I was talking to one of my friend’s last night about her case. Our stories are incredibly similar and we just so happen to be in the same county- and in the same courtroom. We came together last year as a result of my blog. Our x’s share many characteristics and our daughters are the same age- and experiencing the same things. It’s almost uncanny.
She was able to eloquently express what she deems as a primary issue in our local courts and probably in many across the country: the courts have a threshold of what they deem as “acceptable” but as a mother, as a father, as parents and as a society– our thresholds should be much higher. I share her frustration. I sit in court and I watch people who are accused of selling drugs in front of their children. I hear allegations of physical and sexual abuse. I have witnessed parents who have disappeared from their child’s life for five years and suddenly reappear and want to pick up right where they left off. I watch dead-beat parents of both genders as I sit in that courtroom. As I wait for our case to be called, I usually have a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach because I know that compared to what has been addressed before us- the Narcissist appears to be a welcomed relief in many ways.
Much like a doctor becomes accustomed to the cycle of life, our courts have become accustomed to abuse, neglect and abandonment. In recent paperwork submitted to the court, minor’s counsel suggested something along the lines of, “I am beginning to wonder if the mother overreacts to the father’s parenting style“. Those weren’t the exact words (and I don’t have the paperwork with me) but that is what he was eluding to. If you consider emotional abuse a “parenting style” than I am guilty. If you consider leaving a child unattended in a car for 30-45 minutes while you watched sports on television a “parenting style“- than I am guilty. If you consider leaving two children who can’t swim alone in a pool without life jackets on a “parenting style“- than I am guilty. If you consider telling a 4-year old child that you are going to lock her in a dark parking structure and make her sleep there because she is crying a “parenting style“- than I am guilty. If you believe in bullying and scaring children a “parenting style” than I am guilty.
I think that this issue starts in the courtroom and trickles down to everyone who has a hand in the court system–including the very people (parenting evaluators, GAL’s, Child Welfare Services, etc) who are supposed to protect our children. As a society, we should demand a higher threshold when it comes to our children. It sadly comes back to parental rights and the fact that parental rights seem to supersede the right of a child to be healthy, happy and loved.
Something needs to change.
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