To the family and friends of J's Dad,
I have a feeling that this will be a very cathartic post to write.
Two days ago a friend who shall remain nameless sent me a “screengrab” of a Facebook status left by J's Dad following an email I sent to him.
The email was sent following huge frustration when yet again J's Dad had no money to give us, he agreed when we separated to pay me £200 a month for J – and to be fair he has done this most months bar one in August 2010. The money is usually paid as and when J's Dad has it and recently in amounts of £50 here or there – not easy then to plan financially.
I sent an email to J's Dad moaning about this and also made a couple of suggestions regarding how he could make more of his time here with J. I pointed out that I knew he loved J very much and that having proper 1-1 time together would be beneficial for them both. J's Dad took this as a criticism of his parenting (and to be fair I was critical) and interpreted it as “I have just been told I am a crap father” - a thought he then posted to his Facebook page for you all to see.
The responses are “interesting” to say the least.
To my sister in law who deemed me “the benefits queen”, I would like to point out that since 1982 I have worked non-stop and paid tax. My only period out of work has been since March this year while I help J (your nephew remember) through some difficulties he is having which were impacting upon me in my job. It is interesting that this is your response though – I wonder what conversations have taken place about me for this to be your opinion. I could tell you the REAL reason I left....but I won't because I respect your brother's feelings (and my J's feelings and future) far too much to do so.
To the person who said “serves you right for marrying a girl from Basildon”, remember that “the girl from Basildon” supported J's Dad as he started his business and worked to pay the rent and as many bills as possible while it got off the ground. All done while effectively being a single parent as J's Dad was away so much and also dealing with the initial concerns about J when it became apparent he was not developing in the same way as other children of his age.
To the person who advised J's dad to “see a solicitor asap mate” - fat chance of that happening as it would cost money he does not have, instead he has suggested that I see a solicitor – being “the benefits queen” means I get Legal Aid after all. I have an appointment for September – being on Legal Aid means the services are few and far between.
I know J's dad deleted the status update because he was asked to by my Mum – not before he had clicked “like” to all responses though – interesting that he “liked” the “benefits queen” one but there you go. He says he barely read them – yeah right! I also know now that many members of my family (beyond my Mum) saw the status and the responses and naturally they piled in to the bun fight that followed, more because they knew I would not see it and had no way of defending myself against some of the comments posted.
As always while working in this area today, J's Dad is staying with “the girl from Basildon” who continues to support the business in saving hotel costs up here – a little appreciation of that fact would not go amiss.