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I'm from the foothills of the North Georgia mountains. I was a woodworker for about 12 years. Well, up until I had the rug pulled out from under my feet, and I was laid off. I got back into photography in 2008 and decided to give that a try professionally, but haven't made any money so far because rednecks, white trash, and hicks are cheap. So, I'm working in a local grocery store where some days I hear and see the craziest stuff. I tend to complain a lot about things, but I'm too poor to afford a good therapist. So, I decided to make a blog and complain online to all of you instead. But I digress. I really just wanted to do the blog to share ideas and stories with the interwebz. =D
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Sunday, February 6, 2011

The Ordeal {Up To This Point}

As many of you may already know, I broke my leg in September of 2010, and I was unable to walk up until just before Christmas. As soon as I was able to get up and about, I did as much as I could to get myself to the point where I could simply return to working at the grocery store again. It was only about three weeks ago that I returned to work, but I haven’t had too many problems so far. There are some days when there’s a little swelling in my lower leg, but not so much that I’m in pain or freaking out about it. The worst part is the dry patch of skin between the surgical incisions that itches like crazy from time to time. Also, I don’t have  full strength in my leg. In fact, there’s a noticeable difference in size between the good one and the weaker one.

Some of you might have noticed me asking for prayers and well-wishes this past week on Twitter and Facebook, but only a handful know why. In order to explain it, I’m going to have to give you some backstory. I ask that you please not judge me. I’ve made these mistakes on my own, and I have been living with the consequences for over a decade now. I’m not perfect. In fact, I’m an idiot. (But at least I’m self aware. That’s a start.)

I’m a divorced father of two teenage boys. Yeah, I know… I don’t seem that old. It’s true though. What’s even crazier is that I have been divorced almost ten years now. That’s even weirder to me. My kids live with their mother and their stepdad, who is an active duty Marine. He had been stationed at Camp Lejuene for the last several years, and in 2010, was given orders to California. I have no idea what he does in the Marines. I just know that things were hard enough when they were living in Coastal North Carolina. When I was working full time and had steady income, I would typically drive up about every month. Since I was laid off from my job at Carolina Closet in 2008, I have only been there twice – maybe three times. Between gas, a hotel, food, and whatever activities we try and do while we’re there, it typically costs upwards of $400 for about twelve to fifteen hours with them. Yeah, it’s my kids, and I should be willing to do whatever to see them, but there’s a little more to it than that. Planning a visit means that I have to deal with my ex wife. Personally,  I’d rather take up venomous snake handling.

At any rate,  judging by how little I’ve seen them over the last three years when they were within a day’s drive, it’s highly unlikely that I’ll see them again now that they are on the other side of the country. My ex-says that since it would be cheaper to fly them back here from time to time, that’s what they’ll do, but I seriously doubt it will happen – especially if I’m the one footing the bill.

Anyway, when I broke my leg, I was obviously not working. Since my child support is handled by the state of Georgia, there’s no calling in sick. You pay, or you get into trouble with the law – regardless of whether you work of not. I fell behind in my payments while I was out of work, and now I have to go to court over the arrears.

I have not/ do not take(n) any of this lightly. I have heard some nightmare stories about people being locked up and held in jail – all the while, their arrears keep building up more and more while they are there – Which means they end up in a never ending cycle of B.S. It’s a dumb law. Most people will agree on that. I mean, how are you supposed to earn money to pay child support while you are in jail? It’s ridiculous.

I also received a notice where the state has asked to suspend my drivers license. Another dumb law that makes no sense. How am I supposed to get to and from work to earn money if I can’t drive there? It’s not like there’s public transportation here.

I’ve never even been in a courtroom before – not even for jury duty. I had no idea what to expect. All I knew was that I could lose my license or go to jail over all of this, and once that happened, it would likely wind up in a never ending, downward spiral. Fortunately, I had just met an attorney from Athens, who pointed me to one of her partners in her firm that specializes in family law. They immediately put my mind at ease – temporarily at least.

This past Thursday, was my date to visit the local Child Support Office and discuss my case and possibly make a settlement. As the days got closer, I began to freak out again. The last time I visited there, the two ladies that were working my case were very rude to me. In fact, when I had shown them the receipts from money orders where I had been making payments, one of them asked, “How are we supposed to know those are for child support?” Seriously? Like I have nothing better to do with my money. I just like giving away money to my ex-wife for the fun of it? I don’t think so.

So on Thursday, I was fully prepared to have to defend myself. I took a three ring binder full of check stubs and W-2’s from the last three years. I was ready to run through the gauntlet…

Instead, there was a nice man that worked things out with me. Now, I simply made a payment online, and now I  have to go back on this coming Wednesday, and everything should be fine. I shouldn’t have to go to court, and I should be able to keep my license. I’m not completely freaking out anymore. I’m still not out of the woods yet though. So I’m not letting my guard down either. Not until I’ve got some signed official papers will I relax and let things go back to normal. I’m still at DEFCON two until after all is said and done.

So that’s the story. I appreciate everyone who has asked about me, and for those that have prayed and wished me well and good luck. I thank you all.



remixoverdrive said...

Man, that's terrible! I had no idea, but I'm glad it's working out Ok. Keep in touch, and let me know if there's anything I can do to help!

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