Aria

Aria

My elderly dog Arthur. The move has been very hard on him.

My elderly dog Arthur. The move has been very hard on him.

Nobody ever warns you how expensive it is to be a victim. On top of the terror, the nightmares, the loss of safety and even the sense of home, there are the practical considerations. Each bill that never should have existed brings up the pain and the anger all over again, and makes life even worse than it already is. Especially painful for me have been the relentless reminders that I was targeted because of my disability, and that my disability makes it more expensive for me just to survive and be safe. I had to stay in a hotel for weeks, because staying with friends was not an option; no one I knew had a wheelchair accessible bathroom that would meet my needs. I can’t use a gun, or even pepper spray, so I had to hire an armed guard when I went to my house to pack a few suitcases. I had to move across the country, with no time to plan, and I couldn’t do my own packing. Despite some much-appreciated help from friends, my packing and moving bill was over $10,000. I’m having to sell my house when the market is still down, losing a large portion of the potential from my investment. I can’t just move into a new house, I have to spend thousands of dollars on renovations so that I can use the bathroom. I wasn’t in good financial shape to begin with; now, I’m devastated. The only reason I’m not homeless right now, or waiting like a sitting duck in my San Diego house for the attackers to come after me, is because of loving and supportive family.

I plan to seek restitution in court for the losses I have suffered. I would also like to pursue a civil suit, but have not been able to find an attorney to take my case. If you can assist, please contact me.

 
Aria and Elphaba play with a stick in their new backyard.

Aria and Elphaba play with a stick in their new backyard.

In the meantime, my life goes on. I am trying to rebuild, have hope and find healing. I still don’t feel safe publicly sharing where I am living now, but it is thousands of miles and many states away from California. I’m in a small, friendly community, where hard work is valued and crimes like I experienced are rare. I have a simple but comfortable house with over an acre of beautiful property that for the moment, runs wild. I have many dreams for my future here; creating a haven for animals, hosting concerts and summer picnics for live musicians and artists, and most of all, feeling safe and accepted. Long-term, I hope to have more financial security, and travel much more and continue to share my journeys via this blog.  In some ways I believe my life will be better. But I will always grieve everything I have lost, and wonder what might have been.

I don’t know how to be happy after what I went through. I still struggle with sleeping at night, and I cry almost every day because I miss my life in San Diego, my friends, and the opportunities I had there. I experience panic attacks, and have a hard time trusting new people. I feel safer, but part of me will always be looking over my shoulder. I will always have security measures in place to protect myself. But I want to live Life to the fullest, and heal from this trauma no matter how long it takes.

Aria and Karin

Aria and Karin

I have written an additional piece detailing how the problems with California’s In-Home Support Services (IHSS) program ultimately led to me being attacked. You can read it here:

Easy Targets: How California’s IHSS Program Endangers People with Disabilities

Or continue on to Update: Relief and Joy 

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Karin

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