This was taken from a post by Time to Put Kids First, at http://timetoputkidsfirst.org/ . Although the words are not originally mine, they read directly from my heart.
“I’m not ashamed of the false allegations made against me, or of the threats, the restraining orders, or even the jail time I served because of my ex. In times of darkness when I feel like a failure as a parent because I am not ALLOWED to parent, those things make me remember what a great father I truly am! Though I can’t be with them, I have done, and will continue to do, everything in my power to be a part of their lives. Not everyone could live through so much.”
These words speak to me, because I have been through everything listed here. I was once ashamed of all this. When the false allegations were first made, I was deeply ashamed of them. When a person is accused of something so heinous, it is difficult not to FEEL guilty, even when you’re innocent. I had made my share of parenting mistakes, and when the false accusations came, every one of those mistakes seemed magnified 100x. I condemned myself over and over. I found myself confessing to the smallest infractions to anyone who would listen, trying to rid myself of the guilty feelings. I felt like others believed the accusations as well, and I wanted to hide, to just disappear. I found it difficult to trust anyone, even my closest family and friends.
After that, the guilt of not being able to protect my children from what was happening to them set in. In my mind, a father should be able to protect his children from anything. I felt that it was my responsibility to protect them, no matter what the courts or the cops said. I spent two weeks in jail after trying to see my daughter. It took months of therapy to finally accept that I had to release myself of the burden of protecting my children, because legally I could not. I still don’t know if I have fully accepted that this failure is not my fault. Even though I faced a mountain of lies and legal judgements, with the might of the police force to back them up, I still sometimes ask myself, “What kind of father am I to let some stranger tell me I can’t talk to my children?”.
But I am healing. I am releasing that responsibility. I am accepting that I am a good father, and I deserve to see my children, even though I am being prevented from it. Every day I spend with my daughter proves to me that I am a worthy parent. And I am no longer ashamed. I do not own those lies – my ex does. And I will not hide any longer. The truth is on my side. The courts do not know what is in the best interests of my children, I do. And I will never stop fighting for them, whether they know it or not.