Saturday, March 29, 2008


I have this deep need for justice. I believe that when you do wrong, no good comes of it. When other people do wrong ~ especially to me or those I love ~ I simply cannot tolerate it. This past 4 years though, I have come to realize that law-breaking in certain circumstances is A.O.K., and lying, cheating, stealing, fraud and harassment are totally fine, at least in my neck of the woods.

I have touched on the subject of the mentally unstable ex-wife dealings, but I haven't really gone into it. I will now. I need to vent. It would behoove you to grab a coffee if you plan to read on.

The first 2-year period after he kicked her out:
First there was the false accusation of assault, causing some loss of his reputation and tens of thousands of $$ before it was sorted out (incidentally, his record was expunged after the judge exonerated him of any wrongdoing). Then she stole a whack of cheques from the back of his business cheque book and forged his signature to the tune of $4,000 to her. There were the constant drive-bys, phone calls, emails, sitting outside his home and public scenes (how dare he think going out for dinner should be peaceful!). Then he received a letter in the mail from the Brick, saying that 'his account' was going to be sent to collections. He did not have an account at the Brick; turns out she applied for online, and got, a Brick card in his name and ordered herself some new bedroom furniture that she couldn't be bothered to pay for. Luckily the Brick found that he was a victim of credit fraud and the account was removed. Luckily for her, she got free furniture out of the deal! Incidentally, you can no longer get a Brick card online!

When the house sold and the excess items were sold, he kindly rented a place for her to live with all of the remaining belongings, until they could come to an agreement. He would pay the rent for 4 months, so that she could get herself together. During this time, he lived with his parents. When the 4 months were up, he told her it was time to pay her own rent and make her own way. The condo was rented in his name, because she had shitty credit. And since he paid the rent, and his things were there, he had his own key. His intention had always been for her to move out and he would move in when all was settled. A week after he told her to start paying her own rent, he hadn't heard back from her, so he stopped by the condo. He opened the door to an empty, filthy apartment. She had taken every last thing. The kicker here was that his lawyer told him not to press charges for any of these offenses, because if she got a criminal record and couldn't work, he'd have to pay her alimony. ugh! The lawyer suggested he get the divorce over with and then press charges. The problem with that was her refusal to divorce him.

The 4 years we've been together:
When we started dating and she found out, things got even more bizarre. She completely lost her mind, phoning 20 times a day, driving by, sitting outside, threatening suicide, threatening murder, and she had a deeper resolve to stay legally bound. She lived with her boyfriend of 2 years at this point (the same man she'd begun fucking just prior to being booted), but still she wouldn't move on. He decided that he would have to push the matter and his lawyer arranged for court. We had to wait 8 months, but at least that would be the end of it, right? WHEATever!

During the next while, we began to document every phone call, email, drive-by, and harassment of friends, in the hopes of having the police interfere and make her leave us alone. They did eventually arrest her and warn her to stop, and there was blissful peace for a short while. This time gave us the ability to work on us, without the chaos, and it was wonderful.

Our day in court finally came (which actually turned out to be 5 days in court because her lawyer had fired her and she decided representing herself would be a great idea). He was the plaintiff and was asking for nothing, other than the return of his very expensive stereo. She was the defendant and was asking for $2,000 a month alimony. The week was unbelievably ridiculous, but in the end, the beautiful moment was the judge's immediate decision. When summations were finished, he took off his glasses, leaned forward and said "Ok, here's my decision". My heart started to race. These things are supposed to take time. You give your evidence, the judge reviews, and then you get the news by mail. No, not this time. This time a miracle happened.

He said "First of all, the defendant's claim is dismissed. The defendant is to return the stereo to Mr. B....", and he then went on to verbally spank her for 20 minutes. In so many words he called her a manipulative liar, who should be ashamed of herself for wasting the court's time with her ludicrous demands and accusations (her entire case was built around her accusation that he had been abusive, controlling and mean, and he should have to pay her money). The judge told her he believed that no abuse had ever taken place and Mr. B was, in his opinion, a fine man doing his best to pick up the pieces of the financial destruction she had caused.

She isn't very smart. When the judge finished, she turned to C's lawyer and said, "what just happened", to which the lawyer replied, "you lost!". The icing on the cake; the judge then ordered her to pay the entire court costs. Craig started to cry great big tears of happiness. She had spent the last 3 years telling anyone who would listen what a horrible, abusive person he was, and that he had left her destitute. Through his tears he told me that finally he felt vindicated. We hugged and cried and laughed and felt free. What we didn't realize at that moment was that those court costs, in the amount of $25,000, first had to be paid by us, and it would then be our job to collect payment from her. UH OH!

Shortly after the divorce was finalized, the fraud department of our local police department put together all the information regarding her prior activities and submitted it to Crown Counsel in order to press charges. The devastating answer we received was that because it had been longer than 18 months since all of the crimes had taken place, charges could not be laid, although the woman I spoke to assured me they would have loved to do so. She was getting away with theft and fraud scott free!! We were so upset, but still feeling vindicated from the court win, we decided to focus on getting our money back (we had paid the $25,000 and it was time to collect).

I won't go into the many appearances before Registrars and Garnishee orders, but suffice to say there were many. Also in this time frame, Crown Counsel saw fit to slap a peace bond on her, so that she couldn't continue to harass and threaten us. She had recently been discharged from bankruptcy and was now working a in a job making really good money. The final appearance before the Registrar got us a $500/month order for payment. When the Registrar handed down the order, she looked at her and asked, can I go bankrupt?

She did file bankruptcy (for the second time in 2 years!) 2 weeks later, claiming poverty. C was the majority Creditor and he was appointed Inspector. We have learned a lot about bankruptcy this past year. The most important lesson learned is that although legally, the Trustee's duty is actually to the Creditor, most work for the Bankrupt, providing a "Fresh Start". As the Inspector, C reviewed her income and expense statements each month, and when he found numerous discrepancies he got the Superintendent of Bankruptcy involved. The Superintendent flew to our city and examined her under oath, telling us that if she was found to be lying it would be considered a criminal act. We reviewed the answers to the questions and provided proof of her deception. Nothing was done. We had evidence of money being hidden, the fact that she worked a second job for cash, and was providing false income and expense statements. Nothing was done. A co-worker came forward, providing even more evidence of her deception. Nothing was done. The Superintendent, upon reviewing bank statements provided by her bank, found $6,000 in undeclared income. Although he told us these are criminal offenses, authorities were not called. We just couldn't understand why they weren't doing anything and when we posed the question, the answer was always vague and left us feeling like we'd bee duped. When you're a second time Bankrupt here Carnardiar, you must apply to a judge for discharge, rather than the automatic one you get the first time you file. The Superintendent did tell me that the judge had the option to either discharge her, keep her in bankruptcy for a longer period of time, or annul the bankruptcy ~ YES! that's the one we want. He told us that annulment could happen if for instance, the Bankrupt had been solvent at the time of filing. Yeah, that's the one. We'll go for that one. Annulment would mean that she would still have to pay the $25,000 and she would have gone bankrupt a second time for not. And why wouldn't he grant it? She had been paying $1,000 per month into her bankruptcy, when the original Order For Payment was only $500 a month. She had lied lied lied and hid money that we found. We had emails from her saying she'd file bankruptcy a second time before paying us a penny. We had co-workers telling us how she was hiding money. This was clearly an airtight case! The Superintendent and the Trustee were finally seeming to be on our side at the 11th hour, after much pressure. The time came for her to seek discharge; the Trustee and Superintendent obtained a court date and submitted documentation for the judge's perusal, showing the found money, undisclosed assets and generally poor conduct by the Bankrupt. They suggested we submit documentation stating our case as well, which the Trustee kindly offered to do for us. We put together our extensive and damning evidence and the Trustee took it to the courthouse.
They suggested we have a contingency plan, just in case the judge chose not to grant our wish, and we decided that 3 more years in bankruptcy would be the back-up plan.

Yesterday was the big day. We walked into court, heads held high, ready for the victory that was ours. She had lawyered up, but that was of no concern to us. Our case was clearly of the open and shut variety. When we were all assembled, the Trustee, the Superintendent and C introduced themselves. The Trustee and the Superintendent informed the judge that she had failed to disclose assets, had hidden money, and had underreported her income. They informed the judge that their recommendation was to be 25 more months into bankruptcy, with a set payment of $425/month, with no reporting of income etc. WHATTHEFUCK?? This was not what we discussed!! Thrown off guard, C stood up to have his turn and the judge asked him what he was doing there. HUH? C said he was there to have his rights revived and sought a judgment of annulment, to which the judge said a what? ohmygod, this is not looking good, I was thinking. The Superintendent stood up and explained to the judge that an annulment is in fact possible if he deemed fit. I could see Craig was a bit shaken, but he plodded on. When the judge asked why he thought this should happen, he said "you should have the documentation and evidence we submitted 2 months ago". The judge held up a bunch of papers bound together and said you mean these pieces of paper I have here?". "Yes, those" replied C. The judge then informed him that this package had not been sworn in and submitted as evidence, and were therefore merely "pieces of paper" to him. Sucker punched! I saw the colour remove itself from C's flesh and my instinct was to jump up and hold him, wrap him in a cocoon and make it better. It had been a stressful week, with the loss of his beloved granny 2 days prior, and tremendous work stress. I could see this last straw start to weaken his knees. The judge did suggest that C could be sworn in to submit evidence, which he did, but by then he was too befuddled and because we were told the judge would have everything, our exhibits weren't prettily tabbed for easy access. After submitting one or two 'pieces of paper', her lawyer accused him of phoning and harassing her at her workplace, trying to ruin her career. WHAT?? This was turning into a goddamn circus. I saw every bit of fight leave him. He later said he felt like he'd trained for the champion boxing match, only to find that his coach didn't bring his gloves on the big day. The weight of everything that had gone on of late decided to settle itself on his shoulders right that moment. More ridiculousness ensued and then it was over. The lawyer suggested she was a good Bankrupt who should be allowed to 'move on', and the Trustee and Superintendent stood by their 2-year plan. The one saving grace was that the judge at the end decided to reserve judgment and said "in all fairness to Mr. B, I will review his documentation and you'll be notified of my decision by mail". He appeared to take pity on C, realizing that he'd been bamboozled.

He's so mad at himself. He's embarrassed and angry and frustrated. I'm not sure why we ever trusted the Trustee to submit the documents properly in the first place, but we did, and that's just another lesson learned.

Maybe, just maybe, the judge will still grant our wish.....?

I'm drained.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Damn it! It's happening. I've started to become cynical about this (previously) most special of days. This day on March 25, 1969, I came to be a whole, live real human being. Since that day, every March 25 of every year, I am a princess. It is my birthday. I love love love birthdays. I love to make you feel special on your day of becoming, and I like it even more when you make me feel special on mine. Today though, I have lowered expectations, and I'm not feeling special at all. I feel irritable and pissy instead. I'm pissy that I had to get up and come to work today (well, I suppose I could have stayed home, but I didn't). I'm pissy that I've been eating so much lately that missing kickboxing class was not optional. I'm pissy that this is the last year that I get to be a 30-something MILF. As of next year, he's going to have to trade me in for two 20's! To top it off, his grandmother has the audacity to stroke out and be on the brink of death, causing us all to feel great sadness; is it selfish of me to wish for her to hang on at least one more day, so that my special day is not forever synonymous with the loss of a loved one? I do love her dearly and I'm very pleased we had her over for her favourite dinner so recently, and she is after-all 96, so she's lived a great life, but I just need her to hang on one more day....for me.


Sunday, March 16, 2008

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Some days are shitty for a reason

Things have been going so well lately that I forgot to make a deposit to my karma bank.

5 years ago, when I hit my lowest of low points and was living on my friend's couch, unable to procure lucrative employment, I swore that I would never take advantage of a good situation again. Recently, I almost forgot that promise to myself. Today, however the gods sent me a message, as they're apt to do.

Today was a bad day. We lost a huge amount of money and we lost our very important support staff member (who actually was the reason for the loss of money) almost simultaneously. I awoke feeling happy to start my day and within 2 hours, it all went sideways. The wheels came off the cart and the cart went into the ditch.

He spent the day putting out virtual fires and I spent the day being almost paralyzed with disappointment, but miraculously I did manage to get a few things done. As the day wore on, realization crept in; this is one of those pivotal events that were meant to take place, but without a catalyst it wasn't happening. Hadn't we been saying for the past 6 months that we couldn't tolerate any more screw-ups? Hadn't we been talking about how to gently let her know that it was indeed time to retire? Hadn't we known that coddling her wasn't allowing her to move on to the next phase of her life? Almost simultaneously we looked at each other and said, "the more I think about it, the more I realize this is a good thing".

I took a deep breath and told the universe what I need. Within 20 minutes, I received a positive response. Whew, ok, that's one thing that might be solved.

Just as the day was wrapping up, while fighting my deep desire to turtle, hoping that if I close my eyes and ignore today, tomorrow will be better, my phone rang. A potential client! YAY, maybe we can recoup some of today's loss....or....? As she asked questions and I answered, it became apparent that this potential client was not in a financial position to take advantage of my services. She sighed, saying "if only...." There was something in her voice. It was desperation. She really really needs my help, but she just can't afford the cost. The fact that people don't want to pay for services happens. It's business. But this time, I could hear in her voice that it wasn't about want.

So here I was, having lost this money, having my own issues to deal with, talking to another woman with issues and needs; the difference was that I could fix her situation. So I made a very unsound business decision in that moment. "Look" I said, "I can hear in your voice that you really do need my help and I understand you can't afford the cost, so I'm going to do something I've never done". I went on to come up with a solution for her that she can afford, but that doesn't put me any farther ahead. I thought about it and I said "I only ask 2 things; One, you agree not to tell anyone you got a freebie, and two; you spread the word about our wonderful service to your colleagues". She sighed and I could hear the shaking in her breath. "Thank you so much", she said "I just can't tell you how much this means to me. I'm at the end of my rope".

That felt good.