The past 6ish months unemployed had left my financial situation bleak to say the least. My cable has been out for over a month now (which means no TV, no internet, and no home phone service). My bank account is over drawn, I barely kept my power from being cut off, and November's rent has been past due... Well Yesterday I went to the Crisis Assistance Ministry and after sitting around all day finally got in for an interview.... For the first time in my life I'm actually going to be receiving some financial aid from the government (not counting unemployment) I'm getting 2 months rent and 1 month electric bills paid for, so now as my checks come in I'll be able to get right back on my feet in weeks instead of struggling to keep my head up for months trying to get caught back up!
However, even more surprising to me than receiving the aid, is that while I was there I met a beautiful young woman who has been in a similar situation. Her name is Leeann, she reminds me a little of Julie, and at the same time she has drastic differences. Like Julie, she can't see past the small imperfections she has to see the natural wholesome beauty she has within her. She seems smart, caring, sweet, and compassionate. Also she seems to have come to the point that she knows she has to end a long term (6 years) relationship with a man that isn't good for her, though in this case it's far worse that what Julie has with Mike. However that's where many of the similarities stop. She has used, and while I didn't ask I assume she still uses Marijuana on occasion. She doesn't believe in god, and looks on religion as a tool that has been used to teach good ethics and morals, little more. She is also a "conspiracy theorist" believing, and perpetuating almost every conspiracy concept out there. Anyway while there we spent the day talking with two other ladies about all sorts of things. Her "boyfriend" showed up a couple times I'm not sure if he was just waiting outside in the car leaving her alone to handle the headache of waiting around for help, or if he was just goofing around doing whatever he felt like and swinging by from time to time. Either way around 1pm he just left her there while he went to work, leaving her with with no money, and no way to get home. Apparently (assuming everything she said was true, which I have little doubt of when I saw how she reacted the first time she saw him come in) this guy is the ultimate portrayal of the stereotypical controlling, abusive, drug using boyfriend. He's hit her several times at least, has stolen her money, lived off her while providing nothing for the majority of the 6 year relationship, unable to hold down a job, or even really try. He searches through her things to try and find out if she's cheating on him, grills her with questions any time she talks to someone else (male or female) or even takes longer than he thinks she should if she goes out for anything. She says she is ending the relationship and with the assistance she got it will fix her rental problem and allow her to use what income she does have (unemployment at the moment) to get a new apartment away from him. (Unfortunately the guy did ONE thing smart, and when they moved into their current apartment he got his name put on the lease along with hers, so she can't just throw him out.)
I know I want to, and will try to be there for her but I'm not sure if this has any potential beyond just helping a woman in need. I am definitely attracted to her, but there are big issues that would have to be faced. First the drug use would absolutely have to stop, I've spent my whole life staying away from drugs and the problems they caused, while seeing exactly what they do as my brother was involved with them constantly. Second I can understand how she feels on religion so I can be a little patient there, and perhaps even overlook it in time. After all, prior to meeting Julie I felt very similar. Finally, I can understand being intrigued by conspiracies, but there's a line somewhere between it being an interest, and it consuming your life. I can deal with someone who wants to watch a TV show if there's a conspiracy theory involved, it's an entirely different thing to have those theories affect how you live your live and the things you do because you are constantly concerned with matters that even if they ARE true, you have no control over.
Ultimately right now, I gave her my number (after she assured me she had some place to put it that he doesn't search and it wouldn't be an issue even if he did find it) and I have hers, and I know I have to be very careful about the circumstances of calling her while she is still with him. The only GOOD thing is that he got mad at her and through her phone on the ground a while ago and broke the LCD display, so he has no way to check her phone to see who is calling her, or who she calls. (though she does have one of the phones that ONLY has the touch screen, so she has to kind of remember/guess where the numbers are to dial out). She said she would call me tonight, I hope she does, there's two things I want to tell her, or maybe I should say I want her to promise me. I want her to promise that no matter how she does it, she moves away from him by the end of the year, and if he hits her again, she calls 911 first, and calls me next.
Now I have two women in my life who are trying to deal with breaking away from men who aren't good for them. Now I have two women in my life who I could easily see myself getting involved with if the chips fell the right way. One who would have to improve who she is, for me to take her in, the other who I would have to improve who I was for her to even consider letting me in. One who seems to have accepted that she is with a complete jerk and is just trying to do things delicately for self preservation, the other who is still in a daily struggle between leaving a good man she has loved for 12 years, but one who doesn't seem to like who she is, and seems will never be the kind of man she needs..... Financially my life just got a whole lot simpler.. yet it seems that it's now more complicated than ever!