Phoebe's Life After Domestic Abuse

I never thought I'd be doing this, but here we are.

Some of you may know that I left my husband abruptly in August, after more than 11 years of marriage. What you may not know is that during the past several years, I was also the victim of domestic abuse and violence. I don't think it's appropriate to go into detail, but suffice it to say, the past 6 months have been hands-down the most difficult I've ever experienced, and although I have transitioned from "victim" to "survivor", I'm still in danger of my new life falling apart before it truly starts.

Before I get any further into this, let me just say that the bottom line is I'm working very hard to pick up the pieces and get things back on track, but too much has happened too quickly for me to beat the financial clock. The last thing I want to do is air out my business and beg for help, but unfortunately at this point, pride is a luxury I can't afford.

That said, nobody should feel obligated to help, you absolutely should not send money if you don't have it to spare, and I'm not here to judge you if you're unwilling or unable. If you can and do, though, it will be appreciated tremendously.

Unfortunately, when it rains, it really does pour, and there have been a number of complications that have made this process far more emotionally, physically, and financially taxing than I even imagined. Here are the cliffnotes:

1. I moved 3 times in about a month and a half, which even when done cheaply has not been cheap, and still have things in storage that I haven't been able to retrieve yet due to physical/financial limitations.

2. I've been out of work on Disability Leave for the better part of a year due to degenerative spinal problems, as well as other health issues. The medical expenses I've incurred trying to literally get back on my feet continue to climb while I am almost entirely without income, and my Disability claim expires this week.

3. The first apartment I moved into after I left turned out to be an illegal addition with untenable conditions and a scammer of a "landlord" who ghosted me as soon as I asked for my money back. A tenant lawyer (whom I paid) told me it wouldn't be worth suing.

4. I left almost everything behind except my clothes & shoes, etc. so although my standard of living has changed drastically, for the sake of my health & essential functions I've had to replace a number of basic items (mattress, bed, pots & pans, fridge, etc).

5. My expenses almost doubled overnight, due to paying for significantly higher rent, utilities, bills, debt, and whatnot by myself. On top of that, my ex took steps that further increased some of my most expensive bills.

6. Last week, I was in a car accident while on the way to my domestic violence therapist's office. The guy who suddenly merged into my lane without looking is now saying it wasn’t his fault, and I'm stuck in a lease so I am required to get the car fixed which will at least cost the deductible.

7. I am in serious need of one, possibly two lawyers, so it’s likely that at least half of this goal, if reached, will go towards legal fees.

Other snags have arisen along the way, but that's the abridged version of how this situation came to be. Whether you are unable to contribute financially or disagree with the very principle, there are other ways to help, should you be so inclined. Some ideas for interpersonal donations include, but are not limited to:

1. Let me know if you are aware of any full-time job opportunities that aren't physically taxing (unfortunately, I’m not able to wait tables, bartend, strip, etc).

2. I would not be insulted by gift cards to practical places like Trader Joe's, Target, etc.

3. Pass along any recommendations you might have for lawyers (we can discuss the particulars privately).

4. If your yoga class lets you bring a plus-one even once, or something like that, I'd love to join you!

5. Spend an hour with me over coffee so I can reconnect with you, be social, and get out of the house.

6. Bring me along if you volunteer and/or let me know if you need help with something; I'd love to give back (may need to postpone until I have a job though; work must be priority #1).

At the end of the day, I wouldn't be asking for money if I didn't absolutely need it. But I appreciate your time, consideration, and support in any form it takes. This experience has shown me that I'm an incredibly lucky girl, because I know some of the most wonderful people this world has to offer, and any/all acts of kindness mean more to me than I know how to express. I hope to return each and every gesture of support as best I can once I'm standing on my own two feet again.

With love & thanks,

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Phoebe L'amour 
Sun Valley, CA
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