Wednesday, October 7, 2015

One way back to Stockholm

I'm livid. Nothing less. There is nowhere hiding it and I'm not going to keep quiet or be subtle anymore.

There are two things you have to know to understand this: Firstly, when sharing custody of a child, one parent can deny the other one taking the child outside the country of residency. Mostly this is due to fear of kidnapping but there doesn't need to be a stated reason, if one parent says no, you should not do this, it can lead to custody taken away. Secondly, when sharing custody and there is no written explicit visitation agreement, one parent can limit or deny the other parent visitation (i.e. being with) the child. Just by saying no. The other parent then has to go through the court to get a settled visitation schedule.
After Zoe's dad's and my negotiations about her future residence and schooling broke down (partly because it was all demands and threats from his side, nothing constructive, nothing that would give me an option for seeing her even close to 50%, him turning down any of my counter suggestions) he refused to let her leave Sweden. Let me repeat this: leave *Sweden*. Flybaby, who has spent countless hours flying from one country to another, who is an American and Danish citizen, who has the vast majority of extended family in Denmark and her mom in New York. Basically, he told me, unless I give in to her staying (forever) in Sweden, he would not let me take her outside Sweden from now on. About a week ago I then flew to Sweden to see her (I had been working towards deadlines 12 hours/day until then); last minute he hesitantly agreed that I could take her to Denmark if I bought a return ticket for her as evidence she was coming back. But even after this week, I am still due to see her for two and a half months this fall, as we are still sharing her time between us. But he is ignoring my requests to send her over to New York to spend time with me here (our face-to-face communication broke down long time ago and we are now emailing and talking through lawyers). Zoe keeps asking when she can come over and I keep saying, I don't know but if we both ask him, he might see the sensible in that a 5 YEAR OLD GIRL SPENDS EXTENDED TIME WITH HER MOM.

This morning, after a week in Copenhagen, I put Zoe on a plane as an unaccompanied minor back to Stockholm and got on a plane back to New York myself. A plane I have begged her dad to let me buy her a ticket for as well, for months so she could fly back with me. I was in the air when I discovered the entry in our still shared calendar. I gasped so loudly that two other passengers turned towards me: He had bought tickets for him, Zoe and the girlfriend to go on holiday to Greece in two weeks time. Without consulting me. On dates spilling into what we long time ago had talked about being my dates. So after refusing me to take her outside Sweden, he now makes his own plans to do this.

I'm so frustrated and angry, I can hardly think. Zoe and I cried our eyes out this morning when we said goodbye at the gate, me hugging her, she telling me that she would tell her dad right away that she wanted to go visit me in New York. Now all I can think about is staying on-board, taking the plane back to Copenhagen, going to Stockholm and just forget about New York. I mean, what does it mean anyway? A dream job, a boyfriend, the penthouse in a high-rise in Brooklyn, close local friends? It all means nothing compared to my little girl. Nothing.

I was going to give her the life I always wanted, living in New York and having all the opportunities of dance, acting classes that I never had the opportunity to take (and believe me, she is talented, her teachers are raving about her), good education, being in the middle of everything. Instead I'm going to give her (and me) the life I never ever wanted, living in a country I dislike and find utterly annoying, in a job I literally hate.

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