A Glimpse Into The Past and Father’s Day

As you must know by now, my Dad is my best friend. He’s been the glue that keeps things moving smoothly, the comic relief, and the man who helped me raise my kids when their own father couldn’t be bothered to even write or call.

Dad and I haven’t always been close. That wasn’t his choice, nor mine. I know people get sick of the blame always being placed upon the mother, but in this case it was definitely my mother’s fault.

When I was a little girl, my mother pretty much had me scared to death of my Dad. She would comment things like, “Don’t let your Dad hear you say that,” or “Better clean up that mess before your Dad gets home.” She always ended those warnings with remarks about being spanked or sent to my room. I don’t recall my bedroom ever being messy. I remember Dad sometimes working overtime and not being home for dinner. In order to get me to finish everything on my plate, Mom would warn me of the consequences if I didn’t finish by the time Dad came home. Often she gave me portions that I’m positive were too big for my little tummy. I was a scared little girl.

When I was a little older, Mom kept me in line much the same way. She always made Dad out to be the bad guy. One time I was 5 minutes late from walking home from school and she told me how lucky I was that Dad wasn’t home! I remember running home from school many times after that to avoid the wrath of my father. Of course, Dad was never the authoritarian meany-head Mom made him out to be.

When I was around 12 or 13 years old, I wanted to start shaving my legs and Mom showed me how but told me, “Just don’t tell your Dad. He’ll be mad as hell.” And when I started wearing makeup, I sneaked it because I knew what she would say. I would buy a little makeup with my babysitting money and put it on when I got to the bus stop in the mornings, and took it off on the bus on the way home from school.

I could go on with more examples but you get the idea. There was a lot of manipulation going on.

Dad and I became closer as I entered adulthood. Somehow, Mom knew then that she couldn’t do what she had always done. She had lost her control. Once she left us (her family) behind and left the state, things began to change. I don’t know how anyone could be afraid of my Dad. I don’t know how I could have ever been so afraid of him. It just goes to show you how impressionable small children are. Dad was never anything but fun and funny – if you can visualize a 6-foot tall man riding a tricycle, then you’ll get a good idea of what I mean.

Dad is much older now, 83 and counting. He’s been a great Dad even when Mom made him out to be strict and mean. He’s been there for me when shit has hit the fan full force, and has been there for my kids as they were growing up. I don’t know what I would have done without him.

For Father’s Day this year, I collected funds from my children, my sisters, I threw in my share, and purchased a pole chain saw for Dad. I had extra funds so I also added a battery and charger for the pole saw. He won’t use a regular chain saw anymore. He’s wise enough to know that it would be dangerous for an 83 year old man who sometimes loses his balance to use one. A pole saw is a bit safer since a stumble would result in the saw part landing further away from him. He just needs to remove some tall bushy limbs off some shrubs and trees around the house. Nothing real major. I will keep an eye on him like I always do.

To end the day, my son, his wife and little boy came to visit. They brought wine. Dad loves wine. The Hudster (my grandson) warmed up to us quite nicely. He doesn’t see us often so prior to this visit, he was a bit leery of us. Dad and I both got hugs and The Hudster was playful and silly. I enjoyed the visit as much as Dad did. Dad loves playing with little kids, always has. I hope he has many years left to play!

Take care of your fathers, grandfathers, uncles, and all the father figures in your life. They have shaped the person you’ve become. You won’t have them forever. Treasure the stories and the memories. Happy Father’s Day, to all the great fathers out there and especially to my Dad – the BEST FRIEND and FATHER a daughter could ever have!

Dad, as a young man fresh out of high school. Age 18.
Dad and baby me… He was making me laugh way back then!
Dad, 2020, age 83.

The Ex-Files – You Made Your Point

CP never sent us a dime when we left him behind. I didn’t care. I didn’t want his money. What was sad was that he made my daughter feel so bad that she sent him a quarter! He had sent her a card in the mail and told her in the card that he may not be able to write to her anymore because money was tight. She asked me what that meant and I told her, “It means he may not have the money to buy a stamp.” The cost of stamps that year was .29 cents. I guess she figured he could at least come up with .04 cents to get a stamp. When she wrote him back, (which was basically just a picture she had drawn because she was just 6 years old) she taped that quarter to the paper. He never wrote her back after that. He never ever attempted to write to my son.

One time, prior to the above-mentioned occurrence, he had called to talk to the kids. They were excited and if I remember correctly, they babbled on and on about how they both had the chickenpox and they were speckled with ‘cammamine’ lotion. That’s what they called it. After a bit, CP asked to speak to me. Yippee-ki-yay! I don’t remember why but before hanging up I asked him to please call them more often. Do you know what he said to me? “It hurts me too much,” he said. “It hurts to talk to them but never get to see them.” “Really?” I said. “How the hell do you think it makes them feel when their father doesn’t care enough to call them? They’re just kids. You’re an adult.” He refused to talk about it anymore and we just hung up. What a pathetic piece of dogshit, I thought.

For the first 5 years or so after we left CP, I made it a point to send him school pictures, crafts made especially for him, and copies of the kids’ report cards from school. We sent Christmas cards, Easter cards, Valentine’s Day cards, and even St. Patrick’s Day cards! Each time his birthday rolled around the kids each made him a card. Sometimes we bought small gifts to send him along with the handmade cards. One year, we sent him a bandana filled with candy stuffed in a super large coffee mug for his birthday. He never thanked the kids for any of the gifts or cards. He never even acknowledged receiving them. I stopped encouraging the kids to do these things for CP. I would have gladly helped the kids do whatever they wanted to do had they ever mentioned it. They didn’t, so I never sent him anything again.

About 10 years after we had left California, the state of Missouri finally got a local attorney to handle the child support cases for the county. I had been called into several different offices in different counties prior to that to give information for the collection of child support, but they never had enough manpower. I never expected to see one red cent anyway because CP had always told me that he would just quit his job and find another if they caught up to him and then it would take them more time to find him again. Anyway, the local attorney was on top of things. Before I even got the paperwork, CP called me. Oh, you can imagine how that went!

CP: “You’ve made your point.”

Me: “What point?”

CP: “I can’t afford to pay what the state expects me to pay.”

Me: “And this is my problem, how?”

CP: “If I have to pay that much I will lose my truck, my job, and the $100,000 life insurance policy I have on myself for the kids in case something happens to me.”

Me: “I’m not going to fall for that bullshit. I know you better than that. You don’t have any such policy for any amount for the kids. You’re just trying to manipulate me.”

CP: “We can work something out.”

Me: “I don’t even have the paperwork back on this yet.” (I had no clue how much they were trying to get from him, he didn’t say and I didn’t ask.)

CP: “Let’s work something out!” (With a little more desperation in his voice now.)

Me: “It’s too late for that. It’s between you and the state now.”

CP: “You made your point! What do you want from me?”

Me: “You should have thought about this day a long time ago. You’ll have to work it out with the state!”

CP: “You won’t see a nickel if I lose my truck and can’t get to work.”

Me: “I can’t do anything now; you’ll have to work it out with the state!” I was getting more and more irritated because he wasn’t getting this through his thick skull. I couldn’t intervene because the state was involved. If he were to work something out with me, the state would still expect him to pay the figure they had requested. I hung up because I was sick of listening to him.

The next week, I received the paperwork from the attorney’s office. They were sticking him for $945 per month! Of course, this figure included arrears. I just laughed at his predicament.

Before long, I received papers from a paralegal, which had been filed with his county’s clerk’s office. My memory is a bit foggy on the exact details but…CP was requesting that his payments be reduced because of hardship and…GET THIS: He was demanding that I pay his legal fees! Can you believe that shit? I contacted the clerk’s office and I was told that no judge in his right mind was going to make me pay CP’s legal fees, which I figured. She suggested that I send a certified registered letter to her office, to counter his ridiculous demands. I did. I stated in the letter that a reduction of CP’s payments was entirely up to the judge and I would be fine with whatever that was. (Frankly, I didn’t want a dime from him. We were just fine without his assistance.) I also stated that I was in no position to pay anyone’s legal fees.

Eventually, I received papers indicating that his payments were reduced to $334 (and some change) per month. He had to pay his own legal fees and I’m sure he was pissed. The thing is, he wanted his payments reduced so bad and then he wouldn’t even pay them! His wages ended up being garnished, and I was sent $167 every pay period for a few months.

Then one day his mother called me. She called me every so often so it wasn’t really a shock to hear from her. It was also not a shock when she told me that CP was fired because employers don’t like the paperwork involved when wages are garnished. I told her, “He may have told you that he was fired, Ma, but I know him better than that. He QUIT his job so he could avoid paying child support. That was something he told me he’d do and it was something he had done before, with his first wife’s child support case.” She was shocked, of course. I never heard from her or CP again after that.

He ended up living with his mother and I’m pretty sure she regretted it after she saw his manipulative behavior and bad habits, including coming home drunk with the cops on his tail. I felt bad for her but couldn’t help think, “I’m glad it’s not me.”



The Ex-Files – The Fight

I’ve just not had it in me to write about the ex for quite some time. I found myself thinking too damn much about him and the things he put me through. Seems like once I start thinking or writing about it, it gets stuck in my brain and won’t let go! I hate that.

I can’t believe it’s been since April 2018 that I last wrote about my ex! If you haven’t read the previous installments, you’ll find links to each one at the end of this post.


It was a very long 2 months. Dad left in May with our belongings – not CP’s things or bigger furniture because CP was supposed to move those things when he followed us out in August. I knew deep down that he wasn’t going to move out there with us. And I was right.

June rolled around and things were tense. My baby sister was staying with us with her first-born, just a baby at the time. I’m so thankful I had her there to keep me sane. Plus, she was witness to what transpired the week of CP’s birthday.

The kids were so excited about their father’s birthday. They called him “Pop.” They wanted to bake Pop a cake. I thought it was a great idea. On the day of CP’s birthday, while he was at work, the kids and I baked him a chocolate sheet pan cake. It was nothing fancy because I didn’t have the extra money for candles or cake decor. The kids didn’t care. They were excited anyway.

When CP came home from work, the kids greeted him with “Happy Birthday, Pop!” and “We baked you a cake, Pop!” I don’t remember his response. It wasn’t very enthusiastic and he went off to take a shower. When he finished, I reminded him that the kids had baked him a cake for his birthday and he said, “That was nice,” and “I’m tired. Going to bed.” You worthless piece of crap, I thought. The kids were so disappointed and on the verge of tears. I told them, “Let’s have cake!” “Yay!” they yelled. I figured it was their idea to make a cake, they helped (ages 2 and 5 at the time) and why the hell shouldn’t they enjoy the damn cake? Just because their father was inconsiderate and didn’t care that he hurt their feelings doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have some cake!

Three days passed. Each night, CP passed on the cake and went to bed. Each night, the kids, my sister, and I had cake. On the fourth night, he came home drunk, with an attitude and ready to start a fight.

He skipped dinner, but he had cake. He grabbed a big piece of cake – it was at least 5 or 6 inches squared. He put it on a napkin. He walked into the living room and sat down in his chair and ate that piece of cake with NO fork and with a pissy look on his face. I knew shit was going to hit the fan, just by the look on his face. I didn’t like that he was eating like this in front of the kids. What kind of example does that set? No fork, no plate. Seriously. I became more irate as the minutes ticked by…

“Where’s your fork?” I asked, but I didn’t think it was with a snotty tone. He responded angrily, “I don’t need a fucking fork.” I was livid. I said, “So, you’re just going to eat like an animal?” I don’t remember how it went from two big attitudes to a huge fucking fight so quickly. It ended up with him saying something like, “I suppose I’m no longer welcome to go to Missouri?” It was clear at that very moment that he was looking for a fight and a reason to blame ME for him not moving to Missouri with us. I told him, “You got that right, asshole.”

Then, it escalated even more. He just blasted me with hatefulness and things he had never said to me before. I know he was drunk but I firmly believe a drunk person does not say things he doesn’t mean.

He told me that I was a bitch, just like my mother.

He said that I spent all of his money.

He blamed me for his drinking.

He said that I neglected our son because he was a boy. 

He told me I was spiteful.

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. He had always told me I was nothing like my mother. He always said it was our money, not his money. He said I was a good mother. I couldn’t believe this crap! How could I be to blame for his drinking? Did I twist his arm and pour fucking beer down his throat? No! He says I’m spiteful?? Holy crap. Pot calling the kettle black, I’d say.

Well, that was the end. The ABSOLUTE END. There would be no second chance. I would not accept an apology ever. It would be wasted on deaf ears. I will not be disrespected like that! Up until that night, it was always subtle manipulation and an attitude of superiority – he never said he was better, smarter, etc., but he sure as hell made comments to make me feel that I was stupid. My mother made me feel the same way and now, I realize people don’t do that unless they’re the ones lacking somehow.

I had had enough over the years but was too stubborn to put an end to it before. I say stubborn because I don’t like to fail. I will bust my ass to make something work, to get something right so I won’t have to admit failure. It’s not like I didn’t have feelings for this man. I wouldn’t have stayed at all if I didn’t love him. I wouldn’t have had children with the man if I didn’t love him. He killed all of those feelings in one freakin’ night.

The kids and I got on the airplane in July and I’ve never regretted it once. He regretted it. He regretted ever saying any of those things to me. I know this because of a conversation I had with his mother. I’m sure he put her up to it. She asked me if I would take him back. I laughed and said, “Absolutely not.”

Stay tuned for the next installment…..

This is the seventh installment of a series. If you missed the first six installments, you can find them here: The Break-Up & The Concert, Finding My Own Place, Financial BurdenSpiteAccusations, and Planning The Move.