Monday, May 25, 2015

My Go FundMe Account

My Go FundMe Account

Updated 5/27/15  See bottom of post

So, this post is the most humbling thing I have ever written in my entire life.

Briefly, here are the facts for the past three weeks of my life (and know that I am leaving out A LOT of messy details of everything that happened in between.)

On Friday, May 1st my "soon to be ex-husband" and an employee were arrested for crimes against children, some of those children were my own.

It turns out that my husband and the employee (who started as one of our personal babysitters two years ago) were also having an affair.

It also turns out that besides paying payroll to said employee that she was living in our rental duplex so I was also paying all of her personal bills (like cable and internet.  I don't even have cable at home.)  Other people thought I knew she was living there and that I was just that benevolent of a person to let a part time employee live somewhere for free.

My children were placed in protective care for the weekend since it was 7pm at night when the sheriff's office completed my questioning and they did not have time to interview the children.  The children were split into three different groups for where they stayed for the weekend.  Interviews were completed on the following Monday and the children were thankfully returned to me.  The youngest children are still acting out from this separation.  For instance one of the children who was placed with a relative has started biting her siblings and myself even though she was not a biter before that weekend.

I went to the bank on Saturday morning only to discover that our business account was overdrawn by a thousand dollars and we have thousands of dollars of unpaid bills that should have been paid.

Since May 1st I have worked non-stop.  My employees have worked non-stop.  There is one employee in general that went above and beyond the call of duty and is the reason why multiple print orders were completed after hours.  There was also a former employee that has come in three different times and worked after hours.  Both of these employees forever have my undying love and prayers.  (I am thankful for the other employees too, but these ones are extra special.)  May is "mini-Christmas" for our store.  The local university has their graduation so graduates are shipping stuff home that they can't fit in their cars or on the airplane.  We also do a lot of printing for graduation parties, wedding showers, etc.  Usually the money made in this month gets saved to help us through the inevitable slow down of summer when everyone goes on vacation and does less printing and shipping.  Instead I have paid all the current bills, payroll and half of our unpaid bill debt.  Let me repeat that:  My store is solvent.  I WILL NOT BE CLOSING MY STORE.  I WILL NOT BE FILING FOR BANKRUPTCY.  Again, I have paid all current bills, payroll and half of the unpaid bill store debt in three weeks.  I am working with the best accounting firm in town and have a plan for paying off the rest of the unpaid debt over the next few months.  MY STORE IS OPEN FOR BUSINESS.

During the first week of May (besides it being the busiest week of the entire year for us outside of the 6 weeks of shipping starting November 15th of each year), I ran from legal meetings to bank meetings back to the store and filing for my divorce.  I also completed my own personal search warrants on our store, our house, the rental duplex and the vehicle that my husband drove.  LET ME REPEAT THAT FOR YOU:  I COMPLETED SEARCH WARRANTS, NOT THE SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT.  NOT A SINGLE SEARCH WARRANT WAS ISSUED IN THIS CASE.  PLEASE REMEMBER THAT FOR FUTURE ELECTIONS.  NOT A SINGLE SEARCH WARRANT WAS ISSUED IN A CASE WHERE THERE WAS CELL PHONE PROOF OF CHILD PORNOGRAPHY.  I have turned over three laptops, a tablet, a computer network capable playstation and our personal storage device that all of my personal pictures for the past year had just been downloaded on.  So if any information is found besides what was discovered on the husband and mistress' cell phones IT WILL BECAUSE I WILLINGLY TURNED OVER COMPUTERS to help keep those two people in jail.  I went back in and gave two more statements with proof for why I considered my husband a flight risk if he made bail.  My mother-in-law also made a second statement.  BOTH OF US TRIED OUR BEST TO KEEP HIM IN JAIL.

Now I know this blog post is getting long so if you don't read anything else, just read this last paragraph.  I have dear friends who have convinced me to ask the world for help financially.  Not in paying the store bills, but for helping to pay for personal things for the kids and I.  I used the last of my savings to pay for my divorce and to correct the store's finances.  I have not paid any of my personal May bills.  Both our vehicles have been in the shop this month.  They are both over ten years old.  My mother-in-law is going to become the grandmother nanny and her vehicle is twenty-three years old.  I need to switch from a wood furnace to a propane furnace for heat this coming winter.  There are other things that really need to be fixed asap, but all those small things add up.  I have always been the one to reach into my purse and hand someone at least a $20 bill and now I am here having to ask the world to please help me get through the next few months until I get back on my feet.  If you can find it in your heart to give a small amount and then ask your family and friends to help too I would be so grateful.  You will forever be in my prayers.  Please go to this link and make a donation.

More information that I want to give to correct the rumor mill:

All that being said above, my husband's bail was lowered due to the fact that they did not have any proof of anything besides fourth degree and fifth degree charges when it came to him.  I was so angry as I drove home that night.  I could feel the anger pulsing in my body and I was terrified to go home.  I don't ever want to take my fear and anger out on my children.  So I prayed to God......every day since that day I pray for God to take all the anger away so my kids don't get hurt more.  I don't want to become one of those angry bitter people that you meet somewhere and you walk away wondering, "What the hell happened to that person?"  I want to live my life with joy and love.  And that is what has happened.  My husband made bail like I knew he would, but every time I interact with him I try to approach him with love.  I will admit that I have called him to his face a few bad names a couple of times though, but he has taken it.  We are working on having a quick and amicable divorce.  The earliest date that we could get for our first divorce hearing is June 1st, which is exactly one month from when he was arrested.

I guess people are starting to say that I am suffering from Stockholm Syndrome?  Ummm, okay....I don't get that one at all since I am divorcing him....People are putting what they think they would do and what they think I should do in the works here.  I understand that other people are rightly hurt and angry and afraid for me.  I also understand that I am being called to a much higher level of striving for sainthood than other people within my personal circle.  While you may not understand why I can stand to be in his presence, the fact of the matter is, I can.  My first and number one goal is my children.  In order to provide for their future I need to learn as much as possible (passwords, how to run new store machines, owner only information like filing corporate reports, etc) and Jason is the person to teach that to me before he goes back to jail.  Why on earth would I sit on the phone for hours after a 12 hour day trying to get someone from corporate to teach me something when my husband can teach me how to file a royalty report in half an hour and I can head home to my children that I haven't seen yet and it's 7:30pm at night?  I am always going to put the future of my children ahead of everyone else in the world.  You don't have to like it, you don't have to understand it, but stop trying to place your own personal issues on me.  Jason is no longer at our store during working hours.  He will only be there after hours if I need him to teach me how to do something.  We are working on trying to figure out a set date so that even if he is not in jail yet, we have a cut off date for when there will be no contact whatsoever when it comes to our store.  The problem is that I don't know what I don't know until something happens.  For instance, I just said that to a friend when literally the next moment an employee came around carrying a really large deer head that someone wanted to ship to Florida.  I have never packed a deer head in 7 years.  Jason always completed that type of shipment even if I was in the store.  But I am making a list and calling people and figuring it out everyday and we have completed all the tasks customers have asked us to do for the past three weeks.  I ask any of you that own businesses the following question: would your spouse be able to walk in and run your business if something happened to you?  99% of you would have to say "no" that question.  Thankfully with the best employees one could ask for and some help from Jason with information and training I have been able to rise to the occasion and plan on being fully knowledgable within two months of all these tragic events occurring.  That in itself is a miracle from God.

Yes, I went shopping with the man the day after he got out of jail.  His mistress had trashed the duplex apartment to the point that the lowest bid to clean the place was $500.  Let me repeat that again:  IT WAS GOING TO COST $500 TO CLEAN HER FILTH.  I wasn't going to just hand Jason cash or our debit cards to buy stuff so I went to the store to buy cleaning supplies and some food and water for him.  If you see us together in the future I don't expect you to make eye contact or acknowledge us if we are together.  I completely understand.  It's when I am by myself or you are in my store and won't look at me that I get hurt.  But anyways, I then went to a local church to get holy water to put on myself and Jason before we entered that duplex again.  I arranged for a priest to come bless the place the next day and to hear Jason's confession.  Jason has cleaned the duplex apartment.  He has begun repairs (like broken windows and painting) so that I can rent it out to pay for our children going to private school in the fall.  So, if you see things for sale, it's not to support him.  It's to support me and the kids.  The duplex has serious repairs that need to be made, but those bills are NOT included in the Go FundMe campaign.  I am paying for those by selling personal stuff just like I sold personal stuff to pay for the divorce.

I allowed a friend and my mother-in-law to throw out all Jason's clothes the weekend that my children were gone.  The first thing that the kids asked for after the first initial sobbing event when I told them that their daddy was in jail and they could not see him again was his clothes.  They wanted to sleep in his shirts and I couldn't give them a shirt because we had gotten rid of his clothes and my heart broke again for them and for me.  So, yes, I gave him some money to go to goodwill and buy clothes since he only had one set of clothes.  Plus, I don't want to be around a smelly person when I interact with him.  This is the kind of thing we are suppose to do as Christians.  Feed the hungry, clothe those who don't have clothes and frankly I don't have the money to buy him out of our store and properties, so please stop passing your judgments on me.  He's eating ramen noodles and drinking water and if I have to pay those small bills for a few months in order to get my store and houses in my name only then that is what I am going to do.  By the way the cable and internet bill for the duplex was cancelled before he was even after jail.

I have now figured out where all the money went from the store, but that information is between Jason and I and God.  It's all gone.  There is none hidden for Jason to flee the country.  All the rest of you can find out where it went on judgment day, because I am sorry, but I am at the point where I need to regain some privacy.  The most tragic events of my life (Chris' death) and now this betrayal beyond betrayal are out there not only for my local community to pass judgment on, but for the entire social media world to pass judgment on, and I am now trying to regain my privacy.  Imagine the worst thing your spouse has ever done, the worst pain you have ever experienced: heartbreak, betrayal, seeing your kids in pain, but instead of it just being within yourself or your small family or your small circle of friends, it's being known to the entire world.  My pain is out there for everyone to pass judgment on and I can't do a single thing to stop it.  All I can do is get up each morning and go to work and come home to hug and love my kids.

As for those of you who don't want to do business with our store or buy things I have for sale because of Jason then just remember who gets hurt by those actions:

See that picture above?  I know that Jason used to be the face of that business, but the kids and I are now the face of that business.  I have five kids and will now have 4-6 employees at a time to provide for since I now have to have a nanny and more employees so that eventually maybe I can only work Monday-Friday 8am-5pm and have my Saturdays off again.  I also have to pay for private school, and will be applying for scholarships, but we all know even if they get a full ride there are always small things like field trips, etc not covered by scholarships.   Please remember that it will be the kids and I hurt, not Jason, if you choose to do business elsewhere.

I can't control where people ship or make copies at.  We have been open for seven years and I have lost count of the number of times people have said, "Oh good.  I can ship with you again.  I didn't like this employee or that employee."  Sometimes people think the price is too high or that I looked at them wrong when really I was trying to remember if I turned on the crock pot before I left the house.  All I can do is pray to God for his mercy and help because everything depends on Him and then work as if everything depends on me.  I thank you for your past support, your continued support and your future support for our business.  I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your past prayers, your present prayers and your future prayers.

My family and I will be in therapy for years over what has happened.  In fact, I will probably be in therapy even longer because one store crisis happened this week while I was at a therapy session and then another massive crisis happened while I actually tried to take a lunch hour and drove home to check on a sick child.  I may never leave my store again.  I'm not sure if I will ever fully trust another living human being again.  But I know this, I choose love.  What my husband and that woman did were horrible crimes that they need to make restitution for by going to jail.  Jason has rightly lost everything he once held dear.  Unfortunately there is no explanation that he could ever give that will explain the unexplainable for these actions.  I have to give that to God and hope that eventually God's peace will fill that hole in my heart and soul.

I ask you to pray for him and that other woman.  Pray that their souls are not lost and that they don't commit suicide.  Pray for the children that were hurt by their actual crimes and for all my children who lost their daddy.  Pray for that other woman's family and friends who have been hurt by these actions.  Pray for me.  Pray that I can continue to live in God's grace each day.  Pray that I can heal and begin to move forward and that I can take up my new cross of being a single mother and business woman each day.  Pray for my family and friends and our community that has been so hurt by these actions.  Just know this, outside of the children involved I am the person who was hurt the most.  I was betrayed by my husband and best friend who was suppose to protect me and the children with his very life.  I was betrayed by a babysitter who became an employee.  I have been betrayed by people who knew things and never said anything.  There are other things that have happened that I have not mentioned that have added more pain and another cross.  But I still choose love.  I have made mistakes these past few weeks.  I will make some in the future because I am only human.  But I am trying each day to be the best Christian I can be, to be the best mother I can be.  Every decision I make is based on what is going to help my kids in the long run.  Again, I choose love.  The only way I can deal with Jason is with love even as I divorce him and we go our separate ways in order to protect the children.  I want his soul in heaven.  I take that wedding vow seriously even after everything that has happened.

This past week I have been anchored by three moments.  One was when a VIP customer whose name I knew, but I had never met, came in to do a shipment and as she left told me that I was part of her family now.  Another box customer who I had never met asked me to tell him the story about why I chose and pushed opening this particular franchise.  When I told him the whole story (which is another long blog post) and I got to the part where I wanted to provide a service where repeat customers are greeted by name,  he stopped me and said, "You've done that.  When I come in here I am always greeted by your employees and I can tell they care about me."  Then the very last customer on Saturday (and this was after a really long week that had some bad crap happen in it) suddenly stopped and said, "You have God's peace about you.  I don't know you, but I can sense God's peace coming out of you."  Please pray that continues.  Pray that even on my worst days (which I am sure many more are coming) that I can cling to God and people can feel His love and peace radiating out of me.  Pray that I carry this nightmare cross well and that I fight the good fight.

Thank you again for all your love and support.  Thank you for letting me share my story.  Please go donate if you can.  Please share this blog post with your friends and family so maybe they can at least pray for us even if they can't donate.   If I suddenly pop into your mind when you are doing something then please pray.  I am not sure when I will be able to blog again.  Today just happened because the store is closed in observation of Memorial Day.
Pray for all those we honor on Memorial Day, including my first husband, Lt. Christopher T. Starkweather.

May you all know the sweetness of God's peace in your hardest times,


Update 5/27/15:

"If I were to try to read, much less answer, all the attacks made on me, this shop might as well be closed for any other business. I do the very best I know how - the very best I can; and I mean to keep doing so until the end. If the end brings me out all right, what's said against me won't amount to anything. If the end brings me out wrong, ten angels swearing I was right would make no difference."

Abraham Lincoln

So that above quote is my life right now.  I am adding the following updates only because I was asked to do so by my marketing team.  I am NOT planning on addressing any other future rumors because I do NOT have the time.  I am working 12-15 hour days Monday-Friday and over 8 hours on Saturdays.  Any precious free time I get I am trying to desperately spend with my children and not writing on a computer.

1.  My children have NO contact with their father.  The only person who has contact with him is ME.  There is a court order in place of no contact with my children or any children.  If you didn't notice from what was posted above I have been fully cooperating with the police investigation and actually turning over more information than what they have asked for.  I do not want to do anything to jeopardize the investigation or my children's lives.  So let me repeat that: there has NOT been any contact with their father that would violate the court order.

 2.  Supposedly I was seen at a movie with Jason?  Haven't been to the movies with him since our last date in April.  If you didn't notice from the above paragraph I am WORKING SIX DAYS A WEEK.

Okay, the above two points are what they wanted me to say.  These last few paragraphs are from ME because I DO NOT HAVE TIME to address rumors.  I have a store to run.  I have 5 kids who desperately want to see me each day.  Last Thursday night which is when I think the rumor says I supposedly went to a movie, I worked at the store until 10pm.  I had left at 7am in the morning and I got home at 10:30pm at night and left by 7am the next morning.  I didn't see my kids.  Let me repeat that:  I didn't get to see my kids that day.

But even if I had decided to go out to dinner or meet Jason for coffee somewhere public THAT IS WHAT CIVILIZED PEOPLE DO WHEN THEY GET DIVORCED.  You meet in public places to help keep things civil to discuss things.  Right now I am not planning on being anywhere in public with Jason but if I do decide to meet him somewhere because I don't want to be alone with him, either now or in the future after he serves his jail time, than that is between us.  It's no one's business besides mine and his.  If I decide to try to give my brain a rest and go to a movie, either with my kids or by myself or with a friend, that is my choice (and will be completed with my personal money, not fundraised money.)  My life kind of sucks right now, but it's going to get better.  But I'm not going to live my life in fear of how the gossip is going to get spun.  Frankly, I can only do so much to try not to cause "any scandal" but obviously even if I don't do anything right now besides work scandal and rumors are being created by someone.  All I can do is try to live my life to honor God even if it means getting a divorce in order to protect my children.

I pray you all have a blessed day.  I sign off to leave for work now.

God's blessings,