Todays the day that my brother goes to court to find out after 3 years of complaints, after nearly a whole year of investigations into his concerns by social services, he hopefully will find out if he will be granted custody of his three oldest children. This hard, painful and emotional process, isn’t about scoring points, it isn’t about where the kids live, this is as much about being heard, which I have witnessed myself is 100 times harder if you are a guy, it’s even harder when it’s your brother.
He has been accused of being controlling, selfish, arrogant, uncaring, scoring points, after all, what kind of man leaves his wife, the mother to his three young children, then goes for custody of their children leaving her with nothing but herself?
My brother contemplated leaving his partner, his first love, his first ever long-term relationship, leaving his children many times before actually making the final break. He reached out to her family expressing his concerns about her drinking, her dramatic weight loss, her erratic behavior, the dark circles under her eyes, the empty bottles around the house, including the kid’s bedroom all to no avail, “she didn’t have a problem with the drink?” And if she did drink “it was because of him!”. This is the same guy, who continued to work, pay off debts that he hadn’t incurred, to financially provide for his family with fuck all support from his partner because her first love had become the bottle. He’s reached out to us his family, who had tried everything in our power to support her and the kids, go around helping around the house, trying to be a supporting friend, encouraging her to accept outside support, even at crisis point physically taking her to the alcohol service for support.
The bottom line is that his partner is an alcoholic, worse still an alcoholic in denial. Even when caught mixing vodka in orange juice disguised in one of the kids beakers or when he has had to call the police because she has been out of control when the neighbours have called him to share their concerns about her treatment to the kids, the screaming and swearing through the walls. When the school has raised concerns about the kids not arriving on time, or even not turning up for school, concerns about their work deteriorating. When the kids were found walking around the estate in the pissing rain whilst mom was comatose unaware, or when his eldest child sneaks her mom’s phone to call her dad to say moms asleep and they cannot wake her. Colluding with the local GP to call her in for a routine check-up.
So today, fingers crossed the judge supports recommendations by social services that the children should live with their father. This is going to be a tough day, this is a form of tough love at its most extreme. Like many other people learning to accept that you cannot change someone, cannot help someone if they cannot or are not willing to accept they need help is the hardest thing that anyone can do.
My heart goes out to his partner, who is deep down my brother, my family know is a lovely person, who on a good day is happy, confident and great, in fact an amazing mother when sober, who today may lose her status as a mother in the eyes of the law and for what? The drink, the poison that is freely on sale in practically every shop.
So today is about my brother being heard, listened to and as a sister that’s all that I can do, fingers crossed the courts hear him too.
Love you bro and I am sooo proud of the man you have become x