Fallen Through..Domestic Abuse Help Bring Hope Home
Organized by: Hope KW
My Security...The One Sure Place That I Could Call Home.... Gone.
December 24, 2016
FALLEN THROUGH THE CRACKS - FINANCIAL RAPE - DOMESTIC ABUSE
BE A PART OF HOPE’S JOURNEY HOME
On May 30, 2016 the justice system, where I had placed my entire trust, failed me. And, I became, homeless.
Because I fled from my husband’s emotional, mental and neglectful abuse, because I have agoraphobia, social phobia, ptsd, because I had no visible scars of abuse, because I was and still am in shock. I simply fell through the cracks.
If you think that you can help, or know of someone that could in anyway help, please take the time to read the following. Please, because I can’t get back up on my own. Not this time.
You see, I am tired of pretending that everything is okay, I am tired of fighting when there is nothing to fight for anymore. I am tired of posting updates on facebook of my fake smiling face. I am tired of wearing a pasted smile if I see you in town. I am exhausted from simply pretending for the sake of those that love me.
I am tired of pretending that everything’s okay, when all I want to do is to fall to my knees and cry out, “someone help me please?”
I am simply broken.
There were a lot of things at play that final day that I went into my lawyer’s office, including the fact that he knew that I was going to be homeless. I am still asking myself, ‘what happened?’ ‘where did it all go wrong?’ ‘Why?’
I do know that the stress and fear had finally taken its toll. As an emotionally and mentally abused woman, I no longer possessed the ability to make rational decisions for my future.
I had no money. And at the end of the day, all I could see was that I had no where to live. I had lost my house, my home, my future. And with the loss of my home, I lost my dignity, my respect for myself...I lost ‘me’.... I was, and am exhausted, beaten spiritually, mentally, physically...without hope.
After enduring seventeen years of my husbands neglect, mental and emotional abuse, it was concluded by the justice system and by my husband, the man that had slept by my side for seventeen years, the man that had threatened my life, the man that had emotionally abused and disrespected me; that ‘I’ as a housewife, that the life, ‘my’ life that I had given to this man and his family... that my ‘worth’ amounted to less than five dollars a day.
I believe the justice system called it a settlement. Settlement, probably because settlement,was easier to say then what it really was. Injustice.
And so you see, my ‘house’ and its three acres of land with my name and my husbands name legally on the deed. My home where ‘I’ personally spent thousands of dollars in renovations, mortgage payments.. taxes, new roofs, furnishing...
My house that I had personally fought to keep the bank from taking after my husband claimed personal bankruptcy. My house, that I lived in alone for two years while my husband lived comfortably rent free at his Mom’s in Barrie. My house that I personally, financially, struggled to keep the bank from taking.
To keep ‘our’ home, I struggled alone to pay the mortgage and related bills with my disability pension. Two years, where I paid one hundred percent of the mortgage and expenses, alone.
The house, that my husband never contributed anything to other than his 50% of the mortgage and taxes. My house, my land...my home...my brothers life insurance gift to me that I had used for the renovations...gone.
My three acres, my gardens..
Everything, that I called ‘Home’. Gone.
I had been told countless times by my lawyer, my family, friends, that I’d made the gravest mistake of all. I left my house. No matter the reason, ‘I’ left, they said.
But what most fail to understand or see, is that in the moment that I fled, I was running for my life. No one acts rationally when they believe their life is in danger. I know I didn’t. And so I ran from my husband, from my home, to save my life.
There is a police report. My husbands two twenty-two rifles and his sawed off shotgun were confiscated that night in November 2015.
For threatening my life, my husband was not charged, and he lives now freely, comfortably because of the justice system, in the house that I had paid equally for. I have receipts proving that I shared equally in the household expenses since we jointly purchased the house in 2007.
I also have furniture and renovation receipts. Affidavits provided by the contractors that I had hired and paid for. None of my evidence was introduced into court.
Shortly after the courts so called ‘settlement’ my husband moved his girlfriend and her teenage son into the ‘home’ that I had created, that I had spent all of my brothers life insurance on for the renovations, repairs..
Everything that I had worked for. Everything that my brother had given me to make my life and that of my husbands comfortable, was gone because of my husbands greed and the stroke of a lawyer’s pen.
But, even more devastating than losing my house, was the loss of the gift that my brother gave me. Sadly, my brother passed away in the fall of 2011. For thirty years he contributed to his company pension and life insurance....his final gift to me, was gone.
I had followed through on what my brother asked of me. If you knew my brother, you would understand. And so, I put the money where he would have wanted me to. Into my home which was in terrible need of repair. The roofs had needed to be replaced, and so I started there by hiring and paying for a contractor with this final gift from my brother.
The passage of days, months... I won’t lie anymore. It has been hard.
But a lot of love was given and continues to be given during this nightmare. A lot of family and friends have stepped forward. My brother and his wife opened their small two bedroom home, and gave me a place to sleep when I had no where to go. A friend that had a house on the market allowed me to rent for six months, until May 30, 2016.
I was certain that I could go back home by then. I was certain that I would be heard, that my facts would be taken into account by the justice system.
Even through the multitude of court dates and lawyers appointments, I was still foolishly certain that I would be going home. If I were not going home, I believed everything would be divided fairly.
But the months passed, and the court and lawyer dates continued without offering hope of my ever returning.
My husband remained living comfortably in the house, a peace bond that his actions put into effect, protected him. Because he was in possession of the guns that he had threatened my life with, he was given only a mischief charge, a fine of a thousand dollars and a Peace Bond.
But the peace bond served no real purpose, other than to prevent ‘me’ from going home. I was told that I couldn’t return to my home, because my husband was living there. ‘I’ would be breaking the law if I ever put him in a position that would break his peace bond.
And so, on June 1 2016, a tent hidden in the woods became my home. I lived in a tent on crown land for almost two months. Most of what I experienced, I can assure you, should be left to nightmares.
One night alone in my camp, I was confronted by a male intruder. Standing my ground, I was lucky. Frightened, I knew that I had to find a place of safety, a place that I could call home.
I had lain awake in the dark many nights fearfully listening to the sounds of animal movements scurrying past the fabric of my tent. I strung empty cans together and tied them around my car for my safety. And each night, I waited for the light of day to arrive so I could sleep with a sense of safety.
And, I had fallen ill. To date, I have lost over a hundred and ten pounds. Doctors are left puzzled, and without an answer.
One late night, after I had settled into my camp, I received a text message. Through the kindness of a friend, I was offered a small cottage to stay in for the summer. I can’t express how truly deeply grateful I am. Because it meant that I would be safe. I would have a roof, walls and a door that locked.
The cottage is not insulated; there is no water or electricity or source of heat.
But, I called it ‘home' for the summer. I called it my sanctuary. Financially, it has been hard. After paying bills, buying a used car, a generator for the cottage, and this summers living expenses; I have completely depleted my savings, or shall I say, ‘settlement’.
Staying the winter in the cottage at least appeared to be a temporary answer. It would mean I had a ‘home’ for the winter.
The work of bringing water, ice, gas, filling the generator daily, finding a source for winter heat...even with the future prospect of shovelling snow, I was sure that I could manage the winter somehow here in the cottage. It would be a struggle, it would be cold... but at least I had a place to live.
But circumstances have taken another terrible turn. On September 12, I suffered two stress induced heart attacks and was hospitalised. I was told that I would have to be careful for four to six months. Rebuild the strength of my heart slowly, carefully.
And now my car, my safety net, needs work. I believe the brakes, bearings, and something electrical are all screaming for attention and the repair money that I don’t have.
And so, with my recent heart attacks and questionable reliability in my car, the choice of staying here the winter is no longer my choice.
Just as I thought all hope seemed lost, a very dear friend contacted me. Forty-five years have passed since we last saw each other. What she couldn’t know, was that I had given up.
Breathing, pretending, was more than I could summon the strength for anymore. You see, the weekend of September the 17 of this year, when she arrived at my door, I didn’t have any fight left. I was going to take my life.
I had no hope, no home, no future, and I now had a damaged heart that in all appearances, had already given up.
Truth, if my friend hadn’t of located me when she did, I wouldn’t be here asking for your help. I am not ashamed to say that I was about to take my life. But, what I am ashamed of is what my dear friend pointed out. She said, there is no shame in asking for help, there is only shame in not asking.
And she was right. I didn’t allow myself to reach out, to ‘ask’ for help. For that reason alone, I am truly ashamed.
Please, let me try to explain something. Maybe answer one of your questions. How did I fall through the cracks?
Because of my illness, social anxiety, I am not able take advantage of the resources available for the domestic abused woman, such as shelters or an apartment.
My social fear is greater than my common sense. Because of my social anxiety disorder, agoraphobia and ptsd my home was my sanctuary. My illness makes it impossible for me to live in a city, an apartment or with people. My finances, (disability pension) offer little to survive on. The cost of rent far exceeds my monthly income.
It has always been my dream to own a house in the country, a home that would accommodate my illness. A home, that I could feel safe away from the cities, the traffic, the noise, the people...and the social anxiety that comes when I feel trapped.
Jointly with my husband, I owned my house. With great struggle, I had made it possible to live financially comfortable. Without, ever being a burden to society. My goal.
Before receiving my settlement, before being told what my worth had been calculated at... I had even considered if all else failed, I would at least have enough money to use for a down payment on a house in the country. Start over, I thought.
But there wasn’t even enough money in the settlement to allow me the hope, the dream of ever owning my own house again. That’s how I fell through the cracks and became homeless.
Because of my illness, I desperately need an inexpensive house or cottage somewhere outside of a town or city, on the outskirts maybe. A cabin. A trailer. Rustic or not. Location? There’s nothing keeping me here.
But, because of my recent heart attack, I now need a place that is warm and has at least hydro. In exchange for a place to stay this winter, I could offer my services as a cottage sitter or caretaker.
I am responsible, much stronger than most. I have excellent character references. I can and will take care of the place that I live in as though it were my own.
Before I close, I do have one more thing to express. My dear friend that I spoke of earlier, Carmen P. One could seriously ask ‘why now?’ I know that I am asking that question.
You see, when Carmen and I were 15, and my brother 16, Carmen ‘knew’ and dated my brother.
The same brother, the man that had taken care of me in life, and tried also to do so in death with his life insurance that I had used for renovations. We three, Carmen, myself and my brother, years ago; had been friends.
Truth, if Carmen hadn’t of located me when she did, I wouldn’t be here asking for your help. You see, I have fallen down so far that I don’t even believe that there ever was a light. I am not ashamed to say that I was about to take my life. But, what I am ashamed of, as ‘Carmen’ pointed out, is that I didn’t allow myself to reach out. To stand before you. And ask, for ‘help’.
I am here now before you, offering nothing but honesty and truth. I am here humbled, pleading for help. It is getting cold. I need a place to stay for the winter.
P.S. My dear-dear friend, Carmen. How do I thank you for my life? How do I thank you for showing me that there is another door? How do I say, thank you, when it just doesn’t seem to be enough.
To Carmen...family, my friends and all those concerned. Thank you for your prayers, kind words and keeping me in your thoughts.
I am still here. I am going to continue to fight. I promise that I won’t give up.
Thank you for taking the time to listen, for caring. Sincerest Regards, H. W. (C) Copyright Protected 2016-09-26