Are you following advice of someone asking the courts to cost you more money? Be aware of what you ask for? Tina Swithin’s letter, is it another Rabbit Hole?
I saw a letter early this morning on One Mom’s Battle[i] and was appalled. She’s telling congressmen that she doesn’t want fair rulings and she doesn’t want parental rights protected! In her despair, she is trying to give away all of your parental rights.
You don’t just throw your rights away and then expect to be able to protect your child’s rights! That’s what generations have been doing already. Telling the judge, “Your Honor, my ex and I cannot agree, so I am giving you my rights to decide how and when I parent my child over to you for you to choose between the two of us. And now you want to tell the legislators that your rights mean nothing and forfeit everyone else’s rights for them too? To what effect? Tina writes:
“The Family Court System has lost sight of their primary goal: to protect our children. The courts are too focused on being quick and fair with 50/50 custody splits instead of focusing on what is best for the children.”
And under her mission and focus of OMB she writes that ““The courts needs to stop focusing on Mother’s Rights and Father’s Rights – a parent should not have rights simply because they have the ability to procreate. That is ludicrous and barbaric. A child’s right to be safe, loved and nurtured should supersede the rights of his or her parents. The Family Court System needs a complete overhaul because it should not be this difficult to protect a child. The Family Court System is failing our children and our families.” –Tina Swithin
Fit parents are far better positioned to protect the rights of their children than any state, agency, or court. The Supreme Court has found constitutional protection for parental rights and has not found constitutional protection for the children in the way Tina suggests. The constitutional rights of children are protected by their fit parents first and foremost. What the Supreme Court has found is that children have a right to have their parent-child bonds protected. Nowhere do they say that a parent has to be perfect to keep their rights and to best protect their children or even to have to go through expensive invasions of their privacy to prove that they are worthy to keep their rights. Nowhere does the constitution require parents bow to judges or anyone else in the system or even gain their favor or their consent or approval to continue to exercise their equal rights.
The role of courts and duty of judges is to protect your individual rights. In order to do this they have sworn to uphold and defend the United States Constitution, not to follow some distraught parent’s idea of what should be that distraught parent’s right or their distraught opinion of their child’s rights. You’ve been following too many people that have been convincing you to throw your rights away. You can simplify this and eliminate getting confused by remaining focused on the supreme doctrine of the land. You cannot be misled when you follow the supreme document that was created to protect your natural inalienable rights.
A fit parent decides what is best for their children not the state. A fit parent is best situated to know what is right for the child which is often nothing more than an opinion based on faith and understanding and desire to do what is best for that child. No judge is situated to make this kind of decision except as a last resort.
What Tina writes invokes great emotions for us parents and we want to jump right in and think that we are protecting our children, but we aren’t with what she wrote. We agree that the system needs a complete overhaul, an overhaul with how they view their authority, an overhaul of all statutes that claim they are valid when they are not. Giving up your parental rights would just dis-empower you more and render you more dependent on judges and their opinions. Judges need to be educated on your rights! The legislators have already given your rights to the judge in divorce or believe that they have because you believe that these statutes are valid. And look at the results you are getting now. Pushing this agenda further will just continue to get you the same bad results that parents and children have been getting for generations. Asking judges to analyze mental health issues further and deeper without the proper defined limits on judges and without the requirement of the proper due process just gives them additional reason to dig deeper into your pockets and require more parents to undergo expensive psychiatric evaluations and family studies, etc. And who do you think will pay for those? And what are you going to do when those turn on you and use perhaps depression, anxiety, or even PTSD against you. Where will they draw the line? Do you really want every move you make and every decision you make left open to be scrutinized by a judge and all of the others that you get forced to pay, and risk that being turned on you. Can you afford that? Can your children afford it? Do you and your children have the time or will they be forever damaged and grown before you ever get finished with this? And then the judge can decide that a narcissist is better to raise your children than you. There are many narcissists in fact that are very functional. So where did you get really other than broke?
If you get emotionally triggered when you read Tina’s letter you aren’t alone. Of course we have been conditioned to respond to the words that trigger the idea of a “sperm donor” and we respond to the idea that our children have a “RIGHT to be safe, loved and protected.” But just as Tina claims to help you read through the lines with a narcissist you need to know how to read through the lines of her letter and what you are really asking for if you send a letter out like that. And there are already protections in place if a parent never had a relationship with their child and was never a responsible parent. You don’t have to give up your rights to have the state protect a child from a parent that never established a relationship properly.
She further writes in the letter that “It takes a village to raise a child and it takes a court to protect a child. Our hands are tied by your broken court system. Please implement changes to your system beginning with ongoing education for every person who has a hand in deciding the fate of a child. Our Judges and Commissioners need to be educated in Narcissism and other personality disorders so they can properly do their jobs.” I say, educate the judges and all others that participate in the system on your parental rights and give the child rearing back to the parents. Under her scenario everybody else gets to decide for the children except for the parents. We have all been living under that scenario for generations. And if we are finally making strides where judges are being forced to render decisions that are fair and 50/50 do you really want to throw that away? We don’t want the village making the decisions for our children, we want our hands untied and to be able to make the decisions that we want to make for our children. Get the government out of your child rearing decisions. Divorce is not a trigger or an invitation for this harm and expense on you and your child. If you want to shut them down you have to get them out of your life and the only way you can do this is through exercising your rights. If you didn’t have rights you wouldn’t have the ability to make decisions over your children, you wouldn’t have any parental authority. Why would you give that up? Make sure your eyes are open before you go so quickly shipping off a letter that could destroy any ability you have to fight the current broken system.
Ron B Palmer of Fix Family Courts states that “If you do send off this letter, don’t be surprised when you have the government showing up in your delivery room deciding whether or not you get to keep the child you just birthed. Because that is ultimately what Tina is suggesting the state has the power to do. They could walk in and demand that you take psych testing. After all if donating sperm is a barbaric reason to establish rights then giving birth is equally as barbaric. Why don’t we move custody decisions right up to the initial birthday of the child and let the state take all authority.”
And don’t be tricked into thinking that exercising your parental rights isn’t making your children and your children’s rights a top priority.
No matter what you try to put onto a judge, you cannot control the judge you get, what their personal beliefs are, their personal biases, or their skill level. So why unnecessarily open yourself up to something you don’t need to? In fact, you might even get a judge that is narcissistic himself. There’s nothing in the law that restricts judges with narcissism from being a judge. There are studies out there in Scientific American and other reputable places that will tell you that some of the most successful people have narcissistic traits and that this in fact is what helped them to be successful.
“Some of the opprobrium heaped on narcissists is surely deserved. Yet research paints a more nuanced picture. Although narcissists can be difficult and at times insufferable, they can also make effective leaders and performers.”[ii]
According to Ron B Palmer “It’s the degree of narcissism and how they use it that matters, just like anything else.”[iii] The point is that throwing away your rights to a judge, experts, attorneys, or mental health workers is part of the problem, not the solution. And constantly bickering over who is the better parent is part of the problem as well. Adding layers to this problem and thinking that you will get somewhere if you can just get legislatures to pass statutes requiring judges and mental health workers to get more educated on these ailments does not change the problem. This does not make them apply the proper level of due process. In fact, this adds to the problem when you don’t understand the power and value of your rights.
Supreme courts all over the land as well as the U.S. Supreme Court has confirmed that it is your God-given right to hold your child’s rights in trust. There are some exceptions to this and unless any court anywhere has proven these exceptions, they cannot insert their decision over yours unless you forfeit them yourself.
With that said, you can ask your legislator to make narcissism at its extremes a child abuse crime. Then you can prove the parent is unfit once that is made a crime towards children. In this way, you keep your rights and you never give them up. When you give your rights up you are left to the whim of a judge, a GAL, an expert, etc. And then you have to pay a lot of money to try and prove which parent is better and you are at the mercy of gaining the approval of the judge, the attorneys, the experts, etc. That is not a position that a parent being alienated or being falsely accused wants to be put in. And that is not a position that any child should be put in either. A child has rights to love and be with both parents regardless of the way either feels about each other. And each parent has the right to continue to parent their child even if they make decisions the child, the other parent, and even the judge, attorneys, GALs, case managers, and mental health care experts don’t like.
Most parents are already going broke playing the game of trying to convince the judge which parent is good or better and which parent is bad, let alone taking on another thing that they have to prove to the judge. And if you are an alienated parent it is even worse. As most alienated parents are not favored by the child anymore and narcissism being left in the hands of the whim of a judge could be turned on the alienated parent. Make clear definitions and clear criminal laws. Otherwise narcissism is not a crime and they are allowed to be parents too, and through the letter written by Tina Swithin you are again inviting bias and prejudice, and being placed at the mercy of a judge, and all the others. This is the position you want to get out of not add more to their plate of excuses as to why they need to charge you more money. And if you want to lower the bar for what is child abuse you might get caught in it yourself. Encouraging them to look for perfection in a parent is encouraging the chaos that parents and children are already experiencing. Why open yourself and your child up to the pain and stress and expense of having to prove the other parent ill just to be able to be free from the other parent. And why subject your child to that parent using them to convince them otherwise. And what if you have narcissism but you don’t take it to extremes? You were raising your child just fine during the marriage. Does getting divorced change that and should it mean you are at risk of losing your child? Either render people with narcissism unfit or leave it alone and move on and raise your child each individually.
I know that so many of you are desperate for an answer. And I would have loved for this letter to be it. But I’m afraid it’s just another expensive rabbit hole. So I would suggest don’t focus on a parent’s mental health issues if they are not breaking any laws. If they are drinking and driving and doing things illegal, have someone follow them and document that and then get them arrested by turning them in, etc. There are ways to do things without forfeiting your rights. It’s your parental rights that allow you to protect your child’s rights. I was so excited thinking that here was someone else working to help correct the family courts, until I saw this letter and their misunderstanding of parental rights. It is not up to a court to decide to throw your rights away. It is up to you.
Tina Swithin, I feel your pain but this advice I have to say is going to increase pain for so many. Parents are already having to use their children’s college funds and everything else just to defend against false allegations made about them. Adding more chaos to the system and giving the judge more excuses to call in experts and evaluators just to have them leave the children in the hands of someone that you consider abusive and unfit to be a parent, is a very expensive proposition not only for the parent but also for the children. Unless you can make a case for this being child abuse and push for this to be a crime, then I would implore you to understand parental rights appropriately.
Telling parents to throw away their rights is giving up any power that they have to protect their children. Please read our book and you will understand.
I have pasted a response that I got when I posted some of this on Facebook this morning and some of my responses below: (I did not publish any identities or responses of any of the members in the group as it is a closed group, other than the facilitator of the group and that’s because she gave me her permission. You can find Wendy Archer’s group on Facebook at Parental Alienation Awareness Organization USA North Texas Chapter.)
Sherry Palmer Thank you so much Wendy Archer. I know how much pain you have gone through, that we have all gone through and still go through. I just don’t want to see anyone hurt like this anymore. I know how caring alienated parents really are and just don’t want to see them mislead anymore. I contacted Tina Swithin when she wrote her most recent article on narcissism and how parental rights were an enemy to her efforts, and asked her to reconsider that position. She ignored the request, no response. I think that she serves an important outlet for those that have been hurt, but would encourage parents to understand the rest of the message and to not get caught up in their own emotional triggers. Didn’t mean to put a damper on anything but cannot stand here and watch more damage happen to your parents, any parents, and their children. Thanks Wendy for taking the time to re-read.
Sherry Palmer And I hope that all parents understand that I am not saying that it is not their option to throw their parental rights away, just want them to be informed so that if they choose to do that, they are doing that with their eyes open, and understanding the real implications of what they are doing.
“…courts not respecting parental rights and taking over a child just because the parent is going through divorce is a problem throughout the United States and in fact throughout most of the world….there are ways that a parent can get better results right now. Personally I’m not willing to wait on trying to find “ethical” lawyers and am not willing to forfeit my rights to any of them. And I know that my rights do not depend on 2nd party groups to oversee them for me. We all have individual rights and those are what protect us from these abuses. I applaud when groups coordinate and make our voices stronger, but also know that my rights are not dependent on these groups and that my child grows and matures every day and waiting on someone else to validate a group leaves these children and parents at risk right now. Our founding fathers knew that we were at risk of this happening and therefore provided us with the power to protect ourselves from these abuses. We have the empowerment to do something about this right now and we teach parents how to do this, while at the same time it never hurts to have collective voices growing in strength so that eventually parents will not be subjected to the same intense struggle. We can make this fight less and we can make this struggle an exception and not the rule. That is, in my mind, where the groups come in in this particular issue. One day, I envision, that upon divorce the default will be 50/50 equal time and not have to fight in court for your individual and your child’s individual rights to be with each parent. Then if you have a parent that is unfit the judges have clear guidelines on what they need to deprive that parent and that child of the unfit parent.
[ii] “A Dose of Narcissism can be Useful.” Scientific American http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=dose-of-narcissism-can-be-useful Accessed on October 31, 2013.
[iv] Parental Alienation Awareness Organization USA North Texas Chapter on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/paaonorthtexas/?ref=br_tf