|Slash Pervert (slashpervert) wrote,|
@ 2015-01-09 21:08:00
Out into the Light
I have been missing for a very long time. My life, well, it went sideways on me. I can finally explain why.
In the spring of 2011 I had to move suddenly because the land lord sold the house out from under us. In Sept 2011, my husband lost is job. In Oct. 2011, my mother, who had lived with me for the previous nine years, died.
All this while I was in the process of trying to start up a new publishing group, ForbiddenFiction.com, and parent company, Fantastic Fiction Publishing (FFP). Partially inspired by my mother’s believe in me, I threw myself into the business and we began publishing in Feb. 2012.
On September 11, 2012, only six months after FFP began publication, my husband of twenty-five years left me. He didn’t just leave, though. He cleaned out our shared personal bank account, maxed out the credit card, and left me with all the bills. Suddenly I went from having a secure home to lacking the funds for rent, utilities, or even groceries, and no money to pay a lawyer to fight for my rights in this issue.
It had been less than a year since my mother died. I wasn’t sure how I could survive without my husband. I was devastated by the loss of someone who up until the day before he left would say “I love you, for sure, for real, forever.” He used to claim to be my hearthstone, the one who held my place of safety, but in the years before he left, he had become distant and dishonest. I still wanted to believe him and believe in him. He left me no choice but to fight for my survival. Someday I will write about the things he did to me, but not yet.
In the meantime, I found myself in the impossible place of grieving the sudden loss of one of the most significant relationships of my life and having to mount a legal defense, all while trying to run a new publishing group.
The irony is that most of my struggle was the only way to insure the survival of FFP and to honor my promises to everyone involved, I had to be very careful with whom I shared information. Sometimes I think that it was FFP, or more specifically “protecting my people,” that helped me through. To me, contracts are a written pledge of honor as well as legal rules.
I can’t tell you how frustrating it was when people asked for something I wanted to do, when I had to prioritize yet another court hearing and the piles of legal paperwork over the work I should have been doing for FFP. I’ve had several people complain about how I had seemed so open and then I suddenly shut down. I apologize to everyone who was frustrated with that or who thought it was about them. My natural inclination is to communicate clearly, but I couldn’t do that if it meant risking losing everything we were building.
I have to really thank the friends and family who got me through this. There were friends who brought food and firewood that first winter, who held me while I broke down, who helped me pick myself up again, and so many other kindnesses. To pay rent, I rented out rooms to friends—who have weathered the storm with me and I found myself happier living with them than I had been before. Other friends made donations and/or loans to help my legal defense. At one point, they even raised funds to help me attend my son’s graduation. Amidst such a great personal loss, I came to really understand and be extremely grateful that my friendships were deeper and stronger than I ever realized.
In particular, I want to thank FFP’s staff who rallied together to make sure we not only did not lose ground, we moved forward. Lon Sarver, Siolnatine, Erika L. Franc, James L. Wolf, Kaye O’Malley, and Rylan Hunter provided the solid base of our company and the backbone of my personal survival. There was such a sense of being under siege that Siolnatine hung a pirate flag up in our front room. Kel Draves stepped in that fall (having arrived as an intern during the week when the mess started) to set up our first royalty reports system. Kaye O’Malley followed up to help build our financial database and still continues today. Each member of our core staff had their own struggles including unemployment, cancer, and their own personal losses. Yet we made it though.
As of October 31, 2014, I am no longer legally married and my ex has no ties to the business whatsoever. It was a hard-won battle, but worth it. I am now free to move forward with my life. The list of things I couldn’t do until “after the divorce” is huge, but at least I have the chance to rebuild my life now.
With so much work yet to do with FFP, I’m not sure how much time I’ll have for fandom, but I haven’t every completely left. Reading fan fiction on my tablet at night has been a balm to ease the ache of loss and make me feel less alone. I’ve started to post my fics to AO3 and it’s wonderful to be getting comments there. Thank you all for being there.