Fighting for Love

19 Oct Fighting for Love

There is an unsettling battle that is currently being fought by a small number of individuals within the suspension community; the right to have children if you take part in body suspension. I know many people might regard this as an issue that doesn’t impact their part of the world, but keep in mind this is something that is not solely occurring in the United States right now. Even for those of us who don’t have children  we must consider the message that these court decisions are relaying to the world. We are being called deviants and, in the words of one judge, compared to child molesters and criminals for our participation in this beautiful act. Every time an action like this takes place, it sets up one more piece of ammunition for the next case and the next.

One woman facing this horrible treatment from the courts, who must remain anonymous to prevent further consequences, has taken the time to tell us a little about the fight she is in to get her child back after losing custody due to her involvement with body suspension.

In an email from her, she explained how this ordeal started earlier this year: “Back in ******* my ex filed a motion to modify our temporary custody orders. He claimed I was showing a lack of proper parental judgment by engaging in irresponsible behaviors and exposing the child to people that could adversely affect her development. His evidence consisted of photographs of me suspending. When we went to court in ******** the Judge looked only once at the pictures and with no regard for my views or opinions and immediately said this is very wrong and must be stopped immediately and the children should not be in this home. I had to endure many derogatory comments during this hearing. Such as crazy people and child molesters get involved in such activities. She said I was in a “dark place” and because I was in this “dark place” I have no right to raise a child. The judge said this would only lead to worse things and also made derogatory indications to my family, friends and co-workers because they have allowed my participation in these activities.

My lawyer at the time did not defend me; he actually agreed with the judge and quelled me from presenting any reproach to the judge’s accusations. He also said he would be calling CPS as I also have another child not involved in the custody dispute and he didn’t want to get into trouble if he didn’t. The judge gave my ex temporary custody, and ruled me to have supervised visits. Even though my daughter had no knowledge of my suspension training as I judged her to still to be too young to understand everything.”

She hasn’t taken the treatment lightly  Since the abusive treatment she endured in court, she has contacted the Texas State Board, ACLU, and the Better Business Bureau; unfortunately, none of these organizations have chosen to even respond to her. She has also found a new attorney to represent her in court, and although he believes in what she is fighting for, her choices were limited financially on the quality of legal representation she could afford. She has said that, although passionate, he backs down to intimidation in the court room. With this type of case, the last thing she needs is an attorney that can’t hold his ground and stand up for her; good intentions go nowhere in the legal system.

Since the court’s decision was made in the early part of this year, she has only had supervised visits which cost $110 per week for the 2 hours she is allowed to visit with her child. Along with this she is given 3 times a week to speak on the phone. Any parent, or even those who aren’t, knows that is a heartbreakingly limited amount of time to see and speak to your child. As a small ray of light in this whole ordeal, her other child has remained in her care, and with any luck the threat of CPS intervention will not become a reality.

In preparation for her second court appearance, she had to remove herself from all activity involving suspension. I am sure many of you who know how much love and caring there is in this community can appreciate the loss that would come from not being allowed to seek out comfort from the people in your life that you consider family. Along with that sacrifice, she sought treatment from a therapist who has stated in writing that she is in the right state of mind to be raising her children, and that there is no sign of any harm to herself or her children.

After the second hearing, the judge’s attitude slightly shifted, and she stated that if both parties were okay with suspension, they wouldn’t be in this position. This has hopefully provided her with some grounds to present new evidence to help her case, and again have her child back in her arms.

****Update – August 13th, 2013 – Huge Win!

Today a jury has decided to grant the mother joint custody of her daughter and is now the primary conservator. Its’ not over yet though. Now the opposing side has petitioned the judge to overrule the jury. If that doesn’t work they have said they will petition for a retrial. We will keep everyone updated.

  • Skindependent
    Posted at 18:57h, 19 October

    Majority of our members in our crew are parents, so we can empathize the heartache felt.

    Sending our love from our crew in New Zealand <3

  • BigMike
    Posted at 20:00h, 19 October

    Keep up the fight and keep your head up. We are all right here behind you!!

  • Brian Sane
    Posted at 21:21h, 19 October

    Time to stand together!!!

  • NotGonnaTakeIt
    Posted at 01:13h, 20 October

    While I myself have yet to experience the joy of being a parent, I know the loss of being seperated, as a child of 2 I was taken from my parents and did not see my mother again untl I was 10. I can not imagine the grief that you must feel but I believe that you can prevail. Be strong. One love.

  • cenobite
    Posted at 07:28h, 20 October

    As a suspendee/suspender,tattooed,peirced and scarified parent of 5 I do sympathize with anyone who faces discrimination because they are seen as ‘alternative’ and what this woman is going through is awful. Its terrifing that your whole life can be turned upside down because of the beliefs of small minded individuals, i myself have faced opposition to my suspending from family and friends that think suspending is a step to far and a great many ‘normal’ people i have talked to about suspension seem to think that it amounts to self mutilation. I am sorry to say that as suspendee’s we are in the minority and most people will think what we do is aborrant. I am sorry to say that with the way society works we do have to be careful about who we share our ‘hobbies’ with there are a certain members of the BM community that do things purely to shock and think that they can do whatever they damn well please and screw the consequences, i do not agree with taking your kids along to a suspension event, suspensions are, in my view, an adult thing, because no matter what we think the fact is we are adults and we make the choice to do this, just beacuse we are alternative it does not follow that our kids will be,we have no right to impose our beliefs/hobbies on them, in my opinion that makes you a selfish parent. As a suspendee i do not want children there when i suspend, i would be pretty pissed off if someone turned up with thier kids, i choose to keep my suspensions from my kids, when they are old enough i’ll share it with them until them it’s my duty to protect them.
    Peace, love and hooks

  • Ailat
    Posted at 20:38h, 20 October

    My heart goes out to you—best of luck!

  • Kristen Atkinson
    Posted at 14:38h, 22 October

    That’s awful. I hope everything works out! Good thoughts and juju coming your way.

  • kieran diedrich
    Posted at 14:52h, 22 October

    This is such an unfortunate situation for anybody to be in:( I posted the link on my FB only to be told it would be in a “close friend’s” best interest if i would take it down. The grandparents of this person’s child frequent my FB and would take interest in the fact that people are legitimately discriminating us for what we do. Fuel for the fire to say the least.
    I love you guys! All of you! My kids love you too:)!

  • allu
    Posted at 21:31h, 23 October

    take it to a higher court! read, learn and represent yourself as best you can. write letter’s that reach out to better legal options. tons of letters! there has to be someone out there with enough guts to represent this. remember this current judge and wreck the votes for them this season and next with your first hand accounts. this is also a very rare area of interest so try and use that to your advantage. contact the media! as many outlets as you can! the papers, blogs, social networking, local and beyond! this bitter ex and/or their families should have a better moral fiber than to deliver such a low blow. especially when the complaint being delivered is questioning the mother’s own morals and standards. this is sick and im so sorry this is happening.

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