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
"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 Fathering Enterprises. All rights reserved.