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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

All Things Work Together

I discovered Red Box (you know, the movie rental thingies you see at grocery stores and Wal-Marts) on Sunday. I rented Gulliver's Travels (not suitable for kids) and The Green Hornet (more suitable for kids than the former, surprisingly). The box I went to to return them yesterday was out of order so I took them back today to a Kroger on the way to my parents' house.
Back when I was with my ex-husband; the bank inside the store was the one we used the most. Walking in, I was hit with a thought that confounded me.
So, I left my ex-husband in May, 2007, eight months after our daughter was born. She and I moved into an apartment in Downtown Detroit and left him in a rent-controlled, subsidized apartment. I knew that the only way that we could be free from him was to leave which seemed impossible. Back then, I was working as a Security Guard making less than $10 an hour. Looking back; it's hard to remember how the three of us were making it on just one income.
Anyhoo, Shey and I moved away, never to look back. I was going to file for divorce, start dating and live happily ever after sans husband. Of course, it didn't happen quite that way. Without a job, my dear husband was unable to keep the apartment we once shared and was forced to move voluntarily or be evicted. He insisted that I allow him to come stay with Shey and I until he got on his feet. Reminding me that it was my fault that he wasn't employed (how he figured that, I still wonder) and that I owed it to him, if I ever loved or respected him, to let him sleep on my couch until he shipped out for Basic Training with the Army National Guard.
I stood my ground. "No Paul, you're going to have to find somewhere else to go."
He later told me that he slept in his car for a few days until one of his boys "took pity on him" and let him sleep in his spare room. I didn't feel any kind of way about him telling me that. Afterall, what grown man can't scrounge up $200 to keep a roof over his head?
After about a month or so, he left for the Army. I was indifferent. I had met a couple of guys but I was chillin for the most part. Working and getting used to life as a single mom, figuring what I was going to do with all of the potential that had been staunched thanks to my soon to be ex-husband.
As I contemplated life without Paul, he was stewing in a foreign state with a barracks full of strangers suddenly missing the family he took for granted and the wife he treated with disdain.
Soon, the calls started. Initially under the premise of wanting to talk to Shey (who only knew a dozen words). Before long, he was asking if he could come 'home' after boot camp.

"#*^% No!

Absolutely not.


No, thank you.

I accept your apology. The answer is still no.

I'm sure your daughter misses you too. But, no.

Sure we can use some money. You still can't live with us.

Let's see what happens when you get home.

We'll see.


I can't wait to see you. I love you too. 

He wore me down. He promised that he had changed, that he was sorry, that things would be different. Being away from us had been the hardest thing he had ever had to do. Harder than leaving his mom and sister in Ghana. 

He wooed me. Sending money and gifts (something I'd never really experienced in the four years we'd been married), holding extended phone conversations, making me feel like a priority. We 'honeymooned' in Virginia for two days, he said it was important for us to do that because we'd decided to forgo our honeymoon when we got married to save money. All in all; the future with my family looked promising. I owed it to myself and to Shey to see if the changes he swore he'd made were legitimate. 


They weren't. It took all of three days for the real Paul to come back. Within a week, we were back at it and I was stuck with him. Again. It had been a miracle saving the $1500 I needed to move into my apartment downtown, I knew throwing him out wouldn't be an option so I tried to make it work to bide time. 

We did the round and round thing, going back and forth; together, not together. All while living and (occasionally) sleeping together. But things started to get ugly and I confided in Racheal; my best friend. I had never been one to talk about the things that happened between Paul and I. But truthfully; that's what told me in my heart of hearts, that things were over between us. I no longer cared what anyone thought of him. My first instinct was no longer to protect him from what people thought of him. I couldn't care less. 

Racheal, (part owner of a Process Serving company) suggested that I serve him with a Personal Protection Order. Kinda like a restraining order, but free. 

So I did. And, he moved. 

When he left however, with him went what was to be my Bush tax incentive (of 2008) to the tune of $900.Money I'd earmarked for rent and groceries since Paul had appropriated the 'household funds' toward his business capital shortfall. 

[Paul's only job in 2007 was with the US Army National Guard. He did not pay any state or Federal taxes. As such, the entire tax refund that 'we' received was earned by me. Even the incentive did not account for any contributions on his part. Paul had taken the entire Federal refund and placed it into his business banking account to start the illusive business that he'd never had the capital for. Most of the money was spent cleaning his driver's license (which was suspended in 5 cities), buying Chinese food while I was at work, and shopping.]

Without the money for the rent (which Paul felt entitled to since I'd put him out) the process to evict Shey and I began. as did the race against time to find a new place to live. 

Enter Marvin J. A kindhearted senior from Northern Michigan with several income properties and a liking for Black women. He was Racheal's best server and she paired us up; he had a place for rent; I needed a place to stay. 

After making it VERY clear that there would be no exchanging of 'goods' for landlord 'services'; Marv and I agreed to a lease of the home above his basement apartment.

Through Art, I met John, a Service Manager who referred me to the company where I work now. A job that I love. I'm making more money now than I ever have in my life. Last year, I made three times the maximum wage I'd EVER made doing security; (even with overtime).

I say it all the time, and it's true Romans 8:28 ALL things. Not, some. Not a few. Not MOST... ALL things! Even what someone meant for evil; God turned it around and made it favorable for me... Amen to that!

'And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.'

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