Several years ago, I attended a retreat hosted by the amazing Lundy Bancroft, author of, “Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men,” in Massachusetts. The retreat was a gift to myself after several years on the battlefield of family court. For me, the retreat was a turning point of healing and empowerment. I went in with a lingering victim mentality that I couldn’t seem to shake (WHY ME?!) and left feeling like my “survivor-badass-ness,” was now in control. I met amazing women who were also survivors…and I knew that I found my own personal calling.
It’s easy to sit behind a computer screen and emphasize with others who are walking this path. I love hearing the victories and my heart hurts each time I hear that yet another family court professional failed. I love when I am able to meet survivors in person over a cup of coffee to hear their stories. In 2015, I decided to host my first Lemonade Power Retreat because I wanted to take things to the next level and spend a weekend with these women — I wanted to go deeper and really hear them. What I discovered is that many of these women had never, ever been heard. I left that retreat and it took me a full week to process everything that had happened in a two day span of time. Then came my second group who came together in California and then the next who came together in Massachussetts. All so different yet all the same. All so powerful.
These women, my “Lemonade Sisters,” have touched my heart in profound ways. They shattered my preconceived notion about best friends. I once believed that best friends were made beginning in elementary school or at middle school slumber parties but I now know that best friends can be made in a day and at any age. There is raw power in women coming together and laying out the most painful chapters of their lives — and holding space for others who are doing the same. There is an indescribable bond that these women will share for the rest of their lives — some talk daily and others come together for their annual reunion but no matter how much time passes, it’s an unbreakable sisterhood like I’ve never known before.
If you are interested in attending my upcoming retreat (November 3-5, 2017) in Washington State (Mason County), I still have spaces left and I’d love to introduce you to your new tribe: your Lemonade Sisters. <3 email [email protected]
One Mom’s Battle: Our mission at One Mom’s Battle is to increase awareness of Cluster B personality disorders (Narcissistic Personality Disorder, Antisocial Personality Disorder and Borderline Personality Disorder) and their impact upon shared parenting and the Family Court System which includes Judges, CPS workers, Guardian ad Litems (GAL), Parenting Coordinators (PC), Custody Evaluators, therapists and attorneys. Education on Cluster B disorders will allow these professionals to truly act in the best interest of the children.
History of One Mom’s Battle: In 2009, One Mom’s Battle began with one mother, (Tina Swithin), navigating the choppy waters of a high-conflict divorce in the Family Court System. Since then, it has turned into a grassroots movement reaching the far corners of the Earth. Tina’s battle spanned from 2009 – 2014 during which time she acted as her own attorney. Ultimately, Tina was successful in protecting her daughters and her family has enjoyed complete peace since October 2014 when a Family Court commissioner called her ex-husband a “sociopath” and revoked his parenting time in a final custody order.
Tina Swithin: Tina Swithin’s books are available online at Amazon (print, Kindle or audio format). Each year, Tina offers life-changing weekends of camaraderie and healing at the Lemonade Power Retreat. Tina also offers one-on-one coaching services and a private, secure forum called, The Lemonade Club, for those enduring high-conflict custody battles.