At the beginning of 2017, I was doing extremely well for myself. I had just moved to Ashalnd, VA from Chesapeake, VA where i had lived trying to establish myself for about a year after i made the huge decision to leave everything behind in Seattle and move clear across the country. Both were much needed moves and fresh starts as I had been dealing with the recent divorce of my parents and complete abandonment from my father. I lost all financial support from my parents around 20.
Once i made it to Ashland, I had landed 2 jobs, bought a car, and had finally become completely self sufficient.
At 22 with no financial foundation from my parents, this is not easy so i was super proud alongside my new boyfriend, Joey. He and i shared a town home though he lost his job very soon after i moved in. I got him a gig with me at one of my 2 jobs and it was a dream come true, i couldnt have been more happy for what my future had in store. Unfortunately within a matter of weeks our normal relationship issues escalated beyond normalcy. Alot of my income went towards Joeys drinking habits which was especially awful because of how hed treat me when he drank. It was textbook emotional abuse that manipulated my every thought. I was convinced i was worthless and kicked out of the house in my underwear more than once. The words he used against me are unrepeatable. It was an unsafe situation but i stayed because he and worked and payed the bills toegther.
Months of this passed and i put up with it. If constantly demeaning and abusing a hard working, determined 22 year old girl made his 29 year old struggling self feel better, so be it for the time being.
Finally, he broke a boundary. He got violent. He said hed never lay a hand on me. I was immediately in secret contact with Hanover safe place to discuss my options as i knew it would only get worse from there. Within 24 hours of my first meeting with the safe place, he went to the bar angry right when i got home from work (he had been off all that day as well as the day before, i worked 7 days a week.) We got in an argument via text and he eventually came home. no more than 5 minutes passed and i, along with a substantial amount of my blood, was on the floor after taking a full-power, unprevoked punch to the jaw.
The first thing i did was take a picture of my bleeding face, the second thing was run to my car. Unfortunately i began to go into shock while driving so i pulled over and called 911. The officers that found me immediately issued a warrant for his arrest and an emergency protective order. I immediately had to quit both of my jobs, abandon most of my stuff, grab my cat, and flee town. This began a long battle which included him violating the protective order and harassing me 5 seperate times (as determined by the magistrate, 5 seperate warrants), stealing my car, vandalizing/destroying my belongings, threatening both his and my friends and family, spending over a week total in jail, and being bailed out by his mother twice. Even through all of the publicity and punishment he has already recieved he continues to fight and lie to everyone. He will be tried for his crimes July 20 in the case Common Wealth vs. Joseph Ludwig. I will keep everyone updated on the outcome of the trial.
This has been an overwhelming, destructive, and dibhilitating experience for me and those who love me. My physical wounds have healed for the most part but the emotional healing i kow i need is beyond comprehension. I really thought I loved him. Unfortunately i cant properly focus on all that until my living situation is established as i had to quit both of my jobs and relocate back to chespeake where i am currently couch surfing with my cat. I am working with local domestic abuse services but this has become a very long proccess and they can only do so much.
Following is a list of financial resposibilities i have to take care of ASAP, though i have almost completely exhausted my savings and i have no income.
My car (>$600):
- It is currently in an investigations impound lot as they could not find physical evidence of Joey stealing it (he abandoned it in a parking lot and we lived together so fingerprints wont be valid). I must pay towing costs to retrieve it, im guessing minimum $100.
-I need to transfer the title from when i bought it, $75
-Registration and tabs expired (i need to renew them before i can retrieve it as well) about $150
-It currently doesnt run well longer than 10 minutes so it is stuck up in ashland until i can fix the O2 filter which is $200 for the part alone
A place to live (>$2000):
-First and last months rent, a studio in the norfolk area (where im conducting my job hunt) is over $700/month, so $1400 minimum
-Deposit is usually around $300, since i have a cat.
-I do not own a bed ($200 for just a matress) or alot of other necessities as i have only ever lived with a partner and we shared resposibilities, plus i will need assistance moving.
Medical treatment (>$400)
-My ER bills from Joeys punch will likely be covered (4 stitches and xrays) but im not sure about the rest. I still have regular pain in my jaw that i would like to get looked at and i currently have no medical provider. no estimate.
-I very desperately need a tooth pulled. I have not been able to chew on that side of my mouth for almost 5 months and it HURTS! I was about to get it pulled at VCU before the incident and icould no longer afford it. Student practice tooth extraction is minimum $200.
Any leads on local establishments hiring i would love to share my resume with anyone and everyone interested. This list doesnt include food for myself and my cat, prexisting bills and debts, and further repairs that my car needs. Who knows what kind of income i can land in this emergency situtaion on such short notice so some savings would be extremely helpful as well.
I cant thank you all enough for reading and supporting.
- Carina Barnes
- Ashtyn Wilkins
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