Part two of three........
Years pass and I have slowly, and only partially rebuilt my life. I now see my eldest but I know she is irreparably damaged by what has passed. I can find no peace but I keep going because it's the best I can now offer my daughter. I am not allowed to see my youngest. I’m deemed too dangerous and too much time has passed according to the family judge. She has the option of looking for me when she reaches 18; she’s 9 now, has not seen me for 4 years and has had her name (illegally) changed by my ex wife - not much chance of my daughter locating me or knowing how I feel about her. Our state enforced separation is complete and unbreakable.
Outwardly I am strong but I am aged beyond my years. My bloodhound face shows a place in time further away than reality might otherwise correct. At night I sometimes lose my battle with control when it is silent and dark, the absence of distraction prompting memories, sometimes tears but I usually stop myself. Its always my youngests face that I see in those dark moments. I switch on the light to burn away the sadness. Unlike others I actually long to go into the light. Ironic. It removes the pain and is a happier place to be.
I am now moved far away and I have started a new life where no one knows me, no one judges. I have new friends but I fear being close to another human. I have learned that the closest and most precious can be removed in an instant. Just like that - here one moment, gone the next. Self preservation dictates imposed distance and a barrier with others to prevent loss. If your children and wife can disappear without warning, why would anyone else be there for you, or a safer bet? Here and gone. Here and gone. When I think about it I see my heart encased in a turtle like shell, safe and unpenetrateable.
Its been 5 years and I want to love but thats a whole world of trust away from what I’m probably fully capable of. Time may change this, we’ll see. For love, I’ve found is a weakness and cannot be offered lightly. I find that instead I give my love to external causes because they can never be taken away. They help to remove the guilt of my own stupidity that fateful day in 2009. There’s always someone else in greater need and it serves to remind me where I’ve been, and how lucky I now am to have what little I now have. I work, I travel by bus (no more sports car for me), I cook and I clean a lot. The apartment needs to be clean to negate the bad shit hidden deep down below. I can no longer deal with disorder because it is symbolic that I have lost control and could at any time spiral back down into the vortex of pain, and drown.
Sometimes I lie in bed late at the weekend and hold onto to a bracelet that my youngest gave to me when I last saw her. I like to twirl it between my fingers and keep it in my curled palm. It is coated in silver but I have worn it away to the darker metal underneath. It smells of her, at least it does to me but maybe that is a trick of my mind. Maybe it just smells of metal but that would mean that she is gone, so its not that.
I wish I had not done what I did that day. I made a terrible mistake and the price I've paid is far too high. My children are suffering, and I am too. My father died penniless and ill, his last days devoid of grandchildren because of my stupid error.
If I could relive that moment in 2009 I would do things differently. I have lived to regret each moment since. In my next life I resolve to act differently, for my children's sake not mine. I accept that in this life I have failed them.
My dream is that someday, someone will right this wrong in a way that I am unable to, that I could see my youngest, give her a hug and tell her that I love her. That I’ve missed her beyond words these last 5 years. I am resigned to the fact it will not happen.
All the things that my wife told the police that fateful day, and later the family courts have made that impossible. Since then, everything that I love and have made is lost. Worst by far the loss of children. My youngest is now without me as her father. All of it was so needless and so avoidable if only I had not made that one mistake, that one momentary loss of control.
On that morning in 2009 I found that my wife had been having yet another affair. Bored at successfully achieving her childhood dream of being a housewife in a large house whilst hubby slaves in the city, she decided to fill her time with risky sex. I found that she had transferred our joint money into her own name and that she planned to suddenly disappear. One email she sent to a prospective lover she met through sugardaddie.com still burns in my brain:
“My life is so perfect but I am selfish, and I want more. Is that so bad?”
I confronted her calmly. For that I was later interviewed and dragged through hell by the police and everything stripped from me by the family courts. My children, my career, my home, my father, my dignity. My very soul dragged from me, shot, burned and stamped into the ground.
My wife's reaction was to physically attack me, her plans disrupted before they could be enacted. Much later I discovered that she had done this before with two former partners so this was hardly something new to her. I did not know of her past throughout our time together. With each man she destroyed she perfected her art. She honed her skills as the expert hunter and the state willingly provided the weaponry for her next prey.
My crimes were to call 999 when she’d attacked me and would not stop. She was much smaller than me but was driven by a psychotic rage that I’d not seen in another human. It was a momentary choice for me; likely hurt her to forcibly stop the attack, or dial 999.
To find out what happened next see: Anatomy of a Deadbeat Dad part three