So I’m completely frustrated right now… But to understand why requires this long story that occurs during my entire life that I’ll try to sum up as best as possible.
I was born in 1985, and my “parents” weren’t exactly “together” when I was conceived/born.. as I was the result of a cocaine and booze filled January evening.. (it was the ’80s… or at least that’s the rationale I get from them..). My parents were next door neighbors who both actually lived w/ their rents (my dad, home at 30, mom back home at 23 … that seems legit.. right?…no .. he was part of the supposed “infamous” 1985 John Deere Plant layoff … so.. he’s 30 and unemployed living with mom and dad.. )
My parents never got together as my mom got engaged to my younger sister’s dad in ’86 and my sister was born in ’87 before they split too…
Flash forward to 1991… My mom filed for child support when I was 5/6. Because in IL.. in order to receive welfare.. a new law was passed that the non custodial parent MUST be ordered to pay child support if custodial parent collects welfare.. Non custodial parent pays court ordered amount of child support… it is sent to the state of IL for repayment of welfare benefits that month.. what, IF anything, is left over of what state requires, will then be sent to custodial parent. That is Illinois law.
Flash forward some more through my childhood… My dad has had a gf since ’88.. my paternal grandparents (who were decently well off) gave them a chunk $, and she bought a home for her and my dad. It was located 2 hours east of where I lived… That means I see my dad holidays and summer breaks.. sometimes… As MANY times he said he would be there to pick me up on a Friday at 4 or something, and then never show.. never call.. till like *2 weeks later with some excuse that I believed.. Every. Single. Time.
*(seriously on the 2 week lags from supposed pick up to actually calling or coming.. these were “land line” days.. and long distance was “expensive” or some people’s service didn’t have it at all.. and you would have to buy a phone card.. I think he didn’t have it.. but they sold phone cards..)
So he moves away, has the court ordered judgment placed against him for child support *(keep in mind it is calculated using his last listed income, which was John Deere.) He then never gets a job. He fixes cars and does motor work under the table and never works again besides for 2 years off on as a UPS driver and a janitor… He tells me every excuse about how he “can’t find a job”. I, the child, believe every excuse, always… and feel bad that life is so hard for him.
*(Later in life I find out that he NEVER files for child support modification. He never works because he said he “don’t want my mom to see a dime.” You know, cause kids are free?!)
Keepin forward.. Life living with my mom was less than easy. She was a former cocaine addict, who consumed drugs and alcohol during and after both pregnancies until I was 3. Yeah….. Awesome right?! She also hadn’t completed high school, and had 2 kids with whom she was separated from both of our dads, and neither of our dads paid child support. SUPER! She went on to have multiple surgeries starting when i was around 10, and as a result, became hooked on pain pills, eventually filing for Disability.. and literally didn’t leave her bed aside from to relieve herself, occasionally shower, and eat oreos or pop tarts. (Seriously, that was her diet! I can’t eat pop tarts to this day!) It got to the point that often times she no longer went to her welfare appointments.. Not going to those appointments results in us not having medical card for insurance, along with not having a benefit card for … FOOD! So as you can imagine.. after she quit working, there were some rough days. Disability paid the bare minimum and we were poor .. like real poor.. like lights off a lot and no school clothes/shoes.. Her or usually my stepdad would tell me and my sister we better find a friend to have dinner with.
After years of that bs, I moved out with my very bad decision of a HS b/f when I was 15, but after a little over a year or so, we split, and I was back home.. which didn’t work well after having complete freedom for so long. I was hooked on meth from partying with the ex HS b/f, and it was rough getting my head out of my ass. I did a couple weeks in juvi as a result of a physical altercation that my mom started while in one of her drug withdrawal rages,- but I was mouthy to the cop, being a teenage asshole and told him to fuck off… so I was then arrested.. while my mom played all cool like she didn’t come at me brandishing a butcher knife screaming at me to kill her and put her out of her misery. Through the battle I told her to shut the fuck up and mentioned how i ought to just fucking kill her since she keeps telling me to, wont stop letting her husband hit me and I can’t take it. Bad idea. 😦 I regret that more than anything I’ve ever said. This incident occurred when I was 14, before I moved out. I was sentenced for domestic battery at 16. This is relevant, believe it or not.. Like I wanted to live with my dad and not live through this hell.
(About this time, My dad and his gf split, and he moved to FLA to live with his parents.. before they eventually were placed in assisted living, their home being sold, and subsequently he disappears, I don’t hear from him from 15, and the years continue to pass without a call or letter or clue on where he is or if he is even alive.)
I quit school continued to make poor choices for a little while longer .. but I had a job at least. My mom’s disability payments were reduced as a result of me not being in school, so she made me leave. So I was 17, homeless, no car, but had a FT job and a cell phone. .. I stayed on whoever’s couch I could, while trying to keep my job, and trying to avoid sleeping outside cause it was winter in the Midwest and I had no other family.
Randomly at that time, my dad’s ex gf called me wanting me to live with her as an in home nanny. I would have to quit my job and move 2 hours east to a town of 200 people, no car, no gas station, no nothing.. I jumped on it.. maybe I could find my dad up there. That lasted a while. I would still come to town and visit my sister and friends.. Then I started seeing someone from back where I was from. I moved in with him (THE ex, I’ve mentioned before) in May of 04. (We were together almost my entire adult life). (Still relevant)
I would cry for years from when i was 15, wondering if he was ok, why wouldn’t he call or write, did he have a new family, was he homeless on the street, consistently ask my sister if he called since I moved out, play every horrid scenario of what was keeping him from contacting me. I was “Daddy’s girl” why did he go away? My aunt tried tracking him and only found a previous residence, that had caught fire, no known current address, no job to track.
Then his mom dies, and I HAVE to find him to tell him. I decide to go to that address my aunt got.. where there is the burnt down trailer on another person’s property and a car registered to my dad on the lot.
I borrow my friends car so I could arrive with IL plates. (I live on IL/IA border and was residing in IA by then and IL plates don’t have a county so no one would know I was from out of town.. if he was hiding.) I go to that person’s door. I have a photo of him from my 5th bday in 1989. .sadly that is the most current pic I have. I knock on the door, an elder lady answers the door. I’m on the verge of tears cause I know I am so close! Finally! I show her the picture, tell her he’s my dad, that I need to speak to him, that his mother has died and I need to notify him, that this is the last address I have for him. The lady looked me right in the eye and LIED! She said she never seen him, that he’d never been there. AS I’M STARING AT HIS FUCKING CAR IN THE DRIVEWAY!!!!!!!!! I wanted to rip that door open and storm inside, but lord knows I never wanted involvement with the police ever again so I didn’t. I just cried, saying PLEASE… Nope. Said sorry, he was never there, and shut the door in my face. (I find out way later she lied, her son was a friend of his.. elder or not, she was definitely a certified bitch for that!)
I leave to make the 2 hour drive back to the quad cities. I go to the end of the road, and see a gas station. I go in and take my pathetic fucking picture, still teary eyed.. wait for customers to exit and go to the clerk.. I show her the picture, tell her the story. She said she’s seen him, that he came in almost every day, but that she hadn’t seen him in weeks. (I’m guessing since fire?) I’m devastated, but I leave my cell number and tell her PLEASE call me if he comes in, please let other workers know to call me if they see him as well.
I go home, I cry to my ex for the umpteenth millionth time that I can’t find him. I cry cause my grandma is dead and he has no idea. It just sucked. I call the police detective for the county that residence was in. I leave message, after message for the guy. Never once a return call. I call a different line in the dept.. they tell me they’ll look into it. Turns out that residence was like 2 blocks past that county line, they redirect me to the other county’s detective.
After 7 days, the new detective calls me. Says he has located my dad!! Says my dad is ok, living with some guy, no phone. He goes to that guy’s work and tells that guy my dad has to call me or he’ll keep coming back until he does. I asked the detective the address he is at. He gives me a “location” and a description of the home. I got the most bum fucked directions anyone could imagine “look for the stop sign on county road X that has the spray paint on the back, turn left” NO JOKE that was part of the true directions!
When I’m determined, I can do/find anything. I borrow my besties car with IL plates again and took off for the 2 hr ride with the insane directions. I FIND IT! I pull into the drive, sit there a moment and just try to keep my shit together… This is it. My purpose for the visit is to tell him his mom died, but I personally am so flooded with emotion to finally see him I don’t know what to do or say. I’m not 15 anymore, I’m grown. I get out and knock, he opens the door. He has a look on his face.. I will NEVER, to this day, forget that look. He didn’t recognize me! He just looked at me like who are you? He actually said “yes?” in a puzzled tone, and I said “dad!” and lost it bawling.. he invited me in and hugged me and cried. I don’t know exactly how it went after that but when I asked him why he disappeared all these years?! He said “I thought you were in jail” WOW!! Did you think they were going to lock me up for life on a misdemeanor juvenile battery offense?! It was so disheartening.. but I found him and let him know about Nana. I eventually leave.
I hear from him MAYBE a few times before his friend’s phone disconnects, he moves from that place, disappears AGAIN, and his dad dies and I need to find him. I check a local restaurant he did under the table work. They confirm he still comes in but is gone by 7:30 AM. I call there at like 7 am and HE ANSWERS. I let him know that Boppa has died and the funeral was pending. (when my gma had died , I got a drunk 3AM phone call from an ex cousin by marriage who told me they buried my Nana that day, and thought I should know.. wow .. thanks?! Yea I let the WHOLE family know how upset I was about that, and demanded updates on my Boppa up til his death and funeral.)
He attends the funeral, after hiding from the entire family all these years. We visit a few more times.. he loses his “place” he’s at and starts living in a storage unit. His fridge was a Styrofoam cooler with bush light and leftover chunk of steak from the restaurant. He still refuses to work on paper, citing “child support will take it all” or “I don’t want your mom getting that $” IL had passed a law over the years, if you don’t pay, you lose your license. He now rides a bike around town, doesn’t work a legit job, lives in a storage unit, showers I’m not sure where.. ALL to not pay child support. Convinced the government is out to get him, that he has no rights, that my mom just ruined his life… yeahhhh.. what I learned through our visits is that he is severely paranoid.. SEVERELY that I almost think borderline Schizo. .and given his lifetime history of alcohol and drugs.. I’m probably right.
Flash forward to 2012.. I have a decent job I recently acquired, I have a place with 2 bedrooms, 2 baths and I’m never there. I literally pay bills for it to sit unoccupied. SO I think I can move him in if he FINALLY agrees, and help him get his life straightened out. The storage units he lived in, he has been paying for since at least 2004, $200 a month for 2 of them, and its loaded with car parts from the 60s and 70s… maybe some of it was valuable at one time, but after all this time, the payments HAVE to have far exceeded the value of any of the contents. He always says he’s going to “sell it on the internet” but didn’t have a computer. I gave him a digital cam years ago after nana died, so he could take it to library to upload to get the stuff sold.. he never acted on it.. it’s so fucked up.
I move him in, get him a bs part time job in walking distance, got him a decent van that’s nicer than my explorer, got him paying child support (he owes $53,000 for 18 years – $19,000 to my mom, $34,000 to state of IL) . His next steps were to get child support modified by getting his wage statements from IRS (prove he didn’t work at John deere for 18 years so its reduced), ask for a modification hearing, get it reduced, get the hold off of his license since he’s been paying as ordered, use his fancy van to get to a 2nd job so he can subsequently move out to a neighboring town that isn’t as expensive as the one my place is in.
His current Child support payments are $30.08 every two weeks. That means he lived homeless ALL this time, to avoid paying $60-$90 a month. WTF?!
I have bitched, pleaded, asked, begged, threatened for him to make the calls to get the release off of his license so he isn’t limited to jobs and stuck living with me anymore. As of today, nothing. Last week he told me to call.
The fucked up part about all of this is I buy all his clothes, shoes, coats, shit he needs, then pay all the bills as he has paid an avg $83 a month to me since living there. All I want is the release off of his license so he can be free to live in his van by the river or get a job changing oil or anything to be self sufficient. I should have known better before doing all this. I was so desperate for him in my life.. all he does now is take advantage of me working 50-55 hours each week to pay for that place along with my other bills and life expenses while he never tries to improve his situation or get a 2nd job so he can afford a place of his own. I can’t ditch him with a cousin cause he wouldn’t be in walking distance to work, he can’t drive till he calls and deals with all this mess.
To further complicate it all.. My mom moved to England when I was 20..We don’t really speak cause I was upset she didn’t let me come home when I was 18 and going through some stuff and really needed her…. Her ex husband still has the house they shared… turns out his gf recently contacted me cause ALL my dad’s child support payments went to my mom at my old step dad’s house… well she’s not around to cash it or spend it, her name has legally been changes, first and last… she no longer has a valid SSN… and I been caring for myself and paying for my own stuff since I was 12, even if I did a fucked up job along the way sometimes. So I contacted her to tell her he was paying and took all those checks and mailed them back to child support and had them applied to a bank card and she actually let me have the $.
So here we are for the point of this whole novel. I need him to get his shit together with this child support and no license mess. IDC if he modifies it or not, but at least get the license part taken care of so he can go to other places to live and work. He could live at my cousin’s if he has a license or down by the river.. anywhere but with me! I’m so tired of paying for a place for him not to even try to get on his own… It blows my mind after all I went through he can’t do me the courtesy of just supporting himself. I genuinely care/cared about him and he shows zero respect or gratitude. I HAND delivered a new and improved life.. is this REALLY worse than living in a storage unit? Everytime I ride his ass, he says he has to “sell his car parts” before he can do anything.. umm no.
ANd not sure if I specified.. but I haven’t touched hard drugs since I was a teen. I never will again. I didn’t want to mention that idiotic behavior. I was young, and stupid, but I went back and got my GED and put myself through nursing college, vowing to never turn back to that shitty time and to never live a life of poverty. I work 2 jobs, my lights will never be off, and I’ll never live homeless. ANd my vanity would never allow me to make myself ugly like that again.