Saturday, April 09, 2011

Has it become a minor human rights violation?

Some divorces are long and drawn out and messy. Mine wasn't one of them. We realised we had come to the end of our relationship, split our assets, debated at some length about how to share the care of our beautiful son, always keeping him centre stage. Then we met new people, and although there were some territorial issues, and petty jealousies, we managed to stick to our parenting plan. Then we didn't. We both ended our rebound relationships and I took Connor overseas for an extended period (with Simon's permission). When I came back Simon was in a new relationship, and things have changed. My motivation to find a new man is waning. Possibly it's case of once bitten twice shy. The motivation for this post, though, is when I Do meet new guys I now find myself in the position of having to explain why I have a child 100% of the time, get no child support and am not allowed to move away.

Simon, through sheer utter self absorption and a dose of manipulation, appears to have robbed me of something in the spectrum free-will/human rights/personal autonomy.

How is it possible for one party to a divorce to wield such power over another?
I am not being abused, or raped, I have a roof over my head, I have free speech, I can vote. But specifically I do not have the freedom to pursue my career, and I am not able to move freely between countries. Neither can I date without bankrupting myself - does this come under the category of freedom to marry who I wish? I am in a state of enforced celibacy. How did this happen?
When I got back from my sabbatical, instead of seeing Connor for 4 nights a fortnight. Simon declared that he would take him out for 7 hours a fortnight and it's always in daylight. This change alone has affected my life so profoundly that I feel completely trapped by it. As far as I can see there is no legal recourse to make a person see their children more. More often fathers are denied access to their children and this is a right too.
So what of this weirdness? how to interpret it? where to go with this story?
Those four nights a fortnight used to be used for catching up on work, resting, cleaning up, sleeping, reading and having a social life. Now, due to his actions, I am chronically behind on my work, which means I'll never get promoted, and neither will I have the credentials to apply to work elsewhere. It is career subsistance, basic, demoralising, down trodden, crushing and depressing.

I can only go out if I pay $100 dollars per night to a babysitter, and there will never be any "sleepovers" I am 10 and a half thousand miles from my family. So no popping over to granny's for the night or having my grown up sister babysit. The only option I have is to work my way out of it. In order to get more money to pay the babysitter I need to be promoted. In order to apply for a job of similar standard back in my home country I need to perform at work. Work is the key. Arbeit macht frei.

But I have one conflicting imperative, and one severe impediment.
The conflicting imperative: Connor has severe dyslexia. He inherited this from his dad. I'm trying so hard not to point the finger on this one, because Connor was also a low birthweight baby which could have been as a result of IVF and my poor breeding capacity. Raising this child to manhood with the best possible chance in life is my chief mandate. Thus if it means I have to leave work early, pick him up and try to spend time with him on reading, I will. So I have to make up work hours in the night, just to keep up with the eight ball, and perform at the expected level. I also have to find the money to pay specialist tutors.
The impediment: I am suffering from Arthritis. It is getting worse each day. I have to take pain killers just to get around normally. This pain makes working long and extra hours too hard. I will try to put Simon's point of view in a separate post. But I need reflections, suggestions and ways to move forward. There has to be a way to garner more personal freedom for myself, I know in the grand scheme of things this is not a major violation, but I have spent hours brainstorming with myself.
Relevant human rights Article 13 (1) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each State. (2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country. Article 23 (1) Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favorable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.

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