Month: January 2013

In the face of tragedy, what are our reactions about God?

Below you will find a link to Reverend Martha Jacobs’ blog. This writing refers to the tragedy that recently happened in Connecticut. Rev. Martha is a well-respected, well-known pastor and chaplain and I believe that she makes a whole lot of sense here.  We need to be mindful as to whom we attribute blame and what this all means to those of us who believe in God and Christ.

As always, thank you for reading my blog and hope you visit again soon!




History – part 1

A wise person said to me once, “life is too short not to be constantly searching for the truth” and I would like to add, “and once you find the truth, life is too short not to be living the truth fully and completely”.

My husband K. and I are trying to do everything that’s right in life, to have a calm, peaceful, healthy life together with our son, and yet external obstacles, tribulations, pressures, injustices, and general BS keep derailing our efforts.  We don’t need nor want much in terms of material possessions. We don’t want fancy cars, a fancy house, fancy furniture, nothing of the sort.  We simply need enough money to pay our bills, feed our son and keep him safe and healthy.  Unfortunately, because of the BS referred to in the previous post, we can’t even do that.  However, throughout it all, we know that we love each other completely and wholeheartedly, we are each other’s soul mate, and that absolutely nothing will ever come between us if we don’t let it.  We are extremely blessed to have each other as partners, as best friends, as spouses and to know unquestioningly that we are a team and will stand united at all times.

We both recognize how fortunate we are, especially in light of the fact that neither one of us was happy before we met. My husband, K., was particularly miserable for well over two decades in a marriage where he felt he was nothing more than the most useful tool in the drawer.  According to him, he supported his ex nearly the entire time that they were together. She almost never worked, and the few times she did, she would get fired for her misbehavior and her temper.  (As a side note, their only child was born 15 years after they met, so it’s not as though she was a full-time mother during that time frame). He worked very hard and made a pretty good salary, but she would frivolously spend all his hard earned money without his consent. She was never satisfied with anything she had, and always wanted more and bigger, better things.  Therefore he decided to go to law school without any intent to practice law, only because he felt pushed by his ex into making more money, and the only way he could do that was by acquiring his JD and continuing to build his career in academia.  That is precisely what he ended up doing, and did indeed obtain better paying positions in academia as a result. Still, she was dissatisfied. The only things she cared about were herself and money.  The entire time they were together, she treated him with disdain, disrespect, and utter disregard for his feelings, his thoughts, his manhood, and for his authenticity as a person.  She would scream at him, call him vulgar names, start screaming matches and arguments about the most insignificant things, and generally be the nasty mean individual to him that she’s always been. Often times immediately after mistreating him, she would realize she was in the wrong, and would instantly try to make up for it by buying him expensive gifts (as though his love and forgiveness were up for sale), and by being overly nice for a very short time thereafter.  Then, shortly following, she would mistreat him yet again.  She would often threaten divorce, but never follow through (all the while K. was hoping and praying that she would indeed divorce him so that he would be free from the misery).  Whenever she wanted something from him or anyone else, she was capable of acting extremely kindly, compassionately, and in a caring manner–until the moment she received exactly what she wanted. Once that happened, she would revert back to her rude, disrespectful, mean, nasty, vile self.  As a mental health professional for many years, I know that this kind of behavior is very much indicative of Borderline Personality Disorder, Histrionic Personality Disorder, with a touch of Dependent Personality Disorder.  She has also been majorly depressed (Major Depressive Disorder) at various times throughout her life. She has been receiving intensive mental health services for over 30 years, with no positive or effective results.  Again, as a mental health professional, I realize that some of her behavior is due to her mental illnesses.  Some, however, is due to enduring unpleasant personality characteristics.  Throughout my profession, I have worked with numerous clients with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), and yet only one such client rivaled the severity of K.’s ex-wife’s behavior.  I’ve learned through my work that many people suffering from BPD tend to blame everyone else around them for anything and everything that they perceive has gone wrong in their lives. They are generally unwilling or incapable of taking responsibility for any of their actions and therefore for any consequences of their actions.  This is a maladaptive thought pattern in which they blame everyone else for their own shortcomings and their mistakes, and as a result they don’t feel the need to change. It is therefore everyone else’s responsibility to change because everyone else caused them the trouble and grief they are currently experiencing.  The ex-wife, V., fits the above-mentioned characteristics completely.  The true cause for her failed marriage and the failed mental health treatments she has been receiving for well over a quarter of a century rests squarely with her: She has refused and continues to refuse to take responsibility for any of her actions.

Thus, after well over two decades of withstanding V.’s verbal, mental, emotional, and physical abuse, K. finally summoned his entire courage and might to leave his abuser. In fact, so afraid was K. of what V. would do to him and to M. once he told her that he is divorcing her, that he chose to impart this news during an appointment with V.’s psychologist.  He was afraid that if they were in the privacy of their home, she might hit him (at her 230 lbs weight, this was conceivable), stab him or otherwise attempt to stop him, even by murdering him if necessary. He was also scared that if M. was present when this occurred, M. would attempt to step in and defend his father, and that V. would stab or otherwise harm her own child.  Indeed, these concerns K. had about imparting such news were not unfounded, but were firmly rooted in the reality of past experience with this individual (and I use this term very loosely when referring to V.).  The Christmas when M. was only five years old, V. yelled at him so much over something very minor (such as opening one present first as opposed to another, or sitting on the floor as opposed to the couch), that she caused M. to run around the house crying and continuously stating, “I don’t believe in Santa Claus, I don’t believe in Santa Claus”.  When he was only 8 years old, M. drew a nice picture in school of a male stick figure on one end, a female stick figure on the other end. The male stick figure had an arrow pointing to it and handwritten next to the arrow was “Good K.”. The female stick figure had an arrow pointing to it and handwritten next to the arrow was “Bad V.”.  Later when M. was only nine years old, he wrote a very nice note to his mother apologizing to her for being such a “f***ing a***ole” and stating he’ll never be that again.  In another instance, when the family dog somehow broke his collar and escaped to the great outdoors, V. and K. were driving around attempting to locate the dog. V. was so upset and blamed K. for the dog’s escape (even though he wasn’t there to witness it) that while he was driving, she pulled his hair right out of his skull and ended up with a big pile of his hair in her hand (probably where he currently has a bald spot). K. has had to intervene in fights between V. and M. on several occasions. V. has hit her own son numerous times. One time she slapped her son so hard in the face and mouth that she knocked his glasses off his face, causing some damage to the glasses. In another instance she threw a real glass full of water directly at her son’s head, attempting to hit him (he ducked just in time). One of these instances even caused M. to report his mother to the school social worker, who in turn reported it to Children and Youth Services. CYS did an investigation of the home (when no one was home except V.) and she successfully lied her way out of the abuse, thus prompting CYS to close the investigation.  I am writing these examples (there are many dozens more like them) so as to give you a crystal clear picture of what V. is like and the kind of abuse she has inflicted on both K. and M..  I apologize for offending anyone by quoting the foul language used (although I attempted to blot part of it out by using “*”s), but I felt in this one instance it was a necessary quote in order to illustrate the all-too-harsh reality of the situation.  Life isn’t often pretty, but it is quite real.  Only with our feet firmly planted in reality and with our eyes wide open to the truth shall we learn from the past so that we may formulate a better present and future for us and our children.

With that said, tune in later to find out how K. was able to start breaking the numerous chains that had enslaved him for nearly half his life, and how he was able to muck and claw his way out of the LaBrea tar pits which had engulfed him wholly.

Help our family get justice!

December 20th,2012

What judge in the world (especially in the great big United States of America) orders a man to pay child support AS THOUGH he were making $90,000 per year when in fact he had been unemployed for 8 months and currently has a job that earns him $14,500 gross per year with no benefits (which also eliminated his unemployment compensation). This man also has to provide for new his 9-month-old son and his wife who is a full-time mother to their son. This judge is fully aware in the meantime that the man, his wife and new child are on WIC, Food Stamps, and Medicaid and that they are still unable to feed their 9-month-old son or heat their home in the dead of winter.

What judge in the world makes the decision two years prior to give a demented unfit mother full custody of an 11-year-old child and in the same breath signs off on a restraining order against this extremely mentally ill mother, who happens to have criminal charges pending against her? What judge in the world, being fully aware of the fact that the man’s ex-wife (the insane mother to a now 13 and ½ year old) took the man’s $300,000 home, $60,000 of his retirement, and tens of thousands of dollars in child support and extra payments outright gives this unhinged ex-wife not only full custody of the teenage son, but now literally bankrupts the man’s new family and makes the new 9-month-old son literally starve and freeze to death?

What kind of judge makes these decisions? A discriminatory, prejudiced and corrupt one who has displayed judicial bias time and time again and was very likely bribed into making these decisions. Quite possibly, a judge who absolutely despises men probably because of some past youthful terrible experiences of her own with men who is letting her past experiences dictate her current judicial decisions.

Furthermore, what woman in her right mind, is so angry that her husband of 20 years left her (because he simply couldn’t take her verbal, physical, mental and psychological abuse any longer) that she not only takes his house, more than half of his retirement monies, tens of thousands of dollars in child support and other items, and yet is dissatisfied and fights (and wins, by the way—with the help of an equally insane judge) for more!? So much more that she literally bankrupts her ex-husband and puts him and his new family on the street with no food, heat or any place to turn to? What kind of woman poisons her son completely against his father and uses her own son as a tool to extort the son’s father into doing what she wants him to do? What kind of woman refuses to let her son see his own father and blackmails the father of her child by telling him he’d better do whatever she wants, otherwise he isn’t allowed to see his son?  Answer:  The kind of woman whose greediness is only outweighed by her selfishness and her lack of connection to reality.

Please meet me, A., my husband, K., and our 9-month-old, son, T.

Outlined above is the situation we find ourselves in.  My husband, K., has traditionally held excellent jobs in his career as a law librarian. In that field, he most recently worked at a central Pennsylvania higher education institution where he felt so under-appreciated that left Pennsylvania in July 2011 to move to New York (where both he and I have elderly parents or grandparents, some of whom are confined to wheelchairs and walkers—so we have been trying to take care of said relatives to the extent we can).  It took him a couple of months, but he eventually found an equally lucrative job working for a major law firm in New York City. He had the boss from hell at that particular job, and was let go 2 weeks before our son T. was born. He continued to look for jobs in his avocation while he was on unemployment, but getting desperate, he started applying outside of his career discipline. He mourned the loss of a beloved 25-year-career and he finally found a part-time job with a candy company where he earns a gross of only $14,500 a year with no benefits. New York State unemployment cut off his benefits because he “works enough days a week” (despite the fact that his current income while working part-time is actually below what he was receiving in unemployment while he had no job).  K.’s unemployment and the lousy economy have hit us hard. However, what has had a much greater financial, social, psychological, and interpersonal impact on us has been the greedy ex-wife from hell, V., and the biased and corrupt judge of Centre County Courthouse in Bellefonte, PA.

K. has two children: the first one, M., who is nearing 14 years of age and who lives with his severely mentally ill mother in Pennsylvania; the second child, T., who is our 9-month-old son. Below please view the very simple chart outlining what each child (and his custodial parent(s)) receives or has received.

M. (13 and a half years old) T. (9 months old)
*4-bedroom $310,000 house (which K. gave to his psychotic ex even though he is the one who paid for the house with his earnings alone)
*$60,000 of K.’s retirement money
*$5400 lump sum payment in back child support*$2300 per month in child support until May 2012*$654 per month in child support until Dec. 2012

*$900 per month child support starting Dec. 2012

*$42,000 per year in his mother’s income (if she isn’t working overtime, which she has been complaining of doing a lot lately, so this income is probably more in the $46,000 range)

* thousands of dollars in school lunches (which M.’s mother absolutely REFUSED to pay for), hockey equipment, Boy Scout fees, etc.

*$0 in any child support*$100 K.’s monthly income (which is supposed to sustain all 3 family members-father, mother, and child)*WIC checks for formula and baby food only (very minimal)*Medicaid

*Food Stamps in the amount of $44 per month (which is supposed to sustain all 3 family members-father, mother, and child)

Fair? Just? Unbiased? You decide.  Who cares about earning capacity? What happened to earning reality? After all, a teacher grades a student’s test based on how the student really did, not based on what the student is capable of doing.

It is unconscionable to me that in this great country we call the U.S. A. such injustices are permitted—nay, encouraged—against an already-struggling family with a young baby.  When my parents and I emigrated to this awesome country from Romania (a formerly communist Soviet satellite), I was sad at first, as any 13-year-old would be. But, in time, I recognized the sacrifices that my parents had made just so that my brother and I could have the opportunity to enact better lives for ourselves than our parents had had living under a communist regime all their lives.  I was very grateful to them (and still am) and I became a greater patriot than most native-born Americans. Twenty years ago I became a US citizen. I was and still am so incredibly appreciative and ecstatic to be a citizen of the greatest nation in the world. One of the main reasons I am so proud to be a US citizen is because this positively is the land of opportunity (and I speak from very personal experience when I say that), with liberty and justice for all—or so I thought of the latter until recently.  Said judge’s decision is not justice. It is a travesty; one that has negatively impacted our family in the worst of ways. Aside from being unable to heat our home or provide food for our baby (the WIC checks are a great help and I am very grateful for the WIC program, but they don’t quite suffice), we also can’t afford to buy other necessities such as diapers, toilet paper, or a car seat so that we may be able to take our son to the pediatrician as needed (or, God forbid, to the hospital in an emergency).  It is our son’s first Christmas in a few days. Forget the presents that we aren’t going to be able to buy him. I grew up without any presents at Christmas time in Romania, and I know it’s not a big deal and that presents don’t really matter. However, to be unable to give him two parents who can physically provide the bare necessities for him is very shameful (though I know I shouldn’t feel shame, as I didn’t cause this situation) and extraordinarily upsetting.  Truthfully, and not for any dramatic effect of any kind, my whole body is shaking as I am writing you this letter; shaking with anxiety, anger, sadness, tears, shame and sheer helplessness and hopelessness for our current situation.  The part that honestly hurts the worst for me is the fact that I am unable to be here fully 100% mentally and emotionally for our son. I am so extremely distressed about this situation and it is taking such a great mental and emotional toll on me that I am only able to sleep a maximum of 4 hours per night and as a result I am incapable of concentrating completely on T.  My son deserves better than this awful hardship.

However, despite the troubling nature of our predicament, I refuse to give up. I refuse to let this tear our family apart. I refuse to let it defeat me.  That’s why I am writing to you. I am not writing to ask for any monetary help of any kind. I am doing this to simply ask you for your compassion, comfort, support and understanding for my current position and to ask your help in exposing the grave iniquities that have been and are being committed against me and my family.  Please help me find some modicum of justice, even if only by exposing the travesty that is occurring against my family and against the judicial system in this country.  Doesn’t our son, T., have any rights in any of this? Doesn’t he matter at all? Does the fact that we can’t put food on our table or keep our home heated or be able to bathe our son mean absolutely nothing to this judge? Does it mean anything to anyone else?

I will never give up fighting, but only with your help will redress be done. I still believe in our legal system (though it does fail some very innocent people at times). I still believe that in this particular country, if you work hard enough, and play by the rules, you will be able to provide a decent life for your family. I still believe in all the principles that made me so proud on Flag Day twenty years ago to give up my Romanian citizenship and become a citizen of the most exceptional nation in the world. And I believe in you, the reader. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be writing this blog. I believe that together, “we shall overcome”.

Please help me publish this story anywhere and everywhere you can think of. I am hoping that someone somewhere out there who reads this story and is in a position to do something about it will take note and actually help us to correct this travesty of justice.

With the sincerest and most heartfelt thanks,