Someone in my extended family went through a separation. A child under a year old was involved along with a mom who wanted to live in a different part of the country from where the family was originally living. The mom ended up taking the child without warning and never returned with it. It has now been over a year since we (the extended family) and the father has seen the child.
This story certainly isn’t sunshine and butterflies. Separation never is. Both sides were angry, both sides were hurt, and it was beyond complicated.
But the biggest and worst pain was how the child was taken and never seen again. This is the story I want to tell. Because in my opinion, a parent who takes a child away from another parent is either doing it to get away from some type of abuse, or for selfish reasons, like to hurt the other parent, which is ultimately at the expense of the child. The latter is why this mom left with the child. To target the dad and the dad’s family.
I want to slowly tell this story in hopes that others can learn from the mistakes that were made. Sometimes there are moments that play over and over in my mind, and I think, could it have been different? This is the entire life of a child we are talking about. This story will be told entirely from my perspective, not from the perspective of the mom and not from the perspective of the dad. Just me.
At the end of the day, I hope writing this story will bring me more peace with what happened. And lesson the pain that I feel for this tiny human being growing up without a dad. I have lost a lot of faith in the goodness of people, and in the fairness of the justice system.
Here we go: Part 1
The families of the mom and dad lived very close to each other growing up. The mom and dad virtually grew up together since elementary school. Over the years, both families moved and grew apart. It wasn’t until much later in life that the mom and dad eventually got together. And near the end of their first year together, were pregnant with their first baby.
Most of the time, the mom refused to hold a steady job and due to financial constraints, the family moved into the dad’s parent’s condo to live temporarily while money was tight.
Leading up to the mom leaving, there was a lot of turmoil in the relationship. And when the mom finally decided to leave, well, I was a little relieved. I just never thought she would take a child away from the other half of her family. Her dad.
The week before the mom left, dad spent an entire week alone with the child, while the mom was in a different part of the country. Upon returning, mom declared her desire to leave, and since they were living in the dad’s parent’s condo, she wanted to find a place of her own.
After a week of staying at her friend’s place and taking turns caring for the child, the mom changed her mind and wanted to move back in with the dad. The dad didn’t think that is a very good idea for anyone. By that point, their relationship had deteriorated so much that it would have been detrimental to the child to be living together again.
This is when the mom snapped. I think she was so angry that she had made a mistake and couldn’t get her way. So, she used the only weapon that she had: the child. She literally stated that dad would not be seeing the child again. And then she was gone.
I think of that child daily. And how horrible it would have been for a 7 month old baby to live with her dad, and then all of a sudden, never see him again. How confusing and painful and horrible that would have been for such a little person. And I just wonder how a mom could do that to a child. How could she not have tried to work things out, if anything, just to benefit the child?