Tag: family

love
Do you believe in fate? This is a love story that will show you fate is real…

I am going to divert off the usual from topic of it’s Almost Tuesday for a moment because I would like to share a love story that will amaze you, and make you all a true believer in fate.

It was 2005, and almost a year after losing my son, I had returned to Florida, fighting jurisdiction of the Texas courts, and began settling into a new place. I had a review coming up with Texas Dept of Family & Protective Services for an administrative review, in and ask I boarded a greyhound bus with my files packed in my bag, to go back to Texas and meet with the caseworker face to face.

It was one of my last chances to overturn the decision to take my rights from my son, so this trip was super important to me.

I left Clearwater Florida on my way back to Dallas TX, and in Mississippi, I met a guy at the vending machines during a stop. He was traveling from Florida as well, going to fort worth. We began to talk and sat with each other the rest of the way. We got along very well, and even had a few umm spicy moments

He remembers my knee high socks and remembers me pointing to a billboard in east Texas out of the window and saying “that’s my brother”(a very successful attorney in Longview Texas, he has billboards up everywhere).

He remembers thinking I was nuts when I said that was my brother.

When I got off the bus I never looked back. I got his number but never called. I didn’t even remember his name. So how do I know what he remembers about me?

Well in 2014 I was lost, driving in Halton City TX,a suburb of fort worth, when I saw a guy on a bicycle, and thought he was very good looking so I offered him a ride. We have been together ever since, and in fact, we just got married in may of 2021.

It wasn’t until around 2019 that we were talking one night and began to share secrets. He started telling me about this girl he met on the greyhound bus once, and made out with her. I said no way you are stealing my story!!

It turns out that five years into my relationship we realized that 15 years before we had met and made out on the bus and left never looking back.

Can anyone calculate what the odds are that something like that would happen?

It goes even deeper.

My husband was in a boys home as a child. He was in the VERY SAME boys home as my Abuser/ex, and KNEW HIM as a child!!

What are the odds?

At age 50, I remarried and am deeply in love and KNOW that fate is real!!

Tell me your thoughts and stories… Has anyone else experienced something like that?

Godspeed to you all…

oh

cps
New Years Day- The Nostalgia of Life

I remember, before CPS came into my life, how we spent the holidays with my son. I didn’t lose him until he was 8 years old, so as the years progressed from his birth until then, I wanted the holidays to become bigger than life the older he got.

The last year I had him, for example, Santa Claus delivered all his toys as he slept, in an all sports-related theme.

In our living room, my son woke to huge Nerf football goal posts on each end of our living room. Between the goal posts, Santa also left him an air hockey table made for kids, and a full size basketball free throw arcade game.

As my son awoke from his slumber his eyes went from half lidded to bright and wide as he found the magically fantastic wonderment that made the holidays what they were.

The night before Christmas, we had lined our yard with paper bags with lights, and sprinkled the grass wish oatmeal and glitter – reindeer food. My son knew the more oatmeal he spread would glisten and lure Dasher, Dancer and the rest of Rudolph’s crew to our house.

It worked.

We baked cookies and left them out with milk and a note on the table for Santa.

My satisfaction as his Mama was the moments i cherished watching his sleepy eyes saw the goodies that was left in appreciation for how well he behaved all year.

In the week that ensued, Christmas became new years, with resolutions for self empowerment, self discipline and the hope for something better than the year before.

Of course, for my son, it was the excitement of getting to stay up late to drink apple juice as we drank champagne and did the traditional toast and kisses at midnight and the magical ball dropped in New York- which we always watched on TV.

The phone calls would then follow, calling all our family in our home state of Texas that we had leftt many years before. For an hour, out phone was our heartline to wish them a happy New Years… with the exuberant aspirations that believing in the mainstream world brings to the all-American middle class folx of times past.

Before CPS.

So once the excitement died down, my son would innocently sleep soundly until the noise of the televised new year’s day parade would wake him.

Our home was filled with the scent of black eyed peas slow cooking in the kitchen and the sounds of men watching football as the women cooked and drank wine. All in the name of expecting good luck for the year to come.

Traditions.

Bigger than life.

That was my goal.

To make the magic of the holidays last forever in my son’s memories of his childhood.

Was I successful?

Only my son can say.

Our relationship was interrupted. Our traditions, severed, and the life as we knew it, deferred.

I remember the first time I spent new year’s alone – after CPS came into my life. No apple juice or champagne, no phone calls from family, for they failed to support me or be there for me once I lost my son, I had no more kisses for I was utterly alone, and no reason to celebrate, or cook,, or expect good luck.

My resolutions for the year to come had become a quest to merely survive myself.

Who was I?

I had become she.

It is now 15 years post-CPS. my life has come back to me.

I’m settled now in a marriage to a man who never knew me before the loss of my son. He only knows the stories I tell him over and over again in my post traumatic afterlife. it still hurts like it did the day he was taken,I won’t lie .

My kids are now two dogs that I spoil rotten, and new year’s eve consists of cuddling with them until midnight, watching the replay of the ball drop since I’m three time zones away now in California, talking about the crowd and how fearful we would be to ever consider going to such a celebration in this day and age.

we kiss goodnight.

Normally my daughter would call me but this year she’s suspended her family traditions due to the flu. She and her husband now understand the life as a family trying to create memories for her children.

Traditions.

My son and I did finally reunite… but as is sadly common in ambiguous losses – the reunification has been difficult, and hard for us both. Well I assume for us both, but I suppose I can only speak for myself. Its highlighted in my healing from the grief how many spaces there are between us – spaces that didn’t exist before CPS came into our lives.

Still, I relive our beautiful years together in many stories I tell my husband over and over again. I tell him about the apple juice and hope had back then, and he always listens even though allot of it he’s heard before. He sits with me, in those moments of mine, quietly reflecting, as I now pray that my son is safe tonight.

On the east coast, it’s the witching hour- 3am – when the year turns on the clock for me . Allot can happen n in the three hours past the ball dropping over New York City for a young man in his 20s now. A huge country away from me.

I kiss my husband goodnight here in Cali.

I will always hurt somewhere in my soul.

The morning of parades is gone for me, erased by the loss when CPS came into my life, though, as if they were yesterday, I still remember how it sounded. How it felt.

the hope is now that where ever he is, he is safe, and living a simple life, feeling content, and that this year will be better for him than the last.

As the saying goes – someone shot nostalgia in the back. Some one shot our innocence – in the shadow of a smile.

I hope my daughter recovers swiftly from The big that had invaded her holidays this year and her family succeeds and finds a prosperous life this year in everything they do.

I watch my husband vacuum, feed my dogs, and remind myself to pick up a can of black eyed peas before dinner, as we need all the luck we can get, in this day and age .

Oh the nostalgia of life.

It’s Almost Tuesday wishes all a happy and safe New Year in 2020.

In this divided society, I remind you to please be diligent, and be kind to each other. it may be the only thing to save us in this day and age.

If my children are reading this, know I love you more than all the stars above .

aging out, cps
The Truth About Aging Out of Foster Care

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Source: view original content here

When this occurs, the child will be placed into the foster care system.

More than 250,000 children are placed into the foster care system in the United States every year.

Aging Out of Foster Care

We are making some promises to these children when we place them into foster care. We are telling them that they are getting the chance to create a better life for themselves.

They are promised a safe home where they can have a family that can be called their own.

For many children, these promise are just empty words that have no meaning.

As the statistics show, many foster kids are aging out of the system and have nowhere to turn.

  • More than 23,000 children will age out of the US foster care system every year.

  • After reaching the age of 18, 20% of the children who were in foster care will become instantly homeless.

  • Only 1 out of every 2 foster kids who age out of the system will have some form of gainful employment by the age of 24.

  • There is less than a 3% chance for children who have aged out of foster care to earn a college degree at any point in their life.

  • 7 out of 10 girls who age out of the foster care system will become pregnant before the age of 21.

  • The percentage of children who age out of the foster care system and still suffer from the direct effects of PTSD: 25%.

  • Tens of thousands of children in the foster care system were taken away from their parents after extreme abuse.

  • 8% of the total child population of the United States is represented by reports of abuse that are given to authorities in the United States annually.

  • In 2015, more than 20,000 young people — whom states failed to reunite with their families or place in permanent homes.

One of the biggest problems that social workers face today is a stigma that people have regarding what they do.

Many people see child protection workers as vengeful, hateful people who just want to take kids away from their parents and families.

The sad truth is that over 6 million children are at a high risk of being abused by their families annually and this is represented by the over 3 million reports of possible abuse that are filed every year.

We know that children thrive in families and that is why we want kids to be placed into foster care instead of an institution.

The problem is that the temporary solution of foster care has become a permanent solution and 10% of the kids that are placed into the system age out of it without every really getting the chance to heal.

Is Violence Against Children A Hidden American Epidemic?

  • substantiated child abuse will become the victim of abuse again within 6 months.

If 7 out of 10 foster kids say that they want to pursue college, then why are we finding ways to limit them?

A college education allows for a number of advantages that can help these kids find happiness, even though their childhood may not have been as fun as some of their peers.

These kids want to change their lives, yet a vast majority of them will never even get to see college.

Only 6% of kids who age out of the system will attend an institution of higher learning and only 50% of them will be able to graduate with a degree.

What is the end result?

These kids give up hope, stop caring, and are at a higher risk of repeating the cycle of violence with their own children one day that led to their placement in foster care in the first place.

Foster Kids Aren’t Always Placed Into Foster Homes

  • Despite the promises of the foster care system, as of 2012, more than 58,000 children in the U.S. foster care system were placed in institutions or group homes.

  • 75% of women and 33% of men receive government benefits to meet basic needs after they age out of the system.

  • 1 out of every 2 kids who age out of the system will develop a substance dependence.

  • States spent a mere 1.2-1.3% of available federal funds on parent recruitment and training services even though 22% of children in foster care had adoption as their goal.

  • Adopted children make-up roughly 2% of the total child population under the age of 18.

  • Children who are adopted make up over 10% of the total referrals for child therapy.

  • 55% of these children who wind up being legally emancipated by the foster care system have had 3 or more placements over their childhood.

  • 33% of children had changed elementary schools 5 or more times, causing them to fall behind academically and lose friends that they had made in the process.

  • There is a direct correlation to the age of a child who enters foster care and their likelihood of being successfully discharged to a permanent home instead of being legally emancipated.

There is more than just the problem of worthless parents when it comes to the modern foster care system – parents who abuse their children are worthless.

There is also the problem of foster families not being able to access the resources that kids need because of a lack of funding… or a lack of desire to do so.

Kids who are taken out of violent homes not only face the struggle of missing their parents and living in a strange environment, but there may be PTSD and other mental health issues present as well.

Foster kids will blow out of homes because the tools aren’t in place to help them cope and there isn’t enough patience within the foster family to allow for the natural grieving process to take place.

When parents, foster families, and the system at large fail these kids and they age out of the system,

is it any wonder why so many struggle to make their way in the world?

Are Things Getting Worse Instead of Better?

  • In 2012, there were approximately 679,000 instances of confirmed child maltreatment from the over 3 million reports generated.
  • The overall national child victim rate was 9.2 child victims per 1,000 children in the US population.
  • State child victim rates vary dramatically in the United States, ranging from 1.2 child victims per 1,000 children to 19.6 child victims per 1,000 children.
  • African-American children had the highest rates of victimization at 14.2 victims per 1,000 children in that racial group’s overall child population.
  • Asian children had the lowest rates, with 1.7 victims per 1,000.
  • Between 2002 and 2012, the number of children in care on the last day of the fiscal year decreased by 24.2%, or by over 130,000 children.
  • The annual rate of children who are discharged out of the foster system without a successful placement: 13%.
  • Children with a diagnosed disability of any kind, including a learning disability, are twice as likely to age out of the foster care system.
  • Kids who enter the foster care system after the age of 12 have a 2 in 5 chance of being legally emancipated at the age of 18 from the system.
  • More than 20% of the children who are currently in foster care are aged 3 or younger.
  • African-American children make up 20% of the foster care population, which is about double the amount of maltreatment reports that are generated for their racial demographic annually.
  • More than 40% of the children who reach the age of 18 while in foster care were in the system for more than 3 years.

Even when foster care isn’t the best solution, it is often still better than the maltreatment that was being experienced at home.

In the United States, the median measurements of child maltreatment are over 5% annually.

In foster car, the median measurement for maltreatment is just 0.32%.

In practical terms, this means that a child in the US is about 15x more likely to be abused in their home then in a foster home.

From this standpoint, we can honestly say that we are providing a safer environment for children, but we need to do more than just provide safety.

We need to be able to provide areas of growth so that these kids can have the tools they need in order to find success in the pursuit of their own dream

What Can We Do To Help Facilitate Change?

  • In 2012, only 4.5% of children who were adopted out of foster care were placed in the system for fewer than 12 months.

  • The percentage of children adopted in less than 12 months out of foster care in 2009: 3.6%.

  • More than 85% of children in foster care have had a minimum of two different placement settings within the first 12 months of being placed in the system.

  • 11% of children who are placed into a permanent setting outside of foster care will re-enter the system within 12 months.

  • Only 32.6% of adoptions from foster care occur within the first 2 years of a child being placed into the system.

  • Less than 70% of the cases of founded child maltreatment had a response time that was less than 48 hours for an intervention.

  • 30.4% of incidents were responded to by caseworkers in 24 hours or less.

  • 73% of the cases of child maltreatment are due to neglect.

  • Kids between the ages of 0-7 make up more than half of all child maltreatment reports that are generated in the United States every year.

  • 48.9% of the reports are generated from families that are Caucasian.

  • More than 6% of children who are placed into foster care have been sexually abused by a parent or family member.

child custody, cps
Are you dealing with CPS or a Child Custody Case? Help is Available!

During this holiday season, It’s Almost Tuesday wishes the best in all things for children and their families.

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We wish there were no bad foster homes.

We wish CPS had no over zealous case workers.

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We wish couples stayed happily married with no divorces.

We wish there was no such thing as parental alienation syndrome or parental kidnapping.

Custody-Battle

We wish for the end of alot of bad things, but there is a reality that wishes can’t erase.

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If you are facing CPS, or a divorce and children are involved there IS HELP AVAILABLE.

Do you know someone in a custody dispute?

What a better gift to give a loved one who is facing a child custody case or court battle but peace of mind?

We want to help you find the answers that you need to fight for your rights and your kids and succeed.

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Win in court.
Check out our new page with a library of books and guides on just about any topics you could think of.

Tell your friends.

The kids who need it the most will thank you one day.

It’s our wish that we would all be nice to each other in every way possible, but if you have no choice and nice isn’t an option, be ready.
GET HELP NOW!

child, children, cps, families, General, love
Taming the Mommy Tiger

This article from StepMom Magazine is too good to not re-post. In the arena of parental alienation, I have been doing my research into many areas, including blended families.

One of the most common issues I see presented is the battle between a stepparent and the natural parent.

This article has great insight, by Wednesday Martin, Ph.D. 

Taming the Mommy TigerOne of the most common questions I hear from women who marry or partner with men who have kids is,

What should they call me?”

While there’s no one right answer, I do concur with the overwhelming majority of experts and women in the trenches who know from first-hand experience that there is, in a broad sense, to which there are rare exceptions, a wrong one: Mom. Or mommy. Or mother. You get the idea.

I’m not big on oversimplified advice—there’s way too much of it out there for stepmothers in books, which tend to gloss over the point of view of the woman with stepchildren, as if she’s got no right to have one. That’s just wrong, and that’s why I wrote a book from a stepmother-centric perspective. But when it comes to this particular issue, unless the planets are aligned just so (and we’ll get to that, to the factors that might make it easy and OK for his kids to call you and think of you as mom), it is best for all parties if you acknowledge the specialness of your bond with his kids of any age by coming up with a word other than mom to define it.

“Hey!” you’re thinking, “That’s not fair! I’m just like a mom. I do lots of heavy lifting. I do X, Y and even Z for those kids!! And she’s (fill-in-the-blank with neglectful, or a terrible mother or unloving and selfish and disinterested in  her kids, or even an alcoholic/drug addict/liar).

So, why is she the only one to be called mom?

Does just giving birth to them make her the only mother?

Yep, it does.

Whether we like it or think it’s right or wrong, we will likely be able save ourselves a lot of grief and aggravation by acknowledging a simple truth. In our society, motherhood is romanticized and idealized, and mothers—no matter how bad—are put on a pedestal by the world in general and by their kids in particular.

Sometimes, you may have noticed, the more problems the mother has, the more fiercely protective of and attached and irrationally loyal to her the kids are. It can make your head spin, especially if you know you’re a better parent than she is. Whoa, there, Step-mom!

There’s a reason step-family experts—from the National Step-family Resource Center to the last book you picked up—are virtually unanimous in their advice,

“Don’t try to replace their mother, and don’t ask them to call you mom.”

While you’re at it, when they ask to call you mom, as flattering as it is, as much of a victory as it feels like, as much as you feel you earned it and deserve it, your life will probably be a whole lot easier in the long run if you point out,

“I love you very much, but let’s think of something else for you to call me, since you already have a mom.”

Again, there are exceptions, but they are few and far between.

Why are the experts and so many of the women who have been there such killjoys about the kids calling you mommy?

Because they know what they’re talking about. First, there’s the reality of the loyalty bind—a feeling that kids get, often because their moms
encourage it—that loving or even liking you is a betrayal of her. They
suspect that bonding with you will actually cause their bond with her to wither and die. What could be scarier for these kids than loving you and calling you mom, mommy or any variant of The Mother? Sometimes, kids feel and fear this even without their moms doing what too many moms do— badmouth you and your marriage.

If there’s anything that provokes a woman with stepchildren, it’s a mom who doesn’t want her kids to get too close to dad’s new wife—and tries to assure it won’t happen by telling lies or saying inappropriate and undermining things about their step-mom.

“If it weren’t for her, your dad and I would still be together,” such women might say to their kids. Or, “You don’t have to listen to her or be nice to her. She’s not in charge of you.”

If there is anything that provokes a mother, it’s the feeling that someone— someone married to her ex-husband in particular, whether she instigated the divorce or not—is competing with her for her child’s affection. “I love them like they’re my own,” you might say to her in a conversation, trying to set her at ease. But the words have the opposite effect, making mom feel encroached upon and threatened.

But why? As I researched my book, “Stepmonster,” I reviewed what sociologists and anthropologists had to say about stepmothering worldwide and about wife/ex-wife conflict across cultures. What quickly became clear was the following simple truth: In our society in particular, many women find the idea of sharing their children with another motherlike figure incredibly threatening to their core identity and their very sense of self. And when they have to do it, they lose it.

Many are the stories of crazy exes and vengeful biomoms (can we please just call them moms or mothers?) who undermine the stepmother/stepchild relationship as if their very lives depend upon it.

Why are these women so angry, so dead set on keeping their kids from bonding with stepmom? Sociologists Linda Nielsen of Wake Forest University, Stephanie Coontz of Evergreen University and the Council on Contemporary Families tell us that, unlike many Caribbean, Native American, and Pacific Island cultures—where children have a number of parent-like figures who care for them and may have several mother-like “aunties” who look after them in all senses, such as feeding, clothing and even disciplining them—middle and upper-middle class Caucasian American women are dramatically more likely to have been raised in a “one-mother only mentality.”

That means these women have been taught from an early age that mothering means one woman and one woman only doing the heavy lifting mostly, if not entirely, on her own. They are less likely, in a broad statistical sense, to have had fictive kin, aunties and even extended family involved in their upbringing. In their view, mothering comes from one person, and one person alone—period.

This exclusive, exclusionary view of mothering is deeply ingrained for many of us and results in a mindset that there can be only one mother. Further implied is that if one mother isn’t doing it all on her own, she’s a bad one. And being a bad mother, in our culture, makes you a bad woman and a bad person. There’s no separating those categories in our thinking.

Coontz, Nielsen and other sociologists point out that Caribbean, Pacific Island, Native American and African American children are more likely to have “allomaternal” and “allopaternal” figures in their lives—“aunties” and “uncles” who contribute to their well-being in numerous ways. They also tell us this is likely to be the case in immigrant and lower-income groups, where extended family living arrangements and a belief that “it takes a village” prevail. In contrast, for many of us in the U.S., it’s nuclear family bonds uber-alles.

Why do so many ex-wives go nuts when their exes remarry and their kids get a stepmother? In large part, it may be because they are programmed to do this.

Understanding this might help those of us with stepchildren understand how an otherwise sane-seeming, high-functioning woman is capable of demonizing us in irrational ways. It takes hard work and commitment to overcome this social programming, and our collective hats should be off to the mothers who manage it. As for those who don’t, we will do everyone a good turn, perhaps most especially ourselves and our step kids, if we use this knowledge to avoid provoking the mommy tiger by insisting on our “right” to be called mom and to share what she considers to be her exclusive mom privileges.

These often include parent-teacher conferences, doctor’s appointments and conversations with kids about topics like reproduction, sex and drugs. In all of these areas, ask yourself just how dreadful it really is to have to concede to her irrational-seeming wishes you just stay away or remain uninvolved.

As many therapists and stepfamily coaches ask their clients,

“Do you really want to go to every parent-teacher conference? If it provokes your husband’s ex so tremendously, might it be wise to sit back?”

Sadly,our well-intentioned impulses to be involved in his children’s lives might be read by mom, owing to her social programming, as territorial and aggressive.

Does that mean you have to skip the Winter Sing, the graduation or the gymnastics meet every time, be excluded and shut out? No way. But if there is a high conflict situation with a Mommy Tiger, it makes sense to ask yourself exactly which battles are worth having and when it might be more fun to skip the science fair and go out for a night with friends.

And then there are those rare exceptions. I know a few—and perhaps you do, too—women whose step kids call them mom and who have a highly involved, maternal relationship with the kids. Here’s the planetary alignment that might favor a kid calling you mom and thinking of you as one or another one, without blowback:

1. His or her mother is out of the picture. Not as in deceased. A child whose mother has passed away will likely need to preserve her memory and her name—mother—just for her, no matter how badly that child may want and need mothering from you. But out of touch and out of sight for almost all of the time might make it easier and less
fraught for you to take on a mom role and name. Remember, though, although she may be out of sight and out of touch, she may not be out of mind.

2. He or she is young enough and open enough to forming an attachment so the mommy thing will not inspire tremendous ambivalence or confusion.

3. His or her mother actually encourages a warm, closer relationship between you and her child—and means it.

One woman I interviewed—I’ll call her Sarah—was nine months pregnant when her husband, never reliable, left her. He came back when the baby was 3 months old and left again three months later.

Sarah knew her ex, given his yearslong pattern of abandoning her and others, would never be part of her child’s life. She also found out that
a court was very likely to support her barring contact should it come to that. So, when Sarah eventually decided to remarry, she and her partner thought long and hard about what her 2-year-old girl should call her stepfather. Given all of the factors, they settled on daddy.

However, they decided her new husband’s son Zach—whose mom was
sufficiently unreliable and irresponsible to have lost custody of him—had a mom, however imperfect. Having and being a mommy, Sarah and her husband knew, is uniquely fraught in our culture. And they suspected that letting Zach call Sarah mommy might cause problems—resentments, confusion or ambivalence—down the line. They were probably right.

And five years later, Zach and Sarah, whom he calls Sarry—a variation on mommy that is different enough from it to set everyone at ease—are doing just fine.

“In our society in particular, many women find the idea of sharing their children with  another  mother-like figure incredibly threatening to their core identity and their very sense of self. And when they have to do it, they lose it.”

© 2011 StepMom Magazine
Wednesday Martin, Ph.D., is a social researcher and the author of Stepmonster: A New Look at Why Real Stepmothers Think, Feel, and Act the Way We Do (2009).
She is a regular contributor to Psychology Today
(http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/stepmonster)
and blogs for the Huffington Post and on her own web site
(www.wednesdaymartin.com).
She has appeared as a stepparenting expert on NPR, the BBC Newshour, Fox News and NBC Weekend Today, and was a regular contributor to the New York Post’s parenting page.
Stepmonster was a finalist in the parenting category of the 2010 “Books for a Better Life” award.
A stepmother for a decade, Wednesday lives in New York City with her husband and two sons.
Her stepdaughters are young adults.
parental alienation syndrome
Poisoned Hearts – How Parental Alienation Hurts

I am going to focus my attention for a while on Parental Alienation Syndrome. I encourage comments and ideas from the readers.

Parental Alienation Syndrome Poster

(From Wikipedia):Parental alienation syndrome was a term coined by child psychiatrist Richard A. Gardner.  He defines Parental Alienation Syndrome as “a disorder that arises primarily in the context of child-custody disputes. Its primary manifestation is the child’s campaign of denigration against the parent, a campaign that has no justification. The disorder results from the combination of indoctrinations by the alienating parent and the child’s own contributions to the vilification of the alienated parent.”(ref:Gardner, RA (2001). “Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS): Sixteen Years Later”Academy Forum 45 (1): 10–12. Retrieved 2009-03-31.)

Parental Alienation is child abuse and a hate crime of the worst kind – with the consequences primarily going to the child that the alienating parent is trying to estrange from the targeted parent.

I can tell you, as the ‘target parent’ – the pain is deep.  There is no words to describe it.  There is such extensive damage done, to both the child and parent, that to heal seems impossible.  Where do we start? How do we start to heal when the alienating parent (or grandparent in my case) still has control of the child, still alienates the child, and does not want anything to change? Now, my child isn’t even a child anymore – he is an adult. So he is no longer part of any custody agreements or court rulings. There is no custody modification possible. There is no reversal of court orders possible.

It is over.  Or is it?

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I waited ten years after I realized no matter what I did, how hard I fought, or what happened, I would not win custody of my son back. I had to give up eventually or it was going to kill me.  I eventually had to accept that it would be his adulthood that I would have to wait for. So I did just that – I waited.

I imagined for years how it would go – his 18th birthday. I imagined what it would be like to have his birthday party take place, with his custodial family present and I show up – to their dismay- and how my son would run to me, because he could.

I imagined how after that day we would be best friends. How he would call me for advice or to share good news with me. I imagined how he would come to stay with me, and we would talk all night about the good times, and cry together over the bad.

I imagined so many things we could do together. I never imagined there would be silence on his end. I never imagined I would call on his 18th birthday and he wouldn’t answer. I never imagined emails would go ignored, chats would not be initiated. I never imagined he was so alienated from me that even though he’s old enough now to decide for himself, she still controls him.

The International Handbook of Parental Alienation Syndrome by Gardner, Sauber, and Lorandos, has become the standard reference work for PAS. The International Handbook features clinical, legal, and research perspectives from 32 contributors from eight countries.

I never imagined that my son might hate me – or that I would wonder if he really does hate me. My gut tells me he doesn’t, but I have not heard from him, so maybe I am wrong.

I never imagined this pain might last forever.

What do I do now? How do I reach him? Do I wait for him? Do I find a seminar to attend? Do I drag my entire extended family to some weekend camp retreat where we make clay sculptures and have group sessions about our dysfunctional family and how its come so far between me and my son that he’s out of control. I cannot believe or understand how my brothers, my child’s uncles, have allowed this alienation to take place, and now that the deleterious effects are shining through they are ‘washing their hands of it’ – frustrated at the results of their inaction. WELL WHAT DID YOU THINK WOULD HAPPEN?

 I have to fight the demon that tells me i want to  commit suicide when I think about the idea that my son may hate me for real and we may never heal. I have to fight the demon that gives me so much rage that I cannot take out against anyone but myself. I have to fight to forget everything I don’t want to remember, but then I am afraid to forget too much. I don’t know anymore, I just want to know my son again. I want him to be okay.

How do we fix the damage that’s been done?

I am going to include articles about PAS that I found from around the web here, and ask that anyone out there who has something to say, please do.  I need to know how to fix this. It hurts.

                                                                  

PAS RESOURCES AND LINKS

 (source: http://www.pasattorney.com/pas-resources-links.htm)
Parental Alienation Awareness Organization (PAAO)
PAAO is dedicated to educating the general public, schools, police, counselors, and religious leaders on the subjects of Hostile Aggressive Parenting and Parental Alienation Syndrome. To achieve its goal, PAAO uses not only seminars and conferences to disseminate information, but also actively collects information. The PAAO website is clean, well organized, and highly informative.
Breakthrough Parenting
Breakthrough Parenting is a California-based organization that offers both classes and counseling on child custody, co-parenting, parenting plans, and parental alienation. The Breakthrough Parenting website offers several interesting books for sale. The executive director of Breakthrough Parenting, Jayne Major, PhD, has also put up an informative article entitled “Parents who have Successfully Fought Parental Alienation” that can be downloaded for free in PDF format.
PsyCare
This no-frills but highly popular website describes itself this way: “PsyCare hopes to address issues that are not always popular or politically correct. Instead, we want to stimulate debate and research on important issues affecting today’s families[,] to learn from other’s experiences and try to influence social policies based on empirical research and objective findings.” Highly informative and contains links to many other high-quality PAS websites.
Parental Alienation Syndrome
Florida psychologist Dr. J. Michael Bone has put up a solid website that deals with both parental alienation and Parental Alienation Syndrome. Dr. Boone has provided a number links to some highly informative sources.
Help Stop PAS
“Help Stop PAS is a non-profit organization dedicated to fostering healthy, rational, supportive and sustainable relationships between parents and their children during and after divorce. Our mission is to educate parents, extended family, law practitioners, clergy, medical and mental health professionals to recognize the signs and symptoms of parent alienation in order to intervene, in the appropriate discipline, and to reduce the occurrence of parent alienation. We also seek to obtain funding to promote and perform research projects aimed at providing new information about the appropriate professional definitions of, and the legal and mental health effects of parent alienation.” Another very solid website.
Parental Alienation Information Network (PAIN)
Far from painful, Dr. Glenn Cartwright’s site is a great no-nonsense PA and PAS information source.
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Are You Really Ready to Adopt a Foster Child?

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November is National Adoption Awareness Month and there are millions of children waiting for permanent homes in the United States.

But beware, adopting a child may not be as easy of a process as one might think when going through the foster care system to find a child. It would seem like with such a high demand for “forever homes” that it would be lickety split but its not. There is alot  to consider.

As owner and writer of this blog, It’s Almost Tuesday, I have developed many goals over the years that I would like to see realized for myself as an author/advocate, and for my original short story seen on the main page of my blog,  It’s Almost Tuesday

Albeit, It’s Almost Tuesday was written as a fictional story, but I wrote it based on true stories of child abuse that I had learned about that was occurring within the Texas Foster Care System.

One of my goals … or  my hopes, rather, is that my story, It’s Almost Tuesday, will one day  become “recommended reading” for all foster parents and parents who are considering the adoption of a foster child. I believe social workers who work in the placement of the children, as well, should read It’s Almost Tuesday.

I wrote the story using the exact words of my 8 year old son whenever possible. Words he spoke to me during our visits that detailed what was going on and what he was going through during his stay in  foster care. As you read the story, those powerful words are the very real words of my child!

The story may be fictional, but it is very real indeed. It reveals a truth that social workers and foster parents know all too well and adoptive parents should be aware of. There has been much that deeply affected these children after what all they have been through.

First thing first, understand that when you consider adopting a foster child, you consider becoming the permanent  or  “forever home” that child has been waiting for. 

This is a child who has had no sense of normalcy, whose life has been lacking stability, without consistency, or any constant sense of security in very likely a long time ..possibly years.

You may very likely become the first positive influence and role model in that childs life. This role carries great weight and heavy responsibility.

Do not be discouraged. There are many wonderful blessings you have to offer, as an adoptive family, to a very special child in your permanent forever home.

Ask yourself: Are you and your family really ready to make such a paramount decision and strong commitment which will surely be necessary? Are you ready for this life changing experience?

Be honest with yourself.

*Many foster children are special needs,come from an ethnic minority group, and/or has siblings. Consider all of your family’s strengths and weaknesses. 

Have you considered what age range you are looking for? 

Are you deadset determined on adopting an infant or toddler?  Or would you consider adopting an older, harder-to-place child?

Are you willing to consider adopting a child outside of your particular race? 

Be real and dont worry about questioning your every decision, there are no right or wrong answers, only important questions with sometimes difficult answers to seek when making the (right) decision.

*Do you know what it means for a child to be “special needs”? Do you understand, completely, what a “special needs adoption” means?  Are you sure that a “special needs adoption” is right for you?

The trauma of foster care carries many emotional and behavioral changes in the children that may prove challenging to any family, not just yours. 

Do not be afraid to ask questions and reach out for help along your path.

Take the time to research the mental health conditions that are common to foster children. Many of these children have suffered abuse and neglect and then they were sent on a very scary journey through the foster care system.

Reactive Attachment Disorder , Bi-Polar Disorder, and ADHD are a few common problems these children often exhibit.

Be sure you are prepared for these challenges. Google is your friend. There are many useful sites available online to assist you along the way.

*Laws vary from state to state. What rules and regulations are required in your local area?

Make sure your family is eligible and qualified for an adoption of a foster child.

You may be required to have a home study done that will help determine if you are qualified to adopt. What are the areas of concern that the social workers will look at when doing the home study?

Some examples of home study items may include items such as: the number of bedrooms in the home, your marital status, the combined income of your household, the number of people living in your home, and  what criminal/cps background record (if any) each person in the household may have, etc.

It is better to have an idea, beforehand, of what you are up against when qualifying to adopt a foster child.

*Make sure you wholly understand the position of your local agency on foster children and adoption.

Make sure you’re on the same page.  Many times the goal of foster care is to reunite the child with the natural parents. When you look to adopt, make sure that you are clear with the social worker that you are seeking only a child who is “legally free” for adoption.

The child is not “legally free” for adoption unless parental rights have been severed with the natural parents.

*Besides the home study you may also be required to take some training classes as well.

Check with your local family advocacy center for what class you will be required to enroll in. You may have a certain number of hours to complete in a certain area of training.

Remember, it is not an easy or quick process to adopt a foster child, and it could very easily take a year or more to complete.

Be prepared for the long haul  and ask alot of questions. You’ll be glad you did. Knowledge is power. The more you know, the smoother the process will go.

When the process is going smoothly you’ll be better able to focus on the most important aspect -your forever child.

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Good luck and Godspeed.

source of information includes:
Deciding if Foster Care Or Adoption Is Right For You. By Rachael Moshman.
Suburban
Parent magazine, November 2012.

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EMDR Therapy: Self-Help Techniques for Trauma Relief

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Self help techniques for my brothers and sisters out there also suffering from PTSD

April 18, 2012 by Kellie Holly

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is primarily used as a treatment for PTSD. Discovered and developed by Francine Shapiro, Ph.D., EMDR uses eye movements, taps or tones to reprogram trauma victims’ thinking. The end result can be relatively fast relief of PTSD symptoms, including the re-experiencing of the trauma and other symptoms resulting from horrific events like rape or combat. EMDR also helps with “little t” traumas having to do with beliefs about ourselves formed during childhood and other mental health disorders.

How Does EMDR Work?
EMDR uses a psychoanalytic approach to verbally tie trauma triggers to memories so the brain can move past the pain and heal rapidly. In fact, many one-time traumas can be efficiently handled in three 90-minute sessions with a trained EMDR clinician (childhood traumas will take more time). One of the best parts about EMDR is it does not involve repetitively talking through the trauma.

For example, rape victims will not have to relive the pain they felt and combat victims will not be forced to relive the events causing their trauma.

About Francine Shapiro, Ph.D.
Dr. Francine Shapiro is a recipient of the International Sigmund Freud Award for Psychotherapy of the City of Vienna, the American Psychological Association Trauma Psychology Division Award for Outstanding Contributions to Practice in Trauma Psychology, and the Distinguished Scientific Achievement in Psychology Award, from the California Psychological Association. Her new book, for both laypeople and clinicians, is called Getting Past Your Past: Take Control of Your Life with Self-Help Techniques from EMDR Therapy.

Dr. Shapiro joins us on this edition of the HealthyPlace Mental Health TV Show to discuss EMDR and these new EMDR self-help techniques for relief of traumas in your life as well as ways to deal with stress, negative thoughts and emotions, and understanding why you may over-react in relationships.

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Are You Afraid of Your Doctor or Therapist?

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The following article is from a wonderful newsgroup moderated by Dr Sam Vaknin I subscribe to, which offers so many informative articles its hard for me to choose which to re-post.

I have spent my fair share of  time in the hospital due to a rare genetic blood disorder I inherited from my fathers side if the family. My condition puts me at high risk of developing blood  clots, and so each time I’ve had clots move into my lungs, it couldve been fatal.

That being said, admittedly, I have also developed a fear of hospitals. I’m not necessarily afraid of the doctors, after all, their expertise saved my life each time. But my fears cause me to feel anxious when I talk to my doctors. So this article really caught my attention.

Source: http://thepsychopath.freeforums.org/are-you-afraid-of-your-doctor-therapist-healthyplace-t21335.html

It seems many people are afraid of their doctors. After all, the doctor is an authoritarian figure. A recent study published in the May 2012 issue of Health Affairs reveals people don’t want to appear as “difficult patients.” Appearing stupid in front of the doctor is also another concern. Patients are also afraid that if they challenge the doctor, the doctor will enact some form of retribution. (See the discussion on being afraid of your doctor on our Google+ page.)

None of this is good because in dealing with a mental illness, you need to be educated and able to ask questions of your doctor or therapist. You also have the right to not only discuss the doctor’s treatment recommendations, but you should feel free to say “this is not right for me. Here’s what I’m thinking.”

Talking to Your Doctor or Therapist

So how do you get to that point where you feel comfortable dealing with your doctor?

Dr. Patricia Salber, author of “The Doctor Weighs In” blog, suggests you research your illness prior to your doctor visit via the internet, talking to other patients, even getting second opinions. Then write down a list of questions or concerns, so you’re prepared.

Remember, the doctor’s time is limited.

If you feel the meeting is important, bring a friend or loved one who can advocate for you and/or take notes as needed.
I’m going to pass on a fourth suggestion offered up by our social media manager, Amanda Collins:

“I think the important thing is to change the way you look at your doctor. If you see your doctor as a god, then where does that put you? On the other hand, if you view him/her as a respected member of your treatment team and a person you pay for advice, then you have all the rights that go along with that.
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