Category Archives: parental alienation

Dare You To Read … 



I have some horrific news to share. Yesterday, I learned about a 13 year old girl who took her own life. I know her family.. Look at this beautiful girl. Look at those eyes… She was involved in extracurricular actives at her middle school as a Cheerleader and Goal Keeper for the Co-Ed Soccer Team. She was also active in Gymnastics and was a member of the Competition Cheerleading Team. What would prompt a beautiful girl with her whole life ahead of her to take her own life? Why was she so tortured?

I’ll tell you why… Her father (a police officer) managed to gain full custody of her and he completely cut her mother out of her life. This precious girl was deprived of her own mother like my children and so many other children have been, so many mothers and children who are now coming forward with their own personal stories and experiences. 

If your heart is not already broken for the mother of this beautiful young girl who took her life, it will be after I tell you what happened the day before she took her life. This child wanted desperately to see her mom again, so she called her using a friend’s cell phone and asked if she’d meet her somewhere (on the sly of course since her father would never allow her to be with her mother at all). They met and were able to finally spend some time together. This mother and her family thought their prayers had been answered. How could they know what would happen next? This young girl took her own life the very next day. Can you imagine how her mother must have felt? Can you imagine how this precious child must have felt just before she pulled the trigger that ended her life? There is nothing in this life more horrific -more traumatic- than forcing a child to live with no contact with their own mother.

If there were any doubts about how cruel this father was before his child took her life, there are no doubts now. He buried this baby girl (and “baby” is what I call a 13 year old) without allowing her own mother -the women who carried her and gave birth to her and cared for her until she “lost” custody of her- to come to the funeral or burial. He even left her mother out of the obituary as if she didn’t exist. If evil has a face, it’s the face of this dead child’s father.

Not long after I read this post, Janie and I teamed up and decided to use our knowledge of the inner workings of the corrupt family court system and our writing talents to do -to create- something that would make a difference. Something that would give a voice to those who are harmed the most – the children. After working on numerous blog posts together, we began working on The Motherless Child Project which was released just before Christmas 2014. This book is only the first in a series. Sadly, our nation is truly becoming a nation of motherless children more and more with each passing day. While mothers have some small voice, children have no voice. Ember -our book’s main character- is a much needed voice for all the motherless children. You can read more about The Motherless Child Project at http://www.themotherlesschildproject.com

Depriving children of a relationship with their own mother is completely traumatic. It’s known that childhood trauma is linked to many adverse and long-term health and social consequences. The more traumatic events a child experiences, the more tragic the consequences will be. You can read more about how childhood trauma negatively impacts a child’s life here http://acestudy.org/ What’s makes the results of the ACE Study even more troubling is the fact that this nation’s family court judges (those charged with upholding the law of the land), family court lawyers, GAL’s (lawyer who are charged with representing the best interest of the child), court appointed social workers and psychologists intentionally place children in dangerous, abusive, traumatic situations.

To get a glimpse of what a “motherless” child endures -feels-, read “When a Mother Disappears: The Words from a Stolen Child” http://mothersoflostchildren.org/2015/01/when-a-mother-disappears-the-words-from-a-stolen-child/ 

Following is a heart-wrenching excerpt “I grew up thinking this could not have happened to anyone else. No one else’s mother disappears, which had made me feel deeply ashamed, though I hadn’t named that; I had just felt it somewhere beneath the surface of my heart, because children always assume it is their fault when a parent leaves. I had known my father had something to do with it though. And perhaps my mother had done something bad, something that made him furious.  I knew it wasn’t only my fault.”

Of course, trauma impacts the mothers of “lost” children experiencing trauma they can’t do anything about. Losing a child “through life” is the most horrific way to lose a child. Until a couple of decades ago, nobody had ever lost a child in this way– at least not in mass numbers. And, children didn’t go missing “legally”.

No mother should ever have to lose a child through life. It’s not normal. It’s not natural. There is no closure. There is no end to the gut wrenching pain. The wound does not ever heal. In fact, it never even forms a scab toward healing. It remains perpetually open… The taking of living children from living mothers is something so terrible, so evil, that there is no way to really describe such a loss. I wrote a poem about losing a child through life here http://motherswithoutcustodyworld.com/to_lose_a_child_through_life The mother of this 13 year old lost a child through life and then through death too. I don’t know how to even begin to describe that kind of loss….

This story -this suicide- has hit me really really hard. I’m also thinking of other mothers I’ve met who hatheir children to abusive fathers and then suicide – mothers like Maria Bauer Melinn. Maria’s son Michael took his life in the same way… I wonder how many children commit suicide because of being deprived of their mothers. God never intended for the sacred bond between mother and child to be broken. Laura was only eleven months old and Matthew was only twenty-three months old when they were taken from me in November 1998. I do not know my own children. And they do not know their own mother. They have grown up entirely motherless. There are hundreds of thousands of motherless children in the United States (and beyond) who have loving mothers, but are not allowed to see them or even know them in many cases.

Janie McQueen wrote a blog post a while back called “A Nation of Motherless Children” where she asked the question “Do you know the spiritual Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child? All these sad, one-winner cases make me wonder if we’re heading toward a nation of motherless children.” http://janiemcqueen.com/a-nation-of-motherless-children/

{it’s} past time to get serious about stopping this intentional maternal deprivation. Please, let’s all work together to stop this. Speak out loudly about the racketeering going on in the family court system. http://motherswithoutcustodyworld.com/family_court_a_criminal_enterprise

Most important of all though, let’s continually pray for our children to be delivered from evil.

(For more details, additional information, please see The Motherless Child Project) 

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Starting Over When You Can’t Go Back? – To All Protective Parents

Starting Over When You Can’t Go Back?  – To All Protective Parents:  Rebuilding when you can’t go home again:
To all of my friends:  I have slowly begun to rebuild my work and my career, my freelance paralegal research.  I had been self-employed in the same field for over 20 years when my life came to a screeching halt in 2010 when my young children (ages 9 and 12) were kidnapped by their father and taken over 200 miles away … this was parental kidnapping, against custody, against the law.  So many others are familiar with this horror but this type of kidnapping garners little sympathy and certainly less action.  This atrocity, and the long-haul of horror it places a protective parent in is in no way different than having your children kidnapped by a stranger.  Although with parental abductions there may some knowledge, confirmation, and awareness, however vague, that your children are alive, the complete, abrupt and traumatic separation from them is very real and the agony, horror and pain is just as sharp.  It is as if a parent is separated from their children by walls of glass, unable to see, care, and nurture  them, while waiting on the slow and uncertain and oftentime unfair and outrageous and corrupt “system”.  In most cases, delay after delay, motion after motion, and date after date is heard and set by professionals while years roll on by and everyone ages.
These few months have been spent, for me, on the newest course of my re-burgeoning career and I am encouraged that a fresh new start may be open for me, and hopefully, for my children.  We have all nearly “aged out” of this system and are in no ways closer to being intact than that fateful summer day in 2010 when my children were snatched away from me, from their home, their school, their friends, family, neighbors, activities.  Family court protected the abductor, not the children.
No milestones in life have any meaning without my children and they as yet have not been returned to me, and we have not been able to “go home again”.  I am one of the last ones to let go of a memory, a life, that can never be regained.  I am a mother … I can’t, I won’t, let go of the hope, the dream, our memories.
I continue to pray that I will soon reunite  with my youngest child, at least, and to once again have her in my physical care and custody (this youngest, my now 14 year old daughter, who has now been back in my legal custody since early this year… I have been working hard to recover financially, and avoid a jail term for the ever-threatening, unpaid gal fees issue that continues to hover.
This past winter both my 14 year old daughter and her 16 year old brother, Philip, were removed from their father’s home and custody, September 2013.  It was at that the court removed all custody and visitation from my ex-husband due to his conduct and parenting, and for the “irreparable harm” he inflicted upon both children.  At that time I would not be considered by the court as a suitable alternative for my own children’s custody because I was facing imminent jail/incarceration for the court appointed guardian ad litem fees I had been unable to pay.  It was quite a surreal, chaotic, and worrisome time for me, and for my children.
It’s important to note that the fees I owed this guardian ad litem had been tallied and billed despite the fact that I had only met with this guardian ad litem just one time for little over two hours, an occasion in which I drove the 200 some mile distance to meet with this gal at her office on a day prior to this gal’s “custody-switch” recommendation in November 2011 .. this despite the fact that I had always been my children’s primary caretaker, caregiver.  I was not nor had I ever been a criminal, a drug-user, an abuser, promiscuous, or mentally ill …. there were no charges that deemed me to be unfit but regardless, this gal recommended in 2011 a full custody switch that would place custody of both of my minor children into the full-time care and custody of my ex-husband despite the fact that he had never been the children’s primary caregiver and he was a criminal and abusive spouse and parent, and, he was and continues to be a drug-abuser.
Most damaging to me in being able to recover my children were the guardian ad litem fees which had compounded to much higher than I could ever pay.  It is interesting that  my portion was much higher than any amount my ex-husband was ever charged and/or billed, and much higher than any portion he ever paid.  Why?  And, for my part, this gal never acknowledged me, nor did she ever perform any thorough, proper investigation.  This same guardian ad litem, in August of 2013, almost exactly two years after her initial recommendation, called an emergency hearing to remove the children from the care and custody of my ex-husband, the same parent that she had fully recommended that both children be placed with back in November 2011.  It would appear that this case, and outcome, could be quite the embarrassment for this guardian ad litem, and for all professionals involved.  It has certainly been quite destructive, and heartbreakingly painful to my small family.
I had long campaigned, attempted, to convey the very abuses and neglect on the part of my ex-husband to this guardian ad litem but to no avail … with a guardian ad litem to be the voice of the parties involved, and, deigned to be the “arm” of the court, a person cannot be heard if a guardian ad litem does not wish it so.
At any rate, I have been pouring all that I have into my work while desperately hoping and praying, doing all that I can to find the way to reunify with my youngest child, and, start life anew somehow.
Just last week I learned, quite by accident, that this week the most recent hearing was to be heard for the matter of my incarceration, jail for fees for this guardian ad litem’s unpaid fees.  It seems this matter will forever be looming over me and separating me and my children, preventing our reunion and recovery from all of these lost years.  Extremely high and unnecessary costs and fees, over-and-unfair-billing by court appointed professionals, and, the threat of incarceration for inability to pay appears to often be used as a strong-arm tactic, a method to used against a protective parent, one who has undeniable proof, justifiable means and complaints, against a recommendation/ruling regarding custody of children.
It does not seem possible that these things can go unaddressed and “un-righted” for so long a time.  My son has successfully been alienated for me.  I often ask others that I speak to regarding these terrible matters how a person, how any parent, can explain to their own children, matters re: blatant unjustices.  How can you explain to children, after two, three, even four years or more, that they really ARE important, that the justice system really is fair and does work?  I have been unable to satisfy these questions for my children, it is heartbreaking to have to try.  Even though my children are fully cognizant, aware, of their own memories, of me, their mother, of my behavior, of my affection, my deep, abiding, maternal love for them, and of our lives together, I have yet to offer any reasonable explanation why their father, an indisputable criminal, abuser, drug-user, was able to obtain, and keep, custody of them for so long, and, how this was done with the complicity of those court appointed to see to the children’s safety and well-being … how all these things were done for so long, how I was given very limited, stringent visitation, as their mother, and for so long.  Is it acceptable to try to explain to children?  How does one do so in any rational way?  These considerations fly in the face of everything I believe in, know, and cherish.
I continue to be very proud of my children.  They continued to love me despite such great pressure to reject me totally.  This has never been their fault.  They were never prepared, never protected and those who were assigned to protect them the most failed them the greatest.
I pray with all of my heart that I will in fact be able to reunite with my youngest, my 14 year old daughter, who has certainly suffered the greatest abuses, betrayals, and injustices … she stood up for herself, for me, and for the truth, and for the quiet, peaceful, happy life that we once had.  She continued to express her views long after anyone, even me, could have ever guessed or anticipated.  She used her voice, despite overwhelming odds and despite all of the abuse and retribution she endured for doing so.  I can never fully, adequately, explain how painful that was to watch, experience, and how even more painful it was to be prevented from helping her when she needed, asked and called out for help.  I will never fully recover from that alone.
I ask each of you, my friends, to continue to keep us in your prayers.  I appreciate any and all feedback on how to proceed, move forward, recover from what has undoubtedly been such a terrible and heartbreaking experience.  There are few “help” groups for this type of suffering, much less for this type of recovery.  Sadly, but out of necessity, such groups are forming all over the Nation, but none locally, yet, as far as I have discovered.
All I continue to pray for myself is to be reunited with my daughter as soon as possible .. at her age she desperately needs the loving care and supervision of a Mother, her mother, ME.  And, I continue to have some hope for reconciliation, reunification, with my 16 year old son.  I have long accepted and understood that this is a far-reaching dream of mine but, through God, I believe that all things are indeed possible.
I thank all of you for your love and support.  It has never gone unnoticed or unappreciated.  I truly hope for the day in which I will be able to do more to convey my thanks and gratitude and perhaps to pay it forward.
Rebuilding when you can’t go home again – To all protective parents who have gone before.  Not only were you strong enough to endure the unimaginable but you paved the way, gave a name to the nameless, defined the undefinable, made sense out of the senseless.  You have lifted up those of us falling in right behind you.  Sadly, but out of necessity, our numbers are growing by the day.

A Must Read re: loss of parental rights, pas, court reform, a Re-Post of Article

Thank you to the author, Jennifer Verraneault (May 03, 2014) from http://www.ctlawtribune.com/id=1202652965182/Guardian%20Ad%20Litem%20Reform%20Approved%20By%20Legislature?mcode=0&curindex=0&curpage=ALL&slreturn=20140503203106

 

excerpt:  Parents who are good parents are not seeing their children as a result of many things wrong with the way we do business in family court. Court orders are not followed and nothing happens to the offender. Time goes by and children miss their right to have a relationship with their parent. Parental alienation is very real and unfortunately, in my opinion very common in our family court system. I view our family court system as an enabler; attorneys, GALs, AMCs, judges, mental health professionals who call themselves consultants are all getting it wrong. We can spend tax payers dollars on giving, yes giving retired judges a very comfortable pension even if they only serve for three years, but we can‘t provide these same judges with the resources they need to help when they‘re on the bench. It doesn‘t make sense. I know there‘s a lot of good in family law but unfortunately, there‘s a lot of bad apples who have used our system to ruin it for children, parents and the good guys (full comment/article below):

Seenitall:
Thank you for your unbiased, educational and nice commentary. Just as we accuse GALs, AMCs, judges, mental health professionals and alike for being not so good; we have to admit that there‘s also some not so good parents who have been vocal and also silent throughout our cause to promote constructive and overdue changes in family court. Parents who have joined other parents to share their experiences, from my view, have legitimate complaints and concerns. Are there parents in which they may have some form of a personality flaws or disorders? Are some parents more vulnerable to personality adjustment disorders when they go through one, if not the most stressful and detrimental life experience ever? I am sure, however, for the vast majority of these parents I have met, none of what has been reported, researched, analyzed, scrutinized and so on rise to the level of abuse, neglect or a determination of being an unfit parent. We are not talking about DCF cases. Our most vulnerable children need a voice and this is not what our cause is about.

I will say, a lot of parents don‘t have the luxury, although it should not be viewed as a luxury but a right, to ask their children about their day or to spend precious time with their child because their rights have been ignored. Not only the parents right to care for their child, absent abuse and neglect, but their child‘s rights to have a relationship with their non-custodial parent have denied. All communication has been stopped, therefore have a telephone conversation is not even an option with most of these parents and children. This is very sad and it will end up being societies problem when these deprived children grow up to be adults. I understand your recommendation for parents to let the system evolve as we know it will, and to spend their energy and efforts on their children, but it‘s truly not that easy. Parents who are good parents are not seeing their children as a result of many things wrong with the way we do business in family court. Court orders are not followed and nothing happens to the offender. Time goes by and children miss their right to have a relationship with their parent. Parental alienation is very real and unfortunately, in my opinion very common in our family court system. I view our family court system as an enabler; attorneys, GALs, AMCs, judges, mental health professionals who call themselves consultants are all getting it wrong. We can spend tax payers dollars on giving, yes giving retired judges a very comfortable pension even if they only serve for three years, but we can‘t provide these same judges with the resources they need to help when they‘re on the bench. It doesn‘t make sense. I know there‘s a lot of good in family law but unfortunately, there‘s a lot of bad apples who have used our system to ruin it for children, parents and the good guys. Sorry for any typos.

Read more: http://www.ctlawtribune.com/id=1202652965182/Guardian-Ad-Litem-Reform-Approved-By-Legislature#ixzz33ctTcvoj

Now What? For Families Like Us – A Work In Progress

Now (May 2014)

I closed my family court case out in January 2014 (by mutual agreement w/ex after HE lost custody last Fall by the very court professionals he hired who took them nearly three years ago from me, their mother, protective parent, and the loving, happy, happy, safe, criminal-free home I provided them).  I had no choice but to negotiate a mutual agreement with the ex because by that time, his “paid” professionals could no longer cover for him and his neglectful, negligent, abusive parenting, and I could not be considered as a fit alternative for custody once again because I owed guardian ad litem fees and face the very real possibility of jail for those unpaid fees.  All this after nearly 10 yrs of my ex-husband’s abuse-by-proxy using the court system to beat and wear me down.

Although I have now freed my family of the appointed psychologist, who did nothing for my children and was on the county payroll for her “accounting services”, and, the guardian ad litem  who performed NO sort of legal investigation or checking into the safety, welfare, and best interest of my children in the 2 years of her appointments  AND the same guardian ad litem who kept me on restricted visits w/children 200 miles away from home, keeping me in a constant stranglehold with threats of incarceration for the matter of her unpaid gal fees the entire time.

In addition to the emotional and physical shock and horror, I was devastated financially, forced to live as an invisible, non-person due to the courts and these appointed “professionals”. I now find myself in the heartbreaking position of finally being visible as a mother to my youngest, able now, legally, to get my last child, my youngest, back in my care & custody (I’ve lost 2 other children to PAS with no assistance or intervention on the part of the courts or the appointed professionals), but am now facing the daunting challenge of re-building a semi-normal life, struggling mightily to regain footing financially, recupe home and rebuild my freelance title/legal research business before I can actually reclaim my daughter.

I truly wonder how many other similar, sick, sad stories are out there?

Bobbie (Still Here, and Still A Mississippi Mother)

 

That’s What Mama’s Do …. (Excerpt, Writing For My Life, June 2013)

FAMILY COURT NIGHTMARE – I grew up and into what I realize now was the calling and purpose of my life.  I am a life-long southerner. I am sober-minded and law abiding and extremely loyal and proud of my Mississippi heritage and hometown.  I have been a native “Coastonian” since 2005 (B.K. i.e. Before Katrina).  I am a well-read,intelligent woman yet it took me over a year to fully absorb, accept, and define exactly what family court nightmares are.  I am as expert on the matter as anyone south of the Mason-Dixon and that thought horrifies me.  I wish to share this horror with others not to degrade our State or tear down ….  I wish only to build up what is broken.  First I must draw a line and paint a picture because it doesn’t appear broken at first glance or second look.

I wish to share this in order to see my children be noticed and freed from the invisible glass barrier that has separated them from the world.  I will continue to pester, persist, write, call, mail, file, cry, and scream any words I can until I get them noticed and recognized.  I have to.  I am their mother, I am proud of them, I cannot help them myself as I too am invisible.  I have been rendered useless so far.  But, I am still breathing.  And I can pester, persist, write, call, mail, file, cry, and scream.  That’s what Mississippi Mama’s do.

Please let me know if you would like to know more about my children and more about Mississippi’s children in need of justice.

(Excerpt, Writing For My Life, June 2013)

 

How We Got From There to Here (And Where We Go From Here?) – Writing For My Life (April 2013)

2013 – How We Got From There to Here (And Where We Go From Here?):

 

April 2013 –

This month was a turning point in our cause as it was the beginning of what I called being “noticed”, where I was successful in communicating, “volleying” I called it, by email w/guardian ad litem, for the first time in the year and a half since this gal’s appointment and her recommendation to the court to remove my children from my custody and place them in the full-time care and custody of my ex-husband in November 2011.   My ex-husband had never been the primary caregiver for our children and had a criminal record, continued to abuse drugs, and had irrefutable, questionable moral and ethical issues that continued to be detrimental to all of our children.

My youngest child, my daughter, who was 12 years old by this time in April 2013, was continuing to show signs of great distress, mentally, emotionally, and physically, her schoolwork and behavior continued to be a cause for alarm and was documented by teachers, and I notified the court appointed psychologist of this, as well as my ex-husband’s behavior toward my daughter which was increasingly threatening and abusive.  He imposed extreme isolation upon her, monitoring all of her activities and phone use and/or had her older brother assist in monitoring and withholding her outside contact, as well as utilizing other relatives as well.  The turning point for me came when my daughter related to her psychologist the details of her father threatening to kill the family pet, my daughter’s only comfort in the home, which was a cat she’d been caring for since she went to live with her father in November 2011.  I persisted in my attempts to communicate regarding these events to the guardian ad litem as well as the court appointed psychologist.  Up until this time I was not included in meetings/sessions regarding the children, having been banned by my ex-husband at the time he obtained custody of our children.   I finally received a response from the court appointed guardian ad litem and began to relay more details, and accurate information she appeared to be lacking in, and documented how my ex-husband had recently frightened my daughter in his re-telling of killing a previous family pet, my dog, by shooting it in the head after our separation and divorce.  These details were traumatizing to my daughter and her father laughed about these events.

This month was crucial in that with these details and my newfound attempts to communicate with teachers, the court appointed psychologist, and, the guardian ad litem, I at least began to engage the guardian ad litem in communications with me.  I also brought to everyone’s attention the facts regarding my ex-husband’s continued drug use.  The children had photos, and sent them to friends, of a bong that was sitting in plain sight on the patio at my ex-husband’s home, and photos and videos of other disturbing sights and sounds occurring in their father’s home.

Many incidents had occurred up until this point re: the disturbing events occurring at my ex-husband’s home, his behaviors that were not in the best interest of the children, the lack of parental supervision at my ex-husband’s home, underage drinking, suspected drug use, teen parties that were allowed in the home unsupervised, and other matters that were no longer going completely unnoticed by professionals, neighbors, other parents, etc. who were around my children while they were in their father’s care.

At this time I still continued to remain under limited, restricted visitation with my youngest child only, my son who was not yet 15 years old at the time having ceased visiting and/or communicating with me totally nearly a year prior, in May 2012, with no assistance or intervention on the part of the court professionals.

Once again, by April 2013, I had attempted, and did, relocate to this area and jurisdiction in order to be closer to my children, regardless of whether I was “allowed” to see them or not, and, in order to be closer to the jurisdiction overseeing our family court matters.  I researched and monitored my own case and was active in all proceedings and felt this move was prudent in order to relieve the 200 mile trip (one-way) burden that had been imposed upon me since my children were taken from our home and hometown and placed in their father’s care and custody some year and a half prior.  This continued to be extremely difficult for me as I had no support system or network in the area.  At times, my day-hours visitation with my young daughter, every other weekend, were held in local parks, McDonalds, anywhere we could manage to visit … inclement weather made this very hard but we always managed and my daughter and I looked forward so much to those few hours every other week.  By April 2013 I lived from one friend’s home to another, rotating in order to not become a burden upon any one family, while helping my elderly parents with their health and housing issues that had been, and continued to be, extreme and critical.  By April 2013 I was thankful to have secured part-time employment at the Law Firm of a local attorney who remembered me from years prior.  It was a start up and back into the field and area of my experience and expertise, title abstracting, and though it was not enough income to be independent and self-sustaining, it was a major turning point for me in that it redeemed me in my own eyes, and, in essence, redeemed the community around that had there-to-fore appeared to ignore my and my children’s plight.  This somehow, perhaps inexplicably, came to me as some form of redemption of mankind itself that I sorely needed and was a great boost to my self-esteem and self-confidence, calming me so that I could re-group, prepare, and try to plan once again for the future.  The trauma, grief, loss, and horror were still very real but by this time I felt as if I had been given a much needed breath of fresh air which fortified me, strengthening me to once again try to seek the truth, find others who had endured similarly, and, to begin to find and use my own voice again, for my children, for me.

Court Proceedings:  April 2013 – My attorney was given an hour “oral” argument in which to plead his case once more re: the removal of the guardian ad litem, which was promptly denied by the Court, again.  Sanctions were also imposed against my attorney, and, contempt fees against me.  I faced the very real and imminent threat and danger of being incarcerated for the matter of the guardian ad litem’s unpaid fees.  A hearing for this matter to address my incarceration was to be scheduled and noticed in the next few weeks.

 

 

Wouldn’t Know Your Own Child If You Saw Them On The Street? (In Memory of My Son)

Wouldn’t Know Your Own Child If You Saw Them On The Street? (In Memory of My Son)

If writing of this helps another loving mother from marking a day in her own diary of life as the day in which she could not, and likely will continue not to be able to recognize her own child in a photo, then, somehow, it may all be worth some of the pain that went into sharing this, our loss”

03-08-14:  Yesterday someone dear to me text me a photo of what I thought to be a picture of this person’s son and his prom date. I took a moment to admire the photo, and sent reply text, remarking on what a sweet, handsome couple these two young people were.  After a brief pause, I received what I am sure was a difficult reply … that the handsome young man in the photo was my own son, Philip. Philip will be 16 years old next month. He was taken from me, from home, June 4, 2010, when he was 12 years old, against custody, and never returned. Philip and I have had no significant contact since, no assistance by family court professionals, despite the fact that we had a guardian ad litem and psychologist appointed by the courts to see to my children’s “best interest”.

I have only recently begun to speak up, publicly, to get any attention to our cause, and our case. I have, in fact, spent most of my time, energy, and resources battling to avoid going to jail for unpaid fees for the “unprofessional” professionals in charge of seeing to the best interest of my children, instead of fighting for my children, which has been extremely dispiriting but necessary and very critical.

I am sad, and ashamed, that I couldn’t do more for my children when they needed me the most and it has been, IS, extremely dispiriting but necessary and critical … you have to remain alive, and out of prison, of course, before you can fight to help your children.

All the most critical matters, addressing rights of parents, rights of children, reform, and oversight, laws, ethics, etc. all took backseat to issues of fees, and, sadly, as in other cases, children “age out” before any wrongs are ever identified, addressed, much less righted. And, so many community leaders, and others “in charge” are simply uncomfortable getting involved.  From all I have learned, these are the primary reasons for which these issues, this silent epidemic, has been allowed to continue for so very long.

Yesterday, the realization of accepting that I was not even able to recognize my own child in a photo washed over me in a slow and steady crush.

Writing has been my lifelong habit, mostly a joy, and has surely been some positive exercise for me during times when I could not speak of the unspeakable, explain the inexplicable. During these past months I have written, and, slowly, I try to hone this habit. I confess that I recognize my writings can be too much, too overwhelming, to the reader, the listener.  I try always to remain mindful of this fact and I recognize that I often fail. The things of which I write and speak eek of a pain and suffering on such levels that wears on the spirit of the reader, the listener, and my words, our story, has not yet had victories, redemption, which we all need to have in order to be inspired.

I share these things with the hope that all we have experienced, all the time and effort I have put into research, all that we have sacrificed and lost may not be in vain. I am learning to try to accept that going back is impossible (very hard, for a mother, for any loving parent) – that I will not wake up to be back in our happy home in Ocean Springs, with my busy, active, sweet, spiritual, loving 12 year old son and 9 year old daughter, with ever-revolving doors of friends, laughter, music, clutter, activities, dinner-time, and chatter … all the joyful noise, and chaos that makes up a busy, loving home. All I know to do at this point is recognize that we did indeed have this, it was no dream, and, nightmares have to end, one way or another.

I ask you to pray for my children, and for me. If writing of this helps another loving mother from marking a day in her own diary of life as being the day in which she could not, and likely will continue not to be unable to recognize her own child in a photo, then, somehow, it may all be worth some of the pain that went into sharing this, our loss.

Bobbie

Still A Mother In Mississippi

SOUND-OFF 08-12-13:

SOUND-OFF TO FRIENDS, FAMILY, NEIGHBORS, AND COLLEAGUES

08-12-13:

Last month’s FOIA Public Request submitted to Rankin County was fruitful in that our court-appointed guardian ad litem, the one that has ignored my crying children, for 22 months, the one took them from me in a matter of minutes, nearly 2 years ago and promptly made me invisible, the same one that has ignored my ex-husband’s failed, court-ordered drug tests and has also failed to report said tests to the judge, even if we all are not sure his knowledge of said failed drug tests would even matter, and, finally, yes, the same gal who has finally gotten a date set in which to finally have me jailed in Rankin County for the matter of her fees, (and, yes, let me reiterate that this is the same guardian ad litem learned a few weeks ago that I was researching every single case of hers in Rankin County in which she was appointed guardian ad litem … ya’ll, she has an inordinately high percentage of appointments in just that one county alone.  I have read over alot of her cases … this woman has actually jailed ALOT of parents, for fees?!! And, as in our case, the kids and their interests are put off, indefinitely, until the matter of fees is resolved, OR, until the parent that is being threatened just… DISAPPEARS? One mother spent NEARLY A YEAR IN RANKIN COUNTY JAIL FOR FEES … I’m regrouping, re-organizing, and starting a bullet list of each case so more on that later.  We all know that this guardian ad litem took away the kids, devastating them, and me!  We all have asked ourselves how I, the soccer mom, who had custody of those kids their entire lives, who does not have a criminal record, no addictions, no mental problems, no promiscuity, and I, who have been forced back in court every year since my ex filed in July 2005, spending well over $40,000, at last count,  could possibly lose custody of those sweet children?  And then be erased and forced into invisibility as well?  WE ALSO ALL KNOW THAT MY EX-HUSBAND HAD AND CONTINUES TO HAVE PROBLEMS IN ALL OF THE AREAS LISTED ABOVE…. how do these things happen?   This guardian ad litem has never helped either of my children, never did any investigation into the false sexual abuse charges my ex-husband filed against the youth minister at a local church back in the summer of 2010.  I never dreamed that things like this were purposely done to wreak the havoc that they do, and DID?  I mean, how many of us have ever heard of such a thing?  Then, having a guardian ad litem appointed seemed ok, and normal, right?  I certainly was fine with having a “lawyer to represent the children”… that’s what they are supposed to do.  I certainly didn’t agree to pay her fees but I’m sure facing jail for them.  This woman never came home to Ocean Springs to meet with me and the kids, NOR DID SHE TALK OR MEET WITH ANY OF YOU GUYS?!!!, as so many of you have questioned me about.

At any rate, this gal HAS been paid OUT OF COUNTY FUNDS? on a case, and for indigent case purposes, for which Rankin County has denied even giving me an opportunity to protest her fees, for WHICH I NEVER AGREED TO IN 2010… I am experienced in family court, we all know.  We have had a wonderful guardian ad litem in the past, 2007, who did a thorough and proper investigation?!

I wanted everyone to know since this search turned up important, and relevant information that should expose our living hell of a nightmare, get some much-needed help for the kids, and, perhaps just keep me, THE PTA/SOCCER mom you all know and love OUT OF JAIL?! (YES, I am getting more and more used to saying and typing that line … it does not hold so much fear over me anymore), because of my amateur investigating has thus far been so productive, I have submitted yet another request of 14 business names, corporations/nonprofits that I have uncovered that are directly linked to the opposing attorney, guardian ad litem, court-appointed psychologist who has been invisible since being court-appointed in February 2012, AND, maybe even an incorporation directly tied to other professionals involved in our case.

Many thanks to everyone who has walked with me through this valley.  Thank you for letting me sound off, and thank you for listening to me cry.  The kids were taken from every one of you as well, and some of you have children they, we, were so close to.  My kids have not been allowed to leave the Hinds/Rankin/Madison county areas since November 2011… 😦  I am only allowed, on paper, to see them a total of 24 “day only” hours a month and have to drive 200 miles to and from to do so.  I’m so sorry that I cannot do or explain more to your sweet children.  I know they have so many questions and none of us have any good answers to give them.

Rankin chancery court, for some inexplicable reason, gave me a couple of extra weeks until my incarceration hearing  … it’s been continued to 09-13-13, incarceration for guardian ad litem fees.  Help me pass this along, forward, and forward to anyone, everyone you know.  I am seeking pro bono representation, now, so please keep in mind if you hear of any leads regarding that, in order to avoid actual jail (for an indefinite period of time?!), AND, most important, to put the emphasis back on the best interest of my children who are deteriorating more every day, I am doing the only thing left to do at this point …. trying to follow all leads into what I believe is at the heart of my particular case and that is corruption … I hate that term, I hated it from the first time I heard it applied in our case, but after all that has been uncovered, discovered, presented, and, ignored, there is no other possible explanation.  I don’t know why the fact that mere money changing hands feels more sickening to me.  I’ve learned so much.  There are so many variables and factors in every single case that I see now it is now wonder parents have not been able to unite.  Sometimes it is simply prejudice, sometimes incompetence, sometimes “God-like” complexes on the part of experts, …. on and on and ON …. and sometimes, it is, quite simply, ALL ABOUT THE MONEY. My ex-husband’s attorney, has represented Governor’s of Mississippi in their divorces (or, SPOUSES of Governor’s), and, I’ve recently learned, he is also very close and has previously worked with another Jackson Attorney who was paid $10,000 by my ex-husband and his family, in 1990, after my ex was arrested and charged with possession with intent (of several different illegal drugs) during a sting operation by the DEA launched in 1989.  All of my ex’s friends, and others that he knew of were arrested served time and have records … $10,000 paid to the family attorney kept “my ex” from serving any time and also kept his record hidden away until I was finally able to have this fact put on the record during one of our many family court hearings in 2011 (which, remember, the guardian ad litem, quickly ignored and forgot completely).  If $10,000 to the right hands in 1990 would do that I am willing to consider what, say, $50,000 OR MORE, in 2010, would do to me and my children.  Something horrible went wrong … there has been no other explicable explanation other than “money”.

Our state has a large volume of “innocent” parents that must use State time and resources due to court-imposed restricted/supervised visitations which has been catching quite alot of attention lately as well.  We all thought I dodged a bullet avoiding the “supervised” visitation, but, the restricted visitation has lingered on.  Now, since learning of the attention, and the supervision that is provided (or usually provided) to the parent’s who have received this terrible sentence, I see I would have been much better off having my child be “visible”, and our family’s suffering would have been witnessed and documented by State authorities supervising.  At least you have more than a 50/50 shot of getting a State employee with a heart, and, with the courage and moral fiber to actually investigate and report children, family member’s, etc.  If appointed a private, rogue guardian ad litem, as my children were, who by all intents and purposes holds the power of “God” in which to trump dhs, juvenile court, etc. you run the risk of being invisible before you even know it … we certainly did.

Anyway, I wanted you to have this information.  It may prove useful to you or someone you know.  By all means use it if you can.  Let me know if it helps.  I’m happy to talk to anyone who wants to know more 🙂

Bobbie

 

My Letter To Local Judge (08-13-13) A Mother, Still, In Mississippi

Please see forwarded email sent to a local Judge yesterday, 08-13-13:

Dear Judge,

My children are in desperate need.  You know me, as well as my 80 year old father who’s practiced law in Mississippi for over 50 years.  He has been as ineffective getting help for my children in Rankin County as my previous attorneys.  And now we both face incarceration for different reasons, mine for guardian ad litem fees that I am unable to pay and never agreed to in the first place, his for his inability to pay sanctions imposed on him for what the court called a “frivolous hearing” (my previous attorney was hit with sanctions as well, in April 2012 for the very same reason).  Both of them are very good, ethical attorneys, who had valid cause for seeking help for my children.  I implore you to look over the information in this email.  My youngest, Miranda Grace, just turned 13. She has begged to speak to anyone for almost two years.  She was cut off from home, friends, neighbors, classmates, my family, and, most important, she was cut off from me outside of 12 day-time hours only, every other weekend, 200 miles from home.  I have no criminal record, history of immoral or unethical behavior, no addictions, no psychological issues … I was in a much lower income bracket due to having to defend myself and fight to maintain custody of my children, which I did for eight years, until August 2011.  Being impoverished is no reason to have your rights as a parent essentially terminated, is it?  I’ve been campaigning for my daughter’s rights for nearly two years (my son Philip’s was given the same rights as an adult, by the court, with the help of the guardian ad litem, when he turned 14 years old.  He was sexually active, drinking alcohol, using tobacco, for certain, and, it was rumored that he was in trouble with drugs as well.  I lost the fight for his childhood in July of 2012.  He is worth more to me, but, not to anyone else that has been involved in our case, or in his care and custody).  Miranda Grace still has a chance for some semblance of a childhood, if I can convince anyone to listen to her, to me, to all of the teacher’s, law enforcement, others who have seen what is going on in her father’s home but can’t get past the court-appointed guardian ad litem in order to do anything about it.  No one in the Rankin County Justice System seems to care about one, young girl who has been suffering, invisible, in plain sight.  Miranda has gone through such severe isolation, and all manner of abuses in her father’s home, and even more so at the hands of the guardian ad litem.  The gal has ignored my children since she made, what every one involved in our case now does not dispute, a very grave error by failing to investigate our case and recommending to the court that my children would be better off in the care of their father.  Since doing this, in November 2011, the gal has been provided proof of, and subsequently ignored and overlooked, all matters pertaining to my ex-husband’s drug addictions and his unethical and immoral behaviors which he does not protect our children from, as well as his refusal to parent the children in any way other than to provide food and shelter for them, and, his obvious, dislike, animosity and hostility toward our youngest daughter, Miranda Grace, who’s crime is only that she still loves and misses me, her mother.  Judge, I am sure you hear slander and accusations hurled between opposing parties every day but I beseech you to give me the benefit of the doubt, for the few moments it takes to read over this when I state that that is not the case here.  I have always been discreet, and have never tried to slander and defame my ex-husband.  This is likely one of the reasons he was able to effectively slander and defame me because I failed to enjoin in that behavior.  His lifestyle is deplorable and hurts my children more every day.  The fact that no one in authority is even available or concerned enough about them to investigate and hold him accountable for this hurts them as well.  I fear they will never recover from these abuses in order to grow into the healthy, intelligent, loving and compassionate adults they were born to be.  They are sweet children who need only for one person to care enough to investigate what they have been forced to live in.

I lost my son, Philip, when he was 12.  His father kidnapped him, against custody, and filed what we all now know was a “false” sex abuse charge, in July 2010, in our Gulf Coast hometown of  Ocean Springs, against a youth minister at the church that I brought my several children to on Wednesday nights.  Though I was not a part of this charge, or horrible accusation, I bore the burden of assisting the OS police in their investigation, which took 15 months to get before the Jackson County Grand Jury, who promptly no-billed it due to lack of evidence.  This one act on the part of my ex-husband destroyed more than my family, I am sure you can understand that.  This act is what prompted Rankin County Chancery presiding Judge to order the appointment of a guardian ad litem in August 2011.  None of these details are in our family court file.  It simply leaves this important matter out entirely and moves into the custody switch after the gal’s failed investigation removed my children from my custody and from our hometown, and the two years I have spent desperately seeking help for my children, and for myself.  My son has been completely alienated from me, with the guardian ad litem not only ignoring this as it occurred, she is indisputably complicit in helping my ex-husband.  She has also failed to report his failed, court-ordered drug tests.  There are so many things that she, and the court, has failed to do.  I want only the opportunity to be allowed to offer the proof to substantiate these facts.  I can.

My father is overwhelmed to say the least.  He was also too emotionally involved too be of any help.  He has suffered shock, sadness, and, it appears, some guilt, as if he is somehow to blame being unable to help me, his daughter, and his grandchildren, with whom he had never become very close with.  I have never felt that he was in any way to blame but I have despaired of trying to encourage him to cast aside those feelings.

I have been in touch with everyone I can think of, and re-connected with everyone, again, at least once, in this two year period.  Our jurisdiction should never have been in Rankin County in the first place.  My ex-husband and I lived with our children in Harrison County until he filed for a temporary order in Rankin, July 2005, that I had kidnapped our children and moved away from Rankin County.  That simply was not true and I have documentation to prove it.  Our temporary hearing was set on the same date as Hurricane Katrina made landfall and the rest is legal-nightmare errors history.

I don’t know where else to turn.  My parents are elderly and my youngest sister has depleted all of their funds and assets.  I have found myself taking care of their needs more than focusing on my children’s.  This is heartbreaking and avoidable.  I have recently reached out to Jackson-area community, and our church friends, asking for help with Mom, and Dad so I can focus on my own family’s needs but this has been emotionally and financially draining for me and time continues to crawl by with no one addressing my children and their needs.

 Please, would you at least consider these things and if you are able to offer any advice or suggestions, I would be very grateful.  I sincerely thank you for your time.

Sincerely

 

Writing For My Life (June 2013) I have at least become a nuisance in that, at least, my existence has finally been acknowledged

Writing For My Life (June 2013)

Ours is quite a horrible, almost unbelievable story but it is becoming alarmingly clear that we are not so rare.  Coming across other stories, mother’s, father’s, children, is like manna from Heaven.  I’m not relieved other’s are hurting.  In fact, I’m sickened and it is incredibly painful to read their similar, heartbreaking stories, but for so long I could find nothing, no one else living this nightmare.

I have kept a daily journal of my own family’s tragedies for as far back as I can remember, detailing every tragic moment,  highlighting each triumph, marking every injustice, and giving thanks for each miracle, big and small, along the way.  I thought it a quirky habit, born of necessity, for self-help and healing. Maybe this was not as self-centered as I once thought.   Recalling is like reliving and is incredibly painful.  But, failure to recall allows for no reporting which only encourages ignorance and ensures continuation of abuse.  The most powerful weapon that I can think of that would defeat this level of suffering and injustice is collective outrage and outcry from fellow mothers, fathers, grandparents, brothers, sisters, children.  This has finally hit too close to home.  No one can read our story, all of these family’s stories, and possibly feel safe or immune anymore.

To be rendered useless, unable to help while children suffer is surely the most painful agony on earth but abandoning them has never occurred to me.  I liken it to watching a child battle a life threatening illness.  I could never leave their side no matter how painful it is to watch them suffer.  Anyone who turns away out of indifference, or self preservation, has a heart of stone and will one day be accountable for their actions, or in-actions.  I could never mistreat or abuse any child and certainly would never do anything to compound or prolong a child’s suffering.  I’m at a loss to explain to my own children why so many people can and do.

I continue to pray, every minute of every day, that my children will soon receive the attention, protection, and relief they deserve.  I hope others are able to use our information to help them as we would have been grateful to have and receive help, to know we were not alone living the nightmare.

These last few months have finally been productive and I am now able to put to use all the years of research, and resources to good use.  I was very recently blessed to catch the attention of a local firm who, in addition to giving part-time work, gave me something of even greater value … the credibility and validation in that was apparently lacking in Rankin County and it’s has now become clear why this was necessary in this small town with it’s “network”.  These good people in this small, local firm thankfully did not have the common hang-up so many people stumble over, wondering how and why things like this can happen to people like me, and to children like mine.

I have detailed the information surrounding the circumstances of my recent April 2013 meeting with my children’s court-appointed guardian ad litem.  This meeting was just 2 months ago and was only the 2nd ever meeting I have had with this guardian ad litem since her initial appointment August 30, 2011.  The first and only other meeting I had with this guardian ad litem was in her office barely a month before the ill-fated “custody switch” hearing of November 28, 2011 in which this guardian ad litem recommended to the court that my children be placed in their father’s care and custody.  This gal never met with me and my children together and never visited our home, hometown, nor did she bother to drive the 200 mile distance to interview my character witnesses, colleagues, neighbors, friends, family.

My April 2013 meeting with this gal was very informational, however, and I was finally afforded an opportunity to correct a great deal of misinformation and speculation, supporting all of the facts (though most were already made available and were previously submitted to her in September through November, of 2011). I am satisfied that I provided sufficient, accurate information in order to expedite the current investigation that this guardian ad litem was assigned to do in her most recent re-appointment by the court on November 29, 2012 and by which she agreed to the duty of investigating charges of abuse of my two children by their father.  That appointment was 6 months ago and, to my knowledge, she has not yet met with either of the children, alone, or together.

I hope that I have at least become a nuisance in that, at least, my existence has finally been acknowledged.  Whether I am a mosquito nuisance, or a yellow-jacket nuisance, I don’t yet know and really don’t care.  I continue to care only that my children are noticed and heard.  They deserve to feel safe and secure.  They are still so young and impressionable and the sooner the intervention, the greater the possibilities of healing, for my family.  I have no idea what or how this will be done … “when” is more important to me.  The whats/hows, whys/hows will most assuredly come in due time.

I have had some assistance by some professionals who have been instrumental in helping me with my  inquiries and information gathering.  It is my understanding that our 2 separate hearings, FINALLY scheduled, have been set for different dates, in June and July 2013, but I’ve now received notice that all 3 motions are to be heard on the one date, July 15, 2013, originally set aside for the Modification of Custody, as noticed this past November 2012.  This is disturbing and poses many problems and concerns.  These matters cannot possibly be heard all at one time.  The matter of the unpaid fees, and sanctions, appear to be taking precedence over the Motion to Extend Visitation, and, a separate Motion for Custody, which is kind of ridiculous to hear on the same date anyway.  I am worried that these matters will be not be given proper hearing time, or, worse, set aside once again.

It must be stopped.