A very learned and goodhearted parent once gave me some advice, a long time ago, at the start of my family-court nightmare, … “don’t take it personally”. I, of course, found that impossible to do at the time, being a newbie and all. This Veteran Mother, Parent of “the system” understandably, instinctively, knew how hard and long it takes to actually follow this advice, and kindly followed up with, WHEN the time came that I WAS able to do this, accept that the horrible treatment given to me, and to my children, by the court, and the court appointed professionals, and, just as painful and unbelievable, by the “apathetic bystanders”, whether they be the attorneys stymied by the outcome or those just plain out corrupted into “buying the outcome”, and that it was, in fact, NOT personal to them, just business, then I would be able to move on to the next level and try to begin fighting BACK.
I state with all sincerity and not just a little shame, that this piece of advice was the hardest thing for me to accept. How can it NOT be personal … when it IS personal? When it’s your life being destroyed, your children being ripped away with no voices, as if they are worthless orphans .. the outrage, horror and grief of this is at times unbearable. The sad fact is it remains unbearable to many who capitulate, in total despair. Why and how some of us survive these horrors and traumas is inexplicable to me, even now, years later. I mourn those who did not make it, envy those who made it out and ran for their lives, and even resent (sometimes) those who made it out seemingly without a trace, having signed gag orders, etc. leaving no trail for those of us left behind to follow, like cracker crumbs to help guide us into finding OUR way out of the dark forest of this unspeakable hell. I then console myself and forgive, knowing that there were MANY times during our nightmare had I been offered any reprieve to rewind, get out with my life and my children’s lives and childhoods intact I would certainly have jumped at the chance.
Parents – try, try, and try again, to NOT take it so personally simply in order to be able to see the great forest despite the trees in order to see the bigger picture. And there is a bigger picture. Try to console yourself that although it is very much personal to you, and to your precious children, if you can only find a way to survive You WILL, one day, get to speak up and out and make it personal. In the between time, while you feel invisible, do everything you can just to survive it in order to live to fight another day.
My day has arrived. I don’t have my children back, and am dealing with the aftermath, and the secondary horrific crime of alienation, but, we are officially out of the system, by agreed order, not by any help from the courts and finally all court appointed unprofessional “professionals” officially discharged from our case, my ex finally haven gotten a mere hint of a taste of their wrath, it was, after all, ALL ABOUT THE MONEY, and last fall he began to run out of money, actually losing custody himself just a few short months ago of the very children that these same “unprofessional” professionals granted him some three years prior. It’s important to note he lost custody for the very reasons, grounds, that I had for many years tried but been denied from exposing to the courts, and their court appointed professionals.
I, the mother, ran out of funds after 6 years and $45,000 into the system while my ex had enough funds to continue on an extra three years. It cannot be a coincidence that was this the three year period of time in which he was not only given custody but was assisted in his campaign to block access and visitation between me and my children. These were the barriers my children and I faced these long years.
This January 2014, I was able to begin the long and scary road of coping with and accepting the pointless, unnecessary tragedies that wrongfully separated my children from me for over three years due to an abusive ex who simply used a corrupt system as a means to continue to abuse and denigrate me. Our children are the real victims.
I begin my journey back to them … God only knows if or how we will reconcile with one another, and, if or how we will ever be able to accept and triumph over all that has happened to us while everyone around watched and did nothing to help us. It takes a great deal to overcome feeling that powerless and unimportant. One thing is certain … we are not unscathed.
I pray every day that we will find a way to use our tragedy in some positive way to help others who are suffering similarly.
It has to begin somewhere. This is my beginning, and I am now, finally, able to make it personal. I am speaking up, and out, for my children and for all children and their protective parents.