• Why I decided to start Rise & Stand and how my life has changed.


    The purpose of life is a life of purpose.
    – Robert Byrne

    May you live all the days of your life.
    Life is like a novel with the end ripped out.
    -anonymous

    Very few people in this world can say they had the perfect childhood. I have interviewed a lot of people in the 16 years I’ve worked as a publicist and PR. While volunteering at retirement homes I have heard stories that would blow your mind from elderly folks who have lived through sheer terror. One thing I have learned from numerous interviews and from counseling, is that a mass majority of people have some kind of history of child abuse. I am of no exception. My mother had birthed me when she was only 16. She hurriedly married my birth father who was in the army at the time. I was born in Fort Benning, Ga in 1981. Unfortunately, but to no surprise the marriage did not last longer than a year. My mother moved to Aburndale, FL where my grandmother and great-grand parents lived. My mother got a waitress job at a small family restaurant and my grandmother and Aunt helped raise me.

    When I was two and half my Mom met my soon to be step-father. They married when I was four. The first couple of years was great. I can still remember him taking me to the park and the actual day I asked if I could call him Daddy. I remember him hugging me and telling me he is my Dad and would never call me his step-daughter. Soon after they married though things begin to change. Looking back, I think it may had to do with his drastic change of lifestyle. My step-father decided to quit drinking and start taking us to church. He was a Charismatic; my family were all Independent Fundamental Baptist. My Mom wasn’t ecstatic about going to a church so different from what she was used to but she was happy my Step-father was making a positive change in his life. Some people get crazy angry when they are drunk. My Dad was the opposite. He stopped drinking cold turkey. Despite the family support and his church, he was crabby all the time. On most days, he was downright hateful. It wasn’t long before the abuse started on both me and my mother. First, he just called us mean words and put us down a lot. I remember hearing my Mom cry a lot. She would beg him to stop being so mean. I was just a little younger than 5 when I remember the first time I saw my Dad hit my Mom. I ran to my room terrified and still to this day I have nightmares of that event. There has been an innumerable amount of attacks on me and my mother since then but, for some reason that is the one I dream about. The abuse continued, on a regular basis, for several years. One a neighbor called HRS, which is now DFCS, to report the abuse. When HRS visited our house, my mother denied all abuse. I did the same after hearing her deny it. I was in first grade at that time and I remember HRS coming to our school to speak with me. Even though I was only 7, I remember being completely humiliated. HRS sent two men to speak with me and check me out. The only female in the room was my Principle Mrs. Castle. I had to strip down and bend over like something you would see on a Prison TV show. They did note some bruises including belt marks on my bottom. When I got home that day my parents asked me what happened. They were informed of the visit. When I told them all I had to do my step-dad was furious. The following morning, he kept me home from school and we all went to the HRS office where he went off on them. Instead of having him arrested or using this in their case, they apologized for their investigators bad behavior and closed the case. My Dad was good at manipulating people and making himself look like a perfect Christian loving father.

    My Mom, Ste-Dad, and Me

    One thing I do have to say for him is that he never sexually abused me. Not once did he touch me in an inappropriate way. He did treat me as his own and never told anyone I was not his. There were times he would show me love and attention. For most of my childhood my Dad was a professional bass fisherman and guide. When he wasn’t fishing tournaments he was practicing. In the summers, my Mom worked days so I was in the care of my Step-dad. I still recall these as the worse days of my life. He would wake me up around 4am to get on the boat. We would spend all day out in the grueling Florida sun while he fished. Sometimes we didn’t go home till the sun was going down. My Dad’s idea of nourishment was lake water, chips, and crackers. I rarely got a decent meal till dinner time. During the weeks with my Dad I was treated like a boy. I had to do yard work with him, I had to help him work on cars and refurbish antiques for extra money. I learned a lot of traits and skills but it killed me watching all the neighborhood kids play as I worked. The only time I was ever allowed to play with my friends is if he was gone. In 1992, when I was 10-11 years old my Dad decided to open a plastic lure company with my uncle. He had really made a name for himself in the bass fishing community and had come up with a great idea for plastic worms. Within a year, they purchased warehouses to house the machines, plastic, glitter, garlic and salt oils. Part of me was relieved we wouldn’t spend as much time on the lake. The other part knew I was going to be put to work. From then on out I spent my summers and time after school helping my Dad mix plastic, cook, and package the plastic worms. We spent hours on the weekends distributing them all over FL or mailing of bulk packages. Absolutely no fun for a young girl. However, this was my life, I can say at least I learned how to run a business. In my childhood home you dare not complain, cry, or speak out of turn. I was a very quiet child and just did as I was told out of fear of being beat. When I was away from my Step-dad, I was a whole different child who would never shut up. lol. I released all my thoughts and energy in the sweet time I had to be an actual child.

    My baby sister was born in 1993. She was the best thing I had ever had happen to me at that time. I had an older step-sister but we fought a lot and had tons of issues that usually ended up getting us both beat. My Mom went back to work before her 6 weeks leave was up. We were really struggling at the time and already lost our home. We were now living in the vacation cabin that sat on my Uncle’s property. It was only two rooms and very small. My Sister was born November 4th and my birthday was November 20th. I turned 12 just weeks after her birth and I became more like a mother to her. Our Mom worked up to 16 hours a day. Our Dad would be gone from sun up to sun down due to his new business. As much as he didn’t want to lose his big helper, I had to stay home and care for my sister because they couldn’t afford daycare. I wasn’t upset at all! I was thrilled to get out of that hot, boring, stinky warehouse. The only thing that kept me from going insane was the radio or listening to my Dad tell me his conspiracy stories. If anyone has ever wondered why I am so obsessed with conspiracies, this is where it came from. My dad told me his thoughts on everything from the JFK assignation to subliminal messages on TV directed at children. He loved that I would ask questions and was really interested in his theories. It’s about one of the only things we ever bonded over. However, my thirst for knowledge (probably due to constant boredom) was used against me. At a yard sale, shortly after my Sister was born my Dad found an entire set of Encyclopedias for $50. He loved to collect things, especially antiques, or things that could be re-sold for profit. A typical punishment, if I did something wrong in his eyes, was a spanking with the belt and then an hour in my room. I didn’t have a TV but, I had books and a radio. After he bought the encyclopedias, my punishment after my spanking was to sit and read them starting with A and not to stop till he said. Than he would take the book and have me tell him everything I read to make sure I really read it. If I left something out or said something wrong, he would call me names like, stupid, idiot. Or, he would say I was good for anything.

    For two years I stayed home raising my baby Sister. Eventually, Dad turned got a shed to start storing boxes of plastic worms so I could package and label them at home while I baby sat. I wasn’t getting off so easy. When I was 13, the domestic abuse at home was out of control. They were struggling to keep the business afloat and my Mother had enough of my Dad’s church. They were constantly fighting about money and religion. Most the time, Dad would escalate the arguments into full blown fights. He always seemed to find a way to drag me into it and before it was all over my Mom and I were left beat up. This was traumatizing for my baby Sister as imaginable. My Dad decided to not let me go back to school. I was not going to attend the 8th grade because he needed me to work and watch my sister. Somehow, he managed to get a business loan and opened a sports shop. At first it was just going to be a store to sell his plastic lures. However, it turned into a small Dick’s Sporting Goods and cost more to stock than he expected. There was no money left for employees but my Dad was in luck. He had me. Sigh. I worked there helping my Dad and learning the ropes of running a store, when he decided he didn’t want to be trapped in doors all day dealing with “idiots” as he would say. He added bass fishing guide trips as part of ours stores services and in no time had people lined up. Now, I was getting up at 6am with my Dad and Sister Mon-Sat so he could drop us girls off at the store while he would go fishing. Believe it or not, I was running a store alone at 13 yrs. old with a toddler. I was told if anyone asked, to say my Dad ran to the store or something and would be back soon. What still ticks me off till this day, is the fact that we had several grown male customers that came in often and knew my Dad was illegally working me. Not once, did anyone make a call. If that wasn’t bad enough, several of my Dad’s fishing buddies witnessed him abusing me and my sister. We saw men get sick and walk out or shout at Dad and leave. Never did they think to call the law on their beloved professional guides-man that created their tournament winning fishing lures. I am sure some of them may read this who follow me to this day. Shame on YOU.

    I started to get rebellious a few months before I turned 14. I was sick and tired of working at the store. On top of watching all my friends get to go to school, hang out at the mall, have boyfriends, and live their life, I was getting molested by my Great Grandpa. Our family would go to my grandparents’ house on Saturday evenings and sometimes after church on Sunday. My parents would play cards and I would sit and watch TV. Sometimes my cousin who was my age would be there too and we would play. However, I couldn’t enjoy the free time because my than 70 yr. old great grand-father would snatch me up any chance he could and force kiss me. If he felt he could get away with it, he would grab my boobs or other places. I told my Mom and Grandma and they would just get on to him. He would deny it of course and say he was just giving me a hug. He acted as if I was blowing it all out of proportion. My Mom believed me and I think my Grandma did too at the time but they weren’t sure what to do about it. Since he got away with it, he became more aggressive. At one point, he slipped his hand down my pants and I screamed. The whole family came in at the point and shamed him. Eventually he was sent to live in a home and declared that his mind was gone. I’ve read a lot about Alzheimer’s disease and it is possible that’s what changed him from being the sweet loving grandpa to the disgusting molester. Either way, it scarred me for life. I felt as if my family didn’t care about my well-being. No one ever put their foot down about the domestic abuse. Everyone knew about it. It was impossible not to. I didn’t feel as if anyone really stood up for me when my grandfather was being a perv. My parents promised to home school me so I would still get a diploma and they never even tried to buy the books. You can say I was on the edge of insanity thinking my life was forever ruined, thanks to them.

    I started sneaking out at night to spend some time with my friends. One of my closest friends that lived down the street from me had a lot of the same issues with her step-father. This man was also a pervert who tried to get us to undress in front of him or would pop in her room when he knew we were undressing. She and I, one other girl, and a boy who liked me, all decided to run away. We chose a night to leave and packed our things. My Plan was to head to north Georgia. It was rumored that my biological Dad lived there. I had his name, birth-date, and one photo. I thought maybe someone could help me find him and then my life would be back on track. I had this perfect fairy tale in my mind. I left a note on my dresser as to why I was running away and around midnight I left my home through the window. I met up with my friends and we started walking. All I can say is the Lord was with us that night. We hitchhiked several times with strangers and truckers. At one point, I got really scared when a guy that picked us up had a gun sitting in his lap. We asked him about it and he said, “you never know when you may need it.” Around 4am in the morning we were exhausted and hungry. A man leaving a truck stop saw us all laying on the picnic tables and ask what we were doing out so late. We all told him in our cocky way our life story and our plans. He sat and talked to us for a while and before long had us all in tears. He convinced us this is not what God wanted and we were very lucky someone hadn’t kidnapped us or killed us yet. He talked us into letting him drive us home and call our parents on the way. When we got back, the cops were waiting for us and took down our stories. My Dad would not look or speak to me. Wow I had hurt him! My Mom was livid. When everything settled down I slept for hours. When I woke up I was told I was being shipped off to live with my Aunt in Denham Springs, Louisiana.

    I lived with my Aunt for 7 months along with her three children. My Aunt was a dedicated Independent Fundamental Baptist. My entire life was different while living with her. I started to put on some weight from eating healthy and I got to play like a kid. At 14, I was really interested in Barbie’s a young girl stuff because I never got to be a kid often. I got to sleep in till 8am which was late for me. I had actual breakfast and then had to do daily devotions. This meant I read a few chapters from the Bible and prayed every morning before starting my day. My Aunt got my home schooling books and helped me get caught up on my education. We went to church three times a week. Sunday morning and night. We also went on Wednesday night and helped in the bus ministry. I was avid in my youth department and enjoyed doing whatever the church had planned for us just because I was getting to hang around other teens. No matter how happy I was, I missed my Mom and little sister. I didn’t like my sister being around my Dad without me and I felt horrible leaving her. I really wish I could go back in time and not make the call home asking if I could come back. I thought my 7 months of Bible study and prayer had me strong enough to face my Dad and hopefully I could use scripture to change his heart. I thought if I just showed him more love maybe I could change him and we could have a happy family. While I was away, my Mom had convinced him to go to a Baptist church with her. Some scandal had broken out at his church and he was finally ready to leave and try my Mom’s type of church. This gave me hope that things at home had changed.

    Unfortunately, I was wrong. If anything, my Dad was acting like even more of a jackass since I left him to care for the shop and my sister alone. He gave me all sorts of jobs to do to make up for my time away and said he needed to instill good work ethnic back in me again. According to him, my time away was just a big waste of time for me to get fat and lazy. I was maybe 114 lbs. lol. At night after work, I would read a book called “Elsie Dinsmore” the book was about a girl who through her love and respect, caused her Dad to change his life around. I told myself I was going to do the same things she did to win my Dads love and see me for something other than his slave. It didn’t work. Actually, he despised me for it. To him, I came off as trying to be some “holier than thou” teen. Before long, everything was back to normal. The abuse continued and only seemed to escalate.

    On my 16th birthday, my biological Dad looked us up in the phone book and called me for the first time since I was very small. So small that I do not even remember He had this big excuse as to why he didn’t contact me over the years. Mainly he finished his time in the army, went wild for some years before settling down and marrying. He bought a home and was raising two step daughters and thought it was finally time to be in my life. At that time, he could have said about anything and won my heart. I wanted out. We started talking a lot after that call and somehow, he convinced my parents into letting him come visit. During his visit, he took me to Old Town and we road rides and went on the sky coaster. It was all I ever dreamed of. Later that evening we talked all about my life and I told him about the abuse. His wife was with us and she could not believe her ears. They asked me how I would feel about coming and staying with them for the summer. Of course, I agreed.

    Staying with my real Dad was nothing like I had ever experienced. I was pretty much given free rein to be a real teen. His two step daughters seem cool enough. The oldest one didn’t live with them anymore and the other was just a year younger than me. I thought we would be best friends. I was SO naive. I did not know that she secretly hated me. She hated the thought of me and I was taking away HER Daddy that raised her. My Dad had already told her that I was used to living differently and attended church regularly. She decided she would do her best to corrupt me. Her boyfriend had a car and we started going to parties and having sleep overs at her friends where boys would be. I knew it was all wrong but I kind of liked the feeling of being bad in a way. Still, I kind of sat there watching everyone being an outcast. I dressed differently and spoke differently. I saw the whole world differently than they did. Instead of laughing at me and pushing me away as she hoped, I became the goody two shoes girl everyone went to for advice. Before long, I had a good amount of them going to church with me and even having Bible study with me. Sure, they all got high and even drank while we studied but I was happy they were listening.

    My step-sister got furious at how everything was turning out and cried to her Mom about it. I was taking all her friends away from her with my stupid Bible stuff. After that, I was a burden and they wanted me gone. My Dad had enough of it all and one night it came to a head. My step mom left with her daughter and my Dad and I sat around talking about it all. I told him how I was curious to try drinking because everyone seemed to really enjoy it. He broke out a bottle of Jack Daniels and said if I was going to try it, I should do it in a safe environment. Long disgusting story short, the environment was not safe. He tried the worse thing imaginable when I was drunk. Shortly after, I moved in with a boy I had met and became friends with to escape.

    I lived with the boy who eventually became my husband for 9 months before giving in and losing my virginity. I was 17 at the time and he was 16. Our very first time I got pregnant with my daughter. I called home to my parents wanting to come home. I was scared to death. My Mom was very angry because I had proven my step-dad right. She said I had to convince him to let me come home. I begged him and told him I would work in the shop without complaining. His words were, “you made your bed and now you’re going to lie in it. I will not help you unless you get married. I won’t have my daughter staying in my house with a child out of wedlock.”

    Me, my daughter, & little Sister

    My parents signed off for me to bed wed at the age of 17. I had my daughter a month after my 18th birthday. As expected, the birth of our child did nothing to change my young husband despite my pleas. My parents did move us back to Florida and out a down payment on a single wide trailer for us. Not exactly the dreams I had for my life. My husband could not keep a steady job because all he wanted to do was be a teen. He didn’t want the responsibilities of caring for a family. In a little over 6 months’ time, he had already gone through five different jobs. We were struggling to stay afloat with little to no help from our family. When our daughter was 9 months old, my husband’s Dad and step-mother offered for us to come live with them in Georgia. We packed up our belongings and headed north.

    My Father-in-law got my husband a great job at Universal Alloy and to my surprise he kept that job for just over a year. We could save up money to get into a nice two-bedroom apartment. However, our marriage was still very rocky because he could not leave drugs alone. My in-laws, nor I, would allow drugs in the home. My husband would take off on the weekends to hang with his friends leaving me to look after our daughter alone. Not that I had any issues with raising our daughter alone, I was just very lonely and broken inside. My in-laws had two computers in the home. I had barely ever used a computer but I was fascinated with them. I got a library cared and checked out books about computers, web design, programs, etc. The first website I built was in mid-2000. Like a lot of stay at home Moms, I spent a couple hours of my day watching soap operas. One of them being “Days of Our Lives”. My favorite character was Billie Reed played by actress Krista Allen. I decided to build a fan website for her since fan pages and official websites were the new thing in those days. Every major celebrity was getting one and I wanted her to have a site. With the help of a couple friends I met online, we created the biggest fan website for a celebrity on the internet. Just weeks later, I received and email from a woman named Kiki who was the personal assistant for Krista Allen. She wanted to get to know me and work with me on the website. I was thrilled! Up to this point, the only celebs or somewhat famous people I ever met were professional bass fisherman like Roland Martin and Bill Dance. An actor by the name of Marc Macaulay used to go on guide trips with my Dad and he was the first celeb I received and autograph for. At that time, he was most famous for Swamp Thing, Passenger 57, and Wild Things. Marc ended up buying into my Dads lure company and I used to write articles for him and other tournament fisherman in our local newspaper the “Auburndale Star.” It was a fun way to make money when I was a teen. Anyways, after speaking with Kiki several times I received a phone call from Krista Allen herself. We spoke a little over 4 hours our first time. We just hit it off instantly. She decided she wanted me to make the website official and would help me herself to keep it updated. Over time, I was doing loads of online jobs for her and she was referring me to other celebs like David Spade, Britney Spears, Paris Hilton, George Clooney, and more. I never got to personally meet any of them but I did get to work for them over the phone doing PR jobs usually involving press releases or website updates. On several occasions, I was employed to track down online celebrity stalkers. That is when I fell in love with investigation work. Since things just kind of fell into my lap and was going so well, Krista helped me create my company which was called Hollyweb Online at the time. In one year, I went from the lonely struggling housewife to a business woman working for public figures and celebs. We were moving on up in the world and for the first time in my life I had high hopes of a bright future.

    Unfortunately, my husband thought my success meant he didn’t have to work anymore. He lost his job at Universal Alloy and jumped from job to job. Every time I would receive a decent paycheck, he would spend it before bills were even paid. I did all I could to hide funds but it was a struggle. He got addicted to meth and various substances and stayed gone more than he was home. I poured everything into my business and daughter.

    I threatened him that I would leave and move back to Florida with our daughter if he did not straighten up. I laid down some ground rules. One of them being that he had to come to church with me and needed to get involved. To my surprise, he cleaned up for several months. This was probably the best time in our marriage. He stayed clean for about a year. We got involved at our church with activities and sports. My husband even did some side jobs cleaning the church or landscaping for money. One evening after a game, we had some of the teens over at our home with parents. Some of the neighborhood kids/teens that attended our church from time to time was there as well. We had just recently had a break in at our home and I had to report it to the police because jewelry, PlayStation games, etc. were missing. After the party was over, we notice more things missing but nothing of important value so we decided to just keep a better eye out from now on. I can’t remember if it was the next day or the day after, honestly it is all very blurry to me now, but police showed up at my home with a warrant to arrest me. Apparently, a couple of the teen boys that had recently been at my home got caught with having “erotic” photos of me as the police called it. Before I had my daughter, my Husband had taken some promiscuous photos of me when I was just 17. The photos were of my wearing teddies or wrapped in sheets lying on the bed. I wasn’t nude in these photos, I was covered more than what you would see from a swim suit model. However, since the photos were of me lying on our bed and making “sexy poses”, the police saw them as lewd. I was 19 at the time the police arrested me. The boys who stole the photos and were in possession of them were 16 & 17. They also showed a neighborhood boy that was 15. One of the boy’s mother found him with the photos and the boy told his mother I gave them to him. The police searched my home and took photos of where they found the album which was under my bed. I have explained this story many times on podcast, YouTube videos, radio shows, and blogs. My family, friends, and most of my readers are aware of this story. It ended with the case being dismissed and the judge finding no harm done. My state appointed lawyer used the police photos to prove the album was kept in a safe place. The prior break-in proved that the photos could have been taken without my knowledge. It also helped that not soon after my arrest, the main boy who took the photos was arrested for breaking into another home in the neighborhood. The entire experiences were frightening and probably one of the scariest times in my life. It’s been very hard for me to trust police after this incident. I had no idea that this nightmare would come back to haunt me just thirteen years later. More about this later.

    A few years later, work had died down some for me. I decided to train to become a massage therapist. It seemed easy enough and I had a friend who was going through the training. It cost $600 and the courses last a few months. After paying the money and taking the courses, we found out it was a scam and we would not receive real certificates. Total bummer! This was another horrible experience that taught me a lot. My husband was now drinking a lot on top of his drug use. I rarely saw him and had to move some friends in with me to keep bills paid. There was also the issue of my Husband stealing money every way he could. Even writing checks from my personal account and signing my name.

    One day, after he was gone for a couple weeks, he came home high as a kite with liquor on his breath. I told him I wanted him gone. I had enough and wanted a better life. In anger and rage he forced himself on me. He thought he was going to show me what he had and make me see that I would regret not being with him. Instead, I was sickening and hated him even more than ever. He left me in pain and I had to go to the hospital. After he sobered up, he made me swear not to tell his parents. I promised I wouldn’t if he would just leave. My goal was to save up money and move back to Florida. A month later, I found out I was pregnant with my son. Still very young and scared, I thought I just needed to try harder to keep my husband sober and home. Divorce wasn’t an option in my family’s eyes and his family begged me to keep working on him. They insisted he would eventually grow up and take responsibility. I just had to be patient. Even after the birth of our son, he did not change. He continued to go out and party with his friends and bounce from various jobs. We were now living in a lovely two-story home (that was seriously haunted) but since work wasn’t consistent, I never knew if I could make rent on time. Three friends were living with us to help make bills. He would pop in and out, mainly to sleep off a binge, and then would leave again for days on end.

    Finally, he decided he was going to get sober so he could be a good role model for him son. I didn’t have much faith at that time but I knew what the Bible said about forgiveness. All seemed to be going as well as expected, when I found a burnt spoon and needle hidden above our bathroom cabinet while cleaning. I knew it was drug related after looking it up online. I called the police and then I called Department of Children and Families. I wanted him gone for good but did not want to go through what I did the last time I told him to leave. I needed protection. I am so glad I thought to call DFCS at that time or otherwise the police would have arrested both of us. DFCS issued a drug test to both of us and the children right on the spot. Everyone was clean BUT my husband. He was arrested and then ordered to take both parenting classes and drug classes. He lost all rights to our children and was told he would not get them back without completing the mandatory classes. He never completed them.

    Since our separation and divorce, he has been arrested more times than I can count. He barely has a relationship with his kids speaking to them over the phone maybe a couple times a year when he is not in jail. They have saw him a handful of times when we visited their grandparents in GA and he makes an appearance. That’s about it.

    In 2006, I met my third sons father. I was back living in FL staying with a friend in an apartment. I was mad at God, bitter for everything that happened in my life, and pretty much stopped going to church. I was working part-time at Publix since Hollyweb was still not making enough to live comfortably. One of my co-workers introduced me to her brother and asked if I would go with him as a date to his Christmas work party. He was very flattering and I was very lonely. We hit it off fast and within a couple months we moved in together. I admit, I was very co-dependent for several years. I didn’t like being alone and for some reason felt if I didn’t have a man in my life, I was pathetic. I was embarrassed to be a single Mom. Most likely due to the way I was raised. In my Dad’s eyes, only whores had children without being married. Just three months into dating, he proposed to me and gave me a ring. He told me he wanted to have a child between us and having a baby with him would make him very happy. I had no reason to believe he was lying. I fell hard in love because he was protective, stable, and very funny. Long story short, he left me when I was 7 months pregnant with our son to be with another woman. He forced me to leave our home we had got together so he could move his new woman in. During this time, my Mom & step-Dad had got a divorce. Finally! My Mom was going through this stage of feeling liberated and powerful. We joke now and call it her “man-hating” period. She told me to come stay with her and my little sister. For the first time in my life, I saw a different side of my Mother. She bought me a car and took me shopping for new baby stuff. She bought me a bunch of new church dresses to help give me a fresh start and get my life in order. Krista Allen was not just a client to me at this point. She had become like a sister to me and that is what we called each other. She purchased a crib for my new baby and sent my oldest two a bunch of toys to help get their mind off everything. They had grown very fond of my ex while we were together. He was good to them and nothing like the Dad they remembered. Their hearts were just as broken as mine when he left me for the other woman.

    I started attending church again and re-dedicated my life to the Lord. I went into labor when my mother was at work and had a friend drive me to the hospital. Luckily, everyone could arrive before the birth. Things didn’t go as planned though when they lost the babies heart beat and I began bleeding out. I was rushed into an emergency C-section. Let me tell you, it all happened so fast. I can still remember them putting the gas mask over my face and starting to count. I can still feel them cutting into my belly before I passed out completely. It felt like someone had lit my belly on fire. All was well with the baby when I awoke and I had a beautiful 6lb 10oz baby boy. I planned to name him Mason Lee, a name my sister picked out, but somehow his Dad managed to talk me into naming our child after him. Ugh! I was so gullible and still loved him so, I fell for it.

    After he got his wish, he couldn’t even be there to take us home from the hospital as he promised. My Mother and friends all called to check on me but I assured them my baby Daddy would be there when it was time for my release. He never showed. I lied to the nurse and said he was in the car waiting for me. I put my son in the car seat and carried him down myself. Because they usually ride women down in a wheelchair, I had to sneak out when they went to get the wheelchair. I drove myself and my baby home that day.

    Me & My Hubby Chad McCaffery

    A few months later I attended an Easter party with my children. The party was put on by my baby Daddy’s family and they invited me to meet my son. This is where I met my current husband. I was just getting my life back, work had started to pick up again, I was teaching a class at my church. Then, I meet this handsome man who was drunk and acting the fool. lol. He kept hitting on me but I was not interested no matter how cute I thought he was. Finally, I told him, if he wanted a date with me he had to go to church with me. The following Wednesday night, he asked if he could go to church with me and I agreed. He met my mother and sister and they seemed to like him right away. Of course, I did not tell them he drank. Not only did he drink but, he was an alcoholic and drank every day after work. I told him after everything I went through with my ex-husband, there was no way I would date an alcoholic. We ended up talking for hours and he told me his entire life story. That weekend, we spend time sitting around the campfire with his family and they all vouched that his story was true. They even added some detail he left out. I respected his honesty and was also horrified by the things I heard. He was abused in every way imaginable by his step-father. I felt like I could relate to him on so many levels and now understood why he chose to drink so much. I wanted to help him get through his issues without having to drink. Everyone in my life told me I would fail. His own family told me I would fail. I even believed in the back of my mind that my hero nature didn’t work with my Step-dad, it didn’t work with my Ex Husband so, why would it work with Chad McCaffery. Still, I wouldn’t give up. Jesus wouldn’t give up. Remember the “What Would Jesus Do” trend? It was very popular around this time. Chad told me he suffered from uncontrolled seizures due to his PTSD but I dated him for a few months before ever witnessing one. His family was used to it but, when I saw it happen for the first time, it scared the crap out of me.

    After all he had been through, I felt it was so unfair he had to live with the psychological illness. He did stop drinking, completely, he became in active member of our church, and he took my kids in as his own. Especially my youngest son since he was only months old when we met. We married a year after we met. 4 months later, I got pregnant with twins. Within weeks, I found out that I had cancer cells in my lady parts and one of the babies had died. The other baby would not be normal if he/she even made it. The doctors insisted I have a DNC. The cells were removed and we were terribly heart broken. Especially since the DNC took place on my Husbands birthday. His seizures began to happen more often now, probably brought on by the stress. The first handful of times it happened, I would call 911 each time. I didn’t know what to do and wasn’t trained for this. Most the information I found online was about Grand Mal and epileptic seizures. These usually last for less than a minute and typically don’t cause damages. My husbands lasted for up to 20 minutes and sometimes he would have more than one at a time. These caused his disc in his back to bulge, his heart to enlarge, and several bodily injuries. I decided to make it my mission to figure out how I could stop them. The doctors had him on loads of medication and nothing seemed to help.

    In 2009, I got pregnant with my youngest son. It was a rough and painful pregnancy. I had my gall bladder removed when I was 5 months along. After my C-section, the doctors insisted I have my tubes tied because another pregnancy might not be safe. I took the doctor’s advice. For three years I traveled around with my family visiting various doctors, therapist, and specialist trying to get a grip on my Husbands seizures. He was approved for disability and had to quit his job. After falling 50 feet off his station in the warehouse he was working at due to a seizure, we knew it would be hard for him to find work. This incident would go on his record and it wasn’t the first time he had a seizure at his job. Finally, after visiting the Emory clinic in Atlanta and having a few sleep studies, he was officially diagnosed with PNES seizures. Psychogenic non-epileptic seizures also known as pseudo seizures. These were without a doubt caused by his 16 years of traumatic emotional, physical, verbal, and sexual abuse. The reason he had more at night while sleeping was due to his dreams.

    We weened him slowly off all the anti-convulsion medications and replaced them with anti-anxiety meds. He now has about three a month instead of three a week. In 2013, living in Florida and helping care for my dying Grandmother and friend, I decided I wanted to us my online platform to do something good. My Nana was dying of kidney cancer and my friend was dying of breast cancer. Since I still worked from home running Hollyweb Online, I had free time to be of assistance to both. My Nana was like my best friend and she was always telling me I should share my story and use my experiences to help others. My daughter was dealing with some bullies in middle school for bringing up the Bible and Jesus in class. Her teacher wasn’t helping the situation at all which really had me ticked. My Nana suggested with the help of my friends, I should start an organization against bullying. I did a ton of research about schools allowing bullying to take place and read about hundreds of suicides caused by bullies. I shared my ideas with a friend and we opened “Bullies Keep Out”.

    Another friend suggested we open and organization for abused women and children. I told her I had already opened BKO but would love to help her. I built her a website and worked with her in my spare time to create S.A.F.E. Stop Abusive Family Environments. Her mother was a founder of another organization for over 30 years and had a 501c3. They were working to get S.A.F.E. under the umbrella of her mother’s org. I felt so empowered during this time. Like, I was really starting to make a difference in the world. As much as I loved co-founding and running Bullies Keep out, there were so many more topics I wanted to discuss.

    As I interviewed people, watched documentaries, and followed the news, bullying felt like such a small issue compared to others. I also felt like most bullying started at the home and was usually linked to domestic violence. I had just signed Actor and TV Host Oliver Trevena as a client and he was the ambassador for NOT FOR SALE, an organization against human trafficking. I looked into them reading everything on their website and watching their videos. I had no idea this type of slavery was taking place today and in the U.S.A. My Dad always warned me of kidnappers and perverts but never did he tell me there was this whole industry of evil people selling children. Now THIS is something I wanted to raise awareness about. If I didn’t know it exist so rampantly, how many others were clueless.

    By this time, my friends Dana & Sandra had BKO and S.A.F.E. running smoothly and under control. They didn’t need me anymore so, I decided to launch “No More Victims” with some friends and family. Within a month or two we changed the name to R.I.S.E. & Stand (Reach. Inspire. Support. Empower.) because my client at the time Cali Rosen thought the name kind of victimizes victims. She said we needed something more positive and uplifting. We all agreed. We got off to a rough start. We had to raise the funds to pay for our tax exemption status and to make the company a legitimate charity. I took a few courses in my town about launching non-profits. These courses focused on community service and getting volunteers to help. I wish I never did that lol. Sandra from S.A.F.E. was awarded her umbrella status under her Mom’s organization. They offered to do the same with R.I.S.E. & Stand so we could save money. This was an option we considered for a while. I mainly handled the website, did over the phone mentoring and through email. I also took various courses to teach me more about running an organization. I also had my family, husband, Nana, friend, and business to take care of. That being said, I allowed volunteers to run R&S social media and answer emails. Each of these volunteers were vetted and I still think they were all good people. However, none of us were prepared for online trolls and their twisted games. Almost immediately after the organization was launched we were approved by people requesting help through email and on Twitter. I believe this was due to celebs I work for tweeting about the organization. Some of them even became members and mentioned our org in TV & magazine interviews.

    A celebrity can have millions of fans but, they also usually get hundreds if not thousands of haters. A particular celeb I was working with at the time had a group of haters after her. Not long after she tweeted about the help from me and R.I.S.E. & Stand, we all became targets. Every post made by myself or our volunteers was scrutinized. Post & tweets would be taken out of context or our words would be twisted. For instance, a volunteer shared a post made by S.A.F.E. when they received their 501c3 umbrella. The S.A.F.E. team were also doing some weight-loss challenge around the time they received their tax exemption. They chose to throw a party for both their weight-loss goals and for their umbrella status. I think Sandra was even selling some type of supplement like Herbalife to make money for her org. Anyways, on Twitter, S.A.F.E. posted a photo of their team at the party and said they were celebrating the tax exemption. On Facebook, one of the team members shared the same photo but spoke more about weight-loss than the 501c3. Due to this, the trolls suggested it was all a lie and S.A.F.E. was shady. R&S was also shady for promoting and working with them. We were all floored by the allegations. Why didn’t they just look the organization up on Sunbiz.org? Why were they watching everything so closely and jumping to conclusions? Many of our volunteers had never even heard of online trolls. Sure, we all knew there were nasty people out there but not to this extreme. For months, these trolls looked for anything and everything they could use against us.

    I had a lot of hookups through Hollyweb that helped me deal with online stalkers and harassment. Crisis control was part of my job for my clients. My R&S volunteers had no idea how any of it worked. It was all Japanese to them but, bless their hearts, they tried their best. I remember at one time, I had a few Twitter reps I worked with personally to help me verify clients a help them remove impersonation accounts. They also helped me often with removing accounts harassing my clients. Now, most of this is done through a portal. Anyways, one of the volunteers tweeted about us working with Twitter to help eliminate a troll. The trolls had a field day with this because in their eyes, this meant we were saying that we literally worked for Twitter which was not the case. It was little things like that where volunteers didn’t know how to say things in the right way or how to handle the troll bashing properly. An allegation would be posted by the trolls and one of the volunteers would call me. I would tell them what we could do about the issue and how I can handle it. My volunteers would then try and reassure clients or people we were helping through R&S that the matter was being handled. But, when they said things like, “Kitty works with Twitter and has asked them to remove the account” it made us come off as if we were deceiving people. At the time, all I could do was work with my Twitter reps to handle these issues.

    Eventually, to stop these types of issues from happening, I had to do away with most of my volunteers and only allow actual team members to run the social media. To this day, our social media is operated by Oscar Ponce, Randall Lee, Jordan Clark, Selena Flesher, and myself.

    I heard horror stories about the Government involving themselves in organizations that had a 501c3. We decided to only register our non-profit through the state rather than getting a 501c3. Because of this, our lovely trolls thought we must be stealing donations or mishandling our funds. One of them called the IRS on us and another contacted GoFundMe.com to report us. We checked out with both GoFundMe and the IRS. For three years we have dealt with online trolling stemmed by one person who hated my affiliation with actress Kristen Johnston. I thought when I stopped working with Johnston that it would stop. I thought when the IRS & GoFundMe assured them that nothing was amiss the trolling would stop. That was not the case. This story deserves an entire blog so I will save the rest for the upcoming blog.

    Me & my lovely Nana

    My Nana passed away in December 2014. I also lost my close friend to the breast cancer. It sent me into a deep depression and caused a lot of issues between my husband and me. Shortly after, I was diagnosed with Lupus SLE. They also found degenerative disc disorder, rheumatoid arthritis, and ortho-arthritis. All these issues were really messing with my adrenal glands. After years of taking care of others, I needed someone to take care of me. I stayed sick A LOT. This was not something my Husband or my kids was used to. Everyone was used to Mommies dinners, Mommies attention, and Mommies constant work. Some days I could not even get out of bed. I think I had the disease for a few years prior to diagnosis but it hit me like a ton of bricks after losing my Nana.

    Lupus has caused me so many changed in my body. One of the ways they treat it is with steroids which causes you to gain weight. My weight fluctuates back and forth constantly. I have major hormone imbalances and at times feel like I just want to die. However, my church, my kids, and my organization keeps me fighting. Over the 16 years I have had my company, I have learned an awful lot about the inner workings of Hollywood from clients. That is why in early 2016, I decided to change my company name from Hollyweb Online to McCaffery Media.

    Hollywood used to mean to me a place where people went with talent or beauty to make their dreams come true. The perfect American dream for so many. You could be dirt poor and become wealthy just doing what you love. Dolly Parton, Elvis, Loretta Lynn, their stories inspired me and made me want to be a part of it. I am way too shy to become a professional singer myself, I can’t act, and I no longer have the looks to be a model. Nevertheless, I wanted to help make other dreams come true. Every time I heard Krista or another client tell me how I made a dream possible for them due to my hard work, it made me feel important. I was told my entire childhood that I was worthless, unimportant, just another mouth to feed, etc. Now, I was doing something I loved to do that allowed me to still be home with my kids, and I got be a blessing in someone’s life.

    After working with various public figures over the years I learned Hollywood and fame wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. Another issue my conspiracy loving Father never told me about. I do know though, that many people can live their dream without being sucked in to the dark side of Hollywood. I have watched it happen time and time again. I work with clients who are making big and never even stepped foot in Hollywood. I focus on a lot of independent artist now and help them reach their full potential. I love it and it supports my family. Recently, the trolls have reemerged with a new group supporting them. This is partly because I never had the blogs made about me removed. I did call the local authorities when my children were attacked online by the trolls but they said it was a civil matter. I contacted the FBI’s online cyber unit and once again they said this was more of a civil issue. I was going to get a lawyer in 2015 to handle it but the lawyer fees were unreal for me at the time. I decided the best way to combat the harassment was with the truth. So, I just faced it all head on.

    I tend to get several months of peace before my work ticks someone off again and the old troll blog about me is found. This time, I lost some friends who decided instead of coming to me for proof and answers, they would talk behind my back and spread the lies. I have had enough. Now, I have paid for a lawyer and are handling things in the proper way. No one will stop me from doing what I know is right in my heart. No one will take away this dream from me. For the first time in my life, I finally feel like I am doing what God intended me to do. I help people. It makes me happy and helps me through my own personal grief and daily pains.

    The Bible says,

    2 Timothy 3:12 – Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.

    John 15:18 – If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before [it hated] you.

    Matthew 5:44 – But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

    1 Peter 3:16 – Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.

    Matthew 5:10 – Blessed [are] they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

    Luke 6:22 – Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you [from their company], and shall reproach [you], and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake.

    1 John 3:13 – Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you.

    When I read those verses, I know that these people are just lead by darkness to try and extinguish my light. I am in no way perfect. I have flaws and I make mistakes. I try to do the best I can and it is my mission to never give up on people in need.

    -Kitty McCaffery

    Note: Additional blogs about my husband passed and the trolls against Rise & Stand coming soon.

  • Is Paypal stealing money from accounts?


    In March of 2016 a client I have worked with for years had issues with her credit card number being stolen. Her financial company quickly came to her rescue disputing all charges they were not familiar with. I had just recently changed my company name which caused some confusion with the client’s financial team. Not realizing who I was, they disputed a months worth of payments from my client to me. The majority of my clients pays me through PayPal and has for well over ten years. I never had a problem with PayPal before so I figured this would be an easy fix when my client and I realized what happened.

    The following day, my client and I called PayPal to explain the issue. PayPal told us what we needed to do to fix the issue. According to the representative, we just needed to fill out some forms, have the credit card company cancel the chargebacks and return the funds to PayPal. PayPal would then return to the funds to me. By March 28th, the credit card company released all the funds to PayPal. My client, her credit card company, her bank, and I made a group call to PayPal. We spoke to a supervisor who admitted PayPal had received the funds back along with the faxes they needed. I was told I would have to wait up to 70 days for the credits to my account. In the meantime, the PayPal supervisor waived all late fee charges on my account.

    I wasn’t happy that I would have to wait 70 days for the issue to be corrected but I understand company policies. After 75 days had passed, only one chargeback was corrected. I called PayPal back spending over an hour on the phone trying to find someone who worked there that understood the issue. In the end, I was told to wait two more weeks and all should be settled. No one at PayPal seemed to know why it was taking longer than normal but assured me they were working on it.

    A little over two weeks went by and one more chargeback was fixed. The two that were released to me were the smallest of all the chargebacks. I called back again this time spending almost two hours on the phone trying to find someone who had an idea of what was going on. A manager of the dispute department finally got on the phone with me. After 20 minutes, she told me she went through each chargeback requesting for immediate release of my funds from PayPal’s back end bank. She said within 4-8 hours my account should be back to normal. Finally! Or so I thought.

    A few days passed and nothing changed within my account. I called PayPal back and went through the motions of being transferred to various departments. I finally got sent to a manager named Tracey just to be told that all the cases were closed and that PayPal ruled in the buyers favor. Supposedly, the funds were returned back to “the buyer”. What?! How can that be when “the buyer” cancelled out the chargebacks and had the funds issued back to PayPal.

    I called my client and the financial team who informed me that the never received the funds back from PayPal either. Documents were provided to me to prove the funds were not returned to them. I logged into my PayPal account to see for myself what the cases say in the resolution center. I was shocked to see that all of the cases had disappeared. My account balance is still in the negative but none of the cases can be found. I did a search all the way back to January of this year but everything is gone. It shows no closed cases or open cases under my account.

    If I don’t have the money and my client does not have the money, then where is it PayPal? Why did you delete all the case information? I did some investigating on this matter to find there are numerous amounts of complaints about the same issue. PayPal has some explaining to do. I have lost all respect for the company. Have you had a similar issue? Feel free to email me. I’d like to know if your issue was resolved.

     

    • Kitty McCaffery

     

  • Living with Lupus & Depression-My Story


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    Me

    In November 1981, I was born seemingly healthy weighing 6 lbs. and 9 oz. The doctors were relieved since my mother was severely sick with the flu and pneumonia the majority of the time she was pregnant. It wasn’t till I was 8 years old that my mother noticed I got sick a lot and was having a difficult time at school due to being so sick. The doctors had ideas of what was causing the various symptoms but never gave a definite diagnosis. I almost always had a sinus infection but cold medicine or allergy medicine did not seem to phase it. Whenever I would run and play it usually led to me vomiting. I can remember certain foods that would make me sick almost immediately after I ate them. The doctors checked for food allergies. They assumed I may be allergic to wheat but couldn’t be definite since some foods containing wheat didn’t bother me. There were various foods that I couldn’t hold down but the ones I remember the most was all Chef Boyardee like, SpaghettiOs & Ravioli. It seemed like all the foods that kids loved I could not handle.

    A few times around the ages of 8 and 9, I broke out in a rash all over my body. The pediatrician told my Mom he thought I got into some poison oak playing outside. I knew that was not the case even then because I had only been playing in the same area I played daily. Within a couple of days the rash would just disappear as fast as it popped up.

    My Mom, Me, & the Dad that raised me.

    My Mom, Me, & the Dad that raised me.

    I remember in middle school my P.E. coaches thought I was bulimic because I would vomit almost daily a few times during class. The coaches questioned me and asked me if I was making myself do it or if I had an illness causing it. Together, we figured out that it had to do with me playing hard right after lunch. I had lunch third period and P.E. fourth period. We changed my schedule to have P.E.  For sixth period and it did help greatly. My doctor then assumed that I was just one of the children that had a weak stomach and my food needed to settle before activity. I did not agree because that did not explain all the other times I would suddenly get sick when I was not active.

    As an adult, I have thought back on my childhood and tried to figure it out myself. I came to the conclusion that it was probably due to the mental, verbal, and physical abuse in my household. Years of studying psychology taught me about the way the body can react to the kind of abuse I went through on a day-to-day basis and watched my Mother endure. I began to think maybe it wasn’t certain foods that triggered the nausea, maybe it was not poison oak that was making me break out in rashes, and just maybe I didn’t have some strange illness. Maybe it was all connected to anxiety and stress.

    During my teen issues it seemed like my body was trying to fight off whatever it was struggling with. I would go through months of being perfectly healthy. I had my first child when I was 18. I was substantially sick throughout my whole pregnancy but not like how I was before. Just the general nausea, aches and pains, and fatigue lots of women face while pregnant. I did not have any of the ongoing sinus infections that always plagued me.

    I had my second child when I was 22. Just like my first pregnancy, I was sick the entire time with nausea. I wish I only had morning sickness but unfortunately I rarely got much relief from nausea for the whole duration of my pregnancies. Unlike my first, I did battle sinus infections while carrying my son. The only thing the doctors could give me was Claritin and saline spray but it didn’t seem to help much.

    My daughter Felicity & first born son Thomas.

    My daughter Felicity & first born son Thomas.

    After the birth of my son I seemed to stay fatigued a lot. I just assumed it was natural since I had two young children and sleep could be scarce at times. A year later I was still feeling really rough on most days. I went to a new doctor and told him everything. He sent me over to a psychologist who decided everything I was going through was due to depression. She said she believed I was right about my childhood and that anxiety & depression probably did lead to my sickness. She also believed that I was going through the same thing all over again due to my marriage and lifestyle.

    When I was a child, part of my punishment for being to loud or playing around too much was to sit alone and read encyclopedias or The Bible. My Dad started this punishment for me around age 9 when he came across a series of encyclopedias at a yard sale. Eventually, I started to enjoy reading them and was fascinated by people’s behavior. I wanted to read everything I could about the human mind and characteristics. This “punishment” continued until I was 16 and moved away to go live with my biological Father (who I met at 16) in Georgia. By that time, I decided I wanted to go to College and learn all I could about mental illness, behavioral health, and disorders. My Dad thought college was a waste of time for me because he wanted me to work in the family business. He owned a sports shop and plastic lure company and told me he wanted me to run them one day. Running either of those businesses was the last thing I wanted to do and he knew it. I hated his companies because he made me work with him from as young as I could remember. I don’t mean just helping out either. He actually worked me as if I was adult which gave me little time to be a kid or a teen. School was my one escape from the labor and the abuse but when I was thirteen and spoke about college a little too much, he took me out of school. He told my mother he needed the help with his companies but made sure I would school while at work. He said they could home school me that way I could work when needed.

    My Mom wasn’t so convinced the plan would work so my Dad went even further. I will never forget how he told my Mom that I was too pretty for middle school. He explained how I was at the hormonal rebellious age and did not appreciate the business skills he was teaching me. If they allowed me to keep going to school it would not be long before I would run off with some boy. My Mom argued with him but he was able to convince her that I was too busy playing and goofing off at school. It was true my grades were slipping around that time but it wasn’t from playing. I was exhausted from the work hours. I did get in trouble a time or two at school for talking but school was literally the only time I could see my friends. The majority of time they were not allowed at my home and I was never allowed phone calls. Anyways, my Dad knew just what to say because my Mom was a runaway at age 13. He played into her fears and convinced her it was best I home school and work for the family business.

    Me age 14 (Thought I was tough)

    Me age 14 (Thought I was tough)

    Dad didn’t hold up his promise. I rarely found time for school work since most days he would leave me to run the sports shop alone. My Mom was a waitress that worked 12 hours most days and my Dad did bass fishing guide trips for extra money. The problem was he always had to “practice” for these guide trips or his weekend tournaments. Therefore, he would drop me off around 5:30 am in the morning so I could open the store and I would literally run it all day till he returned that afternoon to close up. Within a few months my Mom realized my Dad never planned to school me. I was miserable and very tired. On top of running the shop I still had household chores and I had to babysit my little sister as I worked every day. You may be wondering how in the world was a 13/14-year-old girl with a three-year old girl running a store every day without Children & Families services finding out. I think it had to do with three things. One, my Dad was a bass fisherman hero in our small town. Most the customers that came in our store were hoping to get some good tips or just talk to my Dad when they could. Two, if anyone tried to say anything his friends and our family would lay for them. The majority of our family had not a clue that Dad was working me every day the way he was. The people who did know thought I enjoyed it and wanted to do it because I led them to believe so. I was scared to say different knowing if I got caught I would get a beating. Three, I think my parents just got really lucky.

    You can see why I ran into my biological fathers arms as soon as I met him at age 16. I talked him into letting me go live with him in Georgia when he came down to Florida to meet me. It wasn’t hard to convince him when he saw my lifestyle.

    Unfortunately, living with him wasn’t much different. The roles just reversed. Instead of the Dad being abusive and the Mom bowing down it was the opposite. My Step Mother hated my existence and that I stepped into their life. My Dad tried keeping the peace but wasn’t very successful since he worked a lot. Soon after arriving, my Step Mother told me I either went to school or got a job.  At this point, I missed three years of school. I had no school clothes (barely any clothes), no supplies, no money for books I needed. My Step Mother told me either my parents needed to give me some money or I needed to work for it but it wasn’t their responsibility to help me. Not a lot of places besides fast food took sixteen year old kids and I did not want to do that. Luckily, I found a job at Redbud Nursery working in the green houses. I didn’t have a car so I walked to work and back each day. It was perfectly fine to me because I got to experience freedom for the first time. I started to save up money to buy a car. My plan was to first get the car, then get my GED and eventually go to college.

    I went to work every day, did my chores I was given, and walked to church on Sundays. My Step Mom constantly ridiculed me and called me named like, “goody two shoes” and “floozy.” One Sunday morning I was getting ready for church when she came out in one of my dresses wearing blue eye shadow and red lipstick. She had her hair in a braided ponytail, was wearing super high heels, (I would never wear) and was carrying one of those huge family Bibles. She started prancing around the house saying, “I’m Katrina..Oh I mean Kitty. I’m walking to church on Sunday because I am so perfect and do no wrong. I love making other people feel less than me. Aren’t I so pretty”? She was batting her eyelashes and twirling around. My Dad made her stop and I just stood there not knowing what to do. I couldn’t believe was I was seeing. A 40 something year old woman was mocking me just because I was walking to church. I bawled my eyes out the entire walk to church. I couldn’t understand why she hated me so much because I worked really hard to impress her and my biological Father. Eventually, it got to be too much to take. My Step Mother and my step Sister were blaming me for any little incident that took place. Sometimes they made up lies about me that were so far from the truth it flabbergasted me. The most frustrating issue of all is they both kept stealing money from me. Before I moved out I actually caught my step sister stealing. I came home early from work one day to find her sitting on my bed stashing my cash into her purse. I made her give it back and she begged me not to tell. She said, if I would do this one favor for her it would prove to her that I care about her and she will treat me like a sister. I asked her what she needed so much money for all the time that she kept stealing from me and she said she was saving up for a present for our Dad. She said she would say the gift was from both of us if I kept quiet.

    After I moved out into the house of the first boy who proclaimed his love for me, I was visiting my Dad one day when we all ended up fighting. My step sister never did treat me like a sister or friend like she said and was blaming me of something else when I didn’t even live there anymore. I had enough and blurted out about how much money she stole from me during the time I was there. My step Mom was actually on my side for once trying to keep from fighting with my Dad. They were working on their marriage from all the trouble I supposedly caused while living there. My step sister was super angry that her Mom was taking my side so she decided to rat out her own Mom. She told me how her Mom took money from me a few times too. I sat there, stunned, while they both argued about it when finally my step Mother agreed she did take money but only because they needed help with bills and felt I should have been paying some rent while living there. I left and rarely came back unless my Dad begged me and then I would visit just for him.

    My first pregnancy

    My first pregnancy

    Exactly nine months after moving in with my boyfriend he proposed to me and I accepted. I had convinced myself I was head over heals in love. He lived with his Mom, his Moms drunkard boyfriend, and his two younger brothers. The house was tiny, dirty, and flea infested but his Mom was doing the best she could, considering her health and raising three boys. The boyfriend worked here and there and once in a while would help make a dinner but that was about all he contributed. I took on an extra job as a waitress at night while continuing to work at Redbud during the day. My wonderful boyfriend was still in school whenever he felt like going so he didn’t work. He was your typical bad boy punk that was of course, a pot head. I believed he really loved me with all his heart and that over time I could change him. I helped him with his school work and pushed him to go. He swore to me he was going but I later found out he skipped most of the time. The school work he gave me was his brothers. He did go to church with me on Sundays and he loved me reading the Bible to him at night. He was shocked how much music I knew and loved me singing to him. We used to play a game with his friends where one of them would shout out a band and I would have to sing a song from that band. That was too easy for me so we started playing, “Name that tune” where a friend would hum a song and I would guess it and sing it. Since I grew up with no life besides work, I listed to the radio non-stop. I listened to every station because I memorized songs so fast I would get sick of hearing the same ones repeatedly.

    My boyfriend was nothing for a parent to be proud of and I knew he wasn’t what I always dreamed of but he showed me so much attention and totally respected me and my faith. The night he proposed is when I finally gave in despite everything I believed in and gave up my virginity. The experience was not so great and the guilt consumed me. I cried a lot for a while. I decided that would not happen again till we were for sure married. By the time I started to forgive myself, I found out I was pregnant. After a couple of days of crying some more I called my Mom. She said, “I knew it! I knew you would have to prove your Dad right.” She was so angry at me and I couldn’t blame her. My Dad got on the phone and said not to ask them for any help. He said I better get married and ask for forgiveness. He said hopefully, God would forgive me for my rebellion and willful sin. I was told not to call and upset my Mom again until I was married.

    It was at that point that I realized the way things really were. I was with a young druggie that had no dreams or goals for himself. The house we were living in was no place to raise a child. I knew my Dad was stubborn and would not help me or let my Mom help me. I didn’t plan on telling my biological Father until I had too because I knew his wife would rub this in his face. Every fiber of my being was telling me to run. Abortion was never a thought for me. I chose to have sex, I knew protection didn’t always work, I got myself into this and it wasn’t the babies fault.

    I prayed for hours. I made myself sick praying and crying so much but I finally came up with a plan. I would continue working as long as I could and make up enough money to get my own place and a car. The only way my boyfriend would come with me is if he quit the drugs completely and got a job.  I was hoping the entire time I was having my breakdown that he would step up and say he would do those things but he didn’t. I had to tell him he had two options. Step it up or I was gone. He agreed he would do what was right. His Dad bought us a car to help us out so I didn’t have to keep bumming rides to make it to my jobs.

    My boyfriend went through three jobs during my pregnancy and lost all three. Still, I married him when I was 5 months pregnancy because he was trying or so I thought. A month after we married I quit the day job because it was too much on me. I was sick constantly as I stated earlier. I continued to wait tables in the afternoon.

    We moved in with a friend of his that had a cleaner home and more space. The friend’s mother let us pay little rent so we could save up for a place of our own. My grandparents got my phone number from my Mom and found out how hard we were struggling. The downfall of living with my husband’s friend was that he was a druggie so now my husband was using again. When I told my Papa how good my husband was doing before we moved in with his friend my Papa decided he would help. He paid for us to move back down to Florida. I am assuming he must have had a talk with my parents because they actually helped us a rent a place behind the sports shop. My Dad even helped us find a job at a plastic company where we both worked until he got fired for goofing off. I left soon after he was fired out of humiliation and because the men there kept trying to get me to leave my husband. Within a few weeks we found my husband a job at a grocery store where he worked until I had our daughter.

    My daughter Felicity as a baby

    My daughter Felicity as a baby

    He didn’t hold that job for long either. He went through a handful of jobs after our baby was born and started hanging out with some friends he met at these jobs. Soon, he was back into the drugs and staying gone for days. I called his Dad and begged him for help. He offered for us to come live with him back in Georgia and would help out with the baby. He kept his promise and I got a job at a dreaded fast food restaurant because it was all I could find. My father in-law got a great job for my husband. For one year we lived pretty happy and my husband kept his job. We got our own little apartment and soon after he lost his great job. Thanks to God and my father in-law, my husband was able to get another good job pretty fast. I began working from home online building websites for small businesses. For fun and practice I created fan websites for celebrities. A few of them did not have official websites which was hot and becoming important back in the early 2000’s. I started getting contacted by the celebrities showing their appreciation. Before long, I was hired by a handful of celebrities to make their fan sites official and run the sites for them. Eventually, that let into PR work that lead me to who I am today. With both of us working we were doing pretty well for ourselves. We got a bigger nicer apartment and a year later rented a 5 bedroom two-story house that we shared with a couple of friends. I had our son during that time and believed we had finally made it. My husband seemed to have stayed clean for a couple of years. He still did plenty of stupid immature stuff but I understood he was still a kid. Babies don’t always change men like they do women. These days, babies don’t always change women either.

    My first born son Thomas as a baby

    My first born son Thomas as a baby

    We fought a lot because I was trying to work and school while raising two kids. He was perfectly fine working at whatever job would hire him. Yes, he lost the second great job he had soon after we moved into the house. I decided to let him just stay home and baby sit. I continued working online and went to training to be a masseuse. I got a job shortly after training finished and went back to working two jobs. The pay was great with both jobs for what bills we had then. My husband was spending money as fast as it came in claiming he was helping out his Mom, Grandma, or something. Soon, I found out he wasn’t helping out anyone. The money was going to drugs. Hard drugs this time around and he was addicted big time. I flipped out because how was he babysitting the kids if he was buying and doing drugs?

    I decided to call Children and Families and the cops. I didn’t tell him of course but I did tell him I was done. We were fighting when the officer arrived. The police could tell I had been hit a few times and asked if I wanted to press charges but I said no. I just wanted him to be tested for drugs and tell me what my options were. DCF showed up and tested him. Drug dogs found some methamphetamines in the house hidden. He failed the drug test of course and was arrested.

    When he got out he was on five years probation and was not allowed to live under the same roof with the kids. He was made to go to 40 hours of drug and alcohol classes. I hoped he was finally going to get the help he deserved.

    My Mom told me to come back home. She was so proud of me for standing up for me and children that I guess it gave her some strength. She said I could stay with her no matter what Dad said until I got a place of my own.

    My Dad called my husband and found out how everything happened. He was so mad at me for calling on my own husband and said that was not how I should have handled it. He invited my husband to come down with me and the kids and let him help us. I did not want that of course but I knew I couldn’t raise the kids alone and still work my jobs. I had no close family in Georgia to help me and here was my Mom offering to help me. I couldn’t pass that up. My Dad said when we moved back to Florida that my husband’s probation would carry over here and he would get the help he needed.

    Soon after we arrived, my Dad, who was all a sudden on my husband’s side, set us up for counseling with our Pastor. My sister got him a job at an amusement park. A Florida probation officer came twice to visit and drug test him and then we never heard from her again. I called one day to see why she had not come around and was told somehow his probation was dropped. I still never figured out how that happened. He never even went to his drug and alcohol classes. He just got off scot-free. One of my celebrity clients under Hollyweb asked me to go into business with her running a clothing company. I took the job and still continued to work for the other celebs. We didn’t have to live with my parents but for a very short time before I rented us a house. However, just a few months after we moved in my Sister called to tell me my husband was messing around with another woman. I called me Mom and we drove to his work where we actually caught him making out with her in a car.

    STILL, my Dad made a stink about me leaving him and the threats came back again. He said things like, “I made my bed now I have to lie in it.” He told me my husband’s behavior was my fault because I was cold to him or always working.

    My husband was fired from that job too when my sister told management about his affair while on the job and showed pictures she had taken. I actually felt guilty like it was my entire fault he lost his job. My Dad had me convinced I was a horrible wife. I went to a local car auction and begged for them to hire my husband as a detailer. I told them we had just moved here and had two small children. The owner knew my Dad so it wasn’t like I just walked into a place begging a stranger to hire my husband. I was relieved when they gave him the job. It was an outdoor job just detailing cars so there didn’t seem to be much trouble he could get into. I was wrong. Just two months into the job he was fired for spray painting on cars and smoking weed.

    That was the last straw for me. I called my best friend and told her and she said it was hopeless. I called a client of mine that I was really close to and told her and she said if I don’t leave I will never be happy.  Seven years I gave everything I had to this man hoping he would change. I prayed daily and I poured my heart out to him. He went to therapy and the talks with our Pastor but he was set in his ways. He did not want to change. He didn’t want to lose his family either but if he had to leave a clean life with us then he would rather give it up.

    I told him to take our car and his things and go home to Georgia. I told him to get clean and see what it is like to not have your wife and kids for a while. I was hoping he would have some life altering experience. In a few months, he calls saying he is clean and misses us so much and wants to come home. I swore on his life he was clean and hadn’t even seen his friends lately. I called a couple of family members and friends of his and got a complete different story. I also learned he was drunk when he called me. I called him back and told him not to come home. I would be filing for divorce and I did.

    Me with my bestie Mary B.

    Me with my bestie Mary B.

    I struggled on my own with the help of some friends for a while. My close friend Mary and Rick helped me with the kids and with the clothing company. Mary moved in with me and helped with the bills until she lost her job. I couldn’t do it without her and eventually gave my Mom temporary custody of my two kids after losing my house.

    I got a second job in a bakery and moved in with my friend’s parents for a while. I bounced around staying at friends homes for 6 months trying to raise enough money to make payments on my new car and save enough to get a place for me and the kids. I met my next boyfriend at work. He was the brother of a girl I worked with and needed a date for his company Christmas dinner. His sister decided to set us up. We hit it off pretty fast because I thought he was hilarious and very understanding. We were both open books and his past was just as messed up as mine. One thing we had in common is we both tried to hold on to things for too long hoping problems would go away or we could make them right. We both had been married before and both of us denied what was really going on in our marriages. He was the first person that didn’t seem to judge me or look down on me for my past.

    After our first few dates, everything seemed to happen so fast. I had just got my own apartment and was starting over from scratch when he came into my life. I was struggling to make ends meet on my own with my daughter in school and my son in pre-K. The bakery wasn’t very understanding when it came to working my hours around my kid’s school. I was just about to break when he suggested I give up the apartment and stay with him and his Mom.

    His Mom had a three bedroom house. My boyfriend had one room, his sister and her fiancé had another, and his Mom had the master. His sister had a son and her boyfriend had two children that visited on weekends. Although I loved them all, it was really hard to work from the house with so many people around. I had to tell my clients I just couldn’t do it anymore.

    Because history and mistakes repeat themselves, I got pregnant again just a few months after moving in with my new boyfriend. I was very angry and bitter at God during this time so I no longer went to church. I was terrified of trying to raise a baby in a house full of people so I begged my boyfriend to get us our own place. I was full reliant on a man for the first time in my life. I had no job at this time because the bakery let me go as soon as they found out I was pregnant.

    My boyfriend got us a small place close to my Mom so she could help me out when I needed. She had finally filed for divorce from my Dad and made him leave after over 20 years of abuse. When I was 4 months pregnant my boyfriend proposed to me. The kids loved him, I loved him, and we had a baby coming, so I said yes.

    Getting ready for engagement party.

    Getting ready for engagement party.

    The next month we got a bigger home on some land. For the first time in my entire life I felt really loved and safe. I knew he would never hit me or physically abuse me. I knew he could care less about drugs. The only thing that kept him from being perfect in my eyes was our faith. He didn’t really have any faith but that all changed the second time he came to church with me on Easter Sunday. All was perfect in my world. I wasn’t mad at God anymore and began to realize I was just impatient and weak. I asked God to forgive me for my anger towards him and for sins I committed while I was angry.

    Pregnancy hormones and sickness kicked in a little late with this pregnancy. Maybe because I was in love and high on life as they say. Going into my fifth money I started getting real sick at night and in the mornings. I became really emotional and stressing about things. I knew it was hormones and that I was being clingy towards my boyfriend but I couldn’t control it. My boyfriend’s job sent him out-of-town a lot and I would worry something bad would happen to him or to the kids and I while he was gone. At first, he was understanding and even invited me out to some jobs that weren’t too far away. I wasn’t totally crazy and stressing over nothing. I worried so much because he always had stories of his crane breaking down in the middle of the night on the interstate. That happened a lot. His truck wasn’t in the greatest condition and it broke down on him a few times causing him to almost wreck. Honestly, I felt like my life was too good to be true because I had never really been happy up till this point. I just kept waiting for something to come along and mess it up. I don’t know if it was the things my Dad said, things my Step Mom said, or just being my own critic that made me believes I didn’t deserve happiness.

    Have you ever heard someone say, “Be careful what you put out there because you always get what you put out”? In other words, if you throw out negative energy you will get back negative things. I guess that is true because one weekend my boyfriend was gone for a few days. He came back seeming different. It was like he was on edge and arguing with me about any little thing. He had never acted that way before. The day before he left we had a romantic evening and talked about the wedding and the baby’s nursery. My friend Mary was there with me the entire time he was gone and we began plans for the wedding like my boyfriend told us to do. I was also working on some ways to bring in some extra money to surprise him with something special for his birthday.

    As I stated, he came back in a real bad mood. He claimed he was just tired and aggravated and needed some space. I went to our bedroom to watch a movie, ironically it was “The Breakup” with Jennifer Aniston. I was 7 months pregnant at this time and the baby begun kicking and rolling around. Since the baby started moving, my boyfriend was talking to him and would get tickled watching him move in my stomach. I thought maybe it would cheer him up to see how active the baby was. I went out and sat down next to him on the couch and asked if he wanted to fill the baby. I told him how active he was and probably happy to hear Daddy’s voice. My boyfriend just said, “Not right now. I am trying to rest and watch my show.” He had never spoken to be with the tone he was using or acted like that before. It totally threw me off. I told him when he was feeling better we needed to talk. Suddenly, he sat up and was like, “Yea. Let’s talk now. I don’t want to wait.” I said something smart because he just didn’t want me bothering him and now he wanted to talk. He proceeded to tell me he wasn’t happy anymore and thought it was best I pack my stuff and go stay with my Mom for a few days. I was floored because never in a million years did I expect to hear that. He went through the whole, “it’s not you it’s me speech” and I was in tears as you can imagine. By the time he was through he told me just to stay at the house while he goes to his Moms and takes a little time to himself. He then grabbed some clothes and a bag and left.

    I cried on my friend Mary’s shoulder almost the entire night. I was praying and begging God to let everything be okay. I blamed myself for my worrying and stress. I blamed the baby some for the sickness and hormones that made me act clingy at times.

    A couple of days later a neighbor told me how she had seen my boyfriend at a party making out with another girl. She told me that was why he left because this girl was his high school sweet heart and just came back into his life. I didn’t want to believe it. He wasn’t that kind of guy. It had to be a mistake or a lie. Eventually, he showed back up at the house but only to tell me it was over and he was moving in with his Mom for a while. He denied there was a girl and just said he didn’t feel the same anymore. The rest after all that is irrelevant but he did end up leaving to be with another woman who he later married. I moved in with My Mom and had the baby. My Mom helped me get a new car ( the other one gave me to much trouble) and she helped me get everything I needed for the new baby.

    I was back to being bitter and angry again. This time I was 10 xs angrier then before. I felt like God played a horrible trick on me or he just didn’t care at all. I knew that it was that anger and bitterness that got me into the situation I was in but I felt like this punishment was cruel and didn’t fit the crime.

    Me with my son Jeremiah who we call June Bug.

    Me with my son Jeremiah who we call June Bug.

    Three months after the baby was born my ex boyfriends Father asked to see the baby. I was told he had some things for the baby and wanted to be in his life if I let him. I had no issues with my ex boyfriends Father so I agreed to bring the baby over.

    It was Easter Sunday 2008 when I brought my newest son to meet him Grandpa. They were putting on an egg hunt for kids in the family. One of the family members decided to do some match making and introduced me to Chad. The man I am married to now. I know it must seem like I marry or get engaged to every man I meet lol but I did date others in between the three men mentioned.

    Chad and I just dated for a while getting to know each other. He came to church with me on Wednesday nights and Sundays so he met my family right from the beginning. Every one liked him right away. I wasn’t really looking for love at the time but it just seemed to happen. He kind of barged his way in and took over. It’s funny to think about it now but he knew all I just went through and it was like he wanted to right someone else’s wrong. My two sons started calling him Daddy all on their own. My first husband wasn’t really in his kids life much at all besides a once a year visit and phone call every few months. After six months of dating, Chad asked me to marry him. This time I wasn’t so quick to say yes. I told him we needed more time to make sure it is going to work. Soon after dating for one year we eloped.

    I wish I could end here and say we lived happily ever after but that’s not my luck. Soon after we married, I became pregnant with my fourth child. We had already gone through a couple miscarriages so I didn’t want to tell many people until we knew the chances of carrying the baby were high. I was just a little over 9 weeks pregnant when I started spotting and having what felt like bad gas pains. It was late in the afternoon and Chad had to work early the next morning. I told him I was going up to the hospital to be checked out. He asked me if I needed him and I said no, I was okay. I didn’t have to wait long before they called me back and ran an ultrasound. Long story short, I was pregnant with twins but one of them no longer had a heart beat. Further test showed I had cervical cancer. The second baby wasn’t doing so well either. I don’t want to go into detail but in the end I lost the twins. I got treatment for the cervical cancer and they were able to save my lady parts. However, they said I probably wouldn’t get pregnant again. Dec 4, 2009 of that same year, I gave birth to my fourth child, Bryson.

    Pregnant with Bryson

    Pregnant with Bryson

    My pregnancy with Bryson was very rough. We had lots of complications and when I was 5 months pregnant I had to have my gallbladder taken out. Bryson came out healthy despite everything. I had my tubes tied when he was born. Both of my youngest sons were born by C-Section. One through emergency C-section and one by planned C-section.

    Almost immediately after Bryson was born Chad started having seizures. He had seizures as a child and a few as a teenager but then they went dormant. We are not certain to what made them come back but when they did, they came back with a vengeance. Eventually, we had to file for disability because doctors could not get his seizures under control. They didn’t even know exactly what kind he had. It took two years to get disability and he spent countless hours getting various test. His finale diagnosis was pseudo-seizures also known as PNES seizures cause by PTSD. Chad was abused everywhere imaginable growing up. Even an extensive amount of therapy could not stop the night terrors, chronic anxiety and uncontrolled seizures. Medications seemed to only make him worse since they were treating him like an epileptic. Finally, we found the Emory clinic in Atlanta. They treated the trauma, stress, and anxiety with Valium. His seizures dropped down from three times a week to three times a month.

    The first three years of our marriage was some of the scariest times in my life. Chad was in and out of the hospital constantly for an enlarged heart, extreme blood pressure, cluster headaches, or seizures that lasted too long causing damaging effects to his body. I became his care taker which meant I could not work outside the home. I missed out on a lot of work traveling from doctors to hospitals with him. Times were really tough and as I look back I don’t know how I made it but the grace of God. I give a lot of credit to my ex in-laws because they would keep the children for us when we needed to travel for specialist or stay long at a hospital. My oldest two children were their blood but they considered all four of my kids to be their grandchildren. I will love them forever for their kindness and their help.

    After a few years in Georgia we decided to move back to Florida so Chad could see some of his old seizure doctors and therapist who already had knowledge of his case. He was able to get some part-time work that understood about his condition. Slowly, I picked back up on my work and Hollyweb Online began to blossom again.

    Chad and I newly married

    Chad and I newly married

    In 2011, Chad was doing better, business was good, and I was staying busy volunteering for various charities. Life seemed to be giving me some time to breathe. Just as soon as the relief came it went away quickly. My grandmother was sick with cancer. She was my best friend and we were super close. I had two friends also battling cancer and one friend committed suicide. Each day I found myself getting weaker. I always felt sick to my stomach. The constant sinus infections came back. No one in the house would be sick but me so I knew it wasn’t something contagious. It was my childhood all over again but with the added fatigue.

    Each doctor I visited in 2012 diagnosed me with manic depression and chronic anxiety. All it took was for me to tell them my symptoms and then explain that I work at home with four kids and take care of a husband with uncontrolled seizures. Between 2012 and 2013 doctors treated me as guinea pig trying me on several different anti-depressant and anti-anxiety medications. Nothing seemed to help and the side effects only made me feel worse.

    They found that I was fibrocystic, I had degenerative disorder, unspecified chronic anemia, and ortheoarthritis. The doctors just assumed it was due to an ongoing vitamin deficiency I had. I was put on Tramadol for pain, iron, a blood pressure pill, and Vistril for anxiety.

    Still, I was only getting worse. In 2014, I started having faint spells. I could be fine one minute and the next just pass out on the floor. I began having confusion and restlessness. I hurt everywhere all the time but worse of all, I was just so tired.

    I had to force my crummy doctor to do a blood paneling test. I’m not sure why but he tested me every month for three months. In the end, he told me all my issues were due to the vitamin deficiency and depression. I began to put on weight. My entire life I always stayed around 125 lbs and now no matter what I did I was gaining weight. Several times in 2014 I went to the emergency room for feeling like I was having a panic attack for no reason or for fainting.  I was given every excuse in the book for why it was happening.

    Besides my family, the only thing that gave me any joy during this time was my organization R.I.S.E. & Stand. I was able to use my own experiences to help others and make a difference. I felt like the organization gave me purpose. Still, as I was spending my day helping others, I was falling apart.

    In early 2015, I switched doctors after moving to a new town. On my first visit she showed me how my medical files stated all three of my blood results came back showing all the signs for Lupus SLE. She said it was in my old doctor’s notes since 2012 so I should have known. I didn’t. The doctor never even spoke the word Lupus to me. I came home and went through all the papers with information that I ever got from my doctor but there was nothing about Lupus.

    About a week after the new doctor told me I’ve had Lupus for 3 years without knowing, I had a three fainting spells in one day. The last fall sprained my ankle badly. My husband Chad took me to the emergency room where they performed an EKG, blood work, urine test, and X-rays. The results of the blood work showed a high positive ANA along with other indicators that Lupus was the issue. The hospital gave me two shots, prescription for steroids, and a bunch of pamphlets about Systemic Lupus Erythematosus.

    However, my new doctor, who I just recently saw, will not give me the proper medication to treat my lupus until he has conducted the entire test himself. I just had the blood paneling test done again for the fifth time.

    Each day I have to push myself to do the things I use to not think twice about doing. I tire very easily and if I over exert myself I feel nauseous and faint. Just like as a child, I am staying sick. I know it’s awful but I have become reliant on Afrin to breathe.

    Family photo including my step son Conner.

    Family photo including my step son Conner.

    I have to miss out on a lot of activities in my children’s life. My husband, bless him, is not much help for me since he battles with his own health issues. No matter how hard I try not to I feel guilty about feeling so bad physically. I want to be the best wife, the best mother, and the best at my job. Unfortunately, most days I’m lucky to finish my work without having to lie down or start feeling faint. I have tried diets, yoga, re-arranging my schedule, hiring extra interns, and home remedies. Nothing seems to really help. I have always been a take control type person but at this point in my life Lupus is controlling me.

    I have to wonder how, like my husband, stress and anxiety played a role in allowing the Lupus to consume me. If my life was different would I have Lupus? Did I always have it? I read so much about how stress and trauma can take a drastic effect on the body. It’s been proven time and again that people can make themselves physically ill from stress and anxiety.

    If I had the answers would it really make a difference? I doubt it. The best I can hope for is for a cure to be found. I’m hoping the medication will at least help me feel like me again. I try to be as positive as I can but I must admit I am scared. I read uplifting messages like, “Lupus does not define you.” Maybe that is true once it’s properly treated but as of right it totally defines me. My dreams and goals are on hold. Instead of finishing college and traveling I am just trying to make it through a full day without crashing.

    My job used to be so fun and exciting but now it can sting at times. As a PR and entertainment manager, I help make the dreams of others come true. I spend 12 to 14 hours a day working hard despite how I feel to make sure my clients get their happy ending.

    There is no way to tell if I will ever do the things I have always dreamed of. Nevertheless, I have four beautiful children, a roof over my head, food on my table, my organization, and a job that allows me to be a blessing to so many people. Maybe that is my purpose. Maybe my awards are not for here but are in Heaven. Only time will tell. If you have Lupus or suffer from depression and would like to share your story with me please do so. A family member taught me the best way to help you if by helping others. I truly believe in that. I would love to get to know each reader. God Bless!

    Katrina (Kitty) McCaffery.

    Special Thanks for always bringing sunshine in my life goes to Mary Barrington, Rick Green, Lamar & Cheryl Hufstetler, Todd Petherbridge, and Jennifer Folds.

  • The Attack on Christianity is Indisputable and Growing


    christiansunderattack

    There is no doubt that there have always been people who despised Christianity. I love the U.S.A and until recently, we have all been free to have our opinion about religion. We had freedom to believe and worship whomever and however we want. Yes, we have always had friction between religions. Mainly because it is hard to understand how others can believe the things they do but we managed. How many people reading this remember your parents or grandparents telling you something like, “That is their belief and they have all right to believe that way. You just leave them alone and they will leave you alone.” Most likely, you have had a visit from a Jehovah’s Witness and know they can be a little pushy. Still, you could choose to shut your door and continue your day unharmed or invite them in to talk. Maybe you were out shopping one day and someone handed you a tract with the salvation plan on it. You could choose to read it or throw it away. Have you ever walked down the street and heard a preacher standing on the corner shouting out verses from the Bible? If so, you had a choice to listen or keep walking.

    None of those situations caused you any physical harm. If you are an unbeliever, they may have caused you moments of annoyance but still no harm. These people were exercising their freedom and you had the choice how to handle it.

    A true unbeliever would be no more annoyed by one of these incidences as they would by being stuck in traffic or having a song they hate playing on their favorite radio station.

    Mature man shouting, clenching fists

    Then you have the bitter people. For whatever reason, something in their life has them really angry towards God and bitter. These people know what the Bible says. They know about the 10 Commandments, and the comfort believing in Christ gives people. Usually, these people are angry at God for various reasons. The most common complaint I hear is, “If there is a loving God who created everything then why does he allow innocent children and animals starve and die.” I also hear, “If there is a God then where was he when…”

    If a bitter person allows you to talk to them long enough, you will typically find out that they feel like they were abandoned at one point in time by God. Maybe a family member they love is battling cancer or a spouse cheated on them after they worked so hard on their marriage.

    These people have hate in their heart towards anything Godly and seek to destroy Christianity.

    Let’s not forget the overly educated Scientist, Historian or Politician. These types of people have seen the world and it has made the bitter.  Let me tell you it’s one thing to see starving kids, natural disasters, and wars on TV but if you ever see them in reality it can shake your faith. Pick up some history books and read about the slaughters that took place in God’s name. There have been more deaths in the name of God and Christianity than any other reason including money. Why? Is it because there is no God? Is it because God just doesn’t care about us? It’s less painful to think that there must be no God than to think there is and he is just allowing so many awful things to take place.

    Questions I am asked by well educated people is, why are there so many people killing in God’s name? Why are there so many hypocritical Christians? If that is how God’s people act, than why would anyone want to believe there is a God. If that’s the way his followers should act than who in their right mind would want to be a follower?

    Satan has used these very questions and Christian hypocrisy to keep people from turning to God since the beginning of time.

    All these questions tend to push people into believing there must be a better explanation. A loving Creator that watches over us all and hears our prayers must be a myth. That’s where ideas like, The Big Bang Theory are born. Believing in a “theory” like that takes lots of faith too but it’s much easier to think things happened in some accidental way. You can’t expect too much from soulless humans that were once monkeys so, that explains the poor barbaric behavior of some.

    Romans 1:22 KJV Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.

    If you have ever studied Darwin’s theory of evolution you will quickly see how foolish it is. Unbelievers talk about how many holes there are in The Bible but actually with proper long term study you can find the answers. You can’t say that about Darwin’s publishing but that is because they are still working on getting the answers…

    Don’t get me wrong, I am not against science. I love discovering new things about animals. Without science we wouldn’t have medicine. We wouldn’t know how our bodies work. Science is VERY important. It’s just not the answer to everything no matter how bad some want to believe it.

    Before I get too far off track, I’ll just explain I mentioned these types of people because they are the ones trying to destroy Christianity. Whatever has happened to them or whatever they saw has made them completely intolerant to Christians. Recently, I spoke to a couple Atheists that lived a rather charmed life. They really had nothing against God if there was one but their father was incredibly bitter and raised them to be non-believers. I won’t tell you what happened to the man but it was serious enough for him to denounce his faith and raise his kids up hating Christians.

    This man wrote a couple books about the blindness & idiocy of Christians and created a petition to have a church removed out of his neighborhood. The church bells and giant cross offended him. After learning more and more about the man I realized the church offended him because he was full of guilt and pure bitterness. It took a good month of letting the man put my beliefs down, allowing him to vent, and listening to him cry before he started to see himself that he was angry at God. Refreshing his mind with some Bible verses and just being a comfort to him changed him. He knew he wasn’t alone and someone cared. He wasn’t being judged for his behavior, he was loved despite his behavior. I understood his grief but I feared for his children. Deep down he did too and finally just two weeks ago he let the bitterness go. The Bible shows us how some great men hated Christians thousands of years ago just like today. These men killed Christians for their beliefs. God loved the men anyway, changed them, forgave them, and was able to use them. This man I just told you about was never as bad as Paul in the New Testament but he still caused people to turn against God. He fueled the bitterness of others and now he will spend the rest of his life trying to fix the mistakes he made. Even still, God forgave him and loves him. I believe that with all my heart.

    repentance_

    Everyone’s story won’t end that way. I am not so gullible to believe that everyone unbeliever that reads this will realize God exist and give their life to him. Some people have made up their mind and no one is going to change it. God gave every human free will to believe what they want and he won’t force himself upon anyone. I believe the more someone pushes him away the harder it is for them to turn back, especially if you dedicated your life to disproving his existence.

    Now we have established what causes people to be so hostile towards Christians. Hopefully, Christians can be more understanding when they see someone bashing what they believe in. But, should we sit back and let these people destroy all we believe in? No. When has it ever been right to let someone pitching a fit get away with a tantrum? That is exactly what these Agnostic Liberals are doing. They are pitching a fit out of anger and the people are giving into them. Every since we allowed one woman to throw a fit and get the Bible removed from schools, thousands have followed in her footsteps. All it takes these days is to declare that something offends you, give a little manipulating speech, and have a couple celebrities to back it up and walah they get their way!

    One reason why it is so easy to do is because Christians are too scared to stand up for themselves. Why? Is it because Christians have no backbone? No, it’s because of how the Atheist Liberals manipulate and deceive the people. For instance, let’s use the issue of the Confederate flag. Everyone who knows me knows where I stand on the issue. I will not allow a Liberal to label me. Other Christians might not be as strong. Do you see how the media and leaders immediately labeled anyone who disagreed with removing the flag a racist? White Christians with black friends were terrified to speak out and take a stand because they didn’t want their friends to think they were racist.

    Social experiments and offline surveys have proved repeatedly that people ages 13-30 will jump on any bandwagon that makes them look cool. If it’s trendy and the majority of the crowd is for it then that’s the route they will take. We are a nation of sheep and it’s only getting worse. I could go into way more detail about how American people are manipulated and deceived but that’s a whole other blog.

    15_03_15-metro17-pic2This issue has got so bad that Terrorist organizations like ISIS are destroying Christian communities and relics around the world and in the U.S.  You may know how they are brutally murdering all Christians they find in Syria and Iraq. It’s been going on for years but the Obama administration has done little to stop it. If he won’t step in to end the intolerance and violence in those countries what makes people think he cares about the more subtle acts taking place here?

    Just how bad is the attack of Christianity here in America? Here are some examples how our religious freedom have been stripped from us;

    1. Here in Florida, we had a Christian ministry that for over 31 years delivered free food to needy families. In 2013, a new state government worker stuck their nose in and told the ministry they would no longer receive USDA food unless they removed pictures of Christ, the 10 commandments, banners that say “Jesus is Lord”, and refrain from handing out Bibles. The government totally violated their religious freedom and discriminated against them.
    2. The IRS targeted Christian organizations like the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. Out of the blue, the IRS said they had reason to review their tax returns and wasted valuable time and money to find out nothing was wrong.
    3. Two men in California were arrested for just reading their Bible outside a department of motor vehicles office. The judge found the men not guilty of any offenses but the men were humiliated and their time and money wasted. Unbelievable.
    4. A bakery that refused to make a cake for a gay wedding was recently fined 135,000 for discrimination and humiliated for months by the media for their beliefs.
    5. Orange county schools in Florida decided they would allow students to bring their Bibles to school for reading material but since they were doing that they had full right to teach the students Satanism. They even went as far as creating work books for the students that taught them how to become Satanist.
    6. Several men and women in our military have got in big trouble for reading their Bibles or praying. It has made news that one Sergeant was severely punished for just saying he opposed against gay marriage. Look up Senior Master Sergeant Phillip Monk if you haven’t heard the story.
    7. The Government now requires churches that do baptisms in lakes or rivers to get a permit 48 hours in advance before any baptisms. Pastors are not allowed to speak out against gay marriage in most places or the church can be shut down for discrimination and hate speech. Most churches have to get a permit to serve food at special services.
    8. A professor at Florida Atlantic University told all the kids in his class to stomp on the face of Jesus. One boy refused and would have been punished if the media didn’t step in and shine light on the issue. Most disgustingly, the professor did not lose his job for the harassment or the act of discrimination.
    9.  Two students were suspended for praying over their lunch and “offending” other children around them.
    10. Several schools changed the pledge of Allegiance from “one nation under God” to “one nation under Allah” and threaten to suspend any children that didn’t participate.

    mockeryThese are just some recent examples anyone can look up on Google news. The attack is real people and it’s much worse than you think. Right now, in my county a woman is trying to ban the use of crosses at memorials or graveyards. It’s unbelievable! Christians are forced to be tolerant of everyone else’s beliefs but they do not have to be tolerant of ours. People can mock Jesus, mock God’s word, and say awful things about Christians with no fear of punishment. A christian says one thing a liberal doesn’t like and they are labeled a hater and discriminator.

    Why do you think that is? I believe it’s the bitterness, anger, and lack of morality. They have allowed the prince of this world to take over with a vengeance. I am talking about Satan. He has America and the world right where he wants it. One day you will stand before the Lord and look at him face to face. It may be sooner than you think. I am not talking to the unbelievers here; I’m talking to the Christians. Will you look at God knowing you did the best you could and went out fighting for him? How many of us will look at him completely ashamed of ourselves because we sat back quietly as Christianity was destroyed?

    2 Chronicles 7:14 “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

    If you are reading this and you have a heart full of bitterness and need someone to talk to, please email me at me@kittymccaffery.com

    If you have questions that you would like me answer, please email me. If you want to know how to become a child of the Lord’s or just know for sure that you are, please email me.

    Love You All,

    Kitty McCaffery

    Note: I will be publishing a blog soon about the different types of Christian beliefs. People from other countries and most Atheist I speak to think that all Christians believe the same way. This is far from true so, I will be breaking down the different beliefs in a new blog.

  • How Cyber-Bullying Changed My Life Forever


     

    Prologue

    Since 2001, I have helped celebrities & public figures track down their stalkers and/or online bullies. Cyber-stalking and harassment has been an issue even before social sites. When I first started, the most I had to protect my clients from was crazies attacking them through email or message boards. Law enforcement really had no idea how to handle online threats back then so it was up to people like me to find out who was doing the harassing and make them stop. Typically, a celebrity would contact me telling me their story and what they knew of their attacker if anything. I would then screen shot and save all evidence I could find. Then, I would began to track down the location of the person who was stalking/harassing and get them banned from the place they were using to attack. Last, I would give the celebrity a file with all the information I collected on the stalker so the celeb could get help from their lawyer.

    I was super successful in tracking down over 150 stalkers within the first 5 years. Online investigating was the number one top service requested through Hollyweb Online. As social sites grew, my work load tripled from celebrities in desperate need of help. Cyber-stalking and cyber=-harassment was growing rapidly since most websites allowed them to create accounts anonymously. As the online threats grew, so did the stalkers knowledge. It got harder and harder to track down these criminals or force them to stop. Social sites were not helping by allowing heavy amounts of bullying/stalking to take place before they considered it a threat.

    If a stalker was out to get you and ruin your life, they could very easily and get away with it. For instance, Twitter’s TOS states that you can not tweet someone’s private or personal info on their site. BUT, you can go and pay for a background check on someone and then share that information in a tweet. Twitter allows that because the info came from another site and was just shared on their website. In their eyes, it’s just public information. They don’t care how the person obtained the information; the fact that they were able to get it makes it public info to them.

    It is frightening to know that someone could post your phone number and address on a social site and there is nothing you can do to get it removed. I will share even more examples of how unprotected social site users are later in this blog. My point is stalkers/bullies have found ways around social site’s terms of service which makes my job super hard these days.

    Ten years ago, if a bully called you some awful names and made any kind of threat towards you, I could easily get their IP banned. I use to be able to call Internet Service Providers and show them what their user was doing. The ISP had the right to discontinue their service. That actually happened on a few occasions. If harassment was taking place on popular websites, all I had to do was show the owner proof and they would ban the user. Simple as that. Just a few years ago it was still that way for celebrities at least. If a verified celebrity was under attack, all I really had to do was report the bully and he/she was taken care of. Regular Joe’s weren’t so lucky. Unless the social site saw a real threat towards a user they would not help them. People were becoming so frustrated because their safety and reputation was threatened. The most common answer given when you report a bully is “We are sorry you are experiencing this issue. Please block the account. If harassment continues, please contact law enforcement.”

    Well anyone who has ever dealt with cyber-harassment knows that just blocking the bully doesn’t work. Contacting law enforcement is just as useless unless the bully has threatened you with physical harm. You are left with only one option and that’s a civil lawsuit. Sure, that is great for celebrities that have the money to take crazies to court but the average Joe doesn’t have that luxury.

    Therefore, cyber-harassment continues to grow getting worse and worse. I found myself helping my celebrity clients more with these cyber issues than any other service I offered. In my free time, I was teaching a Kings Kids class and mentoring teens at local shelters and groups. My KK students were between the ages of 4-10. The teens I worked with were 13-19. The one thing these children, teens, and celebrity clients had in common was bullies. I heard about bullying all day during work and then during class or volunteering. I also have four children of my own and 2 step sons so I heard all about school bullies when at home. Bullies Bullies Bullies. To me it seemed like this was some kind of epidemic. Sure, there have always been bullies but the problem was escalating and out of control.

     

    The Beginning

    I was talking to a friend about this one day when she suggested we launch an anti-bullying website together. She and I both were mentors and both of us were studying psychology. We both had online investigation skills and went to several seminars to educate ourselves. By the way, I still regularly attend various seminars and classes as the online world progresses. A lot of brainstorming, help from my kids, and wisdom from my Nana, we created an organization called Bullies Keep Out on March 20, 2013. The purpose of our organization was to give people of all ages a place of solace to go and get support. It was great for the first couple months but we had numerous issues with my friend living in New York and myself living in Florida. Plus, I was limited to what services I could provide. I wanted to do so much more than just raise awareness about bullying. I was also dealing with major health issues at the time which turned out to be chronic lupus. I was diagnosed this year. During one of my hospital visits I met an old friend of mine named Shannon. She was fighting breast cancer but determined she would do as much good in the world as she could. She and I became very close in a short amount of time. My Nana, who is now in Heaven, told us we should start up our own organization that deals with bullying but focuses on ending all forms of hate? Shannon already volunteered at animal shelters, old folk’s homes, and women shelters. I was good at starting up small businesses and handling all the technical details. Together, we were a pretty good team. Quickly, we found out that just the two of us couldn’t do it all. Not if we really wanted to make a difference. I brought in a couple volunteers to help and Shannon brought in a handful of women she trusted. Within just a couple weeks we were up and running.

    Shannon named the organization No More Victims on November 4, 2013. Shannon would continue her volunteer work and I would put together events and programs. I purchased a special permit that allowed me to house several dogs and cats without getting in trouble. We turned my 2 acres of land into a small shelter. Since Shannon and I were spending so much time building up the organization, we put the volunteers head over social media and emails. We were so naive and overflowing with happiness we never imagined what was to come. It’s also important that I add I was hired to help start up a few other organizations during this time. One of those organizations was S.A.F.E. Stop Abusive Family Environments. I will talk more about them shortly.

     

    The New Client

     

    On April 11, 2013 my celebrity friend told me about a celebrity friend of hers that was in desperate need of help. I don’t want to name the celebrity because there will be several readers that had no idea this took place and I am not trying to promote the issue. Those of you who were involved or around when this entire thing went down will know who I am talking about. I am going to call her Mojo. Matter of fact, I will change names to all parties involved. Mojo emailed me and told me what was happening to her. It was awful and no women or celebrity should have to go through that. She had a scary obsessed stalker that had me really worried when I saw everything she sent me. She hired me that same day and I got to work immediately dropping everything else.

    April 14, 2013 the job was finished. Mojo was super relieved and very grateful. Since it was once of my best friends that sent Mojo to me I charged 10% of what I usually charge. I also guaranteed that if her stalker became a problem again I would stop him in his tracks no charge. I was blown away when Mojo paid me full price despite my offer. That never happens lol. Usually, a client tries to talk you down on the price. I decided then that Mojo was an awesome woman and I would do my best to help her whenever she needed it.

    Right away, Mojo hired me again. Like most celebrities that engage with fans on a regular basis she had a good handful of stalkers. This particular stalker was a woman and it took me no time to make her back off. April 17, 2013 she was no longer an issue and Mojo was able to breathe easily.

    I handled a few small threats free of charge and kept the initial stalker at bay. He tried rearing his ugly head a couple times after but eventually went away for good. I stayed super alert during this time making sure both major stalkers kept their distance. It was a full time job because I monitored all Mojo’s online accounts looking for anything suspicious or threatening. On May 7, 2013, Mojo sent her friend Ted to me for help. He was dealing with a super stalker out to ruin his reputation. A couple days later Mojo referred another friend to me we will call Rayna Byson.

    I told Mojo I was going to bring in a partner to help with her friends cases because her stuff alone was a time consuming job. I also had my company Hollyweb Online that I was running. She said that was fine with her. She was just so happy with all that I done for her, she was telling everyone to come to me for help.

    I gave both new cases over to Dana from BKO and helped a little when I could. Later, after Dana felt like she did all that she could for Ted, I noticed that several of the accounts Mojo reported to me were friends of Ted’s stalker. It is not uncommon for stalkers to attack the friends of the person they are targeting. Mojo was taking a lot of from Ted’s stalker and friends. One of them we will call Bonnie was awful to both Ted and Mojo. Grown men and women were creating troll accounts with names like queenturd, catfishqueen, turdlicker, and more that are so bad I can’t mention. No, this wasn’t teenagers either. I am talking about adults 30 and over.

    Mojo was very supportive of my idea to branch off Bullies Keep Out and open No More Victims. When the website and social sites launched in late Nov. 2013, Mojo promoted the sites on her social accounts.

    Instantly, our organization was flooded with emails from people needing help with a cyber-stalker or bully. My home was turned into a cyber station as we tried to listen to everyone’s story. Most of the team was work at home Moms which made it easier for us to get together and work. The downfall of having many people answering emails was we couldn’t tell if people’s stories were related. As a new case came in, a new volunteer were take it on and do her best to help. Most the time, we focused on our own cases and didn’t go to each other for help unless we were just stumped on what to do. I was usually the one who handed out the cases so no one person had too much on their plate. There was no way we could have known that a group of women emailing us for help was all from the same online fight.

    On June 13th 2013 just a short time after I was hired by Mojo she was put in the limelight for making a few jokes about Leann Rimes. I don’t know if you know this but Leann Rimes has some crazy brutal fans. Mojo gained several new followers on Twitter who just wanted to attack her for her comments. Mojo made some more comments over the months about Housewives shows and reality TV. By the time NMV was launched there was an enormous amount of fights taken place on Twitter over Leann Rimes & realty TV shows. This is very important to note because when Mojo innocently promoted us we were swarmed with her fans and haters that needed help. (For those who know who I am talking about just Google her name with Leann’s)

    The first ten emails we got were women seeking help from online stalkers/bullies attacking them on and offline over Leann Rimes or Housewives shows. I am serious as a heart attack. There were woman posting nasty Photoshop pictures of peoples kids, people were posting addresses and phone numbers of others with threats. Anything that these bullies could use to shame each other, they were using. If that wasn’t bad enough they were calling peoples work trying to get them fired. I can’t even tell you all the immature idiocy I witnessed. I don’t think Mojo even knew the half of what was going on around her.

    It wasn’t till a few months after things began to die down that I went back through all the emails or organization received and noticed that 95% of the people who emailed us were part of this Mojo fan or hater crowd.

    We did the best we could do by speaking to all parties involved to hear there side. We tried to give support and be mediation between the parties. Honestly, it was beyond on us. Most of the people involved didn’t want to stop fighting. They just wanted an organization to take their side or they were hoping we would help them fight.

    The most common request we received was, “Can you please get this account banned?” I signed up with Facebook & Twitters partner portal. Not only was it to get their help with these cases but also to help my Hollyweb clients with verification and impersonation.

     

    The Case That Started It All

     

    On 1/13/2014 Mojo asked me to help out a fan of hers that was the target of online harassment after trying to help Mojo make T-shirts for Mojo’s charity. Mojo told me this fan offered to make her charities T-shirts free and design them. Mojo said she had all the proof via email that the designs of the shirts belonged to them. However, for some reason she didn’t quite understand another clothing company stole her fans design and was selling Mojo’s T-shirts for profit. The T-shirts were created to look like Mojo’s book. I saw no reason why another clothing company would steal the designs and sell them. No matter what the reason behind it was, the awful harassing tweet from the company to Mojo’s fan was unnecessary. Any civilized business owner would just take the matter before a court and let a judge decide. You would never see a reputable company bullying, name calling, and harassing another company owner for all their customers to see. Most people would be terrified of losing business if their customers saw their dirty behavior. Not this company! They harassed Mojo’s fan every day publicly and didn’t care what people thought.

    When I was brought on to the case I looked at both the fans account and the clothing companies account. Now I don’t if any tweets were deleted before I was brought in but I do know what I saw that day. At least 20 tweets from the clothing company name-calling and mocking Mojo’s fan. All I saw from the fan was a couple tweets begging them to stop.

    I was outraged by the behavior I acted out of emotion and tweeted directly to them asking them to stop the harassment ASAP. I asked them if they would take their issue offline instead of publicly humiliating my client. I was shocked when they tweeted back asking me who I was to confront them and I needed to stop harassing them before they report me. I tweeted them one last tweet which was the definition of harassment since all I said was two things to them and they said I was harassing them. I reported them to Twitter, BBB, and wrote up a report for IC3. I asked all my friends and business partners to report the company as well.

    The story behind the situation was the craziest I think I ever heard. The fan hired the said company to design shirts for her. For a reason I can’t remember the fan returned the shirts and opened a claim against the company. At first, PayPal ruled in the fans favor. Then, the company appealed and showed PayPal how the fan returned T-shirts that were open, worn, and missing jewels. PayPal then ruled in the companies favor. The company claimed the fan still owned them 47.50 so that gave them all rights to the fans designs including the designs for Mojo’s shirts. The company stated to one of our volunteers that a message at the bottom of their emails warns buyers that they will lose all their designs to the company if they owe any money. This is the signature at the bottom of the company’s emails:

    ****All sales are final; payment is due in full prior to production.
    NOTE: Our NORMAL tee is a slim fit/junior fit, if you are concerned about sizing, go up a size. These are all custom pieces made to order, please be sure you have exactly the logo, colors, and sizes and garment before you place order. We do not accept returns on custom pieces. If there is an issue with an item, please contact us by phone or e-mail so it can be resolved. Every item made is photographed and will be displayed on all media, portfolio and catalogs. If you hold a copyright or registration on a logo or art please provide it, otherwise, any version we create is our design and may be used or sold. We stock thousands of pieces and designs so please visit our Facebook page for the most up to date work.
    NEW Designs, expect a 7-14 working day turn-around, stock items may be available same day.

    So does that email signature give the company full legal right to own and sell someone else’s designs? You can find the answer here: https://www.eff.org/wp/clicks-bind-ways-users-agree-online-terms-service

    Either way, selling T-shirts for profit that were to raise money for a charity is ugly. Harassing someone for months on end publicly is ugly. All our organization wanted was the company to stop the humiliating public display but it turned into a huge copyright/trademark battle.

    First of all, this is way above what my organization handles. This is an issue for the courts. The fan claimed she had her small business logo for over three years which qualified her for a common law trademark. Then, in December 2014 she applied for trademark anyways. This was on her logo though, not on Mojo’s T-shirts design, and not on a couple other designs the company stole.

    This entire time I was most concerned about Mojo’s T-shirt designs which I believed was completely copyrighted and Mojo has the proof.

    I did my best to help the fan get her designs back from the company but without legal help it was impossible. The host of the company’s website wouldn’t help and neither would online stores like Etsy because there was no trademark/copyright and that is all they care about for proving ownership.

    Since the company wasn’t worried about getting sued, they weren’t worried about continuing to harass. Mojo hooked me up with an old friend of hers that worked for the FBI. He pretty much just suggested we deal with it if suing was not an option.

     

    The  Troublemaker

     

    One of our volunteers named Olivia met a couple Twitter reps on LinkedIn and built up a friendship. During that time Twitter was working on making better safety options on their platform. Olivia got the two reps to help her with some of the worse bullies on Twitter. She told the team all about her new friends during one of our board meetings. We had no reason not to trust her since she was getting several parody accounts and troll accounts removed.

    A volunteer we had at the time named Kate was given a case started by a woman we will call Rose on 1/22/14. (Pay attention to these dates it’s very important in putting the puzzle together) I gave Kate the case because I was working on a new case for Mojo and for another celebrity client at that time. Rose told Kate that she was a fan and supporter of Leann Rimes and one of Leann’s haters was harassing her and her family. She said she knew exactly who was doing it and sent me the woman’s information. Supposedly, this woman created a parody account using Rose’s parents address and pics of their home. She said a woman was caught running the account and disabled her personal account when she was busted. Rose said she already contacted police and spoke to a lawyer to no avail.

    Kate did what she thought was best by trying to calm Rose down and let her know we would do our best. Kate has Olivia send the parody account to her Twitter guys to try and get it shut down ASAP. She told me how awful the situation was but didn’t tell me the name of the account was an address. The parody account was locked up by the time I saw it so I didn’t even see the pics of the house. Not thinking it would be a big deal I tweeted asked all our followers to block and report the account so it would be shut down faster. The main reason I didn’t this would be an issue is because Rose herself have several tweets on her timeline mentioning the account name. Soon after I tweeted, Rose DMed us VERY upset asking us to take down the tweet ASAP and blamed us for sharing her parent’s personal information. She hen accused us of being on her enemy’s side. We told her several times we do not choose sides. We try to resolve the issue in a way that everyone can walk away peacefully.

    She wouldn’t have it though and threatened she was going to report us. Olivia obtained the accounts IP. At first it appeared the account was in CA but then with the help of a tech savvy friend we learned the owner was behind a VPN. The actual IP traced to PA. We also were able to pull the same IP from a tracking link. It was clear to us that the owner of the parody account was in PA where Rose lived. Upon further investigating we were able to track the IP to a family member of Rose’s house. We also found a handful of websites were that IP was used. Each site was linked to that same family member. That is when it occurred to us that Rose had tried to frame the woman in CA by using the VPN. We took that in consideration and the way she spoke to us with hostility when we were trying to help her. Then, we looked at her social media and saw the way she talks to tons of people. Last, we had the woman she framed report which checked out. That is when we decided we would no longer help her and dropped her case. We had to block her because of the hostile way she acted. Keep in mind, we never asked for a dollar. All these cases were free. NMV never charged to help a victim. Our TOS & rules started from day one on our website how we operated and that we had the right to turn down a case at any time if we knew the client was dishonest.

    Rose just so happened to be friends with the woman who was harassing Ted. I don’t believe for one second this is a coincidence. I actually have full reason to believe Rose coming to us was a set up. Ted’s stalker FauxReality knew that I was a part of Bullies Keep Out, the organization that tried to get her to stop harassing Ted. Then, a couple months later she sees Mojo promoting me and my new organization. BKO helped Ted, a guy FauxReality despised and BKO helped Rayna Byson another person FauxReality disliked. My organization was a threat in her eyes because we were on the wrong side. I believe Rose was sent in along with a couple other women to see how we operated and what we could do.

     

    When It Went From Bad to Worse

     

    While all this crazy drama was taking place, my partner and friend Shannon went to the hospital for pneumonia and never came out. As I said earlier she was battling breast cancer which made it really hard for her to fight the pneumonia. It was a tragic loss that ripped my heart into. The group of women bullies saw it as weakness and a chance to attack me personally.

    I don’t know if the clothing company reached out to Fauxreality first or vice versa. Either way, they decided to team up and make things worse for the fan, Mojo, others involved and me.

    I chose to ignore most of it because it started out with basic accusations and name calling. The called my organization unprofessional, a scam for money, and said we victimized victims since we refused Rose’s case. The woman Rose tried to frame had a husband with an upsetting past. I think Kate told me something about this when she was working on Rose’s case but honestly it was so hard keeping track of who was who during the time. Anyways, since we dropped Rose’s case, Fauxreality began to tweet and then blog about how we chose the side of a woman who’s husband had a record and therefore we must condone what he was accused of.

    I knew who she FauxReality was from the prior issues so I sent her a tweet from my personal account asking her to stop directing harassment in my way. If you have ever spoke to law enforcement about a cyber bully they will tell you the first thing to do is publicly ask them to stop. That way, if things escalate you can show a judge that you asked them to quit and they refused.

    Since I called her by her name she stated that I tried to intimidate her. Exactly the same type of behavior I got from the clothing company when I asked them to stop publicly harassing. That reminds me how we were taught at seminars that 90% of bullies are narcissist. It’s a shame because narcissistic personalities could actually be used for great good.

    I began to look for another partner for No More Victims and spoke to several of my friends. One thing we all seemed to have in common is we didn’t like name of the organization and we didn’t like all the dark colors Shannon chose before. Long story short, the organization was changed to R.I.S.E. & STAND.

    Everything I did at the time was under a microscope by FauxReality. I was accused of re-designing and changing the name of the organization to cover up all the “awful things” we did. I sat down and spoke to each volunteer to talk about all the changes that were to come and discuss with them any accusations they had against them. For example, Olivia claimed she had Twitter reps helping her directly but I never met or spoke to them. She decided to leave the organization rather then give me the names and contact of the reps. She feared I would go public about them and the guys would lose their job.

    Kate and Alisha left out of fear their children would get brought into all the harassment. This was a common method used among Fauxreality’s friends. They would post photos of the victim’s children to sites known for having pedophiles lurking.

    The harassment only continued to grow worse. Fauxreality dug up an old record of mine that was dropped and sealed. She posted that around trying to humiliate me. She posted records from my ex husband and old records from my husband Chad. I think out of everything I went through the worse was the attack on my daughter Felicity who was 13/14 at the time. My daughters Twitter account was mainly used for her Creepy Pasta role playing group. She used her characters picture has her AVI like all the teens did in the group. Fauxreality obviously not having teens in her home, thought this meant my daughters account was a fake sock account. Since she had so much proof to go on that the account was fake, (sarcasm) she decided to attack her account along with her friends Horsemen of Death, BB King and 1shot1kill. Not only did they call my daughter awful names, they sent her all her Dad’s old mug shots and records. At this time, I had not ever told my baby girl about her biological father’s lifestyle. As far as she knew, he lived in GA and worked on a farm. It still hurts to much to even think about it but let’s just saw she spent some time speaking with a therapist for a few weeks. She is now on anxiety meds. She NEVER had any psychological problems before that time.

     

    Divide & Conquer Method

     

    Any notable evil narcissist knows that the best way to take down your enemies is using the old divide and conquer method. Fauxreality deserves a trophy for how many times she has successfully used this method. My organization was down to less than a handful of people after volunteers were released or left scared. I spoke to several lawyers until we finally found one that would take the case with a hefty retainer. No one really had anything to offer, there was so much he said she said, and I was really the only one with a truly valid case. According to the lawyer, everyone else involved possibly had small civil disputes but nothing serious enough for a lawyer to make good money. It’s so sad that it’s come to that in America….

    I went to Mojo and The Fan and told them suing was our last option but I could not afford it on my own so everyone who wanted this to end needs to pitch in. The plan was I would try to retain the lawyer since I had the worse happen to me at that time. Everyone’s problems would be fixed when I sued because I would show the courts all who were involved, use statements, and have people testify. I was quoted 7,000 to get started by a defamation & libel attorney in Tampa.

    I sent all the info to Mojo and she donated 2k off the bat and then sent emails to tons of her friends asking for donations. She re-opened her Twitter which, she had recently shut down due to the bullying, and posted a tweet longer asking fans to help. The TL was just the same email posted on Twitter for all to see. She let it up for a short time and then closed the Twitter again so she could focus on her health. All the stress and drama caused her Lupus to come back with a vengeance. Since I was recently diagnosed with chronic lupus, I can tell you it’s NO FUN. You feel faint, your heart beats out of control, your blood pressure goes up, your usually anemia, and you are fatigued 24/7.

    I put 600.00 on the attorney right away. 400.00 went to filing the case. The other 1000.00 just set in the PayPal till we collected more. The Fan donated 80.00 all together between two payments and a couple others donated 20.00.

    We were still lacking big time but the longer it took us to collect the money the more time we had to gain more evidence. The lawyer was a super kind man that I still talk to today. I think he had a crush on my sister lol because he met with us a few times to go over stuff even without the full retainer paid.

    Before I get a head of myself let me explain what happened during the time I was building up the case for the lawyer. Fauxreality saw Mojo’s TL that was posted and new we were getting a lawyer. She and the clothing company hit The Fan and I even harder. Another blog came out about what a grifter I am and how I lied about so many things. I wrote a public statement answering all her accusations with solid evidence & proof. The lawyer said that was perfectly find to do because then she can see she was wrong and hopefully stop. Wishful thinking.

    My friends and family were getting attacked for sticking up for me and The Fan. Sandra removed her organization off of Twitter. Sandra’s mother owned a charity for 22 years and was going to add S.A.F.E. & Rise & Stand under their 501c3 like an umbrella. Sandra also sold Herbalife on the side for extra income. All of her board members made a pact that if they lost 10 lbs they would donate 100.00 each for the cost of the organizations expenses. They reached the goal around the same time they were approved for the 501c3. They threw a party to celebrate but Fauxreality quickly sucked the joy away from them by stealing a photo off one of the girls Facebook and posting it to Twitter saying the 501c3 was a lie and they were only celebrating weight-loss.

    It’s almost laughable when you think about it all now but when you are actually going through it it’s no laughing matter at all. One day I just had enough. Some silly accusation was made that was so absurd it drove me nuts. I called the lawyer and asked him to figure out what I could do to get things going right away. I owned my own home, two vehicles, and a boat. I would sell or pawn something. He said he needed The Fan to send him copyrights on everything first. Especially, Mojo’s T-shirts designs. I emailed The Fan and found out there was no copyright on the design or any design for that matter. I asked him if we could use the common law trademark thing but he said no. Because PayPal sided with the company and the host all did too he said there was no theft or defamation case. I could still push for harassment but most likely that would get thrown out since The Fan had “reverse bullied” at times. I don’t agree with that but he said that is the way the court would see. I still had a solid case against Fauxreality and her gang if I wanted to pursue just that.

    I told The Fan and Mojo that we did not have a case against the clothing company but I would still do all I can to help. The Fan was pissed at me. She felt like I failed her and wasted her time. She asked for her donation back and I sent it. Mojo asked for half of her 2k back. I still wanted to sue. I still wanted to at least do a harassment suit at that time. I asked Mojo if I could keep the full 2k and she just wouldn’t have to pay me for the last job I finished. I also offered to do some free work. I didn’t care what I had to do I just wanted to be able to put this all to an end. I had already spent so much money and still needed to pay for protection orders, get Twitter subpoenaed and finish paying the lawyer.

    Mojo let me keep the full 2k and asked for a tax invoice which I sent through PayPal. (We didn’t have a 5013c or anything at the time we were still so new.) Then, she went away to deal with her health. She came back for a short time but was immediately attacked. One of Mojo’s fans DMed her and said that I said horrible things about her. She was clearly sent by Fauxsreality’s gang. Mojo believed it though thinking maybe I turned on her for leaving. Out of emotion she said some pretty hurtful things I wont mention about me to the “spy” and she told the “spy” that she couldn’t believe I would back stab her after giving me 8k to get a lawyer.

    Mojo said that when she told the “spy” that she was heart broken and meant that over the period of time I worked for her she estimated she paid me around 8k for my services. She could have hired anyone but she hired me because she loved what I did. I don’t know to this day if she meant to cause me the grief she did but the spy ran straight to Fauxreality and told her what she learned.

    Within days, a new blog came out about how I embezzled 8,000 from Mojo and our relationship ended. There were all sorts of accusations of what could have happened.

    I sent Mojo a total of 6 emails from the time the blog went up till the time I decided to take matters into my own hands. On May 28th 2014 Mojo told me for the last time to quit asking her for any help regarding the harassment. She said she was in the hospital from stepping wrong and falling off a 4 story cliff. She had just been operated on and hurting like hell. She said she just couldn’t handle anything else on her plate.

    Without her help, the lawyer decided he couldn’t take the case. How it all began was too important to the case. He told me how it would all play out if I went before a judge. They would want to know how Fauxreality was introduced into my life, who hired me and why, and most importantly, the feud between mojo’s fans that made me a target as I worked.

    Mojo wasn’t talking to me and neither was her Fan. All I could do I this point was a small civil suit that wasn’t even worth the money spent. I tried my best to put it all behind me for 6 months. Rise & Stand flourished despite the rough start. We grew considerably in a short time. Once in awhile someone would come across Fauxreality’s blogs and it would re-open a fresh wound. In November 2014, I had a very large celebrity supporting Rise & Stand until his publicist found the blogs online. He was worried because the blogs make it look like I stole thousands of dollars from Mojo. I explained everything but his publicist said until that was removed they would have to hold off on joining the board.

    That was enough! I watched during this time as Mojo’s fan turned on me and made a deal with the enemy. That didn’t work of course but till it cut me deep when she did it. Mojo caused a big mess for me and than ran from it. She claims today that she didn’t know what was happening to me but I have 6 emails that prove differently. A handful of the people I tried to help were not there for me when I needed it. That’s fine, my Mom always taught me don’t expect to have the same heart as you do.

    I still had my small lawyers fund so I hired a new one to be there for Rise & Stand when I needed him for anything. He read all the blogs and all the statements I ever wrote and then he looked though all my files. He suggested that I first contact Fauxreality directly and send her all Rise & Stand’s public info. That would answer a ton of her questions. Then, send her whatever proof I had that Mojo did not donate 8,000 to my organization for a lawyer.

    I told him I only had two types of proof. One was emails showing how much she really did donate and the other was invoices. He said remove any personal info and send those. On Nov. 24, 2014 that is exactly what I did with the help of a friend as a witness. I sent two emails I received from Mojo that was sent out to tons of fans for help that showed she donated 2k and we needed a total of 7k. One of the emails was the same one Mojo used as a TwitLonger. Of course I removed her email and anyways else’s address. All Fauxreality did was tell me thanks and apologize for the misunderstanding. She said she would take down the blogs and she did for awhile.

    I have no idea why they are back up again. She and I never spoke again despite Mojo thinking I am in some kind of cohorts with Fauxreality. As I expected Fauxreality posted the emails. Both emails were put together. I honestly did not think Mojo would get so mad about it. I REALLY did not think she would see it as some kind of betrayal. The reason is because they were both public at once. Another reason is because she forwarded them to several fans, two of the receivers turned out to be spies for Fauxreality. She probably already seen the emails before but didn’t post them because it would give away the spies. Plus, MOJO said nothing wrong in the emails. She was helping me gain money for our lawsuit. All it did was prove she did not really donate 8,000. That’s it!

    Still, I was attacked by several people on Thanksgiving weekend for betraying Mojo and befriending Fauxreality. Now, I find out she is suppose to be suing me? SMH

    And that my friends is how I learned never to get involved with other peoples business. I am still mentoring teens. I still run several programs helping women and children, animals, people in recovery, married couples, and those battling PTSD. I have not had any trouble with cyber-bullying or online harassment since this incident. I do still talk to several people I met during that time once in awhile. I learned a lot during the time. The one thing I took away from it all was the experience of knowing what it felt like to be under attack. I now know how hard it is to choose if you want to be a victim or you want to make a stand.

    I chose to take a stand. I didn’t give up even when others ran. I still won’t and that’s one reason Rise & Stand is as strong as it is. People will believe what they want after reading this. More accusations will probably be made but at the end of the day I know the truth in my heart. None of it will stop me from making a positive impact in this world.

    Love you all! God Bless,

    Kitty McCaffery

    A couple things I want to point out to refresh memories:

    Do you see anywhere here where I said I needed to keep the 1k for my husbands medical bills? I was still focused on getting the lawyer.

    Do you see anywhere here where I said I needed to keep the 1k for my husbands medical bills? I was still focused on getting the lawyer.

    Not even asking for help just letting her know what I am going through because of the lie about 8k

    Not even asking for help just letting her know what I am going through because of the lie about 8k