Since my children were abducted to Japan two years ago, I have learned to live with a new normal. Very few things in my life are the same now that I don’t have access to my children. I went from playing with Gunnar and Kianna or teaching them about life, to wondering how they are doing without a loving father in their life. Virtually no aspect of my daily life is the same anymore, nor do I expect it to return to the old normal.
Take for instance answering a simple question like ‘Do you have kids’. This no longer requires a simple answer and often leads into a very long discussion about Japanese child abductions. I guess I can answer ‘no’ and live with the guilt of denial. I really don’t want to talk about child abduction. I want to talk about how my kids are doing in school, what they dressed up as for Halloween, or brag about how good they are at soccer.
I often ponder why something this horrible is happening to me; or, how could a country like Japan could be such a haven for international child abduction. Understanding this type of cruelty is beyond my comprehension. One of harder aspects to deal with is the lack of support from our own government – the Department of State. We have thousands of children abducted to other countries around the world and these children are nothing but pawns in the game of international chess. Knowing that my own children are expendable in the game of international diplomacy while hearing the words ‘we place the highest priority on your children’ makes me sick right to the core of my stomach.
There is no doubt that things sure are different now. I went from complaining about our political system to finding myself walking the halls of Congress on Capitol Hill. I went from reading websites to developing websites; from watching highlights of protests on TV to organizing them outside the Japanese Embassy. Probably the biggest change in my life is having silent daily break downs in meetings, at my desk and in my man cave. I have cried more in the last two years then I did the first 35 of my life. I have a real life never-ending sad picture show playing over and over in my head.
Every day seems to begin with a struggle, it continues throughout the day, and then I get to reflect upon those struggles at night. Struggling is the only way a parent with abducted children makes it through an hour, a day, or a week. I guess as a left behind parent I need to learn to live through a situation I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy.Share