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Thoughts Of Suicide

Confession: March 24th was going to be the end for me. Months with no car, pain, painful treatments, meds screwed up, isolated, low on cash...

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Payday Loan Problems Part Duh!!

Never get a payday loan!
Since January, I have gotten DAILY phone calls and HOME visits from a payday loan company that we'll call "Wegional Finance." It's out of Knoxville, TN. Breast cancer took a great toll on my body, and my finances. I made the mistake of not ONLY getting a loan but falling behind. I owe 254 dollars--so far. I'm sure they'll be "unforeseen charges" to my account.
The more I try to work with them...the more they refuse to "treat this customer with courtesy." They dig in. They want ALL 254 in a MONEY ORDER. Not 1/2 the amount or even $200. It has to be the full 254.
Their reps come to my home...they call every day. When they come to my home...they refuse to take what I have to pay them! When they call...they demand the full amount and "just can't understand" how not having transportation at present is possible! "Get someone to bring you!" They say. Well, DUH!! If I could I would!
I talk to them to show effort on my part only to hear the same demands I've heard since this entire thing started. People say I'm crazy for talking to them...I guess they are right. I thought speaking with them showed effort on my part...it only gets me more harassment.
This past Wednesday, I got a letter claiming they "hadn't been able to reach" me. A blatant lie. I imagine they sent this to me and put it in "my file" so if any corporate type examined my file, it would appear I'd avoided them. I called them, spoke to "Pete" at "Wegional Finance" who claimed, "we send that t everyone. It's a 'form letter.' Makes us look like we're doing our jobs." OMG!!
I have always paid my bills like a responsible adult but when I was diagnosed with breast cancer, some of my financial decisions were desperate and borderline foolish. But I never expected to be harassed on the phone and in person from a company claiming to "be 1st in customer service"!  March 3 is the day I'll settle this "issue" for good but I bet those calls and visits will continue.
It reminds me of a scene from "Goodfellas" where the bar owner asked "Paulie" to go in with him as a full partner. As 'Henry Hill'(I'm paraphrasing) said, "It allowed Paulie to do whatever he wanted with the place and the guy still had to pay him. 'No money? F**k you, pay me".....etc.
I have complained to everyone that is supposed to look into customer complaints but just like that poor bar owner, I get either no help or an implied "F**k you. Pay them."
It's too late for me but maybe I can save one of you from making this mistake. Learn from me. If you're considering a payday loan....JUST SAY NO!!

Monday, February 22, 2016

In Praise of My "Praising" Church

On the outside, my church looks like the tiny place of worship one sees in old movies or on Hallmark cards. Built in 1855, this church has been opening its doors to all who wish to enter. I consider myself a Catholic but there are no Catholic churches within 30 miles of where I live so I decided to "try" this little Southern Baptist church for my spiritual needs. I hate to admit it but I had already "judged" this place completely ignoring Matthew Chapter 7's "Judge not..." passages.
I was surprised initially by the pews, furnishings and displays. Beautiful. The inside looked far larger than the outside would lead you to believe. My next surprise was how many families I had known in high school still attended here. I rediscovered friends from that time and was amazed at how "we all had turned out." But the biggest surprise to me was this church's format or belief system. It's all love. Not a "do whatever you want" format but a "God is love" one.
I'll confess that I expected to be "preached at" and told how much of the old "dirty sinner" idea I was because of the Fall of Man. What I got was different and quite unexpected. The first thing I ever heard out of this pastor's mouth was, "Isn't it amazing how much God loves us?" Wait...what? God wasn't a mean old man perched on some throne just waiting for me to screw up something? He wasn't the ultimate perfectionist who hated men, women, gays and anyone who wasn't a "Christian"? Did this pastor have the same Bible everyone else had?
"MY" church has yet to condemn anyone...so far. I have to admit that I am still getting used to all this praise and positive messages. Now it's not what is being called a "prestige and prosperity" church where "God will make you rich if you just attend...and give to the collection." It's message is simple...LOVE and PRAISE...with the possible subtext of "actions speak louder than words."
This church has regular FREE meals to all who want them--member or non-member. Same with clothes, food pantries and almost any financial need one might face. While the Ten Commandments are displayed and expected to be followed, this church adheres to the passage that "the greatest of all these is love."
The message is God loves us, is our 'father' and wants the best for us...and just like if our earthly parents were like this...He is worthy of praise. The subtext, if you will, seems to be "faith without works is nothing." (I forget the exact verse right now,) Again, actions speak louder than words. Being a child of God doesn't mean you are better than anyone nor does it mean you have to "take crap off folks because you're Christian." Being a child of God doesn't mean you're a sap! It simply means you are loved, created in His image and valued--no matter who you are. He is worthy of praise.
I have to "confess" that I was...and at times still am surprised at this church's message. You mean there is nobody to hate? No one to look down on and judge? No 'magic' verse or prayer that will make me rich or make me whatever I want? No condemnation of this group or that group for being "an abomination"? What kind of church is this?????????????
It's Cedar Ford Baptist Church...a praising church.

The Basic Need of Safety

"Kiss your girls tonight and love them." That was what I'd overhear my home healthcare patient's wife tell their son. This married father of three little girls would call his mother every night and at the end of each call, his mother would say those seven words. I thought it was strange. Maybe it was just a unique "sign-off" but it stuck with me. I didn't know why at first but then I realized what she was trying to convey and what my life and always lacked. Safety. In essence, this lady was telling her son to make those little girls know and feel that they are forever loved--and safe.
After basic physical needs like food, water and sleep etc., Abraham Maslow listed "Safety" as a basic need essential for every human being. Being physically safe is paramount but we also must have the psychological safety. We must know that we are full and wanted members of the human race and have the freedom to move through this world without fear of the world falling apart and having to face it all alone.
I was that 60's "Love Child" Diana Ross was referring to in her song of the same name. "We'll only end up hating, the child we may be creating...." she told her potential lover. She wanted to prevent the same shame and "less than" life she'd had being inflicted on another child. As a 'love child,' and a girl, I was supposed to be forever beholding to my maternal grandmother for the proverbial "roof over my head" and nothing else. I was a mistake, a source of shame and "deserving of nothing." A child without the basic need of financial and psychological security grows up with the subconscious fear of abandonment, ruin and the feeling of never belonging anywhere or to anyone. We are the "mistake kids." At times, I felt there was an asterisk attached to my name preventing me from having, getting or even deserving things that others consider 'normal.' For example, just recently I went to our local library. A friend of mine is one of the librarians and I went to her desk and said, "Hey, I'm here to bum some books." She looked at me funny and said, "You DO know you're allowed to check out books, right?" I was stunned. The failure to secure my basic need of safety plagued my entire life. I catch myself at times saying, "I'm in the way" or "I don't mean to bother you" etc., for no reason except it's my personal demon...even at the library!
My granddaughter will be 2 in March and I try to emphasize how vital it is that my son makes her feel not only loved but safe. She must never have to move from place to place, attend various different schools, feel OR be told she is "in the way." His particular situation includes three children from two different fathers (yep) my son is daddy number three to baby number four and the verbally/physically abusive mother of them all in some sort of drama on a daily basis. He doesn't quite get the significance of psychological safety because I raised him the OPPOSITE of how my grandma raised me. I may have overcompensated but he had the same home his entire life. He went to the same school/high school and he was a "full member" of his neighborhood and the world. He grew up with a "safety net" ME. He must always be that for his daughter!
It's probably too late for me to fill in the "hole in my heart" and finally feel safe, loved and wanted but maybe I can help anyone reading this. After physical needs, you must learn to feel/be safe. You deserve to be here. You are safe to "f**k up" now and again. You are worthy and you have a place. A safe place. The Human Race.  Welcome!