We were divorced in Feb. 2008.
I was finishing chemo & radiation, had just been hospitalized for alcoholism, and did not have a job. Without that breakdown, I don’t know if I would’ve had the courage to leave the situation I was in.
** Side note… I am not an alcoholic. There were a lot of bad things happening in my life at the time, and I was not dealing very well with all of it. I was hiding. This was my (wrong) way of dealing, and basically it led to the breakdown. Now that I am away from that situation, I don’t have any problem with having a beer now and then, or a glass of wine.
But, I finally left in October 2007, rented a room in a house for $500/month, and got a full time job. The full time job barely allowed me enough money to cover my rent, car payment, insurance, and food. Because of that, I did not have money for a lawyer. I spoke to several, who would not give me the time of day, because I had no money. So, needless to say, my ex and his lawyer steamrolled me and he got everything, including the house, furniture, and children. Also, they said that I have to pay him $500/month in child support.
Wait a minute... shouldn't he be paying me alimony? We were married for 10 years, and I should be getting money from him for the fact that I couldn't hold down a decent career. I got out of the Navy for our family, we moved all over the world, so a career was out of the question, and it wasn’t him taking care of our children! But no, none of that was even considered. Nor was the fact that there was no way in hell that I could afford $500/month to him, plus support myself. I even worked two jobs... to no avail.
So, there were some months that I wasn't able to give him all of it. There were even a few months that I wasn't able to give him any money at all. BUT, I did take out several cash advances (HUGE interest rate) on my credit cards and paid him that way. I gave that man every spare dime that I had. Even after Chuck and I moved in together, thinking it would help my situation, we still couldn’t make it together. Finally, at the verge of being evicted, we moved to GA to live with Chuck's sister, because we could no longer support ourselves while paying my ex husband. I had to stop seeing my children on a regular basis in order to be able to pay him. So, that's what I did.
Then, in August 2009, the ex called the State of Florida and told them that I had NEVER paid him any child support at all! Completely untrue. The State of Florida never gave me the opportunity to defend myself, or show where I had been paying him. When I called them, trying to fix the situation, they were ALWAYS very snotty with me and treated me like I was a criminal. I was even told by one person, "Ma'am, we don't work for you. We work for your ex husband because he is the custodial parent." In other words, nothing I said mattered because my kids didn't live at my house. That automatically made me into the bad person.
Never mind what my situation was when I left.
Never mind that I did what I thought would be best for my children.
Never mind that there is no way I could afford to pay that much money each month, no matter how much I did or didn't want to.
Never mind that I live off of graham crackers and peanut butter while he uses the money I send to pay for his house payment, his wedding, two Harley Davidson’s and an RV.
Never mind that our older daughter has been living with me for over a year now, and I am still paying him child support for her.
Never mind that in August 2010, I had filed all the paperwork required to stop Ashleigh’s child support, have the amount for Carley adjusted, and show where I had paid him support during the time he claims that I didn’t, and it still isn’t fixed.
Never mind that they take $600/month out of my Gas Incorporated check every month.
And now, I got a second job, in order to improve my own situation, until the lawyer can get this straightened out, and what happens? The State of Florida actually took money out of that check, too! Seriously? My paycheck should have been over $200, and it was $93. I was livid. I called them, and the (snotty) woman tells me that any time I am hired somewhere, it throws up a flag on my case, and they start taking money out of that check because they assume I switched jobs.
Did anyone bother to ask me if I changed jobs? NO.
Did anyone bother to contact Gas Inc. to see if I was still employed there? NO.
They just assume that I quit a perfectly good full time job to take up with a part time job that barely pays minimum wage. Why would I do that?
You know what they say about people that “assume,” don’t you? I believe the same can be applied to the State of Florida.
So, she says that she will send a message to Michael’s and let them know to stop taking child support out of my paychecks. Well, thank you very much.
Anyways, so I tell her that the money from Gas Inc. went to paying my lawyer and other bills, and I was going to have to live off of my Michael’s paycheck for the next two weeks. That was sort-of the point of getting a second job. Since they took most of that, I only have $93 to live off of. So, when can I expect to receive a check back from the state? She tells me that it will go into an account, and at the end of the month, they review how much money I have paid, and then decide whether to send it to me or my ex husband.
Well, my ex husband falsely claims that I owe him thousands of dollars, and still has me paying for a child that is nearly 20 years old and has been living with me for over a year. Who do you think they’re going to send it to? But go ahead. Send it to him. He clearly needs it worse than I do. Without that money, how on earth will he ever put gas in his motorcycle? My butt was getting big anyways. I should just stop eating. Taking away my money will help me do just that. Thank you very much.
So. $93 to last me two weeks. Super. But, I can do this. I always find a way. I have Chuck to help support me. I am a resourceful woman. If my life has taught me anything, it is how to fend for myself when I have to. I figure out everything I can cut out of my life, and decide that I will just use it for gas and hope that Monica doesn’t get too mad at me for eating all of her food.
THEN, I get up on Sunday morning to go to work at Michael’s. I am not even joking… the battery on my jeep is completely and utterly dead.
ARE YOU FRIGGING KIDDING ME WITH THIS???
So, Chuck uses Monica’s van to jump it and we go over to Auto Zone and they test it. Yup, sure enough… Dead as a doornail. Time to buy a new one. That’s going to be $97, thank you very much.
Did you just do that math in your head? Let me help you. I received $93 paycheck and pay out $97 for a battery. Damn. At this point, it’s just funny. It’s a joke. My life is a running joke. Everyone is always asking about the meaning of life. Well, I don’t know about yours, but the meaning of MY life is to make God laugh.
Here I am.
Just a clown in his circus.
The really funny part is that my weekend isn’t over yet.
So, we get the battery replaced, I take Chuck home, and head into work. I drive the 45 minutes to get there, and I’m in the break room, about to clock in, and I decide to look at the schedule to see who else I’ll be working with… Hold the phone… I’m not on today’s schedule. Really? I know for a FACT that I was scheduled to work on Sunday… for TWO reasons.
1. I always work on both Saturday and Sunday.
2. I looked my schedule up on the internet (the Michael’s HR website) and it had me scheduled.
So, how mad am I that I just spent $25 in gas (when I'm SO broke) to drive to work when they could’ve just TOLD me that they took me off for that day? Worse yet, I just worked on Saturday, but they couldn’t have told me then? Not one person told me that I’d been removed from the schedule. In fact, if I had not looked at the schedule before clocking in, I would’ve just clocked in! And then, I would have been given a point for clocking in when I wasn’t on the schedule. You can only earn 6 points in 6 months before being fired.
Yeah, I was mad. But honestly, I can only stay mad for so long before I start laughing. It’s not one of those laughs like someone told you a funny joke. It’s one of those maniacal laughs. Like I’ve just lost my mind and it’s the most hilarious thing in the world. I’m laughing so hard that I’m crying, which is good because if I wasn’t crying from laughing, I’d be crying from my life. I’m not kidding. I couldn't make this stuff up if I'd tried.
Very funny, God. Very funny.