Posts Tagged ‘divorce high conflict personality’

You did your best to ruin it for us. So caught up in your jealousy and insecurities. You pulled out all the stops. I’ve never quite figured that part out because (thank God) I do not and cannot think like you. Why, when you pretty much screwed anything with a dick (regardless of age or you being a “teacher”) while you were married to him, did it upset you so much to see him happy? You were not a wife to him. You barely fit the definition of a mother. You repeatedly put his children in dangerous and unhealthy situations. Yet, somehow, in that warped mind of yours, you were the victim.

You are incapable of accepting responsibility for your actions. That has always fascinated me. Everything is always someone else’s fault. One of our attorneys used to say that you believed your own lies. For years, I couldn’t wrap my head around that statement. Now I have come to see it is true. You do believe your own lies and you can spin some dandies!

For instance, you would tell the kids that I was the reason that you and Daddy were not together. You had to come up with some story I suppose because you certainly couldn’t have told them the truth…”Mommy is a raging whore who spreads her legs for anyone willing to jump between them and Daddy isn’t going to put up with that anymore.” Never mind that I didn’t come into the picture until well after your divorce was final. Don’t worry, they’re adults now. Whether they choose to admit it to themselves or not, they realize the truth.

What about telling them that I “took them from you”? Telling these little kids that I am the reason they could not live with you after their Dad got custody, when they were all still elementary school age. How disgusting is that? Who does that to little kids? Without blinking an eye, you repeatedly victimized your own children.You vilified their father and denigrated the only stable home they had known. Once again, you couldn’t be truthful about your actions, could you? You would have had to admit things such as: “Mommy has sex with high school boys.” “Mommy leaves you alone in the middle of the night without supervision.” “Mommy doesn’t have enough money to pay bills because she has no understanding of money management.” (How about that you can’t even do a simple excel spreadsheet? Damn I am glad we don’t have to try anymore to make sense of that shit you would send over for medical/dental billing. Ugh!)

But here’s what you didn’t know then and still don’t know now. You don’t know me. You will never know me. In over 17 years, you’ve never once had the balls to have a face to face conversation with me. Not even while we were sitting in the same room. Not even while we were in court ordered family counseling. You have gone to my husband with complaints about me, but never once came to me. You have talked about me in class at the school where you are supposed to be teaching. You have spoke about me during activities out in the community with the kids to other parents. You have continuously and consistently pumped your children for any shred of information, the tiniest detail about me, that they could produce. Sickening. And you keep forgetting what a small community we live in. Word travels fast.

So, let’s clear up your confusion. Let me address your misgivings in writing since you are too much of a chicken shit to ever say something straight to my face.

1) I’m not the kind of woman to mess with “someone else’s man”. I’ve never experienced a shortage of men interested in dating me. Not bragging, just saying. Furthermore, I wouldn’t want any man who was with another woman and trying to get me on the side. If they do it with you, they’ll do it to you. To me he would be a lowlife, and I deserve better. No home wrecker here.

2) You lost custody of your children because of your actions. Your lust for teenage boys got you in hot water, not me. Did I try to get you fired from your teaching position? You damn right I did! Any decent person would want you removed from any position giving you access to and/or influence over kids of any age. It is beyond my comprehension that you are still teaching. But fear not, the truth always comes out sooner or later. And shame on each and every teacher and administrator that knows of your vile history and has helped cover it up.

3) Your pathetic attempts at getting personal information from the kids was repulsive. You even went so far as to actually try to get your oldest son to find out where on my body my tattoo was located. I can just imagine what your deviant mind was hoping to do with that information. Here’s a news flash for you…solid, respectable woman do not tell little boys about their personal body markings. Not ever!

4) I will admit I have enjoyed messing with you a bit from time to time. Perfect example, all your calls or emails to my husband about properties we were looking at, congratulating us. Especially funny given my profession. We never shared or discussed anything of a personal nature in front of them or even while they were with us in the house for that matter. It had to be that way. Perfect example of this is my classic Mustang. For years I had a 1964-1/2 Mustang K code classic car. One of the daughters would have loved that car! She would have begged to ride in it and drive it. Sadly, she never even knew we had it. You probably would have gone out and started buying classic cars the way you started trying to buy luxury cars after I bought my Mercedes. We kept things private because we knew the kids would be interrogated by you the minute they got home. We simply let you jump to conclusions based on our activities filtered through the eyes of your envy. You get so caught up trying to make people think you’re wealthy. That’s your game, not mine.

You can put what you know about me in a thimble. You don’t know the people I associate with personally or professionally. My friends or associates aren’t going to talk to you. You don’t know my assets and resources. I made sure of that very early on. If you could have gotten child support from my income, you would have. Scavenger that you are. Remember when you had your attorney ask in court if I intended to buy a Porsche? Did I buy that Porsche? You don’t know because it’s simply none of your damn business. You don’t know what I own because you don’t know me. You don’t know where, how or when I travel. Rest assured, our paths are not likely to cross. Even the most obvious things about me you can’t know because what you do think you know was pieced together from bits and pieces you squeezed out of children. Pathetic.

No, you don’t know me. You never will.

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Bet you didn’t sleep well last night. Bet you’re nervous today. Bet you’re scouring the internet and reading all the comments posted under the local news stories, searching social media about the latest local teacher accused of sexual assault, wanting desperately to find what I have written. You know I AM writing about it…you know I AM writing about you.

Every time one of these cases makes the news I think immediately of you. How can I not? I wonder how is it you have gotten away with sexually abusing students for over 20 (yes, TWENTY!) years? There are so many questions…

Over fifteen years ago I found out you had a history of having sex with students. Not “a” student, although that would have been bad enough…but many, many students. Your family – your husband at the time, and your small children – were literally run out of the town where it all began with threats of violence due to your behavior. You seem to have no boundaries in telling the kids things, have you told them you were run out of town? Seems even backwoods, “country folk” as you once referred to one of the boys, don’t appreciate their young sons being preyed on by a school teacher. Maybe it was because some of them were smart enough to figure out that one of your pregnancies was due to your affairs with high school boys. People talk. Seems with you there was plenty to talk about.

Tell me, do YOU know which one of the students fathered the child that you fraudulently passed off as your husband’s for TEN years? My guess is yes, based on the information that the State Police discovered, but I’d like to see you have backbone enough to admit it. Does the boy that fathered this child know he has a daughter? Honestly, I am surprised you didn’t try to sue him for child support. I have no doubt you would have done so, if you thought you could have done it and kept your teaching certificate. Do the kids know who the father of their sibling is? Does your current husband know who the father is and how old the kid was at the time of conception? Bet you concocted a dandy story to cover it up.

You moved to this school district, but the behavior continued. You’ve been here for many years now. This is not a big area. And again, people talk. What I wonder every time one of these cases pops up is, WHEN will you be caught? Not when will you be found out, because everyone knows…the Superintendent, the School Board, fellow teachers and staff…students…parents…your children. When will you be held accountable for all the crimes you have committed against students? Multiple counts of sex acts, stalking, harassing, just to name a few. All felonies. All crimes against children entrusted to your care and authority. How do you manage to stay employed as a teacher? How have you managed to never be arrested? It amazes me. And let’s not forget the paternity fraud you committed and parental alienation you have fostered.

What kind of a stories have you spun over the years that allow your children to even be in the same room with you? They are adults now. They’re old enough to know what it meant having all those high school boys coming in and out of the house, going up to “Mom’s” room. They know what people were talking about in school. They know why the neighbors were talking. I am relieved that they are all out of school now. I used to worry about what would happen if you were arrested while they were in school. Clearly I worried in vain. This school district certainly doesn’t have the balls to fire you.

Eventually, I believe justice will be served. You cannot hide what you have done. There are too many victims. Too many people know. Sooner or later, it will catch up to you. Karma. Reaping what you sow. What goes around comes around and one of these days it will find you. In the meanwhile, you will live your life constantly looking over your shoulder, wondering when that day will come.

Since publishing the post I recently submitted called The Jealous Wife, more and more instances of crazy behavior from this woman came to mind. She has worked long and hard to hurt me. As one of our attorneys said, “She believes her own lies.”

At first, I didn’t see how that could be true, but as time went on and various events took place, the truth of this statement became evident. In her twisted mind, everything that happened relating to having custody of her children taken away, not being able to reconnect with my husband, mismanagement of her finances, you name it, she see’s it as all my fault. She truly does believe her own lies.

What’s more, she has worked hard to get other people to believe her lies. My oldest stepson used to tell me when he was around 10 or 11 that his Mom told him I am the reason she and Dad split up. Really? What do you say to a child when they tell you that? I gently told him the truth.  “No, your Mom and Dad were separated and divorced before I ever met your Dad.”  No venom.  Just fact.

An agent I currently work with told me she was apprehensive about me coming to their office because of everything she and the other soccer Mom’s had been told about me by the ex when the kids were little.  She went on to tell me that within the group of Mom’s they questioned what they were being told because they didn’t believe that the courts would take custody away from the mother and give it to us if any of what she was saying had been true. Everyone knows how hard it is to take custody from a mother, especially in a particularly conservative area.  Thankfully, she realized after meeting me and working with me a short time that it was all bullshit.  But still, who knows what things this woman has said to others around town?  I am self-employed as a Realtor.  My reputation matters.

What about the girls at school cornering my daughter and asking why I was “stealing” this teacher’s children from her? Stealing her children? Right. That is the fairy tale – marry the man of your dreams, and then less than a year later, bring four (yes! FOUR!) more little kids into the house to feed, bathe, and care for on top of two you already have plus your corporate management career. Trust me. I was NOT out to “steal” anyone’s kids. But I did whole-heartedly support my husband’s quest to make sure his children were safe and provided for in a healthy environment. How much talking about me in her classroom did this woman have to do for these high school kids to believe I was trying to steal her children?  And what kind of crazy do you need to be to try to take your anger and shortcomings out on my child at school?  She was not even mature enough to bring it straight to me.  Instead, she had my child bullied on her turf, the high school.  Pathetic.

Speaking of talking about me in the classroom, on several occasions I would be out in the community (grocery store, bank, retail stores) only to have someone high school age helping me and recognize my name. Many times, they would say they knew who I was from their high school English teacher. One girl at a grocery store told me that her English teacher was “obsessed” with me and could not stop talking about me. That’s just creepy. Crazy. And unprofessional, to say the least.

She even went so far as to use my “jealousy” as a defense against me trying to get her fired.  Jealous?  Really?  Jealous of a grown, middle-aged woman, sexually and emotionally abusing high school boys?  What do you say to that besides YUCK!?!  Of course I was trying to get her fired!  I have NEVER denied that.  Any decent human being would want this woman fired and never allowed in a position of authority over children of any age.  This woman – or ANYONE like her – does not need to be in a classroom or anywhere she has contact with students.  For the life of me, I do not understand how it could be that she is still a teacher in this school district.  It’s like my daughter first said to me years ago, “Everyone knows Mom, but nobody does anything about it.”

And so, for all these years this woman has done her best to wreak havoc in our home.  She has wreaked havoc on her own children.  She has certainly wreaked havoc in the classroom.  All the while pointing her fingers at me.  Deflecting responsibility. She is great at playing the victim.  Somehow, in her mind, it has all happened because I am the jealous wife.  Or so she wishes.

This hits the nail right on the head! Take time to read and learn. Glad to see this information becoming more main stream. It needs to make it’s way into the family court system, with attorneys and judges having training. Or, at the very least, listening to the mental health professionals that they appoint.
http://www.alienationischildabuse.org/personality-disorders.html

The jealous “new” wife.  That’s how my husband’s ex-wife liked to portray me in the beginning of my marriage to anyone who would listen.  I always found this interesting given the truth of the relationship between her and my husband.  There was no love lost on his part.  He made it very clear to me from our first meeting that his relationship with her centered around the children.  They had married due to pregnancy and he had stayed married to her for the sake of his children.  My husband is a man who honors his responsibilities.  One of the many things I admire about him.

When my husband and I started dating and the ex didn’t consider me a threat, she was happy to have my involvement with the children.  I would include my husband and his kids on outings I had planned for my own children.  We hiked, we picnicked, we picked apples.  They were often at my home for dinners. They would literally fight to spend time with me.  As the relationship between my husband and I grew, we spent more and more time together.  And the ex was more than happy to hand the kids over to him anytime he could take them.  He had them much of the time.

In all honesty, I have no idea when she began to see me as a threat.  That first Summer my husband and I were together, at some point a letter was sent to the public school administration talking about the ex’s sexual relationships with students.  She seemed to think either think that my husband had something to do with that letter, or she was upset that he wasn’t helping her defend herself against the allegations, but she went on the defensive.  Probably typical behavior for someone who has so much to hide.  Perhaps she was nervous because I had been in the picture longer than she expected.  Maybe she had come to dislike her children going home and telling her how much fun they had with us.  Maybe it was my husband confronting her about having the teenage boy she was involved with at the time constantly at her home.  At one point, hiding upstairs in her bedroom when he came to pick up the children so he wouldn’t know he was there.  Nonetheless, I became the bad guy.

By Fall, when my husband and I decided to marry, things had deteriorated to the point that when making our wedding plans, we had to keep them secret from the children just to be certain they would be able to attend.  We made sure to arrange for our ceremony to take place on mid-week visitation here at our home.  If we hadn’t, she would have never allowed them to attend.  The next weekend visitation after our marriage, when my husband returned the children to her home, she had left a long, handwritten letter for him.  In short, expressing her love and devotion to him.  Stating that she had loved him deeply for “the past nine years” and explaining how she had hoped that they would reunite.  My husband sat and read the letter in disbelief at her gall.  After her repeated infidelities during their marriage with various men, not to mention numerous high school boys, she saw herself as devoted?  After all she had put him through – the embarrassment at schools where he had coached, the suspicion that not all of his children were biologically his – did she truly believe he would EVER live under the same roof as her again?  Trust me, there was no jealousy to worry about here.

Less than a year after we wed, there was an incident between the ex and one of the high school boys with whom she was physically and emotionally involved.  He broke into her home and physically assaulted her.  Fearing for the safety of his children, my husband immediately filed for temporary custody, which he was granted.  He would ultimately be granted full custody.  Perhaps it is around this time that I started to hear that I was the “jealous” wife.  After all, she needed someone to pin it on, right?  She had been caught.  Again.  And I wasn’t afraid to speak up.  She needed me to be the villain in her story.

Looking back, it still dumbfounds me that she tried to sell ME as the jealous one.  For all I know maybe she still does.  In actuality, she and I couldn’t be more different from one another.  Without being catty, I will say that we are as different physically as we could be.  There are no similarities in our height, weight, body shape, hair color, etc.  None.  Zero.  Thank God.  (Okay, maybe that’s a bit catty, but it’s the truth!)  We are not similar in accomplishments or interests.  We clearly have a very different moral code.

For years, she has tried to emulate me.  I bought the kids guinea pigs as pets, she couldn’t find guinea pigs so she bought rabbits.  I cut my naturally curly hair to should length, she shows up with her hair cut shoulder length and permed.  I bought a jeep, she bought a jeep.  I taught the girls to crochet, she tried learning to crochet/knit.  I like to cook from scratch, she would call my husband and tell him I was making fun of her cooking.  For the record, I never made fun of her cooking.  I had no idea whether she could cook, nor did I give a damn.  Still don’t.  I do what I do because I enjoy it.  I could go on and on with examples from over the years.  She does what she does because she feels inferior and weak.  In her mind, she must compete with me.

In all of almost 15 years, this woman has never had the courage to pick up the phone to have a conversation with me on something she “thought” I said or did.  She has never had the balls to write me an email.  She has never once confronted me for trying to get her fired as a teacher.  She cannot speak to me for fear of being hit in the face with the truth.  When I see her in person, she cannot look me in the eye.  She has spent years using her children against me and doing her best to destroy my marriage.  Jealousy.  It’s her answer to everything.  But you tell me, who is really the jealous one?

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Today is the day celebrated as Father’s Day.  It’s usually a day of cookouts, family time, gift giving, and laughter.  Handmade cards and pictures from little kids; stories about their childhood from those that are grown. Memories are made, and memories are revisited.

Sadly, not all kids get to experience having a Father in their life.  They watch from the sidelines as friends, cousins, neighbors, celebrate this day.  Equally as sad is that not all Father’s get to experience Father’s Day with their children.  Some by choice, it is true.  But many, because they are denied that right in one form or fashion.

I have been on both sides of the coin not only in my own childhood, but in the childhoods of my children and stepchildren.  My biological father was an alcoholic who had an affair, which caused he and my mother to divorce.  Once divorced and ordered to pay child support, medical expenses and save for my education, he made one support payment ($8O) and promptly left for California where he would not have to pay.  (Remember, this was about 45 years ago so CS enforcement was not what it is today.)  My mother never received another dime from him and I saw this man exactly three times between the ages of 3 and 18.  In sharp contrast is my step-dad, Charlie, who was always there for me.  Charlie loved me and my siblings.  We were his children.  Charlie has been gone from us for over 26 years, but when I think of my “Dad” I think of him.  His wisdom still guides me and I love him as much today as ever.

In the case of my own children, their biological father isn’t any better than mine.  While we were married, my ex-husband was somewhat active in the life of our daughter, but not our son.  Because of his disability, I suppose.  Once we separated, he took the kids on visitation only three times.  Only after my daughter contacted him when she was 17 did he begin somewhat of a relationship with her, but again, never our son.  To this day, as my daughter sits in prison, her biological father does nothing to support her.  He had seen our son three times in 10 years and that was only because I invited him to my son’s birthday parties and dog sat for him once.

Then there is my husband.  He is not only a truly wonderful man, he is a magnificent Father.  A huge part of what attracted me to him was his love for and his devotion to his children.  And eventually, his love for, and support of, my children.  He continues to offer support and guidance to my daughter through her challenges.   He recently adopted my son, autism and all.  He is their Dad in every sense of the word.

My husband wants every minute he can possibly get with all of our children.  Unfortunately, sometimes he is denied that right.  If you’ve read any of my other posts you are well aware of the antics we experience at the whimsy of the ex.  If you’re not familiar with our story let’s just sum it up with these three key phrases:  parental alienation, abusive/personality disordered woman, using  the children as pawns for control and manipulation.  By my way of thinking, if a child is blessed enough to have a father who cares, who wants to be active in their life and provide a solid, positive influence, why would you want to interfere in that?

Today I have thought a lot about my stepdaughter that isn’t my husband’s biological child.  How do you think she feels about Father’s Day?  To our knowledge, she doesn’t know the identity of her biological father.  At 10 years old her mother very effectively stole her father from her.  She was told by her mother the day we had the children’s cheeks swabbed that her daddy wasn’t really her daddy.  She was made to be the outcast by her mother.  Biology didn’t change the way my husband felt about his daughter.  He had loved her and cared for her from the time she was a baby.  Now suddenly he was the bad guy.  And all so the mother could hide her crimes.  This young girl is now graduated from high school and about to be an adult.  She suffers emotional issues and has trouble making and keeping friends.  Her own siblings have long been fearful of her.  She has been in trouble with the law.  Why?  In my opinion because the loving relationship she had with the man she knew as her father was destroyed.  You see, whether as an ex you like it or not, Daddy‘s are very important.

This type of thing is happening to men all the time.  We are making progress in the courts and in the views of society but we still have a long way to go.  Just because a woman is a mother does not automatically make her the better parent.  Just because a parent has physical custody does not give them the right to interfere with the relationship between a child and the other parent.  As a stepparent I feel it is important to support both parents to the children regardless of your feelings.  And believe me, I know that at times the feelings can be very negative.  But children need both parents.  Little girls and boys need a Daddy.  No matter what their age.  And kids need to be allowed to be kids.  They don’t need to have your emotional baggage and insecurities dumped on them.  It’s hard enough just being a kid.

So a big, enthusiastic Happy Father’s Day to all you wonderful men who love and adore your children as my husband does.  Much love to you.  Keep your head up and work towards doing the best you can to make things right.  If we can’t make the changes fast enough to help ourselves, at least we can work towards keeping these things from happening to other families in the future.

Parent Alienation and the Wizard of Oz

Written by Carolan Ross

http://www.squidoo.com/parent-alienation-syndrome-pas

It is no secret that I am very much against teachers having sexual relationships with their students.  In fact, I am opposed to anyone in a position of authority or trust with someone being physically involved with them.  This includes doctors with patients, lawyers with clients, counselors with clients, police officers during traffic stops, etc.  In the case of teachers and students I find it particularly offensive.  Maybe in part because I have personally watched the damage this behavior causes everyone even remotely involved.  Not just the victims, and yes, regardless of the gender of the student these kids are victims.  But mostly because these kids are required by law to sit every day in a controlled setting, subject to the personality and opinions of teachers.  They are in essence held as a captive audience.  They are young and impressionable.  Many of them easily manipulated by the people who should be protecting them and helping them grow.

For years now I have written on various blogs and voiced my opinion on various newspapers in response to articles that have covered the abuse of teachers against students.  It is my right as a citizen of the United States of America to voice my opinion.  As a responsible citizen I feel it is my duty to stand up for what is right and what is in the best interest of protecting all children.  And for years, my husband’s ex-wife has been threatening my husband with court action, hiding behind court orders that WE put in place solely for the protection of the children.  Here is a classic example of the threats she has made and the way she harasses my husband:

(This is my comment in response to a local newspaper article related to background checks for teachers.)

catqueen wrote on Mar 27, 2008 8:52 PM:

” I could not agree more on the background check, random drug checks and credit checks, same as any other profession. Add to that list an occassional check of public records. Many times teachers are involved in issues that are hidden in the family courts. Any type of legal activity should have to be reported by the teacher to the administration. After all, if there is nothing to hide, why not? There are some truly great teachers. Then, there are truly sick people who mascarade as teachers. It needs to come to an end and I think the media attention is helping to flush them out. “ 

 Here is the ex-wife’s e-mail to my husband about the above post which she included in her email as her example.

(Addressed to my Husband),

Your wife is at it again.  I’m copying (her attorney’s name here) on this.  You can rest assured that if you do not put an end to her incessent public bull, Judge X  will.  This is the second time I’ve discussed this issue with you, and it will be the last.   

(signed by ex-wife “teacher”)

In addition to the email above that she sent, she called him and requested that he check my computer for any posts about teachers having sex with students that I may be writing.  Sounds like an admission of guilt to me!  Below is a portion of his response to her.

(Addressed to the ex-wife),

The email you sent on Friday has me extremely upset and totally perplexed. I again read the posts on both of the websites you mentioned, (one dealt specifically with teacher/student sex and the other is local news online). You say that (my name here) is attacking you on both.

What I see are posts by concerned citizens expressing their disgust toward teachers who engage in sexual relationships with their students. There are many posts on each site relating much of the same disappointment and disgust that many people share. I see no where on any post the name (ex-wife’s name) mentioned or any reference to you.

(Part of response removed as it names specific names of students with whom she has been involved.)

 I believe that every time you read a newspaper or see a story on TV about another teacher getting arrested because of inappropriate contact with a student, you go to those websites in sheer paranoia that someone is going to spill the beans on you.

Maybe it is time to address these matters before the court. 

(Part of response removed as it deals with specifics of one of the children.)

 As far as (my name here) is concerned, if you have a problem with something you perceive she is doing, take it up with her. I do not control her actions, nor will I snoop on her computer to see what sites she is visiting as you asked me to do. 

 (ex’s name here), if you wish to take this issue before Judge X, my response is Let’s go!

Stop harassing me! DO NOT call me at work again unless it is a medical emergency dealing with our children. DO NOT call me to discuss (boyfriend that dumped her) or any other person you are involved with. That is your business and I do not wish to discuss it with you.

DO NOT call me about anything other than the exchange of information regarding our children.

 DO NOT email me again with threats of lawsuits. Do not email me for any reason other than the exchange of information regarding our children. 

I have documented every post, every article, every comment  I have written right along with the responses or comments at times made by her.  Never has her name been mentioned, yet she takes offense at me expressing my opinion.  “Me thinks thou dost protest too much.” – William Shakespeare

The prayer that I have is for one of truth.  I pray that my husband be seen and acknowledged as the wonderful man that he is.  Let him be seen as the loving and supportive Father that he is and always has been.  My prayer is this:  Let the truth be set free.

After almost twelve years of watching this woman in action, it shouldn’t still surprise me.  The selfishness.  The greed.  The diminished concern for her own children.  The lies and manipulations.  The way she has mastered the art of playing the victim.  I tell myself it can’t possibly continue, yet it does.  Year after year.

With my husbands most recent increase, he now pays about $900 per month in child support for one child.  This is more than he paid when he and the ex divorced and he was paying support on four children.  To say that the child support system needs an overhaul is a gross understatement.  Many men are unjustly charged with outrageous child support amounts.  Others never experience any type of increase, while still others are never ordered to pay support at all.  Yes, we are in need of a major “re-do” on a national level.  But what’s on my mind is what’s happening right here under my roof.

One of the things that most attracted me to my husband when I first met him was how he loved and cared for his children.  They were all quite young then, the oldest being nine and the youngest having just turned three.  The summer before we married, I watched as this wonderful man worked several odd jobs, including digging ditches for sprinkler systems, to have extra money to buy the kids the things they needed.  At the time, it was primarily clothes and food.  In spite of the fact that he was paying around $850 a month in child support, he was still buying clothes, personal care supplies, school supplies, etc. and helping with daycare costs.

Having been a single mom, responsible for providing for my own children, I realize the importance of both parents contributing to the health, welfare and financial security of their children.  The responsibilities, as well as the joys, of raising your children should be shared.  In my opinion, this is what is most beneficial to the children. (Provided of course, that there aren’t extenuating circumstances.)  The problem that I have with my husband paying $900 a month in child support for his son is that it isn’t going to provide for this young mans needs.

My stepson has shown up wearing shoes with the entire side blown out.  He has come to our home with underwear packed in his bag that were at least two sizes too small, telling us that was all he had.  No socks.  He didn’t have any.  Or worse, wearing women’s socks (those of his mother or sisters) because he didn’t have any.  He has repeatedly worn ill-fitting clothing.  Pants so tight they cannot zip that he explained had to be worn with a long shirt so that teachers and the other kids in school did not notice.  Most recently, he has been wearing jeans that are size 34 waist, bunched up with a belt.  Who’s pants are these anyway?  My stepson wears a size 18 boys.  For Christmas, several things he was given by his mother were from Salvation Army and still had the tags on them.  Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with Salvation Army.  Especially if that’s what your budget dictates.  I take issue with this however because my husband is paying MORE than enough child support to make sure his son is nicely clothed, properly fed and appropriately groomed.

I can hear some of the arguments now…”It’s going toward providing housing, paying utilities, buying food, etc.” Maybe partly, yes, I can agree somewhat.  But what about clothes, shoes, haircuts?  Lunch money, school supplies?  Shouldn’t these items be paid for out of my husbands child support?  Instead of spending money on the kids, let’s take just one small peek at where the money goes…

Since 2000, the ex-wife has had the following vehicles:  Mitsubishi Montero (which was my husbands but the court ordered them to trade vehicles as she had traded her four door Toyota sedan for a Mitsubishi Eclipse not capable of safely hauling all four children), New Honda Accord (which she lost due to bankruptcy), Old Honda Accord, Jeep Grand Cherokee (I had bought one so she had to have one also), Black Honda Pilot (the guy she was seeing at the time had bought a White Honda Pilot), Old White BMW Sedan (the kids told us the passenger door was falling off and couldn’t be used but hey, it was a BMW, right?), Silver BMW SUV, Black BMW Sedan, White Honda Pilot (purchased after my stepdaughter bought a new car), and a Gray Pontiac Solstice (she “needed” a convertible). Seriously?  TEN (10) cars in eleven years???

What about vacations?  This woman takes several trips every year (most WITHOUT the children).  I could list many of them, but I will spare you the sordid details.  She is gainfully employed and has finally remarried.  What she chooses to spend HER money on is frankly not my business.  I just feel the needs of the kids should come first.  Hopefully by now, you are getting my point.  It is not my husbands fault that she is so completely financially inept.  Child support MUST be for the benefit of the child/children.

When my husband visited with his attorney about the increase he asked if there was any way to ask for an accounting of the child support.  Couldn’t he ask that at least 50% of it been spent on items specifically for his son?  Couldn’t she be required to give receipts?  Unfortunately, in our state, the answer is a big, fat NO.  We asked if we couldn’t take the increase and deposit it in a trust for the child’s benefit with the balance going to him once he reached a certain age.  Once again, the answer is NO.

It’s not right.  With the child support increase, we can no longer afford to buy extra clothes, supplies, haircuts, etc. for my stepson.  So we sit by and watch the hard-earned money go up in smoke.  We don’t have much longer to pay.  A little over three years.  For all the other men (and women) who pay child support, I hope we can see change.  I hope they are someday soon given the right to know for certain that their hard-earned dollars are being spent to help their babies.

Yesterday ended our Christmas visitation with my husband’s youngest son.  He was disappointed he had to leave.  He told my husband he thought he got to stay until Sunday night.  This would have been correct but my husband had picked him up last weekend for standard visitation only to be told later in discussion with the ex that it wasn’t his weekend due to the Holiday schedule for visitation.   The mother wanted him home this weekend since he had already spent the time here.  She didn’t bother to mention this to the boy, so it caught him unaware.  He was sad.  So were we.  You would think we could just ask for more time.  After all, it’s the Holiday’s.  And my husband travels for work which causes him to miss his midweek visitation.  Maybe he could stay an extra day, right?  Ummm, no.  You know how she is.

No.  Actually, I don’t.  I have my perception of how she is.  I have spent years picking up the pieces from the emotional fallout caused by the behavior of this woman.  I have cradled her children and mothered them while she has been unable or unwilling to do so.  I have done my best to shield my own children from her destructive manipulations, albeit unsuccessfully in the case of my daughter.  But, by the grace of a loving and wonderful God, I have never had to live with or be in any type of close relationship with this woman.  I have never had to truly experience how she is first-hand for anything more than a few minutes at a time.   For that I will tell you, I am thankful.  After all, you know how she is.

Over the years I have heard that statement in reference to my husband’s ex-wife more than I can count.  My husband says it regularly.  The children have said it.  The family counselor we used to go to has said it.  Her new husband says it.  Heck, I have even said it.

The first time I heard someone say “You know how she is” was the former principal of the high school that my daughter attended.  The same high school where this woman still teaches.  He was actually talking to my husband.  This man had been the principal of the ex-wife when she was in high school.  He was a very close friend of hers.  There he sat, with my husband asking him what was being done about her having inappropriate relationships with students, and the best he can say is “You know how she is.”

I have watched as different situations have unfolded with the now adult children.  Each of them at different times coming to us for money or counsel.  Each instance somehow, regrettably, not all that surprising.  This woman has emptied bank accounts belonging to her children, she regularly puts her wants and wishes above their needs.  We have on previous occasion asked both of the now adult children how it is that she manages to convince them to be joint on their checking accounts.  “You know how she is,” they say with a look of disbelief that we would even ask.

The funniest example to me, however, is her NEW husband saying “you know how she is” to her EX-husband.  It’s happened a couple of times.  Once when the decision was made without her input (she was out of town) to take my stepson out of football after he had been found repeatedly hiding on the locker room.  Another time the new husband said it he was telling my husband he needed to find a way to make money “under the table” because they were coming up short.  He needed something that wouldn’t affect his VA disability check.  You know how she is.  Yep.  And we’re glad she’s YOUR problem now.  My guess is by now he is realizing what he’s gotten himself into.

Back to my stepson and Christmas visitation.  Why didn’t she say something about the mix-up in weekends my husband was going to make before hand?  I will tell you why.  Because somehow, in a way that will most likely never be known to us, it was better for HER. That is always the bottom line.  Not what’s good for the kids.  Not even what does the court order say.  It’s always what is better for her.

It was sad to send my stepson home yesterday.  But in a way it was good for us to get to see that he was sad.  We are constantly told that he doesn’t want to come to visit.  That he would rather stay there and do what they are doing.  Often we feel like he really doesn’t want to be here.  So, let this be a reminder to us to give him every opportunity to continue to voice his feelings and opinions when he is with us.  Let us be reminded to listen to him always.  He doesn’t get to do that at home.  You know how she is.