Monday, September 05, 2011


Today I listened for a few minutes to a program about child neglect - apparently more prevalent and just as harmful as abuse. And I had a bit of an aha! moment. I am hoping there is some validity in my extrapolation, because, for today anyway it is providing me with some strength

Professor Brigid Daniel described the problem, she said that parenting is very difficult complex and demanding and then she asserted that, along with poverty there is a toxic trio of; substance misuse, mental health issues and domestic abuse that can often tip people into being so preoccupied with their own needs that they miss out on those of their children.

Staying in the moment, and not becoming preoccupied is a constant challenge for me in this regard. Though I am not poor, mentally ill or suffering from substance misuse issues, but there have been times in connor's upbringing where I have been the object of domestic violence. Further, the "Preoccupation" trap is precisely what I now realise Simon is suffering from when he pronounces that he is "unable" to do what to the rest of the world is classified as no more than his fatherly duty. In fact his behaviour - basically keeping up appearances - e.g. turning up at the father's day breakfast, whilst it seems like nasty lip-service is actually the best he can do. He is in survival mode the whole time.

Thus without trying to give myself airs, or big myself up, or offer too many pats on the back to myself. This discussion underlined what I have long suspected... that
I am the one and only person responsible for saving Connor from neglect and giving him the tools to grow up strong and resiliant. Yes. Me only.

I have always thought it disrespectful to count Simon out of this important endeavour, and I have no wish to undermine his role as parent. But this radio conversation made it clear to me what all his weakness and protestation and inability represent. Not selfishness (necessarily) but preoccupation due to his mental illness to a level that is potentially dangerous for Connor. Should I be incapacitated, and he should be left in Simon's care. He would, undoubtedly, be neglected. This is why I have to keep going.

My mother, and my life coach friend have identified this already. But I have a tendency to discount it as bitchery toward Simon and an overstating of the case, but now I am becoming more and more convinced that No, all his confusing, and conflicting assertions and anger and refusal stem from this. That he is preoccupied with his own issues, and literally can't provide nurturing care for his own son.

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