My waking up to the realities of my life, including the ones I had buried and other realities people also refused to believe or denied resulted, not just in the end of a nineteen-year marriage, but my slide into a deep, debilitating depression.
The marriage ending was no surprise, in retrospect, because it was built on falseness, including my own. Falseness created by a woman-child who had been severely harmed in her younger years and, subconsciously, was looking for safety in the guise of what was considered normal.
But the truth must come out or we, all of us, pay the consequences for living not just an unauthentic life, but a life that needs to be supported by acceptable untruths to make other people allow us into the pack.
We may appear to fit into the pack we think we need to be a part of to the point we become chameleons, sadly adapting to the point we lose our identity.
In the mid 1990’s, I realized I had lost mine and became undone.
Facing long-buried memories my mind had protected me from resulted in a waking up that was actually exhilarating because finally things and my life were starting to make sense. And even though successful in many people’s eyes, deep down I knew I was living marginally compared to what I, and some other people, believed I was capable of doing.
In the process of reclaiming my true identity, talents, and skills, I did not change my life, but also the lives of people in my life. Many people were hurt or angry, or both, and most walked, even ran away, though appearances made it look as if I was running away. In truth, they had left me, though not physically, long before I had the courage to leave.
Then I met someone who treated me with respect, care, and acceptance beyond what I had ever known, But, broken as I had been before I married, the end of many relationships, including the long-term marriage, resulted from many people’s unwillingness to just let me explore what was revealed as important to me and to let me in my own time and in my own way.
Sadly, but understandably now, even he ran away because well, I was literally falling apart at the seams and no one I knew wanted to be around so I left … dropped out of the life I had known.
Trying to save face and keep myself afloat, I denied the deep depression grabbing at my ankles, trying to pull me into a dark abyss. Money became an issue when I was laid off, but since my head was fogged with bad daydreams and worse nightmares, plus pride, overcoming the shame to seek and ask for help was prevented and I found myself slipping further into the abyss.
With no money, bills piling up, credit maxed to the limit, no food, and a roof over my head would soon not be able to afford, my body and my spirit laid down for ten days, barely getting out of bed to go to the washroom and take a sip of water. Only when someone showed up and discovered my state did things start to change, though not for the better.
In a matter of weeks, I found myself living in a suburban home in a room, ashamedly paid for by welfare. In a month, an unexpected call from a retail art and framing gallery. Finally, I was climbing up rather than sliding down. And I was grateful for a job where I was left alone to do a job in a world I wanted to explore. Creditors were the only ones interested in me now and I could not bear the harsh, cruel worlds and threats, so, since I had no idea how or when things were going to turn around I bowed my head further and filed for bankruptcy, handing my much-loved motorcycle back to the bank.
When I had expressed interest in moving to the west coast, a finance professional suggested I make the move so I could get my life back on track, including clearing my debts without the abusive creditors’ pressure. But, still gripped tightly by depression and a profound loss of confidence, I did not see a way to make the move. And frankly, I did not want to move away from those I loved, even if they no longer loved me, because I was clinging to the hope they would come back for me, in order to keep me moving forward.
After all I have been through, credit was not something I wanted to get involved with again and for several years I avoided it. But, when I was compelled by circumstances to move back to the place where I used to and where my dad still lived to help him through his last years, I could not do it without credit because I was forced to quit work to be on call for him twenty four hours a day. There was no other other financial support available to me.
When the collection calls started to come this time, I referred to the letters I had sent all my creditors explaining that I would not file for bankruptcy, but at some point I would pay back all my debts to them personally, and eventually with interest. Collection companies though would not listen and I discovered through the wretched process yet another significant contributor to abuse and its impact on people already struggling … a humanitarian injustice I will work to change.
And as someone who is now dedicated fully now to transforming how people are treated, regardless of their differences, circumstances, etc., I have been applying for grants to reboot the social business venture I initially started in 2014, but was stalled by parental care needs and the fallout of that time period.
I was inspired to share this glimpse of my life with the supporters of my quest to transform respect from a discretionary value to a global principle, with those who just want the money that was not even theirs to begin with and any interested party.
In time, God’s timing I believe, my company will secure the grants needed to get off the ground, running, and thriving. And in time, the creditors who enabled me to be there with my dad during his last, very difficult years will receive the rewards, not just of the money returned with interest, but also with the valuable lesson that not all people are out to screw creditors and treating people respectfully provides the motivation people need to repay debts rather than write them off. Financial institutions, as well as businesses, are also accountable too for exploiting people, especially low income people who earn poverty wages businesses offer, pay high percentages of their income for rent and utilities, and are encouraged strongly by media to want what they cannot afford.
With the COVID-19 pandemic being the going concern and the buzz phrase, “We’re in this together” promoting the impact we have on each other, now is the time to really get it … that we are all connected and what one person, one group, one organization, and one nation do impacts us all, so how and what we choose to do makes us problem makers or problem solvers.
As someone finally wide-awake, I choose to be a problem solver and fortunately, inherently I excel at problem solving because of the way I see things.
As for whom it may concern, know this … I now know, mistakes and all, I am just as valuable as anyone else and no one gets to treat me as anything less than one worthy of respect … simply for being a life.
KAITLIN ANN TREPANIER
Specialist Writer Speaker Social Entrepreneur Founder and President
of Connecting The Dots With The Respect Principle
Smashwords interview @ www.smashwords.com
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April 18, 2020