After That Night

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

I did take precautions. This was the end, it isn't always for relationships like this, but it was over, finally. I began parking my car close to the restaurant and got a Club since the ex had a key. I didn't have to do it very long. He soon lost interest in our daily lives. We tried a few "normal" routes, like mediation and child support orders. It all ended badly. The mediator actually called and let me know that she could no longer help us, the ex reminded her of her ex, go figure. She told me there was no hope for him, he was never going to do what he said he was going to do, she had seen it a million times. I will always remember what both the mediators told me, "You propose and he disposes." He never did anything he said he would do. He undermined all of our agreements. So I just kept going forward. In the end, both children are adults now, he paid a total of $500 in support, plus I got $30 a week from his unemployment check for about six months in 2004. That was actually really helpful...He was eventually court ordered to pay $240 a month in child support for two children in 1999. Since I made more money, I was responsible for 80% of the children's care. The children never saw a dime of that support. Ever.

Did I mention how great work was going? I made good friends, I had a bit of a social life and I was making enough to take care of the children. School was also enlivening, I was starving for learning and I gobbled it up! I worked long hours those days. I went to school a couple of nights a week and a had a few day classes, plus I usually put in 50 or more hours at the restaurant. The weekends were filled with work and a long Saturday morning class. I remember being so envious of my classmates who would leave class on Saturday afternoon with a free schedule. Weekends were the hardest for me and the children. I worked all day Friday at the restaurant, hurried to class at 5pm and was usually free by 10pm. A friend picked up the children from school and kept them over night as I had class from 8am-1pm on Saturday. The children would often stay with the sitter overnight again, as I would rush home, try to get a nap under my belt and head to the restaurant until 3am. The sitter would drop them off early Sunday, we would spend the day together before I dropped them off at the sitter at 4pm for my night shift. I made it a point to pick the children up on Sunday nights so we could start the week together, even if it was late. I remember dark wet nights, carrying my son on my back while he nodded in his sleep. Sometimes, I would carry my daughter on my front, so we could hurry through the empty parking lot together. I would gingerly put them in their own beds, tuck them in and fall in an exhausted heap on the couch.