Conned

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This started out as a blog about sugar addiction, emotional eating and how I am about to detox myself again.  However, as I began to write I realized this was a much larger part of my cleansing and now is the time to share with you what has transpired in the last year of my life which was not made public during that time. It's important for me to share this bc emotionally, this entire situation  had a big to do with how I fell down the rabbit hole of making poor choices with food again like this french toast I indulged in on my #roadtrip trip at a very cute restaurant just outside #BigSurr at Deetjens Big Sur Inn. It was delicious, but very unhealthy. Remember I am human too, and we all have difficult times.

A failed relationship, friendships and business. Let's get blunt and talk about.

I met D.O. at a cannabis convention in Winter of 2017 just as I was starting to build BtSF. When we met I told him I wasn't interested. I said I was too busy building my business, but invited him to follow my journey on Instagram.

Over a few months he sent me many messages. The topic of conversation was often what I was doing with my business, which was a lot. I was pretty stressed out at this time, but not to worry. He was right there to offer a solution.
 

He exclaimed how he had built not one but two of his families businesses and would, without a doubt, be able to help build BtSF. I trusted his words and soon he came to CO from NY so we could get to know each other more.

During those 3 weeks he made me feel so confident that this was the right decision, I invited him to move in. I explained the rent, and how he would be responsible for 50% of the bills. He was ecstatic at the cost of living difference and laughed at how cheap it was. Again, making me feel so confident this was the right decision. I thought I had found my prince who wanted to grind hard and build an empire together. Boy was I wrong.

He moved to CO in July 2017, a month after he came out initially. When he came back he was a different person.  He wasn't the hard worker he exclaimed to be before, but now laid around watching movies claiming he was sick due to altitude.

I was empathetic at first and took care of him. Then, after a few months my patience started to wear. I became a version of myself I didn't want to be. Exhausted, short tempered and angry.

Also, for the duration I was in CO I had many people in the cannabis industry come to me under the disguise they were my friend. In reality they just wanted to see what I was building, take my ideas, those I network with and/or use me for their gains/profit.  Needless to say, CO became a very lonely place.

I spent my time feeling isolated, taken advantage of and became very stressed out. D.O. expected me to be responsible 100% for all the bills as a disabled (due to Ehlers Danlos Syndrome) single mother and new business owner without care.

In one of the many arguments we had he even told me as a 25 year old "I worked all my life, I don't want to work for someone else again."

I was ready to have him leave. At this point my settlement from the car accident was nearly gone but I was still confident I could get a roommate in the house who could be responsible for 50% of the bills while I refocused on BtSF and myself.

I asked him to leave the week of Thanksgiving and his parents booked him a flight back to NY. I was excited to see him go, but also sad bc he took my dog, Shiva, a Cane Corso who was to be trained as my PTSD support dog.

In the beginning of our relationship that August D.O. had said he wanted to get me a dog for my birthday. He didn't have a job yet, but confidently said he would pay the $900 balance for her if I paid the down payment of $300. I agreed. I knew I could really benefit from having a support dog and after finding Cane Corso that would be available end of October. I was excited to have this help in my life.

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When it was time to pick her up, he still didn't have a job and I was forced to pay the balance for her. Yes, I could have taken that $300 loss, but at this point my daughter and I had been looking forward to having her and built a relationship with her. We both grew excited as we got pictures and saw her grow.

The best part about it? He claimed he bought her for me as a birthday present to everyone on Facebook. Because #status.

I begged him to let her stay, to which he claimed she was too big of a dog for me to handle. At this point I was heartbroken but also didn't have the energy to continue to fight.

They left and I remained positive and refocused. I was confident I could be happy again and build BtSF in the way I wanted... But then it happened. Again.

D.O. showed up a week later back in CO. He called me from the airport and said he couldn't keep the dog in NY at his parents. Looking back I don't even think he told his parents we broke up, but that he was just visiting for Thanksgiving. I'm not sure, I just know he is a compulsive liar.

So, he was back in CO homeless and had my dog. He used the fact that I have a big heart for animals and Raegan missed her to get back into my life.

I proceeded to pick them up from the airport as he begged me to allow him to stay in the extra bedroom while he attempted to get a job in the CO cannabis industry and start paying me back.

After much begging, I gave in. I explained in no way did I wanted a relationship with him, but would allow him to stay in the extra room at the house so Shiva could have the backyard, while he got a job and paid me back.

Soon after, he got a job at a hotel. Then told me they had issues processing his paperwork due to him being born in Italy. He stopped going in and decided that wasn't for him.

Things were beyond stressful. I was very depressed and had no money left at this point to pay for 100% of everything. I begged him to leave, but he wouldn't. He just used his slick cunning words and kept promising to make it right.

Looking back I am so mad at myself that I continued to allow this. I have spent a lot of time wondering why. Here's what I came up with.

For someone who has completely changed their life, I truly believe everyone has the power to do so as well. I wanted to believe in him. Even if we weren't dating I truly wanted the best for him like I do for everyone. This is why I had such hard time telling him to leave again. He was begging for that chance to show me how he was going to change his life, too.

This has been a problem with past relationships as well, and now I see this as enabling behavior, not supportive. It's a fine line.

I now know I will never allow this or other abusive behavior in my future. It's important to have boundaries and be able to say no confidently.

It was early February now and he was applying for jobs online when he got 2 call backs. One was a mortgage sales position, the other a labor job where he would build playgrounds. He had plenty experience in sales (hello con artist) but none in physical labor. Both had decent pay, but the mortgage company guaranteed 40 hours a week, while the labor job could only work when weather permitted.

Due to this and his experience I asked him to take the sales job, to no avail.
He started working as a laborer, but due to weather could only work 2 days that week. I was frustrated with that, but relieved to see him work. He also seemed to be really happy to be doing physical work as he had wanted to get stronger and thought this would really benefit him.

It was during this time I found out how ill my grandmother was and booked a flight back to MN to see her. I would leave Feb 15th for 5 days and take my daughter with.

February 14th came, Valentines Day. D.O. gave me a card that exclaimed how sorry he was and how excited he was to make it right now that he had a job. He also asked for another chance to date me, but I told him that that was just not an option because I did not have those type of feelings for him.


I continued to pack for MN as he said he understood. He told me not to worry about the business, that he had it handled and to just worry about seeing my grandma. I believed this and Rae and I took off the next AM.

While we were gone, things started to get weird.  He was suppose to pick some things up for one of my classes and now I couldn't get ahold of him. Severe panic set in.

I'm sure if I had agreed to date him again, what was about to happen, wouldn't have.  Unfortunately my honesty was about to come with a price.

I returned to my home in CO 5 days later. He picked us up from the airport and had everything of his in the SUV. He looked over at me and said how I was never going to get the money he owed me and laughed.  Then he dropped me off on the side of the road 45 min from my house, but took Raegan.

Thankfully I had my phone and was able to get an uber. By the time I got home I had realized why he didn't want me their with him when I walked through the doors.
 

My house and business were in complete disarray. Things were broken, taken and all round a complete mess. He even had the audacity to take the first 20$ I made with BtSF that was hanging on the wall, the computer with 1000+ of hours of work on it (after he broke my computer just months before with countless hours of work on it) and the SUV I paid for.

I was officially broken.

I would spend the next couple weeks begging for my files while he played games with my head telling me he would send them, but never did.

Still, I pressed on and used what I could to advertise for class. A couple weeks later I was contacted by FOX31 KDVR.com to do an interview regarding BtSF, and agreed.

Due to the publicity that segment received on March 29th my business license was suspended pending revocation. If you don't know the details, check out the blog titled #suspension.

This was it, it was over. I tried contacting lawyers and others to help but I didn't have the money needed to obtain this. I did my best to represent myself, but in the end the decision had been made. My license was revoked.

I fell into a severe depression. Everything I had worked for was slipping through my fingers & I couldn't get a handle on it.  I really began to hate myself for trusting this kid & others.

To add insult to injury I got to see the empty business I invested nearly all my time & money into everyday, since BtSF was in the basement of my home. I literally couldn't walk into it without feeling sick. To make matters worse I was trapt their since he had taken the SUV as well. I had no way to leave this hell.

I have never been so suicidal in my life.

To top things off,  it was time to renew my lease and my landlords decided not to. I had anticipated being able to buy the house but clearly wasn't able to make that happen with the D.O. situation and after the city shut me down.

I even tried working with an experienced business consultant so I could continue this dream in a different way. Unfortunately that proved to be an unprofessional relationship as well, thus a waste of time.

In short, or long,  these experiences have awoken me to the realization that I was targeted by D.O. and others alike. I have also concluded that the cannabis industry is a gold rush culture similar to that of the Wild West.

With this awakening, I see & feel how crucial my emotions are to my health and wellness. I am excited to be in a place where I can share this, and feel like I can start to heal my mind, body and soul again with cannabis, fitness, nutrition!

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And, as always thank you for taking the time to read this blog post and for your support. It really means the world to me that I can be so authentic. It is not easy, but by doing so I am able connect and relate to others on a much bigger level by letting them know they are not alone which helps them heal. Human connection is an important key to healing trauma and by sharing we can move forward towards a better tomorrow, today!

 

- Fit Cannabis Girl

Jennessa Lea