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Darkest before the dawn

I just wanted to send up a prayer request for protection these next two days from a person I have the displeasure of living with. I won’t go into the details out of respect for the privacy of all the people I live with but the son has had a lot of demons to fight and every time he has let them win. Tonight is no different as he seeks to make the most it if his last two days here by the use of chemicals. He was OK for a week or so but the quiet has come to an end and he is again tormenting and threatening everyone in the house. He is capable of anything in this state and I am always scared to be here when he’s like this because he has gotten violent with me. So please, keep me in your intentions this weekend and pray for the safety and peace of all in this household.

Saint Michael, the Archangel, defend us in battle.
Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray and do thou, O prince of the Heavenly Host, by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan and all evil spirits who walk through the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

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Daily Prompt – Money for Nothing?

In response to: Daily Prompt – Money for Nothing

Dream jobs… we all want one. For some, that dream job just means sitting back and collecting on a winning Powerball ticket.  The most joy, I think, comes from the satisfaction of doing work that you love that also pays the bills.  My dream job is not going to be found in any newspaper or on Monster.  It will have to be crafted with hard work and a hefty sum of funds to start – where they would come from is unknown but… prayer does bring miracles, especially when it’s for a good cause.

This is something I’ve been half-heartedly plotting for years – half-heartedly due to not knowing where or how to acquire the funds to start and run it all.  I started by listing three of my main interests that I would love to make my life’s work: animal rescue, social work and a bed and breakfast.  In combining these things, I came up with an idea: An unwanted horse rescue which would be run on a ranch. As part of a ranch, there would be housing. That housing could be used as a battered women’s shelter.  The name: Renewal Ranch.  The organization’s “icon” would be a simple sunrise, signifying each day bringing new light. Something like…

Image

…Without the green screen of course 🙂

Horses are taken in to be cared for. Women are taken in to be cared for. In return for their shelter, the women would get to connect with nature and the horses by helping to care for them.  Both the women and the horses would be safe, sheltered, fed and helped to recover from abuse, neglect and un-want. The joy to me would be in helping everyone involved, give the women a purpose and the horses a second chance. The positive energy would come full circle as the women rehabilitate the horses and the horses help rehabilitate the women. I’m giving myself 9 years to find a way to acquire the funds for this project because I would like to “retire” from the corporate world at 50 and spend the last half of my life (yes, I plan on being around until at least 100!) doing good for some of those most in need.  My dream job – a labour of love.

Two Hours

In response to: The Daily Post: Daily Prompt – Good Fences

In two hours, I will be relocating again.  Not far this time, but also not into the best area.  Today brings another “adventure” of clearing out my car, loading it up, moving belongings, unloading it, trying to organize my life – again.  And the cats… my God the cats hate moving.  There is a dog and two other cats in the new place.  Mine will be kept in my room for the time being as introductions to other animals are usually long and painful.  My big boy, he growls like a dog at anything he senses but can’t see.

Today brings a world without Internet for at least four days, as they can’t come out to connect it until Tuesday night and even then, with everything the house is going through, there might be issues in finding or installing lines and outlets.  I will be connecting minimally through the 4G on my phone and likely transcribing blog posts on the tiny virtual keyboard.  Tonight brings another night of trying to fall asleep in a new place, around new people. It’s sort of like a one-building commune type living situation.  The lady I’m moving in with is nice and she’s gone all out to make a comfortable space for me. Two others live there, her son and another man. I’m not terribly comfortable around men, but she’s given me the only bedroom with a door and a lock on it. The rest of the rooms – including the bathroom – as yet only have parted together drywall and blankets up for walls and doors.  The house is in a perpetual state of remodel, as it used to be a two-bedroom and has been gutted to be reconfigured into a four-bedroom. Rooms are now TINY.  However with all the loss that my life has seen over the past 14 months (actually over the past decade), my belongings have been reduced to only what I can fit in my car – and most not by choice.  Goodbye three bedroom house that Hurricane Frances took years ago – hello continued poverty.

This weekend also brings trying to get used to a new neighborhood, new people, new surroundings.  It doesn’t give the appearance of a neighborhood I’d want to walk around in alone.  It’s… older.  It’s pretty run down. It’s also surrounded by three major colleges, two within walking distance.  It reminds me of the projects in which I landed after my divorce in 2005.  Here, like there, I will have to make friends fast if I’m going to survive.  When I was in the projects in Fort Pierce, I immediately took to an elderly lady next door who everyone just called “Granny.”  Granny had been in that little house most of her 80+ years.  Everyone knew her and no one messed with her.  She looked after me the three years I stayed there and even after moving into a better place, my daughter and I still went back to visit her often.  She would always marvel at how big my daughter had gotten since the last time she saw her, even if it had only been a month between visits.  Granny was the best neighbor I have ever had.  I’m praying that my surroundings, while rough on first glance, will prove friendly enough that I don’t have to worry about the safety of myself or my belongings.

ISO: Stability

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.

 

Challenges never cease

Yesterday, I was looking forward to making the trip 2 1/2 hours south to go pick up my daughter who I haven’t seen in far too long. We miss each other terribly but its been nearly impossible to get up the money to get there as far behind as everything had fallen. Well, the thrill of having my daughter back has been taken away from me yet again as I have been in the hospital since Wednesday with a very sudden onset of right lower lobe pneumonia. I have been unresponsive to most of the breathing treatments, antibiotics and steroids that they have been pumping me with. I was in such respiratory distress yesterday that the doctor strongly suggested intubating me for 48 hours and waking me up after 2 days of ICU treatment. Of course I fought it tooth and nail. He diagnosed me with COPD. My blood pressure upon arrival was stroke level 236/120. My blood sugar is running in the 200’s so I’m shooting insulin three times a day. I’m an unholy trifecta of health problems right now. I had been praying for healing but certainly did not have to go through all this to achieve it. I think I was hoping for more of a miracle than missed child, missed work, missed home. I just hope to God my daughter understands that my being away is not by choice, that I want us together but that I am still financially destitute and severely ill. I still, after all the treatment, cannot get out of bed without taking ten minutes to catch my breath. I don’t know how long I will be in hospital, but I need to start responding NOW to treatment.