A Minute to Myself (30)

Drops of Humiliation

The other day I took my younger daughter to the doctor for her camp physical. She didn’t have the physical. Instead they will fill out the forms, using last year’s information, and have them ready in a week.

Why, after having scheduled the appointment more than three weeks ago, did I cancel it, there, in the office, with my daughter at my side? Well, when I made the appointment, telling them that, no, it was not the same insurance card as last year, and that, sorry, I had no insurance card, I was told that the visit would cost $120. Okay, that would be $100 more than what I had paid for last year’s visit with my insurance card and the $20 co-pay. Not too bad; it won’t break the bank any more than it’s already broken.

But when I got to the doctor’s office, I was notified that, no, it wasn’t going to be $120, and that they didn’t know how much it would cost. Initial drops formed at this point. I explained that I needed to know how much it would cost before we go into the examination room. When I reiterated the $120 rate that I was told, the receptionist went to check. She came back saying it would probably be $189. At this point my daughter wandered into the waiting room to sit down, unsure if I was going to morph into the nasty unsatisfied customer or the tearful whiner. I tried to find a middle-ground (no other options presenting themselves in my moment of trial); I asked if she could check with whoever decided these things if I could be charged the amount I had been quoted. (It works in stores, why not at the doctor’s office?)

While the receptionist went off to confer, I went to sit down. A deep sense of humiliation and disappointment and anger urged more of those unsought drops into the corners of my eyes. I could stop them from brimming over, but not from forming. Bitter reminders of where I am. (Is this where I am, or is it where circumstances have placed me?)

My daughter does have an insurance card. It’s just that her father, who has them under his health insurance policy this year, refuses to give a copy to me or her. This is my punishment because I have not paid my share of their health insurance this year, because, in fact, he has failed to pay to me thousands of dollars to cover his portion of their expenses (which I have paid for) as well as expenses for the home. So, once again, he finds a soft spot and tries to twist it until I give in. But I have passed the point of no return; I am no longer game—I have become the animal that even if you kill, you will not eat, for it is too tough and tasteless. (At least I hope that I have become that animal.)

I don’t know what else to say except I really didn’t do anything bad to anyone and that I do not deserve to be punished in this way. This chapter of my life could surely be termed When Bad People Do Bad Things to Good People. To some I may come off as impassive, but that is unfair. And people who imply or come right out and say that I am not doing all I can know not of what I am up against. This is not a person who sees logic, for his logic is in a world unto itself. He is one of those people for whom lie detector tests do not work, for to them their lies are the truth.

So this is what a bitter divorce looks like. Having the most commonplace things become a place of contention. That, I guess, is the most unexpected result of my having said, I don’t love you anymore, I want a divorce. So even though I was good about it, going to marriage counseling, waiting until the time was right for him (to find a job and then take his licensing exams), I was still punished. But I will not be forever punished. Because at a certain point, of this I am certain, there will no longer be weak points for him to puncture. Or I will win the lottery. (And since we’re divorced, he won’t get any of my millions.) 

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Tammy K

Been there done that with the ex withholding the insurance card for various reasons. I am not sure what state you live in and if you are or aren't (I am assuming you are since it doesn't sound pretty) having the friend of the court handle child issues, but they can make him produce the insurance card, if not it is contempt of court.


I'm just getting into the court system, and so far the bureaucracy has been creaking its wheels at an unbelievable pace--and not proving that it is the logical or helpful place that I had assumed it would be. I'm still waiting for my half-hour in court on a motion I filed for contempt of court back in November.

I heard from someone else that her husband played with the insurance cards. What is with these men? Is their need to control so overpowering that it stumps the well-being of their children? Rhetorical question. And I am happy to say that I can't come up with a logical answer to it, since my mind doesn't twist in that way.

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