Living between titles: Phoenix waiting

Fire to ashes, waiting to rise.  Call it, “Phoenix Waiting”.

Here’s a draft of a post I was going to publish early in May, after being served with a “Statement of Claim” from my soon to be Ex.

I did what it seemed I had to do. I got a bottle of red wine and sat in front of the computer, ready to blog. My working title was “Why you should never drink and blog”.  Then my brother called (Oh, and I sent an alarming text message to a few people) and talked to him for about an hour. The post sat, unfinished until today, when it will remain unfinished. Lots has happened since.

Here’s what I wrote:

This is a tough day. This is not a fun post. Any ensuing hilarity is a testament to my tenacious personality and not, in any terms, to my ability to act on good judgement after downing a bottle of red wine.

“Hello, my name is [Phoenix Mom] and I am NOT an alcoholic. Not even close. I’m not even certifiably crazy. But I AM a psychiatric outpatient. Sometimes, I think that ensures my sanity. When I look at the world around me, when I see its injustice, and when I experience its injustice around me, I think sometimes that mental illness just might be a sign of a person going sane. It’s a theory. I’m just sayin’…”

Today I hit a wall, and I’m putting it out there. I think this will lose me some readers. And I value you all. I check for you obsessively every day (read “enthusiastically”). In this blog I have tried to speak honestly about a day in the life of mental illness. I try to write “the other day at group therapy…” as if it were “the other day at the grocery store…”. I will continue to do that, because I want people to challenge stigma. But today is different. Today there will be venting. That’s a warning. You might want to skip this post. But I hope you will stay.

I got an email from Ex today. I have tried to be honest about Ex without too much venting. I have limited derogatory remarks. I have tried to “own” my part in this divorce process while still pointing out his part in my struggle. I have worked to be humorous about some grave matters, and to include myself in the picture as an imperfect part of the action. That voice WILL continue. My intent has been to talk about things that I believe many people are experiencing – warts and all. It’s an attack on stigma. That is important to me. So when people ask me, “what are you up to these days?”, I will continue to say, “I’m a psychiatric outpatient in full-time group therapy” (well, until May 16, when this program ends.  Then, I guess I’ll be between titles).

And here I am, between titles. It’s not bad, I guess. Except for the distinct feeling that my world is crashing down around me.

Since I wrote those drunken notes, above, I have been sued for payment on my line of credit. So that’s two statements of claim within a month, from two separate plaintiffs (my ex and my bank).  I can’t pay bills. It’s just not in the cards right now.

Also, I called my mortgage company. They are so nice. I call them lots. Yeah. Today, they cheerfully (but with compassion, I’m sure. I’m good at reading this stuff… between the lines… and stuff) told me that “[their] investors will not be renewing this mortgage”. It matures on August 15, 2014. So, a.k.a., like, right away, in my financially disastrous world.

Very nice fellow though. I wish him well. Thank you, Justin. Suggestion: you might want to mention, when you graciously accept late payment plus the late charge on my mortgage, that I am actually paving my own personal road to hell. That would have made your customer service truly stellar. Awesome job, making me feel secure, though. Thanks.

Probably the most charming person I met today, though, was the divorce lawyer I consulted. Very sweet man. I had heard he was sweet. He is. I highly recommend him, should you be in need of a consultation with a sweet lawyer. He had that kind of helmet head hair that perfect people have. It makes you feel, I don’t know, safe or something. And a steady, kind gaze.

kind man photo: Kind Creepy Man kk.jpg

I would also recommend that you have money. Even the sweetest lawyer (they exist!) needs to get paid. If you don’t have money, be careful to NOT blurt out that little gem of information too soon in the conversation. No help for me. He did have advice for me, though. I’ll share it with you now, for free. He told me…

…to seek Legal Aid.


I assured him that after two attempts to receive Legal Aid, I’m pretty sure there is no Aid forthcoming. Denied. Twice.

I must say, Mr. Sweet Lawyer is very persistent. Such focus. He never swayed from his solid advice to seek Legal Aid. Heck, he was so convincing I might just take another afternoon to head down to Bureaucracy Land for another go at the queue.

oliver twist photo: Oliver asks for More OliverMore.jpg
Can I have… even… any?

One day, maybe I’ll blog about my apparent obsession with Charles Dickens. Not today.

At any rate, the transition from potential client to person being kindly and compassionately escorted to the door was very smooth. I hardly felt humiliated at all. Excellent professional. Stellar lawyer, I’m sure. That’s what I hear, anyway… in addition to accolades about what a great guy he is.

I spent the rest of the day thinking about death. As I write this part of the post, it is a day later. I am calmer now. I have made some plans to try, again, to dig out of this hole. I have my real estate agent poised. I have my mortgage broker looking into any potential miraculous power she might have. I have an appointment with a credit counselor. I have a call in to the bank’s lawyer. I know what to do, now, about my Employment Insurance information.

And I know now… no more lawyers. That’s an hour out of my life, gone. Better spent writing an affidavit and preparing my Statement of Defense. Because it’s self representation for me.

Wish me luck.



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