The following is an anonymous contribution from a very courageous alienated parent.
I used to have two boys in my life. Now i have just one. And the one I have left is my best friend. And this best friend of mine helped me through the darkest time of my life. I think he probably saved me from taking my own life.
I am an alienated dad. A couple of years ago I returned home after a couple of days away at work to discover that my now ex-wife had locked me out of my own property that we previously lived in together.
Within a couple of days I then found out that my ex had the guy from the local liquor store move into my house. They had apparently been seeing each other for over six months. Within six months of him moving into to my house, according to his mom my seven year old boy Jack was now calling my ex’s new partner dad. His mom made sure I was aware of this. She would email me and text me to let me know.
“His mom had clearly brainwashed him against me.”
During this same time period she would also take photographs of hate letters she claimed were all written by Jack and make sure she emailed or texted them to me. In these letters Jake would write that he hated me. He also wrote that after what I had done to his mom he no longer wanted me as a dad. His mom had clearly brainwashed him against me.
At that point I had no idea what parental alienation was, I also knew very little about mental health. I had nowhere to live and nowhere to go. I am self employed, so if I don’t work I don’t get paid. I spent about a week living in my pick-up truck, while still working. That week was tough, but little did I know that I had darker times ahead.
My ex had effectively stolen my son away from me. But she had not managed to take my other boy away from me; my dog Murphy. A rescue dog, with the look of The Littlest Hobo, the Canadian TV show from the 70s and 80s.
Murphy never leaves my side. He comes to work with me. Hence he is still with me despite me being locked out of the family home. So Murphy was by my side throughout that tough first week.
A friend of mine helped me out by allowing me to rent an apartment of their’s for half the price. I had confided in him about my situation. I will always be grateful for him helping me with accommodation. Although he simply didn’t understand what I was going through.
When I moved into the apartment, although things were tough, I found work a healthy distraction while I began to get my head adjusted to the situation I now found myself in.
“As for me I’d given up on myself.”
However as the weeks progressed I became more and more unmotivated. I didn’t know it at the time but I was beginning to fall into a depressive episode. Within a month or so I was not going to work, I was behind on my rent, and I spent much of each day simply laying on the couch, with the TV on, but I was just laying there feeling hopeless, feeling lost. Feeling heartbroken due to the severing of the loving relationship I had with my boy Jack. However throughout this whole time Murphy was by my side, on the couch huddled up next to me.
Murphy was by my side throughout this whole time. I made sure Murphy was fed and walked. However as for me I’d given up on myself.
My mood became darker. I don’t mind saying now, I was beginning to have suicidal thoughts. As the weeks progressed, these thoughts turned into a plan in my head. These thought processes were all consuming. There was a local woods I would walk Murphy in every day. In those woods I had identified a tree I would hang myself from.
Every day while out with Murphy when I walked past this tree, this plan of mine became more entrenched in my mind. On some walks with Murphy I would walk him as quickly as possible so I could back to the apartment and just lay down. But I would always make a point of walking past this particular tree.
Weeks became months. I continued to spend the majority of my days on the couch cuddling Murphy. There wasn’t a day he didn’t cuddle himself up to me. He was all I had.
“Who would take care of my best friend Murphy?”
However I still continued to have these active thoughts of suicide and yet there was one thought that remained in the back of my mind. “Who would take care of my best friend Murphy?” I know it may sound silly to some people that are not dog owners. But Murphy was all I had, and if I ended my life, what would happen to Murphy?
I remember on numerous occasions, during my darkest days holding Murphy, while laying on the couch and crying in complete despair, not knowing what to do. Would I ever have a relationship with Jack ever again? How would I battle my ex and her partner? Should I just end my life to end the pain? If I ended my life, who would care for Murphy? My ex had never had any time for him. Murphy and Jack used to love playing together. All throughout this dark time, it was as if Murphy was intentionally supporting me in some kind of way.
After about three months, I was completely penniless, I owed my friend even more money for rent and I continued to feel hopeless and suicidal. My friend that owned the apartment gave up trying to persuade me to go and see a doctor. One day he just took Murphy and I. That day was pivotal.
Fast forward two years later. I am now in a better place mentally. I am not ashamed to admit that I am on prozac daily to help manage my depression. I now have an understanding about mental health. I now understand parental alienation for what it is.
I still don’t have contact with my Jack. But I am no longer hopeless. I can’t afford to be. Some days are better than others. But I am continuing to pursue contact with Jack through the courts. I now represent myself, that is how much more stable I am. I have also returned to work and now have a regular income once again. I will be eternally grateful to my friend that helped me out. I now also attend a monthly group that supports fathers in my situation. I get a lot of support from the group.
What about Murphy? He continues to go everywhere with me. He never leaves my side. We are inseparable. We are and always will be best buddies. Murphy probably saved my life.