2/11/13

Judgment Day: A New Definition of Winning

I've been holding off on writing here, and for the few of you who have inquired about where I've been...I'm sorry!  Life has been busy, you know the drill..working (thank God), kids, feeding my insecurities..it's all so time consuming.

Here's something else that's been taking some of my creative mojo: The judgment from my case with Big Daddy came in.  It came in a couple of weeks ago, and I've been sort of processing it ever since.

Am I happy with it?  Well, I'm happy it's over.

I'm not entirely happy with the judgment itself, but to be honest with you I don't think any woman who has gone so long without child support, any woman who has lost so much and scrambled so hard to make ends meet would be happy with anything other than the a-hole ex-husband standing on her front steps with Scrooge McDuck moneybags in hand.

I'm naive. Optimistically naive. My view of justice is very black and white:  someone commits an injustice, they pay.  And in my Pollyanna world, they pay what they owe. They don't get four years to pay back four years of past due child support (interest free, too).  They don't get away with paying less than $50 per child, per month.  They don't get away with suddenly and mysteriously closing their bank account and start channeling funds through their wife's account.  To me, that's not justice.  That's a gray, blobby thing that doesn't even remotely resemble justice.  That's ten shades of shady, if you ask me.

But..I've been told by a couple of people that this judgment is a win for me, and more importantly, for the kids. Even though it's not close to what the kids are owed, it's something.  And I see the validity in this, I really do. I know that some of you who are reading this would give a kidney to get even ten minutes in court with the deadbeat who has robbed your kids of life's basic necessities.  I'm grateful for the pro-bono attorney.  I'm grateful for the chance to have my case seen and heard by a judge.  I'm grateful to have finally gotten even a taste of justice.

Most importantly? I'm grateful for the closure.

You see, this judgment is the final chapter in the seemingly endless child support saga between me and the father of my children.  It's the last keystroke in a lengthy story about a man and a woman and their little life together.

And for that, I'm grateful.  An ending, a conclusion, a swan song.  It's over.

It's finally, finally over.

For the past few weeks I've focused on what we didn't get.  The numbers don't add up, there is a pretty substantial amount of money that went up in smoke when this judgment was made.  That sucks.  But just like spilled milk, you can't cry over money that was never yours.  And so I'm drying my tears, I'm saying a prayer of thanks and I'm accepting this judgment. 

I'm a firm believer in karma and the justice that we face outside of courtrooms...universal, spiritual justice. I believe that what you put out into the world is what you get back.  That's why, over the past few years, I've been trying my darnedest to put out good things.  I've been trimming the negative, the soul-draining and the poisonous.  Filling up the voids with light and positivity and most of all...with love. Because that's what I want to get back. 

We can't choose what happens to us in this life. We can't predict who will come into our lives and what mark they'll leave.  We have no control over other people or the weather or gas prices or judges. 

What we can control is how we choose to deal with all of it. For a long time, I let these things, these people and their actions soak into my skin like raindrops.  Big Daddy was a termite, and I was the wood.  Not anymore. 

So, thank you, Judge, for your time and for your findings. Thank you, Attorney Aladdin, for treating my pro-bono ass with respect and with kindness.  Thank you, friends, for putting up with my hand-wringing and pensiveness over the past few months.  And thank you, my lovely and resilient children, my babies, for reminding me every single day of what I should have known, and appreciated, all along:

I win. Every single day that I wake up and get out of bed...Every single day I share a laugh with a good friend...Every single day I spend time with my sons and my daughter...

I win.




21 comments:

  1. Jenny, once again I am laughing and crying both at the same time reading one of your posts!! You say exactly what I am thinking and feeling and put it into words so perfectly. You understand me.
    My EX was ordered(the master happened to be in one crappy mood that day)to pay back child support for our youngest daughter--the other 2 are over 18 so they are out of luck--at only $100 per month. With taxes, that comes to a big whopping $23.08 that gets deposited into my account each week. I calculated it and he will be paying me $23.08/wk until the month after she turns 21. This is a man that makes a 6 figures and he can only afford $23.08/wk? There is definitely something wrong with the system but I will take this because some weeks I have come to depend on that $23.08 and it has saved me from having a few bounced checks or just getting a 1/2 tank of gas. It's overwhelming when I think about it. But you are right...I have my children with me and I will always be the winner!

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    1. Thanks so much Sil! Oh my GAWD I can so totally relate to the $23.08 a week making a difference. And you get it until she's 21??? Where do you live? That makes so much more sense to me than our cut off, which is 18. Last time I checked, kids don't stop eating or needing a place to sleep when they turn 18.

      Thank you again for contributing. Always nice to hear from you.

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    2. No unfortunately the child support is only until she is 18. But because he went a whole year w/o giving me anything he had an arrearage amount of several thousand $$. so he was ordered to pay me $100/mo until that amount is paid off. She will be 21 before it's done. But like I said, I will take it!

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  2. YES. You are truly a winner, my friend, in your character, your attitude, in every way. (Your kids know this, too...and every time they're with their father, I have no doubt that his uber-loser-ness (is that a word? It is now) makes your winner-ness all the more obvious to them.) As someone who is in your corner and who shares your ideas about what justice is, I am sorry the judgment wasn't fairer, but I sure am glad you and the kids will be getting something. And, it must feel good to have this over with, for sure!

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    1. Thanks JCS! The kids were supposed to be at Big Daddy's last night. When I got home around 6, lo and behold there were my two baby boys. They said they told their dad they had too much homework and wanted to stay home. Most nights, I would have sighed and silently bemoaned my lack of freedom, but last night I felt differently. I took them for haircuts and then for a rare treat at Dairy Queen...

      It was a good night. I'm beginning to see how blessed I am.

      Thanks so much for chiming in, old friend.

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  3. Yes, you win and he loses.

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  4. So happy it's finally over. Hopefully you will sleep really good tonight. And you are a total winner!!!

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    1. Thank you Traci! Funny...I've slept like a baby for the past week or so. Coincidence?

      Thanks for reading, my friend.

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  5. I would be focused on it too but in the big picture you win. How could you not perseverate on the bad stuff from time to time.

    You took the high road, you are in their lives, they love, depend, get their good stuff from you.

    Rock Star!

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    1. Thank you Gail. That damn high road is tough to travel some days. But I keep truckin' along.

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  6. "You see, this judgment is the final chapter in the seemingly endless child support saga between me and the father of my children."

    That sentence jumped out at me because of the "my," as opposed to "our" children ...

    I'm glad you have some closure on this deal. Be gentle with yourself when resentments surface. Thank you for sharing how you've been getting off this guy's roller coaster! May you gently help your kids to do the same.




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    1. Thanks Becky! Funny...I usually love roller coasters :)

      I always appreciate hearing from you.

      Jenny

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  7. You really are a winner! Thanks once again for sharing your story and beautiful thoughts!

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    1. Awww..thank you :) I needed to hear this today.

      Jenny

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  8. Jenny, I found your blog a month ago, when an article was posted on the Huffington Post. I immediately devoured the entire archive. I think it's incredible what you've been through. You should be proud of the kind of mother you've been, and the kind of mother your kids will remember. Your ex has no idea what he's lost by being a shit father, and that reality will hit him someday. It will be a realization that is worse than any financial burden he's caused you. Time is the most precious resource we have.

    Keep your head up. Fuck him and his miserable self. You're the Queen in this story.

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    1. Hey Aimee! Thanks so much for reading..and for taking the time to say hello!

      You are a wise woman..time is precious. That's something we tend to forget. Thanks for the reminder.

      I don't know that I'm the Queen, though! Mayhap the Court Jester?

      Thanks again for chiming in.

      Jenny

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  9. I ditto what Aimee says. I came across you on Huff Post and have read your whole blog! Love it.
    Also, I cannot believe that our justice system allows fathers to get away with this. SO SAD.

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    1. Oh thank you so much! I love hearing from new hens! Our justice system has a lot of flaws...kind of wishing I had gone to law school.

      Thank you for reading.

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  10. Sigh. I admit I'm still a bit disappointed in Aladdin and Yo-lene.

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  11. I'm glad for your sake that it's over. I wish the payment could be taken out of the hide of your ex though. Seriously I don't know what happens to men when they go through a divorce. They seem to convince themselves that they no longer have children and they can just move on with their own lives and never have to look back. Who cares if their kids never get a penny from them? They've moved on. Why can't you? So freaking ridiculous. You are an amazing person and your kids are so lucky to have you.

    I've never read your blog before but it amazes me the similarities in our stories. I even had a blog post named something similar - http://dowehavetotellthekids.blogspot.com/2013/04/winning.html

    I hope my husband doesn't become even more of a POS when it comes to child support. He swears that he will give me what I need to pay bills (which is above the court mandated amount). However at this point he says he won't sign anything... Hmmm, yeah, probably because he doesn't want to pay more than he has to and he's just stringing me along.

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