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PMA International- Hero Protective Moms

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 Protective Mothers are Heroes. You have our love and support, always

 

Happy Thanksgiving and Thank You for Your Support

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Written by protectivemothersallianceinternational

November 25, 2016 at 2:19 am

Tips on Getting Through the Holidays as Grieving Hero Protective Mothers From The PMA International Team

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Because of the overwhelming response from our members/supporters to our post,
Experiencing the Holidays in a Hero Protective Mother’s World
( link below)
https://protectivemothersallianceinternational.org/2015/12/17/experiencing-the-holiday-in-a-hero-protective-mothers-world/
and per your many requests, we have decided to explore some tips on getting through the Holidays as grieving Hero Protective Mothers . Although some of these sites and tips are for parents who have lost a child due to death, some suggestions still apply. Take what resonates with you and leave the rest, with love.

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Six Tips to Cope with Grief During the Holidays
“What we have once enjoyed and deeply loved we can never lose, for all that we love deeply becomes a part of us.” – Helen Keller
The holidays can be an especially difficult time for parents who have lost their children. So many holiday routines and activities revolve around the gathering of family and friends. Yet, bereaved parents may not feel up for celebrating as usual or embracing holiday traditions that they have in the past. Instead of feeling a sense of loss over what the holidays were supposed to be, we can take this as an opportunity to recreate what they will be for our families from now on. The following are tips for enjoying your holidays in the face of grief:
Simplify
Make Room for Your Feelings
Create New Traditions
Be Generous with Others
◦ Do things that help you feel connected. Spend time with the people you love. Nurture those relationships.
◦ Give of your time, talents, and skills. Sharing can lift spirits and ease burdens.
Be Generous with Yourself
◦ Expect that you will feel sad sometimes. Or angry. Or alone. These are all appropriate feelings. Don’t think of them as being counter-productive. What they really are is an acknowledgement of the intense love you hold for your child.
Read More
http://handtohold.org/resources/helpful-articles/six-tips-to-cope-with-grief-during-the-holidays/

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This article is written by a Gloria Horsley /Psychotherapist, Grief Expert

Let Their Light Shine: Three Tips for Getting Through the Holidays After Loss

Holiday Grief Tips

Remember Grief is Physical and Emotional – When responding to the news of a loss stress hormones are released which put our body in a state of heightened awareness. Reminders and memories of the deceased can trigger these stressed neurological pathways for years. Activities such as yoga, Ti Chi, and meditation have been shown through research to calm the mind. Walking, laughing, hugging and expressing gratitude can also calm the mind and release hormones that relax the body. These activities have been shown to be as effective if not more than anti depressants.

Read more
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/gloria-horsley/let-their-light-shine-thr_b_8823996.html?utm_hp_ref=common-grief

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Stress, depression and the holidays: Tips for coping

• Acknowledge your feelings. If someone close to you has recently died or you can’t be with loved ones, realize that it’s normal to feel sadness and grief. It’s OK to take time to cry or express your feelings. You can’t force yourself to be happy just because it’s the holiday season.
• Reach out. If you feel lonely or isolated, seek out community, religious or other social events. They can offer support and companionship. Volunteering your time to help others also is a good way to lift your spirits and broaden your friendships.
Be realistic. The holidays don’t have to be perfect or just like last year. As families change and grow, traditions and rituals often change as well. Choose a few to hold on to, and be open to creating new ones. For example, if your adult children can’t come to your house, find new ways to celebrate together, such as sharing pictures, emails or videos.

• Try these alternatives:
◦ Donate to a charity in someone’s name.
◦ Give homemade gifts.
◦ Start a family gift exchange.
• Plan ahead. Set aside specific days for shopping, baking, visiting friends and other activities. Plan your menus and then make your shopping list. That’ll help prevent last-minute scrambling to buy forgotten ingredients. And make sure to line up help for party prep and cleanup.
• Learn to say no. Saying yes when you should say no can leave you feeling resentful and overwhelmed. Friends and colleagues will understand if you can’t participate in every project or activity. If it’s not possible to say no when your boss asks you to work overtime, try to remove something else from your agenda to make up for the lost time.
• Don’t abandon healthy habits. Don’t let the holidays become a free-for-all. Overindulgence only adds to your stress and guilt.
Try these suggestions:
◦ Have a healthy snack before holiday parties so that you don’t go overboard on sweets, cheese or drinks.
◦ Get plenty of sleep.
◦ Incorporate regular physical activity into each day.
• Take a breather. Make some time for yourself. Spending just 15 minutes alone, without distractions, may refresh you enough to handle everything you need to do. Find something that reduces stress by clearing your mind, slowing your breathing and restoring inner calm. 
Some options may include:
◦ Taking a walk at night and stargazing.
◦ Listening to soothing music.
◦ Getting a massage.
◦ Reading a book.
Seek professional help if you need it. Despite your best efforts, you may find yourself feeling persistently sad or anxious, plagued by physical complaints, unable to sleep, irritable and hopeless, and unable to face routine chores. If these feelings last for a while, talk to your doctor or a mental health professional.

Read more
http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/stress/art-20047544

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64 Tips for Coping with Grief at the Holidays

So here it is – 64 pro-tips for coping with grief at the holidays. Why 64 things? Eh, why not 64 things? Take some. Leave some. Love some. Hate Some. Then tell us what has worked for you in holidays past, or how you plan to cope with the holidays this year. Because the holidays are tough for all of us, the least we can do are share our tips and tricks with one another to make the season just a smidge more tolerable.
• Acknowledge that the holidays will be different and they will be tough.
• Decide which traditions you want to keep.
• Decide which traditions you want to change.
• Create a new tradition in memory of your loved one.
• Decide where you want to spend the holidays – you may want to switch up the location, or it may be of comfort to keep it the same. Either way, make a conscious decision about location.
• Plan ahead and communicate with the people you will spend the holiday with in advance, to make sure everyone is in agreement about traditions and plans.
• Remember that not everyone will be grieving the same way you are grieving.
• Remember that the way others will want to spend the holiday may not match how you want to spend the holiday.
• Put out a ‘memory stocking’, ‘memory box’, or other special place where you and others can write down memories you treasure. Pick a time to read them together.
• Light a candle in your home in memory of the person you’ve lost.
• Include one of your loved one’s favorite dishes in your holiday meal.
• Be honest. Tell people what you DO want to do for the holidays and what you DON’T want to do.
• Make a donation to a charity that was important to your loved one in their name.
• Buy a gift you would have given to your loved one and donate it to a local charity.
• If you are feeling really ambitious, adopt a family in memory of your loved one. This can often be done through a church, salvation army, or good will.
• See a counselor. Maybe you’ve been putting it off. The holidays are especially tough, so this may be the time to talk to someone.

• Send a holiday card to friends of your loved one who you may regret having lost touch with.

• Journal when you are having an especially bad day.
• Skip holiday events if you are in holiday overload.
• Don’t feel guilty about skipping events if you are in holiday overload!
Don’t get trapped. When you go to holiday events, drive yourself so you can leave if it gets to be too much.

Read more
http://www.whatsyourgrief.com/64-tips-grief-at-the-holidays/

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And don’t forget to check out our very own Wounded Healer series courtesy of our Healing and Prayer Network with valuable healing tips year around, but especially useful during this difficult Holiday time.
https://protectivemothersallianceinternational.org/wounded-healer-the-series/

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We hope some of these suggestions help you through this difficult Holiday, especially for those Hero Protective Moms without their children. Please know you are not alone. We walk beside you and are connected to you through our hearts.

Protective Moms- never forget you are Heroes.
Merry Christmas, Here’s to a better New Year.

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Much Love,
The PMA International Team

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Hero Protective Mothers

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Written by protectivemothersallianceinternational

September 16, 2015 at 5:57 am

Care More… BE That Change!!

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Common Responses After Losing a Child (for Protective Moms)/ E. J Perth PMA INTL. USA Regional Director, Healing & Prayer Network Administrator

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A list of common responses/reactions after losing a child in a family court proceeding

I feel it is important to distinguish the loss and being related to family court proceedings because often times the process involves factors that re-traumatize the family and prolong any possibility of stabilizing the family. In essence, there is a distinct type of grief that follows losing a child due to unjust proceedings that villify a parent trying to protect their children.

Mothers who loose their children in family court proceedings often experience (and report):

* Character assassination and/or emotional abuse of the mother (who may be labelled as having “Parental Alienation Syndrome” or “Malicious Mom Syndrome”)

* Minimizing past abuse and its affects/Minimizing the current danger

* Legal proceedings that deny a mother of her legal rights

* Feeling threatened or coerced by court personnel

*Expensive legal or court costs, often resulting in severe financial hardship (I have heard of mothers losing their home and being forced to work several jobs, in which their contact with their children becomes even more limited)

* Re-traumatization

* Inability to protect children combined with valid concerns the children may still be in danger

* Children forcibly removed from the home (a majority of these mothers were primary caregivers)

* Mothers denied contact with children–these children are oftn abruptly, and without warning removed from their homes, their community, their friends and any connection to the mother

* Mothers being compelled into supervised visitation to see children, and may be exposed to other abusers (I have actually heard of a woman who took the bus to supervised visitation, and was stalked by an alleged abuser when leaving the premisis)

* Inability to get help or support for herself. Mothers may have their medical and psychological records subpoened by the court and/or their abuser, in which she degraded or labelled based on the findings and then forced to “prove” she is a fit mother. Mothers may also become isolated because they feel others do not understand their situation. It is common for people to feel overwhelmed hearing these stories and then to be unable to provide support. The financial depletion caused by family court may also limit a woman’s ability to seek help. Not to mention the woman may be so overwhelmed that she does not have the energy to get the help she may need.

* DV by Proxy ; the abuser manipulating the children, or using them in ways to hurt, intimidate or harass the mother (Ie using children to send messages to the mother, telling the children false information about the mother, threatening to harm the children, threatening to take the children, etc..)

Mothers who loose their children in this way often experience:

* Physical Illness (including but not limited to headaches, ulcers, vomiting, fatigue and exhaustion)

* Anxiety/Panic Attacks

* Depression

* Guilt/Shame/ Self-Blame, particularly around issues that they failed or could not protect their children

* Flashbacks (The court proceedings may trigger memories of abuse, or legitimate fears)

* Binge Eating and/or Lack of Appetite, Nausea

* Insomnia

* Shock (A combination of all these factors, feeling numb, unable to perform daily tasks, feeling as if she is living in a fog, lack of memory/concentration, tremors/trembling, hot flashes etc)

* A surge of emotion/adrenaline

* Hyperventilating

* Post Traumatic Stress

* Avoidance (Especially around areas that remind them of their children. It would be common to even avoid social places and friends)

* Withdrawl

* Anger

* Fear

* Fits of Crying — There are often triggers. (When I lost my child, I remember avoiding the grocery store because I would pass my child’s favorite treats, think of my child, and start to cry. It got to the point where I could not even remember what I wanted in the grocery store because I was so upset.)

* Memory Loss/Concentration Difficulties

THIS DOES NOT MEAN THE MOTHER IS MENTALLY ILL OR UNSTABLE, these are typical responses to the loss of a child in combination with the extreme stress of being involved in family court proceedings that are perceived as unjust, and which a mother has no control over. It takes time to work through the grief and emotions of losing your child, and being involved in family court proceedings–these response may emerge and change as the mother processes what has happened.

I found it helpful to be part of a domestic violence group, hosted by a battered women’s shelter. The group is confidential and does not keep records. I was able to talk with other women and learn tools on how to cope, and rebuild my life. There is hope–Stay strong.

Blessings ~ EJ Perth, PMA Intl.USA Regional Director, Healing & Prayer Network Administrator

If you have anything to add to this list, please add a comment. Please keep remain respectful. Any derogatory language will be deleted. Remember PMA is a NO ABUSE ZONE! Thank you for keep it friendly 🙂

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