Divorce, Single Parenting, Dating, Sex, & Self-Recovery

Posts tagged “money problems

I Must Be Insane: It’s the End of the World, and I Feel Fine

There’s not much that is going to plan at this moment. YET, I’m happily plugging along on my path and flipping the bird to the ex-wife, bill collectors, family members who think they know exactly what I need to do. Fuck’em.

And as I checked in with my therapist this morning, he said, “Either you’ve gone completely insane, or everyone else has.” I’m gonna stick with our assumption that unhealthy systems don’t like for people to get healthy, or stand up against them.

Let me be clear, I am behind on my child support payments. THIS I KNOW. But I am not avoiding them or trying to hide behind excuses. It’s pretty simple. A client’s business took a hit recently and changed their payment terms with me. I’m not working any less or taking time off, but I’m not getting paid with the same frequency. They will get caught up too. And when they do I will give my ex and my kids all the money they deserve. This is not a choice I am making to stiff them or begin my slip towards becoming a dead beat dad.

Of course, that does not help my ex and her own cash flow problems. I tried to have a discussion with her since she keeps sending messages of some urgency. Here’s how the conversation went.

ME: I’m happy to meet or talk at anytime this week if you’d like to talk about things.
HER: First question: When can you pay me?
ME: Um. I’m not sure.
HER: Next question: How much?
ME: Okay, I see this is how the conversation would go if we were to get together. Maybe that’s not necessary. Let me ask a question. “Is there some extenuating circumstance, or something I’m missing that is causing our kids great suffering? Or is it just cash flow?”
HER: I am incurring debt because of things your are not paying for.

Ah, so… It’s really just a choice, then to pound me for the money, even when I’ve been as clear as possible about my financial situation. Am I going on vacations or spending money on anything other than food and shelter? NO. And I won’t rehash how her financial situation is just fine… Not my business or my concern.

You see, knowing that you owe taxes is not the same as having the money to pay them. Avoiding penalties is great if you have the money. When you dial back to survival mode you have to thicken your skin a bit and take care of what you CAN take care of and ignore the rest of the URGENT MESSAGES that come from everyone looking for their money.

I tried to explain this to my ex. Her urgency didn’t translate for me. In fact, it just made me a bit more frustrated as I tried to give her information (she was asking for information) but no firm dates and amounts. That’s what she wants. How much and when. That’s fine. But it’s not possible for me to answer that question. And there’s a wrinkle, that I’m looking into as well. [Based on actual income vs. estimated income, I’ve overpaid her significantly since we got divorced.]

As we move along, perhaps the urgency or villainy will be moved from me to someone something else for her. Today I’m her target, but I’m getting ready to punch back. Or not. Just like my divorce recovery class says, “Treat them like a convenience store clerk. Just take care of business and get out.”

When she came by on Saturday to pick up the kids she looked great. She’s still my type. I could see how I would still find her attractive and want to date her. I would hope, today, that my self-awareness would allow me to see some of the fatal flaws before falling in love with her. I noticed her and her attractiveness like I might a pretty waitress, and then we conducted the business of transferring the kids’ stuff.

I wish her well. The better she does the better my kids do when they are with her. And I hope her boyfriend turns out to be more reliable and a better honey-do than I was.

I will get her all of her money. All of the money that belongs to my kids. At this moment, that money is for extracurricular things. And I don’t have a single extracurricular dollar. That’s why the downstairs bathroom is in need of repairs. And why the creditors, including her, will have to wait until things move back into the plus column. They’ve been heading in the right direction all summer, but a few hitches along the way, and I’m still plugging along in survival mode.

The good news is: even under the duress of the financial and familial stress I am still centered in my own happiness. That is the only happiness I can manage.


The Off Parent

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related posts:


The Serenity Prayer
God, grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change
The courage to change the things I can
And the wisdom to know the difference.

Stinging the Hand that Feeds

sting the hand that feeds you

Just days ago the ex and I were exchanging ideas around me catching up on my child support payments. (I’m a bit more than a month behind.) She continued to use phrases like “enforcement” and “collection,” but I was certain she was saber-rattling. Until today when she basically gave me the option to turn our process over to the Attorney General’s office, or she would start the process without me.

So much for working it out between us.

Here’s the sting. Our divorce decree was based on an expected income that greatly exceeds the amount of money I’ve actually brought in since the divorce. The result of her actions will now cause me to reset the child support payments based on my actual income. Rather than smooth out, her “payments” she’s most likely will get less than I was planning on paying.

And, in fact, she’s forcing the issue, in the same way, she forced the divorce. But rather than be angry, as I was when I first got her ultimate escalation email, I am now feeling some relief. I sent her a follow-up email after my “are you sure this is what you want?” email. In the second email, I said thank you. Again. It is like a replay of the divorce.

But even this is going to be a good thing.

  1. I need to clean up my shit, financially.
  2. We can take the “we” process out of the money.
  3. I will likely get a payment schedule that is more in-line with what I’m actually making.

So a full reset. Steps along the path.

She said something kind of funny at the end of her flaming fuck you email.

“This is a tough patch but we always seem to work through things.”

Um. Yes, we do, of course. There’s not a lot of choices, for the next 8 years. So now the courts will be my keeper. Oh boy. It’s a bit like our marriage. For some reason, she did not believe me. Or she has merely grown tired of dealing with me. Again.


The Off Parent

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