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Forums > Social Chat > Off topic. My dilemma.

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Thistle


Thistle

old hand
Location: Nottingham UK

Total posts: 950
Posted:I have a dilemma. Sorry for the long post but I need to fill in the background information for people to understand before they can be of any help to me.

My ex partner and I were together for three years. Most of that time he was searching for/trying to gain legal access to his children, a boy and a girl whom he adored. His ex had gone off with them, living on traveller sites around the country making it very difficult to find them, and refused to let him have any contact with them. Eventually, we found them living in a caravan on a farm. Their Mother was in a new relationship with a man of very unsavoury character, who threatened to smash my ex's head in with a shovel in front of the children, whom he declared his children.

My ex then started court proceedings to try to gain access to them. Just access, not residency. His ex said horrible and untrue things about him, which were denied by himself, everyone who had lived on numerous sites with them before they split and friends/family of both of them. Also she refused to let the children be interviewed alone by the court welfare officer to ascertain whether they wanted any contact with him.

His ex went off with the children again and he didnt know where they were. The courts were refusing to help anymore because of the cost and that she kept moving.

A while later he was working at The Big Green Gathering and his ex and the kids were there and his son came and found him. Greetings and declarations of love were exchanged between the two then the boy said he was going to get his sister but my ex told the boy to go back to his mum and do as she said, which was to stay away from his father. He said this because he feared what would happen to the children if they defied their Mother and Stepfather.

His son had astigmatism and wasnt wearing his glasses when he saw him. Reports were that the boy was not seeing an optician and had no glasses. The children were not in school and as far as we knew were getting no formal education. The man who was living with them was a known criminal. So my ex worried for their wellbeing. But the courts would not help as he wouldn't apply for custody as he didn't want to take the children from their Mother.

Please bear in mind that the children I speak of were born on a traveller site and had no experience of living in mainstream society. At the time my ex partner and I were living on a sink estate in an inner city and he felt that bringing them here would be not be to their advantage.

As this all came to a head and the strain on our relationship became too much and we split up. Soon after this he decided to leave the UK as he was getting nowhere with the courts and he could not cope with bumping into the children and not being able to interact with them. His parting words to me were that he had fought enough, he would leave it to rest and that he was sure that the children would trace him when they were older. We have kept in touch and remain close friends. I have agreed that if he dies (he is quite a bit older than me) I will go on the register in his name so the children can trace me and I can tell them how hard he fought to find them, gain access to them and how much they were loved by their father.

A friend of mine came to visit last week and she mentioned where the children are living, that their mother has split up with her boyfriend and he is serving a long term in jail, that the boy is wearing his glasses and his eye problem is getting proper medical attention, that they are both fit and well and attending school. This to me is joyous news that I want to share, knowing he will be overjoyed to know this.

My dilemma is that my friend promised the children's Mother that she would tell no one who knew my ex where they were etc and then she said it in front of me without thinking. My friend is trying to railroad me into keeping it to myself, threatening to fall out with me if I tell and saying I am a bad friend if I do tell.

I want to tell my ex his kids are ok, but I do not want to cause my friend grief. She is being very unsympathetic to my feelings about this and taking no responsibility for the fact that if she hadn't told me I wouldnt have this dilemma.

The way I see it is that I don't have to tell him where they live. I can let him know they are safe and well.

What would you do if it were you in my shoes?

[ 11 October 2002, 11:13: Message edited by: Thistle ]


Are we nearly there yet?

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Doc Lightning
GOLD Member since May 2001

Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA

Total posts: 13920
Posted:I'm sorry, Thistle. I can't help.

So here's a huge hug.


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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FireMikeZ


FireMikeZ

Laguna dude
Location: Laguna, California, US

Total posts: 1438
Posted:Integrity * Compassion * Love
_____________________________

Thistle, you can:

(1) tell the father they're well, but insist you cannot reveal your source or their address

(2) tell your informer friend about (1) AND that you will guard her identity, not only officially, but not reveal it even with hints

(3) ask your informer friend, on condition of anonymity yourself, if she would like to convey any messages to the mother or children via the mother

(4) if your friend agrees, convey messages anonymously (protecting your friend who told you she was in contact with the mother) to the mother.

your friend can:

(5) tell the mother someone asked if she was in contact with her (the mother), and wants to give a message to the mother, but has no way of knowing if your friend is in contact, or able to deliver it.

your friend cannot, in her stance, which is proper in her own way, accept your thanks for her leak. you may give thanks to whatever source of good luck you address your thanks for unintentionally good things. my recommendation is that you skip being annoyed at having a dilemma. be glad for that too, that it is an opportunity for you to do good for everyone in the long run, though it will be tricky, messy, trying in the short run. an opportunity has been given you. hardly ever does anyone benefit from ignorance, and if you care about the reality of people's progress and happiness, we don't merely ignore what's really going on as if we could be satisfied ourselves by our ignorance and inaction.

this is strict, but as proper as you can be with the blessing of some confidences, fortunately, no doubt, broken so far.

make the rest good.

from me to you & the father, here's to your patience. out of patient, sensitive, scrupulous communications, you will respect others in action as well as give the children an opportunity for a great family life with all parents. & maybe step-parents eventually, including hopes for a finer future in the mother's recent ex, for himself and toward the kids. as much as is possible out of who everyone is and will become.

with warmest regards,

~ Mike

[ 11 October 2002, 07:56: Message edited by: FreMke ]


molten cheers,

~ FireMike

FireMikeZ@yahoo.com (personal messages welcome, no promo spam, please!)
Laguna, California, US

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Glåss
BRONZE Member since Mar 2017

Glåss

The Ministry of Manipulation
Location: Bristol

Total posts: 2523
Posted:ooooh
Thistle,
you definately got a problem.

It looks to me that you either have to betray the trust of your friend. or that of your Ex. arrg nasty dilemma.

Things that i been thinking might help:

you could think about what you think is the best outcome and then do whatever. you thinks gets you closer to that.

The truth is not always the best option.

I would do whatever cassandra or dom says. They're much better at this stuff than me.

My gut feeling is that you should tell your ex.
Your friend has aready broken her promise not to tell anyone. and its unreasonable for her to expect you not to tell him. but is it possible to do this in a way that doesn't cause your friend a problem?

The ultimate answer is... that its your decision. ... good luck and smiles.

Glass


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NYC


NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA

Total posts: 9232
Posted:This one's easy for me. I CERTAINLY don't mean to belittle the very difficult situation but I have always thought of myself as a child advocate. Even before I was a teacher.

I put the well being of a child above most else. I would "betray" everyone I knew and loved if it meant improving the life of a child I would never meet. Then again, I know for a fact, the most of my loved ones would WANT me to do that. Which brings me to the REAL point.

Do recognize that YOUR FRIEND has put you in a difficult situation. It is her actions or lack of them that has caused this situation to concern you. I honestly don't know if I could respect someone who put a friend in that situation.

I think if you truely want to take the moral high ground, you should ask "What's best for the child?" When you answer that question, all other decisions become automatic. You could always do it anonomously.

I think the best thing to do would be confront your friend.

I think one of the worst things in the world must be to "Not know if your children are OK" or "Not know if your Dad loves you"... Don't mean to turn it into a guilt trip there... but I know that both of those thoughts would torture me far worse that "Am I a bad friend"...

Good luck, take all advice with a grain of salt, and it is your decision. I hope it all works out OK.

Flattered that you'd share such a personal scruples question with HoP...


Well, shall we go?
Yes, let's go.
[They do not move.]

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dromepixie


dromepixie

veteran
Location: Florida

Total posts: 1463
Posted:I must say that NYC has presented a very good point!

It is true... The welfare of these children is very important and it would probably make their father overly exited to hear that they are ok. I think if I was in your situation I would tell the father and try to conceal my source of information. He could have found out another way no?

I also agree that a good friend would not hold a mistake of theirs against another person when it has such an important and impacting effect on their personal life. Is this person concerned about the situation or their general reputation?

Take your time to make this descision as it is quite a heavy one. Think of it from all sides and then look deep inside yourself, only you hold the true answer.

Good luck much love and big hugs, Drome


JUGGLEwithyourmind!

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iluminaryfaerie


member
Location: Guelph, Ontario, Camerica

Total posts: 89
Posted:allright, here's what you do...
give me his email address or phone#
i'll tell him
problem solved

TA-DA


orangu-funking-tan

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Dom
BRONZE Member since Dec 2001

Dom

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Bristol, UK

Total posts: 3009
Posted:Alo Thistle!
Did you get my email? Just checking.


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Kat
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Kat

Pooh-Bah
Location: London

Total posts: 2211
Posted:Tough situation Thistle

I cannot understand why your friend is been unreasonable that you cannot fulfil your promise to look out for these kids. Frankly if it was something that was to be kept secret your friend should not have said anything to you in the first place Therefore I don't think you have to worry about betraying your friends trust on this issue as well, she betrayed a confidence herself. As long as no names, locations etc are mentioned all should be fine. Advise you to let their Dad know that they are ok - heard it on the grapevine, but that you have no contact with them and the person who passed the information on is not willing to say anymore than that and that it would be best to hope that the kids contact him in the future as he decided originally.

My heart goes out to the poor kids, but I am glad to hear that their situation has improved.

At the end of the day you should do what YOU think is right. We can offer unbiased views but you will know in your heart which course of action you want to take.

Good luck and big hugs


Come faeries, take me out of this dull world, for I would ride with you upon the wind and dance upon the mountains like a flame.

- W B Yeats

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s-p-l-a-t


member
Location: Brisbane, Qld, Australia

Total posts: 383
Posted:Hmmm...tough situation but also, this one is easy for me. Hear hear with NYC'd post...

I think you should tell your ex about the welfare of his kids. With something that was truly eating him up (and most likely, still is).. and rightly so due to their unfortunate past situation, it will rest his mind, rest his heart.

Your friend would probably want the same if she was in your ex's position. Sure, she may not have meant to tell you, but she did, and now you know, and keeping it inside would be brain-breakingly terrible. I think if I were you I'd find it difficult to even speak to your ex again, without telling him that is.

It's knowledge that belongs to him, should certainly be shared with him.

Depending on his personality, like, if he can keep a secret secret, then I'd tell him your informant. But if not, then I'd have no hesitation in telling him the truth, and then saying you simply could NOT tell him who your informant was, just that it was a very reliable source. Explain the situation that your friend has put you in to him perhaps...

I'm sure he'd be overjoyed regardless, and be happy to respect your wishes.

And if worse DOES come to worse, and your friend DOES somehow find out that you did indeed pass the information onto your ex, then I say screw it. Something's simply cannot be kept a secret. I mean, it was HER who told you, not like you stapled her to the ceiling and tortured the information out of her. And particularly when the poor father's mental and emotional wellbeing is on the line.

Hmmmm... think of how you would feel if you were your ex (which I'm sure you have...!)

Much energy going out to you and your friends...


The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you.- B.B.King

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Thistle


Thistle

old hand
Location: Nottingham UK

Total posts: 950
Posted:Heartfelt thanks to everyone who took the time to Pm/email me or reply and help me with my dilemma. I am in agreement with most of what's been posted regards telling my ex that his kids are ok. I think I already knew deep down what I needed to do, but reading that others would do the same has helped me to do it. I really cannot thank you all enough

I will be ringing him later to share the joyous news. I will not be sharing the name of my informant with him as I see this serves no purpose. Nor will I tell him the children's exact where abouts. Thanks.


Are we nearly there yet?

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NYC


NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA

Total posts: 9232
Posted:You're awesome Thistle.

Good luck and hold your chin up and be proud.


Well, shall we go?
Yes, let's go.
[They do not move.]

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bender
GOLD Member since Nov 2001

still can't believe it's not butter
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Total posts: 6979
Posted:so sad to hear of your pickle, thistle! i agree with NYC's quite valid argument.
From what little i know about your dillemma, I can only wonder about any friend that values their personal confidences over the welfare of a child.

what could be more honourable than to sacrifice a trust to rescue another?

I'd like to know myself to be a fiercely loyal person, but it's knowing also that to be truly selfless, loyalties are subordonate to compassion.
There is greatest good in the selfless path!

please keep us up to date and good luck!


Laugh Often, Smile Much, Post lolcats Always

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ViciousVixen


member
Location: Oklahoma City, OK, USA

Total posts: 103
Posted:I just don't see how your ex can think he's doing a good thing by not taking them away from their mother. It seems obvious to me that she's not thinking of their welfare by getting into a relationship with a criminal, whether he's gone now or not. And then there's the fact that her child wasn't receiving proper medical attention and education for a time. Personally, I think he should do everything in his power to take them away from her, and the only way he can do that is if he knows where they are. That whole idea about mothers raising kids better than dads is a crock, and one parent being able to raise a kid better without the other parent involved is an even bigger crock. If she truly cares about her kids, she'll involve their father in their lives, unless he's detrimental to their wellbeing. And if she thinks a criminal is a good substitute for a father, she HAS to think that your ex would be a positive influence on them since it doesn't sound like he's anything but a good person.

Yet another reason why I'm NEVER going to have kids! Parenthood is so dangerous to your sanity and health. *shakes head*

My advice is to tell him everything, let your "friend" go to hell, and know that you did a good thing.


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Thistle


Thistle

old hand
Location: Nottingham UK

Total posts: 950
Posted:You guys are just great! and I mean that sincerely

Vicious Vixen I agree strongly with you but the decision is not mine to make, and, for his own personal reasons, my ex does not want to tear the children away from their mother.

He was overjoyed to hear that they are safe and well. A trail has been laid which will lead to him when the children are ready to search. They eventually will search for him of that I am sure. I wish there was more I could do but there isn't. This is not my fight, they are not my children and it is not my path to follow, it is someone elses.

My friend is refusing to take my calls and has sent me a text message saying she is no longer speaking to me because of my 'betrayal'. I think I can live without friends like that because I know that I have taken the only course of action I could have to enable me to sleep at night.


Are we nearly there yet?

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dromepixie


dromepixie

veteran
Location: Florida

Total posts: 1463
Posted:applause for the overwhelming ammount of strenght and courage shown by a fellow pixie!

may your days and nights be filled with joy as that is what you deserve!

Much love! Drome


JUGGLEwithyourmind!

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NYC


NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA

Total posts: 9232
Posted:You rock Thistle.

It gives me warm fuzzies just to know that there are people out there as strong and true as you.

Hugs and love might be inappropriate so instead I send you an honorable slight bow of the head and a quiet golf-clap. Bravo.


Well, shall we go?
Yes, let's go.
[They do not move.]

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Glåss
BRONZE Member since Mar 2017

Glåss

The Ministry of Manipulation
Location: Bristol

Total posts: 2523
Posted:

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orange


member
Location: england

Total posts: 158
Posted:Thistle
You are most assuredly one of the people i'd like to talk to if i could choose

You were true to the best course for the children and their father

friends help friends help friends
and other people distract

there are a million possible friends who would cherish your smily energies
I know seeing you occassionally makes me grin

Big smiles to you and your daughter
and glad you are good from the car incident too
...xxx...


swoopedinandswoopedoutagain...orange...xxx...

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Rozi
SILVER Member since Jan 2002

100 characters max...
Location: Sydney, NSW, Australia

Total posts: 2996
Posted:I admire you so much for doing what you have done. A tough decision in a tough spot. What I admire most is that you thought it through.



You are a wonderful person


It was a day for screaming at inanimate objects.

What this calls for is a special mix of psychology and extreme violence...

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Prometheus


Prometheus

Diamond In The Rough
Location: Richmond, Virginia

Total posts: 459
Posted:Thistle,
I'm a little to latebto offer advice, so here's some sentiment instead. You have made the right decision. If she was a real friend, she would not have tried to coerce you using your very friendship as a bargaining chip. It was unfair of her to force you into that position, but like everyone has pointed out, you made a good choice, despite a lot of mixed emotions. I wish I knew more people with such strong personality as yours...


Dance like it hurts; Love like you need money; Work like someone is watching.

Never criticize someone until you've walked a mile in their shoes. That way, when you DO criticize them, you are a mile away, and you have their shoes.

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Doc Lightning
GOLD Member since May 2001

Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA

Total posts: 13920
Posted:Thistle,

Personally, I think I would be presumptious to say that you did the right thing...or that you didn't do the right thing.

Only you can know that in your heart.

But, I support you and your decision, regardless.



[ 21 October 2002, 14:04: Message edited by: MikeGinny ]


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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