Two weeks ago my wife committed suicide following a short depression brought on by work related stress and worries over a short-term cash flow situation. It was a sudden depression, she killed herself without warning within 3 days of being diagnosed.
During the funeral her family began "looking after" our 4 year old daughter while I get myself back on my feet, but now they are blaming me entirely for my wife's death. They hold me responsible for not being aware of the cash-flow problem that finally prompted her suicide, though we actually have other savings that we could easily have accessed, had my wife discussed the matter (like many marriages, she ran the family accounts). Naturally I blame myself for not taking a more active and leading role in organizing the family purse, she was a very capable woman and I let her get on with it. The family have taken this admitted weakness on my part and twisted it into a reason for keeping my daughter.
The family have thus refused to return my daughter, and have limited my access to "weekend daytrips"... if my daughter feels like it. Shortly after the funeral they let themselves into my house (they had a key) and removed all her clothes. They're also demanding I pay the entire funeral expenses, return money they'd given to my wife shortly before her death, and pay for the yochien fees etc for my daughter. They are an entirely Japanese speaking home, so the longer my daughter is there the more she warms to Jiji and Baba, and the less she wishes to see me, the foriegner dad. Although I speak Japanese well, it is not my native tongue and I'm at a distinct disadvantage.
So far I've been trying to keep the peace in the hope that when emotions settle the situation will improve, however today I was called to a "meeting", given a total dressing down and told they have no intention of letting me see her, or allowing me to take her out of the country. As they blame me for their daughters death I can't see that things will ever be worked out to an amicable level.
They live fairly close to my house.
After 21 years in this country I still haven't made my mind up whether to stay in Japan or return to my country of birth, but the latter looks likely. Naturally I wish to take my daughter with me, a situation the family say they will not tolerate.
I'm very, very worried!
FRIJ recommends you also
visit crn japan,
who are fighting international abduction to Japan and working to assure children
in Japan of meaningful contact with both parents regardless of marital status