some names have been omitted in this post
It was a warm late summer day in Texas and we were waiting at the family court house downtown for the trial to begin. My ex of five years after a twelve year marriage had filed a motion to change custody... asking for more time with our daughter (after already obtaining full custody of our son due to him alienating him since 2014) under the guise of "the children needing to be together"... which was completely ridiculous since our son spent the majority of his time at the neighbors home and hence our children rarely saw each other. But my ex was using the idea of siblings needing to be together as the reason to gain more custody of her... at trial he would get on the stand and state that the two kids were "all over each other" which quite frankly if that were true (which it wasn't) could be construed as perverted, incestuous and at minimum weird due to them being different genders and their older ages.... that was the oddest statement to make and caused me to raise my eyebrows. But do you think the court saw it that way? Oh heck no... because so many people swallow his lies like hungry pigs in slop... eager to take all that mess in and enable his lying spiel of garbage.
Our daughter was telling a completely different version... the truth. Which was she rarely saw her brother and did not want to be at her dad's as much... that she wanted more time with me... which she would end up telling Judge Patricia Bennett in the Tarrant County Family Court... who then informed us that just because that's what our child wants that didn't necessarily mean that was how she was going to rule. By that statement we can see that Judge Bennett proved she had zero empathy regarding my daughters feelings and the situation we've had in how her dad treats her. Judge Bennett proved that she did not care because she went and ruled in the exact opposite for zero justified reason... one of her reasons being she doesn't like me writing a blog about narcissism, divorce, custody and the court system. Ms. Bennett fails to realize that my writing has NOTHING to do with my ability to parent day to day which is what is to be looked at by the court; that's the factor in deciding custody... my general writing is not even a factor in this case or situation. What WAS a factor in this case were my blog posts related to my ex's behavior giving detailed truthful examples of such and three years worth of my daughters journal entries yet she completely ignored both and chose to not give a custody change that would be in our daughters best interests.
Writing about these topics has nothing to do with my parenting skills but does show my ex’s apathy, alienation and purposeful harm. I actively listen to my daughter's woes, worries, triumphs and joys... ensuring she is heard, hugged, taught empathy and kindness by example, nutritiously fed (although in her opinion she is in a chronic dessert deficit) and encouraged to exercise by example (which she balks at but hey... we all have to do it to be healthy) and I ensure she does her homework, brushes her teeth, applies sunscreen, etc... all the things a good, responsible and loving parent does along with setting an example of good morals, faith and responsibility. It doesn’t seem to matter how nurturing and responsible you are, the courts rule in the favor of the apathetic parent... causing heartbreak for the good parent and child. I’ve provided a stable, safe and loving home environment for our daughter since our divorce in 2012.
Therapist Gina Galloway stated in a parent consult to me that there has been nothing to show I have been an unfit parent much less shouldn’t be seeing my children.
Judge Bennett stated that my ex has been there for both of our children since 2014 (after my loss of a relationship with our son) and since I “abandoned” our son which is a blatant lie. My ex alienated our son from me preying on the fact he has Aspergers. My ex has not been there for our daughter as she’s felt emotionally neglected and harmed by his alienating behaviors like blocking our phone communication. Our son has been absent from his fathers home the majority of the time due to loathing his fathers new wife as of summer 2016. Judge Bennett decided to UPROOT our daughter from her consistent and stable schedule in my home based on unjustified grounds which she openly admitted in court by stating that she cannot make me stop writing due to free speech but there may be consequences... meaning less time with my daughter. Ms. Bennett needs to be held responsible for her unethical and outrageous behavior and ruling; she is unfit to be on the bench overseeing my custody case and the well being of my children. I have no doubt there are others who feel the same as we know due to groups like One Mom's Battle on Facebook and Protective Parents of Texas as there are countless parents; both moms and dads that have lost time or full custody with their children here in the DFW area and beyond.
The amicus Susan Duesler cornered my mother prior to the trial and wanted to speak with her. My mother had zero interest in conversing with this woman. Generally speaking some people in life are pushy, ignore social cues and believe they have the right to engage with you. We come across these types all throughout life whether it's in a professional setting, romantic or in meeting day to day strangers.... there are those who believe they have the right to overstep boundaries and even dare try to.
“What do you think you could say to Jennifer to get her to stop writing and shut the blog down?” She asked my mother. She had already spent a lot of time pressuring my attorney to get me to stop writing. One of my two attorneys was beyond exasperated that she had been unsuccessful with getting me to shut it down but I didn't care... I told her "I'm writing the truth! It's my life! To that she argued back but I didn't have the time nor patience for her tsk tsking... I saw it to each their own... you worry about your life and I'll tend to mine over here. My other attorney, he didn't believe I should shut it down... "You're a prolific writer" he told me. There was so much time that the amicus should have been using to read through the evidence I submitted so she could follow up with pertinent questions of my ex on the stand at trial yet failed to do so and that time was ultimately wasted. Instead while on the stand she attacked me in an abrasive and demeaning manner and let everything my daughter had written in her journal about her father slide without addressing my ex on those points. It’s so interesting how when someone continues to harass you to stop doing something you have to wonder why; What are their intentions? What are their motives? Why does it bother them so much? These are certainly questions we must ask ourselves. The truth is it wouldn’t matter if I wrote the blog or not... they were hell bent on making me the issue and me out to be a bad parent (they needed a scapegoat) and my ex a good one... and anyone (including my friends and family) knows from reading this blog the past five years that’s just ridiculous. Even if I’d pulled the plug to make them happy and shut it down they still would have ruled in my ex’s favor. I have no doubt about that. This was about power and control. My mother has been a great supporter of my writing and the blog due to she herself lived an abusive marriage with my father for over thirty five years and in that has unfortunately witnessed and been subjected to the continual litigation my ex has pursued following our divorce.... seeing the affects it's had on both of my children and myself.
“Well, she IS an adult... and she hears from women all over telling her they read it and it’s helped them.” She told her.
”Yes, but she could help people other ways... I mean, if she wants to help people she could go back to school and get a degree in something to help them.” She informed my mother. I find it interesting how NO ONE ever asked this woman for her opinion... no one. Ms. Duesler has a degree and IS in a professional position to help people and all she's done is cause extreme loss, stress and upset for me and my daughter. Generally speaking a degree is useless if you're not using it for good... in the matter of child custody it's merely a legalized license to do great harm if you’re not using it for the good of the children.
Ms. Duesler continued “So why didn’t Jennifer finish college?” She asked.
“She was going back to school after they got married, after they moved back to Texas from California. She was trying but she got pregnant with their son and she was having terrible morning sickness... it was all the time. She had to keep leaving the classroom sick and couldn’t keep her grades up. Then she planned on finishing after their son was born but her husband was traveling for work and then there was the autism diagnosis... so she never finished.” My mother explained.
“Well, she’s smart... I mean, she’s really, really smart... she could still go back and finish and do something to help others rather than write.” Susan replied... "I guess she thinks she has a cause."
“Well, she likes writing, this is her passion and she feels this IS her cause to help others.” My mother replied.
Ms. Duesler continues to be involved in this case for six months post trial and the newest decree (I've lost count how many we’ve had, eye roll) being signed by Judge Bennett after the trial... that means her involvement will hopefully end in February 2018. Jane Phillips has agreed to do the reunification therapy for my son and I, which I was glad but I have yet to see progress... because I believe it will be thwarted. The courts set you up to fail. The court takes away your child support for no reason and then when you cannot afford to take your child for the full amount of time because gas and food do cost money they want to point the finger. Because the previous court outcome was not in my daughters best interests I have little hope the court will suddenly be receptive toward me and or grant me more time with my daughter... if anything I believe they will do everything they can to cut down my time more or completely out of vindictiveness. The court system likes to act insulted when someone states they are corrupt and yet they go and commit the very actions and rulings that back up those statements. Go figure.
I have zero faith in the family court system truly looking out for any child's best interests... some groups and individuals would call that being disgruntled by not getting my way... some like to call us spoiled brats having temper tantrums but it's not that. The fact is there was no reason for my daughter to lose time with me... Sunday nights are heart wrenching now because when I have her she crawls into my bed and buries her face into my shoulder crying she has to go back to her dad's when she wants to be with me more... this is not a new issue... she has been living this nightmare and his negative pattern of behaviors for five years now. If a mother is a good mother little girls need to have their mommies in their life as much as possible.... they need that maternal affirmation, assurance, listening ear and love.
The court needs to fix this mess they helped create when they tore her away from me drastically cutting our time together... they are further ruining her childhood after her father already spearheaded that by cheating and not putting his family first. He had two small children; a son with moderate to severe special needs and a daughter with slight special needs... both children needed the stability of a tightknit home and yet he chose the selfishness of sex and lust over what was right and loving. I've heard the term "you play, you pay" so many times and yet the court doesn't see it that way... it's more like "you play, yippee your ex gets to pay" .... in this sick and morally bankrupt modern world where being an adulterer is not viewed as selfish in family court but instead likely that both people weren't doing something they needed to do to keep the marriage afloat... the whole philosophy of "well, you picked him or her out!" which isn't true when who you married doesn't match the person you're now trying to fight just to see your babies. The family court system is completely inept and uneducated when it comes to personality disorders (probably because they are disordered themselves) and recognizing the signs of a parent who displays those traits. The other saying of "well, he or she isn't divorcing their children just you" is such a bs line... I'd like to find the fool who came up with that one and knock them upside the head.... because they ARE choosing to harm their children when they step out and choose another woman or man over their spouse... they are NOT protecting their family... they are CHOOSING to destroy their child's trust and family unit and future belief in love and then they want to yap like an entitled dog who wants their treat(!) that they want to see their kids and oh by the way... they want to get out of child support too... when in fact adultery should be addressed by the court system (maybe then people would think twice before doing it) ... but that would require the courts to actually have Godly morals and values.... which we know they don't. The playing field isn’t even... not when it comes to money, not when it comes to morals and what is acceptable behavior and not when it comes to viewing a case and parties without bias.
If you are going through a custody battle in the family court system my heart goes out to you. Sometimes people think that just because you have an issue with something you must BE the issue... but that’s just not true. Back in my twenties I used to think people who stood on corners and protested were some kind of extremist hell raising outspoken nut jobs. Now I don't. Now I think something so horrible in life has affected those people they feel the dire need to speak up in the hopes for change. God bless them. Like I stated earlier I believe many with the family court system or associated with it think the parents who are raising their voice to be heard and are raising awareness of the corruption are merely just disgruntled litigants that didn’t get their way and are now acting out like belligerent spoiled children. But that couldn’t be further from the truth... I have heard from so many people... strangers that have lost partial custody or all custody to abusive ex’s that it cannot be mere coincidence... and several friends of mine, (interestingly enough men) who have themselves and their children been targets of a corrupted family court system. This begins to show me that it’s not about gender but money because in every one of these cases the parent who received more time with their children made more money. I’ve seen it happen over and over again... and or the parent who gets more custody is an abuser or at minimum manipulative. Our children deserve more... it used to be that people were generally afraid to speak out about these situations they found themselves in but the times and attitudes are changing... with great thankfulness they are... we cannot make progress without speaking up. If we are stating the truth of what was said and done and sharing our stories with the people in our communities we are more powerful than we think. We are powerful when we use our voice and votes for change. It truly begins with us.... we are the warriors... even if we’ve lost custody we can write letters, we can write books, we can create videos online to share factual evidence of what is happening to our children... when I say “our children” I mean individually and collectively as a whole... all the children who have been affected by these corrupt and injustified rulings. Calling all warriors to stand up and take a united stand against the injustices done through family court against our children.
Psalm 23:4 ESV
Even though I walk through
the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil, for you are with me;
your rod and your staff, they comfort me.