With a little help from our friends

Hello all you faithful kingdomites,

A couple weeks ago, Sheena set up a GoFundMe page for a friend of ours who is in a tight spot.  In a bit of good news, that mutual friend has found a place they can move to, but need a little bit of help securing the funds for it.  They have until the 20th to do so or will miss out on the opportunity. I asked them to write a bit of their story to share with the kingdom and they agreed, though I know it was hard to do.  So, please, read below and leave some comments of encouragement and support, and, if you can, click on through to the GoFundMe page and leave what you can there as well. 

Thank you,



I’ve never had good luck in relationships. My first serious boyfriend told me after a few months, that he dumped another girl so that he could ask me out. This was unsettling as I felt that he would do the same to me. Then there was the coworker that I had liked and ended up raping me. My next relationship ended a few months before we were married. There was a distance that had grown, and things felt off. There were other things too, like alarms going off in my head, and it was ended. He married a girl a few months after the engagement ended. He met her while we were engaged. The next guy, well he became controlling, abusing, and even forcing himself on me. I was done with relationships after him. I needed a break.

Then he walked into my life.

He was everything I had wanted, and not even looking for, and we hit it off from the start. Both of us were quirky, video game nerds, Batman lovers, geeks through and through. He got me, and when I explained my issues, the rape, depression, anxiety, he didn’t have a problem with that. He embraced it and supported me as I was working on trying to accept and work through everything.

Rather quickly after meeting him, I had issues that arose and I was kicked out of my family’s house. This lead to me being homeless. He graciously took me in while I looked for a place. Once again, supporting me. I did get my own place after about a month time frame. Never once did he lose his temper with me.

From the start, he knew of my issues, including the isolation from my family, my mental health battles, and some battles with weight due to health issues. Eventually, we moved in together.

Fast forward to recently. two and a half years later, and things are different.

My issues are too much for him, the isolation from my family is now a problem, and my health and weight have taken a toll on me.

Suddenly I’m no longer good enough. I’m getting yelled at more and more frequently, sometimes just for asking what’s going on. I’m blamed for everything. Then suddenly, the sun shone again and everything was rainbows and unicorns. We were good. Going out and having fun, making plans for the future. We had a good relationship again.

Then suddenly the temper was back. Everything I did was wrong. Even giving up some of my time to do things for him, was not good enough. Saying hi meant I’d get screamed at. I knew I became worthless. I was no longer appreciated. I was nothing. Then it happened.

He failed at something, and I became the target of his wrath. I was the victim, but according to him, I was the problem. He failed, but because when he tried to hand me something and screamed F***ing C**T, it was my fault to ask if that was directed towards me. I mean, you were quiet and handing me something, so I thought it would be normal asking if it was directed towards me. I should have known better, after all, I am a mind reader.

Later that day, I was told that we should dial back on being in a relationship. When I asked if this meant we are no longer together, I was never answered. Me and my mind reading skills took this as a large amount of nope. A few days later, I noticed everything that indicates male grooming in the apartment, and huge amounts of cologne as the entire place smelt of it. He was out on a date. It took him two to three days after saying “Let’s dial it back” to ask another girl out. That night I confronted him about it, and he told me no, but then he told me he I have two months get myself and the animals and get the hell out of his home.

When I tried to ask why the most bizarre answers were received. Originally when he told me that it was over, he said he wasn’t ready to settle down, now he told me that he is not getting any younger and he wants to settle down soon. He can no longer handle the mental health issues, the weight problems, my health problems, the lack of communication with my family. I was told that it was my idea to call it quits. One day he wants me to get the animals and go, and then the next he’s telling me he is keeping them. I don’t do the things he recommends that will make me better. Not taking medications, only meditating, running (with my arthritic knees). Meditation doesn’t work for me. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve tried, multiple times in my therapies, and twice with him, but it doesn’t work. Art and writing clear my mind.

Since the ultimatum, I now have a month to find my own place. A place that will take a person with no credit. Where I have almost no money to my  name. I deal with constant yelling and screaming from him one moment, then the next he is trying to be my friend. He’s stopped paying for anything with the animals. I’m paying for everything for them now. Food, litter, care, it all comes from me. What little I have saved up is gone. Thanks to his carelessness, I had to make an emergency visit to the vet as one of the cats was laying next to half of an acetaminophen pill. Then there were two that needed to be fixed. I’m now further behind then I was when I started saving money. Still enduring the tantrums, the mind fucks, the abuse. One minute he is wanting to be my friend, the next he gets a better offer to do something, and runs away. He avoids me at any costs unless there is something he is trying to get from me.

Halloween there is always a party from shared friends of ours. This year I almost didn’t go except for some pleading from some, as he was bringing her, the girl he left me for. Yes, he’s been out most nights with her. When he drops things and runs, it’s because she invited him over. He will stop talking in the middle of conversations with me, to talk to her, completely ignoring me as if I was no longer there. He’s tried to get me to help pick out clothes he wants to wear while out with her. It’s a constant reminder how I’m not good enough. Never good enough. I wasn’t good enough before for other guys, and I’m not good enough now. I won’t ever be apparently.

So back to me trying to get a clean start.

I have found a place. I have secured it for myself, with a promise of the money to be handed in by the 20th of the month. I have no money currently. Spent trying to make sure a cat didn’t die. A friend of mine set up a GoFundMe. That money was what I used for the cat, because she is one of my children, one that started many fights since the break up as I will not allow him to have her. I am not a person to ask for money. I give my time and money to everyone else. I don’t think I deserve it. I haven’t done anything to deserve it. So she set it up for me as I won’t myself. I’ve hit a spot, a rather bad one. I need to get out of this hell. I need to start over, sadly funds are lacking. I want to be able to move out, to take myself and my babies to a safe world where we don’t have to worry about threats, possible violence. There was violence to inanimate objects when he got upset. Screaming obscenities. Constant friendship being extended only to have it ripped away. I need this.

If you have it in you, please assist.

into the wild and back again

The hour approaches…  This time tomorrow I’ll be driving north towards Sequoia.  This time Sunday I’ll be climbing out of Lodgepole on the Dead Man Canyon Loop trail, along with my dad and brother, with everything we need for the week strapped to our backs: food, clothes, and shelter.

Our annual pilgrimage into the Sierra to commune with the big trees, recharge our souls, and, well, fish.  Sounds pretty good, right?  I can’t wait.

And yet, at this point, I find myself perhaps a little less excited than in years past.  There are new worries and old worries made more potent because of the responsibilities (and perceived responsibilities) that seem to compound from year to year as we age.  Have I packed everything I will need?  Have a I packed too much stuff?  Have I done enough conditioning?  Will I get enough oxygen in the first couple days while I’m acclimatizing?  Will everything be okay at home while I’m gone?  The bills, the cars, the cats, the wife…

Those concerns will get pushed to the back of my mind tomorrow morning when I hit the road, but they will never completely go away until I’ve made it safely home to find everything as it should be.  Then I’ll breathe a sigh of relief and feel the weight I’ve been carrying in my mind ease away.  And then I’ll probably jump in the shower to wash off the dust and grime and sweat of the trail.

I will still have fun.  I will still enjoy the surroundings and trying and failing to capture the occasionally desolate and always stunning scenery of the Sierra.  I will still enjoy the camaraderie with my brother and dad.  I will still enjoy the wonderful sense of accomplishment, those hard earned moments of sheer brilliance, at the top of each pass and on the final day as we make it back to the cars.  I will still be sad to see the mountains fading away in my rearview mirror, even as a new excitement builds from within as I get closer and closer to home.

Alas, the duality of man and, more specifically, emotions.  It’s amazing how something that brings us such joy can also be the source of great trepidation.   It’s also amazing how we can filter our emotions to really only focus on a few at a time rather than the whole gambit we are normally dealing with in any situation.

So, I will venture forth tomorrow before the sun rises on yet another adventure.  I look forward to walking among the trees, hopping rocks along the edges of the rivers and lakes we fish, taking in the beauty of the Sierra, and spending a few days away from the hustle and bustle of the real world.  At the same time I’m also looking forward to returning to the comforts and routines of home.

service level expectations

“Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night stays these courageous couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds” unless, of course, you live in a condo.

My wife and I live in a condo where each property doesn’t have its own mailbox so rather than delivering door to door the USPS carrier just has to drive up to, park next to, open up and deposit the mail into the two cluster mailbox units.  Unfortunately, neither of the cluster mailbox units has one of the larger boxes/slots to store package deliveries.  So, without that alternative and without door to door service, what expectation should we have for receiving our packages?

Is it too far of a stretch to think that the carrier could walk the 100 or so feet away from their delivery truck to knock on the few doors who have packages and see if someone is home to deliver to?  Isn’t that what they would do if they were going door to door for normal service?

Apparently, that is not the case for my condo complex.  They don’t walk away from their truck.  They don’t ring the doorbell or knock on the door.  They do not attempt delivery. 

My wife was home when the mail was delivered yesterday, we were expecting a package, she heard the truck pull up and the cluster mailbox unit being slid open, and she was ready to answer the door when the knock came; but it never did.  

When I got home and checked the mail yesterday afternoon, you’ll never guess what I found: a missed delivery notice in our mailbox. 

I jumped back into my truck and headed over to the post office – it’s only a 10 mile or so drive, but at rush hour on surface streets with stop lights at every block along the way it still takes over 30 minutes to cover that distance.  I waited patiently in line and then handed the slip to the clerk as I have countless times before.  The clerk took the slip and took two steps away and then turned back, “Is today the 5th,” she queried.  I confirmed it was.  “I can’t get your package for you until tomorrow.”

So much for “swift completion” of their rounds. 

I assured the clerk that I have always come the same day I’ve received the missed delivery notifications and it has never been a problem before.  She looked flustered and frustrated and fairly floored that I would have the audacity to request her to go look for it.  “They are all in a pile.  I’ll go see if I can find it quickly.”

She was back in less than a minute.  “You’re in luck, it was on top.  But, we can’t normally look for these the same day.  We’ll get in trouble.”

Really?  You’ll get in trouble for trying to deliver a package to the intended recipient the same day it would have been delivered if the carrier had bothered to knock on my front door?  After I’ve spent an hour driving to collect that package (trips to and from the post office)?  I’ve basically done your job for you, and you won’t give me my mail?

Okay.  So, for argument’s sake let’s say they have a policy in place not to attempt delivery to certain condo complexes due to added delivery time to walk from the cluster mailbox units to each front door (for large complexes) or in certain areas where crime rates (and mail theft) are above a certain threshold.  I’m fine with that.  That type of policy would make sense.

But, then shouldn’t the people shipping the packages get a discount because the item isn’t getting the same “to the door” service that it would otherwise?  And, if the package has no possibility of actually being delivered why was it placed on the truck in the first place?  Put the missed delivery slip in the mailbox and let the recipient head over to the post office and pick it up, where it’s waiting for them, on that same day.  Wouldn’t that make sense?

Am I missing something here?  Am I being too logical about this?  It is a government entity after all… perhaps my expectations are too high.