Friday, December 02, 2011

Thoughts

Ramblings....  If reading about my thoughts sounds too depressing, please just go on to the next blog.  I'm sharing my feelings.  Thats all.   These last few years have been a struggle for my husband and I.  One employer choose to not pay its employees (we've not ever recouped those funds despite pursuing them through legal channels) another employer went into bankruptcy owing salaries, the courts paid the attorneys instead...then  16 months of no employment.  Hard times,  but hopefully things will begin to ease now that he has a permanent job.  It is a wicked economy, made very difficult for his field of expertise, which is construction.   Anyway.......that on top of some other losses this last year  has put me into a strange funk, aka as depression, not unlike many other folks I know.  I wanted to chat about some of my feelings here.

 I coordinated the Hearts and Hands for Sendai project which resulted in 20 quilts being donated to Hideko Ishida so that she could utilize them for fund raising purposes for the children affected by the tsunami and earth quake along with showing the worldwide friendship we have with her through crazy quilting. An article was even written up on this project in the Grand Junction, CO newspaper thanks to Janet Popish sending a tip!!  I had thought that this was a wonderful testament to cq and friendship......now I don't know.

Why the funk, you ask?  (probably not....but I am rambling on my own blog.....)  :)  I have been accused of  mishandling funds within ICQA, which is an unincorporated non-profit, created by myself with the hopes that it would some day rival AQS.  This puts the "business" in a privately held status.  It  has no public reporting responisibilities/obligations and is considered a private company as  no non-profit paperwork has been generated.  It is my understanding that it needs to have income to move forward with filings?  I don't know.   Anyway,back to the story,  these accusations have hurt more deeply than anyone can know and friendships have been sadly affected. Yes, I understand that i'm not the only one hurting so I don't need reminding. I read that one CQI member was so upset that she thought she would give up cq altogether. That would have been a HUGE loss as she is very talented and it hurt my heart to think of her pain caused by all this. All that said.....back to the story again....no fund raising, specifically for ICQA has occurred and the funds that were in the account were obtained through small silent auctions of donated items and were designated as scholarship monies for members of CQI to attend the annual retreat. $1600 had accumulated. The bank acxount itself,was also used as a clearing house to offer group buys for lace, charms, silk ribbon, etc. for members of CQI.   I had received no complaints whatsoever.   I put together the annual retreat for 2011 in Estes Park, CO.    It was the best yet as far as facility, organization, etc. and I was unable to participate as much as planned due to last minute family obligations. Apparently folks were unhappy with something at the retreat and felt overcharged or something. I have no clue.  The cost for the retreat for five days, was $540.00 for five nights and four days. We had two teachers, one of national repute, a HUGE facility and food a plenty that I had prepared in advance (the remaining food was taken home by some CQI members).  Three attendees were paid for by the scholarship fund.  Based on the figures stated above, anyone can do the math.  Once everyone got home, accusations began.  I was completely blind sided.   I was not ever consulted privately and had NO idea anything was wrong.  Everything happened in a very public way and I have felt completely humiliated.  My instincts have been to crawl back into myself and go into protection mode.  I had a childhood that has colored my responses as an adult and this is my way of coping. Its not the best way to handle things maybe....but it is the only way I know how to cope.  Anyway.....I have been completely quiet as there is nothing more to say.  I am mourning the losses of friends and much more.   I have done nothing wrong except give my heart and soul to a group that has ripped me apart.  The group experienced damage as well, I am well aware of that.  Nothing happens in this world that doesn't have an effect on something else.  The bank account was closed after forwarding the remaining funds comprised of left over retreat monies and  donations  that came in with the H & H blocks in the amount of $1500.00 to Hideko Ishida for her use for the tsunami victims. There are no other monies.  I've wondered, privately, if folks for some odd reason, think there is money enough that i've taken a trip to Tahaiti or something!!  LOL!!  I'm trying to lighten things up by saying this even though I don't feel it in my heart of hearts. I feel nothing but sadness right now.  I am not an accountant.  I cannot produce certified, financial documents even if there was income to produce one for. I cannot personally afford an accountant to conjure up some records to satisfy people. I have given a basic "accounting" of balances to no avail. It was considered a joke, but is all I am able to do.   Some folks continue to spread vitriol.  All I can ask, is why wasn't I questioned privately??  Why?  What has been gained from all of this besides hurt feelings?  I wrote this only to clarify my position.  I do not wish to stir up bad feelings and certainly do not want a continuance of vitriolic accusations.  I would like to simply disappear from the face of the earth.....yes.....that is the depression talking. This too shall pass.  Until next time....... maybe.....maybe not.

13 comments:

shirley said...

Oh what a dreadful thing to happen to you..I am so sorry this has caused you to sink into depression.....maybe the vitriol was caused by people who did not have the benefit of schooling and cannot do m
Although it is such a nasty experience, know that there are some of the group who support you and concentrate on your friendships with them....the ones who deserted you were not true friends anyway you are well rid of them.
Just tell yourself the troublemaker are not worthy of being in your life. They weren't the ones who put their hands up to help someone in need.

Lauri said...

I'm so sorry you are going through this
Feel free to contact me to talk about all this. Don't really want to go into names and such in a public forum
Hopefully after everyone has had time to think about things they mught get better

Suztats said...

This is horrible. I'm so sorry that you have been put in this position, and have been accused of such things. Unfortunately, it happens whenever money is involved, whether among friends or family. And poisonous rumors damage the accused. I only hope that common sense will prevail and truth will out. It doesn't stop the hurt, though. Sending you hugs and Blessings

Ati. said...

Leslie I am so sorrry for you! I did not know what was happening in the CQI. Due family problems this past year I am on special notices and I don't know what is going on there.
I am glad you wrote all down here.
If there are people who are jalous you can't do nothing.
I am sure you have handled the right way!! You have a giving heart, everyone can see this. All the work you have done to make a sucses of the H and H blocks. Chapeau from me !!
Now I understand the new group also. I push the button again and hope that we can work on a RR together one beautiful day!
Hugs, Ati.

Juli said...

Leslie,

Just know that there are still plenty of people that care about YOU and none of this other nonsense!

Keep your chin up my friend.

Juli

gocrazywithme said...

I can only second what Juli and Lauri said. I asked for the article to be written because I felt like you'd gotten a raw deal regarding the retreat, and then the beautifully finished H&H quilts took a backseat to the accusations flung around on CQI. We should have been celebrating the success of the H&H project and thanking you for your hard work and dedication. I'm at a loss as to what is going on within the minds of some people. Please hang on, Les. As you said, this too shall pass.

Sharon said...

Leslie do not let these people get you in a funk. You know as well as other people, whether they want o admit it or not, your were a good thing that happened to all kinds of CQ. You have promoted good things for CQ since day one. Look at all you have put together the biggest one for Hideko's countryman and it was a wonderful success and allot of hard work....Fiddly-dee to those who want something more. Do not let anyone's words get you into a depression if you do you let them win. You are better than that! I truly believe what you give is what you get and the wrong sayers will get their come-uppins. Yes allot of us made blocks for your projects and donated batting and backing but who put all the hard actual hands on work into those quilts for whatever benefit it was for..it was you who put all the extra work into it and I am not sure but I don't think you were paid to do that and that is a sign of who you are Don't worry some of us are big girls and we can make decisions for ourselves on right and wrong and we do not need to be followers. There are still plenty of people who still love and care and appreciate your efforts in leading them in crazy quilting. Your new group speaks for itself. The more people beat the dead horse the worse it looks on them. Happy holidays and get out of that funk and enjoy your family. Remember the reason for the season God, Family & Friends will help you get thru. The delete button works real well for those that are trying to bring you down...use it! Sorry I didn't mean to write a book but ya' know there is enough bad stuff going on without people actually promoting it. Sending you emails to badger you really, come on now people....

Marie Alton said...

Dearest Leslie ... I've known you online for many years ... and am most distressed that you are suffering ... it is so not fair that someone who has given so much as you have ... has been accused of any wrong doing. It's just not in your nature ... as far as I have seen ... you have only ever given your all ... to see things through to completion ... and to make us all proud of the end result.

To those who have damaged your reputation ... I say "Shame on you" ... how dare you tarnish the respectability of such a giving soul? Who in the Heck do you think you are? Do you have the balls to do what this gal has done?

NO ... Most of you don't ... so WTF ...get off your own high horse and realize that your accusations are not only unfounded ...but also hurtful ... and causing painful feelings that are totally unjustified.

You my dear are awesome ... I've told you before ... and I tell you again ... ignore any suggestions otherwise ... and know that you have friends who know how special you really are!

Anytbody got a problem with my comments? ... feel free to contact me directly ... 'cause ya know where I'm standing!

sharonb said...

I too wanted to say that I was absolutely appalled at the accusations made or inferred against you in a public space. I have always seen your work for community as immensely valuable and very worthwhile. I was so sorry when all this blew up. I know it is incredibly hard when a group turns but many are thoughtless. It's really sad, really hard, and you will grieve for the sense of community and self worth lost. I am so sorry this happened to you.

Maureen said...

It's so sad that you've had to deal with this. You delivered on the retreat and H&H and those things should tell the story. It's easier to say than to do, I know, but please don't be embarrassed as you have more friends than you realize.

Anonymous said...

Hi Leslie,

I'm a lurker over at CQI and this whole thing was ridiculous. I agree with you that you should have been questioned privately first. I also know you've done a shitload of work over the years and have had NO help even when you asked. Could you have done certain things differently? Perhaps. Was any real damage done (in terms of finances)? Doesn't seem so. If some folks are genuinely unhappy with how things are run, they're free to leave - and judging by the support you received on the yahoo group, seems to me most people are in your corner. That doesn't make your hurt go away and I've no doubt it smarts like hell. I personally HATE confrontation and to be accused, ESPECIALLY when there's nothing to accuse.

That whole thing was one big dogpile on you by a few shit-disturbers and I'm genuinely sorry for that. Even though I haven't met you, I can tell you're a lovely, caring woman.

I hope you continue in the group (your stitching is amazing and such an inspiration for us newbies!!).

I also hope the others have learned a valuable lesson - if they want a say in how things are run, then they need to step up and do some of the work!

IMHO, the main lesson here for CQI is not to mix hobbies and money. Unless there's a formal, incorporated guild then I don't see the reason for it.

Anyway, just wanted to give you my support and send lots of hugs your way.

P.S. I empathize with your unemployment situation. Been going through it myself - as well as major health issues - and I swear the stress has taken 10 years off my life.

maire said...

Leslie, I'm so sorry that you are still suffering from the nonsense brought up about the retreat...an event you worked so diligently to create. I hope you know there are many many people who really love you and appreciate all that you have done for CQ and the people there. It's ironic that the person who comes to mind as the problem solver and peacemaker should be attacked. Please hear the voices of your many friends and ignore the others. Kind regards and many hugs, Maire

Linda said...

Hello Leslie,
I was so saddened to read this post - many times people's ambition to hold to a position does not in any way match their ability - and that is all I can say about people like that!
Much Love
Linda