Life Rollercoaster

Is this about over? I swear, every time I start to be a little more optimistic I get knocked on my ass. I was just thinking about how working two jobs has allowed me to have a tiny little bit of breathing room, that maybe I’m not so completely poor and that maybe I can provide just a tiny bit for my kids.

Then life comes along and says, “Not so fast!” I’m not sure what it is I’ve done to deserve all this hell being heaped upon me. I don’t sleep with married men. I don’t steal. I don’t beat my kids. I’m generally a very kind, giving person. I like to think I have a good sense of humor and am a good friend.

“What happened?” you may be wondering. Let me tell you. First, I open the letter from my attorney (who needs another 3 grand, btw). Jackass has got an expert witness lined up to testify that he’s unable to work because of his supposed PTSD. Great! An expert witness who will tell the judge that poor little sweetie pie can’t work because he’s suffering from the trauma of war.

You wanna know who should have a fucking PTSD diagnosis? Me! I was moved 2000 miles away from my entire life to make him happy only to find out he would never be happy. I put him and his happiness above me and my kids and our happiness only to be shit on repeatedly. I trusted that cousin fucking piece of shit and he turned around and spent an entire summer looking me right in the face and lying.

I’ve gone from being in the top 2-3% of the socioeconomic population to the bottom 5-10%. I’ve lost my home. I was forced to move out of the state. I was forced to move in with my mom or be homeless. I had to get rid of almost all of my possessions. I had to tell my kids we had to move. I had to rip their lives apart again. I’ve gone from being a stay at home mom who lives for her kids and does everything for them, to being a person who works 2 jobs, 55 hours a week, 6 days out of seven, who farms almost everything out for my kids and who dreads having to go to another event when I’m already so damn tired and my days are already so fucking long. I hate my life. I have absolutely no joy in it. I pray every day that I will die early so that I don’t have to do this shit anymore. But you don’t see me getting a fucking expert witness to testify that I’m just way too fucking fragile to work.

You know what I do? I scream and cry and cuss that sonofabitch out all the way to work. And then I pull myself together, dry my tears and go to work. Why? Because unlike Cousinfucker I don’t have a fucking choice! I don’t get to ignore my kids and pretend they don’t have needs because hey, out of sight, out of mind!

I’ve been doing this all along, with no one by my side telling me how wonderful I am and how horrible he was. I get up and I GO  every single fucking day. Every morning I wake up at 3:20 in the fucking morning. While the rest of the world sleeps I’m up and getting ready to go to my first job and stock shelves and toss boxes around. It’s not glamourous. It’s not easy. It’s not fun. And it pays for shit.

Then I come home, get ready for my second job, and I go to work and I smile and I joke with customers and I’m all happy and cheerful while my life is spiraling down the drain and I continue to go through this divorce from hell.

That’s what I do. Meanwhile, Cousinfucker finds himself an expert witness to testify that he can’t possibly work.

But that’s not all. Because Cousinfucker refuses to work and pay support I have been forced to work two jobs so that I can pay the bills and feed the kids. My second job doesn’t pay for a boat. It isn’t paying for a luxury vacation or three or four. It doesn’t allow us to go out and go on shopping sprees. No, my second job means I can buy food. If either of my kids needs something for school I can probably buy it. It means I’m not down to $1 by the time pay day rolls around.

My daughter works as well. She works so that she can buy a car because her dad decided he’d rather go fuck his cousin instead of sticking around and helping to raise his kids. She works so that she can buy the clothes that I can no longer buy her. She works so that she can help to pay her car insurance because I’m not sure I can take another $100/month hit. She works so that she can go out with friends, buy make-up, grab something to eat, and just have spending money in general because her father refuses to pay support, which in turn means I can’t do any of those things for her. Or her brother.

Guess what it also means?

It means between the two of us we now make too much for me or my kids to qualify for Medicaid. Yes, I got that lovely bit of news as well. The program that I was once embarrassed to need I am now crying over. No doubt due to the fact that I will now need to get a third job to pay for the medical insurance I will have to purchase through work. It’s $185 every two weeks and it’s a high deductible plan. I have to pay out $2600/person before it kicks in a dime. Isn’t that wonderful? Or I take the tax penalty come next April. Awesome! And with my luck if I don’t carry insurance on them then some catastrophe will hit one of them. Then again, I’m broke anyway so who cares if I have to declare bankruptcy because of medical bills?

If I quit my second job then my kids don’t eat and there are no tiny extras, like Easter baskets or money for school sports. Or, my retired mother has to shoulder even more of the burden of the three of us. If I don’t quit my second job then I need to get a third job. I guess I’ll find something where I can work Saturday and Sunday. I’ll work 14 hour days on Saturday and Sunday will be my light day where I only work 8 1/2 hours. I’ll get two of those a week and those will be my official “days off”. Doesn’t that sound fair? I work three jobs and Cousinfucker works none. I never show up for anything for my kids. I’m never around for my kids. All so that I can support them. Because Cousinfucker won’t pay child or spousal support. And because he’s very busy playing Daddy of the Year to the whore’s four kids.

I’ve been going through old entries, mainly because I deleted a bunch of pictures and realized when I did that I lost my images on the posts. Duh! But as I was reading I realized I kept saying that maybe in six months things would look better. Maybe in a year things would look better. Maybe I was wrong and I would get an amazing job and my kids would do wonderfully here. Maybe this and maybe that. But you know what? None of it is any better. Picasso and Rock Star both are doing well but I’m not. I work two shit jobs for shit pay and that’s cost us our free health care. Their father is doing everything he can to get out of having to pay. I have no new and better life. I have, like, three friends here and I rarely go out with any of them. They all have lives of their own and very little time for me. I have no life outside of work. I’m too fucking tired to do much of anything after I’ve spent 13 hours at work. I have days where I fall asleep sitting up in a chair around 7:30 because I’m so tired I can’t keep my eyes open any longer. I feel horrible even admitting this but I dread the days I have to go to something for either of the kids because it means that I no longer get my 2 hours of down time. And then I feel bad if I don’t go; I feel bad that I don’t want to go. Because I have always wanted to go and support them. I have a life that I am desperately hoping ends sooner rather than later. I try and I try and I try some more. I work my ass off. I desert my kids. I try to be positive and I try to look on the good side of things and it comes around and kicks my ass. Every. Goddamn. Fucking. Single. Time!

You know what’s funny? No one believes me! I mention I hope I die of a massive heart attack and people think I’m joking. Someone once said to me, “I hear you work a second job.” I told her that, yes, I do indeed work a second job. I work from 4-7 am most days before I come into Job #2. She told me she didn’t know how I did it and how I managed and I replied, “Well, I cry every day.” Her response? “You’re so funny!” No, seriously, I cry pretty much every day. No one believes me. They think I’m hysterical. The funny kind, not the crazy kind. And lest anyone gets all worried I’m not suicidal. I wouldn’t kill myself but I’m not looking forward to staying alive most days either.

I really don’t think I can do this anymore. I’m so over all of this shit. I’m so tired of getting knocked down. I’m so tired of feeling just a tiny bit of hope only to have it slapped down hard. So many days I just want to tell him, “Fine! Take it all! I’ll take all the debt. I’ll pay you support. You keep your 401k. You keep your pension. I’ll pay you back for every goddamn thing you think I owe you and you pay me back nothing because everything you took was absolutely positively yours and yours alone. Hell, I’ll pay you half for my goddamn car so that I can still drive it even though you haven’t made a single payment on it in almost 2 years and have never paid the fucking property tax on it!” It still wouldn’t be enough for him. I hate him. I hope he dies. I hope it’s painful. I hope someone videotapes it and sends it to me so that I can watch it every night as a sweet bedtime story as I fall asleep. It might be a nice change from ID TV.

P.S. I know I said earlier I was generally a kind and loving person. I am. Unless I hate you. Then I hope you die. Painfully.

What If There Is No Life To Gain?

I wrote this post a few days ago. I actually rewrote it because the first edition was enough to make me want to slit my wrists. It was really pitiful. Believe it or not this is the sunnier version and it’s still not all that sunny. I wanted to post it anyway because despite having a fairly decent weekend, and despite having a more hopeful disposition in the past 24 hours, I spend most of my life feeling the way the post describes. Who knows? Maybe a change is a comin’. That would be delightful. For today, however, you’re left with this.

The motto over on Chump Lady is, “Leave a cheater, gain a life.” I’ve read many inspirational stories about people who have done just that. They’ve received promotions, went back to school, finished Masters or PhD programs, traveled, done fun things with their kids, remodeled or bought houses, got a new family pet, took back their lives, stopped walking on eggshells, found out that life without the cheater was fantastic, etc.  Good for them. Sincerely. These are the questions I’m always left wondering:  Did you have a job when you got divorced? How old were you when this happened? How long had you been married? Did you lose everything when you got divorced? Did you have to sell off all your furniture and belongings and leave whatever you couldn’t sell behind? Were you moved across the country and then forced out of your house, forced to move hundreds of miles once again, or do you still live in the same city? Did you have to yank your kids out of their schools once again and make them start all over? Did you move in with your mother or father or some other relative that took pity on you because without them you’d be homeless? Were you left with nothing but debt? Did your shithead ex quit his or her job after 15 years of making 6 figures and leave you destitute? Did a judge take pity on them and slash their support obligation by almost half? Were you old, fat and pretty much used up when they left for the shiny new whore?

I try very hard to hold on to that inspiration. To this belief that there is a new life out there to gain. A better life. One that will be so good that I won’t miss anything about my old life. But honestly? There is absolutely nothing that I find appealing about this new life I’m living. Believe me- I would love to say those words I just wrote: I have created a new life for myself and it is so much better than anything I lived with Cousinfucker. But the fact of the matter is, despite that 14 part bitch list I shared, I wasn’t unhappy.

I had things I enjoyed doing- Bunko, PTA, Teacher Appreciation, hockey and gymnastics for my kids. I got to travel for gymnastics meets, go shopping and buy whatever I wanted within reason, get my hair colored and cut at an actual salon instead of out of a crappy box and Great Clips. I knew lots of people. I had fantastic neighbors. I carpooled. I had lunch with friends. Hell, I had friends. I kept busy. I was able to go to all of my kids’ events. I drove them around everywhere. They were my life.

My husband wasn’t much of a partner or a father, but the kids and I got along without him. And he did join us occasionally, especially right after he was caught in his first affair. I figured out a way to be happy and fulfilled even if I didn’t have a husband who wanted to do everything with me and be by my side every minute of every day. I liked my old life, especially the one I had before we moved to Whoreville.

Now my life consists of drudgery. I work and I sleep and if I’m very very lucky I run my kids around. That’s it. I work approximately 55 hours a week. I work 6 days out of seven on a regular basis. I begin my day at 3:20 am, leave the house at 3:45 and get home sometime between 5:30 and 6:00 4 days out of 5. I dread pretty much every single day because it’s just more of the same- get up at an ungodly hour, go to work, come home, take Rock Star to school, head back home to get ready for the second job, go to work, come home, repeat. Also, make sure you’re in bed before 9 unless you’ve got to pick up a kid from a game or work. In between getting home from work and going to bed I enjoy the following fun activities: emailing teachers and/or counselors, making sure we still qualify for Medicaid, filing taxes, doing laundry, cleaning the bedroom, shampooing carpets, washing dishes, making dinner, feeding and watering the dogs, picking up Rock Star from practice, taking her and picking her up from work, and taking out the trash.

I know I should feel inspired by the stories on Chump Lady but I don’t. Every time I read them it’s like a kick in the gut once again. Promotion? Career thriving?  Making more money than I ever did when with the cheater? I didn’t even have a fucking job! I hadn’t worked outside of the home since early 1998! My big accomplishment was getting a seasonal part-time job that paid me $10.50-$11 an hour. I followed that up with getting a full-time job that also paid an amazing $11/hour. The kids and I live on approximately 15% of what we used to live on. It sucks. I hate being poor. The reality is he waited until I was middle aged and out of the workforce for far too long before he left. I don’t think I will ever get even close to living the same kind of life. I’m not sure I’ll ever even get to the point where I only have to work ONE job as opposed to two. There are not a lot of job opportunities for middle aged women who are starting over at the very bottom. Plus, we’ve already established that I suck at my new job so it’s not like this is going to lead anyplace.

Traveling? Having fun with my kids? I don’t have any money! Where the fuck am I going to travel? Hop in the car, kids! We’ll take a drive down the road, cross the state line and call it a vacation! Or maybe I’ll take them to Steak-n-Shake and we can get one of their $5 meal deals. No milkshakes, kids; Mommy is poor and Daddy is busy faking PTSD so that when he finally gets a job all of his money can go to his whore and her kids.

I remember one woman saying she created a scrapbook of things she and her kids had done since the divorce. I seldom do fun things with my kids anymore; again, I don’t have the money. Or the time. I also rarely see them anymore. Picasso is usually holed up in his room playing video games with his friends but even if he wasn’t I wouldn’t be around. Between my schedule and Rock Star’s schedule driving her to school and to work are about the only times I get to see her. Thank you, Cousinfucker, for ensuring that the last 2 years that my daughter lives at home I never get to see her. You chose to abandon her. I didn’t. And yet I’m the one that gets to continually pay for your choices.

Remodeling a house? Buying one on my own? Don’t. Make. Me. Laugh. I live with my mother, for crying out loud. If I didn’t we would be homeless. I’m not joking. I don’t make anywhere close to enough to pay rent somewhere, much less rent and utilities.

Finishing a Masters or PhD program? Snort. When exactly would I have time to go back to school between the two jobs and raising my kids? Something would have to give. It couldn’t be the jobs because I need those to pay my bills, take care of my kids, and pay for this magical schooling. Plus, I’m almost 48. I need to carefully consider whether or not someone would be willing to hire someone at my age fresh out of school. Getting discarded in your late 40s holds a few more challenges than being discarded in your 20s and 30s. Not as bad as being discarded in your 50s and 60s, I suppose, but still not a great position.

No longer walking on eggshells? Life being so much easier and stress free now that the cheater is gone? Pshaw! I have an uncanny ability to put up with tons of bullshit. It’s not like we ever walked on eggshells around Cousinfucker. If he was in a mood I just ignored him and left him to his own devices. He was probably sexting whores but I didn’t know that at the time. I just went along my merry way, doing my own thing while he pouted and sexted. I would say that this new life is the more difficult and stressful one.

Someone else said she took spin classes and met up with friends when her child was gone. After already putting in a 14 hour day I’m in no mood to do any exercise of any kind. Not spin class. Not yoga. Not aerobics. Nothing. Maybe, possibly, I might enjoy a good ol’ boxing or kickboxing class IF I can pin a picture of Cousinfucker and Harley on the bag and proceed to kick the shit out of it. Honestly, though? I’m probably too fucking tired to even do that. It all sounds great. Oh yeah, after work I’m going to lace up my running shoes and run 3 miles. Or, I’ll hit the yoga studio. Or, I’ll pretend I’m beating Cousinfucker and Harley to a fucking pulp at kickboxing class. The reality is that time kicks your ass. When you’re getting up at 3:20 in the morning 6 pm rolls around and you suddenly find yourself tired. You’ve been up for almost 15 hours by this time when most people have been up for maybe 12. Hell, I didn’t used to get up until after 7. You’ve put in a thirteen hour workday and you know you get to turn around and do it all over again the next day! It’s not like this is an aberration. No, this is your life.

Plus, Cousinfucker moved me away from all of my friends so it’s not like I have this huge support system and we get together and drink wine or do fun things together. The friends I have from my hometown have lived a life without me in it for 20 years now. Their lives are full and I make up only a tiny part of it. That would be fine if I actually had something to fill my life with outside of them; unfortunately, I don’t. So there isn’t much of a social support network.

They always counsel us to find something we are passionate about, something that we enjoy doing. I had those things. They were all taken away. I have roughly 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 hours each night to devote to “my passion”- if I never want to see my kids again. And if I can afford it. And if I’m not too tired. Or I can take my one day off each week and use that to devote to my unknown passion. Fuck the dishes. Fuck the laundry. Fuck the kids. It’s all about me. Only I’m not like that. I’m not going to desert my kids, especially not after their father has done so. I have so little time and I’m always tired so whatever I end up doing I would like it to be something that I really do love and care about. I don’t want to fill in space just to fill it in. That’s what all these Meetup groups feel like. I’m afraid that’s what church is going to feel like. That’s what I think a divorce support group will end up being.

I don’t know what I’m passionate about. Everything I knew and loved was taken away from me, even before Cousinfucker started fucking his cousin. My life as I knew it has been obliterated. It has been filled with work and poverty and trying to raise two kids while poor yet working nonstop. I hate it. I absolutely fucking hate what my life has become.

There is a part of me that says, “Try to get involved with a theater group. You loved that once.” But then there’s another part that says I’m too old to get any decent parts and yet another practical part that says, “Hey! Plays take an enormous amount of time and commitment. You don’t really have any time to spare. And if you do what’s going to happen to your kids? Are you going to abandon them, too? You’re already down to 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 hours a night with them. If you do this then you’ll really never see them. And who will get your daughter where she needs to be?” So I’m afraid that will be put on the back burner at least until I no longer have kids in the house, and probably indefinitely. Yet another thing I waited too long to reclaim.

I have no joy in my life. I have brief moments where I laugh at something funny one of my kids says. I occasionally will have a day where things are going right for me so I get a 24 hour period of relief. There was the moment my daughter finally was happy. I’m glad for her but I’m not happy. I don’t think I’ll ever be happy again.

For the most part I just exist. I’m numb. Life is neither good nor bad. It just is. I’m just here killing time, counting down the days, the weeks, the months, the years. My life consists of working all day long and then running to and fro for my daughter who doesn’t have her license yet. I don’t really look forward to anything. I don’t even look forward to or find joy in attending my kids’ events because it just means a longer day for me. It’s one more thing on my list of things to do and I’m already exhausted most days. The last thing I want to do is go for another 2 or 3 hours when I’ve already been going for a good 14 hours or more. I dread most days, actually. I can’t even begin to count the number of times I’ve stumbled out of bed at 3:20 in the morning, got ready and headed off to Target and thought, “This is my life now.” There is a certain feeling of defeat when you realize that this is your life and it’s never going to get any better. You realize you are never going to live a good life again. You will never take another vacation. You will never get to travel to places you’d love to visit. You won’t be able to ever take your kids to DisneyWorld. You will never be able to go shopping or buy your kids things just because. You’ll never be able to give them grand gifts or surprise them with something they’ve wanted for a while. You will never own your own home; hell, you may not even be able to afford to rent your own apartment. You realize that you will struggle in poverty for the rest of your life. That you will always be pinching pennies and remembering the life you used to live- the one where you didn’t have to worry constantly, the one where you had a home of your own, the one where you had furniture and household belongings and friends and joy. It was a life I didn’t dread and wish away.

I keep hearing about this new and improved life. I really wish I could create it. Unfortunately, with the choices Cousinfucker has made I now must spend the bulk of my life working for very little money, which leaves very little left over to create any kind of new and wonderful life. I would love to report soon that I love my life, that I’m happy and content. First I heard give it six months. Then I heard give it a year. Now I’m hearing give it two years. Well, I’m a year and a half out from D-Day and I’m no closer to Meh or to a new and improved life than I was 2 weeks after that day. Perhaps I shall begin the countdown anew once we are officially divorced.

Will 2017 Suck, Too?

Happy New Year, my fellow bloggers and loyal readers. Truthfully, I’m not much of a New Year’s Eve/New Year’s Day kind of person. I think NYE is a forced holiday where people want you to believe they are having so much fun (like seriously, what is so fun about standing out in the freezing cold at Times Square, or hanging out in a bar drinking while strangers reject you?). And New Year’s Day with all its resolutions and hope for a shiny, improved fresh year? Obviously, I am a bit jaded. I don’t do New Year’s resolutions and I have pretty much given up any hope that a new year will bring any great changes and/or a wonderful new life.

I admire those who are always optimistic. I truly do. I wish I could be more like them. Unfortunately, I have learned the hard way that my life from here on out is not going to be pleasant. And experience has shown me that the last few years have been a clusterfuck of epic disasters.

You know how cheaters always excuse their cheating with the explanation that they “weren’t happy” or “their needs weren’t being met”? Well, after examining the last 4 years of my life I have come to the conclusion that if anyone should have been having an affair it should have been ME! Things have pretty much been shit since 2013 and yet somehow I managed to not go fuck or blow another guy. Wow! We all know that being unhappy entitles you, no, practically requires you, to go have an affair. How did I resist? Oh, that’s right. I have morals and character. I’m not an asshole or a whore.

Oh wait- this is supposed to be about the upcoming new year. My hopes, my dreams, and how everything is going to be so wonderful for me this year. Hmmm… if we examine the last four years I’m fairly certain I shouldn’t be optimistic.

2013 is where it all started. The year was going okay the first four months and then we hit Mother’s Day weekend and my dear husband dropped the bombshell that he had been texting other women. Put it exactly like that- texting other women. Not, “I’ve been sexting other women and telling them disgusting things.” Or, “I’m in love with my cousin and we’re planning a life together. We talk about the house we want to buy and how nice it will be to eat dinner together and whether or not our children will get along.” Or, “Harley the Whore sends me naked pictures.” Nope, it was a very brief, trickle-truth if you will, admission that he had been simply texting other women. And remember, at that time I still thought he was an honorable man and that he was so honest and loyal that it was possible he was distraught over simply texting other women about our marriage or talking to them about his life. What an absolute fool I was.

He followed up his admission with the statement that it was all over and he would never contact any of them again. That was a lie. I, of course, began stalking Harley on Facebook to see what the whore was up to. This led to the feeling that something wasn’t quite right based on her Facebook posts. A confrontation with the husband where he told me he didn’t know if he still loved me. Lots of crying and desperation. Not knowing what my life was going to hold in the future. Trying to win him back all summer long. Finding out in August that he was still messing around with the whore. Having his mom compliment CuntFace’s picture, which pissed me off, sent me into a depressive spiral, and ultimately ended with me using my second FB account as a personal blog which would eventually lead to my divorce. Discovering in October that he was going to take the whore with him to get his tattoo when he was in state for his sister’s wedding, and she was going to get one to declare her love as well, and that he was telling people he was going to marry that bitch.

Even though the outing of the emotional affair ended up leading to a fairly good time in our marriage there were still questions, feelings of inadequacy, tension over not wanting to have anything to do with his family. There were still days I felt awful about the fact I was married to a cheater and that he could profess his love to another person. Our anniversary was tough to get through and I wondered if I could continue to do this. And always there was this expectation that I never mention his cheating again. That I not be sad or feel second best. That I not ask questions because obviously he loved me and chose me, right?

2013 ended with us waiting for an offer for him to relocate to the plant he really wanted- the one that was set into motion when he began his affair with Harley. Because I am an incredible dumbass I agreed to move, thinking we were in a much better place. I agreed to move because I placed my husband’s happiness above my own and that of my children. Ultimately, I ripped my kids’ lives apart for him and he ended up repaying that by cheating on me and abandoning us.

2014 began with the news that he was offered the job towards the end of January. I got to face my kids crying because their world as they knew it was about to change. We were still doing well as a couple. He was more engaged with the family. We went to DisneyLand and the Grand Canyon and Four Corners. All good things. The kids and I made a bucket list of things we wanted to do before we moved. But he was freaking out over the move. Moving is already stressful enough but when you add on a man who breaks down over the slightest thing it becomes even more difficult. Lots more hand holding for him. Assuring him I’m going to move there with the kids and not desert him (like he did to us 18 months later).

Honestly, I had high hopes for the move. I was optimistic that once I got there I would get involved, make new friends, and have a great new life. It would be different, but it would still be good. Instead, I watched as my son dissolved into a fit of tears because he hated it at his new school and stood by while my daughter decided to hang up her competitive leo.

There were bright moments- buying new furniture, getting a new car, buying the new house, hosting Thanksgiving dinner. Rock Star thrived at her new school and in her new life. She eventually decided to do Excel gymnastics and competed on the high school team where she was a star.

But Picasso continued to struggle and I was lonely. I became a hermit. I spent my days watching TV, decorating my house, and playing Candy Crush. I rarely ventured out which was a total 180 for me. Ever since having kids I had kept busy doing something. Now here in this new small town I had nothing. I didn’t volunteer. I wasn’t doing PTA anymore. My daughter competed alone most of the time so there was no real bonding with other moms at the gym. I did meet some moms through high school gymnastics which was nice.

Overall, I was bored and lonely. I missed my old life. And Cousinfucker? Well, we had only been out there for about six weeks when he began whining about his job and how it wasn’t all that he thought it was going to be. I got about four good months out of him after the move and then around December he began sliding downward. I’m sure that was right around the time Blockhead so helpfully pointed out my FB page to him. I found out right after Christmas that he was telling his sister he was “heavily medicated” and that he should never have tried to be happy. He was apologizing for ruining her relationship with me and telling her that she was a wonderful sister. That was also the point at which I got to read her telling him that she was done reaching out to me. It was also the first time I saw his parents in over a year.

Optimist that I was I thought that surely 2015 would be better. It began with Cousinfucker melting down about the movie American Sniper and needing to go to the hospital in late January because of a stomach bug. He was hospitalized for about 36 hours which morphed into 2 1/2 days when he later told the story.

Okay, that wasn’t a good start but it will get better, right? Wrong! He is now drinking heavily. Crying all the time. Telling his sister awful things about me and things I have supposedly done. She encourages him to leave me. He ends up committed to a psych ward the beginning of February because of his supposed suicidal ideations. Nothing like having your husband committed when you’re in a new town and know very few people to help you out. Meanwhile, Tammy Faye is asking me if I have ever actually told him I’ve forgiven him, and telling me she is sorry for whatever it is that she has done. I can’t really explain it but it felt like a huge pile-on, like all of this was my fault and if only I would start acting like nothing had happened between him and Harley then none of this would be happening now.

March brings cluster headaches for him so again he’s down for the count. Meanwhile I have Blockhead breathing down my back, asking how he’s doing and keeping tabs on us. By this point I am seriously depressed and at times thinking about driving off a mountain. There were many entries where I wrote: I’m done. I give up. I can’t do this anymore. Plus, he’s still crying all the time. And after a month of no drinking starts up again.

April Blockhead comes around. I remember feeling like everyone was ganging up on me- Blockhead, Jezebel, Tammy Faye. I can’t tell you why I felt that way; I just did. I had this feeling that everyone was encouraging him to leave me and acting like I was the problem. He was still crying a lot, drinking a lot, sleeping a lot, and distancing himself from us. That Easter I was recording messages for my loved ones to find after they found my body. I still have those messages. There was a lot of crying and apologizing on my part. I was sure he was messing around with Harley again and in hindsight he probably was. I was so lost and felt like suicide was my only way out. I don’t know why. I’m not sure why divorce wasn’t on the table. Maybe I’ll review my old messages and find out. I do know I felt like that would be giving him everything he wanted- he wouldn’t have to divorce me, pay spousal or child support, divide any assets, or split custody of his kids. He could try to merge our kids with hers into one big happy blended family and our kids would never even have to know he was a lying cheater who had fucked around with their new step mommy before my death.

I believe he was planning on seeing her in May but for whatever reason he turned the car around and came home. He claims he had a panic attack and that driving was difficult for him. I don’t know if that’s true or not. Maybe he had an attack of his conscience. Doubtful.

I think May might have actually been one of the few good months I had that year. No illnesses. No suicidal thoughts on my part.

Of course, beginning in June he was sending the gold digging whore money, buying her a cell phone, paying her cell phone bill, lying and gas lighting me. Oh, and watching construction of our pool while he sexted with CuntFace. Good times, good times!

Ironically, the kids and I were actually having a pretty good time. We left in early June to attend Queen B’s graduation and to go visit friends in our former state. We had a great time. I actually missed Cousinfucker and was eager to get back home and to lay down roots in our new town. Again, I was filled with hope and optimism.

July he’s acting off and I’m getting a strange feeling. His therapist and I coached him on driving to what I thought was a job site, but what actually turned out to be a meetup with Harley. He also drove to his mom’s house (ha- I bet he stayed with the whore and not his mom) and officially did the deed with Harley. I’m pretty sure that was the date they consummated their great soulmate relationship. There is a slight chance she came to my house in June, though, and if she did, well then, he fucked her then- in my goddamn bed. He ended up quitting therapy completely.

August my world is turned upside down when I get a message from The Saint letting me know Cousinfucker has been spending his weekends in Whore Town with Harley. I find out he’s cashed in the rest of his stock, has a separate bank account, and is interviewing for a job in her state. I file for divorce.

September (well, technically, August 30th or thereabouts) he cuts me off financially. Flits off to WhoreTown every weekend. I find out he bought her an engagement ring and that he put a deposit down for a dog for her kids. I also find out he took out a $5000 loan on his 401k (hey, gotta buy the whore an engagement ring!).

October, November, December pretty much were all the same. More discoveries of what a shithead he is. More financial abuse. More money spent on kids that aren’t his while his own he leaves floundering. Our temporary support hearing was the day before our 21st anniversary.

Thankfully, I did have money during that period of time because I transferred everything we had in savings and checking into a separate account that was only in my name. I was actually doing pretty good during those last few months. I had a good Thanksgiving, a good Christmas, and a good New Year’s. I thought 2015 was my shit year and I was looking forward to good things happening in 2016. I looked forward to finally being divorced, albeit not until the second half of 2016.

2016 has sucked ass. It began in February when Cousinfucker quit his job of 15 years and moved out of the house and out of the state, all without saying a single word to any of us.

You can reread my blog entries around that time and see what a mess I was. I had no idea what was happening and whether or not he was going to continue to pay his ordered support. I didn’t know if he had received his bonus check. I didn’t know anything and he didn’t feel like he needed to tell me anything either.

I finally got my support check and things went back to normal- for a while. I suppose I enjoyed 4 months of normalcy, thinking that everything was on the right path, before he quit this next job and stopped paying support completely.

Since June my life has been one shit storm after another. I’ve lost my home, pretty much all of my belongings. I had to sell off all of my furniture. I had to take my kids out of their schools and transfer them. I had to leave the state and move 600 miles in with my mother. I have no home of my own. I don’t even have a bedroom. I sleep on a couch most nights. I spent December working two menial paying retail jobs, sometimes working 16 hour days and getting up anywhere between 1:20 and 3:20 to be in to work by 2, 3 or 4 am. Even with all of that I am not really ahead of the game. And I still cry pretty much every day, at least once. It doesn’t usually last long, but it almost always happens at least once a day. I might have missed a day here or there, but I’m pretty consistent.

Cousinfucker has paid nothing since May when CuntFace wrote out the check for me. He’s now claiming to have PTSD and believes his future earnings are only in the $30,000 range. I believe that’s a load of bullshit considering he was making that much when I met him almost 23 years ago.

I start work at the bank on the 9th of this month. I will be making a whopping $11 an hour. After taxes I figure I will make enough to pay my bills and probably cover food costs. My last day at Kohl’s was yesterday but I will continue to work at Target. I’m going to be working 4 am-7 and then heading into the bank. That $100+ dollars I make after taxes each week is all I will have to do anything with my kids, like movies, buying a pizza, or going out to eat, to buy dog food, to buy household essentials like toilet paper, saline solution, school supplies, etc., and to help my kids out with anything they need, such as new pants or something for cheer or football.

I would be depressed about the fact that I only get 4 days of vacation this year but let’s face it- with the money I make where the hell am I going to go?

I have a show-cause hearing on the 3rd of February. I’m fully expecting Cousinfucker to get away with everything. Hell, I’m half expecting to be told I need to pay him something.

Happy New Year? I doubt it. More like: Come on 2017; show me what you’ve got! I don’t dare say I’ve lost everything I can possibly lose because God knows the universe just fucks me harder. So what do you have in store for me, 2017? Am I going to lose a child this year? Maybe have a limb amputated? Get caught in a mass shooting? Sadly, I would welcome that.

I’m pretty sure I’m going to have to end up declaring bankruptcy in 2017. I will hopefully be divorced at some point although I’m not sure how that’s going to benefit me because I see myself getting totally screwed in the settlement. I’m telling you, evil always wins. My daughter will begin her senior year so I am going to have to pick up a third and possibly fourth job in order to pay for senior year expenses. I should probably just start doing drugs so I can stay up for 36 and 48 hours at a stretch.

Ah, you sweet optimists, I would so love to be you. Unfortunately I have resigned myself to the fact that this is my life. It sucks. I have no hope it will get better. I was supposed to be living on a somewhat comfortable amount of spousal support, not what I was used to, but definitely enough that I wouldn’t have had to work if I didn’t want to. Instead, I am going to live out the rest of my life in poverty because I doubt I will ever see another dime from Cousinfucker. No spousal support. No child support. It’s all on me from now on, after 20 years of indentured servitude. Oh, I’m sure that at some point, when I have put in enough years, working two jobs will mean that I will actually have a little extra instead of barely treading water. Little being the operative word. It might mean that now I can buy a pizza and take my kids to Chili’s in the same week! Of course, by the time that actually happens my kids will be out of the house and in college, so scratch that. As for love and new romance, I have no desire to ever date again or find another mate because I sincerely believe that most people out there are liars and cheaters. I refuse to go through that bullshit again. I’m so fucking tired from working all the time and going in at obscene hours that I don’t have time to meet new people or develop hobbies or to build a new fucking life. This is it. Go to work for shit pay, try to interact with my kids, have my daily crying jag, do some laundry, cook some dinner, write some blog entries, go to bed, repeat. I’m not going to get sucked into thinking that 2017 is going to be a great year for me. It’s more than likely going to be yet another shitty year with a few bits and pieces of, “Hey, that wasn’t so awfully terrible.” I’m sure there will be moments that I laugh. Many more moments where I cry. I’m sure I will find some happy things to celebrate and that it won’t all be a disaster. But primarily I’m not expecting anything, and I’m especially not expecting anything good.

For those of you who believe in the whole New Year nonsense: Happy New Year! May 2017 be prosperous and joyful. I hope it brings you amazing experiences, relationships, and fortunes. For those of you who don’t: Let’s just try to survive yet another year.

I’m Still Alive

I’ve started my job. It’s not as bad as I thought it would be. I’m tired all the time.

My nightmare became a reality; I slept through my damn alarm clock the first day. I was terrified I wasn’t going to hear that alarm going off at 3:20 in the morning. I even woke up around 2:55 and thought, “Oh, ok, I’ll definitely hear it because it’s going to go off within the next 30 minutes or so.” Nope! What I did hear was the noise my phone makes 10 minutes before a calendar event. I jumped up out of bed, put my clothes on, had a devil of a time trying to get my contacts in and I flew to work. I woke up at 3:50 and left the house at 3:57. I made it in 4 minutes! I had called as I was driving to let the supervisor know I was running late and when I got there he laughed at me and told me that technically I wasn’t even late. I still felt really bad.

I ended up staying until 11 am even though I was scheduled to get out of there at 8:30. The next day I stayed until 1. We got a huge load of Christmas stuff so I stuck around to help.

I had a very long day yesterday and it doesn’t help when your day begins at roughly 3:30 in the morning. After work I came home, watched some TV and then headed to the school to pick up my daughter. She has cheer from 4-6 on Tuesdays. Why they have this gap is beyond me. She gets out at 2:45 and has nowhere to go and no one to hang with so I grabbed her, took her to get a sweet tea, and then we headed over to my sister-in-law’s to hang out for a while instead of going back to the house.

I dropped her off for practice, headed home once again, and reminded Picasso we had a school magnet fair to go around 6. We left to pick Rock Star up from practice early, took her to work and then headed to the fair.

Poor kid is so confused now. He thought he wanted to go to one school and now he’s thinking he might go to the school I suggested. He doesn’t have much more time to make up his mind.

We stopped for milk and also to grab something to eat and went home. By this time it was probably 7:30, 8:00. I ate and watched some more TV and then decided I was going to head off to pick up Rock Star early. She got off at 10 but I figured if I got there early I could doze in the car as opposed to taking the chance I would fall asleep here and not be there to pick her up on time.

Surprise! I did indeed fall asleep in the car while I waited. She drove home and I’m pretty sure I was passed out the entire time. Okay, not the entire time because I remember having a conversation with her about how hungry she was.

Today I was off. I have an open house to go to with Picasso for one of the high schools he’s interested in. Tomorrow I do work and on top of that I have two open houses to attend- one for the second high school and one for scholarship possibilities.

Honestly, I don’t know how people work and raise children. I really don’t. Maybe the difference is I’m not answering phones or working in an office atmosphere but I’m so freaking tired when I get done and then I have to keep going. Hopefully it will get better the longer I do it. I definitely know that Cousinfucker had a dream situation going on. Yes, he may have been the one getting up and going to work every day but he didn’t have to do much of anything beyond that! Plus, I distinctly remember him telling me a few years ago that Angry Birds and then Candy Crush took up a huge amount of his time while he was at work. It’s good to be the boss, I suppose. After his full day of playing games he got to come home to a wife that fed him, washed and put away his clothes, did all the shopping and took care of the house, the pets, and his kids. He wasn’t taking kids to hockey or gymnastics or high school magnet fairs. He came home, ate, and watched TV.

Now he’s not working. I am. My job is a hell of a lot more strenuous and doesn’t pay even a fraction of what his did. I still don’t get any help with the kids. He’s still not doing a damn thing for them. Sounds about right.

I need to clean the house so it’s shiny and bright for my mom when she gets home on Friday. Plus, I have laundry to do.

There is a big hiring event coming up on the 12th for a grocery store. Sadly, I am hoping that I will get hired on as a cashier, possibly even full-time, making $12/hour.

That’s it. That’s what I’ve been up to. Nothing exciting.

Good News Followed By Bad News

In what has become my life I’ve had teeny tiny rays of sunshine followed by huge dark rain storms.

Today’s small beam of sunshine? I had a phone interview with Target and they want me to come in tomorrow for another interview. Yep, 47 fucking years old with a college education and if I’m very very lucky I’ll be working at Target this season. Part-time. Hooray!

Followed by today’s monsoon… as far as we know Rock Star did not make the cheer team. Yep, voted MVP and All-Conference last year and can’t even make the fucking team up here. #thanksdad I hate him so fucking much. I hate him for everything he has taken from her.

This shit is why I am never positive about anything having to do with the future. I am thrown some tiny bit of not so horrible crap that I spin and spin into a positive, like a phone interview with Target. Because hey! At least I’m getting my foot in the door! It’s current work experience! So what if I’m making $8 or $9 an hour and can’t even afford to pay my bills? Think of the positives! You’re doing it on your own! Hooray! Life is great!

Then I’m sucker punched with yet another round of awful shit heading my way. Guess what? Your daughter’s life sucks here! She can’t even make a sideline cheer team! Her whole high school life now is going to now consist of going to work and going to school. You got her hopes up, insisted she try out because she would make the team and make new friends, and now she’s been ground up and tossed aside. She says she doesn’t care but I don’t believe that for a minute. If she doesn’t care it’s only because she’s given up hope.

You know, some days I truly believe that prison can’t possibly be as bad as my life is now.

Karma & Living Well

There’s been a lot of bitching on this blog these last few months because I’ve been seriously unhappy. Cousinfucker has resigned from not one, but two jobs, has blown through tens of thousands of dollars, and is happily shacked up with Harley. I’m sure there is lots of drinking, lots of sex, and lots of TV watching. He pays absolutely nothing and I’m left juggling this entire mess. None of this is a secret. It’s my life.

The other day I tried focusing on the positives as small as they might be. Tiny things like my daughter not hating it here quite as much or having a family dinner or my son going trick-or-treating. I know that it’s easy to wallow in pity and I’m sure it’s probably much better for me to focus on the good.

This is where I stumble. I suppose life would be a lot more pleasant if I could say to myself, “Rock Star, sweetie, I know you’re bummed because you thought you were going to get your license and instead you had to get another learner’s permit, but it’s only six months and in the grand scheme of things it’s not a big deal,” and actually mean it. It would be more pleasant if I could say, “There’s nothing to be ashamed of about needing public aid. It’s there for a reason. You won’t be on it forever.” Or if I could tell myself that it doesn’t matter that I lost my home and all of my material possessions because in the end I have what really matters- my kids and my family. I can talk of how grateful I am to have a home and not mention how I never wanted to move here or how I don’t have a place of my own. I could put a positive spin on everything that is happening. Hey- kids are resilient! Hey- high school doesn’t matter! Hey- what’s an extra immunization or two? Hey- no problem that I’m the one running around and taking care of everything while he fucks and drinks and watches TV! I could plod along refusing to acknowledge all the bad stuff and only highlighting the positives. But to me that gives Cousinfucker a pass. How can you possibly be angry with someone when everything they do is okay? How do you honestly function when you eat shit sandwich after shit sandwich, pretending nothing gets to you?

I think there is a fine line between doing what you have to do and raging against the injustice. I get that Cousinfucker isn’t ever going to step up. I could bitch and moan about how unfair it is but that won’t change anything. So, I make the damn phone calls and I do whatever the hell it is that needs to get done because I know it won’t get done otherwise. Is it unfair that Cousinfucker is off screwing his whore of a cousin while I’m enrolling kids in school and running around to get all the necessary documents? You bet your ass it is! Is it unfair that Cousinfucker has quit two jobs now and has basically abandoned his financial responsibilities towards his children while I’m applying for public assistance and desperately looking for a menial paying job to feed them and buy them the necessities? Again, you bet your ass it is!

The truth of the matter is I can do the first one without complaint because I’ve always been the one doing the hands on work where the kids are concerned. I can’t make him move here and physically care for his kids. That’s impossible. But I can hold out hope that he will be held accountable for the financial end of it.

Maybe he’ll get away with it. The judge could buy his whole PTSD story. Even if he doesn’t and he orders him to pay there’s no guarantee Cousinfucker will actually do as ordered. Hell, he has a support order right now that he’s ignoring. It’s possible that he’ll decide he would rather go to jail than pay me.

I think that limbo state is the worst. That and the fact that I don’t currently have a job. I am completely dependent upon him. My prospects aren’t looking bright in the pay department. They won’t be bright for quite some time. 47 year old women who have been out of the workforce for 18 years are not in high demand. I know- I was shocked, too!

So, in that regard it’s really difficult to be thankful. Yes, I have a house to live in. Yes, I have my kids. Yes, they’re being educated and have potential opportunities. And yet right now I have enough money to pay my bills for one more month. I might have enough money to feed my kids. But I’m at the end of the road. Family dinners and trick-or-treating aren’t going to put food on the table. None of that stuff is going to make my car payment. Needless to say I am definitely stressed out over the financial end of things. All the positives in the world won’t take that away. Nor will they erase the fact that I’m looking at working at least two jobs just to pay my bills, feed my kids, and potentially be able to do small things for them, like buying my son new shoes or grabbing a milkshake after school one day, or going to the movies if I ever have a spare moment.

I’m trying to figure out how I’m supposed to pay for college so I can go back and get a more marketable degree, take classes once I’ve figured out how to pay for it, and then also work full-time plus some so that I can support my kids. Oh, and actually spend a minute or two with my kids as opposed to letting them raise themselves these last few years. Back in his home state, Cousinfucker is shacked up with a whore without a care in the world. It’s very difficult to be able to acknowledge any positives in a situation like that. And it does seem very head in the sand if I tell myself, “Oh, you focus on yourself and don’t worry about him!”

My reality is that if Cousinfucker were paying what he’s supposed to be paying I wouldn’t be in this situation. Hell, if he were paying even half of what he was supposed to be paying I wouldn’t be in this situation. I would have still had to move and therefore would have still upended my daughter’s life, but I wouldn’t be in a financial bind.

If you can’t tell, I’m not fond of financial insecurity. Give me a good paying job or the winning lottery numbers, or ensure that Cousinfucker starts paying spousal and child support based upon his previous earnings and I’m sure I’ll be able to focus on the positives just fine.

Unfortunately, right now focusing on the good stuff just seems to excuse his behavior; it tells him and the world that what he’s done isn’t that bad. It is that bad, though. He has destroyed this family. He has systematically dismantled our lives, not once, not twice, but three times now! He has left me in a terrible financial situation, one from which I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to recover.

Look, I’m gearing up to be told he won’t have to pay me a penny. He won’t have to pay arrears from the temporary support order or from before. He won’t be responsible for paying me half of what he’s spent on Harley and her kids. He won’t be asked to show where he paid back the five grand he took out on his 401k to buy Harley an engagement ring. He’ll get away with everything and I’ll be working my ass off from here on out while he lounges around with Harley. I wouldn’t be surprised at all to find out his plan is to get his child support reduced as far as he can and have spousal support denied. Then in five years once Picasso has graduated from high school he’ll start working again. I’ll end up looking ridiculous asking for spousal support to finally be awarded and the judge will probably wonder why on earth I haven’t learned to provide for myself yet after five to six years. So he gets off scot free. He does whatever he wants and doesn’t have to pay a penny. Meanwhile, the kids and I have had our lives upended and no one gives a damn. There is no retribution for us. Too bad, so sad.

I could tell myself to take the long view. I could tell myself that even if I’m not worth shit to my kids right now as far as being able to do anything for them financially that maybe if I go back to school to be a nurse I’ll be able to help pay for weddings and help buy things for the grandkids. I don’t want to be a nurse; I have absolutely no desire to be a nurse. But the money is good and it’s probably one of the few occupations where I could possibly get hired coming out of school at age 50 or greater. I could tell myself that as unfair as all this is I just need to put it out of my mind and focus on what I do control- which turns out to be not much. I could tell myself that working 60 hours for $9 and $10/hour might suck ass but at least I’m paying my bills. I could remind myself that even though my kids don’t have any extras that all those hours working at shit wages means they’re able to eat and have cell phones and get all their necessities paid for. I’m sure that at some point I will accept that, much like I accepted toppling off that bridge so many years ago.

There’s still something very unsettling about taking that view. It feels wrong. It feels like I’m letting him off the hook and that he’ll never pay, because let’s face it: He doesn’t have a fucking conscience. The fact that his kids want nothing to do with him doesn’t affect him the way it would a person who actually felt any normal emotions.

This week someone wrote to Chump Lady and asked her for her best karma stories. Several people had one but what struck me the most was something a commenter said about not believing in karma and why.

While there are some pretty humorous karma stories out there… these disordered individuals are the ones in the driver’s seat of their own karma bus of destruction. That bus may one day plow into them with race car speed or slowly drive over them back and forth and they’ll just keep getting up and dusting themselves off, unaware of what’s causing their injuries or how to stop them from happening. People who are so scrambled up in their brains that they can do such things as destroy their own families without even flinching don’t have the ability to self-reflect nor do they understand the concept of cause and effect. They will continue to repeat the same cycle of destruction over and over again. It doesn’t make me feel satisfied that he will never truly be happy, in fact, it makes my job as a parent more difficult as one day I will have to explain to my daughter why her daddy acts the way he does. Hopefully, he doesn’t discard her when parenting gets too difficult for him, but his track record says that this disconnect is probably somewhere in the near future.

I know that real karma will probably never affect him because as CL pointed out, my STBX simply doesn’t care. He lacks what the rest of us take for granted. Real emotions and the ability to connect to another human being without sucking the life force out of them like an emotional vampire. I’m not a mental health professional, but I think that whatever caused him to be this way can’t be reversed. It’s tragic and sad that even his own family has rejected him and still he continues on his poisoned, misdirected path because it’s all he knows to do. 

That’s the truth, folks. CF is in the driver’s seat of his own karma bus of destruction but he won’t ever make the connection. He will continue to insist that he is a victim. His story will be that he was forced to cheat on me. I didn’t take care of him. I never loved him. Feel sorry for him, everyone. The fact that his children want nothing to do with him has, well, nothing to do with him. He’s the victim! I somehow turned them against him. Or, failing that, they never loved him either; they only thought of him as a wallet. They didn’t talk to him. He was treated worse than a piece of furniture. If they don’t want to have anything to do with him then why should he support them or care what happens to them? These other kids appreciate him; they love him. So he’s justified in walking away. His kids don’t love him, have treated him horribly, and only care about his money.

Tracy often writes that the best revenge is living well. Person after person writes in and talks about how much better their life is now that the cheater is out of it. So many people talk about their financial struggles and end their posts with their realization that even if they’re struggling it’s so much better than living with the cheater.

What happens when your life isn’t better? I don’t have an amazing job. I didn’t get a fantastic promotion or a raise. I didn’t buy myself a darling little house that is smaller than what I had but I just love it because it’s all mine. I’m not rewiring a house. I haven’t received some amazing settlement. I haven’t taken up some amazing new hobby nor have I traveled extensively. My life is one shit filled cupcake after another. I can’t even find a menial paying job, much less think I’m going to get a promotion or a raise! I can’t travel because I have no money. I have no desire to rewire a house although I understand how that might be a very useful skill. I will never be able to buy a house of my own. At the most I might one day be able to say I have an apartment of my own. I have always been alone. It’s just that when I was married and alone I had access to money. My kids had everything they needed and almost everything they wanted. Now I’m alone and I feel guilty if I buy my daughter a $1 sweet tea from McDonald’s. A little over a year ago the kids and I were living on a six figure income. Today I’m celebrating the fact that our Medicaid applications were approved. Life is definitely not better.

I admire those who can say despite all the financial struggles their life is so much better and they’re so much happier. I’m not one of them. I remember someone telling me that she had had a large, expensive house before her divorce and now she was living in a much smaller house but she was happy. I don’t think that’s going to be me. I liked my big house with the 3 1/2 bathrooms. I liked my huge bedroom and my hot tub and my pool, even though I only swam a handful of times in the damn thing. I liked my big kitchen and the granite countertops. I miss it.

These are the lessons I’m learning. 1. The best revenge is living well; however, I’m not living well. I doubt that I ever will. Truly. I completely expect my life to suck from here on out. 2. Karma really only affects those who are self-aware enough to realize they have screwed up their lives and have a conscience. Since neither of those two things seem to apply to Cousinfucker he will never be run over by the karma bus. 3. Finally, despite living paycheck to paycheck, potentially working 2 shitty part-time jobs just to provide the basics for my kids, and relying on welfare to do the rest, I should concentrate on what I do have and focus on the future instead of the fact that Cousinfucker is going to get away with all of his bullshit and financial shenanigans. Yeah, that sounds about right.

Well guess what? I’m tired of giving up everything from my old life. First there was the house, the furniture, my stupid decorations, the pool. There was the fact that I had to pull my kids out of their schools and move them again. Now I’m looking at probably having to get rid of my car. It’s not going to help tremendously. I’ll still have some sort of a loan it just won’t be $365. Maybe it will help with insurance costs as well. Of course, I’ll probably have repair bills instead. Next up will be getting rid of the kids’ cell phones, or making them pay for them if they want to keep them. It’s like Cousinfucker cannot torture me enough; there’s no limit to the pain he inflicts. Yet somehow I’m supposed to skip happily along and say, “Oh, think of all the things I DO have!” Here’s the thing though, and it’s not pretty. The things that I have now? I’ve always had them. My kids, my family. I didn’t gain them through divorce. My net sum is at a negative balance. I haven’t gained anything; I continue to lose over and over. And there’s no way I’m going to be okay with Cousinfucker getting away with that. There’s no way that I’m okay with everything that has happened in the last 4 months. I will NEVER be okay with it. Ever.

Ultimately I know I’m going to have to make peace and get on with my life. I’m not sure how I’m going to do that, though. I’m so far into the hole I’m not sure I’ll ever get out of it. I just had a credit card account closed because of what’s going on with another credit card- the one I haven’t paid on, have a court order saying I’m no longer responsible for it, and one that CF apparently hasn’t taken care of either. I haven’t charged on this credit card that was just closed except for the one purchase I made when I applied for and was approved for this card. But, it’s been closed down. I kept that card in case of emergency. It was my backup plan in case I needed to pay my lawyer another deposit. Now that’s gone. I wouldn’t be surprised at all to find out that CF actually cashed out his damn 401k the day he quit his job so I don’t even have that to fall back on. You know how Dave Ramsey preaches the snowball effect in regards to paying off debt? I have this going on in reverse. More and more shit is piled on. Whenever I think I’m getting a break I actually get screwed over.

Oh, karma, what in the hell did I ever do to deserve this?

Say A Cheer Or Shed a Tear?

The title says it all. I grabbed the mail yesterday and received three envelopes- one addressed to me and one addressed to each of my children. We’ve been approved for Medicaid. I’m not sure whether I should cheer because we are finally covered in case something catastrophic happens to one of us, or if I should cry because I’m officially on public aid. #thanksdad #wtgcousinfucker

Shades of Black & White

A commenter made the remark that it seems like I write in black and white contrasts, and ignore the shades of gray. I get what she’s saying about the shades of gray. Sometimes things aren’t worse; they are simply different. I also know I have been doing an endless amount of complaining lately; however, the differences in my life before CF’s antics and my life now are stark contrasts in black and white.

I really have gone from being privileged to being poor.  I’ve done the calculations many times. I need $900/month just to pay my bills- that’s no food, no utilities and no rent. Just my regular monthly bills that remain the same each and every month. At $11/hour I earn less than $1800/month. After I take out 20% in taxes (and honestly, I don’t know how much they take; it could be less I suppose) and pay those bills I will have slightly somewhere between $500-$550/month left over. I need to buy food, dog food, deodorant, saline solution, toilet paper, shampoo, toothpaste, tampons, etc. with that money. I realize I won’t have to buy that stuff every month (well, except for tampons and toilet paper) but by the time I’ve paid for those things I won’t have anything left. And remember I’m purchasing those things for three people (except the tampons, of course). If I work a second job that will help to pay for my share of the utilities. It won’t be going to help pay for extras. That’s poor. Working poor, but poor nonetheless.

To me shades of gray would be downsizing from the oversized house in a prestigious part of town into a more modest house in perhaps an older section of town. Shades of gray would be going from, say $250,000/year down to $80,000, or even $30,000-$40,000. Hell, shades of gray would have been when I went from having access to 100% of my husband’s paycheck to only having access to 66% of it!

I saw shades of gray earlier when this whole thing first went down. Shades of gray was suddenly being left with just enough to pay our bills in our home while I used savings to buy food and whatever the kids wanted or needed. Shades of gray was no longer taking the kids out on weekends, no longer buying clothes for my daughter on a regular, for absolutely no reason, basis, no longer being able to buy my son an Xbox just because, not being able to throw elaborate birthday parties, and not spending as much money on Christmas. Shades of gray was budgeting our money and having to choose between A and B because I knew I could no longer do both in the same pay period.

There are no longer any shades of gray. There is no adjusting or downsizing our lifestyle right now. We used to have a home of our own; now we don’t. It’s not a matter of living in a smaller house, or having to reduce spending in order to stay there. I can’t afford a home period. We live with my mom in her house. Before it was, “We used to have everything we needed and most of what we wanted,” and now it’s, “I’m going to be working 40 hours a week just to pay our bills and put food on the table. We have most of what we need and nothing that we want because there’s nothing left over for extras.” It is not a matter of my kids won’t get as much as they used to. They won’t get anything from me now unless I’m working 60-80 hours and even then it won’t be much.

As for either being the most popular kid in school or being lonely, well, again it is a black and white comparison. Rock Star really did shine at her last school. She made a name for herself on the very first day. She did more pushups than any of the kids in her gym class, including the boys and she had the coaches watching her. One of them begged her to play soccer; the coach had never seen her play, and for the record, my daughter never has played, but based upon her performance in gym class she wanted her on her team. She stood out on the gymnastics team, which wasn’t hard to do because there weren’t any competitive gyms in the area and she came from a background of 23 hour a week practices and had been competing since 2nd grade. She was voted MVP and All-Conference her first year of cheerleading. Numerous boys flirted with her and asked her out. Her principal knew her by name and would bring candy to the gymnasts. Her teachers all knew her as well. When I say she had a movie like existence in high school I am being completely honest. I used to joke I lived vicariously through her. It was a school of 1100 students and she made a name for herself; I think there were very few people who didn’t know who she was. She had a full and active social and school life.

Here, she is not involved in school. She hasn’t made a name for herself. She doesn’t stand out. She really is a nameless, faceless nobody. That’s not me throwing her or myself a pity party. It’s a statement of fact. There are approximately 1700 student here and I’d be surprised if more than 20 of them even casually knew of her, meaning they took a class with her and remembered her.

This isn’t a small rural school where they really need kids to participate on their teams. My daughter spent her entire life in a gym. It’s the only thing she’s good at as far as sports go. She’s not going to try out and make the softball or volleyball or soccer team when she’s never played outside of gym class. Not here where those kids on the team now have spent years and years playing, probably since they were very young.  Shades of gray happened in our last move where she went from competing in gymnastics at the club level to competing on the high school team. It happened when she switched from gymnastics being her entire life to simply being a part of her life. It happened when she accepted the fact that she would never improve, would never gain skills and in fact, would probably lose skills. But she embraced life there and was able to appreciate her new life, even if she would have given everything up to be able to compete with her former teammates still.

Every day I ask her how school was and if she met anybody new. She has mentioned a few names but I rarely see her interacting after hours with any of them. The people she snapchats with and Facetimes are the people she was friends with back in our last two states. I’m not running her and her friends to the mall. I’m not taking her out to dinner with friends before the football game; she hasn’t attended a single football game, including Homecoming, and I doubt she will. She doesn’t hang with friends on the weekends. I don’t have kids at the house. The only two people she talks about on a regular basis are a boy I don’t want her dating and a girl who is constantly telling off the teachers and who apparently took pictures of a test and sold the answers to other students.

She will tell you herself that she doesn’t like it here and that she misses her old life. She is just biding her time until college two years from now. Those are her words. She was telling me today she almost had an emotional breakdown in class. When I asked what was wrong she replied, “Mom, I have no friends and I’m failing a class. I feel so stupid and I hate it here.”

Maybe things will change. I hope she chooses to go out for cheerleading in the next month or two. I hope she begins to cultivate relationships outside of school. I hope she ends up with a great circle of friends from work. I hope things pick up for her. But right now they haven’t. She hates it here. There are no shades of gray. It is all black and white. If I could make her world gray I would.

Trying to Put a Positive Spin On This, Take Two

Last time I tried this it didn’t work so well. I ended up just feeling sorry for myself. What I was trying to say the last time is: Being in limbo sucks, there’s no point in worrying about the future, drop the rope, and stop whining about life being unfair. It sucks but there’s nothing you can do about it.

Being in limbo does suck! I don’t know anything. Right now my head is full of worst case scenarios. I do not allow myself to think that things will go my way in court because I don’t want to be devastated when and if Cousinfucker gets away with everything. As I’ve said many times I envision my daughter’s senior year as the Year From Hell, as I have to either explain to her why she can’t participate, basically, i.e. no senior pictures, no graduation announcements, no graduation party, no dinner afterwards, no graduation gift, no nothing; or I work 80 hours a week to keep my head above water and then end up working the day of her graduation so she gets the party but I miss it.

That’s what I’m envisioning. Honestly, I think that’s a pretty damn good representation of what’s actually going to happen (hey, I’m trying to be positive, not delusional!) but I don’t know that for a fact. Hell could freeze over and Cousinfucker could start paying me what he owes me. Pigs could fly and I actually find a job that pays me a decent amount. So, there’s no use in worrying about any of that.

I need to learn to truly drop the rope and not try to pick it up again. My life as I knew it is over. There’s no point in comparing my life a little over a year ago to my life today. For most of 2015 I was a fairly comfortable housewife and stay at home mom. Now I’ve been discarded. I’m scrambling to find a job. My lifestyle has dramatically changed. I can keep whining about it but it won’t change it. I need to do as Picasso does and tell myself there’s no point in crying about it because I can’t change it. Just keep on keeping on. If I finally get hired working for shit money then I’m hired working for shit money. If I need to get a second job, I need to get a second job. If I work three jobs, I work three jobs. I can complain all day long. I can cry into my pillow for months and months. It does. not. change. a. thing. I may as well wrap my mind around the fact that my life is going to be very unpleasant from here on out and embrace the suck. You know, we often say we would rush into a burning building if our kids needed us. I would fight off a bear for my kids (not a snake- they’re on their own for that one). They don’t need me to run into a burning building or to fight off a bear. They need me to provide for them. And if that means I work 2 or 3 jobs, 60-80 hours a week, 6 and 7 days a week, then that’s what I’ll do. Who said life was supposed to be pleasant? I will endure for my kids.

Rock Star does have a few friends at her new school, including a cheerleader. Her cheerleader friend asked her if she was going to join their team this winter. Rock Star is telling me she’s not going to because she doesn’t want to have to change her availability at work. A week ago I would have been fine with this and pouted along with her.

“See, Cousinfucker? See what you’ve done to her? She has NOTHING because of you. All she does is go to school and work.”

Instead I am going to encourage her to try out. I’m going to be the grownup instead of the pouting brat and tell her she may as well try to make the best of her last two years. She didn’t want to move before either but she made the best of it and she ended up having a remarkable time.

It really IS another chapter in my life. It’s very strange to not be driving Rock Star all around to activities. It’s strange to have gymnastics completely over and done. It’s weird not having any kids over at the house. I’m sure I’ll adjust.

There is no master bathroom here. There are two bathrooms, one upstairs and one downstairs. I can’t speak for everyone else in the house but I use the one that’s closest to me. I’m frequently in the upstairs bathroom that my kids share. It’s much smaller than the bathrooms they used to have, and of course, they didn’t have to share. I no longer have a kitchen with granite countertops. There’s no pool or hot tub or trampoline in the backyard. The furniture is not mine. All of my holiday decor is gone. Again, it is what it is. At least I have a place to call home. I have a mom who welcomed me and my kids with open arms. Some women aren’t that lucky. I try to tell myself that everything I had before was just stuff. One part of me cries out, “But it was my stuff!” The new, more positive me tells the crying part to shut it and reminds me once again that it was just stuff. I’m sure I had too much stuff and didn’t use half of it.

Dropping the rope is hard. So very hard. It reminds of this time my brother pushed me off a bridge. I knew I was falling. I remember screaming, but then I also remember reconciling what was happening. I was falling and there was nothing I could about it except prepare for the landing. Note: This happened when I was much younger. I’m sure I wasn’t more than 12 and probably even younger. He would have been no more than 9 at that point. It was also a low bridge over the creek that ran through my grandparent’s property. I don’t want anyone thinking I had a brother that tried to murder me.

That’s what this whole experience has been like since August 10, 2015. Hearing that my husband was cheating on me once again with the exact same person. Falling. This isn’t happening! What the hell am I going to do? Oh no, it’s happening. How are you going to prepare for impact? Finding out he quit his job and moved out of state. Falling. I can’t control it. Brace yourself. Receiving the text message from him four months later informing me he lost his job and wouldn’t be sending anymore money. Falling. How do I keep everything the same? How can I stay here so that my daughter finishes out high school? What am I going to do about a job? What in the hell am I going to do? There won’t be a save like the last time. I was in a free fall and the only thing I could do was land. I couldn’t stop it.

Here I am today. Nothing is like I had hoped. Everything I had wanted for my kids is gone. They’ve gone from being privileged and pampered to paupers. The rage I feel most days is frightening. I can’t let it out; if I did it would overtake everything. It is that powerful. But here’s the truth. It’s all gone. I can’t make it come back. I will never earn anywhere close to what CF did. I have to accept the fact that we are poor.

I fought against applying for Medicaid. I fought against applying for free textbooks and free lunches. I fought against applying for food stamps (and still haven’t as of yet). All of that is so terribly embarrassing and yet, if your kids needed you to run into a burning building… so I debase myself and hold my hand out for free stuff. I’ve dropped the rope. This is reality. I can hope it isn’t so. I can scream and cry and yell, “It’s not fair!” at the top of my lungs. It doesn’t do any good. Just let yourself fall and prepare for the impact that’s coming. It is what it is.

My car is the last thing I have left over from my old life. For years I had been wanting either a convertible or a sunroof. For years CF had fought me on it, saying that sunroofs leak. I would tell him the new sunroofs are much more durable. Of course, he knew more than I did. Finally he caved. I got my new car (an actual car and not a minivan) with GPS, an aux cord so I could listen to my iPod, Bluetooth for my phone, push button start and a sunroof. I think I might even say I love that car. I have fought against getting rid of it. My argument has been that it’s a new car. I don’t have to worry about repairs. It’s a hybrid so it gets fantastic gas mileage. Plus, because of the miles I’ve put on it for Rock Star’s gymnastics I doubt I would get enough to cover the loan. I also am not sure how I would even get a loan for another car since I’m sure my credit is in the crapper thanks to CF and his nonpayment of bills. Nonetheless, it costs me over $350/month. I don’t have a job currently and it’s not looking like I’m going to get a decent paying one anytime soon. Because it’s a new car insurance is higher for me and I’m sure that’s part of why it’s so high for Rock Star. As much as I hate to get rid of it it’s looking more and more like that’s what I’m going to have to do. I’ll probably get a 10 year old Honda or Toyota and pray that it doesn’t break down and need expensive repairs. I guess I’m back to listening to the radio. I have come to accept that CF is going to end up taking every last thing I ever had over the last twenty years. What’s a car anyway? You only need it to get you from point A to point B. I’ve already lost my home, my furniture, my holiday decorations, my pool, my hot tub, my children’s stability. What the fuck does a car matter?  Rope. Dropped.

My kids will never have awesome Christmases again. I know they’re too old for Elf on the Shelf but our elf won’t ever come visit again because I can’t afford it.  I’m falling and there’s nothing I can do about it. I’ve dropped the rope. Christmas is going to suck from here on out because I can’t afford much anymore. I can fight it all I want but this is their new reality. Sorry, kids.

My daughter is working a part-time job so that she can afford to buy clothes and make-up she wants and be able to go out and do things. I can’t give her an allowance anymore. At some point she will probably have to contribute to not only paying for her car, but also her insurance and her phone. She will work and work and work to pay bills and she will have nothing left over to pay for movies or dinners or clothes. That’s a little harder to drop the rope on. I never wanted to be that parent. I never wanted that for my child. I followed the rules. I graduated high school, I went to college and graduated, I got married, and THEN I had a baby. Only it didn’t matter. Because my kids are going to end up with nothing anyway. It’s at times like these that I think I shouldn’t have even bothered with college because it’s never paid off for me. I wasted my mother’s money and I’m making less money than the majority of people WITHOUT a college degree.

I look at all those smiling faces on Facebook. They’re sharing pictures of their vacations, their romantic dates, their weddings or upcoming weddings, their kids at Homecoming, their kids participating in sports. I used to have a life like that. I don’t anymore. Drop the rope. I could cry, but what would that gain me? Nothing. Brace for impact. Pick yourself up. Get on with this new life. Stop wishing for the old one because it’s never coming back. It’s like wishing someone who died would come back. It’s not ever going to happen.

I hope this one wasn’t too depressing. I really have found some relief with this whole, “Let It Go” philosophy. Seriously, I find it much easier to just accept the fact that my life is going to suck and deal with it from that point, than it is to flail against the injustice of it all. Yeah, it sucks. I can’t change it. You put your head down and plow on through it. In the words of Larry the Cable Guy, “Get ‘er done!” Do I want to work an $11/hour job? Nope! But if that’s all that’s out there willing to hire me then that’s what I’ll do. And if working for $11/hour means I need a second job then as much as I may hate it that’s what I’ll do as well. I guess the good thing about being poor is that if I don’t get very much vacation time it won’t matter. I can’t afford to go anywhere anyway so who cares if I only get a week after a year of full-time employment? No vacations in Sam’s future. Hey, I’ve had 18 years of vacation time. It’s not like raising kids is any kind of work.

You know, sometimes I wonder if this hasn’t been his end game this whole entire time. I wonder if he hated me so much that he plotted this all out years ago. Step one: Take Sam away from the state she loves. Take away all of her volunteering activities. Take away all of her friends and all of her social activities. Take away any connections and support she has. Step two: Move her 2000 miles across the country and then abandon her after buying a new house, furniture, and car. Start acting like a jackass now that you’re all she has. Make her completely dependent on you and then bail. Don’t support her. Don’t hang out with her. Strip her bare. Step three: Look up your whore of a cousin again. Fuck her. Lie to Sam all summer about everything. Step four: Cash in the remaining stocks, open up a bank account with the whore, interview for jobs out of state, cut Sam and the kids off financially except for what “your lawyer told you you would have to pay in support”. Step five: Quit your job of 15 years, move out of state, don’t tell Sam or the kids. Make Sam wonder if you’re ever going to pay support again; make her wonder if she’ll have to pull the kids out of school mid-school year and devastate them. Step six: After pulling the rug out from under Sam with that whole “quit your job” thing, quit your job again! This time claim to be having a nervous breakdown to try to get out of paying spousal and child support. Leave Sam and the kids destitute, make them move once again, take EVERYTHING away from them once again, and force Sam onto welfare and back into the job force after 18 years of following your pathetic ass across the country.

I wouldn’t put it past him but you know what? There’s nothing I can about it. I will drop the rope. So many people say the best revenge is a life well lived. I don’t know how well I’m going to be living this life; however, I get the sentiment behind it. Sometimes we can’t make them pay; we don’t get justice. We have to pick up the pieces left behind anyway and do our best.

That’s a hard reality to accept- this idea that he and Harley could get away with everything. Yet if that does indeed happen, what can I do? Nothing. Drop the rope. Move forward.

I have no idea how any of this is going to turn out. For now I think I need to listen to the radio or my iPod on my drive back home so I don’t frustrate myself. I need to get a job- any job- even if it doesn’t pay what I need it to so that I can at least stop draining what’s left in my checking account. It’s far better to have my paycheck cover my limited bills, or almost cover my limited bills and then use savings until I can find a second job, as opposed to completely paying for everything out of savings. Look at me being all adult!

I’ve got my kids. I’ve got my dogs. I left my house with the most important “things”. I will never be the person who says: Golly gee! This divorce is just going to be the best thing ever! I KNOW I’m going to find the love of my life now that I’ve cast the shit eating chimp aside. I’ll be so glad I got that divorce once I meet Mr. Right. And I KNOW I’m going to get a great job- one that pays well and stimulates my mind. I’ll meet all these new friends and have a fantastic social network. I’ll start going to church and that’ll just be wonderful, too. Maybe I’ll take a Bible study and become best friends with someone from there. I’m going to volunteer once again and network my ass off! I’m going to feel so much better because I’m out there on my own, not relying on my husband. And I’m sure God will come through and court will go my way and Cousinfucker will end up having to pay me thousands in back support and for arrears and misappropriation of funds; he’ll end up being ordered to pay me substantial spousal and child support as well. Why, I bet he’ll even get up off his ass and get a job so he can actually pay what the judge orders!

I know that’s sarcasm but even taking the sarcasm out of it I’ll never trust that good things are going to happen. He’s shattered those dreams once too often. Every time I had a plan he came along and smashed it. I cannot do that to myself anymore. It’s easier to believe that nothing is ever going to go my way. The best I can do is agree to drop the rope. I can let it go when the judge rules in his favor and I get fucked up the ass. I can refuse to dwell on it when he rides off into the sunset with Harley and then begins his new six figure salary job- not paying a dime in child or spousal support. I could be frustrated or angry but what does that really do? He doesn’t care. Hell, he would probably love it if he knew how much it bugged me that he got away with everything. You learn to swallow that shit sandwich that is your ex-husband leaving you destitute while he goes on to enjoy life with someone else.

Some days I vow to not let him defeat me. I tell myself I’m going to do whatever needs to be done to stand on my own two feet without him. I’m going to raise my kids without his help. I’m going to carve out a great life for myself. I’ll get a job. Make friends. Volunteer. Go to church. I will thrive! And other days I want to curl up in a ball and admit defeat. “Okay, you win, Cousinfucker. You’ve destroyed my life. You’ve taken everything away from me. I’m living on welfare. I live with my mom at age 47. I will never have anything again. I’ll never go on vacation again. I’ll never have a home of my own. I’m never going to be able to provide for our kids the way you did. I’ll just lay here in the fetal position and wait for death to come.” You may be glad to  know that lately I’m telling myself the former more often than the latter.

I’ve heard a lot of sad stories over on Chump Lady. I’m always amazed at the women (yes, it’s always the women) who talk about having to work until the day they die, or living in a tiny home after living in a huge house, or barely scraping by, and yet they feel so much better.

“I left behind a 6000 square foot home. I work three jobs just to make ends meet and I’m still in danger of having my electricity shut off. My car is barely hanging on; I defeat death each time I drive it. I have no money, no savings, my life is a giant struggle but I’M SO MUCH BETTER OFF now that I’ve left my cheater.”

Really? I guess I must be a shallow person because I don’t feel that I’m better off. When he was paying me spousal and child support I felt I was better off, but now that he’s claiming PTSD and spending his days drinking and fucking I don’t feel better off at all. One of my friends told me way back in the beginning that she was so happy I was finally out of my marriage because she was so worried about me and what I would do as his social anxiety got worse and worse and I did everything on my own. She has one of those marriages where they do a lot of things together, both as a family and as a couple. I’ve never had that. It’s not my normal. I can’t miss what I never had. Fifteen months ago I was all alone. My husband was shutting himself off in the bedroom and crying all the time. We didn’t do things together as a family; we didn’t do things as a couple. I was still a pampered housewife living on six figures; my kids had everything they needed and most of what they wanted. Now? I’m still alone; I don’t have a new Prince Charming in my life. I doubt I ever will. I’m on welfare. I got to break the bad news to the kids that we were moving once again. I got to enroll the kids in new schools and ride that tidal wave of emotion as we waited to see if Rock Star would go to her preferred school, all along believing she wouldn’t get in. I got to break the bad news to her that she didn’t get to get her license; I held her as she cried. I get to go through all the headaches and heartaches and he’s living with the slut without a care in the world. Which is better? The world where I’m alone but I’m living on six figures and my kids are happy? Or the one where I’m alone, my husband is off fucking his cousin, and I’m on welfare? Gosh, that’s a really tough choice. Let me think about that a minute and I’ll get back to you.

Turns out, it didn’t take me a full minute to make my decision. I prefer the money. I wish I were more like those women who are so grateful to be away from the cheater.  But I’m not. I like having money. I like being able to take care of my kids. I like being able to give them the things I never had as a kid. The only thing I can do at this point is drop the rope. It’s not what I wanted but it’s what I’ve got. I’ve got to figure out other ways to make things happen for me and my kids.

My sister-in-law was telling me that if I got a job at her company once I had been there a year I would get a 3% raise! Wow- I would go from making $11/hour to $11.33/hour! Can someone who is really good at math let me know how many years I would need to work before I finally reached $30k/year? I’m thinking probably 10. Many people have told me I have to start at the bottom and work my way up. I don’t have that kind of time! My daughter graduates next year. My son is an 8th grader. I don’t have 10-15 years to work my way up the ladder. By the time I’m making any kind of decent money my kids will be self-supporting. I’ve pretty much decided that the only way I’m going to make any kind of decent money is if I go back to school. I’m leaning heavily towards nursing. I don’t necessarily want to be a nurse but I figure if I’m going to hate what I do I may as well make good money while I’m doing it.

It’s not that I think I will hate it. I have just never had any desire to be a nurse. I’ve known a lot of people, though, that are going back to school and they are all choose nursing. It pays well and it seems like they’re always hiring. I figure I can work in the OR and then I only have to deal with unconscious people.

Or, I could become a teacher. That one is a little trickier though because you never know what school system is hiring. I wouldn’t be assured of getting a job around here and I can’t afford to move. I won’t do that to my kids again either. Unlike their father, I mean it when I say I don’t want to move them around constantly. I would probably prefer to be a teacher as opposed to a nurse but it doesn’t pay as well. On the bright side, I would have summers off.

I’m rambling now. I am doing better. I am at the acceptance stage. I think that’s the last one but I haven’t reviewed the stages of grief lately. I’m grinning and bearing it. My mantra is: I can’t change it; I just have to accept it and do what needs to be done. Embrace the suck. Drop the rope. Let it go. Or as a fellow blogger put it: Sometimes evil wins. What are you going to do?

Eh

I asked Rock Star yesterday morning if she hated it here. Her answer was, “Eh.” I asked her what that meant. She looked at me and replied, “Well, I went from being everything to being nothing.” So for all of you who were so confident that she was going to do amazing things here at her new school? You were all wrong. Again, I point to the blog entry, “Why I’m a Pessimist”. My kid, a former superstar, is a nameless, faceless nobody with no driver’s license. Homecoming is this weekend. I don’t think she’s going to the game and I know she’s not going to the dance. While I get to watch friend after friend post pictures of their handsome sons in tuxes or lovely daughters in beautiful dresses I get to post a picture of my kid wearing jeans and sitting alone in her room. I won’t, more than likely, but if I did, that’s what her Homecoming picture would look like.

Eh is also how I’m feeling, folks. I haven’t been around as much because I’ve been trying to write a resume and cover letters, apply for jobs online, go to job fairs, and other unpleasant, confidence shattering experiences. I spent over an hour today trying to apply at temp agencies only to not be able to find a damn parking space at the first agency and then to find out the second agency is no longer at the address that was listed.

I know that the whole “no parking” probably sounds like a weak excuse. Bear with me. Our downtown is a mess. They are doing construction on multiple streets at once as they put roundabouts in and create two way traffic after twenty or thirty years of one way streets. So, first I had to find the place and needed to make several loops around all this construction in the first place. Then once I’ve found it I have to try to figure out where to turn in for parking because there is nothing in front. The agency is right up on the road with no parking lot. I go around the block once again only to find out that the parking spots in back of the agency are all labeled “Bank Parking Only”. Awesome! I finally said, “Fuck it!” and moved on to the second agency.

Naturally, I go the wrong way the first time and then I pass it by the second time. Well, pass it by is kind of a misnomer because it ended up that the agency is no longer there!

To top off this wonderful day I filled out an online application for a job that I’m actually really interested in. I submit the application and attach my resume and cover letter. Then I go to apply for another similar position (doesn’t pay as well though). It was at that moment that I realized when I filled out my employment dates I only used the month and year so they didn’t get recorded on the application. So much for my cover letter where I state all my volunteer experience has led me to pay attention to detail. Guess I won’t be getting an interview for that job.

I’ve also done as so many people suggested and went down to the local unemployment office. Oh, they’ll help you with your resume! They’ll help you find a job! Guess what? They don’t. I talked to a “jobs specialist” for 30-45 minutes and he basically asked me some questions and showed me some websites where I could look for jobs. Wow! You know, I’m fairly certain I could do that from the comfort of my home while wearing my jammies and eating donuts. As for the resume writing? Oh, don’t make me laugh! I was told to come back later that day and when I did I was given his card and told to call him and make an appointment. So, I did. And he didn’t have appointments available until the 22nd (and this was on Friday). I was encouraged to come to a “networking group” and to bring up the topic of resume help.

Yesterday I went to a job fair. I talked to a few people. I feel like, again, it was a waste of time. It’s not like anyone was hiring on the spot. It was pretty much a chance to give companies your resume, which again, I could have done without going to a damn job fair. I had already put in applications or looked at their online job search for three of the companies that I talked to. The only company that seemed really interested in getting people signed up was a casino. Unfortunately, all three locations are at least 30-45 minutes away, I would have to work evenings, and when I went to look on the website it looked like the position I had talked to the representative about was only part time. AND they didn’t bother with listing the pay. I’m not driving 45 minutes for a part-time $9/hour job.

Finally, I answered my mom’s phone for her. Her friend told me it was good to hear laughter in my voice again. This was actually really funny because I’ve spent the day crying off and on.  She was encouraging me, telling me how wonderful I am and how I can do this and she just knows I’ll get a good job and do great things. Then she goes on to say something along the lines of, “And maybe you’ll get a job at one of the hospitals making $14 or $15 an hour but you can still apply for food stamps and get government aid. You’ve never taken it before but if you need it you should apply for it and take it.” Lucky me I’m still eligible for food stamps! That’s the sad part. I can work 40 hours a week, even get a second job, but I’m getting paid so little I still can’t support myself and my kids and I still qualify for and will probably need food stamps. Life is grand!

Seriously, if there are any women out there reading this that are contemplating quitting your jobs to be a stay at home mom DON’T DO IT! Even if you hate your job, even if all your money is going to daycare, keep working! If your husband tells you he makes enough money and he wants you to concentrate on the kids and the house tell him to fuck off. If he wants to relocate and you need to give up your job tell him you’ll miss him. For the love of God, ladies, don’t EVER rely on a man. Sorry, my male readers; it’s not an indictment of you. It’s more that as women we are extremely vulnerable when we rely on our husbands for our livelihood and our future retirement.

Can I just tell you how completely humiliating this all is? I’ve gone from living on six figures a year to applying for Medicaid and food stamps, and being approved for free textbooks and lunches for my kids.

I hate that motherfucker. I KNOW he’s going to get away with everything. A judge is going to buy his bullshit and rule that he doesn’t have to pay me any spousal support. Hell, if I have a job by the time we go to court I wouldn’t be surprised to find out I’m ordered to pay HIM. And child support? Everyone says there’s no way he’ll get out of paying child support at the very least but I have my doubts. Regardless, even if he is ordered to pay it I doubt it will be much. People have said that if he does get disability I will be able to take part of that. My reply is, “Big fucking deal.” It’s not like he’s getting company disability where he would receive 75% of his pay. No, he’ll end up getting something like $2000/month. If I’m really really lucky he’ll be ordered to pay around $500/month. What a joke. I won’t take it. I’ll burn it every damn month before I let him puff his chest out and declare he’s supporting his kids. I have no doubt he’s decided that if he’s going to have to pay out most of his paycheck to me then he may as well not bother with working. Disability will pay him almost as much as he has had left over after paying me spousal and child support so why not sit around drinking, watching TV and fucking a whore?

Everybody keeps telling me that I can advance and that just because I’m not making much now doesn’t mean that I won’t make more later. Unfortunately, I’m not starting out with a blank slate. I’m starting out with almost $1000 in bills/month and two teenage kids. I’m probably looking at paying another retainer to my lawyer which means maxing out two credit cards and paying an additional $100/month. Once Rock Star finally gets her license I’ll have another $115 to add to my monthly obligations. I have a daughter who will begin her senior year in less than a year. My prediction is that I won’t have money to pay for senior pictures. I won’t have money to pay for graduation announcements. It’s not like she has a lot of friends or like I know a lot of people around here, but I’m not going to have money to throw a graduation party. Hell, at this point I don’t have enough money to take her out to dinner afterwards. Maybe if she’s really really lucky I can go through the McDonald’s drive-thru and get her an extra value meal instead of having to buy something off the Value Menu. Maybe let her have two sweet teas instead of only one. Meanwhile, in Whore Town I’m sure Harley’s daughter will have one hell of a graduation celebration and Cousinfucker will be there with bells on, cheering her on and playing the proud dad.

Her kids haven’t missed out on anything; they haven’t had to give a damn thing up. My kids have lost their home, their friends; they’ve been moved yet again. My son is doing well but my daughter has nothing to look forward to and is resigned to two more years of hell in this high school, just getting through the day and getting a diploma. No cheerleading. No gymnastics. No more being a superstar. No more being the talk of the school. Just plow through and get the diploma and don’t ever look back. Her kids got a new puppy, DirectTV, car repairs, and thousands of dollars in gifts. Her daughter continues on with cheerleading. She didn’t have to quit. My daughter works a part-time job because her dad is a fucking deadbeat and I won’t be making enough money to pay for her clothes, make-up, and dinners out.

I know my posts haven’t been cheerful lately. I’ve been downright morose. What can I say? I’m feeling the pressure. I do not believe for one minute that I’m going to get any help from him so all of this falls on my shoulders. I need a job. I’m freaking out over my resume and cover letters; I think they look like shit. Everything I’ve been trying to do seems to take five times as long as it should. I’m overwhelmed. My heart breaks daily for my daughter who is struggling. I wonder if I’m going to end up leaving my kids to raise themselves these last few years of their childhood because I’ll be off working all the time in order to be able to put food on the table and have some leftover money to buy them clothes, or take them to the movies (when???) or out to dinner (again, when???). I’m probably mildly depressed, too.

I am going to do my best to turn this around and stop moping so much. I can’t promise miracles but I will try.