My 2021 Epilogue

2021 is going down as a serious contender for “Worst Year Ever.” Not because of all the many, many bad things that have gone wrong lately. Both personally and as an American. Inflation is now sky-high thanks to incompetent tinkering with the great economy we just had under Trump. Love him or hate him, he knows business and got things running in the right direction financially and you cannot prove me wrong, using actual numbers. I care about policy. Half of the American population doesn’t. They care more about personal pronouns(he/him/it) more than burdening generations far into the future with our suddenly doubled amount of debt we carry.

Biden’s promise was to undo everything Trump did, including a well-oiled business environment in the US. It has been undone and disrupted for sure. With the high gas prices and empty shelves in all the stores, I often feel like I’m living in the Caribbean, minus the weather and views. Haiti. 3rd world. This America bears no resemblance to the one I grew up in. That’s a chant that every generation says, of course. But it’s so different this time because of the rapidity of the cultural and technological evolutions we’re experiencing as a unified global animal. Moore’s Law, and all that. And it seems at times we’re trying to erase what just happened in the relativity of history faster than that occurring. That would appear to be a misuse of technology to some people. Not the right people of course.

“Whoa!” you’re thinking. That’s pretty serious, considering the competition for my reflective annual title because I’ve now had a series of these for a couple of years, and I’m tired of it, thanks. For example, in 2017 my wife left me suddenly after totally and unapologetically using me for ten years, and also made me her archenemy for no reason. I lost our home, teenage stepdaughter I helped raise for 10 years, my family was broken apart, and my dog and 2 uncles died. I’ve lost everything along the way because I had my whole life invested in our family. Bad mistake on my part. My ex is NOT someone to do that with. Clearly. After having an affair with my bosses’ husband at the University of Alabama right before marrying, I should have stayed with my first decision to stay FAR away from a person who could do that and then face me. I’m writing an article about this which I’m publishing this week, in fact. Don’t second-guess yourself. It often ends in disaster, as it has for me and my daughter. Complements of her mother, who should really have kept going to therapy.

But I still was able to see Cecelia a little less than half her life, my 6-year-old daughter, who was 2 when my ex left, giving no reason to me but telling everyone else I abused her, apparently. Of course, that was never mentioned in the divorce paperwork or ever in court because it isn’t true. But it’s the story she’s telling everyone. I have no idea what she’s telling our daughter about it, but one thing I am sure of is none of it’s true. THAT’s the biggest lie of all time. Out of a LOT, and growing number. She couldn’t tell anyone the REAL reason because it’s so crappy. Which was: She needed a person to teach her some class and culture, or at least, in her case, have someone by her side that had some as to give people the transformative idea we share those traits. Hardly. She’s unrefined Alabama trash to the core, just like her parents who taught her how to lie, use people, manipulate others, escape accountability, hurt others, cheat, get divorced 2-3 times apiece, and so on. Dysfunction Junction.

The LIES are what get me. The mother was almost 1/2 hour late this week. She told the staff it was because of traffic, which I knew wasn’t true because I JUST DROVE DOWN THE SAME ROAD SHE DID. My daughter told us they were late because her mother forgot. Lies, lies, and MORE lies. FOR NO REASON. Just a natural-born liar. It’s something I had to help her with our whole marriage. She concocts lies to tell her co-workers, friends, family…anyone. For no reason. She could tell the total truth and there’d be no consequences, which is what she’s imagining and trying to get out of. It’s childish, to say the least, and teaches our daughter to lie. She did it the other day – lied to me about something dumb – and that’s something she’s NEVER done and doesn’t have to do. 10 months alone with her mom and she’s suddenly Nathan Thurm. Who, funnily, is a lawyer from Asheville, NC, where I’ve lived. (I can’t believe I can remember that SNL character. Also, I never knew Christopher Guest was ever on SNL as cast.)

It’s not me, it’s you!

But I could at least have her come stay with me as a joint custodian. No longer. And Cecelia is the ABSOLUTE epicenter of my sad little world. So this has been seriously difficult, and heartbreaking on an hourly level, even now. I miss her so much and love her more than anything I’ve ever loved. And I can’t even see her face because we both have to wear a mask when we visit at this RIDICULOUS place the court has appointed. (That’s another story – the government appointing a state-chartered business to do its bidding. Including censoring me. I can’t speak freely in front of or to my own daughter. It’s INSANE and the worst-run “business” I’ve ever seen. Which shouldn’t be a surprise since it’s government-sponsored.) I’m tempted to write an expose on them and send it to the local news. They’d be interested in what goes on there, I assure you because it’s neither legitimate nor legal.

All their clients are court-ordered to use them, which I’ve pointed out makes them quite illegitimate in America. China and N.Korea? Of course. Jefferson County, KY? Yes, there too. Totalitarianism within our own borders, going on 24/7/365. I’m not exaggerating. I don’t need to. And we all must have our temperature taken there, which sometimes happens, sometimes doesn’t. Depends on how slack the kids that run the center are that day. The powertrips and authoritarianism is running amok at that horrible place. And is court-sponsored. Every single bit of it. That’s a root problem. You may remember the saying that Absolute Power corrupts absolutely.

There’s usually only 1 person there to handle 3 families at a time, which is also stealing my time and money because I don’t get to see Cecelia our “whole hour” because the girl is tending to other families and has to take my daughter with her. I’ve mentioned this fact to the owners, along with the illegal practice of billing me over the legal amount for running a credit card. Mind you, I’ve NEVER even met the owners, though we’ve communicated electronically more than I care to. They know better than to show their faces at their office so they stay and work from home. Answering questions about their business isn’t their job, you see, because they don’t have to. If I bring up a problem, they say tell it to the judge or there’s just silence. Why would they risk assumption of accountability for ANYthing when they have the circuit court backing any decision they make, without even looking into the allegations. The judge does the same for my motions and hearings. Her mind is made up before even looking at the many motions I’ve filed, which she complains about constantly, along with having to be at work since 8:30 am! Nothing better than hearing an elected, highly-paid person complain (from the bench in her case) about their job to someone who has no job at the moment. And let’s keep others waiting while we air our complaints, shall we? It’s a horrible joke that if you’re ever faced with the prospect of, then run.

Their response was to meet and see if they wanted to keep me and Cecelia on as clients. I’m not kidding. Point out problems and the solution for them is to get rid of the person who notices them and continues breaking laws. I explained the BBB might want to explain this to them better than I did. And I do plan on alerting the BBB since we’re out of there. They (this private business) will impose retaliatory punishments otherwise, with the full blessing of the family court judge, no questions ever asked. They’ve done it once already because I questioned their authority. So they canceled our weekly meeting, which is more valuable than life itself to me. WHich they know and exploit to the fullest. I have gone before the judge with ample testimony from the center and proof and legal basis’ to end this stupid “supervised access” her mother obtained. Why, you ask? I’ve wondered the same, because if anyone should be upset, it’s me. Which the judge agrees. Why else would she (the judge) believe my ex when she claimed she is fearful of me? Which is how she got the order in the first place. You aren’t afraid of people you have treated fairly and kindly. You think they want to kill you, which is what my ex-wife has told our daughter I want to do, which made my jaw plummet to the ground. An attorney at the courthouse told me that. And my own daughter has told me before, “You know, mama hates you.” Too bad Cecelia can’t testify in court. It would result in her mother being arrested for neglect. And although I’ve thought long and hard about getting Child Protective Services involved to help Cecelia not continue down this horrifying path her mother has her on (she showed up the other week with half her head shaved. The other half was our knots and hasn’t had a haircut in 10 months+ that I can see or know of. None. This is odd because her new neighbor is her mother’s drug dealer (not kidding about that, either – it’s why she moved RIGHT NEXT DOOR, and this is the very same person is who shaves, colors, and chops up my daughter’s hair.) She hasn’t advised Cecelia’s school, family court, or me that they’ve moved and are about to get divorced for the third time and is lying to our daughter Cecelia about it, so I have to tell her the truth. (Her mother never alerted the court she married again right after our divorce, years ago now. That puts her in contempt of court along with a few other items, as well proves she doesn’t actually have any fear of me as she swore in court and in an affidavit. Total lies to get rid of me, the parental competition as she sees me. Her motto: when you can’t win by effort, get rid of what’s causing your problems. Just like the center Cecelia and I are stuck in now. If you have a complaint be ready t be threatened to never see your child again. And if you DO want to see your child, you have to pay them. I’ve explained this is the definition of a hostage situation where I must do whatever they ask to see my child. That isn’t an exaggeration either. I have to keep reminding myself of that because the whole thing is so farcical to the point of being satirical. If it weren’t so serious and sad.

By my own daughter can’t be left in the same room with me alone. What kind of message does that send a 6-year-old about her dad? Don’t count on consistency or reason when dealing with governmental agencies and employees I’ve learned, as this is. (It’s established as a private business, but hardly operates as one.)

The first 4 months of 2021 were pretty good. Nothing out of the ordinary. At least for my “new normal” which is “Divorce-Dad stuck in Louisville because of his ex-wife”.

But on May 3, Everything changed. I had been talking with her for months about moving back to SC with our daughter, and she nodded and consistently, again for months, said she was on board.

Then one day, instead of working to give Cecelia the best life possible, she decided I was trying to take our daughter away from her(which I’ve learned is the best thing possible for everyone, even though that was never my plan. She made it up.), and her solution to that imaginary scenario was to take Cecelia away from me instead. For good. I’m about to have missed an entire year of her young life. I told her mother everything I planned, every detail, and was completely transparent about my plans, and she had agreed. Do unto others before they do unto you, even if what they plan to do is a result of total drug-induced paranoia and imagination and misunderstanding, is another of her mom’s dumb mottos. And she amazingly and regrettably succeeded. Not due to anything material, however. But because of an apathetic court that has a “one size fits all” method for dealing with the thousands of families that come through there each year. Not interested in context, the truth, evidence or witnesses. Just getting the next person in and out of the courtroom so the judge can go home is apparently the mission of Jefferson County Family Court. I’m sure it’s the same across this country.

My ex tried this once before and failed, as she rightfully should have. It was another lie of hers to remove me right when she left me. She knew I’d be upset (which I very much was, but I was SAD, not MAD. NOW I’m mad thanks to her non-stop obstructionism, lies, and worst of all to me, total negligence of our daughter. She showed up at our very first “supervised” meeting with a bunch of stitches in her head. Why? Because according to her mother she let Cecelia, a 5-year-old at the time, climb a bunch of fold-out, slippery, huge, metal bleachers without any assistance from an adult, or anyone, at her other daughter’s graduation. And guess what? She fell and bashed her head open. Well-done!) So she thought I’d come after her to harm her as if that would solve anything. But it’s the galactically stupid and Casey-centric way she’s only capable of thinking. The only thing she cares about is herself. It’s been proven too many times. I’m not disparaging her; I’m relaying the truth. And the truth hurts for some people.

truth versus lies
I live my life as an open book and welcome questions. It’s a way to improve myself.

When she tried this stunt before, it cost me $1800 and a lot of torment, it failed, as it should have. The difference? I could afford a lawyer to control things the first time. And if your thought is “they have free legal aid available,” I have explored that route feverishly, and around here, that isn’t available. Understandably no one wants to do pro bono family law work. They call it “family law” but it’s evictions and other easy form-filling duties anyone can do. And any system that pretends to resemble “free legal aid” has neither the infrastructure nor budget to sustain such a resource-draining service. These aren’t Harvard Law grads by any means, but they still have to be paid something higher than average having a specialized degree, which these days is about $50k/yr around here. It’s one of those many things the general public is led to believe is true by some force that in reality is false. And the only way to believe it is to experience the nightmares first-hand.

Back to the tragic story. By staging some hysterical, theatrical event, a Code Red has been created for sweet Cecelia. She’s been away from me for exactly 10 months now with no end in sight. That’s a large chunk of her short life! Not to mention it’s a very important chunk where she learns the basics of a good/bad life! And her mother’s actually happy about that. She fought and is paying money to make it this way. I’ve asked Cecelia to ask her to end this horror. I’ve asked the judge to end this horror. I’ve asked Cecelia’s mother’s lawyer to end this horror. And they all say “Nope.” And to say Cecelia’s quality of life has taken a nosedive is a vast understatement. Never mind mine, which anyone keeping me, the father of Cecelia, down is directly and deliberately keeping her down.

And that fact has been causing me a lot of dismay. And personal problems that shouldn’t exist. For any parent.

For people that have been following along, I’ve been trapped not only in a financial hole but a logistical one, which is intimately related, for over four years. I am now finally on my way out, and the way it happened is as epic as what put me there.

But at the end of the year, the VERY end of the year, things are beginning to change. In a positive way, I’m happy to say. Fate is smiling upon me once again, which is what I was used to.

Let’s see if we can make 2022 one of the best years, ever!

autumn leaves in Louisville
Fall has fallen. The tress across the street. I apologize for not having the same view when they look across. At least I change my underwear!
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