Three More Years, Lord; Get Me Through Three More Years

We just found out Rock Star lost all of her scholarships due to me raking in a cool $44,000 two years ago. Apparently, when you move up from $25,000 to $44,000 you’re suddenly rich! I am probably considered a 2%-er at this level.

You know what’s even funnier than considering $44,000 to be rich? That $25,000, where we were still expected to come up with four grand for college, consisted mainly of five months of generous spousal support. During that time I was also court ordered to pay the mortgage, the utilities, and all the marital debt. My household bills were around $5000/month so my spousal support didn’t even cover everything once I included my car payment and insurance (for both of us, no less!). I actually earned around $3000 that year. I worked from October 31 through December 31st- a full two months. I wasn’t saving up money because I was too busy trying to pay all of our bills. Later, I was busy working two jobs at $10 and $11 an hour, barely making ends meet even with no rent or mortgage.

They’re basing my ability to pay almost $9000 for tuition this coming year on a job where I was scheduled to work only 36.5 hours a week and got paid $11/hour. The $44,000 comes mainly from the large lump sum he had to pay, seeing as how he declined to pay spousal or child support for a solid 10 months. That was the big increase because he sure as hell didn’t pay what he was supposed to the rest of the year until that final month. At that point he was severely behind in child support so what he did pay mainly went to child support. Not to mention that a big chunk of that back support went to pay my lawyer. I was in the middle of a contentious divorce where he was trying to feign PTSD to garner pity from the court so he wouldn’t have to pay much in support.

I can hardly wait to see what next year brings. And no, we can’t appeal the FAFSA. It’s too late. By the time they told her what she was being awarded it was too late.

Instead, she took out a student loan which my mom cosigned on. My credit is still in the toilet after what CF did to us. Right now she’s on target to graduate with about $50,000 in student loans seeing as how the only financial “aid” she qualifies for is more student loans.

I think my favorite part of this whole story is how absurd it is. My kid doesn’t qualify for any kind of aid (aside from loans, of course) because I have been deemed too rich and therefore not needy. Yet, I don’t make enough money, even when CF is paying full support, to live in a home of my own. Or, if I did I would be dead broke all of the time. I sure as hell couldn’t come up with almost nine grand to send my kid to school. I don’t have a bedroom to call my own. If not for my mother’s generosity my kids and I would be living in a homeless shelter. Hey- I wonder if people living in homeless shelters get financial aid? Nah, they probably figure those living in homeless shelters can afford to pay double tuition. They don’t have to worry about rent after all.

My taxable income last year, after I paid insurance premiums, put a tiny bit into my HSA account, and contributed my whopping 6% to my 401k was just over $19,000. But my daughter didn’t qualify for any aid for this year and she won’t qualify next year either because once again he paid me a lump sum for back support. Granted, I took almost half of that payment and sent it to my lawyer for legal fees, and then continued to pay legal fees for another few months, but what does that matter? I’m loaded!  Another point not in my favor? He actually paid support the entire year. The fact he’s only paid full spousal support one month out of this year is a moot point. The only thing that matters is that I am rich on paper. Super rich! I wouldn’t be a bit surprised to find out she no longer qualifies even for the fucking loans next year. We’re probably put into a special class of people who can easily afford a higher tuition rate.

This circles right back to my post, Always Something There To Remind Me, Part 1. It’s always something. It never ends. There is always some new twist, some new development where he comes along and fucks up our world yet again.

I am so tired of having to comfort a crying and devastated child. I’m so tired of being the one who has to tell a kid that her dreams are being dashed yet again. I’m tired of not getting my full support. I’m tired of having to chase him back to court over and over again.

My current mantra is, “Three more years! Just let me get through three more years!”

The Card Arrived

Hell froze over. Picasso’s dad sent him a birthday card. He got it on Saturday. Only five days after the fact. Better late than never, right?

In all seriousness I was happy for him. I wasn’t here when he actually received it but from what my mother said he wasn’t very impressed. He did cash the check, though.

The card was his typical, “I love you so much,” schtick. I try not to criticize. I know it’s preferable to him forgetting the child completely, but seriously? I’m supposed to give him credit because he managed to send a card to his only son on his birthday? Oh wait- he also gave him $100.

I swear to God, that man has a job again.

I took what limited funds I have and used it to take him out to dinner, buy him a small gift, and throw him a birthday party with his friends.

The mobster bought him a $100+ video game he’s been wanting (which doesn’t come out until September).

His sister bought him a pair of shorts and a shirt, took him out to lunch, and attempted to give him a driving lesson. “I could only stand 15 minutes. He’s horrible, Mom!” she told me afterwards.

His Nana bought him a birthday gift and went out to dinner with him, as did his aunt and uncle.

Sending a card and a check was the least his father could do. I refuse to blow sunshine up his ass and ooh and ah over the fact he managed to do the bare minimum.

I realize it may sound petty, or that I associate love with money, but this is a man who once had $5000 a month to blow on whatever he wanted. He had no bills. Just a whore and her mulligans. Not once did he slip his kids some extra money so they wouldn’t go without. He spent just as much on her kids at Christmas as he did his own. He never once offered to take them shopping for clothes or something frivolous. Every dime (and I do mean every dime- his bank account was down to $165 right before he had to finally start paying support) went to Harley the Whore and her kids.

I say again, however, that I am thankful he did not completely ignore the child. Plus, I think he managed to give both kids more for their birthdays this year than he ever has since our separation.

Hooray for Picasso. Hooray for both of my kids.

Picasso Turns 17

Did I ever tell you that CF wished Rock Star a happy birthday via Venmo? He didn’t send a card. Didn’t text her. Didn’t call her. Certainly didn’t arrange to come see her. I suppose I shouldn’t mock his efforts, though. He did at least wish his daughter a happy birthday and more importantly, at least to her, he sent her $100. Yet another reason why I think he has a job.

Today his son turns 17. Picasso doesn’t have a Venmo account. His father continues to sell the story that he doesn’t have his phone number, so texting or a phone call is out. That leaves sending a birthday card or coming up. I think we can all agree he won’t be making that trip. We are now down to our final option- sending a birthday card.

Sad to say there was no mail today. No acknowledgement of his son’s birthday. Perhaps it is still in transit. Perhaps. I wouldn’t get my hopes up.

For the life of me I don’t see how he justifies attempting to have a relationship with one child while conveniently ignoring the fact that he has another one. Out of all the horrible, selfish things that man has done ignoring his son is the thing that hurts me the most.

Fortunately for Picasso he has a kick ass mom. I love that boy with all of my heart, even when I’m tearing my hair out over his grades.

Also fortunately for Picasso he had a good day despite his father’s absence. I worked, of course, but his sister bought him a gift and on top of that took him out to lunch and even gave him a brief driving lesson. She said she could only endure 15 minutes. Hey- we’re up to 45 minutes. She said he told her he wants to get his license before school begins.

Tomorrow we are going out to dinner with the family and Wednesday night he’s having a get together with his friends at the bowling alley before heading back to the house for ice cream cake.

Now we wait to see whether or not his dad will choose to acknowledge him.

Another Take On Graduation Weekend

Obviously this was written before she went on her texting spree. I’m finding it hard to muster any sympathy for her now. I’ll write tomorrow about the second text she sent, soon after she sent the first text.

I wrote earlier about the mobster’s ex crying at the party. I don’t know anything about it except what I was told, and that’s not a lot. I never saw her crying. I’m also fully aware that the woman, much like CF, is a professional victim so I take her tears with a grain of salt.

I suppose that the mobster and I had a chance to switch places this weekend. Last year it was him feeling somewhat sorry for my ex because it shouldn’t have been that way. He shouldn’t have been sitting by himself, away from the rest of the family. We should have been together as husband and wife, celebrating with our extended family the graduation of our smart, beautiful, talented daughter. At least according to the mobster.

I get it. CF shouldn’t necessarily be pitied because he chose this, but the situation is sad. It shouldn’t have been like that. It’s a situation that should never have occurred. But because he made really bad choices there were consequences; the fact he made those bad choices is sad. The fallout to his kids is sad.

I think, too, that for most of the population who has a heart it can be hard to see a person suffer, even if they are suffering due to consequences levied because of their own behavior. I’m not a heartless person. The mobster is not a heartless person. Therefore, when we see a person suffering it is difficult to rejoice even when that person has brought the suffering upon themselves.

I don’t generally feel sorry for the mobster’s ex. She chose to drink. She chose to ignore the help offered at every turn. She chose to cheat. She chose to lie. She chose to walk out on the mobster and their kids. She helped turn their lives upside down in every way imaginable.

Yet I understand what the mobster felt when he attended Rock Star’s graduation. It’s a sad situation. It never had to be like that.

For all of the snarky, condescending things I could have said to her what I think I really would have said, given the chance would be this:

How could you give all this up? He loved you. He adored you. He never would have given up on you. I never would have been here if you had done what you were supposed to.

Do you have any idea how many times I have felt like I couldn’t compete with the memories the two of you made together? You were a family.

He did so many things for you. He bought you a new stove when you got out of rehab because you loved to cook. He bought you roses and painted cityscapes on snow banks.

He worshiped you. He didn’t want a divorce. He wanted you to get better and to be the woman he married so long ago. If you hadn’t made the boneheaded choices you made along the way there would have been no room for me. He defended you at all costs. He was willing to separate himself from his family for you. You always took precedence. He even valued your well-being over that of your children. You were always the first priority. He was a man who absolutely believed that you leave your family and become one with your spouse. He absolutely believed his wife came before anything. He lived that and you didn’t appreciate it one little bit. You took it for granted.

You had a beautiful home back in New Hampshire. You had a pool. You had four amazing kids that loved you. Your husband worked hard to support you and those kids so that you could stay at home and take care of them and homeschool them. Do you have any idea what a gift that was? Yet you threw it all away- first with the drinking, and then with the cheating. He even forgave you but you continued with both.

The ex in my situation provided for us financially but that’s about all I can say for him. He didn’t run around doing sweet, romantic things for me. He didn’t want to participate in family life. He had no interest in doing things with me as a couple. It was like pulling teeth to get him to do things with us. Surprise me with a new stove? Hell, show up unexpectedly with flowers? Never in a million years. He bought me some nice Christmas presents but he never went that extra mile, like the mobster did for you. I could barely get him to participate in date night.

If I had had your life I never would have messed it up the way you did. I would have been so grateful to have a man who loved me, who spoiled me, who put me first, and who wanted to be a partner and a family man. You had all of that and you threw it away like it was nothing.

I don’t hate you; I pity you. You had everything and you didn’t appreciate a bit of it. Now you’re finding out the grass isn’t greener and that must really suck. But I didn’t do that to you. You did it to yourself.

It should have been a happy day. T shouldn’t have had to deal with her mom showing up to her graduation drunk. She shouldn’t have to worry about conflict between her mom and her dad’s girlfriend. She shouldn’t have to hear her friends make jokes about me being the good mom because the reality is I’m not the mom. No matter how much she may come to love me, no matter how big of a role I may end up playing in her life, I am not her mom and that is a loss she will always feel. That beautiful young woman deserves a mother who is fully present and can participate in her life with her, not show up on the outskirts of it.

Her sons shouldn’t dread having to go outside to talk to her. For the most part they stayed away from her. Their girlfriends or wives shouldn’t dread seeing her, or completely dislike her because of her odious behavior. Yet that is a reality. She has failed all of them in astounding ways.

And you know what? It makes me sad. It makes the mobster sad. He never wanted any of this. He wanted to raise his kids in a two parent family and grow old with the woman he married. It’s the difference between what should have been and what is. He tells me he is so much happier and he should have divorced her sooner; yet, he wishes it didn’t have to be that way. In a perfect world both of our spouses would have done right by us, and right by our children. We’d be happily married to the people we chose over twenty years ago. Unfortunately, that’s not our reality.

The mobster’s reality is that his wife walked out and she walked away from her kids and any responsibility she might have had. On one hand she was bawling and carrying on; on the other hand she was walking around the place like she owned it. She was in many respects an outcast at her own daughter’s party while I was busy setting up and preparing food. Yet, she felt entitled to bring her boyfriend, the man she was fucking behind her husband’s back, to the party the mobster was throwing and paying for. Her kids reluctantly went outside to talk to her. His family awkwardly made conversation with her. The day of the breakfast she sat outside with no one unless her sister was with her. She had to deal with seeing me walking around her old home, fixing myself a cup of coffee and playing hostess. She had to deal with the knowledge that her sister and brother-in-law were spending the night in the same house as the mobster and I were. None of this would have been palatable to me if the roles were reversed. So I have a bit of sympathy for her in that regard. However, I also know she was sending the mobster messages telling him she hoped he went to hell the night before the party. I know she loves to play the victim, just like my ex. I know she’s manipulative and lies. Quite honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if none of this bothers her. Oh, I can believe it bothers her she’s not the center of attention, and that her kids aren’t fawning over her. But I don’t think she really cares about everything she lost. If the mobster were still mourning her and begging her to come back… if her kids were still begging her for attention… if everyone had made all over her and acted like they were so happy to see her… she wouldn’t have shed a tear. She wouldn’t have given a single thought to everything she discarded.

If I’m completely honest I’m pissed that she threw this all away so easily. Perhaps she simply figured that he would always be there. He would endure endless amounts of her shit to keep her in his life. I don’t know. What I do know is she got to live the life I always wanted. She got the four kids I wanted and was denied. She had someone who loved her, who put her first, and who always defended her no matter what. CF didn’t do that. He threw me under the bus every chance he got. She had someone who wanted to do things with her and do things as a family. Again, CF didn’t do that. It was rare. The mobster gave up a seven figure profit sharing plan and a lot of money in order to be there for his kids. To this day they are his pride and joy and he doesn’t regret giving that up one little bit (although he does say it would be nice to have that profit sharing right about now).

I also know she brought all this on herself when she walked out. In the end, I guess I don’t feel all that bad for her. I mean, I do when I think about it from my perspective. Her kids want nothing to do with her. She’s lost the most amazing man. But then I remind myself she doesn’t think the way I think. What’s important to me or to the mobster, isn’t what’s important to her. She made her choices and she gets to live with them. As Justin Timberlake would say, “Cry me a river.”

Being a Rule Follower

I am a rule follower. Some of my friends tease me about that. If a sign says, “No one admitted beyond this point,” I don’t go beyond that point. If they say, “No food or drink,” I don’t bring any food or drink. It’s not that I don’t have a rebellious streak. It’s simply that I always get caught so I figure it’s easier to just follow the damn rules.

I remember one time in college a friend was talking about scamming the people at food court. He bought a chicken sandwich and told the cashier it was a hamburger, which was cheaper. Well, yours truly tried that a day or so later, and I got caught. Somehow the cashier knew it was chicken and not beef. Lesson learned. I follow the rules.

Back in January when I found out the state of Indiana would go after CF for the full $1800/month in arrears (so really $900 for each month he had “self-modified”) I debated making him an offer instead of going after the full amount. I felt bad letting the state go after him for the additional $900 when I felt like I was really only entitled to the additional $200 or so. But I didn’t. I figured I would let the chips fall where they may. Sucks to be him and all that. It was his responsibility to get it modified after all.

I should have made him a damn offer because it’s all coming back to bite me in the ass, just like I feared it would. I even said I don’t gloat because it never works out for me.

The caseworker contacted me last week. After talking to her supervisor she said it might be possible that Kentucky would enforce the spousal support order but there were no guarantees. She also said that more than likely the judge in Kentucky would use his current salary instead of the higher wages imputed by the Virginia judge. It was possible the judge would impute, but not guaranteed. She didn’t sound like it would even be likely.

End result? The rule follower is going to get fucked up the ass once again and the goddamn cousin fucking piece of shit gets to do whatever the fuck he wants to do with no consequences.

I told the caseworker I was withdrawing my case. I am NOT going to go through the hassle of getting him imputed so that I can actually save that asshole money! I didn’t seek a fucking modification for his benefit. According to the support calculator he will end up paying me $200 less than what he is voluntarily paying me now with his self-modified support. It’s about $400 less than what he is supposed to be paying.

In the end, if I go along with the caseworker I will actually owe him about $1400, or two month’s worth of child support. I am not assured of getting spousal support, which is 75% of what he owes me. And I am not even guaranteed arrears for the months he refused to get the order modified.

Now I’m back to relying on my lawyer to get this damn thing done. More than likely he will refuse to sign the new papers because he doesn’t have a job, as far as I know.

I will continue to be at his mercy for the next fifteen years. He gets to continue to pay spousal support whenever he wants. He gets to continue to pay child support whenever he wants and he gets to cut it off whenever he wants as well. Once again that fucking asshole gets to calculate child support down to the fucking half hour when his son graduates.

I was going to conclude this rant with questions of why couldn’t I have been a widow, but that wouldn’t have been nice. It would have been true, but it wouldn’t have been nice. Instead I’m going to once again tell myself that I have choices. None of them are palatable but I have choices. I merely have to be content letting him get away with murder. And that pisses me the fuck off!

Seriously. He cuts child support in half, refuses to get it modified, tells me if I want it I’m going to have to force him and pay for it, and in the end, he gets away with all of it.

My lawyer will take probably another six months to get anything before him. I’ve already lost money yet again because I’ve had two raises (small raises- less than $1/hour combined) since the last time she calculated the child support. He’s lost his job, supposedly not due to his own incompetence, which makes things a little tricky. Plus, I can’t really hold him in contempt because he is doing as I asked and paying something, even if not the entire amount.

It’s not like the last time where he just said, “I lost my job. I won’t be sending you anymore money.” He’s paying his self-modified child support. He’s even sending additional money for spousal support.

The state of Indiana, who was supposed to hand his ass to him, is basically going to be cutting him a huge break because they’re turning it over to Kentucky. Kentucky will more than likely say, “Oh, you poor thing. The mean old judge in Virginia imputed you. We’re going to only count what you actually make. You shouldn’t be forced to get a comparable job to support your kids. True love and fucking your cousin is so much more important!” And that’s with the supposition that they will use his former salary and not use $0 since he’s no longer got a damn job!

So I’m back to my lawyer in Virginia, taking forever while she charges me $300/hour to do so.

Of course, I could always say, “Fine. Pay me whatever you deem acceptable, Cousinfucker.” Then I’m only out the original amount of money I paid my attorney to get this shit modified. Is approximately $185 more per month really worth it? Hell, at this point it could be even less. It undoubtedly is.

Then he wins. I hate it when he wins. I feel like this entire time he’s been winning. I know; I know. My kids love me. I’m the real winner. But that only means something if he lost something he actually cared about. He doesn’t care about his kids. He wouldn’t have done what he did if he cared about his kids. He doesn’t value the same types of things that normal people do. So, he’s won.

He won the entire time leading up to our temporary support orders. Blew through more than $30k and never had to account for a penny. At least not a penny I saw. It all got wrapped up in the settlement. Speaking of which, he won in the settlement. After being told that since the money I took and used to support us was spent on the household I wouldn’t have to account for it, I had to account for it. He took on 60% of the marital debt which he never plans on actually paying, but it sure did cut him a break on what he had to pay out. He won after the divorce as well. He has absolutely no responsibilities as far as our kids go. He still is able to make good money. His lifestyle hasn’t changed a bit. He lives in his own home. He’s remarried. He’s got two replacement kids.

I, on the other hand, live with my mom. I have all the responsibilities of our kids. My lifestyle has changed dramatically. I will never be allowed to remarry unless I would like to be completely dependent upon another man because I make shit money and cannot support myself without the child and spousal support he’s ordered to pay me.

It’s times like these I have to tell myself to let it all go. It is what it is. No use in tilting against windmills, right? That in itself is a giant shit sandwich I am forced to swallow. People like them never suffer the consequences.

Me? I deal with the consequences every single day. I’d love to know when it will finally be my turn.

Into the Bowels of Hell, The Recap, Part 3

We’re up to the fifth and final hurdle. This ended up being a new one for me. I never anticipated having breakfast with her.

Fifth hurdle- breakfast the day after the party. Oh, Jesus, help me! Her sister apologized profusely the night before. She (the sister) had wanted to get together with her niece and nephews for breakfast because they were going to be taking off the next day. BSC heard them making plans and invited herself on over for breakfast with them.

I have to admit, for a small window of time I was kinda pissed at the mobster that he didn’t text her and flat out tell her not to come. You are not invited! You are not welcome. Stay away.

I got over it. I did not, however, make breakfast. Yeah, no. I’m not cooking breakfast for that woman. Instead, Mobster and his brother-in-law made breakfast.

It turned out to be a very interesting morning. I’m glad it happened because I learned a lot.

When I first came out of the bedroom BSC was sitting at the table with her sister. A’s girlfriend asked me how I was and I replied, “Fabulous,” and went about my business of grabbing a cup and making my coffee.

Thankfully, she spent most of her time outside with her sister. Hooray! I spent it inside (in the air conditioning) with the sons’ wife and girlfriends. Very interesting stuff.

I’m going to call the oldest son’s girlfriend Little Miss Sunshine, because that girl is so sweet and loving. I’m going to call the middle son’s wife CeeCee, because his first name begins with a C and her first name begins with a C, making her C’s C. The youngest son’s girlfriend I will refer to as The Dog Lover. Honestly, all three of these young women are dog lovers, but the other two have other nicknames from me. Now for the stories.

Story #1- A, the oldest, was asking Little Miss Sunshine what his mother was doing here. She told him she had no idea. I raised my hand and said I knew. I asked him if he wanted me tell him, which he did. So, I told him about her overhearing her sister when she was making plans for breakfast with them and her inviting herself over for that. He shook his head in amazement.

At another point C had to go outside and say hello to her. CeeCee was like, “Better him than me.”

It’s sad when your kids feel that way about you. Which brings us to Story #2.

I have to say I really enjoyed spending time with C and CeeCee this time around. Not that I didn’t enjoy it before. This time it felt more authentic, I guess. I learned a lot more. I feel like more barriers were down. I think CeeCee is just a much more reserved person. I think both her and The Dog Lover are a bit reserved, unlike Little Miss Sunshine who is bubbly and overflows with sweetness and kindness.

Anyway, CeeCee began talking about BSC. I forget what led to it, but basically she has no tolerance for her. She hates the way she manipulates her kids, especially C. As she put it, “She’s always the victim.” Exactly! That’s what we’ve been saying! Not that we’ve ever said that out loud to the kids, of course. She went on to say that it would be nice if she could take a step back and look at what she’s done to her kids, and see that maybe the reason her kids don’t want to have a whole lot to do with her has to do with her own behavior. She gave the example of BSC texting C late at night to tell him she got kicked out of the house and she was living in the woods. She said he would get upset and worried about her while CeeCee tries to remind him that it’s all lies.

I am a bit proud of this girl because she knows in her early twenties something that a lot of people don’t figure out until their forties or fifties. You can’t have a relationship with a toxic person. She said that. She even mentioned that she’s not sure she would even want BSC around her children, and cited that as a major reason they’re not sure they want kids.

At one point CeeCee said that BSC doesn’t like her and never has. She talked about how frustrating it was that BSC didn’t come to her bridal shower or anything else having to do with the wedding, but then showed up at the wedding, drinking, dancing, whooping it up and acting like nothing was wrong. Preach it, girl!

I took that opportunity to tell her that yes, I did actually have Garth Brooks’ concert tickets, but once I found out she was going to be there I decided not to come, or at least that had been a huge part of my thinking the entire time. I flat out told her I was worried that she would have shown her ass and I didn’t want them to have to worry about that on their big day. She agreed with me and said that’s probably exactly what would have happened. She also said BSC didn’t bother to show up until right before the wedding began.

I think this may have led into Little Miss Sunshine telling her that BSC had glommed onto her at the wedding and was trash talking her and A’s ex-wife. Seriously, who does that? You don’t go to a wedding and trash talk the bride! You may not care for the bride or groom, but you don’t pick their wedding reception as a chance to vent your frustrations to their other guests!

In addition to telling Little Miss Sunshine how much she disliked V and CeeCee and that Little Miss Sunshine was the only good girl in the family, she also took that opportunity to steal sips out of her drink. Like, she would reach over, take a sip, and put it back in front of her.

When BSC finally decided to leave the house and head back to her own place she came inside to say goodbye. We were sitting and standing around the table. I think C was there. A. Little Miss Sunshine. CeeCee was sitting on the end. I was beside her. Rock Star beside me. I think maybe the brother-in-law was next to her. Possibly the grandson. L was sitting slightly behind us, on the barstool and The Dog Lover was sitting next to him.

She hugs C. Hugs A. Hugs Little Miss Sunshine and makes a big deal of saying goodbye to “baby girl” and telling her to keep in contact and be sure to send those pictures of the grandson. She turns around, completely ignoring CeeCee, myself, and Rock Star. Pats L on his cheek before giving him a hug. Ignores The Dog Lover. Hugs the grandson and the brother-in-law and then heads out. Wow!

Come to think of it, after she left I looked at Little Miss Sunshine and remarked, “You must be something special. She didn’t say bye to CeeCee or me!” That may have been when she launched into her story about the wedding and all the trash talk.

Either way, this is your daughter-in-law. Your son has chosen to marry her. I’m not saying you have to hug her and love on her and act like you think she’s the best thing ever. But is it asking too much to say goodbye, maybe even a, “Nice to see you again,” regardless of whether or not it’s a lie? The brass balls on this woman is astounding.

When I look back on this weekend I will be able to say that it was a great weekend, despite BSC’s presence. For the most part we stayed away from each other. When we had to be close by, even passing right by one another, we didn’t look at each other and we didn’t speak.

His kids were amazing about accepting Rock Star into the fold. She was frequently called out to be on a team for volleyball. At one point she told me, “God, I always said I wanted a big brother and now I’ve got 3.” She’s not real sure about that.

The night after graduation we went over to C’s, as I mentioned, and we had a fantastic time. I know the mobster just enjoyed having all of his kids together. All his baby birds in one nest.

Saturday was spent at the house, enjoying the graduation party.

Sunday after the disastrous breakfast the “kids” all played volleyball, then we (C, CeeCee, A, Little Miss Sunshine, the grandson, Rock Star, Mobster, and I) went to grab snow cones. The mobster and I left the snow cone shack to meet his brother and sister-in-law at a winery here in town. My daughter left to go put gas in the car and buy herself a new pair of swim bottoms. The last remaining members went to play pinball and arcade games, although CeeCee went home to shower and do some homework. T, who didn’t go with us to get a snow cone, met her two brothers at the arcade. Then we all met up for Mexican food around 5:30.

I heard some incredibly funny stories about their childhood while we were there. The evening could be summed up as a lot of laughter.

We all went over to C and CeeCee’s house after dinner. They played yard games and volleyball. There was some more drinking, although not a lot.

For me, I felt like I really connected with his kids this weekend. A was very warm and welcoming. He is his father’s mini me. The mobster always said it was C, and while C never seems to meet a stranger much like his father, A is a carbon copy. Holy moly!

I felt very accepted and welcomed by C, and this was the most I have ever spent talking to CeeCee. She’s a very sweet girl. She loves C very much and I know she hates what he’s gone through. She’s a good wife. Very loyal to him. I’m sorry I missed their wedding and I wish I could have been there, although I absolutely know it was the best decision.

Monday morning A and Little Miss Sunshine were up around 5:30 to get the car packed and get back on the road. I got up with the mobster to send them off. I got hugs from all three of them, which was nice. A said, “I’m sure we’ll be seeing you again sometime soon,” which was also nice.

To sum up, there was a little drama but it was definitely outweighed by the goodness of the weekend. As always I bow to the mobster. He is the smartest man alive.

 

Into the Bowels of Hell, The Recap, Part 2

I’ve crossed the first three hurdles. They ended up being surprisingly easy. This next one, though… it was a little tougher. Little more drama. I took my first drink (punch spiked with vodka) around 1 and kept on drinking until late that night. Thankfully, it was spread out over 8-10 hours so I never even got buzzed, despite having 3 drinks in hand at one point in the afternoon!

Fourth hurdle- the graduation party. Sweet J nailed it. She absolutely, positively did show up. She was there all freaking day! The party started at 1 and I don’t think she left until 6 or 7. It might have been later. So much for not being able to bear seeing the mobster with me, huh?

Oh, and for those who doubt she’s batshit crazy and I’m just interpreting things from my point of view? She’s batshit crazy. 11:00 the night before the party she texts the mobster, “I hope you go to hell!” Who does that?

To her credit though she did bring 16 hotdogs and 2 packages of hot dog buns. Plus a watermelon. And maybe some potato salad, but I’m not sure.

Even better, at the graduation she tells one of his sisters that she dislikes the mobster immensely, but then shut her pie hole when her sister came up. Can’t let anyone see that she’s the instigator, of course.

Thankfully, her sister had already told Mobster that she recognized BSC always played the victim. It’s always someone doing something to her. It’s never her fault. In fact, later that evening after she went over to see where she was living they went by the site of her accident last year. She pointed it out and was laughing about it.

On top of all of that, according to various sources she spent a great deal of the party crying. Someone told the mobster the day of the party his ex was in the house crying and two days later someone else told me she had been bawling and carrying on pretty much the entire party.

Okay, the person who told me was the mobster’s mother. And the story I heard was that for some reason BSC yelled, “You don’t love me!” to her and then apologized for her behavior as she was leaving. Mobster’s mom said she was surprised because BSC had never raised her voice to her like that before.

There’s a very good chance she was drinking, though. She and the boyfriend’s sister kept going up to the car that was parked behind the house.

I have no idea what she was crying about and so far I have yet to hear a good explanation from anyone who might have been near her.

She is the one that was cheating. She is the one who left. She is the one who moved straight in with her boyfriend. You would think with all her crying and poor little me attitude that I was the other woman who had moved in on her husband while she was none the wiser and thought they had a blissfully happy marriage. Nope, not how it played out.

One of the mobster’s sisters swears she’s unhappy with her life and wants to come back to him and that’s why she’s acting like this.

I think she simply can’t believe he moved on. He was supposed to always stick around and be waiting, and he didn’t. She pushed him too far this last time and he was done.

But what would I know? We stayed in separate areas the entire time. Well, almost the entire time. At one point I was outside underneath a canopy with Mobster’s brother-in-law (not the one married to BSC’s sister) and a few other people. Mobster was playing, “Don’t Go Away Mad (Just Go Away)” by Motley Crue, and I was singing along. I was sitting in this comfy adirondack chair, my eyes closed, drink in hand. Someone called out to T and asked her to come over to where we were. I am singing the chorus: Girl, don’t go away mad. Girl, just go away. I happen to open my eyes, thinking T had come over, and who should appear but BSC. Oops!

I remained composed. It wasn’t intentional but it sure as hell was funny. The brother-in-law was looking at me like, “Oh shit!” Eh. She went away. Just like the song suggested.

Most of the time though if she was outside we were inside. Or, she was underneath a tent and Rock Star and I were in the garage.

The same brother-in-law who ended up enjoying my concert later, sat with me in the garage while we ate and asked me if it was awkward. I told him it was okay. He then went on to say she was walking around like she still owned the place. I wouldn’t know because I didn’t pay much attention to her.

I think when she first arrived she did come into the house with her boyfriend’s sister. We would just walk by one another. Never said a word to each other. His sister was plenty nice though and offered to help.

At one point Mobster and I drove up to his parents’ house because his son had inadvertently taken T’s phone with him. He agreed to turn around and drop it off at his grandparents’ house and Mobster would go pick it up.

When we came back we parked up behind the house. “That looks like David’s truck,” he says to me as we were walking back to the house. “It wasn’t here earlier.”

“Surely she wouldn’t attempt to bring him to this party,” I told him. I was thinking there was no way their balls were that big.

Alas, I was wrong and Monica nailed it. I’m not sure how we got separated but I walked into the house and saw him standing with her on the enclosed porch. I’m pretty sure my eyes got wide and I was thinking, “Oh shit! Mobster is going to lose his mind.”

I do remember walking into the house and preparing the Jell-O shots (not alcoholic; they’re actually pudding and Jell-O topped with Cool Whip.) and when his sister-in-law came up I said he was going to be pissed and then asked what the fuck was wrong with some people.

I shouldn’t have worried though because the mobster handled it like a champ. I think she wanted the drama and he didn’t give it to her. He ignored it all (aside from passive aggressively playing music). We didn’t even do grand gestures of affection in front of her.

At one point I know we were outside sweating our asses off while she and her boyfriend enjoyed the air conditioning inside.

There is a juvenile, petty side of me that would have loved to have seen the boyfriend escorted off the property, or for the mobster and I to have been kissing and hugging and making a scene. But, as the mobster kept saying, “It’s T’s party. It’s all about her today. I don’t want to ruin her party.” And he was correct.

Had we done either of those things it would have been playing into BSC’s hands. We would be seen as the unstable ones, the unreasonable ones, while she comes off looking like the victim. Sometimes you’ve gotta eat a little bit of shit, I guess. Really, it wasn’t that difficult. We stayed away from them. They stayed away from us. Although, there was a point where I told him I was going to go up to the two of them and ask them if they wanted to play cornhole. I didn’t.

Three other small things: #1- at the beginning of the party T came up to the mobster and I and put her arms around us both. She said thank you for her party. I told her she was welcome but that it was all her dad’s doing. Just between us, yes, I helped decorate but he bought all the decorations. I made Scotcheroos, beer bread, taco dip and Jell-O shots, which she requested, but he bought the hotdogs, the hamburgers, the buns, and the 6 ft. sub. Her grandmother brought potato salad and really cute sweet treats. T’s sister-in-law brought a pasta salad. We all pitched in a little to help him out but he did the majority of the work.

The mobster did mention he wondered if she did that to piss her mom off. I have no idea. I prefer to think it was genuine and that she was really grateful for the awesome party her dad put together and that I helped with.

#2- Later in the afternoon I was passing out the Jell-O shots when one of T’s friends piped up with, “Wow- Sam’s the good mom!” Disclaimer: This happened in the house in the living room. Mom was safely outside.

To be honest I was a little taken back. More like a deer in headlights. Oh shit! What do you say to that? All of her friends know the story but I wasn’t expecting that. I know there was a time when she had a few friends over and her mom was also over getting something and they all made it a point to say hello very loudly to me. I probably didn’t handle it the best way. I probably should have said, “Well, yes, I am a good mom, but that’s because I’m a good mom to my own two kids.” I guess that could have made things really awkward though. Instead I laughed it off.

His oldest son, the one I had just met the day before, was there in the living room, playing video games with the other kids, and he pretty much laughed it off as well and told her friend, “You know, in “The Good Mother” the mother actually wasn’t good so that’s not really the compliment you think it is.”

Then we both laughed about it and I made a lame joke about being evil.

#3- As I mentioned a moment ago I made beer bread. Turns out C is a huge fan. I’ve written before how I sometimes feel like some of Mobster’s kids don’t like me. This time though C looks at me and asks, “What kind of bread is that?” I told him it was beer bread. I was thinking he was going to tell me he was allergic or something and run to spit it out, but instead he got a big grin on his face and said, “I love beer bread. You’re the best!”

Yes! Success! Sam came. She baked. She conquered!

Into the Bowels of Hell, The Recap, Part 1

First, the good news. I survived! That’s awesome, isn’t it? Did you doubt me? I’m a plucky little thing.

Second, there is so much to recap that I’m going to have to do this in three parts, or you’ll be here reading for a good 30 minutes.

To summarize, when I last left off I had five hurdles to navigate. #1- meeting the oldest son, his girlfriend, and the grandson, #2- meeting the sister and brother-in-law, #3- meeting the son placed for adoption, #4- the graduation, and #5- the party.

As it turns out the adopted son did not attend. Something about he doesn’t have a license so he was going to fly but then nobody heard from him. Regardless, I didn’t meet the son placed for adoption.

Funnily enough I still ended up with five fucking hurdles. I got blindsided with a breakfast at the house with her on Sunday. Fun, fun!

Are you ready?

First hurdle to navigate- meeting the oldest son. He and his girlfriend were delightful. If they hated me they are very good at covering it. I jest. We had a great weekend together. His girlfriend is just the sweetest thing ever! She immediately went to hug me and then stopped herself. “Is it okay if I hug you?” she asked. Of course I said yes.

I think it was later that night someone was talking about what he should buy his girlfriend. I piped in with, “You could buy her a hot tub.” Now, there was a purpose behind this. It wasn’t as random as it sounds in this post, but I can’t remember what we were talking about. He replied, “I might be able to do that. It’s better than what most people tell me I should buy her. They’re always telling me I should buy her a ring.” Immediately I reply, “Well, you should do that, too.” This brings me to the point of this whole paragraph. He says, “Wait a minute! You’re supposed to be on my side!”

I thought that was cute. It was like we were a team already.

Second hurdle- meeting the sister and brother-in-law. What can I say? The mobster is the smartest man in the world. He’s getting a bit cocky with it now because this last time I admitted it he asked me, “So when are you finally going to start listening to me?”

They couldn’t have been nicer and more welcoming. His brother-in-law, upon meeting me, asked, “Is this Facebook Sam?” Yes, yes it is.

Later that night, after the graduation, he put his arm around me, leaned down and told me it was nice to see the mobster smiling again.

Her sister was super helpful the day of the party. She helped decorate and was always asking if there was something she could do.

They taught us how to play new board games, invited us both up to New Hampshire, and gave us hugs when they left.

They were both fantastic. It didn’t feel awkward at all.

Third hurdle- graduation. She showed up. Several people, including her sister, said she either looked or sounded drunk.

Thankfully we didn’t sit together. There were over 20 of us there for T’s graduation and we didn’t even all sit together. It was so hot and humid. Of course it was outside, which worked well for the graduates as far as not having to limit the number of people they could have. It was hell for the audience, though.

She was hugging on all of the mobster’s family. So great to see them all, I’m sure.

At one point her sister was waving to someone and it caught my eye. I looked up and happened to lock eyes with BSC for a moment. That was uncomfortable.

After the graduation we all went out onto the field to take pictures with the graduate. Naturally, BSC was close by, hugging people, and just generally acting like Mother of the Year.

We ignored each other, which suited me fine. T came up to me and told me she wanted to get a picture with me. She had already taken one with Rock Star.

The mobster’s family all came up and said hello to me and made sure to keep me included.

After the graduation we bought pizzas and went over to C’s house. There was eating and drinking and a bonfire. She was not invited. We were out until after midnight. It was worth it though. I know the mobster enjoyed being around all of his kids.

To be continued…

Always Something There To Remind Me, Part 1

Jennifer Ball hit it out of the park last month with her blog post, Haunted (by) Houses. If you haven’t read her blog you should.

The inspiration for this post? Her desire to buy a home of her own and the realization that she probably never would be able to because of what her ex did to her when he left.

You think CF is bad? I think her ex has him beat. He left her with four kids and “a mountain of debt” for his secretary. They are now married with two children of their own. While he does on occasion see his children it’s at their discretion and as Jenny has noted, “They don’t have much time for someone who doesn’t have much time for them.”

Like CF, her ex had some difficulties with paying support. Apparently it’s hard deciding which Audi to buy, getting your pool fixed, AND paying support. Something had to go! Not only did he somehow manage to get out of paying child and spousal support for quite some time, when she finally got awarded child support again that motherfucker somehow managed to make it tax exempt for him which meant she had to pay taxes on it.

Like me she lost her home to foreclosure. Unlike me she did not have a mother to turn to. She’s worked three and four jobs at a time, shopped at the food bank, declared bankruptcy, and has lived in poverty, or pretty close to it, since her divorce. As she puts it:

Every time I get a little bit tucked away into savings there is something that needs to be taken care of: one of our ancient cars breaks down, a tooth cracks, someone’s tuition is due, we need heat in the winter, etc.

Her ex? He and the OW turned new wife bought or built a million dollar home shortly before his youngest child with Jenny turned 18 and aged out of child support. Some guy, huh? If it’s possible I think I hate him more than I hate CF.

She writes:

This is what I want to tell people who insist that I’m bitter. Who tell me to get over it, who shake their heads and say, “I can’t believe you still think about this.” Who look at my ex, in his million dollar house, livin’ the dream and then at me, livin’ the nightmare of financial insecurity and terror over things like, “where will I live when our sweet landlord gets smart and decides to sell?” and see nothing unfair or unjust.

“Jenny, he’s moved on. Why can’t you?”

Because every.single.day there is a reminder. Some days I’m SO GOOD at ignoring them. I line up my blessings and kiss them on the forehead as I count them. I laugh and curl up with the good fortune I do have and the reminders slink away.

But the houses. Shit. The houses, they won’t be ignored (I wonder if they sound like Glenn Close). They are structures built of possibilities and dreams. They are carnies calling out to me as I try my hardest to just keep walking, eyes focused on the sidewalk, the sky, anything but these homes. “Step right up! Feast your eyes on this little beaut! Too bad you can’t qualify for a gd thing, Jenny! This coulda been yours if only you’d made some better life choices! If only you’d ignored that tall asshole singing along to REM at the bar that night!” (it was The End of the World As We Know It, hahaha) (cry)

I lost the home my dad bought and remodeled with his own two hands thanks to my ex husband’s fuckery. A home that welcomed our new babies, that was framed with plants and trees we put into the ground with love, that kept us safe and warm through seasons of cold and rain. A home I had planned on living in for the rest of my life. Gone, because some dude couldn’t keep his dick in his pants.

God, I get it, Jenny. I really do.

“He’s moved on and you should too,”? Really? These helpful “friends” don’t seem to grasp that subtle difference where our exes had their new lives all planned out before we ever got wind that anything was wrong with the old life.

Jenny and I were both stay at home moms. Our husbands both made decent money. So when they decided to “move on” it was quite easy for them. They weren’t suddenly going to wonder where the hell they were going to live. With the whore, of course! They didn’t have to worry about those pesky kids. They were our responsibility. We’d figure something out. Two, three, four jobs- whatever it takes.

Neither of our exes have dealt with the utter destruction we’ve been forced to face. They had jobs, new partners, new kids, new homes. Everything nice and new and shiny.

Their lives have gone on with very few missteps and when one occurred they’ve both managed to quickly turn it around for themselves.

It’s not so easy when you’re the dumped spouse, forced into an unforgiving workforce after many years of raising your kids.

CF had a twenty year head start on me when it came to being financially independent. I spent those twenty years following him around the country and raising his children. If someone offered me a job paying $100,000 like he was offered I would take it in a heartbeat (the usual disclaimers of no illegal activity and no killing or torturing animals apply). The reality is I’m a middle aged woman with very little recent job history and a useless, outdated degree. I can give myself pep talks about increasing my pay almost $3 more per hour in the two years that I’ve been with the bank, but $11/hour wasn’t enough to live on, much less support two kids, and $13.77/hour isn’t much better.

Move on? Oh, I think I have. But “stop thinking about all of that,”? Yeah, no. I’m not sure that will ever happen. I think it’s very easy for the person who was cheating to not look back. But in my case, and in Jenny’s case, our lives as we knew them were destroyed.

I lost my home. I had to go back to work. My household income plummeted. I farm out childcare duties because I can’t do them.

I don’t see myself ever being able to afford a home of my own. I will probably work until the day that I die, and I don’t see my household income increasing much from what it is now. I guess the good news is if I work until I’m 75 and get those huge 50 cent a year raises by the time I retire I’ll be making over $50,000. Of course, by then $50,000 will be equivalent to $35,000 today.

One day I was buying all new furniture for my new house and putting a $57,000 pool in my backyard. The next day I’m living off of savings and the day after that I’m forced out of my home, out of the state, and working two jobs.

CF’s new life? As my lawyer put it so brilliantly in court: You used to live in a nice big 4 bedroom, 2 bathroom home. You still live in a 4 bedroom, 2 bathroom home. You had a wife that cooked your meals and did your laundry. Now you’ve got someone else to cook your meals and do your laundry. You had 2 kids. You still have 2 kids. Not your two kids, but two kids nonetheless.

Nothing’s changed for him. What does he need to get over? What does Jenny’s ex husband need to get over? The fact they both cheated on their loyal wives or that they discarded their own flesh and blood? I don’t think it bothers them. They are far too entitled to ever feel guilt.

Both of them stepped right into ready made lives that were no different (although they might argue they’re so much better now) than the ones they had before. They just switched out their wife appliance.

I’m as over that piece of shit I married as a person can be. The thought of him touching me makes me physically ill. I realize he was a total mental drain. Hell, I was recording suicide messages for my loved ones after they found my body only four months before finding out about Harley the Whore. I’m completely over him. Don’t want him back. Not a bit jealous that she’s got him and I don’t.

She didn’t just take my husband, though. She took my life. She took my security and that of my children. She took our home from us and then took their mother away from them. I used to do everything for them. I used to be there for them. Anything that needed to be done, I did. Now that’s no longer true. I just can’t do it anymore. I don’t have the time or the money.

The two of them took everything that used to mean something to me and destroyed it. I enjoyed my life in Utah, and I was beginning to enjoy my life in Virginia, but those motherfuckers took that from me.

They took my identity, that of a mom, and crushed it, while they retained their own identities (those cousinfucking baboons). My life has completely changed and it’s a change that was forced upon me. It was not something I sought out.

The two of them irreparably damaged me. Maybe if I had been younger. Maybe if we had had more assets. Maybe if I had always worked and had an excellent career myself. Maybe then the damage wouldn’t have been so great.

I will adjust. I will acclimate. I will lower my expectations. I will endure. But it will never be okay and I will NEVER get over what those two assholes did to me or how much they took from me.

That sounds dark and angry, doesn’t it? I don’t mean to imply that there are no charms to this new life I’m leading. If not for him firebombing my life I would have never met the mobster. He is a gem; I have a much better relationship now. It has definitely shown me what was missing in my marriage and how dysfunctional both CF and the relationship were. I cannot stress how thankful I am that the mobster is in my life.

My kids both seem to be doing well despite my greater absence. Sometimes I forget to pat myself on the back for the things I do manage to accomplish in spite of no longer being a stay at home mom. I pick Picasso up from after school activities 2-3 days a week, and once a week I get him to cello lessons. I still attend his concerts. I’ve been at the family events that Rock Star has invited me to down at college. I’m told I’m an honorary member of her sorority because so many of the girls think I’m awesome. Plus, the entire four months my mom was gone I managed to do laundry, go grocery shopping, and cook meals for my son.

I have the opportunity to live close to my family again. While CF could manage to make his way back to his home state I don’t think he would have ever been inclined to make it back to mine. Or even close to it for my sake.

None of the above makes what CF did to me okay. He and his choices altered the course of my life. If you’re going to tell me I need to “get over it” then I think it’s only fair that you understand that.

Here’s What’s New

  • Taxes
  • Just enough money to keep the courts off his ass
  • 401k still floundering
  • Still waiting on the state even though I don’t think it’s going to help
  • No new job

Ah yes, taxes. I actually ended up getting a small refund from the federal government. Sadly, that was entirely eaten up by the more than $2200 I had to pay to the glorious state of Indiana. Like, seriously! Who the fuck wants to live here? You want me to pay $2200 to live in Hawaii? Okay, I can understand that. But Indiana?

This is the same state I had to pay $500 to my first year here because of the spousal support I collected in Virginia! Yep, that’s right. I earned all of about $5000, if that, in the state of Indiana between October 31st and December 31st. Paid maximum taxes on that piddly amount. And they turned around and demanded I pay taxes for spousal support I received while living as a resident of Virginia. At that point in time I had never received a dime in spousal support while living in Indiana. I was also a proud recipient of Medicaid during this time!

Fast forward to this year’s tax season. I knew I was going to end up paying again. I will always pay. I net $624 every two weeks but I pay taxes every tax season.

Last year I was able to pay the state in one lump sum and arranged for payments with the IRS. I had until August, I think, to pay the entire amount before being penalized.

I figured I would pay in small installments until I was able to access my 401k. I was also at the point I was just going to transfer the whole thing over despite any losses before they assessed the penalties. You do what you’ve gotta do, right?

Oh, no, that’s not how Indiana works! They immediately assess a 10% penalty. Then they charge you anywhere from 5-10% on the remaining balance until it’s paid off. So, if I owe $2200 they’re going to charge me $220 right off the top. Then if my balance is $2000 after I pay $200 (because remember, I’m poor and don’t have hundreds to pay towards taxes) each month while I wait to transfer my 401k over I’m charged another $200! And $180 the next month. And $160 the next. Assuming, of course, that’s what Indiana lets me pay. I was told they set the payments so who knows? I could have been totally screwed.

Then, once I finally transfer the 401k over, losing over $10,000 in the process, I’m AGAIN given a fucking 10% penalty to pay the damn remaining balance.

I don’t know what kind of free programs I’m eligible for but I swear I’m going to hunt them all down and use every fucking one of them! I’m getting my goddamn $2200 worth from this fucking state.

Thankfully I did not have to do any of that and the issue has been resolved, although I still need to come up with $2200.

Speaking of my 401k, my financial guy got a little excited because the price had gone up $3/share. Then it fell back down again. Awesome!

How did I marry such a fucking dumbass? Why was I such a fucking dumbass? I should have looked at the portfolio. I should have realized he was an utter moron who had sunk 47% of his retirement into the goddamn company stock. I could have transferred it then and been sitting on $87-88,000, instead of $75,000. Once again, I have to do all the fucking work.

I do finally have an account set up so if it ever goes back up I can just call and have it transferred. Hell, who am I kidding? At some point I’m sure I’m going to have to bite the bullet, take a huge loss, and transfer it so that I can live.

As for the state garnishing him… I haven’t heard anything from them. I’m supposed to receive an affidavit once Virginia responds to them, detailing all the money he has sent me. In an ironic twist I do have a log of that very thing. Dates, check numbers, transfer dates for Zelle and Venmo. I’ll be ready.

I’m also told that once everything is in place with the state, which should be no later than the end of July (!) once (if) he gets a job they can automatically attach the garnishment; I don’t have to do this all over again.

Of course, if he chooses to never work again it does me no good. That $25,000 he owes me? Good-bye! Arrears? See ya later! Finally getting child support modified at a higher amount for Picasso? Don’t make me laugh!

I had a friend tell me the other day that I could always let it go and just not pursue the $25,000. Sure, I could. But why? That’s not just $25,000 for me. It’s money for my kids. It’s a way to pay off my car and my credit cards. It’s a way to pay for Rock Star’s college when he’s not paying what he should be. It’s a way for me to potentially buy a fucking house of my own! That’s something I don’t have and I will never have living on what I live on now. Nobody in their right mind is going to give me a mortgage when I have less than $200/month left after paying my bills; and even if they would, how in the hell would I ever pay that, much less the utilities, food, gas for my car, and so forth?

Additionally, it’s not like I’m rolling in money. See above. My 401k has taken a serious hit. I’m living on approximately $900 a month after bills. Oh wait! I adjusted my exemptions so I’m living on about $1100 a month. The fact that I’m able to actually feed my son during this time because I’m no longer paying maximum taxes means I’m going to get fucked up the ass at tax time next year. It’s a vicious cycle.

As for CF, I have no idea if he’s working or not. He doesn’t tell me anything. Why would he? He doesn’t feel like I deserve any answers. I get what I get and I don’t throw a fit.

He has sent his self modified child support twice now- March and April. In a surprise twist he sent $500, labeled as ex-spousal support, this month.

Like I said in the beginning, he’s sending just enough to keep his ass out of jail and to look good to a judge.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m grateful. I told him he needed to send something and he has been. It’s fine for the present but I’m already thinking ahead to next semester’s bill. And Christmas. And birthdays.

It kills me that I can’t help them. I suppose August is when I’ll move my money over, take the hit, and then pull from it to pay for her education.

I realize the solution would seem to be finding a new job. Easier said than done, however. It seems I’m suited to be hired for extremely low paying jobs. $11 an hour or less? Oh, they are lining up to hire me! Anything that might actually pay a living wage? Yeah, I’m not really qualified. The high school dropout is qualified; but I’m not. The college student who is still in school is qualified; but I’m not. Pretty much everyone else is qualified but I’m not.

I finally interviewed for the job at the bank. It’s a job I’d heard about about eight-nine months into my tenure at the bank. It’s one of the few jobs that actually requires a Bachelor’s degree. Obviously, I didn’t get it. They have decided to “move ahead with other candidates.”

The other company I applied at hasn’t called. Either they’re not hiring or they decided I wasn’t qualified for an office job.

I was listening to someone a few weeks ago as he talked to someone at our table. He mentioned that he had his Master’s degree but no one would hire him because, as he put it, “My hair’s too white.”

I’m terrified that’s what will happen to me. It’s already happening. I know someone who got the exact same job I interviewed for at the bank. We were both tellers. Both had Bachelor’s. I had asked her once if it needed to be in Finance or Accounting. She said hers was in sports medicine. She started the new job one year to the day that she began at the bank as a teller. I interviewed for the job two years after I had been at the bank- one year as a teller and one year in Deposit Services. The biggest difference? Age. She’s in her twenties. I just turned 50.

Another person I knew at the bank had been working as a teller while she got her college degree. Upon graduating she somehow moved into Human Resources. Now, I have no idea how long she had been at the bank, or what her degree was in, but I do know she was offered a spot in that department once she got her degree, and it was because she got her degree. She was in her 30s.

I fear that’s what is going to happen regardless of what I try. I’ll go back and get a different degree (because apparently mine is useless and out dated), or I’ll get a Master’s, and no one will hire me. They’ll choose the bright eyed, bushy tailed 20 something because they’re new and fresh. I’m all old and used up.

I try really hard to count my blessings. It gets harder the longer CF is out of work. What I envision happening is that I will eventually have to take him back to court because he’s not paying what he should and I will have the privilege of paying those legal fees. He’ll choose that moment to ask for a modification, dating back to when he first lost his job. The judge will grant it because he granted him his modification the first time around when the jackass didn’t even bother to show up in court. So now not only am I getting less money- permanently- but also it’s retroactive. Then, because he’s already there and I’m already footing the bill, he’ll ask for a child support modification dating back to when Rock Star first graduated, seeing as how the state of Indiana is coming after him for the full amount. And he’ll get that, too.

Maybe not. Maybe the judge will not take pity upon him because he knows exactly the games he’s playing. Maybe he’ll be thinking, “I cut you a break the first time and I have come to regret that deeply.”  Who knows? You’re always rolling the dice whenever you go into court.

I wonder, too, if he’s ruined his reputation within the industry and that’s why he’s not able to find a job. I may dislike him intensely but he is good at what he does. He really is. At one point he was the Golden Boy where he worked. Maybe he really pissed them off by quitting eighteen months after he was given the plum assignment he asked for. Maybe they blacklisted him. Perhaps the corrugated industry is a lot more ruthless than I ever knew.

He has always had headhunters after him, as well, and I’m pretty sure he mentioned he had turned down other offers outside of the state while we were in court. I don’t understand why he’s not able to find a similar job. The one time he was without a job in the 20 years we were married he was working again within six weeks.

I was under the impression he was looking outside of Kentucky, but maybe not. If he isn’t that might be a good thing to know and bring to the court’s attention. It would be lovely to hear the judge remind him if he could drag his old family all around the country for twenty years then he can damn sure drag the new one around. Remaining in Kentucky is a luxury to which he is no longer entitled.

Let them suffer some consequences for the horrors they’ve visited upon others. Let Harley be in the position of having to choose between keeping her kids or living with her one true love. Let CF have to maintain a long distance relationship; I’m sure Harley will be faithful. He can fly or drive home every weekend so his whore can keep her kids. If they have to move out of their nice, new, big house and downsize so that they can also afford a cheap apartment for him during the week, oh well. God knows I’ve had to do plenty of shit I haven’t wanted to do.

Truly, despite my bitching and pouting I am trying to be grateful. I have a job, even if it’s a low paying job. At least I’m not going further into debt. I can at the very least pay my monthly bills. I have a place to sleep. I’m aware that not everyone has a parent who is willing or able to put them up. My mom even took in my kids and my dogs. OK, maybe the kids thing isn’t so incredible (Yeah, I’ll take you but those kids, my grandkids, have got to go!) but the dogs certainly are. My kids are relatively healthy (Rock Star might really have a hernia and I’m pretty sure I’m going to have to get her wisdom teeth removed at some point in the near future). My mom is healthy and alive. I have an amazing partner. He is a huge blessing even with all of the shit that has been heaped upon me by CF. And CF is actually paying something, as opposed to paying nothing, like he did the last time. How long that will last, I don’t know. But he’s paying right now which gives me a tiny amount of breathing room. I’ll feel a lot more grateful once he’s got a job and he’s paying what he should.