So since I began this blog I shared my life about domestic violence. I shared painful intimate things that happened, how Sara was conceived through rape, the disfigurement of my face, the scars not only on the outside but the inside as well. Living in fear while always looking over my shoulder to now judging every single man that crossed my path.
So what constitutes a survivor and what is the definition of a survivor? Well, we can ask a million people what their own definition is of a survivor and we will have a million different answers. We survive car accidents, surgery, falls, hip replacements, breast cancer, cancer, divorce, the list goes on and on. But to survivor domestic violence is one thing that is right up there with everything else.
I can sit and type out my stories, share how others are not alone, I can hopefully inspire someone to get out, how I got out, how escaping such a life can be the hardest and scariest thing to ever do. I have read countless stories of women who have not survived domestic violence and death becomes them. I had met parents who have buried their daughters from domestic violence. I have shared my story on stage in front of hundred of women who have just escaped domestic violence and how getting their life back on track is really hard.
I learned a lot about myself, I learned how strong I am, I learned how to overcome such tragedy, I learned how to fight back, I learned how to accept defeat with grace and dignity, and I learned how to live in fear.
The best thing I ever did for myself was going to therapy. My therapist taught me what "red flags" are and how to look for red flags without the other person knowing what your searching for in them. Did I still live with being bitter, YOU BET! did I learn to be a bitch, YOU BET! did I learn to judge other men while hurting my chances of finding love, YOU BET! I had ultimately without knowing it, slowly I was becoming my own worst enemy.
My therapist told me that was of course there is a learning curve that I had to search deep down within my own soul of finding that happy place. How was I learn what a happy place was when I was miserable with myself and having a true misunderstanding of what happiness even was?
Finding my way back to being social was the hardest must misunderstood journey with myself. I was learning to me a mother, and not just any mother but a single mother. I was learning to hopefully find some solace with just life in general. Every large bang or sound made me jump, made my heart race, made me second guess my surroundings.
Life with two daughters was moving on and Savi was growing as well as Sara and I had managed to land a job working at a local janitorial firm. I was sick and tired of living on food stamps and cash-aid and not really having any kind of help from Rick. I had given up on Rick and collecting any child support and he had given up on working and no matter what I did to try to collect anything from him, he just become more bullet proof with any judge, commissioner, or any court that I attended.
Life was just moving along for everyone else but for me, I always felt like I was on this moving escalator and it was going round and round never going anywhere. The job I had was slowly giving me some peace and I was now beginning to trust some people not just anyone though. I had managed to land a one bedroom apartment for me and both girls. Savi and Sara slept in the bedroom while I slept on the pull out couch in the living room. It wasn't the best place but it was our place.
The janitorial company I was working at was a franchise company meaning that they sold franchises to people wanting to own their own business doing janitorial work. One of the biggest franchise owners was Pedro Garcia. He had the knack and talent of taking twenty five cents and turning it into twenty five thousand dollars.
He was rich, good looking and he had a heart of gold. Every single time he came in we talked and talked and I often had to contact him regarding the multiple franchises he bought into. Every single woman that was single inside this company wanted him but they only wanted him because he was RICH!
The manager of this company Jason, was just a snake in the grass. Jackie, the account receivable manager was just as much a snake in the grass as Jason. Often I would see them both talking behind closed doors about finances within the company which was supposed to have me attend but I was always left out of those meetings. Jason had managed to give me a job promotion as quality assurance which meant I had to keep track of the all the accounts that was sold as well as any money that transpired between the current franchise owners and new franchise owners. I was also in charge of setting up training nights and the hiring of cleaners for the franchise owners.
One summer afternoon I was in the file room and I was tending to Pedro's files because he just purchased over ten thousand dollars of new business. I began skimming through the new accounts he had purchased but there was a lack of reporting any money that changed hands from Pedro to Jason for these new accounts. That of course set off the "RED FLAGS" that was when I noticed Jason was driving a new car, sporting new suits, taking multiple vacations and he was always trying to get Pedro to buy into more business.
I took Pedro's file and began photo copying all the current new accounts and how the money was not put into the file. It had appeared that he purchased this new business but no money had switched hands yet. I went to my office and closed the door and called Pedro immediately. I asked to meet him privately somewhere to talk without anyone hearing. I begged him to not say anything to Jason yet until I got to the bottom of things.
Once we met he began flipping through all the new accounts then wondering why the ten thousand dollars he brought in was not recorded. That made Pedro look like he was stealing business from the company. That put him in financial jeopardy.
I told Pedro I was going to balance Jason's books and see if in fact he is recording any and all monies that transpired with the new accounts and where the money was going. As I began the balancing of money I began to notice that fifty thousand dollars was not recorded for new business. I immediately took it to Jackie the company bookkeeper and she just looked like a deer caught in head lights.
She questioned why I was balancing books then becoming alarming suspicious. I just stood there looking at her waiting to answer me. She of course never did. So, I left the room and took my findings to Jason's office presenting what I found. '
I remember the conversation like it was just seconds ago...
"Why are you balancing my books, what is the meaning of you doing this and what are you accusing me of?" Jason just stared at me wide-eyed and fearful. You know that look, when someone gets caught and they can no longer look into your eyes any longer.
"Because there is fifty thousand dollars of new business missing that you failed to log into the franchise owners files. That Jason makes it look like they are stealing business, do you want to share with me why the purchases that these franchise owners made is not recorded?"
"I owe you no explanation and I am insulted that you are accusing me."
"Accusing you, those are your words Jason not mine. Sixty percent of the business is from Pedro so you either tell me where the money is or I will get on the horn and share this information with the franchise owners as well as corporate in San Diego along with the police. I believe fifty thousand dollars is a felony."
After leaving Jason's office and him now freaking out that I knew his secret I had over fifteen messages from Pedro, Joe and Nancy, Felix, and other franchise owners that was part of that fifty thousand dollars. That was when I saw Jackie running into Jason's office knowing that the gig was up. I had caught them both. Jason was stealing money and giving part of the money he was stealing form the franchise owners to Jackie as well. Man oh man, there was turmoil in the office. Everyone was asking me what was going on, why Jackie was almost in tears and why Jason was so pissed at me.
I called Pedro and told him to meet me for dinner and we could talk. Pedro called the other franchise owners as well and what I thought would be just me and him at dinner turned out to me a social meeting with very pissed people.
After everyone left Pedro and I sat alone and we began to talk, and talk, and talk. Little did we both know a relationship was developing and it was a great relationship at that.
Love Begins for Me!!