1. To persist steadfastly in pursuit of an undertaking, task, journey or mission in spite of distraction, difficulty, obstacles or discouragement.

This week sucked.

I won’t sugar coat it.

I sat in court and listened as my X read a clearly rehearsed statement prepared by his family.  I sat there with my chin held high as my X father-in-law chuckled under his breath while the judge addressed a photo of me that he had taped “as a joke”.  It’s not a joke.  None of this is a joke.   It’s sickening.  The judge bought his sales pitch.  He didn’t address the fact that he was driving my children without a valid license and he downplayed the fact that my X hit my daughter.  “Nothing to date warrants supervised visitation” was the answer that I received when I pushed to understand his ruling.  Really?  What DOES it take?  Do I wait for my daughters to be harmed and then they will do something?

Today, I received another slap in the face.  A bill from the attorney who was appointed by the court to represent my daughters.  I am not angry with the attorney– he did his job.  I am angry because he (the attorney) sat next to me in court and recommended the same thing I was asking for: supervised visitation.  What was the point of an attorney who has witnessed first-hand what I am dealing with if the judge didn’t plan to listen to his advice?

The Susan Powell case has rocked me to my core.  It’s my worst nightmare.  A court and a system that was designed to protect two little children failed these little boys.  I will never understand this tragedy.  It was avoidable.  The courts were supposed to act in the best interest of the children and they failed.  They failed miserably.

I was knocked down but not for long.  I am a survivor and I will fight for the safety of my children.  Today, I will begin a letter writing campaign and I will bring attention to my case.  I encourage you to do the same.

Write to your representatives and demand that the system starts doing what it was designed to do: protect our children.

21 Responses

  1. I wrote to my representative and sent the link to your story. You’re doing really well – don’t give up! God is with you.
    Here’s the text of my letter, in case someone wants to use it:

    I have heard many, many stories very similar to the one you’ll find at the link below. The courts of our land consistently require children to undergo visits with a dangerous parent, unsupervised. I suggest that judges must be prequalified via some sort of courses/certification in understanding the thinking and tactics of master manipulators. It is both heartbreaking and frustrating to learn about the decisions of judges like the one you’ll read below. Please do whatever you can to protect the children of divorced and dangerous, sometimes violent, manipulators.

  2. You are so right Tina-the system is flawed and we need to get into action to change it. The Powell case is so scary and hopefully will serve as a wake up call. Children need to be protected.

  3. We need to keep this going. Josh Powell and other sociopaths like him make up 4% of our population (from The Sociopath Next Door by Martha Stout, PhD). There are no tests or counseling that can determine who is or who isn’t a sociopath. However, those closest to them know instinctively based on the many masks worn. Susan Powell knew, her parents knew, and Josh’s sister knew. But their words as character witnesses hold little to no value in the court system today. Hopefully, with the deaths of these little boys, testimony from family and friends will change the face of domestic court cases involving children. I think the courts in Washington really did all they could do. Who would have guessed that Josh Powell was such an evil monster? I think the social worker in this case was VERY lucky. He was prepared to kill her, also, I have no doubt. Nothing was going to stop him. I will write to my representatives. No child is a possession. No parent who views their children in such a way should be allowed visitation. Josh Powell clearly saw no value in his children’s existence beyond the power and control they afforded him. Without them, he was nothing and realized that in his twisted thinking. 🙁

  4. My case and many others is really bad here in Butte County. The child atty loves men and she spends hours talking to them, while not returning calls to mothers nor would it matter. She tells the judges pedophiles are sorry and won’t molest so they get unsupervised, overnight visits.
    They are all about money and keeping the ball bouncing for profit. Thank goodness for Alan Ernesto Philips for making a documentary about us. email him if interested.
    My ex was proven in a psych eval to be a drug addict and mentally ill, the bad kind- narcissistic PD, Borderline. Mediator ignored it all. Prior mediator recommended what the fa. manipulated her into, he wanted supervised visits for me, the protective, non abusing, non using, non mentally ill, involved parent. My son would have freaked out. Lies have been told that I was mentally ill by attys. Horrible. Judges are so biased against mothers here.

  5. Hang in there Tina, you are doing a wonderful job! I know that is easy to say, but don’t give up!! I hope the private investigator will be helpful to you. No mom wants things to go to this point, but if your X does do something, I pray the investigator will catch it. I wish I had hired a private investigator. The hard part it, you can’t take a picture of emotional abuse, you can’t take a picture of fear and intimidation. My X intimidates me when he knows he can get away with it. He lies in court and it works every time. In my case, we had a neutral custody evaluator who saw right through him, her report documented the abuse the kids and I suffered. It documented that my X’s own therapist describes him as “absolutely narcissistic.” Our final judgment and decree just came out and the judge states that my X presents himself as angry and controlling in court and with other professionals, that his psych eval had a high score in one of the validity indicators that he was trying to maintain a sense of adequacy, control and effectiveness. Judge states my X has a bad temper and has taken punishment of our special needs son too far. With all this and a custody evaluation that recommended I get sole legal and physical custody, this judge awarded us joint legal. I have sole physical. Plus the judge states I have alienated the kids against my X. Not one person in my case (GAL, custody evaluator, mental health case manager, therapists, witnesses) said I was alienating the kids. My battle is far from over. We must stay strong and keep protecting our kids. Hang in there Tina and know that I am praying for you, along with many others who follow your blog.

  6. My ex is a master manipulator as well. I’ve been lucky in some respects- he initially agreed to supervised visitations. He also has a lengthy history of treatment so it makes it harder for him to play the innocent victim. He would say the most scary abusive things to me and either deny that he said it, or he would say it was just a joke. Then he would say that the reason I went no contact (other than through my attorney) was because I wanted to punish him and that I was angry and vindictive. My concern for your kids at this point (with no supervision) is slow, methodical alienation. He will likely say things to them like, “mommy is mean to daddy”…” or “mommy doesnt like daddy”…..then the kids start to parrot those things to third parties and it gives him ammo against you. I’d recommend, if you haven’t already, to get them in therapy so a neutral third party can document how you communicate with the kids about their dad. In front of the therapist, you can say to the kids that you want dad to be healthy and happy and wish the best for him. talk about healthy appropriate boundaries. As long as your children know that you tell the truth and they can trust your word, you have alot of power as the safe parent. Question: how do you communicate with your ex? via email? through attorneys?

  7. We need to have a form letter written with actual facts and case references that we can start spreading to the masses. We need people to be educated and aware at a governmental and judicial level.

  8. YOU ARE BOTH FIGHTING A BATTLE FOR THE REST OF US. Never, never, never give up… We thank you, and we are there for you, wish we could do more… love to you both and may your children be safe from abuse.

    Fathers think they have rights as soon as the children are in their lives, mothers’ have to fight to protect children from the men who are abusive and take advantage of their “father” status, when they have not earned the right to be called “fathers’ with either their contributions, or their behaviors…

    Thank you for what you are doing for the rest of the world… you WILL set a precedence because you are going through the greatest battle of all time… we have hope, because of you…

    love to you and yours, deb

  9. Thank you, Deb.

    I do want to say that my goal is not to bash fathers. In most cases, fathers are in fact an intricate part of a child’s life.

    As a child, my mother was not well and my father gained sole legal and physical custody of me. Had my mother raised me, I would be in a horrible predicament.

    My fight is not against fathers…my fight is for the courts to start doing what they were designed to do: act in the best interest of the child. I think that either gender can be capable or incapable of being a stable, healthy role model.

    Hugs to you and prayers for your family. Tina

  10. Thanks for your comment.

    To answer your questions– my oldest daughter (6) has been in weekly therapy since last August. The therapist is amazing and has made tremendous progress. My daughter knows right from wrong and is learning to use her voice. My daughter feels confident relaying things to her therapist and her therapist is willing to testify in court if needed.

    All communication is done through email– I have learned a lot about narcissism and not to play into his games. My emails are infrequent and to the point. My answers to his emails are brief and unemotional.

  11. It is such a frustrating process and I appreciate hearing your story. Some days it just helps to hear that I am not alone.

    I am re-grouping and plan to take this to the next level….wish me luck!

  12. good work momma! prior to going no contact, I was low contact for about 3 years, only communicating via email. every email I sent was either prescreened by my attorney or my best friend. He describes me to the courts as “cold, calculating, unreasonable, alienating, manipulative and able to get people to lie for me”….total projection. my daughter is 6 as well. best of luck. don’t let him bring you down. that’s what they want.

  13. For me my perseverance is weakening….how do you get anywhere when everyone involved (judges, lawyers, etc. ) see no value in a mother…and believe that 4 children (3 of which are girls) don’t even need a mother?

  14. I don’t know the details or your case but don’t give up. Keep fighting. Take it to the next level- start writing letters to your local newspaper, legislators, etc.