Category Archives: Relationship Reflections

Flaws in the System

When it comes to taking care of children, there is not an amount of money that can actually be validated as fair. Granted, there are some people who get excessive amounts of money due to the fact that they have a child or children with someone who is wealthy. Nevertheless, it baffles me how some can go to unbelievable lengths to stop support for their children even when they are not in the children’s lives. It confuses me even more how the government supports such behaviors.

Let me explain.

In 2011, my marriage dissolved completely. My ex-husband became a completely different person. He was angry and started to become physically abusive. We were married for close to 7 years at this point. He began to get more comfortable with pushing and shoving. He was verbally abusive for years prior. I left a few times but I did not have anywhere to go so I returned and finally, he agreed to move out.

Until one day in July.

He had the Durango that was purchased to accommodate the children and left me and the children with his vehicle which had an oil leak and no AC. A friend and I had a garage sale to earn money. I had to make money quickly. I stayed at home and raised the children without working most of the years we were married.

He came to the house after the garage sale demanding that I give him half of what I earned. I refused and sat in the garage listening to music. He then picked up my phone and slammed it on the pavement of the driveway. I remained calm and asked him to leave. He instead went into the house and started to destroy everything. He pushed the microwave off the counter, he smashed my printer, he slammed my netbook, he broke the landline phone, and just as the kids came around the corner from their rooms he flipped the glass coffee table over and nearly hit all three children. I rushed the children back into the room and told them to stay there. He left shortly there after; when he felt as if he proved his point.

He came back later.

The kids were asleep and I was lying in bed. I heard the garage door open and hopped up. He came in and said that he wanted to talk about the divorce. I told him there was nothing to talk about. He said, “Talk to me or I’m gonna start tearing shit up!”. I stood silent. He grabbed a knife and began to cut my sorority jacket. He came into the bedroom and grabbed my sorority bag with my purse in it and attempted to cut it up while I tried to grab my purse from the inside. He walked out of the room when he saw that I wasn’t phased by his actions. He came back into the room as I stood watching tv and said, “I probably bought that too” and doused me with bleach. I left and went to get help while he cut up and bleached all of my clothes, shoes, purses, etc.

He was arrested.

His cousin bailed him out of jail and came to see me. She then contacted his immediate family. A few days later his siblings were on Facebook making comments instructing me to “kill myself” because “I’m weak”,”fat” and “unworthy of the last name”. They have not talked to myself nor my children since. They never once asked what happened or if I was ok.

Unbeknownst to me, he was living a double life. He and I had three children together. He and his now wife (who was his then subordinate in the Air Force/mistress) had their first child during the early stages of our divorce. Although I did not find out about the wife and the baby until the baby was roughly about 6-8 months old. His wife came to my job allegedly to purchase a vehicle for him. This was just a few months after the divorce was finalized.

During the divorce, I was awarded the Durango.

I was also awarded full custody of the children due to his remarks to the judge regarding custody. He said, “I don’t want them. She can have them. I’ll pay whatever you tell me to pay.” The judge was shocked and asked him to repeat himself and he did. That is when the judge issued the permanent restraining order.
The final hearing was in April. It was finalized in May.

By October there were more issues.

The Durango was set on fired a few days after my ex posted a picture of he and I on fire with the caption “Death to Dishonor”. I later learned that he was indicted on the initial battery charges a week prior to the photo fire and was facing felony charges. He was then ordered to give me back the car he left us with before.

This is where it started to get really interesting.

While he was in the military he was ordered to pay $1200 per month for all three children. He hired a lawyer at the last-minute and pushed the final date back for the divorce hearing (TRICK #1). After he accomplished that, he was within his time frame to leave the military without losing time or benefits but was unemployed. His financial obligations were then reduced by over 50% and he decided that he would pay when he wanted to (Trick #2). He then filed Bankruptcy to avoid having arrears taken involuntarily from tax returns and other lump sum payments (Trick #3). During this process, he was also filing for disability (TRICK #4).

I have had to file orders of contempt against him multiple times in order to get him to pay. According to Section 228 of Title 18 of the United States Code, it is illegal to willing neglect to pay child support, but he seems to be rewarded more than punished.

In 2014, I received a notice from Social Security stating that my daughter’s SSI payments would be reduced due to her VA benefits she receives. I called VA and checked into the matter and they confirmed that my children do not receive benefits but their father receives benefits for them (TRICK #5). I have had to produce a letter showing that she does not receive benefits every other month or so since.
I asked VA if there was a way to get the benefits to go directly to the children and I learned about an apportionment. I filed and waited and waited and waited and waited.

I even reached out to my congressman to assist in expediting the claim.

Finally I received a response stating that my children would be denied benefits because they live away from him and he is ordered to pay child support. (TRICK #6)

I appealed There has still not been a decision made on behalf of my children. When I called into VA to determine how he could get benefits for children who are not in his care, the VA representative informed me that VA only cares about biology. They are not concerned with what the veteran does with their benefits or if they are in arrears for child support. He gets paid an extra $240 per month for kids that he doesn’t have anything to do with and is not obligated to pay the money to the children (TRICK #7).

He was over $16K in arrears and we were in the process of taking him back to court. That is when he had his lawyer contact my lawyer and notify us that he was awarded full VA disability. He agreed to pay his arrears using the money he received from his back pay checks from VA and SSA. We had to threaten court again before he followed through with his agreement.

March 2017 he held up his end of the bargain and paid his arrears up. He also agreed to start paying child support regularly. In June I received notification that my children were eligible for benefits from SSA (Social Security Administration). I completed the application and two of them were awarded back pay for benefits from 2012 to the present. My one daughter did not receive back pay because Social Security has to determine how much she should receive because she gets SSI also. They all received their regular payment in July. When August came and there was no payment for 2 of the children, I contacted Social Security about what the issue was. I was told that my case could not be discussed because he could not verify my address.

I was confused and went into the office the following business day. The rep told me that someone changed my address and the checks were rerouted to his address in San Antonio, TX (TRICK #8). I had to file a police report for possible fraud due to the change.

Then, there was the letter that topped the cake. According to the letter, my children have been overpaid child support… (TRICK #9)

Now it is time for a modification. I am not sure what tricks he has up his sleeve for this. It appears that nothing will stop a man trying his hardest to be a deadbeat if that is what he wants. It is also evident that nothing will stop a mother from seeing that her children receive what they deserve and what is due to them by any means necessary.

Share The Love

So one of my favorite things to do is watch TED talks. I thoroughly enjoy the way that these everyday individuals share their thoughts and ideas to enlighten others. It encourages me and it gives me so much clarity on things that I did not even know that I needed clarity on.

Recently, I was watching a few TED talks by Helen Fisher and she said some really powerful things.
Fisher is a researcher, anthropologist, and an author. She has been studying human relations for over 30 years with a focus on love and relationships.

The two TED talks that I watched of hers discussed love and the science behind it. I was so intrigued by her findings. She said some things that reached into my safe place and pulled out some doubt. Her words opened my ears in a way that only my fingertips can explain.

She spoke about love and the levels of love, how our brains react to love, and how we deal with love.
She talked about loving two people at the same time and what that means for our mind. She talked about the hormones associated with love and the why we feel certain things for certain people.

It was most interesting to hear that loving two people at the same time doesn’t mean that you love them the same.

That makes so much sense but it seems like such a horrible thing at the same time. I also think that it sounds worse than it actually is. For example, women love their mates differently than they love their kids but they can love them both simultaneously.

When we think of loving more than one person, we often relate it to intimate partner relationships. That is understandable since that is the area that often causes the most discourse in life. The thing is, we have more than intimate partner relationships. We have friendships, sister/brotherhoods, co-workers, clients, and so on. We like and love an immense amount of people constantly. Contrary to popular miseducation, intimate partner relationships do not halt our feelings of love for others.

The issue with loving more than one person at a time while in an intimate partner relationship is acting on those feelings in a way that could damage the primary relationship. There is nothing wrong with loving one another. However, we all have to be mindful of how we show that love to one another.

She Choosing

Recently I saw a comment that really threw me off. It was in reference to the statement that women are single because they are tired of the crap men do. The comment was something like women like to think that they are single by choice but they really just don’t have anything to offer other than sex. First, this comment was made by someone who I do not know at all. I do not know anything about his personal beliefs or regular interactions. What I gathered from the comment was something very interesting.

He said that women think that they are single by choice. That is where my mind stopped when I first read the comment. It was like a car slamming on the brakes. My eyes could not move past this. Regardless of what he thinks those women have to offer, he feels as if they are not single by choice. Well, if it is not their choice to be single, who is choosing for them?

Each woman makes a decision on her own. His statement sounds like women are forced to be single or forced to be in relationships for that matter. Like women just move through life according to what someone else tells them to do. Each woman is different and although this may be true for some women, it is not a blanket that can cover every woman on earth. As stated, the latter portion of the comment mentioned that those women are single because they only have sex to offer.

Let us be clear. The only way that a woman can have sex with a man is if he wants to have sex with her. She offers what she feels will be received. If she offers sex to him, he has a choice to accept or deny it. He has the opportunity to change the focus of the interaction.

In the event that he accepts, he also has the choice to proceed with her or dismiss her. He has the choice to tell her what he wants her to hear in order for her to feel comfortable enough to offer sex. For some reason, the role that the man plays in all of this is absent. His comment appeared extremely demeaning.

If a woman has (fill in the blank) “wrong” with her, that man has a choice if he wants to dismiss it and continue to engage with her or if he wants to dismiss her and move on with his life. If he chooses to stay around and “deal with” whatever he dislikes, he will eventually grow tired of it. If that man does not talk to the woman and tell her what the issue is they will never resolve it.

Communication is a necessity for the success of any relationship. If there is no communication from the man in the relationship, the woman will look elsewhere for it. Once she finds it she typically finds clarity. In that clarity, she will not offer sex but instead, she will realize that you may not be what she’s looking for.

Having limited options is completely different from having a choice.

10 Steps to Starting a Blog

I have been blogging for a few years now and I have been asked repeatedly, “How do I start a blog?”

Well, I decided that I would make something that I could share with anyone willing to download it.

So, here it is!

This eBook is FREE and available for download on my business website www.mycreativechameleon.com.

Hopefully, this will help answer some of the questions that I am frequently asked and inspire those that have been hesitant to get started.

I’m Happy You’re Here

Just when I thought that I was good being by myself, you came along changed it up. Like a dope remix to a song you already loved, you switched it. You said, “Hey Beautiful” and at that moment, I had no idea who you were or what you were on. I didn’t know if I should let my guard down or if I should run in the opposite direction. From there, I did a little research on you. I was not disappointed by what turned up. I could not find anything that repulsed me, offended me, annoyed me, or anything like that. From what I could see, you seemed to be cool. You seemed cool enough to be somebody that I could be friends with. So…I responded back and said, “Hello.”

In that moment I didn’t have any expectations. I just wanted to see what would happen. I was curious. I did not want to get excited about anyone that may be just passing through. I did not think that you were coming into my life to change it or to impact it the way that you have. I was willing to see what opportunities you were knocking with; the door was closed when you got here. I was not going to push you away without valid reason. I had no reason to deny you a chance. Denying you was the opposite of what happened. Your mind captivated me. Your conversation engaged me. It was such a clean transition.

You went from being a stranger to someone who I enjoyed getting to know. Every moment spent getting to know you is beautiful. It feels good to connect with someone who is so much like me and so different at the same time. The connection is like a hand and glove or a head and a skully. Something like a match that just fits better than you could have ever imagined. I did not think that things would go this way. You came along and stirred up my comfort zone. You changed my thoughts about maintaining my single status.

I remembered that I have not been ‘bae’ for quite some time, though. I had been single for a good little minute. I was not even sure I was ready like I said I was. What I knew is that I was intrigued by you and I could not deny that. You have shown me so many wonderful things and I am so thankful. You have shown me that you are a handcrafted creation. A gentle touch from your strong hands gives comfort and protection. Your knowledge and wisdom give guidance and understanding. You are a gem, a gift, and I treasure you. I did not know that you were coming to me. If I knew, I would have been ready. I would have done some things differently. Since there is nothing I can do about all of that, I will focus on the facts.

You are here now. You are amazing. I am happy that you are here. You were given to me at such an amazing time. You have seen my transformations and turmoil and you are still here. You have been through a few things on your end and you have allowed me to stay on your side. We give one to another and it is so genuine. I have not felt a connection, a pull, with anyone like this. You were sent down from the top of my storm cloud to usher in the light. I see that. Your truth and honesty are respected and appreciated. The prototype of what many classify as a ‘real dude’, you give a whole new meaning to finding a REAL love.