I've cut and pasted this a few times and redacted information so if there are any continuity errors or details that need correction please let me know my clicking the email button above. Thanks.
A bit of background to this story.
I was married to an American from 1994 to 2003 and lived in Ohio. The marriage was a disaster from day 1, details I will get into another time, suffice to say we divorced in 2003. She ended up marrying her fourth (yes, 4) husband just two weeks after our divorce was finalized. Whereas I found I couldn’t trust women, or anyone else for that matter, for the next five years but I digress. In 2008 she attempted to sue me for child support. I was broke, working a low paying retail job and about $11,000 in debt having lost everything but my car filled with my stuff in the divorce.
If I could have afforded a good lawyer I might have been able to fight it (details for another time too), but since I had not really been allowed to see my daughter in a couple years I didn’t have any fight left in me.
In 2004 and 2005 she brought my daughter up to Canada for a mini vacation, but in 2005 she decided to enforce the order that I would have to pay for her to come up if I wanted to see her. I could barely afford the bills I had let alone forking out probably $1,000+ just for a week.
After deliberations with her attorney we settled that I would pay $0 a month in child support but only if I gave up my parental rights and any right to see my daughter. I had no choice, they wanted over $400US a month in child support which worked out to be about half of my net pay in Canada and since I had not seen my daughter in about 3 years we had both moved on. I signed the paperwork and that was it.
I think it was a couple years later I discovered a blog written by my daughter. In an entry about me, specifically, she wrote many things. A couple of the things were true to a degree but most of it was straight up lies that I’m sure her mother told her. I told the website that if the information had been truthful I would have let it stand but it wasn’t, so I asked the website to remove it. They deleted it the same day. This year I might write about what it said and my defense to it even though it has long since been deleted. I must search in my archives and find the original document first.
Now it’s 2018, nearly ten years later. My daughter, wherever she is, turns 22 this month. And, with every January since 2008 the topic comes up and I wonder what I could have done differently ‘after’ I signed the papers.
This and other blog postings are conversations I’ve had with a friend about different situations in my life. To protect the identities of everyone involved (currently saying that is really kind of moot but anyways) I have changed my friend to the “Interviewer” and tried to use any names as little as possible.
Interviewer: I'm hearing the hurt in the situation and I get that it's a lot. Your ex sounds like a piece of work. It's possible your daughter is afraid to contact you after the blog thing though too. I mean if she was given false info and was living that as her truth about you and blogged, or she just fraked up, she's probably not sure where to go from that. Maybe she reached out to your parents hoping it would someday lead to you again but couldn't come right out and say it.
I just feel like if at some point you invite another kid into your life (via relationship or children of friends), there might be stuff that comes up for you about your daughter and how it's all gone. I think it's more than just explaining "Oh hey I do have a kid." in terms of connecting with a kid from someone else's life more intensely might make you feel. You had a life with her in it before all the bad stuff. hopefully she remembers some of the good parts of that life.
Kevin: The only reason I kept track of where she is/was for my own protection, so she couldn't spread more lies about me on the internet. Which is sad as the main reason because it should have been a personal interest in how well she was doing and not how her mother had manipulated her this time. My mistake was, when the court took away my rights, I should have told people that yes, I was married and no I didn't have kids. She had 4. But I can't lie that out there somewhere was someone born because of me. I doubt she is thinking or acting like me. The only way she "acted" like me she blamed me of in that blog post and said she was mean toward some friend because of habits she picked up from me. How she could have those habits when I’d been gone for over a year is beyond me. I left when she was SIX. She is corrupted, tainted, indoctrinated by her mother who was a lying B that I made the mistake of ever meeting. I don't really care if it stays like it is.
But then, take this woman, whom I am interested in. She, of course, wouldn't want me to have a kid the same age of her. I told her that my kid was about 21. I had to think for a moment and it turns out I’m wrong she’s 22 in a couple weeks. This woman is 25. That's not the same. We dropped it. It will come up again you know if anything did come of my relations with this woman. My daughter is not in my life, so it should not matter to anything. But, my "half me" kid has basically condemned me in so many ways just because of her mother and my inability to lie about her existence. She's not waiting for me. She's moved on. The problem is everyone around me, through normal social interaction, has not allowed me to. I don't blame them. I blame myself for not lying from the day I lost parental rights.
Interviewer: Sometimes people can turn out to be completely different from their upbringing and overcome the toxicity of a parent through the later path of their life. This could still happen for your daughter. She's not her mother even if she has been very influenced by her up to this point. Who knows where her life will go as she gets older. This is a very extreme example but years ago I watched a documentary about the children of the perpetrators of the holocaust. They had some bad parents, but they were not their parents and they had to one day reconcile who their parents were and what they did. Humans can be remarkable.
Kevin: It wasn't false to her. She posted the information that she believed was the truth because that's what her mother who didn't abandon her told her. She doesn't even know I saw the blog (until now). It was deleted by the website after I filed a complaint, they probably told her it was due to content and nothing more. Her entire life was corrupted. My father said when she called that she said, "I'm 18 now and I can call anyone I want to". Who the hell says that except someone who has been controlled and manipulated their entire life growing up. It sounds like something a person who was controlled and abused for decades would say, like those kids who are abducted and held in a house for years never allowed to go outside. Nope, she reached out to my parents, and my father gave her my contact info (at least my phone number). She also knew my name. Do a Google search "Kevin Klerks Canada" 188,000 results. It's not like I'm hard to find. I even have my own website!
Our marriage was a disaster and lie from day one. I don't want to get into it all right this minute but there is a lot more behind the statement "Divorce and bankruptcy were the two best things to ever happen to me in my life". I had an estranged relationship with my daughter, at best, and my wife only made life hell. If I could go back to being 18... I tell people I'd do it all again because it's life experience, but the more I look at it the less I believe that. In 1994 my life took a path that broke me in so many ways. Ways that have taken a decade not to move on from but to adopt into my life and try to deal with. To me, with all that has happened in life, my daughter is almost dead in my world but there's no way to move on because she really isn't. I don't wish her to be, the point is there will 99% most likely never be interaction between the two of us ever again.
INTERVIEWER: I think that both you and your daughter are victims of your ex-wife’s issues and that is horrible. Whether or not you talk to each other, I hope for healing for you both.
In terms of this woman you are interested in getting to know and ages and kids etc., life happens. I have friends who had teen pregnancies and then much later had second families so now they're not much older than me with grandkids. It's all relative. It's who you are now and how you communicate that matters.
Kevin: My daughter, by the way, is surrounded by family and friends who were all in her mother's realm of influence. She will never escape that toxicity. Two of her siblings leeched off their mother and clearly learned bad habits from her. Interesting to note as part of the settlement in 2008 I asked that, should my ex-wife die, that one of her daughters become the legal guardian of my daughter. I couldn’t trust my ex’s parents or anyone else in the family to protect my daughter. In the last words I did what I would to protect her future.
They will be my daughter's guides when the old B finally dies. The only way she could escape is to move to another part of the country or planet away from all her family. Look at where I am today. Do you think she could do any differently? I'm 46 and my father lives 70 kms away. I moved back in with friends. I am around my friends near to where I grew up and a town I considered my home. If anything, if you say my daughter is half me... then she will do the same.
INTERVIEWER: All of that is possible, but life is full of every possibility and it's unpredictable. Hopefully she can see it clearly to some degree before she's very old and you are gone from the world. Maybe the lesson won't even happen with you but with her own children if she chooses to have any. That would be a shift of perspective that could very well be illuminating in some way. You just never know. My parents are pretty fraked up. But I learned a whole bunch of stuff the minute they put my baby in my arms. There was just a shift. I can't explain it, but it can happen.
Kevin: Oh, we are. I may have divorced her in 2003 but ... well, I tell people I married an American and served 8.5 years in the US. served = prison sentence. My time with her damaged me in so many ways, and I was damaged already. Ways that I've spent 18 years trying to survive and get past. I sit in this basement room and still get flashbacks of the basement room I had my little circle of my stuff. Where I slept in the chair to be away from the mental abuse. Where I hoped I could find some security from her nosey daughters, but I'm sure didn't. I can't begin to describe the 9 years of it all and don't want to. I used to say I didn't want my daughter to contact me until she was an adult because by then I might forget everything from those years and moved on. For the most part I have.
As to this woman, who knows... I've never really considered having kids, anyone's kids, since I was married, but again that's the damage that my ex-wife caused me. I want "the family", the safety and security of knowing someone else is there with me in life. The chance to be the, I don't like to say father figure so much as the strong male guide for a child. Like a father, but we've put so many conditions on that that single mothers don't believe another man can truly be the father of their child from another relationship. I know you will say that it does happen, and that be great if it did, but I don't "expect" it because I know that may lead to disappointment. I'd be happy if they just came to me as the role in their life to seek support, comfort, common sense, whatever. I don't even know her kids so I'm not referring to this woman for that, just in general.
Well, at least my daughter uses the name I gave her. I just searched her “name State" and it came up with her long name used for voter registration in her home county. That, if anything, is at least something. For years she's used other names on social media and such, like she was embarrassed to be known by the name I gave her. And she is registered at her mother's address in 2016.
INTERVIEWER: You said, "single mothers don't believe another man can truly be the father of their child from another relationship". I've seen it happen successfully a few times though. My friend is the best example. He married a woman with two kids. the kids were both from different fathers, neither of whom were naturally father figures. He's divorced from the woman now, but her kids still call him Dad, send him Father’s Day greetings on social media. the girl, who was my son’s babysitter for years, lived with him over her mom even though he wasn't her "bio dad" and I'm pretty sure he helped put her through university. He's really their dad even if nature didn't make him one.
Kevin: Well in my experience then.
Interviewer: Your experience has been horrible. I'm so sorry. It's not everyone and everywhere that's like that. Thank you for sharing some of it. It's better to get it out than hold it in and let it keep causing damage. I'm here for you though if you do want to talk about it anytime. *hugs*
Kevin: Thanks, it's why I stand for "human rights" and not "women’s rights" because I know men can be abused as much as women they just don't go running to the cops or the media about it.
Ad Revenue / Orange Key Fund Pending Donations to Charity:
of that balance the total donated to charity was:
Open a Tangerine account with my Orange Key
and get a bonus!