The following story on parental separation was written by a woman who wanted to tell her story of separation from her father.
Over the years I've become conditioned to the depth of some of these stories, however I never wish to be so used to them that they become ‘normal'.
I was separated fro my father for many years as a child. I endured years of listening to my mother bad mouth my father. Some of this was warranted, but so much of it wasn't. She was determined that I would not love my father because of the physical abuse she suffered from him.
My father continually wrote letters to me. I opened each one. Some I answered but there were more times that I didn't answer. Not deliberately, but just because I was a kid and didn't think about it. I guess I was too busy being a kid.
What I do remember and what always stayed with me was Dad writing “I love you” and “I'm sorry” so often that it became embedded in my heart.
Regardless of how many times we saw each other throughout the years, I know without any shadow of a doubt that I was loved by my Dad. I later discovered he kept all the letters I sent him over the years.
Despite not having spoken to him for the 5 years previous, I was blessed to spend the last 3 months of his life with him. He passed away in July 2016 of a brain tumour.
We held hands, laughed and told each other how much we loved each other.
I miss my Dad.
I share this story because I want to encourage other parents to never give up on your children, even if at times it seems they've given up on you.
I don't know how my father did it for all those years. I don't know how he continually pressed on through the letters and birthday cards and never got a response from me. He loved me regardless of anything else. I know that my Dad loved me.
Thank to all those parents who are fighting the fight to stay in your children's lives. Keep fighting. I saw the truth through the love of my Dad.
Mum and Dad could never have stayed together. Their relationship was too volatile and Mums negative words about Dad to me only pushed Dad and I closer together throughout the years. So don't worry about what the other parent tells your children about you. Just be that constant source of love in their lives.
If you've been alienated from your children, my advice would be to write them a letter every week. Write to them and give it to them when they are older.