Sunday, January 24, 2010
TO MY ABUSERS
Can I change the pain of the past? Can I run from the memories of the past? No, I can not! I did try.
Now, to my past abusers can you run and hide from the damage that, you have caused? No matter where you go in life, the memory of the abuse you caused me will be following each step you take.
Have you ever sat down and think to yourself, 'my God- what have done? I am suppose to protect the woman, child or man that I love.' Why is it so difficult for you to say, forgive me for the pain I caused you?
To all abusers, you can not run nor can you hide from the abuse that you have inflicted on so many victims!!!
I pray each night that my past abusers will find peace because of their denial and lies, it will be difficult for them to find peace of mind.
My peace shines brightly through me; I feel like I can climb the highest mountain and scream out loud and thank God for bringing so many wonderful people into my life.
I will not hide, I will not be afraid, I am strong and positive. I will speak out and I will continue for justice because I am on the right side of the law!!!
Even after I have gone home, I know that, my memory will live on through my children and grandchildren- great, great grandchildren and all my wonderful friends and thier families!!
So to all of you, thank you again for all your love and support!
This is my most favorite article Rosa! Your voice speaks so loudly and clearly! My strength is renewed through your strength!
Yesterday evening my two children and I had a very serious conversation in regards to Domestic Violence that, I sustained from their father. They wanted to know why am I speaking out so strongly now after all these years in silence about the horrible abuse that I suffered by the hands of there Dad?
The love that I have for my family is so overwhelming but I want them to realize that, the love that I have for myself is why I am able to speak out and why I was determined to move forward for my justice. No matter how much I begged and pleaded for it to stop, it did not matter because in the end, I am the one that is left with the marks of the past of abuse.
We can not judge, blame, induce guilt or make them feel shame to any victim or survivor of domestic violence.
It has been more then 20 years since Domestic Violence has entered into my life. My silence has caused me my vision. My silence almost destroyed me!
My father has been gone from my life for more then two years now and a day does not go by that I do not think of my papi and mami.
The day before my father died, he looked at me and said, “Continue to the fight, don’t give up”.
I made my peace with my ex husband and I am a stronger and determined woman then ever because I made my peace.
Forgiveness became very difficult for me because, each day that I waken I am reminded of the years of abuse that I endure.
I often think of women, children and men who are physically sacred from the abuse they suffered.
How many are left burns marks, stabs marks, lost of vision, limbs removed and so on. Each day they are reminded of the plagues that continues to inflict on many lives.
I have acknowledge all the wrong I did in my marriage to my children and to anyone that wants to know the truth but….I know that I will never receive the acknowledgement for the abuse that I have suffered by my ex husband's hand, and the Pa State Trooper.
May god bless all victims and survivors of Domestic Violence!
Thank you for your time and compassion.
Much love and respect,
I'm honored to be able to feature a few writings by Rosa Torres-Sadler, whom is a survivor of Domestic Violence. She has a strong and powerful voice, one that is filled with much love for all of us whom have suffered as well. I'm very proud to call her friend and refer to her as a wonderful advocate for those who can't speak for themselves. God love you Rosa!
WHERE IS THE CHANGE?
WHERE IS THE HOPE?
WHEN WILL IT STOP?
Not long ago I wrote a short blog on ACKNOWLDGEMENT ON DOMESTIC VIOLENCE.
What do we tell our victims when there is no justice? What do we tell our babies, when they cry for their mothers and the courts continue to return them to their abusers?
I want to be able to tell my grandchildren that, there are Judges, Lawyers, and Police Officers that will protect them. I remember seeing the pain in my baby’s eyes when they were little and now here they are as men and they too have their flash backs of the past abuse.
Do our abusers ever think what type of damage they leave behind? Could they ever comprehend the pain the little boys who are now men still carry?
Each abuser is a selfish, disgraceful, evil person. You think that, out of sight out of mind will not affect you and that, the memories will go away but…they don’t. Not for our babies, mothers and fathers.
I want to tell all of the victims and survivors, I know how difficult it has been for you and I feel your pain. I pray that, one day our Justice System in this great country of ours will take notice. Our Courts must listen to the little voices that cry for help.
God bless all of you! The love I feel for my children is the love that, I feel for all my babies, sister’s and brother’s.
Monday, January 18, 2010
A Great Need for Change
By James Foster
There is a great need for change in the current Child Protection Business... Tens of Thousands of children are ripped from their parents arms and many lives are destroyed every year by Child Protective Services, who many times respond to false allegations and create evidence, in order to receive federally given cash adoption bonuses. And all the while claiming the feel good euphemism, "best interest of the child"... Children rarely need to be protected from their parents, however child protection has become a multi billion dollar business... My objective is to help the public become more aware of this obscene injustice, and unacceptable abuse of power... It is time to start honoring families by putting a stop to legal kidnapping and taking the bounty off our children's heads. It's time to start using federal funds to help families that are facing temporary circumstances, instead of destroying them for the sake of feeding the corrupt beast that is, Child Protective Services...
Hello, my name is James Foster. And this is what happened to me. In 2004, an order was placed for my children by my Aunt, who quite simply and blatantly wanted my children for herself... My three daughters were abducted by Child Protective Services on Sept.5, 2005, and given to my Aunt...This was based on an allegation that I had caused a bruise on my six year old daughters forehead… Not only did I not cause the bruise, but an investigation by CPS would have revealed that I worked out of town, and did not even have access to my daughter for 5 days prior to the injury. I was told by the department that their permanency plan was family reunification, and that I would have my children back within thirty days... This was a lie and tactic to keep me from obtaining an attorney.
I later learned that the "service plan" that I successfully completed, which consisted of personal counseling, couple counseling, family counseling, psychological evaluation, drug evaluation, home evaluations, batterer intervention program, anger management program, and parenting classes, was a smoke screen, designed to make it look like they were somehow helping me to become suitable to raise my children, when in actuality, they were using their team of paid professionals to build a case against me…
During this first year in CPS custody they maximized their federal funding by deeming my children “special needs children" by diagnosing them with ADHD and feeding them psychiatric drugs. This way they were able to obtain more federal money... These psychiatric drugs along with the emotional abuse of being ripped away from her parents, and my Aunt and Uncle forcing my kids to call them Mom and Dad, led to Courtney, being admitted into a psychiatric hospital with thoughts of suicide... (Who protects the children, when their God given protectors have been stripped away, and CPS becomes the abuser ?)
This case ended with a "mediated settlement agreement" That took CPS out of the picture, gave my Aunt "PMC," and gave me a graduated visitation schedule. I agreed on this settlement with the intentions of pursuing to regain full custody with CPS out of the picture... During this time My children made an outcry to me that they were being physically abused by my aunt's husband and CPS was forced to investigate the integrity of their own placement. CPS's findings were "no signs of abuse or neglect." But, I have documented photos, a sheriff's report an statement from my daughter, that says she was physically held down on a bed and was beaten black and blue, with a belt, while she lay kicking and screaming and with no clothing (or her daddy) to protect her. All for leaving a car door open...
During this time, my Aunt got her own attorney, took me to court, and tried to have my parental rights terminated on her own. Which had to go before the District Court, not CPS court. The District Court Judge laughed her out of court... It was now time for me to file my own suit to regain full custody. A glimmer of hope, right? Wrong ! My Aunt saught refuge in her old allies, up and gave my kids back to CPS...
This began the second CPS case, and landed my children in a group home, where they are 5 times more likely to be physically, sexually abused or murdered... Over 1000 children are murdered or die from serious neglect in the guardianship of CPS every year... This also required me to begin a new service plan, and gave CPS a second chance to terminate my parental rights, which was now their permanency plan ... How could I have failed as a parent during this time, when the access I had to my children was limited to supervised visitations?
During this time, my visitations were court ordered to take place in a town almost two hours away, however I have documented the violation of these "court orders" by CPS, because the kids were not being brought to these visits about 50% of he time, with no regard to letting me know they were not going to show up...
During one of these times I spent in the waiting room, another parent shared a seemingly believable story that she knew someone who was able to pay CPS and got their children back... When I inquired about weather this was possible with my case worker, she turned around and filed "Felony Bribery" charges on me, which of course was not what happened... Those charges are still pending...
So now with approximately two months before my "final hearing", the CPS judge, tells me I have to get another attorney because the one I had was representing myself and my kids mother... I still don't understand this ruling... However my new attorney who was not familiar with the case was no match for the "State of Texas", whom I’d like to point out, now had three years to prepare their case. On September 11, 2008, Against my children's and my will, and by using unlawful tactics, they obtained a verdict terminating my parental rights. The department promptly scheduled what they proudly call a "final visitation." I have not been allowed to see, talk to, or write my children sense that visit in November of last year...
My case has been in appeal for one year...However the state continues to manipulate the courts by dragging their feet, and was even granted a continuance... We have filed our appeal brief and are now waiting for the state to file their answer, which the appellant court needs before they can make a ruling. The basis for our argument is that the court allowed the state to retry the first case even though we had come to a mediated settlement agreement, and the fact that mistreating my children was impossible, when they were not even in my care... As you can see, there are many injustices in my case. But this is not an isolated incident, in fact, it is a world wide political and criminal phenomenon. If you feel compelled to help, and want the appellant court to return my children to me, then please visit my petition sight at… http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/Psalm127verse3/
Also, I would like to leave you with this poem which I gave to my daughters the last time I saw them. Thank you and God bless... James Foster
A daughter is beauty at its finest.
Heart of an angel, soul so pure, and sweet.
Daughters are one of God's most precious gifts that he has bestowed upon the world.
Angels in Heaven do not compare to thine beauty, and grace my ever so beautiful, and lovely daughter.
Seeing you at birth brought more joy to me
than all the money in the world could ever do.
You are morning, bright, and shining,
you are noon, you reside at the highest point in my heart,
you are the dew kissed night.
You are my daughter, heart, and soul.
Velmar Pewee Hale Johnson
James has kindly contributed his content here for a book being put together to help promote awareness. Thank you James and may God bless you always... -Abby
Sunday, January 17, 2010
God, grant me the strength
To change the things I can change
The courage to face the things I can’t
And the wisdom to know the difference…
Many, many years ago, a young woman had been invited to come for supper at a new friend’s house. She had met him a couple of weeks prior and instantly bonded with him because he was easy to talk to and seemed to be filled with much wisdom as he was quite a bit older than she was.
As she sat on his sofa while he prepared the salad, she couldn’t help but stress over the events that were to take place the next day. She had to be in court the following morning and fight once again with the judge and the people from the Social Services Department.
Larry tried to reassure her that everything would work out the way it was meant to be, regardless whether it would be in her favor or not, but after a time of him trying to get her to understand, as she continually gave him a negative rebuttal, he became frustrated and simply stated, “alright, enough is enough! I’ve heard nothing else from you since I met you but your situation of losing your kids due to your monstrous husband. I’m tired of seeing you feel sorry for yourself, and I’m tired of seeing you’re not working on your own self-esteem. Why are you stressing? If the outcome isn’t what you want, can you change it to where it would be? If not, give it time as time has a way of working things out on it’s own. Can you change it with the stress you’re feeling now?”
She looked at him with a dumbfounded expression on her face as tears welled up in her eyes, “I can’t help, but stress and worry,” she replied. "Every time I’ve been to court, they come up with yet, another stupid excuse to not let me have my babies back and I’ve done everything they’ve asked me to do!”
Larry walked over to her and pulled her up off of the sofa. “If you can’t let go of what’s going to happen tomorrow, even just for a few hours this evening, then get out of my house, go home and feel sorry for yourself and worry by yourself. You can’t change what hasn’t happened yet. I want you to remember one thing though, learn to say, and learn to understand the words to one prayer that I say… God, grant me the strength to change the things I can change, the courage to face the things I can’t, and the wisdom to know the difference…”
He walked her out to her car and gave her a hug. “When you have learned what that prayer means, and when you can get over yourself, call me. You don’t have enough room for a friend right now.”
She left his place broken hearted because once again she was feeling sorry for herself. The next day in court, it was as she had feared and her children weren’t returned to her.
Larry’s prayer began to hum through her mind as she walked down the courthouse steps. “God, grant me the strength to change the things I can,” she whispered…
A few months later, she began to realize exactly what the words meant and she was excited to be able to tell Larry that she finally understood them, plus how she had been working on not feeling sorry for herself. She had missed him and their friendship. She planned on giving him a call after she got off of work that day. During her lunch break, she bought the local newspaper and read as she bit into her sandwich;
Larry S Patton, 55, A retired police officer from Chicago, Ill., was fatally killed in a motorcycle accident while he was on vacation in his hometown.
She never did have the chance to tell him how much she appreciated his words of wisdom, and to be able to tell him years later, just how much of a wonderful man he was for helping her to gain her self-esteem via getting over herself. He showed her how to get out of her dark place. He is dearly missed, even to this day…
This is dedicated to Larry S. Patton, a retired police officer from Chicago, Illinois who passed away in the late 1980’s.
The Full Original Copy of the Serenity Prayer
by Reinhold Niebuhr (1892-1971)
God, give us grace to accept with serenity
the things that cannot be changed,
Courage to change the things
which should be changed,
and the Wisdom to distinguish
the one from the other.
Living one day at a time,
Enjoying one moment at a time,
Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace,
Taking, as Jesus did,
This sinful world as it is,
Not as I would have it,
Trusting that You will make all things right,
If I surrender to Your will,
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life,
And supremely happy with You forever in the next.
Sunday, January 10, 2010
I hope and pray you all have had time to rest and unwind from 2009. If your past year was anything like mine, there were no regrets when December 31st was over with and January 1st presented itself.
So, 2010 is now upon us and thus, as I consider each new year, it becomes yet, another fresh start of a new chapter in life. Have you made any resolutions for the 365 day period? My resolution is, to make no resolutions at all! *chuckle*
Anyway… Since this new year began, I’ve had a couple of questions posed to me that actually took me by surprise because behind the questions, there was a little anger in the voice that asked it. I was asked, “why in the hell do you advocate and get so involved in this domestic abuse sh** since you were abused so badly like you were? Doesn’t it cause you to relive all of the old pain?”
I began to smile and easily replied, “with what I went through, I learned how to become strong enough to help others who either have, or are going through domestic violence. With those lessons learned along the way- maybe my experience can help save even just one person from all of the heartaches of that dark side of life. With being here advocating and trying to help, it gives me more spiritual and personal strength because it makes me feel stronger… and no, the old pain isn’t relived anymore because I learned how to free myself of it by being completely able to forgive my ex-abuser.”
The expression on this person’s face had the look like she had been slapped and after a moment of not saying anything, she quietly and abruptly changed the subject via talking about something else entirely different.
As I thought about these questions and also thought about how far I have come since leaving all of my pain behind, the little voice that lives deep within my being, spoke softly, “I choose to float on a sea of spiritual peacefulness after being tossed about in the stormy winds of all mankind…”
I’m a survivor- I’m at peace with myself and others… If I can do it, you can too…. Let's let this new year be the best it can be.