“There isn’t anything we can do,” has to be the single most defeating statement that a targeted parent can hear. I heard it a thousand times while I desperately searched for anyone to help me; help my children. I kept thinking that there had to be someone, somewhere would understand what was happening to my family. But whenever I reached out for help everyone replied, “I’m sorry. There isn’t anything we can do.” Everyone… except Sandy.
Sandy worked in the District Attorney’s office. I met her when I filed my criminal complaint. She could have blown me off, told me the DA doesn’t take my kind of case, given me a run around with paperwork, or used any one of million excuses people use to avoid getting involved. But Sandy cared… she listened… she said she would do whatever she could.
Sandy was a secretary; she was overworked, underpaid, and underappreciated. Still, she was willing to try and help me after I had been chased away by dozens of “professional” people. Sandy typed up the paperwork, organized my file and put it on top of the files stacked on the DA’s desk. If the DA put my file aside, she made sure it got back on the top of his pile. Within three weeks, my ex-husband was charged with the first criminal case regarding family court issues in our county. Amazing. A miracle. A miracle worker.
Everyday, targeted parents contact the Alliance for help. They are desperate, wounded parents who don’t know where to turn. I know how they feel and I don’t want to say, “I’m sorry. There isn’t anything we can do.” However, providing individual support and coaching is not the purpose of the Alliance.
The Alliance is the big picture, game-changing site. We need targeted parents to come together and give their time and energy for the good of the order. Our purpose is to change the future for everyone by helping targeted parents hold the systems accountable. But we can’t accomplish our goals if we spend most of the time on individual cases.
These parents have gotten a lot of information and feedback from support groups, but now they need personal contact and help staying focused and applying what they know. They need someone talk to, learn from and plan with. I’ve worked with some of these parents and I am surprised how successful we were. It seems that the skills necessary to help targeted parents navigate this emotional minefield are; accurate knowledge, a good ear, and a little time to plan ahead.
I am asking for the targeted community to take ‘support’ up a notch and personally engage with someone who needs a friend and a confidant. The Alliance needs to refer these parents back to the community that won’t abandon them, so we can back to doing what we are supposed to be doing.
This week and next, I will post two more blogs, detailing what has worked for me when I took a fellow targeted parent under my wing. It is a rich, rewarding experience.
When you’re considering whether or not there is anything that you can do,
please, think of Sandy.