Protective Mothers' Alliance International

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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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We Cannot Decorate Our X-Mas Tree Together ( Photography and Quote)/ Unstoppable Mothers

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https://unstoppablemothers.wordpress.com/2015/12/18/405/

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#2 What hurts you the most about not being in your child’s life

“It hurts me the most that we cannot decorate our x-mas tree together. I cannot make you hot chocolate, help you bake cookies for Santa or see your excitement as you try to go to sleep on x-mas eve and wake up at 4 AM with anticipation and innocent joy, as you rush downstairs to presents left under the tree. I AM YOUR MOTHER. Why does any Judge feel they have the right to take away a child’s mother!?”

Unstoppable Mothers © 2015

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Experiencing the Holidays in a Hero Protective Mother’s World

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As the Holiday season is upon us, many Hero Protective Mothers will be without their precious children. This is a very difficult time of year.
For some Hero Protective Moms, they will have no contact at all with their child(ren). Some moms will drop off presents not knowing if they will be received. Other moms won’t even know what to buy for their beloved child (ren) as they have had so little or no contact that the mom doesn’t even know what presents their own child would like. What music is their child into? What size does their child now wear? What are their favorite colors, books, or toys?

All the beautiful loving traditions once shared cannot be shared anymore; sitting on Santa’s lap, decorating the tree, making x mas cookies for Santa or having that special Hanukkah dinner filled with tradition and symbolism.

What we are feeling, the loss and pain, few can understand . Unless you have been in our shoes- a Hero Protective Mother, you cannot begin to know the depth of the heartache and raw pain that reaches right down to our very souls.

We are their mothers. We grew these babies within us. This fact alone bonds us with them, and they with us like no other bond . We are bonded together beyond time, space, judges, laws, and certainly beyond family court.

The mother-child bond is the strongest there is. Although many may try , it cannot be broken as it is God- given.

Hero Protective Mothers as you go through the Holidays without you precious babies, with empty arms and hurting hearts , this is what we want you to hold onto.

No matter how it looks now, you are bonded to your child. Your heart is their heart. Your souls connect. You are an essential part of each other that cannot be denied.This is a fact. Because of this fact, you cannot be separated forever.

Only evil would try to break this God- given unbreakable bond.

We believe we can overcome this evil. WE will overcome this evil through our unconditional love for our children-the strongest love ever to exist, and one day we will celebrate the holidays as a family once again.

Take care of yourselves Hero Moms,through this difficult time, for one day- we are certain- our child(ren) will understand all our sacrifices, pain and hurt. We believe one day, our children will learn the truth and return home, to our loving arms, where they belong.

Our children will return home to our loving arms, and history will reveal us for the Hero Protective Mothers we truly are.

Until then , know you and your precious children have PMA International’s love , support and understanding, always.

Much Love,
The PMA International Team

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ALL I’ve Ever Been Is A Mommy ( Photography and Quote)/ Unstoppable Mothers

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https://unstoppablemothers.wordpress.com

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#1 The most outrageous action a judge took in your family court case

“My ex is an abusive, alcoholic attorney, and I’m a house wife. The judge refused to review any of his 6 DV charges, and front page headlines for beating me. The judge also ignored the fact that my ex was disbarred. He’s not only taken OUR son but cost me my other son and daughter from my previous marriage… I die a little more everyday without my babies. ALL I’ve ever been is a mommy.”

Unstoppable Mothers © 2015

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Fast Facts on Domestic Violence/ clarkprosecutor.org

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Originally posted on clarkprosecutor.org ( link below)
http://www.clarkprosecutor.org/html/domviol/facts.htm

Fast Facts on Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women between the ages of 15 and 44 in the United States, more than car accidents, muggings, and rapes combined. (“Violence Against Women, A Majority Staff Report,” Committee on the Judiciary, United States Senate, 102nd Congress, October 1992, p.3.)

There are 1,500 shelters for battered women in the United States. There are 3,800 animal shelters. (Schneider, 1990).

Three to four million women in the United States are beaten in their homes each year by their husbands, ex-husbands, or male lovers. (“Women and Violence,” Hearings before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, August 29 and December 11, 1990, Senate Hearing 101-939, pt. 1, p. 12.)

One woman is beaten by her husband or partner every 15 seconds in the United States. (Uniform Crime Reports, Federal Bureau of Investigation, 1991).

One in every four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime. (Tjaden, Patricia & Thoennes, Nancy. National Institute of Justice and the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, “Extent, Nature and Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence: Findings from the National Violence Against Women Survey,” 2000; Sara Glazer, “Violence, Against Women” CO Researcher, Congressional Quarterly, Inc., Volume 3, Number 8, February, 1993, p. 171; The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and The National Institute of Justice, Extent, Nature, and Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence, July 2000; The Commonwealth Fund, Health Concerns Across a Woman’s Lifespan: 1998 Survey of Women’s Health, 1999).

In 1992, the American Medical Association reported that as many as 1 in 3 women will be assaulted by a domestic partner in her lifetime — 4 million in any given year. (“When Violence Hits Home.” Time. June 4, 1994).

An estimated 1.3 million women are victims of physical assault by an intimate partner each year. (Costs of Intimate Partner Violence Against Women in the United States. 2003. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Centers for Injury Prevention and Control. Atlanta, GA.)

85% of domestic violence victims are women. (Bureau of Justice Statistics Crime Data Brief, Intimate Partner Violence, 1993-2001, February 2003)

Police report that between 40% and 60% of the calls they receive, especially on the night shift, are domestic violence disputes. (Carrillo, Roxann “Violence Against Women: An Obstacle to Development,” Human Development Report, 1990)

Police are more likely to respond within 5 minutes if an offender is a stranger than if an offender is known to a female victim. (Ronet Bachman, Ph.D. “Violence Against Women: A National Crime Victimization Survey Report.” U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Justice and Statistics. January 1994, p. 9.)

Battering occurs among people of all races, ages, socio-economic classes, religious affiliations, occupations, and educational backgrounds.

A battering incident is rarely an isolated event.

Battering tends to increase and become more violent over time.

Many batterers learned violent behavior growing up in an abusive family.

25% – 45% of all women who are battered are battered during pregnancy.

Domestic violence does not end immediately with separation. Over 70% of the women injured in domestic violence cases are injured after separation.

1 in 12 women and 1 in 45 men have been stalked in their lifetime. (Tjaden, Patricia & Thoennes, Nancy. (1998). “Stalking in America.” National Institute for Justice)

One in 6 women and 1 in 33 men have experienced an attempted or completed rape. (U.S. Department of Justice, “Prevalence, Incidence, and Consequences of Violence Against Women,” November 1998)

Nearly 7.8 million women have been raped by an intimate partner at some point in their lives. (Costs of Intimate Partner Violence Against Women in the United States. 2003. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Centers for Injury Prevention and Control. Atlanta, GA.)

Witnessing violence between one’s parents or caretakers is the strongest risk factor of transmitting violent behavior from one generation to the next. (Frieze, I.H., Browne, A. (1989) Violence in Marriage. In L.E. Ohlin & M. H. Tonry, Family Violence. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. Break the Cycle. (2006). Startling Statistics)

Boys who witness domestic violence are twice as likely to abuse their own partners and children when they become adults. (Strauss, Gelles, and Smith, “Physical Violence in American Families: Risk Factors and Adaptations to Violence” in 8,145 Families. Transaction Publishers 1990)

Children who witness violence at home display emotional and behavioral disturbances as diverse as withdrawal, low self-esteem, nightmares, self-blame and aggression against peers, family members and property. (Peled, Inat, Jaffe, Peter G & Edleson, Jeffery L. (Eds) Ending the Cycle of Violence: Community Responses to Children of Battered Women. Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications, 1995.)

30% to 60% of perpetrators of intimate partner violence also abuse children in the household. (Edelson, J.L. (1999). “The Overlap Between Child Maltreatment and Woman Battering.” Violence Against Women. 5:134-154)

The cost of intimate partner violence exceeds $5.8 billion each year, $4.1 billion of which is for direct medical and mental health services.

Victims of intimate partner violence lost almost 8 million days of paid work because of the violence perpetrated against them by current or former husbands, boyfriends and dates. This loss is the equivalent of more than 32,000 full-time jobs and almost 5.6 million days of household productivity as a result of violence. (Costs of Intimate Partner Violence Against Women in the United States. 2003. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Centers for Injury Prevention and Control. Atlanta, GA.)

There are 16,800 homicides and $2.2 million (medically treated) injuries due to intimate partner violence annually, which costs $37 billion. (The Cost of Violence in the United States. 2007. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Centers for Injury Prevention and Control. Atlanta, GA.)

One in ten calls made to alert police of domestic violence is placed by a child in the home. One of every three abused children becomes an adult abuser or victim.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found in a national survey that 34 percent of adults in the United States had witnessed a man beating his wife or girlfriend, and that 14 percent of women report that they have experienced violence from a husband or boyfriend. More than 1 million women seek medical assistance each year for injuries caused by battering. (Federal Bureau of Investigation; U.S. Department of Justice National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS); Horton, 1995. “Family and Intimate Violence”)

The average prison sentence of men who kill their women partners is 2 to 6 years. Women who kill their partners are, on average, sentenced to 15 years. (National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 1989)

Women accounted for 85% of the victims of intimate partner violence, men for approximately 15%. (Bureau of Justice Statistics Crime Data Brief, Intimate Partner Violence, 1993-2001, February 2003)

Between 600,000 and 6 million women are victims of domestic violence each year, and between 100,000 and 6 million men, depending on the type of survey used to obtain the data. (Rennison, C. (2003, Feb). Intimate partner violence. Us. Dpt. of Justice/Office of Justice Programs. NXJ 197838. Straus, M. & Gelles, R. (1990). Physical violence in American families. New Brunswick, N.J.; Tjaden, P., & Thoennes, N. (2000). Extent, nature, and consequences of intimate partner violence. National Institute of Justice, NCJ 181867)

Women of all races are about equally vulnerable to violence by an intimate partner. (Bureau of Justice Statistics, Violence Against Women: Estimates from the Redesigned Survey, August 1995)

People with lower annual income (below $25K) are at a 3-times higher risk of intimate partner violence than people with higher annual income (over $50K). (Bureau of Justice Statistics, Intimate Partner Violence in the U.S. 1993-2004, 2006.)

On average between 1993 and 2004, residents of urban areas experienced highest level of nonfatal intimate partner violence. Residents in suburban and rural areas were equally likely to experience such violence, about 20% less than those in urban areas. (Bureau of Justice Statistics, Intimate Partner Violence in the U.S. 1993-2004, 2006.)

Nearly three out of four (74%) of Americans personally know someone who is or has been a victim of domestic violence. 30% of Americans say they know a woman who has been physically abused by her husband or boyfriend in the past year. (Allstate Foundation National Poll on Domestic Violence, 2006. Lieberman Research Inc., Tracking Survey conducted for The Advertising Council and the Family Violence Prevention Fund, July – October 1996)

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Written by protectivemothersallianceinternational

October 7, 2015 at 3:27 am

I WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOU BY K J ( POETRY) / Love Letters To Our Children

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https://loveletterstoourchildren.wordpress.com/2015/10/06/i-will-always-love-you-by-k-j-poetry/

I know my arm is strong
the landscape of it’s breadth has held new life
has cradled the sweetest innocence
and protected a beating heart
I know my arm is strong
the same arm,
clenched tight by an angry fist,
is still strong

My voice is still here
the power of my words to heal and sooth
the joy of song and treasured talk
the chosen silence and the answers
no matter how heavy the hand
to bring down my voice,
my voice is still here

The heart
no words can tell
written, spoken, heard,
how you are my heart
my dearest child
that the deepest well within my being
holds your light and memory
always,
always,
and no man
no woman
no power, being, or force
shall take you from me
shall shake my grasp
of hope
that i will be your mother
that you are my child
and I will always love you.

K.J © 2015 Love Letters To Our Children

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