A Father’s Story

 

A heart wrenching story of divorce, false allegations and Family Court. 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? Probably not.  Once the damage is done-nothing can be done. 

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.  Ashley is a teacher, and Jaxson is a mechanic.  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.

#448, A Fathers Story

PA is Like…

 

If one parent is trying to win then that means everyone is losing out.   THERE ARE NO WINNERS in PA!   In fact, the absolute reality is that the one person who misses out the most….. is the CHILD!  Every. Single. Time.

Divorce is between the parents-ABOUT THE CHILD!

LOVE WINS!!! LOVE WINS!!! LOVE WINS!!! LOVE WINS!!!

PAS is like divorce mag final m

.

The Divorce Magazine

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheDivorceMagazine/?fref=ts

#342, PA is Like…

Lost Heart

One parent’s rendition of how PAS really feels!  A clear portrayal of how a parent feels when they are unable to participate in their child’s life. Empty inside.  Heart is missing.  Carrying a bag of emotional heartache perhaps?  Interestingly, the missing part is  heart shaped.  Symbolizing  that a parents LOVE never goes away!  

What fathers feel like fathers rights m

.

Fathers’ Rights Movement FB page: www.facebook.com/Fathers4kids/

#328, Lost Heart

Evil

 

Here is the heart wrenching truth for too many parents!  There is nothing worse than a child being withheld from another parent in the name of “LOVE”.  One parent who has seemingly experienced the evils of PAS have captured this sentiment perfectly!

.

“I used to think I knew what evil was.  And, then my child was taken from me, by someone who supposedly ‘loves’ them.

There is no darker evil than that, and there is no greater threat to our human existence than our own bitterness bringing us to destroy those who we supposedly ‘love’.”

.

#322, Evil

 

A Survivor of Alienation

 

An adult child of divorce may come to know what ‘really happened’ over the years; Why one parent did not call or try to find them.  How hurtful to know one parent engaged in behaviors obstructing the parent-child relationship.  How devastating to learn the emotional turmoil, the feelings of abandonment, the hours spent trying to figure out why one parent could totally ‘forget’ their child were unnecessary.  Often, the child of divorce learns the truth, and the parent who deterred the co-parent-child relationship, may be left out.  Time To Put Kids First (TPKF) has illustrated this point beautifully!  

I am surviver of Aienation m

Time To Put Kids First (TPKF)

Link to their FB page: https://www.facebook.com/timetoputkidsfirst?fref=ts

Link to post: https://www.facebook.com/timetoputkidsfirst/photos/a.621096854661485.1073741828.620742498030254/715458311892005/?type=1&theater

#312, A Survivor of Alienation

A Case of PAS

 

 

A heart-wrenching depiction of PAS!  Mother and child walking across dad with no concern for his emotional state or existence.  A key component of PAS is that the child alienates the parent they once had a loving and kind relationship with.  Sadly, this is the reality for too many parents.  

PAS m and c walking on dad m

.

Shared on FB Fathers Have Rights Two

Link: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Fathers-Have-Rights-Two/206730129391195

#307, A Case of PAS

Alienated Child

 

 

One pic is worth a thousand words!

An unfortunate depiction of divorce!  This iconic family drawing reveals a blatant hole!  A place where the child should be.  Do parents  wonder how their actions impact the family?  Are they aware that making efforts to keep one child from their other parent hurts a lot of people?  

Clearly, Divorce is between the parents-ABOUT THE CHILD!  

LOVE WINS!!!   LOVE WINS!!!   LOVE WINS!!!   LOVE WINS!!!

ALienated child m

.

April25.org

#303, Alienated child

 

Sticks and Stones

 

A disturbing pic with a powerful message!

Sticks and Stones May Break My Bones by H. J. Warren

“Sticks and stones may break my bones

But words could never hurt me.”

And this I knew was surely true

And Truth could not desert me.

But now I know it is not so.

I’ve changed the latter part;

For sticks and stones may break the bones

But words can break the heart.

Sticks and stones may break the bones

But leave the spirit whole,

But simple words can break the heart

Or silence crush the soul.”

Sticks n stones m

 .

#301, Sticks and Stones

Revelations of Divorce

 

This adult child of divorce shares their story on PAS.  Learning the truth about a parents’ tactics to deter the relationship from one parent will not last forever.  The truth will come to light.  Not working together as parents is not in the best interest of the child.  

.

For several years, Mel persisted in trying to make contact with Ned. He wrote letters, sent gifts, tried to phone, but Marla foiled every one of his efforts. During this time, Ned struggled through high school and took a job as a delivery boy on the streets of Manchester.

Ned’s visit to his father

Shortly after Ned’s eighteenth birthday, the boy phoned Mel and asked if he could visit him in Arizona. He wanted to check out the monster his mother had described to him. Mel was elated at the prospect of seeing his son and not surprised at the negative image Marla had painted. Perhaps the visit would dispel some of Ned’s suspicions. But to Mel’s great disappointment, their time together was a disaster. They “just didn’t click.” Ned was wary and reticent. Father and son could not seem to find any common ground. There was only one topic that interested Ned: the divorce and its aftermath. He asked countless questions about why, when, and how his parents had quarreled, and why Mel had never tried to contact him during all those years. Mel explained that he had written, he had sent gifts, and most important, he had contributed to Ned’s support. These revelations baffled Ned, since they contradicted everything his mother had told him. Put off balance, he became more morose and confused. Now he felt compelled to “choose” between one parent and the other, unsure of whom to believe or trust. It became clear to Mel that a true reconciliation could not occur at this time. After waiting so many years, it seemed that he would never have a genuine role in his son’s life.

Comments:

The impact of a contentious divorce often ignites many “brushfires” in the extended family. It creates hostilities that spread to other relationships and spawn additional cutoffs. In Mel’s family, the divorce resulted in estrangement, not only from his son, but between Ned and the older generation, depriving Mel’s parents of the role of grandparent. Because of the bitter antagonism between Mel and Marla, Ned grew up without a father. They connected only after he reached adulthood. In many divorced families, there are complex patterns of separation and re-alignment, interspersed with repeated accusations and retaliations. Mel’s story was played out over a period of more than thirty years. It took a long time for the bonding between father and son to develop. We cannot know if Marla has resolved her anger and moved on to build a new life. We do know that in many families in which a divorce has occurred, no complete healing or repair is possible. For Mel and Ned, there is the gratification of knowing that a prolonged separation has been transformed into a meaningful, harmonious relationship.

.

Read full story of Divorce and the ripple effect: http://fragmentedfamilies.com/stories.html

#271, Revelations of Divorce

Victims of PAS

 

The reality of PAS if the impact on the child!  How true these statements are.  Shared Parenting is for the child!  Parents have an obligation to see that their child have what they need in life in order to develop into a happy and healthy individual.  Shared Parenting offers the child the best of both worlds…..which is both parents!

.

PAS is now quite common.  Numerous support forums have been established because of PAS.  PAS is real!  There are thousands of heart-wrenching calls and letters from parents whose children have been taught to fear or hate them. Both mothers and fathers can be perpetrators of Parental Alienation, but the true victims are always the children.  Please don’t make your child a victim of PAS.  Parent your child.  Share Parenting with your ex.  Think to put the child first.  PAS means you are putting the hatred you have for your ex BEFORE the Love you have for your child!.  Love your child MORE than you hate your ex.

.

# 255, Victims of PAS