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Dads in Distress - what will it be like without them?

Time is running out for Dads in Distress. A few notes posted from Tony Miller the wonderfull man who founded DIDS

Tony Miller the founder of DIDS said
Can you please take the time to read just these few emails and guest book posts from our website below.

They are just a minute example of what we receive day in day out. On top of that our 1300 number and mobiles ring incessantly. Broken dads continue to stream into our group meetings all over the country. Our website forum is inundated, our website received over 5 million hits last year. We actually received an award for it.All this is administered on a minimal budget with a handful of volunteers. Lifesavers in the true meaning of the word.

In approximately 10 weeks at the end of June this will all come to an end as to date we have not had any success in securing Government funding to continue with this lifesaving work.

What do I tell the bloke who rings up with a gun stuck in his ear because he hasn't seen his kids in 4 years or the second wife who is battling to keep her new marriage together with one hand and holding up her husband who is battling depression from not seeing his kids from his previous marriage with the other? On top of that they are trying to pay child support while keeping bread on the table for their new family.

What do I say to the grandmum who has lost her son to suicide through a relationship breakdown and 4 years down the track is still being denied contact with her grandkids?

What do I say to the 19 year old who hasn't seen her father since age 6 and now wants to seek him out?

What do I say to the mum who wants dad to become more involved with his kids then he is?

What do I say to the bloke who has given up on life because he feels he has lost everything?

What do I say to the multitude who are still struggling through the minefield of Family Court, Family Relationship Centres, CSA etc?

There is nothing I can say because I wont be here………..
 
We operate a community based peer support program. The blokes we have as facilitators have been through the tragedy and the trauma of divorce and have come out the other end ALIVE. They know the pain, hurt, sorrow,bitterness and depression associated with it. They have all been through it and have come out of it and are moving forward. And they are passing on that knowledge to others less fortunate.The most dramatic life changes often occur through initiatives such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Weight Watchers, etc, where there are multiple people invested in your success and to whom you feel accountable. It makes sense to apply the same principles that have been so successful in dealing with self-destructive habits in the dads in distress peer support model which engages men in creating their own self-guided community for personal growth. That's what its about, a community of dads which in the end benefits our children.
 
I am running out of time. Dads in distress run a suicide intervention training conference every year here in Coffs Harbour where we train around 40-50 volunteers in suicide intervention. These blokes go back out to your areas and become lifesavers. I cannot organise this years training because I don't know if we will have any funds to do it. We have many communities asking us to open new dids groups but again we don't know if we are going to be here to support them.
 
If you feel Dads in Distress is a valuable asset to the community perhaps you can email  your local MP or Email The Hon Mal Brough MP and ask him politely please in your own words to find that elusive funding box we are supposed to fit in.
 
Regards Tony Miller dids Inc

Tony, Thank you so much for all the work you are doing to help dads in distress because it has been ignored for too long. The country should be outraged at the treatment men receive at the hands of the family court and
disgruntled ex-wives. My husband has not been able to see his only son for two years due to the bitterness of his ex-wife. She left the city in which  they lived without telling him and when we finally made contact via mobile phone asking to see him she taunted him with.."you'll have to find us first". We have finally found them but she refuses all attempts for my husband to make contact with him. Sometimes i look at my husband and see a huge sadness…I don't need to ask him whats wrong I know what it is…He is missing his son.. My heart breaks for him. He is the most amazing stepparent to my four kids (my husband passed away) the only thing missing is his son.

Just found the site. Sorry to hear you are having financial difficulties. This site needs to be funded by the goverment. They do a lot for the female side of seperations but not a lot for the male. It has taken me a long time to find this site as no one in a gov dept could tell me of a support group for DADS. The site has a lot of useful information. I am not sucicidal but i can imagine many dads could become so given stress I am going through. Dont want to be depressive. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK - COLIN

it good to see there is somewhere for farthers to turn in times like this i myself have just seperated and have two young children which i am grateful to be able to see quite often. i do agree with a lot of the issues that have been raised from dids. i believe that for to long the system has been to favouring the mothers and doing very little for fathers. i have heard of changes which will happen soon and hope it is the first step of many to make it fair for everyone involved.

As a female who grew up in a single father household and now a parnter to a dad who is struggling with an ex partner, It helps to know and hear others storys. I am appauled by the lack of support our nation supply dads in nding
relation ships. I would like to be part of this change and for now offer my support through words on this site to fathers struggling to grasp the shocking behavouirs put on them and there children by visious ex women

Hi Tony, Well Mate, having been with the dids group for over 6 years, I can easily say that it is worth all the work that has been put in by hundreds of men and women. Our Web Master Gabrielefink is to be congratulated, for the Site and the creativity, along with its constant updating. Of all the men and women I have met including the Staff at Head Office, I have never worked so hard myself, nor seen so many folk work themselves to collapsing at times, to keep DIDS Inc alive.

This year of 2007 will be a tremendous challenge for all who can stand by the Founder Tony Miller and the Manager and volunteers. My very best regards to keeping men, women and kids alive, and encourage them through horrendous journeys, to a place where they can stand more secure. It is a privelege to be part of a long list of names, and thousands we have never seen, yet emailed and spoken with, Thanks Dids for being here.
Colin Spratt.

I have felt like I've been wandering aimlessly for 8 years trying to cope with the fact that I'm not a full time dad, as a parade of new "dads" move in and out of the house that my daughter lives in, spending child support money on xbox games and beer. I see my daughter every second weekend, but I have to drive 220 km each way and she never stays overnight. I've tried to find out how to fix this and what my rights are and every government department sends me on to someone else.
 
I just listened to "A call comes in - my wife took the kids and left… " on the web site and I've been in tears ever since. and still am. That poor guy, I feel his loss and confusion and helplessness with every breath. That phone call brought all of the pain to the surface and yet for the first time I felt like there were people who understood, and who have been through this process and could help shine a light in what is a terrible black place for so many people.
 
I've set the DIDS web page to be my home page.
 
Thank you.
Andrew
 
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Tony, I tip my hat to you. We cannot place a value on the importance of the relationship between a father and his children, for both parties concerned. A well renowned american psychologist, James Dobson, has produced countless publications emphasising the  importance of such relationships. However, under no circumstance should abuse by a father be tolerated and under no circumstance should emotional abuse by a mother, using the kids as pawns (ie. contact), against a father be tolerated either.
 
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 Last September my wife of 23 years told me that she wanted to separate, we
> would sell the house and "work out our problems" afterwards. I am very
> domesticated and quite often cooked, cleaned, did sewing for the kids etc
> and had a good job providing an excellent income.Five days later she told
> our 2 kids, 14 & 11, "your father and I have decided to separate, we are
> selling the house and you two are coming with me". The kids were absolutely
> devistated.Due to the mortgage payments and other bills I was unable to
> afford to move out until we sold the house. For five months I endured the no
> talking, the x going out with her 'friends' and expecting me to be there to
> baby sit, no meals, no food.I advised my x that I would be moving out at the
> end of Feb, as we had sold the house. She advised ahe would move the week
> before settlement.My daughter, now 15, told me that she wanted to move in
> with me as she felt that we had much more in common and that her mother had
> always treated her differently from her brother.When I told the x this she
> went berserk. My x decided to move out a week before I did, I came home and
> she had cleaned the place out, she left us our beds. She took everything
> else, all the food out of the cupboards, the lot, my daughter came home from
> school and just cried knowing what her mother had done.I have not seen my
> son now for 3 weeks, I am denied any contact whatsoever. What can I do? I am
> getting desperate.
__________________________________________________
 
 hi there all, just writing to say if you've never been to a dids group do
> yourself a favour and go along to one, there is so much to learn and help
> along the way. it isn't a short or long term answer to the immediate
> situation but the help and support may be just that little bit you need. i
> live in bendigo and went to the first of my dids meeting in st albans last
> night and was really happy with the outcome and how i felt after leaving the
> meeting, my situation to me doesn't seem all that bad but there are and can
> be worse situations out there. i found that the guys there were't trying to
> tell me what to do or how do do things just giving me information and
> guidence on some of the things i didn't know. i am a dad in distress and i
> hope that through the help of these meeting and support groups i too can
> better myself and my situation. a very wise quote as follows "spending time
> with your child isn't about you and what you want, its about your child and
> what they truely want" my son means the world to me and until he understands
> that, and that i love him so much i won't be pushing him for what i want.
> waking up every day to a 5 year old who needs help making breakfast, getting
> dressed and the need of his father keeping an ear out to make sure that he
> plays safe are a few things people take for granted but for me it is much
> different. At the moment my son won't even talk to me on the phone or agree
> to coming to see me for some unbeknown reason but…. When he needs me to
> help him with something or to have some time out or whatever the reason when
> he feels he is ready that is when i will be there for him 100% to the end.
> It is no good having to parents fighting over who is better of who can spend
> more money on your childs hobbey but it is the quality of time that really
> means so much to there little minds and grows out in them. i hope my son can
> one day understand what has happened and that i am snot as bad a person as
> have been made out as but the loving father that just wanted a kiss, cuddle
> and to hear those little words come out of his precious mouth " hi dad"
> "love you dad"
_______________________________________________________
 
thanks dids nowra, im seeing a lot more of my kids thanks to you guys. ill
> visit soon ! thanks heaps.
____________________________
 It's true what the other woman in the guest book said. The three lawyers I
> was sent to said, "We'll take him for 90%!" I refused. They said I would
> ruin my kid's lives. I replied, "I'll ruin their lives if I drive their Dad
> away."  We "negotiated" instead. The  kids remained messed up which meant I
> couldn't return to work. There were no school excursions, new clothes, or
> heating, even when it was -6 degrees. The kids got sick. That's when he 'got
> it'. Withholding money was harming his kids. Unexpectedly he started
> honouring the Conflict Resolution Agreement made two years previously. This
> improved everyones morale and built trust.  The kids no longer begged,
> "Please don't send us to Dad's. He's scary!"  With the support of neighbours
> and other dads in the footie club he rose to being the Dad he deserved to
> be.
>
> Consumed with inner pain we may be oblivious to the suffering we inflict on
> others. We can either suppress this pain or face it. One choice risks
> putting our kids in the way of long term harm to themselves and others. An
> alternate choice is to admit the problem, get help, and solve it. This takes
> courage. But integrity and honour lies in dealing with it. Remember we only
> get one shot at raising kids.
>
> Hang in there.
>
> Jo
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Hi 4 years ago my ex told me i would never see my daughter again. And i
> havent, i am stuck with a huge child support debt and cannot locate my
> daughter.. She will be 10 this year and i havent seen her in 4 yrs. This is
> deeply depressing me. I recently had another baby with my new partner and it
> saddens me that she has a sister who has not met her yet. Nobody will help.
> She lives somewhere in perth and i am from NSW. I just want some rights as a
> father, is this not kid napping what she is doing. If i hid my daughter from
> her mother i would be in jail……please email me with advive…..
>
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11 men gathered together in a community house in Frankston on Wednesday
> night. All from different backgrounds but all ready and willing to share
> whatever was going on inside. After hearing an interview on ABC radio
> Wednesday morning my emotions began to race within me. Could I really make a
> difference. Questions like How could I help and and Where jumped inside me.
> Then the number was given and through tears I frantically tryed to find the
> nearest pen (I was driving) and wrought down the number. I was diffently
> stirred as I began to revisit old feelings. I contacted the number without
> any thought that tonight I could be a part of the solution. Had a great
> night and learned so much. Andrew.
>
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 hi all,
>    when is enough, enough??? last night in bendigo CSA had a "help" night
> as usual it was a flop all i could be told was write anothr letter to the
> same EX who is going to ignore yet another letter or phone call. the only
> time i get an answer from mex is when it is from my solictor, she even
> disregards the court. so if i ever want to be a dad and be in my son's life
> i have to keep addin the payments to my solictors new beamer. i don't
> understand how a ruling can be made by the court and can also be ignored
> over and over. why are we always punished for being a loving father?
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Hi, I have read some stories and know exactly how you all feel.  I have a 3
> year old son to my ex who is making things really difficult.  I feel like I
> am powerless and all I do is receive bills from csa telling me I have to pay
> money to her.  I have no say in my sons life and am constantly being told
> whether I can see him or not, and where and when I have to have him back by.
> All I really want is to be an equal part of his life, as my partner and I
> are trying to get on with our life together, but have these problems of
> money and how much time we get with my son.  We own a house together, and
> are only now starting to live normally after having to consolidate all our
> debts. It seems there is no incentive for me to earn more money because the
> more I get, the more she gets in child support.  I have just recently been
> promoted at my job and it is extremely unfair that she will benefit from
> this.  Of course I will be spending more on my son now that I am earning
> more, but to have to pay it directly to his mother under the disguise of csa
> is ridiculous.  Can anyone give me any advice on how to come up with a
> workable, affordable and realistic solution to this?  I am dealing with an
> extremely difficult person who is forgetting about her son and focussing on
> making it as hard as possible for me.  Any advice would be much appreciated.
> Cheers
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Hey guys ,a quick question …
        how come there's a huge effort to help our graziers and stop them topping themselves because of the drought , but bugger all for the ordinary bloke in town who suicides because his family and business etc collapsed .
 Maybe the bloke with the fruit shop that went broke and his missus left ……
 Or the bloke at  the garage , or the plumber…….
   just maybe they're not a national tear jerker..?
 Don't tell me we still think that in some way they're a failure so we can't help…?
 Is that why the Gov't just spent heaps on trialling grief and bereavement programs for POST suicide trauma???
   My heart tears apart for the man on the land and his family, but I've got a panelbeater and a computer wiz and an accountant ,who were isolated by pain and grief and the sense of failure…who nearly died and left their kids fatherless..
 somewhat to ponder?
 Nige
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