Thank you to all those that noticed I hadn’t been as active as normal. I generally post to a quiet audience and sometimes forget that people are out there, thank you for reminding me. I have not had a particularly good weekend and that has caused me to consider today’s post at length. I started writing this several times only to abandon it for being too personal. In the end I have concluded that is down to me, as the writer, to record things in as objective a manner as I can, I hope that I succeed.
The blog stands as testament to my history and since reflection is the best education I believe the post should be here.
On Friday my gorgeous daughter advised me, via facebook, that my equally gorgeous son was in hospital following a fall from a horse. At the ripe age of 12 (now 13) details were scant but essentially he said he was ok, no need to visit and was in for observation. Some gentle enquiries revealed that I was simply on the list that Emma was messaging, she was not following any instruction.
As the conversation progressed I discovered he was not in the local hospital but had been “airlifted” to a specialist hospital. Emma had no update and was awaiting information from mum. You will understand that at this point I was frantic. I have no means of calling mum since she refuses to communicate with me so I called the hospital. There is nothing that can chill you as much as being told that you’re being put through to trauma and they know him as “EM2” that’s emergency male 2!
Having passed the vigorous security checks I enquired as to my son’s condition. After a pause I was told “he says he is ok, don’t worry and no need to visit” obviously he couldn’t come to the phone. Thinking that I was now having an adult conversation I asked what injuries he had. They couldn’t answer me because how did they know I was his dad? Of course I could speak to mum who was there “Erm sorry mum won’t talk to you” Rather than enter an old debate or enquire as to what nefarious cause would be served by gaining this information I thanked the nurse and hung up.
Overnight I gained more information in the way that Dad’s have to. An internet search and conversation with a friend revealed the hospital he attended was a neurology centre. A message from an ex girlfriend advised that a friend of a friend of hers thought he had a seizure or a collapse whilst on the horse. My son returned home, thankfully, on the Saturday and a facebook ‘chat’ revealed no physical injuries. I am sure that I am not alone in not getting much of a conversation from a 14 year old! He couldn’t tell me what happened, the doctors didn’t have much to say and although he knew he could be fatigued for months he didn’t know why they said that.
With no means of contacting their mother I was left wondering what had put my son in an air ambulance. I researched the question of medical records again to refresh my memory. Despite the fact that the UK has a default position of ‘joint parental responsibility’ the medical profession are advised that the Mother is to be considered the responsible parent. Requests from fathers should only be considered where there is a evidence that he has sole responsibility and the child should be consulted.
Don’t misunderstand me, I don’t advocate a policy of intrusion and agree that there should be patient/doctor confidentiality. I would like to know what is happening to my babies though, even if I am denied any say in it. On reflection what I have gleaned over the years tells me that I should not be surprised my son collapsed (if indeed he did). Mum has shared her anorexia, neurosis and use of prescription drugs in the way that proper parents share experience and knowledge.
I have used all of the tools at my disposal to save my children. I have been supported by worried psychologists and social workers, but all in vain. The truth is that I live in a system that would rather that I fund their life than support them. When I speak to angry parents nowadays I always think that as angry as they are I bet they would know if their child was in hospital. It’s what parents are supposed to do, come together for their children.
That I had a relationship with someone with mental illness is no surprise. I have spoken before of ‘broken wings syndrome’ and my desire to ‘fix’ people. That this relationship is destroying those most precious to me is the source of constant pain.
In life there are many things we can regret but I would suggest that regretting the mother of your children is one of the worst. I don’t mean that I regret divorce and wasted years, although I do, I regret that I gave my children that mother. I endured things that I no longer wish to remember in an attempt to keep my family together but that was not what my wife wanted. If only I could have seen how badly she would spiral on her own and how she would destroy our precious children. But then, I’m a dad so nothing would have changed.
Like I said at the beginning I have written this post so that I can recall a very dark time when I need to. It is my desperate hope that I can do so with my children one day, rebuilding their lives and that they forgive me for their mother.