And so my second trip to the local Contact Centre recently took place. Following on from the circumstances of the first visit (see My Trip to the Local Contact Centre, Part 1) I now entered the Contact Centre with the belief that my daughter and her mother would not be turning up. Any readers of my previous article will recall that the first visit was successful for my daughter and I. We had spent an amazing hour together and my daughter expressed a clear wish to see me again “next time”. This first visit somehow managed to go ahead despite her mother’s attempt to sabotage it prior to it starting. Her mother then even demanded my daughter be removed from the visit when she was powerless to stop the visit from starting.
And so I return to the second visit. I arrived and the volunteer staff made me incredibly welcome as they had done the previous visit and showed me to an empty table for me to wait for my ‘visitor’.
In the visiting room there were four fathers already playing with their children. I sat near the hatch to the kitchen where various drinks and sweets were available for sale. Sitting near the hatch was a young girl of around 12 years old. I could hear her engaging in small-talk with a member of staff, however she appeared visibly upset. It appeared that she was here to visit her father, however she was refusing to speak to him. Her father was spending time with what appeared to be her younger sister on the other side of the room. On at least three or four occasions her father would approach her and softly ask if she would like to come over and play. On each occasion the 12 year old girl would rebuke her father. Each of his replies consisted of a statement of love, a soft insistence that he would try again in a little while and a reassurance that he would never give up trying. I got the impression that his words were more of a statement of his long term intentions in connection to whatever struggle he was currently going through in attempting to reacquaint with his daughter.
I also observed the father I had briefly spoken to last time. His words from last time “it doesn’t get any easier” resonated with me as I surreptitiously observed him sitting alone, appearing perplexed, anxious and regularly checking his watch.
At some point a member of staff entered the visiting room and began to walk towards me. ‘The Contact Centre Walk of Shame’ as I call it involves a member of staff approaching a waiting father in this crowded room, others fathers observe it and the waiting father invariably has an awareness of imminent bad news. The bad news, the staff member informed me was that the visit with my daughter would not be going ahead. She informed me that my daughter had been brought to the main entrance by her mother however they both refused to come in and go ahead with the visit. The staff that were present witnessed my daughter in a state of high distress, visibly upset and crying. I was informed that my daughter’s mother ‘was not prepared to go ahead with the visit’ due to my daughter’s current distress. Staff also informed me that my daughter’s mother informed them that she would be informing her solicitor that she had ‘tried’.
I did not get a chance to see my daughter. An alienating parent does not care about the welfare of their children. As I mentioned above I was acutely aware that this visit would not go ahead. An alienating parent needs to maintain a false sense of reality and belief around their children and their ‘captive audience’. They tell different people different stories to maintain their status of alienation, in essence they are master manipulators. Therefore my mother’s daughter could not have afforded for this visit to take place.
I thanked the staff member for her help and support and left the building.
To conclude, I have a lot to be grateful for. So called ‘friends’ have come and gone. I have the love and support of some amazing people. People that make me a better person, people that I know will always be there for me, as I will always be there for them. I love them dearly, thank you.