There’s not a person alive, who is able to talk, that at some point has not said things which have upset somebody very badly.
I know I have done this more times than I can count. I would like to think I do it less and less than I used to and that gradually I am becoming better at not hurting people’s feelings…..but I know I will always, and only ever be, a student of diplomacy.
As someone with the history I have of mental illness, bi-polar, depression, anxiety, (whatever you like to call it) I have been through talking therapies of so many different types. I estimate that I have actually had multiple sessions with about 30 different mental health care psychiatrists/psychologists/psychoanalysts, psyche this and psyche that!!!
I think it’s fair to say I know a fair amount about psychology, but that certainly does not mean that I am always right, far from it. Perhaps though it does give me an insight to how the actions of some professionals in this field are sometimes horrifically destructive.
I know this to be true from multiple experiences of my own.
I wonder too, of the age we live in.
Like many people of my generation, I got my first part time job delivering milk when I was 11, my partner got her first job when she was 9. I went out to full time work as well as doing evening study at the age of 16 and this went on till I was in my early twenties, (the evening classes bit) the working bit has never stopped. Although I was unemployed through the recession for about 6 months I think, although I was constantly searching for a job.
In recent months I have had a discourse with my youngest daughter.
A BIT OF BACKGROUND
I travelled back and forth to Canada every single month to visit my two daughters, for 10 days, for about 9 years. I missed one month out of these nine years, because I had had spinal surgery and was unable to fly. I do sometimes get terribly confused about dates and durations, so I apologise if I have got any of this wrong. Suffice to say I think this is roughly correct.
I bought a small house in Canada so that when I went to Canada, my daughters could actually come and live with me, full time.
So for the best part of 9 years I was commuting back and forth to Toronto, and being a full time dad 10 days a month, running a business in the UK and fighting a twisted and bitter battle with an ex-wife who needed me to pay massive amounts of maintenance so that she could feed an unemployed sofa slug of a husband.
Bear in mind that when my ex-wife and I seperated we owned 3 houses together. We sold two of those houses and she walked out of our marriage with enough money to buy, (outright) a very large 4 bedroomed detached house, in a prime area of a very affluent suburb of Toronto. This was equitable to the house that I stayed and then owned with a hefty mortgage in the UK.
This court order, was under the guise of maintenance for my children.
Even though I was travelling at great expense, and actually feeding my kids a 1/3 of each month, the court in its infinite stupidity and incompetence, made no allowance for this whatsoever, when it ruled, and I quote: “If it’s a choice between having a father or the money, the children get the money”.
YES, that’s right! When I tried to explain to Justice Zisman in the Milton Court of Ontario, that I could not afford to pay the ridiculous sums of maintenance and continue visitation, and my COMMITMENT to my Daughters in being an active and present Dad, The Judge actually stated:
“If it’s a choice between having a father or the money, the children get the money”.
I would cook healthy meals, pretty much every night, feed my children responsibly. I single handed did the sleepover parties, the running backwards and forwards to ballet and various other dance classes, brownies and other activities.
I made them packed lunch’s every day. I put a little love note in with both my children’s sandwiches, every day, because I wanted to nourish their bodies and their growth, but I also wanted to let them know how proud I was of them both and nourish their hearts too.
All the while I was running a business in the UK as well, and I had re-mortgaged my house 4 times to fund all of the commuting and attempts to pay what I could for maintenance.
Added to this I had to deal with jet lag, though I found my unrelenting exercise regimen helped with this a little. It was still a tough existence.
I was also suffering very badly with depression, constantly.
Now I recount all of this stuff for a reason, not because I think I am a good person, or a special person or anything of this nature. I am literally just an ordinary bloke. The reason I recall this is because the commitment that I made, of my own volition, is what I believe was right and proper and I was dedicated to being a Dad, most people would do the same, in similar situations, and I would prefer to think this.
When my children were with me, sometimes the pressure of all the above got to me. I never hit my children, but sometimes I would get quite angry when food was wasted, or I was being run ragged with cooking, trying to prepare my Children for their dance classes, whilst also doing the laundry, supervising homework, and all the other stuff that a household needs doing, and all my efforts seemed to be thrown back in my face, but my children are NOT the culprits here. It’s the adult influences around them, or “the louder voices”.
Eventually in June 2012 (I think) my Daughters sent me a note, out of the blue saying they didn’t want to see me anymore. I wonder, how the “louder voices” in my children’s lives had affected them (?)
So bear in mind that I had to do all this stuff single handed, little wonder then, that occasionally I let a bad word slip out, or that on many occasions I collapsed on the floor in tears with desperation and exhaustion, from all the pressure.
THE FLIPSIDE OF THE COIN
Now, by contrast, for the 20 nights a month, that the children were not with me, they had the full time attention of a perpetually unemployed step father (who was perfectly able to work but was/is just too lazy), two retired grandparents who were around nearly all the time and a mother who worked.
Little wonder also, that the time the children were with me, they found life a chore. They had age appropriate chores to do.
As we all know children and many adults, will always take the path of least resistance, and due to all the other duties above I was unable to give them constant attention. But, I always made time to do fun things at the weekends and to read them a bedtime story.
I wrote and recorded many songs for my children so that they would know when I wasn’t with them, that they were always in my heart.
Now, recently the discourse I have had with my youngest daughter has revealed (via text messaging) that she is suffering from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), has tried to commit suicide and is in a terribly vulnerable state. Her advocates have said that this is due to me being an abusive Father. My youngest daughter was always of an anxious disposition, much the same as I was as a very insecure child.
Let me be clear here, it is not my intention to play the victim. I am way past that. The “louder voices” are responsible for the loss of my children.
What my daughters experienced living with me was LIFE, not abuse.
So I wonder, what the hell, are psyche professionals, and over bearing family are doing to my, and possibly your children? Are they ACTUALLY amplifying and making more of certain anxieties (? ) to justify their positions?
I know this is bound to make some really decent psyche professionals upset, but this is not directed towards those decent folk. I am talking about the ones that look for the easy option and that DESTROY lives.
SOME LIVES GO ON
I haven’t seen my children for 5 years. I have had to grieve my loss.
My youngest daughter is clearly in a very fragile state…..and all I want to do is sit down with her, put my arms around her and love her. She wants no part of it, because she has been brainwashed into the thinking that I am a sadistic abusing Father.
Now, I am diminished to the prospect of a skype call or facetime after no ACTUAL contact for 5 years. Frankly, I think I would just fall apart and not be able to talk because of emotion, not anger, just sadness and overwhelming grief. I doubt I am strong enough to bear this.
People occasionally say to me, there’s “hope”. As Aung San Suu Kyi once said, hope is meaningless and insignificant (I am paraphrasing).
“Hope is a dangerous thing, it’ll drive a man insane” a line from the highest grossing movie of all time: The Shawshank Redemption.
And so, I sit, far from perfect, a terrible person in many ways, but as God will be my witness I am not a child abuser.
I say, to “the louder voices” if you have the courage, come and explain this inherited accusation, for this is a heinous and vile act of such extraordinary ignorance and destruction. I don’t care for my life or myself, but what have you done to two beautiful young human beings?
This will be copied to all relevant news channels and papers and media outlets, because my case is not on its own, and it’s about time the world woke up to this kind of destruction, not for me or my peers sake, but for the sake of the ones left behind, ALL the young people of our so called “developed” world.
So on this note, I bid all you good folk, peace, courage and love for the week ahead.