As my friends - especially Klaudia and Kristal - encouraged me to tell you "my story," I must admit, doing so has always been difficult in the past and may be even more so now, but here it goes.
For over two decades I was married to a man who is a narcissist. Narcissism is not simply about the narcissist thinking he looks good and is the best at everything, it also means - in my case that - that he was mentally, emotionally, spiritually, financially and physically abusive to my two children and myself. It was a slow, insidious process, one which caused deep wounds for all three of us. I feared for our safety for he often said I was not going to be allowed to leave. The underlying threat was always there, but I finally found the strength to leave.
Because my ex is quite brilliant, he found a loophole in the Washington State divorce law code and I was left financially with absolutely nothing. He still has all of our property, financial instruments, and frankly - most importantly - the memories of my children and family heirlooms, things for now, at least, I can do without as we have the most important one: we are now SAFE, and healing.
Four years ago, my son (who has Pervasive Developmental Disorder, Not Otherwise Specified – a form of Autism) and I left North Carolina and came back to what I knew as home. My daughter is also here in college. Although I grew up in Oregon, my parents and siblings now live in Washington state. Jack and I moved in with my parents with the knowledge that I would be working part time and completing my Master of Arts in Professional Counseling.
During the last four years, I have been in intense counseling trying to undo all that I knew and the horrible belief systems that had been installed in me for almost 30 years. I must admit I went through some dark times and still have issues with my PTSD, anxiety, and depression. In addition, I have tried to help my children undo all that they have been through.
Since I have been here, I have been working part time, going to school full time, and getting involved in local organizations such as AWOB to get to know other women and to expand my knowledge. At the time of this writing I am just 5 weeks shy of the goal of earning my Master’s Degree. The idea was that I would be able to live where I am until the degree was completed and I was firmly established in a career.
Sadly, that arrangement has come to an unexpected end.
I must find a place to live for my son, our two small dogs and myself before the end of the year, and my income is simply not even enough for a single room. For any type of "state" assistance, I've been advised to separate from my son and consider placing him in a home - this is not an option and it breaks my heart to even hear it. I honestly have no idea how I am to accomplish this, but have been encouraged by the love of so many fabulous friends who continue to tell me that we are ONE - one community, one family, simply one. I truly believe something wonderful can & will happen to allow us to move and for me to be able to get on my feet.
Thank you so very much for your love and support during this difficult time for us. As I have little concern for "stuff," all we really need is sufficient funds to rent/lease a temporary home for the next few months. I've done extensive research on low income housing (it seems my income is too low to qualify (!) and there is little availability at this time of year), have explored other options (leasing a trailer to park on a friend's property), but I'm running out of time and see fewer and fewer safe options. Thank you, again, for your gift and well wishes.
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