Only parents going through a custody battle can relate to how the scene in “The Green Mile,” where the warden’s wife says to John (the man on death row who just saved her life) “I dreamed of you…we were both wandering in the dark and we found each other” feels. You pray and dream for someone to come and take all the pain and the terror out of your life that the divorce courts put there, and hand you that piece of hope that was nowhere to be found. When she handed him her necklace I just about lost it. Where was she when I needed someone to make the family courts stop tearing my children away? This is all parents and children need, someone to hand them that one thing that frees them from the disease of the family courts. You beg everyone everywhere to help, nobody does. You pour your life savings, even your children’s college funds into the battle and think that your attorney is protecting you, but they don’t. You beg for mercy from a judge to “hear” you and protect you from your former spouse taking the children from you, and he attacks you. You beg them not to make you air your personal and private issues from your failed marriage in a court of law just to hold on to your rights and be with your child equally. You wait and hope for that “John,” that one person that can save you and your children from this cycle of terror, for that one thing that brings life back to you the way you knew it. But it never comes, and you feel like you are dying. Most of you reading this are the ones that refused to give up hope, as was I. That’s why my husband and I continue what we do. We knew there was a better way. Every time we see and hear of someone being hurt by the system, we just want to be able to reach out, take their hand and lead them to the path that not only restores their life but also frees them to live life the way they dreamed it, away from a failed marriage or relationship without penalty or punishment on them or their children.
This movie left me with wanting to ask all attorneys, judges, experts, mental health workers that testify to tear a child from another parent, that perform family studies just to hand to a judge to facilitate tearing a child and a parent apart, legislators, court coordinators, teachers, first responders, and everyone else in the community that turn their backs on what has been happening to parents and their children for generations, and all people that have become a part of this machine that we call the family court system, what Tom Hanks asked the actor on death row, “On the day of my judgment when I stand before God and he asks me why did I kill one of his true miracles, what am I going to say, that it was my job?” What will you say, that it was your job? That this was the way to protect children of divorce?
Will it save you from the destruction and irreparable damage you have helped cause?
You have a choice. You can keep making the parents and their children tired and hopeless and feeling like they live with “pieces of glass”[i] in their heads all the time like John. Or you can hear the parents and children crying out to you as John did to Tom Hanks, “…can you understand?” They are feeling alone, powerless, helpless. They are dying. They aren’t asking to be torn apart like you are convincing yourself to believe. They are asking you to protect them from this destructive process. You aren’t protecting a child when you make them think they need protection from their own fit and loving parent. You aren’t fooling anyone but yourself. You are coming between the private realm of a fit and loving parent unconstitutionally and immorally. The parent and their child have a right to be free from government interference. You are helping the government hurt children, which hurts our families, and hurts our communities. Think about it, you are letting your personal beliefs and biases drive your behaviors. You are letting your pocketbook dictate your professional actions. You don’t have to like the other parent, or either parent for that matter, in order for each parent to continue to have the right to continue to be the parent they see fit and continue to have individual rights equally. The American way of life depends on those in decision making and authoritative positions to protect everyone’s unique personalities and ways of life, not to force your personal moral ideas, others ideas, or even the other parent’s ideas onto them– not even in divorce.
Life is difficult enough to watch people die in life naturally, why create artificial deaths of parents and children’s relationships the way that the divorce courts do in the family law system? You can stop being a part of the problem and become part of the solution.
We invite you to learn how to become hope for these parents and their children rather than part of the destructive forces. Join us here as we give you the tools to help parents continue to be able to be an equal and meaningful part of their child’s life.
You can learn here how to help protect parents’ rights equally so that their children can continue to have meaningful experiences with both parents and continue to be in what they recognize as their normal and natural environments.[ii] The parents need to be able to continue to collect those beads of experience from their day-to-day interaction with their child for their future health and put those on their parent-child necklace[iii] that they can pass to their child when they become an adult for their child’s future health. Parents that are reduced to visitors or cut out of their child’s life stop being able to collect beads, that necklace is never completed, and that child suffers through loss of that bond and relationship. When a parent sits with their child while they do homework and the child shares their thoughts at a moment, when you didn’t expect, this is opportunity lost for parents that no longer get to have these sittings with their child doing homework, that no longer get those daily interactions where children pick up little things from influence and exposure that you cannot convey through words, etc. And just like the picture below, nobody directed the child to copy his father. It just happens. But this doesn’t happen when the child doesn’t get those experiences with that parent.
[iv] (And FYI, we are not saying that this little boy has gone through this or is going through divorce or custody battles. We just loved the picture since it demonstrates what children get through observation that you cannot teach through telling. To show that parents that only have phone contact or very limited contact with their children are not able to convey these types of important things to their children—patriotism, religion, respect, etc.)
You cannot artificially simulate this or even create it in an artificial supervised environment. Through the resources that we offer, you can stop being part of the destruction and become the helping hand to guide parents and their children through the system in a least harmful and damaging way, so that little boys like this one can continue to benefit from both parents in their lives. These are your real choices.
http://youtu.be/083OMBnPA3c Tom Hanks telling John his dilemma in “The Green Mile”
[ii] This is all meant within the bounds of the law. We are not advocating for a child to be left in what would qualify as an abusive, neglectful illegal environment even if that is what they were used to or saw as normal. We are advocating for parents in divorce to be treated with the same respect for their rights as married and single parents. We are advocating for equal treatment for divorce parents and to not put requirements on them that would not be placed on married parents.
[iii] Thank you Amy JL Baker for the idea about the beads on the necklace. This came from her parental alienation talk in Chicago and we’ll never forget her analogy and its importance. Amy explained that when a parent and child do not have adequate time periods together where they can behave normally and be in their normal daily routines they no longer experience those bonding moments that only happen when you are laying their casually and watching a movie on your couch together, or sitting at the dinner table and the child shares their day with you, or you are just walking around your yard and sharing thoughts and ideas, etc. These natural interactions can only happen on a frequent and daily basis. These interactions are what put pearls on the necklace that make up what builds a parent-child bond which is what their relationship is made of. When a parent is cut out and alienated and has very limited contact and contact where they cannot interact normally and have normal life experiences they no longer build this necklace and one by one the beads fall away and the necklace falls apart and their relationship is gone. You can find more information on Amy JL Baker at http://www.amyjlbaker.com/ and her Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/amy.j.baker.16?fref=ts&ref=br_tf