It’s been a few months since I’ve posted on my blog, a lot has changed since then and I want to share my new story because this should bring hope that there can always be a recovery in these situations. Nothing is ever permanent and life is what we make of it. My story started off as being erased for 11 years of my daughter’s life and experiencing severe parental alienation, but an incident changed that.
Trauma should not be what brings parents together but in this case, it did.
I will not get into full details on the entire situation as quite frankly it is private. However, a month and a half ago something traumatic happened to my barely teenage daughter. It took almost a month for them to tell me because my daughter begged them not to, but I am glad they did. I want the fathers out there to know that you must teach your children about internet safety, predators, and the dangers of social media and chat rooms. Always implement parental controls, always verify those parental controls. Google FamilyLink graduates kids to an unlocked account on their 13th birthday which really pissed me off. Luckily, the incident was caught extremely fast and dealt with swiftly, however it did still create trauma to my wonderful daughter’s life and fragile mind.
A New Beginning
Parental alienation, hate, and anger can always be recovered.
When my daughter’s stepfather called me to inform me of what had happened, it started a chain of events that really improved the entire situation. I spent years fearful of the day I’d ever have to communicate with her stepfather. I held so much hate, anger, and sadness that he took from me something I will never get back, the chance to raise my daughter. It’s still a battle emotionally for me, but I have to admit that he has been my biggest ally right now in this. Talking to him on the phone that first time allowed us all, my ex was in the background of the call, get more acquainted with each other and see that we were not the same people were thirteen years ago.
It’s only been about two weeks since this and the progress has been substantial. I had just seen my daughter for our Wednesday visit, the day before, but due to the situation, they allowed me to take my daughter for two hours that night to have a discussion with her about the incident. For the first time, I was really able to step in and be a father to my daughter.
Ever since then, the communication with my ex and her stepfather has been extremely positive. There have been zero fights. Her stepfather sent me pictures of my daughter from years ago when I was erased and it was nice just to see them. At one point he sent pictures of her that were from a “father/daughter” dance and it really made me feel sad and upset. I didn’t snap at him, I just asked told him that I appreciated the pictures and that I wanted to stop because it was making me sad. I don’t need his validation, but him understanding my position and ensuring me that one day I’d get those memories too and that he supported them really meant a lot to me.
We can all work together.
Something a lot of parents forget about court orders is that they are a minimum, not a maximum. Right now my court order states until May 1st that I get every Wednesday from after school (or 3:30 if no school) until 8 pm, and every other weekend from Saturday from 9 am to Sunday at 6 pm. Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, we’ve adjusted Wednesdays from 4 pm to 10 pm so my daughter can help out with her siblings while they work from home. They dropped the one night a week part of the court order and they let me take my daughter from 12 pm Friday to Sunday at 6 pm. Spending the entire weekend with my daughter was amazing. I brought up possibly adding another night between the regular weekly visits while school was out and they proposed I take her next week from Wednesday afternoon to Sunday evening. I was completely shocked and amazed at that.
My daughter’s morale and demeanor have improved so much due to this. Seeing us all work together, supporting each other and her having more access to her father has greatly improved her attitude and mood. We text every day and talk on the phone almost every night that I don’t see her physically. We play video games together. The unhindered contact has been incredible. This is what I mean! We realized that our bickering, fighting, and resentment towards each other was not healthy for our daughter.
Without me even bringing it up, they brought up us working out a plan of building to a fair 50/50 schedule within a year or so, which is completely fair due to the circumstances.
Even though my daughter will spend Father’s Day with me, I told my daughter’s stepfather that before I take her we should both take her to breakfast together so she can do something with both of us. I admit I still hold jealousy and it will take time to get over that, but I will not let it rule my relationship with her other half of her family anymore.
This site will continue.
I used this blog to express my story, and I will still share the positives of my story to help inspire fathers and other couples what working together can accomplish. This site will continue to be a resource and advocacy for shared parenting and equal rights. However, my struggle at this time has concluded. I will no longer speak negatively against my daughter’s co-parents because I have nothing negative to say anymore. We probably won’t always agree with each other, but we have started to work out ways to resolve these issues.
Please continue to frequent this site, if you have a story to share please let me know. I will always advocate for children’s rights, fathers’ rights, and shared equal parenting.