Reaching Out From Square One

How do I explain this to you, tell you about what has happened? I don't know, so I will just type. Thank you very much for reading.

I have 'lived' in the sprawling, diverse city of Denver, for a total of 46 days. On November 12, 2013, $9800.00, the settlement marking the end of my 18 year marriage, was deposited into my checking account. I settled for this amount, after taxes, along with $800.00 a month in alimony for 46 months maximum, from a man who brings home $7,000.00 a month, a 26 year career man with Delta Air Lines. Why? Three reasons: I was very poorly represented by counsel, I needed to escape the constant threat of ongoing physical and emotional abuse, and finally, I was numb to the point of not being able to truly plan ahead.

November 15, the hold on these funds was released. November 18, I left my home and headed for Colorado. I sat behind the wheel of a moving truck, towing my 16 year old Isuzu, my son beside me, and I ran for my life. Literally. The $9800.00 is gone.

In January of last year I asked for a divorce, no longer able to tolerate the abuse and neglect. It took me eleven calendar months to finally get away. He left me with multiple physical scars, some wounds still healing even to this day. The emotional scars are deeper and will need time, support and professional care. PTSD is very real.

Yes, with only basic plans in place, I relocated, backwards, a decision I feel was both necessary and absolutely insane. No job waiting in Denver, no housing in place. Who does that? I did. I had just experienced the ugliest, cruelest, saddest year of my entire life. I was trying to cope with loss, anger, shattered faith, shattered dreams, and a very shattered body. I wanted, needed to leave, and I did. So, here I am. In Denver; with a son who is just learning how to healthily deal with the trauma and loss and fear that has been his life for so long. My divorce was final December 31, 2013. The holidays have passed. We are safe. For now.

You have read about my recent past. What follows is a bit of the present, and what is ultimately my terror and vulnerability concerning mine and my son's immediate future, what I have, what I do not have, what I am asking for to survive, as we transition.

What I have and am so very grateful for:
~a roof over my head until January 31, 2014
~it is a miracle I found housing
~Food Assistance from the state of Colorado until February 4, 2014
~Medicaid for health insurance
~1/4 tank of gasoline in my vehicle
~internet and cell phone service until January 18, 2014
~the ability to use this internet and phone service to communicate regarding employment opportunities, interviews
~11 cents in my checking account
~my health, my strength, my intelligence, my soul, my energy
~I am learning about my community, looking at churches, resources, donating my time to volunteer and outreach programs
~a solid therapist devoted to and patient with unraveling the miles of pain my son and I have experienced
~the economy here is strong, public transportation excellent and I am a strong candidate for many positions and companies here, as is my son

~I escaped life with a monster

~I am trying to forgive myself for not being smarter

What I am lacking, struggling with:
~a vehicle with 195,000 miles that is not reliable, needs work
~I have no savings
~I have no credit cards, secured or unsecured
~I have a credit score destroyed by a man who I lost long ago
~Even if offered a job today, first paychecks are delayed 2-3 weeks
~I have no family support, no one to borrow from
~I have no rent money for February or March
~I am unable to purchase any soap, toilet paper, shampoo, as Food Assistance does not cover these items
~I have nothing to sell
~The internet, cell phone service, heat will be turned off in 10 days
~I have no legal counsel
~Mr. Lyle was late with the last scheduled spousal support payment of $400.00 and is threatening not to pay me during the month of January. I have no counsel
~With 11 cents to my name, I will be likely be homeless at the end of this month, as my landlord will put us out
~I have no money
~I have no cash flow
~I have an address but no stability
~I cannot do this by myself, recover, without asking for help
~I suppose this is what some folks might call rock bottom

~I am alone, without adult companionship

~I am a battered spouse

~Our mental, physical, spritual, economic fitness are tightly intertwined

I need to ask for your help. And, actually I am begging for it. Any donation you could spare will help my boy and myself bridge this gap, allow me not only to survive the most difficult transition of my life, but to stand up, thrive, move forward, begin to live again, perhaps for the first time in decades.

Denver is a very good place for us to be, the people kind, the Rockies beautiful, and we have had moments of peace. Life here is positive, diverse, healthy. As a result, this is a boom town, with jobs and housing being created at breakneck speeds. It is a great place for us.

I also try to keep my perspective. Though we had no heat during the record arctic cold snap here in November, all I could think about was those here who had no place to go, the indigent who might not get a bed, who might actually freeze to death. It concerned me greatly. Perspective is important, as is humility and grace. I am doing every thing I can. I am a fighter, a survivor, but this is beyond even me, my resourcefulness.Those of you who know me, know that I can and will make it, that these events are unprecedented, that working to help those less fortunate than myself is a huge part of my life.

Somehow, I have to stand up, stay up, compete, make major decisions alone, help myself, help my son and help my fellow man. I did not come to Colorado to fail. Ultimately this is my responsibility as an adult. I am a compassionate, giving, devoted woman, mother. I can do this.

Can you help us, please?

Thank you so very much for hearing me, for seeing me, for your humanity and love, truly.

Walk in beauty and peace~

Mom and Son

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Gwendolyn Lyle 
Denver, CO
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