New Beginnings Therapy
Dr. Madalina A. I. Day
Stories - why are important…
“Not so long ago I have been involved with two cases in HM Central Family Court – a case of Public Law and a case of Private law. Both cases involved a child, two parents and a Local Authority from a London borough. As the cases were progressing from one stage to the next, several family Court Judges were involved, different solicitors and different Counsel for each hearing. The Applicant changed from being a parent to being local Authority respectively, the parents and the child become respondents from applicants in same legal proceedings. The case changed from Private Law to Public Law.
Most legal teams formed from one representative to two representatives and each had assigned their Counsel in Court at different stages in the process. The child had been assigned by the Court a Guardian so what it started as a family matter between two parents, it now became a Circus of the state. What I failed to mentioned is that, the child in question was a child discriminated against by the Local Authority and during Family Court Proceedings there was a Court order by Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal ordering the local Authority to initiate an Educational Health Care Plan for the child in question.
All throughout this process there was a parent fighting for the rights of the child through recognition and application of Equality Act 2010. The Family Court instead, invited the party - that were at failure of responding to the needs of the child - to become the very Authority to take action and report on the child’s welfare and safeguarding. The abuser and the discriminator was legally ordered by a Judge in Central Family Court to part-take to the proceedings as the protector and applicant to a child care arrangements proceedings. That party was the Local Authority and aligned, like an appendices, was the father to the proceedings. The Local Authority and the father made good teams with an army of lawyers, solicitors and counsels. The mother, self-represented in court had much to hope for. her very existence and when being told in court that she had no chance, at no point in the process, but in spite, she continued her fight – a lost battle, seen by many and expressed in Court by the very Judges:
“dear Ms…..X., I am not so sure you understand the gravity of this situation!” –
The mother, by which now she was in full comprehension to the seriousness of the situation responded:
…I am aware, as I am aware of you and who/m you represent” – You see, the mother, had a faith in the judgment of a Judge, not because she was a female Judge, but because the mother believed in objectivity”. The mother thought: “ if this Judge cannot be trusted upon, no one can!”
The case did not have a finality as such, the female Judge failed, abruptly and without a cause, she was emotional during final judgement and made it personal - The Judge proved that she could not uphold herself in the very seat that she was occupying and was ruthless and without a cause ordered a child to come to Court and be told that his wishes are worth nothing, that his feelings are worth nothing, that his life is worth nothing and that she, the Judge, has the power to make him feel worthless, confused and scared. The child, felt exactly that for fractions of seconds and many hours, the only survival way was readings and relating to his mother's words:
“Life is a breathing exercise – minute by minute – and that is the only way forward.. The child texted to the mother:
“I love you mum
And don’t worry
I love you
And things are going to be ok
Not your fault
Its no ones
I’m going to sleep now
And iv been thinking about the minute by minute thing
And 1 min im in court one minute im playing 1 minute my dads trying to perswade me that he didn’t start all this
I love you mum
To the moon and back then back again
I’ll see you soon
1 minute I’m here then I’ll be with you
I love you night”
The above are the words of the child, crushed to the power of a failed State, a failed System but more importantly a failed Nation and a failed understanding of meanings of Culture. I have tried to explain this to the child that there is no System to blame, as the so called “system” is made up of people and legislation, hence cannot be a failure of the system. People and legislation are accountable for as we all are responsible in our daily lives, for everything we do and not do. The moment we awake, is the moment we become responsible, the moment we stand (on two feet ) or not is the moment we gain recognition for who we are - we become accountable to Law and the Law becomes accountable to us. The State is not a one way street. Our freedom is not one way street, our rights are not one way street. Our humanity is not one way street. Our compassion is not one way street. Our acceptance is not our one way street. Our political voice is not one way street. Therefore our children and their voices are not one way street, and their power and ways of being from one generation to the next, is beyond one way street – it is our legacy.
The child in the story was failed, failed by a parent, failed by a solicitor, failed by its Counsel, failed by it Secondary school, Failed by its Court of Justice, failed by a Family Court Judge, Failed by Social Services, failed by all around including his mother, a parent that had and has nothing to go by other than a belief: a belief that in a world like ours, you need to be resilient and grow of nothing because nothing is there to offer, a belief that we all seek understanding and find resolution with what we have and what we explore, the belief that answers are with us – even if sometimes the reach is painful and or uncomfortable – we become and we are what we believe.
The story continues beyond the Family Court and First-tier Tribunal Court, it is out/there with a child being ordered to come to Court and against his wishes to change residency and have no further contact with one parent. The moral of this story is not about injustice and inhumanity, but about reflective practice. This article is for you, potential clients/patients reaching out for support and guidance. The moral of above story is about resilience and self-reliance.
The story is about belief, belief in a power above a state of being and belief in who you are. Therapy is one process for exploring that, becoming self aware of who you are and where you want to be, offering a possibility to question, question your resilience and answer to your very explorations:
“Am I taking this journey in life or am I suggesting someone else is making this journey for me and or instead of me?”
This article is entitled stories and not injustice or “failing through the cracks of a failed system and a failed state” because, when I have made the decision to become a practitioner of psychotherapy and counselling, I have made a vow to myself:
“I shall never, absolutely never cease to reflect on my “humanity” and that is to me my one way street.
It is as simple as that.
I do not suggest that reflective practice is the ultimate way to heaven or becoming a better person, but I do strongly and sincerely suggest that it's a starting point into becoming and being an adult no matter what life confronts you with."