    Like many readers, I visit your site several times a day. It is an escape and an inspiration. I’ve often found myself thinking (or saying to my husband), “Well, if Suzanne can milk a cow and make cheese and bake and garden and write a blog and… and… and, surely I can manage my various projects plus a few more.” I am doubly amazed to find out that you did all of this without support from your (supposed) “better” half. Not only without support from him, but with derision, scorn, and persecution.

    We’ve never met, but I have a tremendous amount of respect for you. You’re a strong, independent woman with a host of talents, a beautiful farm, a business in the making, and a loving family.

    52 is a lonely, bitter guy with a stove.

  111. doodlebugroad says:

    >kdubbs< I chuckle at the last line of of your post:

    52 is a lonely, bitter guy with a stove.

    That's EXACTLY it … like the school yard bully – taking someone's possession – flaunting and taunting with it.

    I have no doubt "better" is coming for Suzanne.

  112. cincyjojo says:

    Rock on chicken sisterhood! :heart:

  113. marjohalleran says:

    So sorry Suzanne!! Hopefully every thing he cooks will burn!!! You are so much better with out him. What a jerk!!

  114. D1BeachBum says:

    hugs from one surviver to another….there are victims and survivers…..survive,be strong and go on. 52 is the weak one… :hug: :heart:

  115. Deliafarm says:

    Suzanne, you are brave and beautiful and strong. I so admire how you stand up for the things you love and am so happy that you got out, and that you found the courage to share your true story with the world. I am also thrilled to see at least 120 comments of love and admiration for you!!!! You need the positive.

  116. cheena says:

    Thank you for sharing your story. My sister is currently in a similar situation and we keep telling her to get out. But she currently is afraid of being alone. We try and try, but she doesn’t want to listen. If she had the Internet, I would totally send her this. Hopefully she wises up as you did. Oh, and, YEAH!!!!! (for getting out.) :snoopy:

  117. GrammieEarth says:

    Suzanne said:

    “All you can ever save is yourself, and you are worth all the trouble.

    This morning, flowers are blooming on the trees here.”

    Well said! Every minute is a new minute.

    :heart: :heart:

  118. Rose H says:

    Dear Suzanne, I have read and followed your blog for some while now and admit to having been a little envious of the hard but idillic life you have, but I’m truly astounded with the awful abuse you have suffered. I’m sincerely relieved that you have made the choice to leave to make a new healthy start at Sassafras Farm and to make this very brave post which I’m certain will help a lot of other women with similar problems make the right choice too. I have great admiration for you Suzanne, and wish you nothing but peace of mind, happiness and success in your future life.
    :hug: :hug:
    Rose H

  119. julie g. says:

    Suze – you put so much good out into the world. And a whole lot of it will be coming back to you, that’s for sure.

  120. Teresa Baker says:

    Dear Suzanne, I am so sorry that you have gone through all that you have, and still are, aparently. And I cannot say that I can relate because I have been blessed with a wonderful husband who loves and respects me. But I couldn’t help reading yesterday and thinking that it was “just about a stove”. I can now see that it is about so much more. You have proven time and again what a strong person you are. I consider myself a very forgiving person and can hide my feelings pretty well, but I don’t think I could have written your blog day after day and not let on that there was anything other than chickens, cows, cheese and your children going on in your life. 🙂 You have a gift and maybe in some strange way his verbal abuse has made you even stronger and determined. By the way, I am thankful that you didn’t allow his ridicule to push you over the edge. You have way too much to live for. God moves in mysterious ways and it will be exciting to see how He uses this “event” in your life, and those of us who read your blog. All I know is that I enjoy reading your blog and hope that someday I will be able to attend a workshop at Sassafras Farm. Keep your head up and know that there are many people who (even though we’ve never met) love and care for you.

  121. la114 says:

    Thank you for sharing your story and your struggles. It is a hard thing you are going through, but so proud that you were able to get out with your family and your head held high!

  122. micowood says:

    Suzanne, yeah for you for getting out. As someone who was in an abusive relationship myself many years ago and got out myself I totally get it. Any one, man or woman who feels a need to belittle someone lacks self esteem.

    Now I keep all soul suckers out of my life. I don’t care if it’s friends, family, significant others or what 😉 You have to value yourself and know you are deserving of only good things. There is enough caca in the world to deal with just living life!

    You have a TON of people behind you…ALL around you. No one that reads your blog would ever believe that you are anything less than kind and loving. I’m sure you have your moments, we all do but your soul is fanflippintastic 🙂

  123. GALX7 says:

    I am so glad you are out of there!!! I am so happy for you. Thanks for sharing. All the best from now on!!!!

  124. Blessings says:

    52 this is for you :Despite what many people believe, domestic violence and abuse is “not due to the abuser’s loss of control over his or her behavior” . In fact, abusive behavior and violence is a DELIBERATE CHOICE made by the abuser in order to control . Give the “Stove back” TO SUZANNE ….you coward and get some counseling for yourself!!!
    ~~HUGS to You Suzanne~~

  125. Joell says:

    Suzanne, along with your blog, I also read you column in the newspaper. Shortly after you left Stringtown, I read one of your columns that made me a bit concerened, I knew who you were eluding to in the article. I wish I had the ability to write everything that I could tell you about the type of situation you were in, but I wont for reasons of my own, but than God you got away from Stringtown when you did, unfortunley there is one part that just has to keep stiring the pot, it sound like he has major problems. Just get your belonging out of Stringtown as quickly as you can so you dont have to go back there, and if you do have to go there, dont go alone and alway let someone know you are going there. Please me careful. But as you said, if someone is in a situation that makes them live in fear–get out, there is help for your if you cant do it alone.

  126. Ms.Becky says:

    thank you for sharing Suzanne. you’re very very strong. leaving isn’t easy – it’s easier to stay because it’s the “known” versus the “unknown”. but you did it. I could share a similar story. It takes a long long time to forgive and move on. But I will maintain her and now that forgiveness will ultimately lighten your load and enable you to be who you know your are. don’t look back, look forward. clenching anger in your fist will prevent you from looking forward. forgiveness is liberating. he’s a toxic person. you know that, and now we know that. he’s yesterday. so yesterday.

  127. wildbeth says:

    I’ve never logged in to leave a comment before, but I just had to this time. I’m sure it’s been said before up above. But you are one incredible, courageous lady.

  128. auntbear says:

    kdubbs hit the nail on the head.You rock Suzanne.You are a strong woman,and an inspiration to so many readers.Let the dude with his head up his azz keep the stove as a monument to his own stupidity.But he’s not likely to see it like that.So do whatever you need to do.You know we ALL support you and love you.

  129. Tow Lady says:

    And, I say again…what an idiot. I have other names I’d like to call him, but idiot will do just fine for now. He didn’t know how good he had it when he had you. The person I really feel sorry for, though, is his next victim. Men like that can’t survive alone…they need someone to belittle and stomp on to elevate themselves. You’re the lucky one…you got out. I pity the next unsuspecting soul who gets sucked in by his sweet episodes. Behavior like that usually escalates and she might not be so lucky. Cheer up, chickie…you’ve got all of us, and he’s alone. In pure, plain English…52, thou art a butthead. 8)

  130. lizzie says:

    Suzanne, you are in our prayers! file charges and get the stove back if you can, make him accountable for his actions, shame shame on him, Believe me its funny how life works, my ex has done all kinds of horrible crazy things to me and my children since our divorce which was almost 12 yrs ago, I just shake my head and say to myself, THANK GOD I chose to leave! he is a lonely little man now, incapable of making or keeping a relationship with anyone including his own children. I am now remarried to a wonderful person, who loves my kid’s and treats them as his own. Oh yes the ex lived in this house for all of eighteen months, my Mom put the down payment on it and remodeled the downstairs, when we divorced he thought he was going to get the HOUSE? :bugeyed: he lives in an apartment now, and I got the farm. Stand strong! you can do it! your readers love and support you all the way!!!!!!!! Thank you for sharing your life with us. :hug:

  131. Ms.Becky says:

    one more thing. what would displease him more? to give him the stove with loving gratitude, or to fight him for it? HE WANTS THE FIGHT. I truly hope you don’t give him what he wants.
    peace. :hug: :hug: :hug: :hug: :hug:

  132. whaledancer says:

    It takes emotional courage to write from the heart as you have done. I admire your strength. I understand the way keeping silent feels like you’re colluding with the abuse, and I admire the way you are saying “No more.” It’s so odd the way that when someone subjects us to emotional abuse, we can feel embarrassed and ashamed, when in reality it’s the abuser who should feel shame. In Spanish the phrase for a cad, a louse, is “sin verguenza,” which translates “without shame,” meaning someone who should be ashamed of himself and isn’t.

    It seems to me that 52 took your stove as a way to say that he can still hurt you and have power over you, but you are taking back your power. As you weed him out of your heart and feel your own strength, you can simply refuse delivery when he tries to hurt you. Indifference is more powerful than hate. Every morning that you wake to joy in your farm, your family, your animals, in the awakening of springtime, you become stronger.

    You’ve shown your generousity of spirit in sharing your story with us. Thank you. It’s springtime at Sassafras Farm, indeed.

  133. Claudia W says:

    like I have said many times before…You are a strong and awesome woman. I had gone through this almost same thing. i know how it feels. I left after 8 years, it’s taken me many more to find myself again.
    Thank you for sharing this very personal stuff, because of you someone else will be better.

  134. judyann says:

    Suzanna, Years ago, same situation, I got a restraining order and HE got out. If he has shown any violence, get a restraining order and don’t minimize what could happen. God Bless, we’re all behind you. Love…..

  135. Eva says:

    Hi Friend I know and don’t know….you are right…those verbal bruises are just as bad as the ones that appear from physical abuse.

    Sounds like you’ve had enough of that…time to can up a big ol’ jar of Whoop A*s and send to SC.

    Great sisterhood we have going on here. See you at camp!

  136. Eva says:

    PS…one more thing…if HE is reading this and apparently not supporting your can imagine the ANGST that occurred when you reached your Kickstarter goal. But it wasn’t wasn’t luck that you reached this goal that’s important to meet goals of making a living in WV. You’re smart, funny and resourceful.


  137. CarrieJ says:

    52…I am utterly ashamed of you. And I DO know your real name but would never utter it here out of complete and total respect for Suzanne. I am re-posting this to Facebook because several of my friends need to learn this lesson NOW. PS-I’m glad I cut your face out of my 2011 retreat pics. PFFFTTTTT!

    Suzanne – the best revenge is success and YOU have completely succeeded in everything you have set out to do. I can’t wait to visit once the new kitchen, etc is in. My husband wants to come too!

    You are an inspiration and it has been an honor to meet you and learn so much from you and everyone here.

    Oh…and I’ll buy the book too! HAHAHAHA…bet that has some good little tidbits in it.

    Thanks for sharing.

  138. Canner Joann says:

    Never put off happiness! In the words of Abilene from “The Help”…

    You is Smart.

    You is Kind.

    You is Important.

    Chicken Sisters Unite!


  139. CarrieJ says:


  140. yvonnem says:

    I’m concerned for you, very, very concerned.

    PLEASE put up some curtains, make sure you have dead-bolt locks on all your doors, have a loaded gun at the ready, and make super sure your daughter, yourself, and all of the animals are safe from him. Oh, and make sure no one has messed with your car. Watch your back is all I’m sayin’.

    That may sound extreme, but you never know…BE SAFE! Love Ya Suzanne!

  141. CATRAY44 says:

    God bless you, Suzanne. I remember reading a post a long while back in which you were out walking the land at String Town, and finding beautiful things to make you feel better. You never said why you needed to feel better, but I remember I felt like crying for you. I am glad you are out of there. Please be careful. I think your story may help many women, but I am also concerned that all that has been written may enrage him. Praying for your protection, wisdom (and peace and healing for your heart and spirit.)

    P.S. I think the sign of Sassafras Farm should have, in little letters underneath the name, “Phoenix Rising”! :butterfly:

  142. kiwigal_nz says:

    If I admired you before, I admire you SO much more now.

    You rock :happyflower:

  143. easygoinglady says:

    Many years ago, i was the one that was going through the verbal/emotional abuse. Just as I was going to finally leave, he suffered a major life threatening illness and at the same time, I discovered I was pregnant. So I stayed. I didnt feel I could leave with him in such serious shape, I was overwhelmed with all of this and a baby too. I helped him through his recovery, but he got more abusive and started drinking. He got “help” so I would give him another chance. After all, I didnt really want to be a single parent, I wanted my child to grow up in a two parent household.
    As the years went by, of course it got worse. He hit me once and I told him, that is the LAST time you will do that, or I will leave. I endured the insults, the attacks on my value as a person and all of it. I shielded my son from most of it. (But truly, kids KNOW)By the time my son was 9, things began to escalate. I drew the line in the sand and issued the ultimatim that I was no longer going to endure this, although I was not sure of my way out yet. Of course he crossed that line, and I meant what I said. Since I could not get him to leave, I left and took my son and minimal items from the household, primarily our clothes and my sons bed and toys.
    I dont think he ever really thought I would do it. And in ways I did it for my son. Finally I said, I do not want my son growing up and being like his father, an alcoholic. Although I would have preferred to NOT let him visit his father, I did (Once again, children are not blind and they KNOW).
    Many years have now passed, I raised my son to be a man to be proud of. Next week, he will celebrate his 30th birthday. He is currently in college, although his father and his grandmother had told him many times that he “wasnt college material” I consistently and persistently gave him positive encouragement that he CAN.
    As so many before me have said, karma has a way of coming back around. My exhusband who is now 57, has resided in a nursing home for the last 5 years as a result of his life choices. His primary visitor is his 95 year old mother. His son does go to see him and I encourage him to. Every visit is filled with complaints. If he takes something for a little surprise, its…why didnt you bring me something else. The food is terrible, the service is terrible, what took you so long to get here. So there he sits, a lonely man. I take no joy in that either, in case you might think I do.
    Through the years, even after the divorce, I was blamed for his every fault. My son would come home upset because I had been targeted for their hateful talk. One day in particular, he told me something I had been blamed for. My response was….she can blame me, but I CHOOSE NOT TO ACCEPT THAT BLAME!! I know how it really was and I can sleep at night with a clear concious. By REFUSING to get upset I took away their control over my life. I went on to pursue the career path I had always wanted to and am now involved in even more than I was able to see in my future…All because I took that step. Suzanne, I KNOW how hard that was, and I KNOW how alone you felt, because you tried so hard to hide it from the outside world.
    Sorry for the lengh of this post, but I guess its one more voice to encourage you and maybe even someone else to have the COURAGE to do it.

  144. dmcfarland says:

    You are now happy and that is what you want and deserve. YOU are the winner here…..just let that stove go. Looking at it would be distastful at this point. I bet ‘he’ won’t enjoy looking at it either……our bad actions tend to haunt us. In the long run the stove is minor, the reasoning behind it is nasty. Please consider blocking ‘the man’ from your blog. Much healthier for everyone involved.
    Now on to the better life.

  145. Taiyla says:

    Your story is so inspirational. Not everyone has the strength and courage to leave a situation you were in. I hope someone can read this and help them pull through their troubling times. Thank you for sharing this with all of us.

  146. liz2 says:

    Suzanne, thank you for sharing your story with us. I admire your courage. Your advice in your post: “Please leave. It will not get better.” So true! Best wishes for peace & happiness for you & your family on your new farm.

  147. catslady says:

    You so did the right thing. I grew up with a verbally abusive father, and big surprise – I married one too. So what did my eldest daughter do, yeah, but he went one step further and got physical – she was married one year before things started going wrong and was divorced before 3. As much as I’d love to be a grandma (which he was hoping for) I’m so glad there were no kids involved. They have a house unfortunately that they had half a year and he pays about a fourth of what he should (she is trying to sell and is going to take a big loss) but it was well worth it as far as I’m concerned. You did the right thing.

  148. Busy Solitude Farm says:

    I am sorry you felt trapped. No one should be subjected to that kind of treatment.

    As for the abuser, I’m sorry anyone feels it necessary to mention him at all. Let him be forever gone from this blog.

    Living well is the best revenge.

  149. Hlhohnholz says:

    Suzanne, I want to thank you for the courage it took to share your story. I even more particularly want to thank you for trying to use your bad experience to help other people who might be going through what you did. It’s one thing to leave a bad situation, but to me it speaks to your wonderful caring heart that you want to let your experience be a light to others in difficult times. *hugs*

  150. aprilejoi says:

    I have always respected your stance to not write about your private life. As an adult I know full well its not always moonlight and roses. But thank you for sharing. I hope it helps you heal and move on. Your website has been a source of information and fun for me and I will continue to check in. You are selfless to share so much with so many and to keep a wonderful home for your children and animals. I can’t wait for the post titled SoulMate, because he is out there. <3

  151. STH says:

    Suzanne, as soon as I write this comment, I’m going to make a small donation that you can use for court costs or a new stove or whatever you need. It won’t be much–I’m in a bit of a difficult situation myself–but I’ll give more when I can.

    Whatever you decide to do, we’re all behind you and will help you however we can. All the best to you and big hugs from another survivor.

  152. DebbieInMemphis says:

    Thank you for sharing this. You have so much strength and courage. It is so hard to tell our stories. But, each time we do, we are helping someone else find their courage and strength. You and yours are always in my thoughts and prayers. You bring so much joy to my days. I wish you joy every! single! moment!

  153. Vicki in So. CA says:

    Suzanne, I wondered why you hadn’t mentioned 52 in your posts from… maybe from the middle of last year or so, and why there were times when you seemed sad – at least to me. Now it all fits together.

    Thank you so much for sharing this part of your life with us. Thank you, too, for sending the not-at-all-subtle message to women who might be a similar situation to “get out.” I suspect this might have been one of the very important reasons for your writing this post. Not only are you strong, intrepid, and brave as most everyone before me has mentioned, but you used those qualities to your (and your family’s) advantage by getting out of it. You’re a first class example of how one can survive that kind of adversity. You’ve done good for you, your kids, and who knows how many others today. Fantastic job.

    To 52: Time wounds all heels. Stop being a heel or you will end your life with countless wounds. Get counseling. Be a man and admit you were wrong to steal someone else’s property. Just give it back.

  154. DFW says:

    I can’t wait to meet you. You are an amazing person!

  155. beforethedawn says:

    160 comments already, woman you are loved! I just want to hug you reading this. I’m glad you got out. You deserve to be happy! Shame on him for being a bad person to you! Now I understand the non-practicing lesbian thing. There are lots of REAL men out there who are not abusive. I’m sure you know that.

  156. farmershae says:

    :hug: Thank God you got out of that.

  157. Peggy in KY says:

    Dear Suzanne,
    I have read all the comments you allowed to be visible. I can say that I agree with most of what everyone said, but I for one would not want the stove back. “52” is the type of man who may figure out a way to cause some damage to the stove that may not show up immediately, but will cause great damage when the wickedness appears. If you do take it back, immediately take it to recycling and get the few bucks they will give you for the metal.
    I don’t know how long I have been reading and commenting on your blog, but it has been a while. I do know being somewhat intuitive I was always concerned about your relationship with “52”. I do remember at least twice reading how much you “LOVED” him. It came across to me that you “loved” that he did something for you, gave you something he thought you wanted etc. When he stopped paying his half of the mortgage it was because he ran out of other ways to hurt you. I don’t think he was really jealous of us, your fans and friends who really know you better than he ever did, but he was jealous of the farm, farm animals and all that you were able to accomplish with and without 52.
    I think you knew from the beginning of your relationship was poison, but you needed the help and he was kind to offer you assistance. I also think what you did today was cleansing for you. You have started the road to recovery. It is just the start Suzanne, but we all know you are loved, strong, hard working, inventive and a driven woman. You have support of 1000’s. Some of us are only able to give you our love, prayers and some advice. Others are able to give you products, physical help and some even money. You will walk a tight rope for a while, maybe even the rest of your life. The thing I know is even if you are walking that tight rope it will always lead you, and us, on an adventure. You will learn, try and share with others.
    You are blessed with a loving family, friends and memories. Continue to record and share those memories.

  158. PaulaClark says:

    Oh, Suzanne.Everyone has said everything.But I’m here thinking about you. I haven’t posted much but love your blog. I had a friend in an abusive situation and I know how hard it was for her to leave. I’m happy for you now.

  159. enjay says:

    suzanne, I sent an email to your citrcontact account. Enjay

  160. bimmy says:

    From the movie “A Knight’s Tale”

    “I will eviscerate you in fiction. Every pimple, every character flaw. I was naked for a day; you will be naked for eternity.”
    – Chaucer

    Go get ’em.

  161. norahse says:

    HOORAY for you. Been there done that. I’m so very proud of you that you had the courage to get away. You have had your struggles and certainly expensive ones at that; however, you’ve overcome. I think that what you have done with this move is to show other abused women that they would be able to escape. You are WOMAN, you will bend, but you won’t break. I only wish that I was in the position to help you with your struggles, but I love reading how you’ve overcome your obstacles. You go girlfriend!!!!

  162. BrownsFan says:

    Suzanne, This post breaks my heart and made me cry to think of the abuse and sadness you’ve experienced so very recently. 52 should be ashamed and all who know him should be looking at him in a very different way, now that this truth is out. I agree with others here that you should forget the stove and leave it where it is. He knows what he did, and now 5,000 + others know. Take the high road, my friend, and move on. You are in a much happier place now, so enjoy every day in your safe, wonderful new world.

  163. pamplemousse says:

    I love your honesty. What I love more is your courage to leave. My mother is in a similar situation in that she can’t afford to leave her abuser. I hope one day she can find the strength to do so. Congratulations for finding yours.

  164. Miss Judy says:

    I have been praying for you for a long time…I prayed prayers of Thanksgiving for CITR and your ability to inspire me to go back to doing the things I enjoy. I have thought of you as my “Blessing”. but for some reason I have been praying for your happiness and protection too…now I know why. Love and Prayers to you and yours.

  165. Puma45 says:

    Suzanne, this made me cry. Not just because of the situation itself, which was horrific enough, but that none of us knew. While this horrid, LITTLE man was trying so hard to destroy you, you were coming here every day – entertaining, educating and amusing us. I can’t imagine the stress that maintaining appearances must have taken on you, but I’m so happy for you that it’s OVER, and you have come out the other side stronger and happier. Plus, you have set an incredible example for Morgan.

    Too often, men like 52 are able to behave so horribly precisely because they are confident that their victims will be too ashamed to tell anyone. Bravo to you for kicking the virtual stool out from under him. Your courage may very well give another woman the strength she needs to remove herself from a similar situation.

  166. tmavraides says:

    I have been reading your blog for about 2 years. I feel like I know you. I understand very well your hurt. My ex husband allowed is family to make me absolutely miserable. When I would complain he would go nuts on me like it was simply my role to take abuse from them. I left him and have never regretted doing so. I’m married to a man who adores me as I do him. We have 2 kids together and my marriage to my ex is a distant memory.

    I am sorry you waited so long to end your sadness. The point is that you did end your sadness. As I ended mine. You have a place that while it has had its challenges is a perfect fit for you. A farm with no sadness in the air bringing you down. I hope you and your family enjoy a blessed new life at Sassafrass farm. Never again to be hurt by anyone.

  167. Beverly123 says:

    So many of us have been there too. Any life is better than that and many times the better just gets better and better. I met a real nice guy after my first really not nice guy and we celebrated 19 years yesterday! But even if I hadn’t it was so wonderful not to be yelled at or wait for an explosion of temper. Everyone need to hear there is life after… GOOD LIFE!

  168. ticka1 says:

    Suzanne ((((hugs)))) to you. I have seen you go from struggling to survive and make this website a success to you now an independent woman who has taught me alot about country living. Honestly it has been your blog, forum and winning one of the Ball Canning books that made me fall in love with canning. Remember you have affected lives. I wish nothing but success for you in everything you do. Remember the past and don’t make the same mistakes but keep looking forwarding and taking one step at a time. You are there – just with each step you take you improve! I wish WV was not so far from SE Texas or I would be at your retreat! You giving the gift of your knowledge to others is awesome!

    All I can offer up is prayers that 52 will do the right thing and give you back your stove. If he doesn’t then you know the next step Suzanne.

    God Bless.

  169. princessvanessa says:

    52 was absolutely right….about one thing and only one thing —–“your readers think you are wonderful”. Never, ever forget that, Suzanne… are w-o-n-d-e-r-f-u-l! You are WONDERFUL and witty and smart and attractive and fantastic and greater than I can list words for. Have I mentioned wonderful?! Well, you are!

    I have little doubt that your CITR readers are faithful to you and only you. For myself, it’s you who brightens my day. Each time I log into your blog I wonder what new adventure or farm happening you are going to share with us.

    Thank you so much for all that you give of yourself. Thank you for sharing so that others who are in a similar circumstance will find the courage to get out of an abusive relationship.

    Hugs and :airkiss: to you.

  170. Raiche0727 says:

    O Suzanne: You story was so familar to so many of us. I, too, have been there. It lasted too long, it was too violent – emotionally and physically. I thought I should kill myself BUT I had a child. My “snap” was one night when he reached around me to hit her. She was 12. That night, I started a plan that took three months to achieve. But, I did get away. I lost almost everything I ever had but to get away from that and to save myself and my child was worth it.

    Eventually, I met and married a wonderful man. He is strong and honest, loves me just as I am, and treats my, now 22 year old, as his own.

    No one should be controlled, manipulated and abused by the same person who is supposed to love, honor and protect them. Good for you, Suzanne. Your readers are proud of you and now you can be proud of you, too. Look forward and enjoy your new life. Love. Rachel

  171. boulderneigh says:

    Thank-you for the backstory. You didn’t owe it to us, your readers, but what a public service announcement this post is! I hope it helps the women who need to hear it, and shuts up those who think you should move sweetly on without a backward glance or a negative word. I am so proud to be a backer of Sassafras Farm!!!

  172. Willamette Valley Girl says:

    Suzanne and family,

    There is nothing to add which hasn’t already been said.
    You and your family/mission are loved.

    Keep on doing what you are doing.


    PS – Spring is coming. The proverbial “new beginning” is at hand :duck:

  173. Dumbcatluvr says:

    I am reminded of Dolly Parton’s song “She’s a sparrow when she’s broken, but she’s an eagle when she flies”

  174. rhubarbrose says:

    This whole thing is so sad. I hurts my heart for everyone involved! I hope you can rise above all of this Suzanne. You are a talented writer, photographer, homesteader and much loved by all who know you! This has given me a whole new understanding and appreciation for what you do and accomplish. You inspire on so many levels.
    May many many pretty blossoms bloom this Spring on your lovely new farm and life!

  175. gardnerh says:

    I want to first thank you for being such a generous teacher. So many people have learned so much from you as is apparent in the love and support that your readers have already poured out today. You have inspired me to try things that I would have never thought about doing – cheese, soap, and so many delicious recipes.

    I read this somewhere and it seemed appropriate to share today…..”We plant seeds that will flower as results in our lives, so best to remove the weeds of anger, avarice, envy and doubt, that peace and abundance may manifest for all.”
    – Dorothy Day

    It seems that you have planted seeds of inspiration all across far and wide and my wish is that your ‘weeds’ have been eradicated and that you find wonderful, new adventures in your garden. If the weed pops back up – sick the goats on him.

  176. Nannette says:

    Bout a year before you came to your realization I came to mine. I lost a lot of material stuff in the process. Yeah, he “stole” some things. I got the important things, like my great grand mothers dishes and my antiques along with most of my kitchen gadgets. I suppose you can be glad you weren’t married to 52 as I was married to my 52. I don’t miss the way he’d talk to me or talk about me in front of others like I was such a pain in his you know what. Heck I put the down payment for his business. He was suppose to pay me back but never did. That is okay, in the end, I can earn the money back but he can never again take my dignity and integrity. The divorce was final Feb 14. Poetic justice… wouldn’t you say?

  177. jimnoland says:

    Suzanne, I might be the only guy, to make a comment. You have done the right thing, that goes with out saying. First, I’d let 52 have the stove. He is looking to keep this going for as long as he can. He wants the power over you. And if you fuss about it, it makes him all the more powerful. Or so he thinks. DON’T give him any power from now on. Blow him off. He is a petty, little, immature, man. Who thinks that he is all man. And he is not.

    You have so much going for you, and all of these fantastic followers. And it just puts his diaper in a wad. Others have commented. And are right. WATCH YOUR BACK! Don’t trust 52. Set up a donation, and us followers will pay for you to get a even better stove. Get a lawyer, or at least talk to one. Maybe get a security system for the farm. Set some camera’s. Talk to the police also. That way they are aware of what’s going on.

    I don’t know how you feel about fire arms, but it might be some thing to think about also. I believe, personally, that ALL women should be armed.

    My wife, was married to my best friend from High School. Things seemed to be fine between them. Little did I know, that he was mentally abusing her, also verbally. She put up with his crap for twenty some odd years. IF, I had known back then, I would of kicked the you know what out of him. But, years later, after talking with her. She booted his butt to the curb. He moved out. I had some money problems. And lost my home, and my job. And as we talked almost every day. I told her about my problem. She was kind enough to let me move in, rent free, till Things picked up for me. Witch wasn’t to long and coming.

    Her ex kept on pulling his crap on her. Till, I took the phone from her one day. And chewed him out. He threatened me, that he was going to beat me up. I laughed, and told him to come on over. The police were called, he never showed. Things went on for over a year. Back and forth.

    He was a bitter person, and had been his whole life. His family was the same way. He passed five years or so ago. We got married, after about two years of living together. I was working, so was she. We were happy. And the magic moment arrived, and we got married. We have ten wonderful years together now. She still has some issue’s from him. But she is getting better as time goes by.

    I applaud all the women, and men, that are no longer in abusive relation ships. You all rock. And deserve better.

    God Bless you. And your doing great. It only gets better from here.

  178. mainelysochi says:

    Good for you! We are all proud of you, and any woman, who takes a stand for herself!

  179. Dbunny says:

    Thank you for having the wisdom and courage to see that his theft of the stove is just one more way of being abusive. An act of control and intimidation – an act meant to upset you and make you feel powerless.

    When I was married, my husband was verbally abusive and I agree it is much worse than being physically abusive. The hours I’d have to sit and listen to him tell me why each and every person in my life really hated me, how I was so horrible and he didn’t know what he did to deserve such a horrible wife, how selfish I was for going to college because a woman going to college was “stealing education from men”. Now mind you, I’d known him for 7 years before we got together romantically and got married, we were best friends, we went to high school together, and I never saw any of this behavior beforehand. It wasn’t until after he “owned” me (he thought I was financially dependent upon him and couldn’t leave) that this started.

    He also hit me, threw me into walls, used a gun to threaten me… but it was when he started abusing our puppy that I knew I had to leave and save the dog.

    Few believed me and few were supportive. To this day most people don’t believe me. He told everyone I left for another man so I was the pariah of our town. He was the firefighter hero that received awards, promotions, and was a hero.

    I also remember feeling so ashamed – stuff like that wasn’t supposed to happen to strong, successful women, right? (I believed society’s BS attitude that those in abusive relationships did something to bring it upon themselves. So I had a lot of guilt and shame. Now I know it could happen to ANYONE, and that no one deserves that kind of treatment.)

    Despite everything I still feel so blessed to have that experience. Before, I saw everything as black/white right/wrong. Now I understand that the face people present can hide cruelty and ugliness that no one would suspect. I understand that there are two sides to every story. And I understand that some people go home and face their own personal hell when their front door closes.

    Good for you for leaving. Good for you for speaking out! People need to know that this kind of crap is not acceptable.

  180. VAfarmer says:

    Suzanne, I just wanted you to know that you have another supporter in me!

    You know, at the retreat last year, my mother and I met you, and we both got the impression that something wasn’t right. You didn’t seem to be the same Suzanne that wrote all of the wonderful posts that we had been reading for months prior – you were more detached, less focused (though still a delightful person!)… now I have a feeling I know why! It must have KILLED him to see everyone there, so happy to meet you and enjoying the fruits of your hard work!

    I can’t afford to come to the retreat this year, but I am trying to swing a trip out that way for the party. I look forward to the party on the farm, and am excited that I will finally get to meet the REAL Suzanne!

  181. MissPat says:

    You’ve given your children a life changing lesson. As the person they love and respect most on God’s green earth, you are the ultimate teacher and influence in their lives…but you know that already! How proud they must feel today! You’ve reset the bar, dug in your heels and loudly proclaimed “I AM WORTH EVERY BIT OF LOVE AND HAPPINESS THIS WORLD HAS TO OFFER!!!” There is no better gift than that 🙂 To be more for yourself is to be more for them! :sun:

  182. wspines says:

    Many thanks for your post on SNAP. I know that it will help many women. I stayed too long too, trying to save my small farm, Now 15 years after the fact I realize that like you I have such a wonderful life now with our animals and gardens.

  183. cherylinwv says:

    Bless your heart! :hug: I would have never guessed that you had been having to put up with that kind of s*** for the last few years. So glad that you got out of that situation and as one of your posts was titled, “landing on your feet”. Prayers for a blessed new life! As for “52” SHAME on him.

  184. KathyAnn says:

    Wow, Wow WOW! I have tears in my eyes as I write this. Although I don’t know you I feel like I do and to hear of your pain makes me hurt for you. I am very proud of you for standing up to the scum bag and getting yourself OUT! What a hero you are to me! When I read that you contemplated suicide, it broke my heart. You are such a treasure; your daily words bring me comfort, laughs and I look forward to each of your posts. I so wish we could have all been with you through the pain in a more physical way; drop-kicking ole 52 out into some stinky cow manure filled pasture where he belongs after spewing all that cow poop diatribe at you. HUGS, you brighten the world with your sunshine and your presence. I feel blessed to be able to read your thoughts. It took great courage to stand up and out that bully and to share what was happening in your life. A bully is a bully and they are so very clever with their victimizing that they make you “walk on eggshells” live a dual life and they try to rip your self esteem to shreds. I applaud you for being so open. I know that by sharing your story, you will help others find the willpower and courage to stand up to their own bullies.
    I wish you only peace, love and sunshine. Kathy

  185. doubletroublegen says:

    The sweetest revenge is success- I would say you are well on your way to becoming the independent successful woman you have always been inside. Thank you for sharing your story and having the courage endure for such a long time. You will bloom this spring like all the beautiful trees and flowers created in His image! :heart:

  186. mb96210 says:

    I am sure I’m repeating all of the above posts and I too, have thrown a mean spirited, selfish husband and father out of the house. It is pretty terrifying to have 3 children out of the house and one left at home and go from an executive’s income (his) to an administrative assistant (mine). But I don’t regret the poverty one bit and here I am 9 years later and taking care of myself just fine and he’s the lonely old man whose kids don’t want anything to do with him because of his behavior. Bless you Suzanne for sharing the truth. Many of us have lived in the fear you did and bless your family and friends for helping you see that a much better life is ahead for you. You go girl and BTW I still love Clover.

  187. Turtle Mom says:

    Good for you! To me, it seems like it’s about control. He couldn’t control that you moved on (successfully, I might add!), so he took the stove in an attempt to control you in another way. Like most abusers, 52 probably self-justifies his actions. Men like that are good at twisting words and are master manipulators (and liars!). As much as it stinks to be in that type of a relationship, it can be really hard to move on. I know. I speak from experience. I finally decided that I deserved better – and I did! I moved out, bought my own home and I survived and thrived! Suzanne, you are a very strong woman and an inspiration to many. Always hold your head high and be proud of who you are and what you are doing! <>

  188. Joell says:

    Suzanne–please leave this post up for a good long time, it is one that needs to be read over and over again by many in simular situations.
    Thank you.

  189. SweetPug says:

    Suzanne! You have earned your freedom and stood against the agressor. You are blessed, and most definitely your own woman.
    Every woman here will support you and cheer you on! I certainly do!

    Reaching out and telling your readers took a lot of courage, but the end result is to bind us all to you even more than we were. And shame? Well, that shoe is on 52’s foot, not yours.

    Much love!

  190. Darlene in North GA says:

    Having been down this road myself – with a 5 month old nursing baby and a 2 year old and 5 year old with bruise from daddy (my snapping point), I can feel your pain. You’ve done one of the hardest things anyone can do. Good for you.

    I lost my farm, animals and everything but the kids in the divorce. It’s no fun to have to start over. 17 years later, I’m STILL in public housing – though it’s NICE housing, because I can’t find another job in this small town and it’s economy and I have no resources to move anywhere else. But this too shall pass.

    I agree with everyone who has told you to just GIVE him the stove. Yes, GIVE it to him. YOUR choosing to let him have it takes the “fun” out of having it. See, even if you WIN in court, collecting the money is probably going to take you YEARS, if EVER. Why put yourself though all the stress. You have better things to do! Flush him like brown stuff in the toilet! And WATCH YOUR BACK! Get a restraining order, if you can. Also, be thankful that you don’t have kids with him. As others have stated, mine got back at me by hurting the kids emotionally.

    In case you or anyone else if interested, I have a paper from the battered women’s shelter that lists the 17 points of an abusive/controlling person. If I had had that when dating my now ex, I would NEVER have married him!!! It list the “red flags” to look for in someone you’re dating – BEFORE you move in with that person (or let them move in with you). It is SO accurate! And it’s all “little stuff” that we tend to write off. But TOGETHER, make a dangerous picture. I’ve avoided getting involved with several people by using the points on this sheet. And some of these points will show you in a couple of HOURS of being around this person if this person is an abuser.

    If you’re interested, let me know. I’m not sure if I’ve already posted that info on my blog or not. I could do it as a post here or on my own blog, if someone is interested. Or I can just email it to you (anyone).

    Keep the faith. We love you, Suzanne!

  191. contentedcat says:

    Hi Suzanne,
    I’m glad that you have said what you said in the above post. And especially urging women in the same situation to leave, as it will never change, never improve, never be what you “thought” it would be. I was in your position too and left. But after some time of course…mostly spent thinking how awful I must have been, how ugly, unlovable etc. But then I just focused on the positive aspects of my life, of which there were many. Unfortunately this relationship was not on that list, so I gave it up. It was a learning experience and made me grow as a person, and thankfully I got out before I did what you were contemplating above…life is good now, and I know what I want and what I will tolerate in a mate. It has made all the difference.
    Hoping you continue to find and celebrate those joys in your life now too. Thanks for the blog – I try to keep up with your goings-on every week!

  192. agirlandhergun says:

    I have never read your sight before. I was directed here by a mutual “friend”. I had my own bad guy experience, although it was very different. Anyway, I have spent the last year sharing about my ordeal and my healing and I applaud you for your strength now and then. Bless you!!

  193. Abiga says:

    Thank you for sharing. I am so glad you are safe now and happy. Be free and fly now and be blessed! :snoopy:

  194. Estella says:

    Amen, Suzanne!
    It took 13 years, but I finally got out.

  195. Sheryl says:

    I’m so happy for you, Suzanne! If there is any reason you feel that he could be violent, the stove isn’t worth your health or life. I live with three herniated discs in my neck-was held in a choke hold when they ruptured. He was a cop for almost thirty years, and got away with everything he did to me and our kids.

    After he was diagnosed bipolar, my world really fell apart. It’s been a long nightmare, but I never was able to get away from him. New medications have made a big difference, but still it’s a lifetime lost, and many dreams destroyed-one never walks away from a situation like mine without throwing the burdens on adult children, who have made good lives for themselves….Please don’t take a chance with your health or your life-it just isn’t worth taking that kind of risk….

  196. Leah says:

    God bless and keep you,Suzanne. ( hugs )

  197. Chic says:

    Good for you Suzanne….good for you for mustering the courage to stand up for yourself and making the move to get out of that terrible situation. And good for you for going after your stove! It just goes to show that you just never know what people are going through behind closed doors. I’m so sorry you had to go through this…it seems though that you’ve come out of this bad situation a much stronger and confident woman. Congratulations on getting your money to finish your shop…I can’t wait to see it when it’s done. I hope your day is a good one.

  198. Lindsay says:

    I’m glad you had the strength of mind to realize that you deserve better. I was in a similar situation for four years and the man was great until we moved in together and then it went from verbal abuse to physical. It’s difficult to explain the state of terror and helplessness a person can live in on a constant basis. I didn’t want to lose my ‘independence’ which is why I allowed it to go on for so long. In my case I realized it’s been me choosing the wrong men because it was familiar to me. Now I know better, and after my experience with him, my silver lining is that I came through it able to tell when people are lying or manipulating. And I know that I have to tell myself to expect better from the people in my life and not to settle for anything less than courtesy and respect.

    I’m sorry you had to go through it at all, but I’m glad for you and your kids that you ended it. People who love one another should be building the other person up, not jealously tearing them down at every opportunity. I hope others who are in abusive situations read this and the comments and realize that they deserve better.

  199. sparkles2307 says:

    Good job to you for not letting him destroy you! I’ve been there, its scary to take the first step to get away but it’s so worth it. Your blog is great, I love to read about your life and dreams and accomplishments!

  200. Joell says:

    :bu :butterfly: :butterfly: :butterfly: tterfly: :butterfly:
    SUZANNE–I hope this post is left up for a very long time. I go back and re-read the new posts and I think it is important for those that are in simular situations to know they are not alone, and you dont always have to have a friend or relative to get out of an abusive situation, they are many organizations that can and will help you, ask any clergy or doctor, they can advise you as to where you can get help, and dont feel badly or ashamed, it can save your life, not to mention your sanity. Thanks to all of our Chicksisters that have posted their stories as well, there is power in numbers.
    Thanak you.

  201. CrisGee says:

    Wow, congratulations for leaving, it must have been hard. You do a lot of good sharing, in fact, today I needed to read this. In the 90’s I left an abusive boss, he created a situation that was so twisted I didn’t see it. He threatened to fire others if they didn’t support him (as I was told later) he then searched me out to hire me! I had a good reputation, great resume and I was happy. I had recovered from grieving a husband I’d lost to cancer, was nearly finished paying off an enormous medical debt and ready to start my new second chance life. He had heard the company was merging and his office was redundant, since the other company had a similar department. He hired me to create a situation that he could turn into a scandal and then ‘save’ the company by ‘dealing’ with me! Over the period of several months I had lost my self-esteem, thought I was going crazy, and was getting very depressed. I left, lost every reference or chance of ever working in that field again. I was nearly destroyed. But, now here I am living in the country (NC) remarried to the love of my life. This morning I was thinking of how I wished I could get a job in my old field and earn some money but knew it would be impossible. Then I read this and smiled, I realized I am where I should be! Thanks for the soul-nudge!

  202. CynRob says:

    Bless your heart, gal! I, too, went through relationships filled with abuse–physical, mental, emotional, and sexual. While in the midst of them, I always found it hard to believe that it was really happening–or that it would continue. So hard to understand sometimes.

    However, the important thing is–I got out and stayed away from it once away to safety. And this is what you have done. I am so proud of you!!! :shimmy:

    Easter is coming in just a few days–the resurrection of our Lord. Let us also resurrect the good life He has for all of us through Him.

    I, too, live in WV–Huntington. Not too far away from y’all. If you ever need anything just contact me.

    Also, glad you got your stove back! At least he did one thing right in all of this!

    And a huge CONGRATULATIONS about the new book deal! Again, I am so proud of you! You go girl! :snoopy:

    Hugs!!! :sun:

  203. thistlewoodmanor says:

    Wow. So many times it seems that you and I are leading parallel lives. I went through EXACTLY the same thing, only I was married to him for 12 years and we had 3 children together. I taught rubber stamping and sewing classes and he was so jealous and ridiculed me and hated it when people told him how talented I was. On my 40th birthday I decided I was not going to live that way for the rest of my life and took the children and left. That was 10 years ago and I’ve never regretted it. I’m now married to an absolutely wonderful man. You are a fantastic woman and I know you’ll do well in the future.

  204. Fern says:

    Hi Suzanne, I really know what you are talking about. I not only suffered the mental abuse but the physical abuse as well. That was a long time ago but something that I will never forget. I’m married again and have been for 40 yrs to the best man I have ever met. Met my Jim on a Monday, he asked me to marry him that same day. 10 days later we were married in our local church in W.Va. He then had to leave for almost a yr back to Cuba where he was station at the U.S Navy Base. If was live at first sight for us and I’m one of the luckiest people in the world that I really found true love. We celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary this coming Sat. Hope you read my story and take hope from it. So many ask me if my Jim is telling the truth when he tells them our story and get all dewy eyed when I tell them that yes he’s being 100 percent true. I wish everyone could find their true love or soulmate as Jim and I have. Continue your good work and enjoy life to the fullest. Love and happiness to you and your family. Fern

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