As the meeting drew to a conclusion I looked across the table towards the mother of my children. Everything was perfectly still as the world fell silent all around me. This was the stuff of every parent’s nightmares, Social services, Paedophiles (Sorry child sex offenders) lies and secrets. I think the overriding emotion I was experiencing right then was pure undiluted hatred.
The thing that annoys me the most is the fact that I still tried to find excuses to soften the blow. Trying to minimalise what was going on. Maybe she hadn’t known before she fell in love before she knew after all. Maybe he was wrongly convicted. Afterall I had met him a few times in the past. He had always been polite well mannered and completely appropriate. I remember dropping the children off after a weekend once and he rushed off upstairs to put a T-Shirt on. Fair play I thought.
What the hell was I thinking, trying to justify either of their actions? He is an animal and she wasn’t much better. Even if she had fallen in love before she knew why did she keep him around. Why was she getting the kids to lie about him being there, making them say they hadn’t seen him in ages. She was still seeing him and he was still an active part of her lives I was positive about that but I needed to prove it, not to anyone else but to myself.
As with most parents, I always believed I would kill for my kids if the situation warranted it. However, I never thought I would need to or even be in a situation where it was a possibility. Here I was though. If this man had harmed or subjected my children to anything, like the thoughts going round in my head right then I would have killed him. I knew I had the instinct I served in the military 9 years, been trained to use a firearm and knew that I could if needed end a human life.
Where would that leave the children though? A dad in prison and a mum who didn’t have the mental capacity to protect them from even the biggest of risks. As the case dragged on me and my fiancee split up and I moved in with my dad. I didn’t have time to grieve for my relationship. I needed to set about building a case. Knowing that I needed to get my children out of that house but living on my dad’s sofa was a horrible feeling. I felt like such a failure, wasn’t actively putting my children in any danger, however, I was completely powerless to get them away from it either.
Not once did Social Services (Child Services) have a meeting with me alone to find out what my views were or how I wanted to progress with any plan. Any contact I had was with rushed phone calls or in the presence of S***. Never did they tell me my options other than I can apply to the court for residency although they referred to that as the court arena. I was slipping further and further into a dark place. I had to stay afloat but I was struggling. It was at this point I wrote My Poem I strongly recommend you read it as it gives you an insight into my mindset back then.
Later I would find out that all through this ordeal I was also fighting PTSD, Severe depression and anxiety. The anxiety and depression were hardly surprising tho all things considered. I went the whole way through without any medical help. How could I ask for it if they thought I was a nutjob I would never have got my kids. I really was on my own. This was the ultimate test of my character but I HAD to win. Losing was not an option.
The meetings went on and Child protection orders were made and broken. I was so ready to go, rogue, pick up my children and disappear overseas somewhere. Every time I got in my car I thought about it but no I have to do this properly. I had to do this for my kids, for myself and for every other father in the same boat as me. We can’t spend our lives on the run. I am a good father and I needed to be a good father now more than ever.
The arranged meeting with her colleague never happened
People now ask me why I didn’t exercise my parental rights and take them on safeguarding grounds. I didn’t know I could. I often asked the social worker if I had any options other than court and I was told there was not. All through this, I held down my job trying to work whilst spending hours upon hours of the working day on the phone to social services, the NSPCC and other organisations. Luckily my line manager and my boss were very understanding of my situation. Often allowing me to attend meetings that were arranged with an hour notice.
Everyone was against me and it seemed to me that even social services were demonising me. Telling me I had a short temper and I was being aggressive on the phone. I wasn’t, I was being direct and wasn’t taking their excuses anymore. They were letting my children down and I told them as much. They didn’t like that. I told them that when they had my children’s blood on their hands I would drag them through every court in Europe and every newspaper too. I kept every text message and letter and it doesn’t make for good reading for them.
With court the only option and not being entitled to legal aid I had to continuously drop them off after my visitation back to a house where I knew they were being abused. Maybe not physically but definitely mentally. Do you know how it feels being in the situation? I hope not!!!!
I never did receive any answers from social services reference these concerns
If anything you have read in this article is of interest to you, please feel free to contact me with any questions or opportunities