36 Days

What is 36 days? A little more than a month? Almost a tenth of a year? Maybe a long vacation?

But what is 36 days to the life of a human being? To the totality of a person’s existence, from the nascency of boyhood into the complexities of the man?

Would you give up 36 days to have a profound effect on a child’s life? How about for your own child?

Imagine yourself young and impressionable, still uncertain in a world full of confusion and difficulty. Naturally you look up to your parents as a beacon of strength and self-efficacy – a guide to knowing you are okay, will be okay, that you can progress through the vagaries of this life against a bedrock of security. This is what parents, ideally, do for their children.

Now imagine yourself young and afraid, uncertain where you come from because it has been months, even years, perhaps a decade since you have had any interaction with one of your parents. You have been told stories of how bad they are, how better off you are not knowing about them – and are left cold and adrift, always wondering: Is it true? Since my parent is bad, does that mean I’m bad too?

Wouldn’t this be an especially regretful hell to put a child through if one parent simply disliked the other – and none of these stories were even real?

This is TJ and his father, who has not been ‘allowed’ to see his own son since July of 2022. TJ’s mother has decided she will allow anger and antipathy to rule over TJ’s life, and thus she will not ‘allow’ TJ to know his dad – and thereby will put him at direct risk of lifelong difficulties with self-worth, impulse control, emotional regulation and all the other negative outcomes of intentional parental alienation. All for what? To talk to the mother, it would seem she is waging vengeance against… the world? A sort of vague hatred for… the way things are? Can she even really say? Should we feel sorry for her, that she doesn’t seem to realize she is offering up her own son as collateral damage in her great, pointless vexation against the universe?

All TJ’s father has asked for is 36 days – 36 days a year in which to see his son, to know him, to have his son know him. Considering the importance of a parental bond, and the consequences of severing it, this would seem like a small ask. Yet the mother refuses even this level of contact while continuing to demand child support payments. TJ remains entangled in her complicated web of Japanese custody law and extralegal manipulations, and each day passes with him still deprived of his father.

What is 36 days to the life of TJ and giving him the life he deserves?

One response to “36 Days”

  1. 和真

    これはひどい不公平です !!

One Reply to “36 Days”

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