Ten years. Well almost. That is how long it has been since separating from my ex. I was naive then. I thought that things were fair and that I would get my kids 50 percent if the time like most people.
Instead, it was the beginning of a nightmare. There have been three clear court issues since then. My ex used my mental illness and financial influence to obtain physical custody. I had a win in that I got joint legal custody.
Today, the kids are teenagers. Instead of just following an order, I am put down and my kids are told that I am a bad mother. That I am not doing as much as I should. I have even been told that high school graduations are not a place for me because I am not there enough. When I want to be there more, I am refused.
The kids are getting old enough to choose what they want according to my ex. My oldest has already chosen not to communicate. He believes that I am hurting his father. It must be tough to always hear negative talk about your parent.
I have determined that as long as my kids want me in their life that I will be there for them. Even when they no longer choose to come visit, I will attempt to see how they are doing. It is scary to know that one day they may not talk to me. That I will not be there for the big events or the holidays. That I will be shut out.
As a non-custodial parent it is hard in so many ways. To know that your children may not want to see you. To be able to be looked up and found that you do not have custody. People then assume that you must have done something wrong. Sometimes the other parent just has a better attorney. Sometimes, there is no way to “win” only a way to have a relationship that is far from ideal.
My hope is that my kids will continue to communicate with me, yet there is no guarantee and I do not have the power to see into the future.