In my last post, I shared what Jetsam (still) really thinks of me and Hun, along with our parenting style when we attempted to include her in discipline decisions regarding Monkey.  There was so much more in the original conversation that I could not fit it all into one post, so I decided I’d do a follow up post.

Just to recap, here are a few highlights:

  • I am the direct cause of Jetsam and Hun’s marriage dissolving – who knew I had such power?  The fact that Hun and I did not actually meet until 6 months after they were separated is an inconsequential detail in her world.
  • The kids HATE both their father and me for everything we have put them through and cannot wait until they are 18 so they can move in with her.  We would argue with her on this point, but it would be wasted breath – LaLa has told us she can’t wait to have her own apartment and her own space all to herself, Rowdy has spoken about joining the military and Monkey still talks about going off to college to be a pediatric nurse (if she survives Middle School that is).  Heaven forbid we actually allow them to have dreams of their own rather than chained to our house to please and support us like Jetsam seems to think they need to do for her.  We’re not so naïve to think they’ll never move back in with her, but we also don’t think it will be a long lived tenancy either.
  • Hun and I being together for over 10 years still has Jetsam questioning who I really am and if I’m safe for the children to be around.  After all, if I have the gall to question and suggest that one of her drifter boyfriends might actually be acting inappropriately with one of her daughters and the child is adamant about not going to her mom’s house alone when he is around – then it must all stem from me somehow someway.  It’s not happening on her watch because she would KNOW if something inappropriate was happening in her own home – she has no idea what happens at our house, for all she knows the inappropriate behavior is starting here.  My eyes are hurting from rolling them.

I’m sure there is more that I missed, if so, the post is around here somewhere for you to check out.

On to the rest of the conversation…..

At one point, Jetsam brought up the “fact” that Hun didn’t file for custody until the state tried to raise his child support (CS).  To a point, she’s right.  But, only to the point of what she witnessed happening.   As she’s so fond of saying, she has no idea what happens at our house and what Hun and I discuss that leads us to our actions.

****I had a totally different direction this post started to go in recapping why she’s technically right, but I decided to leave that for another day/post.  Stay tuned.****

Anyway, back to her bringing up CS.

The mention of this gave Hun the opening he needed to ask her about the status of CS for Flounder (her youngest child that was conceived within mere months after she and Hun separated….yet I’m the cause of their marriage breaking up?!?).  The child is 10 years old and she has never received a day of CS for him.  She applied once and only once that we’re aware of, although she disputes this and says she actually applied twice.

Again, Hun and I explained to her that we would be willing to jump through all of the hoops our state requires for her to go after the boy’s father for his support.  We even offered to pay for the DNA testing the state requires, if required of Hun to pay, for Hun to be cleared as the “officially recognized” father (Flounder was born while Hun and Jetsam were still legally married, the state automatically defaults to the husband in cases like this until DNA testing proves otherwise).

Her response?  The guy wouldn’t pay anyway, so why bother?

I couldn’t stand it.  I had to say something.  I couldn’t let her (or anyone for that matter) talk like that – in a defeatist attitude.

I asked her – what would be lost by taking that one step?  What was the worst case scenario?  That they’d never find the guy; that she’d never see a dime; that she’d be in the exact same position she was in now?  Why was that such a horrible step to take?  Why was she worried?  What was there for her to possibly gain?

Nothing would be lost by taking the step of filling (and following through).

The worst case scenario has her exactly in the position she is currently in.

It’s a horrible step because Flounder might actually have contact with his dad – according to her.

She’s worried that the guy will steal Flounder and she’ll never again see the one child she has left – according to her.

She could potentially gain a lot by taking that step, but she just can’t risk the possible negatives.

I explained to her that CS does not dictate custody.  Just because someone pays CS does not mean they automatically get to see the child any time they want.  And on the flip side, just because someone has custody, does not mean that visitation is tied to being current on CS.  I reminded her that even when she was behind on her CS to us, we never once denied visitation – not only because it’s the right thing to do, but legally, we would not have been allowed to do that even if we had wanted to.  I also reminded her that the guy has spent all of 3-6 months in his son’s life in the last 10 years, the odds of him “stealing” Flounder away was very slim.

Again and again, over and over, she went back to the reasoning that it was a waste of her time to file because she’d never see a dime out of him.

I tried another angle – what about the chance of receiving his tax returns if/when he filed?  What about him never being able to get a passport until he was up-to-date?  Would she not get at least a small perverse sense of pleasure that because she filed, he would always have to work “under the table” to avoid having to pay her?

None of those reasons were something she could relate to….at least not enough to agree that filing was in her and Flounder’s best interest.

I tried something else – flattery.  I told her I had faith in her.  That she could do this.  That she was a strong woman to take a step like this.  That she only needed to take one step to be on the road to success.  That one step like this is empowering and potentially life changing.  Not just in the possibility of receiving CS, but in the confidence it would give to her that she CAN do this and other things in her life.  The strength gained by taking control of your own life is beyond what words can express – but I surely tried to get the message across to Jetsam.

She seemed to respond to my encouragement, a small crack, a tiny glimmer of hope, but yet, not enough to actually hope for any change.  Maybe….just maybe….

Only time will tell.

And before someone asks…because I suspect someone will…yes, this conversation happened in the mist of her telling Hun and I what horrible parents and people we were.  The opportunity was there, I took it.  I’m not a saint – don’t think for a moment I am – you should hear what I call her in my head.