New member of the forums here and to be honest, this is a big step for me.
I am an estranged father of two children who are now 26 and 20 years old. I left the family home in 2006 not knowing this would mean I would essentially also be divorcing my children. There was no domestic violence. I would never raise a hand to anyone let alone a woman.
At the time, my children were 13 and 7. After a protracted legal battle where my ex was asking for sole custody, the judge decided that, in light of my son's age, he could see me "in accordance with his wishes"; he decided that would be never. Naturally he was never encouraged to maintain a relationship with me. My daughter, was ordered to spend every second Saturday with me. Based on the angst it would cause her, overnights were ruled out by the judge. She complied with these orders and despite being civil with me during these visits, the relationship was always strained. When I picked her up, she sat in the back seat always. She never called me dad. There was never any hugging or signs of affection. Not so much as a card for Father's day, birthdays or Christmas. As her 18th birthday approached, I enquired what would happen when the orders no longer applied. She informed me that she would no longer be seeing me. I had lost her as well.
It has been 2.5 years since I've seen my daughter and 13 years since I've seen my son. I doubt I will ever see either of them again and the pain is more than I can bear. I don't know where they live and, honestly, would not feel right reaching out to two people who despise me so much.
People often tell me things will improve. But how ? When ? I can't see it.
I'm re-married with two adult stepdaughters but I miss my children. I want them to love me and include me in their lives. I doubt, if I died, they'd even come to the funeral. Sometimes I sit and just wonder what I did to deserve the cycle of pain that I have endured and will probably continue to endure until the day when it all just comes to an end.
I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy.