In the courtroom, as a witness

I went to court today for a friend.  This woman has a son, who is the same age as my daughter.  When she found out she was pregnant, the guy told her to get an abortion.  He then left her life.  She obviously didn’t do the abortion… and neither did he all together leave her life.  He reappeared, five years later… in search of someone who would care for him as he grew old (he’s an older father).  She tried the relationship on for size again, then quickly remembered his faults and asked him to leave.

That’s what starts the narcissistic revenge cycle.  It’s that hurt that occurs when they are rejected.  I would place this guy in the narcissistic/sociopath realm.  Since that day, he’s been seeking revenge through visitation with his son.

This poor kid – who was happy and well adjusted until around the age of 5, now considers himself to be a “odd child”.  He’s “different’ than anyone else (his words), and has threatened numerous times to kill himself so he doesn’t have to go on visitation with his father.  Since when does an 8 year old know about suicide?

However, court hasn’t been the protective vehicle that it should have been for them.  In typical narcissistic style, the father has accused mom of parental alienation, as well as keeping the kid from him.  I’ve listened to tapes of this guy raging… I know that she’s not making up stories on his insanity.  I’ve also read emails he has sent.  It is my understanding that his own son from a prior marriage won’t even speak to him at all.

The court, for each visit so far, has ran the mom into the ground.  They’ve given dad what he’s asked for each time.

This time, she filed an emergency motion to stop overnights until such time as therapy between the son and the dad could be established and effectively improve relations.  The little boy says he feels “unprotected” when he is near his dad.  He’s scared, but doesn’t say more as to why.

At this time, I have no idea how it went for her.  I testified as to how her son acted when he returned home from two weeks with his dad (he was anxious, almost ‘ missing’ from his body in a sense).  I then had to leave, because as a witness I was not allowed to see the rest of the trial.

So then I wonder… where is the transparency in our family courts?  No recording devices allowed… court transcripts are over-the-top expensive, no one allowed in the court room but those who are involved (and only witnesses are allowed during testimony).   How do we know that overall decisions are made in the best interest of the child?

When it comes to other criminal trials – there’s a ton of coverage.  Not so in family court.  When it comes to corporations, there’s annual reports, sarbanes-oxley, auditing, and other means of tracing what happened.  Not so in family court.. or “JDR” aka “Juvenile and Domestic Relations” or even in “Circuit Court” where other cases appear.

We need this to change.  The children involved need this to change.

“One person can make a difference and every person should try.” John Fitzgerald Kennedy


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