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SILENT VIGIL AT WHITE HOUSE: Mothers of Lost ChildrenCoral Anika Theill Salem-News.com
"Historical responsibility is defined as an individual’s answerability for committing or failing to commit acts that would have affected the outcome of any given situation.” - Lucy Dawidowicz
(WASHINGTON D.C.) - Nurturing and loving mothers losing permanent custody of their children is such depressing subject matter. But we cannot indefinitely avoid depressing subject matter, particularly if it is true.
Most individuals prefer not to hear the story of how a cultured people turned a blind eye to consenting to the "legal kidnapping of children through America's family courts" and how the majority of our society, consisting of cultured people, remained silent.
Losing permanent custody and visitation of your children feels like being doused in oil and set on fire. Healing is slow and difficult. The pain never goes away. One doctor describes removing a nursing infant from a mother similiar to castrating a man.
Connie Valentine and other advocates for protective parents call the family courts broken and corrupt and say the system not only puts children into the hands of abusive parents, it also bankrupts and punishes the protective parents who fight for them.
Advocates realize that it is difficult to reform the system because the people it hurts are hiding from abusers and anxious to avoid publicity. (1)
Many of us live under address confidentiality programs for our safety due to escaping physical and sexual violence in our marriages.
In 1994, Mothers of Lost Children http://mothers-of-lost-children.com was formed by a group of Davis, California women, whose children had been abused. Their children's lives were devastated, not only by the abusers, but by the very governmental and private agencies designed to protect them. Similiar to my own experiences and others ncadv.org/files/Bonshea.php, these women looked in vain for help, and found only betrayal.
Although from different faith practices, they began to meet each week in the park in silent protest to pray for their children. As "mothers of lost children," they believe there is a precedent for success in protecting captives through spiritual and ethical means.
Mothers of Lost Children found a role model in the actions of a small group of German women who, in 1943, began a vigil that grew to a group one thousand strong, to protest the imprisonment of their Jewish husbands. They called themselves "The Rose Street Women," offbeattravel.com/rosenstrasse-monument-berlin-germany.html and stood defiant, refusing Nazi orders to leave the site where their husbands were held.
The SS troops waited six days before giving in to the Rose Street Women and releasing twenty-five men, already tattooed and bound for Auschwitz. The February 27, 1993 Sacramento Bee article noted, "It's still unclear why the Nazis buckled to the Rose Street Women."
Mothers of Lost Children relate to the persistence of "The Rose Street Women."
Mothers of Lost Children are inspired by all individuals who "give voice to the violence" throughout the world.
We understand Alice Walker's wise words, "Resistance is the secret of joy, we should challenge whatever oppresses us, anything we love can be saved, the way forward is with a broken heart, we should lead and not project on others what they should do for us, and we are the ones we have been waiting for." See the film, "Peace is Loud", Pray the Devil Back to Hell.
In my own research and studies, I found a profound quote on responsibility and accountability in Lucy Dawidowicz’s book, “War Against the Jews.” Her words accurately portray how I feel. I believe that many of the injustices of innocent people in this country are a result of specific individuals, especially those in power, ignoring their own responsibility in given situations.
Dawidowicz writes: “Responsibility means accountability or answerability for one’s actions and their consequences. Historical responsibility is defined as an individual’s answerability for committing or failing to commit acts that would have affected the outcome of any given situation.”
When my children are adults and ask me what I did to help them, I will tell them, “I spoke the truth.” When they ask me why my case remained unchallenged, I hope I don’t have to tell them, “Nobody cared.”
No matter what the court had decided, I put the beautiful memories I had of my children in a sacred place. Each one of my children had shown me a new and beautiful universe through his/her eyes. As a mother, each day was a journey of new experiences and new joys. I am still in awe in the gift of motherhood and am grateful for the days, months, and years I shared with each one of my children.
I will continue to share my truths in a legal and "non violent" manner. Non-violence does not threaten. Non-violence "leans" until something, someday "moves."
I believe in seeking to defeat injustice, not people.
I believe that the Universe is on the side of "justice" and that right will prevail.
"Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Sometimes we must interfere. When human lives are endangered, when human dignity is in jeopardy, national borders and sensitivities become irrelevant. Wherever men or women are persecuted because of their race, religion, or political views, that place must–at that moment–become the center of the universe." - Holocaust survivor, Elie Wiesel
In my quiet times, I still feel moments of raw pain from my past. I look at it for what it is, a catalyst for me to find the sacredness of my inner being–to realize more of myself and who I truly am. I believe how we think and act and how beautifully our spirit responds to our challenges is all that matters. I believe "The Gift of Healing is Our Birthright."
In Closing: A Dedication to all "Mothers of Lost Children" (2)
I received this letter of encouragement last month from one of my readers.
Kathleen Sullivan, a clinical therapist in Chattanooga, Tennessee, wrote, "Even if your children choose not to have further contact with you (that is always our greatest fear as estranged parents); it doesn't mean that our children won't know -unconsciously at the minimum - that they are cherished and loved by someone outside their lives with the perpetrators. They may not be able to remember that we were the source of that love, but they will still have a strong sense that it's out there. They may equate the big, powerful outside with a god or goddess; that's okay. It still works to help them to feel truly loved, and protected, and cared about - in the most secret compartment of their soul, where it is not touched by any invader.
"Even if our children are too young to remember when they're removed from us, or if they have been brainwashed by their new caregivers to think of us as other than who we really are - and criminal sociopaths are usually quite good at that - our children's earliest sensory memories of our love and nurturing will remain a mental/emotional protective factor for the rest of their lives.
"I've learned enough about childhood neurobiological development and secure attachment to understand why it happens that way. Our conscious memories of our parents' love - if we experienced such love - may fade away completely or be suppressed out of necessity to conform with our new family system and keep them from turning on us in anger. Still, the neurobiological/sensory imprint of our parents' love is like a fossil imprinted deeply in a dense rock. The nonverbal neurological/sensory imprint remains for life and is a part of everything we are and do; even if we're completely aware of its influence.
"Nobody can erase the imprint without killing us because the imprint of love is strong, more natural, and more resilient than the effects of human evil. And so, even if you are not able to connect with your children now; you've already given them their most important protective factor: "early-onset" love and nurturing." - Kathleen A. Sullivan, MSW
I hope by sharing my story, the consciousness and awareness of society will be raised and the quality of life will improve in America. As a mother, I long for a safe and healthy society for my children to grow up in.
I continue to envision a society that resonates compassion, unconditional love, peace and non-judgment to one another. I continue to believe in imminent possibilities, miracles, surprises and ONE FINE DAY!
(2) and to the nurturing and loving fathers and grandparents who have also loss their children and grandchildren through America's Family Court System.
(1) Domestic Violence, Abuse, and Child Custody: Legal Strategies and Policy Issues by Dr. Maureen Hannah and Barry Goldstein, J.D, published by Civic Research Institute, Inc., Kingston, New Jersey, Copyright 2010,
“For years custody courts have confidently denied complaints by mothers of unfair treatment in domestic violence cases. If the court system had commissioned research to determine how the present practices are working, the result would be the information contained in Domestic Violence, Abuse and Child Custody. The research findings demonstrate court practices are outdated and their confidence misplaced. Wise judges will use the up-to-date research now available to take a fresh look at practices and assumptions deeply ingrained after thirty years. No one wants to be known as the judge who hurts children and this research can prevent the kinds of tragic outcomes we see too frequently.” - Judge Sol Gothard, JD, MSW, ACSW, Fifth Circuit Court of Appeal, State of Louisiana (ret.)
Woman, Church and State: A Historical Account of the Status of Woman Through the Christian Ages with Reminiscences of the Matriarchate by Matilda Joslyn Gage, 1893, reprinted by Arno Press Inc, 1972
"The scope, breadth, depth, and powerful, no-holdsbarred writing style make Woman, Church, and State my favorite book of all that I have reviewed. It has taken academia, and only the most radical, feminist pockets of academia at that, 100 years to catch up with her. If this work was published today, it would be considered radical. As I read this work, I laughed, I cried, and I grew angry. You cannot walk away from this work without having strong emotions - whether positive or negative, for good or bad, is for you to say. Many of the ideas that it contains are I at first considered too radical. But, often, after some reflection, I had to admit that she spoke the truth.
I urge everyone to read Gage's Woman, Church, and State in its entirety. pinn.net/~sunshine/gage/mjg.html
Peaceful silent vigil at the White House in Washington DC bit.ly/92RIVB
National Coalition Against Domestic Violence October 2009 Newsletter- Coral's Life story ncadv.org/files/Bonshea.php
NEWS ARTICLES from Salem-News.com on Coral Anika Theill's life and published book, BONSHEA.
Nov. 29, 2007 Welcome to Oregon: Land of Domestic Abuse Endorsement
May 10, 2009 Oregon Should Consider Coral Theill on Mother's Day
Coral Anika Theill, advocate and survivor is author of "BONSHEA: Making Light of the Dark." Her book and articles have encouraged and inspired numerous trauma victims and wounded Marines/soldiers recovering from PTSD. Coral's positive insights as a survivor have also earned the respect of clinical therapists, advocates, attorneys, professors and authors. Coral Theill believes a great deal of information exists for survivors. See: 'The Gift of Healing is Our Birthright - What an Advocate Looks Like' - Coral Anika Theill for Salem-News.com.
Coral Anika Theill’s published book, BONSHEA, has been used as a college text for nursing students at Linfield College. BONSHEA: Making Light of the Dark by Coral Anika Theill can be ordered at: iuniverse.com, barnesandnoble.com or amazon.com. Read 12 five star reviews at: barnesandnoble.com Email Coral Theill at: email@example.com
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