| The capacity for both parents to be violent is clear! |
Joined: 14 February, 2008, 10:18 PM
Primary group: Platinium Member
When authorities found the infant's body, Sanchez told officers the devil made her do it, police said.
PHOTOS: Tragedy of baby Scott
"She was a sweet person and I still love her, but she needs to pay the ultimate price for what she has done," the baby's father, Scott W. Buchholtz, told the San Antonio Express-News Monday.
"She needs to be put to death for what she has done."
Relatives and Buchholtz said Sanchez's mental health deteriorated in the week before her son's death. Buchholtz, who called his son "baby Scotty," said she often talked about how she needed to see a counsellor.
Sanchez told detectives she had been hearing voices.
Otty Sanchez's aunt, Gloria Sanchez, told The Associated Pressthat her niece had been "in and out" of a psychiatric ward, and that the hospital called several months ago to check up on her.
Sanchez was hospitalised Tuesday with self-inflicted stab wounds and was being held on $1 million bail. Police have said she does not have an attorney.
Authorities found the baby with three of his toes chewed off, his face torn away and his head was severed.
Otty Sanchez's sister and her sister's two children, ages 5 and 7, were in the house at the time, but none were harmed.
Sanchez and Buchholtz lived together during the pregnancy and the first two weeks after their son was born, Buchholtz said.
The paper reported that Sanchez's recovery from giving birth was complicated by an infection, and she was required to use a catheter for about a week.
That setback darkened her mood, and she was soon diagnosed with postpartum depression.
She moved out of the couple's shared home July 20. on Saturday, she showed up to see Buchholtz at his parents' house.
She became agitated when he told her he needed copies of the baby's papers, Buchholtz said.
Sanchez ran out of the home with her son in a car seat, threw the car seat into the front passenger seat of her car and sped away without buckling him in, Buchholtz said.
She left behind a diaper bag, her purse and her medication. Buchholtz's mother called police, and a sheriff's deputy investigated the incident as a disturbance, according to court records. The next day, authorities said, she killed her son.
Officers called to Sanchez's house at about 5am local time Sunday found her sitting on the couch screaming "I killed my baby! I killed my baby!" San Antonio Police Chief William McManus said.
McManus described the crime scene as so grisly that police officers barely spoke to each other while looking through the house.
If you or anyone you know may be suffering from depression or are in crisis, contact Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636 or Lifeline on 131 114.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
disgruntled men. They are stating that I must be successful in my endeavors to bring about all ‘their’ wanted changes, …
or else!!! These are stupid statements by those people. The Lone Fathers Association, of which I am president, is only one
of the players in this latest attempt to bring about significant Child Support and Family Law changes."
It seems the Dads On The Air members make a habit of making death threats!!!
Monday, July 27, 2009
The male backlash
A Mensline counsellor takes another call.
Photo: Michael Clayton-Jones
What has made the dominant sex feel like victims?
Paul Black is not the sort of bloke to take to the streets in protest. But this week he did something atypical: fuelled by intense feelings of frustration, he got in his car and made the long trip from Mulgrave to Canberra to attend a two-day conference of the Lone Fathers Association.
"I don't see myself as a radical, I'm not the sort who wants to go ripping out letterboxes or shouting slogans," says this new recruit to the men's movement. "But the inequalities that were there for women 20, 30 years ago are now there for men. The pendulum has swung from too many opportunities for men to too many opportunities for women."
Black has entered the organised men's movement along a well-worn path: relationship breakdown. There are up to 200 men's groups in Australia, according to estimates - and many could be called estranged fathers' groups. They bear names from Dads in Distress to the cuddly sounding Fatherhood Foundation, and typically attract men in midlife. While the groups claim a growing membership, the extent of their support is unknown. The Lone Fathers Association says it helps 30,000 men a year, but their paid-up membership is 9000 nationally. However, La Trobe University researcher Michael Flood says the number actively agitating in the men's movement would be no more than 2000.
What makes them remarkable is that they subvert the traditional paradigm of social activism in that they represent the interests of the dominant group in society. Or do they? The argument these men's groups mount, with growing political muscle, is that they are getting an unfair deal, not only when it comes to family law issues but in other areas such as men's health. There is a growing lobby for free prostate screening, boys' education - crystallised in a federal push for more male primary teachers - and even domestic violence.
Blokes in their 30s and 40s who are on low incomes and are not partnered are in a diabolical situation."
Bob Birrell, demographer
In Canberra, over two days of sometimes torrid testimonials, Black, 39, took heart from the shared experiences of men who, like him, had undergone unexpected separation from their spouses.
Two years ago, Black returned from work one evening to find his de facto partner had left home with their baby daughter.
"She was just six months old," he says forlornly. As he clutches a "showbag" stamped with the logo of the Child Support Agency (it contained pen, pad and instructive government literature), he reveals the source of his feeling of powerlessness: "I've only seen my daughter five times since then."
Back in session, Barry Williams, the president and founder of the Lone Fathers Association, prosecutes some of the familiar themes of the men's rights movement in a mild tone sometimes at odds with the strength of his rhetoric. "Both men and women are, in fact, equally likely to be perpetrators of violence in relationships, although women are somewhat more likely to be seriously injured," he declares.
He warns his membership to be on guard against "further development of an ideologically based domestic-violence industry funded by the taxpayer". "There is a very serious issue of discrimination here," he says.
It's these sorts of arguments that bother researcher Michael Flood about the growing influence of groups such as the Lone Fathers, a peak body formed 32 years ago around the time the Family Law Act was established. The group is now federally funded.
This week's conference attracted two federal cabinet ministers - Family Services Minister Kay Patterson and Attorney-General Philip Ruddock - to Wednesday's opening. Sex Discrimination Commissioner Pru Goward spoke the next day.
Flood does not dismiss serious issues men contend with: old certainties have been swept away as women's roles have changed. He has researched the intensity of the loneliness felt by many men.
The loneliest men of all, a survey published this year concludes, are sole fathers rearing children. More generally, when males hit midlife they feel most isolated, especially if they live alone.
Yet Flood believes a more nuanced approach is needed than simply railing against domestic-violence programs.
"We need to address men's pain in these areas, but without blaming women or putting children at risk," he says. "Yes, men can now cry on TV, but the institutionalised power relations between and among men and women have hardly gone away."
Eva Cox, who was at the barricades as a founding member of the Women's Electoral Lobby, believes men's rights groups are making the mistake of using some of the oppositional "victim strategies" that women once deployed but which, in retrospect, did not necessarily serve them well.
"They are blaming a lot of what's going wrong on women for taking things away," she says. "But we are not running the world, sorry. Where are the female law partners? Where are the female senior surgeons? . . . If you are looking for men in primary schools, tip them all out of the principals' offices."
While citing the continuing disparity between men and women's pay - for every dollar men earn in full-time work, full-time women earn 85 cents - Cox is not unsympathetic to the plight of low-skilled men, many of whom have lost the opportunity to do their fathers' and grandfathers' jobs.
Economist Bob Gregory has tracked the impact of the decline in manufacturing on men's income. In 1982, about 500,000 men of working age were on welfare. Now, there are about a million men on benefits and the job boom over a period of apparently unprecedented prosperity has barely reached them.
Monash University demographer Bob Birrell, who conducted a study of the clients of the Child Support Agency - which has 90 per cent of Australia's separated parents on its register - concludes that most separated fathers come from the ranks of the poor and low-paid. "Marriage is closely associated with the resources men can bring into a relationship," he says.
In a separate study on partnering, Birrell found the greatest decline in partnering rates in Australia was among low-income men.
"Blokes in their 30s and 40s who are on low incomes and are not partnered are in a diabolical situation," he says.
Paul Black, who made the lonely journey back from Canberra yesterday, counts himself luckier than some of his contemporaries. He has a stable trade as a plumber, but the loss of his daughter and relationship has left him deeply confused.
"Towards the end, we were fighting about the housework," he says. "But I thought there were two roles there: she didn't work, so she was the homemaker and mother. I was supposed to be the provider and father."
WE guess Barry Williams has to justify all of that government funding somehow. Barry we challenge you to provide 500 names of the 30,000 men that you have "helped". Is this like the 5 men a day that you stop from committing suicide??
We know that there are less than 2,000 men who are responsible for the Fathers Rights movement in Australia because we have their names. The creation of false identities are a deliberate attempt to fool the public into thinking there are more of them but they are definitley a very small minority group albeit very loud and aggressive (which is exactly why they lost their families in the first place we think). They are just playground bullies in mens clothing.
Posted Today, 09:12 AM
Joined: 08 January, 2008, 12:48 AM
Primary group: Master_Editor
Globalman has claimed a dubious record on this site. 12 posts in less than 24 hours, the majority of which were removed by the moderators. He also received 8 warnings in less than 12 hours which is another record. Faced with an additional avalanche of moderator warnings and complaints by members of the FLWG his membership on this site was terminated.
FLWG and the moderators respect the right of robust comment and discussion but it will not allow fools and charlatans to peddle their wares.
Senior Site Moderator and Administrator
WE applaud this move and now expect Michael Green/Agog/Sisyphus to remove all references endorsing Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) made by Lindsay Jackel/Matrix/Dad4life and Wayne Butler/Oneringrules from www.familylawwebguide.com.au. As proven, PAS is a junk science and is pushed as a tool by men seeking to disguise their abuse of families. It was named by Richard Gardner a pro pedophile self publishing doctor who committed suicide by disembowelling himself in his kitchen (as if that guy didn't have some serious shit going down.)
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Joined: 16 May, 2007, 01:10 PM
Primary group: Silver Member
Its all about assisting the one party generally the mother to condemn the father. After all these women think that men generally can't control there sexual urges to the extent that children aren't safe. I think they generally do interview the accused mainly to see if there is a confession in the offering. Perhaps they have already formed the view that this won't happen in your case. Or to see if you express any anger, which confirms your enemy status.
I've been through all this and my poor little daughter was interrogated mercilessly, There were three different organisations including one that claimed to be treating her protective strategies. The fact that the allegations were found unsubstantiated meant nothing in the end.
About the only hope you and your child have is getting a red hot barrister. Otherwise regardless of the outcome they will be unwilling to allow you access to your child due to the distress the mother is said to have endured and the stigma.
In may case I wasn't even accused of sexual abuse, the allegation was that there might have been sexual abuse, based on me teaching my daughter how to XXXXXXXXXXXXXX and that my daughter had seen me XXXXX.
I understand that the only way these dirty tactics get overturned is when a court is persuaded that there is deliberate alienation going on. However be careful never to mention the syndrome ie: PAS or you'll get nowhere.
The fact that you haven't been interviewed might assist you in your case.
I wish I had done this. The idea that all will be well once they find the allegations aren't substantiated is fanciful.
"When your going through hell keep going" is about the only other advice I can offer.
Perhaps you should start researching how the alienation defense has been used successfully in other cases.
And remember litigation is about devastating the opponent. Don't let the fact that she the mother of your child allow you to be soft. Her lawyer certainly won't be going soft on you, and she probably would have lost control of the process long ago (or be in such a state that she is vulnerable easily manipulated).
Unfortunately these stories don't have a happy endings. The best you can hope for is persuading the court that your ex is 'the abuser' to maximise your contact.
Please contact me off list if you like.
He had already previously posted her address and name contained in the DVO and went to Laurie Nowell at the Sun Herald with his bogus story which was printed in the newspapers. Simon Hunt also identified himself via the comments section of that same article affording his daughter even more shame. This is a classic example of how this man puts himself first constantly and he blames the courts for banning him from being around her? The courts were right in making the decision that he cannot see her until she is an adult..this man does not deserve the title of father!!
The familylawwebguide and the the Shared Parenting Counil by allowing these types of posts are condoning further child abuse.
Globalman, another new crackpot child support avoider has joined the ranks of Familylawwebguide and should feel quite at home.
This quote however had us seriously worried:
"Those of you thinking that women are the problem are missing the mark. If the problem was only women it would not be a problem. Men would deal with that swiftly and permanently."
Just what does "swiftly and permanently" mean exactly? And if it means what we believe it to mean, as in "murder" this is proof that Shared Parenting Council and Familylawwebguide condone violence against women or else they would have removed that post.
They can edit other men's posts to make it appear that they have an IQ above 80 but they can't edit a post to remove offensive content to women that incites violence?
Globalman has been spreading his evil thoughts far and wide:
"So that when the time comes to kill women and children overtly, rather than covertly, many men will not fight and die to protect them."
"I am here to say I will never, ever, ever pay one cent in 'child support'.
Not one cent.
I will go to jail.
I will die before I let the unlawful CSA take one single cent of money from me."
"I dis-owned my children and I will never speak to them again.
When more men do this, we will get somewhere."
Monday, July 20, 2009
Joined: 02 August, 2006, 10:11 PM
Primary group: Percolo Alio
FLWG Closed VOIP Telephone: 114888
','auto','http://www.familylawwebguide.com.au/themes/default/images/forum_navigation/members.png');" class="ocf_poster_member">Secretary SPCA
In respect to courts read up on Shared Parental Responsibility. If you don't get over that threshold it makes it harder for significant contact and you cannot automatically go on to 65DAA equal or substantial time. That is at court. You are in Mediation. The threat of an AVO is one thing but to have one is another. If you have proceedings under way in a Families Court and there is an AVO proceeding it is not significant until there is actually an AVO in place . Then it becomes an issue. The other side will most likely use it against you in any proceedings. Why not? as another court has already determined you are a violent person or otherwise why would they have issued the AVO....
It is interesting reading some of Michael Green's material and other specialists on the different sorts of violent behaviours after separation. Often much is frustration, hostile words, which can lead to more serious physical violence. Step back and take a deep breath. Mediation is the best place to be and make a genuine effort to resolve issues.
We ask when did Michale Green become such an expert on violent behaviours after separation. Was it due to his own experience as we are in receipt of information that says Michael Green has no formal qualification whatsoever in psychology, sociology of psychiatry. What makes him an EXPERT? Is it in his practise of mediation where he fails to declare hs obvious bias towards fathers and men? We are very happy to see the recent changes to accreditation and intend to raise this issue with the AG's office.
Joined: Yesterday, 06:35 PM
Primary group: General Member
I am going to contest the AVO in court but mediation will happen before that time. There is no issue about abuse of the children, just fighting in front of the children, verbal abuse and the such. But that was directed between my partner and myself.
So anyone who has any idea how the mediator will convene this, will it be held against me as a father? As my partner and I have separated, there shouldnt be an issue of domestic violence of any sort.
I have always been a good and loving father who has always provided for my family, taken them to school, picked them up, cooked most of the meals, doing the things that a father does.
I believe that my partner will try to stop access. With me only wanting what is fair, what is likly to happen?
Joined: Yesterday, 06:35 PM
Primary group: General Member
I have also tried on many occasions to attempt to re-concil with my partner, but have been in vain. I wont say our relationship was a bed of roses latly, as we had been under alot of stress from buisness and her mothers constant interferring in our relationship, and the fact that I had given up smokeing late last year, but as I had never stuck her, only had verbal disagrements, with me haveing the loudest voice. She has claimed physical abuse such as I struck her twice in the upper right thigh with my fist(as the most recant) I never did this but am afraid as she has a iron defenancy wich leads her to bruise very easily. There are also claims that I threatent to kill her in front of our children, I know it dosnt sound good, but I never did such a thing, I love her very much as I do with the kids. I have come to grips that she dosnt want anything to do with me anymore(breaks my heart) but I have to deal with it. I will do whatever I have to to be close to my children as I always have, but am afraid that she will block me at every possible opppertunity. I am going to the mediation today so I will post the results this afternoon, but I am not hopeful of a good outcome, but hope and pray otherwise(I am a active member of a church)
This is very distressing especaly in the fact that I havent seen my children since the morning of the 21/5/2009...
Thank you for your response, as I hadnt had any from other sites like ''dads on the air''
Thanks guys...cheers Dazza
And yet here on Dads On The Air he admits to making threats:
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Saturday, July 18, 2009
"Double-dipping divorce not on
July 18, 2009
By Vanda Carson
Reference source: WikipediaBUSINESSMEN who have tried to reopen their divorce settlements to seek a larger slice of the pie because their post-divorce wealth has fallen dramatically in the global recession have had no luck in the courts.
Now the shoe is on the other foot and a legal precedent has been set blocking women from claiming a larger portion of their former husband's bigger asset pool.
In a British case this week Kim Walkden failed to claim a larger share of the assets of her former husband, Martin, whose wealth had quadrupled since their divorce.
Because Mr Walkden took his slice of their assets in shares in his timber company, and his wife took cash, he ended up better off. A year after the divorce Mr Walkden cashed in his shares and pocketed about 3 million.
He ended up with 82 per cent of the assets and Mrs Walkden 18 per cent. Mrs Walkden received 225,000 in cash, about a quarter of the estimated value of the company.
Sue Pearson, of Pearson Family Lawyers, a Sydney firm, said Australian courts were also unlikely to allow divorced spouses to reopen an asset settlement.
She said the Walkden decision was in line with the case of a British-based South African financier, Brian Myerson, who has failed to compel his former wife to return the 11 million she received in their split."
Totally incorrect and misleading information.!! Too late boys, there is already a precedent been set in Australia where you can go back for a fairer redistribution after the initial property settlement.
As snarly as you have lost ground now that they are winding back the changes to Family Law, you sure will be a lot grumpier then.
Joined: 05 June, 2009, 06:48 AM
Primary group: Bronze Member
Posted Yesterday, 06:14 PM
Joined: 16 February, 2007, 07:38 PM
Primary group: Silver Member
What a daft thing to say, how on Earth can you make such an absurd comment? Perhaps balanced posts are not your thing?
Have you ever been to an FLRA meeting? Another preposterous statement!
The self rep area can be joined, they have private areas to protect the posters, surely you managed to read that? I would like to know if you ever took the SRL-R Quiz and the result because that would show us just how much you really don't know!
I think the real reason is that you have come onto this site dispensing outmoded concepts, soap boxing (10,000 matters) and realize that many people are far more knowledgeable than yourself.
I notice one of the moderators caught you out making a guest post which is a sure sign of a lurker.
Posted Yesterday, 06:24 PM
Joined: 05 June, 2009, 06:48 AM
Primary group: Bronze Member
Posted Yesterday, 06:39 PM
Joined: 16 February, 2007, 07:38 PM
Primary group: Silver Member
Perhaps because I cannot bear idiots lightly? Only a bit rude? I must be having an off week.
Then where are these marvelous other sites PLEASE!
I visit a few sites and when factual questions are asked people are invariably referred to this site.
As I understand the traffic to this site absolutely dwarfs all the other sites.
PS You did not respond to my statements about the FLRA, why some of the self rep areas are private and any of your Quiz results!
Posted Yesterday, 06:51 PM
Joined: 05 June, 2009, 06:48 AM
Primary group: Bronze Member
Posted Yesterday, 07:42 PM
Joined: 16 February, 2007, 07:38 PM
Primary group: Silver Member
That remark really says a lot about you. From some of your previous posts you are a legend in your mind. Your opinions about Family Law seem as ill founded as some of you ill researched other opinions.
Is it possible that you could just answer rather than avoid:
Why your comments about the FLRA
Where are these marvelous other sites?
Why don't you understand that the self reps have private areas to protect their posters
Why lurk as a guest
Posted Yesterday, 07:56 PM
Joined: 05 June, 2009, 06:48 AM
Primary group: Bronze Member
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Some of the quotes about homosexuality are:
"It is a matter of deep regret that the
Family Court has apparently not resolved
these important issues. And unless
legislation is passed in federal parliament
clarifying the definition of marriage in the
Marriage Act, same-sex marriages could be
just around the corner.
As the Festival of Light resource paper
on homosexual parenting (May 2001)
documents, the effect of legitimising samesex
marriage could have a devastating
impact on any associated children."
"Women who think of themselves as men
(and vice versa) are said to suffer “gender
dysphoria” - meaning “mental discomfort
with one’s biological gender”. This
uncommon but distressing condition is often
linked with childhood disturbance or child
Hang on isn't Barry Williams an executive member of the Shared Parenting Council and didn't he just recently tell Nicola Roxon that he liked "gay" people? Oops!
Wayne Butler from the Shared Parenting Council of Australia has announced that because they have been unable to obtain funding that they will be closing down. Unsuccessful attempts to secure government funding has meant that they are unable to proceed with planned Contact Centres.
The woman and children of Australia can all breathe a sigh of relief although they should remain on alert because like cockroaches, these vermin will not be eradicated.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Custody laws 'should put children first'
The Federal Government is reviewing the controversial Howard-era shared parenting laws which forces courts to consider joint custody, and frantic lobbying by interest groups has already begun.
Chairman of the Government's peak family law advisory body, the Family Law Council, Professor John Wade, said shared-parenting rules risked creating a generation of ''ping-pong children'' being shuttled between warring parents and needed to be changed.
The laws are subject to an automatic review carried out by the Institute of Family Studies this year, and battle lines are being drawn between the increasingly influential parents' lobby groups.
Some parents groups have welcomed the news of the possible changes, but fathers' rights campaigners, who lobbied for shared parenting for more than 25 years, have vowed to fight for the retention of the laws.
Under the current laws, the court's default position in relation to custody is an equal and shared parenting arrangement if it is deemed in the best interest of the child.
Child defence expert witness Charles Pragnell says children are often being placed in dangerous situations by courts forced to consider shared parenting, and gave the recent example of a Melbourne court ordering that an 18-month-old spend alternating weeks with each parent.
''That will have a tremendously traumatic effect on that child, and cause severe and long-lasting emotional harm,'' he said.
''Children of that age and older need a sense of belonging, consistency and security.''
He referred to several high-profile cases where courts had placed children in danger with tragic consequences, such as four-year-old Darcy Freeman, who died after her father threw her off Melbourne's West Gate Bridge in January.
''The law is concerned about parents' rights, and gives very little account or regard for children's rights, even those children's rights under the UN Convention to which Australia was a signatory in 1991, but hasn't done very much about,'' Mr Pragnell said.
A spokeswoman for the National Council of Shared Parenting agreed that the current family laws gave priority to the parents, rather than their children.
She said when one or the other parent was forced into a custody arrangement, this often created unsafe or unhappy environments for their children. ''How do children get protected in all this? Their rights are being forgotten and not heard,'' she said.
''It's an awful situation, and it's made awful by the fact that it's so preventable.''
But Lone Fathers' Association President Barry Williams vowed that the fathers' movement would lobby hard to retain shared parenting.
''We've called for an appointment with [Attorney-General] Robert McClelland, and I'll be taking quite a few people from quite a few different organisations,'' Mr Williams said.
''We're going to try to convince him not to take any notice of this rot that's being put out by people with vested interests.
''In cases that we deal with, the children are quite happy and they like the shared parenting arrangements.
''We had 30 years of the old system when hundreds of thousands of children never saw their fathers.''
But one Canberra family lawyer, who did not want to be named, said one of the most frustrating aspects of the law was seeing a parent, usually a father, who had previously had little role in caring for his children and had showed no interest in their wellbeing, suddenly demanding shared custody.She said the motivation was usually increased child support
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
- Dads in Distress
- Lone Father’s Association of Australia
- National Council of Single Mothers and Their Children
- Shared Parenting Council of Australia
Why the inequity of having 75% of the stakeholders groups represented by militant mens rights groups who promote violence against women?
The only group purporting to be representing women (and single mothers at that) is headed by Ms Swinbourne and could hardly be attributed the same amount of resources and funding as the other groups put together. The Lone Fathers Association is The Shared Parenting Council of Australia anyway and Dads In Distress is a close ally and they all work together.
Why is the Stakeholders group so unfairly stacked against Payees who are the beneficiaries? The mens rights groups have a vested interest in providing advice that seeks to avoid or minimise Child Support for the good of children, why is this situation allowed to exist???
Friday, July 10, 2009
Wayne Butler and his cronies at Shared Parenting Council missed out on the government funding their woman and child hating forum and Barry Williams despite his frantic sucking up (sorry lobbying) in Canberra failed to secure more retirement funds to finance his cushy jetsetting lifestyle must be stewing in their own juices when the Department of Human Services announced that they would instead be sending the funds to the Child Support Agency.
The $223.2 million in funding is specifically to maintain services and address the mounting Child Support debt. As Child Support is exactly that and intended for the support of children, there are an awful lot of Australia fathers who don't give a toss about their children.
A recent media release also detailed the amount of greedy men seeking to take advantage of the governments generous stimulus payment and lodged their tax returns only to end up getting caught by the Child Support Agency for non payment of Child Support.
It must really grate! Good!
Lifestyle Guide for the Divorced and Unemployed.
I was once a normal person. I had a loving family, a beautiful wife and two young boys. After several years in the workforce as a wage earner, mainly in the Commonwealth Public Service, I decided to spread my wings and take on private enterprise. My intent was to be able to provide the best for my family. I was very successful, I was even awarded two Australian Productivity Council Awards in the same year for best small business and best quality product; in the latter award I beat such large enterprises as the Hobart City Council, Cadbury's the chocolate factory and even Pasminco Hobart Smelter. I was a souvlaki maker, owning one of the Parthenon Souvlaki Bars, number four, in
I won't go into any of the specifics of my divorce. I have moved on and besides, this is a book about surviving divorce. I don't even wish to give the impression that it was my ex wife's fault. It always takes two to mess things up. I was a slob and never spent a lot of time at home. I did pay for a gardener, a maid and the occasional dog's body to chop and stack wood; however that was no substitute for being there. I would wake up at and come home at at the earliest. During the last year of my marriage I lived a zombie like lifestyle. I would get home, maybe have a quick bite to eat and then lay in bed, quite often fully clothed. I would not dream. I would close my eyes and after a split second open them, only to discover that it was morning and the ritual was to start all over again; a Ground Hog's Day nightmare. I didn't see my kids very often due to my extended working hours. I had become my father. I resorted to buying one of the early model mobile phones and installing it in my four wheel drive, so that I could chat to my boys whilst in between shopping for supplies. My wife did warn me not to buy another seven day a week business, and I tried. I looked for six months and the only profitable ones I could find were the seven dayers. The problem was that the state government had given out a heap of redundancies. This resulted in a surplus of businessman wannabes that had more money than sense. Every time I tried o negotiate a fair price for the purchase of a business, a wealthy redundant ex state public servant would crop up and pay top dollar. In about a year, there was a glut of businesses for sale at bargain basement prices...on the market because the same ex public servants discovered that there is a lot of work involved in running a business. I honestly did try.
Suffice to say I was lost. I wasn't just broke, I was in debt to the tune of about $16,000 with a strong desire not to go bankrupt, but no idea how to repay my debts. If I owed half a million thereabouts, it would be logical to declare bankruptcy. But the amount that I owed was too little for bankruptcy and too much to be able to repay, whilst out of work. I also had no idea where to go from here. I can remember the very first time I had access to my children and the very first time I had to drop them off and leave alone. I cried a lot. I often tell anyone that is kind enough to listen that the day my marriage ended was the worst day of my life. On that day, I discovered that I had lost my wife to my best friend (editor's note. I recently found out that it was to my two best friends!!). I also discovered that the baby girl in my wife's womb was not mine. Unfortunately little Zoe did not make it, she died after being four and a half months in her mother's belly. Ironically, Zoe means life, in the Greek language. My two German Shepherds were also put down that day. It was as low as I could get. But I survived. I became stronger for it. There is only one thing that could devastate me now and that would be the loss of a child. The good news is that any other disasters life will throw at me are minor in comparison. This is why I smile a lot. Nothing bugs me, no one truly upsets me (except when trying to hit me in a night club) and up until recently, I've chosen to live one day at a time. My volatile ex girlfriend Julie (we were actually engaged three times in five years) gave me reason to move on, reason to want to grow, reason to set not only financial goals but moral and spiritual ones as well. I'm still exploring the latter having been an atheist all my life. I'm not into church worship; traditional Greek Orthodox exposure has put me off for life. Instead I try and live my life honestly, believing in the concept of Good Karma. Do the right thing and life will eventually give you what you want. It's a strange concept to grasp when the reality hits you that you don't really know what you really want. I used to think that it was riches; I now realise it is something as simple as stability. To be happy with what you have and who you are is the beginning of accepting yourself. It's been said in many self help books that first you must learn to love yourself before you can truly love another. You must also learn to live your life for yourself and not through or for some one else.
Let there be no doubt that this is a highly soul bearing book. Some of you may even feel embarrassed whilst reading some sections. Some of you may not get past the regular bragging and sexual adventures. The point that I try to make is that this is how I survived by reacting in that particular fashion. All caution went to the wind. The other point to bear in mind is that if now, down the track, I attempted to re-write many of the passages; I would be lessening the quality of the whole…and why? For the sake of making me feel safer via the lessening of the embarrassment factor of the segments? Its best to leave my work alone as it truly reflects how my mind operated at the time. Keeping things unfiltered, unchanged may result in some crassness; but at least it is valid crass…well here it goes:
In September of 1991 I was miserable, lonely and lost. I thought that my world had come to an end. What I would like this book to be is, for starters an easy read, which any one can come to realise that life is what you make of it. You start with nothing, its all downhill hill from there. If only I could have grasped that single concept at the time, I may not have worried so much. I made a commitment to myself that I would write all my thoughts, as silly as they might seem in hindsight, with only corrections to grammar and spelling. I have written sober, intoxicated and stoned. I have written when happy, when angry and when sad. I have employed a disorganised approach, as that is also the way my mind was working at the time. You will experience flash backs and my never ending fetish for side tracking and shooting off in tangents. I talk about how to succeed in business and university. I even mention several great feeds, to the point that I have included a recipe section at the back. I did work as a chef in many restaurants over the years.
The actual inspiration to start writing about my experiences came in 1997 when my father died. A realisation emerged that my wonderful father who had provided all for me over the years actually didn't. Dad gave me material items, anything I wanted, all I had to do was ask, or whinge. What Dad didn't do was talk to me, give me a chance to get to know him, find out what his thoughts were on any issues. I realised that I didn't know that much about him. He was too busy providing for his family, too busy working seven days a week. I guess I turned out much the same, only I didn't have as tolerant a wife as he did. I didn't want that to happen to my kids; not really knowing what their father was like, so I started writing. I was devastated at the loss of my father. It was not a good year. A few months earlier I had also lost my close friend Derek Chan. A wonderful, brimming with promise young man of 19, Chinese by descent, and my top choice as my assistant head of security at the night club that I worked. Derek died in a freak car accident, when his new sports car rolled out of control (possibly was left in neutral with the hand brake not quite on) out of his garage, down his steep drive way and ran him over. I miss them both.
I never intended to write a book, it started as just a few notes on a cheap laptop, sort of a diary. I was so down, that I ended up resigning from all my casual jobs. All I did for several months was write. It felt good to get my thoughts on paper, and like I said, the intent was so that there would be a permanent record for my children to read later on in life, in case I made the same mistake as my father. I was oblivious to all around me during this phase of my life. If I forgot to pay the hydro bill, I simply used kerosene powered lights and cooked in my four foot long open fire place. At night, which is when I did my best work, I would borrow power via a very long extension cord, from the communal power in the laundry room, from the block of flats that I lived in. At six am and before my landlady would arrive for her daily reconnaissance inspections, I would retrieve the extension cord and catch some sleep, only to repeat the ritual in the afternoon, when I knew that the coast was clear.
It does amaze me that when I decided that I would actually keep writing with the expressed intent of putting together a self help book on surviving divorce; that I would end up working for a government agency dealing with post divorce/separation support. I am a technical advisor with this agency. Its straight forward, plenty of client contact and minimal exposure to office politics. If the topic hadn't been a boring one, I may have written about office scurrying. I guess that at the end of the day, human interactions will always involve some level of manoeuvrings. It's very entertaining to watch less popular staff align against popular staff and try and score points against each other. Once you become aware that this is happening, you can do away with reality TV shows and entertain yourself at work. It will certainly make the day go faster. Lets face it, if you have to work for a living, not having had the benefit of a very fat inheritance etc., then it is imperative that you either love what you do for a living or…chose a job where time flies. I don't think that many would believe my following comment…I love my job and time also flies. I just wish that it paid better. Having spoken to several colleagues that do the same work in other countries, we seem to get paid more for what we do.
I tell you now, I am no expert in anything that I talk about, and life has been my apprenticeship. Learn from my mistakes as I eventually did. I just seemed to have amassed a very wide range of experiences in life and have some how managed to survive it all. If I can survive, anyone can. The difference to you is that you have the precious opportunity of learning how another survivor did it. Remember, divorce or separation is not an end; it is the beginning of a new era, a rebirth, and a unique chance to start all over again and hopefully not make the same mistakes. Your forward growth will actually commence the moment that you stop looking at that rear vision mirror. Its that simple.
Good luck in your journey.