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This one time at Blissdom Canada… I Walked Out On Drew Dudley’s Talk

Last week I had the pleasure of attending Blissdom Canada. I had comments made to me both while at the conference and after about how I was simply glowing all week-end. It was an amazing and life changing conference. The one thing that changed me the most was Drew Dudley speaking to us. He is an incredible speaker that if you ever get the chance to see him speak please do so. He made me come to the realization that I needed to come to in order to move on in my life. I was being held back and I didn’t even know it. In his talk a light bulb went off and brought me to tears.

light bulb moment

Ever since the beginning of Nolie’s Place there are some things either I have not been able to share or just never found the right time to share. Those who met me in person learned bits and pieces of my past but the whole truth has never come out. This is the post where I will share what happened and why Drew Dudley’s talk made me break down and I had to walk out in order to go cry in the bathroom.

Before being with Tobei I was in an abusive relationship. Rarely physical, mostly mental. This man had me broken more than I ever thought I could be broken. He had me convinced that my own mother and father didn’t love me. He had me convinced I was worthless and would never be anything nor could I survive without him. He also gave me what I call his “gift” to women…. herpes. Due to this “gift” I was convinced no man would ever want to be with me. I was now tainted and carried a life long disease that I would never be able to get rid of.

Thankfully Tobei knew I was worth more than I thought I was. He loved me and when I came to him asking for help he helped me leave this man and we have been together ever since.

Three years ago this man was arrested and charged with 6 counts of aggravated sexual assault and six counts of criminal negligence causing bodily harm. I was not his only victim. Each one of those charges represents a different woman who came forward with this “gift” they had received. Undisclosed to us until it was too late. This is NOT a debate about herpes I refuse to have this debate. I suffered enough reading comment after comment across the internet about the entire case.

He was released on bail only to be arrested again 3 months later. This time for possession of child pornography.

The last three years of my life were spent dealing with the justice system. I never did get justice. He plead guilty but basically got a slap on the wrist and walked. If he is a good boy for 3 years or something like that then he will get a discharge. It will be as if none of this ever happened. He stood in court and apologized to the victims (according to the newspapers), I never received an apology. I was ripped apart by his abuse for 2 years only to in my opinion then get abused by the justice system and just left at the curb so to speak.

I sat in that ballroom listening to Drew Dudley speak about being a better landlord. You are the landlord of your mind and your heart. Do not let people live rent free. If they are negative and do you no good then don’t allow them into your heads or your hearts. Of course this is the condensed version. I wish I could find that part of his talk on youtube to share with you but I can’t seem to find it. Zchamu did leave a comment where she found the text version of this talk if you would like to read it.. Accidental Teachers.

It was in that moment that I realized many years after leaving this man I am still letting him affect me. The court cases ended in February of this year. That is 7 months since I was officially done with him having any external affect on my life. However he still has a huge affect on my mind. We still talk about him, we still hear about him. I am still VERY angry about what he has done to me and how he has affected my life for the last 9 years. I have never been able to let go, heal and move forward.

I need to heal. I need to stop letting this man have any impact on my life. I need to stop letting him be a horrible tenant in my mind. I need to be a better landlord and evict him.

It was with this realization that I suddenly burst into tears while sitting front row at Blissdom Canada listening to Drew Dudley speak. I walked through that ballroom with my head down staring at the floor and bee-lined it for the nearest bathroom where I cried… hard.

I came home and shared this realization with Tobei. I vow to become a better landlord. Together someway somehow Tobei and I will find a way to heal and evict this man from our lives.

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  1. Oh, Nolie.
    Your post has me in tears. I’m so sorry for the pain and anguish you have endured. πŸ™

    I pray you are able to finally evict this all from your life and move forward. I can’t imagine the hurt you’ve suffered.


    • Thank you for your comment. The support I have received over this post has been amazing and I am glad I shared it. Though I have had a lot of hurt it has helped me become stronger. Now I will use that strength to heal and move forward.

  2. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I know it could not have been an easy one. You’ve inspired me because now I’m thinking of posting about my miscarriages. I was afraid to post it on the blog before because my blog isn’t “about that”

    • Don’t be afraid to post about them. They are a part of you and your story. You will be surprised at the support out there for you when you share.

  3. Rebecca Orr says:

    I am so glad you shared your story. I have not been in that type of relationship, but know people who have been and I have seen the damage. I am so relieved that you were able to hear that powerful message and gain something from it. It is so amazing when we hear something that just strikes a cord within us and makes us rethink our outlook. You are now taking the necessary steps to moving beyond your horrible past. Good for you! Best wishes!

    • Thank you. I wish more people realized how damaging all abuse is not just physical. It can take years to heal and I am on my journey to do so.

  4. (((Hugs))) I know how hard that must’ve been to write but I also know this can be very therapeutic. I hope you are able to evict him from your minds very soon.

  5. Wow, Thank You. Our backgrounds are so well hidden, that they just fester within us

  6. You are so incredibly brave, Nolie. Both for having the courage to share this and for having the courage to move forward. I wish you were here so I could give you the biggest hug right now, but you’d better believe I’m going to do it the next time I see you. <3

  7. Good for you! Stay strong!!

  8. Thank you for sharing. I’m sure it wasn’t easy but I pray your story will help others to realize they are not alone and to be better landlords. Powerful.

  9. Congratulations. What you just did took a heck of a lot of courage. Had I known all this was going on for you sitting beside me, I would have given you a hug. You are already a better landlord now.

    • Well you can give me a hug next year… deal? So many people we meet have hurt inside them that we do not know about. I am hoping more people will share their hurt as the community around them once they realize it are there to help them and support them.

  10. Huge hugs!!!!!!
    Thank you for sharing this very personal and difficult story… you will help many people with your strength and wisdom.

    • I hope so. I shared as my first stop to healing but now hope others can take something from it if they have been through something awful as well.

  11. big, big hugs….. sharing this will help someone else. Thank you

  12. I am so glad you came to this. You are a totally different person now than who you were when we first met, those many years ago. You are a better person because of your life experiences. Just like the song goes “what doesn’t kill you stronger…”

  13. This is the first step in moving on. Good for you. It’s amazing the emotional control some people can inflict. We’re going through this with my brother in law (kind of) he had a girlfriend that convinced him that his whole family is worthless and that he doesn’t need us. We haven’t seen him in 8 years and my husband hasn’t even gotten to talk to him in at least 4. I’m glad you had Tobei to get you through this.

    • I am so sorry you are going through this with your brother in law. It is awful to have someone do that to us. It also leaves us at the pity of that person and no one to call on for support. I hope that one day he realizes his family loves him and needs him.

  14. Nolie, I am practically crying over here. You are so brave to share your story with everyone like this and even braver to recognize that you have to move on. It’s hard to believe that someone can be that mean to another human, but obviously it happens more than a lot of us realize. XOXOXOXO.

  15. Everything you have been through has made you the person you are today, and I am so lucky to have you in my life. You know you have people who love you and support you through everything you do, and we are here no matter what. You are amazing, Tobei is amazing, and together there is nothing that the two of you can’t accomplish.

    • It is true. That is why I try to live with the motto no regrets. Every experience shapes us into the person we are. I know you guys are there for me and I appreciate it. I am lucky to have a great support system that surrounds me.

  16. I don’t have much for you here, Nolie, other than to say that I’m proud of you. For getting out of the relationship and now for talking about it. This is the first step to you being able to move on with your life and it’s a life that you deserve! I’m glad to know you and can’t wait to see what great things the future has for you.

    • Thank you Chris. The support and love I have received this morning makes me very happy that I have shared this and am beginning my journey in moving on.

  17. Thank you for sharing your story. I know it was hard but if it helps just one person it will be SO worth it.

  18. It is amazing the freedom you will begin to feel by sharing your story. That is the first and most important step in being released. No longer can that be held over your head. I pray that God gives you peace and that you are able to come to a place of peace and forgiveness. Yes — forgiveness is key as well and will come in time.
    You will not believe how important it is to share stories like this. There are others out there hiding too, and your story will help them to come forward and be better landlords as well.
    ((hugs)) girl cause I know all too well how hard this was for you! God is so amazing when He moves through situations like this!

    • I do feel like by sharing it I have released his control over me. It is my time to share my story and to lose the shame and stand tall and strong. I had someone else tell me that to heal one must forgive. I don’t know how I can forgive. Thanks for screwing me up doesn’t seem like a great sentence.

  19. {HUG} I am so sorry you had to deal with that man.

    I really love the idea of you being the landlord over your mind and body. I will try to be better at this!

  20. It is amazing how such a simple analogy of being a better landlord makes so much sense! I hope that you are able to kick this guy to the curb and fill this valuable real estate with the good and positive things that fill your life.

  21. I am so proud of you! It is true, you were glowing at BlissDom Canada. Your smile was huge and you could see something pretty darn special beaming through your eyes. I just want to thank you, for entrusting me with your story all these years and for your friendship. I am so glad you are not going to let him pay rent any longer. Here’s to new life, peace and true happiness!!!

  22. Nolie, so brave of you to share. I’m sure your entire support network (including bloggers!) are excited to help you with the eviction process. Are you a swift boot kick or “talk to the hand” type of girl?!

    • I used to be a talk to the hand type of girl but now I think I prefer the swift boot method. Life is too short. I know this but this has been the one thing I have not been able to kick to the curb and move on from. Until now. This is my time and I will deal with it and move on with my life.

  23. Thank you for sharing… and congratulations on putting up that eviction notice. I could go on and on, but I’m sure we all could, so just hugs πŸ™‚

  24. Dave Mischuk says:

    Wow, thank you for sharing this. Shash showed me this just now and it almost brought me to tears. All the best as you kick out the freeloaders. If you could send my wife your address I’d like to send you a book that I think will help you on your journey. God Bless you real good!

  25. Nolie,

    Thank you.

    Thank you for sharing your story. And for trusting us as a community enough to be able to share it.

    Kick him out of your head and never look back. Move forward. You have so much to offer. Don’t let the memory of him hold you back.


  26. I’m so proud of you doll! You are stronger than you think. Small but mighty!

  27. You are such a strong and brave person Nolie. You deserve a happy and wonderful life and I’m so proud of you for taking action! *HUGS*

  28. You are an amazing woman. I’ve watched you struggle through this and have
    felt powerless. Now you have given me power back. I love you and am very proud
    of you!! XO

  29. I got goosebumps reading this. You’ve done the hard work of leaving him and going through the criminal justice system. Now, EVICT him! (I love this metaphor.) Thank you for sharing your story. I hope it can inspire other women to leave abusive relationships and know that life can change for the better.

  30. Oh Nolie,
    Thank you so much for sharing your story and inspiring others to let go of the past. You are a beautiful woman inside and out.

  31. What a very brave post! It’s definitely time to put him to the curb! Stay strong!

  32. Oh my, this has me in tears. I am so sorry for all you’ve gone through. NO ONE should have to EVER go through anything like that! Good for your for making the next step in moving on.

  33. I wish I knew what to say. There is a lot I hold onto, too, but I can’t seem to let it go. It hits me in waves, as it’s hitting me now. I applaud you for doing something I don’t think I’m capable of. Not yet.

  34. I am speechless. This was so emotional yet so well voiced. Peace, love and strength be with you – I have no doubt you’ve just inspired others to be pickier landlords πŸ™‚

  35. I am so so so freaking proud of you!!! This took a lot to be able to write and I’m so glad that you’re moving forward. Tobei is a lucky man as you are a lucky woman to have him. Although knowing this story before, your words and revelations are so beautifully written. ((HUGS))

  36. You are smart, you are beautiful, you are important. I’m so glad you are with a man now who knows those truths about you.
    Thanks for sharing your personal story – you can move on, and you will. You have a huge team of people cheering you on.
    Big Hugs!

  37. Such a powerful story, and such courage to share. You talk about being a better landlord- that makes me think you feel this is somehow your fault. You were a fabulous landlord. I think it’s more about repairing the apartment your crappy tenant left behind so that it’s ready for a more deserving tenant. It sounds like you’re ready to move on!

  38. I’m almost in tears here. Thank you for sharing your story with us. I am glad that you heard this helpful talk at a time when you most needed it.

  39. Check out this video from about 3:30 (re the landlord analogy).
    The whole talk is phenomenal, of course.

    And WAY TO GO for having the courage to be vulnerable. Yay you!

  40. That was inspiring. Congrats on kicking that jerk to the curb (in your mind). I have to say that speech spoke to me also. Great, great post!

  41. Wow. You are wise, brave and amazing.
    I also evicted someone. But your strength makes me feel ready for more.

  42. I love you Nolie. (((HUGS)))

  43. You are a brave, beautiful women! I hope this post begins the healing process. HUGS

  44. Very well written and came at an appropriate time for myself. I did not make it to Blissdom this year – partly due to fact I am dealing with something very similar that has had hold of me for almost 20 years. Yes 20 years. I have been working through how to remove from my life – as it definitely has been eating at me and dragging me down. I haven’t had all of me and neither has my family.
    My story is quite long, and I am sure if I had attended Blissdom this year – I would have been beside you in the washroom. I was however dealing with the exact same epiphany at the same time as this speech – even though I was not in attendance.
    August 2, 1996 – was the day that everything changed for me, my children and so many others associated with us. My 13 year old daughter left me a letter about being sexually abused by my common-law husband. A seemingly wonderful man. That started a series of events with Family Children Services and police, lawyers, court etc. He received house arrest.
    We all went on with our lives after 2 years of court and therapy. He went on to a new family – yes there were daughters available to him. Skip past 16 years – where this cancerous leech dragged me down due to fact I remained the victim and did have contact with the offender/ex-spouse. He was charged again with sexually abusing yet again. 2 girls – now his total is up to 6 that we are aware of – all being between 8 – 13 when abused. I relived the horror of 16 years ago — and my now grown children were pulled back into something we were to have survived, recovered from – whatever as how do you go back to being the same? You don’t you become different. Skipping past many items here and he went to jail this time for 2 year and to be entered into program for sexual offenders. That was May 2013. Sept 2013 he is kicked out of program due not confessing 100% — and yes I did visit him , still believing that there is a good man in there somewhere.
    Again I crashed – as all that I had led myself to believe for almost 20 years was wrong. I had been fooled – led through the maze and kept connected to a manipulative man that cannot be cured and most likely does not want to be anything more than he is. He may be ill but is still his choice to not change.
    Since coming to an understanding of how much life and myself I have missed because of someone that does not deserve anything from me – I was able to write and release myself and also set him free possibly. It is his road to travel alone.
    I can promote awareness about sexual abuse within families and help other mothers going through the trauma of crisis possibly – but it is not me that can cure him or save him. He owns that.
    There has been tears, but yes we can go on and should go on and not be defined by these men.

    Your journey has been difficult but you have found a wonderful man that respects and loves you. You owe it to your wonderful self to enjoy that and not continue to be the ‘victim’. Do not let this man take more from you.

    I appreciate the analogy of evicting these people from our lives and being a better landlord. Reading this helped me solidify my decision and sudden new (but sad) knowledge.

    Be good to yourself.

    • Thank you for sharing your story. I am so glad you have also come to the realization that you need to evict him and take care of YOU. I think the best thing that can come from our situations is helping others through their situation likes ours. Letting them hear from someone who does understand and has made it through to the other side.

  45. wow! thanks for opening up, sharing and being so real. I’m in tears reading your post. So amazing… I hope that in time, you do find a better landlord to occupy that beautiful brain of yours.

  46. Thank you for being so brave by sharing your painful story. I hope that it is your first step towards finding peace.

  47. Wow. That’s a huge ‘aha’ moment. So brave of you to write about it here and I hope this is a step towards healing and that he gets evicted completely from your lives.

  48. I’m blown away, Nolie. I had some idea that you’d been through quite a lot, but this is staggering. I think about what you’ve done over the last three years that I’ve known you and I would never have guessed the true extent of what you’ve dealt with in that time or before. You have an inner strength and courage to be proud of and I’m personally excited for what this revelation will lead to for you. You’re absolutely right that he took up residence in your life for too long – evict him so you can experience and cherish every good thing in your life. You deserve it. I’m really happy for you.

    • Thank you Karen. For the longest time I have wanted to write about what I have gone through but couldn’t while we waited trial. It is finally over and I am looking forward to a happier life with out all that and am hoping I can inspire others to be strong and know there is a light at the end of the tunnel. We may get kicked down but we are never defeated if we don’t want to be. We are all fighters when it comes down to it.

  49. Nolie – what a courageous post to write. It sounds like you’ve had one of those magical moments where things come into focus and help you move forward and – in your case – put a horrible part of life behind you (which is where it should stay!). I love the metaphor of being your own landlord and evicting those who aren’t welcome. Well done!

    I hadn’t visited your blog in a while and am so glad I came on a day where I saw this post. Hugs.

    • So glad you came by. I hope to share more of my story and my journey in the future so I can help others who are going through similar troubles. Coming out wasn’t just for me, but for others as well to know they are not alone.

  50. Your bravery in sharing this is outstanding Nolie. You may not always see your strength, but I assure you, those around you do, and I am so glad you have a good man to share your life with now.

    • Thank you. I know I am strong. I just need to sometimes remind myself. We are all strong whether we realize it or not. If you get knocked down but get back up then in my books you are strong.

  51. Nolie, congrats on taking what must have been such a difficult step to take. Freedom has great rewards and you must know how worthy you are of that. Drew’s talk was intense for so many, but what a watershed moment to have! Good luck with this next chapter of healing and God bless..


  52. Ah Nolie – I love you. My lightbulb went on and I am evicting too. You are so brave to share your ordeal and I’m here if you need help while you are emptying your heart and head of the ‘trash’.

  53. Hugs! And congratulations. You rule, Nolie. : )

  54. What a huge step! You’ve already made one of the largest changes- being open about it! For me, when I can choose (and continue to choose) to be thankful for the situation, my whole perspective changes. The fact is, we’re different because of it. Wiser in ways we wouldn’t have possibly been able to be if we hadn’t gone through it. We can cry “knowing” tears with people in the middle of a similar situation instead of just saying, “oh. that has got to be hard.”
    I’m not saying I remember all the time to be thankful in stead, but when I do, I am different.
    I’m proud of you.

  55. I am so glad I read this Nolie. What a horrible experience and I can’t even imagine the Herpies piece. What a miserable excuse for a human being. I found his speech remarkable and found my own piece of inspiration from it as well. He was the best piece of the whole conference for me. So empowering and brilliant. I hope you attend again this year. Bliss is always an event that fills my bucket so to speak and generates energy and power to get through some of the tough spots spiritually and professionally.

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