I was born in the UK and moved to Canada in October 2001. I was engaged by March 2003 and married by July that year. It was partially arranged, and while I was not forced by anyone, his mother did ask for my hand in marriage from my mother.
My children were born in 2005 and 2007, and while our marriage was on rocky grounds, I have to admit that my ex-husband appeared to love his children, and I credit him as a father. At the time, we lived with my in-laws.
Fast-forward to December 2017, after lengthy court proceedings spanning from 2011 to 2014, he was finally awarded custody, whilst I was given supervised access. He has been in contempt of this and many previous orders, but the judges take his side each time.
My supervised visits were going fine, but since I only got two hours each fortnight there is a lot of time unaccounted for. My phone and email contact with the children slowly decreased. One day, I got a text from my ex-husband telling me I had upset the children, but he refused to tell me what I had said or done or let me talk to them.
Up until May 8, 2016, my visits had been going well, but it was an emotional rollercoaster having to deal with the contact centres, and not being able to be myself with my own children. It was like prison, and having to report back to my ex-husband, who I left for his controlling and manipulative behaviour, was not helpful.
Slowly, hockey started to compete with my visits. Promises of make-up time were never fulfilled. Suddenly, the children refused to come into the contact centre, but the little communication we did have went fine. I scared to discipline them because I get criticised for that. I am trapped.
After three occasions where the children refused to see me, the contact centre closed the file. The court now believes I need to provide more current medical documentation in order for me to see my children in a supervised centre for 2 hours a fortnight…wow!
I have tried working with my ex-husband on financial matters, to make him understand that we both have the children’s best interests at heart. While I am living, my only care is for them, when I am allowed. After I am dead, they will want for nothing more from me.
I don’t believe my ex-husband is openly saying anything negative about me to the children. However, I don’t think he actively encourages them to have a bond with me, either. I believe he must limit any discussion on the topic of me. When they are upset with me, I am sure he subtly reinforces how terrible I am. This is just my educated guess[CW1] .
One example would be Mother’s Day 2017. Leading up to this day, I reached out to my children via email, which was the only way I could. I never received response, but I know they received my emails…or at least their dad did. I had not wanted them to feel uncomfortable at school when children were asked to make something for their mothers, since most years I was overwhelmed with cards and paper bouquets etc. I had mentioned I was excited to see what they would make, because I had never had a bad gift from them and keep them all…
The day before Mother’s Day, their dad sent me an email telling saying I am upsetting the boys, and to stop making them feel uncomfortable. Needless to say, Mother’s Day was a very sad day for me. However, at 6pm I received a notification that I had been tagged in an Instagram story and was left crying tears of joy when it was from my son telling me how much he loved me.
While the communication is one-sided, I have many examples of how my ex-husband lies about my children’s feelings. I would love to go into more detail, but I am tired, beaten down, defeated…if only someone would hear my story and believe it; use their power and resources to do something; not just for me, but the thousands of other parents who experience this, too.
Currently, I am off work, battling my feelings. I have to fight back tears because people do not want to hear how sad I am. Life will get better and I will remain hopeful. My biggest fear is that either one of us experiences a loss so great that time cannot change it.
Living with regrets is worse.