For My Daughter… & My Son

Have you heard Kane Brown’s newest single? It’s called, “For My Daughter” and it’s his  promise to his daughter to be the dad he never had.

I’m not going to lie. I teared up a little bit listening to it. It tugs at the heartstrings. I hope he lives up to all of his promises. That little girl will be incredibly lucky.

I did like how he acknowledges that they say the past is supposed to shape you, but then goes on to say, “Well, I guess that’s up to me.” Far too often what we get are excuses instead of explanations. His father left him. He survived an abusive stepfather. He could easily shrug his shoulders and say, “What do you expect from me? I don’t know any different.” Instead, he tells his daughter, “I learned what not to do. I grew up without a dad. I’m gonna be the best one I can be.”

You know, when my daughter was born I remember Jerry Lee crying, his voice full of wonder as he said to me, “We have a daughter.” My friend reminded me of the story of all of us going out to dinner and him remaining focused on Rock Star the entire night. Apparently I said something to the effect of, “If nothing else I know he will always be a great dad to our children.” I honestly thought I had picked someone who would never abandon his children. Someone who wanted to give his own kids what his own father never gave him. Someone who wanted to coach Little League and teach them how to hit a baseball. Someone who would be there to cheer them on in whatever they chose to do. Someone who would want to spend time with them and create family memories. I thought he loved them.

Since I made such a colossal mistake in choosing a father for my children I’ve taken to re-writing the lyrics a bit. To both my daughter and my son:

They say dads are supposed to shape you, in a way I guess yours did.

You know what not to do if you ever have a kid

They say history repeats itself

Well, I guess that’s up to you

Yeah I’m sorry ’bout your dad

but I’m gonna be the best mom I can be.

That’s how I sing it now. Chin up, chitlins. You both know what not to do- from cheating on your partner to abandoning your kid. You can let this change you for the worse or you can tell him to suck it and be the best damn people you can be. Don’t let him win. It sucks to be abandoned and discarded by your dad, but your mama loves you. I’m going to do my best to make his absence go unnoticed. I’m going to love you both so hard you’ll hardly miss him. I’m going to do my best to make up for his failings.

A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words

 

20191103_210250.jpgThis picture is the essence of who my daughter once was. It was taken just a few months after we moved from Virginia to Indiana. A few months after gymnastics was taken away from her forever.

She started gymnastics the first time around as soon as she turned three. It lasted about 3 months. The class tended to take place at the time she was just waking up from her nap and she was a beast upon waking. I decided it wasn’t worth it.

Fast forward almost a year. Her preschool class took a field trip to that gym. She loved it. I asked her if she’d like to take lessons again. She enthusiastically replied, “Yes!”

Her coach was a real cutie patootie. After she had gone through the entire program for kids her age it was time to decide if she wanted to sign up for some more recreational lessons, or if she wanted to start training for team gymnastics. I explained to her that if she wanted to do rec Chad wouldn’t be her coach any longer because he taught the preschool program and the team girls. She wanted to do team gymnastics.

“Do you want to do team gymnastics because you really like gymnastics, or because you really like Chad?” I asked her, knowing that participation on the team would require a much bigger commitment.

“I really like gymnastics,” she replied. “But I really like Chad, too,” she admitted.

That’s how we ended up spending tens of thousands of dollars on gymnastics over the years.

She made the transition from the gym in Michigan to the gym in Utah with a few tears. It was difficult starting over. Meeting new coaches. Getting used to them. Meeting new teammates.

She was at that gym for 8 years. She spent countless hours there. Gymnastics was her life. Her final three years in Utah she was an Optional. She was at the gym no less than 20 hours a week. In the summer it was 25. Her friends were her gymnastics teammates. Very few people outside of the gym permeated that friendship circle.

For eight years she lived and breathed gymnastics. She progressed from a little girl who couldn’t do a cartwheel, much less a back handspring to a young lady who was doing whips and fulls on floor, back tucks on beam, giants on bars and a Yurchenko on vault.

Then we took it all away from her. We moved to Virginia to a town that didn’t have a JO gymnastics program. They had high school gymnastics though and she dove into that. At one point she even did Excel, saying all she wanted to do was compete. But once again she was being asked to trust new coaches, only this time around the skills were a lot more challenging than a cartwheel.

That lasted for two years. We had to leave our home shortly after she found out she was being named co-captain for her high school gymnastics team. There was no high school gymnastics and I couldn’t afford competitive gymnastics any longer. It was over. Twelve years of gymnastics, over in the blink of an eye. Her love, her passion, was abruptly taken away. She never replaced it with anything else.

I love that picture of her. It captures who she was so perfectly. You could take gymnastics away from her but she would always find a way. She lost competitive gymnastics but embraced high school gymnastics. Then that was taken away from her when we moved from Virginia to Indiana. Yet, out there in a cornfield she used a log as a balance beam and leaped.

I feel like this picture represents something I can’t put into words. Perseverance? The ability to soldier on even when everything you care about has been taken from you? The ability to get back up when life knocks you down? A strong will? Loss? Refusing to be defeated? I don’t know.

What I do know is she loved this. It was her life. And now it’s over. Her father took it away from her to meet his own selfish needs.

Keep leaping, my beautiful girl. Keep dreaming and improvising.

P.S. She nailed the landing, in case you were wondering.

When You Feel Like You’ve Failed

I have days when I doubt everything I’ve done throughout this divorce. Was I right in cutting off communication and going no contact? Should I have eaten shit in the hopes that he would spend more time with his kids? Was I too open, too honest, with my kids? Should I have instead lied or hid the truth about what was really happening from them? Should I have pushed them more to have a relationship with their father? Should I have begged and pleaded for him to be more involved with his kids? Pushed Harley on them even though I didn’t want to? Hell, should I have made him his fucking spaghetti after that first night and carried on like normal so that the kids would have known it was fine for them to have a relationship with him? Hey, if Mom’s still making dinner for him and fixing his plate then we can surely go out to eat with him and have a fun time with him.

These thoughts have not come out of the blue. Rock Star was home a few weeks ago for Fall Break and on one of those nights she had a slight breakdown. She complains of constant stress and feeling like the weight of the world is on her shoulders. It’s hard to tell how much is drama and teenage angst and how much is real.

Some days it seems like she’s got the world by the tail and she’s so very happy and content. Then other days she seems to fall apart.

She didn’t get a “little” this year. Littles and bigs, they’re called. I suppose once upon a blue moon they were labeled big sis and little sis but now they’ve dropped words to make it easier to say. It’s like KFC and Dunkin’.

Earlier in the process she had complained that it was moving so quickly and that she didn’t really feel like she had a great connection with one specific person. Then came the reveal that she didn’t get picked to get a “little”.

She played it off like it was a relief because of all of her schoolwork but when she had her breakdown it all came tumbling down. She felt like she let her own “big” down. She felt like she wasn’t enough. I’m sure the rejection stung, although the reality was there were simply more girls available to be bigs than they had in the pledge class.

She thinks she’s stupid, too stupid to get into nursing school. I have been telling her for at least two years now that her cousin, the one who graduated a year ago as a nurse, isn’t one bit smarter than her. She had a 3.8 GPA in high school, for crying out loud! And yet she continues to say her grades are awful, they’re not good enough on their own to get her into nursing school and she knows she’s too stupid to pass the nursing school exam.

She’s always been a perfectionist, though. She has a 3.3 nursing GPA right now. I have had the conversation with her that goes something like this: I find it very hard to believe that only straight A students get into nursing school. The kids that aren’t getting in are the ones like the girl in your biology class that was rockin’ that 1.8 GPA.

When things calmed down I did suggest she go talk to her advisor because surely he or she could let her know what she needed in order to get into nursing school. Maybe the advisor can lay her concerns to rest. I also reminded her that she’s always been hard on herself and that her version of bad grades probably means she’s getting a B in something, which she did admit.

She told me her anxiety and depression are getting worse, despite being on medication. She says she doesn’t have much of an appetite and that she can make a single cup of coffee last for about four hours because she just can’t drink it that fast anymore.

And always there are the issues with her father.

I’d like to knock the shit out of any of those people who say that affairs are between two consenting adults, or who try to sell that bullshit that as long as you’re happy your kids will be okay. I’d like to run over the next person who dares utter the phrase, “Children are resilient.”

Yeah, they’re so fucking resilient that that evening when she was having her meltdown all I could do was think, “Oh God, please don’t let me get a call from the university informing me they’ve found my kid’s body after she’s committed suicide.”

Hey, her dad’s happy and that’s all that matters, right?

A little back story. My aforementioned niece, the nurse, just got married last month. My other niece, Queen Bee, was invited to be in the wedding. Rock Star was not. She’s been wanting to be in a wedding ever since her childhood best friend was in her sister’s wedding back when they were probably only 13 years old. Rock Star, Queen Bee, and Florence Nightingale have done almost everything as a trio throughout the years so I think it was yet another rejection.

Nonetheless she put on a brave facing, declaring it was no big deal and that she would undoubtedly be in a lot of weddings in the upcoming years because of her close ties with her sorority sisters.

Then came the big day. Florence Nightingale made the decision to walk up the aisle unaccompanied. But later that night at the reception there was the Father/Daughter dance.

I was keeping an eye on Rock Star and checking on her reaction. Nothing seemed amiss that evening but the night of her meltdown she told me she was bawling during it. In my defense I was across the room from her.

It hurts her to realize she will never have that. As she said, “My dad doesn’t care enough about me to do something like that for me.” At one point during the conversation she mentioned him abandoning her without saying a word, not loving her enough to stick around, and spending the last four years making her life a living hell.

I gave her the same speech I gave to her brother a little while ago.  He is your father. I understand if you want to have a relationship with him. You aren’t being disloyal to me by having a relationship with him.

“I don’t want to have a relationship with him!” she replied, still crying. There was something in there about him “making” me suicidal and how she couldn’t lose me. I stressed to her that I’m doing fine and that once I was away from him I no longer felt like that. Of course, that’s where the guilt kicks in again. Maybe I should never have opened my mouth. I’m too damn flippant sometimes. When I mentioned that in passing one time (and I don’t even remember what brought it up) she got a shocked look on her face but nothing else was said. I assured her at the time that I was fine and no longer felt like that. But in hindsight that was a terribly heavy burden to place on her and I’m sure the fear is always there that something else he will do will end with me wanting to end my life. He does have a habit of yanking the rug out from under us every six months to a year.

I’m pretty sure she went on to say that he was a horrible person and he continues to make everything about himself. Hmmm… that does sound familiar.

I think she’s between a rock and a hard place. She wants something she knows she can’t have. She wants to be a daddy’s girl, even though she never was even when we were together. She wants that close relationship but she realizes it’s never going to happen. He’s not that person. And ultimately she knows exactly what kind of a person he is and knows that’s not the type of person she wants in her life. Sure, he would walk her down the aisle. Hell, he’s already told her that he wants to do exactly that when the day comes.

I know I moved you 2000 miles across the country, away from the only friends you really remembered, and away from your true love, gymnastics, only to cheat on your mom and leave you all behind. I realize I put my own wants and desires and pursuit of happiness ahead of you and anything you might have needed as a young teen. I conned you into believing I suffered from PTSD so you would feel sorry for me. I moved out of our house and out of the state without saying a single word to you or your brother. Bummer that you had to move out of your new home and leave your new friends behind. I know I spent years whining about having to switch schools every year when I was younger, and I know I insisted we move when we did because I was supposedly so concerned about not moving you once you began high school but it turns out it doesn’t concern me at all that you had to switch high schools right as you began your junior year. I don’t care that you had to move in with your grandmother and don’t have a home of your own; I’m rocking that five bedroom home in the “most sought after subdivision”. I don’t care that you didn’t get your driver’s license when you were supposed to, thanks to me and Harley, or that your last two years of high school were awful. I’m not willing to help you out with college or to pay your medical insurance or help with your phone bill or your car insurance. But I want you to know it would mean the world to me to be able to walk you down that aisle on your wedding day.

Yeah, that about sums it up. He would be there with bells on if she asked him to be.

Unfortunately I don’t think that’s what she really wants. I think she wants him to want to have a relationship with her. She wants to know she’s loved and missed. She wants to be able to reject him and hurt him, the way he has hurt her these last four years. She wants to know she matters. Sadly, I think she knows that she doesn’t matter to her dad. He’s way too busy with his whore cousin and her kids.

He couldn’t be bothered to come to any of her events but he can put on a damn Cardinal t-shirt and support the whore’s daughter. Guess those crowds at the gym didn’t give him the heebie jeebies like he claimed they did when it came to Rock Star’s gymnastics. He couldn’t be bothered to send extra money so I could buy her a Homecoming dress only weeks after he was discovered. No, he was too busy spending $4400 on an engagement ring for his cousin that month; but two months later he could spend $300 on a dress for the whore’s daughter. He couldn’t buy his own daughter a car but he sent $500 to the whore so she could pay for repairs for her daughter’s vehicle. And on top of that, he made big promises about buying her a car as well. He was so busy buying the affection of Harley’s kids that he neglected his own. Just like he could make a 12 hour round trip drive to go see the whore every single weekend and yet the only time he has ever made the drive to see his own kid(s) was Rock Star’s graduation. I think that was solely so he could know the precise time to cut off child support for her.

Maybe it would be better if he would disappear altogether. Instead he randomly pops back up. He’ll send a text designed to elicit sympathy. He’ll say something negative about me. He’s always oh so sad and he always wants her to know he loves her to the moon and back.

She feels guilty about “being mean” to Tammy Faye, the person who engineered Jerry Lee and Harley’s hookup. She didn’t call her when she was dying. She feels like she’s a horrible person for not responding to her. There is always all this guilt heaped upon her.

I reminded her that aside from Facebook, and maybe one holiday card, Tammy Faye had never reached out to her. She never bothered to call or text after the very first episode when the kids found out, when she demanded to talk to her and then threw the phone on the ground as she walked off crying. It was all postings on Facebook about how she loved her so much and she was her flesh and blood. That’s not really all comforting considering she was crowing her unconditional love for her new “grandkids” as soon as Jerry Lee replaced us all.

Even if The Saint lied and Tammy Faye didn’t encourage Harley to call Jerry Lee she still had absolutely no problem with what they were doing. She went as the third wheel to a fucking funeral with the two dipshits, for crying out loud! She never told Rock Star she was sorry about everything that had happened or expressed any sympathy about everything she lost due to her father’s behavior. There was never an, “I’m sorry you didn’t get your license on time,” or “I’m sorry you had to move out of your house,” or “I’m sorry you have to move again and leave behind all of these new friends you’ve made.” Not a one of them know the hell she went through her last two years of school.

I reminded her that having boundaries wasn’t “mean”. She distanced herself for a reason. She really only had two choices. She could maintain her boundaries, which pretty much boils down to, “Anyone that doesn’t have a problem with what my dad did is not someone I want in my life,” or she can cave to the pressure. If she wants to pretend it’s all fine and that she has no problem with what her father did then that’s up to her.

Most recently she was invited to the Jackass family reunion (paternal side of the family). Oh, not by him. She was invited by his sister-in-law, the one I recently unfriended. “Why won’t they leave me alone?” she asked me.

The short answer would be: You’re still family. 

The slightly longer answer would be: They love you. You’ve never come right out and said to any of them, “Leave me alone!” or, “If you are okay with what my dad did I want nothing to do with you. When you support him and his whore, you’re not only supporting what he did to my mom, but what he did to me and my brother as well. You can’t tell me you love me and care about me when you don’t have a problem with what he did because his behavior has destroyed my life.”

I know the guilt should not be mine to bear. It should be his! But he’s totally oblivious. He never has to see her in pain. He never looks into her face when she is disappointed yet again. He is unaware of the stress and the struggles, the anxiety and the depression. He lives in a make-believe world where his happiness justifies everything.

I will always feel guilty when these things come up. When my child hurts, I hurt. And as always I am left wondering, “Was there anything else I could have done? Was there anything I could have done differently?”

Fortunately for me, the answer is always, “No, he’s an asshole. Nothing you could have done would have changed that.”

Radical Acceptance

There are many things that are going to pop into my mind over these next 26 days. I intend to write about most of them.

Today I was trying not to let myself steam over Jerry Lee’s newly self-modified spousal support. “You’ve turned it over to the state. You have to have faith that things will turn out in your favor. Judges don’t like it when people modify their orders (or a fellow judge’s).”

Yet, it still chaps my ass. For four months he played me like a violin. Acting like he was jobless and sending all that he could. I’m grateful for the crumbs he sends because it’s what keeps me from having to work a second job. When he’s finally confronted he doesn’t pony up and pay what he owes. Oh hell no! Instead he does some weird ass arithmetic and comes up with an off the wall calculation for what he is willing to pay. He sends that money each months and believes I should be grateful. He pays me almost $400 less than what he’s supposed to be paying, but I’m supposed to be thankful. And as always, I’m at a standstill. Waiting. Waiting for action to be taken.

“What does that all have to do with radical acceptance, Sam?” you may be asking. It was a comment on Facebook. I believe on Chump Lady’s Facebook page. The person who made the comment said you had to have radical acceptance. You had to accept that what once was was no longer, and you had to accept that this new life was now yours.

So I was just thinking about how he lives in his fancy little (well, okay, big) 5 bedroom house with an open floor plan and a fireplace in the most sought over subdivision in his town, while he doles out partial payments of his court ordered support. His life hasn’t taken a hit at all. He and Harley combined bring home, I would imagine, even more than what he made by himself. She’s living her best life ever with her new, well-paid husband. Her kids are living a life they’ve never dreamed of before while mine are mired in hell with a mother who is constantly worrying about money. I thought to myself, “Isn’t this some shit? Christmas of 2014 both of my kids woke to Mac Book Pros from Santa; they opened up another $300-$500 worth of gifts from us when we exchanged gifts before leaving to spend Christmas with my family. Four and a half years ago, in the summer of 2015, I was spending $57,000 to put an in-ground pool in my backyard. Today I’m donating plasma twice a week so that my kids can have Christmas.” How do you radically accept that?

Sophia’s words come back to haunt me. Her story of having to throw out every plan she had for her future after her accident and then learning to live and accept a different life has stuck with me.

Does radical acceptance mean I have to like it, though? I feel like I have minimally accepted it. I acknowledge and recognize that my children and I once lived an upper middle class, cushy lifestyle and now we don’t. It’s a cold hard fact. I simply do not have the cash to do the things with them that I did before. We don’t go to the places that we did. I don’t spend the money that I used to spend. I don’t have it. I can’t do it.

I acknowledge and recognize that by my former standards I’m poor. I live with my mother and I will never have a home to call my own again. I understand that. I hate it, but I have accepted that that is my fate.

Maybe it doesn’t need to be radical acceptance. Maybe it only needs to be acceptance. Maybe it’s small steps, like having to be okay with your daughter needing to take out loans to fund her entire college education because you know you can’t help her. Or, on a much smaller scale, realizing you can’t buy your kid a new computer.

Picasso recently charged up his laptop. I don’t know what he was doing with it but I’m sure it had something to do with downloading games on it. He let me know that his laptop is outdated and he can’t do the things he wanted to do on it. While I was out donating plasma so I could buy Christmas gifts he apparently was looking online to try to find an inexpensive gaming laptop (I’m told a gaming PC would be much more expensive). He found one for $580. Compared to the others which were over a thousand he did indeed find a deal. Unfortunately, that is more than the generous amount I have budgeted for him for Christmas.

Originally I felt bad about not being able to buy it. I twisted it around in my mind, trying to figure out how to make it work that I could get that for him. Naturally I went to the old standby: If his father hadn’t let his dick rule our lives I’d be able to buy him a new computer- no problem. And then I began to think, not outside the box, but beyond my comfort zone.

The first thought I had was that he simply wouldn’t get one. It’s too expensive, even at that great price. Sorry. No. I cannot afford it.

The second thought I had was that he could get a job and earn enough money to buy it himself. He’s 17 years old and he doesn’t work. He has a couple of after school activities that last a few hours but that’s it. He could get a job like his sister did and make some money of his own. He isn’t responsible for his phone bill. I’ll be paying his insurance when he finally starts to drive. He has no regular bills so anything he made would be his entirely. He could easily make enough over the summer to get the computer he wants.

The third thought I had was that I could buy him a few gifts and then give him cash. If he gets cash from his dad and his grandpa maybe he’ll have enough to buy it. If not, he’ll have a great head start.

There are certainly worse things in this world than having to work for something you want. I don’t know if that’s radical acceptance or not, but it’s all I’ve got for right now.

Ramblings of a Crazy Woman

Yes, that’s me. At least that’s the way I feel sometimes. This post is going to be a hodgepodge of every little thing that happens to pop into my head.

Big announcement! Next month I am pledging to publish a post every day! Some days that might mean I post a meme or a video or a recipe. Other days you might actually get a real post. I’m not promising they will all be stellar but I am promising they’ll be there on a daily basis.

I almost fainted donating plasma last week. That was new. I’ve never had anything even remotely like that happen before.

I was almost finished. I was reading a post on my phone when all of a sudden I couldn’t concentrate on it. I felt almost nauseous, in fact. So I put the phone down and focused on breathing. Then I got very restless. Next came not being able to focus on opening and closing my hand to get the blood pumping faster. Then the alarm on the machine started beeping. Apparently I was low flow. Someone came over and attempted to move the needle around but then noticed my face.

“Are you feeling ok?” she asked me.

“Actually I think I feel a little bit dizzy.”

“Yeah, you’re really pale. We’re going to stop this right now.”

They broke out the ice packs. I got one for my chest and one to put behind my neck. That was awesome! The nurse came over and spent the rest of my time with me.

I guess almost fainting makes me chatty. I told her my life story. OK, I just told her how I was saving up all my donation money for Christmas presents and then talked all about the mobster. and how we’re a long distance couple who meets up on the weekends.

Long story short we’re like besties now. Next time I went in she told me to have a safe trip and this last time I went in she asked me how it went and told me she had been thinking about me. Ah, the perks of almost fainting at the plasma center. Everyone remembers you!

Now for something sane. I finally unfriended my former sister-in-law, the one married to Jerry Lee’s brother. I’ve written about her before. She’s reached out a few times throughout the years. She asked for our address so she could send a Christmas card and she’s sent birthday messages for Picasso through me.

I’ve had her on my restricted friend list so she can’t see anything aside from my profile and cover photos, unless I make a post public. After she asked for my address and I gave it to her I felt a little weird knowing that she was probably sending a Christmas card to Jerry Lee and Harley as well. I brushed it aside though which wasn’t that hard to do since she doesn’t show up in my feed and she’s on my restricted list.

After reading her “Love you!” message to Harley after their move I decided to unfriend her entirely. I don’t need that kind of crap in my life. If you are fine with what the two of those miscreants did to me and my kids then you have no place in my life. Period.

After a rocky start to his first two years in high school Picasso is finally bringing home decent grades. I think it’s probably because i threatened him with a fate worse than death. He’s a very smart kid. But he’s lazy. He’s also one of those kids that has decided if he doesn’t like something or doesn’t understand the point of something he just doesn’t need to do it.

Take French, for example. He decided he hated the class and that since he wasn’t going to college he didn’t need it. Why he didn’t simply drop the damn class is beyond me but he got an F in it. An F! In French. That’s an easy A!

When I finally saw his grades and how abysmal they were I hit the roof. His first year he had one or two bad grades, which he attributed to bad teachers. Not everyone learns the same way. A teacher that may be great for one kid may be terrible for another. OK, you get a bye. His second year I kept asking him how it was going and he kept telling me it was fine. I never saw a report card until the very end. I ended up telling him that the only reason he was going to that particular school instead of his neighborhood school was because this one supposedly provided a better education. I told him that if he wasn’t going to take his education seriously that there was no point in everyone in the family going out of their way to drive him to school, pick him up when the bus failed to show, drive him to yet another school for after school activities, etc. I let him know that if he had a single grade below a B at parent teacher conferences he wouldn’t be going to another single after school activity. If he had anything less than a B for his first report card I was going to yank him out of that school and enroll him in the neighborhood school because, hey, if he didn’t care about his education then I wasn’t going to waste my time going out of my way for him. I also reminded him about our conversation when he first told me he didn’t want to go to college. I told him I would support him in whatever he decided to do but to keep his grades up so that he didn’t close any doors if he later changed his mind.

I know some might argue that was way too extreme. Others might be horrified that I would take such draconian measures. I say, “Whatever works!” Right now the boy has one B (in orchestra of all things! Yet another freakin’ easy A!) and the rest are A’s. I don’t drop the hammer often but when I do it gets results.

Another pleasant side effect, if you will, of our little Come To Jesus meeting was his agreement that he should be medicated for his anxiety. One of the reasons his grades were so bad was because he couldn’t bring himself to ask for help. He can talk to you if you speak to him. He can be social with his friends, or people he knows. But he can’t start the conversation and he can’t approach others.

Sadly, the nurse practitioner wanted him to try talk therapy first, so no medication at our first visit. He just recently went back for a vaccination and my mom talked to her about therapy and medication again. This time he mentioned it was getting to the point where he would feel sick to his stomach whenever he had to present something in front of the class. So, we’re finally getting a referral to a psychologist. I’m hopeful it won’t take six months like it did when we tried to get therapy for Rock Star.

I’m left wondering how much is hereditary and how much is the aftermath of his father’s total destruction of our lives and subsequent abandonment? On the bright side (at least for me) that sonofabitch is going to end up having to pay for it- at least 71% of it anyway.

My head hurts thinking about this. Let’s lighten the mood and talk about something completely frivolous and unimportant.

Pokemon Go is going well. I just leveled up to Level 36 yesterday morning. I need 2,000,000 points to get to Level 37. I’m not real worried about it. I have several friends who will quickly be “best” friends and I will get at least 100,000 points for each of them. If I’m smart I’ll have a lucky egg on when our friendship level increases so I’ll get 200,000 points for each of them. That gets me to about a million points right there.

I was in Virginia this past weekend, visiting the mobster. We, of course, played Pokemon Go. Saturday was the big Community Event, which we almost missed. Sunday we went to Roanoke. We didn’t know what exactly we were going to do but we went anyway. We played some more Pokemon and had lunch at a great little restaurant. We ended the meal with the most amazing tiramisu I have ever had. It was delicious. So much cream and custard.  We almost ordered a second one but I realized that would not be good for either of us.

Later that night as we were getting ready to leave we encountered some other people playing Pokemon Go. We ended up going on two Level 5 raids with them and some other people. We won both raids and we made some new friends.

It was the coolest thing! Usually I play alone. I’m only able to take on a Level 1 or 2 raid if I want to actually win. I’ve tried a Level 3 and am so close to winning but I’m just not able. When the mobster and I are together we can easily defeat a Level 3 Raid Boss but we got our butts kicked when we tried to take on a Level 4. Level 5 is completely out of range without some help. This time we had a whole group taking it on! The first raid was 8 people and the second raid had 12. So. Much. Fun.

Tootsie rolls are the best candy out there. They’re just the right amount of chocolate and the fact that they are chewy lets you enjoy them longer than a traditional candy bar. Chocolatey and chewy- the best combination out there.

I think we’ll end with my traumatic day today. I went for a walk on my morning break as I do most mornings. There is a little military park about a five minute walk from my building and it’s loaded with Pokemon stops. I was looking super cute with my black tights and long flowing flowery top. For once I wore a different pair of shoes… and that’s where this story starts to go wrong.

I was walking along, minding my own business, opening gifts from friends on Pokemon and giving gifts back when all of a sudden my feet no longer worked. I don’t know if I tripped over my own feet or slipped off my shoes. They were a slightly higher heel, maybe an inch and a half. I’m able to almost twist my ankle wearing perfectly flat loafers so this was probably not a wise choice for a brisk walk. Anyway, before I could say, “Help me, Jesus!” I was laying sprawled out on the concrete sidewalk. Thankfully I saved my phone. My hand and knee, however, got pretty banged up. I limped the rest of the way to the park. Called the mobster to cry on his shoulder. I walked it off. Literally. Returned to work and got cleaned up and bandaged.

I went to the bathroom an hour or so later. While pulling up my pants my hand slipped and smacked against the bathroom stall. Naturally it was the hand that was already scraped up. Turns out I’m really good at stifling the urge to yell, “Fuck!” when I’m at work and I know there’s someone in the stall beside me.

Later that day it was time for the flu shot. Our employer highly encourages them and because we have a new insurance incentive which necessitates earning 500 points AND getting a flu shot could earn you 20 points I got one this year.

My left arm was already sore from God only knows what and we didn’t have an option of which arm we wanted to use. Plus, I completely forgot about the flu shot when I was getting dressed. The men were unbuttoning their button down shirts. I was left pulling the arm of my shirt down so he could stab me which resulted in me showing off my lovely purple bra.

Thankfully it didn’t hurt much at all. Then again, I was still recovering from my earlier injuries.

I ended the day at the plasma center where once again I had a needle stuck in me. No fainting this time! Hooray! And even bigger hooray I made $68 tonight. I knew I got an extra $10 tonight because this was my second donation of the week, but I had forgotten this was my sixth donation of the month. That was an extra $20!

They do incentives each month. The first month I donated the full 8 times they paid out $20 extra for the 6th donation and $40 extra for the 8th donation. In September and October they paid out $20 extra for the 6th donation, $15 for the 7th, and $20 for the 8th. This month, in addition to that, they are doing customer appreciation and paying an extra $10 for the second donation of the week.

With all the little incentives I should earn over $100 next week donating.

I think that’s plenty of ramblings by a crazy woman. Maybe later I’ll write about the ramblings of a real crazy woman!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Picasso Turns 17

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Another Take On Graduation Weekend

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Always Something There To Remind Me, Part 1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

She writes:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here I Am

Hello, everyone. Sorry to have left you in the lurch. It’s been a little over two weeks since my life blew up spectacularly once again. I’ve only had one really bad night so I guess I’m doing pretty okay.

Currently, I am taking action where I can. I just fired off an email to CF, letting him know I know he has money coming in so he can start sending some of it my way. I’m probably pissing in the wind with that but at least if I end up back in court I’ll have further proof that he just completely ignored his obligations.

Where is this money coming from, you may be asking? Well, I have nothing concrete. I’m basing it on the fact he was the #2 guy at the plant and therefore should have received a severance package and unemployment benefits. I’m really not expecting a favorable reaction but I’m also not going to sit around and wait six months before I try to haul his ass into court either.

My caseworker with the state was gone the week I tried to contact her. She then forwarded my email onto another caseworker who was pretty prompt although the news wasn’t great. It turns out it could take up to SIX MONTHS for the garnishment to begin. But, they’ll make note that I would like his 401k garnished once that finally happens. That also means if he is receiving unemployment it could take six months before they would finally begin garnishing that as well. Isn’t that just ducky?

So, I emailed my lawyer. Hooray! More legal bills! Of course she was out. I got her new assistant. That was last week. I still haven’t heard anything back from her. I told her I wanted to freeze his 401k once again and that I was willing to take him to court for contempt in order to get the $25,000 he still owes me in legal fees. I’d love to take the free way through the state, but I can’t wait six months. Knowing him he will drain that sucker if it’s not already gone.

I’ve also applied for another job within the bank. This is one of the few jobs where a college degree is required. I applied last week and haven’t heard anything yet. I don’t remember how much time elapsed between me applying for my current job, and hearing they wanted to interview me. I should have kept better notes.

Additionally, I applied for a job outside of the bank. I haven’t heard back from them either.

I adjusted my exemptions so hopefully my check will stretch a little bit more with this next pay period. It won’t be substantial, but I’m running on fumes so even an additional $40-$60 would be nice.

Finally, I have an appointment with my mom’s financial guy. I hate to do it but I will probably end up taking a hardship withdrawal from my 401k. Hell, I may have to take a withdrawal, period, if CF doesn’t get back to work soon. I’m hoping I can do the hardship withdrawal. But if not… regular ol’ 10% penalty withdrawal will have to do. If I take this withdrawal I can pay everything off and I’ll end up with about $900 more per month. It will be tight but it will be doable and I won’t have to work a second job. I still could choose to but it wouldn’t be necessary.

Of course, that’s assuming Rock Star gets the financial aid she needs and that she’s able to work 40-60 hours a week this summer so she has enough money to break her housing contract, buy books, buy the stuff she’ll need for nursing school, have spending money, and pay her sorority dues. Ah, the wonderful life we live thanks to her dickhead father.

I’m doing what I can. A whole hell of a lot is falling by the wayside. I feel like an utter failure as a parent. I’ve already had to cancel Picasso’s cello lessons and now it looks like pretty much everything having to do with school is going to fall on Rock Star for the time being. This is not what I wanted for my kids. Sadly, right now I am merely treading water and trying to keep from drowning.

Well that just sounds sad, doesn’t it? I’m really doing mostly okay. Probably because I’m in denial and I keep thinking he’s going to get another job sooner rather than later. The mobster has been very good about keeping my spirits afloat as well. In fact, he just paid for me to come down and celebrate T’s 18th birthday with them this past weekend. It was desperately needed. For one weekend I could forget about everything else.

Nonetheless, it is a fact that I’ve failed my kids miserably. Their father has as well but he doesn’t seem to give a shit. I, on the other hand, care a great deal about my failings. I made a huge mistake in choosing to stay at home with them. I should have been out working so that when this day came I was prepared to take care of them financially. I have to believe even working mediocre jobs would have resulted in me making more than I’m making now. And if I had never considered being a stay at home parent I wouldn’t have been satisfied working the jobs I worked because I would have been concentrating on building a career. Perhaps one day I will be financially stable without relying on CF but by then it will be too late for my kids.

Anyway, aside from the cloud of failure that covers me as a parent I really am doing okay. I will survive. CF will never defeat me and this time around I am going to be a constant thorn in his side.

I’m not waiting months and months before I have my attorney file for show cause. That cousin fucking sonofabitch can get a damn job at McDonald’s for all I care. He can be like me and work two damn jobs until he finds something that pays well. He needs to pay something towards his kids. As my mom pointed out, he admitted in court that he had headhunters calling him so he damn well can get a fucking job. She can pull up roots and move her ass across the country if the only place he can find work is Montana. Let her kids suffer some consequences because of those two dopes for once. Or better yet, she can hand her kids over to their dad and she can ride off into the sunset with her Prince Charming.

I’m going to hold him accountable for the legal fees and let him explain to the judge where the rest of his 401k went to if he no longer has any money left (my mom wholeheartedly believes he took out the money as a down payment on the house they’ve been renting). If he’s still got the money then damn straight I’m going to insist I get my legally ordered money. I don’t care if it leaves him with no 401k. He is no longer my problem.

I’m going to let the state of Indiana deal with garnishing him and following him around, taking away various privileges as he falls farther and farther behind. If he goes to jail, oh well- it’s not like he’s paying me anything right now anyway. Hopefully he’ll get some of that awesome weekend jail. He can work during the week and then report to his local detention center for a little weekend R&R until he’s caught up.

I will not stop. I am Sam; hear me roar!