Why so glum?

Firstly, this blog is not about hating on Japan, my ex or women in general. That is a toxic path to walk down. However, I have my moments. For me, ‘access’ moves on a sliding scale and the scale itself often moves. Right now I feel sad. The scale has just moved – the game has just changed.

Three years ago I regained limited, heavily obstructed access to my daughter. Two months ago my daughter’s step-dad sent me an e-mail (in Japanese). It said, ‘my daughter does not want to talk to you ever again, please leave her alone and do not call again’. This was in reference to our monthly, court-ordered Skype calls. The abductors already breach the court order by conducting calls inside a car, under duress, wearing a face-mask.

I advised that I would continue to call, consistent with the court order. Further, I noted that access to both parents is in the best needs of a child.

Today, the goalposts moved. My daughter (with a metaphorical shotgun being pointed at her head) spoke to me in a forced, monotone voice. She said ‘don’t call next month, I don’t want to talk to you’. I said ‘darling, I love you… we love you… we will always be here for you and I call you every month to remind you of this’. Her face lit up with happiness and then she bowed her chin and read from the script ‘no more Skype… I don’t want it’.

Disappointment becomes the norm…

While disappointing, abductors always move the goalposts. I cannot do anything about that. Complaining will not help. However, it is still very draining. My mental health has significantly deteriorated and getting out of bed every day requires a routine.

All of the above has become normalised. I wish I could break the cycle. However, abductors always seem to find a new trick.

Like last time, I am now disappointed and confused. This has never happened to me before. I don’t know what to do next. However, I know it’s not the end. My daughter’s still there and she’s still very much worth fighting for.

Otherwise a successful year?

Ironically 2019 has been a very good year for me. My favourite sports team won a premiership. Work gave me my first promotion in 8 years (a very respectable and encouraging one). I’m particularly proud of the work I’ve been doing over the past few weeks (I think it will benefit a lot of people). The family’s great. I lost 15kg and am fitter than ever (running upwards of 15km a day). Oh, and I’ve pre-paid a significant overseas trip for 2020 so have a lot to look forward to!

Yes, 2019 has been brilliant. However, sometimes the failure of losing my daughter overshadows all of this. During sad moments like this, I try my best to remember what’s good in life.

Frankly, I am glad my life hasn’t been linear. Abduction has forced me to better myself. I’m otherwise a relatively quiet, simple person who can be a little bit awkward in social settings. However, I’m now walking a far more interesting path than I would have if given a linear path. The path is full of disappointment. However, the solid goal of furthering my daughter’s best interests has driven me to become a much better person than I could have been.

Where to next?

While the goalposts have moved, I’ve played this game for a few years now (quite literally a lifetime, in the context of my daughter). I’ve found something positive to cure my glum mood. Now I need an action plan.

Before the end of 2019 I will:

  1. Send my daughter a Christmas present. I don’t know if she’ll get it. However, I must never forget her or give up hope.
  2. Talk to my lawyer and get a clearer picture of how this changes the legal landscape.
  3. See my psychologist to take care of my mental health.
  4. Attend some Christmas parties and enjoy myself.
  5. Write another blog post to wrap up the year. There’s a fair bit to unpack. I will take some time to process it before writing about it.