Project: Get Through This

Preface: This post isn’t coming from my usual point of view. It doesn’t come from the state of mind I’ve been in the past several months that has been secure and stable and forging ahead. I’m not really sure how it’ll end up or where I’ll go with it, I just know I have to write it.

“I guess life was going a little too well for us, we were just a little too happy, huh?” I said to Boyfriend last night after I’d spent several minutes pulling on my hair, blinking back tears, pressing my temples and exclaiming, “I don’t know what I’m going to do” in no less than 25 different ways, tones, etc.

I got some news yesterday that sucked the wind out of me and replaced it with an anxious and restless mini cyclone.

On Thursday, I got an AOL instant message from the kids’ dad letting me know his phone was not working, it was just going straight to voicemail, and he wanted to know where to drop the kids off that day. I told him at my Mom’s and he said he’d be there at one. I said ok and went back to my crazy busy day.

Yesterday I got a text message letting me know this was his new phone number.

And that’s when a cold feeling pricked under the surface of my skin head to toe. I asked why he had a new number. He explained he now had an iPhone and no more Blackberry. I followed up asking if Company had made him change his number or… was he no longer with the company?

No answer.

“Hello?”

“Left the company. Doing my own thing now.”

He went on to explain he hated the place since they put new management into place. He hadn’t told me because he had just resigned on Wednesday and they didn’t honor his notice. He ignored my texts about child support. I let him know my job was on the line and he responded with an expletive and wondering if I’d been looking. I explained I hadn’t been because I had a plan that would let me go back to school and have the child support cover the kids as well as his insurance cover them temporarily. He ignored that and asked where he could pick up the kids. I told him at my house as I’d taken the day off to spend a day of their vacation with them.

And so it was that the man whose almost paid off Chrysler was repossessed in December (affecting my credit, as I was the co-signer) pulled up to my house a few hours later in a brand new Infinity SUV. He didn’t talk about anything at all. He never told me not to worry, the child support would be there. Nothing.

And now I’m left wondering what on earth to do. I’m back to where I was over a year ago. My paycheck covers monthly bills. That’s it. It covers the rent and the electric and the car payment and the car insurance and the water and the internet and the cell phone and loan payments. I live really lean as far as these things go. I could cut the internet if I kept my job, but if I lose my job, I need the internet.

The worse feeling in the world is a lose-lose situation and I feel like that’s where I am right now.

If I keep my job, I can’t really get a second job as it doesn’t really accommodate one. If I keep my job, I have to pay for summer camp. If I don’t keep my job, I only have one month of expenses in place and now that child support will essentially disappear, I have no way to save up one more month’s worth in the next couple of months as I had planned. I am also pretty sure I won’t be able to get enough financial aid to support myself and my kids while I plowed through what would remain for my Computer Science degree.

My parents have already come forward offering their assistance. I hate that. I hate that their 32 year old daughter is incapable of supporting herself and her children.

And I can’t help it, there is a little voice inside of me saying, “Well of course not, you’re just a little woman.”

Shut the hell up stupid voice.

I am so angry that I am in this position. Again.

I am so angry that someone with my brains and with my work ethic and with my dedication and with my attitude can’t care for her family alone. I make $45,000 a year. There you go. I don’t care if you know or if you don’t. That’s what I make. And I can’t take care of myself and three kids. And it’s not because of a lack of restraint and responsibility. I cut, and I cut, and I cut.

I was so excited about the summer. I told the kids we’d go to Disney and Universal for their birthdays. I’d planned the most affordable way– go in the low season in July or August, stay the minimum number of nights, and only do one park, one day each.

And it’s gone. And it hurts. They’ve been so excited you guys. They’ve been looking forward to that so much and why shouldn’t they? They don’t ask me for much, you know? They don’t make demands of me for new this, that, and the other. My Daughter’s school sneakers are falling apart  and she doesn’t freak out demanding I get her a new pair. My Eldest mentioned the other day his school shoes were pinching at him. He got a Nintendo DS3 game by accident. He didn’t demand I buy him the Nintendo DS3. He was going to trade the game away for an old Nintendo DS game. I haven’t paid them an allowance in eons.

And this one little thing. This one thing that Baby asked for almost every single day for three months until finally I told them that yes, yes we could go– this summer, for their birthdays. And now…

These are the magical years. These are the years where something like a quick trip to Disney and Universal means so much for them.

And summer camp. They are so excited about summer camp. How on earth am I going to pay for Summer Camp? If I lose my job, ok at least I can spin it that we can spend the summer together and we can do lots of free things to keep it fun. But what if I’m lucky enough to not be laid off? How can I pay for Summer Camp? We need to eat. We need gas in the car to move us.

I know that there are answers. I know that there are solutions. I just can’t see them right now. I can’t see them because it’s dark inside.

I am so angry that this idiot of a man still affects my life. Do you see what I mean when I tell you divorce is forever when children are involved? Just when you think you’re done scraping what’s left of the yuckiness off of you, you get a whole new shitstorm sprayed all over you.

I knew this would happen. I did. I know this man is not dependable. I know this man is selfish. I know this man does not truly grasp he has three children he is responsible for. I know this. But I honestly thought I had a couple of years left. I thought his need to keep up with the Joneses would keep him employed long enough for me to get “there”.

Unfortunately it seems he is getting assistance in keeping up with the Joneses as evidenced by the Infinity. Where the hell did that car come from? Seriously. His car was just repoed. His parents have never been able to help him financially a day in his adult life. The rich girlfriend? I guess. And maybe she’s able to maintain appearances so he can “do his own thing.”

For those of you newer to the blog, the reason I know this means child support will disappear is because I’ve been in this predicament before with this man. The only reason child support was coming in steadily was because they were garnishing it from his check. When he was in charge of child support, it never came. And when it did come, it was crumbs.

I feel sick. I’d better get off here and do some cleaning. It’s what I do when I’m stressed out and frustrated and feeling hopeless. I don’t know why and I don’t really care to understand. I just know that I’m looking around my house and am itching to scrub and shine and throw away and straighten.

Sorry about the unloading. I’ll be ok, I know it. Just maybe send me some positive juju if you get a moment. I know lots of people need it way more than I do, but I’m ok with leftovers.

38 thoughts on “Project: Get Through This

  1. Ima “been there” and totally relate. But my 12 years of child support(plus med and dental) went for booze and a crack pipe. I got custody after 12 years of war. They are 28 and 30 now. This too will pass. I also have found that people of faith ALWAYS get through it somehow.

  2. I’m really sorry. So sorry. You and I make exactly the same amount. My ex stopped paying child support a year ago but I’m okay because I’m remarried. But if something ever happened to my husband, I’d be in your position. I don’t have parents around who can help out, though, so I really urge you to accept your parents’ offer. You deserve it. And I’m sending you lots of positive juju. P.S. you should check out the “Prayer Box” link on my site. You can be anonymous…

    • Thanks Pauline. It’s scary but you’re right– I’m lucky to have my parents and I have to change the way I see it. I know I’d want to do the same for my kids.

  3. All I can say Supermodel is that you have my sympathy, and my empathy. Lose-lose. Exactly.

    But if your parents are there and willing to assist, let them. Some of us have no one to assist, period. And the years of doing it all alone will take a terrible toll. And not just financially.

    Sending you all the positive energy I can. It sucks. But plenty of us understand exactly how much.

  4. First off…you vent away. This is a place that you can unload all those thoughts….

    Second…you are trying to figure it ALL out at once. That is an overwhelming task. And all it will do is make you feel more overwhelmed. Figure out one thing at a time. You still have your job…so you need to figure out the basics that go on that path….

    If your mom and dad can help….let them. This isn’t the time to be a martyr. Fast forward to when your daughter is 32. If you had the means…you would want to help her, and you would be upset if she didn’t let you. Talk to mom and dad and find out what they can and can’t help with.

    I clean when I am stressed too. Makes me feel like I am in control of SOMETHING.

    I am so, so sorry that there isn’t something I can do to help. But I can listen….

    • Thanks Mysti. You’re right, piece by piece. As the days go by the thoughts get clearer. You’re right, it’s not the time for martyrdom and I would love to do the same for my Daughter or my Sons. It’s funny but you’re right. The cleaning thing is a control thing. THANK YOU!

  5. I am soo sorry….I’m sending good mojo your way. I can completely relate to your not wanting to accept your parents help, I feel the same way. However when it came down to it, I had to remember my kids were more important than my sense of accomplishment….so if you truly need the help and they have the capacity to help, let them do so.
    Gah I hate that your having to go through all of this….it sucks big time. If I can do anything please let me know….I’m a good listening ear I think and can relate 200%.

    • Thank you. You’re absolutely right about the kids coming before my own pride. And I’ve accepted their help before and if I have to, I’ll do it again and try not dwell on the sting. Just focus on getting out of the rut as fast as possible.

  6. The world would be a better place if money & stuff from rich girlfriends counted as income to be garnished for child support payments. That way selfish people calling themselves parents would have no choice but to take care of their kids instead of enjoying new toys like SUVs. I know it feels like you’re in a hole you can’t get out of, but your determination to give your kids a happy childhood will ensure that you do so no matter what the circumstances. It is incredibly disheartening to feel like you can’t do everything you want to do for your kids, but trust in yourself. You’ll do what’s right for them and for your own peace of mind, too. I’m living with my parents and currently make less than $100.00 a year. And no, the decimal is not misplaced. My ex took a job in another country so we couldn’t ever get any child support. So my parents are supporting me and my daughter for now and I will pay them back when I’m finally on my feet. If accepting help from your parents is necessary right now, then do it. At least until they pass the rich girlfriend tax law.

    • Thanks. You’re right, when we have supportive parents, we’re lucky. I need to be more grateful about things and see it from a different perspective.

  7. I was in this place 17 years ago and it truly sucked. My ex was an MD who, despite my having put him through med school decided the kids didn’t need child support. They were in parochial school and I asked if I could pay when things were sorted out and was told no, I could not. Being self employed my ex dragged his feet for over 4 years. In that time, while he lived it up with a series of girlfriends he saw our kids less than a spdozen times. Oh and this from a super religious guy who went to daily Mass. Go figure.

    You can do this, take whatever help your parents offer. Be grateful and take it. It’s not where you want to be, and you won’t be forever. It’ll pass and be a memory of a sad time, that’s all. Your kids will eventual realize that you are the one they can count on. My kids are now grown, I’m a grandma. They’re on their own and in the past 17 years have seen their dad less than 30-40 times. He doesn’t factor into their lives and sadly for him, never will. My DH is who my grandchild calls “Abu” which is short for grandpa in Spanish .

    You WILL get through. Take your kids to cheap, fun places, the beach, the park, that’s what they’ll remember. Trust me on this. Disney will still be there. Have faith in yourself, and God He sometimes does give us a bit too much to handle but you can and will. Believe in yourself! (((((( hugs))))))

    • Thanks Terry. That’s too funny, my kids call my mom and dad Abi and Abu. I have to remember this too shall pass and I will get through. You’re right. And the good memories are there to be made. This is forcing me to get a grip on myself and forge on without his support. *hugs*

  8. Wow…I’m so sorry. This is tough. But, then again, so are you. I’m glad your parents are there for you, take the help when you can get it…after all it’s their grandchildren they are helping too!

    You are a GREAT mom, and a great provider. Kids just want to be with Mom. They may want to go to Disney, but they will

    understand if it is postponed. Really. They will. Stop feeling guilty. (Hard to do when you are a Mom, I know).

    I’m glad you were able to vent…it was said perfectly, actually. I’m impressed that you can have such clear thoughts at such a stressful. But this too shall pass. Promise.

    I’m sending you tons of positive thoughts, prayers and good wishes. {{{hugs}}}

  9. Hey, I am soooo sorry for your anguish and betrayal. Now, you said you were saying this to “boyfriend.” But, you sounded like he did this? Ex did it? Confused. Do you live with boyfriend?

    My daughter went through same thing with her ex living with girlfriend. He bought her a new house and new car while my daughter struggled every single moment.

    If he and girlfriend do certain things, they are in commonlaw marriage and would have to get a divorce to split things up and move on. Try for child support from her.

    Let your parents help you. Go have some chocolate.

    Until a judge relieves him of child support, he still owes it. He cannot just decide he cannot pay you. He has to get an attorney to get his judgement reduced. It will not go to nothing. Get an attorney, pro bono.

    Does he read your blog?

    • I live with my Boyfriend. He was laid off last February and has been looking for work over a year now. He’s got one part-time and is looking for another. The ex lives with his Girlfriend. No he doesn’t read my blog. Someone has mentioned to me the possibility of including the girlfriend’s income if they live together a certain period of time. Unfortunately, it all takes time. Time with him not paying has to pass. He could go to court to ask for a reduction but it’s unlikely they’ll grant him one considering his history. At least that’s what my lawyer explained to me.

      Chocolate sounds like a great idea!

  10. I wanted to add– I know you will get through this. You are an amazing strong woman. It sucks that life keeps throwing these curve balls at you, but you will come out in the end, stronger and better than before. All these set-backs are temporary. And they do really suck, and they came too soon. But I have faith in you. You’re going to come out just fine and your kids will too. Because you are awesome and you will overcome.

  11. I second nicoleandmaggie! And try not to beat yourself up about getting help from your parents. This idea shoved down our throats that a parent/parents should be able to raise their kids all on their own is BS. Grandparents, aunts, uncles, teachers, neighbors…they all help. The rational part of you probably realizes this, but it’s hard to not give in to despair when you’re smacked with stupid problems from the ex.

    Take it one thing at a time, right? Maybe the grandparents want to help with summer child care. Some of my fondest childhood memories are spending afternoons at my grandparents house after school every day and spending the night at their house occasionally on the weekends. Vacations I don’t remember so much; coloring in the drawings my grandfather made, eating my grandma’s homemade bread and soup, putting on costume plays…those I remember very well. You’ll get through this. {{{hug}}}

    • Thanks Linda :)
      You’re right about the rational brain recognizing one thing while the rest of me is struggling to accept it. And you’re also right about one thing at a time. I’ve thought about the grandparents helping with summer too. I’ve been thinking about a lot of things. Little by little, piece by piece. Every day that goes by things get clearer.

  12. Well I am so glad you are taking the steps to be able to fend for yourself without the aid of child support. I hate having to rely on things that are out of my control and finishing your degree so you can earn more is just the way to do it. You are definitely on the right path. This setback sucks but it’s all the more reason to keep up with your plan. Supportive parents rock. My mom helped me and now I help her back. You will have your opportunity to repay them down the road. Don’t feel guilty.

    Yeah the infinity part really is like putting salt in the wounds though. Its sad he’d prefer a nice car vs caring for his own children.

    • I hadn’t thought of the fact I might be able to help my parents in the future. I guess you’re right– life is cyclical that way. Thank you for that!

  13. Sending you big hugs and lots of support. If you need your parents to help you then let them help….sometimes you just need the weight of the world off your shoulders for awhile. Some people just dont get that they are responsible for their children even after the divorce.

    Again hugs and prayers!!!!

  14. It is so infuriating that men can get away with this. I don’t know what the solution is, but there should be some way to force men to support their children — such as public service if they’re unemployed. Best thoughts to you as you work this out.

  15. I am incredibly incensed, on your behalf, that someone making the bank you’re making can’t support herself and her kids. That is fucked up. I hope you pull through this ok. I’m glad you have your parents to fall back on, even if it’s not ideal. Are you able to get any financial support from the state, or are you above the income cut-off?

    • It is so frustrating Brigid. I cut and I cut and I cut and there just isn’t more to cut. My rent is the big one– $1500. But it’s actually a deal in this city and moving into something smaller wouldn’t really mean I’d pay less than I do now. I am above the income cut-off for support. I’ve just got to get clever and creative.

  16. Pingback: Tell me lies, tell me sweet little lies | Mutant Supermodel

  17. This post made me angry and sad. It’s unfortunate when men forget that they have responsibilities. You are smart and strong. You will figure it out if you haven’t already. ;)

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