(Updated December 22, 2021)
(Note: This is no doubt the most intimate post I have yet written on all of my voluminous blog site. It is, in places, raw with emotion. Written over many hours, in fits and starts, it lacks the orderliness and coherency of much of my other writing. It has, in respects, “gotten away from me” in portions and for this, I apologize. For me, though, it is more important that what I have written is at least published than to worry and stress over its lack of cohesiveness and clear standards of writing. Polishing it up through perhaps additional hours of further editing is not something I have time or desire to do at this moment, but at least the story, which needs to be told, is here.)
In my last post, I went into some detail concerning my youngest daughter, Aimie (not her real name).
Over and over throughout this “Divorce and PAS” section on this blog, I have emphasized the central role that brainwashing and lies have in the twisting of innocent minds through the alienation process one parent undertakes to bring a division between them and a once loved parent. Let me give one example.
I have not seen Aimie for almost 20 years, though we have had two brief (the first one in December 2014 and the last one in early December 2021) flurry of emails exchanges during this stretch of time. Let me make sure I’m getting my point across clearly: in almost 20 years, the only contact Aimie and I have had with one another was during two stretches of time: once in in 2014 when I sent her an email complimenting her on her artistic talents (she is a wonderfully talented and gifted artist), another wishing her a happy Thanksgiving, to which she responded negatively, then I sent her a response to this reply, and she then responded negatively once more.
Then, most recently, I sent her another email on Dec. 3, 2021 which she responded to. This has been the extent of our contact in almost 20 years…seven total emails representing the totality of our communication with each other.
In one of the last emails she sent to me on December 5 of 2014, from the aforementioned seven we sent back and forth to each other, she wrote the following:
“…I also recall how you refused to pay child support, a measly $100 a month, to help my mother with taking care of three children. She had to do that on her own…”
I have lifted these two sentences out of her second to the last email to focus on. There was far more to her email than these two sentences, but this reference to child support is what I wish to comment on.
Unless I am misunderstanding what she wrote, Aimie is accusing me of refusing to pay a small amount of monthly child support: $100 a month that was “…to help my mother with taking care of three children…”
She then wrote, “She had to do that on her own…” In other words, Aimie believes this $100 a month in child support was not paid by me, with the result that her mom, my ex, had to support Aimie and her two older sisters all on her own. No help from me, the bad father who refused to pay a small amount of $100 a month.
First, what normal parent would tell her children anything about the dollar amount of child support the father would be paying? Is this an age appropriate detail for the children? Can they intellectually grasp such things? Do they have accounting degrees, advanced math skills to be able to understand what a dollar figure means and represents in child support? Do they pay bills every month so they have an understanding of what a monthly child support dollar figure represents and means? No, of course not.
Children at this age are concerned with childish activities such as playing outside, doing puzzles, drawing, playing board games, laughing with their friends, etc. Trying to introduce them to adult concepts such as the dollar amount of monthly dollar child support is hinting of a psychological imbalance on the part of the parent who is providing them this unnecessary and inappropriate information.
A father paying child support would certainly appreciate the mother who is receiving his checks to inform their children of this monthly support, but without delving into details. If she occasionally said to the children, “Well, mom has received your dad’s check today and we can certainly be thankful he is helping to provide for your needs…” That would be helpful to their children, wouldn’t you agree? They would know their dad, even though he is no longer with their mom, is helping to take care of them and their needs through his monthly support check. This helps to assure the child their dad is still an active and necessary part of their lives and that he loves them.
A wise and selfless parent instinctively understands and grasps the importance of the children’s need to always view the non-custodial parent (myself in this case and the most common scenario in divorces where moms are typically the custodial parent) in the most favorable light possible. Divorcing parents divorce each other—not their children. They must remain neutral and out of the gun sights and sounds of the often warring parents because they are innocent and vulnerable victims of their parents separation.
Every opportunity a parent has to strengthen this broken bond between the non-custodial parent and the children is a selfless act that helps the children and not necessarily the other parent. It is only and always what is in the best interests of the children that should be paramount in the minds and actions of the divorcing parents and not about each other in their failed relationship.
But pathological parents evidently don’t comprehend this. To them, every opportunity to demean the other parent to their children is their main focus, to cast the other parent in the role of someone who does not care for his own children which then acts to corrode and eventually sever the bond between parent and child. It’s insanity, even criminal; what mentally healthy and loving parent would do this to their own flesh and blood?
I recall a story about a divorced mother who had a true loser for an ex-husband. They had several children together. He may have been, among many of his other faults, a “dead-beat dad” (one who rarely or ever paid child support). Yet this mother said something similar to, “I know he’s a loser, but I want our kids to view him as a king. Not for his sake, but for theirs. They need a positive image of their father to properly grow up.”
She would tell their kids positive things about her ex, purposely holding back her valid criticism of him so that her children would view their dad as a hero. It may have disgusted her to praise him, but she put aside her personal feelings for the sake of the children. That’s one wise and insightful woman, but should not be looked upon as “unusual behavior.” It should be normal behavior for divorced parents who know their children need both their moms and dads in their lives in order to have a hope of coming out “normal” from a divorced family. This kind of healthy thinking and putting the best interests of the children first is a “no brainer.”
But Aimie was given additional information that was not necessary—a dollar amount—$100.00. This is inappropriate information to be telling the children, especially since this $100 figure was a flat out lie told to her by her mother.
Before I expose this particular lie (and one of perhaps countless others), I need to back up and provide pertinent information through needed history relating to this accusation from Aimie that, because of my failure to pay $100 a month in child support, her mother “had to do that on her own…” In other words, Aimie was telling me that her mom was left with the burden of providing for our children all on her own without any help from me. I was, in essence, being accused of being the proverbial “dead beat dad,” an irresponsible and uncaring loser that didn’t love his three children enough to pay a piddling $100 amount of child support each month.
The facts, of course, those inconvenient bits of information that pathologically lying women like my ex don’t like to tell their children, paint a far different story. The facts were, my ex left our marriage a rich woman. Here is the important back story:
First, it is important to point out that my ex-wife and I were married twice and divorced twice. Both divorces were initiated, pursued, and ultimately finalized by her efforts and wishes. I neither wanted, initiated, nor desired to divorce her, especially in our first marriage. It was always clear to me that divorce was the worst thing that could happen to children and I wanted them to avoid this trauma. Being a child of divorce myself, I knew the pain and suffering my own children would go through if they had to live through the same horrific event.
Though I also did not want our second divorce, my attitudes concerning it were much different than the first one; I viewed it more philosophically and less traumatic than the first time. The second time she filed for divorce, since I was now an experienced veteran from the first one she dragged me through, I was better prepared to face what I knew was the end of our second marriage. I was in a healthier psychological state to face what I understood was going to be a long, difficult , painful, and expensive road.
We had our first daughter, Angie (all of the children’s names are pseudonyms), during our first marriage, and our second, Michelle, and third daughter, Aimie, during our second marriage.
I wanted to raise them (this is now our second marriage) out of the big city of Tucson, AZ and in a rural environment, one I felt would be better and safer for our children.
When we were first married and had only one child, our firstborn Angie, I was not the most responsible or ambitious man on the planet. I was in my late 20’s and I had other interests than slaving away at a job for 40 or 50 hours a week. I had started my own small painting business years earlier when I was 22 years old, but at that point when we were first married, it was nothing to brag about. I had to wait tables to make ends meet and nurse the business to a point where I could quit waiting tables and focus all my attention on the business.
Men can be funny creatures; oftentimes, being married and having children fails to ignite the necessary fire in our souls to venture out and slay the dragons we need to in order to provide our families with the best that life can provide. I fit this lackadaisical and laid back attitude, but that thankfully changed. Marriage and the new responsibilities of raising a family is often the crucible through which man-boys are transformed into real men.
I’m not exactly certain what came over me and when, but there came a point in my second marriage that I became even more serious about providing for my growing family. To put it bluntly, I began working my butt off and was supercharged to provide the very best for them that I could. I went into “supercharged“ mode.
I’m not saying I did not provide for my small family in my first marriage, because of course I did. But my zeal and sense of duty was a growing and maturing process, and having Angie certainly lit a small bonfire of adult responsibility in my soul. This small bonfire increased in intensity with each child I had until it reached a full blown wildfire to build my family a house in Rio Rico, a small community south of Tucson. More on this below.
I worked at least two jobs: one working as a banquet server at both Ventana Canyon and Westin La Paloma, and the other, my painting business that eventually morphed into an adobe repair and sealing business that became my life career.
In the early days of our marriage (both the first and second) and raising our children, it was vital to me that our kids had a full time, stay at home mom. I knew if I could work hard enough so that my wife did not have to work outside the home, this would be the ideal situation for our children. That’s why I worked as hard and as long as I did in our second marriage, so our daughters would have their moms full time. I believe this gift of a full time mom was one of the best things I was able to do for them.
My wife was an industrious woman and, even though she was a stay at home mom, had learned how to cut hair during our first divorce: she went to school and became a certified cosmetologist.
A gifted hairdresser with a real talent and love for the trade, she developed a small but loyal clientele. She had an eye catching haircutting station in our apartment (second marriage) that she had refinished herself with help on my part. It was a beautiful piece of equipment and she regularly had clients sitting in front of it’s large mirror, getting perms and haircuts, all the while taking care of our kids at home. It was a great deal for all of us and earned her some discretionary spending money for her and the kids, and, I believe, gave her a sense of personal pride and self-satisfaction. I was proud of her accomplishments and talents.
But I longed to get out of the big city of Tucson and began an intense study and research into purchasing property by buying tax liens. I used this new found knowledge to obtain property in Rio Rico, AZ, a beautiful part of the country where we eventually moved and where I helped build our house with my own hands.
It was an exciting and fulfilling part of our lives then (at least for me); and for our children, I believe they loved the rural, care free and safe life I was able to provide for them, catching and playing with lizards, lightning bugs (we actually had these in Rio Rico), collecting rocks, taking walks, playing and exploring in the wash directly across the street, etc. Experiencing the beauty of playing and living in a rural environment was something I know the kids loved, and I shared their enthusiasm for country living.
One of the first pieces of property I purchased through these tax liens was about an acre, located in a beautiful wooded lot where I built our house. It took me seven years to finish and I accomplished this debt free. I never took a mortgage out on it but built it with my own blood, sweat and tears along with some wise financial savings out of the profits of my growing business and hard work. Again, exciting and rewarding times that brought me much fulfillment in many ways, both as a father/husband and businessman/pastor.
During this time in Rio Rico, I also founded and pastored a small church, a Calvary Chapel. Again, this is a wonderful though bittersweet story that could easily take the writing of a book to cover the details, but for now, due to time constraints, I will skip these specifics.
Such blessed times were unfortunately not meant to continue. In 2003, amidst mounting marital and other family problems, my ex kicked me out of the home I recently completed, after seven long, grueling and sacrificial years of off and on construction, and filed for divorce a second time. Of course, there is a backstory to this, but again, this is not the time and place to tell that worthy and critical marital event.
A year or so prior to this divorce, Aimie, our youngest, was enrolled in kindergarten at the Rio Rico school located not far from our home. Recently during this same time, the new Rio Rico High School was completed where we enrolled Angie. Michelle, our middle daughter, was enrolled in the grade school with Aimie soon to follow.
My wife had initially home schooled all three, but it became too burdensome and overwhelming for her and we agreed to place all three in the public school system in Rio Rico. This was not my preferred choice and I longed to have them continue to be educated at home, but I understood the strain this put on my wife and reluctantly agreed to this unfortunate change.
She continued to cut and perm hair but was dissatisfied with this. One day we were talking, and she mentioned she would like to spread her wings a bit further than the hair business and asked me what career path she might choose.
“I think you would do great in real estate,” I said. She was attractive, had the right personality, was intelligent, from a hispanic background, and Spanish was her first language. Since our first marriage, her English had improved to where she could now speak fluently, and I saw a true business opportunity for her in our small, racially mixed community where a native born Hispanic woman recently turned U.S. citizen could earn some serious coin.
In 1995, I sold my adobe restoration business to a friend and became a pastor in Rio Rico. This only lasted several years before our marriage again began to crumble. Because our finances since becoming a pastor took a significant nose dive and my family began to suffer, I went back into business in the same trade I recently left.
I paid for my wife’s real estate schooling and all the necessary fees and costs to obtain her license, buying her needed equipment to get started in her new business as a real estate agent, most notably a laptop computer which was an expensive necessity then as it is now for realtors.
After passing her real estate exam, she had one important decision before her: which company would she work for? In our small community of Rio Rico (population at this time less than 9,000), there was only one real estate company that stood head and shoulders above the others: Burns Realty. They were the top rated real estate company with the most successful and experienced realtors. At the time, the owner kept a small staff of maybe five realtors or less, but his company had such an excellent reputation and provided such top notch service that all of them did quite well financially. It was virtually impossible to get hired on.
We learned about Burns Realty and believed this would be the ideal place for her to work. In all reality, back then, it was her only wise option because the other local companies could not measure up to the quality and professionalism of Burns Realty. If she could not land a coveted position there, she might be forced to drive to Nogales, a border town. Neither of us wanted her to do this as it would entail too much round trip driving and be too far from our home base.
Unfortunately, Burns was not hiring; they had enough staff and their small office could not handle another realtor; they were already busting at the seams with the amount of agents already there. It looked hopeless for my wife and her dream of selling real estate close to home was not looking promising.
I decided to talk to the owner of Burns Realty and make a pitch for her. Why not? It was worth a try, and though it looked impossible for her to even be considered with her lack of experience, I took a shot. After all, it was what families do for one another.
I approached Jim, the owner, and inquired if he had an opening for a new realtor, explaining my situation with my wife. Jim said he didn’t, and even if he wanted to hire somebody else, there was not enough available space for another desk in the already crowded office.
But then he said and did something that would prove to be the turning point in what would eventually become my wife’s successful real estate career. Because I had been a well respected pastor in the community (Jim did not attend the Calvary Chapel I founded and pastored in Rio Rico), he decided to make an exception for my wife, though she had no experience and he had no space for another desk; he would hire her.
He would take a small desk, shove it into a section of the crowded office, (I think against the wall somewhere or in a corner) and let her work there, if she was willing. It was like manna from heaven, and she enthusiastically accepted his gracious and unexpected offer.
And she did fantastic! She was a quick learner, and she also took some advice that I suggested to her, to specialize in the Hispanic market and not necessarily cater to the Anglo population which was then the majority in Rio Rico. I felt, if she catered to the Hispanic market, that though it was smaller in Rio Rico, the opportunity of gaining far more contacts through that community and their better and larger developed family connections, would eventually pay off bigger dividends, much bigger than the smaller lucrative market that working the Anglo community would initially provide.
Unfortunately, I believe her great success contributed to the break up of our marriage. Soon, she was pulling in hefty commissions, and this new found respect, knowledge, money, independence and excitement, along with meeting a new group of successful and like minded professionals—all such a large part of selling real estate—began to change her.
She filed for divorce for the second time. As part of the divorce settlement, the house that I built with my own hands using our own funds from my business, was ordered to be sold. I agreed that she should act as the listing agent, and if memory serves me correctly, she also found the buyer as well. In other words, she collected the commission from not only listing the property, but selling it as well.
Most couples, when they divorce, split debts, not assets. They fight over who pays how much of the credit card bills, who gets the car payments, who will pay the mortgage on the house, should they sell the mortgaged house, etc. We did none of this because we had no debt…nothing. We were debt free and had always been so; we would be splitting assets and hard money—not debts.
The market in Rio Rico in 2003 when we divorced was soft, meaning, the price of houses were not great. It was a buyers and not a sellers market. I wouldn’t consider it a terrible market, but the timing of the forced sale was not in our favor. What was obvious to me was all the time, money, labor and sacrifice that I had personally put into this house could not be recouped if we sold the house when we had to. Not nearly enough time had passed since I completed the house for it to have increased in value the way it certainly would have (and did) if I not been forced to sell it.
My ex was, and remains, a shrewd woman—very money savvy, in some ways. She is calculating and, if something does not benefit her, either in the immediate future or long term, she decides not to invest too much time into a project. She is not perfect, of course, and suffered from the common malady afflicting so many women: she could burn through cash faster than a raging California wildfire in the dry season. This might explain why she robbed me of $12,000 in cash and gold coins in quick succession; a vice, I hope she has since learned to curb through long-term counseling. If not, there is no question her new husband will soon experience a rapid depletion of his own hard assets.
I don’t think it was more than a couple of months from when she found the money box the second time.
I sometimes wondered why she never lifted a finger to help me build the house. She never picked up a hammer or drove a nail into a stud of wood. Never once offered to assist in any project that I can remember.
I don’t necessarily fault her for this because we moved into the house years before it was finally finished and, to her credit, kept it clean and ran the household, i.e., shopped for the groceries, fed and clothed the kids, etc. She had to deal with the hassles and inconveniences of living in an unfinished house. For example, she cooked outside for months while I finished the kitchen, so I understand the personal sacrifices she made.
Over twenty years later as I write these words, though, the math doesn’t add up. When we lived in our apartment in Tucson, before we moved to Rio Rico, I’ve already discussed her thriving hair business. She had time to cut and perm hair, and spent a significant amount of time doing this. In other words, earning money for herself was something she always made time for.
And she continued to cut and perm hair while we moved into our unfinished house in Rio Rico; again, she always took the time to earn money for herself. So why did she not lift a hammer or pound a nail to help finish her own home?
This remains a mystery to this day, but I wonder if she had planned far in advance that it was pointless for her to expend one calorie in helping to complete our home because she knew she was not going to be living in it for any great length of time. She was already planning her exit strategy, and being shrewd and calculating, thought her investment in time and energy in helping to complete the house would not pay any dividends outside of what she knew she would get in the yet unrevealed but planned divorce settlement.
I might be completely wrong in this, of course, but it does help to put some of the pieces of the puzzle in place as to why she did some of the mysterious things she did. It would be interesting to learn her reasons for being totally absent from any desire to lift a finger to help get the house completed, yet always have time to put money in her pocket by stealing from me (explained below) and cutting hair.
Back to the house: My investment philosophy is, in general, to hang onto assets for the long-haul, knowing they typically increase in value as the years pass. This was my intention for our house, to hang onto it for as long as possible, allowing the equity to build up. Since we had to sell it within a year or so from when I finally completed it, all that hoped for gain in equity and increase in the value of the home was unrealized. The entire sacrifice I made in building that home was a financial bust.
In other words, I was not able to earn a profit on my investment in the sale nor recoup any of the sacrifices I made over the seven years in its construction. I do not believe I even broke even when it was sold (I had put approximately $70,000 cash into the construction of the home, but this does not include all the years of free labor I put into it myself). The cash in hand I received from the sale (my portion after splitting it with my ex) did not equal the cash I had put into it. For me, it was a terrible deal, but for her, she hit the lotto.
The house sold, I think, for approximately $115,000. (Details on this and other transactions are not precise because this was almost 20 years ago and I’m writing this from memory.) Since I cannot remember the exact price and whether or not my ex sold our house as well as listed it, let’s say she received commission only on the listing of the house. This would be 3% of $115,000 which is $3,450.00. Out of this, she would have to pay a certain percentage of this to Burns Realty, and I cannot remember what kind of a commission split she had with them at the time. Let’s say she pocketed 60% of that $3,450 which would come out to approximately $2,000.
Since we carried no debt on the house, she received 50% of the $115,000 plus the $2,000 in commission from the sale. Her total share of the profit just from the sale and listing of the house was about $60,000. Possibly much more.
(An interesting side note: Today, Dec. 6, 2021, I googled the house. Street address: 675 Peck Canyon Rd., Rio Rico, AZ 85648. I found it was sold this year for $156,000. My opinion? That’s way too cheap for that house, but certainly much more than it sold for in 2003. And I can only imagine the amount of money I would have saved over the years by living in that house mortgage free and then selling it for this amount. Moral of this story: you usually lose when you are forced to sell your house unless you sell it in a hot market. I lost—spectacularly—from being forced to sell the house when I had to. But for my ex, like the proverbial cat that always lands on her feet, she came out “smelling like a rose.”)
Then, I paid her for one or more of the vacant lots I had purchased from the sales of tax liens; I had to buy her half out. Again, I’m not exactly certain how much this was, but let’s say my ex wife walked out of the marriage with at least $62,000 in her bank account. Not bad for a woman who came into the marriage absolutely penniless, bringing nothing into it but the clothes, shoes (lots of shoes), and makeup she owned.
She left flush with cash, a vehicle to drive (completely paid for), furniture galore, all kinds of possessions, no debt, a lucrative real estate career I paid for and helped get off the ground, and most importantly, our kids.
Remember, we split no debt. Not one single penny. We had no debt. Our vehicles were paid off. We had no credit card debt. No “rent to own” furniture. We owned nothing to anyone. In America, the sad fact and reality of divorcing couples is they typically split the debt between them and not profits. Walking out of our marriage with $62,000 in her bank account was, I think, an excellent exit. And remember, I do not believe she brought even one peso into the marriage, much less a bank account with American dollars in it. But she certainly left the marriage one healthy woman.
Allow me to talk about this issue of “debt vs. assets” in most American households today. In your typical household today, in general, the family’s debt load is greater than their asset load. In other words, if the typical American family were to sell everything they own, they would be left with owing more money than what they would have in their savings account. They would be in the red, so to speak, in debt.
The short video of historian Victor Davis Hanson below briefly touches upon this unfortunate reality in American households. Take particular notice of what he says beginning at timestamp 3:18. Also take note that this video was uploaded in 2021 and the events I’m writing about occurred in the 1980’s through the early 2000’s:
He says this at 3:36: “…Over half of Americans die with credit card debt…” The reason I’m focusing on this reality may not be obvious to my readers but is crucial to this story: my ex left the marriage—not in debt—but with an unusually healthy financial position that is not common in the majority of other divorces. Rather than being left penniless and shackled by her portion of a crushing debt load (credit card bills, car payments, rent or house payments, student loan debts, etc.), she was left free to use her new found wealth to go in directions not available to others in her situation. She was given a solid foundation on which she could build her lucrative real estate career.
Some might argue, “Well, Roy, you are not given her credit for all of her contributions during the marriage. She obviously contributed something simply by staying home and watching the children, keeping the house running smooth so you did not have to concern yourself with these things and you were free to run your business and build the house.”
And I acknowledge this and would never deny this reality. But, and this is also relevant, if she controlled the finances, her lack of saving money at this point in our marriage and her inability to manage money would have doomed us to poverty and debt. The simple fact is this: I controlled the money and how it was spent and this reason alone was why she left rich. This fact was confirmed twice by how quickly she spent the approximate $12,000 she stole from me.
But here is the problem: did she ever acknowledge her healthy financial condition she was left with to our children? Did she sit down with them and tell them of how she got into her real estate business and how it was initially funded? Who helped get her a job at the best real estate firm in Rio Rico? Who encouraged her to consider a career in real estate?
No, I don’t believe she did anything even remotely like this. On the contrary, my significant contributions were never emphasized or spoken about to our children. Worse, I was repeatedly presented to them as some loser who never even paid his paltry $100 a month in child support.
They were lied to and deceived—brainwashed—from almost the very beginning.
But back to the email from my daughter Aimie. I laughed when I read the part about the $100 in child support I was ordered to pay. If I only had to pay that amount, I would have have danced in pure joy at such a trifling sum and would gladly have paid it without squawking one syllable about it. The real cost of my monthly child support was 600% more than that: $603.54, each and every month for years, and she soon was earning more money than I was. And we shared joint custody.
Someone might reply, “Roy, can you prove what you just wrote? About the child support amount you were ordered to pay? I mean, your dollar amount and Aimie’s dollar amount are so different that it’s difficult to know who is lying and who is telling the truth.”
Yes, I can. It’s easy. A quick internet search using the keywords “Roy Spears Tucson” brings up a fair amount of information. Some of this information is the various court cases I have been involved in. Buried amongst all of this info is this heading as seen in this screenshot:
This legal document requires no explanation because, when you read it, it provides all the necessary detail. One thing a casual reader may overlook is exactly what this document is: an appellate court ruling from the “Court of Appeals in Arizona.” In other words, not some random writing from some obscure blog post that could be written by an eight year old, but a serious piece of legal writing from a ruling from an appeals court. Serious business, in other words. Full of facts, not fictions, half-truths and outright fabrications/lies fed to an innocent and helpless child.
My following commentary may provide some helpful background, though. As I detailed in another post, when the recession of 2008 hit, my business and finances took a dive, like so many others did during that terrible time. Thus, the original monthly child support I had been paying, $603.54, then reduced to $385.00 a month at a later time, now required a further reduction.
I filed this request (a “motion” in legal jargon) in Family Court to appear before our family judge and have this request considered. Without going into detail, the legal controversy I had with my ex at this time was my allegation that the court (who denied my motion to have my child support further reduced), failed to determine her true gross income. Thus, my motion to have the court further reduce my child support was denied. I disagreed with the judge’s ruling and appealed. This is the ruling they gave and I lost the case.
Now, I don’t want to go off the track and debate the particulars of this case. For example, some people might say, “Why, Roy, were you wanting to lower even further your monthly child support that was originally at $603.45, reduced to $385.00 a month, and now you are asking for the court to lower it again? What’s the matter with you, you cheapskate, you loser?”
Again, this would be a valid controversy to discuss, but it would require its own complicated set of facts and take a significant amount of time and digital ink to fully and fairly explore. Unfortunately, this is not the time or place to have this discussion. But one fact bears significance which I will briefly point out: Angie, my eldest daughter, turned 22 when my child support was reduced in 2009. And everyone knows a father’s child support obligations for them end, in general, when they are 18 years old. It appears I waited until Angie was 22 until I filed to have my monthly support lowered.
What I want to point out is simple: my ex had been lying to our children for almost two decades about my alleged lack of support for them. This legal document, this ruling from the appeals court, unintentionally proves she was lying by stating facts already known and in evidence at the time.
Here’s how: In paragraph two of the document, the court writes this:
“…The court dissolved the marriage between Roy and Martha Spears by decree in 2003. It awarded Martha primary physical custody of their children and provided for joint legal custody. Roy was ordered to pay $603.54 per month in child support, which was reduced to $385 per month in 2009…”
From the time that our divorce was final in 2003 and up until 2009, I was paying court ordered child support each and every month of $603.53. Then, in 2009, that was reduced to $385 per month. These are the facts. How then could Aimie email and excoriate me for refusing to pay $100 a month in child support? Where did she obtain these lies from? The answer is obvious. Aimie has been believing in complete lies and fabrications about me for almost 20 years. And this particular lie is only one of dozens and perhaps dozens of others.
The legal document below is from my attorney who initially represented me in my second divorce. Filed in the Nogales Superior Court, it confirms several child support payments I had already made by August of 2003. Since this is so, why did Aimie allege I never paid any child support at any time?
Clearly, Aimie believes in the lies her mom has told her for close to two decades. And if Aimie or her other two sisters were ever interested in knowing the truth, such evidence is easily available to them. “You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make them drink.”
I believe everybody knows that men who do not pay their court ordered child support end up in jail. “Dead beat dads” have their own website. I know I’m a fool, but I’m not foolish enough to want to go to jail for not paying child support. If I failed to pay my court ordered child support, I would have spent a long time in prison for not doing so. And since I never spent time in prison because I was convicted of not paying my child support, what does this suggest? That’s right: I paid each and every penny of my court ordered support obligations.
I wonder if these facts alter the horrific impression my children have about me they carry with them to this moment. And, does it also alter the facts about their lying, conning mother who has lied and deceived them about me for well over 20 years and who they treat as if she is the Mother Mary and the fourth member of the Trinity?
I don’t think so. Here is a paragraph I wrote to Aimie when she was 19 years old, in 2014, after she falsely accused me of some vile behavior:
“Again, you are 19 years old. You need facts, not the carefully choreographed and meticulously crafted fictions you have been expertly led to believe in for so long. But I have learned something about people, [Aimie]: they have to WANT to discover the truth. Many people are more than content to believe in lies. I hope you are the former and not the latter.”
It grieves and pains my heart to realize my kids don’t really want to know the truth about their dad. They are “more than content to believe in lies.” You see, it takes courage and a strong moral compass to step out of the familiarity of lies and deception and face the bright light of truth. Truth often hurts.
My kids, for some reason, are not at the point where they want to learn the truth about their father and then, face the consequences for believing in their mother’s lies for so many years. They do not want to discover the truth.
I often wonder “why”? I’ve always been a man who sought out and yearned for truth, spending an entire lifetime, even to this day, in hot pursuit of truth. Yes, I’ve been brainwashed, as I’ve admitted in a previous post on this blog, a recent reality that has rocked my entire world. But I can honestly look in the mirror and know that I have been a man who has sought out the truth, not only concerning the grand meaning of life, but with the small details of life, the day to day, minute by minute details.
It grieves and shocks me that my own flesh and blood have not followed this path. Yes, I understand the horrors of what they went through as children being raised by a psychotic, narcissistic, pathological liar. I have empathy with them. I understand they were deceived at a young, tender and impressionable age. My heart continually breaks because of this.
But there comes a point in time when we all have to take responsibility for our actions and our beliefs. It is not enough for me to say, “I was brainwashed by the church while growing up and that’s why I’m so screwed up today,” or, “I was abused by my dad, stepdad—even my own mother and brothers—when I was growing up. I can’t help myself for being the way I am now. It’s their fault.”
Certainly being abused as children, being lied to when we were children, provides us some significant and meaningful slack, a generous amount of extra compassion, when we are guilty of inappropriate and harmful behaviors and attitudes as adults caused by our childhood trauma. The road to recovery and wellness is not easy for such as us who have passed through such dark, twisted, and painful avenues of abuse.
For my kids, they will have to ask some tough questions about their mother. For example, “If mom lied to us about our dad in this circumstance, what else might she have lied about?” And let me tell you, this question opens up a true can of worms, because unlike Alice in Wonderful falling down the rabbit hole, this hole has no bottom. The answer is this: “Much, much more than you can even imagine.” There is literally no end to the lies that spew out of the mouth of my ex. Everything and anything that comes out of her mouth—a bottomless pit of lies, half-truths, deceptions, fabrications, etc.— is suspect and needs to be checked, double checked, even triple checked.
Sadly, it got to the point with my ex that if I spoke to her on the phone and she mentioned that it was a beautiful, sunny day outside, and if I had not yet been outside, I might have said to her, “Can you hold on a minute?“ and walked outside to see if she was telling the truth. I’m exaggerating, of course, but you can understand my point.
Though we may never experience complete wholeness and will struggle throughout our lives because of our childhood trauma, we still have a responsibility, a duty, to “follow the evidence wherever it leads.” Perhaps one day my children will understand that same commitment to responsibility and duty to the truth.
One possible explanation that I hope is not true in why my children can’t seem to break free from the seemingly iron clad grip their mother holds over them is that she has bought them off. Allegedly, she throws money at them, and from what I understand, some hefty sums. A recent story I heard, if true, would confirm this. And if my children have chosen, even in part, a relationship with their mom, knowing her lying character, but still refuse to have a relationship with me because they fear she will cut them off financially, either in whole or in part, clearly this would be a devastating problem. Such purchased allegiances, especially in this circumstance, are deplorable and indicative of serious moral failings on both ends.
But coming back to the issue of the courts, I will only repeat what I have said before: men get routinely screwed, over and over again, in the court system. It is one of the most unfair and unjust systems on the planet. It is perfectly acceptable for people to demand that the father pay not only his full share—and usually much more—of his monthly child support obligations, but the same demand is rarely made or considered for the ex-wife who may earn two, three, or five times what the ex-husband may earn. Again, this is an emotional topic worthy of a thorough discussion, but this is not the time or place.
Did my ex ever pay me for anything? Acknowledge my part in suggesting, paying for, and the launching of her real estate career? Of course not. She never gave me a red cent from any of the money she ever made in her lucrative real estate business or her hair cutting business. Not a dime. Nothing. Ever. In fact, even when we were married and she was pulling in some nice commissions from her real estate business, she never offered to buy me a cup of coffee, take me out to lunch, or offer to put gas in my tank. Nothing.
And I never cared less or asked her for anything. In fact, I never thought about it. I’m old school and lived with the attitude the man provides and pays for everything. It is his duty. The money she made in her hair business I thought was a blessing to her, and never expected, asked nor even suggested she pay for any of our bills out of what she made. I paid for all of our necessities and the few luxuries we could afford at that part of our lives and was proud to do so. She did with the money she earned whatever she wanted; it was all up to her what she spent it on and I never said one word about where her money went. I could have cared less.
And the checks and cash only went one direction: from my bank account to hers and from my hands to hers. Never the other way around. Again, not one time—ever. Not a single penny of the excellent money she was earning as an ever rising star in real estate went my direction. She is a vacuum cleaner, not a leaf blower.
My ex also stole copious amounts of money from me. Since I paid cash for our house, and it took seven years to finish it, every project was done only when I had the money saved up for it. She took this money without telling me on two different occasions, money I used and needed to finish the house, behind my back, for a total of approximately $12,000.
I’ve learned something about myself: I’m a fool. There is no question about this. Part of this foolishness stems from my lifelong indoctrination in certain aspects of Christianity, and one of the controlling doctrines I was brainwashed in was the belief that one never gets a divorce for any reason—except infidelity.
The other doctrine I was brainwashed in is “women worship.” In most modern day, evangelical circles, women are nearly worshipped like a fourth member of the Trinity. And not only is this women worship prevalent in religious circled and communities, it is also practiced amongst American heathens.
For example, this women worship starts at an early age, with the sappy love songs that prevail in our culture. I loved listening to romantic love songs when I was a teenager and young adult; as mentioned in another post, I devoured greeting cards with love and friendship poems as the theme—couldn’t get enough of reading them.
I even cried listening to some of the more emotional songs, like this one:
I would go dancing with one of my girlfriends during our high school years and listen to this song as we slow danced. It was all very romantic and emotionally moving, and even listening to it now, can still tug at the ole’ heart strings.
Here’s another “oldie but goodie,” a true tear-jerker:
I was thoroughly brainwashed into the “love culture” while growing up, and as many people know, the 1960’s and 1970’s produced some fantastic music with many talented artist’s singing and writing powerfully and emotionally moving love songs.
Unfortunately, because of my naturally sensitive and romantic nature, I admit I idolized women and the entire concept of romantic love. And as a Christian, the “loving your wife as Christ loved the church” emphasis only reinforced what I now know to be an unhealthy—even harmful— imbalance. Plus, growing up in a loveless, dysfunctional family where true love was never modeled, I had a natural void in my inner being for a “soul mate” that I thought would fill that emptiness, trying to find completeness in a string of girlfriends.
For my ex, being the master manipulator and lying con artist that she is, I was the perfect “mark.” She played me like a fine fiddle and I was putty in her hands.
Most know the old saying, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” As I relate more of this horror story, you will understand why I honestly fit the definition of a “fool.” Unlike my ex who is a fast learner and quick on her feet, I’m somewhat slow-witted and need a baseball bat swung against my head at full speed to “wake me up” in some instances.
So I ask myself, “Roy, why didn’t you divorce this creature when she robbed you twice?” That’s a great question, and I can answer it by saying two words: my kids. I knew that our daughters needed to be raised by both her and I if they had any chance of growing up as emotionally stable, healthy, and normal as kids should.
Second, I actually loved her and, third, my Christian convictions prevented me from considering divorce except for one reason: adultery. And at that point, I never suspected she was fooling around on me. Another bad mistake on my part in a seemingly endless string of bad mistakes in dealing with this woman.
I tell this particular story because of what Aimie said about leaving my ex penniless and abandoned, refusing to pay child support and leaving her mom to provide for her and her sisters all on her own. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Here is another sentence from our most recent email (Dec. 2021) correspondence between Aimie and I (it did not go well):
“You never gave her child support and I had to watch her stay up late into the mornings to make a living in order to support three children on her own, since you were too much of a piece of shit to help financially.”
I get this mental image of my poor ex wife, working almost as a charwoman, long hair pulled back in a tight bun with tear stained, bloodshot eyes as she labors long into the night to earn a few pennies to feed her starving, stick figure children. The kids, their stomachs bloated from malnutrition, watch her labor through the night and say, “Oh, how our mother loves us! See how hard she works for us! And how we hate that bas**rd father of ours for leaving our poor mother to slave like she must do because he abandoned us! Curse him to hell, forever and ever!” My poor ex wife!
What a complete joke.
Like I mentioned above, my ex left that marriage a rich woman with lots of cash on hand to provide for them…even without my monthly child support checks that I paid all the way up until Aimie turned 18. Not only that, she left with the tools and knowledge to earn a fantastic living as a successful realtor, paid for by that bas**rd father who only cares about himself.
But the story does not end here. I would have to write many books to do the story justice, but I have only one life to live and I’m getting on in years and I would probably not have the time to tell the complete story before I dropped dead. So I will have to be brief.
As I detailed in my other post, I finally had to let my daughters go. Though I always shared joint custody with my ex, this means absolutely nothing. A mentally ill, psychologically deranged mother (or father) intent on separating the children from the other parent will allow nothing to stop them…even court orders like joint custody. Again, it means nothing.
My ex and I had what is known as a “high conflict divorce,” the quintessential picture for the development of PAS. We spent about seven or eight years in post divorce litigation. And why were we in court so much? Money, of course. My ex loves money, and she tried to get as much as she could squeeze out of me whenever she could.
And she also loves power. Narcissists like she is thrive on exercising power and control over others, one of her joys in life was to see me neutered—gilded—like a pony or a court eunuch. And one way she successfully did this was to always drag me into court, either through false allegations of spousal abuse, getting multiple restraining orders against me, falsely accusing me of molesting Angie [not her real name] (which she did during our first divorce and were all lies), lying about medical bills, wanting to increase my child support, etc.
(There is a well known fact in the divorce process that is kept as hidden as possible: men get universally screwed and women come out smelling like roses. Divorce for women is the number one way for them to become rich, or, at the least, to walk out of the marriage much “fatter” than the way they went in. And for desperately poor women like my ex who was born and raised in poverty in Mexico, meeting a naive gringo like myself and getting pregnant without first being married is a sure ticket out of the slums of her upbringing, a fast track to upward mobility.)
It’s getting better, thankfully, but dads still know the deck is stacked against us. Myself, being the fool that I am, I thought I would receive justice and fairness in my two divorces, but nothing was further from the truth. Because I’m a slow learner and don’t learn well from past mistakes, it took me two brutal divorces from my ex to finally open my eyes that I simply could not win, no matter how just my cause was or how much money I put into the effort. Even being awarded joint custody proved to be a joke, a mirage, and not worth squat: ex’s who are control freaks (especially women) have unlimited favor and power in the eyes of the so-called “justice system” and they can disregard court orders and rulings with impunity…like my ex frequently did.
When I lost my kids, this was not the end of the story in dealing with my ex. The woman was relentless and wouldn’t let me alone, even though she started burning through a string of boyfriends. I was tired of the fighting, unending litigation, and getting body slammed in each and every unfair portion of the legal process. And since I lost my daughters, I had really nothing I valued to keep me battling her in court.
I called up one of the many attorneys she hired and fired and offered to make her a deal. This occurred during 2009 through 2010 and after the crash of 2008. My business was hit hard and money started getting tight; I decided to sell my townhouse and move down to the “hood” where I had another small house that I inherited from my deceased brother.
(Interestingly, and yet another example of how “fate can be cruel,” the 2008 housing crash, while nearly ruining me, was a boon to my ex-wife. Upon information and belief, she, ever the fast learner, began capitalizing on the burgeoning foreclosure market. For savvy realtors like my ex, this crash was “heaven sent.” And like always, she, the nimble cat that she is, once again landed on her four paws, right into the middle of a new pile of money-making opportunity.)
I had taken a 15 year mortgage on the townhouse which meant I was going to get a nice chunk of cash if I could sell it before it was repossessed by the bank (I had almost missed three payments in a row and was at risk of entering foreclosure). Thankfully, I had a solid buyer and was hoping to close on the deal. Because the housing market had collapsed, I was only going to break even on the sale of the townhouse, but because I had already made many payments, I had good equity in it and would at least get most of my money back. Not all, of course, because, once again, I put both money and time into fixing it up that I did not recoup.
I told her attorney (a typical nasty character who really really loved money) that when the townhouse closed, I would write her a check for $25,000, give up joint custody on our daughters, but with this important stipulation: she would completely drop out of my life, never contact me again for any reason (except an emergency with our daughters that would be relayed to me—not through her corresponding with me, but through a third party, a friend, who would then contact me), and would count me as a dead man. No more court battles, no more restraining orders, no more money, no more nothing. We would be done forever and have nothing to do with one another. $25,000 in one check and that was it—we were done dealing with each other for good.
Twenty five thousand dollars ($25,000) was a price I was gladly and willing to pay for peace and to never have to see, speak with, or have anything to do with my ex again. Giving her full custody was merely a formality: I wasn’t seeing the kids anyway, they didn’t want to see me, and by this time I was merely a shell of my former self. I was a defeated man and was now only looking for peace in my life to try and find some meaning and understanding of what had happened to my family.
Here is the final draft of the $25K legal agreement:
She said “no” to the deal. Once again, I was thunderstruck at her unexpected response. I was convinced she would jump at the deal because I knew of her lust for money and power: this deal would give her both, but she would have to give up one thing: control over her ability to continue to ruin my existence. But, she would gain what I mistakenly believed was her most prized goal: by giving her full custody, all decision making for our daughters would now be 100% in her control; I would have no say in anything related to their lives. Her domination and control over them would be complete and I would be completely excised out of their lives.
(In fact, I had no say in their lives anyway; she called all the shots and conducted our family affairs the way she wanted. Again, as mentioned above, my joint custody was not worth the paper it was written on. Signing over joint custody to her was simply a legal formality, a bargaining chip to sweeten the deal of getting her out of my life. I gave up nothing because, in all reality, I had nothing. Our kids had, by this late date, wanted nothing to do with me because, by this time, their brainwashing was complete.)
Shockingly, I was wrong in this assumption and realized there was an even greater goal in her life: she was bent on destroying me, or, if this wasn’t possible, she would make my life as miserable as she could in whatever opportune manner that presented itself to her.
This might take one of the traditional forms she had so successfully used in the past, i.e., the courts. Here she was batting almost 100%, whether through obtaining absurd restraining orders, fabricating lies that I refused to pay for my portion of the children’s medical and dental bills, having my second amendment rights taken from me, or being forced to pay a sizable portion of her attorney fees—to list a few examples. Each of these victories brought her some perverse sense of personal satisfaction that fed her insatiable desire for power and domination in her relentless efforts in ruining and controlling my life and separating me from the children.
It seems unbelievable to me, almost eleven years after this happened, and while I am writing this post, that she walked from this deal; I still scratch my head in wonder at the mystery that she would be so vindictive and so wanting to have the ability to torment and control my life that she would walk away from $25,000, gain full custody of the children, but agree to stop all her harassment against me and understand she would have to drop out of my life forever.
I understand, of course, and I emphasize throughout this blog site, the need to “hear both sides of every story,” and I want to encourage my readers to apply their critical thinking skills in this situation and realize they have not heard her side of this depressing story.
What is my ex’s side of the story? There is no question she would have her own perspective and, if you sat down with her, would provide information I have not. Maybe she would correct some minor points my memory has failed to accurately report. I strive to be 100% accurate in what I report, and I’m always ready and willing to correct and admit mistakes; they happen, of course.
Would she lie about me and skew the facts so I appeared to be some monster? Undoubtedly because that is her nature, her modus operandi, who she is, the essence of her character, and this is why these kind of cases are so impossibly difficult to properly evaluate.
One time I asked my ex after passing through years of her deceptions, “Do you know when I know you are lying?” She responded, “No, when?”
“When your lips move,” I replied.
But how would anyone else know this fact unless they had walked through the same Via Delarosa as I had to for decades? This is why I pity our children, because their minds were manipulated and brainwashed by her when those minds were unable to properly, maturely, and rationally process through the avalanche of lies, half-truths, deceptions, hatreds, and so many other psychological machinations this woman pumped into their innocent minds and hearts that ended up ripping and tearing apart their souls.
I am still recovering from those dark days, nearing 20 years since our second divorce, still trying to come to grips with many of the consequences from those events. And if it was, and remains to this day, difficult to sift truth from error, what must be the monumental struggle my daughters face on a continual basis?
Now, though I’m no Romeo or Don Juan, I’ve had my fair share of female relationships and never lacked for female companionship. When I finally discovered my ex’s infidelities (she actually somewhat admitted as much), I washed my hands of her. We were done. The mouse—me—would no longer allow the cat to toy with his heart strings. She had found someone else and so had I, and life moved on, for both of us.
As the years passed, so did she in my memory, becoming no more than an occasional passing thought, which I’m sure became the same for her. But she had the kids, and I didn’t, and they never left my mind nor my heart and I constantly struggled to move forward. A man and a woman can separate from and forget each other, but I’m not certain we can do this with our children; I couldn’t, and still can’t.
I pass through seasons which are better than others, of course, and can involve myself in activities and situations that enable me not to think of them as much, but still, they remain in my mind and heart and I simply have never been able to purge their existence from my thinking. And I will fully admit one thing: my ex wife was able to hurt me in a way I never thought possible, never imagined would be conceivable for something like this to happen: to separate me for years—almost decades—from them.
For this, there is no—there can be—no forgiveness. Nothing can ever bring back what she took from me, what she purposely set out to do: separate me from my children. It was all planned on purpose and with full understanding of what she was doing.
Aimie recently wrote to me this unbelievably cruel and heartless paragraph:
“I will NEVER have any kind of relationship with you. Stop reaching out. You’re only doing so because you’re trying to get something out of one of us, probably money. But I have no love for you or any financial support to give you. You’re pathetic.”
If there is a hell, it cannot be long enough or burn with enough intensity for a woman like my ex wife. But like one of her ex-boyfriends once said to me long ago, “Every dog has his day.” And the end of this story is still being written and we shall all see how it ends.
I have changed my mind on so much of what I once thought true in life. For example, I no longer believe in the institution of marriage, believing it is an act of suicide for men to enter into such a life-changing covenant. For women, it’s great; they can’t lose, and all the cards are stacked in their favor and they have the power and blessing of the courts solidly on their side.
I feel sorry for children because they are brought into this sick world without having any idea or clue what kind of parents will raise them. Are there good marriages and great parents out there? Yes, there is, but the possibility of having one is not in one’s favor and the odds are against success.
I will never remarry; the thought is not on my mind and has not been so for at least 14 years. A man cannot go through what I have and remain unchanged and unscarred. It won’t happen.
Unfortunately, more and more men have also abandoned the hope of marriage and many are in the process of coming to the same conclusion. Marriage in America for men is so toxic, so one-sided, with such devastation wove into the very fabric of the institution, that I believe it is insane for men to get married today.
This is a radical departure for myself, a metamorphosis that is as remarkable and unexpected as a caterpillar being transformed into a butterfly. At one time I believed marriage and family were the crowning wonder and blessing of life itself.
In conclusion, I hope this clears the fog of the lies and misinformation that my daughter Aimie still believes to this day that I never paid my child support and that I abandoned my family to be raised, all alone and penniless, by their poor mother.
I can only assume Aimie heard these lies from only one person, her mother. Who else would be privy to such personal details? The answer: of course my ex is the one that has been spewing and inventing these lies to my children for going on two decades. It’s obvious.
This is perverse and immoral—even criminal—conduct and behavior on the part of my ex. One cannot stoop much lower than to lie to your own children and engage in an almost two decades long misinformation campaign designed to deceive them.
My defense is supported by facts, as seen in the court document provided above. But that particular document is not necessary to prove the facts of whether or not I faithfully paid my child support. The courts have records of each and every child support payment I ever made. It’s all documented.
And, I believe, these records may be in the “public record,” meaning, if someone provides the case number and takes a trip down to the Superior Court Building in downtown Tucson and also in Nogales, AZ, those records might be available for the public to see. I’m not certain about this, but I do know all of our court documents filed in our divorce and post divorce case are available to be viewed by the public, which may include child support payments.
My hope is that this post will illustrate why it is critical for children affected by PAS to employ critical thinking skills to discern truth from error. I feel so sorry for my daughter Aimie, who has been duped, deceived and lied to by her own mother into believing for years—almost two decades—that I never supported them. What psychological damage has been wrought in her and her sisters minds and hearts because of these lies?