Photo by Rowan Chestnut on Unsplash

Theresa was barred from her children, home, and business place until she appeared in court; she would never think of doing something like that to her family or a loved one. He did things without thinking about the consequences. It was not personal; it was a military mindset. Thursday night, she went to dinner with her girlfriend, which she hasn’t spent time with in a long time ever since he quit financial services. She got home at ten-thirty at night, the police car put their headlight, and she wondered what was going on. Two police officers approached her and asked, “are you Theresa and she answered yes, and they said that they have a restraining order for her from her spouse Mat because she got upset and threw the computer, printer, and phone on the floor. There was no way she would want to do anything that would land her in jail, she loved the finer things in life, and he was not worth it. She was raised without a father, and she missed that kind of relationship; therefore, she would not wish that on her children or her worst enemies. Her upbringing was not like his; she and her sisters were sheltered from a lot of experiences. She signed the paper, read it, and went into the house to call her brother James who lives in Texas. She could not believe that her spouse went that far, but she wasn’t surprise since she heard the stuff that he said to his blood son because he didn’t want to run the branch in New York anymore. That was going to disturbed his plan and changed his routine. A few minutes later, the same police officers showed up at the house and told her that she had to vacate the house because Mat would stay at home with their son Jaden. They told her to pack her stuff and leave the house; she told the policemen this was a man that I raised his two children without any financial, emotional, and physical help from their maternal mom. She was great at packing; therefore, she took as much as she can. The last time she left the house for two weeks and stayed at her sister in Westfield, she had Lily came and helped her thrown her stuff out included her children’s baby items. She also called her brother to come and help; as soon as Lilli pulled up in front of the house, Theresa hand her some things. She filled up her car with so many personal items, even her safe box, that helped her not feel the pain she was experiencing. It took a person that came from the street to do something that way. While all of this was happening, Mat was at the Dunking donut around the corner, meeting with Jude, Marie, and Antonio. Her friend Carly went there. That was how she knew that information.

She went to Frank and Lilly’s house and focus on what she was going to do these times because it was serious and how she was going to move on from that. On Saturday morning, she went to see someone that could give her advice about what she was up against. The person helped her and told her what to do, and remind her how the relationships were messed up, but she has to protect herself by getting a lawyer. Mat had already experiences that kind of life, Theresa didn’t sign up for this. She was able to be around all kinds of society, the less fortunate and the wealthy. She forgave Mat for what he did, but she still had to protect herself and get her children back. Part of her wanted to run away. Theresa asked God for the strength to do this for her children, and God granted her the request. The judge told Mat and her to communicate about the children and the Business only. She texted him to find out where their youngest son was, but he never answered; she called the NY location and found out her son was there, and her sister went to pick up her son. As soon as he saw her, he ran outside and said, let’s go. He would not wait to get out and be with Theresa.

At the house, her brother-in-law came and changed the locks at the door for her. Her youngest sister and her children stayed at home with her and her son. They watched a movie, and she started to download her works from the small laptop because she told him that she would give it to him when he showed up at the house with two police officers to pick up his items without any warnings. He wanted to get the laptop, she told him that she wasn’t done with it yet, and he got upset, but she ignored his tantrum. She has been using the laptop for over a month to do her work for the dojos and the boutiques.

She had to remember that she was dealing with a total stranger, and she had to treat him that way. She realized that she had to make some changes at the dojos, take over the payrolls, the account of Kingdom management, and fired the manager. Better yet, she kept the schools in Westfield, and he got the schools in Brooklyn, Queens, and the kingdom management group. Theresa, I would like it very much if we agreed. I know it is much better than having a judge decide for us. Your lawyer is the only one winning and will continue to take your money, and the outcome will not be that different. Lawyers tend to make things longer so that they can make more money.
Only he will win. You and I will face a significant loss, and ultimately our children will be affected. Please put feelings to the side about this and think of what this is doing to both of us, to our children. I cannot pay you what you have asked for. I have 20 days to enter a reconsideration hearing, which they will grant because they have not heard my side. Your lawyer is leading you to believe that I can and will pay you, but the truth is that there is no money. “If I’m forced to pay, they will put out a warrant for my arrest.” My being in jail does not solve anything. Everything that we have ever worked for will be lost. It will only hurt the children.

Theresa recalled, “My mother lost my father when I was seven years old, and she was five months pregnant with my youngest sister. Life was different for us since the company that had to pay my mother money from my father’s death closed the Business, and we didn’t have any life insurance, and he was the primary breadwinner. We moved with my grandmother for a while, and my mother’s relationship with her mother was not on good terms because both of them had a choleric personality. We slept outside under avocado’s tree in the yard, sometimes over my mother’s friend’s home and one time in the cemetery. Our life got better after my uncle came to the USA and sent for his sisters and brothers. Each of the sisters and brothers worked hard, and after five years, they became American Citizens and got the opportunities to send for their children they left in Haiti.
By the time I got married and have kids, I was afraid that I might die and left my children with only one parent. Because of her experiences, my mother understood the disappointment I felt after my divorced after thirteen years of marriage. The experience left me hurt and looking at people differently because of the lies that my ex-husband told other people; I do not want to hold on to the bitterness that I felt. We have a great relationship because she knew that when my finances allowed me to support her, I did my best to give her a comfortable life, and she got to brag about me. I know that she worried about me and want the best for me. My sister would sometimes say that I was saying things like our mother because I would ask her if she would prepare foods for her spouse. When I was married, I ensured that my spouse’s foods were ready for him even when we’re mad at each other. They are wiser than I am, or everything happened for a reason.
She achieved the dream of a great career, traveling and helping her mom raise her siblings, only to become involved with a divorced dad from Cuba who worked at the same hospital she did, he wanted her desperately, but she convinced him to marry her. She raised his two children from his first wife from three to five years old without any financial, physical, and emotional support from her and eventually had two children with him. They were happy and loved each other, but they had many problems and issues in the marriage with the different personalities and two different cultures. Still, she holds on and attended counseling only to found out that the main issues that affected him were never revealed to the counselors. He had a military personality, and she was the type that was peaceful and would like to get along with everybody. After celebrated their fourteenth wedding anniversary, she reacted to his yearly outrageous behavior and found herself asking him for a divorce. Only now, he was surrounded by several individuals who will advise him on personal matters that would affect him and his family forever. They had secret meetings and put a plan together. Theresa found emails between Mat’s sisters and his cousin. He falsely accused her of emotionally and physically abused him for fourteen years and put a restraining order on her. He excommunicated her from his children from his first marriage. She raised like her own; he tried to take her children from her but failed; almost everyone she knew from the Business they built together for thirteen years isolated from her. This ordeal took a physical and financial toll on her, and she became anemic besides dealing with hyperthyroidism for years. But she came out of this mess differently and had a purpose to follow that kept her going.”
Also, “My mother supported me after the divorced the best way she can and she would pray for me all the times, she kept me company and took care of me, she used the money she had to help me with the Business that I was running after my ex-husband ruined it. We even had two family members from my grandmother’s side, who came to live with us.
Since the time Mat started with financial Business, from 2002 to 2007. He began part-time and left the Karate School to pursue his career with the new Business after he got promoted to Regional Vice President in 2004; to become and stay Regional Vice President, he had to work in the Business full-time as per Citigroup. This put me in a position where I had to run the Karate School Business full time and attend the financial business meetings. I didn’t mind; I did this like a support system (why, because I viewed him as my husband). When Mat left the Karate School, he took a few of the instructors with him and trained them in the Financial Business. Which left me to get new instructors to teach the classes and other training needs; I had to put ads in the local paper for help so that the Karate School would not fail? Also, I had to take care of our four children alone while he spent very long hours away from home with meetings on top of meetings (Mat would come home at 1 am or 2 am almost every day) running the Financial Business. This left very little time with him participating in our own children’s lives and the different functions they had through the school years.
As far as the instructors that were too young to work in the Financial Business, I drove them back and forth, fed them if they were hungry, and help them with whatever their need may have been. The instructors spent a lot of time with me, and I believed I treated them very reasonably, even as if they were my children.”

Theresa said, “I had to hire new instructors to keep the school open; however, one of the sensei did not have the same understanding about God as the rest of the team. I asked a person I looked up to stop by the school, but the person never did. Eventually, the unthinkable happens, “Hi Theresa, we came by yesterday and saw signs on the door. We hope everything is okay with you.
“My mother purchased a car for me and gave me advice about what to do next.
I understood more what she went through because, as a single mom, so many men offered to helped me but wanted something from. They were married men that wanted someone else on the side; they had no shame in lying or trying to take advantage when I was at the lowest point in my life. Unless you are spiritually healthy or mature, you will fall for their lies and ended up losing yourself.
I realized that I am as forgiven and strong as my mother because I wanted things to be done a certain way in the Business that I was running with my then-husband, but his sisters gave me such hard times that I ended up resenting their relationship. I started to compete for his loved ones and didn’t focus on my vision. I have so much in me to do, but I couldn’t let go of what I built with him that I became bitter, and eventually, I asked him to give me the divorce. I am working on forgiveness and bitterness to move a step further to receive the provisions that God has for me.
Theresa realized the divorce saved her life; for years, she had fibroids, which kept growing, but she did not go to the right doctor for it. After she lost her finances, she had no choice but to apply for government assistance, which allows her and her children to gain access to the best physicians. She also filed bankruptcy without an attorney because she could not afford one. Many distractions came against her during the deadline for her to turn in the application to the court, but she pushed through and achieved a positive result. Her doctors sent her for blood work, and her blood counts were eight, which is a dangerous level. She suggested that Theresa go to the hospital right away for a colonoscopy because she was afraid Theresa might have cancer. It did not happen, thank God. However, Theresa had to go for a daily transfusion of iron in a cancer clinic to function. She went to the best gynecologist and tried different treatments, but she finally had to agree to have a hysterectomy. A few months later, her thyroid started to act up, and she had to go for radiation. Her thyroid went from being hyperactive to hypoactive, which help her doctor to take her off medication for six months.”



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