It’s a daggone shame.
Terrie Williams
71

He never paid one dime of child support.

I paid that woman for several years, and considered it ransom for my son and extortion upon me by the state. My view from the beginning was, if she could afford to schlep him halfway across the country as an attention-getting melodrama, if she could afford to move him after that to ten hours away on the other side of the Rockies, if she could afford all those social workers acting as her mercenaries, and if she was under no obligation to account to me or the court for one penny of the expenses she paid with it, that I was basically being blackmailed.

They took one tax return from 1999, the last one I ever filed or ever will (another form of blackmail), which happened to have been a little better year than usual for me, and just decided that this was the amount I was obligated to have them base their extortions on in perpetuity. Meanwhile, she refused to comply with any part of her own court order, refused to facilitate any proper contact (her idea was to eavesdrop and coach from the same room, I could always hear her, and every one of our calls when he was small ended after less than five minutes with him saying nervously, “I have to go now.”)

I have an overtly hostile, and unapologetically contemptuous, view of this so-called “child support.” My view is, if a parent decides quite unilaterally that they simply prefer to go it alone, and decides quite against the law to cut the child off not only from the other parent but their entire family on that side, then such a parent has not one cent coming in any moral universe as I recognize morality.

I as much as told a judge that in a later hearing years later, and furthermore had made it clear I would have no part in paying off an old IRS bill that only existed because she had convinced me years before to be in the system at all when we had the road wide open to us long before he was born to never file, report or pay anybody for the right to be citizens in our own country. That one is zero-tolerance for me: income tax is slavery, I wanted nothing to do with since I was a teenager, saw no reason not to live on cash and barter all along and was well on my way to doing just that for a lifetime when I made the stupid mistake of marrying that overgrown child and the stupider one of letting her bribe me with sex to start doing the IRS thing at all.

In my book the state has no business in people’s lives. None. Not spying on us about our income and costs, not telling us how to raise our kids, not stepping in to resolve interpersonal conflict short of statutory crimes being committed in the process. This had been my position that I had made more than clear to her way back in the early 80s when we first got together, and the one truly awful thing I did to her, was betray myself by not sticking to my own values in the first place. She was married to a lost hypocrite from then on, and I let her manipulate me into being her back door to joining the middle class when she knew full well that my primary life’s goal was to get out of it and stay out.

I was fired from being her path to enhanced social status, because I had never wanted it, and knew from the first year of our marirage that it had been a terrible mistake ever to get involved with someone who despised and feared me. But stupid me, I had made a commitment, and tried to see it through. I threw away fifteen years of my life on that creature, and only after that did she want to have a child, whom she immediately took away from his father.

I was hustled, extorted, enslaved, sexually bribed, lied to, cheated on, whined at, and yes, physically and emotionally abused both for all those years.

But my son was no party to any of that. It was not his fault that his mother is a duplicitous whiner and a manipulator who uses pity and melodrama to get what she wants. If I had ended up with him instead of her, I would have thrown her money back in her face even if she were ordered to pay it.

Eventually I actually did simply stop paying, after telling that judge I absolutely intended to stop paying if she didn’t start to cooperate with his having a dad. By whatever chain of events, after my driving without a license for several years on end, eventually the state just closed the account, and even later sent me several hundred dollars as a refund. Believe me, I had not the least trouble with my conscience that day. It was never “child support”. It was “voluntarily single mother support.”

Making family ties be contingent on some arbitrary figure of fiscal obligation, is an ultimate evil. I refused to pay in the end, as much as anything because the mere principle of a government telling me how much a child was worth, was contemptible to me.

And I have zero regrets for taking that stand, nor would I have even if I had gone to prison over it, just as I have invited IRS to do to me for years but they don’t bother. I’m a big believer in standing right up to government and telling it where to stick its fictitious obligations it presumes to impose on us. She knew that when she married me. It is who I have always been.

Show your support

Clapping shows how much you appreciated Ron Collins’s story.