So I had to check with her creche ‘teacher’ to find out how my little girl (4) is. She’s well apparently, and wants me to take her to our local park. I’ve seen her once in the past month, currently at her mother’s whim. The ‘facilitator’ – he who is appointed to negotiate communications in difficult relationships (this ‘difficulty’ is one-sided) – has not acted, I believe, within the powers of the brief given to him by the court. But as the first psychologist noted, my ex ‘presents well’. The fact that she is attractive, with acting skills, won’t harm her cause.
This is where my heart goes out to those fathers deprived of seeing their children by the mother; women acting with no regard for the consequences of such deprivation. Just because they can, because they have ‘the power’. This surely questions love for one’s children?
In some countries, the infliction of such deprivation on children is called parental alienation. The sad truth is that the Family courts here in South Africa don’t seem to have the resources to deal with anything beyond the obvious – like alcoholic fathers and abusers. The bar for fathers is set so very low. I couldn’t sleep, and often still struggle, thinking about blatant fabrications digested by men in ties and women in power-suits. How some parents get away with what they do, always ‘in the interests of the children’, is deeply sad.
That’s how I lost my main work when this saga started three years ago;. I couldn’t get my head around the fact that this woman I loved, who, along with her father had said what a good parent I was, suddenly claimed I could not parent because I had been in an accident, resulting in a coma, in 1992, 15 years before I met her. And even then, she chose to have a second child with me three years after the first. That’s how bad I was as a father.
The psychologist we were sent to by a mediator ruled I was a good father, and that we should share parenting 50-50. So the mother found and hired her own psychologist over the next 18 months, and changed her story – preventing the children from accessing the love that their Dad had to give.
I’ve already seen her before a small claims court commissioner, who said ‘madam, you stretch the levels of credulity’, while she stood in the dock and fumbled through answers she couldn’t possibly have. But I apparently can’t even use that, according to ‘the law’, so I’ve had to abandon my need to get the children’s mother before a judge, to answer the most basic of questions – just to avoid spending my remaining savings and ending up on the streets.
I nevertheless still try through public resources, because my children will one day need to know how hard their Dad fought to be present for them, so my girl doesn’t later have to grapple with rejection issues regarding her Dad, wondering why he took only her brother to sleep at their house, and only took him on holiday.
So they both know much he appreciated the joy they brought in into the world. That they were so very worth it, and that I wouldn’t have had them without meeting their mom.