throwing life preserver photo

I am beginning to get more and more people writing me asking for help. At first I thought this would get to be too much in terms of being able to help, but experience has shown me that the best course of action is to write back a general response and then see what happens.

If I hear from them again I will try and set up something so we can talk. Sometimes people just need some encouragement, other times they want to talk about engaging me to learn about what I did to maneuver through the legal system to get the result of recovering my child (and thier recovering me.) When they engage me at that level, I talk to them about general things I know work, sharing court documents and pleadings to give them ideas and the best types types of attorneys and therapists who can best help them directly. Sometimes there are answers and referrals, sometimes there are other things that must be done to held incompetence accountable.

But here’s the thing. Most of the time I never get past the first e-mail. And if I do get past the first one, the next steep drop off is after the second. I started asking myself why and the best answer I can come up with is that people can be so overcome with panic and emotion they simply can’t focus long enough to do something coherent that could change the situation. Or, if I give them advice they decide that even though what they’ve been doing has not worked that what I am saying is crazy or useless. I have had a couple of people actually get very hostile.

I don’t get all that bent out of shape by any of it anymore—it’s obvious it is coming from what can feel like intolerable amounts of pain. It comes across to me as though they are oftentimes drowning. I am not a trained lifeguard but the first aid training I have had has taught me to stay as calm as possible in a stable place to offer a life preserver. Otherwise, I will get pulled in and then it’s game over for everyone. And none of us can help someone who won’t grab the preserver and hold on so they can be pulled to shore.

What I want to offer anyone reading this is to understand the realities of your situation.

The first is that your kids need you. And just like I am with trying to get and remain stable, you have to get yourself stable. Your kids are emotionally and spiritually drowning. They are not adults so they have less capacity than we do for consciously choosing to grab hold of the life preserver. They are looking to you. If you don’t get a hold of yourself you can’t help them.

So, how do you do that?

I have referred many times to coping mechanisms I use and recommend. The very first thing you can focus on, if nothing else, is breathing. Start there. If you take a deep inhale and give then a long exhale you literally FORCE your body to produce a chemical change that calms you down. That causes calmer thinking.

I am coming to the realization that many targeted parents are not likely going to get a good outcome at this point because they won’t do what it takes.

It is by no means a totality but even the highest climb starts with the first step. This has to come before even your kids. You have to stand on the shore. From there, there is a whole world of things to look at from exercise to talk therapy, meditation, EMDR, EFT Tapping, herbal and alternative remedies to antidepressant / anxiety medication and cutting edge stuff like Ketamine therapy (or the FDA approved Esketamine) which has in many cases produced dramatic results in as little times as 2 weeks or less. If you look at the web sites I am pointing to here you’ll these sources are very reputable.

It’s super easy to say something on this list is too far out there or doesn’t work. But then I have to ask—are you so invested in staying within your comfort zone or shooting something new down that you’re willing to potentially drown and allow your kids to drown over it?

I am coming to the realization that many targeted parents are not likely going to get a good outcome at this point because they won’t do what it takes. But every one I and others like me can help makes a difference and hopefully down the line the numbers will improve.

For me, the “hoping it will change one day” answer just wasn’t good enough. I wanted to know, and was willing to try anything because I knew I was needed now, so I will continue to answer all the e-mails I receive and work with those who make it past the initial life preserver toss and make that decision for themselves to do whatever it takes to change what is happening.