Fighting for Families, The End of Family Courts.

much more

Family Law Reform Coalition – Press Release for 01.02.2016  “Australia’s Family Courts on Trial.”   A must read for everyone!!

I received a phone call this morning from a young woman who asked me to check my email.  She had sent me a copy of Family Law Reform Coalition press release.  I was impressed because in her little corner of her world, where much of life passes her by on a regular basis, she was awake enough to care about what is on her plate.  She is not likely ever going to be anyone that the world will know, but with each event in her life, she is waking up, paying attention and engaging.  I admire her for that.

An overhaul of Family Court is due in most countries. The only people who do not understand the need for this, are those who have never had to use it.

Family court, unlike any of the other courts, makes allowance for people’s emotions during a difficult time, which is the only excuse I come up for as to why they do not enforce the basic rules and codes of conduct that are upheld in the other courts. The most blatant of which is the amount of lying that goes on. People lie in their affidavits. They lie to the court ordered psychologists and psychiatrists. They lie in their testimony. They lie for themselves.  They lie for their families and friends.   And those lies are often proven during the course of the case that is being decided, and NOTHING is done about it.

By nothing, I mean I have never heard anyone being charged with perjury, despite the same wording being on everything people sign regarding swearing that you are telling the truth and it being a criminal offense to lie.

The problem with this is that it leads to people lying to the Police, to Social Services, and to Maintenance. In some instances it is even teaching the children involved how to lie and that our courts do not deserve respect.  Making you swear to tell the whole truth doesn’t actually mean the “true truth.”  Based on these lies people’s lives are ruined, their wages are being garnisheed and charges and judgments are placed against them. Continue reading

Raising Children, It’s Not About You.

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Love this article:  This is How you Know You Raised A Good Kid.

It is interesting watching your children grow as adults.  I am amazed how little the details matter – like what kind of car they drive, what their partner looks like, or what they do for a living.  The things that give me the most pride is when i see them making choices that show they know how to love and to forgive.  When they are mistreated and they do not retaliate with cruelty, when they pu aside their needs and wants for the greater good of their own children . . . even if no-one else will ever know the sacrifice they made,…

Sadly, too often, children become weapons for one parent to use against the other.  The need to be right, to get revenge, to hurt someone like you feel you have been hurt, takes over and we can waste a life time teaching our children to hate and carry out our endless acts of revenge against their other parent.  Think about that.  Think about the legacy that leaves for the world and what kind of people those children are going to be.  Would you want your child to end up with one of them as a partner?

Please pay attention to the children who are being raised in broken homes and advocate for them.  Tell your child it is not acceptable for them to trash your grandchild’s parent in front of the child.  Tell them that a child needs to know they are loved by both parents.  Help your child, your friend, to grow up and do the right thing.  It strengthens and heals the children, allowing them a chance at being decent people with happy lives, and it can do the same for your child.  As wounded as they might be, hanging on to hate, and spending a lifetime championing that emotion, only cancers us all.

Fathers, Children Need Them. What is Wrong With Us?

How many women play games with their child’s father, long after the split up and divorce, these women are still so fixated on “getting him” that some cannot move on and have a healthy relationship with anyone else. EVERYTHING is about the partner who is no longer with them. Hating them takes up their whole life and causes them to do everything they can to poison the child against that parent.

Years after the break up they are still telling anyone who listens that all the problems their child suffers with are caused by their father. If a child is not improving a couple of years after being removed from their “horrible father,” then perhaps the problem was not the father, but the mother.

When women go out of their way to cause problems or involve themselves in their ex’s life years after the split, for the single purpose of creating drama and problems for him, someone needs to be asking some serious questions about the mental state of these women and their suitability to be responsible for raising any child.

To the Woman Who Has Raised Another Woman’s Child.

the other mothers

It is an unenviable positions to raise another’s child. You are not blood, you will never be first, even though you might do most, if not all, of the hard work.

It takes someone very special to get it right.

Those that can step up to that challenge seem to understand that it is not a competition and the goal is for the child to grow up healthy and happy. They understand they may not be loved as a mother but they will be loved as the woman who raised them. We get caught up in the title. Does it even matter? Isn’t the important thing the love itself? When we focus on the title it is clear that what we are wanting out of the experience is praise and we are making it all about us and not the child.

Those who have alienated the child from their mother, who have taught the child to hate by feeding them lies and orchestrating drama and keeping the child from seeing their mother, are perhaps the most disgusting human beings. I say that because as women, we know the bonds of mother child and to purposefully interfere with those is not much different from what a paedophile does. You have taken a child’s innocence. You have poured your darkness into their light. You have used that child for your own personal gratification without any regard for the damage you have caused. You have done it to a child that was not your own.

I can only imagine the pain and suffering for women today who will not hear a single thing from their stolen child, except a message of hate. Those mothers will be silent, and take the abuse, and hold on to their hope that maybe one day their child will know the truth. They will do that because they are not usually the women who will put the child in the middle of the battle and make things worse. They do that because they ARE that child’s mother and THAT is what mother’s do. They sacrifice.

These women are so lacking in self esteem they cannot form a relationship with a mere child based on their own experience. Their relationship is forged by destroying another human being, because even a smidge of emotion left in that child for their mother is a threat to their insecurity.

Facebook will be full today of “shove it in your face” salutations from manipulated children gushing over the women who have destroyed their natural feelings for their own mothers. And somewhere a woman will weep while another woman and a stolen child high five one another with “wait until she sees THAT one.” That woman will not see the pain behind the child’s eyes as she says and does what she has to keep that woman happy. Those posts will then be commented on by all the people who support that woman in destroying the child. They will type in their words of encouragement and testaments to what a great mother that woman is compared to the biological mother. There will be more high fives and laughter as a mother weeps.

That is what we have become as people.

I worry about what these children will grow up like. I worry about being raised on a steady diet of hate and a campaign of unkindness. We talk about bullying, and yet there are parents instructing their kids on step by step methods. I worry about their ability to see people as human beings, and situations as having many shades, of not understanding no-one is perfect and it is never as simple as this person is all bad/wrong and this person is all good/right. I worry about the lies they have built their lives on, believing themselves to be better, and that in doing so, they have the right to then go out of their way to be cruel to someone else who is trying to say, “I love you.” I worry about them not understanding love, not understanding the kind of love that makes sacrifices.

I worry what kind of parents these kids will be. The circle will intensify. When these children are adults and dealing with broken homes and raising other children, will they resort to more violent methods? Will they be any more capable of doing the right thing?

And I worry that we all sit here, not aware, not seeing what is happening. I worry that even if we do we calm our discomfort with the mantra, “There is nothing I can do about it.”

Children are not weapons. They need to know that they are loved by all the people involved in their lives. They need to be protected from any of the grown-up legal matters that need to be sorted, and allowed to be children who are taught to love and to believe in a world that is full of possibilities. Our children need to learn skills of working with people, all people, and to negotiate social situations and relationships in ways that do not leave people broken and destroyed. They do not need to be schooled in ways to bully, to hurt, to hate.

And parents who do that, and all the people around those parents who support their efforts, are engaging in child abuse that I believe they should have to answer for.

Parental Alienation – For the Parents. Remember.

my child hates me

For all the parents fighting the war for their children, the injustices of legal systems, the gender bias of maintenance enforcement and often social workers.

Remember.

Remember that your child absorbs the emotion even when they know nothing of the facts.  They absorb and internalize the anger.  They do not have the ability to sort it into the pile labelled “not mine to deal with.”  Everything a child feels is about themselves and writes a page in the book of their life.  This book becomes the story they will read to themselves over and over again through out their life.  It reminds them that they are good or bad.  It reads out each word in the voices of the people who taught them attaching all the feelings and emotions they felt at the time until it has convinced them who they are ….and who they are not.

Continue reading

The Village Speaks: Parental Alienation Syndrome and the Vincenti Girls.

emotional support

The story of the 4 Vincenti girls, kidnapped from Italy where a separated couple had joint custody is ongoing.  The world watched as the girls were made the centre of a legal and media battle with the mother, Laura Garrett, who kidnapped the girls, insisting the father that abusive and mentally unstable.

The back and forth, and finally in 2012, the heart wrenching seizure of the girls, forced on a plane to be returned to their father, was more than most people could deal with.

Daily Mail Article

Facebook Post  by Australian and Missing Children

Sunshine Coast Daily – includes timeline of events

Sydney Morning News

Sydney Herald

Lat night, an update was done by 60 Minutes when they travelled to Italy to interview the two older girls, Emily 17 and Claire, 16.

Continue reading

The Village Speaks: PAS Does not Happen in a Vacuum.

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I am going to once again plug this site on Parental Alienation and I am asking people to read it and pay close attention to the signs of an abusing parent, the signs of an abused child, and ask yourself if you are supporting someone who is alienating their child.  We are destroying our children with our need to exact revenge for our own problems.  Our children deserve better than that.  WE are the village.  WE can change things if we simply educate ourselves and do what we can with our own responsibilities and spheres of influence.

A Marriage.

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Who am I to talk about marriage?

I have been blessed with two wonderful marriages, with two men that put other men to shame, with two men who committed 100% of their lives to our life.

My first husband passed away after a hard fought war with a horrific blood disorder.  If I had lived the rest of my life never to marry again, I still would have considered myself blessed.  To find another man of the same quality, I know I am defying the odds.

When marriages struggle do you go to the person who appears to have the perfect marriage and probably has no idea how difficult things can be?  Or, do you go to the one who absolutely knows how difficult marriage is and what you are going through because their own marriage failed?   My answer would be, neither, no-one can truly understand what your marriage is or isn’t about, and nor can they offer advice.  In fact, other people just make the situation worse.  The two people in the marriage have to work it out, whether that means continuing or walking away.

I do think we have to stop looking at marriage as some sort of badge of honor that tells the world whether we are worthy human beings or not.  Relationships succeed and fail all the time.  The world is changing and people are doing the best they can.  Who are we to question whether two people took things seriously enough, or whether they tried hard enough?   There is no blame to be placed.  There is no need for hate and fighting.  There are simply two adults who are making a decision about their life, that was/is probably the hardest decision they have made in some time.

Marriages only work when you have two people who are equally committed to the idea.  They work when you have two people who are right for one another.  Being right for one another means that you share similar ideas of what fun is, what work is, what things mean and what the future holds.  It doesn’t mean you have to be identical but you have to be able to want to share in the things that are important to the other person.  Sometimes that just involves allowing them their own opinion on who to vote for.  Sometimes it involves being willing to go camping or go to the ballet when you hate those things but the other person is passionate about them. Sometimes it involves really difficult, tough, life decisions.

Is there more credit to be given to the couple who struggle, look at their marriage, and stay together for religious reasons, for appearances, for the kids, because it is easier?  Why don’t we respect the couple that realize they are simply no longer compatible or that they have grown apart and are wanting different things?  Is it noble to live a life of misery and unhappiness?  Do our children and the people who judge us actually show up at our death bed and thank us for throwing our lives away and being miserable, for them?

I think it is only ourselves we cheat.

The chance to find real happiness, to have a real connection with someone, to live a life of purpose . . . isn’t that a worthy pursuit?  Is it so awful to have tried and failed, to recognize that, and to try again?

It seems to me the only awful thing about it is the reaction of others to the experience that causes us to need to place blame and punish someone.  If we were to allow people their own lives, without that judgement, could a husband and wife dissolve their marriage BEFORE it came to cheating on one another or the other cruelties that surface on the way to forced destruction?  Could they separate more amicably, sharing the kids, and wishing each other well?

I don’t know, but what we are doing currently seems to have only left a huge ugly oozing wound in the fabric of all our lives.

I read the article below today – a beautiful comment on a marriage.  For me the message is not about beating yourself up because your marriage doesn’t even come close to this.  The message is this is what a marriage can be.  This is what you should want for yourself and your spouse.  This is the life that comes when you have it right.  So maybe you learn to love each other in a way that doesn’t insist you both stay and suffer so you get a certificate on your 50th wedding anniversary.  Maybe you learn to love one another enough to realize you missed the mark, and to love each other, wish each other well, and let each other go – as a married couple.  Friends is always on the table.  Who said we have to get it right first time?   It doesn’t mean anything except that people and life are not predictable.  We live in the moment.  We deal with what we have and as long as we proceed with love and compassion, wanting a good outcome for everyone involved, it cannot mean we are failures, or bad, or evil.

This is what I wish for all marriages.  When you have these kinds of successes, the difficulties are doable.  There is balance.  But when marriage is nothing more than pain and sorrow and unhappiness, your soul dies a little each day.  YOU deserve happiness and joy, and so does your partner.  Think about it.

The Best Kind of Love

By Annette Paxman Bowen

I have a friend who is falling in love. She honestly claims the sky is bluer. Mozart moves her to tears. She has lost 15 pounds and looks like a cover girl. 

 

“I’m young again!” she shouts exuberantly. 

 

As my friend raves on about her new love, I’ve taken a good look at my old one. My husband of almost 20 years, Scott, has gained 15 pounds. Once a marathon runner, he now runs only down hospital halls. His hairline is receding and his body shows the signs of long working hours and too many candy bars. Yet he can still give me a certain look across a restaurant table and I want to ask for the check and head home. 

 

When my friend asked me “What will make this love last?” I ran through all the obvious reasons: commitment, shared interests, unselfishness, physical attraction, communication. Yet there’s

more. We still have fun. Spontaneous good times. Yesterday, after slipping the rubber band off the rolled up newspaper, Scott flipped it playfully at me: this led to an all-out war. Last Saturday at

the grocery, we split the list and raced each other to see who could make it to the checkout first. Even washing dishes can be a blast. We enjoy simply being together. 

 

And there are surprises. One time I came home to find a note on the front door that led me to another note, then another, until I reached the walk-in closet. I opened the door to find Scott holding a “pot of gold” (my cooking kettle) and the “treasure” of a gift package. Sometimes I leave him notes on the mirror and little presents under his pillow. 

 

There is understanding. I understand why he must play basketball with the guys. And he understands why, once a year, I must get away from the house, the kids – and even him – to meet my sisters

for a few days of nonstop talking and laughing. 

 

There is sharing. Not only do we share household worries and parental burdens – we also share ideas. Scott came home from a convention last month and presented me with a thick historical novel. Though he prefers thrillers and science fiction, he had read the novel on the plane. He touched my heart when he explained it was because he wanted to be able to exchange ideas about the book after I’d read it. 

 

There is forgiveness. When I’m embarrassingly loud and crazy at parties, Scott forgives me. When he confessed losing some of our savings in the stock market, I gave him a hug and said, “It’s okay. It’s only money.” 

 

There is sensitivity. Last week he walked through the door with that look that tells me it’s been a tough day. After he spent some time with the kids, I asked him what happened. He told me about a

60-year-old woman who’d had a stroke. He wept as he recalled the woman’s husband standing beside her bed, caressing her hand. How was he going to tell this husband of 40 years that his wife would

probably never recover? I shed a few tears myself. Because of the medical crisis. Because there were still people who have been married 40 years. Because my husband is still moved and concerned after

years of hospital rooms and dying patients. 

 

There is faith. Last Tuesday a friend came over and confessed her fear that her husband is losing his courageous battle with cancer. On Wednesday I went to lunch with a friend who is struggling to reshape her life after divorce. On Thursday a neighbor called to talk about the frightening effects of Alzheimer’s disease on her father-in-law’s personality. On Friday a childhood friend called long-distance to tell me her father had died. I hung up the phone and thought, This is too much heartache for one week. Through my tears, as I went out to run some errands, I noticed the boisterous orange blossoms of the gladiolus outside my window. I heard the delighted laughter of my son and his friend as they played. I caught sight of a wedding party emerging from a neighbor’s house. The bride, dressed in satin and lace,

tossed her bouquet to her cheering friends. That night, I told my husband about these events. We helped each other acknowledge the cycles of life and that the joys counter the sorrows. It was enough to keep us going. 

 

Finally, there is knowing. I know Scott will throw his laundry just shy of the hamper every night; he’ll be late to most appointments and eat the last chocolate in the box. He knows that I sleep with a pillow over my head. I’ll lock us out of the house at a regular basis, and I will also eat the last chocolate. 

 

I guess our love lasts because it is comfortable. No, the sky is not bluer: it’s just a familiar hue. We don’t feel particularly young: we’ve experienced too much that has contributed to our growth and wisdom, taking its toll on our bodies, and created our memories.  I hope we’ve got what it takes to make our love last. As a bride, I had Scott’s wedding band engraved with Robert Browning’s line “Grow old along with me!” We’re following those instructions. 

 

“If anything is real, the heart will make it plain.”

 

Be Kind. Guide for Step Parents to Avoid Parental Alienation Syndrome.

Be kind

Step parents are in an unenviable position.  Those who are doing an awesome job are often abused by an insecure parent who undermines them at every turn and those who are abusing a child with Parental Alienation Syndrome are destroying live, none more at risk, than the child entrusted in their care.

Adding children into a home, especially when they are not your own, is a difficult thing to do.  Well, it can be done, but achieving the goal that everyone gets out alive is a big undertake. Continue reading

The Village Speaks. Parental Alienation Syndrome

You can bully a child but you cannot bully me nor the millions of other thinking caring adults who recognize the damage you are doing to that child as abuse. Tell whatever stories to yourself that you have to in order to go to sleep at night but I will never be silenced. Keep telling your lies to the people who will listen and nod but even they are talking to everyone behind your back and condemning what you are doing. When we make choices to live our lives in reprehensible ways you have to be prepared to live with your own reflection when someone holds up the mirror. Your anger at everyone else is sadly misplaced because they are not the problem for speaking out against it, YOU are the problem for having committed these acts. I hope that people might find the grace to extend to you when your actions are condemned, that you have never afforded anyone else. Continue reading