I have been reviewing and sorting through my research from the past five years or so, and I came across this file, article from journalist Janie McQueen. I remember so well how relieved I was to find Janie, a real, live person, a mother, no less, who was also a talented journalist, who was shining a much-needed light on issues of good mothers losing custody, maternal deprivation, wrongful and severed bonds between mothers and children, Family Courts, child custody suits gone wrong, roles professionals play in these decisions, and, of course, what effect all of this was having on a whole generation of children and the mothers that were fighting, and, in most cases, losing, everything, for the children they love and gave birth to.
Shortly after I discovered Janie, she was sharing the plight of another mother, Robin Karr. I was drawn to Robin’s story as well, it surprised and appalled me so (and had striking similarities with my own experiences).
Both Janie and Robin were inspirational to me. Their works combined with exposure from other authors, psychologists, attorneys, and advocates (Keith Harmon Snow, Linda Shelton, Barry Goldstein, Richard Ducote, Sunni Kelly, and Susan Skipp), all formed for me a circle of hope, a way to explanation and sometimes validation, which can be so frustratingly necessary when one is battling these issues alone, and most especially necessary for those ever-ready skeptics who would rather not consider the dark places many of us are forced to know and live in unless they have proof and documentation – piles of it. These groundbreakers were like water to my thirsty soul. They were pivotal in helping me change myself and how I reacted and responded to the numerous and terrible abuses and circumstances that had plagued, hurt, abused, and divided, me and my children for so many years. The circumstances that forced me into multiple legal battles, answering ludicrous and false claims, causing me to fear and fight to avoid being jailed for inability to pay GAL fees, imposing undue and harsh travel requirements, long-term, limited and restricted visitations, and, of course, ultimately, the severed relationship between me and two of my children.
Though throughout my own family’s experiences I never doubted that what was happening to us was wrong, unjustified, and horrific, having documented research, studies, definitions, and data available to me from these experienced, highly respected and acclaimed professionals and citizens was invaluable. From that point on, I determined to put into place some strategy and thereby developed more effective ways to navigate the minefield, so to speak, in which I dared to speak up and fight Back instead of remaining on defense (Although that’s a normal first response when being relentlessly pummeled it is wise to eventually conclude that behavior will continue because it is purposefully designed to keep you cowering, preventing you from coming up for air – adapt to overcome – so I made my OWN air pocket). Making these changes was made easier because of these others Who went before me, who left tiny breadcrumbs and lit flares to guide me along the perilous path. And, somehow, I found The odds just were not quite as daunting as before. I was no longer really alone in the universe and I had validation.
I have continued on my path, often feeling as if I am the proverbial widow begging for justice, presenting evidence, writing or corresponding, sending and exchanging information, absolutely anything that I could do I have and it has NEVER been time wasted. I will continue to fight for the wrongs to be righted, and, always, to remain visible to and connected with my children in every way that I can. They deserve this and so much more. This is certainly not any path I ever dreamed I would ever be on but it has been the path laid before me and I must continue to walk it with tenacity, courage, and honor. NO ONE can deny me that. I take comfort in and purpose from this and in knowing I have it in my power to give something to my children, something unalterable and undeniable, something which is good and right, despite all of the wrongs imposed on us, and which is ours alone … my legacy, my actions, my behavior, my perseverance, my fight for them was, is, and will always be, my gift to each of them (After all is said and done it could be all they ever get to have of me). I am a mother, more important, I’m THEiR mother … Of course I’m going to make sure I give them the best.
And, here it is 2015, Robin and Janie teamed up to collaborate on a wonderful project, a young adult fictional book, The Motherless Child Project. I’m so grateful for their hard work, courage, and the time that they put into helping spread awareness and education for this very important cause.
From my Files, 2013:
Mulling over Something Rotten in Texas … (Robin Karr, told through Janie McQueen):