Missing Persons Awareness and Support Network
Take a look at Mystic (pronounced Mystique) Dawn Salazar. She may very well be in your neighborhood but all is not well with this poor little girl. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children list her as missing by way of "family abduction." Her biological father, Enrique Arreolo-Lopez and his wife Melissa snatched her from a stable family environment to a life on the run. It all went down in Mesa County, Colorado on August 17. That's the last day Jennifer Davis, the woman Mystic knows as "mom" saw the 6-year-old. Complicated and convoluted doesn't begin to explain the young girl's life. She was born May 23, 2002. Her mother Twalla is the ex-wife of Jennifer's husband Amie. According to Jennifer, Twalla made an arrangement with Enrique after getting out of prison to get pregnant with the hopes of getting Amie back into her life--a "no strings attached" bio dad. Twalla did get pregnant but her attempt at getting Amie back didn't work. At the same time, Jennifer was also pregnant. She arranged her pre-natal visits around Twalla's so she could drive her to and from the doctors. When Mystic was born, Twalla brought her directly to Jennifer. While Twalla didn't give up custody, she would frequently bring the baby over to be cared for by Jennifer and Amie, who assumed the dad role in her life. Two years later, Twalla's parole ended and, according to Jennifer, started to disappear for stretches of time. "She'd drop her off in the morning and say she'd be back after work to pick Mystic up and then we wouldn't see her for days or weeks. In April 2007, I got a call from Twalla saying she had been arrested and was in jail. Mystic had been living with us full time the past 4 months." At the time, Mystic was 4 and Twalla had already signed over power of attorney's to us giving us guardianship for 6 month periods of time. And then she'd disappear. But we never thought twice because to us, Mystic is family, she's our daughter." Twalla remained in jail for 6 months. "When she was released, we filed a petition for custody with the courts. Twalla had been arrested for aggrevated assault and we couldn't have Mystic living in that environment. At that point, we didn't know the bio dad's name. We knew nothing about him. Twalla said that her arrangement with him was to get her pregnant and that he'd never be a part of Mystic's life. She also said he had been deported to Mexico. When we filed the petition, we found out he hadn't been deported and was still working at the restaurant where he met Twalla. This man, of course, is Enrique Arreolo-Lopez and he was married and had a son. In fact, Twalla filed a child support petition against him and was collecting thousands while Mystic was in the care of Jennifer and Amie. Eventhough he was paying, Enrique never tried to see Mystic." In February 2008, Jennifer and Amie went before a judge for the first time to get custody. "The judge granted Twalla visitation which included 2 hours for lunch and 2 hours for dinner 'at her discretion'. Enrique was to have no contact with Mystic until he had parenting introduction therapy. After that, if he chose to see Mystic, it had to be during a supervised therapeutic session. A legal representative was appointed to the child by the judge." In April, Mystic met Enrique for the first time--an hour and a half session with a therapist. "For some reason, the therapist found it necessary to include Twalla in the session, but I was not allowed to be in the building," Jennifer said. There were three other sessions and then the counselor agreed to allow unsupervised visits. "On the very first unsupervised visit with Enrique, they brought Mystic home wrapped in a fleece coat wearing a t-shirt and nothing else. They said she peed her pants during the visit. As they (Enrique and his wife, Melissa) were taking her out of the car in front of our house, with neighbors standing around, Melissa yelled, 'Maybe next time we can have a change of clean clothes in case she pees herself again.' Mystic looked mortified." Enrique would take Mystic for about 9 hours on Sundays. "When she'd come home, she'd be withdrawn and would get aggressive with the other kids," Jennifer said. All 5 Salazar children last Christmas (Mystic is girl on the right)
ID Info - Mystic is a bi-racial, white/Hispanic female, 3' 3" tall, weighs 35 pounds, has straight light brown hair and green eyes. She has a silver bottom tooth, and her ears are pierced.
Circumstances - Mystic may be in the company of her non-custodial father, an adult female, and a male child. They may be traveling in a gold 2000 Chrysler Voyager with Colorado license plates 355SGZ.
|If you see this missing child or know where he or she is located, please contact the Child Protection Education of America, Inc. at (866)USA-CHILD or the law enforcement agency above. |
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"We pray for a sign, anything," Donna said. "We pray, 'If he is in heaven with you, that's not my first choice, but God, please give us a sign. Send me an e-mail, a phone call, something. We have to know that he's OK and with you.'
"When you lose someone you love when they pass on, you grieve and then you move on with your life," Donna said. "We are nowhere. We are still stuck in that revolving door. We know nothing more than we knew that first day."
Hope that you, too, will find inspiration and courage from these amazing ideas -- the holidays are never easy after the death of a child. It doesn't matter how long it has been. So take heart, you are not alone. Take comfort, you might find some support in one of these:
I made a point to have some memento at each Holiday [support group] meeting, which means just about every month. For our first meetings, I try to give a pin to each parent (hand or foot print) with their child's name on it. Usually it is worn to Group only. For March I did a clover with the child's name, for December - an ornament. The quilt squares are wonderful too. You can supply the pre-cut
fabric and batting, along with puffy paint, buttons, etc... and work on them together during a meeting. I was surprised how into it the Dads were.
For Christmas and Thanksgiving I have decorated a cemetery in the children's section with flowers and a Kindness Card from our MISS Group. This gets the web address out for those who are suffering the Holidays alone.
I have arranged guest speakers for Holiday meetings, too. Some professionals who have had a personal experience are willing and eager to donate their time during the Holidays. My focus is always to make it a time of celebration, rather than slipping into the dark depression. I use the Holidays as a time of "celebrating" the many ways in which my life has been blessed by the child who has left us.
Setting up peer support during the next few months can also be very helpful. I use to send a MISS group card to each family that I had been in contact with and recognize their special child.
I came up with a nice idea for signing Christmas cards.
I got a very small angel paper puncher. (If you are thinking of doing this, I recommend buying more than one. I actually have 3, then I always have a back up when mine starts to get dull.) I punched out a little angel at the bottom of every card, just under or after our names. The first year I did this, I sent out a small typed up phrase (with another angel punched out at the bottom), that said,
"The little angel at the bottom, is in memory of our precious little Natalie. It is our way of symbolizing that although she is no longer with us physically, her spirit will forever be part of us and our family."
(More than a year later I saw that my father-in-law had framed it and put it in his bedroom.)
Now I punch a little angel out of every card I send, not only Christmas cards. My friends, family, co-workers, and everyone we know understand what it means. It's my way of reminding them of Natalie and making sure that no one can forget her, letting them know that she is still very much a part of our family.
I have heard of another mom that does the same with an angel stamp.
Each year at our support group meetings in December, we try to have a "holiday party" so to speak. While we are talking, we provide materials for everyone to make an ornament for their angel(s). The dads really dig using glue guns!! The people who have been with us a while say that these are
absolute treasures to them.
The ornaments are usually making an angel of some sort. Last year we did a seashell body with a wooden ball for the head, craft store wedding rings for the halo, and wood hearts put together with the points touching on the back for the wings. We also had a small ribbon that was glued on like a necklace with a bead that was the color of the birthstone of the baby. We glittered up the wings ahead of time and spray painted the seashells white. They really turned out nice.
We also have candles there that they light when they come in. We also ask people to bring in music they like that we play in the background. I think personally, it is my favorite meeting of the year, and we provide a safe place to "celebrate" with people who understand. We also give them a gift from us, usually another ornament.
So often, as we all know, the holidays just suck. We try to make it just a little easier.
The one thing that I found helpful last year is - I bought some inexpensive plastic angel ornaments from Big Lots (they are red, green or clear and they open up). I gave one to each member of our extended family and our close friends and asked them to write something to Geneva for Christmas. They could write whatever they chose to and then they were supposed to put their notes in the ornaments and bring it to our house to hang on our tree.
Craig and I loved seeing all of the filled angels on our tree and especially liked reading all of the notes after Christmas as we were putting the ornaments away. (I wanted to wait to read the notes, because putting the Christmas decorations away is very depressing for me.)
We also do this at Easter time with plastic easter eggs.
I always include Cheyenne in our Christmas cards (they are usually pre-printed)-- for example:
"Like the unseen breeze, the presence of those loved and lost remains with us always."
This holiday season we remember our daughter and sister, Cheyenne.
Take time this season to remember...
Something my husband and I did last year to cope with the holidays was that we bought all our family members Christmas ornaments with Emily's name and the year on them. That made me feel like she would be a part of people's Christmas.
My mother in law also went to a nursery and bought a whole bunch of pink rose bushes. We put big pink bows on them and gave them to people. I love going to people's houses and having them show me "Emily's Rose." These gifts gave us a positive focus and really helped us cope.
Can you see what I mean about inspired and comforted by all these ideas? Hope that something here has sparked an idea for you and your family as we move through the holiday season and into the New Year. As always, we here at KotaPress would love to hear from you about how this article helped or inspired you. Be in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org and thanks for your readership and contributions!
Christmas may be a time when you get together with family and friends. Often, if you have lost someone you love you are reminded that they are not around. This may be hard and everyone reacts differently to this. It may be that it causes people to react more sensitively to things. Everyone has there own way of coping. It is important that you look after yourself and have your way of getting through the hard bits.
Here are some ideas that may help you better manage the Christmas holidays.
Allow Yourself to be Sad - Christmas may have been a time you spent with someone you have lost. It is normal to feel sad that they are not with you. It may help to take some time out, to remember the person you love. You may want to:
It is OK to Enjoy Yourself - It may be hard to celebrate when you are missing someone you love. It is not uncommon to have a whole lot of different feelings such as sadness, guilt, or excitement. Getting together with family and close friends may be a chance to remember the good times and it's ok to relax and have a laugh. Having fun is not necessarily a sign that you miss that person any less.
Look after Yourself - Remembering that this may be a tough time for you is important. This may mean that you have to treat yourself with a bit of care. Avoid making major decisions until after Christmas is over. If possible, treat yourself to something you enjoy doing. It may be that you:
Talk to Someone - Having someone you trust to talk to about how you are feeling may be helpful. This may be a family member, friend or youth worker. If you are finding it hard to cope with day-to-day stuff then it may help to talk to someone like a counsellor. Check out the Finding Help section for more information about what a counsellor does.
Your local phone book should have details of where to find a counsellor in your local area.
Kids Help Line 1800 55 1800 (free call) or Lifeline 131 114 (cost of a local call) also have counsellors that are available 24 hours a day and the call does not show up on your phone bill.
Avoid Bottling Stuff Up - Getting stuff off your chest is important. Keeping things to yourself may mean that the tension builds up inside you. Finding a way to get out what you are feeling may help you to feel better. You may like to talk to someone, write your thoughts down, draw, have a cry or punch some pillows. Check out the 'Express Yourself' fact sheet for more ideas about how to get stuff off your chest.
Remembering that “The Loser” doesn’t accept responsibility, responds with anger to criticism, and is prone to panic detachment reactions — ending the relationship continues the same theme as the detachment.
Explain that you are emotionally numb, confused, and burned out. You can’t feel anything for anybody and you want to end the relationship almost for his or her benefit. Remind them that they’ve probably noticed something is wrong and that you need time to sort out your feelings and fix whatever is wrong with you. As disgusting as it may seem, you may have to use a theme of “I’m not right for anyone at this point in my life.” If “The Loser” can blame the end on you, as they would if they ended the relationship anyway, they will depart faster.
If “The Loser” panics, you’ll receive a shower of phone calls, letters, notes on your car, etc. React to each in the same manner — a boring thanks. If you overreact or give in, you’ve lost control again.
Focus on your need for time away from the situation. Don’t agree to the many negotiations that will be offered — dating less frequently, dating only once a week, taking a break for only a week, going to counseling together, etc. As long as “The Loser” has contact with you they will feel there is a chance to manipulate you.
“The Loser” will focus on making you feel guilty. In each phone contact you’ll hear how much you are loved, how much was done for you, and how much they have sacrificed for you. At the same time, you’ll hear about what a bum you are for leading them on, not giving them an opportunity to fix things, and embarrassing them by ending the relationship.
Don’t try to make them understand how you feel — it won’t happen. “The Loser” is only concerned with how they feel — your feelings are irrelevant. You will be wasting your time trying to make them understand and they will see the discussions as an opportunity to make you feel more guilty and manipulate you.
Don’t fall for sudden changes in behavior or promises of marriage, trips, gifts, etc. By this time you have already seen how “The Loser” is normally and naturally. While anyone can change for a short period of time, they always return to their normal behavior once the crisis is over.
Seek professional counseling for yourself or the support of others during this time. You will need encouragement and guidance. Keep in mind, if “The Loser” finds out you are seeking help they will criticize the counseling, the therapist, or the effort.
Don’t use terms like “someday”, “maybe”, or “in the future”. When “The Loser” hears such possibilities, they think you are weakening and will increase their pressure.
Imagine a dead slot machine. If we are in Las Vegas at a slot machine and pull the handle ten times and nothing happens — we move on to another machine. However, if on the tenth time the slot machine pays us even a little, we keep pulling the handle — thinking the jackpot is on the way. If we are very stern and stable about the decision to end the relationship over many days, then suddenly offer a possibility or hope for reconciliation — we’ve given a little pay and the pressure will continue. Never change your position — always say the same thing. “The Loser” will stop playing a machine that doesn’t pay off and quickly move to another.
Please click HERE to read this brilliant article by Clinical Psychologist Joseph M. Carver, PhD. in its entirety, which includes extremely important info such as...Follow Up Protection.
Emotionally bonding with an abuser is actually a strategy for survival for victims of abuse and intimidation. The “Stockholm Syndrome” reaction in hostage and/or abuse situations is so well recognized at this time that police hostage negotiators no longer view it as unusual. In fact, it is often encouraged in crime situations as it improves the chances for survival of the hostages. On the down side, it also assures that the hostages experiencing “Stockholm Syndrome” will not be very cooperative during rescue or criminal prosecution. Local law enforcement personnel have long recognized this syndrome with battered women who fail to press charges, bail their battering husband/boyfriend out of jail, and even physically attack police officers when they arrive to rescue them from a violent assault.
Indirectly, the abuser/controller offers subtle threats that you will never leave them or have another partner, reminding you that people in the past have paid dearly for not following their wishes. Hints are often offered such as “I know people who can make others disappear”. Indirect threats also come from the stories told by the abuser or controller – how they obtained revenge on those who have crossed them in the past. These stories of revenge are told to remind the victim that revenge is possible if they leave.
You may be the victim of a controlling and abusive partner, seeking an understanding of your feelings and attitudes. You may have a son, daughter, or friend currently involved with a controlling and abusive partner, looking for ways to understand and help.
If a loved one is involved with a Loser, a controlling and abusing partner, the long-term outcome is difficult to determine due to the many factors involved. If their relationship is in the “dating” phase, they may end the relationship on their own. If the relationship has continued for over a year, they may require support and an exit plan before ending the relationship. Marriage and children further complicates their ability to leave the situation. When the victim decides to end the unhappy relationship, it’s important that they view loved ones as supportive, loving, and understanding – not a source of pressure, guilt, or aggression.
This article is an attempt to understand the complex feelings and attitudes that are as puzzling to the victim as they are to family and friends. I’ve outlined recommendations for detaching from a Loser or controlling/abusive individual (www.drjoecarver.com) but clearly, there are more victims in this situation. It is hoped this article is helpful to family and friends who worry, cry, and have difficulty understanding the situation of their loved one. It has been said that knowledge is power. Hopefully this knowledge will prove helpful and powerful to victims and their loved ones.
Joseph M. Carver, Ph.D., Clinical Psychologist
Dad felt daughter led him to accident scene
Mackey said he grew sleepy Saturday as he drove his motorcycle toward the Powder Springs home he shared with his daughter. He decided to stay on C.H. James Parkway, rather than turning off onto back roads he typically traveled. Mackey reasoned the highway would be safer in his drowsy state...his daughter, he thinks, had been of the same mindset.
“She was trying to call me and tell me where she was,” he said. “She sprinkled some dust in my eyes for me to doze off, and she brought me to the same path that she took.”
Mackey said he is relieved that his daughter’s death was an accident and that she didn’t suffer. Now, the family can lay her to rest.
“We’re gonna do it New Orleans style,” said Mackey. “We’re going to dance, we’re going to laugh, we’re going to celebrate her life. There is nothing to mourn.”