So much has happened since my last update that was so distant in the past but feels like only yesterday.
Often I wonder how things would change and get better, working with the ups and downs of life, how I would feel the following day or what had happened in the present day.
I will be continuing my story of how life had panned out and also how life is going for this single father who has been limited to how much time he has been allowed to see his son….whilst I do expand on my journey I shall also fill in the gaps of what`s been happening.
The following Monday, my wife and I went to a mediation appointment, it was our first meeting. It was eventful and one of the first things that I wanted to get sorted out was a proper time with our son.
During the appointment I asked about whether I could pick our son up from pre-school so that he could open his presents and the answer was “you can’t put me on the spot like this”…now the mediator heard this and said that it’s just a matter of yes or no. The wife then reluctantly said yes…
When I did pick him up he was overjoyed and thrilled to see me…I just wish that his mum would see the sight of joy and then realise what the limitation’s are doing to him.
Looking back at todays events, it was hard to justify anything that had happened today. Our son turned 4 he was having a birthday without the pair of us their. Instead he was being taken from pillar to post. The so called ‘handover’ was done outside a theatre…
Later on I contacted my wife and asked whether she could drop our son over for 15mins or so over the weekend, so that he could open his presents. However though I thought it was a simple request I was denied time to be with him. I was simply told that I must wait until the next weekend.
December following on from the Nativity evening
After everything that had happened I wondered how things would turn out the following day as we (I and my wife) were due to take our son to see the panto at the local theatre.
My wife contacted me and said that she would no longer be coming along with us, even though I was gutted I suggested that once the panto is finished I shall take our son home and then open his presents. But I was told I or he wasn’t allowed. She even went to call the theatre to find out when the show started and finished to the minute, then insisted that she would be picking him up from door to the theatre.
I was horrified that she didn’t even feel to say that it would be okay for me to have our son open his presents. I wasn’t even allowed to take him for a milkshake. But as I didn’t want to make things even more worse I simply agreed.
I and our son had a fantastic time at the theatre and as soon as it finished we went downstairs and she was there waiting to collect him. He was again reluctant to go, but once we both convinced him of how much a fun time he would have with mum he changed his mind although not entirely.
Much to my desire I had kept on a smiley face and cheerful attitude for out little boy as he walked away with his mother, my wife…
December 2009, the evening of the Nativity Play
With all that happened outside the pre-school all I could think is what will happen when it comes to drop our son off. I was bascially crying from inside and trying my hardest not to show it to my son.
Once I got home that afternoon I settled our son and then contacted my family. Asking for somebody to come over and be with me when I go to drop our son off as I didn’t want anything to happen. I was simply terrified of what may happen when I knock on the door.
A little while later my brother, his wife and the 2 kids came over. I was shaking as I explained what had happened.
It was time for our boy to be taken back, I had to convince him to get ready to leave – which eventually we did. As I drove I had my niece and nephew also in the car. Our son was moaning to say he didn’t want to go, but we had to reassure him that all would be well.
As we got to the house I knocked on the door and he just held onto my hand not wanting to let go. My wife was sitting across the room, there was also here auntie and uncle present from her mothers side. I had to ask her to come over and hold his hand as he didn’t want to stay…this is when he burst into tears. I was leaving him there, somewhere he didn’t want to be, but I had no choice. He cried and cried…I just couldn’t bear it. He was then taken upstairs. As I left he saw me from the window and then his cry became louder and louder. I had to go back in to calm him before he falls ill or something.
As I went in I could now hear my wife wailing aloud with my son, I said I’ll put him to bed and then go as I was worried for both my son and wife but I was simply told by the mother-in-law that they’ll deal with it. At this point my wife’s father got up and said ‘look at what you’ve done, look at what we need to deal with‘ at this point he started raising his hands and forced me out if the house.
I was stunned and shocked how 4 so called adults in the house couldn’t see any sense and allowed for all this to happen.
I often wonder how can they call themselves parents….
Prior to a number of things happening during this month, a month where my family was away from me for the first time in what seemed a life time.
Our son had a nativity play on December 8th, a day before his birthday. I was on my way back from work to get to his pre-school when I got a phone call from my wife. It was to inform me that grandparents were also allowed to attend. At this point I was a little taken back as she mentioned that her parents were coming along. I didn’t want them to come along as ever since they got back from their trip everything has just gone downhill. I did hold them partly responsible for the actions that my wife had taken over the past few months as the actions taken were not from the person that I married.
Anyway we all went to the play which was fun to see…and at the end our son came running up to us both. Gave each of us a hug and asked if he could go to daddy’s. I asked my wife of what he said even though I clearly heard and yet she said I’ll tell you later. At this point most if not all the kids were getting ready to go home with their parents. Our son started crying hysterically and wanted to be taken home. I couldn’t stand his cries and said that maybe he should go home, I was then confronted by my wife to say he was like this last year. I explained that he had one home to go to last year and this year is slightly different as we have separated. But she was stubborn to say no.
As we left our son, we walked downstairs to leave when her mother queried where is our son as everyone else is leaving. I explained that I did mention we should take him, at this point we agreed that I would take him home for a while. I was answered by a reluctant it’s up to you.
I went back and collected our boy and he was ecstatic that he was going home…he came over and gave me the biggest hug ever.
We then walked downstairs and then outside; we were both confronted by my wife and the grandparents. My wife came over to grab our son out of my arms, when he held on tightly to me not wanting to go. I couldn’t believe this was all happening outside his pre-school in the car park. She was trying to force our son to go with them. He clearly didn’t want to go and yet all that the parents did was stare and watch as their daughter behaved in such a way. After a while voices raised I explained that what they are doing is very wrong, he doesn’t need to be treated this way. He was not even 4 years old and being pulled apart with all this that was happening around him.
As they finally agreed by simply walking away I went over to them and asked whether she could collect rather than me dropping him of (this was purely because he always caused a seen when it came to dropping off). I was then told that if I don’t drop him she’ll call the police. Her mother then also added you do as she says, then her father from the back of the car, pointed his fingers at me to say that you take you drop him.
All I could say to all three of these people was that the child in my arms is not just mine or hers but both of ours, yet I had no reply whatsoever.
Prior to the meeting with the mediator we had some how starting communicating again, but it was weird it felt as if the only reason we spoke nicely was when she was away from her family. The focus of the topic was about our son, his birthday was coming up and we both suggested that we should do something for him (I at this point felt reassurance that this was the person I married, and not somebody that simply looked like my wife).
I suggested that we took our son to a Panto on his birthday and then maybe go out for a quick bite to eat with him. It was agreed that the Panto was a good idea however we thought the meal was a little too much, so that was skipped.
I was actually excited to go and take our son out, the one we created and brought into this world…who is now our world. It was a time that I visoned to be a ‘separated’ family moment that our son rememebred. Seemed like things were getting better for him, as he was now in a position where even though we both lived apart that we could still share time with him.
Trying to describe what I was going is hard very hard, I could say like a slow steady stab in the back or more so straight into my heart whilst having eye contact with the persons’ involved. But then I don’t know how that would feel, the only thing near to that would be a paper cut. The pain was so extensive that part of the pain was visible from the exterior of my body. The pain was from within, as if my soul was slowly being ripped apart by little people with me. Often I thought I would just suddenly stop breathing and collapse, yet often I wished this would happen too. Being at home alone didn’t help, sometimes I would just walk in the house and then all of a sudden fall onto my knees and cry…that’s all that was left in my life…crying to try to rid the pain from within. I just couldn’t bear to see my son crying and treated in such a way forced in such a position. He wasn’t even heard and was treated like an object, a pawn – some sort of bargaining tool…he is my son, with heart and soul.
I would often put on a brave face to family, friends and work colleagues. Not knowing whether they understood what I was really feeling inside. Maybe this was all meant to be how it was, who know’s someone above might have decided that this is what I have to go through in life, but why on earth put my son through the turmoil being forced away from his father, why is it that certain family members decide that they have a greater voice over others, especially the ones involved. Why was it that no one person stopped the nonsense that was going on. Does nobody realise that a child is involved and that maybe some day in the future he may wake up thinking what happened…I just wish that somebody above is looking after our son and makes sure that he never wakes up in such a way, picturing what he was put through.
That week was the start of everything new. I was now being denied of seeing our child. He wasn’t and isn’t my child or hers but ‘ours’, that’s all that crossed my mind together with how did it get to this level.
Following on we had arranged to go to mediation so that we could get something suitable arranged.
December 14th was the date we had to come together with a third party and try and resolve the conflict. Although up to that date I was only allowed to see my son on weekends.
When we arrived it was a simple case of a initial meeting to see what each of us wanted to get out of all of this and how it would be best for our son. Although prior to this things turned sour again during our sons birthday.
I picked our son up the following day from Pre-school as he was fine, really happy to see me. No signs of any issues, only happy to see me. We went home and played for a while and then had a snack as he’d already had his diner at pre-school. When it was time to drop him back he was very reluctant, so I phoned to explain that he didn’t want to go. My wife then asked to speak to our son. So I put him on the phone, and she asked whether he wanted to be picked up. His reply was no, I want to stay with Daddy.
10 minutes or so later she turned up with her father. As they entered the room my son simply ran behind me and started crying out loud stating that he didn’t want to go. At this point I couldn’t bear to hear his cry and the way he was breathing I simply said you need to go with mum, but yet he was not going to listen. I tried in many way to explain that our son doesn’t need to be forced, I was told that we shouldn’t of been playing or watching TV, as that’s why he doesn’t want to leave. M
She then picked him up and forced his jacket on him. My father-in-law at this point simply glared his eyes at me; I was scared and worried of what may happen. We were then all standing and my son was crying more and more. I said that this is not right for him; and then I saw his (father-in-law) hand begin to rise, when suddenly my wife said dad Leave it! I couldn’t believe what was going to happen in front of my son. Our precious little boy. As they then started to leave the house his arms stretched out for me to grab him all I could do was look. Was I being a wimp and not protecting my son at this point I wondered or was I simply trying to keep the peace and I didn’t want any more disturbances entering his mind.
As my wife sat in the back of the car and my son was still crying, I went over to try and calm him down by re-assuring him that all will be well I shall see you later I told him, but it still wouldn’t stop. Why force a child of 3 to do something as be taken away from a parent when he doesn’t want to be.
As I went back into the house I crawled into a ball and cried, and kept crying louder and louder it went, wondering how people can put a child through all of this. What kind of human being could do such a thing to a child of 3, and yet it was the people I loved with all my heart and soul his mother and grandfather.
I just didn’t know which way to turn and what to do next.