A lost daughter…

“….. I can’t live without seeing my daughter.  I only signed the child custody order because my husband had my daughter with him and was threatening to kill her if I didn’t sign the papers….’

She finished reading the brief and leaned back, a weary sigh escaping her lips and the back of her hand brushing away the tears that were beginning to prick.

This particular case hit too close to home. She was transported 20 years ago to the day her psychotic husband had kidnapped their 3 year old. She had given it everything she had, but she hadn’t seen or heard from her daughter or husband since then. She couldn’t imagine what Jahnvi would look like now, as a young woman  – in her mind’s eye, she could only picture her as the little girl she’d been – twinkling eyes, an impish grin, her face framed by a mop of wild curls as she pressed a sticky chocolate-smeared kiss on her mother’s cheek.

The telephone rang, startling her awake from her personal nightmare. “Ms. Manya Tiwari is here. I had placed her case papers on your desk earlier today. Can I show her in?”. She nodded, “Yes, I just went through the papers. Give me a few minutes.”

She turned to the desk and flipped through the documents once more, a look of determination in her eyes. It was a difficult career choice and each new case left her emotionally drained and exhausted. But she would not stop – she had vowed that she would not allow another person go through what had happened to her.

She picked up the telephone, “Yes, Indu – please show Ms. Manya to my cabin.”

Edited to add:

I was recently working on a case at work. While it wasn’t a child-custody dispute, the parties involved were fighting a separate case for custody of their infant daughter and unfortunately those documents were presented as evidence here. It was heart-breaking to read through the papers and I cannot even imagine the pain that families go through in such situations. My heart goes out to all of them… I can think of very few things that are worse than fighting for/over your own child.

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22 thoughts on “A lost daughter…

  1. >>’in her mind’s eye, she could only picture her as the little girl she’d been – twinkling eyes, an impish grin, her face framed by a mop of wild curls as she pressed a sticky chocolate-smeared kiss on her mother’s cheek’
    That was incredibly beautifully put across – and rather poignant too.

    I can’t even begin to imagine what the mother and child must be going through. It’s difficult to understand what kind of person comes in between a beautiful bond between a mother and her child, threatening – and worst of all just for selfish monetary benefit. Then, there’s the mother who’s forced to endure the thought of her child being with the threatening pyschotic husband, an innocent child who’s helplessly a victim, deprived of love from a mother even though she’s alive.

    I guess it’s one of the disturbing situations that people tend to encounter as doctors or lawyers – while often we think of them simply as people who make a lot of money during operations and lawsuits. Clearly, cases involving child custody, divorces would be quite saddening and difficult, to say the very least. I sincerely wish you all the best in your endeavour and hope the family sees peaceful times ahead.

    On a much lighter note, the new theme is quite nice! I like the fonts and in my opinion, it suits your blog quite well.

    1. When it comes to fighting for real people and involving real emotions, it takes a lot to keep a distance and argue a case disspationately. I don’t think I would be able to work on family cases as a full-time career – I’m too emotional for that!

      Thank you for your comment, twocentimental… 🙂 Glad you like the theme 🙂

  2. A very touching story.
    It touched me deeply for I have been there seen all the chaos and lies that seem to plague the family courtrooms 😥
    One can only hope but things only get bitter and painful with time 😦

  3. Very touching story. A sad truth that seems to be on the increase these days. Peace, joy and love should be the virtues dominating our homes. Let us start a change by becoming the perfect examples of unity, in our own very homes. Lovely post!

  4. It must be difficult indeed to be in this profession. To see how wars are fought at places there should only be harmony. Is it not possible for the husband and wife to separate peacefully for the sake of the child? Would it be very difficult?

  5. A sad story and yet, a sad truth in many ways. The number of times we see kids put in the middle is heart wrenching. Are you a lawyer? I’m a psychologist and I get to hear the kids on the other side…the ones who end up with one parent and have to see the other only fortnightly. The ones who might be with an abusive parent and want out but the court has ordered otherwise. It’s a sad state of affairs…

    1. Psych Babbler, yes I’m a lawyer. Its so unfortunate when helpless children are left in abusive situations. Fortunately, I haven’t had a chance to handle something like that until date. Thank you for your comment and welcome to my blog! Hope to see you around 🙂

  6. ‘… I can think of very few things that are worse than fighting for/over your own child.’ – That is so true. And even sadder to see how so many people have to give away their rights to their child, just because they have no other options.. Just the thought kills me.. Your job must not be easy, but I am sure every case that gets handled well, must give you a lot of satisfaction too..

    1. Thanks for your comment, Smitha. I don’t directly handle family disputes, but yes for those who do – I can imagine a successful case will give a lot of satisfaction.
      Although – it really makes you wonder what ‘being handled well’ means – in family disputes, there’s bound to be some degree of compromise and heartbreak.

      1. ‘in family disputes, there’s bound to be some degree of compromise and heartbreak.’ – Yes, that is true, but there must be times when both parties come to a comparably reasonable agreement, with limited damage to the child.. I meant in terms of the child. It mustn’t be easy on the child. But then, I know next to nothing of this, so I should just shut up 🙂

      2. Haha! No, please don’t shut up! 🙂 Yes I do suppose there are situations when parties come to a comparitively reasonable agreement – I just haven’t seen it happen yet. Or maybe, its just my luck – reading about only the messier ones..

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