Life is beyond challenging right now. I’ve had to go off work on medical leave because the unbelievable stress of the job was causing my already poor health to deteriorate even more. My normally low blood pressure was dangerously elevated and my heart was racing. I’d gone from being stressed out coming home from work to being stressed out going to work.

It is impossible to adequately describe just how bad working for Stream is. Many of the things that happen are beyond belief. The pressure is intense and they treat you like dirt. They strip you of any self worth and dignity and treat you like a five year-old.

Added to the stress of leaving the job, there are so many things crashing in on me. I ended up in this God-forsaken city because of a woman who ended up cheating on me after I moved here to be with her. I could not get a job for the life of me. The night I lay in my filthy bed in oppressive 40 degree heat, afraid for my life, I knew this was a low point in my life. I finally got into The Unity Project after being kicked out of the Mission because welfare wouldn’t let me stay. Despite all the odds against me I managed to land a job at Home Depot. I got an apartment downtown and felt my life was finally turning around, but after a short time Home Depot cut my hours back to twelve a week and I could not afford my apartment. My landlord was extremely understanding and forgave me one month’s rent. After six months I managed to get into public housing and welfare paid my $115 rent. Again I managed to beat t6he odds and got the job at Stream. Around the same time I also got my early pension and was approved for ODSP. No sooner had all this good stuff happened than London Housing increased my rent to the maximum, $612 and ODSP cut off my benefits, including my drug card, which has been covering my almost $500 a month in medications. I managed to appeal and won or today I would be long gone.

No question that my life has been pretty crazy the last few years. After the disaster with the reno in Westbank, moving to Panama and getting ripped off for everything I owned, returning to stay with my cousin in Toronto and then moving to London, I had been conveniently ignoring my pathetic finances. Not only had I gone down in flames with the reno, I had not paid income tax for years and I owed over $150,000 to everyone. I needed a “line in the sand” to start over and for the second time in my life I had to file for bankruptcy. It was somewhat academic because no one would give me credit anyway after trashing my credit with the reno. After meeting with the trustee she informed me that all I had to do was pay them $347 a month to go bankrupt. If I had a spare $347 a month I wouldn’t be going bankrupt, would I? Pretty sad when you can’t even afford to go bankrupt.

My car also picked this time to start falling apart. In addition to no air and a leaking gas tank my ignition now locks up and takes me forever playing with it to start the car. How can I sell my car with this happening? I still owe more than it’s worth and don’t know how I am going to sell it in this condition.

Out of the blue, which makes me suspicious of my trustee, I got a demand from Revenue Canada to pay my back taxes or else. I guess it was a good time to go on medical leave because they would probably have put a garnishee on my wages anyway. I think they can get 30% of your gross, leaving me even less to live on. Add the 30% London Housing is taking and, well, what’s the point in working, especially when it’s killing you?

Nothing has been more stressful and caused more sadness than the situation with my kids. When I moved West with their blessing in 1993 I never expected that this would end our relationship. I will go to my grave never understanding why they did this. Not only did they cut me out of their lives, but also the grandparents who loved them deeply. Whatever their issue with me it hurt my parents that they also cut them off. After I first moved out I sent cards and letters to my daughter, but she never replied. My Dad called her from Arizona but she never called him back. I drove across Canada in the winter to see my daughter but my ex and her new husband hid her away, refusing to let me see her. I stayed with my son for three weeks, hoping somehow to see my daughter, but I ended up driving back through my tears.

In 2007, out of the blue, my son connected with me through a social networking site. We ended up talking for over eight hours and I thought things would be good for us. I had connected with my granddaughter, Danielle, and we had been talking every day online. It had come out in the phone call that my son was in trouble with Canada Post and was going to be charged with some sort of fraud. I worked tirelessly for days, investigating exactly what had happened and making contact with the Postmaster General to get advice on what to do. I sent everything I had found along with what to do. I never heard from him again. No idea why. I suspected that his mother wasn’t to pleased that he had made contact with me and discouraged him from continuing. Not only did he never get back to me on what I had sent to him, but he also cut me off from Danielle. I had learned from her that my daughter was pregnant and due any day so I asked her to let me know when she had the baby. Weeks went by and I kept asking Danni if my daughter had had the baby? Finally, weeks later, she told me that she was not allowed to tell me. That really hurt.

Last year, partly through his ex, who had stayed in touch with me, we reconnected yet again, sending messages back and forth through Facebook. He’s a videographer with a dance troupe and told me he was going to be at a show in London the end of March. After seventeen long years apart, I was thrilled at the idea of seeing him again. It was going to be his birthday March 27th when he was here so I got a framed picture of us dirt-biking in BC with my Dad and brother. He had said that was one of the happiest times of his life, so I thought he would really appreciate the framed photo. He said he would call me after they got setup on Thursday night and we would meet somewhere. I went out and bought some new clothes; got my haircut; got all ready around dinnertime and waited for his call. He didn’t call until after eleven because he had gone out for a free dinner with the crew. I was beyond disappointed that, after seventeen years apart, it wasn’t important enough to see me. I suggested we go out Saturday night, but he never called. Finally on Sunday he called to meet him for lunch. We got a very rushed forty-five minutes before he had to go back to work, not exactly what I was expecting.

Over the course of the next few months he said he was getting a car and maybe we could arrange to meet somewhere for a longer visit. At one point I messaged him suggesting it would be great if he and the girls could meet me somewhere like Wasaga Beach and have a couple of days together. No answer. My messages got a little more urgent because he hadn’t answered me for weeks and I was getting worried. I finally asked him to just let me know he was okay and ask if we were back not speaking again? No answer. Finally I sent him a message asking why he was doing this to me all over again? His response?

“Im.not sure if i should dignify this message with a response. Balls and out from moms skirt huh. That was never the case and never will be the case. You have no idea who i am. You are planning family vacations with the girls. They have no idea who u are. Their grandfather died two years ago and so did the father Heather and I deserved. You are in the position u are in because of these messages. think.about it. i wish u the best out West. I have enough going my life without this garbage. thanks. this acct is now officially closed. Goosbye. i wish u np harm and i.hope u find hsppiness. bye”

This after months of only asking if he was okay. The saddest part was that I really hoped he would take the one minute out of his life to send me a simple text message on Father’s Day. Was that too much to ask? The twenty-three years I busted my ass supporting my family, doing everything possible to support his hockey meant nothing. Somehow everything is MY fault? He takes no responsibility for anything he has done. These are not the values I taught them.

At one point I discovered a beautiful photo of my daughter with her two kids and posted it proudly on my Facebook page. She immediately reported me to Facebook who threatened to cancel my account if I didn’t remove the photo. This from a daughter who I never missed one of her soccer games, despite working long hours while her mother sat on her ass at her mother’s, not even filing for EI to help out? This from the daughter who spent three of the best weeks of my life with out West and told me to stay there because she saw I was so much happier? This from the daughter I had gone biking with, sailing with, skating with and spent so many happy hours with?

There seems to be no end to their cruelty. When I learned that my ex’s new husband had died I truly felt sorry for her, plus he was my friend for years long before they got married. I asked my son for an address for her so that I could send a sympathy card. He said he couldn’t give me that information. Why not?

Obviously I’ve always suspected that my ex interfered with any attempts I made to stay in touch with my kids. At one point, just after I moved, I sent my daughter a cheque for Christmas because I didn’t know what she wanted. The cheque was never cashed and I suspect that she never got the letter because my ex kept it from her. No doubt she got the impression that I had somehow abandoned her if she never got anything I sent to her. Nothing could be further from the truth. I have loved her every day of my life and I was so proud of her.

My health is not good and my doctors have been warning me that I am a poster child for a heart attack. Despite all the things that are piling in on me causing me great stress, I have dealt with these things in the past and I will again. Nothing short of losing my dear parents has hurt as much as how my kids have written me out of their lives. I have five grandchildren, only one of whom I met when she was a baby. They have apparently been told I am dead. At least inside, I am.

Only God knows the truth here. No matter what anyone thinks, I have never done anything to intentionally hurt anyone. I don’t have it in me. Regardless of how hard I try I’m always on the receiving end of such cruelty, which I don’t deserve. Murderers get paroled. Child molesters get forgiven. People convicted of defrauding people of their life savings never pay it back. God knows I have done nothing to deserve to be treated so badly. If I have any chance of making it into a heaven, only God knows I deserve to be there. Hopefully I will at least join my dear parents, who also know the truth.