- December 2000

UK Father declares hunger strike

Alienated from his children by an anti-father family court system, Miskulin vows to die if that's what it takes to send a message that it's time for family courts to stop destroying families.

by Len Miskulin
Copyright © 2000 by Len Miskulin


Reluctant hero

There are quite few people out there who are trying to tell me what a brave hero I am for my hunger strike and also quite few people who are trying to stop me from wasting my life. I am not the first and I would like to be able to accept the prompt of the second, but I have tried all the alternatives and failed to get anywhere except deeper and deeper into the quagmire.

I do not want to die and I certainly do not desire to be a hero. As a matter of fact, I am nothing special, just an ordinary father who cares and loves his children. I never wanted fame or exposure, I was happy to have my home, my partner, my children and few friends around me and as long as I could provide enough to keep them safe and well, I was perfectly happy with the situation. Some of you might say that I lack ambition, you are probably right, but, do all the people behave the same? It would be a very boring world if they did.

When my troubles started I was taken by complete surprise (and so was everybody else who knew us), after all our friends were asking us in the times of trouble how to make their relationships as perfect as ours, and the sudden discovery that I have been betrayed and simply used as a meal ticket and a fool stabbed deep into my heart.

Initial anger and hatred were awful, but due to the things getting out of hand after she realised that her plan to chuck me out failed because I was not going to abandon my children, I analysed the situation and realised that I could not possibly get anywhere feeling sorry for myself. In the same time her allegations and lies were getting bolder, as she was discovering that the police and courts believed whatever she made up.

Dogging every step

Increasingly, she started to use the law for her selfish means by reporting my every effort to speak to her in-laws or friends or anybody else for that matter, calling them acts of harassment to stop others finding the truth about her cheating ways. What a na´ve fool I was to even think that most people are interested in the truth. Now that she has burned all the bridges, I cannot see how we can sort out this mess for the best for the children.

Every time she succeeds with another of her lies or false allegations, police, social services, courts etc., look at me with less and less respect and are more likely to take my attempts to achieve any kind of just results as more harassment and hostility towards her; they won't even bother examining the evidence to the contrary or the welfare of the children.

As I've already said, I am facing a real possibility of ending in prison, not because it is just and proper but because the judge has the power to do it without question. I don't think I can do much for my children if I am locked up, I am not very diplomatic, I don't take fools lightly, and if the judge decides to lock me up I might present him with few choice words (I can match any sailor) and opinions about him and the whole state of the affairs which could quite possibly land me in more trouble.

Apart from that, I cannot stand seeing the expression on my children's faces as they ask what their daddy done and why they need somebody else present to see him? I feel incredible guilt, yet there is nothing I have done wrong, there is no reason under the sun why I should feel like that.

Court ignores mother's contempt

My contact, ordered by court, was to take place once every three weeks for three hours, supervised by the minister of our church at his home. He has since the beginning supported the adulterers and I have effectively been "discouraged" from attending church. On the first contact, he came home in her car and only my older son attended. He was very happy to see me but the minister kept telling him throughout that he can go home any time he wanted and asking him did he want to go; in the end situation got so tense that after just an hour and a half my boy went "home".

On the second contact, both boys came, due to my complaint and threat that I will take it back to the court, but it took me over an hour to stop my younger son feeling petrified of me. After that things got better. Third contact was cancelled day before taking place: the minister rung me saying that she asked him to pas the message that her solicitors advise her not to comply with the court order.

Two days later, we appeared in court for direction hearing regarding the residence and contact. The judge was not prepared to improve my contact arrangements but was offering me the same conditions as before. He ignored my report of her breaching the previous contact order and the contempt of court it represents. I truly believe that the humiliating conditions of the previous arrangement are causing more harm than necessary (not that I believe that any harm to them is justifiable) to my children and have therefore refused. He was not even prepared to let me see my younger son, who is seven on the 18th to give him his present or to see the boys over the Christmas period.

Hunger strike only option

I have thought long and hard about my goals, prospects and options. My hunger strike, as far as I can see, is my only choice. I cannot live and watch my children suffer for something they had no say in, yet it does not appear I can mitigate the way they are being (mis)treated. So if things turn really ugly and I die, I am sure that boys will suffer less in the long run as there will not be the constant battle between their parents which, I am sure, is very upsetting for them. Yes, they will loose their father but I hope they will not grow up in her image: have I had enough influence in their lives? Perhaps one day they will find out that I did not abandon them from choice and then forgive me not being there.

My last act of defiance to the system that causes more damage to the population of this country than all the terrorist groups together and with full sponsorship from the government, is in hope that somebody out there with enough influence will wake up and say, hey, we cannot go on like this, it really isn't right, let's hear what the father has to say. If not, I hope that my children will, some day, learn the facts and be proud of their dad.

I do not want to be a hero, but I appreciate the support; don't let it be wasted, use it for maximum effect to achieve what we need. I am prepared to publicly start the avalanche, but it will be up to you to try and keep it going. The publicity might die down quickly but only if you let it. I do realise that might not be so easy, but for the sake of your and my children's future, try. This is all I ask. And, please let my children know how much I love them.

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