• Jessie Shedden

"I filed for divorce within the first year of leaving the EB (cult) as our marriage was basically

I come to you again on behalf of one of our incredible women who wished to remain nameless.


"I filed for divorce within the first year of leaving the EB (cult) as our marriage was basically put together by them, we had met and married within 3 months and really did not know each other at all on the day we got married."

How many years have you been free?

40 years - since 1981

What is the one thing in life you’re so happy you did? (other than escaping)

I brought up 6 wonderful children alone. It was hard to bring up young children with no support from my Mother, and also very little money and a mortgage to pay. I also filed for divorce within the first year of leaving the EB (cult) as our marriage was basically put together by them, we met and married within 3 months and really did not know each other at all on the day we got married. It took me years to make new friends and to become a part of the local community.

What would you tell your younger self?

Don’t sleep around. After leaving the EB, I was looking for validation, love and understanding. I did not know anyone else who had left for many years, and made some poor decisions around men, whom I had never had any normal interaction with. It was a steep learning curve. I wanted to be important to someone and was taken advantage of by some men, not all.

Who is the one person who changed your life the most?

Myself and animals. They give unconditional love.

What is the biggest lesson(s) you’ve learnt since starting your new life?

Get out there and do stuff, nothing comes to you, you have to give life a try and if it doesn’t work, try something else.

What are you most passionate/grateful about being able to do now as a woman that you couldn’t do before?

Education, Nurse and then Midwifery training. Dog and Cat breeding and showing.

If you have a motivational song what is it?

Reach by S Club 7

What is most important for your mental health?

Interaction with friends, family and nature.


What in your life gave you courage?

My children saved me when I left the EB. Not sure what I would have don’t if I didn’t have them to keep going for.

What ignites your sense of injustice?

Racism, hatred, unfairness, poverty.

What’s the greatest gift we can give ourselves?

Love and accept yourself.

What’s the greatest gift we can give each other?

Love and acceptance of differences.


Thank you, dear veteran, your insights will I'm sure be very helpful to others in similar situations. Hindsight is a wonderful thing.


#IWD2021 #girllegends #internationalwomensday2021



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