How Do You Cope?
A fit mom who unjustly recently lost custody of her children
to an abuser asked of a support list of non-custodial and moms facing
----- Original Message
"How do you ladies get by day to day?
There are just days, like today, where everything seems fine on the
surface, and someone says one little thing, and I'm just sobbing
uncontrollably!!! How do you do it? How do you handle seeing the mothers
with their babies? How do you keep back the tears when you have to? How do
you deal with it all? I feel like a basket-case about 90% of the
----- We answered:
"Dear friend… Sometimes you just allow yourself to find a
quiet place all by yourself and just bawl your eyes out.
Then you pick yourself up, wash your face, and put one foot
ahead of the other again.
You make lists of things to do, and give yourself something
to check off, even if its just "Get out of bed".
You channel your tears and frustration into constructive
anger--get determined to do whatever it takes to get your kids back.
You research, research, research. library, internet, lists
You tell yourself that getting weak does nothing to get your
kids back, in fact it makes it more probable you won't.
You tell yourself that you have to get strong, which means
taking care of yourself. Treat eating, sleeping and exercise like your
Someone suggested meds. I would not advise that unless you
are at a desperate point. And then, by all means, seek treatment. Be aware
that depression and meds have been used against moms in custody disputes,
as has therapy. Usually, you can keep yourself out of depression or fight
it by eating, sleeping and exercise.
You eliminate people from your life that are negative, and
surround yourself with supporters and positive people.
The obvious--avoid alcohol and drugs completely.
The less obvious--avoid forming new relationships with men
for quite some time. I've spoken with so many women that are now in less
than good relationships now because they rebounded. Realize that you are
vulnerable, and probably less than whole while you're in the battle. A
date once in a while can be a good diversion, but I don't recommend
anything more long term.
Cut yourself some slack. You feel like a basket-case because
you are one right now. Most mothers are at the beginning of a traumatic
experience like this. Losing children is sheer grief. It can't be
medicated away, no one other than another mother who has experienced it
can understand it. You can't be expected to just "get over it". But if you
want them back, you do have to get tough and smart and take action. No
attorney will know your case, or fight as hard for your kids as you will,
and you have to be mentally prepared to help. "
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