Bear with me as I reflect on some out of the way things here, like the connection between Daytona and God. I’m still unsure which led me to which, but here I am, borderline homeless in Daytona (defined soon) and wondering why after such fervent prayer, life keeps throwing me one backhand after another just trying to knock me down – which, admittedly, it has a few times in the past five months – and keep me from getting back up.
After losing my job in January 2013 due to the death of the owner of the company and subsequent company closure, I spend the next 8 months looking desperately for work that would pay enough to cover my basic expenses: rent, utilities, transportation, food… I’d taken a couple temp jobs in that time frame because they were all that were offered, but it was still nowhere near enough to cover even rent. After my tax return had run out, rent of course fell behind. I had given up numerous comforts (if you can consider a proper diet and asthma/heart medication comforts) in order to start paying a little over each week on my rent to catch up. By August, I was essentially destitute. Knowing I couldn’t continue to pay rent, I gave my landlord 2 weeks notice and moved in with the man next door for a couple weeks. That turned out to be a nightmare, as he was an ex felon and was extremely controlling and cruel. He was also just plain disgusting as a person. His treatment of me made living there unbearable and so I got out before I got into a situation that I wouldn’t be able to escape.
In September, someone I used to date back in 2010 contacted me from Daytona and offered to let me move in there. It took a lot of very difficult decision making as this would put me 3 hours away from my daughter of whom I have shared custody. Seeing her 4 days a week would then mean seeing her only once every 4-8 weeks due to miles, gas, funds, etc. Without work and without a place to live however, I had to make the decision to relocate to try to get back on my feet. You may as well have ripped my heart out of my chest and taken my last breath away because that’s what it felt like as I started heading to Daytona without my baby girl. There was no work, unemployment had run out, my tax return and savings had run out, and I was without shelter. What else could I do?
I get to Daytona and just as I arrive at the house, I find out the water has been shut off. Not a good omen. Ex is scrambling to find the funds and we are out of water for days. It goes ok after that for a couple months, I learn my way around town but never quite feel welcomed. These people have a completely different set of ethics (or lack thereof) from the way I am. I find work within a week of arriving, but instead of being helped to get on my feet as was promised, I end up financially supporting a household of seven people, sometimes in full, on bills, food, gas, cigarettes, personal supplies, household supplies… The ex… he makes a decent sum of money, netting far more than I ever have in a month, but spends it all as soon as it comes in. As many times as I asked him to sit down and create a household budget with me, he changed the subject. Soon, the money I was making was running out, leaving me with nothing at the end of the week for having to support everyone but myself. That’s December, about the time his whole personality changed. He began to withdraw, to push me away, then one of his own exes came back into his life. He stopped coming to bed, started staying up all night on the phone with her, spent nights out (taking personal supplies that made it obvious it was a planned “sleepover”), and started becoming emotionally abusive. Then mentally abusive, eventually moving into screaming, cussing, threatening and being all out vicious toward me. At that point, I was scared as I’d been through this before and each time it only escalated. This man was becoming completely unraveled and was getting progressively and rapidly worse.
Come January, he’d left me for the third time. The final time he broke up with me, he did so online without telling me, then told me finally and had the nerve to immediately ask me for gas money. Upon refusing to give it to him because – well – he’d just left me, he threw me out, first with 30 days notice, then with 3 days notice. I came and went, sleeping where I could but the room he had just haphazardly thrown my few remaining belongings into was unlivable – it is a storage room, full of junk and mold, there is no door, no privacy, no bed, only a bare box spring, and a filthy couch that made me sick to sleep on one night. I felt like an unwanted dog being banished to a filthy kennel, only I think he’d have treated a dog better than he was treating me.
My dad being my angel, he ended up providing a clean, safe place while I looked feverishly for a roommate but Friday will be my last night there. In the interim, a woman I’ve known for several years and used to work with ended up offering a room to me with her in Sebastian. We talked about it, sorted out the details, and I was to move in with her this coming Saturday, the 8th. Trusting that my friend was acting honorably, I gave my daughter the good news that I would only be 45 minutes from her now instead of the impossible 3 hours and that I’d get to see her every week like normal again. She was ecstatic, as was I as we miss each other terribly. Well I don’t know what happened, but 3 days before I was supposed to move in with her, I noticed she’d deleted me from Facebook. I called, no answer. I texted, no response. An hour later, I tried to go to her page to message her and it turns out she had blocked me. There was NO warning or reason as to any of this. I left her several voice mails yesterday and still no response, so my dearest William sent her a message on my behalf asking her what was going on and still has not heard back.
Still have no idea why a friend of several years who so happily offered to have me move in with her, saying I’d done so much for her over the years, would – without any warning – delete me from Facebook, block me, refuse to answer her phone, return a text or a voice mail. Why would someone do that? She knew what I had at stake. She knew I’d already told my daughter that I was moving back to the area, she even offered to come up to Daytona to help me bring some of my things down. The last conversation we had, she gave me the new address and we were making plans for the move this coming Saturday. It was all a go and she said she was happy to help, that I owed her nothing. I would really love to know what is behind all this, why someone who was always so sweet would out of the blue do this to me. Does anyone have any insight to offer as to why someone would do that?
So thank God I did not turn in my resignation at work, as I would have had to do had this move gone through. Something stopped me from doing it, “Just in case.” I returned to my search for a roommate and happened to call on a listing last night for a room for rent in the area… a little more than I was budgeting, but I will have to work something out if it goes through. I spoke with the homeowner last night for a solid hour and she was very friendly, an older lady, who really seemed to resonate with me. In exchange for helping her around the house, she offered to drop the deposit and pay for half the internet that I would be transferring over. I will be meeting with her tonight and am praying to God that everything works out and I can move in Saturday. At this point, I have no other options so if anyone reading this would please join me in that prayer that I find a place to move into this Saturday, between my faith and your intercession, God can do some amazing things.
The other question bothering me so much is why does God continue to test my faith by allowing me to come into worse and worse situations? I mean I have lost everything over the past 18 months, including access to my child who is the single most important person in my life. I’d go as far as to say she IS my life. Every time I have prayed on this, I have received the same answer: “I do this to draw you nearer to me. If you see that I can raise you from nothing, then you will have everything.” But how much more pain and loss can I take? I realize God knows my limits, but life has become unbearable far too often, especially in the past five months. In RCIA, they discuss depth of faith often. It’s so difficult to have faith when all you’re doing is futile even down to your most basic needs being stripped away and the longer it takes to get an answer – or see a miracle – the further that faith sinks. This becomes a vicious cycle as God detests the lack of faith and puts the person in an even lower situation, pressing the faith to return. It’s a Catch 22 – how does it stop? As life – and faith – elude me, I will leave off here, hoping some answers come in the way of a safe place to live with my meeting of this seemingly nice woman tonight. Thank you for listening, and please – keep me in your prayers.
This past Tuesday, someone very close to me sent me the following text:
“No idea what’s going on but Clackamas Town Center is literally surrounded by police w/medical and fire on hand en masse.” 4:02 PM PST Dec 11
He was right there, trying to get through the chaos, texting me as it happened:
“Units still arriving, all agencies, well over 100.” 4:03 PM PST Dec 11
I’m pacing at this point, wondering what the hell is happening. He’s in Oregon City, I’m 3500 miles away in Florida and helpless to do anything to follow my first instinct to get him out of there (not that he’d have needed my help, that’s just the way I am). Dreading what I’d see, I turned on the news…
This was hitting way too close to home as someone I love was THERE.
Then Friday… Newtown, CT… I could not believe what I was hearing as I was listening to the reports coming in on NPR. As the count rose of all the children senselessly taken from this quiet community at a place where they are supposed to be safe, all I could think of was my daughter. She was at school here and at that moment all I wanted to do was hold her, protect her, from anything and everything. But that’s impossible.
We are coming into a time where people are becoming so desperate that they are more and more often resorting to more violent means of crying out for help, for getting their points across. Only two emotions can remain after such attacks in our own communities: Anger and Fear. The anger will only progress into rage and more calculated killings. The fear can only drive innocent people away from public places, into their homes afraid to go out in public anymore. No place is immune from someone snapping and opening fire. Temples, churches, schools, malls… I think if we really come together as communities and pay attention to what is happening around us, pay attention to the signs that others are giving, we may be able to prevent some future attacks from occurring. If we can catch warning signs earlier that someone is hurting, perhaps we can direct them to help, or get help to them. I don’t know – I don’t think anyone does. There is no one solution to the growing problem and definitely no easy one. I do think however we can all start by caring a little more, reaching out, pulling together. We are our brothers’ keepers.
4 years ago, my daughter’s father filed for divorce in order to be with his 3 or 4 girlfriends without my “complaining” about his abuse and cheating, and my daughter, now 6, still hasn’t recovered.
It’s easier just to post the chat in… I was catching up with my confidant. He’s a dad, he’s like my adoptive dad, and he has been following the situation closely since I can remember, always looking for ways he can help.
[19:08] Me: oh i haven’t spoken with you since yesterday huh
[19:09] Me: got a voice mail last night that i was not happy about
[19:09] EL: oh?
[19:09] Me: and it didn’t show up til about 6 hours after it was left
[19:10] Me: kari’s dad called me, telling me she had an “episode” at school
[19:10] Me: kicking, screaming, crying that she wanted me, refused to go with her father when he picked her up (it’s his weekend)
[19:11] Me: they ended up in the nurse and then the principal’s office, had to call nikki down there (the stepmom) to calm her down because she *refused* to go home with scott
[19:11] Me: THEY DIDN’T BOTHER CALLING ME NOOOOOO
[19:11] Me: she kept screaming that she didn’t want to go with him
[19:12] Me: monday morning when i dropped her off at his house, i told her “your dad has you next weekend, but i’ll see you after that”
[19:12] Me: so it’s not like she didn’t know, and he said “will you please let your child know that i AM entitled to one weekend a month…”
[19:13] Me: now kari knows the schedule, we’ve talked about it thoroughly many times, she’s even showed me her mom-time and dad-time on the calendar, so she does understand
[19:13] EL: he said “your child”
[19:13] Me: yes, he did
[19:13] Me: is on my voice mail
[19:13] EL: she is yours you know.
[19:14] Me: oh i know it
[19:14] EL: always will be.
[19:14] Me: and up til now she’s dealt with it pretty well. she doesn’t like it, but she’s accepted it
[19:15] Me: everybody was already in bed by the time i got the voice mail come through, it was almost midnight, but i told him to have kari call me in the morning (today) if she was still upset
[19:15] Me: they never called
[19:16] Me: you’re a dad, what do you make of it?
[19:17] Me: (and a quite awesome one if i do say so myself)
[19:19] EL: kids get ideas in their heads sometimes that don’t make sense to adults
[19:19] EL: i bet they didn’t call today cause she was totally fine.
[19:19] Me: it’s not the first time she hasn’t wanted to go to him though, and fought over it
[19:20] Me: talking about him, she’s never happy
[19:20] Me: am i over-worrying?
[19:22] EL: i can’t tell you that – i’m not there to see how she is.
[19:23] Me: unfortunately neither am i
[19:23] EL: you will have to use your best judgement – maybe not do anything just yet, but pay attention.
[19:24] Me: next time i pick her up i am definitely going to take her aside for a heart-to-heart and see what’s going on in that little head
[19:27] EL: yeah – but make sure it’s light – kids will tell you what they think you want to hear.
[19:27] EL: don’t let her suspect you have any animosity towards scott.
[19:36] Me: never do
[19:37] Me: although she’s been here when he’s called me cussing me out
[19:37] EL: well you can’t stop her making her own judgements, but you have to not be obviously trying to influence them
[19:37] Me: and idk kari’s been pretty damned honest and open with me ever since i can remember
[19:38] Me: most important thing is she knows she can trust me and she knows i don’t judge her, so that has kept her very open when we talk
[19:39] Me: i am pissed that they didn’t try to get a hold of me sooner though, i would have gone down to the school
[19:39] Me: but the voice mail was stamped 6:00 and she gets picked up at 4
[19:40] Me: hell with that the *school* should have called me
[19:40] EL: yes they should have
[19:45] Me: i think i need a hug
[19:47] EL: yeah – sending one your way
[19:47] EL: and…… >:D<
[19:48] Me: 🙂 ur so sweet
Yes, I ramble when I’m venting….
My Daddycat is Home!!!!!
Dylan finally arrived in my arms on December 29th at 2 a.m. after 2 days on a bus with countless delays and OMG. Christmas may have been a few days late this year but Kari and I couldn’t have gotten a better gift than that big family hug after he hurried over weighed down with luggage, smile and eyes lit up like they were.
Well we have been running nonstop with Kari which is the main reason I haven’t been online in a week. We’ve also been catching up and spending every waking moment together until work and school starts back on the 5th. He brought with him a beautiful lapis and silver ring that was made for the occasion, and we finalized and sealed our custom-written handfasting on the 1st, under the stars with our guardians watching over us as faces in the clouds – and the wind didn’t even blow out the candle until we released the guardians. (I know I just lost like 80% of the people reading this like “the who? wha?”) So we start the New Year with a bind, a deep-rooted promise, the protection of our Guardians, and the Universe being witness to our love and intent.
Also yesterday since my mom has no computer, we printed off about 5 dozen pictures to mail down to her. She’s a bit in disbelief herself. Can’t blame her, I was too. Not only at him making it back down, but as she put it, “I thought you were never getting married again?” Yeah well… The handfasting came in October… the final binds came last night… the legalities come soon enough. We need to wait a bit on that because he may need to return to NJ to do one more semester on his degree — I hope to god not, I will DIE if I have to be away from him any more. Honestly, it will not be pretty. Me + alone = BAD. I will lose it. But — hopefully things will work out and it can be finished here. I don’t want to think about it… no more time apart… can’t take it.
For some reason Beyonce is *still* running through my head… song… stuck… can’t… get… it… out… “If ya like it then ya shoulda put a ring on it… If ya like it then ya shoulda put a ring on it…” OK I’m good now. Musical tourettes.
Ah, I hear shifting in the back… at least one of my sleepy kitties must finally be up >^..^<