Archive for category Epistles

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.

Karma

Posted by on Thursday, 3 November, 2011

Dear Steve,

Guess what our daughter learned from your abandonment? She told me there’s no point in working really hard because all it gets you is screwed by your colleagues. Thanks to you and that sick fuck from DC and all your sycophantic colleagues who refused to stand up to that motherfucking bully.

Fuck you and the Ivory Tower

Posted by on Tuesday, 25 October, 2011

You’re nothing more than a deluded old douche bag who thinks he’s do-gooder but in fact is just a spineless douche bag who hangs around for the free hotels and fancy food, like a freeloading fuck. Fuck you. You made a pass at her and didn’t have the balls to stand up to that sicko bully fuck. Fuck you.

Woke Up This Morning in a Bad Mood

Posted by on Wednesday, 5 October, 2011

Dear Steve,

It’s time for me to stop feeling like a victim.  Wish I could.  Sadly, the evidence of that mess is a daily part of my life.  During sleep.  While I’m awake.  It hurts so much to realize that people who purport to be “good” can have so callously tossed away a person and her family.  You and your colleagues just plain suck.

Look in the mirror. If you saw yourself as I see you, you’d fall to your knees in abject pain.  You and those other douche bags are no better than the callous urban dwellers who turn a deaf ear and blind eye to a crime victim because they don’t want to get involved.  How do you not hate yourself?  Fuck you and fuck your colleagues.

Role Reversal: Bully Claims Language of Victim

Posted by on Wednesday, 21 September, 2011

Dear Steve,

One of the things that amazes most about Her situation is how He was able to so easily shuck the bully mantle for that of victim. It’s so disingenuous and unbecoming of a man who is supposed to be powerful.

That approach and it’s rhetoric is part of a disturbing trend among perpetrators of all stripes to adopt the language of victimization and to use it to turn the tables on their victims thereby doubly victimizing their prey.

I really thought you guys were smart enough to see through that sort of bullshit.

Only you can fix your karma

Posted by on Tuesday, 13 September, 2011

Do you know the Buddhist concept of dependent origination? Had the accusations been legitamate or had people acted with decency, that would not have been necessary.

Even if the accusations were true, which they were not, or even if the organization concluded it was in its best interest to make a change, there is no defense for tolerating the bullying, or for retroactively cancelling our health insurance or ending the relationship without transition assistance or for calling the unemployment office and explicitly accuusing her of stealing $100k.

Those behaviors were indefensible and positively indecent. Did you know, for example, that she was diagnosed with cancer shortly after our insurance was cancelled?

Things ended badly. The lack of decency was extremely injurious to Her (and her family). Everyone abandoned her in the end, whether out of self-interest or bien-pensant–despite many years of sincere and devoted service.

As for the “other reasons.” That’s your karma Only you can fix it.

Enough is enough . . .

Posted by on Monday, 12 September, 2011

Dear Steve,

She  just received an email from a former colleague containing a link to a virus.  Weren’t the false accusations and the betrayal enough?  Isn’t the organization content with ruining her career and health?  Now we have to worry about our computers being attacked!

I say this without an ounce of hyperbole, you cannot begin to fathom the suffering visited upon Roberta and our family.  Sick fuck that his is, I’m sure that would make a certain individual very happy–maybe others too?

Please take the necessary actions to motivate the responsible parties to leave her alone once and for all. She’s trying hard to get better and these sorts of things set her back.

P.S., If the organization is going to send us anything else, how about her personal effects or my computer equipment, which they (what’s that clever legal euphemism?) converted without permission? -B

P.P.S, I can’t believe you are still with the organization.  Don’t you find it the least bit ironic that that such a cast of characters pass judgment on other people’s ethical behavior?  Weren’t you in the least bit troubled that they so easily turned their backs on her?  Come to think of it, to this day, you have never once inquired about her well being–despite numerous protestations of affection and love.  I guess either you believed the lies or you didn’t want to know the answer.  You wouldn’t want to get the ivory town dirty, would you?

Just wondering . . .

Posted by on Friday, 9 September, 2011

Dear Steve,

It’s been over three years and still you have not made good on your promise to leave the organization in protest for how it’s former Executive Director was mistreated.  The Bull Dog who was president at the time has severely injured the object of his hatred which in turn plunged her family into chaos and profound sadness. It has affected her children’s grades and outlook on life.  How do you reconcile your continued association?  Especially since you do so much work for the disadvantaged through your job and especially since you travel to a war zone on the other side of the world to help  people.  Shame on you.