#128. Hard Choices
I live in the city of Toronto plagued by a Mayor who can barely form a coherent sentence, is a raging alcoholic and admitted crack smoker yet refuses to resign from his public servant leadership position. This guy claims that he will continue working for the ‘people’, as if he ever did, and that he will basically no longer behave a degenerate. Well, just because a bully makes a statement and claims that is true does not make it so. I can say that I am an elderly black man but that doesn’t make it true.
This Mayor of ours, who seems to appeal to like-minded ignorant, arrogant substance abusers is driving me nuts. He personifies everything that I abhor. What’s worse than him bringing down the reputation and inner workings of my beloved city is that this abusive prick is a father. Who is concerned about these kids? Hello? Children’s Aid?
The entire scandal revealing the truth about this pathological lying narcissist has struck a particular chord with me on both a civic and personal level. Ford’s personality type is an epidemic.
As I shake my head in disbelief during my fourth consecutive month of no child support, the Family Responsibility Office (FRO) is taking steps to suspend my ex’s Drivers License for the second time within one year and I am angry.
I am angry because I am tapped out financially despite working full time. I am angry because my ex has the ample ability to pay child support but consciously refuses to, which I can only interpret as some deranged form of punishment towards me. I am angry because my son is the one who is suffering as I can only afford our basic necessities and haven’t been able to get him a winter coat or new clothes. I am angry because I had to just apply for an emergency loan from the city’s Toronto Rentbank to cover my rent due solely to the lack of Child Support. I’m angry that these abusive men continue to get away with their disgusting behaviour.
About a month ago when my son asked me for a winter coat, I had to deny him. He didn’t understand why I wouldn’t get him a coat which, admittedly, did appear insane. So I made a hard choice to finally come clean. My boy is 14 years old and needed to hear the truth once and for all. Reality is what it is and I decided that keeping it from my son was just confusing for him. In reality, bills need to be paid.
Without anger or judgement I explained the financial reality of the situation. I said, “Well, honey. I’ll tell you why I can’t get you a new coat. As you can see, I am working a few different jobs. But, I still don’t make enough money to cover all of our expenses. Both parents are responsible for financially contributing to a child and for the past few months I have been the only one paying for everything.” I literally mapped out my income and our monthly budget so he could see exactly where the money I earn is going.
My son asked where the money from his father was and wanted to know the amount. The amount of Child Support I am supposed to get is a substantial amount as my ex has a substantial income. I explained what Child Support is, how it is determined by a grid based on a person’s income and that it is required by law to be paid each month as everyone’s bills are due on a monthly basis. Since his father has not been paying consistently, and seems to pay bi-annually (when forced to by the law), I have to borrow money at a high rate of interest to compensate for the monthly shortfalls and carry a lot of debt. (I left out how I am stuck with the 28% interest on all borrowed money, yet his father isn’t responsible for any interest whatsoever…) I showed how expensive it is to borrow money and how the pattern of not receiving Child Support is a huge challenge from a purely financial perspective.
That was that. At least my son finally understood why money has been so tight. I can’t imagine how difficult and painful it would be to learn that your dad won’t contribute to your existence as millions upon millions of other fathers happily do. It breaks my heart that it is the reality especially given my ex’s obviously lavish lifestyle. I am sick to have had such a conversation and wish I never had to. But at least my son now understands why we live so modestly.
I’m tired of my ex neglecting his financial obligations to our son. The time for asking and begging for Child Support is over. I’m done making excuses for my ex. My son isn’t an idiot. He has seen both his father and I for exactly who we are warts and all. In fact, the news of his father not paying child support was not a shock and didn’t seem to surprise my son at all.
Now I will be taking action.
I am assembling a thorough and well documented complaint to the Upper Canada Law Society of which my ex is a member. I have gone to my local MPP (as the province runs the FRO) and am creating a package for journalists as my ex is a higher profile lawyer and spokesman. My ex publicly portrays an image of a justice seeking hero for those vulnerable who are being taken advantage of, yet his actions in his personal life seems to be exactly what he is fighting against.
I have resisted going public about my ex as I didn’t want to hurt or embarrass my son. However, it’s a lot more embarrassing to not have a winter coat or a place to live then to have your father outed as the fraud that he is. Who knows, maybe like Ford it’s time for his house of cards to fall too.
I have opted to spend my latest paycheck on a winter coat, clothing and food for my son rather than pay our rent this month which would eat up my whole paycheck. There is only so much money to go around so I had to make another hard choice.
I hate having anything to do with my ex. I don’t want to file a complaint or go to the media. It makes me sick to my stomach. Having to do so is not based in vengeance, it’s desperation. I am facing eviction. It’s that simple.
Whether it’s emotional, physical or financial abuse, these guys have to be held accountable. The only way to stop a bully is to stand up to them. It was one thing when my ex was just hurting me, which is why I left him. But now he’s punishing our son by negating his parental financial obligations for no other reason than some sadistic pleasure and I won’t have it anymore. Moreover, I can’t afford it anymore.