Friday, June 1, 2012

Hard to believe...

a week ago, we were in Germany enjoying a great vacation.  It's taken most of the week to catch up with everything.  I have a feeling that within a couple of days, it'll feel like we never went anywhere.

Travel is one thing that really keeps me going.  I feel fortunate that we are able to travel as much as we do to the places we go to.  Now for a complete change of subject.

This morning, I happened to catch Dr. Phil.  The episode that aired this morning was almost refreshing, since Dr. Phil actually believed a man over a woman.  The subject was a grandmother who had accused her granddaughter's father of molesting his child.  The child's mother, wanting to do right by her kid, took steps to limit the father (her ex boyfriend) from seeing his daughter.

Meanwhile, the father, who now has a new girlfriend, sought Dr. Phil's help in clearing his name.  He swore he'd never touched his daughter in a sexual way and, in fact, was beside himself that he had been accused of such a terrible thing.

Adding to the controversy was the fact that grandma had never liked her daughter's ex boyfriend.  She was shrill and sounded emotional as she spoke about him and his alleged abuses, but never were there any tears in the woman's eyes.  In fact, to me she just looked angry.

Anyway, Dr. Phil arranged to give both the dad and the grandma polygraph tests.  The dad passed with flying colors.  Grandma failed, though she continued to insist with ever increasing desperation that her granddaughter had indeed been molested by her father.

I could not blame the father at all as he seethed at his daughter's grandmother, vowing to take legal steps to make sure the child had limited contact with her from now on.  Frankly, under the circumstances, I can hardly blame dad for doing such a thing.  Accusations of sexual abuse are very serious.  They can ruin a person's life-- take away their freedom or their livelihood.  Besides, any child who may have been reported sexually abused also stands to lose a lot.  He or she will have to endure interviews by CPS, invasive medical exams, and perhaps foster care.   While I would never tell anyone they shouldn't report suspected abuse, I also think that such reports should be given with extreme care.  They have the power to be very destructive and damaging, and not just to the accused.

As I watched this guy being vindicated on a daytime talk show, I couldn't help but feel angry for him.  As a father, he's going to be viewed with suspicion by a lot of people.  For some reason, when a couple splits up, the man is more often viewed with suspicion than the woman is... especially if there are children involved.  And a lot of innocent guys end up being accused of terrible things, often unfairly.  My heart ached for Dr. Phil's guest and his daughter, who no doubt has had to deal with the ramifications of her grandmother's misguided attempts to "protect" her.

It's good that this dad was vindicated.  My heart breaks for those who don't have Dr. Phil to run interference for them.  False allegations of sexual abuse are about as low as a parent or grandparent can sink when it comes to custody issues.  How dare anyone use a child to fight an adult's battle.

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