Distractions

Not made much progress as a careershifter in the last few days.

My bollockheaded former husband has not paid the pitiful amount of maintenance he is obliged to make under the terms of our Consent Order while we still have children of school age.

This is a man who absconded out of the blue after twenty years of marriage, leaving me with three teenagers. Heartbroken and bewildered, we then further had to deal with various slow reveals over about three years which seemed to indicate that he had run up debts behind my back. He claimed that his dozen or more businesses in finance were not profitable. Yet because he had taken our life savings with him when he left, he went about like a lottery winner: living in luxury, taking floozies to exotic locations and generally going mad. During the three years between my finding a note on the mat and my finally managing to sell our home, he did not give us any money or lift a finger to help us in any way. Not only did we have no income to pay for food or heating; the mortgage went unpaid as well, so that I, while suffering crippling depression and stress, which resulted in a loss of sight, amongst other things, was threatened with eviction with my children.

While saying that he would rather give money to us than to lawyers, he ran up a six figure bill with his divorce lawyer (he was employing many lawyers – seems he had annoyed a lot of people). During this period we received no funds from him at all. I was selling furniture and taking in lodgers, and trying to continue my studies, dealing with the divorce and trying to earn by doing social media for a friend in the early hours.

The sale of our home freed up funds. He received approximately half, which he explained he needed to pay his debts. I took my share and bought a new property at 20% of the value of the old, miles away. (He continues to live overlooking Hyde Park). I have learned that he did not use the funds to pay his debts in full, but settled at 30p in the pound and pocketed the rest.

So over the last few days I have been reminding him of his legal obligation (to say nothing of moral). It has laid me low. Dealing with him has reminded me of all the worst aspects of the last few years. He says he is ‘waiting for funds’. It is inconceivable that he does not have funds. Apart from the sum he got from the house, beside which his maintenance payments are vanishingly insignificant, he is an educated, able-bodied international banker whose website talks of million dollar deals.  I seem unable to deal with him – it’s worse than just the lenses we talk about here; I feel blind all over again.

And yesterday I received a letter informing me that my working tax credits had been stopped. Apparently I was sent a letter in May asking for information, which I have not supplied. I asked politely ‘Don’t you think it would be an idea to send an email or letter as a reminder, if people don’t reply, before cutting off their benefits?’ The reply was that they were following guidelines. Great reply.

I have spent most of the last few years in tears. I was sad, mystified and weary. I am still sad, mystified and weary, but I am angry as well. Only that anger seems an impotent rage. I can hardly think of anything else. Which is a shame, because I have a flooded downstairs (the floors have come up) and a leaky roof, and it’s been a couple of weeks since someone drove into me in the supermarket carpark, and I have done nothing about these things.  And I have virtually no paid work (so will probably be denied WTC).

While the need to earn a living – and a significant one – has only increased, my ability to carry it off seems to have plummeted.  Back to square one.

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Florence Feynman

I am a middle aged, middle class woman, thinking.

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