November 5, 2012

Share the Covers--Proud Mary

We all know the original . . .


But here's the cover . . . (God, I love Beyonce!)


Here's the sitch, ladies.  There are people in your life that are worth your time and there are people in your life that are not.  There are people in life that are merely there to try to bring you down.  Today we are talking about the latter.  And, later, the former.

This could be anyone in your life--a co-worker, a frenemie, a neighbor or even a relative.  But today I am going to shed some legal and personal light on how to deal with these people.

For me, the person in my life that is nothing less than a constant pain in my ass, is my ex.  I'm not going to go all "baby daddy drama" on you, don't worry.  But there is a point to my post today that can help others.

A bit of background, my ex and I do not get along.  While I would love to be the separated couple that can peacefully make decisions for the kids without raising a big stink, we're not.  We are just totally different people.  The issue is so bad that we are literally only allowed to communicate via email, which is just fine by me.

But this can get you into trouble.  Here's why: emails can be printed.  They can be saved.  Whatever you put into an email, can then be used to your detriment later on.  And it is very easy to be caught up in the moment and go a little overboard with your emails.  It is easy to interject a lot of feelings of anger and resentment via emails when you are dealing with someone you have a lot of history with.  I'm totally guilty of this.  I've sent things that were downright nasty to my ex, caught up in the moment.  But, for a long time now, I have learned that this is not the way to handle things.

I was counseled by someone fairly recently to speak to your ex as you would your boss.  When you are separated and with children, you are no longer a unit on a personal level, you are part of a business deal and that's that.  Not that I'm saying that children are to be used in some sort of negotiations, but your job is to make sure that your kids are taken care of and that's where your communications end. 

Recently, I filed a notice to the Court for back child support owed.  Nothing more.  No prior emails or letters or texts were given.  Just a notice, mailed to my ex.  What I got upon his receipt of said notice was a string of very angry emails containing some of the following:

"You are an awful person, a horrible mother and on top of all of that you dress like a cartoon character and have the body of an 8 year old boy", your husband is volunteering to get deployed to get away from you, "You must be broke, looking for a handout from your favorite piggy bank", "Patrick is such a man LOL", "I guess I wouldn't expect anything less from a money grubbing broke ass white trash person" and by filing this, it basically indicates that I am not over him.

Now.  Did this piss me off?  Yes.  Did I want to "correct" him on all of his inappropriate and incorrect assumptions of Patrick and I?  Yes.  Did I do that?  No.

Here's why: I'm a better person than that.  I have confidence now and a lot of love.  Here's the thing: I know that these things are not true.  I know that I am not a horrible mother.  I know that I am not white trash or money grubbing.  I know that Patrick is a man.  I may have a pretty small, petite frame (see ladies, it's not only the overweight that get guff for their weight!), but it was the same body (and clothing choices) that I had when we got together.  I know all of this.  Trying to defend myself with this person only ends up one way: we still disagree and instead of letting it all go, we go on and on and on.  So, I took what was relevant--i.e. explaining very rationally, calmly and business-like what the notice was, that it was filed for protection of tax purposes--and asked him to kindly keep the personal things out of it because they were none of his business.

Here's the lesson that I pass on to you as a fellow ex and as a family law paralegal: don't feed into the game.  Don't go there.  I've never seen it end well.  Not once in my personal life nor career have I seen the other person just end up realizing the err of their ways.  And I have seen it come back to bite people. I don't care how pissed you are at this person, what they've done to you in the past, what they say (who cares???), or if they start it.  Be the bigger person.  Be the smarter person.  End it there.  I don't know about you, but I have bigger, better and more important things to do than fight with my ex.

So just remember the following:

Something that did help to strengthen my confidence today?  Patrick had the day off to get all the extra last minute crap ready for his deployment.  So, for the first time ever, he got to come and have lunch with me!  It was awesome!  More so though was when Daryl let me off for the rest of the day to hang out with him!  And, the grand finale.  Something I have been concerned about regarding Patrick's deployment was the hanging of Christmas lights.  I love Christmas and little makes me more giddy than a lit up house.  So early home I headed.  Only to find that Patrick had spent the day hanging up Christmas lights.  Yeah, I think I've made the right decisions in my life all right.

 Baroque Bubble Skirt-Kimichi Blue, thrifted; I <3 NY tee-NYC; Leopard Printed Socks-Target; Neon Cap Toe Two Tone Heels-Charlotte Russe; Denim Blazer-Ann Taylor, thrifted

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