The End of Strife

Thursday, June 15, 2006

My story 12: D moves away

Things I learned while buying groceries
In early November, I was in a grocery store where I rarely shop. A woman came up to me and started talking, as though we knew each other. I have no idea to this day who she was. She said that she'd seen my sons, and they were growing so tall, looking so good, and so on. I nodded and smiled, and kept wracking my mind, trying to figure out who she was.

Then she said that I must be feeling concerned about D's plans to move to the States in a couple of weeks. A baby was in a shopping cart nearby, and started to cry at that moment. I used the interruption as an excuse to have the woman repeat what she'd said. Then I replied that D was about to turn 18, and if she wants to leave, she's entitled to do that. I was sure she would be all right, I said.

T confirms it: D is moving
Later that day, I told T about the conversation in the store. He was relieved. He'd just found out a few days earlier, and S and D had made him promise not to tell me about D's plans. She would do it herself, they said. Since then, he'd worried that she might not tell me, after all, and that I'd be hurt, and he would have been part of that. I told him not to worry, that it was okay.

I go to see D
The next day, I bought a book that I thought D would like, and took it to her house. She was glad to have it. I told her about my chat with the woman in the grocery store, and she became agitated. She said that no one was supposed to know about her move, but she'd had enough, she couldn't take it anymore in her father's house, and she was going. She had planned to leave on the day of her 18th birthday, without telling the family until that morning. She was going to stay with friends in the States. The father teaches at a university—teaches the very thing that D wants to study—and she was going to live with them until she started university. When she told her school that she was moving, they insisted that she tell her father, or they would do it. So she had to tell him, she said, and "all hell broke loose after that."

D said that S was very angry, and that L, his girlfriend, wouldn't even speak to her. They wanted her to stay in Ontario, and were trying to pressure her into doing it, but it wasn't going to work.

I asked her when she was going to tell me, and she said, "I wasn't. You'd find out sooner or later. I didn't want anyone to know, and I had to tell Dad. I didn't have to tell you, so I wasn't going to."

I asked her if we could spend some time together before she left, and she said no. She said she couldn't trust me. She couldn't trust how she felt when she was with me. I'm a great person, and a terrific Mom, in person, but she knows that's not how I really am at all. I'm really trying to make everyone unhappy, especially S, and that just makes life hard for all of them. So, while part of her wants to be with me, she has to be wise, she has to stick with what she knows is really true about me.

She closed the door in my face.

A few days later, I e-mailed D, trying again to reconnect with her. She replied, saying that she wouldn't have anything more to do with me until there had been at least a year without court appearances and legal documents going back and forth between S and me. She said that all the litigation made S abusive and angry. He treats everyone very badly because he's worried about what the court will do, and he takes his upset and hostility out on the family. If I wanted her to feel better about me, then I would ensure that there was no more litigation of any sort, I'd just do whatever he wanted, and then he'd be happier and easier to be with. If I didn't do it, then it was clear that I didn't really care what life was like for anyone other than myself.

I wrote back to her, saying that I hadn't started this litigation, that I wanted it all over, too, and that I couldn't see a reason to continue on with it, except that S wasn't happy with what the judge had done. I'm not responsible for S's behaviour, I said.

D replied and said that she didn't care what was true. She just knew that her father was impossible to be with and that I could make it stop if I wanted to, and she thought he would be better then. Those were her terms.

On her 18th birthday, a friend from the States came to get D and take her to be with the family she was planning to live with.

I sent e-mail to her a week or so later, but she didn't reply. However, when I offered to send her some money so that she could come back to Ontario for Christmas, she accepted it. I didn't see her or hear from her over the holiday.

D returned at the beginning of June, to work here until mid-August. Then she's entering a university in the States.

1 comment(s):

I've written a story about how my county has worked behind my back to separate my daughter and me.

No More Secrets and Lies
A true story about the extreme measures taken by Blue Earth County in Minnesota and the State of Minnesota to separate a child with a mental disability from the only person who was able to help her — her father.

Readers comments:

"I could not stop reading this man's posts- Personal, revealing and vulnerable. Thank you John Bosnan (sic) for sharing your struggles in the court system- an issue many fathers deal with." Remarkable Fathers on Facebook.

"Remarkable Personal Blog of a father's struggle with the family court system." ~ Dakota's Page~ Stand Up! For Fathers Equal Rights

"A story to be shared and read by Social Workers all over the world." -- Social Work site on Facebook.

By Blogger John Brosnan, at 6:34 PM  

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