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"Cowgirl Stories" Series

To all my cowgirls; You are loved, you are beautiful, and you are badass.

- Bree Morgan

Below you'll find the stories of some badass women. No more needs to be said.. read on.

Anonymous

She was extremely drunk, she couldn't stand..

I was born in the winter of 2004 in a small town in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. It’s a cute place, with very pretty sunsets and backroads to drive for hours on end, not such a good place for mental health. When I was 15, Covid had just begun. My mental health took a turn. I have been struggling with ADHD since elementary school and I’ve been struggling with depression since 6th grade. I got medicated in November of 2018 for my depression after a couple tough losses in the family, and that was my reasoning that I told my parents. Because, well, how exactly do you tell your parents they’re the reason you think and have the feelings you do? When Covid started, I was continuing to see my doctor, once every 3 months, for my med checkups. Over the summer of 2020, I was going every few weeks and what did my doctor do each time? Change my prescription. She never thought of referring me to a psychiatrist or a therapist. I only started seeing a therapist after I got into an argument with my parents and told them “I would rather kill myself than live under your roof and supervision”. There is more to that story, but I try my best to block out that memory.

I spent that summer with my aunt and uncle. They basically adopted me that summer. They drove me to appointments, work (which was 20 minutes away), and to friends’ houses.

 

My mental health plateaued and I was doing okay. Fast forward to June 2021, it was the week of my final exams for my sophomore year andvI was already nervous. That week, my parents found out that I was vaping. They took it away and I went through withdrawals, very badly. I got into an argument and my mom took my phone. She then came back into my room while I was  still angry and I asked her to leave because I was overwhelmed. I told her to take my phone and get out. She continued to taunt me with my phone and I grabbed my phone out of her hands and she threw me to the floor and pinned me down. My parents are bad alcoholics and she was extremely drunk, she couldn’t stand up straight, walk normally, and she was slurring her words. She pinned me to the ground while I screamed and cried and kicked and fought. Not because I was going crazy, because I was having my first true anxiety attack. I didn’t know what was really happening in my head. I was scared for myself. I was sweating even though it was 50° in my house and I was in a tank top and shorts. I ended up kicking a hole in my wall. 

 

My dad called the cops and said I was going insane and I needed to be taken away. The cops came, the same cop that had to interview my younger brother when he said he had been sexually assulted by our cousin. I sat in the car, outside, in the rain, with my blankie, and I started to calm down. I was away from them and I started to relax. 

 

The next day after that, I started talking to my now boyfriend. We have been together for almost 9 months now and I truly believe we met at the right time. Someone or something knew I needed him and put him with me. I now have a random picture of us taped to my wall over a big hole from that night. 

 

I want my story to be shared because after the rain, there really is a rainbow. My life is still nowhere near perfect, but I know for a fact I would likely be in a worse place had I not met him.

 

The song “Dear Cowgirl” couldn’t have been released at a more perfect time. My life has hit a plateau. Wake up, go to school, go to work, go home, repeat. I would find myself crying because it’s boring and I just think of how this will be my life. Only, work will replace school. I would find myself worrying that I won’t be successful. 

 

I heard “Dear Cowgirl” for the first time about a week ago, and it changed my whole mindset. I realized I don’t have to be successful in the eyes of others, I can do whatever make me happy and call it a success in my book. I stopped worrying so much.

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Katie

All while battling cancer..

This story was submitted by another strong woman on Katie's behalf. 

 

Katie was diagnosed with a form of cancer in which she needed stem cells from a matching donor to save her life. Her sister Geena, who she also ran a business with, selflessly stepped forward and began the process to become a donor for her sister.

 

All while battling cancer, Katie kept a smile on her face, took care of her daughters, and her business, many times from the hospital she needed to be at to stay alive. 

 

Once Geena was able to donate her stem cells, Katies recovery was slow, but on the upswing. She began to take her medications orally, and was then soon released from the hospital!

 

Katie is now in remission and is checked frequently for any signs of the cancer coming back. 

 

Marie wanted to share Katie’s story as she thinks back often on how strong of a woman Katie was and still is to this day.

Little Anonymous

I was being bullied..

This story is anonymous, but comes from one of my younger fans. She and I had a long conversation about her story, and she bravely shared her journal of her hard time with me.

 

It’s important to remember that kids deal with hardships as well. I feel as though sometimes as adults, we write off children’s emotions as a “bad day” or “over reactions”, but they are just little humans learning to navigate this world as well. 

 

Thankfully in this case, the family of this little girl is beyond supportive, understanding, and listens to their kids. 

 

“Cowgirl Stories” - Little Anonymous

 

In the beginning of this school year, I was being bullied. It was getting so bad, I had thoughts of suicide. I was being called names relentlessly, my principal and vice principal were involved and it was very hard for me. 

 

At first, I would tell a teacher about it, but as the other kids wouldn’t stop, and it got worse every time I told someone, I started to not want to talk about it with anyone. 

 

My teachers and principals though were very kind to me, and kept helping me everytime something would happen.

 

“When your song came out, it made me feel like i'm not alone.” - Little Anonymous

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Marie

When I was first diagnosed, I was scared..

I am a mom of 3 and I am living proof you can live life everyday with 2 Aneurysms, one in each Carotid artery. I was married to the man of my life in October of 2019 and in January 2020 I was in the hospital with neck and ear pain and they found them. One is calcified and the other one is stable. I don’t share this with just anyone. When first diagnosed I was scared but since then I decided to give back and I got my Emr license and am currently working on my Emt license. I love giving back and everyday I live life to the fullest and try to help my community whenever  there is a call.

Amy

Eventually he got arrested for assaulting another girl..

What made me the strong person I am today is because of what I went through in my past. It first started when I was 10 years old. I had to identify the car and blanket that was used in my sisters murder. She was 11 years old when it happened and her and I both were in that car the night before it all happened ( Valentine’s Day 1991). A tragic event my family will never forget. 

 

Then fast forward to when I was 15 and I met a man who repeatedly beat me and sexually assaulted me. I got pregnant at 16 and had his baby when I was 17. Too scared to go to the police as I was threatened if I did, I lived with the abuse and shame thinking it was MY FAULT and I kept it hidden from my family. The man who did this to me was 22 years old when it started, He had punched me in the stomach and told me he didn't want any more children. I had my son anyway, it wasn't his fault and he didn't ask to be born. This man sexually and physically assulted me for 2.5 years with more horrific details to graphic to share.

 

 This man eventually got arrested for assaulting another girl (a cops niece) and got 5 years out of it, while I still felt forced to keep shut. 

 

23 years later, the DA in California contacted me and subpoenaed me into court in Cali to testify. My first time flying, not ever wanting to see that monster again, and being forced to go, I was so scared; Not sleeping the entire 3 days I was in CA. I got up on that stand with my body trembling with fear of looking at that man. 

 

I finally got to tell my story. 

 

My only regret is what he had put his then wife and daughter through before this trail. If I wasn't a scared, beaten down 17 yr old who could have told her story sooner I could have saved this other woman and her daughter the pain and suffering I felt. 

 

I'm a STRONG woman who will never allow another to treat me that way.

 

                                  Sincerely, 

                                      Amy

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Kristy

...I THOUGHT I found happiness again...

My story started back when I was 6 years old. I had a foster brother that I adored and looked up to, until he started sexually molesting me at the age of 6 and continued until I was 8. I only told close friends cuz being young I thought I did something wrong, that it was my fault. All my friends kept my secret until the 8th grade. I could not control my emotions anymore and broke down in school. Due to the time that had passed, it was my word against his. He got away with it.

 

Fast forward a bit.....I met and married a wonderful man and had some kids. However my happy life got side tracked again. My husband and I went through what no parent should ever have to face, not once but twice. In 2007 I lost our baby half way through my pregnancy. We had just found out we were having a boy, we named him Austin Joe. Then on Dec 6th, 2008 we lost our 2nd son, full term at birth. It crushed us both!!! We did good supporting eachother emotionally at first but the loss of 2 sons took a toll on our marriage and we separated. 

 

I moved in with a long time friend, and after a while it turned romantic. I THOUGHT I found happiness again. That I could start trying to find myself again. I WAS WRONG!!! He started getting extremely controlling. One morning he got mad at me and threw me across the livingroom.  I was able to get out and get help. I am still going through court for what he did to me.

 

I am finally back home with my husband and kids. We are all seeking counseling and getting the help we need. I am truly on my way back to happy and finding who I am once again. 

"Nurse Nancy"

..I spent my time drowning my tears in alcohol...

My story has taken me 10 years to write. I am a domestic abuse survivor. By the time I was 22 I had no money, I was in crippling debt, I was about to flunk out of college for the second time, I had estranged myself from my family, and I was in a toxic and abusive relationship. I spent my time drowning my tears in alcohol, mourning my life while the man I thought I loved abused drugs and me.


After my ex was put in jail, I was able to collect what remnants of myself I had left and reevaluate my life. I went through a lot of pain, therapy, and self discovery in the years that followed. I went back to school and became a surgical technologist and am now on my way to graduating with my nursing degree. I have learned how important self love is and have realized the strength that lies inside me. I have come a long ways and I am looking forward to the future.

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To Kelly, 
Love your daughter, Amanda

My mom often worked two jobs to help keep food on the table..

When I think of the definition of a bad ass cowgirl, I can’t help but think of my mom, Kelly. My mom has to be one of the baddest bitches I know. Plain and simple. 

 

Growing up, the one thing that sticks out to me is how much fun my mom always had. She was constantly the life of the party, with the biggest smile and no doubt the loudest cackle around. My mom was and still is, one of the first people you notice as soon as you walk into any room. We were very fortunate when my parents were married as kids. We went camping all the time. We were able to start out in a tent, then to pop up, then to a nice travel trailer going up to Castle Rock Lake and on the boat every weekend. My mom taught me how to ski (kinda, I could only do it when the ski’s were tied together), knee board, and death grip onto the tube while my dad whipped us around trying to throw us off. She was always laughing at us kids on the boat with a bandana on sipping a bud light. When we weren't doing that, we were always getting down and dirty on the ATV’s.  I remember my mom being one of the only females willing to go through the mud pit to get her hair just filthy. That’s how I knew, it was always okay to show up the men at their own games. 

 

While we had some really great time, eventually things weren't so great. My mom soon often worked 2 jobs to help keep food on the table while we struggled financially throughout parts of my childhood, especially when my parents got divorced. My mom was my saving grace. She always said everything would be okay, and she always kept her promise. We ate a lot of noodles with butter and milk or spaghetti because it was the most food that she could make for the cheapest amount of money. She always made sure my sister and I were fed before she even thought about eating. Like I said, a saving grace. 

 

However, things didn’t get easier right away. My dad went to jail and my mom was doing it all on her own. Let me tell you. SHE DID IT. It sure wasn’t easy, and the women does not like to ask for help. She had two extremely emotional daughters who just wanted answers, and at a time she wanted to have all the answers for us, she couldn’t find the answers to put our minds at ease. Somehow some way, she got us through it all. Never let us see her struggle once, that couldn’t have been easy. 

 

Then things got easier. We started growing up and our mom started becoming more and more out best friend. We gained two new very important family members, Jake and Emma, and I couldn’t imagine my life without them. They bring so much love and happiness and a huge family with them, I couldn’t be more thankful. 

 

To my Mom, I just want to say thank you. From the bottom of my heart for being the bad ass cowgirl mom my entire life. I know it couldn’t have been easy with my emotions and my attitude, but somehow you did it. Now your babies all grown up and doing her best to be half the woman you are. I love you 1 million m&ms.

Samantha

...the man who claimed to love me...told me it was all in my head, and my fault..

I mean where do I start…I’ve been a cowgirl since the beginning. My mom (she taught me how to be a cowgirl) had many problems carrying pregnancy to term, and even had a still born before me, so let’s face it…the odds have been stacked against me since day one. But like true cowgirl fashion, I SURVIVED….and have been “cowgirl(ing) up” since then. 

So now where do I go, at 31 I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis, and honestly didn’t truly understand what that meant. 4 years later I had to give up my career…my passion in life, I physically could not do it anymore. Did I mention RA medications are some of the worst medications out there??!!

Meanwhile the man that claimed to love me forever and in sickness and in health (I believe that’s how the vows went), told me it was all in my head and that it was essentially all my fault. I had no support, from the one person that claimed to love me through everything.  Simultaneously, our barely one year marriage is failing. Drinking, and making me feel like the most worthless person in the universe became his priority. Ohhhhh also, while trying to cope with Rheumatoid Arthritis (which is physically debilitating at times) and work a full time job…I was also expected to to clean the house and have dinner ready (for him not to eat because you know…you get drunk slower in a full stomach). One night he crossed the line, and put his hands on me for the first, last and only time…THAT WAS IT FOR THIS COWGIRL, I left and never looked back. Looks like it was time for me to cowgirl up again!! I Moved in with my parents at 35…let me tell you, this cowgirl has the best people in her corner!!! We can’t survive alone, where does my strength come from…OTHER STRONG WOMEN!!!

I have since been able to move out of my parents house…but no lie, I’m still trying to figure out life. My Rheumatoid has taken me for quite the ride the past 4 months (worse than ever before). I have lost employment, had to swallow my pride to ask for help…but I’ve become more humble than ever. I am beyond grateful for my good days, and I reach out to my fellow  cowgirls in my bad ones. For me my story reflects that a cowgirls work is never done…every single day is a struggle, but I put on my badass pants and survive each and every day…Like the cowgirl I was raised to be!!
THANK YOU MOM AND DAD!!! 

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Anonymous

People who were supposed to be there for me, I felt were not..

This song hit home at a time in my life where I second guess things. A proud mom of two. I have watched them have great days and horrible days. I have been their rock when they needed me and have stepped aside when they wanted me. You try and protect them but at times you wish you could take all their pain and suffering away just for them to be happy.

Many times I hear "you are so strong" or "you have such a big heart." I am very proud of that, but I also wish that people would remember that sometimes this big heart can be broken or this strong person can be weak and hurting. I am the strong one with the smile that always makes sure everyone is ok. Working always more than one job for my family to have everything they need or want. The days where I am exhausted but just keep going.

 

This song, "Dear Cowgirl", is a new reminder to me that I can keep going and the times I don’t feel beautiful to remember all what I have done and overcome and that I can achieve so much more. 

This is a daily reminder I can get through anything!

Alli

By 2013, I was spiraling out of control...

I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety when i was 8 years old. It was tough, but the hard stuff was just ahead. In 2012 I lost both my grandparents, who were my entire world. I started acting out and hanging with the wrong crowd. 

 

By 2013, I was spiraling out of control. Things got better for some years, but in 2017, I was in an apartment complex fire that scared me to my core. I began having panic attacks and my anxiety was out of control. I took leave from my job and got into an intensive out patient treatment program. 

 

I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t fight it at first. I wanted to die. Instead i fought hard. I tried every medicine, along with its side effects. 

 

One day I woke up differently. Sun was shining and I felt okay. 

 

I still work on my mental health every day. It never ends, but it does get better. These days I’m managing myself with medication and therapy. I’m getting married to the love of my life. I have two amazing dogs And a life worth living. 

 

I’m living proof that it will get better.

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Anonymous

People who were supposed to be there for me, I felt were not..

There were so many people in my life that have caused me physical and emotional harm.  People who were supposed to be there for me, I felt were not. 

 

I was sexually assaulted by two men who were suppose to be protectors from they harm they caused me, and I have been called a liar about this my whole.  The comfort I needed during these times were not there.  I had a sister but she just as soon wished for me to die. 

 

I met men and then married them, who treated me just as poorly has everyone else.  Went my entire life pretty much feeling that I deserved the bad things happening. 

 

I had a high school sweetheart for three years and that is the only time I ever remember being happy.  Many, many, many years later we reconnected, and we married and I am truly happy now. 

 

I found my faith again in Christ.  I didn’t understand why God was letting the things that happened to me happen, but he has a plan for me.  I truly believe the plan was to teach me strength. 

 

To my husband and daughters, I am the strongest woman they know.  Nothing can stop this badass woman!

Alyssa

When the venue opened the curtain, and my husband and I were introduced for the second time...

March 13th, 2021

My wedding day. The day that I spent countless hours preparing the decorations, the menu, the music, the tiny details that no one ever noticed and the timeline down to the last minute in hopes of the most seamless day. What I did not focus enough time on was my guest list. Prior to my wedding, I believed that blood relatives were family and that family must be invited. It quickly dawned on me that many of our guests had not met the man I married prior to our wedding... and at that point, we were together for 5 years. I thought I was doing the right thing.

Doing the “right thing” was the one thing I did wrong. I quickly found out right before dinner when I snuck away for a bathroom break and I was approached by a guest telling me she had to leave because of a disagreement at her dinner table. I was rather confused since she was sitting at a table with her husband and his children, but I said my goodbyes. On my way back to the head table, my husband met me where I was stopped by the table that she left from. I thought it would be a perfect opportunity for my relatives to meet my husband for the first time.

After attempting to peacefully sort out the disagreement which was actually an altercation, my husband politely asked for their departure. In the blink of an eye, I saw the guest pull his arm back to punch my husband in the face as I fell backwards as if my feet were swept out from under me. The beautifully decorated tables went flying and guests were knocked off their chairs. My husband’s best man hovered over the top of me trying to protect me from the stampede of people till I was scooped up off the floor and taken to the bridal suit.

The day I spent 2 years preparing for was ruined.

I could not begin to describe the pain. I didn't know if it was my head from hitting the concrete floor (which ended up being a concussion that I was out of work for 3 weeks with), my wedding ring finger from losing the entire nail bed (which did not grow back for several months), my eyes from crying so hard or the emotional pain of what just happened. How could my family do this to me? I thought I was doing the right thing? At this point, there was blood on my dress, my broach was ripped out of my hair, the strap of my dress was ripped off, I could not see through my contacts from crying and my fake eyelashes were on my cheeks. I felt like I was picked up by a tornado and survived, barely.

There was no way I was going back out in front of 350 people.

I came to realize, there was no way I was NOT going back out with what was now, 340 guests that traveled to celebrate my husband and I. Why would I let someone that I have been trying to prove myself to for so long consume anymore of my time? Why would I allow myself to let him take away the rest of one of the best days of my life? I took my contacts out, took my makeup off, threw my hair in a messy bun and quickly put everything that just happened on the back burner.

When the venue opened the curtain and my husband and I were introduced for the second time, I felt a sense of relief knowing that the people surrounding us were family even if they were not related to us. It was unfortunate that something so tragic had to happen for me to realize that it was time to let go of the idea of “family” that I had in my head. 

Blood does not define family.

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Mandy 

What's my story.. It's a long one, but lets start at the beginning...

What is my story?  It’s a long one, but worth the read I think. Where to start?  I’ve always been strong, not because I wanted to be, but because I had to be!  I’ve also never been super religious but I’ve definitely had my fair share of miracles. So if there isn’t a God, I can’t explain why I’m still here. 

As a child I had my normal broken bones and life dramas. I was in a car accident that should’ve killed me, I had 6 different surgeries for retina detachments, I actually got ran over by a car sledding in the street and I fell through the ice playing on the lake.  I grew up back when kids actually played outside.

 

I got married at 21 and we had 3 beautiful kids. I started my own business, and went to school, getting a visual communication degree and then bachelors in psychology.  Life was great!  I was spiritually, financially and emotionally healthy!  At the age of 33, I was told I had uterus cancer. I went through a total hysterectomy, chemotherapy and radiation. I had 3 kids under the age of 10 and I was bound to beat cancer. I did!  

 

After my cancer scare I decided it was time to get healthy. Again not just for myself but also for my family. You see, over the years I had always battled my weight. I was a chunky kid that turned into a fat adult. I also found out that I had diabetes. My highest weight was 550 pounds.. well actually it was more then that, but the small town doctor's office scale maxed out at 550.  I decided I would have gastric bypass surgery and learn to eat different. After 9 months of a liquid diet, monitored through my clinic, I lost about 150 pounds. I went into surgery weighting 427 pounds. While in surgery the doctor found that I had too much scar tissue from the hysterectomy, so couldn’t do the surgery. Talk about being heart broken. However, they said they could just make my stomach smaller and so a month later I went back into surgery. Today I’m proud to say I’m 327 pounds, which is still very overweight but also still working on my health.

 

You’d think my story would end there; No, not mine. A side effect from my chemo, radiation and losing parts of my stomach that absorbs vitamins, I lost my vision. I mean, in the matter of 6 months, I could tell my vision was getting worse but I of course pushed it off as stress from work and life. Until one morning I woke up and literally couldn’t see. My vision was 4 feet. The eye doctor told me there was nothing they could do. I gave up my job, obviously gave up my drivers license, and honestly went into a depression. My kids now are 13, 12 & 10.  I was forced to rely on everyone for what seemed like everything. We lived 3 miles outside of Milton and I was stuck. Did I forget to tell you all 3 of my children are considered special needs? Both my boys are on the autism spectrum and my daughter has epilepsy. During this time we were trying to figure out why my daughter kept having seizures. We had to start online schooling because I couldn’t transport to school, my husband had to work, and our family lived to far away to help. This, on top of my vision, financial stress from giving up my job, and just having teenagers, was way too much for anyone to take. But I did! 

 

What comes next I still can’t believe happened... My loving husband of almost 20 years left. He said we grew apart, but honestly he left me for a girl 20 years younger. He had been seeing her for 3 years without me knowing. It’s easy to have a double life when your wife is trapped at home in the country. I will take half the blame, I know I couldn’t have been easy to live with and I was obviously very gullible, But it’s how he left. He just left me and the kids and moved in with her 2 hours away. He literally started over with a 25 year old!  That hurt!  

 

Now I’m stuck in country with 3 kids and None of us could drive. I scrambled and found a cute little house on the bus route in Janesville. I was forced way out of my comfort level and I had to learn the bus system with very limited vision. I had to rely on my kids to help me. We all grew up very quickly. I look back and know I put way to much pressure on my daughter in particular. She had to help me but also her brothers. My kids are now 15, 14 & 12. We made it!  I filed for divorce. He married her 10 months later. Yes they are still married. She can have him. I have the best part of him, my kids! 

 

I found a church within walking distance and made some new friends. I got my kids registered in school and they excelled. My daughter was even a cheerleader.

 

You’d think the story's over. Nope!  Here’s my unbelievable miracle!  I woke up one morning and I could see!  No lie, just woke up and vision had returned. I mean I had prayed and prayed to please give me my vision back. But I had also prayed for bad things to happen to my ex and that never did. Lol. We all cope somehow, ya know? I of course went to eye doctor after about a week, as I was waiting for my vision to go away again. Why had it returned??  The eye doctor couldn’t tell me. It was literally a miracle. I was fitted for glasses and can see about 20/60. That’s good enough to drive folks.  

 

I found a job, a very used car, threw away my bus tokens and taught my daughter to drive. I felt so amazing!  I felt so alive. I felt like I could live again!  Today, my kids are 21, 20 and 18 and we made it!  I’m a very single 44 year old grandma. (My daughter had a daughter). I’m working with the disabled as a lead with community support and enjoying life. I’m never taking anything for granted.

 

I truly enjoy watching Bree Morgan sing and tell everyone to go see her. If you see me out, say hi. I’ll probably show you a picture of my granddaughter or my 3 pugs!  - Mandy