I’m Not Loving This Word Anymore

Change, change, and more change! My supervisor just announced this week that she is retiring at the end of June. I am not happy. I’m thrilled for her. She is constantly taking vacation days to help her father out and she has two adorable granddaughters that I know she would love to spend even more time with. But I’m not happy for myself.

First, I know there is no way in hell that this is going to lead to a promotion. I have not been in my area long enough to move up into a supervisor position. They are even talking of restructuring our department so there are at least 3 supervisors but I still know there are plenty of people in the department that have much more experience than I.

Second, if there are any perks to working a low paying job it is the fact that it is flexible because of my supervisor. She’s always very willing to work with me. I can ask if it’s possible to leave an hour or two early on a Friday if I only take 30 minute lunches and she says, “Sure!” She’s the one that told me I should leave earlier than 5:00 for my flight to Utah the first time I took some vacation time. She’s just been fantastic and very understanding.

It is quite possible that her retirement will be the catalyst for me looking for a new job.

On the legal front my lawyer has contacted me and thinks we should file a show cause for not only the legal fees he owes me but also for the arrears for child and spousal support. That’s old news. However, I wrote back and told her I wasn’t sure if we could do that or not with the modification going on. I got an answer from her fairly quickly and she assured me that until another court takes jurisdiction the court in Virginia is the only court that can legally compel him to act and the only court that can find him in contempt. I actually called her office to get clarification and ended up talking to her for about 15 minutes.

The end result is I’m not sure what in the hell my caseworker was talking about. My lawyer says it makes no sense that a court in Mississippi where the father resides will be the one enforcing the order. We weren’t divorced there, the order wasn’t issued there, and the kids don’t live in Mississippi. I’ve got to say I’m fine with Mississippi doing the modification since they base it off of his salary alone, but I do agree that that part always sounded strange. I’d always heard the child support goes where the kids go. I figured if anything Indiana would take over the case.

I sent my attorney snippets of my email conversations with the caseworker where she explains how things need to work, and I emailed my caseworker asking her if she knew whether or not Mississippi had taken jurisdiction. I’ve heard nothing back. So this morning I pulled the plug and told my attorney to file. The worst that can happen is she finds out she can’t file a show cause for the support issues, right? Let’s get this thing done! Jerry Lee has spent way too much time walking around a free man, doing whatever he pleases.

I finished Week 2 of the Couch to 5K program. I’m up to a whole 90 seconds of jogging at once! Next week I do 90 seconds of jogging, 90 seconds of walking, 3 minutes of jogging, 3 minutes of walking, and repeat. Pray for me. 

Rock Star took her nursing exam in order to get into nursing school. She was ecstatic with the results. I would share them with you but don’t want to get the details wrong. She got a 90 something on the math section and another 90 something on another section. She told me she did a lot better than she needed to. Now we just wait to hear the official word.

I think Picasso and his counselor are getting into meatier areas because he won’t share stuff anymore, which is fine. I continue to cross my fingers that everything is going well.

He’s exhibiting more interest in getting a job and learning to drive so that’s good.

That’s it. That’s all my recent change. I’m trying to embrace it but I don’t like it. It’ll be good for me though, right?

The Change Progress

My word for the year is change. When you think about it it’s not a novel concept. As Patty Loveless once sang: Life’s about changing. Nothing ever stays the same.

I think that throughout the year I’m going to revisit this topic of change. After all, even if I had remained in the same town my whole life, went to school with the same people, remained friends with the people I met when I was 4 or 5, dated the same guy forever, got married and never divorced, and never changed jobs I would still be faced with change. It’s not just about me. Some of those classmates may have moved away. Some of those co-workers might have got a different job. Some of those friends might have got married and moved to another city. Life’s about changing. Nothing ever stays the same.

That’s enough of my existential crisis. When I chose the word change I was thinking more along the lines of changing my life. I was thinking about things like my health, my job, my children, my financial situation, my living situation, my goals and dreams. That kind of cream puff stuff!

First up, let’s review any changes being made in the name of health. What can I say? Change sucks! It’s haaaarrrd. It’s one thing to think it and another thing to actually do it. Thoughts versus actions. I have a ton of ideas on how I can lose weight but when it comes time to actually put down that Chunky Monkey ice cream and do a sit up… I am acting though. The mobster and I are training for a 5k. I haven’t ran since 2013. Holy cow! That’s a long time. I just typed that out and realized it’s been 7 years. Crikey! 

I have finished Week 1 of the Couch to 5k program. I did this once before when I lived in Utah. I actually ran several races. Perhaps I should say multiple races because there were at least two Santa Fun Runs, a marathon relay, a Halloween run, a Thanksgiving run, a St. Patrick’s Day run, a 9k, and a few others. Then I just stopped. Well, technically I hurt myself at the St. Patrick’s Day run somehow. I twisted my ankle and I just never got back into it. It was frustrating to go from running 5 miles back to running less than 1 or 2.

I have to say the first day I hated it. I was in such a bad mood. I went to the gym later, around 7 or 8. I was tired and I didn’t want to leave my house. My clothes don’t fit anymore so while I had this new pair of running tights (which are still uncomfortable when I sit) my old shirts paired with it made me look like 10 pounds of flour stuffed into a 5 pound bag. But I did it. Change.

Funny story. I was telling the mobster how I got off track a few times. The program this week is jog 60 seconds, walk 90 seconds for a total of 20 minutes. I went 30 but that’s not important to this story. I just wanted to brag.

“You need to get the app on your phone,” he tells me.

“I have the app on my phone,” I reply.

“So how did you mess up? She tells you when to run and when to walk.”

“What are you talking about?”

“Did you not see the start button?”

Pause. “No.” I then look at the app on my phone. “Oh! Well that would have been helpful information!”

Yes, I did not realize the app actually counted for you. I thought it was just like the old website which outlined the program for you. No, it’s not. This one you actually click the start button and she counts down with you. That was very helpful the second time I went.

I didn’t hate it as much the second time but I also rewarded myself with sushi. Picasso and I went out after I got back. We didn’t eat until almost 8 pm that night.

The third night I really didn’t want to go. I was tired. I’ve been doing double duty at work. I’ve been going in early. Plus, I’m lazy. And unmotivated. Nonetheless, I went. It was almost 8:30 before I got there but I walked and ran. This time I actually felt good about what I was doing.

I realize I’m not dropping 30 pounds overnight; quite honestly I’m not expecting any major changes from this program. I’m expecting to be able to work my way up to running 3 miles. Period. But I did feel a slight sense of accomplishment. The plan right now is for me to run a 5k down in his town in April, and then in June he’ll come up and run a race up here in my town.

Both of my kids are experiencing their own type of changes. Picasso dropped orchestra and dropped his cello lessons. I wasn’t expecting that. Yet again I watched a child do something they had once loved, not realizing it was the last time I would see them do that.

It happened the first time when Rock Star competed at the high school state gymnastics meet. I had no idea at that time I would never see her compete again. I thought we’d continue to live in Virginia, she would continue to go to her high school, and she would finish up with gymnastics in another 2 years.

This time it was watching Picasso at his Winter concert. They played one of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra Christmas carols and it was simply amazing. They played lots of other things as well, but that stood out for me. I didn’t know that night that I would never see him play again. He’s turning in his cello as I write this, and finishing up his last lesson.

He also managed to make an appointment with his high school counselor, hence dropping orchestra. I was proud of him. Turns out he can do hard things! Of course, as he put it: I walked into orchestra and I just felt depressed. I guess that was the push he needed.

While he was in there dropping orchestra he also found out he had all of his required math credits so he dropped his pre-calculus class. I had been telling him he needed to drop it ever since his report card came out. He ended up with a C for the semester, but his last grading period he had an F. He went from an A one grading period to an F the next. Geez Louise. I even managed to find a tutor for him but he had no interest in talking to her.

On a more positive note he is enjoying therapy and even though they are still in the talking phase he believes this guy will be able to give him the tools he needs to meet his problems head on. So that’s progress.

Meanwhile, Rock Star is applying for nursing school. She won’t find out until late March/early April.

Yet another change and this one happened before I decided upon my word of the year. My niece and nephew didn’t come up for Christmas Eve this year. We didn’t really expect them to because she just got married in September. If she wasn’t coming up we didn’t think her brother would come up by himself. She surprised my mom though by asking about our Christmas Eve plans and if they were still invited. About two weeks beforehand she asked us about dinner plans on the 28th. That is not Christmas Eve. But we adjusted. We had a nice dinner out with them. It was just different.

Yearly reviews at work were this week. I got a stellar review even if we’re handicapped from the beginning. I shall explain.

We’re scored on a scale of 1-5 but they’re not allowed to give 5’s. Why they don’t just get rid of the 5’s I don’t know. Probably because then they wouldn’t be allowed to give 4’s. Basically a 4 is your top score. I got a perfect 4 for my goals and achieving them. I got a 3.85 as far as my competencies go but again I’m hobbled a bit because on one of the sections they’re only allowed to give you a 3! We have to take these online courses and that’s one of the competencies. I did all of mine and I passed all of them. But apparently that is expected so the highest you can be scored is a 3. So, my end result was a 3.93 out of 4. Couldn’t have been better. My supervisor did ask me what my future plans were. I was honest. I told her I was looking for whatever would pay me the most. Now I wait to see what my raise will be for the year.

As evidenced by this long story I haven’t yet taken steps to make a change career wise.

One huge change I hope to see this year is the end of this legal battling. I want it OVER! I thought we were off to a good start but I found out earlier this week my case has not yet been filed. My lawyer’s legal assistant got in contact with me and asked for an updated spreadsheet with Jerry Lee’s payments and a promise to get it filed “soon”.

I asked what we were filing for- just legal fees or legal fees and spousal/child support arrears. My lawyer thinks we should go for all three. I’m a little nervous about what the judge may decide on the arrears for child support. I asked if it was possible to go for legal fees and spousal support only and also asked her what her opinion was in regards to how the judge might rule. We’ll see what happens.

In the meantime I have no idea what’s going on with the garnishment case. Apparently they like everything to be a big surprise. It will be a surprise when I find out how much he will be owing for child support. It will be a surprise when I find out whether or not he owes me back support and how much (assuming my attorney doesn’t get there first). It will even be a surprise when I finally find out how they will be paying me, or if they’ll even contact me to let me know the outcome. One surprise after another! FYI: Today marks one year since I turned my garnishment papers in.

I’m hopeful (maybe stupidly optimistic is a better description) that everything will be settled by June. I know that seems a long way out there but my lawyer hasn’t even filed the case yet. The last time she filed a show cause it took 3 months to get a court date. Ergo, if she goes to court in February (fingers crossed!) we should get a court date sometime around May. As for the garnishment case the county should have it but they still have a little over 2 weeks to file the case. I have no idea what happens next. I’m assuming a court date is set but who knows when that might happen.

I changed my hair color. It’s red right now. My mom hates it. I’m still getting used to it. I may change it back to blonde. I don’t know. Change is supposed to be good, right?

I’m still not playing hockey. I guess my first step would be skating lessons. I still haven’t learned to crochet or knit.

I have been cooking more. I actually have some meals in the freezer! I went grocery shopping today and I should be able to put together enough meals for about 3 weeks. I originally planned meals for every day but that’s way too many. It’s hard to cook for only two and we end up with a lot of leftovers.

I tried some new recipes. I didn’t like them. I tried a new Shepherd’s Pie recipe and I was not impressed. I also made a lasagna soup and it was terrible! It’s hard to ruin soup but I did it. The soup itself was very bland and then the pasta was added which only made it worse. The pasta shells tasted like paste! I looked to see if the box was really old but it doesn’t appear to be. It was just bad all around! It’s made me a little nervous for a few of our upcoming meals because they’re all new recipes. The bacon cheeseburger pasta was not a hit either. Same thing happened to the pasta once again. Maybe it’s because it’s added at the end? I’ve never had a problem with pasta in the crockpot before. Is it possible I’ve never actually cooked soup or pasta dishes in the crockpot before? Nah.

No other new changes I can think of right now. It’s been slow but steady. I’m looking ahead to Week 2 of the Couch to 5K program. 90 seconds of jogging/60 seconds of walking. Bring on the change!

He Paid

I do a great job of ignoring his shit. but I’m human. I’m not proud of this but I lost it a little bit on Wednesday.

Rock Star texted me and asked if I could send her some money so she could buy groceries. This was four days after the end of the month when I was fairly certain he had found out I was taking him back to court and he was refusing to pay. I had just paid her rent on the 1st and given her about $35 extra, which I found out she used to buy gas to get back to school. The girl has taken out approximately $16,000 in student loans; she’s paying her entire tuition, all of her books, and has paid all of her rent up until this point. She works on her weekends home and on her breaks. I don’t want to put anything else on her; she’s already doing enough. Nevertheless, I was losing it.

My nest egg keeps getting smaller and smaller. Cello lesson here. Grocery money there. Dog grooming. Oil change. It never ends.

I sent her the money. It was only $25 but that’s what she asked for. I Venmo’d it to her and in the section that asks what’s it for I wrote: Food, because even when your ex refuses to pay his support your kids still need shit.

It was set to public because I don’t care if people read it and see what a shit he is. I want them to know when he’s being a deadbeat. Frankly, I hoped he would see it.

Oh, he saw it. I happened to notice a text message which said I had a comment on a Venmo story. Naturally, I thought it was added under my comment on Rock Star’s account. He had written back: Because sometimes the pay cycles are off and you happen to be 6 days off on paying. Grow up.

Then I realized his comment wasn’t attached to mine. He had actually sent a support payment. Holy shit! It’s a Christmas miracle!

Seriously? I’m expected to believe somehow his pay cycle is off by 6 days? I’ve got bad news for him. The court order states he’s supposed to pay in full on the 1st of the month, or he’s supposed to pay every other week. He does neither of those things. In fact, despite asking for the every other week payment schedule based upon his pay schedule, he has never paid every other week. He typically waits until the second half of the month and then he pays the entire balance over three payments.

I love how he conveniently ignores the part where he is currently not paying what he is ordered to pay. I guess going to court to plead your case is for pussies. Real men like him just do some calculations, come up with what they’re comfortable paying, and then do it. No judge needed.

I also love how he justifies his behavior by saying his pay cycle was off so I should be understanding of that, yet he never once communicated that. That would have been helpful. He didn’t even need to explain what happened. “Hey Sam, I’ll be sending the remaining support for November a little late. You should have it before the end of the first week of December.” Yes, that would have been a huge help. Oh silly me! I forgot- I don’t count. I’m not worth communicating with. He owes me nothing.

Let’s not forget his track record. It’s not good. Between this upcoming court hearing and the reality that he has no problem not paying what he owes, I don’t think I jumped the gun. I gave him until the very last day of the month. Then I panicked.

I feel no guilt and no shame in calling him out. What I do feel bad about is blindsiding Rock Star. I honestly thought she knew he wasn’t paying. Her last day at home before returning to school we were going to go out for dinner. She asked if we even had enough money to go out. So I thought she knew.

When she saw my comment she asked me if he wasn’t paying again. At that point I told her he was not. She told me she thought he was paying which meant we were more financially stable. I told her I did, too. She also told me that if she had known he wasn’t paying she would never have asked me for money, which made me feel like a complete failure as a parent. I told her I thought she already knew and that if she didn’t know I didn’t want to tell her because it stresses her out. That’s when she let me know she wanted to be kept informed because it affected her life as well. Then she said she was going to be working a ton over her Christmas break so she could make some decent money. Again, I felt like a total failure as a parent.

Without his money I can’t do anything for my kids. It pisses me off. I’m so disgusted with my life choices sometimes. Instead of focusing on a career I stayed at home with my kids, moved all around the country, and helped to support his career. Now I’m 50 and barely above the poverty level. If only I had been smarter.

The story doesn’t end there. Jerry Lee texted her. Of course he did.

Just so that you are aware of the truth, I pay your mother over 50% of my salary every month. She gets $XXXX from me each month. I just wanted to make sure you knew the truth and not whatever she tells you. I don’t expect you to respond, just wanted you to know.

You know the funny thing? I give him credit all. the. time. They are both completely aware of the fact that his support payments are what give us any kind of financial security. They both know that my job pays the bills and that’s pretty much it. They know that him paying support is what allows me to do extra for them. Hell, they watched it play out during the ten months he wasn’t paying a dime. They’re teenagers, not toddlers. They knew I was working two jobs to make ends meet. They knew I was exhausted all the time. They saw me fall asleep sitting up in a chair. They knew when he began paying and I could do more for them. They knew that I was finally able to quit my second job because he was paying support.

He doesn’t pay? Picasso stops taking his cello lessons. I can’t pay Rock Star’s rent. There’s no money to go out. I worry about how I’ll buy groceries. I again start looking for a second job. Lots of fun things happen when he doesn’t pay support. Stress. Tears. Angry outbursts. So believe me he gets all the credit for paying.

That’s the problem though, isn’t it? He wants credit for paying (and I have no problem with giving that to him) but he doesn’t want to have to face the consequences when he doesn’t pay. It’s easier to portray me as a liar who tells the kids all sorts of falsehoods about him. It’s easier to believe that I never give him credit for the support he pays and that I take all the credit for everything they get. He can’t accept that if he’s going to get the credit for paying then he’s also going to have to take the blame when he doesn’t.

It’s a Good News/Bad News Kind Of Day

Guess what? I got a phone call AND an email from my lawyer’s legal assistant. They are FINALLY moving ahead on my case.

I also got the skinny on what’s been going on. They’ve had four lawyers who have left family law practice (or maybe the area) so my attorney, and I’m sure other attorneys as well, got swamped with their active cases.

The good news remains that my case is finally going forward. They are going before a judge on the 18th to get a hearing. The last time we had a separate show cause hearing my lawyer went before the judge in November and our hearing wasn’t set until February. I figure we won’t be back in court until March.

I talked to my attorney’s legal assistant. In a roundabout way I know her personally. Her daughter and my daughter were on the same cheerleading and gymnastics teams. She’s already got it in the pleadings that he moved out of state without informing me or the courts. I’m still waiting to hear about whether or not we’ll be asking for the back support or if we’re going to leave that up to Mississippi. Which brings up the bad news part of the day.

My caseworker emailed me back. The last time we had communicated she had said she was waiting on an email or some sort of notice from Mississippi seeing as how the state computer website is still down. I replied that if there was a number I would be more than happy to call and see what was going on with my case.

Good Lord, you would have thought I volunteered to piss in their Cheerios. I was told in no uncertain terms that I should not do that because this was an interstate case and if I called they could dismiss my case. It’s part of the UIFDA guidelines! Oh my! If only I knew what that was.  Apparently it’s a guideline that states you’re not allowed to ask any questions about your own damn case because why on earth would you be concerned about any of that? God forbid you have an interest in your future or your life. Then again, this is the same agency that “can’t tell you” how much your ex-spouse is making because they wouldn’t want you to go into any situation with all the facts.

For those of you not up to date on this saga I was told back in September that I should hear something in 60-90 days. A week or two before what I thought was the 90 day period I asked what exactly I would be hearing and what would happen after that. At that point I was told the state had 60-90 days to review the case, put it into the computer system, and get it to the appropriate county. THEN the county had another 45 days to decide what the fuck they were going to do. What happens after that is anyone’s guess because no one seems to know. And since no one else is being held hostage by Jerry Lee, they really don’t give a fuck. Oh yeah, also the statewide website is down so no one can check up on any progress. Please don’t ask any questions about that, though.

She did let me know that Mississippi received the case on the 26th of September. That’s a little more than 2 weeks after my meeting. She admonished me to remember that they have only had my case for two months. Wow- only two months! How long does it take to get it into the computer and get it to the correct county? Frankly, in this age of electronics I am amazed it takes as long as it does to get this crap done. Only two months? Why not phrase it as, “They’ve had two months!”?

She goes on to inform me that they are not allowed to contact them until Mississippi has had the case for 90 days. She also lets me know she has no timeframe on anything although she presumes a court date will be set within the next 30 days. And she finishes it up with saying she understands that I’m in a rush to get this done but to please give the case additional time.

So, we’re now pushed back to December 26th. At that point the county gets the case. They have an additional 45 days to make a decision. Let’s face it. They always take the full amount of time. Now we’re looking at mid-February. No one knows what happens after the county sets a trial date so maybe we have a trial date set for the end of February. Maybe it won’t be held until April. We don’t know what happens after that either. Is he garnished right away? Does the judge rule right then and there or does he take a month to make his decision? We don’t know. Isn’t it more fun this way?

Maybe I’m an extraordinary employee but when I don’t know the answer to someone’s question I find out. I don’t simply reply, “I don’t know.” If I don’t know I do my best to try to find out. 99% of the time I’m successful. I’m also not dealing with people’s lives. Yet, my caseworker, who cannot give me legal advice, or even tell me what she’s seen in her job apparently, has no problem at all saying, “I don’t know how any of this works,” and not feel one ounce of obligation to actually find out the answer to any of these questions.

I realize I can be a pain in the ass. I fully acknowledge I can be like a dog with a bone. This stuff is scary, though. I’m going into this blind. I’ve been floundering for damn near a year. If you really think about it I’ve been jerked around by Jerry Lee for 2 years now. I never know when I’m going to receive a payment. I don’t know how much it will be. I don’t know if he will suddenly modify it. It’s terrifying. I have no idea what’s going to happen and I have no idea when it’s going to happen. A little bit of understanding would go a long way.

A Numbers Game

It seems apparent Jerry Lee will not be making another payment until he is officially garnished. This is why I’m always nervous when it gets to the end of the month and he hasn’t paid. He does not have a good track record. I thought it might be fun to do a little bit of math today and see how dismal his track record really is.

I could calculate it as one long time period. He’s been court ordered to pay support for 48 months now (I’m going ahead and counting this month; if that bothers you, subtract one from these figures). Out of those 48 months he’s actually paid his support in full for 20 of those months. I’m being generous because I’m still giving him credit for the months he paid his self-modified child support. If you take that away he’s down to 13 months. Wow- a whole thirteen months of paying your court ordered support over a four year period. He’s managed to pay his court mandated support in full almost 25% of the time! Not quite 50% of the time if we give credit for the months he paid his self-modified child support.

2016 was the first year he was under a court order. Back then I was still under the illusion the kids and I could remain in the house. I’d supplement my spousal and child support with whatever job I managed to find. We wouldn’t be living on anywhere close to what we used to have, but hopefully once the bills were split up and I was no longer responsible for 100% of everything we would be okay with less money. Oh, and did I mention I had a nest egg of about $10,000 back then? Yeah, until he started pulling his shit and stopped paying his support.

He paid five months of support in 2016. He paid the first five months. I only received 2 payments via direct deposit. Then he quit his job to run off to Ohio so he could be closer to his whore cousin. After that when I actually got the support check was anyone’s guess. What ended up happening is I would pay the bills from my nest egg and he would essentially pay me back.

I’m not going to count any back support payments. I will fully admit he has eventually paid in full, under the threat of a $10,000 fine levied by the judge. But, finally getting back support isn’t the same as getting what you’re supposed to receive each month.

In 2017 he paid two months out of twelve. After receiving my back support in April for the rest of 2016 and the first month of 2017 he made one full payment of his court modified support. The judge gave him a $3000 reduction in support and he still didn’t pay what he was supposed to.

He paid whatever amount he felt like paying, whenever he felt like paying it between May and November. I had two separate checks stopped and another one that bounced in that small timeframe. The most I ever received until the final judgement was handed down was a little over $2000. He was ordered to pay me $3600.

He also made a full payment in December of that year after he received the judge’s orders. That was the month of the infamous, “You should have a very nice Christmas because I just had to pay your mom a billion kajillion dollars and I will be paying that every month for the rest of my life! Plus, your mom is a whore and she’s doing the exact same thing I did.”

2018 turned out to be a decent year. He actually paid in full. Oh, again he paid whenever he felt like it. April was a bit rocky with him not being paid up until May. There were lots of snide comments and once June hit he slashed child support in half. But I’ll give him credit for the full year. In his mind he was paying all he owed. According to the court order he only accurately paid his support another five months.

I was hopeful that once the judge issued his final order Jerry Lee might stop fucking around. No such luck. I got my full support in January. I haven’t received full spousal support since then. So, he managed one month out of twelve. This has been his worst year ever.

Shall we review? 2016 he paid five months out of twelve. 2017 he paid 2 months out of twelve. 2018 he finally paid all twelve months. Unless you dock him for self-modifying child support, in which case he again paid five months out of twelve. This year he’s paid one month out of twelve and if we’re not giving credit because he hasn’t modified the court order, he’s down to zero months out of twelve.

I am praying and crossing my fingers and lighting candles that the universe takes care of this piece of shit, this sorry excuse for a human being. I so want to stand here in another 6 months or so and tell everyone that he got his ass handed to him once again. I want to be able to say that Mississippi assessed his child support at $1200/month or more. I want to be able to say they assessed his arrears at over $15,000. I want to be able to say our original judge ordered him to liquidate his 401k to pay me the legal fees and fined him on top of it because he was sick of him defying his orders. I want to be able to tell you his bank account got frozen and his tax refund was confiscated and given to me. I want to tell you that his life is spiraling out of control and he’s having to work an additional job or cut back drastically on expenses in order to make it work.

I’m not confident that any of that will happen. He always seems to circumvent justice. A girl can dream though.

Meanwhile, I had completely forgotten that Rock Star needs rent money. She’s got $25 in her account, won’t get paid for another two weeks, and needs money for groceries and gas. So, while I thought I had a nest egg in my primary account of about $1400-$1500, it turns out it’s only for around $900-$1000. On top of that, all the bills I will pay with my most recent paycheck are taken out automatically and they haven’t been deducted yet, so that’s another $350 or so coming out of my account. The cherry on top? She’s got another sorority bill due on December 10th.

Good times, good times. Yep, let’s go bake some Christmas cookies. Happy holidays everyone!

P.S. That motherfucker is not going to break me. I will survive this even if I have to drive out to California and serve his employers at their main office myself. Even if I have to take even more money out of my 401k to survive until they garnish his worthless, pathetic ass. I will not stop fighting for what is mine. If anyone’s going to break it’s going to be him.

There Will Be Bad Days, Part 2

As of Thanksgiving Day I was still waiting for my prescription. My mom let me know she had a blood pressure cuff so I’ve been taking it. My lowest reading was something like 167/102. I had a high reading of 177/114. Not good. I’m sitting here wondering if I’m going to stroke out and leave my kids orphans. And, I can’t donate plasma if my bottom number is over 99 so it’s costing me money as well.

I don’t think I’ve mentioned this before but the 60-90 days timeline I was given after I had my interstate meeting back in September is coming to a close early in December. I emailed my caseworker to ask her what exactly happens in 60-90 days. Is it over and a decision has been rendered? Do they have until that time to set a hearing date? What exactly happens in 60-90 days?

It turns out the state has 60-90 days to receive the case, record it in the computer system, review it, and get it to the appropriate county. THEN, the county has another 45 days, she believes to review and file the case.

Bonus points because Mississippi is having technical issues with their website so she’s not sure where they are in this process. So, maybe they’ve passed it off to the county; maybe they’re still thinking. I don’t know.

I emailed her back and asked her what happened after that. After the county has their 45 days to get their act together then what happens? Then we do the hearing? Then he gets garnished? How many more days, or rather months, is this going to take?

I also mentioned that I had heard it was possible to download garnishment papers from the internet, attach the court order, and send it directly to the company. I told her I didn’t want to do anything to jeopardize my case and asked if she had any idea how a judge would take that. I figure she’s been around this sort of thing a lot. Maybe she has some anecdotal stories she can share.

The next email back ignores my question about what happens after 45 days and is centered around how she can’t give me legal advice. If I choose to go with sending the papers directly to his company she advises I keep very careful records and keep her informed so she can communicate with the state of Mississippi.

At this point I’ve pretty much had it. She can’t give me legal advice and yet she’s the one who was adamant that I could not submit a new court order from Virginia to whatever state Jerry Lee was living in. Oh hell no. It had to be modified by a judge in that state.

I again asked what I could expect once the case was forwarded to the county. I also told her that the timeline of this process always seems to be changing. First it was 60-90 days period. Then it was 60-90 days to get it to one state and back, and then another 60-90 days to get it to the next state and back. Now I’m being told it’s another 45 days after that. So how much longer after that 45 days? I asked for an approximate end date of all of this bullshit and for some idea on how much time could potentially pass between him finding out he was being garnished and him actually being garnished.

That was the 22nd. I have heard nothing since. She’s probably on vacation this week. Hell, why not? It’s not her kids that are going to go without. It’s not her trying to figure out how to pay her bills and feed her kids. She’s got all the time in the world.

I’m so tired of being invisible. I’m just twisting in the wind. It goes all the way back to my interstate meeting and being told she can’t tell me how much he makes at his new job. He owes me money! The amount of money he owes me is dependent upon his income. I’m expected to go into this hearing blindly, not knowing if I have been jumping through hoops so that he is legally allowed to pay me less in child support. I’m expected to sit back and be patient. However long it takes, it takes. No use rushing it.

Zen can fuck right off. The last time I tried being zen it blew up in my face. That would have been my pool. Construction was supposed to take three weeks. It took ten. Every time we hit another snag, or it rained again, or the die blew up I would tell myself, “Sam, take a deep breath. I know it’s taking forever but once it’s done you’ll have this pool for years to come. You won’t have to go through this again and you’ll have a pool to enjoy every summer from here on out. Next summer it will all be worth it and you can just jump in.” Yeah, that didn’t work out.

I am pretty sure I wrote about my lawyer getting back to me pretty quickly once I told her that while I didn’t want to have to change lawyers I didn’t want to wait another six months with his unpaid legal fees hanging over my head. She apologized profusely, let me know that all of her cases have been going to trial and she hasn’t taken any new clients in months, and that she wouldn’t be able to work on my case until January. She gave me the names of a few lawyers, and said she would forward anything they might need if I would like.

I wrote her back about a week later and told her that if she was confident she could get to my case in January I would be willing to wait. That was November 18th. I’ve heard nothing.

The easiest solution would seem to be to make a call to one of the lawyers she suggested. One of them is a brand new lawyer that interned with her. She may trust that she can handle everything, but I don’t. The other option is well respected and is even on the list of Super Lawyers.

Unfortunately, I’m sure they’re also going to require a $3000 retainer and they will probably charge more per hour than my current lawyer.

It’s easy to say spend the money; it’s worth it; however, my daughter’s medical bills are going to sink me already. I feel guilty enough using my plasma money to buy Christmas presents when this medical bill looms over my head. In addition, it is almost the last day of the month and Jerry Lee has not managed to pay the second half of his self-modified spousal support.

Yes, you read that correctly. It’s not enough that the motherfucker shorted me $700 a month while acting like he was out of work. It’s not enough that even when he was called on it he still refused to pay his court ordered support but instead did some strange calculation and paid me that. It’s not enough he has the gall to think I should be grateful for whatever he pays me. No, now he’s not even going to pay the amount that His Highness decided upon.

Sure, maybe it will come on the last day. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have the best track record so whenever I don’t have the money in hand before the end of the month I get nervous. Plus, I have the garnishment hanging over my head. I don’t know if he knows and he’s punishing me by not paying, or if he’s just being his typical asshole self.

Once again I’m sitting here thinking, “I’ve had a needle stuck in my arm twice a week since August for Christmas gifts, and now that it’s here I probably shouldn’t buy Christmas gifts. Instead, I should be using that money to buy food and put gas in my car.”

He always finds a way to fuck with me. Every goddamn time I have a plan he finds a way to fuck with me.

First it was when I was trying to figure out how I was going to pay for a graduation party or a gift for Rock Star when she graduated. I finally realized I could use my share of his restricted stock. He would owe me for the next four years. Only he quit his job so he could be closer to the whore. Poof! All that money up in smoke. Back to square one.

Then it was when I finally figured out how I was going to deal with insurance for myself once the divorce was finalized, and when I figured out the logistics of getting a job to supplement my support and getting both kids to their various extracurriculars. That’s when he lost the new job.

The kids and I ended up losing a whole hell of a lot more. We lost our home. We were forced to move out of the state. We were forced to move back to Indiana and in with my mom.

I knew how I was going to pay to break my daughter’s housing contract and I knew how I was going to pay my taxes and he fucked that up when he lost yet another fucking job! He has yet to go back to paying what he is supposed to.

God, I hate him!

There Will Be Bad Days, Part 1

For any of you out there just starting this infidelity/divorce journey I am here to tell you that there will be bad days. It’s a process. One day you will wake up and everything will seem to be going swimmingly. You’ll be in a great mood and feel blessed to be alive. Then the next day you wake up and everything will come crashing down. Doubts will wash over you. You’ll feel like you’re at a standstill. You might even shed a tear or two. Hopefully, it passes quickly and you’re back to feeling grateful and blessed, and pretty darn content.

I had a moment like that on Thanksgiving morning. I was overwhelmed and worrying about things that don’t improve with worry.

The unfairness of it all welled up in me and I wanted to scream. I’m over here in Indiana, living with my mom. My son is dealing with crippling anxiety and I don’t know how to help him. It’s bad enough that even though he’s doing poorly in pre-calculus he can’t ask for help. The nurse practitioner who was willing to dispense anti-anxiety medication to Rock Star like it was candy is reluctant to prescribe it to him. As he said, “When I finally do open up and tell someone about my anxiety I’m told, ‘Well, you’re able to talk to me,’ and nothing else is done.”

I’ve been donating plasma twice a week since August to build up a Christmas nest egg so I’m not going into debt or worrying about how to pay for Christmas gifts. Then my daughter gets sick with some mystery illness.

When she called me crying on Saturday, not wanting to go to the urgent care because it would cost too much, I urged her to go. I have a check on my dresser for an overpayment of a previous medical bill. I have about $120 in my HSA account. Paying for that visit wasn’t going to be a problem.

But now she’s been to the emergency room. I don’t even want to know how much that visit is going to cost. I keep envisioning around $1000, but that’s probably going to turn out to be low. I have no fucking idea how I’m going to pay it.

Then on top of that she’s been to the regular doctor’s as well, which is another $87 I’m going to have to pay.

Meanwhile, Jerry Lee is living in his luxurious 5 bedroom, 2 bathroom home with a fireplace and granite counter tops, in a sought after subdivision.

He has no legal obligation to his daughter. He won’t be contributing to these medical bills. They all fall on me while he continues to pay whatever the fuck he wants to pay, whenever he wants to pay it.

So I envision my plasma Christmas money going down the drain. Instead of spending two days a week, every week, since August with a needle in my arm so that my family has gifts for Christmas, instead it will go to pay for an ER visit.

It doesn’t stop there, of course, because by this time I’m drowning in all the fears and doubts.

It moves on to the mobster. I fear that we are never going to be together, that I am doomed to never be with an every day partner. I spent 20 years married to a person that didn’t share life with me, and now I’ve found the love of my life and he lives 10.5 hours away from me. We do not spend day to day life together. We don’t spend holidays together. We’re not able to be together for the big events in life because of the distance. We see each other every two to three weeks, if we’re lucky. His kids live in Virginia and have no desire to move to Indiana. My kids live in Indiana and at least one of them has no desire to move back to Virginia. In order for us to be together one of us needs to move to where the other lives, and that means one of us is going to have to leave our kids behind.

Don’t get me wrong. I would rather spend every third weekend with him than 24 hours a day with someone else. I know what I’ve gotten myself into and I’m fine with it. As I’ve told him before, if we never live in the same state I’ll be okay with it. I’d rather have that little bit than to have nothing at all.

His new plan is to begin doing in home care. His parents used to do it and all three of his siblings do it now. It is a lot of money and you have a very flexible schedule which would be great, considering the distance. The downside is, unless the family of this person or persons, was willing to let him or her move he wouldn’t be able to bring this person with him when he moves up here. That means he will lose his income stream.

The bottom line is this: He’s got a house where he lives. He’s got a job that pays the bills and lets him buy pretty much whatever he needs; there’s a possibility he could increase his income by several thousand dollars a month. Three out of four of his kids live in his small town that I nicknamed the armpit of Virginia. He has to give all of that up in order to move up here and start all over. It’s crazy and it makes so much more sense for me to move down there.

I don’t need to sell a house. I don’t need to sell a business. It’s not like I’m working my dream job and there’s no way I’ll find another job making as much. But if I move I either need to get a place of my own which means I’m going to be living on a shoestring budget seeing as how I’m now paying rent, utilities, and all food, or I move in with him and must give up spousal support.

He knows I don’t want to rely upon another man once again. I cannot go through losing everything again if he decides he’s tired of me. Until I can live comfortably on my own I am not giving up spousal support.

On top of the money and the mobster fears, I’m frustrated and feeling invisible. I’ve been trying to get my high blood pressure medication called in since last Thursday. I’m still waiting to hear back from my case worker to learn what the hell happens after the county gets the case. After my lawyer quickly got back to me once I asked for her to refer me to someone else if she couldn’t take the case, I am again dealing with radio silence. And, Jerry Lee still has not sent the other half of his self-modified spousal support. Put all those together and you have one very frustrated Sam.

Enjoy Your Weekend

I have always said I would give Jerry Lee credit when it was due. This is not a huge thing but considering how every little tiny thing turns into a huge thing with him I’ll go ahead and give him credit.

That medical bill for Picasso got whittled down to $87. I texted him and told him that, gave him his total. I didn’t have a copy of the bill with me because I was on the road at the time. I fully expected him to ask for proof. Instead, he merely thanked me and told me to enjoy my weekend.

Hmmm… what does that mean? I was a little suspicious because I was on my way to see the mobster at the time. My thoughts turned to, “Is he being sincere, or is this a subtle dig? Oh my God, is he tracking me again? Has he infiltrated my Facebook or texts? Does he know I’m on my way to see the mobster?”

Regardless, he paid the bill already. Hooray him. Hey, he doesn’t frequently do what he’s supposed to. Let’s celebrate the little moments when he does.

I’ll Review

One final entry for September.

I was going through mail yesterday. I opened a bill, which I thought was for Rock Star, but instead turned out to be for Picasso. $1282 for a doctor’s visit that included 2 or 3 shots. Let that sink in for a minute. Almost $1300 for one visit.

Folks, I make less than $15/hour. I pay over $400 a month for insurance. After I’ve paid all of my bills I have about $300 left over from my paycheck. This bill will take me take me a year to pay off. Or, it would if I had to pay the entire thing myself.

After I briefly spiraled into hysterics I suddenly realized that this bill was for Picasso. He is the child that is still covered by the court order. Because Jerry Lee hasn’t gotten around to modifying the support order he is still on the hook for 71% of that bill. Now, whether or not he’ll actually pay it is another topic altogether.

I put on my big girl panties, took a picture of the bill, and sent him a text. Basically, I told him I had received the bill, he could pay the doctor’s office directly instead of me if he preferred, and that I didn’t expect him to pay it all at once. I told him I would like to get it paid within 3-4 months.

His first response? I’ll review.

Review what, motherfucker? You owe 71% of your son’s medical bills. Are you thinking that the entire bill is not for him? That maybe I snuck in a charge or two for myself or Rock Star? That maybe I don’t know how to compute 71%?

Well, as it turns out I stupidly got my figures transposed so instead of $910.22 I told him it was $922.10. So maybe he was correct in reviewing me. Nonetheless, I realized my mistake while I was ranting to the mobster and I quickly gave him the correct amount.

His next text? That is what my math calculated as well.

Really? You got a new method of computing 71% that somehow doesn’t add up to what I just told you? Is your 71% different from my 71%? I don’t think so.

I’ll just sit here rolling my eyes. As long as he actually pays I’m happy. Of course, Jerry Lee and I will be going back to court anyway to settle up on the court fees so if I need to tack this on I will.

I Roll My Eyes

It’s always an adventure. I’m talking about CF, of course.

At the end of last month, you may recall, I emailed him regarding alimony. He’s a self modifying fool when it comes to my money. I reminded him of what he actually owed, gave him the monthly shortage and asked him if he was finally going to pay his court ordered amount or if he was going to continue to pretend like he didn’t have a new job and he was sending me all he could. He never did reply to the email.

This month, when he sent his first payment, he sent a new amount. No explanation. No acknowledgement of my email. This one included change, as in, cents. Imagine a judge court orders your ex to pay you $2000 in spousal support. Now imagine, instead of sending half of that, a person sends $827.56, or some other random, bizarre figure. That’s what CF did.

Was this going to be it for the month? Was he punishing me for daring to question him? One never knows with him.

Fortunately for me he sent yet another payment. Same amount. This time, though, he had to write something. Alimony, grateful or otherwise.

That’s the whole point, isn’t it? I’m supposed to be grateful he’s doing the little bit he’s doing. He slashed child support in half and then dared me to come after the correct amount. Now he’s modifying spousal support on his own, as well. What are you going to do about it, Sam? I’m supposed to shut up and take whatever scraps he throws my way.

Normally, I ignore him, but I think that emboldens him. He begins to believe he can say and do anything he wants and I’ll let him. So this time I briefly commented back: I’m not sure you understand how court orders work.

That’s the big joke, though, isn’t it? He understands only too perfectly how they work. He knows they can be manipulated and ignored. A court order means nothing to him. He does what he wants. He’s gotten away with it since June of 2018.

In other exciting news today I got a call at work from Rock Star. I sent her $25 last night through Venmo. She didn’t even ask for it; I wanted to do something nice for her. She replied through Venmo, “You’re the best!”

Unless I mark the transaction as private CF can see who I pay and what it’s for (as provided by me) but he can’t see how much. I marked last night’s transaction, “More food.” He turned around and sent her $50 for “weekend fun”. Oh brother! As she put it, “I cannot even with him.” I think translated that means: He is so ridiculous and I can see right through this charade. I joked with her that I should send her more money and see if he ups the ante. If he does, we could split the proceeds.

At least she’s getting something out of it, right? His motives might be all wrong and the way he’s going about trying to repair his relationship with her is ham handed, but he’s sending her money which she can always use. Hopefully his next step will be to realize he also has a son.