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Sometimes a brutal tongue-lashing is what’s required to regain sensible consciousness and yesterday it was delivered.  Lying on the prickly grass in Battersea Park, surrounded by the noise from others rushing to and from work, being motivated/humiliated by my hunky (need to draw down on your mortgage or eBay your cockapoo to afford him/hour) trainer I received it. Like a full-blown Saatchi style strangle, he was taking no prisoners with his delivery. “Feel sorry for you?!” Mr Beefcake exhaled past his, too many to count pack.  “I have a 27 stone, 10 year old I plan to train who I feel sorry for, Daniel Pelka, I feel sorry for.”  He paused. “You, you need to grow some balls” Seems I wasn’t about to receive any pity from my Robert Mugabe wanabee trainer, so rapidly chose to continue with my lame efforts at a lunge/lurch. But interestingly, post this heart warming verbal exchange, my lunges were now executed with a whole lot more gusto.  Just like Susan Boyle, who morphed before our eyes into the musical swan she is now, likely following her first conflab with the brutally honest Piers Morgan.  I too moved from possessing the elegance and focus of Kerry Katona on any night out to a refinement and clarity only Darcey Bussell could achieve.  A mix of focus and hot! Boom.

There’s always a point to my ramblings, lest it takes a while to reach, but here goes.  Well almost.  As a regular reader of my misery memoirs, you may notice I cloak any sadness and upset with humour or irony.  Please don’t mistake this for weakness or making light of a serious situation.  It’s a survival technique I deploy to ensure my family life remains healthy and wholesome. This chapter of my life involving the lemony law is now done and I’m looking forward to no longer having to fake it.  Onwards and good luck to the rest of you.  If I can do it, so can you.

So, It’s widely understood, by me, I was brutally, abhorrently and vexatiously (better out than in) accused of child abduction and obviously cleared after the judge branded the applicants case as highly misleading.  In fact to say I resemble Claudia Scheiffer crossbred with a daschund would have stood as a more compelling case presented against me.  Following The Mail’s piece reporting on the ensuing harrassement I was subject to, I’ve been inundated with three emails and one call from both women and men in similar situations.  Individuals who are embroiled in lengthy court cases with litigious others, individuals who are being subject to public harassment and even a selection who are now without their children, which is beyond the pale to even comprehend. Family law is by no means a light topic and should be treated with the seriousness and respect it deserves. Which is why my blog is about balls. It seeks to explore and discuss the optimum mind-set and motivations required when an individual is a part of a break up or indeed any situation where you need to make a decision to change the course of your life in any given moment of your day.  Hence the often light and fluffy nature of it today, inspired by a few terse words and faced with the realisation, focus is fundamental to achieving results. Sprinkled with a pinch of common sense (Simon Cowell you may benefit from todays learning’s) and mixed together with the steeliness Margaret Thatcher was revered for.



I am both parts the problem and solution:

Our personal challenges have presented themselves to us, through no fault of anyone but ourselves.  Blaming our parents, lawyers, ex partners and David Cameron for not passing laws to banish narcissists, grumpy exs or our bosses to Necker island, while it was burning down, doesn’t make the cut.  We messed up by picking the eejits we’re now having to deal with so take back the control and on that basis realise it’s only I that can make things happen.  I, I, I, I.  There’s no I in YOU. Playing the victim, like me on Battersea Park was not having the desired effect on said thighs.  The instant I took back the power and understood that despite all the cajoling, support and eye candy available, (aka hot trainer) it’s always down to me to deliver the desired results.  And LUNGE lard arse…

Sticks and stones are not helpful tools:

I have had threats the FBI are going to hunt me down then eat me, protest groups claiming I am a contact denier, a kidnapper and will burn in gas mark 9 and other baseless wide ranging accusations channelled via social services such as malnourishing my child etc.  My incredibly diligent lawyer even included a charge for googling ‘Irish mediation techniques’ on one of my many invoices.  This is thought to be a form of kneecapping, threatened to him for working with me.  (Rest assured I negotiated a 50% charge on the self-defence classes he felt obligated to enrol in as a result)  I jest, but understand, when someone has to take strategy tips from Scientologists, know they’re on their back foot.  Aside from Alfred Hitchcock, could a sensible person even think up this stuff?   Yes I know it’s scary to be part of a horror movie, yes I know it induces a headache but so does Eastenders so tune it out.  Ignore the noise in the offending emails, their superfluous BS, the protest groups joining force with them. Peeps it’s designed to distract from your goal or required end result and has been created by monkeys.  (Not the pretty mini ones, but you know the fat ones with the red bumpy bottoms?) I was threatened the FBI were going to deport me.  Confident, the only illegal thing I have ever done was to steal a cream egg age 6 I was sure I had nothing to fear besides the possible headache of a harassing goose chase that would require my time and energy.  Because really, who could make up this rubbish apart from those menacing monkeys? It certainly wasn’t me looking like the Muppet.

I am allegedly a contact denier.  Essentially, that is only even possible if contact is being sought or discussed– case closed.  Are you denying your ex contact with your child and using them as a negotiating tool?  Then you deserve all the headaches and everything you get landed with.  I’ve always maintained the debate is between the two parents and has nothing to do with the child.  Deploy this mantra as a matter of urgency otherwise even the Catholic Church won’t allow you to repent. For anyone being branded this tag in a situation where it’s used to harass, don’t even pay an iota of attention to it.  See it for what it is, a ploy for the other party to gain sympathy in their case and version of events.  People are generally quite self-aware and a wolf suddenly modelling himself as Little Red Riding hood won’t be very credible amongst his peers.  People will always remember them for who they are so focus on operating with integrity and reasonableness at all times..  Contact denier claims are easily defended should the point ever be bought to court.  Claims in court always need to be substantiated.  When the judge asks for their evidence to support claims, ‘My dog ate my hard drive containing all my contact emails your honour’ isn’t going to be met with a sympathetic smile.  Go armed with your evidence.  Keep hold of all emails received requesting or offering contact and be confident a fact is a fact is a fact.  The truth always prevails.

Talk is cheap, sundried tomatoes are not:

Don’t fear court and lawyers.  Fear really is a wasted energy and you’ll need it all for the mountains of paperwork and related administration.  Trust me; I colour coordinate my closets with much gusto.  Prepare for hard work. I would always recommend mediation as a first option to anyone following a break up.  It’s kinder, more of a collaboration and much much less costly.  My lawyers countless requests for mediation fell on those Little Red riding hood ears, so remember, if you’re forced to go to court, it’s a path you choose to get things done.  Stand proud and own it.  Focus and concentrate.   Be confident you are there to use the law to make the decision for you and your child.  In itself this is pretty scary as things are now out of your control, but sometimes you are presented with no choice. What’s your option?  Few had any luck negotiating with Saddam Hussein which is why he and they may well end up hanged; judges have seen it and all their harassment tricks a thousand times.   Remember the courts are designed to serve the best interests of the child.  If at any point you choose to loose focus and to bitch about and blame the courts, as you’re not getting the results you want, join a mothers and fathers protest group.  I’d encourage you to proactively lobby for a change in legislation, seek out the policy makers and deliver credible reasons why changes need to occur in family law.  Never ever ever dress up as batman or deface public property.  Disney is currently recruiting from these fundamentalist groups for big bad wolf roles.  If you do choose to tred this circus inspired path, alternatively you might try spitting at the judge upon arriving into their court room and see how far you get with having anything resolved to your satisfaction. Trust me; bullying creates fear and general disrepute to the originator, negotiations require intelligence and typically generate results

Secret Ingredient:

Repeat after me.  FOCUS on the goal, IGNORE the noise.  Just like me and my formerly lame lunges.  Suddenly I’m able to run master classes in them.


PS.  If you don’t like my recipe suggestion, log onto who share the following simple recipe:  behave like a victim, cry a lot and do everything you are being bullied into doing despite it not being in you or your child’s best interests. During the process expect to loose your house, car and dignity. This one has much less calories but the after taste is bitter sweet.


1 Comment so far

  1. Growing b*lls, lawyers’ bills and Papal Bulls can take some of us more time than perhaps you’d tolerate Melissa.
    I’ve taken several years to deal with something abrasively similar. For too long I’ve blamed a heady mix of Political Correctness that has had me servile to my pretend peers and that self-flagellation of corrupt Religious guilt while I ran with the Papal bulls.
    But I sense you are more pragmatic.
    However, like you, I don’t hold my external powers of darkness responsible. I simply blame them for insisting Too long that I join Huxley’s Noble Savage in a Brave New World of numbing self-neglect. I blame them also because it has taken even longer to cast off the habit.
    Yet, despite it all and after a surfeit of angst I am now happily comfortable with my responsibility. Curiously, this is no longer such a burden. It’s mind-saving and human to be able to both blame someone, some thing, and at the same time take dignified responsibility.
    My response, my cobbled comment here on your perceptive, delightfully crafted piece is probably as much a catharsis as any blog or journal is for anyone capable of articulating a peeve, a conundrum, a crime, sin or sense of having been the victim of transgression.
    Your own experience seems more valid, Melissa. Your reasoned analysis is commendable. It is useful too because it has inspired me, and most likely countless others, to rethink things not yet decided and to firm resolves fractured by people who “mean well”.
    Too often while falling on my sword in deference to Political Correctness as I tried to “get over it” and move on” I merely fumbled and stumbled, preferring the misery I had come to know rather than risk accepting it’s OK to feel grieved and angry with someone else’s falseness; it’s OK to feel hurt, and it’s fine to claim the wounding experience and subsequent agony, the loss, a part of my life as I finally move on with my life.
    Perhaps it’s also OK to know that I don’t have to “get over it”, to “begin over again” as if nothing happened; setting a defined course of compromise on abstract terms set down by others, including self-help gurus and trendy psychobabblers.
    Thank you Melissa, you’ve helped me more than you know to do the right thing by myself for possibly the first time, as well as those who depend on me, those I hold most dear.
    More power to your pen – and to your pectorals…!
    Theo. Bennett

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