Warning- Graphic Content
This is so sad.
Warning- Graphic Content
This is so sad.
Parents have a constitutional right to raise their children free from governmental interference.
Defendants also have rights under the condition, and now, Texas has passed laws reflecting those rights.
This is HUGE! If these laws had been enacted in 2004 when my son had been kidnapped, things might have been quite different for us.
Relating to the procedures and grounds for terminating the parent-child relationship, for taking possession of a child, and for certain hearings in a suit affecting the parent-child relationship involving the Department of Family and Protective Services.
Relating to the procedures and grounds for terminating the parent-child relationship, for taking possession of a child, and for certain hearings in a suit affecting the parent-child relationship involving the Department of Family and Protective Services.
Courts Courts–Civil Procedure Family FAMILY & PROTECTIVE SERVICES, DEPARTMENT OF Family–Child Protection Family–Parent & Child
James Frank (R)*, Bryan Hughes (R)*, Candy Noble (R)*, Gene Wu (D)*, Keith Bell (R), Greg Bonnen (R), Briscoe Cain (R), Jeff Cason (R), Harold Dutton (D), Ryan Guillen (D), Bob Hall (R), Juan Hinojosa (D), Eddie Lucio (D), Mayes Middleton (R), Ina Minjarez (D), Scott Sanford (R), Valoree Swanson (R), Steve Toth (R), Cody Vasut (R), Royce West (D), James White (R), Erin Zwiener (D),
Effective on 9/1/21 (on 05/15/2021)
H.B. No. 567
AN ACT relating to the procedures and grounds for terminating the parent-child relationship, for taking possession of a child, and for certain hearings in a suit affecting the parent-child relationship involving the Department of Family and Protective Services.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
Section 107.003(b), off the Texas Family Code, is amended to read as follows:
(b) In addition to the duties required by Subsection (a), an attorney ad litem appointed for a child in a proceeding under Chapter 262, [or] 263, or 264 shall:
(1) review the medical care provided to the child;
(2) in a developmentally appropriate manner, seek to elicit the child’s opinion on the medical care provided;
(3) for a child at least 16 years of age:
(A) advise the child of the child’s right to
request the court to authorize the child to consent to the child’s own medical care under Section 266.010; and
(B) ascertain whether the child has received the following documents:
(i) a certified copy of the child’s birth
(ii) a social security card or a replacement social security card;
(iii) a driver’s license or personal
dentification certificate under Chapter 521, Transportation Code;
(iv) any other personal document the
Department of Family and Protective Services determines appropriate; and
(4) seek to elicit in a developmentally appropriate manner the name of any adult, particularly an adult residing in the child’s community, who could be a relative or designated caregiver for the child and immediately provide the names of those individuals to the Department of Family and Protective Services.
SECTION 2. Sections 107.004(d), (d-2), (d-3), and (e),
Family Code, are amended to read as follows: (d) Except as provided by Subsection (e), an attorney ad litem appointed for a child in a proceeding under Chapter 262, [or] 263, or 264 shall: (1) meet before each court hearing with: (A) the child, if the child is at least four years of age; or (B) the individual with whom the child ordinarily resides, including the child’s parent, conservator, guardian, caretaker, or custodian, if the child is younger than four years of age; and
(2) if the child or individual is not present at the court hearing, file a written statement with the court indicating that the attorney ad litem complied with Subdivision (1). (d-2) An attorney ad litem appointed to represent a child in the managing conservatorship of the Department of Family and Protective Services or a child who is the subject of a proceeding under Chapter 264 shall, before each scheduled hearing under Chapter 263 or 264, determine whether the child’s educational needs and goals have been identified and addressed. (d-3) An attorney ad litem appointed to represent a child in the managing conservatorship of the Department of Family and Protective Services or a child who is the subject of a proceeding under Chapter 264 shall periodically continue to review the child’s safety and well-being, including any effects of trauma to the child, and take appropriate action, including requesting a review hearing when necessary to address an issue of concern.
(e) An attorney ad litem appointed for a child in a proceeding under Chapter 262, [or] 263, or 264 is not required to comply with Subsection (d) before a hearing if the court finds at that hearing that the attorney ad litem has shown good cause why the attorney ad litem’s compliance with that subsection is not feasible or in the best interest of the child. Additionally, a court may, on a showing of good cause, authorize an attorney ad litem to comply with Subsection (d) by conferring with the child or other individual, as appropriate, by telephone or video conference. SECTION 3. Section 161.001(c),
Family Code, is amended to read as follows: (c) Evidence of one or more of the following does not constitute clear and convincing evidence sufficient for a court to [A court may not] make a finding under Subsection (b) and order termination of the parent-child relationship [based on evidence that the parent]:
(1) the parent homeschooled the child; (2) the parent is economically disadvantaged;
(3) the parent has been charged with a nonviolent misdemeanor offense other than: (A) an offense under Title 5, Penal Code; (B) an offense under Title 6, Penal Code; or (C) an offense that involves family violence, as defined by Section 71.004 of this code; (4) the parent provided or administered low-THC cannabis to a child for whom the low-THC cannabis was prescribed under Chapter 169, Occupations Code; [or]
(5) the parent declined immunization for the child for reasons of conscience, including a religious belief; or (6) the parent allowed the child to engage in independent activities that are appropriate and typical for the child’s level of maturity, physical condition, developmental abilities, or culture. SECTION 4. Section 161.101, Family Code, is amended to read as follows: Sec. 161.101.
PETITION ALLEGATIONS; PETITION AND MOTION REQUIREMENTS. .
(a) A petition for the termination of the parent-child relationship is sufficient without the necessity of specifying the underlying facts if the petition alleges in the statutory language the ground for the termination and that termination is in the best interest of the child. (b) A petition or motion filed by the Department of Family and Protective Services in a suit for termination of the parent-child relationship is subject to Chapter 10, Civil Practice and Remedies Code, and Rule 13, Texas Rules of Civil Procedure.
SECTION 5. Section 261.001(4),
Family Code, is amended to read as follows: (4) “Neglect” means an act or failure to act by a person responsible for a child’s care, custody, or welfare evidencing the person’s blatant disregard for the consequences of the act or failure to act that results in harm to the child or that creates an immediate danger to the child’s physical health or safety and:
(A) includes: (i) the leaving of a child in a situation where the child would be exposed to an immediate danger [a substantial risk] of physical or mental harm, without arranging for necessary care for the child, and the demonstration of an intent not to return by a parent, guardian, or managing or possessory conservator of the child; (ii) the following acts or omissions by a person: (a) placing a child in or failing to remove a child from a situation that a reasonable person would realize requires judgment or actions beyond the child’s level of maturity, physical condition, or mental abilities and that results in bodily injury or an immediate danger [a substantial risk] of [immediate] harm to the child; (b) failing to seek, obtain, or follow through with medical care for a child, with the failure resulting in or presenting an immediate danger [a substantial risk] of death, disfigurement, or bodily injury or with the failure resulting in an observable and material impairment to the growth, development, or functioning of the child; (c) the failure to provide a child with food, clothing, or shelter necessary to sustain the life or health of the child, excluding failure caused primarily by financial inability unless relief services had been offered andrefused; (d) placing a child in or failing to remove the child from a situation in which the child would be exposed to an immediate danger [a substantial risk] of sexualconduct harmful to the child; or (e) placing a child in or failing to remove the child from a situation in which the child would be exposed to acts or omissions that constitute abuse under Subdivision (1)(E), (F), (G), (H), or (K) committed against another child; (iii) the failure by the person responsible for a child’s care, custody, or welfare to permit the child to return to the child’s home without arranging for the necessary care for the child after the child has been absent from the home for any reason, including having been in residential placement or having run away; or (iv) a negligent act or omission by an employee, volunteer, or other individual working under the auspices of a facility or program, including failure to comply with an individual treatment plan, plan of care, or individualized service plan, that causes or may cause substantial emotional harm or physical injury to, or the death of, a child served by the facility or program as further described by rule or policy; and (B) does not include: (i) the refusal by a person responsible for a child’s care, custody, or welfare to permit the child to remain in or return to the child’s home resulting in the placement of the child in the conservatorship of the department if: (a) [(i)] the child has a severe emotional disturbance; (b) [(ii)] the person’s refusal is based solely on the person’s inability to obtain mental health services necessary to protect the safety and well-being of the child; and (c) [(iii)] the person has exhausted all reasonable means available to the person to obtain the mental health services described by Sub-subparagraph (b); or (ii) allowing the child to engage in independent activities that are appropriate and typical for the child’s level of maturity, physical condition, developmental abilities, or culture [Subparagraph (ii)]. SECTION 6. Section 262.116(a),
Family Code, is amended to read as follows:
(a) The Department of Family and Protective Services may not take possession of a child under this subchapter based on evidence that the parent:
(1) homeschooled the child; (2) is economically disadvantaged; (3) has been charged with a nonviolent misdemeanor offense other than:
(A) an offense under Title 5, Penal Code; (B) an offense under Title 6, Penal Code; or
(C) an offense that involves family violence, as defined by Section 71.004 of this code; (4) provided or administered low-THC cannabis to a child for whom the low-THC cannabis was prescribed under Chapter 169, Occupations Code; [or] (5) declined immunization for the child for reasons of conscience, including a religious belief; (6) allowed the child to engage in independent activities that are appropriate and typical for the child’s level of maturity, physical condition, developmental abilities, or culture; or (7) tested positive for marihuana, unless the department has evidence that the parent’s use of marihuana has caused significant impairment to the child’s physical or mental health or emotional development.
SECTION 7. Section 262.201,
Family Code, is amended by amending Subsections (e), (g), (h), and (n) and adding Subsections (g-1) and (q) to read as follows:
(e) The court may, for good cause shown, postpone the full adversary hearing for not more than seven days from the date of the attorney’s appointment to provide the attorney time to respond to the petition and prepare for the hearing. The court may shorten or lengthen the extension granted under this subsection if the parent and the appointed attorney agree in writing. If the court postpones the full adversary hearing, the court shall extend a temporary order, temporary restraining order, or attachment issued by the court under Section 262.102(a) [or Section 262.1131]
for the protection of the child until the date of the rescheduled ful adversary hearing. (g) In a suit filed under Section 262.101 or 262.105, at the conclusion of the full adversary hearing, the court shall order the return of the child to the parent, managing conservator, possessory conservator, guardian, caretaker, or custodian entitled to possession from whom the child is removed unless the court finds sufficient evidence to satisfy a person of ordinary prudence and caution that: (1) there was a danger to the physical health or safety of the child, including a danger that the child would be a victim of trafficking under Section 20A.02 or 20A.03, Penal Code, which wa caused by an act or failure to act of the person entitled to possession and for the child to remain in the home is contrary to the welfare of the child; (2) the urgent need for protection required the immediate removal of the child and reasonable efforts, consistent with the circumstances and providing for the safety of the child, were made to eliminate or prevent the child’s removal; and (3) reasonable efforts have been made to enable the child to return home, but there is a substantial risk of a continuing danger if the child is returned home. (g-1) In a suit filed under Section 262.101 or 262.105, if the court does not order the return of the child under Subsection (g) and finds that another parent, managing conservator, possessory conservator, guardian, caretaker, or custodian entitled to possession did not cause the immediate danger to the physical health or safety of the child or was not the perpetrator of the neglect or abuse alleged in the suit, the court shall order possession of the child by that person unless the court find sufficient evidence to satisfy a person of ordinary prudence and caution that, specific to each person entitled to possession:
(1) the person cannot be located after the exercise of due diligence by the Department of Family and Protective Services, or the person is unable or unwilling to take possession of the child; or (2) reasonable efforts have been made to enable the person’s possession of the child, but possession by that person presents a continuing danger to the physical health or safety of the child caused by an act or failure to act of the person, including a danger that the child would be a victim of trafficking under Section 20A.02 or 20A.03, Penal Code. (h) In a suit filed under Section 262.101 or 262.105,
if the court finds sufficient evidence to make the applicable finding under Subsection (g) or (g-1) [satisfy a person of ordinary prudence and caution that there is a continuing danger to the physical health or safety of the child and for the child to remain in the home is contrary to the welfare of the child], the court shall issue an appropriate temporary order under Chapter 105. (n) If the [The] court does not order possession of [shall place] a child by a [removed from the child’s custodial parent with the child’s noncustodial] parent, managing conservator, possessory conservator, guardian, caretaker, or custodian entitled to possession under Subsection (g) or (g-1), the court shall place the child [or] with a relative of the child [if placement with the noncustodial parent is inappropriate,] unless the court finds that the placement with [the noncustodial parent or] a relative is not in the best interest of the child. (q) On receipt of a written request for possession of the child from a parent, managing conservator, possessory conservator, guardian, caretaker, or custodian entitled to possession of the child who was not located before the adversary hearing, the Department of Family and Protective Services shall notify the court and request a hearing to determine whether the parent, managingc conservator, possessory conservator, guardian, caretaker, or custodian is entitled to possession of the child under Subsection (g-1). SECTION 8. Section 263.002, Family Code, is amended by amending Subsection (c) and adding Subsection (d) to read as follows: (c) At each permanency hearing before the final order, the court shall review the placement of each child in the temporary managing conservatorship of the department who has not been returned to the child’s home. At the end of the hearing, the court shall order the department to return the child to the child’s parent or parents unless the court finds, with respect to each parent, that: (1) there is a continuing danger to the physical health or safety of the child; and (2) returning the child to the child’s parent or parents [The court shall make a finding on whether returning the child to the child’s home is safe and appropriate, whether the return is in the best interest of the child, and whether it] is contrary to the welfare of the child [for the child to return home]. (d) This section does not prohibit the court from rendering an order under Section 263.403.
SECTION 9. Section 263.401, Family Code, is amended by adding Subsection (b-3) to read as follows: (b-3) A court shall find under Subsection (b) that extraordinary circumstances necessitate the child remaining in the temporary managing conservatorship of the department if:
(1) a parent of a child has made a good faith effort to successfully complete the service plan but needs additional time; and
(2) on completion of the service plan the court intends to order the child returned to the parent.
SECTION 10. Subchapter E, Chapter 263, Family Code, is amended by adding Section 263.4011 to read as follows: Sec. 263.4011.
RENDERING FINAL ORDER; EXTENSION.
(a) On timely commencement of the trial on the merits under Section 263.401, the court shall render a final order not later thanhe90th day after the date the trial commences. (b) The 90-day period for rendering a final order under Subsection (a) is not tolled for any recess during the trial. (c) The court may extend the 90-day period under Subsection (a) for the period the court determines necessary if, after a hearing, the court finds good cause for the extension. If the court grants a good cause extension under this subsection, the court shall render a written order specifying: (1) the grounds on which the extension is granted; and (2) the length of the extension. (d) A party may file a mandamus proceeding if the court fails to render a final order within the time required by this section. SECTION 11.
Section 263.403(a-1), Family Code, is amended to read as follows: (a-1) Unless the court has granted an extension under Section 263.401(b), the department or the parent may request the court to retain jurisdiction for an additional six months as necessary for a parent to complete the remaining requirements under [in] a service plan [and specified] in a transition monitored return under Subsection (a)(2)(B) [the temporary order that are mandatory for the child’s return].
SECTION 12. Section 264.203, Family Code, is amended to read as follows: Sec. 264.203. REQUIRED PARTICIPATION.
(a) The department may file a suit requesting [Except as provided by Subsection (d),] the court to render a temporary [on request of the department may] order requiring the parent, managing conservator, guardian, or other member of the [subject] child’s household to:
(1) participate in the services for which the department makes a referral or services the department provides or purchases for:
(A) alleviating the effects of the abuse or neglect that has occurred; [or]
(B) reducing a continuing danger to the physical health or safety of the child caused by an act or failure to act of he parent, mantaging conservator, guardian, or other member of the child’s household [the reasonable likelihood that the child may be abused or neglected in the immediate or foreseeable future]; or
(C) reducing a substantial risk of abuse or neglect caused by an act or failure to act of the parent, managing conservator, guardian, or member of the child’s household; and
(2) permit the child and any siblings of the child to receive the services. (b) A suit requesting an order under this section may be filed in a court with jurisdiction to hear the suit in the county in which the child is located [The department may request the court to order the parent, managing conservator, guardian, or other member f the child’s household too participate in the services whether the child resides in the home or has been removed from the home]. (c) Except as otherwise provided by this subchapter, the suit is governed by the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure applicable to the filing of an original lawsuit [If the person ordered to participate in the services fails to follow the court’s order, the court may impose appropriate sanctions in order to protect the in health and safety of the child, including the removal of the child as specified by Chapter 262]. (d) The petition shall be supported by a sworn affidavit by person based on personal knowledge and stating facts sufficient to support a finding that: (1) the child has been a victim of abuse or neglect or is at substantial risk of abuse or neglect; and
(2) there is a continuing danger to the physical health or safety of the child caused by an act or failure to act of the parent, managing conservator, guardian, or other member of the child’s household unless that person participates in services requested by the department [If the court does not order the person to participate, the court in writing shall specify the reasons for not ordering participation]. (e) In a suit filed under this section, the court may render a temporary restraining order as provided by Section 105.001.
(f) The court shall hold a hearing on the petition not later than the 14th day after the date the petition is filed unless the court finds good cause for extending that date for not more than 14 days.
(g) The court shall appoint an attorney ad litem to represent the interests of the child immediately after the filing but before the hearing to ensure adequate representation of the child. The attorney ad litem for the child shall have the powers and duties of an attorney ad litem for a child under Chapter 107. (h)
The court shall appoint an attorney ad litem to represent the interests of a parent for whom participation in services is being requested immediately after the filing but before the hearing to ensure adequate representation of the parent. The attorney ad litem for the parent shall have the powers and duties of an attorney ad litem for a parent under Section 107.0131. (i)
Before commencement of the hearing, the court shall inform each parent of: (1) the parent’s right to be represented by an attorney; and (2) for a parent who is indigent and appears in opposition to the motion, the parent’s right to a court-appointed attorney. (j) If a parent claims indigence, the court shall requir the parent to complete and file with the court an affidavit of indigence.
The court may consider additional evidence to determine
whether the parent is indigent, including evidence relating to the parent’s income, source of income, assets, property ownership, benefits paid in accordance with a federal, state, or local public
assistance program, outstanding obligations, and necessary
expenses and the number and ages of the parent’s dependents.
court determines the parent is indigent, the attorney ad litem appointed to represent the interests of the parent may continue the representation. If the court determines the parent is not
indigent, the court shall discharge the attorney ad litem from the
appointment after the hearing and shall order the parent to pay the cost of the attorney ad litem’s representation.
(k) The court may, for good cause shown, postpone any subsequent proceedings for not more than seven days after the date of the attorney ad litem’s discharge to allow the parent to hire an attorney or to provide the parent’s attorney time to prepare for the
(l) An order may be rendered under this section only after notice and hearing.
(m) At the conclusion of the hearing, the court shall deny the petition unless the court finds sufficient evidence to satisfy
a person of ordinary prudence and caution that:
(1) abuse or neglect has occurred or there is a substantial risk of abuse or neglect or continuing danger to the
physical health or safety of the child caused by an act or failure to act of the parent, managing conservator, guardian, or other member of the child’s household; and
(2) services are necessary to ensure the physical health or safety of the child.
(n) If the court renders an order granting the petition, the court shall:
(1) state its findings in the order;
(2) make appropriate temporary orders under Chapter 105 necessary to ensure the safety of the child; and
(3) order the participation in specific services narrowly tailored to address the findings made by the court under
(o) If the court finds that a parent, managing conservator,
guardian, or other member of the child’s household did not cause the
continuing danger to the physical health or safety of the child or
the substantial risk of abuse or neglect, or was not the perpetrator
of the abuse or neglect alleged, the court may not require that
person to participate in services ordered under Subsection (n).
(p) Not later than the 90th day after the date the court
renders an order under this section, the court shall hold a hearing
to review the status of each person required to participate in the
services and the child and the services provided, purchased, or
referred. The court shall set subsequent review hearings every 90
days to review the continued need for the order.
(q) An order rendered under this section expires on the 180th day after the date the order is signed unless the court
extends the order as provided by Subsection (r) or (s).
(r) The court may extend an order rendered under this section on a showing by the department of a continuing need for the order, after notice and hearing. Except as provided by Subsection
(s), the court may extend the order only one time for not more than
(s) The court may extend an order rendered under this
section for not more than an additional 180 days only if:
(1) the court finds that:
(A) the extension is necessary to allow the person required to participate in services under the plan of
service time to complete those services;
(B) the department made a good faith effort to
timely provide the services to the person;
(C) the person made a good faith effort to
complete the services; and
(D) the completion of the services is necessary
to ensure the physical health and safety of the child; and
(2) the extension is requested by the person or the person’s attorney.
(t) At any time, a person affected by the order may request the court to terminate the order. The court shall terminate the
order on finding the order is no longer needed.
The following provisions of the Family Code are
(1) Section 262.113;
(2) Section 262.1131; and
(3) Sections 262.201(b) and (j).
SECTION 14. Section 161.101,
Family Code, as amended by this Act, applies only to a petition or motion filed by the Department of Family and Protective Services on or after the
effective date of this Act.
A petition or motion filed by the
department before that date is governed by the law in effect on the
date the petition or motion was filed, and the former law is continued in effect for that purpose.
The changes in law made by this Act apply only to a suit filed by the Department of Family and Protective Services on or after the effective date of this Act. A suit filed by the department before that date is governed by the law in effect on the date the suit was filed, and the former law is continued in effect
for that purpose.
SECTION 16. This Act takes effect September 1, 2021.
______________________________ ______________________________ President of the Senate Speaker of the House I certify that H.B. No. 567 was passed by the House on April 1, 2021, by the following vote: Yeas 143, Nays 5, 1 present, not voting. ______________________________ Chief Clerk of the House I certify that H.B. No. 567 was passed by the Senate on April 28, 2021, by the following vote: Yeas 31, Nays 0. ______________________________ Secretary of the Senate APPROVED: _____________________ Date _____________________ Governor
Life lessons. Learning the hard way sucks. If you’re a stubborn person, you already know this.
My first job was at a movie theater in a mall. I was 15 years old, working part time, in a suburb of Dallas, where the mall was the local hang out for teenagers. I loved my job, selling movie tickets at the movie theater. At the time the minimum wage was $3.35/hr which was, at least in today’s terms, an unbelievably low wage. Of course that was a simpler time.
My best friend, John, was older than me, and we would run around after I got off work at the mall. One night, we decided to leave through the Sears Department Store exit to the lot he parked in. We ran into a friend of ours (can’t even recall his name) who was browsing in the music section. As we all stood around and talked, the guy slipped a cassette tape in his pocket before we walked out.
Yes, I saw him do it but I dismissed it, turning to leave with John and him. As we left the mall to walk out to the parking lot, we were stopped just before we were about to get into the car. It was mall security. They also saw the guy steal the tape.
We were corralled into a little office where monitors hung on the wall for the cctv cameras. I was scared.i was also defiant. After all, I hadn’t done anything wrong, I thought.
Being only 15 years old, and the only one of the 3 of us who was under age, that meant a call to my father. I knew that meant I’d be in trouble. I pleaded my case, “I didn’t do it” I”I didn’t steal anything!”
They rewound the tape and we all watched as the three of us stood in a group talking, the guy slipped the tape in his pocket, and we tried to leave.
“See- it was him, not me”.I cried.
That’s when the officer said to me, “but you watched him steel it, and did nothing to stop him” … You are guilty by association.
I’ll never forget that night and recently, John found me again, and as we talked and reminisced about the times we had 35 years ago, I asked him if he remembered that night. We laughed about it now that we’re in middle age.
Guilt by association.
parental Alienation is defined as a set of strategies that a parent (or other person with influence over a child’s life) uses to foster a child’s rejection of the other parent. Parental alienation syndrome develops in children who come to hate, fear, and reject the targeted parent as someone unworthy of having a relationship with them. This is since independent of any negative or harmful accu of that parent, such as committing acts of child abuse or neglect.
When a child is alienated from his out her absent parent, the effects are tremendous. They are long lasting – and passed on, sometimes over many generations. The effects are so tragic that it can destroy relationships between a parent and child beyond repair . It can lead to a letting filled with psychological problems as the child grows into adulthood, ranging from substance abuse, self harm, suicide ideologies, relationship issues and more. A myriad of dysfunctionality throughout the child’s entire life.
It is one of the most harmful acts of abuse to alienate a child from a loving parent. Usually the risk of highest during a messy divorce or custody battle. The alienation can involve not only the child and the targeted parent, but also, extended members of the child’s family. It is not an invisible abuse, though it is gradual and takes place over time. The term “brainwashing” is often used o describe the alienation, and comparisons between parental alienation and tactics of cult leaders brainwashing their cult members are often made. The child is put in a position to hate or feel ambivalent about the other parent, choosing the alienater over the targeted parent.
How does this pertain to my teenage mall security story? The lesson of guilt by association.
When defining Parental Alienation and Parental Alienation Syndrome, there are certain manifestations that are universally common among cases despite the difference in the tactics used.
The first step towards stopping Parental Alienation is too be able to recognize parental alienation.
Symptom 1. The “Campaign of Denigration”. First, the campaign of denigration refers to the one being waged by the accusing parent in his or her indoctrination to the child. The other component, however,it is this second component of the first symptom that is seen, manifested in the child himself, which is critical in understanding how the alienation begins. This is the child’s own contribution towards this denigration.
Symptom 2: Weak or Frivolous Rationalizations for the Deprecation of the child’s relationship with the targeted parent. This typically refers to a child offering up trivial reasons for not wanting to be in a relationship with what is now known as the targeted or unfavored parent. During the evaluative process in the context of divorce when parental alienation is present, the alienated child is invariably asked why they do not wish to see the once loved, now unfavored parent.
Symptom 3: Lack of Ambivalence in the child’s emotions with regard to the targeted parent. This symptom refers to the child having no emotional connection to the targeted or unfavored parent. In some respects, this symptom can be a little misleading since severely alienated children can express hatred for the target parent, which is a connection, albeit not a loving one.The term “ambivalence” has a special meaning within the world of psychiatry, psychology and psychotherapy. It refers to a remaining emotional positive connection between a person and what is referred to as a “love object” which is a psychoanalytic way of saying, the other person, even in moments of anger and conflict.
Symptom 4: Independent Thinker Phenomenon. The Independent Thinker Phenomenon refers to the consistent behavior seen in alienated children where they claim that their resistance to seeing the unfavored or targeted parent derives from their own independent thought and is not the result of the other parent’s influence. Very often, this symptoms appears as the child – very much out of the blue – announces that no one told them to say this, and that this is his or her own thought. The significance of this “out of context” expression is that it reveals an agenda, on the part of the child, to carry out their assignment of arguingthat their resistance to seeing the unfavored parent is their independent thought that this thought is not result of the influence of the other parent.
Whilethese two components are in many ways overlapping, their separate expression is consistent with the kind of urgency that only alienated children experience. The purpose of this symptom is to convince the audience – very often court appointees – that they should not have to see their once loved parent.
Within the context of parental dispute, be it divorce or post divorce, unless there as been actual abuse and or neglect in the extreme, children will typically contort themselves to not takes sides in the parental dispute. If a child feels one parent is being ganged up on in some way, they will often go to their aid and support their position
Symptom 5: The Reflexive Support of the Alienating Parent in the Parental Conflict. Within the context of parental dispute, be it divorce or post divorce, unless there as been actual abuse and or neglect in the extreme, children will typically contort themselves to not takes sides in the parental dispute. If a child feels one parent is being ganged up on in some way, they will often go to their aid and support their position.
Symptom 6: Absence of Guilt over Cruelty to and/or Exploitation of the Alienated Parent. This symptom is typically found in the more severe end of the spectrum of parental alienation. It is manifested through the alienated child’s angry and critical tirades against the targeted parent.
Under these circumstances, the severely alienated child will hurl hateful and demeaning comments directly to the targeted parent and will express or experience no guilt or remorse for doing so.
Symptom 7: The Presence of Borrowed Scenarios. One of the most common examples of “The Presence of Borrowed Scenarios” is when an alienated child announces that the targeted parent did not want for them to be born, and that they wanted the mother to have an abortion. This obviously could have only come from the alienating parent or her minions.
This symptom may also be identified by the age inappropriate use of language by children. For example, a 4 year old child saying that she had nightmares when she was at her father’s house (the targeted parent in this particular case). When asked about her nightmares, she said that she did not know, and that I should ask her mother because this is who told her that she was having nightmares at her dad’s..
Borrowed scenarios may also be thought of as being the result of coaching. The notion of coaching, that is the alienating parent, either directly or indirectly saying things to the child for the purpose of negatively influencing their perception of the targeted parent, is a hallmark of the alienation process
Symptom 8: The Spread of the Animosity to the Friends and/or Extended Family of the Alienated Parent. The last symptom, the eighth symptom of Parental Alienation is The Spread of the Animosity to the Friends and/or Extended Family of the Alienated Parent. With this symptom, we see once loved grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins being rejected by the alienated child.
I recommend reading the entire 8 part series, a very good read and source of information. By clicking here.
As one can only imagine, the process of these eight symptoms and their development when a child is indoctrinated, especially in severe cases. It takes time. This process is far from instant, and it can even take years to truly manifest. The situations all differ depending on the circumstances and the influence the alienater has over the child.
At first, it may be unnoticed or dismissed at first by others. Maybe they are not immediately involved in the child’s life to se the abuse. such as the extended family members who live only visit from time to time. Maybe the initial lack of attention to the abuse fail to seewhat is going on is due to a lack of education in the topic, or maybe a lack of compassion is the reason, or fear of the abuser. Only knowledge and the desire to intervene will prove helpful if done in time, before the harm is set in. However, most alienaters are narcissists and, as such, narcissists will only surround themselves with people who are either so charmed by them that they blindly believe every word they say is true or people who have learned that it’s easier to keep their mouths shut rather than reap the wrath of expressing an opposing opinion. That being said, If you’re a targeted parent, it’s a painful realization that the abuse kicked into high gear was only possible with the help of enablers, some of whom may even have stooped so low as to deliver a few blows themselves.
in my case, the abuse went even further since 2 of my 3 older brothers are attorneys. The abuse came from our mother, towards myself via my child. My brothers have such a close relationship with our mother, that it would be impossible to imagine that they didn’t know what was going on. They have not spoken to me since my son was taken, and they knew quite well that my son was kept hidden from me. My oldest brother “represented” my mother in an incredibly painful 14 year custody battle over my daughter when my mother intervened during my divorce from her father. The money wasted in that case could have put both my kids through college. My son’s father is in prison so without him to contend with, getting rid of me was fairly simple with the backing of my entire birth family, who all enabled the abuse. They are GUILTY OF THE ABUSE AS WELL, under the doctrine of guilt by association. That lesson I learned in high school.
What do you think? What life lesson changed your perspective throughout life?
Leave a comment and tell me what you think, or share your story. We would love to hear it. Knowledge is power.
It was 4 days before Christmas, 2004, when I arrived at my scheduled visit with my 8 year old son. The visitation center was getting ready to be closed until after the new year. I waited, and waited. I had driven over two hours in sleet and snow with an arm full of presents to give him for the holiday.
After about a half hour or so, the Director of Collin County CPS, Claudia King, came in to inform me that there would be no visit that day. When I asked why, she told me he “forgot” it was visitation day. I knew that could not be true.
When she proceeded to tell me it would be after the New Year before I could reschedule, I threw a fit and threatened to file emergency court papers if I did not get to see my son that week, before Christmas. She finally agreed to reschedule for the following day. Her reluctance was a red flag to me so I came the next day with a tape recorder and camera.
When my son arrived the following day, he was scantily clothed in a pair of shorts and a cut off red t shirt that had no sleeves. He wore no socks, and no jacket, and it was snowing that day. He had a pair of mittens on, pink girl mittens. His shirt had blood all over it. He had dried up blood in his nose. His eye was freshly cut, near his brow, and blood filed the whites of his eyeball.
The following are notes from that visit and the audio can be downloaded here.
I had only one more visit with him after that – a few months later.
It would be more than ten years before I was able to see him, or talk to him again. Once he was an adult. It was more than a decade after this and one other visit before I was allowed to see so much as a photograph of my son.
It was this visit that uncovered the abuse he suffered in that home. It was this visit that haunted me and became the story, “It’s Almost Tuesday”
I tell every family involved in the system that my advice, most of all, is to record as much as you can. Record everything!
If I hadn’t recorded this visit, I wouldn’t have been able to go back and listen to what he was telling me. I wouldn’t have had the proof of the abuse which my lawyer had to leverage good release from foster care.
Unfortunately my was released into the custody of our abuser and the parental alienation and brainwashing was set in motion. Our sacred mother/child bond was severed and our lives destroyed. my relationship with my son – as it stands today- (almost 2 decades later) is, I am almost certain, beyond repair. Barring a miracle.
Regardless, my child in these audio recordings was taken from me and forever gone. Nothing can give back that time. No amount of money, apologies, sanctions, not God, not Satan, not a judge, social worker- not a single person or thing can give back my little boy.
The best I got back was an adult version of my son, who is as broken as I am. Or more broken as I am. I don’t know hope broken he really is, and I may never know.
That haunts me every single day of my existence.
As for me, I was murdered in cold blood, just because I haven’t taken my final breath yet does not mean I was not murdered.
He was 8 years old in the following three audio recordings.
: Part 1
: Part 3
Below are notes from the transcript of these audio recordings.
The time stamps are the markers for each note.
Thank you for your support over the years.
4:25 my child tells me that he was not there the day before this visit.
he was told that i never showed up the day before which was not
true. I was there the day before to visit him and had been lied to
by the director, Claudia King when she told me the day before that my son “forgot” that he had a visit.
5:30 my son describes the 3 of the other foster kids ganging up on him
and the incident that occurred when they threw rocks at him in
front of the foster mother
6:20 my son says “i’ve learned how to control my anger” he says – who has told him he needs to learn how to control his anger? That means to me that he’s getting angry and someone’s saying “You need to learn to control your anger!”
7:10 He asks “what sister?” . henn i ask about his visit and he tells
me he sprained his ankle playing dodge ball at PE – Was he taken
to the doctor?
7:56 I’m really ja…. piped up right now” he says … sounded like he
was gonna say “jacked up” but he said “piped up” where did he
learn those words?
8:39 – describes how they gave him pills he’s not supposed to take because they “forgot” and how it triggers his muscles and he can’t control his hands, and how it keeps him “going and going and going” and how its a “good thing” – is he being told in there that making my son a drug addict is a good thing?
14:28 I tell him to wear more clothes than sleeveless top and wet pants in the snow – he says that’s all the clothes he has, the rest are in the wash.
15:10 he shows me the camera he bought with a $50 gift card from a party (a party??)
The caseworker takes photos with the camera – I would
like to have a copy of all pictures taken with that camera.
16:50 talks about being afraid to plug things in since being at his
cousins… and cuts off into totally separate topics, obvious
effect from the drugs of “speeding”
22:20 Argues with me about playing with fake guns and talks about the target his foster father set up and how his foster brother can shoot it “in the heart” over and over again. He says “everybody plays with fake guns”
24:30 mentions how foster parents don’t have much money. He said he got his foster sister to take pictures of his eye when he got beat up
… who is the foster sister? where are the pictures?
he says the foster mother doesn’t look at the pictures they take.
25:15 He says he’s got a cold (did he go to the doctor?)
25:52 he says “I just want to hug you” and says “I only have a few more
months until I’m out of foster care” he tells me that he won’t
have to stay more than a year to a year and 1/2. Who is telling
him this?? He says he worries that it’ll be too long before he
gets out that they’re tearing apart his life.
26.55 his Daddy (stepfather) calls, and they won’t allow him to say
Merry Christmas, even supervised. Ryan gets upset and starts crying. I tell Ryan his daddy misses him and he says “I miss him too”.
28:08 hear people crying in the background.
28:27 I tell him to be strong and tell him that alot of people love him.
28:29 Everything time I go home from a visit i just scream at my foster mom
Cuz each time she walks in, it’s not you.
20:55 You okay?
What are you thinking I’ll give you a penny for your thought?
He said I don’t know what I’m thinking – – well, i’ve been having visions. he talks about “visions” he’s been having, like the kind of visions Jesus Christ has.
Parental alienation Syndrome (PAS) is a controversial term introduced by child psychiatrist Richard Gardner in 1985 to describe a distinctive suite of behaviors in children that includes – showing extreme, but unwarranted, fear, disrespect or hostility towards a parent.
Parental alienation is the intentional targeting of a parent by the other parent to interfere in the parent/child relationship. This can also be perpetrated by another non-parent adult or caregiver who is present in the child’s life.
In its severest form it is referred to as”obsessed alienation”.
Parental Alienation Syndrome has been described as the brainwashing of the child’s mind, much like a cult leader would brainwash the cult members.
It is an intentional act with the goal being the interference with the relationship and affections between a child and the targeted parent.
This is a progressive unhinging of the affections, and an ongoing abuse that is difficult to detect. The longer the alienation is allowed to continue, the more damaging the long term effects will be.
If the alienation is allowed to continue uninterrupted for too long, the relationship can become so damaged it is irreparable.
Without strict intervention the parent/child bond will be unfixable. The bond will be forever severed.
In my case, the alienation began when my son turned 8 and we had been forced to move back to the same state my family lived in after my husband and I separated in 2003.
I became the targeted parent in 2004 in an unnatural campaign of hate by my own mother. She was, and still is, bitterly angry at me for reasons that had nothing to do with my son.
She also has unresolved issues from her own childhood.
Additionally, my older brothers, (two of which are successful attorneys in Texas) enabled her.
They continue to enable her to this very day.
She teamed up with my ex-husband and abuser, despite full knowledge that he was under investigation for multiple sex crimes against children. She partnered up with him, knowing I had a domestic violence permanent protective order against him to protect me and my son from being abused by him again.
The two of them – my own birth mother and my abuser ( let that sink in) worked together, and conspired and planned for several years, to ABDUCT my son, which they did on May 2, 2004.
They took him from church on mother’s day.
Again, think about that and let that sink in.
Imagine as a mother, having your 8 year old child, whom you’ve protected for those 8 years from an abusive man, taken from CHURCH ON MOTHER’S DAY, never to return home again...
The trauma is unbelievable.
The anger at God for failing to protect my child in His house of worship, and at my own blood family who stood idly by and allowed it to happen, is unquenchable.
Particularly because, as attorneys, I know they were able to stop it, but they didn’t.
In fact, since the day he was taken my three brothers and sister have not spoken one word to me . I became, effectively, erased.
I’ve spent years wondering why they didn’t stop her. Why I am so disposable to them..?
Big brothers are supposed to protect their baby sisters.
Right? So where were my brothers when I needed them?
When court ordered by the judge to return my son to me, they voluntarily placed my son in foster care to keep him from coming home.
He was abused in foster care.
As a defense, my mother and ex made false allegations of horrific acts of child abuse against me. The claims of abuse were brutal. Those allegations of abuse against me were never substantiated.
Had they been true, I would have been a monster to ever do anything to my child. I didn’t even believe in spanking my children. If anything, I was overprotective.
In retrospect, my (fatal) mistake was a belief that if i was truly innocent (which I was), then the system would not wrongly convict me.
I believed that without concrete proof of abuse, they would not take away my parental rights. I was a good, loving, attentive parent.
In other words, I believed in the system.
I believed in the United States Constitution and the rights of families to raise our children free of government interference.
I believed the government protected those rights.
I believed in the law.
I believed that cases were judged by their merit and on the weight of the evidence presented.
I had been foolishly NAIVE.
I learned the hard way that merit had nothing to do with it.
Until I saw for myself, first hand, I would have never known how crooked and corrupt the system can be.
I had no idea how flawed the family court system really is.
By the time I figured all of that out, it was too late.
Nevertheless the entire process of losing my son, and the campaign of alienation was so strong and severe (see obsessed alienation) it extended into my entire family.
My two brothers who are attorneys, my other brother and my sister, and all of their spouses, ALL failed to intervene . None of them attempted to stop the tactics my mother and ex had employed.
All of the members of my family knew the allegations against me were false and that my ex was under investigation for sex crimes.
It was over ten years before I saw or talked to my son again. I still have no contact whatever with any of my family. They are all in my son’s life though and I am not.
By the time I saw my son again- it was at my father’s wake. My father passed away in May of 2010- 5 years later – my son was not my little boy anymore but the shell of a damaged young man.
He has been on a self destructive path ever since.
The grief associated with the loss of a child to P.A.S. is an experience so painful and deep. The loss is called ambiguous or an unresolved loss.
This type of loss is often described as an “ambiguous loss,” which is a term used to describe the nature of trauma, grief or mourning people endure when they have experienced a loss that is open-ended. (Boss, 1990).
Targeted Parents encountering alienation from their children are experiencing an open-ended loss. This type of loss is often times more difficult to come to terms with than the grief of morning a death.
When someone we love passes, the absence of the person is final and the mourner recognizes this finality.
In dealing with my grief, I have said many times that if my son had died, I could have layed him to rest, and grieved. I could have moved on, with a place to visit him, at his grave.
Of course I have heard the argument that as long as he is still alive, he is somewhere out there in the world. There is hope of a future in that. But is there?
At first, i believed that one day it would happen.
I visualized it.
We would embrace.
We would talk through the night, tell each other our stories and life experiences while we had been apart.
We would compare notes and both understand what happened to us.
We would hug and cry and get to know each other again. Then, one day, it happened.
I did reunite with my son. It was, to me, glorious, but not at all as I imagined.
He refused to talk about what happened, so I never have been able to tell him my side of things.
Instead he spoke of tall tales. Experiences that he has had that I can’t imagine could have been real.
He didn’t engage me, but talked over me and through me. He told me things almost to see if he could shock me.
He was a stranger.
It was only after that first reunification, that I saw how the years of brainwashing he endured (and STILL endures) have damaged him. Our bond that was once so close, was gone.
In fact, the harm done was so incredibly deep that I am struggling to accept that my years of hope had been nothing more than an illusion.
Is this really what my mother wanted to do to us? Did my family really think we deserve this pain?
Finding my son again only led to me losing him again.
It has been almost 17 years since our loss and I am grieving today, as deep, if not deeper than the day he went to church and never came home.
I lost him.
The physical effects of Grief
A range of studies reveal the powerful effects grief can have on the body.
The following two pictures are of me before I lost my son, and during the initial months after he had been taken. In the moment of the most stressful times. (Warning, that picture is graphic, but an honest representation of the whole body response to stress and grief).
I was so affected by the loss of my son, my friends described me as “disconnected” when they talked to me. I spent the first few months writing over 1500 letters to anyone I could think of desperately begging for help. I would not allow myself even a moment to rest. I felt like I didn’t deserve to rest while my son was locked away in foster care.
The stress from the grief quickly landed me in a hospital having emergency surgery. The doctors had to drain an antibiotic-resistant infection from my eye socket and nasal cavities. The doctors said if it had reached my brain, it would have killed me. They said I was hours away from deaths door by the time I got to the emergency room.
It took almost a year before the scars on my face faded and I could bear to look in the mirror again.
I never was the same again. You can see it in the after picture below, I was dead inside.
I became someone new.
I became a mother, murdered.
I became “she”.
Broken heart syndrome
The heartbreak of grief can increase blood pressure and the risk of blood clots. Intense grief can alter the heart muscle so much that it causes “broken heart syndrome,” a form of heart disease with the same symptoms as a heart attack.
Stress: What is it, exactly?
Stress links the emotional and physical aspects of grief.
The systems in the body that process physical and emotional stress overlap, and emotional stress can activate the nervous system as easily as physical threats can.
When stress becomes chronic, increased adrenaline and blood pressure can contribute to chronic medical conditions.
Depression is a mood disorder, not a normal part of grief
Depression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. Also called major depressive disorder or clinical depression, it affects how you feel, think and behave and can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems.
Depression is not a normal part of grief, but a complication of grief.
Depression also raises the risk of health complications and often, requires treatment to resolve. Therefore, it is important to know how to recognize its symptoms.
Sidney Zisook, MD, a grief researcher and professor of psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego, says people can distinguish normal grief from depression by looking for specific emotional patterns.
“In normal grief, the sad thoughts and feelings typically occur in waves or bursts followed by periods of respite, as opposed to the more persistent low mood and agony of major depressive disorder,” Zisook says.
He says people usually retain “self-esteem, a sense of humor, and the capacity to be consoled or distracted from the pain” in normal grief, while people who are depressed struggle with feelings of guilt and feeling worthless.
They also feel a limited ability “to experience or anticipate any pleasure or joy.”
Complicated grief differs from both depression and normal grief. M. Katherine Shear, MD, a professor of psychiatry at Columbia University’s School of Social Work and director of its Center for Complicated Grief, defines complicated grief as
“a form of persistent, pervasive grief” that does not get better naturally.
It happens when “some of the natural thoughts, feelings, or behaviors that occur during acute grief gain a foothold and interfere with the ability to accept the reality of the loss.”
What are the Symptoms of Complicated Grief?
Symptoms of complicated grief include persistent efforts to ignore the grief and deny or “rewrite” what happened.
Complicated grief increases the risk of physical and mental health problems like depression, anxiety, sleep issues, suicidal thoughts and behaviors, and physical illness.
Margaret Stroebe, PhD, a bereavement researcher and professor of clinical psychology at Utrecht University, says that recent research has shed light on many of “the cognitive and emotional processes underlying complications in grieving, particularly rumination.”
Research shows that rumination, or a repetitive, negative, self-focused thought, is actually a way to avoid problems.
People who ruminate shift attention away from painful truths by focusing on negative material that is less threatening than the truths they want to avoid.
This pattern of thinking is strongly associated with depression.
Rumination and other forms of avoidance demand energy and block the natural abilities of the body and mind to integrate new realities and heal.
Enduring the experience of parental alienation is also a profound psychological trauma experienced by the targeted parents. It is both acute and chronic, and externally inflicted. It is thus a type of domestic violence directed at the target parent. The fact that children witness such abuse of a parent also makes alienation a form of child abuse. The events that plunge a parent into the role of an alienated, targeted parent is especially damaging to those who are closely attached to their children and were actively involved in their lives.
Research by Stroebe, and others show that avoidance behavior makes depression, complicated grief, and the physical health problems that go with them more likely. Efforts to avoid the reality of loss can cause fatigue, weaken your immune system, increase inflammation, and prolong other ailments.
A Vicious Cycle of Passing on Childhood Traumas
Parental alienation is also a form of complex trauma. It is no coincidence that the pathology of the parent who engages in alienation is often born in complex trauma from the childhood of that parent, and that the current processes of attachment-based parental alienation are transferring onto the targeted parent a form of complex trauma. From a psychodynamic perspective, the processes of parental alienation represent a reenactment of the childhood attachment trauma of the alienating parent into the current family relationships.
When my mother was, herself, a child, she endured the loss of both parents. As an infant, her father passed away from a plane crash which decapitated him at the young age of 30.
My grandfather was the pilot of the plane that went down, killing him and leaving three young children without a father. The time period was the early 1930’s. It was a difficult time with WWI ending and with third Reich and Adolph Hitler’s Nazi Regime rising power in Germany.
The youngest of three children, my mother didn’t remember losing her father, but was only told about his death by her paternal grandmother. She had taken the three children following her son’s death, and kept them hidden away from their widowed mother who eventually died of cancer at age 39. In effect, my mother never knew either one of her parents, and developed psychiatric malformaties from the attachment traumas resulting from the loss of both parents in her own childhood.
Understanding that, I can understand where her own twisted justifications came from for taking my child. My mother is an extremely damaged woman as the direct result of being orphaned as a child. Still, knowing doesn’t make it less painful, heal it or make it any easier to come to terms with.
In fact, it’s the opposite. It is exactly her sad history of own traumatic childhood experiences that make it obvious to anyone looking in who knows her (such as my three older brothers and my older adopted sister) . They all know that what she’s done to me is wrong and she should have been forced to get help for her own issues rather than to be allowed to transfer them onto me via alienating my son from me. They know her family history. There is no excuse that any of them did nothing to stop her.
in my opinion, they are even more guilty of the P.A.S. abuse, as she is obviously sick and so sick, as a matter of fact, that she doesn’t even see it. A true indication it’s mental illness. My siblings, though, can all see it. They all know all too well how broken and mentally disturbed she is.
My father took care of her until his death, even though they were divorced, because, as he’d say, “I take care of her because I can remember her before she was so crazy”.
If any of them had stopped her, I might still have a relationship with my son. If any one of them had stopped her my son might have been able to grow up without being abused and traumatized by her.
I have heard from people who knew our family say that ‘if it weren’t for your mother, you might have actually had a good life.” and “She ruined your life, and you had such potential.” and “How sad it is what she did to you and your children”
I can’t count the times I’ve heard people say things like that.
People THAT KNEW HER.
Truth is, she murdered me with the full assistance of my brothers and sister.
Particularly me oldest brother, who actively funded and facilitated her murdering me. I may still be breathing but what she did, with my brother’s help, absolutely killed me.
If I could, I wouldd have them charged with the crime of murder.
It is vital for targeted parents to find ways of coping with the attachment-based complex trauma of parental alienation.
They must strive to achieve the triumph of light over the darkness of trauma, and find their way out of the trauma experience being inflicted upon them. They must free themselves from the imposed trauma experience, restoring their psychological health within the immense emotional trauma of their grief and loss.
As much as targeted parents desperately want to save their children, they cannot rescue their children from the quicksand by jumping into the quicksand with them. If they do, they will both perish.
When i first lost my son, I was obsessively dedicated to fighting the system that allowed for him to be taken.
I spent thousands of dollars and worked tirelessly to file pleadings, write letters, join causes and support groups. You name it, I tried it.
In my obsession, I would say, “my son, [his name], repeatedly emphasising that he was MY SON, MY son. MY SON.
After some time, when the realizations began that said he wouldn’t be coming home .. he became my son (less his name), to my boy, the boy, the child.
I began to de-sensitive myself from being a mother of a child would never be coming home.
When [you lose] someone close to you – or someone close to you dies, your social role changes, too. This can affect your sense of meaning and sense of self.
Caregivers face especially complicated role adjustments. The physical and emotional demands of caregiving can leave them feeling depleted even before a loved one dies, and losing the person they took care of can leave them with a lost sense of purpose.
“Research shows that during intense caregiving periods, caregivers not only experience high levels of stress, they also cannot find the time and energy to look after their own health,” says Kathrin Boerner, PhD, a bereavement researcher and professor of gerontology at the University of Massachusetts in Boston.
This can result in the emergence of new or the reemergence of existing ‘dormant’ health problems after the death of the care recipient. These health issues may or may not be directly related to the caregiver’s grief experience, but they are likely related to the life situation that was created through the demands of caregiving,” Boerner says.
It can be hard to make life work again after a close family member dies. Losing a partner can mean having to move out of a shared home or having to reach out to other loved ones for help, which can further increase emotional stress and worry.
Strobe says the stress of adjusting to changes in life and health during and after a loss can “increase vulnerability and reduce adaptive reserves for coping with bereavement.”
Emotional and physical self-care are essential ways to ease complications of grief and boost recovery.
Exercising, spending time in nature, getting enough sleep, and talking to loved ones can help with physical and mental health.
“Most often, normal grief does not require professional intervention,” says Zisook.
“Grief is a natural, instinctive response to loss, adaptation occurs naturally, and healing is the natural outcome,” especially with “time and the support of loved ones and friends.”
Grief researchers emphasize that social support, self-acceptance, and good self-care usually help people get through normal grief. Shear encourages people to “plan small rewarding activities and try to enjoy them as much as possible.”
But the researchers say people need professional help to heal from complicated grief and depression.
“The thing about grief and depression and sorrow and being suicidal is that you can’t reach out.
For many people going through a hard time, reaching out is impossible. If your friend is in grief, reach out to them. Do the legwork. They’re too exhausted!”
When Ties to a Parent Are Cut by the Other
Credit…Sylwia Kapuscinski for The New York Times
By Michael Winerip
Sept. 23, 2007
THIS is a nice moment in Joe Rabiega’s life. At 31, he has a good job as a research coordinator for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is happily married and feels blessed that his wife of five years, Tiffany, is pregnant with their first child.
His hope is to give that child a happier upbringing than the one he had. Mr. Rabiega’s parents divorced when he was 8, and though they were supposed to share custody, he said, his father, a truck driver with a drinking problem, did everything possible to turn him against his mother and eventually kept him from seeing her.
“He bullied my mother into giving up custody,” Mr. Rabiega said. When he was still allowed to visit his mother, he’d have to stay by the phone to take a call from his father at 4 every afternoon and 8 each evening. He said his father trained him to spy on his mother’s socializing and spending habits.
“His ability to manipulate her was so lopsided, it never got to the point where a court heard it,” he said in a phone interview. “His threats of violence made it clear she’d never get me.”
Continue reading the main story
For several years, he said, until his late teens, he didn’t see his mother and believed everything his father said about her.
“He took me to the police station and told them my mother abandoned me, even though it was completely not true,”
Mr. Rabiega said. “He had the entire neighborhood convinced that my mother no longer wanted me.
“He had me convinced without him, I had nobody,” Mr. Rabiega said. “When he’d been drinking, he’d get out his gun and threaten to kill himself if I left him.”
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It wasn’t until Mr. Rabiega was an adult that he began to see his mother in a different light, he said. “She was a seamstress in a garment factory who didn’t graduate from high school. She was weak, no one to guide her, no money, no education, no resources to fight for me.” At one point, he said, she attempted suicide.
Mr. Rabiega is one of 40 research subjects in a new book by Amy J. L. Baker, about parents who turn a child against the other parent, “Adult Children of Parental Alienation Syndrome.” Dr. Baker, the research director of the Vincent J. Fontana Center for Child Protection at the New York Foundling, does not identify the subjects by their real names, but Mr. Rabiega (called Jonah in the book) agreed to let his name be used for this column. “If this can help people, it’s worth it,” he said. “I really compare what I went through to people who are kidnapped and brainwashed.”
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Most people would agree that one parent has the power to turn a child against the other parent; however, classifying the behavior as a mental health syndrome, as Dr. Baker does, has met with considerable criticism in the past.
“It’s been a very controversial area,” said Dr. Baker, 48, who lives in Teaneck, N.J., and has a doctorate in psychology from Teachers College at Columbia.
Dr. Baker’s book is written in an academic style and sticks closely to the stories of the 40 adult subjects, ages 19 to 67, who describe being wrongfully manipulated by a parent.
It is an attempt to take the sensationalism out of the subject. Accusations of such manipulation have been an issue during high-profile celebrity custody battles, like the ones involving Woody Allen and Mia Farrow and Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger.
There is none of that in Dr. Baker’s book, which includes a seven-page bibliography of scholarly research. Instead, she tells the stories of ordinary people like Mr. Rabiega, struggling into their adult years with the damage they describe from having been manipulated into hating a parent.
While most research has focused on children, Dr. Baker looks at these children once they’ve become adults. A key question she set out to answer: Do any of these kids grow up and figure it out? “That I can answer yes,” she said. “I can’t say how prevalent it is, but I have found lots of people.”
Some of what she found undercut earlier research. When therapists first described the behavior in the 1980s, they talked about it as manipulation by mothers to punish fathers. This drew criticism from some women’s groups, who dismissed the syndrome as something concocted by lawyers for abusive fathers trying to improve their custody chances.
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Dr. Baker said her research — both for the book and with several hundred subjects over the last five years — indicates a mother or father is equally likely to do the manipulating. It is “truly 50-50,” she said.
Other patterns emerged from her 40 subjects: 75 percent were the products of divorce, and 58 percent were divorced themselves;
70 percent suffered depression; 35 percent developed problems with drugs or alcohol.
And perhaps the saddest: Half of the 28 who had children said they were estranged from their own children.
Dr. Baker believes the behavior is prevalent enough to qualify as a syndrome in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the bible of the American Psychiatric Association. While that’s not going to happen soon — the manual won’t be revised again until 2012 — she hopes her research might cause social workers and therapists who investigate custody cases to be more aware.
“If you believe it’s possible for a child to be brainwashed by one parent, the job of a custody evaluator is a lot harder,” she said.
The challenges in such cases can be daunting. How do you know if the scorned parent is being unfairly victimized or if that parent is abusive and deserves to be scorned? “It’s a lot of investigating, and there’s no one definitive tool,” Dr. Baker said.
Some of that investigative muscle is missing from her own research. Dr. Baker did not interview parents for their version of events, nor did she cite independent sources like court records that could corroborate the stories.
“I did what I could,” she said. “This is just one study. It’s a very new field and there’s little research. The point is to give voice to these people who have not been heard.”
It is also hard to get people to talk publicly about family dysfunction. Mr. Rabiega was willing to speak partly because both his parents are dead.
He said that when he was in his 20s, he again developed a relationship with his mother, but that his father’s “brainwashing” had been so strong, he couldn’t entirely overcome it.
“It was hard for me to fully love my mom,” he said. “If she needed me to do something or needed money, I didn’t want to and I’d get angry. My father implanted a disgust and disdain in me for my mother that wouldn’t go away and tainted our relationship.”
Ten years of therapy helped, he said, as did his wife and finding religion. “It helped when I reconnected with my mom, she held nothing against me,” he said. “She reiterated it was my father’s fault, and I had no choice.”
“Unfortunately,” he said, “I realized a lot after my mother died.”
If you are accused of child abuse, what does that mean? When I was a child, it was common practice to get a spanking, or whopping. It was called discipline.
Now days, spanking your child can get your child taken away from you and suddenly you are labeled an abuser for trying to teach your child tight from wrong. Where do we draw the line? Do parents have to live in fear of disciplining their own child?
What about neglect? CPS often uses the term “neglectful supervision” to justify their reason for involvement in a family’s life. That’s a very elastic term, what does it mean? How do you tell the difference between neglect and simply poverty?
If a family cannot afford to get the child school supplies or new clothes are they really being neglectful?
Let’s take a look at what the experts and the law says is child abuse and neglect.
In defining child maltreatment, experts have focused on both broad parameters and specific types or subgroups of child abuse and neglect.
C. Henry Kempe and colleagues’ “battered child syndrome” identified physical injuries perpetrated on the child by caregivers.
Vincent Fontana’s “maltreatment syndrome” included neglect in the definition of child abuse.
The American Bar Association Juvenile Justice Standards Project defined child abuse as a non-accidental injury that “causes or creates a substantial risk of causing disfigurement, impairment of bodily functioning, or other serious physical injury.”
A group of professionals in child welfare defined “emotional neglect” as the “parent’s refusal to recognize and take action to ameliorate a child’s identified emotional disturbance.”‘
Another definition of child abuse includes sexual abuse as “the sexual misuse of a child for an adult’s own gratification without proper concern for the child’s psychosexual development.”
The federal government’s legal definition of child abuse and neglect comes under the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (Public Law 100-294).
This included child physical and mental abuse, sexual abuse and exploitation, and neglect by a person responsible for the child’s health and welfare.
The Child Abuse Amendments of 1984 (Public Law 98-457) expanded the definition of child abuse and neglect to include “the withholding of medical treatment to an infant with a life threatening health condition or complication.”
The National Association of Public Child Welfare Administrators’ definition of child abuse and neglect further defined child maltreatment in a broad level as “any recent act or failure to act on the part of a parent or caretaker, which results in death or serious physical, sexual, or emotional harm or presents an imminent risk of serious harm to a person under age 18.”
Critics of the sometimes confusing, inconsistent, plethora of definitions of child abuse and neglect point out such problems as some are too narrow, others too inclusive, and the cross-cultural differences with respect to perceptions of child maltreatment and reporting of such.
The lack of uniformity in definitions and the resulting inconsistencies in their application reflect “the manifold perspectives on these acts, and the inchoate state of conceptualization.
This factsheet available for download by clicking here, is intended to help you better understand the Federal
definition of child abuse and neglect; learn about the different types of abuse and neglect, including human
trafficking; and recognize their signs and symptoms.
It also includes additional resources with information on how to effectively identify and report maltreatment and refer children who have been maltreated.
Federal legislation lays the groundwork for State laws
and Neglect and on child maltreatment by identifying a minimum set of systemwide laws, policies, and statutes that define actions or behaviors as child abuse and neglect.
Federal Law defines child abuse and neglect as, at a minimum,
“any recent act or failure to act on the part of a parent or caretaker which results in death, serious physical or emotional harm, sexual abuse or victims, fatalities, exploitation (including sexual abuse as determined under section 111), or an act or failure to act which presents an imminent risk of serious harm” (42 U.S.C. 5101 note, § 3)
Additionally, it stipulates that “a child shall be considered a victim of ‘child abuse and neglect’ and of ‘sexual abuse’ if the child is identified, by a State or local agency employee of the State or locality involved, as being a victim of sex trafficking.
Most Federal and State child protection laws primarily refer to cases of harm to a child caused by parents or other caregivers; they generally do not include harm caused by other people, such as acquaintances or strangers.
Some State laws also include a child’s witnessing of domestic violence as a form of abuse or neglect.
For more information on State-specific laws pertaining to child abuse and neglect, see Child Welfare Information Gateway’s State Statutes Search page .
Relatively little research has been done on child maltreatment in the armed services: the Air Force, Army, Navy, and Marine Corps. However, some data does indicate that child abuse and neglect is a serious problem in the military just as in civilian life.
According to NCANDS data, there were 16,673 reports of alleged child maltreatment in the military in 1996.
In 48 percent of the investigations, there were dispositions of substantiated maltreatment of children.
A breakdown of the type of child maltreatment victims found in the armed services follows:
* Forty-two percent were victims of neglect.
* Thirty-six percent were physical abuse victims.
* Fourteen percent were sexual abuse victims.
* Seventeen percent were victims of emotional maltreatment.
Child maltreatment in the armed services has been associated with military life itself and circumstances within, including substance abuse, disciplinary infractions, reassignment, field training, payroll problems, living abroad, foreign spouses, and intra-cultural problems.
John Miller reported that the most vulnerable population in the military for child maltreatment are young enlisted families who have been in the service for less than 3 years.
Within this group are “high-risk families, as in civilian life, characterized by “inexperience, immaturity, lack of social skills, and inability to cope with life’s stresses and problems.”
In a study of the types of child maltreatment in the armed services conducted at William Beaumont Army Medical Center in El Paso, Texas, it was found that 7 percent of the cases were “disciplinary abuse.”
The term was first used in a study classifying types of child maltreatment among the civilian population, and descriptive of the typical pattern of the “military syndrome.”
The abusive parents were described as “rigid and unfeeling… the homes were spotless… abuse was centered upon any child who broke the rules and straps and sticks were used in place of hands.”
Although Family Advocacy Programs personnel in the armed services are required to report cases of child abuse and neglect to the child abuse registry in the state in which the victim lives, much like civilians, most child maltreatment in the military is believed to go unreported and, thus, remains a hidden tragedy
Two separate investigations will review Child Protective Services’ handling of a Dallas toddler’s case after the child was found dead Thursday in a landfill, a day after his aunt and caregiver reported him missing.
Authorities charged Sedrick Johnson, the 27-year-old boyfriend of the child’s aunt, with injury to a child causing serious bodily injury.
Johnson faces additional charges pending the medical examiner’s findings. The toddler had been living in a Lake Highlands apartment with Johnson and his aunt, Crystal Jackson, after CPS placed him in her care.
Internal and independent reviews will likely examine why Cedrick was placed in the home of Johnson, who has a criminal history in Dallas County.
Before you read this article below, I want to put in my two cents worth. THIS BOY IS A VICTIM.
LET HIM GO BACK TO HIS MAMA AND FAMILY THAT HE WAS TAKEN FROM AS A CHILD. That abusive man had no right to take him like that.
By the looks of the comments to this article below, most everyone agrees LET HIM GO HOME.That being said, there’s going to be allot of details in this case that are unknown to the readers so a blanket opinion is not going to necessarily be the right decision
This kid is 17. First of all 17 year olds don’t all think with a sound mind. Obviously his dad was abusive but if that was the case did the kid try to escape or call for help? Did he go to school? Did they see signs of abuse and ignore it? Why didn’t the second wife try to help the kid?
Even if he is totally justified for this killing, he’s now a killer and will need, at the very least, counseling. We can’t just release him back into society and ignore the fact that on top of the abuse he has suffered, he is also going to be traumatized by killing his Dad. He’s going to be severely affected by that and by going to jail.
Abuse is a cycle and often passed down. This kid could end up being an abuser himself. The reunification with his family is going to be an issue as well, as I would guess that he was also a victim of parental alienation syndrome.
There are definitely many factors involved that we,the public, are not aware of. All on all this is a very delicate and sad situation.
WHAT DO Y’ALL THINK? COMMENT BELOW AND LET US KNOW.
Read the original article here.The family of a teenager missing for 11 years finally learned what happened to him this month, when they heard of his arrest for allegedly killing the father who kidnapped him, according to reports.
Relatives of Anthony Templet searched for him for more than a decade after he was snatched from his Houston, Texas, home at 5 years old by his dad, Burt Templet, the family told WAFB 9 this week.
“After 11 years of waiting to hear if my brother was still alive, he is found,” his sister Natasha Templet told local outlet.
“He has been secluded and abused all these years by his own father,” she said. “My brave brother had to defend himself for the last time against that evil man.”
The now-17-year-old told investigators that his father was drunk and started a fight prior to the incident earlier this month.
The teen grabbed two guns to protect himself and eventually shot his dad in the head and torso and then called 911, deputies said. The elder Templet died from his injuries days later.
Court records obtained by KHOU show that Burt was charged with assault three times between 2001 and 2002. Two of the cases were dismissed.
His ex-wife had filed a protective order just two months before the family last saw Anthony, the outlet reported.
“Burt and my mom were together for about 10 years and it was extremely violent,” Natasha said. “I can only imagine what Anthony’s been through.”
Their father eventually remarried, but that woman left him earlier this year. She had also reportedly filed a protective order against Burt and alleged that he knocked out several of her teeth.
Anthony remains incarcerated at a juvenile facility in north Louisiana but has spoken to his sister and his 80-year-old grandmother on the phone.
District Attorney Hillar Moore said his office has been in contact with several of Anthony’s relatives since the teen’s arrest and will review “whatever information anyone has before deciding what action to take.”