Sunday, March 27, 2011

Mental Father? "Sad Dad" a fleshly tomb, am Buried above ground--William Cowper

I've been a stay-at-home-dad for most of my kids lives since their births 12 years ago. My youngest is 5. Even though my own 3 kids live with their mother and my step-kids are 10 and 12 here, and in school, I still refer to myself as a SAHD. I don't have infants at home with me during the day. Unless you count the cats. They act just as needy if not spoiled. So when the kids are out of school or home I'm with them.

Because of the Parkinson's I only work a part-time job while I spend my days taking care of the home. My days are routine; monotones. Days run into each other with sleepless nights spent writing. Mornings are coffee with the gathering of laundry and the usual items left out. It's almost like an Easter egg hunt except they are hidden in plain sight. Then there's the kitchen, and anything else that needs to be done....chores and non-chores.

It makes for lonely days, especially after 8 hour long sleepless nights. Long lonely nights. Maybe I should start talking to the cats. They seem to listen the most.

If you type in the words "depressed father" in your search engine to try to find any kind of resources to help yourself cope with depression as a father good luck. What you will find is link after link to countless sites and articles with "research" on how depressed fathers are more likely to spank their kids and how detrimental they are to them. The lingo: "Sad Dads" & "Hit Learning." As if a silently struggling father isn't already grasping for answers.

I searched site after site and they were all the same...negative. Some were downright accusatory. As if it's inevitable and one will have no say in the matter. One was titled, "If dad's sad, he spanks." Non were positive in support. Then I searched postpartum depression and it was like night and day. If I was a woman I would be basking in a sea of endless resources as a mother. I wouldn't be "sad dad" who uses "hit learning." I'd have the "baby blues" and sisters and friends would come from miles to help with the kids. I would have no problem finding any book dealing specifically with women and motherhood depression.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Incredible Shrinking Brain

Sometimes I think my 7yr old is wiser than he realizes. He says some off the wall things that I don't have any idea where he gets them from. The other day he made me laugh with the statement, "When you get mad, your brain shrinks." "Son, where did you hear that?" "I don't know, I just made it up." At first I blew it off as one of his silly sayings, but then it dawned me, there was more than just truth to what he was saying.

Want to make me angry? Make me have to repeat myself over and over. Don't even think about denying or pretending you didn't know you were or weren't supposed to do something. That's the quickest way to infuriate me.

"Go to your rooms!"..."What did I do?"..."You know exactly what you were doing!"..."No I don't. What were we doing?"..."Seriously? I heard you both wrestling on the couches. There's pillows all over the floor. The remotes are in the floor. Go to your rooms!!! How many times have you been told not to wrestle in the living room?"..."He made me. I kept telling him to stop."..."Don't start with me. I heard you laughing and giggling from the room!!!!!!!!!"..."GO TO YOUR ROOMS!!" By now I've lost my temper and at least one is crying.

I'm angry. I justify my anger with this act of blatant disobedience and lying. The kids are upset, frightened, and confused. In my mind I defend myself placing the blame firmly on the kids. After all, they were wrong. They had been told countless times not to wrestle in the living room. Besides, this wasn't the only incident where they had been told some over and over and they disobeyed. Not to mention, if they had just owned up to their fault and accepted the consequence my emotions wouldn't have sky rocketed. And hey, I'm the one trying to keep things from getting broke in the living room...AGAIN. Within seconds I walk away in guilt.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Final: Hated Father

It is fatherhood which makes childhood possible.

One of the last scenes of the movie Saving Private Ryan really stands out to me. If you recall the scene where, as an old man, Ryan is standing with his wife at the grave of Capt. John Miller surrounded in a field of white crosses. He was the platoon leader who, along with several other men that gave their lives to see that at that time private Ryan safely return to his family who had already lost his multiple brothers in the war.

Ryan seemingly overwhelmed by a number of emotions kneels and as if they were standing face to face tells him he's never forgotten those last words, "Earn it," the captain spoke to him as he slipped away after receiving a fatal wound.

Ryan turns to his wife, catching her by surprise and seeking true affirmation asks her, "Tell me I've led a good life. Tell me I'm a good man." Confused but honest she responds, "You are."

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Pt. 3 Hated Father

Your involvement in your own children's lives has been reduced to "visitation." At least that's what the orders on the court papers state. It's on paper. On one sheet that is. You get your kids on "these" days and "those" days of the month. If you want them more, well, you have to pretty much "ask permission" from their mother; because no matter how you word it "visitation" is the same as "loan."  Can it get any more demeaning than that? I assure you that it can.

I suppose no one looks in a mirror and sees a demon looking back? When a person demonizes another, it evidently frees up their own conscience to justify almost anything. Imagine that the person who hates you the most controls the people you love the most. Think of control in a broad sense. It's affects spread like a plague and everyone in your life responds in one way or another. That's the side effects of false child abuse allegations.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Pt. 2 Hated Father

*This is not anti-woman, mother, female or even ex-wives. It is anti-child abuse, gender bias, stigma, and parental alienation.

"Hello, my name is Michelle (fake name), I'm with the Child Protective Services (CPS) of Oklahoma Department of Health Services. Can I can come in for a few questions?"

After a year of my ex-wife conjuring up excuse after excuse to keep our kids from my visitations including at one point moving without telling me where for a few weeks. I had to track her and my kids down. This investigation became the first of 5 total investigations against me. That visitation, or intrusion, occurred three months after I remarried and three months before my ex-wife remarried.  I later discovered, during that investigation, that before we had even divorced, at the time her soon to be husband's mother had already been referring to my ex-wife's and my kids as "her" soon-to-be-grandkids and even had pictures of them.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

"Hated Father" Intro to a 4 part series peaking inside the doors of our Family Court system

Intro: Hated Father

"I thought cowboys and Indians were extinct like the dinosaurs."
This, my 7 seven year old says to me after I handed him a gold 50 cent piece. He asked me if it was one of the coins with the "Indians" on it.

"I think you're right son. All the cowboys and Indians are extinct." Figuratively that it is.  

No, not the six-shooter toting, chap wearing, lasso-slinging, Stetson wearing, heal clicking boot wearing, slick-looking hero who's only true companion that seems worthy of his true friendship is his horse in the old western movies. And no, not the "Indians" in the old "cowboy's and Indian's" movies as uneducated savages who always seem to barge in at the wrong time hooping and a hollering, in need of direction and guidance. Or for some reason in the old movies I have never figured out why there's a band of Indians that refuse to let some cowboys pass. Kinda like that troll under the bridge thing I guess.

But in those movies you know who the good guys are and you know who the bad guys are. There are no questions. No doubts, even if sometimes the good guys wear black. Good guys are "all" good and bad guys are "all" bad. There's no middle ground. No gray area. It's not a competition to see who can outdo each other.  Good guys don't do what they do for monetary gain. They do it all because it's the right things to do. It's a fight to the end. It's not a sport. Good is good, bad is bad. There I said it.

It's hard to find those qualities today, if at all possible. There are so many gray areas.

If you have a child did you know they already show signs of abuse? Did you know you with one phone call you can automatically have your children removed from your spouse's life? Did you know that if it's discovered you suspected abuse and did not report it you face possible imprisonment? And what's worse is that you don't have to have one single form of evidence. Absolutely!

Some of those signs your child is displaying (if you have kids) possible abuse...according to the Mondale Act of 1974 or the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA - 42 USC Sec. 5101), which was re-authorized in 1996 by President Clinton are none other than: bedwetting, acting out, nightmares, whining, temper tantrums, thumb-sucking, and compliant and fearful behavior. The act does not provide criteria for age for these behaviors or duration and intensity. But these are normal toddler, young child behaviors that parents teach to correct. In the business of child protective services when a mother leaves her husband and takes their children and then cries child abuse he almost 100% of the time treated guilty until proven innocent. Even after case closed there is still this loom hanging over one's head; this brand that you've been accused and people are talking.

This is the beginning of a four part series pertaining to Family Court proceedings and False Allegations of Children and Domestic Violence, particularly my case and my wife's case. The last piece being over the freedom of forgiveness. I say my wife's case because I was the target of the allegations. Unfortunately my cases are almost identical to thousands if not millions of fathers. What's worse is the very children that are supposedly being fought over to be protected are being abused in the processed.

The question remains is whether or not our current laws will change or if any new bills will be presented to impose stricter guidelines when claiming child abuse at the time of divorce without compromising the integrity of real cases.

I kept joint custody in the end of my custody battle. No findings were concluded in all 5 of the child protective investigations. The turmoil my ex-wife caused is indescribable, but I will attempt to do so in the next few articles. By our American laws I was allowed to have my life and privacy invaded, issued a restraining order against me, my children kept from me for 6 months, dragged to court, pay thousands of dollars, wind up paying my ex-monies that I tried to pay her before court, and pay her husband for expenses that I was never consulted on nor agreed to.

She was allowed to commit perjury, use child protective services for own personal gain using the states money, resources, and man power, lie and manipulate our children, use our children, coach our children, receive monetary gain, and she decided when the custody battle was over, all without consequences.

Where is the protection of the innocent in all of this? The children. I experienced firsthand in our battle by the judge that, "it is better to falsely convict than to allow a child to be abused" when ordered supervised visitation just to be on the, "safe side." Children and the target parent will never lead normal, healthy lives until the abuse is stopped. Legislation needs to be changed to protect all the innocent, not just one.

Now that I think of it, maybe the cowboys and Indians aren't extinct. They just dress different and carry different weapons. I fought and I fought hard. I wasn't perfect and I did wear black. I fought for what was right. So come to think of it, I was my son's cowboy.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Perfectly Broken...

A priceless perfume falls to the floor, scattered in brokenness. It had been a wedding gift to be poured out upon her new husband's feet. It's her very own dowry. Her statement of complete love and devotion. In disbelief she was criticized. Her actions or inflictions are not revealed to us, but they knew them. They knew what she had been doing. They knew her story. No matter it was she had reach point; brokenness. Whatever the burdens, whatever the pains and hurts were, she couldn't carry them anymore. She faced two choices: stay wasted or find restoration. Walking into that room was like walking into a den of vipers. But it's there she finds that her brokenness is necessarily painful; that it was His gift. When facing our personal brokenness, any hope of restoration often eludes us. It seems safer to accept the loss -- unaware of God’s hand in brokenness.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Your Stigma, Your Weakness...My Label, My Strength

Your Stigma, Your Weakness...My Label, My Strength
Just Making You Aware!!

You're solar, bipolar 
Panic disorder 
Seems harder and harder and harder 
Still you try to control it 
You're a symptom superficial 
To what they call knowing you 
Minus the speed, 
Could you imagine the phobia? 

"X-Amount Of Words"... lyrics, Blue October

Sleeping Beauty is popping pills and is an addict who could benefit from NA or AA. Picocchio is anorexic who suffers from body dismorphic disorder and can't stop getting his nose done. Betty Boop suffers from self-esteem issues because of her speech impediment and works the streets of Beverly Hills.  

Fred Flintstone is dyslexic. Popeye is in serious need of anger management classes. Tom and Jerry haven't come out of the closet yet. Bugs Bunny is a womanizing sex addict. Batman and Robin are tights wearing transvestites who shack up together. Charlie Brown is in need of an antidepressant, but at least he's trying; he's seeing a shrink! And Spongebob...well, he's just plain retarded.

Where my inspiration comes from

A Recycled-Dad with Bipolar & Parkinson's, reflections on fathering and family life and other stuff thrown in'll love my Soap Box Rants

Blog with Integrity\\ Auhor Lupe Picazo

Why I call myself a Recycled Dad

I call myself a Recycled Dad because of the struggles with remarriage and being a step-parent and weekend dad. This is also about my life living with bipolar and how it affects me personally, my family and my job. It also reflects on the grace God has poured out on me throughout recovery from alcohol and an eating disorder. Recycled Dad is about my reflections on the wisdom God teaches daily on fatherhood and being a better husband in spite of being bipolar.

Please feel free to leave comments. I welcome them