Bubba Loses His Job….Again
I was talking to Serenity the other day as we got in the car to drop her off at Greta’s house. She said, “Bubba got fired again.” I wasn’t as shocked as I probably should’ve been. Serenity told me that he’d told her the night before and told her not to tell the boys. I really hate that Bubba tells her these things and expects her to keep his secrets. She told him that she was going to tell Liam because they talk about stuff. I told her that she is allowed to tell Bubba that she doesn’t want to keep secrets anymore and that if he tells her stuff he needs to expect that she won’t keep secrets for him. Bubba thrives on secrets and lies and it isn’t ok for him to suck our daughter into them.
This is the third time he’s lost a job since our divorce and the sixth time he’s lost his job since I’ve known him. The three times he was fired during our marriage were stressful for me because I didn’t know how we were going to take care of the kids. Finding a new job is nerve-wracking enough but when you have a few kids in the mix, well, it is terrible.
I remember the first time he was fired. Shane was still an infant and I was laying down, nursing him to sleep. I was dozing off myself when Serenity came into the bedroom and handed me the phone. She said her dad was on the phone and needed to talk to me right now. My heart sunk because I knew, somehow, that it had to be bad news. He told me he’d been fired and that he was packing his desk and on his way home. I can still remember the immediate terror I felt; the knowing that this would mean another move and leaving the city that the children and I loved.
Now here was Serenity telling me that Bubba had been fired again and I felt nothing other than anger at him for involving Serenity. There was no fear, no worry, only a detached acceptance of who and what Bubba is. Yes, child support will probably dwindle or stop altogether (he also told her that he would be homeless soon because he has no savings), but I will be ok. My children will not suffer. I will not have to worry about where our next meal is going to come from.
It is so wonderful to no longer be dependent on Bubba. He used to complain that I needed to work but would do nothing to help with the children so I could get a job or go back to school to improve our lives. I used to get so frustrated with that but now realize it is part of narcissism. He wanted me to work but it was entirely my job to figure it out, he was to have no responsibility to actually help make it happen. This fed his whole victim mentality. He got to say how hard our lives were because I didn’t work but he didn’t have to be part of the solution – the fault rested solely on my head. It was up to me to figure out how to find child care for three children, pay for that child care, and still have a job that made enough to make it worthwhile. Since I had a worthless degree (I would’ve had to go back to school and into a Master’s program before I could use it), hadn’t worked in so long, and we moved so much, minimum wage was all I could hope for. That would not have covered child care for three small children. I could never make Bubba understand that if he wasn’t home to parent our children while I worked, we would actually be losing money if I went back.
Now here I am with a wonderful, steady job that allows me to take care of my kids, regardless of whether or not Bubba pays child support. Yes, if he stops paying altogether, things are going to get tight but I’ll find a way to make it work. The difference between then and now is that, even though I couldn’t articulate it back then, I had no confidence in Bubba while I have every confidence in myself.
I am resourceful, I am frugal, and I have amazing friends. Whether they help in tangible ways or with their prayers, I know I’m not alone. And now, with Treun, I know that I’m really not alone. I have this wonderful man who will step in to help me if I need it. A part of me balks at that as I don’t want to have to rely on a man for anything yet I know that is mixed up thinking. I won’t be relying on a man for anything, I’ll be leaning on the man I love who loves me for help. There is nothing wrong with that but I need to keep telling myself that because I don’t fully believe it yet. I still have trouble leaning on others even though I am getting better at it.
I have not walked this journey alone. Since the day I left Bubba, I’ve had friends to hold me up as I walked. I haven’t done any of this alone. I have a support system that I don’t think Bubba could ever dream of. Thankfully, I’ve always known that child support would be hit or miss so this is not a shock to me. What will be will be. I can’t control it. It will not defeat me or even get me down.
I continue to live my life, thankful every day that Bubba’s actions and decisions no longer have any power over me.