Saturday, February 27, 2016

A Healing Time

Taking Time to Heal

If you are a new visitor here is the brief summary of my life:

Was married to a US Naval Officer who died in a training plane collision leaving me a single mom.
Remarried and had three more children.
Husband had an affair with an employee.
He and the employee hurt children and stole from our store.
They are in jail.
I am now a single mom again with five children.
I am trying frantically to keep our store open for business.
I got stuck with an unbelievable amount of debt and therefore may have to close the store.
We need $10, 000 immediately to keep the store open until the newly approved bank financing is processed and available for use eight weeks from now.
If we don't get money to pay the electric and cable bill the store will be closed by the end of this week.
(Ironically if we make it through the next eight weeks we will be at the year mark for when my ex was arrested.)

You can donate here if you want to help keep our store open.
Please consider being a part of our miracle!

Here is a new update:

I wrote one blog post, but when I went back to add pictures, all that writing has disappeared.  Not sure why it doesn't seem to be saved on the computer.

Last month, thanks to your prayers and the hard work on the part of both the prosecutors and the defense lawyer, and only two business days before his trial was to begin, a plea deal was made.  We were able to avoid a trial which has been my desperate plea since Jason was first arrested.  While some may disagree with how the system works I am relieved.  The plea deal was "life in prison without the possibility of parole for nineteen years."  None of the children had to testify.  Twelve jurors and the public was spared from being exposed to whatever evil is contained in the mountains of evidence the prosecution had from all the computers that we willingly turned over.  Let's be honest: only my pinkie nail wanted a trial so I could try to figure out how all this happened-what signs did I miss?  Right now the prosecutors and detectives know more about my life and ex-husband than I do.  But 99.9% of me is relieved-my kids are protected.  We can move on and begin healing now.  We have a timeframe.  Because honestly, a trial would just have created more questions for me since it is truly incomprehensible for a normal person to emotionally understand what actually happened.  Even if both Jason and the mistress truthfully explained what happened, I will always have, "Why? and What the....?"  So, now we try to move on and let the healing begin.

I was hoping to say that life is better now, but it is not.  That is why I have avoided this blog update as long as I have.  My friends who set up the Go FundMe have been urging me to get this written for weeks, but I am so tired of asking for help-of writing how much my life sucks that I just keep postponing it.  Plus I have been averaging 70 hour work weeks while our store gets new staff trained.

Back during the summer when we started the Go FundMe asking for $25,000 in money it was to help with the heat remodel, make other improvements on the house and get a new safer vehicle which are all requirements of social services for being able to keep my kids.  We had only been able to collect $11, 000 and I did not have signed divorce papers by the beginning of September with the full knowledge that winter was coming and we had no heat.  So, I leveraged the only asset I had left, which was the store and took out two horrible rapid repayment loans, because I had been reassured that as soon as the divorce was complete we would be able to refinance.  But now, since more and more debt keeps being reported by different vendors, the IRS, etc, normal refinancing is not working.  I just keep knocking on every door, asking for more time every single week.  I have taken only one paycheck since July because why pay payroll taxes on checks I cannot cash?  We have dried up all assets, listed new ones for sale, (anyone want a fixer up rental duplex?), we are reaching the end of the game plan.  It seems crazy to me that the #12 store in our region, that still had lines of customers going out the door this week even though it was February, could be shut down over not being able to get financing for $50, 000 because when we are talking about business $50, 000 is not that much money in today's day and age.  To my credit, and to the credit of loyal family, friends and customers, we have not defaulted on any loans.  I keep plugging away-but I HAVE to pay off the rapid refinance loans or we will LOSE the store.  We need $50, 000 asap (that is the loan amounts plus the interest) so that I can actually pay myself a wage and other store bills we are falling behind on each month instead of paying those loan companies $3500/month.  I have a business plan that shows how much I can afford to pay if anyone is willing to come in as a partner for the business or give me a decent loan with a regular interest rate.  If any of you can donate to help me pay both the store bills and my personal bills that I can't pay since I am not paying myself, please donate here.  Any money paid to the Go FundMe will go towards keeping the lights (and other basic bills like rent) on at both the store and home first, then any extra money above the next $10,000 will go towards store debt.  (Those rapid loans are why we have increased the amount needed on the Go FundMe.)  If you can't donate, then please just pray-I know that God has some mysterious plan for me and the kids.  Just pray that I have peace as I make decisions each week when it comes to the store.  I am open to all possibilities: hiring a manager and working another job to help pay off debt, selling the store, filing bankruptcy and closing the store, or doing what I have been doing: going to work each day to pay the bills and keeping the store going.  I could have walked away ten months ago....but I don't take the easy paths in life.  I was born a fighter and I believe that my store is worth fighting for.  Staying in the Steubenville area is worth fighting for which is why I this week I found a bank that can help this dream come true.  We just need help from our customers to help keep the lights on and internet running for the next two months until all the financing can be processed.

Two things I would like to address.  There seems to be some crazy rumors going around.

The first rumor is supposedly that "my mother-in-law posted Jason's bail last May."  Shame, shame on whichever people are spreading this vile rumor!!!!  My mother-in-law absolutely DID NOT post Jason's bail.  She informed his lawyer that Jason was exactly where he need to be.  His bail was posted by a military buddy who kept his wartime promise that he would put up bail if Jason was ever arrested.  He feels betrayed by the new charges that Jason's plea deal was for.  Unfortunately I have had no contact with this friend since July.  It hurts to have lost a friend that I thought I would always be able to count on if times were tough for me and the kids.  But I also know that this honorable person kept his promise and has been betrayed by a close friend he believed in.  He too needs to heal and protect himself.

The second rumor seems to be that my "children have had contact with their father."  THEY HAVE HAD NO CONTACT WITH THEIR DAD SINCE MAY 1ST!!!!  When the judge was talking about Jason breaking "no contact" orders at the plea deal last month, they were referring to him having contact with the mistress while they were both in jail.  In fact I turned over evidence of that contact after he was rearrested.  I found letters hidden in a heating vent in our duplex which I turned in as soon as I found them.  How do you know they children haven't had contact with him?  BECAUSE MY SOCIAL SERVICES CASE IS STILL NOT CLOSED.  If any contact had been made, my kids would be in the foster care system instead of safe at home with me.  My little ones do not understand what has happened.  They don't understand why they can't send their dad pictures or talk to him on the phone.  They keep asking why the judge thinks that their dad could hurt them if he is in jail.  Someday they will grow up and realize that they could be hurt by manipulation and that the judge's job is to protect them with these rules, but right now all they know is that they love their dad even though he did bad things and they can't tell him they miss him and love him.  They can't hear his voice to know he is okay.  Ask ANY foster care parent you know and they will tell you these are all normal reactions for any kid in foster care.  Kids who have been terribly hurt by their parents physically, emotionally and sexually can still love the person who hurt them.  That love MUST be honored so I do my best to honor their hurting hearts.  I tell them over and over that it will get easier and that they are loved and missed.  BUT I HAVE OBEYED EVERY RULE.  NO LETTERS, PHONE CALLS OR CONTACT HAS BEEN MADE.  In fact I am the one who has said absolutely no contact with any of the five children, not just the victims.  When each child turns 18 years old then they can personally decide if they want contact with their dad or not.

So, please, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, stop spreading rumors.  It is a sin.  Let us all move on and heal.

Sorry that I don't have time to post pictures.

Again, thank you for all the prayers!!!

May the quiet healing of winter lead you all to the sweetness of spring,