I just don’t. And not about important things, but about one thing the devil tries to use against me all the time.
Last year was a rough year, for most I am sure. But this post really isn’t about complaining or anything, but it is about freedom. Freedom from shame and guilt, and embarrassment.
I own a dog grooming shop. I have been grooming dogs for 15 years and am on my 3rd shop. I owned my first shop in Seattle, WA, then in Herrin, IL, where I am once again grooming dogs. We have wonderful customers. I know I am not the best, but I give it my all and work very hard from my business and my family. My wife helps at the shop and it is our sole income. We do very well, and God has blessed us so much throughout all of this, including the subject of this post.
We lived in Florida in 2018 and Hurricane Michael came through, so we came to Illinois to ride it out. We had (at the time) a 2 year old and didn’t know what this hurricane would bring so we felt safer just making a week vacation out of it and seeing our family. But, we weren’t able to ever return.
I visited where I used to work in Illinois and they offered me a job for part time, and long story short, it didn’t work out, so I started my own shop, again. We have been open almost 3 years now, praise God. But it hasn’t been easy. But it’s been worth it.
So for the fun part: On June 10, 2021, a woman walked into my shop with an appointment she had made a month before, due to our shop being busy. (Busy groomers can’t be too awful, right?)
She comes in with a goldendoodle and a chihuahua. At that time we had a church pew in our shop for people to sit on, so she sits down on the pew after saying she will move all of the “explicative for poop” out of the way. Kinda weird, but all people are different. I did her dogs nails and then explained to her that her very matted, very pelted, very yeasty goldendoodle will have to be shaved. She agreed and said that it doesn’t matter, he always looks “retarted” after his groom. So she leaves, and I begin to get to work on this mess she just brought in. My wife comes around the corner, after she leaves, and says that she doesn’t have a good feeling about her. My wife has discernment.
I groom the dog, which coat came off like a rug in one piece. It was pretty unruly, because come to find out, it hadn’t ever been in a grooming salon, the owner did it before. Which may or may not be true, who knows, but the dog was pretty hard to groom. Not to mention, matting is extremely painful. Matting isn’t a grooming issue, its an owner issue. We aren’t wizards with magic wands that can demat a pelted dog. But people still put that expectation on us, only to be let down. I digress.
The lady comes in and pays, tips and acts like everything is fine. The next morning I get a text on my business scheduling app from her that says to cancel her dog, I hurt it, blah blah blah. I refunded her money (I will never refund anyone money again) and she continued to call me every name in the book, put me down, call me incompetent, etc. She invited me to social media to defend myself, to which I laughed and declined. She told me she was going to post our text conversation everywhere, I told her that was fine, and told her it wasn’t my first rodeo, toots. Toots. TOOTS. Granted, my flesh got in the way, but how is toots worse than the horrible things she called me. Toots is what sent her in to my shop about 3 hours later, screaming and recording.
I was in the back room grooming, we used to groom up front, but the owners would come back too soon and it would make it impossible to finish their dog, so we moved it into the back where the owners wouldn’t interrupt the groom. I hear screaming. It is impossible to hear anything up front in the back with the door closed. So I get up and look out the door and its this woman. Screaming with a phone out. Luckily my 4 year old was in the back. So I came out like a raging bull after my wife told her to leave over and over and took her phone and threw it out of the shop. I didn’t want my child seeing that. We don’t conduct ourselves that way, and that was the only way I could get her out of my shop.
Well it got recorded by the thrown phone. So the police had to arrest me. I was taken to the jail, and booked and let go. I never went into a cell. The police officer “arrested” her, but she had to go to the hospital for what turned out to be a jammed finger, which I didn’t even know doctors would diagnose that, but I saw the medical report. She was cited for disorderly conduct and I was citied for simple battery, which is any unwanted touching. I was not charged with anything. It was dropped. The police told her she came there looking for a fight and she needed to be the one going to jail. Everyone knows what happened that day including this woman. I wish I could say it ended there. But that was only the beginning. She flagged down people from the road and told them I beat her and her dog (which wasn’t even there) and I am the one that actually called the police. They finally arrive what seems like an hour and take me in and she goes to the hospital.
Immediately the video of me taking her phone was put up all over Facebook, TikTok, and Instagram. I had people calling from all over the country to tell me how bad of a person I am. I had one guy vividly explain explicitly what he wanted to do to me. People were coming to my shop while I wasn’t there and making their own videos. I had to have the police go to someone’s house in Sheboygan County, WS and tell a man to stop harassing us. In 18 days, she had made over 150 videos about me on her TikTok. It didn’t stop my business, but I was afraid every person was a setup from her. We stopped grooming doodles and matted dogs for a while just to try to calm down the craziness. I literally thought I was going to lose my mind over everything surrounding us. This went on for 2 months.
In the midst of the storm, we saw Jesus standing there. It was on a Sunday morning, June 27, that we were having a red hot fiery service, and during worship, I heard a war cry. I look over and its my wife. Then, I realized that she was dancing. She hadn’t been able to dance for 2 years because of MS. God touched her and completely healed her. I knew God was close. That changed everything.
We got a lawyer and because this woman is so unlearned, she made 4 defamation lawsuit cases possible with her incessant videos. Which I still have. And even though she dropped the charges against me, I can STILL sue her for 4 cases, but I didn’t feel like that is what the Lord would want.
After about 2 months of this, I finally had the opportunity to talk to her. I had never talked to her since the arrest and I only tried one time with maybe 2 comments on a post of the video to take up for myself. The mayor of the town my shop was in said that when something like that happens, you respond once and leave it alone. That’s from a business perspective, as he owns multiple car dealerships as well as being the mayor. While I was talking to her, I figured out the real reason for all of it. She’s broken. She’s a backslidden Apostolic and was on drugs for a long time. Everything she accused me of was really her own struggles. Well for the most part, or at least that’s what I think. She did accuse us of making child porn out of shop because my 4 year old was there. We are a family business, and family is at the business. Anyway, she is hurting, so she wants others to hurt. It’s either that or she needs to go to a very long mental hospital stay.
This is where the title comes in. There’s a slew of things I left out because I don’t want to play some of those things over again in my mind. But the main part was that she decided to make many posts about my past. I know everyone has a past and everyone goes through stuff, but of course I feel mine is worse. Our own problems are always bigger than anyone else’s.
There were many different videos made stating that I am a homosexual. Of course, they didn’t use those words, even though half of them are homosexuals. She said that I cheat on my wife with men (one of the lawsuits) when I definitely don’t. It really isn’t a secret to most, I came from that lifestyle, but I left that lifestyle behind.
I have always been absolutely ashamed and afraid of someone bringing it up, mostly because of my wife’s reputation, but because I hate who I was so much that it doesn’t take me to a good place. Anytime anyone has an issue with me, that is what they bring up. Even an ex-pastor I had. But I should be the one to tell people or discuss it with people, not some psycho who thinks they can get me. My wife knows everything and we have a very amazing relationship with open communication and love. People would killlllllll to have what we have. Maybe that’s why this woman did this, she is jealous.
But I have reached the point that if someone is going to treat me differently because of my past, you are not worth having in my life. That literally includes every person on this planet. I am insecure, but I am fighting through those insecurities and trying to do what God would have me to do. So with that said, I will be posting a video testimony soon. I am still trying to get the nerve to do it, because I hate seeing myself on a camera.
I thought all of the stuff with the crazy lady was over, until we moved towns because of it all. She has taken it upon herself to try to get us closed down, and tells everyone that on her TikTok. But she won’t be able to. Because what God has put together, let no man put asunder, including my marriage, my family, and my business. She is just a roaring lion. Lots of loud noises. The people who follow her, believe her, or anything like that, I want them as far away too.