Archive for May, 2012

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Posted by on Friday, 25 May, 2012

It’s hard to say where we are right now.  Talk about leaving has stopped but we’re more distant than ever. I used to think there was nothing worse than serving a long jail sentence. The loss of freedom and loving human contact seemed impossible to endure. Well . . . there’s something worse. Lost intimacy after nearly thirty years of marriage. We’re like long time roommates who have forgotten our friendship. We share the worries. We share the duty of raising the kids. She doesn’t life a finger to clean the house. We don’t talk except about the kids, money, and her mental state. There’s no sex. No kissing. No hugging. No cuddling. Gone are the inside jokes and conspiratorial looks. She literally sleeps on the bitter edge of our king sized bed, and that’s when she actually joins me. Many nights she falls asleep on the couch.

We have taken some steps toward curing our cash flow problems and imposing the very first layer of financial discipline. The “ifs” and “maybes” outweigh the concrete. We’ve applied for a loan modification for our mortgage. That’ll extend the life of the mortgage but cut our payment by a $1000. We’re applying for MassHealth. If that happens, our single biggest expense will be curbed. The national debate about health care is about whether our country can make the costs sane for people like us

When she first got fired in 2008, it our monthly bill was $1400. It rose to about $2300 last August. That’s more than our mortgage. Lord knows what it’ll be this year. Of one thing I am positive: it’s not going down.

Health insurance is a basic need of the same order as food and shelter. She’s a cancer survivor who has been admitted to a partial inpatient facility about once a year since she was bullied out of her job. Things have been so difficult that I became depressed. Now I see a  psychiatrist and am on a cocktail of Zoloft, Lamictal, and Trazadone. And God forbid something happen to one of our children.

She had undiagnosed cancer in ’08, when those bastards retroactively cancelled her health insurance.  Her cancer  has an extremely high mortality rate. We were profoundly lucky. The malignant cells were encapsulated in a large but benign tumor.That was a temporary condition. Had the disease gone undiagnosed much longer, I’d be a widower and a single dad. Removing the tumor got rid of the cancer. The radical hysterectomy significantly decreased her chances of a relapse. Knock on wood it’s been four years.

Beyond our mortgage and health insurance we also have a home equity loan for about  $100,000. That was a loan consolidation for a butt-load of credit card debt she ran up during the year long torture to which Bull Dog subject her.

Compulsive shopping is a lousy coping mechanism. We’ll be paying that back until we sell our house, at which point the balance will siphon off a good chunk of our equity in the sale.

Sometimes I want to scream. Others I want to cry. Others still I feel like sitting in the dark with a tumbler full of my favorite scotch, the one we used to share at the many five star hotels we stayed out together. Can’t afford it. The thought of being a drunk on cheap booze is so unappealing. (At least I have a little bit of pride left).

Often I fantasize about revenge. Not violence,. Bruises heal and give people like the Bull Dog another way to make things worse. These guys, the board and the Bull Dog covet their reputations and their money. So much so that when the Bull Dog was censured by a southern state supreme court, he sued them for slander. He didn’t win but that’s the way to do it.

The beautiful part is we could use his own words, and those of his colleagues to make the point. He was so full of hubris that he brought in a court reporter to capture his first attempt to fire her in February 2008.

I digress . . . If we can tame our cash flow and finally adopt some some financial discipline, we should be able to survive for quite some time. Another big “if”. To be sure these are all things we should have done years ago. But I was borderline phobic about dealing with money that my head was so far up my ass that I needed a glass bellybutton to see the world. She was so mired by depression that it sapped her of the initiative to set our house in order.

I’m feeling another fuck you Steve brewing. Fuck you Steve. You used to say you love us but then your turned your back. Where’s the karmic retribution? Or is this situation our karmic retribution for being assholes in our last lives? i don’t really believe in reincarnation. I do believe in bad luck. Sometimes bad shit happens to good people.

Where does this leave us? I honestly do not know. I can see her leaving. What’s worse, I can see me leaving. A lot of foul water has passed under the bridge. I’m not sure we can ever clean the river bed sufficiently to permit bathing and picnics on the banks?

On Right Road to Ruin?

Posted by on Thursday, 3 May, 2012

Looks like we’ve taken another step closer to realizing Bull Dog’s goal of destroying her and our family. Sometimes I wish he killed her that day in Chicago when the assault occurred. It would have been “cleaner.” Though, I suspect the Bull Dog prefers this long drawn out suffering.

She has never been the same since he assaulted and battered her after a meeting in Chicago. Following that he systematically bullied her for a year before finally making false accusations about her integrity and competence in the summer of 2008. Among other things, he falsely accused her of stealing a $100k.

Today she called me from her car on the way home from her psychiatrist. She plans to leave me and the kids, she said, because she can no longer tolerate the pain of her injuries and the pressure of worrying about money. She told me our marriage never worked and she’s too exhausted to continue.

She asked me if I agreed. I don’t.

The answer to that question lies in how we look at “life.” I go with the Buddha’s view: life is suffering. People say death and taxes are the only guarantees in life. They’re wrong. Suffering and death are the only guarantees as in “Life sucks and then you die. Paying taxes requires having money.

She has a point, though. Things are often difficult. We have not prospered financially–well we did for a while until until Bull Dog succeeded in convincing a board of directors of some 20 successful lawyers to fire her on the basis of those lies in 2008.

Since then we’ve struggled to keep a roof over our heads and to maintain some sense of normalcy in our family life. In the years prior we had our share of tough times to be sure, but we also had many, many good times. Consistent throughout the years has been a profound sense of connection between her and me. But the last four years have been nothing short of Greek Tragedy. Things have been as bad as bad gets for an American middle class family.

This emotional and financial tumor that has attached itself to our lives is full of cancer and pernicious. We’ve had meretricious remissions followed by the devastating setbacks. The treatments cause more pain than they’re worth and ultimately they just prolong the inevitable.

We’ve fought the good fight. Truth be told, I am tired too. Living with the victim of an emotional injury is complicated. It’s easy to forget the extent of injuries because the wounds are not visible to the naked eye. There are obvious triggers like Bull Dog’s real name or the name of her former employer. But there are also the hidden ones lying just below the surface like anti-personnel mines just waiting to erupt into a fight at a little league game or to ruin a pleasant evening by the TV.

Thank God for catastrophes like running out of money. There is much to do to secure our situation before going our separate ways. We’ve agreed to work together to solve our immediate problems of getting our mortgage current, refinancing our home, and applying for RomneyCare, better known as MassHealth. That will go a long way toward relieving the intense financial pressure, which will allow us time to sell our house and prepare ourselves and our children for the change.

Another Step Closer to Rock Bottom

Posted by on Thursday, 3 May, 2012

I didn’t think it was possible for things go get worse but they have. She has informed me we are months behind in our mortgage and out of money. At this point we have exhausted our resources.

I honestly do not know what we’re going to do to solve thiis problem. She is a mess and getting worse. I’m frightened she will commit suicide or will end up instutionalized. I’m also scared we will not recover from this setback.

If we don’t get help from someone soon we will not be able to keep our house or feed our children or provide them with health care. These are the real consequences of the Bull Dog’s depradatons.

Kama is a tricky thing. According to Zen teaching, this situation is a result of dependent origination, which makes it our fault as much as yours. But I think that’s bullshit. We  did not deserve this fate.  She worked tirelessly for many years to sustain and grow the organzation. Those years of service should have accrued enough good will to protect her from the Bull Dog.

There’s something fundamentally bankrupt about the whole affair. How could you and your colleages allow the Bull Dog to succeed? How could you turn your backs with no thought to the effects on her, me, and our children?

There are children involved. The Bull Dog’s depredations t will affect them for their whole lives, whether it’s college loan debt or mistrust of others or resenting their parents for failing to overcome this setback.

It’s bizzare to me that I even think of you–especially since you made a pass at her.  I think I have a fantasy that if I keep on writint  you’ll eventually apologize and convince ther others to take moral and financial responsibility for your failure to protect her from the Bull Dog.

Fantasies are just that. Make believe. Mirages. Figments. Unfortunately that’s sll I can see right now.