Was in a family law hearing for a custody dispute.  The middle-aged father stood with his private lawyer and explained to the court that the boys “seem to be fine”.  They don’t cry.  They don’t yell or fight.  They mind well.  They do as they are told.  They are doing okay in school.  They participate in their sports.  So there is no reason to limit their time with their good old dad.

The young immigrant who was brought here as second wife to the man was trembling as she testified.  “Yes.  My boys seem fine when they are with him.  Just like I always did.  But it is not because they are fine.  Please read what their counselor wrote.  The boys are unable to express any kind of emotion for fear of their father’s punishment.”

Her volunteer lawyer then went on to argue that if the boys were not kept in a safe and loving environment, they would not only lose their ability to express their emotions, but even to feel them.  And they would not only be in danger of losing their very selves, but of becoming a danger to others.

“It’s a cycle, judge.”

The father stood there shaking his head, and grimacing, pulling on his tie, and twisting about.  His lawyer had clearly told him not to interrupt, but he was struggling to stay quiet.

In the end, the judge ordered the case to family court services for a full evaluation.  I hope these boys are able to say what is on their minds and in their hearts.  I can only imagine how hard that must be.  They don’t know who they can trust, and who is going to find out what they said.  Poor fellows.  My heart goes out to them.