Archive for the ‘emotional abuse’ Category
As we travel down this path together – advocating for family court reform, we have seen an alarming trend. Protective Mothers are being re victimized.
Protective Mothers are being re victimized , not just by family court, but by the very people in which they reach out for help.
As an organization we are amazed at the number of requests for help with personal cases that we receive. Not just because we have posted everywhere that we do not get involved in personal custody cases, but because we are simply puzzled by such requests.
We are an organization of fellow Protective Moms. How can we help with a personal custody case ?
We are not a group of legal professionals or licensed educated therapists. We understand the desperation, but when we see where protective mothers are putting their trust – we cringe.
Some Protective Moms are putting their trust in people simply not qualified, educated or licensed to help in their custody case.
So with that in mind, PMA International Administrators, and Leaders put together some categories of assistance a Protective Mom would need and – in our opinion and experience – where best to go for help.
Family court is a legal forum. So unless you are going to represent yourself, you need a legal professional. These are just the facts.
It is illegal for a judge to communicate to anyone other then yourself or your legal representative about your case.
You need a good Family Court attorney who specializes in DV.
If money is an issue find legal aid in your community, University law schools or paralegal organizations.
But the point is – you need a legal professional.
If you are looking for emotional support it is best to find a qualified , licensed highly trained therapist for help. Preferably one trained in trauma and/or PTSD. Going to a fellow protective mother for emotional support is not effective, in our experience.
Trauma survivors are rarely helpful in helping other trauma survivors as they get triggered themselves hearing the other person’s story.This is simply unavoidable. A few of the consequences of the above – more often than not- is an unhealthy role reversal, or sudden withdrawal of support leading to resentment, anger and more trauma.
Do yourself a favor and avoid the above by simply finding a good highly trained trauma therapist to get the support you need and deserve.
If money is an issue, research low cost alternatives in your community. Most communities have this option. Utilize local churches for your preferred spiritual support.
If you are looking for research , best to go to a professional liscensed trusted Private Investigator. A P.I is trained and educated in what they do and has the emotional distance necessary to do a good job with a clear head.
Others may mean well when they offer their help, and they might even share a similar experience , but when you are dealing with Family Court abuse and corruption the stakes are so high and the trauma so deep that hiring a professional, highly trained, educated and licensed expert are some of the ways to limit the chances of being re victimized.
Understand, we clearly know Protective Mothers who have had bad experiences with professionals. This saddens us , but is unavoidable as in life there are no guarantees .
Also , we are not talking about professionals ordered by Family Court, but ones you research yourself, in addition to getting referrals from a trusted person.
If by chance you still get re victimized by a professional,( it happens) their governing body has a complaint process and we highly recommend you access it.
This is not the case if you are depending on a non- professional for help.
For these reasons and many others PMA International has made the decision to not get involved in personal custody cases as we are a large group of international Protective Mothers- not legal experts.
So if you are a Protective Mother, reaching out for help and your 2 choices are either a trained, educated professional, or a non professional , we suggest – take your chances with the trained professional, per our collective experience.
We understand your desperation, as we have been there. But utilizing professionals for help will give you and your children a fighting chance and may help to avoid re victimization in the process.
December 2014, Orlando, Florida: 13 year Gregory Jean Jr. is returned to his mother after being kidnapped, and hidden behind a fake wall. He was missing for 4 agonizing years.
Father, Gregory Jean Sr. and step-mother, Samantha Davis are accused of kidnapping Gregory Jean Jr. from his mother, who had custody, when he went to visit them near Atlanta.
Gregory Jean Sr. and Samantha Joy Davis. (Source: American Urban Radio Networks, http://www.aurn.com1)
Gregory Jean Jr. was abused and hidden behind a fake wall. He was given a cell phone to contact friends, and only allowed to talk to his mother after being coached on what to say. Jean Jr. then gained the courage to use that phone to contact his mother, and alert police to rescue him.
Gregory Jean Sr. and Samantha Joy Davis face charges of child cruelty, false imprisonment and obstruction.
I am an alientor. You know me well. You lived with me once and you witnessed my behaviour patterns but you did not spend time studying and internalising them. I know your behaviour patterns better than you know them yourself. I know how to measure you, test you and control you. I know what your hooks are and I know that the depth of the love for your children is a weakness I can exploit. I am an emotional terrorist. I will terrify you into submission. You will do as I tell you to do, if you do not, I will take your children away.
I am an alienator, you didn’t notice that when we lived together but I began my work long before we went our separate ways. I created fissures and fractures within our family and I managed and manipulated reality, though for a long time you did…
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There were times when I wished he would hit me.
You know, a nice punch to my face. That way, I could have walked to my neighbors and said, “Look! Look what he did! Please help me!” But with me, as with many other women, it wasn’t that simple. It seldom ever is.
Domestic violence has existed as long as humans have walked the Earth. The majority of abusers are men. Most, if not all, were abused as children in some way, shape or form, and were lacking in affection, self-esteem and good role models. The causes and methods of abuse are many and varied just like the people involved.
Abuse of any type is often a byproduct of years of low self-esteem, feelings of unworthiness, being abused oneself and a million other things all tied together in a vicious knot. It’s a complex and sometimes difficult situation to read.
So too are the circumstances for the victim. No one stays with someone who abuses them physically or verbally because they like to be abused. Most have come to this point because of childhood trauma, a longterm relationship with someone who is an expert at controlling and manipulating their victim, and numerous other issues with self-worth.
The reasons for abuse are almost always the same: abusers need to have power over someone else to help them feel better about their own deficiencies, low self-esteem and feelings of inadequacy.
Women who are in abusive relationships will often defend their abusers and stay in the relationship long past the time they should have left. It is often the female who blames herself and keeps trying to make things work. Sometimes it’s the subtle mind games of the controlling, manipulative partner that cause a woman to doubt herself and her feelings.
This is often difficult for those who have never been in an abusive relationship to understand, but there are many reasons for this. Some are easily understood, some not so much.
Sometimes it is low self-esteem that holds them in place. My therapist kept asking me one question at the end of every session: “Why did you stay?” I kept answering, “I didn’t want to hurt him.” Then one day, it hit me like a brick. Because of past traumas reinforced by my relationship, I didn’t feel like I deserved any better.
Sometimes it is simply fear that holds them in place. It could be fear of retaliation from the partner should they seek help, or, especially in cases involving verbal abuse and controlling behavior, they feel no one will believe them.
Many times women have taken a stand and decided to leave only to have the abuser decide to end it for all concerned. There have been many cases of this resulting in the death of the woman, and sometimes the children, family and friends, before the abuser turns the weapon on himself—finally putting an end to the vicious cycle.
Many think that that non-physical abuse is not as harmful or dangerous. This can be a huge mistake. Unlike the women who have been physically abused, there are no outward signs of mistreatment. All the wounds and scars are deep within the psyche—branded in the soul of the abused.
Verbal abuse, and the controlling, manipulative behavior that goes along with it, are the silent killers. Instead of taking a physical life, these abusers will kill a woman’s spirit slowly and painfully. Those who are adept at manipulation do this without anyone imagining the truth of the situation. Outwardly they may appear as the “perfect couple.” Inwardly the woman is in tremendous emotional pain and turmoil. She may not trust her own judgment any longer and may think that this is just how things are meant to be.
The signs and symptoms are many and varied, but they all share the same core issues. There are some subtle warning signs to look for. They include, but are not limited to the following:
A woman who is overly critical of herself and always defending her partner.
Someone who never socializes without her spouse or partner being present.
An overbearing partner, or one who treats their partner like a child.
Partner is constantly correcting or showing possessiveness with their actions.
And the obvious: unexplained or suspicious bruises, burns and broken bones.
As a society, we must learn to see and recognize these signs and reach out to help in whatever way we can. It may be nothing more than just assuring them that you’re there if they need to talk and really listening if they do so. And if at all possible, let them know they have a place to stay should they need to leave in a hurry. Keep the Domestic Violence Hotline number handy in case they want to call. Sometimes this is all you can do.
We can all learn to listen better, to see more clearly when someone in our life needs help. Sometimes all these women need in order to seek help is non-judgment, kindness, and presence. Chances are they will open up if they feel safe with you.
There comes a time in all types of these relationships when the victim can’t bear it anymore. She must walk away and seek help. Simply having a friend to go to at such a time can be a lifesaver in every sense of the word.
Leaving a long-term abusive relationship is not as easy as most would think. Women tend to blame themselves and keep hoping that things will improve. If someone comes to you for help, please don’t judge. Accept the fact that things are not always as they seem, and reach out a helping hand.
Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233
As PMA International has posted before, we prefer the term DV by Proxy to explain the manipulations an abuser parent uses to teach the child to reject the protective parent. We prefer this term because;
1. In our opinion ,it more accurately depicts the actions taken by the abuser parent towards the child
2 There has been a lot of misinformation about parental alienation circulating the internet and beyond.
3.The term parental alienation and /or parental alienation syndrome has been use as a legal defense for abusive dads in family court. Most often this term has been used by the attorneys of dads who sexual abuse their children. This legal defense is used – most often- by attorneys in family court , for the purpose of deflecting blame from the criminal actions of their client onto the protective mother.
4 The result of the above has frequently been, abusers winning custody due to this misuse of the term. Because the term is so emotionally charged for protective mothers, and for all the reasons above, we feel DV by Proxy is a better choice. Please keep in mind others still use the term Parental Alienation. Since PMA International did not author this piece, the term parental alienation or alienation may be used.
The below is a story about an adult survivor of DV By Proxy. Although many Protective Mothers sadly are estranged from their children due to DV By Proxy, this particular adult survivor was estranged from his father by his mother. Please keep an open mind about the terminology used, along with the gender of the perpetrator. DV by Proxy is abuse ,and those that suffer from this are in great pain and deeply affected . Abusive behavior is not gender specific. This adult survivor’s wonderful series of videos is very educational. He goes into great detail about the manipulations he suffered at the hands of his abuser, showing step by step how a child can be brainwashed and taught to hate their loving parent.
This video is about DV by Proxy. Those who have lived through DV by Proxy, might be triggered by viewing it’s content. Please be advised and take steps to get the support and healing you need.
To the children alienated from a Protective Parent, we wish to speak to your hearts.
Remember what it was like to be with your loving parent. Remember the fun.
Remember how you were loved. All the little ways and all the big ways your parent showed you how much they cared.
Remember, and never forget.
Reach out to that loving parent today. Let them know you remember. Let them know you appreciate their love .
Love them back.
The PMA International Team.