|Kevin M Klerks||
May 25, 2016
Write What You Know
When I asked several people what I should write about in my blogs the majority of replies were along the line of “what about your past experiences”. I think people like to read about your, or my in this case, childhood experiences all the way up to yesterday for a number of reasons. It expands their view of the world, it passes on traditions and ideas that they might not have thought of, or, it invokes some emotional response that they miss or don’t get to experience much in the here and now.
So what do I write about, well, I guess the best thing to write about is usually the hardest thing to talk about and that would be my daughter. Yes, I have a daughter. I know, my friends and co-workers who will end up reading this blog at some point probably didn’t even know I was married (almost nine years of hell) or that we had a girl together.
I don’t talk about my daughter because I don’t even know her anymore. All of you women out there who have divorced someone, and kept their kids away from them. Shame on you. You talk about the emotions and feelings of the children and then you do things like that?!
Okay, so let’s begin at the end. I moved out, separated, at the end of March 2003. My daughter had just turned seven in January. I had left my job, I lost my home, I lost everything that wouldn’t fit in the back of a station wagon, well, two technically. I moved back to Canada and in with my parents at thirty-two years old.
Now, we parted ways on fairly amicable terms, which was kind of surprising seeing as most of our marriage had been filled with verbal abuse and financial debt. I won’t go into details, this isn’t about that.
The timeline after is what matters.
In 2003 I got divorced. We settled on me paying no child support for the first five years. It was her way of allowing me to get back on me feet. My way for her was to not be mean and pull the rug out from under her. I left her the equity in the house, all of the furniture and, most importantly, my daughter.
I mean, I had no choice. I couldn’t support her. No job, no house, hell I didn’t even have furniture. I had a used car full of personal effects and tax records.
So, the first summer apart my ex did her part and brought my daughter up to see me. You know, to be honest, I can’t even remember now if it was one summer or two, but only a couple weeks I think. The point was after that my ex said that I had to pay for my daughter to come up to Canada and that she wouldn’t bring her the fourteen hours by car anymore. She implied that the expense was too much for her.
Did I mention that two weeks after our divorce she, my ex, married her fourth husband, after secretly “hanging out” with him before our divorce and getting him to buy things for the kids? Oh yeah. He was a computer tech for a major Ohio bank and made over one hundred thousand a year American, but bringing my daughter up to see me for two weeks of the year was “too expensive” for my ex. At the same time, I was working as a stock clerk making around thirteen thousand a year Canadian and she still had a management job netting over three grand a month. Yup, too expensive.
Anyways, so five years passed and by then I was about ten thousand in debt and working at the same job. I was up to about sixteen thousand Canadian at that point. I had had little contact with my daughter since 2005. I think I might have received a couple brief letters from her and that was it. I also heard about the letter my ex sent my parents, I read it actually, alleging that I had been involved in an affair. It was kind of ironic actually, since I possessed emails from her “male friend” talking trash about me and serenading her. The “girl” I met, online, I never actually met in person. The thing was, and I had told my parents the whole story before my separation, was that I asked for a divorce on November 8. I met this girl, woman, online on November 10 – and I never met her in person! Ever. Anyways, I digress.
One day I got a letter from the court stating that I would have to pay, literally, hundreds per month in child support. If I remember correctly it amounted to about 75% of my pay. Naturally I protested. I had offered to pay less, and I’d paid a couple of the medical bills – even though none of the medical/dental procedures had ever been discussed with me nor did I think some of them were really necessary. But anyways, I digress. Dig… the rest?
So, in short, I talked to her lawyer a few times and during that my ex tried to scam the court with some old medical paperwork of hers claiming she couldn’t work. It was a year old, the court threw it out. I ended up in a bind though. I couldn’t travel to Ohio to fight it because I was broke. I couldn’t afford to pay child support, which I proved was just her way to make my life miserable. My ex’s fourth husband had died and his life insurance likely paid off the house, plus she had a $20,000 vacation booked for herself and ALL of her family, daughters, their husbands, their kids, her parents… and here she was suing me for support??
I talked with the lawyer some more, and through negotiation I agreed to give up my parental rights if they reduced the child support to $0 a month. I did, however, add as a stipulation, that should my ex die (one can only hope) that my daughter would be left in the custody of my ex’s youngest daughter from another marriage. I didn’t trust her parents and since I was pretty much forced to give up my rights I couldn’t challenge for custody if the situation occurred. And, they agreed. That was 2008.
Talk about my ex and money. I found out that her fourth husband had died, the only way to get away from her I guess. She tried to lay a guilt trip on me, oh, not about how heartbroken my daughter was after finding him keeled over in the livingroom – oh she did briefly mention that. No, she said that (paraphrased) “had I only let him adopt her then they could have received (something like, I forget now) $2,000 a month in death benefits with her as his adopted daughter, but because I didn’t then she got nothing”. Adopt? I told her that had she even asked me I would have signed the papers just to get my ex off my back (in 2003). In the end all my ex ever cared about was money and this just proved it. Oh, yeah, I could tell you some stories alright.
I think the last time I heard from my daughter was 2008, in the time I called down there to rip my ex a new one over the court case. I believe, yearly, my daughter had contact with my parents. I seemed to remember them talking about her, but I tried not to think about it. I couldn’t.
So, I guess it was about 2011 or so that I found some “stories” my daughter had written online. They contained a lot of lies and inaccuracies. If they had been true I would have just left them, but they weren’t so I contacted the website provider and ordered them to remove them or face legal. They were removed within the day. I knew that my daughter had been completely corrupted by lies that my ex had fed her over the years and there would be no getting her back.
It’s 2013 then 2014 and my daughter, now 18, contacts my father telling him that she is “18 and she can call whoever she wants to”, additional evidence that my ex made sure my daughter never contacted me in any way. And, the court made certain I couldn’t contact her, under penalty of violating our agreement of non-contact. I was, by the court, no longer her father and therefore had no right to contact her.
My father told my daughter that my mom had passed in 2013 of cancer. He told me he gave her my contact information but she has never tried to reach me. I’m everywhere, I’m not hard to find, but two years later… I know that my ex (and probably her kids too) corrupted my daughter with so many lies, so much paranoia, but sometimes you just can’t undo what has been done…
I guess the last time I spoke to my daughter was about eight years ago, during the legal issues. I know where she is, I know what she looks like… but I’ll probably never contact her. She doesn’t want to talk to me, I guess that’s for the best. I once told my parents that I would wait for her to contact me. I knew it would be years, or perhaps decades, but I felt that by that time I would have mostly forgotten all the things her mother had done to me. I thought that by then I’d be able to carry on a normal conversation without the bitterness and hatred of her mother. After all, your father leaves you the last thing you want to hear from him is how much he hated your mother right?
Do I hate my ex? A part of me still does. A part of me hates her for the way she treated me but you know what, it was mutual. I admitted that and accepted responsibility for my part in that years ago. And no, I never ever hit her, it was verbal and mental abuse on both our parts. A story for another time. So I don’t have any real emotions connected to that “hate” it’s more just a word to me to express strong dislike. My ex just turned 62 last November so, yeah.
Do I love my daughter? A part of me never stopped loving her. I did what I did, leaving, because it was the best thing for her. I know most people don’t get that and will disagree, but when your parents argue non-stop every day for years how can that be a good house for you to grow up in? It can’t, I knew it couldn’t. And it wasn’t for me either, that’s why on November 8, 2002 I asked her for a divorce “because my soul is dying” I told my, now, ex. If your soul dies how can you help another soul to grow and flourish?
Freelance Online Writer, Amateur Photographer, Founding Member PPC Huron-Bruce EDA Initiative.