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TOPIC: Life after the court process

Life after the court process 5 years 1 week ago #57742

I'm not sure if this is the appropriate forum to post about this, but at it's foundation I suppose it is related to self esteem, so here goes:

18th august 2013 I was happy, life was good. I had a fiance and a son, and we are all going to move into a new home within the next few weeks. 19th August 2013, I found my fiance had just upped and left taking our son with her. Of course, I was devstated and like many others felt my life had been completely an utterly turned upside down. In my own mind I could not understand at the time why this had happened. I had no choice other than to just suck it up and get on with things.

Of course when the dust had settled a little, I was faced with a decision to make regarding my son, and what kind of part I would play in his life, and his in mine. I chose to be a dad and do all I could for my son, even though any semblance of family life and day to day fatherhood had been removed and would be forever. I'm not laying the blame for this with my ex though, not at all. Perhaps it is my fault that things went wrong in the relationship with my ex. Perhaps I am to blame. I know I'm not guilty of the things she has accused me of. But what will haunt me forever is the unanswered question of was I good enough partner? Was I supportive enough to her when she had PND? Was I a good enough dad to our son in her eyes?

I will never know the answer to those questions definitively. But I'm sure I made mistakes and I paid for them fully, and will continue to do so for the rest of my life. I can see why in my ex's eyes she was angry with me, and perhaps misguidedly used our son to get back at me. Even during the fallout, I tried to arrange contact with me son but she was having none of it, and hence why I chose to go to court.

From the moment you make the concious decision to take that route, you become embroiled in a monumental struggle. And although the mantra, or the outward projection everyone says to maintain is "what is in the best interests of the kids", you want to win, and you want to win badly. At least that's how I felt. Good or bad, that's the way it was. And although I never let my desire to win the struggle negatively affect my son, I would be a liar if I said I did not want to "win" the court battle. This winning mentatlity, this desire to see your children, it take it's toll on you, not only mentally, but physically too. I think the two are interconnected. You put everything you have into it, everything.

When I started the process, I had no idea what it involved, but it quickly became evident that you quickly feel like you are under siege. There seems to be a stanadrd approach from the legal profession to attack the father on behalf of the mother. That was what happened to me, and it really does take it's toll. It is incredibly hard to deal with being classified as useless as parent and dangerous to a child. It is difficult to accept constant unfair criticism and your character slowly being slated with each passing day. The fear that you will not see your child again will erode your wellbeing slolwy but surely, until you cling to the last shred of hope with every bit of strength you have in your aching fingertips. At least that is how if felt for me. And this lasted for a year. A long time. Each day much the same.

And then the final day comes. The final hearing. And you get what you desire. You win. That's great right? Of course it is. All that effort you put in for that final outcome that you wanted more than anything, it's fantastic. I won#t deny that. It feels good on both counts, you get to see your child, you defeat the ex.

You should be able to move on from that triumph and go from strength to strength right?

In my case it hasn't worked out like that. As time goes by and you look at the future, even after going through court, I know in my heart I will never be a proper dad. I'm 250 miles away from my son, I see him for 6% of his waking hours each month. I have more time with him than I did before, but I miss him more than I did before. I don't really know how to deal with that, as I simply just block it all out, and it builds up somewhere. But the fact remains the same, I miss out on almost everything my son does on a day to day basis. That hurts. It hurts more than I can tell any of you.

Going forward, I don't have this struggle anymore. I don't have something to drive me on, to motivate me, to consume me. Life is back to how it was before I met my fiance. I have a huge empty void where there was once struggle. I feel empty. I feel I have no purpose.

I'm sure people will say, hang out with friends. I don't have any friends to speak of. My best friend moved away long ago and I rarely hear from him anymore.

People will say get back on the dating scene. That's great for someone who is good with women. I am not. I never was. That is great for someone who has the confidence to do that. I do not have that. Maybe I did before, but now now. I feel devoid of confidence, devoid of any shred of self esteem. I feel like an empty shell with zero purpose. And what woman in their right mind would buy in to a guy like me. None. So that option isn't going to help me.

So yes, I'm not in a good place right now. I feel incredibly depressed, unloved and undesirable. I repeat each day the same. My life is the epitomy of groundhog day. Work (at a job where I'm treated like a number), home, sleep....a repetitive neverending cycle. I wouldn't calling it living. All I have to look forward to is every 2nd week of the month when I see my son.

I suppose all I can do or will do is take each day as it comes and maybe will discover a sense of purpose again, or maybe not......


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A dedicated dad travelling the lonely road to secure the relationship with my son that we both deserve, while helping other lonely travellers along the way.

Life after the court process 5 years 1 week ago #57746


Reading through your post, I (and probably quite a few other forum users) can relate to your situation.
The court process is one of those things where "even when you win, you still lose"

I also know how difficult it can be to see the positives when you don't see your children, when your life is taken up by work, sleep, and counting down the days to that next contact. You begin to question everything in your life, except your child. Attempting to find ways to distract yourself whilst you wait for contact, but nothing distracts, nothing entertains, nothing lifts you out of your darkness...

Just remember that you have taken the steps, you have stood up and chosen to be a Dad. You have fought to be a part of your child's life, and fought hard.
It may not be a "win", but rather "less of a loss" in some terms. In any case, you still have that 6% - much better than 0%.

In this life, for any parent there are two things which are most important.
1. Seeing your child/children and being a part of their lives.
2. Keeping yourself OK, to be a positive part of their lives for as long as you can.

It sounds as if you're having a tough time of it right now, and i don't want to throw cliche's at you, but it does get better.

If anyone tells you to get "on the dating scene" - ignore them. You know yourself better than anyone - you will make that choice when you decide it's time.
But, work - home - sleep - work - home - sleep, that is not positive for you, especially if home means being on your own... It gives you lots of time to overthink EVERYTHING, and the brain usually focuses on "that negative thing that could possibly happen, maybe happen, will probably happen!"

Make a point of shopping for one or two days at a time, so it means you have to go out - even if it is only to tesco, asda, etc.
Try and indulge your hobbies if at all possible... If you have a Playstation or Xbox, jump online every once in a while as a distraction. Collar some of the guys on here and watch them get whooped by teenagers on call of duty or whatever.

Talk to some of the people on here, they're a broad range of personalities and people, but all approachable and friendly. There may be a couple of members near you, who will not only understand and relate to your situation, but give an opportunity to broaden your social circle.

I'm sure alot of this sound cliched and I'm probably repeating what you've heard before (I'm fairly certain other members will mirror my opinions too), but for now just try to stay positive, and know that there are always people on the forum who will listen, and wherever possible, help.

All the best,
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Life after the court process 5 years 1 week ago #57779

Hi simon

Reading your post really moved me. I feel your pain. Your post reminded me we all have to go through the stages of grieving the end of a relationship as below


Personally I am at the denial/anger stages. I can appreciate the difficulty of the next stages when you don't have that focus.

Its hard to rebuild your life (I'm struggling to rebuild mine being in a similar situation to you) I find I have too much alone time with my thoughts and they are not good at the mo.

The advice on this forum is all good - exercise, pick up your hobbies, join some clubs doing things that interest you. I appreciate it's easier to say than do. I found getting involved in organisations helped me - perhaps get involved in charities in your community. Helping others is good for self esteem I found :-)

Anyway, I don't mean to lecture. I was really moved by your post and just wanted to help if I could.

Its a difficult time - and although time can be a great healer it doesn't half take a long time about it :D

All the best

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Life after the court process 5 years 1 week ago #57782

Man, I'm sorry you feel that way Simon, I can completely relate sounds like you're just missing your Son, I would consider moving up near him like we discussed before is it still feasible?

Bollocks to what the ex thinks it's what your Son thinks thats most important and I'm sure her would love more time to spend with his daddy :)

I feel the same as you and my girls live less than a mile away I too have no family round me no real close friends I've come to the point of taking things by every hour than taking every day as it comes, absolutely nothing interests me work, women ect I've ended up smoking again, not keeping fit and I can feel myself sliding again it's made me realise how much keeping fit helps.

I think a change will do you good, change of job, house ect, hope you feel better soon man and thanks for all your help so far with my case :)
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I'm no way trained in Family court matters so don't take my ramblings as gospel but I've been through the Court mill and learned so much along the way I just like passing my experience on to other Dads who face this absolute nightmare from hell, you might not be able to beat the system but don't let it beat you :)

Life after the court process 5 years 1 week ago #57798

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I actually think you would do well getting back into dating - but I'd recommend computer dating (worked for me) - don't commit yourself to anything, just take an occasional look through the better websites, and if someone looks interesting, then join and contact them. Be completely honest about yourself and your situation - that way it's all out in the open when you start. However, there's no rush - go at your own pace.

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Life after the court process 5 years 1 week ago #57803

Hi Simon, you have described my feelings pretty much to a tee. Stick in though. In the last few hours, I have put my son to bed and he's sleeping soundly. He made me cry earlier by saying out of the blue, 'I'm happy daddy', 'why is that son', 'because im with you and I love you lots', 'I love you lots to'.....

The vindictive ex doesn't always win mate and having read your posts, I can tell by a million miles you will be a daddy to be proud of. I have a distance in between us to which destroys me.

I can also tell that your a strong man and like me you probably don't give yourself credit for it. Sure I have cried a million tears but like you I haven't thrown in the towel because also like you, I will give my best for my son till my last breath....

Keep at it. I have often read your posts and thought what a truly positive man, the upbeat nature of your postings despite the distance. You are entitled to a bit of being down after what you have been through. I am here for you, like everyone else.

our situations seem to be almost identical from what I have read. If you ever need a chat, drop me a pm with your number and I will call you no problem and help in anyway I can. When I break down, as I have a hundred times at work, talking is the most therapeutic thing.

Chin up 'Daddy', your a good man...

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