Sunday, September 6, 2015

A day in the life of the custodial parent - Dr. Michael Schlesinger

One of the more bizarre and irrational aspects of the Schlesinger case is why Beth lost custody. In what sense is the care provided by Michael to his sons superior to what Beth was providing. 

In this post I would like to describe what a day is like in Michael's home with the support of a non-Jewish woman who apparently is not fully fluent in German.

Actually to be more accurate Michael's plan for a home environment for his sons is not centered on the twin's parents, not even on Michael or his mother or sister. The most important person in their day to day lives is a non-Jewish Filipino. In essence the twins are being raised as orphans by a hired foster mother for which there is no sense of permanence or kinship in the relationship. In fact there were originally two Filipinos who took care of them - why this was changed is a story for another time. It is important to note that it was unrealistic to expect any significant help from either his mother or sister who are both divorced and have significant burdens of problems in their own lives - no matter what their good intentions are

 It doesn't take a deep understanding of Psychology to realize how harmful it is to not only have the family unit split by divorce - but Michael tries his best to minimize Beth's presence and influence in the life of the twins by arbitrarily cancelling scheduled visits. Of course due to the realities of being a doctor working in a mental hosptial with some very unpleasant cases [some so dangerous they need to be locked in cages] - he doesn't really have the time or the emotional ability to provide a warm and loving home atmosphere.

It is also strange that this arrangement was not what Michael told the court that the care plan would be. It is obvious if he had told the court that this was his plan that he would have been rejected automatically - especially since he was taking custody from a loving competent mother. He had originally claimed that he would care for  his children with the help of his mother and sister. [They in fact have little or nothing to do with caring for the twins].

It is clear that Vienna social services has no understanding of what is needed to raise children properly. The fact that the twins are functioning at all - is largely do to their native resilency that is aided by the visits with their mother.

Where is Michael in their lives? He apparently does not have much responsiblity in the hospital. How is Michael interacting with them when she is always there while they are awake?  What type of family life are the twins actually experiencing? In what sense is it psychologically healthy? What type of Jewish life is Rabbi Biderman encouraging?  [to be continued].[I welcome any communication from Michael explaining things from his point of view as well as corrections of facts]

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