Blog Archives

Are You OK?

A while back, I came across a blog entry via Twitter that brought attention to an Australian social campaign called R U OK? It promotes starting conversations to let people know that they are cared about and to help them voice things that are not OK in their lives so that help can be provided before a situation becomes a crisis. It’s a beautifully simple concept really, and one that could realistically save a life.

This morning, I was reminded of this campaign as I was sitting on my front step waking up with a cup of coffee. This is a small community so most people know each other. When a car drove up slowly into my neighbor’s driveway, I noticed it of course but did not think much of it until the door opened and no one got out. The elderly man in the driver’s seat sat there for a few minutes and then put his head down, chin-to-chest, occasionally looking around then putting his head back down for a couple minutes. From this angle, he was acting as I’ve seen people with dementia act when they are confused, not knowing quite where they are or why.

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Alarmed, I got up but he picked his head back up and reached for something in his car. He seemed OK for the moment but I kept watching. After a few minutes of him just sitting there, his head began to sink again, so I went inside to get my phone in case I needed to call anyone. I headed over to his car and quietly asked him, “Are you OK?”

Startled, he jumped and stared at me for a moment before angrily telling me, “I’m napping!” The tone of voice made me take a step back and apologize, telling him I didn’t know if he needed help and I was just checking on him. He nodded then, and turned to put his head back down.

Since this was not anyone who lived there or anyone I had ever seen, I kept watch from my front step for about 10 minutes longer. Finally, he got out of the car and slowly made it to the front door where my neighbors apparently knew him and they helped him in. I apologized for startling him and was thanked with a smile and a wave that communicated to me, “It’s OK.”

Even though everything was OK this time, there may be a time that someone does really need help. The responsibility falls on all of us to be aware of the situations around us and to be proactive, asking even a total stranger… “Are you OK?”

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Desperate Times (Please Share And Help)

Dear Readers, do you feel like being someone’s angel today? Please share everywhere that you can, and please donate if you’re able.  Every little bit helps and it will help put a family in a safe place to live.

Here is the link: http://www.gofundme.com/40gc88

Thank you and God Bless…

A Little Appreciation

How many times have you found yourself saying, “I tried to help them…” in instances where someone you were trying to assist put forth no effort to help themselves?

“SK” seemed like a nice enough man.  Upper 40’s, divorced, and on disability after a nearly fatal motorcycle crash.  He’d moved to the area in an attempt to start his life over, get a change of scenery and get back on his feet.  When the disability money had run out, he secured a job as a salesman but wasn’t very good at the job.  He was computer illiterate, had short term memory problems, and unrealistic expectations of salary.  Within days of starting work, he began tuning out and lost all enthusiasm.

He shared his story with me, venting that he just wanted to get his life back after the divorce, the accident, the vagrancy and the long string of “bad luck” that had befallen him.  Shortly thereafter, he was thrown out of the motel he was living in for dealing drugs on the premises and had moved to another motel.  When he came to me asking for advice and help and telling me he only had $11.00 to his name and no place to go, it sounded as if he was going to be one of those men who just wanted someone to latch onto for support.

I know the type, I’ve ended up with them many times in the past but I thankfully learned from those mistakes and did not let my heart be affected by his attempts.  Instead, I gave him phone numbers and addresses of my landlord who has affordable apartments in the area and who would work with him, of the local outreach center who could provide food, clothing and other basic services, and to other places that could help him with his immediate needs.  I even gave him my personal card letting him know I was available if he needed someone to talk to or to help him find additional assistance.

Well, the day after he was evicted from his motel room, he also lost the job he’d just started.  At that time, I believe he also lost all hope and I felt very sorry for him.  That was until I helped clear out his work area and found that not only had he left behind all the valuable information I’d given him for shelter, food and clothing, even my card – he’d thrown the information in the trash.  Seeing that immediately changed my opinion of him and validated my gut instinct that this person did not want to do anything for himself.  The opportunities he was given received zero effort from him (including the job).

It disgusts me that there are so many good people in the world who try to help others less fortunate by giving them the tools they need to help themselves yet the people they’re trying to help end up completely unappreciative of the help they’re given.  I don’t know if it amounts to laziness, arrogance, selfishness, or all of the above, but these people who only seek to take what they can from others without any effort on their own part are just dirt in my opinion.  They’ve no appreciation for the time and energy others are willing to put into them and do not deserve any sort of welfare or assistance until they are willing to do something for themselves.

That’s my vent for the day.

Cynicism Status Critical

Just not a good day today. Not a good WEEK. Let me start with Tuesday morning. 7:00 in the morning, I go to get my shower and nothing is coming out but brown drippy stuff from the faucet. Lovely. Called the utility company and they sent someone out pretty quickly. Dug up the meter and the lines, and the guy tested the pressure and it was fine. He however broke the line on the property that connects to the meter because it was so corroded and rusted out. The piece of pipe he cut away to replace, he showed me and I am saving it for the landlord (Century 21 of all people). The outside of the pipe is all rusted through, and the inside is so full of rust and corrosion that you cannot even see LIGHT through it. It’s almost completely closed off. That explains my no water pressure since I moved in there 3 years ago. Finally the pipes just gave out.

He patched what he could, and told me it’s actually the property owner’s responsibility. Well, the same thing has been happening for 2 years with my sewer line out front. It has clogged so many times from dirt and roots because it has channel rot and there’s basically no pipe LEFT. Sewage and drain water seeps out into the ground out front, nothing will drain. The tub after a bath takes overnight to go down. The kitchen sink flows out the emergency drain that’s hooked into the side of the house, flowing onto the ground instead of down into the city sewer. Virginia Pines has been told about this for 2 years, both my myself and by the plumbers that keep having to come out, and they refused to do anything about it. Century 21, when they bought the property from Virginia Pines, was also made aware, in writing, by both, and have refused to address it. Can they be sued for this? The place is unlivable.

So this prompted me to rent the first place I could find, the cheapest one at $125 a week. One bedroom, not too bad, still more than I can afford but definitely in a safer area. The landlord however has already made comments about getting me in bed. I have to move in there this weekend, my lease starts Friday.

Finances aside, physically moving is the other issue. I have NO ONE to help me. All the people around here that I have been friends with, all the ones I’ve helped — now that I need honest help because I can’t lift furniture and have nothing to get it to the new place in — nothing but a volley of excuses from them. Some disappear completely. I don’t understand what is wrong with people. They just take and take and when someone needs, they turn their backs.

So basically unless someone comes through to me, I’m going to be without furniture. I might be able to fit the futon mattress in the car if I can fold and roll it but I’m not sure — PT Cruisers are TINY. Computer will be on the floor. Everything will be on the floor. I might could make the hall closet into a makeshift bookshelf, idk. Not like I am rich in towels or linens anyway. I just don’t damn know. All I know is I have never NEVER felt THIS ALONE in my life.

This whole situation has left me very cold, very hard, very cynical, and it’s not a nice place to be in your heart. I am pissed off. I am frustrated. I am struggling. I need physical help. And no one is there. I am reminded again of why I was a hermit for so many years in the 90’s. Because people were just the same back then.

I had to come this week to a very tough realization that I’m not gonna be able to provide any further help for anyone from now on IF IT MEANS that it is taking away from me — my food, my funds, my gas… I have gone without basic things to provide them for others who call themselves friends, and family, and all they have done is taken it and disappeared, even though they have known me for years. Call me selfish, call me a bitch, call me what you will — I can’t be there for you. Not until I am stable on MY OWN FEET. But with no one helping me, I can’t help anyone else.

The only thing I can continue is my counseling of others and those requesting help are coming through my website and owe me nothing. The counseling is just part of my title of Reverend. It’s just what I do when needed.  That aspect of assistance remains professional, anonymous, and without judgement.  Anything else, otherwise…. I just can’t. I have to survive and right now, I’m not.