Saturday, December 10, 2011

My First Basketball Game Seeing My Sons

Forever My Daddy Grand Foundation
Parental Alienation Syndrome … It’s Real!

My First Basketball Game Seeing My Sons:
3 Sixty Second Intervals and a 2-Bucket Flush

This is MJ. Let me tell you about my first time seeing my sons play organized basketball.  They are 14 and 15 years of age.  They are now in 9th and 10th grade.

December 7, 2011

After seeing my patient in the hospital at 5 AM in Florida, knowing that he was doing well, I took a plane from Fort Lauderdale to Baltimore in order to see my sons play basketball for their high school.  I knew that this would be a quick twenty-four hour turnaround. 

I eventually made it to their gymnasium!  I was excited!

Suddenly, as I was sitting in the stands, I could not believe what I saw happening.  My youngest son was warming up with his high school freshman team.  He looked mad and upset.  I then realized that he knew that I was in the gym.

Despite my weekly text messages and phone calls to him and his brother that they do not respond to and despite them blocking me on Facebook I traveled to see them perform.

No excitement that I was at the game, only anger.  I knew that the continuous years of brainwashing of him and his brother, the scientific term being parental alienation syndrome was bad … but really? 

Then I saw a group of young high school students in the stands call for his brother across the gymnasium floor, “Joyner!”  His brother notices me, his father; then he darts out the side door of the gym.  Obviously, he was avoiding me.

I knew that he had to get ready for his basketball game.  His basketball game was following the freshmen team.  However, for him not to say, “hello” or wave, really? 
I knew that he saw me.  I was amazed!  This Parental Alienation Syndrome is real!

60 Second-Interval
Let me now somehow explain what thoughts suddenly went through my mind during the next 60-second interval.  I had to immediately, analyze the situation in order make sure that I was not in a crazy dream.

Wow!  PAS: Parental Alienation Syndrome.  I have been fighting against the desires of my sons’ mother and her family from keeping me from being the father to my two sons while being an invisible money tree since 1998.  I suddenly thought, “ After all these years, maybe she truly accomplished her mission.  My sons’ show hatred and dislike … actions that I would never teach my sons.  No! Impossible!” I thought to myself.

Ok … Let me look from 1000 feet in the air and continue to analyze this?  Let me analyze myself?  Am I missing something?  Did I do something to deserve this collective hate?  For a father to be treated like this, I had to ask myself a few questions because this does not make sense.

Was I a Criminal Dad?

            Well, I am not a criminal.  I have never been in jail and have no reason to ever think that I would.  I do not partake in any gang activity.  I think I had a parking ticket in 1986, and it was paid on time.

Was I a Deadbeat Dad?

            Well, despite what I am sure that my sons have been lead to believe, I do pay child support regularly.  I have been paying religiously since the separation and divorce of their mother and I since 1998.  Matter of fact, I spend a lot of money on my sons and I get this treatment, really?
            In such a highlighted profession, as a surgeon, one has to know that I pay child support.  You would think people around my sons would stand up for me and exclaim that it’s nearly impossible for me to be a deadbeat dad defined as a father who does not pay child support.
            The Montgomery county child support enforcement agency watches my direct deposits like a hawk!  Of course, they can find me and threaten me whenever they like, considering I have a medical license number that they can control.  I must be a movie star in their books.  Don’t fall behind in payments, for if you do then you are not only a deadbeat dad, but in the eyes of the enforcement agency you are now a criminal.  Let me tell you, it’s hard for a medical doctor to be a deadbeat dad even if they wanted to.  Child support enforcement agencies foam at the mouth at professionals with licenses that can be suspended.  Some licenses that can be suspended are medical, dental, and real estate licenses.   Of course, these are in addition to driver licenses and passport applications.

When I had robotic heart surgery in 2009 and fell behind in payments, I was a sneeze away from being called “criminal.”  I was less than 12 hours away from my driver’s license being suspended.  For when I called the child support agency to let them know that I would be late on my payments, I remember them saying, “sorry to hear about your surgery, but if we do not receive a payment by tomorrow your driver’s license will be suspended and your medical license will be next.”

Yes.  All of this was going through my mind within 60 seconds while sitting in the stands watching my sons completely disregard my presence.  I even asked myself, “Will the child support enforcement agency ever ask me if I have been able to see my sons?  Would they be interested to know that I have seen my sons three times in the past three years, despite my weekly calls and requests for them to be with me?”

“Should I again go back to court to fight for my rights as a father,” I ask myself.  Then I suddenly realize that I just made another payment to my Washington, DC lawyer.  I now only owe $48,000 from the original balance estimated to be close to $120,000 from me attempting to use the court system to help me protect my rights as a father.  I remember making a payment in 1999 when I needed an attorney in order to help me gain access to my sons for an overnight visit.  They were ages two and three at the time.  Do you think they know this or think about it while they are on the basketball court, angered that I am in the stands watching their game?  Hmmm, I doubt it.

Was I an Angry Dad?

Was I the father who is usually depicted in today’s movies and films as the dad who wears the wife beater t-shirt, drinking alcohol like a fish?

Well considering that my schedule is so demanding, I don’t have the time or energy to drink excess alcohol.  I have too many responsibilities to be slowed down.  I have no time for a hangover.  I work seven days a week and have major goals that cannot be slowed by external forces such as alcohol.

I also realize within these sixty seconds of reflection that I have never been in a fight.  It’s not my nature.  I was on the Taekwondo team in college.  I also trained in other martial arts including stick fighting.  I did partake in organized martial art exhibitions as well. 

So the wife beater alcoholic dad does not exist in this story.  Nevertheless, I still don’t know why my sons appear so angry.  Let me think and analyze even more.

Am I a horrible person?

Well for someone who may say, “Oh – Gosh –Darn”, chances are I am probably a really nice guy.  I don’t even curse.  It takes to much energy.  Matter of fact, I often wonder that I know that I am in this position as a father who wants to be a father more than anything, yet continues to be denied the ability to be a father going on year thirteen is because I am simply “too nice.”

Am I a father who just does not care?

Well, the journals and writings that I have accumulated since 1998 in order to mentally survive this nightmare of wanting to father my children while constantly being denied demonstrates to me that I am a caring father.

Despite my letters to my sons showing return to sender, emails that never made it to my sons, friend requests to them on Facebook denied, and plane tickets used to show up on past holidays such as Christmas at their house when they were no where to be found demonstrate to me that I am a father who cares.  I am sure to this day they think that I did not show up for a few Christmas Holidays and Birthdays when actually I was at their doorstep, but they were not there.

So Wow!  How can my sons be angered and so far from the truth?

The next 60 seconds
Within the next 60 seconds I think back to the year 2000. 

I thought about Curtis, my first lawyer used in order to help me enforce my rights for access to my children through the court system.  I remember how he bailed on me.  He “threw me under the bus.”  Since I owed him money the date of our court appearance, he refused to represent me.  I wondered if he would even care to know that his decision to put money over the importance of me being a father definitely impacted my relationships with my sons even to this day.

During this 60-second interval I also thought about the Montgomery County Court System and it’s family court “Master” Salant.  I remember him looking at me in the courtroom without an attorney by my side in a very judgmental manner. I was shocked.  He looked at me as if he wanted to be a doctor as a kid, therefore was upset at me for being a doctor.  I say this because he exclaimed, “Why are you in my courtroom without a lawyer?”  Yes.  My thoughts are back to Curtis.

He then says, “Dr. Joyner.  If I were injured and went to an emergency room to be treated, I would not attempt to treat myself.”  I can’t tell you how many times I have heard this example or one similar from a judge or attorney.  At that moment, I really wanted to exclaim, “Persons working in healthcare will see an emergency patient in need without asking for a retainer fee.  Just ask the gun shot wound victim on an operating room table at your local trauma center.”  I wanted to add, “And how dare you give me non essential rhetoric when I could be spending this time with my sons. Can we move forward please?”

Well, I didn’t say any of that and as I sit in the basketball stands in a cloud of reflection, I wondered if the so called Master in Family court would even care to know that his negligent non caring attitude about my desire to have continuous quality time with my sons added to this day in the stands watching my sons appear angered that I was watching their basketball game.

The third 60-second Interval
Yes. The billion-dollar divorce industry continues to promote parental alienation syndrome.  Look at my sons and my bank account.

Over the next 60-second interval, I think about my poor bank account.  The thousands and thousands of dollars I send monthly to a child support enforcement agency that does not care if I spend time with my sons or not.  The monthly check is what’s important.  Think about the compound interest on that money over the past 12 years! 

In addition to the monthly child support check, I suddenly think about the monthly payments I make for my sons private school tuition.  Wow!  I feel so unappreciated.
I am sure that they have no idea that I am the person paying for their school that they play basketball for.

I also realized while sitting in the stands the incredible amount of money (money that I don’t really have) that I send monthly for my sons between child support, an amount I use to live on for years, along with their school tuition is more than my mother, their grandmother, receives as her monthly retirement check.  She was a schoolteacher for the Los Angeles and Inglewood Unified School district for over thirty-five years.  Wow!  And my sons aren’t talking to me?  Really?

Do not let me get started about the cost of the plane ticket and rental car needed to get to the basketball game that my sons refuse to acknowledge me at.  Maybe I should have used this travel money in order to get a plumber to show up at my barely a one bedroom apartment in order to fix the commode.  Pouring two buckets of water in the back of the toilet in order for it to flush gets old.  Do you think my sons understand how I withstand a 2-bucket flush in order to see them play basketball?  I doubt it.

The Game Started
My three sixty-second intervals ended and the game started.
I take a deep breath, sit back and watch.

Wow!  I am watching my son.  He made two fouls early on in the game.  Therefore, he had to sit on the bench the remaining part of the first quarter.  It was obvious that he was playing with emotional anger.  Of course, as a father this was hard to watch.  I decided to leave the gym.  I then went to my rental car.  I wanted my son to relax and play his game.

After again reflecting on the entire situation and making a few phone calls including one to my mother, their grandmother, I finalized my decision.  I am going to enjoy watching my sons play basketball.  Therefore, I dash back to the gymnasium and eliminate the thoughts of leaving. I don’t really know what untrue stories about me are being told to my sons, nevertheless, they will know that their father loves them and is at their game!

My son eventually looked relaxed on the court.  He played an incredible game.  I was a proud father despite the unwelcomed atmosphere.

A college friend showed up to the game.  I asked him to stop by after work to see my sons play.  When he showed up I became even more relaxed.  I began to enjoy the moment.  I was enjoying being the father that I am to my two sons.

My good friend would laugh when I would tell him the memories I had of my sons when they were ages 3 and 4.  You could tell that they are my offspring.  Plus, it was my opportunity to boast, they’ve “got game” just like their daddy. LOL
I was living a dream, the dream to be the father that I am.

Just prior to my college friend had to leave, the mother of my sons showed up to the game.  She immediately saw me when she walked into the gymnasium.  She walked directly towards me.  Of course, I say, “Hello.  How are you?”  She then firmly states, “I need to talk to you.  The boys called me at work extremely upset that you showed up to their basketball game.”

“Yes. They seemed upset.” I said.  At this moment, I suddenly daydream hoping for the impossible.  Maybe she would tell me how she responded to my sons saying,  “That’s great that your father is there to see your games.  Did you say hello to him?”

I enter back into reality when I hear her exclaim, “I had to leave my job early to come down here. The boys were almost in tears.”  I then say to myself.  This woman has to be exaggerating.  She has to be kidding me.  My sons would not be “almost in tears’ simply because their father was at their basketball game. 

So I nicely say to her in regards to me sitting in the stands of my sons’ basketball games at the private school that I pay thousands of dollars for them to attend, “The boys will get over it.” I then question, “I do not understand why me watching my sons play basketball is a problem?” She then exclaims, “You don’t get it!” She then stormed off into the crowd.  I guess I do get it.  I am witnessing Parental Alienation Syndrome at its worse.

Afterwards, I sat back and continued to admire and enjoy my sons’ basketball game.  Both boys are amazing!  They are fun to watch.  I am here and have always been here for them.  I know that the development of a relationship with my sons along with breaking the patterns of Parental Alienation Syndrome is a marathon not a sprint.  Well, I hope everyone understands that I am not going away!

My passion for Forever My Daddy Grand Foundation only strengthens after experiences as described.  No father deserves to go through what I have been going through. No grandparent should go through the pain of watching their son go through similar PAS experiences.

Spread the word!
Fathers cannot be stopped!