No day without my kids is ever as good as it could be. The constant struggle to stay relevant to them has become a mental prison, a visit with them an occasional furlough.
The lack of hope that things will improve given the bias against fathers practiced by the divorce/support/custody complex is a weight tethered to the ankle of my spirit. I feel like I can never be the father I aspired to be with the limited time the kids and I share. It is a feeling I could not fathom at the birth of either child. It is a feeling I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy.
The best days are when I can suppress thoughts of the never-ending battle to rebuild after the needless destruction of divorce. I am able to immerse myself in things that draw my complete focus. Other days, thoughts of the kids, the time together we’ve lost, memories that we’ll never share and an uncertain future assail me like poltergeists.
The situation might be temporary, but that’s cold comfort as Halloween approaches and the theme of the season permeates the air. Even if I were lucky enough to have them this year, I am flat broke and struggling to hold on to the sole asset I can pass on to them, the house I bought to raise them.
Just five years ago, my life was on track and the future for the three of us was bright. I had a healthy 401K and owned a rental property to use as collateral to help with the kids’ college costs and finance their special occasions. Divorce changed all that. Deliberately, rapidly and irrevocably.
No one heard my regular and civil protests that the split could be amicable. No one cared how an acrimonious split would negatively impact the children. There was no attempt to reason, no consideration of a smarter divorce, just an all-out assault on decency by a depraved lawyer enabled by a woefully flawed system. Fine. What’s done is very done.
Yet the drama continues despite my lack of interest in reprising my role. Even as I focus on building a new life, I am still forced to endure repeated court appearances. The next one will be October 26th re custody. I can hardly wait.
There can never be a doubt that I love my children, but I am sick of being told what constitutes that love or what is proper proof of that love. I know how I feel about them and how they feel about me. When we can be together without the weight of the divorce/support/custody complex hanging over our heads, we are fine, have always been fine, will continue to be fine. But that weight is there and will be there from now on.
It was neither my choice nor the children’s to involve the courts in our healthy, mutually loving and supportive relationship. Now, we have no choice. We can only do our best to dance to the beat of a drummer with no rhythm.