When I was in university I learned a technique which I still use today. (This sentences uses the pronoun “I” three times. Is it a sign of being self-centered? When the blog is all about perspectives on inner transformation is it okay to use “I” often? When outer circumstances influence a person’s inner transformation is it okay to publicly write about the outer circumstances & the inner process of transformation?)
The technique I learned was called Morning Pages, designed by Julia Cameron in her book The Artist’s Way. Basically, soon after waking up you set a timer for 20 minutes and then write or type continuously until the timer beeps. This approach is meant to bypass the inner critic which can actively silence the writer into a block, or cause such an internal barrier of doubt that words get shifted and stunted before they even emerge onto paper or a laptop screen.
This is the exercise I’m doing today and I’m now 4 minutes into it. The unique thing about what I’m doing, is that I’m openly sharing my Morning Pages, as though it were a public diary. Why? Because I truly believe that there is purpose and value in sharing one’s story. It changes things. And I am a lover of Change. So onward I go.
What I realized when I first opened the blog this morning is that I haven’t written or created content in many many months. The reason why I haven’t written or shared openly is because what I was going through on a personal level was so challenging it was hard to put into words. But now, the worst is over, and I’m able to write again. The end of a 12 year battle has finally arrived. The conclusion came. The metaphoric swords have been sheathed.
For those who’ve been following me since 2014, you will know of the battle to which I’m referring. Others will be hearing about it for the first time. It has come to my attention over the years that everyone who knew me from Niagara Region, Ontario has heard of the struggle I’ve been in which began when my mother perpetuated a lie that I was keeping my school age child away from her. The reality has so much more depth than can be summed up in one sentence like that. Because my mom believed her lie, she then set out to destroy the relationship between my daughter and myself. The “dramatic” conclusion of her attempts to destroy me culminated in her actions to secretly fly my daughter (who had just turned 16 twenty-two days prior) out of the province to move in with her. This was March 2021. Next, my mom filed a motion in Ontario family court to become the full custodial guardian of my daughter and for me to pay full or partial child support (thereby decreasing the amount of money her father pays.) My daughter’s father fully supported this secret plan and enforced my mother’s request in writing in the motion to the judge. By September 2021, a mere 6 months later, my mother and my daughter could not make the domestic arrangements work and my 16 year old daughter became homeless, 4000km away from me. By October 2021 the judge was asking “why are we even here in court?” and by December 2021 the custody motion was withdrawn. My daughter now has no legal custodian and she also receives no child support, since her father stopped paying as soon as she moved out. She is now living in a safe location in Ontario.
The reason I share my/our story publicly is because the beginning of the story is when I reported childhood abuse to the Universal House of Justice in January 2000. All letters to the House of Justice become public record and since this letter unintentionally caused a size-mic earthquake of disruption in my personal & professional life, and in the communities I lived in, the only ground I had to stand on was my ability to tell my story, publicly, because I know for certain I am not alone.
My story contains elements which are triggers for some. Childhood abuse, narcissist abuse, PTSD, rape, family court in three Canadian provinces. It involves police action, child & family services, and community support agencies. I’ve worked with four lawyers in three provinces and about six court support workers. I’ve spent more than 1500 hours a year for 10 years. At times, I took part-time work so that I could deal with this situation part-time. At the beginning, I did not understand family law in Canada. I had to start at the beginning, making many mistakes, but over the years I’ve learned a tremendous amount. I’m certain that sharing what I’ve learned will help other mothers & fathers who are forced into court because of their love of their children and their desire to do what is right & best for them.
Sometimes when people hear the story of the life I’ve lived they shake their heads in disbelief. My goal at all times and my intention with being so open about what I was and am going through was always to break the cycle of silence, manipulation, and trauma that I was born into. Everything I did, I did for my daughter, who is now at the age that she is old enough to begin to understand the nature of the conflict that she grew up in.
With one minute left on the clock, I close off this entry by saying, in the most recent court session, which was Nevins vs Czifra, in which my mother filed for full custody, full decision-making authority and child support from me, the judge ruled this issue be thrown out of court and so it was.