Prompt 106: That time you were bullied nearly to your breaking point. What did you do? What didn’t you do?

Prompt 106: That time you were bullied nearly to your breaking point. What did you do? What didn’t you do?

The time I was bullied to my breaking point was my divorce.

My ex had $13 million reasons to win the divorce. She has substantially more than I do. She used her finances to destroy me nearly every step of the way.

After I received physically custody five months into her filing for divorce she switched attorneys. My attorney at the time had been doing a good job externally but did not treat me with respect.

She often called me names. She told me I was stupid, that I didn’t know what I was doing because I didn’t have a law degree and would often tell me how to parent.

In many ways, I felt bullied by her. About three weeks after my ex hired a new attorney I did the same. The new attorney was nearly completely the opposite. He was kind and respectful by often seemed intimidated by my ex’s new attorney.

Her new attorney was a shark and did whatever she could to get an advantage. One of my sons twice came home from a visit with his mom with bruises up and down his body.

We proved it to the children’s attorney about when the bruises happened. They lied about what happened and when. Nothing was ever done about it.

Throughout the course of the divorce process, they lied and made things up about my family and things that were going on with the kids. The opposing attorney had absolutely no ethics. Her style was to bully her opponent and it worked.

The judge believed everything they said.  Everywhere I went, everything I did or said was used against me. The judge looked at the case as everything I did as negative and everything or someone acting for her did as positive.

Never in my life have I been made to look more ineffective than I was in this case, literally and figuratively. The case was never even. The judge that ruled her way came after new attorneys were hired. After the new judge was appointed I was constantly bullied and my attorney did little to stop it.

When he did try he lost every time.

Prompt 105: A time you’ve been ashamed of yourself

The time I was ashamed of myself was when I was arrested for trying to reason with a utility worker who came to my house.

One of our utilities was turned off. I thought my then wife had paid the bill and she thought I did. A woman came to our house to reinstate the utility. When she went to turn it back on, she said she was unable to do so.

I tried to reason with the woman. I closed the door to my house and asked the woman can’t we work this out. She called her dispatcher. I immediately opened the door and let her out.

I said some things I now regret. After calling her dispatcher, the police were notified. They came to my house and I was charged with keeping the woman against her will. The entire thing was 30 seconds.

It is something that changed the course of my life. My eventual conviction has kept me from finding work, played a major role in the end of my marriage and likely cost me custody of my children.

One 30 second mistake has influenced the remainder of my life. We all have things in our life we are embarrassed or ashamed of. Many or most don’t have to have it have a major impact on the rest of their life going forward.

I wish potential employers, romantic interests, and the court could look past my mistake. I regret it tremendously. I did not hurt anyone. I hope if someone commits the same mistake in the future they will not be judged as harshly as I was.

We often judge people based on a piece of paper. One action in our life should not define us as a person. We should be judged by the entire sum of our actions throughout our lifetime.

I hope that in the future this will be the case.

Prompt 101: You get three do-overs what would they be?

I tend to be a very reflective person that is often full of regret. 
Having gone through a vicious divorce I could say I regret the relationship. What I truly wish I could do over wa how the relationship evolved.
I’ve frequently discussed my dream of getting married, having children and raising a family together. All those dreams were realized. 

What we didn’t no how to do was co-exist in a relationship. Having a do-over and truly lending what made each other happy to thrive in our marriage is something I think about almost everyday. Our children have spent a good portion of their lives going through hell. 

Both families were far too involved in our marriage. I begged her to move to another state. It would preferably been Florida or Arizona. We had family and friends in each state. My do-over would be to go some place to live and focus on the family we created.

It never seemed to be about that though. She said she couldn’t do that to her sister, mother and friends. Like in that order. Sadly it felt like being married to dozens of people and lot just one. I would have done more to make her happy an try and put her first. Hopefully that would have made our relationship better. 

My second do over would be when I volunteered at the World Cup soccer in 1994. I was fortunate enough to volunteer on the field for the opening ceremonies and first game. 

I worked in the office for two months prior to everything opening up. I was asked to be the volunteer coordinator. I was nervous I’d screw up and never get another chance at something like that. 

In reality the opposite happened. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity succeed or fail. Had I done well my entire career and subsequently my life might have gone in another direction. 

As it was I had a great experience, but nothing that led to anything that gave me opportunities I hoped to get as a result of volunteering. 

My final do-over would be when I got in some trouble over a quarrel with a utility worker. I said something I regret did something I should not have done that will impact me the rest of my life. 

It did not involve any physical harm but it is not something I am proud of. I feel very misinderood over what happens and wish I could change my actions. It’s something that will always follow me and not something I can presently change. 

Prompt 100: List Three People you Consider Enemies. Why So?

I used to hate people and consider people enemies who didn’t treat me right or would hinder my ability to have the things in life that I wanted or were important to me. I have learned to dislikes people’s actions instead of the entire person.

Going through a lot of adversity maybe even what some would consider hell has hanged my perspective on life. There are always going to be people out there who do not like you. Some might even go to the extreme of doing what they can to hinder you from having any success of happiness in life. Some people might consider those people to be enemies. Is it worth the time to dwell on that?

Sadly having been through a vicious divorce and custody battle I have seen the ugly side of many people. Seeing people that once loved each other and grew to have a strong dislike or hatred is heartbreaking.

I’ve heard many stories of spite, vindictiveness, pettiness and flat out lying in custody battles and   divorces so that people are able to get what they want.

When children are involved it’s soul crushing. Neither side is truly winning if decisions are made that hurt children. Do enemies really matter at that point.

Our country seems to be heading in this direction. Screwing our enemies seems to be more important than the common good. 

Politics have become far more partisan than doing the right thing. People don’t cooperate across the aisle anymore. Voting is more on party lines seemingly than ever before.

I’ve had to learn the hard way it’s more important to focus on what’s good than to self define who I might consider my enemies to be. The old adage is poltics makes strange bedfellows. 

This is often true in reverse in divorce. People who were once loved and hopefully best friends become adversaries and some would say enemies. 

I don’t like to look at things that way. Sometimes someone who might have been an adversary or if we must say enemy in the past could become and ally and vice versa. 

What’s always best is to keep an open mind. Hate the act but not the person and try to examine what’s best for eye greater good relative to the situation at the time and in the long run.

Instead of determining who the enemy is, look at the situation and how everyone can benefit for s compromise. 

 

Prompt 98: You’re a critic, reviewing the movie of your life. Write a thumbs up review, now write a thumbs down one.

Prompt 98: You’re a critic, reviewing the movie of your life. Write a thumbs up review, now write a thumbs down one.

My life lends perfect to a thumbs up and thumbs down reviews. My life had been a constant of good and not getting to where I would like to be.

The story is one that most people should be able to relate to. The main character is one that has had up and downs in life. We follow the main character from his upper middle-class upbringing through the loss of his children in a bitter custody battle.

The story is depicted with heart and portrays the main character with a sense of realism. We see both his good traits, his flaws and the struggles and triumphs he has throughout his life.

He dreams of finding love and raising a family in addition to becoming successful. The story does a good job of examining success and how that is defined. We take a journey with a character that has a good life from the outside but has dealt with an internal struggle throughout his life.

We see the character as human and someone who has dealt with many of the same issues that we all struggle with every day. Battling depression, ADHD, anxiety and successes, and failures in life the main character is never quite comfortable in his own skin.

We go on a journey of some amazing life experiences through the course of decades. It’s a good family drama that shows us the realism and up and downs we all go through in life.

The journey we go on in this story is often difficult to understand. The main character is often provided with the tools to succeed early in life but is never really able to get to where he wants.

When he does get to a place where he should be grateful he tends to look around at what others have and wonder why he doesn’t. There were often moments when he would be in a place to earn success but makes head scratching decisions to self-sabotage himself. I

It often seems like there is one step forward two steps back. You want to root for success, but then moments happen that you understand what happened to prevent it. At certain times it wasn’t being in the right place at the right time. Other times it was having an opportunity and failing to capitalize.

This is a story you want to root for at times and at others can be very frustrating. It’s not one of overwhelming success or failure that warms your heart with struggle or success. It’s difficult to decide which way the story is going and how you should feel about it.

The movie needs to decide which way the story wants to go. That would allow the viewer to follow along much better.

Prompt 97: Write the First Line of your memoir

Writing a memoir is something that I will do someday. The first line of my memoir is “It had already been long and difficult summer. We had hoped the worst was behind us.”

Writing a memoir is something that I will do someday. The first line of my memoir is “It had already been long and difficult summer. We had hoped the worst was behind us.”

It was a crazy summer. We had dealt with a frequent turnover of the nannies from our children, a flood, issues and misunderstandings with bills and four days without electricity.

We thought the worst was behind us. We finally had about a month of tranquility from the end of July through the fourth week of August. Things finally seemed to be getting back to normal as school began.

The day before the school year began, my wife got sick. She spent nearly seven hours in the ER with the doctors trying to figure out what was wrong. They gave her a pain killer, I drove her home and everything seemed to be ok.

The next day as school began she had severe nausea and had to go to the nurse’s office at school. I later took her to the doctor. They sent her back to the ER of a different hospital.

That afternoon they admitted her to the hospital. She would stay for four days before being released. He stint at home would last about 12 hours before she was readmitted.

Less than 48 hours later she became paralyzed because of a misdiagnosis from an illness. It was the most devastating that I have ever dealt with. Her life and the life of our children were going to be changed forever.

There was a lot to consider and ponder in the short term and long term. So many questions to be asked and answered.

Unfortunately, things turned into a power struggle more than what was in her best interests or the interests of our children. Her family ultimately won out in every way.

I cannot say that I was surprised. Her devotion was frequently much greater to everyone in her life than it was to me.

Prompt 96: What is the Mental Health Diagnosis you worry about most? Why?

The mental health diagnosis I worry about most was when the custody evaluator ruled that my alleged impulsiveness was a hindrance to being able to be a better parent than my ex who is paralyzed.

The mental health diagnosis I worry about most was when the custody evaluator ruled that my alleged impulsiveness was a hindrance to being able to be a better parent than my ex who is paralyzed.

Because she cannot take care of herself, my friends, family, and acquaintances all thought I did not have to worry about maintaining custody. The only mental health diagnosis I worry about beyond that is anything relating to dementia. Losing the ability to think and take care of oneself would crush all independence.

Having to go through a mental health examine and have everything about the person you are can be a devastating experience. Everything I did, everything that makes me the person I am, my general being was dissected and evaluated, likely multiple times.

At the end losing custody of my children was devastating. If it had truly been to their mother that would have been easier to digest and understand. The reality is that she is not the one that is their caretaker and logistical parent.

They live with my ex-sister-in-law, her husband, and two sons. My attorney tried to get them to have to take a psychological evaluation but the judge refused.

Her brother in law admitted under oath during a deposition that he assaulted me. My own attorneys told me not to go to the police as it could jeopardize everything. In the end, I have lost almost everything anyways.

Someone very close to the case said that her sister is the most conniving and controlling person that they had ever seen. This testimony couldn’t be used as it would violate ethical codes of the law.

Going through the process of being evaluated took two years. It took almost three years for me to lose custody of my children from the time my ex filed for divorce to losing my children.

It was something I had thought about every day during that time. Other than a diagnosis of dementia I cannot imagine worrying about a mental health diagnosis any more than I did losing custody of my children. It is the most devastating “diagnosis” I have had in my life.