Let’s see: 2 checking accounts with negative balances, 1 repossessed car, 1 car on deck for repossession, 1 home very near foreclosure, unemployed (but looking) and living off $187 a week. An enviable position for a man of my years. I hope my parents are proud!
I’ve explained in another post how my net weekly income is the difference between what the New York State Department of Labor pays me in unemployment benefits and what Pennsylvania’s Northampton County Domestic Relations Section subtracts for child support. Bureaucrats doing what bureaucrats do best…making life an adventure.
Laughing at my predicament is one of many coping mechanisms I’ve adopted over the years. It helps, but not always.
Another coping mechanism is to temporarily lose my troubles in service to others. It helps, but not always.
Lifting weights, running, karate…they help, but not always.
Resolution! That helps! Always!
Good luck getting any.
Few bureaucrats, whether on the federal, state, county or municipal levels, care a jot about a single person’s circumstances. As long as they have fulfilled the duties of their office, they can live their lives without regret and rightfully so. Individually, none is to blame for the issues that beset divorced dads.
Who to Blame, Then?
No one, because no single person, bureaucracy, organization, court, attorney or corporation created the Divorce/Custody/Support Complex (“The Monster”). This creature was brought to life by the collective failure of many to observe common sense.
What to Do, Then?
During the course of my battle against The Monster, I’ve discovered that a platform is taking shape from which victims can launch a long-overdue and effective counterattack. Social media is abuzz with the chatter of wounded warriors looking to tell their stories and seeking the support of others. Grass roots organizations are springing up here and there and staging public protests. There is even a planned class action lawsuit seeking damages for victims of family court in all fifty states. The elements of a national movement are in place.
What’s Missing, Then?
I have seen no evidence that our common cause has a well-funded, national lobby with a public face. Divorced dads have no smart, multi-media ad campaign like truth. There might be a public murmur, but certainly no outcry. Precious few films or TV shows feature our stories. Divorced dads are everywhere enduring various stages of our common ordeal, yet we are ignored by the public, often even by each other. We need a vehicle, a Humvee, even, to carry our message to the fore of public consciousness.
Once the public is forced to look at the fallout left by The Monster, perhaps certain toxic laws can be reexamined, modified or abolished altogether. Perhaps the public indifference we face will dissipate. Perhaps we’ll even garner support for our efforts to do well the most important job any man can hold — without vetting or capturing a majority vote.
In reference to my fledgling activism, my mother suggested that I reach out to Brad Pitt. She said as rich, famous and handsome as he is, he remains at the mercy of, that’s right, The Monster. She knows that I know that, during his upcoming battle with The Monster, he will sleep too much or not at all, eat too much or not at all, drink too much or not at all, agonize too much or not at all. Maybe she has a point. Besides our impossible good looks, being divorced dads is something we will soon have in common.
Hmm. Brad Pitt. God knows that if we divorced dads need a public face, we could do a lot worse than his.