Motherless Day: Mother’s Day Without My Children

This is what it is like to be alienated from your children on Mother’s Day due to an abusive ex, and an unjust family court order… 

The last time I saw my children, they said to me, “Dad is thinkin’ about letting us visit on Mother’s Day… we might get to see you.”

My son was hinting about a gift he for me, I told him an extra big hug was I wanted most. My son is getting so big that when he hugs me tight, I can barely breathe! My daughter was excited to spend the day together, but hesitant to say much in fear that the visit would not happen.

I don’t know how long my kids were teased with the half-promise, “Spending Mother’s Day with Mom…” It had to be at least 2 weeks.

Two weeks of remembering special memories. The time my children gave me purple flowers for Mother’s Day, my favorite color. The time my children squashed into those plastic toy cars you ride in the mall for a few quarters, how they laughed as they bumped back and forth, their legs and arms smashed the tiny car…how my youngest son tried to cram inside, and I angled from the outside, snapping pictures as they screamed and laughed, making exaggerated faces. How we used to play “The Million Things I Love About You”.

Two weeks of excitement, as Mother’s Day neared, the possibility… seeing Mom on one extra day.

Two weeks remembering the last hug, the last “I Love You”.  The big hugs, laughter, talking about our next visit.

Once my children see their father, they shut down. Eyes go blank. Laughter silenced. No hugs. No sign of affection. They look like zombies as they coldly turn away with barely a word, and my youngest (who lives with me) screams, “Sissy! Brother! Come back!”


Two weeks: One week before the visit, when it was suggested to my children that they might see Mom. And at least a week passed since the visit. Two weeks ticked down to nothing.

During these two weeks, my kids would be teased with the half promise they could see Mom on Mother’s Day, and when the visit never happens my kids will be hurt, sad and angry. Child 1 has already told me, “I don’t expect to see you Mom but when it happens it’s a bonus.” Child 2 does not understand why she cannot see me, and has demanded I personally talk to “the judge” and tell him to allow more visits. Over time, my children are becoming more distant…even angry… I am a Mom. I am supposed to do something. I am supposed to make it better. But I can’t. 

Judge Robben and the Family “Justice” Center is also responsible for this Motherless Day. Judge Robben had it in his power to order a holiday parenting time schedule, to include Mother’s Day. But he refused to give me even that. It is really disgusting that a  so-called “family” court judge would not work to keep a family intact but instead work to destroy the family. Judge Robben gave me one visit a month with my children—period. There will be no holiday parenting time. No Mother’s Day. No birthdays. No vacation time. No school release days. No religious holidays. No chance I will ever be able to be active in my children’s life, able to see them grow up, and nurture their progress as a Mother should. 


I just want my children to know: I love you from the top of your head, to the tips of your toes, to the inside of your heart and the light of soul. I thank God for you everyday. I love you with all my heart. And pray that you will be home soon. Wherever I am, I think of you. I love one million things about you!

~ Emily Court, Motherless Day 2014

What is Parental Alienation? Parental Alienation is when a parent uses a child as a pawn to get revenge on, hurt or retaliate against another parent. Often, parental alienation is an extension of abuse hat occurred within a family. Or, it manifests at the onset of a family crisis or separation/divorce. 

Children do not naturally reject the relationship and love of their parent. Parental Alienation uses manipulation, threats/intimidation, bribes/coercion, controlling behavior and other forceful tactics to separate a child from the targeted parent–and ultimately get that child to hate, reject or refuse contact with that parent. Many children who have been alienated will even reject or refuse contact with the targeted parent as an adult, long after the custody battle is over.

Common tactics of alienation include (but not limited to):

*Throwing away/destroying gifts from the other parent

*Not allowing the child to wear clothes from the other parent, insisting they put on special clothes instead

*Denigrating, talking bad about, calling the other parent names in front of the child. And encouraging the child to do the same.

*Discussing adult issues, marital issues or court related issues with or in front of a child. Pressuring a child to take sides. Telling the child information to make them dislike the other parent. Making a child feel responsible for the family or for adult issues.

*Giving a child sugar, caffeine, candy to make them hyperactive or difficult to handle during the other parent’s visit. Giving a child benadryl or drugs to make them sleep through, or behave differently during a parent’s visit. Giving a child things they are allergic to to sabotage a visit.

*Bribing a child with toys, candy, trips, money etc to do something to sabotage a child’s visit or relationship with the other parent.

*Threatening or physically punishing a child for showing love or affection to the other parent

*Not allowing communication (telephone, text, e-mail, snail mail etc) with a child and the other parent

*Refusing visits with a child and the other parent. Sabotaging scheduled visits. Disrupting visits. Asking the Court to restrict or take away visits for no valid reason.

*Trying to replace the parent in the child’s life–this could be another person, replace the parent with gifts, replace the parent by inviting friends over or scheduling events with friends during the other parent’s scheduled visits, replace the parent by scheduling so many activities that it interferes with the other parent’s visits, moving far away so visits with the other parent are impossible etc

*Alienation can also include manipulating, lying and denigrating the other parent to important people in the child’s life–school, doctors, church, family members etc

Parental Alienation is child abuse! 

Note: I am well aware of the pro-pedophilia views of Dr. Richard Gardner, and do not agree with any of his disgusting theories. But parental alienation is real, and is a tactic of domestic abuse that causes serious, life-long damage to children, and families as whole. We cannot ignore the devastating impact of domestic abuse, and the tactics abusers use against their partners and children–you don’t have to support Dr. Gardner to acknowledge alienation exists.


About Emily Court

It takes "Just Us" To Fight Injustice in Family Court. I blog to raise awareness about problems existing in the family court system, and use my own story as a personal example of how the systemic failures in family court, and the Guardian ad Litem Program, affect families, in an effort to encourage needed reform. Written by a survivor of domestic violence and homelessness working to create a better life for her children, in a stable home free of violence. In her efforts to rebuild her life, she has not only encountered harassment and intimidation from her alleged abuser but faced systematic failures in family court that have empowered her alleged abuser and put her children at risk. She has spent over a decade trapped in family court until her children finally aged out of the system. Through writing and blogging, FCI is working to raise awareness about domestic violence, and the urgent need for family court reform. She is currently working on a memoir titled "'Til Prayers Are Answered".
This entry was posted in Family Court Injustice, Judge Robben, Our Family Albulm, Parental Alienation/DV by Proxy and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Motherless Day: Mother’s Day Without My Children

  1. Pingback: Motherless Day: Mother’s Day Without My Children | Moms' Hearts Unsilenced

  2. Emily, I am revisiting experiences & feelings in reading your blog. My heart goes out to you & your kids as a sense of helpless rage seems to fill my lungs that want to give way to a scream. Our voices must be heard, our truth documented in books, screenplays, & lyrics for public awareness, since the public is all too often guilty for facilitating the alienation abuse & needs to help protect our kids by reaching out to them asa well as holding the “justice” system & “protective” services & “professional” counselors accountable. You can find me on Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, LinkedIn, & Google + if you want to connect with me & others who are working to free our kids from this ignored evil. I pray this info/love reaches our kids.

  3. Reblogged this on The Story of my Twin Boys , Oliver and Oscar Ferreira and commented:
    What a great blog , please take the time to have a look at it 🙂

  4. I agree- Parent ALienation is a form of child abuse. It is so manipulative of a child’s natural instinct- to love.

  5. I just reviewed your site briefly, and your experiences are very similar to mine. The GAL who at first confuses and then later openly shames and oppresses you. The terrible consequences for continuing to speak up after they tell you to take your reduced time and shut up about it already. When I used to bring up very reasonable and basic parenting concerns in court, the magistrate would groan and declare that I was such a headache. I was a stay-at-home mom for seven years, and I’m now well-employed and continue to be a stable foundation for my children in every way. Why, then, should I have reduced time? How is it that I’m a headache to the court? I’m not the one bullying, harassing, alienating, and filing for full custody. I’m just trying to hold on. I still want to provide a solid life for my children, and I work hard at that every day.

    I shared your Mother’s Day post through my social networks and will continue to join our voices. If you’re interested, you can check out my site at

    Thanks for being a public voice for these terrible issues.


    H.G. Beverly

  6. Jennifer f says:

    Parental Alienation is a bogus opinion based on junk science. It was used by Dr. a ” paid expert witness” as a defense for accusations of abuse during custody fights. Thats the first symtom, did mother accuse fAther? Must be alienatination. Does she claim , child initiated claims? Duh! The only cure? Complete halt of access to mother for child. Total custody awarded to father. Until child says it wasnt true. What if it is ? Now they are with him, no seeing mama.. its extortion. I didnt accuse
    Anyone of anything. My kids dedication to me love for me, and begging to remain with each other, in my custody, where both lived always, was interpeted by a adlitem lawyer as alianation, so they took them. Got an hour a month supervised visit. My daughter 8 was wre ked my son14 angry. I NEVER SUCCEEDED IN REGAINIG CUSTODY. PADENTAL ALIENATION IS PROVEN TO BE JUNK SCIENCE, NOT ACCEPTED IN Scientists community. Why are courts allowed to consider it? Especially on opi ion from lawyer, not even A dr. Or counselor. Please ema il me if there is a movement to Banish it. Or anyway I ca help end it and the tragic result

    • Emily Court says:

      Consider this:

      Parental Alienation or Domestic Violence by Proxy is an extension of the abuse that occurred in the family. The “alienation” may have begun, actually, before the divorce or separation. It is the abuser calling his victim names, and encouraging the kids to do the same. It is when children are punished for showing love or attention to a parent. It is when children are used to get control of a victim–threatening to harm them, removing them from the home, threatening to sue for full custody etc.

      Parental Alienation or Domestic Violence by Proxy can also happen at the conclusion of a relationship and is when one parent uses the children to regain control of the ex they have lost through manipulation, intimidation, violence, severing a parent-child relationship, legal abuse, etc

      The “syndrome” is how the alienation or abuse affects the child… it can cause the child to hate one parent. It can cause Maternal Deprivation Syndrome or psychological problems. It can lead to suicide. It can cause a child to lose connection to their family of origin, culture and religious background. And more…

      We all know Dr Richard Gardner is pro-pedophilia. He made a living defending abusers. He died by suicide, and his work does not belong in family court–let alone the field of psychology. I agree.

      But let’s not dismiss the very real harm caused by abusive and alienating parents. I think there needs to be more education on alienation, why it is abusive, and a clear explanation of what it is and what it is not. With that education, Dr. Gardner should be denounced and his work rejected. But at the same time the voices of victims, and their experiences should be heard–and considered.

  7. coraldreams says:

    What your leaving out in your artical is, what is the judges reason? What are the finding of facts? You didnt tell us if his family had more power then yours or money? Im sorry for your pain of not seeing your children and 100% believe about the abuse. Im in a similer situation. Its going on a year sence ive seen or talked to my 4 year old daughter. It is an abusive realationship. But im still am fighting to get her back. We share custody but my x isnt following orders. Ive documented everything and perpaired for court. But they keep postponing the dates. Mean while my daughter is being alienated from me.
    But ill never give up on fighting for her.
    I believe that abuse education needs to be in our schools more. So they can end the cycle.

    • Emily Court says:

      Coral- I have been in active litigation since 2006, that is alot of paperwork! And alot of writing. I am taking my time to talk about my case but also backing up my statements with evidence or child custody statutes so it can be tedious to go through, my apologies.

      The problem is that every time I go to court, I am being told something different or accused of something different. I was a primary caregiver and stay at home mom of two children. Both children suffer from emotional problems due to abuse and homelessness (we were thrown out of the house by the abuser). After I left, the abuser told me “I will make up stories you are crazy and take the kids from you”. His main allegations are that I am crazy, I am lying about abuse and the kids will be better off if I am removed from their lives. The Court psych eval has actually found that I do have some anxiety but the father is a “master manipulator” and has a “personality disorder”. He was also a wanted fugitive at the time of the order, and has a lengthy criminal and civil history again backing up the personality disorder diagnosis. And the abuser encouraged a 17 yr old first cousin to run away from home and live with him–which she has done.

      The Court said the father could better handle the children, even if he is abusing them (and the cousin too). The Court said I am wrong for being afraid of my abuser, and that I am projecting my fear onto the children by raising concerns about abuse and endangerment. The Court told me not to talk about abuse. When I stopped talking about the abuse, the Court said I am not emotional enough, and that my lack of emotion is bad for the children. The Court said I am wrong for being in an address confidentiality program for victims of abuse and stalking, and that I am “keeping secrets” from my abuser by being in the program. Every time I go to court it gets worse and worse… there is no simple answer. This is just corruption and absolute failures in family court to protect a victim of domestic violence and her children.

  8. Anne D says:

    YES!Until prayers are answered! Go for it!

  9. LH says:




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