Six years ago, I moved to Finland. People who have read my book are aware of the circumstances surrounding that move. People who have not read it, I will give you a summed up version:
As a teenager, I became involved with a man who turned into my worst nightmare. Domestic Violence was his game. I suffered miscarriages, broken bones, rape and was told by Logan Police that because he was my “spouse” he was permitted to do those things to me. I was unable to telephone my family as he locked the phone. This went on for six years. Then I had a son – a result of yet another rape. But I loved my son with every part of my body and soul. When he was two weeks old, he almost died at the hands of my ex. I took my son and I left. Eight weeks later, my son died of SIDS. At the same time, my car was vandalised many times and I had to try and cope with my son’s death. With my ex showing up at my door every day and every night, I moved.
My ex then hired a man to come to my home and attack me. At knifepoint, I was raped again. A kitten that had become part of my life was almost killed. Logan Police said there was nothing they could do and since I had waited two weeks and had showered before I rang. All of my focus was on my kitten which was healing at the vet and on the police who refused to help me once before. I ended up getting all of the evidence on my own, thanks to an mIRC conversation in which my attacker unwittingly private messaged me when I entered the #Australia channel. When he sent his picture to me, I froze, but then I decided to get every bit of information out of him, including his confession. I did this by telling him I was a close friend of the girl he raped, and that she has full blown AIDS, so “I hope you wore a condom.” Eventually, with all information gathered, the CIB took over and were able to arrest Andrew (the rapist) and Steve (my ex) for their crimes. I was told to vanish and change my name, since my ex issued a death threat directly to the police that if he ever sees me again, he will kill me.
I moved to Canberra and lived there for 14 years, barely talking to anybody outside. It was not until my Dad visited me that I realised I had some family there. At the Burns Club, I met my family and made a hand full of friends. Nine years after my ex was imprisoned, he found me in Canberra. To this day, I do not know how. I was attacked once in a public car park, he attempted to break into my home from removing screws from the windows, and eventually he waited in my back yard and he got me. I am not dead, but all three of my cats died that day at his hands. My head damage was such that I have a long time with no memory. It took almost one year before I even remembered that day. My hearing in my right ear was gone and the hearing in my left was at 10%.
My best friend Tommi (whom I met on the internet) lived in Finland and finally talked me into coming here (to Finland) to visit. I came in 2008 and I fell in love with this country. I returned in 2009 for another visit, and in 2010, I married my wonderful husband Marko.
With my credit card being in Australia, it was suggested firstly by my bank in Canberra to keep the account open so I can transfer funds to it if I needed to. I could then continue to pay my credit card. I then contacted PayPal and asked if I can add my Finnish bank account to my PayPal account. They told me to open a second PayPal account for my Finnish bank and just transfer funds between the two each month as I need to pay my credit card. I have done this easily for the past six years.
In November of 2014, I became profoundly Deaf. No longer was I able to use a telephone. I also quickly saw the difference in how Hearies and Deafies are treated. Finland have showed their discriminatory true colours towards Deaf people and I now have lawyers trying to rectify many of the rights that they have eliminated from my life since I lost my hearing.
Yesterday, PayPal blocked my withdrawal of funds to my bank account in Australia. They claim that I am not who I say I am and have told me that until I personally telephone them, my funds will stay blocked. Yes folks, PayPal are holding my money hostage, regardless of the paperwork I have provided to them to prove who I am. Emails have gone back and forwards, and they refuse to budge.
For six years, I have trusted PayPal. They gained more and more power over people’s money. They relied on the fact that they were trusted by the world. And now that I cannot use a telephone, they take away their services that I have come to rely on to pay my credit card. The error message I continue to receive is this:
These cretins are holding my money hostage. It worries me, because I also rely on PayPal to receive money from and pay my Publisher in London. PayPal have lost my trust and I am at a loss of what to do now, since it is the Australian PayPal office that needs to be contacted by me – an impossibility for Deaf people who live overseas.