Posts Tagged ‘daughters’

Since I got up this morning I have been in a funk. At first I thought I’d had bad dreams or something. As the day has worn on, my wife has said things about how I have been acting. I started questioning myself on what my issue really was. Well, after all day has passed I have finally figured it out. It’s Thursday that is bothering me… For those of you not following along, Thursday is the day that I am scheduled to see B for the first time in about seven months. There is part of me that is extremely excited to see her, but another that is full of dread and misgivings. I want to see her, but I am so afraid of my feelings after the visit. I’ve been smoking like a freight train for the last several days in anticipation and didn’t even realize what the deal was. I’d almost gotten to the point where I would have claimed to have stopped smoking, but then started dealing with all this and gave into the stress. The Marlboro man loves my dumb ass about now! Could be worse, I haven’t gone and gotten a bottle yet.

 

I’m not sure how to feel, and feel guilty for feeling what I do feel. What the hell, what’s the deal with this? My wife has been dealing with her ex all day about his visitation. She actually said she felt like M for not caving and meeting him 2 1/2 hrs away four times a month. That’s right, this guy expects us to drive 20 hours a month so that it is easier to see his daughter. He made several choices that led to him being so far away from her, not us. Never mind that he has never taken his allotted visitation, ever! I’d drive to hell and back to spend time with B and this dude wants us to do the work for him and is playing games so that he has excuses to not man up and see his kid. Makes me mad as hell. Sorry for the tangent. With the visit with B looming, I am freaking out on the inside. What I completely expect is a detached kid without feeling for the entire visit, and then no contact for God only knows how long afterward.  That’s the good version of what may happen. It could go far worse and hurt far more. The truth is that I’m not really sure what to expect, and don’t want to get my hopes up in any way at all. I e-mailed M over a week ago in reference to the visit and it has been completely ignored. I just have no clue what I am walking into.

 

The only thing that I am sure of is that my heart will still be broken on Friday when I wake up. Some idiotic part of me wants to believe that B will have missed me and now “See the Light”. Pretty stupid, I know but it’s a nice dream to have at least. I’ve had no sign from B that anything on her end has changed in any way at all. So hope is useless when it is based on nothing other than hope it’s self. Yet still a part of me holds out that my daughter will see me and tears will flow and her heart will open. Why am I such an idiot when it comes to this? I know better, but can’t help myself. I’ve come to realize that my hopes, dreams and desires for B mean nothing. M has made sure that they mean nothing to B as well and that she doesn’t even have the ability to know any of them. If M were to read this blog, she would just giggle with joy and beam with pride, knowing the pain I am in. That in and of it’s self pisses me off to no end, but how can I change it? I can’t,  I hurt and I feel the pain everyday and her pleasure in that isn’t enough to make me turn my heart from B enough to stop it.

 

So that’s why I am in a shitty mood and I’m smoking like a freight train, I just don’t know how to turn it all off. In the past, in most area’s of my life I have been able to compartmentalize and deal with whatever life threw at me. No one is shooting at me and my life in general doesn’t depend on it so it’s harder now. I’ve changed too, I’m not the man I was years ago. I’d like to believe that I am a better man that sees and understands more about life and love as a whole. I’m just not sure how to deal with this. A part of me says to close off and ignore what is sure to come and show no pain of any kind, the other says that I should allow the emotions to show. Showing the emotion is dealing with them, or is it? Is it just showing weakness when I need to be strong? Does B need to see any of this internal struggle? If I start to lose my shit do I need to just remove myself from what short amount of time we will have together?  I’ve got so damn many questions and so few answers. I guess that is what this post is all about, my apprehension about Thursday.

 

I don’t know what to say to a daughter that doesn’t want to say anything to me. I loath the idea of even seeing M because of my anger and frustration that she is the cause of. The bottom line is that this is her game. She has set up the players, the board and made all the rules. So, she wins no matter what. M’s manipulations and lies have been swallowed hook, line and sinker by B. M’s end goal of causing me horrible pain has been achieved. When I see B if any emotion is then shown, it will be reported back to M and the games begin anew with even more zeal. Does my knowledge of this outweigh what might possible offset the manipulations? I’m just not sure what is acceptable and what is stupid in this particular situation. Thank God this isn’t something that one has to commonly face, life would be a constant living hell.

 

I’m letting this effect too much of my life. My work is still suffering and the wife and I almost got into a fight as I was writing this because thinking or dealing with anything more is just too much for me to handle right now. I don’t know what to do, how to act or what to feel. It’s just overwhelming to deal with the loss and the anticipation all at once. It was easier not knowing then having the knowledge that I will truly know everything soon. I wanna find a hole, crawl into it and smoke a carton of Marlboro. I’m just tired of dealing with all of it, and need a break.

This didn’t just happen overnight. As I have said before it all really started long before the marriage ended. Things did kick into high gear during the divorce and the a huge leap was made when I remarried. At the time of the divorce I didn’t realize that M’s actions were not just to cause me pain, but were also positioning for what was to come. The idea or ongoing manipulations and a “grand plan” is somewhat unbelievable to me, but I can see it very clearly now. Alienation is slow and insidious in the way it takes hold. It takes months or years to carry out and if you don’t know it is happening then how can you defend against it?

 

During the separation when faced with her infidelity M almost immediately began positioning herself to be in a place of power. The locks on the house were changed after a time for me was set to get my remaining possessions from inside. It was still in my name, so I broke in. No big deal because I owned the property and owned a construction company at the time. All damage was repaired and I got my clothes, work items, and literately very little else. That evening my daughter went missing! She was in the custody of my ex but I was refused my call to her. Shortly after I found out that M had tried to secure warrants for breaking and entering against me! (You can’t break into your own house by the way.) When that didn’t work, she went with domestic violence charges. From there it snow balled. I was legally refused access to my daughter, my ex (as well as her family) , my home, my vehicle, and my guns. In essence she found a way to legally kidnap my daughter without proof of any wrong doing on my part. After several weeks the charges were dropped, but not before she had perjured herself to keep the charges in effect until a hearing.  This allowed several things to happen. It put M in a position of power to determine custody. I had done nothing wrong or even remotely resembling domestic violence and we both knew it, but the mere suggestion cast a cloud over me as a person in general. Let me stop here and say that I detest wife beaters and think they all should be lynched publicly. I have put countless numbers of them behind bars and loved every second of accidental tripping on the way to the back seat of my big blue car. The second thing it did was keep me and B apart. After several weeks of not seeing B, I was pretty much willing to do anything just to see her. It took the fight out of me. The pending charges could have been continued for months, during which I wouldn’t be able to see my daughter. At this point’ I’d agree to anything. I’d never been without my daughter for more than overnight at this point. When I finally was able to see B, I was immediately hit with the question of “Why did you try to have Mommy arrested?”  How do you explain to an 11yr old that exactly the opposite happened. Immediately she was being forced to choose a side/parent. I chalked it up to my ex being a lowlife liar, I didn’t see the big picture.

 

The above several weeks were drama filled and I  won’t even get into everything that happened. Needless to say I protected myself and went no where with out a recording device and a witness. That was the first huge, obvious, in your face time I should have stepped back and asked myself, “What the hell is going on???”. I didn’t, plain and simple. There were just too many angles to view things from that I was blinded to the picture as a whole. Over the next few months and years, other things started to happen. I found that I had been removed as an emergency contact from B’s school records. In fact my whole family had been removed from existence from anything having to do with her schooling. I wasn’t being informed of school function unless B told me, and then it was always last minute. Parent/teacher conferences began happening without my knowing. It was one thing after the other. I saw everything as isolated incidences, again not seeing the big picture.

This means WAR!!!!

 

Does anyone see a pattern forming here? I sure as hell didn’t at the time. I was being phased out of my daughter’s life. The other thing that was happening is that M was doing things so that she could play the role of the “poor single mom”, dad just doesn’t even care, “see, he isn’t even here”! The bitch woman had made sure I wasn’t there! You see all this is happening in the background, B had zero knowledge of what was happening. All B knew was that M was handling things and Dad wasn’t there. Even this is multifaceted in it’s effects on B and all those in her life. All this is preparing B to view me in a bad light and M as her rock, when the exact opposite has always been true. When you add the day to day, “dad’s a jerk for…..fill in the blank” conversations, guess who becomes a bad guy? That’s right, I am this evil controlling overlord that is never around. The actual truth is that this whole time I am being a good parent and father, but holding to rules and attending everything I am told about. I was always there for my visitation and constantly asking for more time, but again that was always behind the scenes and B never knew any of it. All she was allowed to see was negative about me. When I defended myself, it was me against Mommy. It was truly a losing battle. M does no wrong. It is always someone else’s  fault, the world is against her.

 

This thing is like boxing with the invisible man. You can’t see him, but that uppercut sure puts you on your ass! There are a lot more incidences that have occurred, but  I may or may not get into them. I really just want people to understand what I have been dealing with and be able to see the big picture if they are going though this as well. I would give anything to have known what PAS was years ago. I would have been prepared to go to war for my daughter. As it happened, I didn’t even know I was in a street fight much less a war. The overall theme of this post is that I wasn’t prepared and didn’t recognize the signs. I was systematically being  removed from my daughter’s life and painted as a villain. I never realized what was happening until it came to the point that B felt it was actually ok to physically remove me from her life. I was way behind the curve. As a parent in a broken family, you can’t afford to be as blind as I was. Look for the signs and put on your armor. It’s a war for the love and affection of your child!

By now you all know that I am an NFL lineman sized cry baby about this whole deal. Being a big, tough, strong guy doesn’t prepare you for the emotional train wreck of fatherhood. People’s opinions range from stopping contact completely and just waiting all the way to forcing B to visit every time the court says I have a right. B should be here with me a minimum of 14 days a month. That means that half of every month I am remembering that she isn’t here.  Where is the happy medium that allows me to maintain sanity, but lets my little girl know that I miss and love her? It seems that my weekly e-mails sending my love and emotions as well as updating her on our life, have only fueled the fire. E-mails from my ex are few and far between, but when we get them they are always nothing but venom. Everything is always spun a full 180 degrees and twisted until there is no reflection of reality at all. It seems that my e-mails have only given M the ability to know what ammo to use to cause the most damage. That leaves me in a vulnerable position. So I let my daughter know how much I love and miss her and my ex knows I am emotionally ripe for attack. An army doesn’t attack it’s enemy at it’s strongest point, it finds the chink in the armor. My love for B is that weak point. I can’t just turn it off. As vile as I now know my ex to be, it took a long time to turn off that love. You never really turn it off, so much as see the reality of life and move on. It isn’t so clear cut with a child. No matter what I will always love B, and everyone who knows me knows that fact.

My ex surely knows that fact. We spent a year short of a decade together and she saw the inner workings of Big Daddy the whole time. I don’t hold anything back. I’m very passionate about life, love, and my beliefs. M’s modus operandi is to attack me through love. I loved my career, so she made false legal claims that would insure I’d never wear blue again if proved in court. They weren’t proved because they were false, but the suggestion alone was enough to cause many possible employers to question the wisdom of hiring me. I could site many examples, but this isn’t about M, it’s about me and B. So, before I go off on a tangent I will get back to where I was going. My question is where is the middle ground? How much of my heart do I put out there? I’ve been very conservative over the past several months to give B breathing room and not force myself upon her. Even so, M has found avenues of attack. Where does the balance lie between protecting myself and being open enough that B knows my love will never change?

I really fear an attack by B on our visit scheduled on the 21st of July. I asked for a phone call the third week of June through M. I was informed that B was willing to see me on the 21st but didn’t wish to speak to me via phone. M knows that legally she can’t keep B and I apart, but she can make it as hard as possible. I could take legal actions but that would only exacerbate the situation. Now it makes no sense to me that a child doesn’t wish to speak to me by phone, but is willing to spend time with me a month later. The only thing that I can figure is that several weeks is enough time to get B worked into a frenzy against me before seeing me. What else could it be? I’m not expecting the visit to go well. My expectation is that B will feel forced into the visit and be angry with me before I even pick her up. I have no great agenda up my sleeve. I simply want to see my little girl, and ask one question. Are you happy? That is all I want or need to know. If B is happy and wants things to continue as they are then I am happy on some strange level. At 15 she doesn’t have the foresight to see or understand that and I realize that fact. If she felt this rejection, she would be angry. The fact of the matter is that she does feelW rejection from #1 and that is part of the problem. The fear of M’s anger because of what both she and B view as rejection is what is keeping B locked into her current state. It’s sad that a woman in her 30’s and a 15 yr old are on the same emotional and psychological level, but they are.

The bottom line is that B is taken care of. No not in the way that I would like, but she has a roof over her head, food in her stomach, and is doing well in school. Legally a parent has to be an axe wielding mass murder to keep them away from a child. M is not addicted to any narcotics that I know of and hasn’t gone on any killing spree that I have been informed of. Therefore legally I can’t keep her away from B. That influence is in B’s life and there isn’t much I can do about it now. As I said before, people’s opinions vary but I have become very resolute that my current course of action is correct. Give B time and show her love and at some point she will come back to me. It is going to take far longer than I am comfortable with, but what choice do I have? Continual emotional warfare isn’t healthy for her or any of us. If I push, that is all that will happen. M will feed off the drama and B will be pushed yet further away from me. Nothing I do is right. Everything is twisted to look like I don’t have B’s interest in mind or at heart when nothing could be further from the truth.
Right now that middle ground is hard to find. B needs to know I love her and that nothing will ever change that love. I need the emotional warfare to end for my emotional well being. I have to be able to focus on the things that are important. Over the last several weeks, my eating, sleeping, work, and other relationships have suffered tremendously. Thank God my wife and I are both self employed. Hell, I almost fired myself the other day! How do I let B know how much I love and miss her without leaving myself open to the attacks from M that leave me broken and scarred? So, e-mails one a week? Once a month? Only on special occasions? Do I call on her birthday? Are gifts even a good thing? What the hell do I do?

As a parent you do what you can to raise your children right.  You try to make good decisions that will give them every advantage and all the things that you never had. I became a father at a very young age. I’m not sure anyone is ever truly ready to be a parent. What happens is that you grow and learn as your child learns and grows. No two children are exactly alike, so even parenting one child doesn’t prepare you for the next. I’ve made a lot of bad decisions in my life. I always thought that the consequences for those bad decisions were mine and mine alone. I could not have been more wrong. Having lived and learned I now see how those consequences have effected all those around me.

Who would think that a decision I made at sixteen would have such an effect on me at thirty five? Honestly, I would never have imagined that doing all the things that lead to fatherhood would bring me to the heartbreak that I have experienced. Who would think that sex could lead you to the brink of insanity? I sure as hell never did, but it certainly did. My first marriage was almost entirely because I wanted to do the right thing by Number One and B. That led to all sorts of issues for all three of us. For me, I felt rejected, lonely, and questioned any belief system that would force me into being so miserable. I moved further from all the things I had been raised to know were good and right. That led to the mental and emotional state that I was in when I met Number Two aka: M. If I had not been so lonely and emotionally compromised I would have kept walking. Unfortunately I stopped, I stopped dead in my tracks. Here I was wanting to rescue someone when I needed rescuing myself.  What is worse is that I feed into the issues that M already had while I thought I was rescuing her. It’s really sad looking back at how screwed up I really was.
So I was all fubar and trying to rescue a damaged young woman, all while fathering a little girl. If I had recognized how messed up I was, I’d have been able to recognize the danger for B. Unfortunately my eyes were wide shut and my head was planted directly in my ass!  The fact that I couldn’t see the future infuriates me. No one has a crystal ball, but one should be able to see that a rabid bitch dog is dangerous. If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and shits like a duck then the damn thing is more than likely a damn duck. Well, I didn’t see any water fowl or dogs at the time. My father has always said that you can’t think straight without your pants on, and that little nugget of wisdom has proven true repeatedly in my life. I let emotions that weren’t based on anything solid dictate the decision that I made. Those decisions have wreaked havoc not only in my life but the life of my daughter and the ones closest to me. My bad decisions are now effecting my youngest daughter who was not even born when I was making them. It seems crazy, but it is so true. My wife is dealing with all this and neither of us even realized that we’d be together.

B is a victim of so many things. She is a victim of my bad decisions and the choices that M has made. If I’d been able to make the right choices, then B wouldn’t be in her current position. On some level, I blame myself for this. On other levels, I know that I could have never known how deceitful and horrible M would become. On yet another level, B is making her own decisions. She is 15yrs old, and that is old enough to make sound decisions about her own life. I raised her to know right from wrong, but she is deciding to do wrong despite what she has been taught. I know that M is more manipulative than most people can imagine, because I have experienced it first hand. Even so, when I wanted to I was able to do what I knew was right.  It takes strength, faith, and courage to do what is right in the face of opposition. B has that strength, she knows that faith, and I have seen the courage in her that she needs to make the right choices. B is only a victim if she wants to be. We all have things to overcome, and I know that people may question my belief that a teen has the ability to make the right call. Personally I think that is bullshit. Teens are faced with the choice to do drugs, have sex, drive recklessly and all sorts huge decisions. Teenagers make good choices every day. Some make bad decisions but they had a choice. B is saved and was raised in church with a strong family belief system. She has all the tools needed to see right and wrong.

I want to be clear, I don’t blame my daughter for this. I played a role in this as did M and now B is playing her part. This is a multifaceted situation. I see how my bad decisions led to this. I also see clearly that M is forcing B to choose a parent. B is in a horrible position. Who is to blame? Is this my fault? Does a child have the ability to make the right decision and stand up for herself? What do you guys think?

So where we left off was where my ex was refusing to attend counseling for my daughter and we were falling into the hell of teenage behavior. By this time I was becoming increasingly aware that a war was being waged against me. I still don’t understand it and don’t care to.

By this point the relationship with my daughter is at best strained. There were actually a couple of occasions that I picked her up and within five minutes she was screaming at me or my wife and being completely disrespectful. On those occasions I calmly informed her that her behavior showed that she didn’t want to be with us and that it wouldn’t be tolerated. I then gave her the choice to re-boot and stay for her scheduled visit or decide to spend the time with her mother. I just refused to take the bait and be drawn into a debate or argument with a child. I also refused to spend my time repeatedly disciplining  a child that refused to change her behavior. The punishments weren’t working and were actually making things worse, no doubt due to discussions with her mother on how terrible I am (all of which were proved in an e-mail sent from the ex stating that her daughter should always be the center of the universe).  There came a point where I informed both my daughter and my ex that the counseling was a mandatory condition of her visits with me and that it had been advised by two separate counselors.

All I wanted was a healthy relationship with my child and a healthy family as a whole. Our youngest at this point was beginning to pick up on the actions of her sister and try them out. NOT GOOD! It was also causing undue stress between my wife and I. The fact of the matter is that it had become bad enough that we spent days discussing solutions and stressing over the visits. I had begun to have digestion issues and insomnia. It was just bad all around. As terrible as it sounds, it was almost a relief when my daughter refused to again go to counseling. I stood strong and told her that if she came here she would attend, her response was hat she didn’t want to come to my house ever! I tried to discuss things with my ex, but the e-mails went unanswered and the calls all went to voice mail, dead end!  Just prior to this, my ex had made the accusation that a family (my family) friend had an inappropriate conversation with our daughter via text. After investigating things, it was completely baseless. Had it been true, I would be in prison rather than typing this. The situation was getting so vile that I was beginning to fear what was coming next from her. She has proven to have the ability to purger herself without conscience, so I truly was becoming afraid of her next scheme.

I decided that the best course of action was to send texts and e-mails to my daughter at least once or twice a week. They all consisted on how much I loved and missed her as well as what was generally going on with life. I soon found out that they would not be returned. I was blocked from her Facebook account (that I didn’t approve of) and all communications from all members of my family were to be ignored. I was effectively cut off as were her grand parents, cousin, sister, and aunt. What the hell, REALLY? So for six months I sent e-mails weekly with no reply. Several of the e-mails were CC’ed to my ex so that she was in the loop on what was being said. Of course she saw no reason to respond to any of them or discuss the situation with me in any way.

In the past several months my wife and I began researching parental alienation. We bought books, searched the internet, and sought out information where ever we could find it. Turns out with what little information we have, this is a text book case. When I say what little information we have, I mean very little information. You see, my daughter was not allowed to discuss anything that occurred at her mother’s house with us. We have never been privy to any aspect of life when she is with her mother. It has been that way from the time I was asked to move out. Our life, my life, has always been an open book. At no point have I had anything to hide. The fact of the matter is I even discussed my marriage four months before it happened with my ex so that she wouldn’t be blind sided or think that I was hiding something. Hell, I offered to take her and her screw buddy to dinner so we all could get acquainted.

That pretty much brings us up to near present. The last month was spent figuring the best way to contact my daughter. Sounds rather dramatic to say that, but with no response from either of them… My sister actually attempted to contact my ex for a week before father’s day, a week!  Phone calls, e-mails, and she even went to her house and places that she and my daughter frequent. Nada, nothing, no response! I have had enough, I want to see my daughter damnit! So, I e-mailed my ex and waited. After a week of no reply I forwarded the e-mail again asking for a phone call if my daughter didn’t wish to see me. My ex then decided to set a date a month out that she would meet me so that I could see my daughter. Seriously? A month, just enough time for her to work her up and prepare her for the visit. I then received a novel in the form of an e-mail. It basically outlined why my daughter didn’t wish to see me and what a piece of shit I am, all in the wonderful words of my ex wife. No joke, the damn thing took twenty minutes to read and not one line of it was in any way truthful or helpful to the situation.

So now I sit and wait. I wait for the appointment with my attorney and hope the visit at the end of this month with my daughter occurs. I look forward to it and dread it all at the same time. I’m at a crossroads with what to do. Do I allow her to shun me and refuse visits? Or do I endanger my family’s sanity and the health of all my relationships to deal with one child? All while wondering what is up my ex’s sleeve. Do you try to force a child that wants nothing to do with you into a relationship? I know it is because of her mother’s influence that we are here, but she has also made choices, and she is fifteen.

Now that you have the back story, I want to review the last couple of years. This all was really a quiet, insidious under current that wasn’t something that I was ever aware of. Kids change and go through phases as they enter their teens and I honestly attributed a lot of the distance between my daughter and I to her maturing and entering her teens. As a general rule she has always been a daddy’s girl. If there was a good tv show on, she would snuggle up with me and settle in for the evening. If I left the house, the kid just had to ride with me, even if it was just a run to the grocery store or gas station. That all started to change and she became more ambivalent when it came to me in general. Like I said, I just figured she was getting older and it was a natural progression. Not to mention as she matured physically, I was becoming less and less comfortable simply because of the way people outside the family viewed what is and isn’t a healthy parent child relationship. So I wasn’t destroyed and was looking forward to having a sidekick that wanted to discuss life with me. I was really looking forward to imparting my life experiences and the hard lessons learned so that she would be better off than me. Again, I was naive to think that a teen would want any of my wisdom, but it was one of those parental ideals.

The relationship between my ex and I was passable, but not good. The normal “ex games” were par for the course. If your ex wasn’t a pain in the ass then they probably wouldn’t be you ex now would they? Everything was cordial when we saw each other and we were able to both be involved in school activities and such. Hell, we even sat together from time to time. It took me about a year before I really started dating with any real direction. Prior to that it was really to pass the time and not sit home alone bored out of my mind. After that first year I realized that there was life after “Two” and if the right person came along I should be open to another relationship.

That’s when there started to be some problems. Why it was cool for my ex to date and bring the guy she cheated on me with around my daughter, but I was horrible to move on with my life I will never understand. My daughter was fine with my dating but would have preferred that her mother and I were still married. She wanted me to be happy and by all appearances was happy that I was happy playing the field. She saw the me that was destroyed after the separation at the beginning of the divorce and to see me relaxed and enjoying life was a refreshing change for her. I had left the door open for my ex if the choice was made by her only because I felt it was what a good father should do. To hell with pride if it hurts the ones you are supposed to love and protect.

With that said, there came a time when I knew it was time to move on and close the doors to the past. It was the only way to set a good example for my daughter and find true happiness for myself. I actually had the conversation with my ex that it was time and that from that point on I was finished forever.  Shortly after that conversation my wife came back into my life. We had been childhood friends and I found her via a social media site. From the first conversation, I knew I was a goner! Within a month I had made a nine hour trip to see her and the kids and I was ready to talk marriage in the not to distant future. It was like no time had passed between us and the connection was deeper than anything I had ever imagined. So within a few months we were married and the whole crew had moved north to be in my neck of the woods. The idea of my moving was out of the question due to the lack of relationship between my ex and I and the hell it would have caused.

My daughter was so happy! She was part of my proposal and the wedding. The child was all smiles and was looking forward to the new family and the prospect of having the siblings that she had always wanted. There had been several discussions about the pending marriage and I believe that she was more than fine with it. In fact the first several months were great, she was enjoying her new sister and was convinced that my new wife was the most wonderful thing in the world. About six months in, we started to see unexplained behavior issues that we just didn’t understand. So off to the counselor we went. I wanted us all to be healthy and well adjusted in our new blended family. Alright I really need to back track, the behavior issues were not completely unexplainable. When I got married, my ex stopped returning my phone calls and e-mails went unanswered or days/weeks before there was any reply. She had also refused to meet my wife and refused to acknowledge her existence in general. There was zero communication or there was extremely high levels of tension when we did talk.

Truth is I still don’t understand why my ex is so angry. She asked me to move out, she cheated, and she asked for the divorce. The woman actually repeatedly told me how much she enjoyed her freedom every time she saw me. Apparently she just didn’t want me to move on. Once the counseling started I asked her to take part so that we could work together for the best interest of our daughter. She patently refused citing that the issue was between my daughter and I and had nothing to do with her. A statement that she still stands firm on. After only a few sessions, my daughter decided that she didn’t like being told that she was wrong, so she decided she would no longer attend! At fourteen she felt she had every right to call the shots. Nope, I don’t think so!

It became very evident that her mother was fueling that belief and we found out that she had started my daughter with another therapist and had not shared that information with me. Upon talking to the new counselor, she had been given a very one sided untruthful view of the situation. The new counselor felt the same as the first one did and asked my ex to come in and help with the sessions. My ex again patently refused! It was all becoming very clear.

During this whole process my daughter’s behavior continued to regress to a point where she was becoming borderline violent. My wife and I were at our wits end. The behavior was unacceptable and I refused to have it in my home, period. That is where the past several months started.

Looking back this all started years ago, but when you are in the eye of the storm you just don’t see things clearly. I’ll wrap it up here for this time but there is so much more to the story.

I started this blog at the urging of my wife. She said I needed a place to get everything out of my head. I tend to agree with her, and she is usually (read: always) smarter than I on most things. We as a family have been going through a lot recently. The situation is focused on me, but we face life as a family and not a set of individuals. Speaking of my family, I am the proud father of three great kids. I have a son that makes me so proud when he isn’t driving me insane. He has now started the adventures and trials of starting his own family and the joys of fatherhood himself. My second oldest has the handicap or blessing of being my biological daughter. We’ll get back to that shortly since this is the relationship that pushed me to blogging. Finally, There is our youngest who is the spitting image of her mother and Lil Miss Sassy. I love them all sooo much. Each of them is so different and bring me joy in so many different ways.

Back to the reason for this whole deal, My middle child. She is the only good thing that came from a short lived marriage shortly after high school. Her biological mother has chosen to not be present since she was around four years old. It’s a very long story, but she has been much better off without that influence in her life. As a twenty three year old father of a little girl, I felt completely unequipped to handle raising a little girl alone. Hence, my second marriage. I knew the situation could be better with my choice of women, but my baby girl needed a mother and I was crazy in love. Young and dumb as I was I entered into the worst decade of my life.

To rewind and give some perspective, I was raised the son of a minister and have always had very strict moral and ethical standards. Honestly I have not always lived up to my own standards a good bit of my life, but they were there none the less. I entered into both of those marriages with the full intent of being married for the rest of my life, they both had other plans. Looking back at the choices I made, it is obvious that the blame lies directly on my shoulder because of the horrible decisions that I made. I was young on both counts and at the time thought I knew it all and that all the consequences were mine and mine alone. I also thought I could pretty much handle anything, boy was I wrong! For a guy that doesn’t believe in divorce, I sure have become an old pro of it!

For the sake of clarity we will refer the the ex’s as “One” and “Two”. One was an extremely selfish person that was in no way equipped to be a mother or wife. The selfishness is a trait that my daughter inherited and that I have battled from the time she was a young child. Looking back, we should have never been married. I should have been wise enough to ask for custody of my unborn daughter and let her live her life. Unfortunately for all involved I wasn’t wise in any way shape or form. The marriage was more of a cohabiting of a residence between two people that didn’t really like one another. We pretty much paid the bills and that was the depth of the intimacy. I was left lonely and sad and doing things that no married man should be doing. I admit my faults and there were many.

The whole experience left me ripe to enter into another unhealthy situation. How unhealthy, I could have never known. Two was a very attractive, sweet, caring, and hard working woman by all accounts. Turns out that hard working was the only of her attributes that turned out to be true. Shortly after the “I DO’s” the ugly beast of jealousy reared its head. With in a few short years the marriage was severely sick. She had become controlling and emotionally abusive, while I became more and more determined to make it work. I didn’t want two failed marriages before the age of thirty and knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that my little girl needed a mother. I never realized just how sick I had become until the marriage had ended and I was able to get perspective on the relationship as a whole. If anyone were to ask me, I would never have said that I felt abused. I’m a big tattooed hard ass that has been in countless fights, been shot at, you name it. My profession of choice was even a field for tough guys that could handle everyone’s problems. To admit that love for both of the women in my life had made me weak enough to become what I became was unthinkable for me.

To condense the better part of a decade into a short paragraph, the marriage with “Two” ended in a spectacular manner. I was accused of all manner of horrible acts after discovering and documenting her infidelity. I had a series of health issues that had left me doubting myself and depressed, truly the lowest point in my life. Things turned very, very ugly when all the facts were brought to light and a custody battle ensued. To explain the whole custody issue, the parental rights of “One” had been terminated and “Two” had adopted my daughter during my health problems. At the time it seemed like the right thing to do. I never could have known the power I had just awarded her.

My first divorce was quick and painless, to be honest I was naive enough to thing the second would be the same. The first go round my attorney almost fainted when I brought her in to sign the divorce and custody paperwork! I could not have been more wrong about my second divorce. Two, began spreading rumors in the community where I was very prominent, and even made completely false legal accusations to gain leverage in the custody battle. I was broken and emotionally torn to ribbons and just didn’t have the ability to fight. She was awarded primary physical custody while I shared a 60/40 split. She had just won the first battle of a war that I wasn’t even aware was occurring.

After the dust settled it was obvious that my daughter was being forced to chose a side. I tried my best to be honest without making her mother look like a villain. I should have played dirty! My relationship with my little girl quickly turned from being healthy to being  a “what can you do for me?” situation. Her mother was catering to her and I was still trying to parent. I quickly became the bad guy. If you are a parent and haven’t heard of parental alienation, read up now! The whole thing has now spiraled out of control and I never saw it coming.

That is truly why I started this blog. I am now fighting for a relationship with a child that wants nothing to do with me, and of no fault of my own. It has become an all consuming ordeal that I could have never foreseen. Now you have the background and why I am here, so hopefully my next entry will bring you up to the near present and how we are handling life.