The importance of fathers: My story.

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Often times I get asked ‘Why are you so passionate about father’s rights?’

The answer is simple. So many wonderful fathers are denied access to their children, and it affects the child more than you’ll ever know. I will tell you the biggest, number one reason I have such a drive for this.

When I was 8 years old, my father passed away. I realize the circumstances of him being absent are different, but the outcome of not having my father is the same. Growing up without the love of my dad was heartbreaking. At 9 years old, I was suffering full blown panic attacks. Can you imagine being so young, feeling as though you’re going to die, being so frightened because you don’t know when another attack is coming?

I started counseling when I was 9. I started my first antidepressant when I was 14. I have seen 10+ counselors in my life, and probably the same number of psychiatrists. I have bipolar I with ultra ultra rapid cycling, accompanied with anxiety disorder, and binge eating disorder. I do not ever use my illnesses as a crutch, and I am living as normal of a life as possible with a great combination of medication. I have been seeing the most wonderful counselor for the last year and a half. I often wonder what my life would be like if I had a father growing up.

Do you know when I go to the checkouts, I will avoid all lanes with male cashiers? My father was not there, the most important man of my life was not there, so all men will leave me. Right? When I was in my early 20’s, I was so, so promiscuous. That is very dangerous. Even though it was a different act to get it, I was seeking the male attention I never received as a child. My brother and I as adults, are as thick as thieves. Growing up, he was the closest thing to a father figure I had. He taught me how to ride a bike, and shoot a gun. But I pushed him away when he got too close, because he’s a man, he’s just going to leave me. Isn’t he? Because I finally have found true, pure, vulnerable love, out of nowhere, I got hit with an overabundance of emotions. I realized all of these years, I felt like my dad never loved me, he wasn’t there. He was an extremely sick man, and all of my memories involve him being wheelchair bound. In my mind, as a child, he left. He left me. I never felt that love from my father. I was far too young to be able to feel that love from my dad, I wouldn’t have understood the true meaning of how much my dad loved me. Why did he have to leave?

Now, let me tell you, I have the most wonderful mother of all time. She is the most giving, kind, thoughtful, sweet, loving, affectionate mom there is. She did an amazing job raising the 5 of us by herself. She loved us so much, made sure we had everything we needed, gave us so many hugs, told us she was so proud, and encouraged us to keep going. Regardless of how amazing my mom is, she still could not fill the void of my father. No one can. It took me many years to realize some of my actions, which were dangerous, I was doing because I wanted male attention. I didn’t know. A very good friend of mine had a talk with me when I was 25, he explained to me what I was doing wasn’t because that’s what I wanted, it’s because for a short time, my void of missing male attention was filled. The very moment he told me that, it all made sense, and I never did it again.

The question I ask… how could any mother purposely rob their child of a father? I am exhausted hearing about how ‘he does drugs, he’s abusive, he doesn’t want to see his kids’ In some situations this may be true, but fathers should not be singled out. I know of many more mothers who do these things, and they still have full custody. Anyone can say anything. I have seen cases where mom lies about the father being abusive so she gets the child full time. Unless you have it on video, I will not believe you. Mom can say dad does drugs. Without a drug test, I will not believe you. When a woman says dad doesn’t want to see his kids, I need to hear it directly from his mouth, otherwise I will not believe you. It’s saddening that mothers will fight so hard to keep dads away, just because they want control, because they would lose child support (in some cases) if dad gets equal placement. Ask yourself if it’s in the best interest of the children to suffer throughout their childhood, and they only get ONE childhood, to be with dad 4 days a month, maybe some time in summer.

If you’re a mom reading this, and it applies to you, take a step back, look at yourself, and ask if you would be okay with seeing your child only 4 days a month. I bet your answer will be no. My question to you is, how are you okay with denying your child who you claim to love so much, the human right of a loving, involved father? I do not care what happened in your relationship when you were together, it is never okay to make a child suffer to get revenge on the dad.

Also, please ask yourself, do you want your child to grow up with issues like I did? Wouldn’t you rather avoid all of that, and give your child the healthiest, loving relationship with both parents, as you possibly could?

Some dads have to fight so hard, spend so much money on an attorney, and it takes years. I think the money spent on an attorney would really be beneficial to the child if instead, it was used for a college fund. People don’t realize how many fathers commit suicide due to the loss of their children. They just can’t go on any longer, and I totally understand. I have two beautiful children, and I cannot imagine being away from them for months, or years. If it’s not something you would be able to handle as a parent, I have no idea why you expect anyone else to go through it. My children are shared 50/50 with their father. I do not get child support nor would I ever want it. If he has his kids half of the time, he’s paying for them when he has them, why should he pay during the time he doesn’t have them? I told my local child support agency if they ever attempted to come after him for support, that I would take the debit card the support gets loaded on, and give it to him to spend his own money. He does not ask me for the children, and I told him to not ever ask. It’s not a question, it’s like asking permission to love your kids. He tells me when he is taking them. When I have the kids, I make sure they call him every single day to talk to their daddy, and he does the same when the kids are with him. His family lives out of state. If at any point he goes to visit them, and wants to take the kids with, I would never stop him. Again, I do not want him to ‘ask’. If he happens to marry, as long as she is good to my kids and loves them, I couldn’t care less. It’s about my children, not dad, not dad’s wife, or girlfriend.

Above all, the child suffers the most. The child grows up with mental and emotional issues that one day they will need to deal with, and it comes out in some ugly ways. Mom denying dad more time with the kids, or withholding the children, is abuse. Abuse is not just physical. NO abuse is okay, but bruises heal. You cannot give your child back their younger years to spend more time with dad. Once the damage is done, it takes a lifetime of mistakes, and some of them can be very harmful, to start the healing process of being denied their dad.

It’s about the children. It’s not about how much you like the other parent, they deserve to have their child just as much as you.