One week ago I moved and left my marriage. Things have gone rather smoothly compared to my previous experience and that of friends. Final bills have been paid and separated, furniture and personal belongings were divided without issue, and we change the car titles on Monday.
I felt I making solid progress in getting my life back until I entered the “black hole of red tape and confusion” of the Verizon wireless store. That definition came from my friends Jan and Anna. They recently went through weeks of dealing with just that at the hands of some rather prickly Verizon customer service reps.
It seems I can’t take my phone number from the account my husband and I shared. His name was primary on the account and even though I was an account manager, I have no voice. Now my husband has never called Verizon, paid a bill, set up billing ID’s, etc but he is in charge. He has to call and allow me to take my phone number and create my own account. Mind you I had this number before my marriage with Verizon on my own account.
Once done I can create my own account with a rather hefty deposit because “the history is in his name and I have no track record.” I could change to one of the prepaid accounts but because I would be breaking the contract on my phone number I would have to pay to break the contract. Remember, I don’t have a voice because my phone number belongs to his account, but my phone number has a separate contract. What? Huh? Now according to the rather robotic service person at the store, I could move my contract to another relative or friend’s account without breaking my contract. So why can’t I move it to a prepaid account without breaking my contact? “I am sorry Ma’am” was his reply. I wasn’t feeling the love.
So I left the store feeling defeated. It took me back to another time in my life that I felt trapped by ridiculous policies that treat the spouse (usually the woman) as an unimportant entity. These same policies often happen with other utility companies. This leaves many women helpless when trying to leave a marriage. The bills are often in the man’s name even though the woman often paid the bills or partnered in the effort. Allowing these accounts to be held in both names in a marriage would be a huge step in helping spouses restart their lives.
I felt I had indeed taken a step backwards today. I felt angry, frustrated, and something of a second class person. I decided to leave the store without expressing my anger since it would have been an emotional reaction that would not serve me in the long run. So I write tonight, because that is I process and try to make sense of something senseless.
I am sitting on the couch with my friend and watching Clemson play football. She even encouraged me to get a brownie this afternoon. Chocolate does heal all wounds. I have a plan in place to deal with the phone situation thanks to my daughter and her husband. I look at my life and remember that two steps forward and one step back is still progress.
This blog post is part of NaBloPoMo. The theme for November’s NaBloPoMo is blogging for blogging’s sake.