Blog Posts

Hold the Light & Imagine

Remember the Present

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We are human beings, both you and me – and yet we are so much more than we appear to be. We are composed of millions of particles of Light inside of us at the very core of our being.  We are co-creators with the Divine unseen forces, both within us and within the fabric of this Garden of Life. Our existence…matters.

When we hold the Light of our heart – every moment we breathe holds the potential of what yet can be, but when the light is subdued by the shadows of our wounds we find ourselves bathed in fear or awash in grief. We tend to forget what we can achieve and become blind to what others may need. When we hide the Light inside us, our world seems to suffer an immeasurable number of things.

It’s a simple fact that humans are destroying our world. We have turned a blind eye and ignored the plethora of evidence all around us.  There are thousands of other living beings and lifeforms that have been annihilated and more still suffering from the human storm. Old paradigms we were taught to believe has brought us to this present moment in time.

When I look back at the years of my Life and I see beyond the mundane news and take in the overall effect of humans on this planet. My heart hurts. I see patterns that have shaped the current conditions in our country and around the world. I see the shadow of abuses from the past, how it has grown into a global entity in the abuse of power and the rise of what the King James version of the Bible calls – the god of Mammon or money

When we hold the Light of our soul – we Inspire others. When we hold the Light of our heart forward to see – it dispels the darkness so others can see that the Light inside of them is also needed. When we share the Light – we Help Life heal.

Imagine the land, water, and air would be pristine because no one is raping or pillaging the resources of our planet for profit. Educating children to become the new stewards of Life and caretakers of our heavenly home.

Imagine the blessings and bounty of the Mother Earth recovered from the centuries of abuse from the greed of mankind. Imagine our ability to recapture Her full bounty, Her grace and Her blessings for all.

Imagine future stewards of faith and vision working together with each other to feed ourselves and one another, to cultivate, harvest and prepare the free natural God given medicines, health, and care for ourselves, our families and each other instead of the need for greed.

Imagine that. No one would go hungry, no one would have to worry about medical bills, or paying for education. No one would need to be concerned about a corporate toxic waste dump in their backyard or poisoned wells or aquifers from mining uranium that is killing them or their children. No nuclear waste or garbage under our feet bleeding into the soil where our food grows or illegally being dumped in our oceans.

Can you Imagine the whole world having Tesla’s free sustainable energy that no one has to pay for? No electric grid would be needed, no oil spills, no drilling and no need for fossil fuels. Imagine no homeless people – ever. Imagine no senior citizen not able to pay their mortgage or light bill in the winter or sitting without food because their medicine is outrageously high.

Imagine a child’s education geared toward what they are drawn to naturally. Imagine our warriors at home, caring for the home front here at home instead of fighting a wasteful political war to control a region or a marketplace or a commodity. Imagine people working together to build someone a house, a community center, a healing center, local gardens, farms or hydroponic stations, building and setting up solar panels.

So what would the governments and corporations do? Here’s a thought. They are fired and reassigned a new title with specific tasks that would provide every community with the necessary mandated materials in each State. Each State would distribute and deliver the necessary sustainable materials to each community and or individual at no charge. Maybe even require them to help put all the pieces together once they get there.

I believe all things are possible. I believe the destiny of humanity can change. I believe we can heal ourselves, each other and our planet. I believe we can enrich the whole world by making it sustainable for All Life. It is only the mind of mankind needs to change.

You and I may not see this Garden of Eden restored in our lifetime, but perhaps it could be a dream for future generations to aspire toward. Think, Dream and Imagine the different Future for yourself, your children and this beautiful blue jewel in the Heavens that is designed to sustain All Life.

May your day be blessed.

 

 

Sunshine Blogger Award – Part II

Sunshine blogger logo

I am following through on the tasks assigned associated with the Sunshine Blogger award; I would like to nominate the following fellow bloggers

Mary Mangee – a friend, colleague, aspiring author, writer and blogger who will make you smile, make you think, and bring a bit of sunshine in your world. You can find her at https://dailydosesdotlife.wordpress.com/

James Edgar Skye – a brilliant mind, blogger and blog builder. James is also an aspiring author currently writing his memoir. You can find him at https://thebipolarwriter.blog

The Godly Chic Diaries – inspirational blog and posts that uplift the soul. https://gcdiaries.wordpress.com

The Secret Blind – wholesome, authentic and fresh content that will give you pause and make you appreciate what life has to offer. You will love this blog. https://thesecretblind.wordpress.com

My Loud Bipolar Whispers – a healing and recovery journey that offers food for thought.  https://myloudbipolarwhispers.com/

Heyoka Muse – a healing journey of complex PTSD.  https://heyokamuse.com/

4 M’s Bipolar Mom – no muss no fuss, just real as it can be. Raw and real. https://4msbipolarmom.wordpress.com/

Each blog is a unique and beautiful image of the human experience. Each tells a story that is their own and allows us to see the various forms of life in the process of evolution.

Here are Questions for the Nominees listed above:

1. Describe your first conscious memory?
2. How did that first memory make you feel?
3. What experience changed your perspective of how you view the world today?
4. If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
5. What is your favorite color and why?
6. Share one enlightening moment that defined a turning point in your life.
7. How would you define your thought patterns and response-ability under stress?
8. If you were handed a million dollars what would you do with it?
9. What is your most limiting belief?
10. Answer the question:  “Who am I?”

I look forward to seeing your posts on your page should you choose to complete the tasks required by the rules. If not – that’s ok too!

Spirit blessings!

Sunshine Blogger Award – Part I

Sunshine blogger logo

Omg! I was recently nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award. I wish to extend a heart of gratitude to my friend and writing colleague Mary Mangee who is a brilliant writer. You will find her blog to be quite authentic and refreshingly bright. Please take the time to check it out  @ https://dailydosesdotlife.wordpress.com/

There are rules that a nominee must follow in order to comply with the award. So I need your attention because I am going to nominate a few of my fellow bloggers as well.

The Rules are simply this:

1.) Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link back to them.
2.) Answer 11 questions provided by the blogger who nominated you.
3.) Nominate 11 other bloggers and ask them 11 new questions.
4.) Notify the nominees by commenting on one of their blog posts.
5.) List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo on your post.

The questions Mary asked me to answer are these:

1. What is your favorite fruit? There are so many fruits to love in this world I could not name them all so I will list the 9 Fruits of the Spirit as the most nutritious and beneficial that I strive to grow in the Garden of my Soul.

2. Are you religious or spiritual? We are all Spiritual beings having a human experience. Some Religions provide a guidepost for those who are seeking more out of their experience here in this world.

3. Name 3 of your favorite things. Only 3? Hmm – challenge me why don’tcha!

First – things are just things, so if we are talking about material things then I would say it is a waste of time to have favorite “things” since its existence is limited in this world.

However, If you are talking about “timeless things” that cannot be dulled by their existence in our world then I would have to say my favorite thing is Our Planet. Our planet is a Gift from God. It is a creation of our Creator that continues to create, evolve and provide Life for All living things. All living things are an expression of a superior intelligence we call God (the Creator) and his Goddess (aka: Mother Earth).

Second – I love learning. I am a seeker of knowledge and truth. We, humans, are so much more than we appear to be outwardly, yet we are unaware of our capabilities and abilities. I love biology and the lessons found in nature, the human body and the interactions of a closed system that mirrors our planet and how the Trinity within us works to become the creators of our own destiny.

Last but not least, I am a seeker of metaphysical (meta=things unseen) knowledge that provides the associative mechanism of my mind with the tools to connect to my own personal “inner-net” to find answers that my soul longs to know. I love to write and share my thoughts with other people of like mind.

4. Would you call your eating habits healthy? Yes! I am not a fan of genetically modified food nor the chemical fillers that cause people to become addicted to foods that are not healthy for them. I am a fan of “grow your own” and share with others.

5. Who would you consider to be your hero? Aside from the “man” called Jesus, I would have to say, Wayne Dyer. He is a man who is among the few who listened to his calling to learn, found his own inner peace and shared key points related to the cryptic writings of the Masters and manifested that knowledge for others to learn.

6. What is your favorite book? I cannot choose, there are way too many in my own library.

7. What is your highest level of formal education? A.A.S. Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork, & Masters in the School of Hard Knocks

8. What part of the world are you from? I come from the Heart of the Mother Earth & the Paradise of the Pacific.

9. Who in your life has been the most influential? My Spirit Guides
10. Explain one defining moment in your life. The moment I realized abuse wasn’t normal was the biggest eye-opener for me. I was 38 years old with two children and living with an abuser and I was clueless because I grew up in an abusive household, and my life experiences up to that age were all crowding in.

My ex-husband was injured on the job so I was the sole provider for a family of four. I worked full time, was going to school, doing all the household chores, taking care of my children, paying the bills, setting appointments, back and forth at the hospital between appointments and surgeries for him.

Nothing I did was good enough to escape the constant barrage of his verbal vomit and false accusations if I was a minute late from work, or school, or dinner wasn’t right. If I spoke to anyone he knew about it. I was not allowed friends because his actions or rage would push them away and keep them away. Sleep paralysis became more frequent, a constant pressure of feeling as if someone was sitting on my chest. The nerves in my face would twitch or simply lose feeling. Until I saw a pamphlet about abuse on a bulletin board at one of the colleges I attended. That was when I realized abuse wasn’t normal. 

 
11. When overwhelmed, what is your go-to?

At my age, when I am overwhelmed it moves to a panic attack. My adrenals are have been shot for years. I have to stop, put my hand over my heart, close my eyes and focus there.  I visualize the color pink (associated with love) and insert both sides of the Reiki symbol called Cho Ku Rei to restore balance to the heart rhythm. If pink doesn’t work that day, I will ask for gold or green. Once the heart calms I it usually allows me to catch my breath. If it doesn’t then I must take control of my breathing and I visualize my inner Sanctuary.

Stay tuned for Part II! I have to go to work and will post it later!

Dancing the Sacred Spiral

 

Dancing the Sacred Spiral
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Dancing this Sacred Spiral is what we all do whether we are aware of it or not. We experience something that reminds us of an unhealed wound. That wound is reopened and we are flooded with memories, thought patterns and emotions we ‘thought’ we were done with, only now we are forced to look at the experience or experiences again.

Know Thyself, Heal Thyself were the words that were written over the Temples in Delphi, Greece centuries ago. Words that I took to heart because I knew the exorbitant costs of professional counseling were way out of reach for me; and, even if I did have counsel I knew I would still have to do the work myself anyway.

“Children learn what they Live” I know this – we all do.

Some of us are quite aware of what we have learned from childhood on up. Some do not. Our personalities and character grow on the spiral upward from childhood based on our experiences and encounters with life and other human beings.

As an abuse survivor, I have had to dig deep to uproot the hidden lessons from the first 38 years of my life. You would think I would have learned and healed all of the issues associated with the things I endured in those years, but here it is 23 years later and I find that I have not.

My healing journey is an ongoing process that takes me back to dig through some very deep-seated issues, sadness and emotions I thought I was done with. Mentally and emotionally it sucks but, don’t get me wrong, I am truly grateful when I unearth the hidden issues that need to be reviewed because I know that there is more that needs to be reconciled, forgiven and released.

Hurtful experiences from the past tend to be on a subconscious trigger that flips the switch to automatic ‘recall’. We have no choice but to ‘remember’ it when the memory or memories resurface into consciousness. When it happens then it becomes my job to review and redefine the experience and the emotions that go along with it. Only then can I refile that old memory with a more positive mindset, viewpoint, and emoticon to go with it.

This repetitive process of review has given me an updated perspective and a new way of looking at things. It has adjusted the perception of myself, other people and our world. May it be so with you.

Spirit blessings

(Note: “Children learn what they Live” is a limited self-published, self-distributed channeled booklet of poems written by the author during her healing journey in 2007.)

 

For my Readers

bind blank business close up
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I am taking a leap of faith today and would like to share a chapter from my memoir. I haven’t completely settled on the name of my book, but for now, it seems fitting to follow through with the name I have applied to it in my mind. For the moment, I think “Snippets of Time” seems fitting.

My memoir is about the effects of abuse on a child and how abuse has grown and has become magnified throughout society today. We see and experience it all around us from individuals to those business and from those at all levels of government around the world.

There is no human being on the face of this planet who has not been touched by it in some form. No one is immune from its grasp nor are they immune from its effects. It has touched us all and it is time to change it.

Some of you may find this chapter disturbing, yet it is a true account of an event that has been burned in my soul. It has affected my development and my personality in more ways that I can tell you, and this is just a small part of what I have experienced in my lifetime. If you feel so led to respond – I would be honored to hear some feedback from you.

With a heart of gratitude – Thank you.

Click the blue link if you are interested.

Chapter III – The Green Bathroom

The Road Less Traveled

abandoned forest industry nature
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We have all walked down a road less traveled and have found ourselves in a situation or an experience that throws us off track for awhile. Some find themselves being in the wrong place at the wrong time and some may have found themselves unwittingly pulled into something that they cannot get out of.

Either way, we find ourselves feeling lost in the middle of an unknown forest and realize that our internal navigation system has been completely knocked offline. We just can’t seem to get a signal to get our bearings. We feel disoriented, unsettled, unnerved, anxious, angry, dismayed, concerned, worried or even frightened. We are overwrought and overwhelmed by the plethora of thoughts bombarding our mind and the tsunami of emotions that wipes away all sense and sensibility.

Our attempt to get back on track is continually thwarted as we seek higher ground to get our bearings. We find ourselves in uncharted territory on an unknown path fumbling and stumbling over roots that have been buried deep under a canopy of leaves that have fallen. At first glance the withered leaves look dry but we soon realize that those leaves are damp and slick underneath, nor can we see what lurks underneath them as we try to climb our way out.

We are alone on a road that is unknown and untraveled and we feel isolated from the so-called civilized, as we attempt to gauge or redirect our sense of direction and go into to survival mode basics.

Most of us know that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, and most of us know that moss tends to grow on the north side of a tree. That basic information gives us the directions of East, West and North respectively, but without a map and knowing how to read the map, we realize that we are still unable to get from point A to point B. We still feel lost and intuitively know that things could go South pretty quickly. So what do we do now?

Panic is not our friend. We know this, so we close our eyes, take a deep breath (or a few) and allow our mind time to calm down. Some of us will say a prayer for guidance and sometimes that is enough as the sun sets over the horizon and the darkness encroaches us. We take inventory of what we have to work with, sifting through our pockets for the resources we have on-hand and find a shelter to protect us from the elements.

When the sun rises in the morning we say a prayer of gratitude for yet another day. Our circumstances may not have changed but we always have a choice to change it as the sun diminishes the mist in mountains of our mind. Once the clouds dissipate we become more clear and return to the track where the train derailed us.

Standing on the track we begin to see we have a choice of direction. We can either go back down the track where we came from or we can continue to move forward. Which will you choose?

 

 

The Dormant Seed

person holding a green plant
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My mind has been wandering and wondering. I am looking back to what was and to what could be. My fingers are typing what my mind is thinking at this moment. Call it madness, call it melancholy, call it what you will.

There was an issue that came up while preparing for the middle portion of my memoir. I felt truly blessed when a writing colleague and friend was gracious enough to assist me with a little research.  The article that was found hit me like a baseball bat. The impact stunned me and I wasn’t prepared for the emotional tsunami that took the breath right out of me when I wasn’t looking.

I felt like I had been clotheslined by a five hundred pound linebacker that took me out of the game for a while.  I withdrew like a turtle and went on lockdown. I stopped writing. I avoided it like the plague. I needed time to unwind a forest of tangled vines in my mind.

Then it dawned on me that I never dealt with it – quite frankly it blew me away. When I looked back at how things unfolded after this drawn-out event was over I saw where I simply brushed it aside, stuffed it down, pushed past it and moved on to try and put my life back together with some semblance of order and purpose.

The mental, emotional and the physical repercussions from that series of events has come full circle. I have been dealing with some very old wounds. Wounds that I never truly looked at or ever dealt with.

The impact of that series of events affected the flow of my Life both inwardly and outwardly.  That unrequitable nightmare became embedded in my physical body,(As a massage therapist I know muscles hold memories)and was imprinted in the energy matrix or light of my soul.

The seeds sown during those 13 months had laid dormant inside me quietly taking root in the dark and have now come into season to be reviewed. Unresolved issues have a way of popping up when we least expect them to and when they unwittingly crop up it has a way of throwing us off course. My internal navigation system went haywire and I spiraled down into the depths of despair.

Negative thoughts can truly pollute the physical body on so many levels. When the issues associated with this long-term event rose up it exploded into my conscious and the ride thereafter turned me inside out unexpectedly. The emotions that were stuffed into the suitcase of dormancy were also retrieved from the lost and found area of the baggage claim department. It was extreme. My physical body reacted.

Recurring thought patterns came up for review. I had a choice to renew and refile the thought as it was, or review more it more deeply. When I dug deeper it was difficult to unmask hidden truths. Once ‘I got it’ then I had the option to refine, redefined and refile those thoughts in a totally different archive.

The difficulty I experience is when my conscious mind becomes flooded by the emotional tsunami that overwhelms whatever sense or sensibilities I have. My ability to reason begins to wane, and at times simply disappears. The term ‘brain fog’ doesn’t even come close to describe it.

My ability to think literally escapes me and unfortunately, a part of me goes with it! I walk around mindlessly as if a part of me has left to find answers and bring back some clarity. Its been a struggle to make sense of it all. The mental hula hoops I have to jump through becomes a regular 5-ring circus.

The emotional impact has been daunting – but fruitful. The physical repercussions will be coming to light in a couple of weeks. Listing the lessons learned and finding the words to portray the events is now the challenge.

Do not let unresolved issues continue to take you down that dark corridor. Pull them out, face them, learn from them and heal them in your mind. When you do that, you heal yourself.

May your day be blessed.

Unwinding the Vine

Hummingbird Vine

Picture taken from my Hummingbird Vine

A cool breeze lifted the branches of the trees as I watched the hummingbirds dance around the feeder outside my door this morning. It seemed they were synchronized under the spell of life’s music. The branches of the poplar waved its greeting and beckoned me to come join in the dance. Working from home can sometimes make you feel caged with the hours necessary to make a living. It had been awhile since I have spent time in nature and decided to get out for awhile.

Old news and experiences have a way of weighing us down, locked in a search to unravel hidden beliefs. My mind has been heavy in healing work and I felt the need to get my bare feet in the grass to reconnect with Mother Earth’s life giving essences. I am grateful to have chosen that.

When I stepped outside my door it was quite clear that I hadn’t been outside in awhile. My hummingbird vine exploded in beautiful growth this season weaving its delicate tendrils around the front landing and reaching skyward to embrace the fake shutters surrounding our front window.

My husband is such a loving soul and has expressed his concern of this happening. When I went to tend to them I realized how entangled a mass they had become and decided it would be wise to disengage its progress. As I began to unweave the braided strands I thought of the meaning associated with these tiny gifts of creation.

Hummingbirds have a way of bringing joyful delight in just watching them. They seem to conjure up images of purity and for me and the dance we dance with those around us. Everything in world is in a constant state of movement, even things that seem to be stationary – we just can’t see the molecules with our human vision. We have to look deeper.

As a seeker of Truth, on my own personal journey to heal from abuse, I realized as I unwound the cord of vines of this delicate plant, I understood the mirror it reflected back to me of what was going on inside my heart and mind. Each small featherlike strand represented “thoughts” that kept me bound to old patterns of thinking. As the years passed new thoughts were braided into the rope like weave I was holding.

As a child, I realized that the joy I once knew was lost to me at the age of five. It was choked off and buried deep down inside from that first beating. The joy of exploring my world was also suppressed that same day I was punished for coming home late from school. It seems I was dissociated from my eternal essence of love when I was made to feel like I didn’t matter.

So as I stood there acknowledging what my heart whispered to me in that moment, I chose to turn my efforts into a moving meditation. Unwinding each bundle of tiny fragile vines and leaves takes both time and patience, and with each strand I unwound my spirit lifted. Joy came into my heart in just doing the task as the wind danced around me whispering its song. It took an hour for the first bundle, and an hour and a half for the second to be rewoven along the iron fence housing the enclave of a sanctuary for my tiny friends.

I have been seeking the succulent nectar of joy and could never engage in its fullness. Now I understood why. As I continue to unravel the mystery that is still hidden in me I am rediscovering my true essence. I am a healer and a teacher in my own way and I love to create beauty in various artforms. I let that all go when I moved to this State, to appease and please the opinions of others instead of listening to my own heart.

Today I am reclaiming my joy. Today I am reclaiming my right to use the gifts I have been given, and my right to choose to use those gifts to make life better for others and humanity as a whole. Today I am reclaiming my sovereign right to just Be me.

The Abuse of Power – Part V

close up court courthouse hammer
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Today is the day of reckoning for my friend in her fight to keep full custody of her child. My husband dropped me off at my her house this morning. When I knocked on the door she reminded me of a squirrel chasing another squirrel up and down a tree. Except the squirrel she was chasing was invisible.

She was bouncing around from room to room, shuffling paperwork, printing off last minute copies, looking for photographs of injuries inflicted on her child and other items associated with her case – and she wasn’t dressed yet. She was geared up and going nowhere fast.  She was driving us to the courthouse in downtown traffic in this state of mind. It made me pause, and that became the cause for me to pray for her, the drive and the day. I stopped her long enough to give her a hug. She was scared to death of loosing her only child to her abuser.

It’s 9:00 o’clock a.m. when we were actually walking into the court room. A few others came to give her the moral support she needed and to be a witness on her behalf. She was frantic, carrying a cardboard box of paperwork while her opponents dressed accordingly toting their own in stylish crates on wheels.

We did the best we could, in the short window of time that we had, to pull together as much information as we could, so she could defend her right to retain custody of her abused child. To do so, she would have to stand up and state her case, then prove the ‘abuse’ really existed.

The Plaintiff, (her abuser) and his attorney sit at a table to her right. On her left are two other attorneys, each representing a State agency that had a variety of interactions with the Defendant.  My friend, has been relegated to sitting in very the center of the room, directly in front of the judge. I felt an overwhelming sense of the imbalance of things.

Over the years, this woman had no choice but to send her child or leave him with his abuser. A court order took the choice right out of her hands. She even went to jail for 30 days and was slammed with a year of probation by withholding her son from his abuser.

My friend had sought out help from the resources available within the system in her region, and she was referred to other programs in the process. A Guardian Ad Litem had been appointed to her son by a previous court order, and an attorney with that agency was present in court today.

My friend fulfilled her obligations of attending all court ordered programs including co-parenting classes with her abuser and jumped through all the hoops they required.

Today, it looked as if they were all taking a definitive stance against her. Both agencies appeared to be contact with her abuser’s attorney from the glances, smirks and verbal exchanges within the courtroom. All the people involved in this case over the span of years have given their opinions. Some have assessed, evaluated and judged their position on the custody of this child. Judgments that may have been colored by their personal interactions with my friend along the way.

There is a great deal of research available to show us what few know, acknowledge or  even talk about when it comes to “the abuse of power in the system” on the people who are up to their neck and treading water in it.

“As in many other professional contexts, detection of abuse has been a major problem in the context of custody evaluations. In many custody-visitation proceedings, professionals fail to detect.”  In addition, Daniel G. Saunders states When evaluators are taught that women are the primary victims, they may produce biased evaluation outcomes. Implicit bias in the courtroom. UCLA Law Review, 59(5), 1124–1186.

“Recommendations for custody and visitation in cases involving intimate partner violence (IPV) need to be developed with extreme care. Victims and their children risk serious harm if sole or joint custody is awarded to a violent parent, or if that parent is not awarded custody but has poorly supervised visits” Evaluation Practices and Policies in Cases of Intimate Partner Violence, Journal of Child Custody, 12:1, 71-92, DOI: 10.1080/15379418.2015.1037052 – (Research Based Recommendations for Child Custody); Kang, J., Bennett, M., Carbado, D., Casey, P., Dasgupta, N., Faigman, D., & Mnookin, J. (2012).

“Research also shows that victims of domestic violence are greatly disadvantaged in mediation that that mediators failed to recognize and report domestic violence cases.” “This review focuses primarily on male-to-female violence because….women are more severely injured physically and psychologically than men.” Ref: Daniel G. Saunders, PhD.

“Mediation of child custody disputes is mandated in several states. Investigators have averred that victims of domestic violence (DV) are greatly disadvantaged in mediation. The present study empirically evaluated outcomes and found that mediators failed to recognize and report DV in 56.9% of the DV cases. The court’s screening form failed to indicate DV in at least 14.7% of the violent cases. Mediation resulted in poor outcomes for DV victims in terms of protections, such as supervised visitation and protected child exchanges. Mediator capacity to focus on the child’s best interest was called into question. Child custody mediation should not be mandated in cases of DV.” Child custody mediation in cases of domestic violence: Empirical evidence of a failure to protect. Violence Against Women, 11(8), 1022–1053. doi:10.1177=1077801205278043 – 

We all know that interactions from some women facing the system and those within the system is traumatic in and of itself. My friend has been diagnosed with PTSD was being cornered by not one attorney, but a total of three attorneys. She is overwhelming stressed and is “shaking” as she speaks after 10 years of having to encounter her abuser by court order and having no choice than to leave her child with her known abuser.

The thought of her abuser having full custodial rights and being the primary caretaker of her son, after 10 years of fighting for her sanity and her son, was almost too much for her to bear. These attorneys “knew” exactly what they were doing by placing her in the middle of the room between them and directly in front of the judge. They knew she would not be able to communicate efficiently.

My friend waved me up front to sit with her at the table, not only for support but a sense that she wasn’t standing alone. All three attorney’s approached the judge and I was removed from sitting with her “because I was not an attorney.” She was visibly stricken and started shaking a bit more, knowing she would have to be up there on her own. The process was slow. The Plaintiff’s’ attorney, an attorney for DSS and the court designated attorney that was appointed as Guardian Ad Litem for her son, all took their time to state their case.

Meanwhile, the subtle interactions between all three attorney’s across the aisle did not go unnoticed by those of us in the gallery, nor did the judge miss a thing. It was not only unprofessional from all of them, including their witnesses, it was childish. The fact that the judge didn’t miss a thing made me smile.

When my friend got to question the witnesses for the State and the Plaintiff, she did her best. She was clearly not an attorney. The judge knew this. She was confused and unfocused, but she held herself up and didn’t break down. Her questions led nowhere and in fact there were many times she forgot to ask a question at all. The blessing was that the judge was patient and tolerant (to the dismay of the State and the Plaintiff’s attorney). He saw her condition and he saw the smirks and chuckles of the “professionals” who were attempting to break her down fly across the tables in front of him.

It wasn’t until well after a late lunch break that my friend was able to “state her case.” Her defining moment was when she held up her timeline with backup copies of the original planners to submit it into evidence and spoke up loud and proud – “This is MY VOICE!” “This document IS My Voice your honor!” This is a historical account of the abuse over the past 10 years that both I and my son have endured.

All three attorneys “objected” it as evidence. All three, especially the Plaintiff’s attorney voicing it as being “highly objected” as evidence. My friend’s questioning of her abuser already revealed her client’s arrest records which unseated her considerably and undermined the case that he was a “good man.” The document in question provided additional proof, and was complete with doctor’s names, hospital records and even a handwritten letter from her deceased mother that my friend found after her mother passed a few months ago. In addition, she had a recorded statement from her deceased mother in the Social-Emotional Evaluation of her son by one of the State agencies.

I truly feel her mother was present at her side during this last phase of this hearing session. She had very little time to pull it all together. The judge “accepted” her documents into evidence despite ALL of their objections. I bowed my head in gratitude for that defining moment.

The hearing lasted right up till 6:00 p.m. last Tuesday. The Plaintiff’s attorney thought she had the case nailed, as did the other two attorneys for the State. She pushed “twice” for a ruling at the close, and requested that the child be removed immediately and placed into the father’s care.  She also had the audacity to request surveillance on my friend citing her “mental state” and the potential that she would flee the State. Really???

The judge shook his head at her callousness and denied her a ruling on the spot, stating that he would have to look at “ALL” of the evidence presented and that he would “email” his ruling to her, the other attorneys present and to the mother “when he was done.” You would think an attorney would not have a temper tantrum like a two year old. It was quite funny watching her twist her lip and make faces as if no one was looking. I swear she stomped one foot in the process. I believe the Plaintiff’s attorney was beside herself. In fact, all three of them were all stunned.

At the writing of this post, there has still been no word of the judges ruling. It looks like we will have to wait a little longer.

What do you think will happen?

 

The Abuse of Power – Part IV

adult alone black and white blur
Photo by Kat Jayne on Pexels.com

This is not a picture of my friend, but I really do feel that it portrays the sorrow, suffering and only a smidgeon of the frustration and futility that she has experienced through this harrowing journey. She is facing a court hearing that will determine full custodial rights of her child to either her or her known abuser.  She has NO attorney to help her continue the fight for herself or for her child.

So we went to work. In reviewing my friends personal planner/journal of chronological events of abuse turned out to be a historical calendar of her 10-year history of physical, mental, emotional and financial abuse. Her court documents were records of information that would not have been available to us without them.

Her personal planner/journal would indeed be “Her Voice.” So together we diligently went through it all. Month by month we scraped out the information and compiled an Excel spreadsheet that detailed the sequence of events, encounters, communication difficulties, and accounts of every level of abuse that had befallen herself and her son.

The process became a stunning revelation of her story and for herself. She had no idea that her diligence, her fervor and her “pen” would become her greatest ally. Everything she was fighting for, every interaction and every step she had taken to get help from various State agencies was listed in her planner.

We learned that the father of her child had previously been arrested for “Assault by Pointing a Gun, and Assault on a Female” in 2007. We learned later that there had been up to 6 other charges filed against this man prior to that. We also learned that his brother was currently incarcerated for abuse as well. So there is a pattern of abuse that seems to run in the family. The man was going through a divorce when he met my friend, and it appears women were not at the top of his list of favorite people when he learned his girlfriend was pregnant.

The verbal, emotional and mental abuse was already underway in their relationship. Eight months and 3 days from the date that these charge were filed against him in 2007,  this same man abused his pregnant girlfriend for the first time by grabbing her by the throat while forcefully holding her down on a bed choking off her airway as she is struggling to get him off the top of her and breathe. She was six months pregnant. He also repeated this display of power, control, threat of bodily harm in his rage on two other occasions. She was scared. She had never been abused and didn’t know what to do except fight back.

In 2010, a file was duly recorded and documented under a 311 call about her abuser “communicating threats.” Her child was diagnosed with a broken collar bone, while under the care of the abuser,  had another fall out of a swing landing on his head three months later, along with another head injury to the boy one month thereafter.

He also mysteriously fell off the wheel well of this father’s truck, while in his father’s care. The fall scratched his belly and punctured his side when he landed on a triangular with a piece of metal. These accounts did not include the physical, emotional, mental and financial abuses to his girlfriend and mother of his child.

We also unveiled a written and recorded statement from my friend’s deceased mother. The 2011 statement had been recorded by an agency worker who conducted a Social-Emotional Evaluation on her son at the age of 2 years and 3 months old. That statement expounded a grandmother’s rage, live and on tape, stating boldly that “she will not tolerate any more physical abuse to her daughter or to her grandson by the her abuser.”

In addition, we uncovered a family pattern of abuse by the boy’s father toward his other children. A pattern that is already being seated in her own child. In addition her son has come home with accusations of sexual abuse by various members of his father’s family.

We had all of these incidents documented over a period of 10 years and yet the Department of Social Services and other State agencies involved to date state that the allegations of abuse were investigated and they deduced that all of the allegations of abuse were false” even with doctor’s records that were readily available.

Now, all we needed to do was to get the judge on Tuesday to agree to allow this timeline of historical abuse into evidence.

The abuse of power comes to the forefront in the next post…Read on in Part V.