Rising like The Phoenix
Written by Paulette Le Pore Motzko
July 12th & 13th, 2014
I knew it would be difficult when I moved from CA to Las Vegas, NV and that money would be tight until I got a cash flow system going here. I knew it would be hot here but living 118 degree heat and 104 and now our “balmy 85 and 90 degree weather”….but living it is another thing.
I remember the day when I met Raquel O’Neil, the Director of The University of Las Vegas, NV; it was 118 degrees outside and I was sopping wet by the time I walked from my place by the university there. I knew a para-transit system was in order so I could go door to door instead of walking to take the bus. When it hits September I hear from locals it is a lot better. Now the less you wear in Vegas the better and I walk around with a cool drink on ice all day long to make sure I stay hydrated and cool.
That day I knew, as much as I loved walking in CA for health and because I enjoyed it-I had to get a scooter with a 20 mile radius that can go 20 miles an hour. That way, it will propel me in and out of the heat as fast as possible. Having epilepsy, I have always had sensitivity towards heat, but hey beggars can’t be choosers here and I cannot afford southern CA or even Albuquerque, NM on my own and I want MY OWN. Funny, when I was married and had my huge 6 bedroom place with 2, 456 square feet of room and more bedrooms than we knew what to do with, I just want enough. Not too much, enough to fit the precious things I own and enough quiet to do my work and what I enjoy, a safe neighborhood, a roommate to help me split the rent-which I have now…and JUST LIVE IN PEACE IN MY OWN SACRED SPACE.
My neighborhood in Las Vegas, NV…for now anyhow. The asphault gets so hot, you could cook an egg on it. You can see steam rising from it. I avoid walking on it & stay in the shade as much as I can. The hottest day here was 118. I felt like a human cookie baking in an oven called Las Vegas.
Our definitions of what we want change as we change as human beings and our value system changes; my needs changed and became simpler.
Simplicity is a good thing and by having to live for the last year and a half using “other people’s stuff”, sleeping in other people’s beds-which is what you do when you rent a place-if it is furnished.
I have my Sealy Posturpedic Firm Full Size bed with lifetime frame in storage in CA, along with my gourmet kitchen accessories, roll top desk, three really comfy swiveling and reclining chairs and my rosewood grand piano-that I would have been using to teach piano, but hope my friend Greg and I find a place soon so I can orchestrate the piano mover in CA and the movers to load the moving truck, and then offloading here in NV. These things are in progress. You all reading this can hope and pray that I find an awesome place in a great neighborhood.
After passing out on the street two days ago at a bus stop having a complex partial seizure, with nobody to call and nobody in town with a car; I prayed to God with every Guardian Angel that exists that I would make it home safely and up the stairway from hell. (I am afraid of heights and with see through steps and one rail instead of two-I have to use meditation and I developed an iron-clad courage each day morning and night-but I did it.)
I will call the RTC Para-transit tomorrow and see where my visitor’s pass is and make sure it is on its way. I have a meeting on August 5th to be reviewed for it. I had OCTA ACCESS for over 15 years in Orange County. All my information was faxed over to the Bonneville Transit Center so they could expedite things. (I wouldn’t have thought of that, but my friend Raquel put a conference call in for me when I saw her in her office at the University of Las Vegas.)
Because I had to pay two months’ rent out of my SSI check-due to moving to Las Vegas on minimal money-not my choice, but it goes when you live out of hotels, and not even fancy ones at that. The multitude of photos on my Smart Phone play out a story, not one I ever wanted to tell, of a million places I stayed in that were not the answer but they all kept me off the street. I clawed and clutched and scraped and fought for my life with fumes for money. My two brothers knew what I was going through and they didn’t care. Hell, they went along with my older sister who helped evict me with her Hitler-Like husband Mike Bunker who exploited both my parents and abused the power of attorney privileges he was given by my now deceased father. Bunker “evicted” me over a year ago now, and I don’t think it was even legal, considering I lived and paid into the property for nearly 15 years. Attorneys I never had the money to hire, but I did have the intelligence to pick their brains, told me, it didn’t matter if dad had a will or not, I am entitled to 1/5th of his estate-whatever it was. Nothing like throwing your own sister out on the street and deriving joy from it! I try to achieve a Triple Win in life-I Win, You Win Society Wins. With dad in heaven, I guess my siblings thought they could have a field day with me. The property Mom and I lived in 13 years was sold for nearly a half a million dollars, and mom was taken to a senior home I have still not seen because Bunker hasn’t disclosed the address and has banned all communication between mom and I for a year and a half. Is this wrong? Of course. Should Adult Protective Services care? They should, but they haven’t. We have lousy laws concerning power of attorney in this country because someone could just about kill the person they’re supposedly looking after, once the power has been granted, and it is like they have immunity. It is wrong and I am not done. I lost over a year with my mom that I will never get back and I pray every night she will remember me when I see her. I almost want to draft Oprah Winfrey in on this deal, now that I had the guts to formulate the words to write this.
Dad passed away and guess how much I got? Aside from mourning his loss for weeks and wanting to go to a funeral Bunker never gave and consoling mom-and having to tell her 3 times dad had died until she understood he wasn’t coming home from the hospital this time-which was hell-I got nothing. No promised insurance policy, dust. No closure-no grieving with mom. Nothing? Yes. The probate attorneys all wanted $3,000 up front, even though I told them to take it out of what I was owed. Lawyers overall are scumbags. Slimy, lying people who would do anything to get their cut of the deal and get their dollar of someone else’s misery. I knew three of them, and all of them lied to me-so hence-show me an honest one and then I will change my mind.
This story will not be told in a year but for now it is and I have a right to tell it because miraculously I am alive to tell it! Weaker people wouldn’t have faired as well as I.
I consider the percentages though. You have 4 people who value the dollar more than a human being, more than integrity, compassion, honesty, credibility and who have selective amnesia and forgot all the huge parties I catered at my 3 houses-I probably placed mom’s needs ahead of my own. Mom is alive, and if I hadn’t stayed my dad wouldn’t have killed her because he mowed her down with his wheelchair once and didn’t have all his marbles. He should have been in a 24 hour facility many years before because it was too hard on mom who was trying to do I all.
I feel like I have walked through a ring of fire and came out the other end stronger, quicker to think; I had to. I had no other choice but to be stronger, feistier, but I created extraordinary things in spite of it all. As I sit in my room with the air conditioner going and the fan circulating air all around me; I strive to find peace of mind. That is what I want most of all.
Today after heading to The University of Las Vegas with the intent to make an apt with Raquel O’Neil, my disability advocate and friend-so she can help me get Medicare part B. She can show me what to do and then when I get it-which I was told years ago I was eligible in Las Vegas. In CA there are too many needing help, walking around aimlessly, not knowing where to turn for the help. I was one of them after my divorce. Then I began seeing how the system worked and realized that because I didn’t have children, by the government’s eyes, and where help was concerned, I was invisible. It is wrong and against my civil rights, but no services for a disabled lady, who ran out of money. A friend of mine, who had a 12 year old son, got 5 days in a hotel in 5 minutes. I got a swift kick in the ass in the Social Service Agency in Cypress and was told verbatim by the director: “Yes we can’t give you anything, even knowing that you have nowhere to go and have no more funds left because you don’t have a child. If you had a child, then you would get 5 days in a hotel.” Who makes these crazy rules anyhow?
The United States of America prides itself in treating all people equally with dignity and respect; that is not what goes on though. If I had thought the only differential between me and the people getting the financial help and not getting it was me not having a child, I wouldn’t have believed it.
People get jobs in Las Vegas, and they go to all people of all races, which is refreshing giving the white lady and man and black man and black lady a chance, and the lady and man with no children who are treated like trash, almost nonexistent-in every facet of the welfare system. It is no wonder that there are trillions of people getting their $800 per kid, not to have a child-but to get the money. Sends a really bad message to people that I don’t like-as someone who taught kids for over 20 years-and care about them. Ya’ don’t have to give birth to something to care about it. Just take Green Peace for example, I didn’t have to give birth to the dolphins and whales in the ocean to care about their welfare now, did it? Most all the jobs require you to speak Vietnamese or Spanish in Orange County. It is a wonder they don’t expect me to eat burritos every night or Pho! Hey I know that is a controversial statement, especially to all the Vietnamese who cannot even say hello to you and don’t care to learn and all the Mexicans who are above 18 who don’t try to pick up a simple English phrase book so they can at least say the words “please”, “thank you” and “where is the social service office.” Hey, I am a disabled American citizen and I needed Medical to pay for my anticonvulsant medications and see a neurologist. I tried for over 5 years and an indigent Mexican family, not even American citizens received every benefit made in 20 minutes!! The government has got things backwards here. Anyway, I will stop there and rant on my political minded site called The Political Think Tank
When two college degrees, Honor Roll, 4.0 GPA, not drinking, not smoking, no criminal record buys you nothing-the rules set for jobs need to be changed. It wouldn’t look so dismal for everybody in Orange County if the people who hire an American who speaks English. It is an English speaking country for God’s Sake-and by requiring foreigners to learn English instead of the other way around-maybe you will turn around the high percentage of out of work people there.
To understand where I come from, I lived in Little Saigon-a sect of Garden Grove where I am the minority, Mexicans are the minority; everybody is the minority ex except Vietnamese. I heard the unthinkable from dozens of them years ago and was horrified: “We don’t want a white teacher!” I didn’t want a bigot for a neighbor, but hell, I was outnumbered. I was Snow White in Vietnam and the Vietnamese Tour Buses would turn their heads and take photos of me, wondering where I came from! That is how what I did evolved. Being outnumbered, being a displaced worker. If I had moved from that area and a normal neighborhood would have seen the grand piano-I could have flourished. I should have. That is what I say now in 2014.
So, that is the scene I left in Oceanside, CA when I was staying with a friend’s sister. I had enough of it all and the not affording and should have pressed the escape hatch out of OC years before. I should have beaten my siblings from treating me like trash. All for what?
My dad was a good cook and talked about the insurance policy he had for me-if that is all he had for me-then I want it, because out of the rubble, that is all that exists. My mother in a senior home in Moreno Valley, CA waited on by a staff of people where there was me-financially and physically. Every cent of her social security was spent on my dad and if I hadn’t helped her nobody would have.
When people say things like-“I learned I can depend on family.” That is the opposite of my story. I have extraordinary friends that are a trillion times better than any family member. Sometimes things don’t work out the way you want and yet you find the strength to go on anyway. You don’t let it crumble you or defeat you because the value of your worth is far greater than the sum of the hatred of the people casting darts your way. Remember that. My siblings are the minority and the world is the majority. Every day people write me the most touching, wonderful things telling me I am inspiring, or how much courage I possess, or what extraordinary things I have done, or what a humanitarian I am. Those things matter. I listen to those things. The other is like so much gibberish. They would only dream to be that good, that kind, and have that much integrity.
Ron B., Michael D., Myles S., Tom M., Ruby P., Gina G., Susan L., Jovy S., Maria B., Marlin H., Camille B, Eddie J, and Carl F., and many others compose my family.
My friend list was much longer two years ago, but you find out who your friends are. When you have the big fancy house and have no problems everybody is your friend. When I really went through some hell I had friends who couldn’t even ask how I was. I am not friends with those people any longer. Out of sight and out of mind is not the way I want to be.
Sometimes I wonder if I have PTSD from all the traumas I have been through but I think adding more good things in it will outweigh the bad. I may not have fought any physical wars throwing bombs at people, but I have been ducking and covering and in a mode of survival for a year and a half and over the last two months have had a chance to RELAX, REGROUP, RECALL, and put some closure on a lot of things, and fight like hell for the rest.
I know I will never marry or I will lose my SSI and God knows that took years to win and reassess twice! As a disabled lady the SSI is my safety net that always makes sure I can survive. It isn’t a ton, but I am used to living on little and a simple life. Makes you appreciate what you have more. I would have divorced my ex-husband years before, if I had thought I had a way to support myself adequately. I don’t want to be dependent on anyone, but for now it is SSI. I would love nothing more than to make $50,000 a year or $75,000 a year someday on my own merit and abilities. How is that done? By finding a company that believes in me and my abilities and is willing to work with me and allow me to do work at home on my own schedule. That is how it is done. I just have to find that company. I found 10 writing and editing job leads today that look promising, I only have to explore them.
I remember when I was typing 40 w.p.m with a cast on my left arm due to breaking my wrist after a tragic fall in Stanton from a breakthrough seizure.
Hear me God in these words? I have suffered enough and it is my time to know only love, joy, happiness, levity rise like the Phoenix from the Ashes. Like the Kelly Clarkson son I love so much, “What Doesn’t Kill Ya Makes Ya Stronger”, that is me to the tee. I guess I am bionic now.
Image of Pheonix Rising found on Pinterest
One thing I am certain of is I will get every cent I am owed and I was taken advantage of as a disabled citizen of the USA. I would buy a house with cash and have only utility bills if I got what I was owed. Hopefully Legal Aid will help here with that for the principle of it all.
I want to every day build new, positive, like-minded friends who “think outside of the box”, and are visionaries like me-who care about the world, people in general, animals, children, like mentoring others, and putting good out in the world and who genuinely try and make the world a better place.
The list of friends I mentioned does not include Facebook, Twitter, and WordPress and the over 1000 people I know on the three sites. There are some I know better and just may meet in person in the near future. I never rule that out!
I don’t collect friends and I won’t use backend tricks or SEO forcing to get visitors to my site. Good content is good content and that is that. I want people coming because of something I wrote or said or thought and it helped them, they saw in a new way, and thought what I wrote was good period.
With 1,176 followers now and 39,035 views for all time with upwards of 50 countries tuning in monthly it ain’t doing to badly!
Imagine when money is flowing out of my wallet like an everlasting green supply that allows me to do more than I am currently doing. Maybe it wouldn’t flow like milk and honey but I want enough that I can buy all the domains for all my sites and hire a really good web developer to monetize my web sites-that would be Marlon Hefette. I would also like to hire a professional graphic designer to create a logo for my company Totally Inspired PC. Well, that would be Ruby P.
Imagine when MR. Sexy Nice Guy waltzes into my life at an Italian deli or in a restaurant I am writing a Feature Story on or shooting photos for….how nice it will be to be loved in that way again. It has been a very long time. I have a deficit of love that needs to be filled and it will be. He did walk in today and his name is Leonardo and he is a driver of a luxury tour bus in Las Vegas. I met him now yesterday when I walked up to the tour bus and asked the driver-Leonardo-if they had a direct “faster-than-greased-lightning” line that goes directly from Las Vegas, NV to some city in Orange County, CA. He said there was but it costs more. That is OK. Anything but the ridiculous, 13 hour trip from hell, see everywhere you don’t want to see Greyhound bus. I looked for more direct lines too. Good to know if I would ever want to go to CA in a few hours, rather than by plane. Better yet, a Mustang convertible Turbo with a V8 engine and huge CD player with big speakers…and a wonderful guy to drive it to CA. Then it is friends, fun beaches and storage vaults to get the rest of my clothes and shoes, at a minimum, and some books and marketing materials for work.
Leonardo is handsome and unmarried and the same age as I am. After we talked and laughed and he made the same jokes and I did and I laughed at his-he offered to take me anywhere I wanted to go. Now these buses were nice-with drink holders, WIFI and they were clean-and the driver was really good looking. I went to Starbucks to finish writing the two posts I spent five hours on the night before. It was the coolest entrance to Starbucks I ever did! Even a great friend who is local would be wonderful.
I feel like every day there is one more piece in my puzzle of life.
I guess in life you have to know what you want so you will know when you find it!