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.
PerBlog October 19, 2013
After spending the majority of this year out of work and the most recent 2-3 months couch-surfing after I lost my apartment, I am finally starting to get settled in at my new home. It is 2 ½ hours from where I have been for the past decade, but St. Lucie County had just completely run out of opportunities for me. After my old boss passed away and the company closed behind him in January, I simply could not find work that was enough to take care of my basic needs. I’d found temp work here and there, but nothing permanent came through. With my apartment several months behind, that was it. I started another temp job and put my stuff into storage, staying between my car and a neighbor’s house (which quickly became very abusive situation). I approached people that I trusted and no one was willing to let me stay with them until I got back on my feet so without an ounce of help from my friends and no family in the area, I had a choice to make: continue being homeless and unable to care for myself much less my daughter, or make a change in my life.
It’s been a very difficult change to make. 150 miles away, a previous boyfriend was willing to take me in and provide food and shelter while I sought work and recovered my losses. His family (3 kids of his own plus two extended family) has been welcoming and friendly as I try to find work here in a much bigger city and try to adjust, settle in and find my way around. I am still looking for work, but do have some calls coming back for interviews and I am hopeful something will come through soon. I have so much I need to catch up on – vital bills that can NOT be ignored but right now there isn’t a damn thing I can do about them. I’m still trying to come to terms with the fact that I am 2 ½ hours away from my daughter until I find work and get a couple paychecks in to be able to get back for visitation, the fact that my belongings are being auctioned off at storage because I couldn’t pay for it, and the fact that I lost two pets in the process, Topper and Moppit, my cat and my dog. I have very little clothing with me, and only one of my journals – the most recent one – even though I had kept every one of my journals since I started writing them at age 9. I had to leave when I had to leave, and that meant coming up with only what would fit in my car. This is the third time in my life I’ve lost it all. Isn’t it about damn time something other than being shit on becomes permanent in my life?
Well, with nothing to my name, here I am starting over yet again. Praying to God something permanent comes in so I can once again have gas and food (it’s still scarce here in a household of seven), proper clothing, personal bills paid, and a little to live on. After those basics are taken care of, I look forward to being able to fix the A/C in this house, as it’s got a bad circuit board and was 92F inside today and my asthma is suffering BADLY for being stuck in this hot, humid air and I’ve no means to get my medication. Internet would be great too! Right now my only reliable connection is at the library. It’s sad, the things we take for granted when we have them constantly. When not having certain things begins to affect one’s health however, I think there is justification for bitching a bit when trying to change the situation that wasn’t working isn’t itself immediately working. My life has turned upside-down this year and fallen out from under me. It is HARD. Bear with me if I’m angry or depressed or bitter. All that pretty hope and happiness idealism isn’t always possible.
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.