Sometimes the struggle for your children, your independence and choosing your own way in life, and as a parent, can be so overwhelming that you start to give up. You get down on yourself and curse God, even question if there is a God. I know, because, like you, I have walked the same path and climbed the same mountain. I have won and I have lost, although I caution you to make sure you get the definition of winning and losing correct, because winning is not always a win and losing is not always a loss. Know what winning and losing mean to you.
People ask me, “How do I stop this? How do I get past all of this anger and madness?” My answer sometimes pisses people off. Everyone wants to fight this system. It is easy to get caught up in the power of your anger and thinking that you are going to change the system. While I would never tell someone not to fight the good fight, or do what you feel compelled to do, I urge caution. This is a system that will eat you a live if you do not understand how tightly woven this group is. It is awesome to put that passion and rage into a positive effort. It really is. One day, someone will break through the barrier that most people encounter. Just know that the kind of fight you are in for will rob you of time with your children and is often done at great personal risk. Know how big of a machine and a maze that the court system is before you open yourself up to attack and weigh the age of your children and if the number of years you could stand to be without them if the system decides to take you to task is something you can live with. You see, when the system decides to punish you, they will not do it with money, they will do it with your children. That is the only punishment they have in their arsenal. They rarely fine parents, because they have no way of getting your money, unless it is child support. For any other judgement that they might order against you, they have no way of taking away your money or your property. What they will do, is take away your children. I know that sounds insane, but they can do this because in their eyes your children are property held jointly by you and your ex, and they know your ex will support you when they do it. Do not think that my saying that, I agree with them. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The trend toward joint custody has been devastating for parents and children. People can have equal parenting time while one has the sole decision making. That would be better for children, especially in high conflict divorce situations.
Personally, I think for most parents, the risk of losing your children is too great to risk a huge fight with the family court system. Your energy would be much better spent parenting to the best of your ability. What you could do is work with another group. The battle is best fought after you are done with the family court. Once your kids turn 18, they cannot do anything to you. You are then free to fight the battle full force.
Some people may not want to fight by that time. There is a peace that comes from putting the insanity of the family court behind you. There is also a fatigue like no other. You will be scarred and licking your wounds, but you will finally have the solace to heal. You may just wish to be done.
For those who are a fighter, no matter when you decide to go into battle, think of the energy of anger. You can put that energy into action. It will help you accomplish great things. That is much better than holding onto your anger and letting it eat away at you.
If you are exhausted and weary from your ordeal, get yourself some rest and prepare for the fight. You will put in a great deal of time and effort, and you will hit many a brick wall. You will find people who you think are going to help you, but they do not.
There is nothing about the family court system that you should go into when you are unprepared. Whether it is mediation with an ex, or testifying in court, or taking on the entire system, prepare. Get some rest, get your mind set and allow any criticisms of you to fall of your shoulders. Then speak without fear. If they have already called you a bitch or an abuser, then you have nothing to lose with them. Their opinion of you will not get much worse. It can only get better. Just know in your heart who you are and what your purpose is. If you can do that, you will make it through.
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