Congratulations and thank you to Monica Szymonik on being named the FUAN February 2019 Advocate of the Month. Monica has been a long-term member but is not from Iowa. She fights her battles in Connecticut… The heart of New England.
Monica was chosen
Her national work and gender-neutral approach has given all parents a voice in seeking mutual agreements through communications that will ultimately lead to the best interest of the child(ren) during custodial divisions.
Monica Szymonik is a mother, wife, author, business owner and crusader of justice.
She guides moms who suffer from Family Court-induced PTSD to step into their best selves so that they can fight for justice as savvy and powerful advocates.
Connecticut Family Court removed Monica’s preschool-aged son from her home in 2010, restricting her and her son to an every-other-weekend schedule for visitations and virtually no legal rights, while simultaneously endorsing Monica as a “fit and appropriate parent” by the courts. To this day, she continues to fight for equal parental rights and will appeal to the Supreme Court if necessary.
Monica established Moms Unshackled, her signature solution, to aid fit mothers to recover from Family Court trauma and Legal Abuse. In 12 weeks, mothers go from feeling hopeless, sick and disempowered to confident and healthy warriors.
Monica is a 2005 graduate of the UCONN School of Nutritional Science and a 2012 graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. She owned an abdominal therapy practice for six years but recently closed its doors to manage Moms Unshackled full-time.
Although her work in women’s wellness is satisfying, her longtime advocacy work is where her real passion lies. This transpired in 2013 when, after enduring Family Court trauma alone for three years, she connected with the Coalition for Connecticut Family Court Reform, where she assisted in the passing of Public Act 14-3 in 2014.
That same year, she launched a Parental Alienation support group in South Windsor. At that time, Monica was a health coach for digestive disorders and became inspired to create a new niche for legally abused mothers.
In 2016, Monica published a self-help book entitled “Broken System- Broken Heart” which guides parents through the aftermath of Family Court-based legal abuse.
In 2017, she graduated from the Parent Leadership Training Institute in West Hartford, CT where she learned about local government and parent advocacy. From there, she began working with mothers individually.
Understanding the depth of the trauma, and how speaking one’s Truth transfers a victim into a crusader is what helped Moms Unshackled be born.
For over nine years, Monica carried herself through the Family and Appellate courts as a self-represented litigant, which necessitated hundreds of hours of self-guided legal research. As a non-lawyer, taking on the legal system gave her an appreciation for the importance of a healthy body and growth-based mindset.
The hostile and hate-based environment she experienced in Family Court helped her see how easy it is to slip into the “toxic vortex” that Legal Abuse creates.
Monica has found a way to use her background in holistic health and combine it with her activism experience. She believes that no one can adequately advocate if they are sick in body, mind, and spirit. The purpose of Moms Unshackled is not to get a mother healthy so she can move back to “average” health.
Her mission is to transform the way a mother sees systemic abuse, deep maternal wounds that come from unnatural mother-child separation to become empowered to be a thought leader in this growing field of Family Law Reform activism.
Monica is concerned that without systems in place like Moms Unshackled, parents will be forced to use prescription drugs and SSI to get by and work until age 70 or 80.
Monica is also concerned about the issues plaguing the next generation if children continue to be stripped of a fit parent after a divorce. The juvenile delinquency, mental illness, drug abuse, suicides, and truancy will harm taxpayers as Special Education budgets expand to manage this population. Monica fears that in 20 years, the military and workforce will collapse if too many young men and women are not mentally healthy enough to launch into adulthood.
Monica asserts that losing access to a loving parent exacerbates a child's ability to thrive and that health insurance companies and Medicaid are burdened with paying for psychotropic medications these children depend on in order to function. She states that multiple institutions are forced to fill voids that a fit parent used to fill, and this is costly to all of us both monetarily and socially.
Her favorite quote is by Jewish religious leader, Hillel the Elder. He said, “If not now, when?” This is the message she sends to her audience. Instead of waiting for justice that may never come, the duty of a mom or dad is to heal their wounds so they can create change.
Monica believes one must let go of limiting beliefs. When faced with her own self-doubt about anything from her role as a parent in her son’s life to her health and mindset to serving the needs of her clients, she remembers that every activist in history went through painful experiences. She says getting out of one’s own way and plunging forward is better than waiting for others to make a change.
Recovering from losing her only son in court has been hard. But even harder was the choice to launch her healing program. Monica says, “It’s the scariest thing I’ve ever done because I have to put myself and my own grief out there for the world to see and hold space for other people’s trauma. But I have no choice, it is my life’s calling card.”
You can learn about Moms Unshackled by attending her signature presentation.
Monica has generously volunteered to donate $200 to FUAN for each person that enrolls in her system from the FUAN network.