Thursday, 22 December 2011

Money can't pay for that. Not even close.


This one's serious.  And not at all Christmassy.  But I had to write it.

*****

I have a predicament.  An unorthodox Christmas gift/curse. And true to form, it's a doozy. 

I may have mentioned before, the man whose sperm contributed to my creation is an evil and disgusting criminal.  He's not even just a dead-beat-dad.  He's worse.  And beyond everything terrible that he's done, he never paid a damn cent of child support to my lovely mother who did everything possible to protect me from his Crazy. 

Since then, almost 25 years later, he owes, like, I don't know... hundreds of thousands of dollars in back payments, taxes, and arrears.  Not exaggerating.  Fucking asshole.

A couple of years ago the government dragged his ass to court and the judge decided that if he managed to land a full-time job at minimum wage he could afford to pay $700 per month of back-owed child support.  And if he doesn't pay?  Jail. 

Fine, I thought.  If this is where this shit show is gonna land, then fine.  I can deal with that. 

Not that simple.   

Of course the fucker never pays.  Sometimes they garnish his earnings (drug earnings I'm sure) and my mom ends up with 50 or 60 dirty dollars, which she usually splits with me, because she loves me. 

But here's what I've realized: 

I HATE THAT MONEY. 

I hate it.  That money represents my pain.  That money puts a dollar figure on what we went through, the abuse we endured, the struggles I faced, the struggles I still face. 

Beyond that, it haunts me.  It shows up randomly, out of the blue, and I have no idea where it truly came from or why I have it. 

But this is not my dilemma.  I've come to terms with this.  I've decided that as long as the money flies under the radar, I can live with it. 

Until last week. 

Last week my mother called to say that he was getting out of jail and she had $17,000 coming her way. 

$17,000. 

Mom was pretty excited.  Not pleased, per se, but glad to get a Christmas bonus.  And of course I understand.  She went through a lot of shit and having an extra $17,000 can't hurt. 

But it does hurt. It kills me.  It's like he's paying some penalty and then getting away with all the awful things he's done.  Not to mention that he's easily bummed that money off some other poor fool who will never see it again. 

On top of it, he's getting OUT of jail. When he's in jail for the wrong reason alltogether.  Just paying his fine and being set free. 

Free

While I suffer.  While I live with what he did.  While I try to figure out what to do with this ghost money that now sits in my bank account...

So I paid off my credit card.  Because the thought of having some one "fun" thing to treat myself to is sickening.  And the thought of having it stay in my bank account where I can see it all the time is just as bad. 

So I'm debtless. 

Debtless, in theory.  But so damaged. 

And money can't pay for that.  Not even close.

14 comments:

  1. No. No amount of money can pay for that.

    I have always felt strongly that both people who bring a child into the world should contribute to that child's support. And I can understand your mom being excited about the money because of all the years of worrying and trying her best to do it all herself.

    But I can also understand why the money makes you feel the way it does. And I wish I could do or say something to make you feel better. Sending big hugs, sweetie.

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  2. Ah shit this just sucks. Hum, would giving the money to charity next time it comes make it any better for you. Take the dirty money and make it clean and give the satisfaction of actually being someone who is there for people.
    ((hugs)) my dear! You are amazing and while he may have damaged you . . . you were so strong that he could not break you.
    Jenn

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  3. my first thought for that money was to go towards any type of college/higher education debt because most parents contribute to that & now that he can you shouldn't feel that you dont deserve it. That might make you feel better than a splurge.
    Hope you feel better anyway

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  4. *hug*
    I don't really have the right words to say when I want them so if this comes out really weird then ignore it all except for the 'hug' I started with.

    I know how you feel in a different way. It's a hard thing to deal with. It's a good thing you can talk about it on your blog. Get the fester out of the old wound before it can make you bitter. (I've rewritten this like 15 times now... gah!) The other's have really good ideas on how to use the ghost money in a way that can sooth your mind a bit.
    You're awesome, don't fret too much over the past. It makes us who we are but it doesn't have dominance over any part of the present. When I paint I tend to chose broken or damaged things, not just because I identify with them (dear god do I identify), because they are often the most beautiful and interesting things.
    *hug*

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  5. oh sweetie. If I had the power to take away that pain from you and your mom I so would. You are an amazing woman and dont' you forget it! Forget the stupid "ghost money" and enjoy your night and day tomorrow. Huggies.

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  6. Damaged, maybe, but strong enough to realize everything you have is a giant step forward. And damaged is really just a word. You're better than him. You've already risen above this, and come out stronger for having gone through it, even if you don't always feel like that's true.

    Don't let it drag you down. You're awesome, and we all love you. *mental hugs*

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  7. Thank you all so much. Your hugs help. I felt so much better just for having written this. Gets it off my chest, if you know what I mean.

    Yes, I have considered charity, but I'm not quite ready for that I don't think. Too much of a complicated relationship with the money.

    As for higher education, funny you should mention it. My wonderful aunt (second mother, really) died when I was 8. She left me her house. I used that money for university and a car and a downpayment on our house. But don't think I wouldn't have traded that inheritance in a MINUTE to have her back in my life.

    All of this to say, yes, it's complicated. But I'm figuring it out.

    xo

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  8. I'm invoking the Beatles: Money can't buy love. Nor forgiveness. Nor peace. It can pay of debt. Good decision.

    ps: Sorry for the late comment, wanted to think before posting. NP if you choose to filter.

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  9. What v said. Also? Good for you.

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  10. v - Love The Beatles, as you know. Thank you.

    Beany - Thanks hon.

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  11. Wow! I can appreciate being debtless, but there's no excuse for a deadbeat. I'm so sorry you had to endure that as a kid. Totally sucks.

    If there's some left maybe you could use it to buy coats, gloves and boots for some little kid that doesn't have any just like you went without when you were little. Just go buy some, take them to your local elementary school and tell the secretary to give them to some kid in need, they all know which ones need it most.

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  12. Madge - Thanks :) That's a really good idea. I need something that's really low-key.

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  13. I'd like to kick him in the front-bum. Not helpful, but just thought I'd let you know that. xo LB

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  14. LB - That actually is helpful. Thanks :)

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