I know these posts are frustrating to read. They were really frustrating to write. Remember to read between the lines. The fact I tolerated this behavior shows how sick I really was. Dave and Lindsay tolerated it because of how overwhelmed they were. So as you read these horrible stories think about Dave, Lindsay and me and how beaten down we must have been to allow this to happen and think what kind of a person Jessica is to have exploited a family in this kind of shape.
My cancer with its resulting surgeries and complications was a catastrophic event. We focused on the horses to survive but we had nothing left. That's what these people all realized. They knew they could get away with their scams because we were functioning like robots oblivious to our surroundings, doing what we must and ignoring what we didn't have the energy to handle. It wasn't pretty but what about cancer is....or abuse for that matter.
What we really needed was help and support. What we got was abuse.....and like all abuse victims the more we were abused, the more abuse we tolerated. We had no idea we were on this downhill slide. We were just trying to get through the day. We sure didn't see Jessica was only adding to our burden. Had we been able to see that, Jessica, and those who followed, would have been out of luck. As it was our farm was like a revolving door for anyone low enough to maximize on our misfortune.
I know it is hard to understand why we didn't get what was happening unless you have seen someone, or been yourself, so traumatized by life that you can't see the light at the end of the tunnel. Those who exploited us knew how to say exactly what we needed to hear. They didn't give us what they promised but they knew how to keep us believing it was going to happen.
I know I have not repeated those conversations as they happened because it would make this black story plod on all the longer. Instead I have tried to share the basics of how we were reeled in and what it took for it to be enough to see the game.
Most of the time when this happens, it takes someone on the outside to realize a family is being exploited. It is rare for a person suffering, as I have these last two years, to figure out and put a stop to such victimization. While I didn't get it as soon as I wish, I did get it and put a stop to it. Unfortunately it all came at a price.
What is remarkable about this story is that we have come out the other side at all. Despite the odds stacked against us with Dave losing his job and then my being struck down by this illness, the horses are doing great, the farm is gradually being restored and our family is intact. Few people would have survived such ordeals and still managed to do right by the horses. All across the country the news has been filled with horse rescue stories from people whose circumstances where less dire than here.
I hope anyone who reads this series of posts will remember it and how strong I was before my life took this turn. Anyone, no matter how strong, can end up this vulnerable. Sharing my story is to protect others from similar exploitation. I would hope if you know someone going through such a life changing experience you might check on them and even ask some questions to be sure no one is exploiting them. It is an unfortunate fact of life that someone will be lurking otherwise, just waiting for the opportunity to profit.
I knew when I began this series of posts, and particularly these about Jessica and those after her, that I was opening myself up to criticism. Some people are cruel and they look for the opportunity to berate others so they can feel better about themselves. It only made sense exposing such vulnerability would open the door to such bullies.
For the person who posted this comment calling herself "equinelover" with a link that goes to no blog, no opinions, just an empty shell. "You and your husband are two of the most passive, spineless people I have ever read about." I have this to say: Spineless is hiding in anonymity to attack someone when they are vulnerable. Your behavior is no better than Jessica's. If I was as passive as you think, I wouldn't be posting this story. I would be too afraid of being attacked by a bully like you but as you see, I am more than able and willing to stand up for myself when I have recovered enough to do so.
Tomorrow, I will get back to wrapping up Jessica's story. These painful stories are, after all, about showing our vulnerability as well as exposing the inappropriate behavior of those who took advantage. Since Jessica Mcgehee Thompson has listed on her FB page that she has been my farm manager, I think it's important to show what she did while she was here. Don't you?
Note I see Jessica has modified her FaceBook name and taken out the "Mcgehee, she is still showing herself as my farm manager.
To be continued............
A Cow's Secret........