I originally wrote this as a private note toward the end of January, and kept it private to a few people who really needed to know. However, recently I have been hearing disturbing things that have prompted me to take this public. At the request of my wife I have kept names out of this. Please respect this if you choose to comment on the post.
If you have read the original post please skip to the bottom as I have added further information and commentary below the original post.
As Heathens we use this phrase all the time. The phrase represents a way of living that we try to live by. Sometimes we forget that others don’t always live by the same philosophy.
This weekend I learned that people that I had thought were trustworthy and worthy of friendship were in reality full of hypocrisy and a willingness to lie rather than tell a simple truth. They may see these actions as simply doing what is necessary to ensure the well being of their family. I could understand that were it presented to me. Instead we were told blatant lies, that while there is a possibility of truth to them due to the situation, are clearly false when faced with the truth that I can see with my own eyes.
Rather than simply talking to us about the problem they made a decision to do something that actively works to prevent our being able to move on, to find work, or anything else to try to make things better while we are under this roof.
We started the weekend with accusations of public bashing, receiving an eviction notice, and now an intentional limiting of resources agreed to as part of the rental agreement has happened. I had hoped that when faced with reality the accusations of public bashing would be proved groundless, but instead it appears that things have deteriorated even further.
Specifics? We lost our Internet connection, which was provided as part of the rental agreement. Me, being the computer and networking geek that I am, I looked into the problem to see if it was simply something on my end that needed correcting. What I discovered was that the original router (named “linksys”) was no longer showing up, but a new router (named “NETGEAR”) was showing up and asking for a security key. Since there had been stability problems with the old router we simply assumed that they had decided to replace the router and hadn’t given us the new security key. We called to ask about it and were advised that nothing had happened to the router but that they were having problems with the network connection from the service provider. Later we were told a semi-elaborate, rather believable story about the service being temporarily disconnected due to financial problems. Given the circumstances that story would certainly be believable except for one little detail: the router change. I can see the new router clearly, and can see other details about it that have convinced me that they have changed out the router and are intentionally not granting us access to it.
Had they simply come out and told us that because of other problems they were cutting off our access I could live with it and understand the decision. Instead they have chosen to lie to us about it and think that we would just accept the story. Yes, I need Internet access for homework, to take my final exam, to do job searches, and to file my unemployment claims. Would it be more convenient for me to do that from the comfort of my home? Without a doubt. Do I have other options available to me? Yes, I can go into town and use the library access. Are any of these really a problem? No, not really, other than the seeming inability to just talk to us about the problem rather than trying to lie to us about it instead.
I had hoped that we would be able to stay here for at least a few more weeks while trying to iron out the problems with the unemployment office, but it appears that this will be a very uncomfortable and difficult option. I have never been so happy to have family who is willing to take us in during this time of trouble. The removal of the passive-aggressive, guilt-ridden, emotional stress will be a tremendous weight to be lifted from my shoulders.
As to contacting us, obviously we aren’t likely to be online all that much for the foreseeable future. If you need to reach us please call us.
When I wrote this I left out a few key details. The most important of these is that we were paid up and current on our rent at the time we received the eviction notice. We didn’t argue with it since we were already exploring options for leaving, but the notice was unfounded and without any legal standing. Had we so chosen we could have disputed the eviction, and likely would have won the dispute. However, at the time we were trying to minimize “bad blood” between us and keep things from getting worse.
Things got worse though. When we were in the process of moving out we discovered that we were expected to move out much sooner than originally planned, and in the end what was going to be an easy, moderately paced move turned into a race against the clock to try to get all of our belongings out. We had planned for a couple of days at the end for cleaning, but we lost that time as well.
I have done some checking since that time and have learned that there were a great many violations of laws that protect renters during all of this. The eviction and shortening of the eviction period are just two examples of some rather gross violations of our rights. There were more violations, including actual safety violations with the electrical wiring. We brought up our concerns but never saw any move to resolve the problems.
Strangely, the one that irks me the most was the denial of services. In the dead of winter the furnace was rarely active, and we were forced to rely upon wood heat and space heaters to keep our apartment warm. At a time when we needed access to the Internet the most we were cut off and lied to about it. Really, did they truly think that a computer geek who has a degree in computer networking wasn’t going to see the truth? I could have regained access at any time, but instead I chose to stand by my values and work with what I was given instead. I chose the high road, and while it made things more difficult for us we survived.
Now, months later, having moved on with our lives, we are on the path of recovery. The kids are all happy and growing, and we have a great environment for them. I had thought that we were past this point. Apparently such is not the case. Now I am hearing disturbing reports about our names and reputations being brought into question, and even being dragged through the mud by the very people who accused us of doing the same to them. This is not something I will abide, and I refuse to stand quietly and allow it to happen. I believe that my actions, my deeds, represent who I am, and I believe the same of others. The deeds of these others speaks quite clearly of them, and it is not a positive image.
I am not a strong believer in karma, but I do believe in Wyrd. The concept is remarkably similar to karma, and I truly believe that what is earned is what will be received. I am working very hard to make my wyrd positive, and I believe that all the strife and turmoil that my family has endured through this experience will have a positive impact upon our personal wyrd. Similarly, I believe that the same will be true for those who put us through this and continue to attempt to degrade our reputations. Their reward will be richly deserved.
I don’t know that we can truly counter the negativity, but we can let our actions speak for themselves. We can also choose to no longer remain silent about this, instead bringing it out into the light so that others who may not be so closely tied to the events can see what happened to us and make choices of their own about how they choose to interact with these people. Perhaps my coming forward will help others feel safe coming forward and speaking up.
I am a Heathen, and I will not stand idly by while somebody attempts to destroy what I have worked hard to create. I will not back down, and if necessary I will champion others who may need championing.