Big Bully Boys

“You’re always at work!” a hateful soon-to-be X said to me.  He attempted to imprison me in one of rooms in my home — the one that was set up as the new income producing “guest room.”  It was OK if he was on call 24/7.  I worked 7/24, but my work never received respect. If he built something – it was an engineering feat.  When I painted walls and wood, it made everything come to life.  What did I hear?  “You just painted it . . .”

So cunning (con-ing) it was for me to pay rent in my own home – to work there.   Slowly, steadily my income was drained as I deposited my salary the  “joint account.”    I inquired about work outside the businesses to get additional income so I could have money.  Nope. “Just work your business more.”  So I did.  I worked and worked — and built and nurtured more amazing businesses.

It was just a few months earlier he said, “Get a job!”  Then came “You can’t afford this place” followed by “You don’t want to share the profits.”  — and those were the less ugly comments. The abuser used sever bullying and fear tactics to destroy everything I built for over 20 years.

The next-door un-neighborly lawyer joined in the stalking and harassment every Sunday afternoon that fateful summer of 2011.  4.5 years later, the knot is not officially untied.  Starting over has been the biggest challenge in my life to point. Yet, I always remember how precious it is to be free from attack. Freedom is a crucial element for living.

Stop Bullying in Schools Bullying stops here.

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Business Buzzards


The other day I was reminded of the unlikely product that showed up at a nearby gallery only one block down the street during 2010. It didn’t take long for them to add art classes — I had been offering those since 1994. But a pretzel?! I developed my own amazing pretzel recipe. I twisted my SofTwizts completely on my own. Have you ever heard of a gallery offering pretzels? Me neither. What unmittigated gall. That “downtown” gallery included Philly Pretzels within a couple months after snoop-scouting my studio coffeehouse. Whenever mARTi came up with another innovative idea, it was quickly included in another local (or gov’t funded library) business.


The latest stab in the back was the obvious buzzard business picking by the people who became replacements in my long-standing location. After perpetrated abuse resulted in the evacuation for my safety and employees/customers, I witnessed my brains being picked publically, perhaps with the aid of customers I advertised to obtain 😦
To add a twist of the knife of this knowledge, the location where the businesses I nurtured for over 2 decades — is back on the market within 1.5 years after my forced evacuation.

One of the advantages of an internet business is the sleuth-snooping will not directly impact my wallet and survival. When we speak of Cyber Space — that terminology gives me a bit of hope. I can create and help people around the world and my ideas are not as easily duplicated (except for downloading).

Secure Safe Shelter

Throughout my life, I learned of people who were homeless.  One person was an employee from a public school in which I taught for 10 years.  She and her children considered the car a home for several weeks.

  • There are 1,500 shelters for battered women in the US. There are 3,800 animal shelters. (Schneider, 1990) Numbers have increased in the same proportion since then.

A woman is seen in a shelter built by California artist Gregory Kloen.

Then, a young adult student whose father couldn’t pay the rent for an apartment they occupied entered the studio looking agitated.  I asked “Are you living in your car?”  He, reluctantly replied, “uhmhm, yes, I am”. My poignant and persistent question led him to ask if I knew of a place for him to stay.  Well, there was space . . . in the basement of my studios.  He stayed till he found an affordable apartment.

After opening a coffeehouse, another young person came for help.  He (an avid reader) had frequented the public library. The government-funded entity added a coffee shop (8 months after mine!) in the space this fellow took refuge. He crashed on sofas in friend’s homes.  I could only offer a bar of soap and towel to freshen up in the not-yet-opened pottery painting place.  He eventually moved 35 miles away to live with an aunt/uncle.

Empathy has always been part of my nature.   My kindness however was used to provide identity and income for illicit indigents.  I housed a family-in-law for 18 years in property I owned.  They needed assistance.   It seemed like the right thing to do . . .

Then — I finally woke up from the controlled cash captivity. The harm and hurt had to stop.   I couldn’t live in fear anymore, nor be a slave-tenant in my home.  MANipulated to pay to live and work in my own home, I was able to support myself, business, employees.  The fact that my family was covertly robbed and my community company was embezzled to support a con-X and HIS family — that was inconceivable.

The basement that once provided refuge to a former student became my only option.  The x-CON who I graciously agreed to house after his release — was fired from his job — replaced me in my own basement refuge.  I am shocked and dumbfounded that I was forced to leave my home and self-sustaining career.  MANeuvered by a Con, his Counsel and the Court.

Even Safety and Security take precedence over Shelter.

  •  The costs of intimate partner violence in the US exceeds $5.8 billion per year: $4.1 billion are for direct medical and health care services, while productivity losses account for nearly $1.8 billion.

California artist Gregory Kloen, who builds small portable homes using salvaged materials, says an inexpensive structure is a way to keep someone safe and out of jail.

How many of these shelters fit in one Pro-athlete, Politician, Lawyer or Hollywood home?

Leave it to a creative entrepreneur to solve a serious concern over shelter.   Government can’t do it — they’re too CONcerned about their own paychecks and trips to paradise island.

55 Alive

The number 55 may conjure up thoughts of control and restrictions.  A majority of state highways have the speed limit set at 55.  Studies over the years determined a reduction in fatal accidents after the highways reduced speed limits — from 65 & 60 down to 55.

My own state has a “Stay Alive – Drive 55” campaign to promote responsible driving, accident reduction and knowledge of traffic laws.   Citizens who want to reduce their auto insurance rates can participate in driver education courses about driving more defensively. The course is available to drivers age 55 and over.

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Drivers push the limits on the highways in a cat and mouse style game with law enforcement using the “everybody does it” expression to justify speeding.   I survived over 20 years with a person who used a radar detector to thwart authorities so he could drive anyway he chose — even at 140 mph — with ME in the car.   It was not exciting. It was not acceptable.  It was designed to show control and terrify me.   “I’m a good driver” wasn’t acceptable in response to my “Don’t drive like that with me in the car!”

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The paralegal who works in the law office that handled my divorce said I was the first person who cracked through the radar detector of control.   She was exceptionally perceptive in her analysis.   When someone has been as persistent and convincing through manipulation as a con-X — law enforcement and the legal system fail to recognize the pattern of abuse.  Until this year. . .

Anyone who is a survivor knows, physical wounds can be easier to heal than mental or financial abuse.   There has been an awareness of bullying in schools and communities, yet that information and knowledge lags far behind in a domestic relationship where an abuser is allowed to control through a license from the court.

55 is also the official age to be labeled a senior citizen.  Sure, when I was age 19, 30 seemed far off.  When I “reached” age 30, 40 seemed probable.   Then I “became” 40 — and 50 was likely.   This year I “turned” 55.    I celebrated — ALL day on my Birthday AND throughout the weekend.

I’m SO happy and relieved to be 55.

My future is uncertain at this moment, yet It IS certainly GREAT in comparison to living with abuse.   My father (d. 2009) , known as “Mr. Safety” asked me throughout my life: “Do you have enough money to live on?”

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“I secured my safety first, dad.” “I apologize for the money that was robbed from you and me”, I said when visiting his gravesite recently.  Now in the next few months, I expect that my financial future will be secured as well.  Not through revenge, greed or manipulative means, but through financial facts. This year is the beginning of a new life for me and that gives me hope for the brightest future ever.

55 and Alive to THRIVE.

More about being a “senior” in my next post . . .