I’m At Least Going To Try

If you remember, in June 2014 I decided to take my Ex back to court for unpaid child support. It was a decision that I had really struggled with because I was nervous to reignite his anger, but the kids and I were really struggling due to his refusal to acknowledge our existence or his court ordered child support payments. 

Eventually I decided that it was in my best interest to take him to court on the issue. I would highly encourage you to go back and read the posts surrounding those dates so that you know what I’m talking about, but for now I’ll just put a very large cut and paste here from June of last year: 

Please be aware that the following is a cut and paste from June 2014

“I’m tired of it. I’m tired of him. I’m tired of seeing things always work out for him while the kids and I struggle so much. Decide to hit your wife? Sure, go for it, no one will care. Decide that you don’t want to be a father anymore? Sure, just walk out the door and never look back. Decide to have your wife raped? Sure, the police aren’t going to do anything about it anyway. Shake your baby? No problem, your wife will dedicate her life to healing him while you just go about your merry way. Decide to stalk her for a few months because it’s all fun and games? 

Absolutely, go for it, you’ll never be prosecuted anyways.

When is enough, enough?

When will I ever be in control of my life without constantly being in damage control mode from his actions?

I’m tired of looking at my body in the shower and knowing what someone has done to it. I’m tired of knowing that I got raped because I chose to pursue him for child support in the past. I’m tired of knowing that my life seems to be a revolving series of healing from things that I have had no control over; child abuse, spousal abuse, rape, abandonment, etc.

It sometimes feels like my entire life has been one continuous free fall and every time I think I’ve finally landed, the earth dissolves beneath my feet again. I need to gain some element of control in my life when it comes to my ex.

Enough is enough.

He owes me money, quite a bit of it actually in unpaid child support related items and I decided that enough is enough, I refuse to let him walk all over me anymore. I’m tired of saying no to my children because their dad doesn’t want to be their dad anymore and I’m left alone to provide for all of us. 

So I had Mr. Attorney Man draw up the paperwork and set a court date. I didn’t want to do it, I didn’t want to go, but I needed this. I needed to know that I wasn’t backing down this time. That after all he put me through the last time I pursued child support, that I still wasn’t going to back down.

I need to not let him have the final word and that is so unlike me, because normally I don’t care what anyone else thinks of me, but this, this I needed.

I needed him to see that after nearly a decade of abuse, that I was still standing. 

My ex hit his children and over my dead body will he ever see them again, but I refuse to let him pretend as if they don’t exist. I work my ass off every day to make sure that those kids have everything that they need and he thinks he can just pretend that they don’t exist? You don’t get to abuse your wife for years and then move on to the next one. You don’t get to rape someone and pretend it never happened. You don’t get to throw away children because they no longer serve your purpose.

You don’t get to shatter people’s lives and then get upset when things inconvenience you.

After talking with my ex, Mr. Attorney Man presented me with a few options as to how we can handle this, one including a five year payment plan paying $100 dollars a month towards his debt. FIVE YEARS. You’re kids are not a car dude, you don’t get to finance them. I’m not a bank and I didn’t agree to give you a loan.

Mr. Attorney Man gave me some logical advice, all of which I promptly (and probably stupidly) ignored, and then we got off the phone. He has my best financial interests in mind and I understand that, it is what I pay him to do, but he can’t possibly understand how much deeper this runs.

If I choose to take this to court, at this point it could go either way. The county that I live in has a reputation for ignoring what any other county would consider iron clad proof. To add to that, my ex lies and cries on command and his current “reportable” work status, or lack thereof, could bite me in the ass in court.  

I could agree to an arrangement with him and have some sort of guarantee that eventually I will be paid or I could take him to court and risk walking away with nothing at all.

Yet despite the lack of guarantee, my gut says to go for it, go to court. It isn’t about the money. Providing the best for my kids isn’t always about being able to provide for them financially. They need a healthy mother. They need a good example of self respect. My daughter needs to see that it is not ok for a man to walk all over you. My son deserves to be acknowledged by the father that shook him.

I refuse to make my children hide in a corner for the rest of their childhood because “daddy doesn’t want to be bothered by your existence.”

None of us deserve to be swept under the rug with a ridiculous five year payment plan and walked all over, under his feet where the dirt lies, because he can’t be bothered to look us in the face.
I don’t want to settle.

I need this. I need him to see that I am stronger than him. That despite what he throws at me, that I’m not just going to fade away into the background because he has decided that he is done with our family. I spent eight years of marriage hiding from him. I need to know that I didn’t take every punch, every hit, every rape, for years and years just to give up and agree to be tossed out like trash.

I need the final piece of my self respect back and unfortunately, he has it because I let him steal it from me.

I want him to see that I won’t stop fighting. I want to pick my sorry ass up off the ground and show him that I am still standing. I want to be able to tell my kids that I fought for them.

There is a distinctive difference between surrendering to accept a life situation for what it was knowing that the rest of your life is worth more than being hindered by it; and being stuck in a situation that you can’t get out of.

I accept my past for what it was; ugly. I accept it and I’m choosing to move past it because I know that the rest of my life is so infinitely important that if I keep looking backwards, I will never be able look forward enough to walk towards my beautiful destination.

What I will not accept is the fact that I am still stuck in an abusive situation. That his utter disregard for the fact that we exist is still controlling my life. That I will not accept and that I need to get out of.

Back to the present day

So I went to court back then and do you know what I did?

I settled.

I absolutely did not want to do that. That was not my agenda when I started the process, that was not what I had planned, and that was not what I needed to do.

But I went into court, my PTSD brain started nodding and agreeing to things that I never would have nodded to and agreed to outside of court, and a few hours later I agreed to let my ex off on a 5 year payment plan.

I was furious with myself as is evidenced by a quote from another post a few days later, a quote that continues to haunt me:

“So after that whole fiasco, as much as it’s over, I’m really not sure it’s over. To be honest part of me is terrified that it’s really just beginning.”

And it haunts me because I was right. It wasn’t over, it was just the beginning. A year later here we are with a court order that still hasn’t been entered into the system correctly and surprise-surprise, my ex walked out of the courthouse that day and has treated the court order like nothing more than toilet paper stuck to the floor of a Walmart bathroom.

I agreed to his terms for child support and in turn he walked out of court and has ignored me since.

I gave him what he wanted and as usual he took so much more. A year you guys, I’ve wasted an entire year on this, on top of all the other years that he has stolen from my life.

I’ve had it.

I’m upset that I settled. I’m upset that I let him have his way. I’m upset that I wasted my money on a settlement that I never wanted.

I’m upset that a year later I still haven’t made peace with this.

A couple months ago I told Mr. Attorney Man that I wanted to take my ex back to court and then I mentally prepared myself to move forward with the process.

But a few weeks after that while having a meeting over breakfast, Mr. Attorney Man tried to talk me out of it.

Now please don’t jump on him because he is just doing his job and the points that he raised were not without merit, but this is my life.

I don’t want to live feeling like this anymore.

One of the things that Mr. Attorney Man had said to me when I signed the settlement a year ago — his words of comfort if you will — was “hey, if your ex doesn’t abide by the court order then we aren’t making anymore deals. We’ll haul him back in here and we won’t be playing games. This settlement is a done deal and he knows that he has to follow it because there won’t be anymore deals after this one.”

So when Mr. Attorney Man’s new advice was that maybe it was time to let it go, accept that my ex will probably never follow through with his responsibilities, and move on with my life, I was taken aback. I wasn’t angry because I know that his advice stems from the fact that he is happy I’m finally in a good place and he would like to see me continue to move forward without my ex dragging me down, but I was shocked that he wouldn’t understand how this situation is holding me back.

I went home to think about what he had said, and ended up sending Mr. Attorney Man a ridiculously long email that really could have been shortened down to my final sentence; “you talked me into this deal a year ago, it was with the understanding that if my ex didn’t abide we would take him back to court. Please have enough respect for me now to not try and talk me out of what you already talked me into.”

He was good with that and has been nothing but supportive since then.

When it really comes down to it, my reasoning for doing this cannot be measured in dollar signs or court room judgements.

Taking my ex back to court, things might not go my way. Because of the whacked out town I live in with it strange and confusing child support laws, there are ten different scenarios that I can think of in which things might not go my way on the child support front — but none of that matters to me.

What matters to me is standing up to my ex.

What matters to me is not even proving anything to him, because I don’t care about him, but proving to myself that I will not be pushed around anymore.

What matters to me is being able to tell my children “I tried.” It matters when they ask me why they can’t have what the other kids have, or even have enough of what they need, that I will at least be able to tell them “I’m trying.”

What matters to me is showing my daughter that you don’t let a man walk on you and be expected to accept it.

What matters to me is not allowing the only lesson that my son ever learns from his father to be that you can throw your responsibilities away without any consequences.

What matters to me is that I don’t want to forever be the woman who watched her husband walk away, but rather I’d like to become the woman that waved good-bye as she steps over him on her way out the door.

What matters to me is finding my voice after so many years of silence.

What matters to me is finally knowing that I’m not a victim of my silence anymore.

I don’t care if I win my court case, I care that I tried.

I’m at least going to try.

I don’t plan to spend the rest of my life chasing down a man that is choosing not to be a part of our family (and shouldn’t be), but as a parent I need at least one time where I stood up to the man who abused and abandoned all three of us, and know that I didn’t let him weasel his way out of the consequences. I need at least one time where I can tell my kids, “mommy tried.” My kids already have a lot of questions as to why their dad isn’t here and as they get older, they are bound to start asking about my role in how everything played out. As a mother who is trying to help her children through a situation that they don’t understand, I want to be able to tell them that daddy may have left, but mommy didn’t let him forget what he left behind.

The only thing that my children will ever truly know their father for, is being walked out on by him.

I want them to know that I not only stayed, but I fought for them.

They deserve that much.

They deserve to know that I fought for the recognition of their existence.

So I’m going back to court and this time, we are doing things my way.

I may not win, but at least I’ll know I tried.

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  • Mzfuzz
    October 14, 2015 at 3:19 am

    Hooyah! And with an approach like that, you've already won (no matter what the outcome is in court ultimately). Way to stand up for yourself and your kids. 🙂

  • snork maiden
    October 14, 2015 at 7:07 am

    What are you trying to achieve? Do you want him jailed? You are never going to get one cent of child support from this guy, no matter how many times you win in court, so what is it that you do want?

  • nichole jenkins
    October 14, 2015 at 11:04 am

    I am proud of you for standing up for yourself after all this time. I am proud that you are trying. I do agree with snork maiden though, you aren't going to get anything from him. and that makes me sad.

  • Facebook
    October 14, 2015 at 3:01 pm

    You are seriously a superstar! Not many people are as strong as you are. Rock on!

  • Carey H
    October 14, 2015 at 3:25 pm

    Good luck, Eden! I hope you get more than just the satisfaction of standing up to him. I hope you actually get the money he owes. But even if you don't – good for you!!

  • Facebook
    October 14, 2015 at 3:33 pm

    You rock! To try, is not at least, it is truly a lot!

  • Facebook
    October 14, 2015 at 4:17 pm

    Good luck trying to get things your way! Men like that will do whatever it takes to hurt someone else.

  • jacky lavine
    October 14, 2015 at 4:31 pm

    Go for it girlfriend. Although maybe you should get an attack dog in case he tries to send someone else to harm you (again). Kids would like the dog as a pet and as a bonus he can bite the crap out of anyone who tries to harm you. Bastard Ex. And he should sit in jail he won't help support his kids. (and if you ever figure out a way for me to get them to you, I am still happy to make you afghans/sweaters–)

  • CD
    October 15, 2015 at 5:49 am

    If you want my opinion, that asshole should just sign away his parental rights if he knows what's good for him. But I realize you're not at that point yet, and you still want to prove to your kids that you DID try… so, as long as you're not expecting anything, I say go for it.And yeah, even if he is lucky enough to be employed by someone other than your family, we all know he has other “income” he's not reporting. He CAN pay, he just chooses not to. But with that in mind, even if you don't throw his ass in jail for not paying, there's a very good chance he will end up there one way or another. Karma sometimes takes a while…

  • Anonymous
    October 15, 2015 at 11:42 am

    Signing away your rights is really only a TV move. Most courts don't allow it unless someone is adopting the child. It's a way to keep parents on the hook for child support so even if eden wanted to it probably wouldn't be allowed.

  • snork maiden
    October 15, 2015 at 12:25 pm

    I agree about the attack dog, Eden needs to watch her back if she's going up against The Ex again.

  • snork maiden
    October 15, 2015 at 12:31 pm

    I'm glad to hear it, because the one thing you can never do is change this guy into someone who owns his responsibilities, I've known people to break their own hearts trying to get unreasonable people to be reasonable. You'll never get fairness, but you might get justice.But watch your back. The suggestion below to get a guard dog is a sound one.

  • Anonymous
    October 15, 2015 at 1:22 pm

    Not to be argumentative but the last thing Eden needs is a dog. If she can't afford what her kids need then she can't afford a dog, and a house with small children shouldn't have a dog that will attack things. Just saying.

  • snork maiden
    October 15, 2015 at 6:45 pm

    You have a point. I've suggested before now that she take in a lodger, one who's aware of the situation and able to help with any potential situations; but Eden's not up for that.

  • CD
    October 16, 2015 at 3:05 pm

    I now realize in the few cases I know of this, there's been a remarriage and/or adoption which I hadn't thought of. But I'd like to think most courts would make an exception for the human garbage that is Eden's ex. He's never going to be a meaningful part of their lives, nor does he even want to be.

  • Facebook
    October 18, 2015 at 4:45 pm

    I admire you. Plain and simple.

  • Facebook
    October 18, 2015 at 4:46 pm

    God bless you, you seem to be a very strong women and are doing everything you can for your kids, personally for any abusive other they should be tossed in jail and for the idiots who wont pay their child support same to them, unfortunately the courts don't seem to see it that way and from what I have been reading you standing up to him may have a deadly outcome, and unfortunately in abusive relationships the courts wait till someone is dead before they step in, is moving an option for you?

  • Unknown
    October 27, 2015 at 3:59 pm

    Good for you, stand up for what is rightfully due to your children. To many deadbeat Dad's that get away with out paying a dime to help support their children. My Ex is one of them and he left the area so he didn't have to deal with it. If they only understood how this affects their children. SMH

  • Anonymous
    November 10, 2015 at 3:21 am

    I know this isn't helpful right now, but my BFF's dad owed her mom $18k in back support (and this was back in the day, we're in our 40's now, so that was a LOT of money), well when she was around 19 or 20 he got a settlement in a court case and it was garnished before he ever saw it and given to her mom to clear up his arrears. So, karma always gets them in the end…

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