It’s hard enough having my boys taken away from me again and again by their father after our visits, each time re-awakening the past, the torment of that fateful day which never fades with time.
Watching a Filipino stranger walk away carrying my crying child is a whole other level of pain.
Benjamin, just a moment earlier a little monkey in my arms, hands and legs clinging to me desperately, holding on with all the might of a 5 year old, now transferred to ‘the other woman’ in my ex husband’s life; a Filipino helper, while Sammy, a lost little boy ambles alongside, a faraway look in his big beautiful eyes.
Who is this woman who spends all day with my twins? Is she a legal resident of Vienna? What kind of contract does she have to look after my children? What exactly are her qualifications?
While my parenting skills were endlessly questioned and undermined, this woman – who has replaced me as main carer, hasn’t even been identified!
How can any court in the world believe that the children’s best interests are better served in the care of this woman (who can’t speak either German or English properly) rather than their mother?
My overnight visit ended at 10am this morning but the father was working today so he decided this stranger must substitute. I have my boys again tomorrow – my weekly Tuesday visit – and would have given anything to have them another day and night. I even asked for 9.00 – 5pm tomorrow instead of 11.00- 5pm since the children are still off kindergarten but of course the father refused. The Filipino also brings the children on Tuesday mornings.
Where’s the grandmother? the aunt? the sister? all the family support the father assured the judge he would have before he was awarded custody. Instead, Sammy and Benji are dumped off with hired help while I am bled financially to pay for it.
Yet the court refuses to see it, to hear it, to believe it because acknowledging this absurd reality would be an admission of guilt, wrongdoing and abuse.
The same can be said for the Jewish community of Vienna: Rav Biderman, Ariel Muzicant, Oskar Deutsch and Mr Pardess who remain silent because they would rather not confront the unpleasant realities on their doorstep. Far easier to slam the door on us and turn away.