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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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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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Woman finds 100-year-old letters in ceiling/ TheDailyShare

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http://www.hlntv.com/…/woman-finds-mysterious-love-letters-…
Beautiful story highlighting the importance of writing love letters. The power of love, transcends time, and space and will always find a way into the hearts of those we love.

Join our Love Letters To Our Children Campaign on FB and follow us on WordPress. We value your participation.
https://www.facebook.com/events/597929206912196/

https://loveletterstoourchildren.wordpress.com

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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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Love Letters Disclaimer

13 year old reunited with mother after being imprisoned by father

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Florida boy, 13, is reunited with his mother after being found imprisoned behind a false wall in his father’s Georgia home after going missing FOUR YEARS ago Boy, 13, from Florida, reported missing to child welfare authorities in 2010 He had gone to father’s house in Georgia and he ‘refused to give him back’ He downloaded cellphone app and text mother saying he was being beaten Police arrived at scene and found teen hidden behind wall in a linen closet Five people – victim’s father, stepmother and three juveniles, were arrested They are charged with false imprisonment, obstruction and cruelty to child On Saturday morning, boy was reunited with mother in emotional scenes.

The unnamed teenager reportedly downloaded a cellphone app to text his Florida-based mother to tell her he was being held captive and beaten at the house in Clayton County, Georgia.

Police arrived at the scene and found the boy hidden behind a false panel in a linen closet in the property’s garage. He repeatedly thanked officers for rescuing him, according to reports.

In heart-wrenching scenes on Saturday morning, the victim was pictured clinging on to his weeping mother, who had traveled to Georgia, as another female relative sobbed uncontrollably nearby.

Now, five people in the house in Duke Court – the boy’s father, stepmother and three juveniles – have been arrested and charged with false imprisonment, obstruction and cruelty to a child.

The boy was reported missing to child welfare authorities in 2010 after he went to visit his father and he refused to return him to his mother, according to WSB-TV.

However, his mother never contacted the police, potentially because she is an immigrant and was unfamiliar with the system, it is said. But after receiving her son’s text, she immediately called 911.

Following her call, officers arrived at the property at 2am on Saturday. They reportedly questioned the house’s uncooperative occupants for several minutes before locating the victim.

It is unknown what condition the teenager was discovered in, or whether he was taken to hospital.

Sargent Joanne Southerland, of Clayton County Police Department, told the news station: ‘We came here to the home and were able to get inside and talk to the people inside.

‘After several minutes of denying that the child was here and that there was ever any assault or anything like that, we were able to find him in the linen closet.’

Officer Daniel Day added: ‘I just couldn’t believe it. We found him, we saw him. To say it was a great feeling is an understatement. He just couldn’t thank us enough, he was overjoyed we had found him.’

Police have now requested a search warrant for the property. A spokesman said they still have a lot of unanswered questions, including how the boy was imprisoned for so long without intervention.

The boy, whose legal custody is believed to lie with his mother, is expected to remain under the protection of the Division of Family and Children Services for the next couple of days.

What I’ve learned about domestic violence in my year reporting on it- Jess Hill/ theguardian

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http://www.theguardian.com

Pretty much everything I thought I knew about violence against women and children turned out to be wrong. Here’s how

When I started researching domestic violence last year, I thought I basically understood it. Some men, driven to distress by things such as unemployment, substance abuse or mental illness, were unable to control their anger, and took it out on the person they loved the most. We’ve all said and done things we’re not proud of in relationships – I thought domestic violence was just the extreme extension of that.

Enough lip service. We need urgent action to prevent deaths of women and children

It took about two weeks for that notion to be demolished. Dozens of conversations with survivors and advocates revealed a very different reality, and understanding it was like being given the key to a secret room. Domestic violence is not driven by anger, first and foremost. It’s driven by a need for – and a sense of entitlement to – power and control.

But someone with such a powerful drive to control would surely reveal that at work or around friends, I thought. But I wasn’t right about that, either. Sometimes they do, but often perpetrators come across as normal, good people – even pillars of the community.

It wasn’t until I’d spent months researching and writing about it that I began to understand why most people don’t get domestic violence: it doesn’t make sense. The traits are often entirely counter-intuitive, and attempts to look at it through the lens of common sense can actually drive you further from the truth.

It doesn’t make sense that even women who are smart and independent will stay with a man who treats them like dirt. It doesn’t make sense that even after fleeing, a woman is likely to return to that man six times on average – “it mustn’t be that bad”, people say. It doesn’t make sense that someone you know to be a good bloke could be going home to hold a knife to his wife’s throat. None of it makes sense.

But the more you learn about the nature of domestic violence, the more sense you can make of it. For me, a big penny-dropping moment was reading Trauma and Recovery, Judith Herman’s landmark book on understanding psychological trauma. In it, she equates the experiences of domestic violence victims to those of prisoners of war. In both situations, establishing control over the other person is achieved through the “systematic, repetitive infliction of psychological trauma” designed to instill fear and helplessness.

Survivors who have escaped this systematic abuse often emerge from it confused and utterly disoriented. Tragically, that means they often don’t present as credible witnesses: in their post-traumatic state, their stories can be fragmented, highly emotional and contradictory.

In the court system, especially in cases determining the custody of children, victims can appear mentally disturbed and overly anxious, especially compared to their ex-partners, who come across as composed and reasonable. In a system where most lawyers and judicial staff are not trained to recognise the signs of family violence, victims – even ones with court orders on their side – can find themselves being accused of making up allegations to gain advantage.

According to a 2013 survey by VicHealth, a statutory health authority in Victoria, 53% of Australians think women going through custody battles make up or exaggerate claims of domestic violence in order to improve their case. Until I started researching this phenomenon, I believed that, too.

What’s even more confusing is that commonly, perpetrators believe they are the victim, and will plead their case to police, even as their partner stands bloody and bruised behind them. They can genuinely believe their partner provoked them to commit the abuse, just so they could get them in trouble. After a while, the victims start to blame themselves for the abuse, too – after all, he’s so nice to everybody else.

The work is hard, but it is worth it. Looking around at the room full of domestic violence advocates and survivors at last night’s Our Watch awards (launched this year in collaboration with the Walkley Awards, to recognise reporting on violence against women) it really hit me how important this work is. Domestic violence doesn’t make sense. But for these people – and for the thousands who are suffering in silence at this very moment – we need to make sense of it.

Jess Hill is an investigative reporter who contributes to Radio National’s Background Briefing and The Monthly. She has reported exclusively on domestic violence for the past year, and was on Thursday the recipient of three Our Watch Walkley Awards, including the Gold Award for reporting on violence against women.

* Women in danger should call triple zero immediately, while those suffering abuse can call DV Connect’s domestic violence hotline on 1800 811 811.

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Written by protectivemothersallianceinternational

September 15, 2015 at 12:59 am

Family Court Kills Families ( Photography and Quote) / Unstoppable Mothers

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