My name is Lee, born and raised in a small town in Southern Indiana. I was married at 18 because being adopted in to a very strict Pentecostal home, that is what was expected of me. I was so afraid of coming out to the family that I was adopted into, not to mention that my adopted parents were foster parents and well known in our small community. My adopted mother had let it be known to me on a number of occasions and for things far less sinful than this, that I could be placed back into the system if I did not abide by her rules and beliefs.
I met and married a girl from the Pentecostal church and had three beautiful children. Though being a gay man, I was like as many heterosexual males, I wanted to be a daddy more than anything on this planet. I had no idea how it would affect me once I actually became one. To start, I thought, as so many before me and unfortunately others will behind me, feel that the whole marriage and family thing would change me. As all who read this know that does not work. If it is not broke then it does not need to be fixed. I wish someone could have told me that over twenty years ago.
We had moved to Kentucky to be close to her side of the family, which I found later was one of the biggest mistakes I could have ever done. She was not a very nice woman. She knew before we married that I was gay, but was not at all deterred by it. She actually loved it in my opinion. She got a full-time mother, house wife, chief cook and bottle washer. Between stress of the marriage and being extremely unhappy, not to mention effects from child abuse, I began having mental and physical health problems. I took all that I could stand and stood up to her.
When I finally got the nerve, she threw me out with just my clothes and a few pictures that I could sneak out. Four months later she left and moved to Eastern Kentucky to live with a man she had met on the internet and took the kids away from me. I thought I was going to die. All we had that I cared about was the kids and when she took them for me, at that time life was over. Where things have been left at, she was awarded full custodial rights to the kids and I was not allowed to see them if I lived with anyone that I was not either related to or married to, neither male or female. We never stood before a judge or lawyer. The custody rights were given to her when the attorney’s office called and requested that I come in and sign child support garnishment.
The lady in the office failed to tell me that it was also giving her full custodial rights, when I asked to take them to an attorney to have them looked over she stated that I would be in contempt of court and that if I did not sign them right then and there I would be arrested. So this is how she had the upper hand. Since then she has retained her rights and my visitation has been very little and at times years apart. They are older now and because of her telling them what she has wanted them to hear they now want nothing to do with me. I feel as though my heart has been broken a thousand times over.
The best part of it all is that I have remained single all of these years in hopes that I could have the relationship with my kids that I still don’t have today. God has been my strenght and refuge. I am now a minister of the gospel, moved to Philadelphia and am trying so hard with God’s help to go on with my life. I will never get over the hurt, each time I look at their pictures I see the kids that I have never been able to be a part of.
I hope this helps someone else out there, time does heal. Love, Lee
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