Tuesday, April 26, 2005

More Blessings Than Curses

There’s a lot of ground to cover in this update. It’s a tossup as to where to start, so I’ll start with the Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Divorce. I spoke with my attorney last week, and she’s ready to strangle my STBX. She told me that at some point there would be a sit-down with the four of us (Myself and my attorney and my STBX and her attorney) to go over the issues. I say “at some point” because my STBX has managed to avoid being tied into committing to a date. She’s made a lot of claims about our financial situation which we’d love to see her proof for because they are utterly ridiculous. She is once again claiming that a fair financial settlement would be for me to take ALL of the marital debt and for her to take ALL of the marital assets. She has been making various claims to support this, including that she had supported me for seven months, that I had some kind of “secret” debt, that she used up all of her savings etc.

One of the things I want to go over is the money that disappeared out of our accounts both just before I was served and a couple of months later. My STBX is adamant that she did not withdraw the money, so my attorney and I are going to let them know that we will believe her and file a police report to report what would have to be a theft. Since it involves thousands of dollars it is in the felony range – she would have to make a statement to the police and if it came out later that she did take the money she could be charged with making a false report at the very least. I haven’t figured out a way to convince them to charge her with Manslaughter, but give me some time…

I would love for all of this to be over, but it seems that my STBX is going to fight over every single little point, all the while telling family and friends that I’m the one causing all the problems. The long-term stress of this is turning into a psychic animal that will take the equivalent of an elephant gun to kill.

My son is doing unbelievably well – we went to Friendly’s for lunch the other day and he wanted Mac ‘n’ Cheese again. He loves the stuff, wants it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. He ended up getting sick because he ate to fast, but I was much better prepared than last time. I saw it coming and managed to get him out of his high chair and into the bathroom before it happened, and ended up with it all over the front of my shirt instead of all over the table in front of everybody else. It took me about 10 minutes to clean him, me and the floor in the bathroom up, and when I came out I found a woman waiting there for me to tell me that she thought I was an amazing father. Ego inflation? Check. She had been watching me play and talk to him while we were waiting for our food, and she watched me help him eat (he likes to take enormous spoonfuls and I push some off the spoon each time). She had witnessed the whole “about to get sick” incident and had expected me to jump back out of the way, but I surprised her. Just so you know, this woman was in no way hitting on me, it was definitely just something nice. It all comes around sooner or later.

So, what’s next? How about my love life – that’s as good as it gets. I’ve been on several dates with the College Professor and each one has gotten better. I really impressed her with our second date. I found an indoor go-kart track and we did some racing. Then we had a really good dinner at a local seafood place. We’ve been taking turns planning dates, and she pulled ahead even after the go-karting with the one she planned. She had it all planned out and sent me hints all during the day via text messaging about what we’d be doing. I was doing an evaluation at a customer site and I had a group of them helping me figure out the clues. They were mostly women and were very impressed with my date – they said she was very smart because she had me thinking about her all day. It was true – it really made my day. We met a couple of times between that, mainly during the day when we’d go for walks at various places.

Our next date was at her house. I waited until she put her two youngest to bed (both girls) and we watched the Cirque du Soleil marathon on Bravo which was great. I met her two sons – one was a bit standoffish, the other was quite friendly. We had another date at her house last night, and we had a great time yet again. It ended badly however, the phone rang. It was her ex-husband (actually STBX, like mine) who had driven by and seen my car in the driveway. She did not answer it, and it was time for me to leave anyway. She was very nervous that he would be waiting outside (with good reason, he’s a big guy, a pipefitter of some kind, and tends to get quite angry) but he was not around. She called me on my way home and asked if she could talk to me, of course I said yes. She told me that he had called four times after I left and she finally ended up talking to him. He was furious, and was screaming at her that she had better get her boyfriend out of the house because he didn’t want men in the same house as his little girls. Her divorce began even before mine did, and it started with her moving out into her own place with the kids. She actually called me to tell me that she knew that angry ex-husbands were not good news and that she would understand completely if I decided it was too much to handle. I was very touched, told her so, and told her that I knew her situation when I “signed on” (as she put it), and nothing had changed. I’m not letting her STBX dictate to me that I can’t see her. She ended up crying about the whole situation, and I can’t blame her. Despite all my STBX has done to me I can’t see getting angry if she starts dating somebody.

From what she’s told me she’s had little luck with men accepting her situation – four children and divorce. It’s funny – to me, the fact that she has children is not a problem, and as for divorce – who am I to judge? What matters to me is that she’s very intelligent, funny, affectionate, sweet, a great mother, and to top it off, she’s a beautiful woman. We have a lot in common, including that we are both major computer geeks. We enjoy each others company immensely, and that’s what I’d like to concentrate on.

The next in line on the list of the updates is one of my brothers. I stopped drinking when I was 17 because somebody showed me a family tree with all the alcoholics labeled. The familial link of alcoholism was enough to scare me, so I stopped drinking and haven’t had any alcohol since. One of my older brothers is an alcoholic, and in the recent past he has hit on some very hard times. Well, on Friday evening of last week he attempted to commit suicide. He ran a hose from the tailpipe of a car in through the window, but was found before he lost consciousness and was pulled from the car. Several of us went and visited him on Sunday and he seemed to be doing as well as he could given the situation. The nurses and doctors felt he was doing well, which is good news. My brother suffers from depression, much as I do, but he is untreated, or was. There is also a link between depression and alcoholism, so I guess as a family we hit the jackpot. I love my brother very much and I hate to see him suffer. If it comes down to it I’ve decided that I will have no problem going to live with my brother for a little while to help him get through it. A while back I might not have thought that was a feasible thing to do, but maybe after my experience with hardship I’ve begun to realize that one of the most important things when dealing with hardship is to have the support of friends and family. This man helped shape who I am and that gave me a lot of strength when I needed it – how can I not do the same for him?

So let me ask you all a question – what does a 36 year old man with a Pathobiology degree do to change careers? I’ve got some ideas, but there are a few hurdles, the biggest being child support. I have no problem taking a cut in pay if there’s a secure, long-term benefit, but I have to make a minimum amount in the meantime to make sure I can meet my obligations. Believe me, it can be done. If the woman I’m dating can take four children out into the world, struggle for months to find a job and end up where she is, there’s no way I can not do this.

Before I bring this to a close I had a couple of little things. I’ve decided to start writing – mainly at the urging of the woman I’m dating. I’ve showed her a couple of the things I’d already written (not this blog, however, still too personal), and she thinks I should write more. I’ve decided that one thing I want to write is a continual story about a little boy modeled after my son who does things in a dream-world when he sleeps. It will have to be pretty simple to begin with, but as he grows I can make it more interesting. The other thing I wanted to say was Thank you to all the people who’ve left comments. I usually try to answer all of them personally, and I will get to them, it’s just been a struggle getting everything done I need to get done.

If you’re the praying type, pray for my brother, if not, wish him well.