Another milestone for my little family. Melissa has been working for a couple of months now. One of the issues we have faced is cashing her check. The local grocery store will cash it, but every time she goes in there, the computer messes up. This leaves me to cash it for her on my lunch hour. The nearest branch is a few miles away from my work and it's just a big hassle.
The last time I went in to cash her check, I asked about student accounts. I didn't know a 16 year old could have a checking account. I knew she could have a savings account. I brought home the brochure, and her and I looked at it together. She can get a checking account for a deposit of 25 dollars. No minimum balance, a free check card, her first box of checks free, and free internet bill pay. Lastly, I won't have to traipse off to the bank for her EVERY. SINGLE. WEEK.
We talked about it, and this morning we got up early and went to the bank and opened her first checking account. I am so excited for her. I am excited that I get to teach her how to balance her checkbook, how to write a check, how to fill out a deposit slip. Hopefully, I will also be able to teach her some money management skills. As I apparently lack in that area. Don't get me wrong, I'm not running around charging up my credit cards, or spending bill money on frivolous items, or really living above my means. That's not what I mean.
Yesterday for example, after work I went shopping trying to find my sister something for her birthday tomorrow. I spent over an hour in the store. I didn't see anything that I was confident that she would really like. However, I found several things for myself. I didn't go in the store to buy something for myself. I went in the store to buy something for HER. As it is HER birthday, not mine.
Saving money somehow eludes me. Part of the dilemma is that I am raising two children on my own, with no child support. One of the fathers is disabled, and to my knowledge, doesn't work. The other one would rather saw off one of his arms than pay me any child support. I sued for child support several years ago. After almost A FLIPPIN YEAR, I finally got a court order. That's how long it took. Almost a year just to get the order in place. He paid for a few months, then lost his job. I have not received a dime since. That was about three years ago.
I am proud to say that I don't HAVE to have the money. However, I am aware of the burden it would relieve if I could even just get a little help. I have learned through the years that anger and bitterness only make ME feel bad. Recently, I have begun thinking about this child support thing again. I just don't understand how you can father a child, and not care about their financial well being. I don't know what makes other men not want to pay, but I THINK I know a couple of the reasons the father I am referring to doesn't want to pay.
1. He doesn't want to do anything to put ME in a better financial position.
2. Maybe he thinks I will spend the money on drugs or partying, or maybe I will use it to support a sugar daddy.(Because I have SO MUCH time to devote to a man) Or get my nails done. Or buy clothes for myself. Or take myself out to dinner. Or some other hideous activity.
3. Last but certainly not least, he is the most selfish human being I have ever met in my life. (I know, I can't believe I was married to him)
One of the excuses I recently heard about why he has no money to give me, is that he had a really large vet bill he had to pay. I am so relieved to know that his dog is taken care of. Let me tell you, it takes a load off my mind to know that he takes really good care OF HIS DOG. So basically what we have here is a man whose dog is more important than his daughter. Do you see why it's so hard NOT to be bitter and angry?
Oh, I forgot the best part. The state where the child support ordered was issued, CLOSED MY CASE. I had no say-so over it what-so-ever. They mailed me a letter and said that my case would be dropped because it was considered not "enforceable". Now keep in mind that it took me almost A FULL YEAR to get the order in the first place.
Now, I can try to open a new case here in Tennessee. He lives in another state. The question is whether or not the state of Tennessee would try to enforce the order. Will they be able to issue any court dates if he doesn't pay? The other problem is that he works for his family. Maybe even under the table, I'm not sure. If that's the case, it will make it that much harder for me to collect any money. Not only that, but he is the type of person that wouldn't think twice about quitting his job to get out of paying.
I have to decide whether or not it's worth the time and effort to fight this. I always want to fight for my children. Yet at the same time, I really don't care to spin my wheels in a fruitless attempt to make someone do what they should do ON THEIR OWN anyway. A father should not be forced to support his child. He should do it willingly. With a smile even.
Obviously, I made some bad choices in the past regarding my selection of men to date and marry. Hopefully, I learned the hard way, and history will not repeat itself. I would rather bang my head on a brick wall AND pour lemon juice into my own eyes EVERY DAY, rather than go through anything like this again.