I know this is a subject that has come up on my blog before, but since no one reads the damn thing anyway, I might as well vent.
I have a hard time dealing with entitled people, especially when they're family members. Now, I do realize that I was once one of those entitled people. It seems to be a rite of passage when you're growing up. Sometime in my 30s, I guess I started to realize the error of my ways and changed my attitude somewhat.
But seriously, I have noticed a startling attitude of entitlement in certain age groups. I guess that's a sign that I'm turning into a crotchety old fart.
Take, for instance, my husband's kids. Of course, I guess we can barely call them his kids, since they haven't spoken to him since 2004. But he has faithfully paid child support for them anyway, at least until the older one turned 18. Originally, my husband was supposed to pay until each kid was 22. And, in fact, he did pay child support to his former stepson until the lad was 21 years old. It's a long story as to why my husband paid support for a kid that wasn't his. Suffice it to say that my husband has a huge heart and thought of the boy as his son. Bio dad was out of the picture.
Anyway, this kid's name was legally changed to my husband's name when he was a young lad. My husband, stupidly, had nothing to do with this name change business. His former wife had handled the whole thing and convinced my husband that it was all for the best. The boy was calling him "daddy" and all...
Well, when things went south with my husband's first marriage, the ex decided he needed to pay. And so she set up a divorce decree that awarded her a sizable amount of child support that would be paid for many years, even beyond each kid's 18th birthday and even for the boy who wasn't his (hubby never adopted him). Again, stupidly, my husband agreed to it. On the other hand, maybe he wasn't so stupid, since their decree was not drafted by a lawyer.
Because my husband is a decent guy, he fully intended to keep paying support for these kids, even as they became more and more alienated. The day came when his daughters disowned him and refused to call him "daddy" anymore. I suspect most of their problems stemmed from half baked bullshit they were hearing from their mother, their own anger and abandonment issues, and the fact that their father had married me. Now, before anyone tells me I'm to blame for this, understand that I have only met these kids once over the almost eight years I've been married to their dad. I haven't had the ability to fuck up their lives in any way. And their dad has not missed a child support payment, at least not until the older daughter turned 18 and continued to refuse to communicate (not even to give her dear old dad a bank account number so he could send her the money he'd promised to pay).
So... last year, we discovered that the former stepson, who was 21 years old and itching to take a trip abroad, had finally gotten back in touch with his biological father. And he found out that bio dad wasn't such a bad guy after all. My husband was actually happy about this because, aside from bio dad not paying any child support for all those years, he never had any real proof the guy was as bad as his ex had made him out to be. And since ex's third victim was now being called "daddy" by my husband's kids and victim's own two kids with ex, my husband could see how the first victim must have felt to be outcast all those years.
Sometime in 2008, then 20 year old ex stepson told my husband that come June of 2009, he could stop paying him child support because "he wouldn't need it anymore". My husband was impressed by what looked like an act of maturity until a few months later. I happened to be looking around on the Internet and ran across some information that indicated that the lad was planning to change his name. This wasn't such a big deal... again... the name never should have been changed in the first place. But that boy didn't mention a word about his plans to my husband, the man he had been calling "daddy" for so many years. Hubby gave him plenty of opportunities to tell him, but the lad must not have gotten the hint.
So... my husband decided to cut the boy off, since he wasn't coming clean. Kid confronted him. Husband confronted him right back and busted him for what he was trying to do. The first thing out of that kid's mouth was not "I'm sorry" but, "How did you find out about that?"
My husband told the young man that he had until Easter to get his shit together and he wanted to know when the name change was final. The kid agreed, sending the following crappy email.
April sounds fine dad. I am leaving for China in May and I was planning on having one last installment while I am there, but that is fine. I have given it alot of thought, and even though I use the money. I should start living on my own. I do have some debt, but i will be able to take care of it. I don't want this relationship to be solely monetary. I don't always have time to write and email, and I do not have a phone number for you. Do not be upset that we rarely speak. I have not replaced you with [bio dad]. You are both my dads in different ways. I love you Dad, and I always know you are there. Give me some insight as to why the installments were not automatic as you said they were. I do not understand the reasoning for that. I mean everytime you are out of town, they get set back. Like this month I understand Feb. ended early, but I am trying to get my car fixed and I am dependent onthose funds for the time being. It is just a curiosity factor. After April.I will have diff!!erent plans for money, but as of now. I am depending on timelyness dad. I want more than just this keeping us in contact, but how am I supposed to contact you. Please Write back and know that I love you and look up to you as a father. because you are my father.
Aside from atrocious writing skills, the kid seems to think that I'm behind my husband's decision to cut off his money. While I certainly supported my husband's actions, I am not the one who cut off the boy's funds. That was entirely my husband's doing and his decision.
And then we found out the name change had gone through and we didn't hear a word from the boy... who, incidentally, was also driving a car that my husband had given him free and clear.
So my husband cut the kid off again, sending him this note.
I'm sorry to hear about your car. That's just how life is sometimes.
I was clear when I told you that I needed to know when you changed your name. After not hearing from you for nearly eight weeks I surmised that your name change was final and you no longer wanted my help. Your bank account and email address haven't been changed, so I stopped the allotment to protect myself.
I'm glad you don't want our relationship to be about money and that you are ready to be on your own. Good luck in China. As always, I'd love to hear from you when you aren't so busy.
Now, when my husband is kind and forgiving, it takes the boy weeks to write. When he's a little impersonal, it takes hours. Next thing we get is this...
I was too shocked and hurt during that time to reply to your emails Dad. My name change is final and for your record my name Is [...] I am still your next of kin, so im sure you need that information. until my legal proceeding I am in quite alot of debt. There is no more money I would ask for, but I have maxed my credit card. As one last installment, would it be possible just to receive 500 dollars. that is all i ask from here on out dad. I love you and will always stay in contact with you.
Needless to say, this email really pissed off my husband. Nevertheless, he did try to help the boy, not by sending him money, but by giving him some information and advice. "A" didn't want to hear it, though, and refused to answer phone calls or emails. To this day, we haven't heard a peep out of him. Actually, I'm kind of glad about that. Even though "A" and his sisters probably think I am the world's biggest bitch and, I'm sure, think I'm behind what they perceive as my husband's "meanness" (though it's actually just a sudden growth of a spine plus a set of balls), I'm actually kind of enjoying the silence. Sometimes it's not a bad thing to embrace one's inner bitch anyway.
I still can't believe that a 21 year old man would expect child support, especially after pulling the stunt he did and especially when it was coming from his former stepfather, who at this point, legally can't be anything more than a good friend to him. Clearly, my husband's relationship with his former stepson was entirely about money.
And as for victim #3, I hope he's been taking notes.