Filtered Messages.

Dear HomeWrecker,

Did you know there’s a folder inside of Facebook Messenger entitled ‘Filtered Requests’? First, you have to go to ‘People’, then inside of the ‘Message Requests’ folder there, you have to click on ‘Filtered Requests’. I had no idea such a sub-folder existed until April 25th of 2017. On that day, my thumb or finger or some combination thereof somehow tapped the correct buttons in the correct sequence as I grabbed my phone from my pocket. Concealed right under my nose on a phone that I touch every day were some very old and very revealing unread messages from you.

3 years, 2 months and 4 days after my husband walked out on me with zero warning, traumatizing me and our children in ways that I struggle to put words to even today, the universe saw fit to let me see those messages. In them, you claim to be trying to give me a ‘heads up’ that you had been sleeping with my husband. I finally understand why you’ve been making assertions that I ‘knew’. You assumed I got your messages. I did not.

Just a thought here, but if I were to send a series of messages to a woman with 2 little babies at home telling her I’d been secretly having sex with her spouse, I’d be pretty surprised by a lack of response. But here’s the thing: you weren’t. Or more to the point, you didn’t care if there was a response or not, because those messages were never about my well-being. They were for you. Your intent was not to alert me to the affair out of some benevolence on your part. It was to force the truth to come out, leaving Honey to have to choose between us.

And frankly, anyone who knows anything about horse racing would wisely bet on ‘Fresh New Sparkly Stripper Sex’, for the win, because ‘Post-Partum Stay at Home Mom in Yoga Pants with Baby Puke in Her Hair’ has much lower odds to place. You took a gamble that using me as leverage would pay off for you. Then, you took another gamble on the Night of 1,000 Horrors and faked a pregnancy scare once you realized things might not go your way.

You rigged the game. You CHEATED ON TOP OF CHEATING. And by the way, gambling with other people’s lives doesn’t make you edgy. It makes you disgraceful. (more…)

the caretaker.


This post ran previously in 2015

After Honey left, I took the babies and a moving Pod filled with whatever would fit, and we drove back to my home state to live with my parents. Just 18 days after moving in, a four year battle with my parent’s mortgage company resulted in a notice of foreclosure. It took another year for the process to be complete, so that’s how long we lived with them until I could form a long term plan for the kids and I.

When Mom found out the bank would eventually be taking her house, nothing about her routine changed. The massive yard, which was far too large for one person to maintain, was still where she spent most of her time each day. Weeding, mowing, fertilizing, trimming rose bushes and hedges, you name it. She’d taken this massive yard and turned it into a lush paradise brimming with color and life. Gardening was, and had always been, her very favorite thing.

As the day to vacate drew near, she was eventually forced to divide her time between the weeding and trimming and the packing and sorting. The heat of the summer was relentless, and even a day or two of neglect in the yard meant dead patches of grass and flowers.

I recall her exasperation at not being able to maintain it in the same way she always had. She was especially frazzled one day when she found a new patch of crunchy grass that had succumbed to the searing summer sun. She was bone-tired and often suffered intense back pain, yet there I would find her day after day. I tried to soothe her, but it wasn’t working. Quietly, I said ‘Mom, the bank takes the house in a couple of weeks. Why don’t you just…let it go?’ She immediately shook her head, and with deep resolve, said ‘Well until they do, this is my job. I can’t just let the yard go. I’m the caretaker of this property.”

At the time, it seemed no different than if she’d just told me she was planning to wallpaper the kitchen while the house was on fire. There was a sort of sad futility there that I could see and sense and understand, but that appeared to be completely lost on her. Once the bank took the house, it would very likely sit vacant for a considerable length of time, and the colorful grounds would soon be nothing more than a sea of dead brown straw. Her efforts would all be in vain. Her years of hard word would be nothing more than chaff in the wind. Your job is over, mom. Put down the pruning shears and walk away. (more…)

Because boobs.

Honey: (knocking on the door) Hello? Are you in there? Hey Conscience! Listen, I was just wondering –
Conscience: (in a high-pitched sing-songy voice) Nobody home!
Honey: (annoyed) You’re clearly home, I just heard you in there!
Conscience: Nope. Not home.
Honey: I need to talk to you.
Conscience: Oh, you need to talk to me? You’ve been ignoring me for years.
Honey: Yah. Been pretty busy. So, listen. I just have a quick question for you.
Conscience: Shoot.
Honey: Ok, this may seem like a strange question, but I was just wondering under what circumstances would it be OK for me to move away from my kids?
Conscience: Like, how far?
Honey: I don’t know, like 2,000 miles, give or take.
Conscience: Hmm. That’s a tough one. Is there a life-threatening circumstance that required you to move?
Honey: Uh, no.
Conscience: Did you have to relocate because you were serving your country?
Honey: No, you know I’m not in the military anymore.
Conscience: Was the only job you could get on planet earth there?
Honey: No, man, you know I didn’t go there for work. It’s kind of in the middle of nowhere.
Conscience: Hmmm. Was it because boobs?
Honey: No, it wasn’t because boobs!
Conscience: It was so totally because boobs.
Honey: It’s not like that, man. But, like, so there’s not any other reason that you could think of that would be legit?
Conscience: Define legit.
Honey: Well, you know. Socially acceptable, I guess.
Conscience: That’s a rather odd question to be asking your conscience, don’t you think? First of all, you already moved. And second, I deal in moral absolutes and guiding principles. I’m not real concerned with what’s ‘socially acceptable’.
Honey: Oh yah, no, I totally get that, but it’s just that…I’ve got a bit of a problem on my hands.  Recently I’ve been feeling this weird thing I’ve never felt before-
Conscience: (interrupting) I know. It’s called ‘guilt.’ It’s new. Just had it installed Monday.
Honey: You did? Well, get rid of it, it’s awful! It’s always nagging at me day and night, saying ridiculous things like ‘he’ll never get to have his dad at his baseball games’ and ‘she’ll grow up damaged because you walked away.’ I hate it.
Conscience: Sorry. Can’t help you, Buddy. Tried all the usual things to get your attention, but you’d always just turn up the sound on the TV to drown me out.
Honey: Well, you’re wasting your time installing that guilt nonsense. I’ve done nothing wrong.
Conscience: So is that why you’re here, then? Because you’re so sure of that?
Honey: I live with myself just fine. I mean, kids are resilient, right? Isn’t that what they say?
Conscience: Who exactly is ‘they’? Whoever ‘they’ are, they must not know any of the statistics about fatherlessness.
Honey: Uh, they aren’t ‘fatherless’, thank you very much! I’m their father. I mean, you know. On Skype.
Conscience: Ha ha! Oh, that really is sad, man. Do you actually believe they feel like they have a dad because of Skype? First rule in parenting: show up. If you haven’t shown up in three years, they have no dad in their life.
Honey: I don’t appreciate your tone, man! You know, this is why I ignore you. You suck.
Conscience: No, YOU suck BECAUSE you ignore me.
Honey: And just what statistics are you referring to, exactly?
Conscience: You really wanna know?
Honey: No, not really.
Conscience: Well, since you brought it up: Children in fatherless homes are 20 times more likely to be incarcerated. 11 times more likely to have violent behavior. 70% of adolescents in juvenile correctional facilities come from fatherless homes. 80% in psych centers are from fatherless homes. They are 9 times more likely to drop out of school, and 10 times more likely to abuse chemical substances. 44% more likely to be raised in poverty. 90% of all runaway children are fatherless. 82% are –
Honey: (interrupting) Those statistics cannot possibly be true.
Conscience: Well, I’m sure your expertise about their insignificance must be a huge comfort to your ex-wife.
Honey: Who?
Conscience: You. Are. Literally. Hopeless.
Honey: Look, I have reasons other than ‘because boobs’, ok?
Conscience: I doubt that very much, but go ahead. Lay it on me.
Honey: Well, it’s hard to explain, ok? You don’t choose who you fall in love with.
Conscience: Yes, you can, actually. You can choose to control acting on it if you’re married. But self control is not a topic I want to waste my time getting into with you. I may as well be speaking Mandarin.
Honey: Just tell me how to get rid of this guilt thing, I can’t take it anymore! Pull the plug or flip the switch or do SOMETHING to make this stop.
Conscience: Let me guess. The ‘affair fog’ has cleared? Your once-exciting dalliance has become more of an income anchor and daily drudgery than that fairy tale you sold to everyone?
Honey: Yes! Exactly.
Conscience: And now the weight of what you’ve done to your kids has really hit you?
Honey: Yes, ok?! Now just DO something!
Conscience: Ok, ok. Keep your pants on. Here’s the instructions for removing those pesky feelings of guilt: Nénggòu fàngqì értóng de rén méiyǒu róngyù. Nǐ xiǎng xiāochú nǐ de nèijiù ér bùshì jiāqiáng fùmǔ zhè yī shìshí biǎomíng, zhè shì yīgè méiyǒu xīwàng de shìyè, yīnwèi nǐ de liángzhī. Wǒ zhèngzài lǚxíng yīduàn shíjiān. Wǒ zài xiǎng fěijì, huòzhě shuō zhōngguó de xī xìng shěng. Wǒ kěyǐ shuā shàng wǒ de pǔtōnghuà, cóng zì liàn de èchòu zhōng huòdé yīgè hěn hǎo de xiūxí. Rúguǒ yǒurén wèn nǐ rúhé líkāi nǐ de háizi, dá’àn shì “yīnwèi xiōngbù”. Zhè shì wéiyī chéngshí de dá’àn. Zhù nǐ hǎo yùn.
Honey: But those instructions are in Mandarin, man!
Conscience: (in a high-pitched sing-songy voice) Nobody home!
Translation from Mandarin:
People capable of abandoning children have no honor. The fact that you want to eradicate your guilt rather than step up as a parent indicates that this is a hopeless cause as your conscience. I’m taking a trip for a while. I’m thinking Fiji or maybe the XioXing province in China. I can brush up on my Mandarin and get a well-earned break from the stench of your narcissism. If anyone asks how you could leave your kids, the answer is ‘because boobs’. It’s the only honest answer. Good luck.
Statistics Citation: 

Love and Marriage in the New Millennium

My definition of love and marriage:

A sacred permanent covenant made between three parties: me, you, and God. Creates a bond so strong that it cannot be broken unless the biblical grounds for divorce are met. The oath made before God and our families is the literal depiction of our sacred honor as human beings. Therefore, breaking this oath is to be taken extremely seriously. Feelings that wax and wane in marriage are to be ridden out like waves on the sea. Feelings do not rule our choices to go or stay. God’s word, our sacred promise to Him and each other, and His great love for us do. God is the glue of our marriage, not our nebulous and ever-changing emotions. Happiness is derived from living a God-honoring life, and is not our sole aspiration in this world. True happiness is actually a byproduct that naturally flows out of a life of duty, honor, commitment, and self-sacrifice.

Society’s definition of love and marriage:

A promise made between two parties: me and you. Creates a bond we try our best not to break. The oath made before our friends and family is important. Breaking this oath shouldn’t be taken lightly. But feelings change, and following our bliss is the most important thing. If we decide to leave, it is justifiable as long as it is in order to be true to our feelings. Sensations are the glue of our marriage, and if those sensations change, we may justify destroying homes and families and children’s lives under the almighty banner of ‘happiness’.

Honey’s definition of love and marriage:

No, it’s down, left, down, right and THEN shoot. What you’re doing will allow you to dual-wield the plasma canon, but you won’t get any experience points unless you blow up the bridge AFTER the gate is breached. Can you pass the Fritos? The cord on my Xbox controller can’t reach.



Not even clothes.

Some very insane and blog-worthy things have happened in the past couple of months, but I’ve reached a level in dealing with this garbage I like to call ‘level ostrich’. I bury my head in the sand and pretend it’s not really happening, because acknowledging it means I have ownership of it.

How did this get to be my life? This crap was NOT in the brochure.

Here’s the most recent series of events that lead to yet another public tantrum and full-fledged meltdown by HomeWrecker on Facebook.

Honey sent me an email titled ‘reaching out’ about 6 weeks ago asking me to reduce the garnishment that FINALLY hit his paycheck after over a year of him not paying child support. The very first paycheck where that reality hit home, he sends an email asking me to ‘do the right thing’ and ‘think of the kids’ because he was not going to be able to afford a visit out here if half of his income was being taken (as though not one other financial decision he’s made has led to him not being able to visit for 3 years – it all comes down to me at this moment). It was worded respectfully, but that’s Honey for you. Yes, he is very respectful as he screws strippers and lies about it and permanently moves away from his own children. He wears a fantastically believable mask, and unless you’re looking closely, you’d never know there’s a face-hugging alien spawn in lieu of a heart and soul under there.

I thought very long and hard about my response. I considered ignoring him as he ignored his kid’s needs for over a year, but realized that would not do. I composed a response that was as to-the-point as I’m able to be. I do love me some wordz.

My sister called me right around that time to tell me she’d seen a GoFundMe set up on HomeWrecker’s Facebook page asking for everyone to share it so she and Honey could combat the evil child support courts and visitation-blocking ex-wife who were clearly out to ruin their happy lives. His rights were being VIOLATED, yall. Her GoFundMe post coincided with that very first, very painful garnishment they will now get to enjoy for all of eternity. You owe $39,852 in child support arrears? Add the 5, carry the 2…yep. You’ll have that baby paid off by Christmas! Of 2097.

So I decided to carbon copy HomeWrecker. To that point, I’d still never had a phone conversation or email dialogue with her. Everything I’d learned about this cuckoo bird I learned from social media. I knew with certainty that in doing so I’d be on the receiving end of a tantrum, I just didn’t expect it to yet AGAIN be on Facebook.

Dear Honey (and H Dubs),

Child support as presently set is not adequate for raising two children and has been shown to be paid very infrequently. Therefore, I cannot agree to reducing it. More importantly, there is now an established history of abandoning financial obligations with no explanation about when, or if, they would ever be receiving support. 

Furthermore, you presently owe your children almost $40K in back support, a portion of which comes as a direct result of you showing up to CSS court (by phone) without the documents you were instructed to complete to obtain a reduction. Had you done so, modification based on your income would likely have been completed last spring or summer, saving both of us thousands of dollars in attorney costs that neither of us had and thousands of your support dollars. Instead of showing up that third time with the right items, you sent a lawyer, and nothing got solved about support that day (or later in family court for that matter). Perhaps your wife is unaware of this fact, because it seems she continues to lay blame for your support and visitation problems on me. 

Perhaps she is also unaware that after receiving no support from you of any kind and no word of when any would ever come, (and the despair that comes as a single mom getting no help and no communication from her ex) I got a sitter, drove downtown, paid $20 to park my car, sat on a bench in child support court for hours waiting for my turn, only to learn from your speakerphone appearance that you didn’t provide the required documents. Three. Separate. Times. That third time, it was literally my last $20 until I’d be getting paid 2 days later. I cried all the way as I walked into and out of court. 

You might have tried to ‘reach out’ to me as a first resort rather than a last before pulling me into family court and blaming me in the order for your inability to co-parent (2,300 miles and a new family makes it impossible for you to co-parent, not anything I’ve done). However, after what I have witnessed about the children’s financial priority, and the lack of respect shown to me as the one who facilitates their care (such as in communicating nothing about when or if there would ever be any support coming), I cannot in good conscious allow them to accept less so you can have more. The court will determine any modifications based on need as proven.

And finally, ‘reaching out’ when the impact of that first official garnishment hit home tells me you only intend to do ‘reach out’ when the consequences effect you. You never once reached out to find out what the consequences were of denying your 3 and 5 year old rent and food money for months on end. You didn’t reach out to find out the result of that even once. Nor did you ask me if there was some small need that you could meet for them (groceries, shoes, gymnastics class) even though you would not be able to meet the larger need of the $**** a month. There’s a very large gap between $**** and $0. Had you shown some care, or offered any help, it would have demonstrated your concern that their needs are being met. The zero tells me a lot and is frankly very disturbing, especially learning in family court that you DID have quite a bit of employment last year…but didn’t report it to CSS (that I know of) and jobs weren’t long enough to be garnished…and still chose to send them $0. When left to your own accord (rather than forcing a court to take it), you have shown you are fine with them receiving nothing. 

I am a student getting my degree and working toward a career that can hopefully begin once both kids are old enough to be in school next year and I can use the ESS services provided. Life will change financially for all of us when that day comes. As of now, a 4 year old who isn’t in school must be with me 24/7 or be placed in daycare, which I can’t afford. I have to take Little Man to school every day at 8 and get him at 2:20. I have no co-parent to assist with any of this, because you moved away. Therefore, your support dollars are meant to see the kids through this time until life gets a bit easier. I work one day a week because my mom’s back can’t handle more than that while I do their office work. Please tell me where else I’m supposed to work where I can take my 4 year old and also leave to get my son in the middle of the day.

As an aside, it is interesting the “spin” you have at the end of this request. Somehow you think that what is “best for Little Man and Baby Girl” is for you to pay less money for their support and care? The kids have experienced the zero from you in both time and dollars, and with regard to that, I agree that it is NOT what has been best for them. 

Just a recommendation here (though this has nothing to do with my decision) but maybe don’t ask someone for help the same day you insult them on gofundme. I have no doubt that due to my refusal to modify, I’ll be an even bigger villain in the preposterous visitation-blocking narrative your wife is spouting, but I am not concerned with her opinion because I know it’s based on false information she’s been fed. It’s not her fault. You are wrong about some intent on my part to block co-parenting, and you know it. I have made it abundantly clear you can visit any time you wish, and call on the phone (outside of Skypes) any time you wish. I can count on one hand the amount of times you have done either in 3 years, even when you were making great money.

The battle she promises? The fight that is ‘far from over’? She’s been duped into thinking I’m the opponent. I’m not. The circumstances you’ve created with your own free will are her opponent, not me. Your fight isn’t with me, H Dubs.

The kids come first. Believe it or not, I’m sorry you find yourself in a financial pinch when there are children looking to you for their every need. Believe me, I know very, very well what that feels like. 


HomeWrecker responded. Here is her email. Approximately 2 hours after this, she and several of her extremely classy family members went on FaceBook and called me a ‘slut bitch’, a greedy whore, and a litany of other delightful titles that I would love nothing more than to stitch on the back of my ‘Betrayed Wives Club’ jacket. It’s Member’s Only!

Am I utterly in shock over some things you’ve said …. Yes I know he has fallen short of paying … this was due to Honey not paying as well as this year with lawyer telling us not too … you will once again receive the taxes for last year in hopes of the amount of **** … I’m not asking that you would reduce support to benefit him .. your kids come first above all / I’m trying to just find a balance of support /to where he is able to pay regularly/catch up and most importantly visit the kids as much as possible …i don’t want to be an enemy but I forever will be in your eyes , and I don’t blame you one bit / I have been there with my kids dad , I’m only hoping that one day the visits and support can be accommodated so that Honey can visit often , as much as you may think not  paying support and not seeing his kids doesn’t bother him … you are wrong,  I’m only going on what Honey has relayed to me , he wants to be there …. financially it is just as strained here as it is for you, I know he owes a huge amount in support he will always owe that we are only trying to find a mutual agreement to get that paid up and continue support without interruption and visits with him as much as possible…. the go fund me wasn’t directed towards you but the situation that we are in ..

And … I’m trying my best to stay out of this … it’s between you and Honey as not to cause issues… but if you lived anywhere but ******* child support would not be $**** a month. I have child support from Two Dads that doesn’t even equal clothes to the amount of support that you get or supposed to get every month on that alone there is no way the mat can save up the amount to come visit the kids we are trying our damnedest to see the kids, if you believe me then you believe me if you don’t then you don’t I am stuck in the middle of this and I’m just trying to find some common ground.

Homewrecker –

I never replied, but if I did I think this would warrant a DIRECTOR’S CUT!

Dear HomeWrecker,

   Your emails to me were bordering on sane. Your public tantrum less than 2 hours later on a social network that can be viewed by millions of people was not. However, despite your clear need for spell-check software and an extensive mental health evaluation, I will say this. You’re right about ******* being expensive. Tell you what. Next time you get betrayed and suddenly abandoned with 2 babies in diapers and have to run heartbroken to the only place where there’s any family that can help you, I’ll get to tell you where you should have moved because it would’ve been better for me in some way. That way, we can both have a turn being insensitive assholes.

Good talk.


The Ex-Wife


If by ‘find some common ground’ you mean waiting 114 minutes from the moment you wrote this to calling me a ‘money grubbing whore’ on Facebook, then…common ground attained!

And, if by ‘stuck in the middle of this’ you mean ‘repeatedly inserted myself into a marriage I had no business interfering in, then getting all squidgy when I have to actually address the ex-wife I screwed over’, then…hoorah! Now we’re cooking with gas.

And lastly, if by ‘doesn’t even equal clothes to the amount of support’ you meant ‘I took my clothes off and now you’ll get half my new husband’s paycheck as support’, then…spell check be damned! You know what? You’re cute as a button. Gonna bake you a cake with squiggly icing letters that say ‘at least you tried’.


Did you make ‘Two Dads’ uppercase for any particular reason? No? Just shooting that grammar gun into the dark again? Enjoy your cake.


Tantrum to follow in a future blog (for dissection and hilarity, of course). Why? My life has been hijacked by a tacky reality show. This is how I cope with that.

And just in case you missed it, Dear Readers, she just admitted that she’d been on the receiving end of betrayal…and knowingly heaped that mountain of pain on another woman and family. I. Can’t. There are no words.

Ever experienced any of this insanity? Love to hear about it in the comments below.



Fall hard on my knees.

Tears and screaming and pointless pleas.

Though the world collapses in on me, there’s somewhere else I need to be.


Diapers and tears and endless cries.

Fake a laugh. Don a disguise.

Tie a shoe, pretend to be wise.

Fake it all when they look in my eyes.


Tear-filled Kleenex in great mountains rise.

No sleep, no relief from dusk to sunrise.

No way out of this cycle that I can devise.

Diapers and clocks and blue or black skies.


Collapse in anguish, hoping to die.

Imagine his new lover. Bake a pie.

Search for tears but find I’m bone dry.

Kiss a skinned knee. Stop asking why.


Lift. Sweat. Buckle. Breathe. Crawl.

Stagger. Try. Fail again. Fall.

Parent, alone, these babies so small.

Collapse beneath the weight of it all.


Will yourself to standing. Confront your fear.

Laugh for once and find it’s sincere.

Stop visiting yesterday, just be right here.

Dance with them anyway in the moonlight clear.


Books and late nights. Yawn. Repeat.

Missing socks and lunch-pails and tiny feet.

Hugs and self-loathing and kisses sweet.

Victory, it seems, is holding hands with defeat.



Rise from my knees.

I’ve got adventures with my kids to seize.

My world stopped collapsing in on me, because there was somewhere else I needed to be.




Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.

This post ran previously in 2015

I’ve known for some time that I should see a counselor. I’m not equipped to handle the ‘skein of fuckedupedness’ that I unwittingly attempt to untangle every day (shout out to the AMAZING Chump Lady). I feel like a grade school teacher trying to land a 747. So, I began therapy last week. The therapist didn’t know quite where to begin with me. I’m pretty decimated in every area of my emotional life, and as I’d already warned her about, feeling incapable of getting myself out of this prison of my own creation. So she played it pretty safe, and stuck to the basic getting-to-know-what’s-wrong-with-your-crazy-ass script. But then she busted out with a simple exercise for me to do until I saw her again, and honestly, it’s been rocking my world.

She wants me to imagine two chairs. Every day, I have to decide which chair to sit in. In the first chair, I can only speak positively. I must mention only the good characteristics of my life. I must not have a negative outlook about the future. Ha haaaaa!!! As if. She clearly doesn’t know me.

In the other chair, I can do and say and think whatever I want. I can give in to my deepest hatred, fears, and pain from the past. In it, I’d feel perfectly justified to give voice to my rage and lay waste to small villages with my sarcasm cloud.

And as I’m contemplating how comfortable the second chair sounds, she says it. Those six simple words that have been keeping me awake at night for the last 2 weeks. Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.

The petulant child in me dug in her heels. I smiled and listened, all while thinking ‘Um, NO. It’s not. I don’t have any control over my suffering. It was imposed upon me. My brain makes no distinction. It simply plays and plays the horror reel from the night it all went down. It takes my heart and crushes it in a vice with imagery of my nuclear family being ripped apart in a firestorm of tears. It’s on autopilot, my brain. SO IT MOST CERTAINLY DOESN’T FEEL LIKE A CHOICE, LADY! (more…)

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Shannon Lell

When we are our authentic selves, we give others the unspoken permission to be the same. In Truth, there is freedom.

Leave a cheater, gain a life

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