Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Who Is Karma Paying Back?

Recently I wrote a post about Karma, how Karma Bites and Protects. The post was meant as a form of gratitude to Karma, thanking her for her payback to an evil bank.

In 2009, five years after the evil bank, life sort of fell apart even further for my husband and I. We had to close our second business, we were flat broke, the economy was in the tank and we couldn't find jobs, and we were almost homeless.

Our son and daughter-in-law graciously offered to let us live with them. It swelled my heart with joy and pride that they did, but I refused. They were newly married, we had absolutely no money and no prospects on how to earn money. I could not bear to become a burden to them. Instead we elected to stay where we were and try to make it work, for their sakes and for our own sanity and sense of worth.

Luckily, we have a wonderful, patient and generous landlord, who worked with us. We live in a great community who helped in any way they could, some how it worked out and it still working out.

We aren't out of the woods yet, but the future, at least the present future, doesn't look as bleak and devastating as it did five  years ago. We have settled into a quiet life, we work hard to make ends meet, and the stress and drama have settled down. That is - until now.

My sister, recently divorced and on disability, is in the same situation we were in five years ago. She is moving here and has no where to go. And, guess what she wants? That's right, to stay with us. It could be for a week, it could be longer. Housing is in short supply, low income housing is up to two years, and finding something affordable is almost impossible.

I am sick with conflict - I want to help, but I do not want her or anyone else living with us right now. It would disrupt our flow, our peace, it will bring stress and conflict.  Yet, how do I not help?

It was this morning that hit me, is karma stepping in? Am I suppose to help her, like others helped us? Is Karma paying me back for calling her a bitch? I meant it in a good way when I called her that, it was a compliment, it wasn't meant to offend. If Karma really wants to payback someone, find her a nice little place of her own where she can move on with life, recover, and learn about herself.

I think Karma is paying someone back, I'm just not sure who?  It most definitely is not me.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Karma Bites, But It Also Protects

Long story short, my husband and I had a nice size business in the Seattle area. In 2004, it was just over twelves years old, we had five employees, and had close to a half million dollar in sales coming up in 2005. Sounds good, until you read that in 2005 our bank of ten years, decided with no warning and no good reason, to call our line of credit. We were in a middle of small large projects with the government and could not pay it off at the time, so they cancelled it. There is more to the story than this, but let's just say, what they did was wrong and what followed was a life-changing event.

The bank expected us to just do whatever they said, instead I fought and I fought hard. I knew in my heart that what they were requesting was wrong, very wrong, and turns out (later) most of it was actually illegal. I sought the advice of an attorney, in hindsight I am not sure how solid his advice was, but at the time I didn't know any better.

As a result of the bank's unscrupulous tactics, we lost everything. Our attorney advised us to close the business, to file personal bankruptcy and to just move on.  We closed the business. We filed for bankruptcy and lost all of our personal belongings. And, we are still trying to move on.

While going through this horrible experience, I didn't once just lie down and take it. I stood up to the bank, at least as much as I was able to. My anger fueled my drive to not let them run over us and take everything we worked so hard for. I have an extremely hard time with injustice, and what they were doing was very unjust.  We couldn't fight them in the courts, attorneys were unwilling to take on a bank, so in the long run we did lose.

After all was done and said, we lost most of our possessions, we were financially bankrupt. But, they didn't take our pride, our souls, we stood our grounds and we fought.

That small bank is now gone, a victim of their greed. They, like so many other banks, got into serious trouble with the FDIC. They were forced to sell their assets to another bank. The owner of the bank is personally in serious trouble with the FDIC.

The moral of the story - KARMA is a REAL BITCH. And, sometimes she is a MEAN BITCH.

Tony and I are still recovering from that ordeal.  It taught us some valuable lessons. It damaged our trust in institutions, like banks and attorneys, at least for a while.

I have moved on, for the most part, the anger was the hardest to let go. But, I thank KARMA for helping, she paid the bank back for us, with interest. So, Karma, from us and other small businesses - THANK YOU!