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One daughter's story.

(c) ArtToday. All rights reserved.">

At 34, Mylene knows better than anyone how a child's life can be affected by loss of contact with one of the parents after a divorce.

"You feel deserted, sad and confused. Those feelings have an influence on you for your whole life."

She was eight years old when her father announced at the dinner table that he was leaving, "Because Mamma and Daddy don't love each other anymore."

The next day he was gone. He returned just once the following week to pick up some of his things. "Every day we heard what a mean and rotten man my father was to desert his family. Whenever we asked whether we could see him again, she said that he wasn't interested because he didn't care about us.

"One time he was allowed to come pick us up. It was a beautiful summer afternoon. But my mother said he was late bringing us back. She proclaimed that he would never get his hands on us again. That was the last time I saw him for 22 years. It hurts so much when you think that your father doesn't love you and doesn't want to see you, and you have this longing for him. But then your emotional defenses switch in. You tell yourself that you hate him and that you don't want to see him anymore.

"I became terribly difficult and rebelious. When my mother remarried and I was required to call my new father Daddy, I became totally unmanagable. My own father was an obsession, and I was tossed back and forth by intense feelings of hate and sadness. I didn't know yet what I later learned from him. He tried repeatedly to get the courts to allow him contact. But my mother managed to block him every time. That was pure vindictiveness, because of her hatred of him. It is difficult to understand that a mother can do something like this to her children.

"Now that I know how it all happened, I resent the fact that my mother kept us from our father for so long. But I blame the social workers and the courts for allowing my mother to keep us from having contact with our father. They could have prevented a lot of suffering."

The original work from which this excerpt comes is copyright ©1996 by Het Parool, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. All rights reserved.

This translated excerpt is copyright ©1997 by FatherMag.com. All rights reserved.

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Gender Bias in Family Court A paralegal gives her insider's view of women who make use of the child kidnapping and extortion racketeers in our justice system.

In the Best Interest of the Child Today's fathers are more likely to seek custody. Many of them will need to prepare for a child custody evaluation.

Mother Accuses Father of Child Abuse What to do? Win! Advice from The Fathering Advisor with links to resources.

What Fathers Do Jack Kammer's story shows us how fathers affect the lives of teenage boys.

Deserted Her mother said "Your father left you because he doesn't love you." Now she has learned the truth--her loving father was forced out of her life.