I Have A Dream – Tell Me It Is Impossible

ImageFor years now I have had a dream, a way to really help women leaving an abusive relationship truly get back on their feet and regain their independence. It is constantly in the back of my mind, I know it would work; I just don’t know how to get it off the ground.

First; The reasons why women stay and the obstacles they face when they do leave.

1. No money, no way to support themselves so they are faced with living off of welfare (which in Canada is barely surviving let alone living) 

2. Children, if they are young the woman wants to stay until the kids are in school. It is overwhelming to think of trying to find work, find day care, afford day care while working a minimum wage job. 

3. :Low self esteem – they don’t feel they are capable of surviving- after all the N has been telling them they will never make it on their own and no other man will want them. 

4. If they leave with nothing – how do they get things like furniture.

5. Many times they don’t even have a vehicle.

6. As in my case the N is sabotaging their efforts and vehicle in order to keep them dependent on the N.

7. They are emotional wrecks, crying, unable to even think let alone start a new job and work 8 hours a day.

8. Lacking job skills or their skills are out dated.

9. No support network.

10. They can’t see their life ever improving, dead end job, welfare, can’t provide for their children it becomes overwhelming and then the N comes along and promises them he will change and love bombs them and they go back because the bad memories have faded and at least if they go back they have hope. I know for me – the thing I missed the most was having hope.

When I refused to take JC back when he came back from Africa and he left for Saskatchewan I did very well. I always did well when he and I split. I credit that to having my truck and a way to make money plus I was able to furnish my place for free by getting things for free off of Craig’s List, picking up stuff that was on the side of the road with a “free” sign on it. I was able to move my stuff, I picked up things and refinished them for resale, I was able to make money any given day of the week because I was self employed and could work as much or as little as I wanted. If I had cried all night I didn’t go to work until later in the day but it gave me a reason to leave the house and force myself to go out there and not hide in the house all day. As soon as I was out of the house my mood and outlook improved because I felt productive and in control of my life plus it forces you to smile and then people smile back. When people see a woman working hard they tend to want to help. I never had to look for work; word of mouth kept me busy. 

Everyone loved the name of my company “Lady Witha Truck”, they remembered it, they gave me thumbs up at traffic lights, they stopped me in the grocery store “You’re the lady with a truck!” Men love women who drive a truck, women love women who drive a truck. I had just as many women saying things like “You go girl!” as I did men. That has GOT to be good for a person’s ego and self esteem. I LOVED MY TRUCK, I HAVE NEVER LOVED A JOB MORE.

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I was looking for pictures of ladies with trucks on the internet, scrolling through them and what pops up but a picture of me and kato.

AND

I miss it. 

As much as I loved my truck; JC hated it more because it was the one thing that kept him from controlling me. I made a fatal error. When he came back saying he had been given 6 months to live and that had given him an epiphany and he now knew I was all the woman he would ever want or need I thought I was independent enough to just walk if he fell into his old ways. I had been paying for my own truck maintenance, and I was in a vulnerable position because my trailer was being sold, so I took a chance; not thinking he would be evil enough to stay awake all night sabotaging my truck. At first I was able to keep up with the repairs, paying a shop to do the work but when your truck is down, not only do you have the cost of repairs, you aren’t working while it is in the shop. After spending $2000 in cash for repairs I was able to get credit at some shops, when I maxed that out I got a personal loan from the scrap yard and was able to pay them back in 2 months giving them 20% of what I made every time I brought a load in. Pretty damn good money. It must have pissed JC off to no end that for a year I was able to stay on top of it, but once a psychopath decides to destroy you they are vigilant and undaunted. Eventually I ran out of credit and was reliant on him to do the repairs and that is when the abuse got really bad and that is when I gave up. I never did recoup, my truck never ran right again and I had to down size and get an older truck, I had lost customers due to not being reliable, my spirit was broken, I had to switch where I took my scrap because he was showing up at the scrap yard and lived in the area.

I had it right at the tip of my fingers, I had it, and he stomped on my fingers and I let it go.

So what is my dream, the dream that has plagued me for literally years and is constantly in the back of my mind? Well, I will try to explain it in point form

Approach a company such as Ford. (They would be perfect because they have trucks in all sizes from F150’s to F650’s, Vans from passenger vans to E750 and higher cargo vans) about leasing a fleet of trucks for 5 years (that is the usual lease agreement isn’t it? or financing over 5 years, whichever.

Get the government to agree to a 5 year plan where women leaving an abusive relationship are guaranteed to receive their full benefits and daycare subsidy for 5 years no matter how much money they make in that 5 years. This is the tough part. It would save the government a ton of money over the long haul because at the end of 5 years the women would be self sufficient and off welfare, contributing to the economy, not visiting the ER because they have been beat up, the children would be healthier and happy because their mother is self sufficient and confident and can provide a decent home for her kids, (less juvenile delinquents, less abuse, less so many negative things)

Women leaving an abusive relationship join the “Ladies Witha Truck” franchise group.

– They choose a profession they are passionate about, anything that requires a truck, such as landscaping, parts delivery, hotshot delivery, rubbish removal, poopy scooping, dog walking (I saw a guy picking up dogs from my brothers apartment building, people pay for their dogs to get exercised, I thought of Kelly right away), pilot trucks for over sized semi’s, grocery shopping, lumber and supplies to job sites, construction site cleanup, tow truck, lunch truck, catering for the movie industry, house cleaning, scrap recycling, card board recycling, the possibilities are endless. i am sure you can think of many I have missed.

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– Once they choose their profession they choose an appropriate truck for the job, some will be more expensive than others  but they will all be brand new trucks that will be maintained at a Ford dealership, no major breakdowns or expensive repairs to worry about and no ex N able to sabotage it while he “helps her out”. It is not in her name so he can not take ownership of it. 

– They choose their hours, most of the above professions have flexible hours, if they have children to get off to school they can work from 9-3, they can have a child ride with them for an hour or two. A baby can be in a car seat and the mom can still breast feed etc.

– They don’t have to worry about drumming up customers, there is a central dispatch where people can call one number for all the services the ladies provide. I think people would love to help out a bunch of ladies trying to get on their feet and many times a customer needs more than one service, they may need scrap removal, rubbish removal and recycling Ladies could handle it all. 

– If the woman has counseling, things at the school to attend etc she has the ability to attend without losing money or her job.

– With a 5 year plan,even if the woman has a new born baby by the time she is on her own all her children are in school.

– a percentage of what she makes goes to paying for the truck, she is still getting her welfare benefits so any extra money improves her life style but she can afford to make pretty hefty payments on the truck. In 5 years it is quite possible to have the truck paid off.

– At the end of 5 years, the woman has a paid for truck, is self employed in a proven and successful business, has clients, and is part of a franchise, she never has to pay for advertising, doesn’t have to worry about the book keeping, the ex can not ruin it for her because the dispatch etc is out of her control. It is practically impossible for the ex to ruin it for her unless she goes back to him.

Benefits

Almost every one has a drivers license and if they don’t it is easy to get one and they will need one anyway. Having a truck gives them independence immediately, enables them to furnish their home, transport their children and make a living. 

It doesn’t require a nice wardrobe, or special education except maybe some volunteer mentoring from local business people.

They can choose something that they are passionate about and interests them.

Any stumbling blocks a new business has is dealt with by the main the office.

There is a support system in place for when they feel inferior, overwhelmed or discouraged.

The community could get involved and offer support services to the women, hair salons could donate a hair cut, or a a counselor could commit to holding a free once a week group session, an accountant could do simple tax returns for a reduced price or free, the local paper could give the company free advertising, members of the community could offer used furniture etc (I furnished a two bedroom basement suite with nice stuff that didn’t cost me a dime except my gas to go pick it up) the possibilities are endless. 

The best part is that at the end of 5 years not only are the women self supporting, completely healed and proud of what they have accomplished BUT the program would be self supporting after 5 years. Once the first group of women are through their 5 years they continue to pay a small portion of their income to the franchise (which is pretty typical with franchises) for things such as dispatching, office rental etc and continued support.

The women are never at any time thrown to the wolves and told “get over it”, “You should be happy you are away from the asshole, just get a job, stop feeling sorry for yourself”. 

I have spent the better portion of the last 3 years struggling to make a livable income, I think that is one of the woman’s biggest fears and seeing  him go off and merrily leave her struggling to make ends meet while he lives the good life only slows her healing. If she could earn decent money and have hope for the future I believe she would heal a lot faster and be able to walk away much easier.

I was told by a big businessman who was visiting at my mom’s that “Lady Witha Truck” was a name I should franchise because it is so catchy and memorable. He thought I could make a fortune just off of the name and never really work, but I didn’t know how that would be possible. I have a bit of a reputation on line, been written up in the newspaper, I am still recognized as the lady with a truck, I just wrote an article for “18 Wheels and Heels” who support domestic violence awareness and women who drive trucks. It seems to all fit together.

Tell me I am nuts, blow holes in my idea PLEASE!! so I can stop thinking about it because it is driving me crazy and I don’t know how to get it off the ground. Maybe someone has some ideas to make it better, I almost wish you all would tell me that its a stupid idea, it would never work and forget it.

Here’s your chance. Lay it on the line!! Thanks for reading and your input.

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15 Replies to “I Have A Dream – Tell Me It Is Impossible”

  1. I think this is a FANTASTIC idea Carrie. Businesses would be keen to help (they’d be thinking of their CSR / public profile) and I think communities would too. I know I’d rather my money went to someone who just needed someone to help them achieve self-reliance, who was actively trying to improve their life and provide for their kids. I’d love to see you do this, and I believe you can 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Carrie, I have worked with ladies who have started franchises from their own lounge rooms with a couple of toddlers still at home to care for. It takes time for growth but they seem to be doing quite well. Women certainly don’t get enough support in my country either. Many with children really struggle financially. I’m lucky, I still have a profession to go back to and my son is an adult now. I don’t know how these women find the strength and fortitude to leave their situations with all the uncertaintly and lack of ‘real’ support. You already know how to run a successful business and you certainly have the profile to get the word out their. Everything starts with a great idea, you certainly seem like someone who would have the passion and drive to make it a reality. I think this would be excellent support for women. It sounds fantastic – great pic too.
    I hope you go for it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Well, there certainly is a need for something like that, I wish you the best. I can see a program like this working AFTER an initial intake and required stay, screening and mandatory counselling with a accredited women’s shelter/ program. I had a close friend who unfortunately became a resident in a womans “safe” house with her 2 children. The community was very generous and it was down right sad to see how women with children took advantage of the situation they were in to provide for their own personal “needs’ , at Christmas time each woman and each child were given a 200.00 gift card so they could have a good christmas, now remember housing is free, so the entire 200.00 per person could be used for gifts and such. Alot of women made a good showing of getting the children clothes and toys. Only to have December 26th come around and half the stuff be taken back for cash so that they could get themselves cell phones, wine coolers ( snuck in of course due to the no alcohol rule) and of course money for the abuser in their life, because now w/ cash they were useful again. It is amazing to me how much women in need will hand over willingly just so he will talk to them again. So, a program such as you envision, would not be appropriate for everyone, in my opinion, just those that exhibit , after a period of time, that they will NOT use it to go back to the abuser. Also, with governments being strapped finanacially as they appear to be , perhaps private big business , wealthy entrepeneurs, philantropists would be needed to put up the initial start up costs. A good solid business plan, proposal, to present to major corporations would be a great start!!!!!!

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    1. Ellie, you are right there would have to be some safe guards in place. Like what if the woman went back to her abuser. I thought if that happened the truck comes back and any money she has invested in the truck goes into a trust fund to be held for a couple of years. We all know it won’t last if she goes back so when she leaves again she is not starting from scratch and she can pick up where she left off or something like that.
      There are always people who will abuse the generosity of others and I have heard it when it comes to helping the homeless. People will have examples of how homeless people have abused the system as proof that money should not be spent on helping them. My belief is that there are way more people who genuinely need the help than there are people who abuse it. Many women are sentenced to a life of poverty after leaving the N, it is a drain on our tax dollars, and on society in general. Society as a whole would benefit from these women being confident and productive members of society and it would change the whole preconceived stereotypes people have about victims of abuse being weak etc.
      I feel that it is better to give money to someone who doesn’t appreciate it and have women who need the help get it than to have all those women not get help just because someone might abuse the system. Did I say that in a way that makes sense??
      I think it would have to work on a referral type basis and I think there should be ongoing counseling and support for the women for at least the first 3 years and available support forever more.
      I would like to see a once a week group support meeting, seminars on self improvement etc plus a counselor who is trained in NPD on staff if possible. A big thing that is missing for these women is a strong support system that is there for the long haul.
      Too many times the woman gets support for a few weeks and then they are expected to “get over it”. Then they end up going back because they feel there is something wrong with them that they can’t move on in a couple of weeks. They feel it must be love or else they could move on.
      Its all about support and the complete package. To just have a bunch of ladies with trucks would be a disaster without emotional support for them.

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  4. I WILL NOT tell you that you are nuts. I WILL NOT blow holes in your idea. You have the professional knowledge and the personal passion, Carrie. This idea has potential.

    You have been thinking about it for so long. Perhaps your soul is urging you to do this.

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    1. Thank you Fannie, I feel stuck. I know what it is. It is fear of being told its a stupid idea. Of rejection. I know I can do the business end of things but trying to get funding is the thing. But I know other people have been successful with ideas not as feasible as this. It is my own lack of confidence. But then again I believe that if it is meant to be God puts what you need in your grasp. I just have to keep an open mind and put the word out there. Something or someone might read it that knows exactly who could make it happen. I never wanted to haul scrap, I just knew I wanted a truck. I wwanted to do deliveries, rubbish removal but not scrap!! It had such a bad reputation and JC had hauled it for a time and from my experience the industry was mostly illegal. But I found a truck and miraculously even though I had no money the owner of the truck took $100 down and gave me a year to pay it off. He signed the truck over with nothing more than a$100 and a promissory note I wrote out on a piece of paper. Nothing was making me money but I kept getting offers to haul scrap. I finally took a job as a favor to a friend and made decent money. I was ashamed to let anyone know I hauled scrap at first but I told myself that as long as I could earn an honest living I would do it. Well it took off. I dressed nice, had business cards, worked during business hours and not in the cloak of darkness and people were flagging me down. I also said that if I was going to do a man’s job I was going to do it without asking for help from men. So I struggled with heavy stuff until I got strong enough. Some times it took me hours to get something on the truck but I took a lot of pride in doing it.
      It was the greatest working experience I’ve ever had. And btw in a year I paid the truck off.
      But it all just fell into place. I believe it was part of a greater plan, maybe not my plan but a plan.

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  5. I’m really proud of you. That sounds great! It made me think of what I could do to start a business. I know some of the fears on that list apply to me. It’s something to get over. Even though you know your N partner has sabotaged you again and again, there’s a part of you that can’t quite believe it’s not just some random accident that keeps happening. Hard to fully accept that you partner doesn’t want what’s best for you.

    Thanks for posting this. It definitely is helping me think outside the box a little bit.
    GOD Bless You!

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    1. AnnStacy, You are right, I just could not make myself believe he would sabotage my truck; it doesn’t make sense, I could be making good money and he was always bitching about how much I cost him. But that was exactly what he wanted, an excuse to be pissed off and to have me a prisoner. I knew deep down there was no way my truck was just breaking down all the time, my gut was telling me but I just didn’t listen. Who does that kind of stuff, I had never heard of anyone like that, certainly no one I knew had ever been with someone like that. That’s why speaking out is so important so people do realize that there are people out there who will sabotage their vehicle, their life!
      God bless you and a big hug too
      Carrie

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  6. Carrie, it is a great vision, and you even have a plan of how to do it. Our church just did a whole series on Nehimiah (I know-I had never heard of him)…it was all about seeing a need that you feel passionate about, getting a vision, having others challenge it by saying “how are you going to do that?”, then working with others to plan and bring the dream to reality! My only problem is that I want things to happen on MY time instead of God’s…. Keep moving toward your vision! There is a place here in Nashville called Thistle Farms-started by a vision of one person to help women rebuild their lives after escaping the human trafficking industry….Praying for your vision…💛💜

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    1. Armyofangels. thank you for the support. You are right about in God’s time. I have had this idea for years, even before I left JC it was formulating. I think as long as I keep thinking about it and keep my mind open to possibilities something will come of it in some form.
      Thanks for the prayersm they always help.

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  7. I think it’s a wonderful idea, Carrie! Do you have a Small Business Association in your area? You could approach them and ask some questions. You could also Google “starting a non-profit” in your particular area. I’m not sure which market your idea would fit into, traditional business or non-profit, but you could start by getting some contacts and making phone calls 🙂

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    1. Kim, thanks for the suggestions and the vote of confidence. You know I went back to school in 2004 for a year of full time study in Business Management, Marketing, etc We did up a mock company from the business plan on up . I got a GPA of 4.0 so I know I can do this but its been 10 years and I have had my confidence kicked out of me. I think you’re right I have to make some phone calls and talk to someone in the know. There most be some small business advisory council or something locally. I will check it out.

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