Coastal Voices Guest Opinion: Letter to deadbeat dads

Steve Chittock

Editor's note: The author of the following was willing to be identified, but her name was withheld due to the subject matter.

After two years in divorce court, I decided it was time to see a therapist.

Family thought it might help with my anger problem toward my ex-husband.

The therapist suggested I write letters but don't mail them.

I had thought my angry texting and e-mails were working very well for me.

But I am not the "professional." I did what she asked, and despite the "writer's cramp," I wrote on. It must have worked because I stopped the dirty looks toward him in the courtroom. I felt so relieved to have actually gotten rid of my anger.

Timed passed and I found myself in family court yet again, along with so many other mothers, many of whom I had seen in divorce court. I just didn't care about them. Now, here we were, pleading to the court for more child support. Father after father claimed little to no income. The judge asking them the same questions over and over. "How are you paying rent? Bills? Food and expenses?"

The fathers responded nearly all the same, "My girlfriend pays for it all."

Yes, apparently rich women are alive and doing well in Crescent

City. Mothers pointed out these fathers' new cars, vacations in Mexico

to New York. And they all said they were gifts from their girlfriends.

Now, hold on fellas. Don't everyone rush to family court in search

of your "ultimate sugar mama." The purpose of this letter might be lost.

As I sat through this "my girlfriend's rich" insanity, I noticed I

was giving each and every one one of these deadbeat dads my famous

"just-ask-my-ex" dirty look. In a few hours I was angry at every father

who lies about his money, every father that receives gifts, but doesn't

ask for a gift for his children, at every father who isn't working that

won't hold a sign, "I need to feed my kids," or "car wash to help

clothe my kids," a bake sale to help send my kids to college - whatever

a father has to do, not the state, step-parents or grandparents.

So, in fear that I had fallen off the "angry wagon," I called my

therapist. Funny, she didn't seem surprised to hear from me after all

this time. She reminded me how letter-writing had helped, and said to

write a letter to these fathers.

So I did, although I'm sure she would not agree to really mailing it.

I can tell you, I feel so much better.

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The Del Norte Triplicate
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