Thursday, August 13, 2009

Court-ordered abuse

I am close to two women who have children with men who were unable to communicate without using their fists. We're not talking losing their temper. We're not talking getting carried away once or twice. We're talking people who beat the crap out of the mother of their child. These individuals are manipulative, controlling and utterly without remorse. They don't have anger management problems. They have problems with the women in their life being autonomous human beings.

So when these women finally were brave enough to escape the control and violence, what did the court system, in its ultimate wisdom, do to protect them and their children? Why, it ordered 50-50 legal custody, of course.

For those of you who do not have joint custody situations, this means both parents must agree on most of the stuff that lies outside the basic day-to-day routines. Things like medical care and education and activities must be agreed upon. Sometimes, the requirements are even more specific than that. The idea, on its face, is to ensure that both parents contribute equally to the raising of the child and that they cooperate to the child's best interest. It works very, very well for lots of functional co-parenting arrangements.

When you award joint legal custody in a domestic violence situation, however, the dynamic is different. It forces the victim to continue interacting with his or her abuser. It forces the victim to ask permission for basic parenting actions. It gives the abuser a very powerful tool to continue controlling and mentally abusing his or her victim.

It amounts to court-sanctioned abuse until the child hits the age of 18, and it is utterly inexcusable.

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Perhaps I should go shopping

My 15-year-old observed this evening, "All we have in our fridge is beer and mayonnaise." The sad thing is, he's not too far off. Bad Mommy. Time to hit the store.

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Sunday, August 02, 2009

An experiment

This from a friend on Facebook:

"My sources confirm that there's a rumor in wasilla that sarah palin is an extra terrestrial. sources say a small mole at the base of her neck covers the "data port" she uses to upload information about her conservative base to the mother ship, a piece of which recently crashed into the planet jupiter. (ok, now i just have to sit back and wait for the blogosphere to pick up on this)."

I am reposting for the sole purpose of watching the Web stats and seeing how many people really ARE Googling "Sarah Palin" and "extraterrestrial" in the same search. It's social research, right?

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I could see my breath when I got home from a friend's house early this morning. It was 44 degrees. Fall in Alaska is manic, at least for me. It's as if that first chilly morning flips a switch and all of the sudden I realize the snow is coming. And that means I need to harvest the garden and pick berries and cut that firewood I have been putting off all summer long. Faster, faster, faster. Every morning is a little voice whispering, "It's coming. It's coming. Hurry."

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