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I am a single mom of two sons. Back in June, 2001 my husband ran up our credit cards and took all our money and abandoned our family. He was a compulsive gambler and I was not working at the time. He left me $50 and nothing else. All bills fell behind and by the time I found work my home went into foreclosure. We lost the house, the majority of our belongings and our dog was even put down by the local shelter we thought would watch him. We even lived without heat and hot water because our old heater because our old heater filled the house with carbon monoxide and the gas company shut us down. We could not afford to fix it. After a short time of homelessness, I paid the only landlord in 100 called who would rent to us an extreme amount of money for a down payment on a rental apt. I was working two to three jobs and attending college part time. I had a heart attack in Sept 2005, but I went back to work/school soon after. My day job supplied the majority of my income, which is low to begin with, but I depend on my second income to feed us. In July, 2006 a co-worker at my day job began to harass me and bully me. It was another women so it did not fall under sexual harassment or EEOC guidelines. She did everything humanly possible to make my work life miserable knowing that I could not quit since my family depended on my income (everyone at work knew my story). She even had other people at work joining in because they did not want to incur her bullying. By the end of Oct. I was experiencing chest pain, anxiety, depression and dreading going in to work. I asked my principal if I could have a room change but was denied. My bloodpressure rose to stoke level and I have been out of work since Nov. 1. With all I have been threw in the past 5 years I have never had to go on medication for my nerves until now.
Workmans comp. will not cover it, it is "stress related" and I had a second job and was told I had to stop working there, not be compensated for lost wages either. My second job said I would be fired as they need someone to cover for me. NJ state temp. disability says its workmans comp and I can not work the second job, so lose it (it is a library and I have been there for 5 years). I am not being paid (no sick/vacation time or private disability). For the first time since we have been in this apt. (since 2003) I can not pay the rent and we face homelessness again this Christmas. I have worked so hard to build us back up, but my salary only went so far and once you fall from grace it is a long, long way back. My ex does not pay support and is $159,000 in arears. I had to file for bankruptcy because I was being sued for 10% of my income for one of the credit cards he ran up in 2001. We have no food, and for the first time in a long time I am scared. I do not know if I could go through another homeless period in my life, I do not think I could bear it.
The only way my day job will take me back is if I go back into the same classroom with my abuser and the same principal who did not care enough about me to give me a simple room change. Everyone at work (40 people) know about this as Human resources did an investigation. Thats cruel, but it is the way it is. I have no money for lawyers, and they say since its not EEOC give up, you will lose. I am lost. I want to feel better and find a better job (I am only 6 credits from a BA in history that took 8 years to complete part time). If I go back there my doctor says I risk having a stroke or worse. But if we lose everything again I do not have the strength to pull through. Please consider helping us pay our rent until I can find a way out of this. God Bless You.