Please read this attached e-mail that I sent to 60 Minutes in an effort to try and get any help or understanding. It is hard to find a reason to go on when even your cry for help is told to be quiet.
Dear Sixty Minutes,
Please, you have got to listen! Just read through this e-mail at least. You must be aware of, or at least heard comment made of, the number of single men who are driven to suicide or worse (by the exclusion of the children that are being taken from them) as a result of a divorce or family break-up.
I am a 30-year-old single dad of a beautiful 4-year-old boy and have been at the mercy of the Family Courts, the Child Support Agency and an angry ex-fiancé for the past 3 years. I am at the point of breaking, I need help and there simply is none available (with the exception of Lifeline phone support).
I don’t want to tell a story or get even with anyone. I am not interested in seeking publicity to badmouth any agency or my former partner. I simply want people to see why so many men quietly slip off the face of the earth.
I am about to be dealt a rather large blow from the family courts in the coming weeks, with my former partner making request to the family courts for ‘final orders’ regarding how often and under what circumstances I can see my son. This will be impossible for me to be successful in preventing and I will be expected to simply stand tall and solemn while the magistrate rules my son away from me.
To cry out or even be tearful will be ammunition to the argument that single men are unstable, violent or whatever other stereotype is put forward as the argument to take my son in the first place.
I will understand if you don’t listen, because nobody ever does, yet so many men commit suicide over this every day of the week. Maybe some of them tried like I am trying now to get someone to listen, to help, to care — but no-one ever does, and then that person is broken and has no reason to ‘be’ anymore.
Please come and see what a single dad goes through in any given week. Let me show you just how many departments, agencies and legal matters you have to deal with at any given time, and how you have to structure your whole life around these things while proving to the world that you are the model citizen and perfect parent.
I want you to see why men commit suicide, so you can show the world and somebody can stop it from happening. I can’t stop it by myself, and I don’t want to just quietly slip away without first trying all that I can to make it right.
Matthew Robert Reid
[Photo by Matthew Lancaster