In times of Corona, I think it is safe to assume that we are all going through something new, a situation that we cannot possibly oversee correctly, and that this year is starting to feel like we are living in a Kafka-novel. For me, it only adds to the alien feeling I have been experiencing for about 9 months now.

You see, my children were kidnapped by their father in 2019 and despite all my legal, relentless and correct efforts to get them back and to get him to adhere to the same verdict we have lived by for a decade, I seem to wake up in this nightmare again and again since July 2019 and I am convinced I am reliving groundhog day. The girls went on holiday just like they have been doing for the last 10 years, three times a year but this time they never came back.

Every single part of this experience has been new to me – and every time I think I have reached a new definition of heartbreaking, I seem to find another one. And then there was the time were I realized: if I do not slit my wrists now, I never will. But I haven’t and I won’t because the one thing that keeps me going – that one day they will return to me – keeps me alive. Keeps me smiling even. The one thing that makes me hang on that cliff-side of despair, is also what makes me not fall in, what makes me strong and determined, I am sure every parent will know what I mean.

I am not trying to be dramatic. I am telling you this – the world basically – because I get questions about my girls (why are they not with me? why did I move to Belgium all of a sudden?) and I am reluctant to explain. Are you surprised when I tell you it is partly shame? How the f* could this happen to me? And yes, I see the looks of some: what on earth happened that he did this? I see the speculations in people’s eyes about my life abroad and the not so average life I have always led, unorthodox choices I have made but which I still stand by. I have also tried to spare the girls, let me not bombard them with adult issues they might not understand, let us not involve everyone we know. And then there is the roller-coaster of emotions you seem to find yourself on. Late nights using a whole box of tissues because of all the crying and blubbering, conversations with friends that give me courage.. I have been thrown between every single corner of the emotional spectrum and yes, I do feel battered and bruised because of it. The angel on the right shoulder whispering that I should spare the girls from complex emotions and not lay my sadness on them and the devil on the other shoulder replying I did not put them in this situation to begin with. You can imagine the scenarios. But what to do?

I will refrain myself from going into the legal stuff and explaining why this has not been resolved yet, partly because I have no clue but let me also just bite my tongue and limit myself to “Mexico is more corrupt than I thought” and “my ex has a deeper grudge than I ever thought possible”. But it does not serve me to dwell. I am using the proper channels and they appear not to be strong measures. I realize a lot in society is based on trust. Trust that I am loosing by the minute.

So there it is. My dirty laundry. My Achilles heel. My Godot I am waiting for. My Kafka.

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