GAL Tells Mother Disclosing Child Abuse That She Needs to “Reassure” Alleged Abuser, and Will Recommend Custody to Abuser

June 2016 will mark 10 years involved in the Hennepin County family court system. Many of those years involved the Guardian ad Litem program, Ms. Jamie L. Manning was assigned to my case.

Jamie L. Manning, former Guardian ad Lite on my family court case

I am sharing my story of horrific failures and injustice that have occurred in the Hennepin County family court system and the GAL program in the efforts to raise awareness of family court and GAL failures, and the need for reform. Please be patient, 10 years of documentation is alot to go through.. I am determined that my story will be told; piece by piece.

Notes Taken from Documentation Log December 2009, Phone Conversation with Jamie L. Manning (Guardian ad Litem)

Note: I would highly suggest recording all phone calls and meetings with a GAL or court officer, and bring a witness to any meetings. At the time I did not have this technology, this was recorded on paper, and I was taking notes as Jamie spoke.

Public Domain:

Jamie Manning calls my home phone on Saturday morning, wanting information because there is a court hearing on Monday. It is common for Jamie to hand in her reports at the last minute, when the rule is that the GAL report should be given to both parties at least 10 days prior to any hearing.

I inform Jamie that my 9 year old son, DJ’s, behavior concerns (tantrums) are escalating and pose a safety risk. DJ told me that he got in a fight with his father and hit his father with a knife.

DJ has had a past diagnosis of PTSD, anxiety, Sensory Processing Disorder, Oppositional Defiant Disorder and has been recommended an assessment for Autism spectrum disorder. Progress on getting DJ assessed and diagnosed has been ground to a halt because of refusal from his father, Mr. X, and Jamie Manning has challenged the need for any assessment. 

Jamie Manning is not a licensed medical professional, and does not have any medical or mental health credentials, yet she has asserted, using her position as GAL as if she is an expert, that my children’s emotional and behavioral problems are all related to something I am doing as a mother, and that abuse, trauma and homelessness related to abuse is not a factor. Jamie has reported to the court that the “cure” for my children is to remove their mother from their lives and severely limit visitation, and limit my involvement in their lives. This amounts to court ordered parental alienation, and is its extremely harmful to both children and the targeted parent.

When DJ was in my care he had mental health case management services, psychiatric care and in-home family therapy. I was also getting support, and taking classes, to learn how to parent a special needs child, and learn skills so I can work with DJ in a way that met his needs. When Mr. X won custody all of those services were terminated, and my son was taken off his medication. Mr. X refuses to communicate at all about how my children are doing, will not share medical information and is refusing to get DJ a need psychological assessment. Mr. X’s way of dealing with DJ largely involves threats, rage and physical punishment or alternately, bribes of gifts.

I told Jamie that I was concerned for my child’s safety ad that I felt DJ need an assessment to determine if other interventions were needed. 

(I remember this very clearly) Jamie told me that I am “just calling her to make Mr. X look like an unfit parent”, and she is “unclear of my motives”. 

I responded that I think it is serious that DJ is disclosing that he had an incident which involved an altercation with dad that involved wrestling on the floor and hitting dad with a knife. (DJ said “hit” – not stab, there was no puncture or wounding that I am aware of. It was common for Mr. X to forcibly restrain DJ by sitting on him, holding him down hog tied, and putting a hand on his neck and pressing him to the floor. Often DJ would become frightened and try to fight back which would lead to Mr. X increasing the threats and use of physical force).

I also told Jamie that I am just a parent, it is not my job to be a therapist or a crisis counselor but it is concerning to me. I have no other choice but to get another opinion on what is happening, and seek help, because Mr. X is refusing to communicate with me and refusing to work with me on addressing the needs of my child.

Jamie suggested I call Mr. X to discuss my concerns (even though he is refusing to communicate or share information, and this follows a long and well-documented pattern of behavior).

Jamie then tells  me that “maybe Mr. X is afraid to get help because he feels that I will say that he is an unfit parent and I need to reassure him that I won’t do that.”

At this point there have been over a dozen documented reports of child abuse against Mr. X that have included direct allegations from the children, reports from concerned professionals, medical reports, pictures of injuries and substantial emotional and behavioral problems exhibited in the children to include anxiety, PTSD, and acting out abuse behaviors. The children were also involved in various therapy programs, in which the therapists had also witnessed signs of possible abuse and trauma. 

I tell Jamie that I feel that we need an outside person to look at the concerns and to assess any risks to the children. If Mr. X was communicating with me, I would not have to be making calls to other people (Jamie is telling me that something is wrong with me for seeking professional intervention or asking for professional opinion).

I then gave Jamie the following examples:

  1. My son DJ hit his sister and left visible bruises, and I was not informed until I saw the bruises when the children came into my care (DJ has a history of acting out abuse by becoming violent and abusive towards his sister).
  2. DJ has tried to run away from school and was physically restrained by adults trying to stop him, and I was not informed until after the fact. I was available to pick my child up from school that day but was never called, or informed, that there was an emergency.

Jamie tells me that “if it was so bad then the school could make a phone call”.

I told Jamie that the school did not know what to do.

Jamie told me that Mr. X “had adequately responded” to the incident at the school.

I told Jamie the truth – it took over two hours for Mr. X to get to the school, and in that time my son DJ was frightened, and being physically restrained by four adults.

It is obvious that Jamie is not concerned for the safety of my children, and anything I say will just make her more hostile towards me. I apologize to Jamie for bothering her with a phone call – just like I would apologize, and become submissive, when my abuser became angry with me. I am at a stronger place in my life now, and there will be no apologies to abusive or dysfunctional people.

Jamie says that I can “call anytime” and that her “observations of Mr. X are positive”. And went on to say that she will recommend to the court that the children remain in the care of Mr. X . And that is exactly what Jamie has done, and even after being placed in the care of their father, both children have continued to report abuse, and have continued to exhibit severe emotional and behavioral problems that have deeply impacted their life. 

I was once a stay at home mom, who devoted my life to caring for my children, and nurturing their growth and potential… the alleged abuser has won sole custody and I only get one visit a month. My children still ask to come home.

  • Emily Court, 2016

Public Domain:



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A Call to Action: Minnesota’s Guardian ad Litem Program Needs Reform (Repost)

I have personally experienced the substantial failures in Minnesota’s Guardian ad Litem program and witnessed the devastating effects on my children, and my family.


Due to systemic failures, lack of oversight, lack of training, Guardians assuming roles beyond the scope of their duties, cronnyism and a host of other problems the GAL program in Minnesota is failing children and causing irreparable harm to children and families. This is a problem that is veiled in secrecy, and cover-up from within the family court system and its alliance of related professional networks.

Source: Public Domain

The Minnesota State Guardian ad Litem Board has been aware of the failures of the GAL program and has refused to acknowledge the problems or implement needed change. Even Minnesota’s Legislators and Senators are aware of the problems, yet there has been no change. Complaints against various Guardians, and the program itself, have gone back 20 years (or more) with no response, no substantial reform. Even the revisions to the GAL complaint procedure have not resulted in any meaningful change. Parents who raise complaints against a GAL often become targets for retaliation, and their complaints are dismissed even when there is evidence or documentation to support their complaint. GALs are not only given immunity but are untouchable.

For example, the State GAL Board is specifically aware of a number of complaints against my former GAL, Jamie Manning, and yet will not investigate. When City Pages published an investigative article about complaints against Ms. Manning the court system and legal system largely cast blame on the parents instead of doing their own independent investigation or examining the merit of these complaints.

Separated From Their Kids, Parents Unite Against One Court Guardian by Susan Du (City Pages)

When you have 5 parents publicly speaking out… and many other complaints that have not been heard… that demands an inquiry. No one is concerned with how these children are doing. And I can tell you that my children are not doing well.. they have experienced and witnessed things that no child should ever have to bear.

When I filed a complaint with program manager Laurie Kusek, she did not even respond; and as a result (in my opinion)  she has enabled the abuse of my children to continue. I filed a lengthy complaint with Kusek and included evidence, documentation and collateral sources and did not even get a phone call or letter or any effort to acknowledge that she had received my complaint. Absolutely no action was taken, and the GAL Jamie Manning continued to violate the statutory duties of a GAL, and then worked to forcibly separate me from my children without any legal justification. There has NEVER been any safety issues concerning me with my children – the safety issues, and allegations of abuse have all been related to their father, whom Ms. Manning supports and has greatly helped throughout the many years of involvement in my custody case. This is a man with a lengthy criminal history, a history of various addictions, and who was diagnosed by the court’s own psych exam as having a “personality disorder”. A man who presented such a danger that my children and I were forced to flee the home, and become homeless, for our own safety. How is it in the “best interest” or my children to be in the care and custody of an unstable, allegedly abusive father? How is it in the best interest of my children that the GAL is defending and advocating for one parent – and NOT the children, even as they suffer from a host of emotional, and behavioral problems and continue to make allegations of abuse and neglect?


And yet Kusek is awarded by Minneapolis Rotarians, and given “the highest honor” for “for her persistence and energy in helping CASA MN (nonprofit) continue to recruit and retain volunteer guardian ad-Litems and promote the CASA guardian ad Litem program’s efforts to advocate for children in child protection.” (Dec 2015). Once again the problems existing in Minnesota’s GAL program go ignored, the complaints go ignored and the cover-up continues.

When the GAL program fails who is protecting the children? Reform is needed in the GAL program to better protect children, and ensure a fair system for all. The Minnesota GAL program is in need of an audit and independent investigation. And the Minnesota’s political leaders need to be to hear complaints and investigate the concerns so that needed change can occur.

It should not be that children and families are being re-abused by the system.

A Call to Action ~ Together We Are Stronger (C2A)

Many concerns have been raised about the use of guardians ad litem…most complaints are connected with guardian activities in family court cases, primarily in contested divorce actions. Complaints have focused on guardian bias towards either women or men, lack of oversight and accountability, inadequate training, inappropriate communication between guardians and judges, and other inappropriate behavior…”- Evaluation Report, Guardians ad Litem, 1995: MN.

Minnesota’s Guardian ad Litem (GAL) program has a long history of problems and complaints regarding systemic failures, lack of accountability and improper conduct by Guardians. In many cases, GAL program is contributing to the escalation of familial conflict, and directly placing the lives of children at risk.

The public is largely unaware of the problems existing in the GAL program because 1) there is an overall lack of transparency as well as a lack of accountability and 2) many parents negatively impacted by the GAL program do…

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Richard Dawkins: Says the State Needs to Protect Children from Parents, Religion

Dublin, Ireland, Feb. 2015: Richard Dawkins, British biologist and author, and well known atheist gave a speech in which he stated that children need to be protected by the state (government)… from their own parents.

In an interview with Irish Times, before his speech at Trinity College, Dawkins told the media:

“There is a balancing act and you have to balance the rights of parents and the rights of children and I think the balance has swung too far towards parents…

Children do need to be protected so that they can have a proper education and not be indoctrinated in whatever religion their parents happen to have been brought up in.”

Dawkins later speech focused on Darwinism and misconceptions about science. He also gave support to the activist group Atheist Ireland, who is leading a campaign to remove religious education from schools.

What Dawkins is advocating is a monumental intrusion of government involvement into the lives of families that would lead to parents losing custody of children, and children being taken into state care. 

The Supreme Court of the U.S. has traditionally and continuously defended that parents have a fundamental right to decide, control, and administer, the education and upbringing of their children. For example, in Meyer v. Nebraska (1923), 262 U.S. 390 , the Court emphasized, “The Fourteenth Amendment guarantees the right of the individual … to establish a home and bring up children, to worship God according to his own conscience.”

In another case  (Calabretta v. Floyd, 189 F.3d 808 (9th Cir. 1999) The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit said in its ruling, “The government’s interest in the welfare of children embraces not only protecting children from physical abuse, but also protecting children’s interest in the privacy and dignity of their homes and in the lawfully exercised authority of their parents.”

When courts and CPS do not recognize that parents do have rights that are protected by the Constitution and state laws, abuses of power occur… and always, children are harmed. 

How to Protect Yourself from Violations of Your Rights from the Government, Court or CPS?

I offer some tips, please feel free to add your own tips, links or additional information in the comments section:

  • Know your rights.  The Due Process clauses of the 5th and the 14th Amendments say the government cannot deprive people of life, liberty, or property without due process of law.
  • Do the research on the issues that affect you. Or the laws regarding the issues you are dealing with.
  • Get informed about court policies and procedures.
  • Find a support group, or advocacy group.
  • Get an attorney or legal help or other professional help.
  • Make copies and organize all important papers. Store them in a safe place. Leave instructions with someone you trust on how your documents should be cared for if you can not do so yourself.
  • Don’t sign any documents without first consulting with a qualified professional.
  • Keep a journal. Document recent events.
  • Organize important documents so they are easily accessible.
  • Consider bringing a witness or support person with to a meeting or court date. The witness must have the ability to remain calm, professional and neutral. The witness should not interrupt or interfere with proceedings but rather take notes or keep a record. Select your witness carefully – as a poor one may jeopardize your case!
  • Back up facts with evidence, sworn witness statements or relevant case law. Avoid unsubstantiated allegations.
  • Do not reveal or give out more information than is necessary. The court, CPS or other government official is NOT your friend!
  • Do not give up hope!

— Emily Court


Life Site News: Richard Dawkins: The state needs to ‘protect’ children from religion…and their parents

Independent: Richard Dawkins: ‘Children need to be protected’ from religious parents

CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICES AND THE JUVENILE JUSTICE SYSTEM: A guide to protect the constitutional rights of both parents and children

HSLDA: Decisions of the United States Supreme Court Upholding Parental Rights as “Fundamental”

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“Blurry” by Puddle of Mudd – Video Depicts Challenges of Visitation, Co-Parenting

The video for “Blurry” by Puddle of Mudd (2001, Come Clean) tells a powerful story about a father wanting to spend time with his son, and depicts some of the difficulties with co-parenting after divorce or separation.

Wes Scantlin said he wrote the song about wanting to be a good dad, and wanting to spend more time with his son. The child in the video is played by Scantlin’s real son, Jordan. Jordin Scantlin is a guitar player who has performed “Blurry” on stage with his father (October 26, 2009, at the Blue Note, in Columbia, Missouri) and performed with him at other concerts, as well.

I wonder what you’re doing, Imagine where you are, There’s oceans in between us, But that’s not very far…

I was in the locker room at the gym when the song “Blurry” by Puddle of Mudd came over the speakers. I had never seen the video to the song before but the words were like arrows aimed at my heart; something about this song reminded me of the ongoing family court battle I found myself in, and the resulting loss of my children.

Can you take it all away?, Well you shoved it in my face, This pain you gave to me, Can you take it all away?

The screaming lyrics, and pounding drums reminded me of all the things I wanted to say, all the tears I held back…

Cause I am lost without you, I cannot live at all, My whole world surrounds you, I stumble then I crawl…

I hopped on the treadmill, and cranked up the speed for an intense fat burning work out, there was a lot of emotion going into today’s run.

Can you take it all away?, Can you take it all away?”

When I finally saw the video for “Blurry“, I was surprised to see the story line was about a father struggling to maintain a relationship with his son after a relationship with his wife or girlfriend had ended.

Everything’s so blurry, And everyone’s so fake, And everybody’s empty,
And everything is so messed up…

Blurry” shows some of the struggles the father has co-parenting. 

One scene depicts a custodial parent who acts irritated as she drops the child off to visit the father. The custodial parent is tapping her watch, as if to hurry the visit along – or maybe she feels taking time out of her day for her child to visit the father is a bother? The boyfriend is in the front seat of the car, chugging a beer. Though the video is fictional, you can still feel the tension of the scene. It is easy to imagine how uncomfortable and confusing that same tension would be on a child who is at the receiving end. Similarly, no parent should made to feel guilty, ashamed, bad or that they are a bother (etc) for wanting to spend time with their child.

For the parents who are struggling after divorce or separation, or maybe you have felt your anger or hurt or other emotion get the best of you – I understand that it is a natural reaction to have some strong emotions after a divorce or separation; but those feelings are toxic when projected onto your children.

How do you know when that is happening? Some red flags: Your child talks about the other parent and you get angry, make negative comments, or find that you can not listen or tolerate any mention of the ex partner. You feel triggered or reminded of past events, the divorce, or your ex partner constantly – or your child is a trigger for you. You have difficulty sleeping. You have difficulty concentrating. You have difficulty going to work or doing the things you once enjoyed. Your friends or family are making comments to you about your mood, behavior or that you are bringing up certain issues too much. Your conversation may be directed entirely about your divorce, your ex, your custody dispute to the point you drown out all other conversation.  If you are in the place where emotions are overwhelming, when you feel constantly reminded of past events, or when your emotions are negatively affecting your children, or other aspects of your life – seek help or support. You deserve peace in your life, and your child deserves the full benefit of the love and care you provide. The best arrangement for your child, is if you can co-parent in a way where you can at least be civil to the other parent, and support your child in having a relationship with both parents. This is not always possible, especially in domestic violence situations, those cases require special care, with professional intervention. 

It was both sad – and familiar – to watch as the father in the video bond with his son, and have a fun day – and then be forced to return the child to a potentially dysfunctional or unsafe environment.

The hardest scenes to watch, in the video, involved the mother fighting with her new boyfriend, at times in front of the child. In one scene, the boyfriend is pointing at the child, and shaking his finger. The child’s face in bathed in sunlight but looking down in a sad way. I got the feeling the boyfriend resented the time the child spent with his father, or was perhaps, jealous. The boyfriend is also shown drinking beer throughout the video, implying he has a problem with alcohol.

A note to parents who are dating or romantically involved – Children come first! Be careful who you introduce to your children, or allow into their lives. The risk to your child’s safety and well-being should be a priority, that child is depending on you to keep them safe, and to nurture their growth. Do not let being lonely, or being vulnerable, compromise your judgment. If unsure, get advice or a second opinion from people you trust.

I am currently in this predicament. I only get a limited amount of time with my children, and so many things go unsaid. I have a wonderful day, bond with my children and do fun things. For a moment, the relationship between my children and I feels restored. We laugh together. Visit parks or museums. And dream about our future… my son says that he wants to own a luxury hotel and resort one day, and that “I will name my first hotel after you, mom, it will be ‘The Emily‘”.

And then the sky darkens, and the moon ascends, the time of the painful good-bye has come. No matter how peaceful the transition looks. No matter how calm my children’s face are. No matter how silent they go back to their father’s home – the pain is there, like an underground river of unshed tears, running between us. My children and I have been taught to remain silent, forced to. Punished for showing emotion, and told it is wrong or crazy or some other label slapped on us by ignorant family court professionals. As my children slip out of my arms, after the last hug, there will be weeks of no contact. No phone calls. No updates of any kind. Any questions I ask to my abusive ex will be ignored. All attempts to communicate will be rejected. Judge Robben will say that I did not try hard enough to communicate, try again. Or maybe I did not document, to Robben’s  satisfaction, that my abusive ex is not communicating. I have to “prove” that I am not the problem.  And the legal process will create more delay, and more delay will mean more separation from my children. And with separation, my children become more and more estranged from me, from their heritage – from their home. Our relationship has become one of estrangement, and continued disruption.

If that is not bad enough, there is the pain of being helpless to protect your children as an abusive or dysfunctional parent exposes them to things no child should have to witness, or endure… But when the next visit comes, you have to smile and push all those things aside, because you only have a short time together, and those moments have to attempt to heal all the damage that has been done. 

~ Emily Court, 2016

Disclaimer: I realize that Puddle of Mudd frontman, Wes Scantlin, has issues with substance abuse and violent behavior. I am not endorsing or condoning his behavior, or actions. The content of the video for “Blurry” belongs to its creator alone, as does the depiction of events portrayed within the video. The video was directed by Fred Durst, of Limp Bizkit.

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Alberta Judge Acquits Boy of Murdering Abusive Father in order to Protect his Mother

Source: Flikr, “A Child Once Loved Me” by tmcnem.

October 2015 (Alberta, Canada): In a case of tragic justice, an Alberta judge has found a 13 year old boy not guilty of second-degree murder after he fatally shot his abusive father in order to save his mother.

In making his ruling, Justice Paul Jeffrey of Court of Queen’s Bench said, “The first shot taken by H was in defence of and to protect his mother, to avoid her imminent murder if he did not intervene…I find the second shot was in defence of himself and also his mother, because the first was insufficient to restrain his father’s aggression, by that time headed towards him. There is far more here than a reasonable doubt having been raised.” The boy is referred to as “H” because he cannot be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

The father had a long history of committing abuse and brutality against his wife and children.

The Global and Mail reports several incidents of abuse as happening in the home “Court heard the father had a long history of viciously beating his mother, including knocking her front teeth out with a belt buckle, breaking her nose and choking her so severely that she almost died in hospital.

The man beat one his daughters, knocking her into a bathtub, causing her to miscarry.

He also whipped the boy and one of his brothers with an antenna and wire.

The father often locked the boy, his siblings and their mother in a room for up to two days.” (Source: Alberta judge acquits boy of murder who shot abusive dad to protect mom)

By all accounts, the wife and children lived in constant fear. The father is also reported to be a heavy drinker. The mother is reported to have a permanent bump on her head after her husband knocked her in the head, he had also broken her nose on 3 separate occasions. H says the beatings began at age 7, before then he surely witnessed violence or had been subjected to emotional abuse, and other forms of abuse.

On the day of the shooting, the man was beating his wife. The mother was in a weakened state, having just returned home from the hospital after being put on life support after another incident where she was choked by her husband.  13 year old H got a 30/30 Winchester from his grandfather’s bedroom in order to protect his mother. The father saw H with the gun and then threatened to kill both the mother and son. That is when H fired the fatal shots, the first shot entered the stomach. When the father continued to advance toward H, he fired again. H then picked up his baby sister and fled the home.

Justice Jeffrey found that H had no other choice, and this was a case of self defense, to shoot in order to save his mother (and himself). “In the circumstances, his actions were reasonable or, at a very minimum, he has raised more than a reasonable doubt that his acts were reasonable in all the circumstances.”

The boy, H now age 15, will be freed after spending more than two years in custody at the Edmonton Young Offender Centre. 


If you are involved in an abusive relationship, or have concerns about your safety of that or your children due to a violent partner, please seek help or support. There are many options available for safe, confidential support, advocacy and legal services. 

If you have concerns or have witnessed possible domestic violence or child abuse in the family of a friend, family member, neighbor or someone you know, please make a report or seek professional advise, coming forward could save a life. 

CANADA: Domestic Violence Agencies

International Domestic Violence Resources

US: The National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-7233 | 1-800-787-3224 (TTY)

Violence UnSilenced offers a page of information and resources for the US, UK and Canada including domestic violence hotlines, information about child abuse, information about dating abuse and much more: Violence UnSilenced Abuse Resources


“Abusive father killed by teen to save mother, judge rules” by Lokalee Reporter

“Alberta judge acquits boy of murder who shot abusive dad to protect mom” by Globe and Mail

‘Alberta boy, 13, had no choice but to kill his father to save his mother from ‘imminent murder’: judge’ by Ryan Cormier, Postmedia News

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“Held” by Natalie Grant – Encouraging Song

“This is what it means to be held, How it feels, when the sacred is torn from your life, And you survive..”

The song “Held” by Natalie Grant is a powerful song about God’s love holding and sustaining us through unspeakable pain.


Two months is too little, they let him go

They had no sudden healing
To think that providence
Would take a child from his mother
While she prays, is appalling

Who told us we’d be rescued
What has changed and
Why should we be saved from nightmares
We’re asking why this happens to us

Who have died to live, it’s unfair
This is what it means to be held
How it feels when the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive

This is what it is to be loved and to know
That the promise was that when everything fell
We’d be held

This hand is bitterness
We want to taste it and
Let the hatred numb our sorrows
The wise hand opens slowly
To lilies of the valley and tomorrow

This is what it means to be held
How it feels, when the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive

This is what it is to be loved and to know
That the promise was that when everything fell
W’ed be held

If hope if born of suffering
If this is only the beginning
Can we not wait for one hour
Watching for our Savior

This is what it means to be held
How it feels, when the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive

This is what it is to be loved and to know
That the promise was that when everything fell
W’ed be held


Published by
Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., MIKE CURB MUSIC

Read more: Natalie Grant – Held Lyrics | MetroLyrics

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Emotional Abuse and Alienation: Throwing a Punch That Can Be Felt Miles Away


Today I was supposed to spend time with my 2 beautiful children. I am grieving the loss of my children, and what could have been… 

The alarm on my phone beeps, indicating there is 30 minutes before the event begins. I push the silence button. There is too much silence – there is dust gathering on the turrets of a pink castle, the home to my daughter’s toy dolls. A pile of clothes lies forgotten in my son’s bedroom. He has outgrown most of the clothes without even wearing them. A frying pan sits on the stove, it is a pool of blackness where meat once sizzled, and fried rice sauteed in fragrant spices. I close my eyes, and sleep in silence. There are no children to tell bedtime stories to, or say prayers together. I wake up to silence. There are no children to make breakfast for. No children to help get ready for school. Their clothes go unused in the dresser, as time passes, the color fades and the clothing goes out of style. The home that was once filled with the happy laughter of children is now silent.

My kids were looking forward to attending a special event at church. This event is held only once a year, and when my children saw a flyer about it they were excited to go. We had been planning this event for months. The event is also special because it would allow my kids to volunteer, and help people in need. Due to the abusive and controlling behavior of Mr. X, my children will not be visiting me today, and will not be attending the event. I can not go to the event alone, and without my children… my heart is thudding in my chest as I write, trying to resist the sadness that is racing through my bloodstream, threatening to consume me. No matter how strong I try to be, or how optimistic, there is always a current of grief in my life – the aching loss of my children. 


Emotional and psychological abuse is like a throwing a punch that can be felt miles away, inflicting bruises without physical contact. The emotional abuse started as soon as Mr. X discovered that I wanted to attend this event with the children, and that the children were looking forward to it. Since Judge Robben limited my parenting time to just one visit a month, Mr. X has complete and total control of when I see my children outside of that one visit. Judge Robben justified the one visit a month, and said it meets the statutory minimum of parenting time (it does not!) because Mr. X does allow some additional parenting time. Judge Robben is basically empowering Mr. X to continue to abuse me (Domestic Violence by Proxy), and to subject the children to emotional and psychological abuse as well as the intentional deprivation of their mother. My children now suffer from severe, and debilitating, emotional and behavioral problems and will likely be scarred for life. 

This is what Mr. X does, how the emotional abuse manifests – I will write an e-mail or leave a text messages (he does not talk to me on the phone, and will not answer calls or return messages) asking for additional parenting time. Mr. X will refuse to respond. Weeks will go by with no answer. As the time of the event nears, I will try again to ask if the kids can come to the event. Every time my phone signals a text message, I am on high alert hoping… I scan my e-mail in anticipation but the inbox is empty. The excitement and hope of seeing my children is followed by rejection, and the silent treatment. I struggle against associating hope with pain. My children have given up, and basically assume that they will not see me, and have stopped looking forward to coming home (this is a symptom of parental alienation).

Mr. X will finally get back to me — usually at the last minute. In this case, he said that my children could come to the event, and told me that I can have them for a visit on Saturday. Then Mr. X refuses to give me a time for when I can pick the kids up. This will go on for several more days — ignoring my text messages, no response or communication, and so I cannot plan an even or even count on seeing the children. One simple request to have additional parenting time has stretched out to a week of Mr. X playing mind games, and inflicting emotional abuse. My nerves are frazzled. I alternate between hoping I will be able to see my children, and giving up. I can never really give up, these are my babies. I can not imagine what my children are experiencing, and can do nothing to protect them from this emotional assault.

After about 5 days of this mental torture — torture because the love you have for your children, and the excitement of seeing them is being used as a weapon to hurt you — Mr. X will text me back but his answer is vague or noncommittal. Still no plans are set. Mr. X then tells me that my oldest son DJ has other plans for the day. This is an alienation tactic – encouraging the child to attend other events during scheduled parenting time with the targeted parent. Another thing Mr. X does is make the plans so complicated that I cannot comply with his requests. In this instance, Mr. X was asking me to do an extraordinary amount of driving to meet his various requests, the driving Mr. X asked me to do would total to about 2 1/2 hours of my visit. When I offer a compromise, or ask for something different, Mr. X either refuses to respond or refuses to work with me. And in the end I have to comply to his ridiculous, and harmful requests in order to see my children. Or not see my children at all.

When I asked for a compromise Mr. X refused to respond at all. In silence I watch the clock tick by, minute by minute there is no reply. And I will not see my children today. There is no answer or explanation for this. Only silence. And I know my children are hurting, and wondering what happened. Wondering why Mom did not come to pick them up. Wondering why they cannot go to the event. They have been waiting for weeks to go to the event… and there is no answer. I cannot talk to my children. Or hug them. Or explain why. Mr. X is inflicting real pain and suffering on my children. And the Hennepin County Family Court, along with Judge Robben and GAL Jamie Manning, is allowing this abuse to continue.


I am grieving the loss of my children today. I spent the whole week preparing. My fridge is full of food for the dinner I wanted to make. And my heart is full of tears for what could have been. I miss my daughter’s smiling face, and sarcastic humor (so much like mine!). I miss my son showing me video games, and singing to Monstercats. I miss the kids playing together. I miss being a mother.
I will never get over this loss. I will never move on. I will fight with all my strength for justice in the family courts. No child should be forced to live without one parent. And no child should be forced to live in an unsafe or dysfunctional home. 

I am a fit, loving parent who just wants to be a mother to my children. Hennepin County Family Court will not allow that to happen – instead of preserving the family, the Court is destroying mine. 

~ Emily Court, 2015


A Protective Parent is a fit, loving parent who has lost custody of a child due to injustice and systemic failures in family court. Protective Parents are called “protective” because they are punished by the family court for raising concerns about domestic violence or child abuse. Protective Parents work to keep their children safe, and work to maintain a presence in their children’s lives despite the enormous challenges against them. The blue ribbon is for child abuse awareness, the purple ribbon is for domestic violence awareness. 

Posted in Abuse Allegations & Documentation, Child Abuse, Family Court Injustice, Judge Robben, Our Family Albulm, Parental Alienation/DV by Proxy | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments