Who Is Missing?

 

Artwork by a young artist seems to reveal anger, loss and sadness. Two people are crossed out in black. Is this a parent, a sibling or the perhaps the artist? One parent seems to have a squarish face with large eyes and the only character with a mouth.  Does this mean no one else has a voice? Who is the person in red and partly covered with black squiggly lines?  Is this the child? There are many unknowns in this art. Hopefully, someone will realize what the child is trying to say. Someone should be listening to this wee one. 

 

 

 

#521, Who Is Missing?

Who Are You?

 

 Children are a part of both parents. This artwork speaks to the importance of parental communication in front of the child. Comments about one parent do impact the child.  Had ‘the parents never met’ is a difficult concept to reconcile.   Parental conflict could be handled in private. Commentaries on the co-parent could be made among adult friends and relatives. Hopefully, the parents will reach out to their artist and talk about what is happening,  Divorce is between the parents and about the child!

Child pic Who are you lg m

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Confessions available in the following categories:

A CHILD’S VIEW

ADULT CHILD OF DIVORCE (ACOD)

ADVICE: PARENT TO PARENT

CELEBS AND PARENTAL DIVORCE

FAMILY COURT

FOR GRANDPARENTS

HAPPY ENDINGS

HOLIDAYS

IMPACT ON CHILD

NARCISSISTIC TENDENCIES

PARENTAL HEARTACHE

PSYCHOLOGICAL ABUSE: CHILD

REALITY OF DIVORCE

THIS IS SHARED PARENTING

TRUE CONFESSIONS

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Rebuilding After Family Court: A Father’s Story

A heart wrenching story of divorce, false allegations and Family Court; with a positive outcome. This father pours out his heart and soul about his emotions, feelings and experiences during the divorce process and how this impacted the relationship with his children. Will his daughter and son ever know what he went through? What he sacrificed?   Will his children ever realize what they lost out on? That they missed being raised by a caring, loving and responsible father? 

 

As told by the father:

It’s difficult to summarize 13 years of hell in a short story, especially when you’re past it, you’ve survived, and your heart is at peace knowing you gave it your all.

I married my high school sweetheart.  We fought quite a bit I suppose, but it was what seemed typical amongst our friends at the time.  It wasn’t anything that made me question our commitment to each other especially once we had a child.

At this stage in my life, I honestly don’t remember too much from our relationship.  I actually don’t know the woman, who is the mother of my children.  But, there are 3 memories that will never fade from my memory during that time: the birth of my baby girl, A, the birth of my boy, J, and that frightful day when they were both taken from me.

With no warning signs that I could identify, no reason, and with no explanation, I returned home from work one day, and my family was gone.  I was devastated.  At that time, A was three and J wasn’t even yet one.  I drove to her rent’s that night, but what was once a family who embraced me as their son, suddenly held hate and spite.  To this day, I can’t explain why.

This turned into a nightmare I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy.  It’s a pain that I don’t think anyone could grasp unless they have experienced it.  People can empathize and try to imagine what it’s like to have their children taken away, but they don’t live the daily agony, the unknowns, the fear, the helplessness, and the heartache.  It’s enough to drive a person crazy, literally.

In addition to having my kids ripped away from me, I ended up losing my home, I faced false allegations of assault, I was called a deadbeat, and I was threatened with jail time if I couldn’t keep up with child support.  I couldn’t take time to grieve.  Even my own family told me to “man up” and deal with it.  I didn’t have any savings.  I wasn’t educated.  I didn’t have family support in the way I felt I needed.  I wanted to be a father.  But, “manning up”, or rather – becoming a paycheck, was the only realistic option I saw.  That is what I considered my personal rock bottom.

This was the late 80s, and at that time, it was already engrained in our culture that physical custody goes to the mom, dad provides financially, and dad is lucky to see the children every other weekend if the mother and a judge so deems appropriate.  Any venting – such as sharing my story like this – would be considered wimpy, whiney or otherwise questioning my masculinity in some way.

The reason I want this story anonymous is because I’m embarrassed, and I don’t want my children to know this, but after they were taken from me, I wasn’t able to feel like a father, or at least as how I envisioned a father to be.  The little time I had with them initially was awkward, uncomfortable, and faced with fear of more false allegations.  Hugs were distant, and “rough housing” and wrestling ended.  I even dreaded disciplining them out of worry it would be used against me.

Our time was precious to me, and I cherished our time, but, sometimes, just spending time with them brought me anxiety.  I prayed that we’d get through the “visit” without any bruises or injuries that could be used against me.  I was always walking on egg shells, in everything I did.

I also, admittedly, feared that my children wouldn’t want to spend time with me, and they did at times call their mom to say they wanted to go “home” because they were bored.  I felt the need to spoil them with gifts, so they’d want to come see me.  After all, I was taking them away from their full time home, bed, toys, and friends, to come to a small apartment I shared with a buddy.  I felt the need to have to do ‘something’ with them, and ‘something’ always translated into something way above my humble means.  And, though, anxious while they were with me, I was then torn to pieces each time they left.  The emptiness and silence in the apartment when they left, brought lonesomeness that I can’t describe.  And then I waited another 2-4 weeks before I could see them again.  It’s an emotional rollercoaster unlike any other.

They grew, and I felt so detached from their lives.  I knew inconsequential things about them, such as their favorite color, meal and their favorite sport, but I didn’t know them – their friends, their feelings, their dreams and goals.

I put the rest of my life on hold for all those years, trying to ignore the depression, in order to support my kids financially and to have some involvement in their lives.  But, nevertheless, I always felt like a failure, not having the ability to be closely involved in their lives, and to be the father I had always wanted to be.  To some extent I thought my life was over and that the pain would never end.  Everyone I knew going through a similar experience, seemed to have accepted their fate.  So, I tried to act that way too.

To my surprise, when A turned 16, she started coming by more often, by her own choice and on her own terms.  She was craving structure, rules and love.  It caught me off guard at first that she wanted to hang out with her dad.  But, that.. THAT was my saving grace.  That helped me to build my confidence as a person, as a man, and most importantly, as a parent.  To this day, I tell her that she saved my life.  And, I truly believe she did.

In my late 40s, fourteen years after my divorce, I finally felt like a father, I started a new career, I started to build my savings, and I purchased my first home.  My own dad said to me at one point ‘it’s about time you grew up and played adult’.  If my own father, who knows all of the details of what I went through, can’t understand the devastation and empathize, then no one else certainly would.  And, so, I’ve remained silent… until now.

I’m a survivor.  A survivor of the family court system that ripped my children away from me, stripped me of my rights, degraded me, insulted me, labeled me a paycheck – and, what is most unforgiveable, taken a caring, loving father from my beautiful children.  I’ve healed.  My children have healed.  And, our bitterness has all faded, replaced by the close bond we now have.  I couldn’t be prouder of my kids.  One works in education, and my youngest works in the auto industry.  Life is very good.

I share my story now so people know that those of us who have lived through this are not “OK” with it.  We are not OK with having our children taken away from us, with having our right to parent taken away.  We are not OK with our children suffering.  We are not OK with our children “turning out OK” in spite of their broken childhood.  We want their successful outcome to be the result of a happy and healthy childhood, shared with both sides of their families so they can fully benefit from the great relationship with parents, grandparents, siblings and cousins and to grow painlessly into the adults they were naturally intended to become!  We need to band together to fix this now before our society completely crumbles.

#848, Rebuilding After Family Court: A Father’s Story

Chocolate Chip Cookies are the Answer

 

Creating memories is an integral part of childhood. One child shares their expert opinion on how to make things better. Children need and want to have a relationship with both parents.
Support Equal Shared Parenting!

#579, Chocolate Chip Cookies are the Answer

A Letter About ‘Difors’

 

A child expresses her thoughts on parental divorce.  I hope her parents are talking to her about what is happening.  Children have a sense of how their world is changing.  Talking about the occurrence of events is important to their overall adjustment to the divorce and separation.  

#578, A Letter About ‘Difors’

“Not Our Fault”

 

The words of an adult child of divorce send an essential message for parents and family members: “Our actions can be hurtful and even cruel to our alienated parent and family. We don’t mean to act out, we don’t mean to be so rude. In this case, our actions are not our own. Please don’t take it personally. Someday our eyes will be opened and we will regret the way we treated you. Just love us through this hard time in our life…”

#577, “Not Our Fault”

FB Page: https://www.facebook.com/kidofpas/

Link to post: https://www.facebook.com/kidofpas/photos/a.191393044588582/194591397602080/?type=3&theater

Setting Boundaries

 

“When you start to set boundaries with the narc or anyone else, you won’t do it perfectly at first. You have to do it again and again to get it right. Here’s a suggestion about telling people what your boundaries are. Practice in front of a mirror. Say it out loud.

This is a new skill and it will take practice just like anything else. If you continue to practice, then your boundaries will get stronger over time as YOU get stronger. What you might have timidly asserted as a boundary at one point, a year later if that person tries to cross that boundary, you’re likely to be a mama/papa bear.

Here’s the thing….START NOW, and remember this is a learned skill, so give your self time. You can do this.”

Meme via Give Her Wings…

#576, Setting Boundaries

Freedom From Narcissistic And Emotional Abuse – THE GROUP

https://www.facebook.com/groups/191053664971647/

 

Broken Holidays

 

Holidays and family rituals play an essential role in our memories. One artist shares their interpretation of the how divorce of a favorite aunt has changed their holiday experiences. This artwork was created “after I learned of the impending divorce of one of my aunt and uncles… And the fact that said aunt probably wouldn’t be coming to that Thanksgiving or Christmas with the family. Family gatherings for my family generally means a lot of very delicious food, so that’s what came to mind with the image.”  Hopefully, this artist will connect with their relatives.  This will be a holiday season this artist remembers.

Deviant Art broken_holidays_by_silvervistani

 

Deviant Art, Broken Holidays

#1336, Broken Holidays

Love, Me

 

An endearing letter to Santa! An interesting part of this letter is how the letter is signed; Love, Me.    Notably, Me is the most prominent word!  Are her parents aware of how she feels? Is anyone acknowledging her concerns about parental conflict? I wonder how many children (and parents) will miss spending Christmas together as a family this year. Perhaps, we could overlook the obvious and refrain from asking whatever happened to a list of toys for Christmas? I hope Santa can to ‘deliver’ the gift of peace this year!

Deviant Art Dear Santa love me m

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Deviant Art, Family by bahjarox.

Link to artwork: http://www.deviantart.com/art/Family-273867701

#1313, Love, Me