I was going to write a long screed on divorce and children from a logical and thoughtful perspective, but I just can't do that today. Maybe on another day, but not today.
Today I am angry. I am angry that one parent can go to court and sully the reputation of the other parent in order to deny him equal custody of their child. I am angry that a schedule that was working so well for the child is now disrupted because of the evilness and vindictiveness of one parent. I am angry that a mother would use her child as a weapon and a pawn. I am angry that one parent would withhold time with the child from the other parent as a punishment. I am angry that a good father is now being denied his due time with his daughter.
As a feminist, I never believed that the system was rigged against fathers. I honestly thought that when mothers got full custody, there were good reasons for it. It wasn't just that women were thought to be caregivers and men weren't - there had to be more to the story that we didn't know about. And now, I can honestly say that that's bullshit. This judge took everything the mother said at face value, no real evidence, no real proof, and took a child from her father. She even said, "you were married for 10 years, the wife would know best."
My heart is breaking for both the dad and the child. He is devastated and doesn't know how he is going to go on. He can't bear to think of seeing his child every other weekend when he had her for a week at a time and got to do homework with her, cook her dinner, put her to bed...all the things a dad wants to be able to do for his daughter. And she is going to miss out on spending all that time with this fun-loving guy who worships the ground his daughter walks on and would do anything for her. As a mom of a daughter (and a daughter of a father), I know just how important fathers are to their daughters. They are the first man we love, and if there is no first man around during your formative years...what do you learn? That men aren't there for you? That men desert you? That men don't care? WHY would any woman want her daughter to have that influence if they didn't have to? WHY would any woman deny her child the right to see her father when he has done nothing to deserve this?
Right now, I am just fucking angry and I have no outlet for my anger. It's so hard to believe that someone you once loved enough to stand up in front of your family and friends and declare that love for could do something so heinous and cruel. I can't help but wonder if the woman is happy. Is she pleased with herself? Does she feel successful? Is she high-fiving her dirtbag lawyer on the way they stole a child from her father today?
Today, I am angry. And I feel helpless that there is nothing I can do to help fix the situation. I am angry at myself for not being even more forceful that he use a serious lawyer on this. I am angry at myself for ever considering this woman a friend and for inviting her into my family and into my circle of friends and into my heart. I am just angry. And I feel like the anger will dissipate with time and just become deep-rooted sadness that will stay with me forever.