Hiya folks! My name is Colten, and this post isn’t for me. Quite the sudden start, I realize – I’ve never really been all that great with typing these kinds of things up, but I’m giving something a little more flashy a shot in hopes that it will catch some attention.
This post is for a friend of mine, whom I’ll just initial as A, and his fiancé J. They met up through an online community that we were a part of and basically fell in love right away. J was living in Colorado, U.S.A. at the time, and A in Alberta, Canada. You can see almost immediately where I might be going with this, but please bear with me – this might turn into a lengthy story.
I’ve known A for a few years now (how the time flies!) and have seen him go through so many different hardships. I met him when he was living in New Brunswick, Canada, and had been recently dumped with his ex-boyfriend. The story goes that he met the guy in Edmonton, Alberta, and eventually after A had difficulty with jobs working for a major pharmacy chain and his ex “couldn’t” find work, they resolved to moving back to his ex’s homeland of Moncton/Dieppe, NB, and did so towards the end of January. Three weeks later after they got settled at their destination, his ex dumped him while A was training for a good job with a call center. A attempted to push through the breakup – it was devastating for him and he would sometimes cry to me while in a voice call on Discord – but eventually hit a major roadblock mentally and emotionally and had a major panic attack while at work. He described it as a sudden stop to any ambitions and positive feelings he had, and just felt scared, isolated, devastated and anxious while on a floor surrounded by many coworkers. His floor managers understood and empathized with what he was going through, but the higher ups did not, so he eventually quit that job when two of his fellow coworkers sought out work with a different call center. Unfortunately, the anxiety creeped its way back in and he couldn’t bring himself to go to work. The new place of employment unfortunately let him go under discreditable conditions, and he was officially unemployed for the first time since he was 14 years old. He couldn’t find a job immediately after, nor did I think it was a good idea for him at the time, so he got in touch with his father and stepmother and they allowed him to stay with them so he could get back on his feet. In a car that he was leasing at the time, he packed it full of his most cherished items and left behind/threw out a lot of other items and travelled across Canada to get to Edmonton to try and start his life over as a single individual. Hilariously, he made it to Edmonton before the car’s registration and insurance both expired.
This starts the second chapter of the traumatizing past few years for him. After three weeks of staying with his dad and stepmother (yes, I’m not making this up – three weeks/months/years seems to be a thing for this poor dude), his stepmother turned and started mistreating him, and at one point they got into a little argument that led his stepmother to say that he just needed to get on some anti-anxiety medications, suck it up and get a job, and that her anxiety was worse than his; she completely disregarded that anxiety disorders are on a spectrum and everyone experiences those feelings differently and with different intensities (I, too, suffer from a generalized anxiety disorder so I sympathized with Alex in this scenario). Sadly, things didn’t improve: Alex couldn’t find a job that would better suit his needs and his stepmother admitted to making him do chores she’d never give to her own children (she has two) because she was trying to “motivate him to get out and get a job,” almost playing the role of evil stepmother in a Cinderella story. During this time from the very start, he was trying to get on EI to help him pay bills, pay for his own food, and help out with rent/utilities at his dad’s place. He did get approved and received a pretty good lump sum of money they had backdated for him, but at his stepmother’s behest and claims of “being unable to afford to feed a leech,” he had gotten a job that would have cost too much in commute fares and in the long run to continue going to and would be too tolling on his mental health. He had admitted to EI about this, being truthful to the letter, and they cut him off due to having had a job for all of two days – and this led to a suicide scare. He called the suicide hotline without anyone knowing what was happening when he received the news because, as he says, continuing receiving EI checks was going to be his way out and find somewhere else to live to get away from a toxic situation but without the money, he didn’t know how he was going to survive and started questioning whether or not he should just kill himself to end the financial burden and mistreatment he faced. However, a quick psych evaluation was done and he was told by the social worker that saw him that he could get onto welfare to at least help out a little, and then eventually get on disability. A was approved for Alberta’s welfare program and finally got out of his dad’s place and into a friend’s spare bedroom. The cost of the rent and an overdue phone bill, however, was too pricey for how little he received per month and he was barely able to eat. He did seek out medical help and was officially diagnosed with generalized anxiety and major depression and began medication treatment, but going through different medications prevented him from being able to find work. The rising and intensifying anxiety he had also prevented him from being able to cook meals, so he then moved in with a friend that would help him with meals and not charge him rent. I can’t discuss this too in-depth due to how shoddy the whole setup was, but during this time was when A and J met and fell in love and eventually got engaged.
All good things must come to an end however, and A was no longer able to stay with his friend that was providing him free room & board, so to speak, so he had to move back in with his mother in British Columbia. He was always on iffy terms with his mother and said that living with her was hard due to her expectations of him and the way she would talk to him sometimes. (A’s mother, as a side note, is also on disability and can only work certain jobs during the summer time as that’s when business in the town she lives in, and where A mostly grew up, mostly happens, so she can only help financially if A pays her right back.) It was also during this time that A and J broke up due to the 2020 U.S. Election due to differing views the two had. I’ll fast-forward through this part because a year goes by and I had to hear from both of them how in love they still were with each other, but A couldn’t bring himself to see a different perspective at the time. Finally, A finally saw a different perspective and realized that he may have been wrong so at my suggestion, he reached back out to J and they talked things over – and got engaged once again. During this time, though, J was living in Texas with his brother so a greater distance now separated the two.
If you’ve read this far, you are a trooper – I keep going back and editing things in hopes that I can condense the story and still have it make sense as much as possible so as not to take too much of your time, though there is a reason why I bring the history of A and his fiancé to your attention. Well, mostly A’s but I hope you get the idea.
To take a break from A’s story and discuss more about J for a moment, I don’t know as much about his back story as I do A’s but he’s a good guy from the conversations that I’ve had with him and I can tell he loves A very dearly. What I do know, in short, is that his parents, not unlike A’s parents, are in a similar boat where they only make a certain amount of money and can’t always offer assistance financially. His parents’ relationship is a little rocky but they make it work with their own conditions, but J doesn’t have that great of a relationship with them as he would like. He’s briefly mentioned to me that he never had a good relationship with his father and was mistreated for, from what I understand, just being gay. It’s apparently taken a recent turn and J and his father are working on building a better relationship, but J’s mother seems to have gone sideways and won’t properly acknowledge the relationship J has with A.
Now, back to my story of these lovebirds…
Eventually, the two couldn’t stand being apart and decided to team up with A’s mother to get him across the border and meet up in a town just south of the B.C./Washington border and drive across the country on a very small amount of money and whatever A received from B.C.’s welfare program, and that’s what they did at the beginning of March of this year. However, anything that could go wrong seemed to have happened. For starters, A’s computer suddenly went haywire, and with what little knowledge he has of computers and the help of his mother’s boyfriend, came to the conclusion that the power supply in the PC suddenly died, so J bought him a new power supply. When A got received the new power supply and plugged it all in, the computer still wouldn’t turn on and A couldn’t figure out why. Both J and myself advised him to leave it alone until J could get A and they could take it to a computer repair shop as there wasn’t one near where A was living. As well, during the trip up to pickup A and some of his belongings, J received a text message from his brother, stating that both his brother’s gf and him weren’t comfortable with J bringing his fiancé in to stay and they would need to get an apartment ASAP. A & J were able to find an apartment, and from the pics they’ve shared which I will also share here, it looks nice… however, neither one of them had much furniture to bring into this apartment as they both got rid of stuff as they moved around and parted ways with other items. From what A has told me, neither one of them has any cooking wares or dishes to be able to make meals at home, and only have two computer desks and a twin XL mattress that neither one of them have a good sleep on if they try to both sleep in it. J currently tries to pull in money through working with Uber Eats/Connect and DoorDash, but it’s not enough to be able to cover paying for homewares and a proper start with groceries, as well as a PC repair bill that they acquired trying to fix A’s computer.
The PC is important to A because A is more of a creative individual. He’s told me that he finds more joy creating than he does working retail or being in an office and working for 8.5 hours a day where it feels like nothing is truly accomplished. Before his PC tanked, he was working on creating 3D models to use as reference for digitally painting pictures, in which he said he wanted the practice so he could hone in on his creative skills and eventually work on commissions from anyone who would want art done of their video game characters or otherwise. If I recall correctly, A had also mentioned that he had a “really good idea” for a story and wanted to create a visual novel for people to read and enjoy, in which he would write the story and do the art for himself. I do believe that A could make a decent amount of money working with art as he’s very creative and talented, but with the day’s meal always being in question, A feels like he’s more or less stuck and can’t work on anything until some sort of stability is reached – and I kind of understand where he’s coming from with that. Having both of their computers at home and working would majorly help them to be able to make everything official for A’s immigration to the United States during their free time.
J tried to set up a GoFundMe page, but it was taken down so he tried again with Fundly – sadly, neither pages got much traction and didn’t net much donations at all. On behalf of them, I’m here to ask for help from the king Begging Money community in basically getting them started up in their new place – so they can pay off some remaining debt, and be able to buy groceries, cookware and maybe some extra furniture as well. A start-up campaign of sorts!
As it stands right now, A’s PC bill is still withstanding at $560 USD, and J used his own PC as collateral to ensure to their local PC repair shop that they would be back to pay the bill, but A needed his computer in order to try and work on his projects. A also borrowed some money from his mother and if I remember correctly it was about $150 CAD, and both A & J borrowed money from a friend to be able to travel back to Texas when J was picking A up – totaling $500 CAD. As I mentioned before, neither one of them had any cooking wares or groceries of any kind to bring to their new apartment – in which I’ve estimated they’d roughly need about $575 USD for kitchenware alone, and around $2000 USD for a new mattress and bedframe. In past times that I’ve moved and had to spend a hefty amount on groceries, my total’s usually come to around $250 USD.
So, to break it down in a list format:
PC repair bill – $560 USD
kitchenware – $575 USD
bed & frame – $2000 USD
first-time groceries – $250 USD
A’s mom IOU – $150 CAD (about $120 USD)
A & J friend IOU – $500 CAD (about $395 USD)
for a grand total of: $3900 USD
If I was able, I’d definitely send them all the help I could offer but unfortunately, I too am facing a bit of a rough financial patch – nothing too major and I’ll make the money back in good time, but both of my friends need outside support and aid. Their support circle, albeit fulfilling for both of them, is small and they can’t ask anyone else within it for financial aid and they’re both stuck and don’t know what to do next to get a proper start at their new life together.
I reached out to J and received his confirmation for writing and submitting this post and he provided me with his PayPal info, which this site says to include at the bottom of the message – and if you’ve gotten this far, I thank you sincerely for your time and consideration. These two have so much potential to do good and I believe that just giving them that support they need will make their time infinitely easier. Thank you again.