I was pleased to get several comments, including one from a man much further down this horrible road than am I. "When did I last see my kids? Eight and a half years ago, and I die a little every day." That is an excellent way of putting it, to die a little every day; not because it is a pleasing analogy, but because that is exactly what it feels like. Death seems that much closer when you can't see your children.
Also, I got a comment from the child of a disenfranchised dad and by her own account, although she doesn't call it that, an alienated child. She encourages us to keep fighting, to "take the emotional punches and never back down". If only she knew how exhausting it is to keep up that fight, to look for the next possible battle front after losing yet another legal round, how few weapons dad might wield and how many from which mom may pick and choose. Just recently, a friend of mine mused how poorly suited a man is to such a battle - evolved for solving one problem and moving on to the next, he is tormented by a problem he is not permitted to solve, nor to walk away from.
She says "Your children - at least the grown female ones - want huge, magnanimous gestures." clearly not realizing how expensive and dangerous such gestures can be. In fact, I might hazard a guess that she's taken mom's lesson to heart, that dad was never good enough, dad never did enough, even as she bewails not having done something herself. "But he was careful, and respected and space and waited some more. He was wrong to do that."
What sort of "magnanimous gesture" might he have made? You wanted him to "have made me see how much he loved me - even if he had to embarrass himself (and me!)". You do know what stalking is, don't you? Did you want to see your sad old dad dragged away by the cops? You do realize that many of the things he might have done without the court's approval would have landed him in jail, or his rights further curtailed?
It is not your fault, lost daughter, but it is not his either. Respect his memory, such as it is, and help us fight, don't just goad from the sidelines.
My post was also reposted, without asking my permission, claims to the contrary notwithstanding (but it's OK demonspawn, you were right, I don't have a problem with it) on an MSN message board. One comment in response (from fusebox) read:
While reading the Blog I found myself in a state that I have never been in. It was like I was reading what I have been feeling and saying for a long time. I have the anger problems and am truly fed up with the system and I had the exact argument with GAl in my case and she had the satisfied look that he is referring to. I see that look in my sleep. I have never been under this kind of scrutiny let alone interrogated from different angles and then of course there are the loaded questions that I would have had to have been leader of the political debate team at Harvard to answer without putting myself into some corner.Been there, done that, got the T-shirt, cried the blood, written the blog post. The writer goes on to reflect on the effect his own trials, literal and figurative, have on the new woman in his life. I am pleased that I have been able to write something to touch him, and others. But I am also distressed. No-one should have to go through this sort of thing to remain, and even fail to remain, a parent.
I leave you with an item I found on poking around this message board. Of all the malignant visitation rulings, consider the gut-wrenching humiliation of having to travel across country to have visitation with your daughter under the supervision of your deserting wife's new boyfriend. That's a judge who just loves to torment. Don't anyone dare comment that it's better than nothing.
Tags: Fathers Rights