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More tales of the growing danger posed by Parental Alienation abuse.

It would appear that society remains either ignorant or hostile to the plight of men, including fathers. But as parental alienation, the contrived rejection of one biological parent by the children, as a result of the negative influence of the other (usually resident) parent, grows to impact more mothers, will it be treated with the seriousness it should be?

Well two developments in the last week may hold out some hope.

Firstly, the good news is that the WHO or World Health Organisation now recognises parental alienation and this must mean that agencies like CAFCASS will have to up the pace of their long debated reforms.

The second incident, however, was yet another tragic case in which another resident parent (in this case a mother) and her partner (not the biological parent) killed and injured six children in their care in one night.

I won’t share morbid details here but there are now too many of these incidents occurring for society to continue to turn a blind eye to the fact that BOTH genders are capable of cruelty and that actually the SAFEST scenario for the children of separated families is for shared care, enabling both biological parents to co-parent, share the pressures and provide safeguarding safety nets.

Much-respected shared parenting advocate Dr Sue Whitcomb explains:

“IMO the gendered lens used far too often conflates the violence of men with the violence of fathers, as in this heavily cited paper “The murder of children by fathers in the context of child abuse” – 62% of the “fathers” were NOTin fact birth fathers “

“A failure to undertake independent, objective research through a non- gendered, ideologically driven lens leaves children at risk of harm. This research report from DCSF  again suggests birth fathers are no greater risk to their child than birth mothers.

As Dr Sue points out, the relentless depiction of men as child safety risks falsely maligns birth fathers. The actuality is that bad people are capable of bad things regardless of gender.

Mothers and new partners are likely to present a higher physical risk to children when all factors are taken into account. And that is before recognising the harm that emotional and psychological abuse of children causes rather than physical abuse alone especially as the former is far more prevalent including issues like the alienation of a child’s biological non-resident parent and the impact this has upon their development and wellbeing in the medium to long term.

To illustrate these points consider this haunting story from one of the parents in our large social media community of parents desperately trying to either address the alienation of their children or re-connect with them, mindful of the harm it is doing to their children and them personally.

alienator-1

“My former partner used to work with me in our HR function. I used to respect her for being efficient and professional when dealing with matters like redundancies and tribunals etc. Little did I know that those “skills” would be used to cause me, my family and our children immeasurable hurt and harm.

She left me shortly after the birth of our second child, a bolt from the blue as, despite the normal pressures of starting a family, we had a fairly idyllic life.

I soon discovered that all was not as I had thought. She had been siphoning money from our business, had shut down my backup financial accounts and moved finances into the children’s accounts to which only she had access.

We initially agreed to split amicably and focus on the children. But soon her lawyers began a ridiculous abuse narrative that my solicitor naively felt we shouldn’t challenge for fear of recriminations.  However it was her fast track to seemingly bottomless legal aid at the time, something I never realised.

We had shared every aspect of parenting but she had moved the kids hundreds of miles back to her parents. They then colluded in the asset stripping that followed using the children as leverage.

The worst happened, however, when she moved her new boyfriend into the house my assets financed. He started emotionally “grooming” our youngest and most impressionable. This guy would literally turn up to events we were all at, our young daughter in his arms and spend the whole time grinning and winking at me.

I discovered that she was using this new “babysitter” to go out with girlfriends, and he would have free access to bathing and putting her to bed. To cover his tracks, he soon stopped her from coming to stay with us during her “court allocated” Daddy time.

When I would call for the children, he would stand in the window with our youngest laughing at me and mocking me, stroking her hair or kissing her. How I retained my self-control I will never know.

They then started making additional financial demands, the implication being that they would make access to the children harder unless we complied. When I refused to play ball, they took me back to court and used the pathetic “abuse” narrative to gain legal aid.

During one especially public event, he turned up on his own with our youngest and I confronted him, politely and said that we should “make an effort to get on literally (if reluctantly) offering the hand of friendship.

He refused. He just stared at the floor frozen with shame and fear while the entire neighbourhood looked on.

That night I was invited to attend the local police office to help them with an “emotional abuse investigation”. It turned out I was the “accused”.

The gloves literally being off now, I went to my MP, the Headmaster of the school, wrote to the senior partner of her legal firm, wrote to the Prime Minister and District Police Commissioner and lifted the drains on the case. After a few weeks of hell in which I still faced prosecution for allegedly “bullying them” (somehow), I eventually received a formal apology from all concerned. But the abuser faced no charges or consequences and I was told to “trust Mum’s judgement”. When I politely declined the investigating officer privately agreed with my judgement.

A week later her lover left her. This stranger who had bathed my children, who got into bed with them and babysat them unsupervised had been cheating on her the whole time. When he failed to extort money from me and could see that I couldn’t be intimidated, he left overnight.

But far from concluding and improving matters, this now tipped the children’s mother into a new phase of hate and rage. Of course, she blamed me for her latest woes and turned up the heat on the children,

Our youngest never came to see us again something that still bends me double with indescribable anxiety, and our eldest lasted several more months despite constant negativity, surveillance while with us and control via electronic devices.

We turned to the court for help. But they were pitiful, constantly reinforcing the sexism and even corroborating the “Mum knows best” line. Despite formally warning her to comply with the order they took no action to address her behaviour.

There is no doubt our lovely, lovely innocent children have been abused, whether physically I can’t confirm. But most certainly emotionally. They have been treated inappropriately and they will now sadly see this behaviour as normal, which is outrageous.

During the very occasional moment of civility with my ex, perhaps most terrifying of all is the fact that she never takes responsibility for her behaviour. At work she used to blame others when she was ruining people’s lives. Now she abdicates responsibility to lawyers, her mother and other parents who “advise” her. She even blames the children for not “wanting to come and see us”. Again, she is woefully negligent in her parenting and this will have a lifelong impact on all of us. It is truly terrifying that the powers that be don’t, won’t or can’t recognise this behaviour for what it is, deliberate and calculated alienation, bullying and abuse.

The most obvious missing link is the understanding that passive aggression is often the worst form of abuse and that is where we are now…zero communication, zero contact, complete bullying by ignorance and denial of loving parenting, a child’s most basic right”

Now this parent’s woes have not turned out as tragically as some, in a physical sense. But he has suffered years of constant abuse simply trying to be a father and fights back terrible depression caused by the emotional, financial and coercive abuse his former partner and enablers have deliberately directed at him using and abusing the authorities and his children.

But still his greatest pain comes from knowing what she is capable of and now teaches the children without any checks and balances from him.

If you have a parental alienation story to tell, then please do share it either here on the social media platforms. We will only end this social disease linked to mental health abnormalities if we all keep talking about it. Silence is sadly compliance so please, please speak up. Yes, it hurts. But your children will be hurting for a lot longer…your grandchildren too, unless we can stop this.

 

 

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Parental Alienation: The Words Matter

“The truth? What’s that? Don’t you know that the day has come when the truth is what we care to make it?”
― Iain Crichton Smith, Consider the Lilies

This quote speaks for the age of modern parenting, where sadly parents are being shorn of their beloved children by a legal process that encourages adversarial divorce and the misuse of abuse legislation in order to weaponise one parent at the expense of the other and force them from the home and their own children’s lives while paying for the privilege.

The truth, in such situations, is no longer the truth, but what the abusive party chooses to make it. And our children are suffering damage that will last for generations.

Parental Alienation

Parental alienation is the act of deliberately abusing influence over a child in order to cause them to reject a parent. It is normally perpetrated by a resident parent as they have the time, control and opportunity and is more readily achieved when they are aided by their close network of family and friends. Given they often have a selfish agenda too, they often are.

Daddy11

People who commit such a morally repugnant act, proven to cause lasting psychological and developmental harm to the children, not to mention the target parent who in extreme cases may be driven to taking their own life, are understandably desperate to cover up their guilty actions.

They deploy a range of strategies for doing so, ranging from abdication:

“…friends and family made me”

“I’m only doing what my solicitor has told me to do”

through to ignoring any and all communication, a tactic called stonewalling or grey stoning,  passive aggressive savagery posing as “protecting the kids”

These people are experts at manipulation and projection and, worse still, are highly adept at blaming the loving victim for the hate crime that is killing them:

“He is a narcissist. All he ever cares about is himself and controlling us”

Yet it’s patently clear to any objective third party:

  • who has the actual power
  • who is the abuser and
  • who is the abused

as it certaintly isn’t the parent left out in the cold and the darkness struggling for warmth, light and love.

Word Power

Semantics, or the use of words, become one of the first weapons that alienators use.

First they deploy the lexicon of legal termonology to create an “us” versus “them”. The non-resident parent or NRP suddenly becomes the “absent” or “visiting” parent. Time with their own children is called “contact” or “visitation” and strangers refer to their beoved children as “subjects” or “case numbers”.

In the enabler groups where the hateful gather in gaggles to hiss and snarl their guilt-riddled poison, struggling non-resident parents are called “narcs” and “perps”, echoing the language used in physical abuse cases. Anybody who stands up for the abused is often mobbed by groups of enablers dismissing them as MRAs (men’s right’s activists), even though alienation knows no gender ,as more and more mothers are finding themselves targeted.

Parental Alienation was initially known as PAS or Parental Alienation Syndrome, but such was the volume and viciousness of the attacks on those who first coined the term by those desperate to cover their tracks, it has been abridged and re-focused.

STOP

Alienated or Estranged?

Attempts have also been made to re-categorise the millions of parents deliberately alienated from their children by the actions of their former partners, not as alienated but as estranged

The implication here is that the blame falls upon the targeted parent who has seemingly chosen to sever their relationship with their child or it has come about as a result of natural consequences of divorce like logistical challenges or even intractible hostility on the part of the NRP.

However, it doesn’t take a genius to spot that the hostility is usually generated by the resident parent who has what they want and is now desperate to assume complete control over the children without the irritant of their ex partner hanging around trying to play Dad or sometimes Mum. Follow any case and the NRP is aways the one compromising just to hang onto any fraction of their parenting role allowed despite the financial cost and constant humiliation. These are not the actions of a bully or an abuser. The truth is quite the reverse.

Because words matter, it is hugely important that all separating parents pay very close attention to the semantics throughout the child arrangements and legal process. Don’t settle for excuses like “we talk this way because that’s the legal process”. If you don’t trust or like the words, change them. Remember they are YOUR kids.

Better still, because words really matter, take control of your story. The children will be hugely influenced by what they hear as this will be what they remember. Make sure your social media is full of the love and affection you feel for your children. Send them cards, notes, emails filled with pride and joy and affection for them.

Tell Your Story

Unfortunately some of the negativity assoctaed with parental alienation is the fact that divorce is an industry.

Lawyers, social services, mediators, therapists and, yes, pressure groups are making a lot of money from misery.

One of the reasons why a certain children’s book and author has so much cross-gender support within the anti-alienation community is that:

  1. It is written by someone who understands the positive power of words
  2. The author is a father who has battled this social disease for a decade and it represents a positive, loving, balanced, empowering, hopeful and engaging response to the challenges of modern family ife.
  3. it is not a money making scheme but an engaging, educating and uplifting work.

To quote the author, Ian Buckingham:

“Modern life is tough for parents especially who have to balance pursuing two careers while caring for their kids. We have had gender equality at work for decades and the same in schools. Until we start to recognise both parents as equals and that they share responsibility for provision and childcare, home life is going to lag behind the demands of work life and misery, especialy for children, will creep into the cracks.

I wrote Legend of the Lost as a celebration of the love parents have for their children and kids for their parents and siblings regardless of their  gender. or family composition It captures the magic of being young and innocent and has powerful messages about overcoming adversity at its core, despite the toughest of trials.

None of us is perfect. We all make mistakes. Children teach us this more than anyone else as they love us for our quirks as those quirks are part of them too. They helped me write this book and now these words keep that message alive forever. We just need more adults to remember them and to be more compassionate to one another.”

ClairePollardChalfont

Judging by the many messages, reviews and photographs on the website and social media pages, plenty of parents are getting the message.

The words really do matter.

These words matter.

Your words matter.

So whatever hell you’re going through, whatever emerges from the PA quagmire next to suffocate your relationship; whatevr attacks you have to endure and sustain, remember THE WORDS MATTER!

Pick up a copy of something inspiring if you need it, re-charge by connecting and communicating with the online community. Or better still open the keyboard and become a voice for the love you share with your children.

Because the best way to ensure that the truth remains free from the censors and the double speak is to take control of your own narrative.

Find your voice.

TELL YOUR STORY!

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PA: Is it me? Part II

Part II of our guest post from a professional head of social care.


Parent Alienation: Is it Me?

In part one I talked about the need to make a concerted effort to combat parent alienation, positively targeting marginalised men as an antidote to the growing problem of fatherlessness.

I talked about my belief in shared parenting and the importance of my own father in my life and what an inspiration he has been to me.

In part two, I would like to share some simple but effective tactics we’re employing to make this belief and need a reality.

As a Social Worker, we love an acronym!dddy

So in my training for father engagement, I use:  IS IT ME ?

  • Invite them
  • Share with them
  • Include them
  • Talk to them
  • Meet with them
  • Engage them

It is my firm conviction that we should offer fathers no different service than we would the mother – as this is in the child’s best interest. I also believe that if we don’t, we may soon face legal consequences aside from the moral and social ones.

I believe there are already a range of best practices or principles we can and should apply.

Some Principles of good practice with fathers  

  • Genograms – every case-child, should have a Genogram which cover at least three generations and covers both maternal and paternal families
  • No Assessment should be agreed or considered completed unless the biological father has been involved
  • Understand family dynamics, culture, ethnicities – social differences
  • Recognise the value of fathers to children
  • Commit to empowering parents – both of them
  • Be aware of own assumptions, prejudices and personal biography that may influence your view of fathers… consider your own experiences
  • Be empathic, be respectful
  • Be consistent, open and honest
  • Be prepared to understand and support difference
  • Practitioners must be prepared to involve fathers and paternal family from the outset
  • Family Group Conference should be used at the earliest convenience

In some cases, social workers haven’t even bothered to make much effort to identify who fathers are, such has been the focus on the maternal relationship.

How do we (IF) Identify Fathers?

  • We must exhaust all options to locate fathers
  • Be curious, creative and persistent
  • Make time to investigate (even if multiple fathers as any of them could be a risk or a resource and protective)
  • Speak to family networks, school, partners, professionals
  • Locate a copy of child’s birth certificate
  • Police checks / LA checks / DWP checks / tracing agencies if required
  • Ensure accurate information is obtained and recorded
  • Mothers can ‘gate keep’ the fathers identity (research evidence this occurs in 66% of all cases)
  • Do not give up – ask at every meeting and challenge non-compliance

If in any doubt about the additional workload, I have to hold in mind my own experience. My father was the best anyone could have wished for, and of course I know not all fathers are like mine, and not all children have the experience I had. But most parents love their children if given a chance.

In alienation cases, most often perfectly good fathers have been desperately trying to maintain a connection often for a very long time. We need to support them more.

loving dads

It keeps me awake at night worrying: “what if there are more and more fathers out there who are like mine? What if more and more children could and should have an amazing father in their lives, an amazing role model and someone who loves them unconditionally… what if?”

Surely based on this “what if”, we have to investigate everything fully. Doing nothing is not an option.

The case social worker has to build trusting relationships. Sure, we have to think the unthinkable when working with families. But  we must remain opened minded and assess the whole situation. What if the unthinkable is that a good father or co-parent has been deliberately alienated by the other parent’s deliberate actions? We all know it happens.

Surely the alienated parent, not to mention alienating parent need help, for the sake of the children and WHOLE family.

In recent times, I have noticed something of a “sea change” happening in certain quarters and there have certainly been cases where:

  • Children have secured permanency with their father as the father has, it turns out,  been the protective parent despite calculated attempts to depict otherwise
  • With the right support and understanding co-parenting can be successful if both parties do it for the child. Many cases have closed to social care as both parents have managed to put the needs of the children first and their differences aside
  • We have seen an increase in father participation in case work
    • They attend meetings, they are involved and engage with us in a more meaningful manner
    • Assessments have father’s voice within them
  • We have taken a new attitude to feedback, we have learnt from experiences, we collate feedback from families and use complaints to inform our practice further, so we can replicate what works and adapt.

There is still a long way to go. But social workers can and must do this differently and some are doing it differently; we just need to continue on this road of change and inclusion but perhaps change gears.


Please Note: We will gladly refer readers to support professionals who add value, deliver results and operate in line with our core principles.

We are also more than happy to feature quality content by writers; any wish to remain anonymous will be respected, as is the case above.

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Why does so much PA advice describe the water to the drowning?

compassionI once heard parent alienation, where one parent has to get through each day with a living bereavement, poignantly described as “drowning in a sea of hope being hit by endless waves of grief.”

If you’ve ever been unfortunate enough to see someone actually struggling in water, they are literally consumed by a largely alien, hostile world and they flail wildly trying to latch onto anything that will keep their head from going under.

Yet what people who can swim know is that your lungs are natural buoyancy aids. Keep calm, think, fill those lungs with air and employ economy of effort and your chances of survival increase hugely.

Presumably experts in parent alienation understand this metaphor. Because we assume they have earned the label as a consequence of observing dozens of targeted parents and their children and wider families suffer at the hands of a system that is less the RNLI or emergency services and more the dark rocks of danger or a cruel riptide.

So why is it that there are so few parent alienation experts appearing with buoyancy aids?

So why is it that there are so few parent alienation experts appearing with buoyancy aids, like emotional and procedural lifeguards during the worst times of trouble? Better still, why haven’t they joined forces after such a passage of time to build a lifeboat station or even erect a lighthouse to warn parents of the perils ahead? At the very least why aren’t they pulling together to bring disaster relief when increasing numbers of people encounter tragedy where they thought they would find help?

We started campaigning because we had suffered too much and kept bumping into people with similar stories but few positives to report about support.

Yet they are also paying to be abused:

  • family lawyers charge day rates north of £1,000
  • barristers cost much more and usually attend WITH a referring solicitor
  • mediators employ an hourly charging system
  • so many psychologists are quacks and charlatans
  • court fees vary but the £hundreds quickly run to thousands
  • counselling costs at least £30 per hr, per “patient”
  • courses and workshops are not inexpensive
  • psychology reports and assessments cost £100s
  • so-called PA consultants charge rates comparable to solicitors

And yet none of these “professionals” are held accountable for outcomes or results.

It is not inconceivable that a parent, if not both parents, will have to utilise all 8 of these so-called support mechanisms. And yet, as the “experts” suggest with mis-placed glee, even if the target parent is successful in obtaining an order to see THEIR OWN CHILDREN, they still remain at the mercy of the resident parent. Because, if the resident parent refuses to comply, the court will do nothing to enforce their own order in 99 out of 100 cases. And the target parent could easily have spent £20k plus for that outcome.

Even then, however, the PA grief counseling commercial machine will still attempt to pick what’s left of their pockets. It is an absolute scandal.

Meanwhile, our international network talks daily of  ongoing acts of immeasurable cruelty and vindictiveness with former partners deploying their own children as weapons; of a legal system seemingly unable to help and which makes matters worse and of a so-called support system that wants more money from them, not to fix the problem and re-connect them with their kids, but to help them live with their grief. Yet when they feel that third parties have been a large part to blame for the cause of that grief and the pain is all they have left of their kids, grief counselling is frankly a tricky sell.

This is not an exact science but if we presume that parent alienation, or the act of one parent, probably the resident parent, abusing the extra time they have with the kids to turn them against the other parent, rejecting and then blocking them from their lives, has been going on since the 70s, at least, that’s half a century of child abuse taking place in clear sight. Yet despite the proliferation of experts and specialist services, the system has changed very little. And yet the ill effects of parent alienation on society are very well documented.

So how can it be, that in all of that time, not a single so-called PA specialist has managed to successfully highlight root causes with conviction and challenge and change the broken machine when even judges acknowledge it is not fit for purpose? Yet so many specialists exist, advertise their wares, argue with each other, take money from the cash strapped and the broken and contribute to reports and papers that reek of ego and a grieving industry. Why?

People, by which I mean children and adults, who are being subjected to this very deliberate form of abuse don’t need reports describing their symptoms, stages of grief and the harm it is causing unless those facts are being used to bring about change.

Parents thrown overboard by “due process” are not looking for vengeance or retribution, they simply want to honour the primal instinct any of us has, to protect our children, nurture them and shield them from harm. And they expect the experts in this field to rise with a common voice and not to undermine each other over petty turf wars that so often replicate the abuse within the system they’re all supposed to be battling.

We need proper help and support that not only challenges but changes the system so fewer people suffer in future

With that in mind, we need proper help and support that not only challenges but changes the system so fewer people suffer in future but which helps us remain afloat and become stronger swimmers.

The very last thing we need are more people joining the crowd on the beach describing the state of the water to the drowning while they rifle through our clothes for the last of the loose change.

So if you’re one of the professionals and are not only passionate about what you do but open to constructive feedback on how to help yourself and others become more effective, then get involved with this movement.

When a system is as rotten as this is, change is not optional or a nice to have but a moral obligation.

When a system is as rotten as this is, change is not optional, or a nice to have but a moral obligation and if we can’t look to the experts to save us all from drowning, then I guess we are going to have to ignore the cynics and do it ourselves.

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WARNING: PAS You’re Next!

motherinlawWe recently wrote a provocative post suggesting that in an increasing number of cases, “single parenting” has become a lifestyle choice.

We suggested that an alarming number of unscrupulous parents are deploying common tactics, shared within online networks, to strip assets, gain an income, often for life and then remove the targeted parent who no longer fits their narrative.

It has stirred up quite a response, because it’s painfully close to the naked truth, it seems.

Given the very many cases and situations we sadly hear in our various forums and platforms, we’re not surprised.

Just this week we heard of one mother who worked in human resources with her ex, spent two years sacking most of her friends, moved into his house after she was made redundant, started a family with him and then, three years later, “sacked him” too. She then blocked out her colleagues and spent years alienating him from their kids because he was an inconvenient truth.

Yet what is equally striking, is that for every decent human being who sees these people for who they are, with their petty but cruel behaviour and the victim narrative they create to garner sympathy for denying their former partner time to love and care for their own children, there seem to be twice as many people who turn a blind eye to this alienating abuse. They are supposedly friends, family and acquaintances yet by doing this, these people are condoning and enabling the obvious damage being caused to the children concerned.

You don’t have to actively participate in the gossip, to agree or even to encourage the alienating parent. Simply doing nothing, indulging them yet engaging with them makes the enabler complicit in what is now widely recognised as child abuse.

As Edmund Burke said ” “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing”

Now, undertaking a calculated campaign of cruel spite is obviously deplorable from a wider ethical standpoint. But it’s much worse than that because it is deeply personal and will, very likely, have direct consequences for the enablers, the people who ignore the signs and choose to do nothing.

Why?

  • It makes what should be unacceptable behaviour an acceptable norm which, before you blink will spread to other families
  • Because, if the alienator, a member of your social circle can abuse their own child’s father/mother in this calculated and relentless way,  then how can you trust them with:
    • your husband/wife?
    • your children?
    • your contacts?
    • your life?

Let’s cut to the chase here.

Despite what the alienator may say, you know enough about the targeted parent to understand that they are dedicated to their kids and desperate to do the right thing.

You have seen them fight against overwhelming odds, desperate to stay in touch.

You’ve witnessed them turn up at school or events despite having to put up with incredible levels of discomfort and abuse.

You have seen your “friend” destroy the children’s love of their own parent.

You have watched how they have even used new partners to cause additional pain and abuse, before they too have left.

So why on earth would the non-resident parent still try to stick around unless they loved their children dearly?

Do you seriously believe they are trying to see their own kids just to annoy let alone “abuse”someone they no longer love?

Really?

Above all, have you ever stopped to ask yourself?

  • who the real problem parent is?
  • what sort of person would persist with so many cruel and petty actions that are causing so much damage to their children?
  • why the often hysterical parent won’t just do the right thing?
  • why they have prolonged this revenge parenting for so long?
  • what are they covering up?
  • what does this say about their judgement and their mental health?
  • how they behave with your kids/husband/wife when you’re not there?

but most importantly

what would they do to me if they ever fell out with me too?

targetwoman

Be honest.

How many parents who demonstrate these relentless alienating behaviours that clearly damage the children let alone the target parent, do you actually respect?

How many are or were independently successful and well balanced in their own right before they married?

How many actually only have what they have because they took it from their former partner yet can’t even show them basic respect?

How many of these people would you trust not to do EXACTLY the same to you?

Are you still happy to sit and listen while they spread poison at social events, at school or at your house?

What exactly would you do if they turned their sights on you and how would you want your network to behave?

How do you know they haven’t already?

Well?


Please Note: This blog deals with difficult issues. If you need support, we will gladly refer you to legal, mentoring and reunfication specialists. 

We are also more than happy to feature quality content by writers; any wish to remain anonymous will be respected, as is the case above.

So please do contact us.

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Forever young!

sadironmanSomeone who I know to be a very good man, has fought a lifelong campaign for re-unification with his daughter, who turned 16 today.

Parent Alienation is horrific, whatever range of terrible variables you happen to be enduring. But this man has had to watch his former partner set up home with a man who he knew to be unsavoury, but who has since been convicted as a paedophile and sexual deviant.

It’s every parent’s nightmare.

And yet still, he will not be seeing his own daughter on her birthday because, somehow, his ex, who clearly knew about her partner’s character, manages to alienate him.

He has recently posted various snapshots of the frozen twilight zone that his alienated life has become, including a very touching photograph of his daughter’s favourite dress, still hanging on the back of the door where she left it after last wearing it. But today’s birthday announcement reminded me of a time when I had been so full of pride, excitement and promise for our first daughter and the speech I gave at her Christening.

We, of course, put a great deal into the event. One of the features was a playlist of our favourite music, which we had played to both children when they were in the womb and to help lull them to sleep in their nursery. It featured the song, Forever Young, made famous by Joan Baez.

Of course, the sentiment at the time was that, like at Sleeping Beauty/Princess Aurora’s Christening, we all wanted to bless the baby with our wishes for health, wealth, innocence and happiness, that they remain young at heart.

Now, however, the song has become very painful to listen to.

Because it has come to represent something else, a malign presence crept into our lives, the dark disease of Parent Alienation.

For a parent alienated from their child/children, the child remains frozen in their minds at the age at which the alienation began. And there is evidence to suggest that, psychologically, the children also suffer lasting developmental damage linked to the distressing disturbance to their welfare incurred upon traumatic separation from a loving parent.

So, to some extent, as the father alludes in his birthday message, while the child ages, they remain, in our minds, and to some extent their own, Forever Young:

Parent Alienation MUST be stopped.

It is child abuse.

It is destroying loving relationships.

It is enabled by our ridiculously out-dated legal and social services systems.

It is an absolute disgrace and will be forever seen as a dark stain of shame for those so self-obsessed to have perpetrated it!


Please Note:  The issues we deal with in this blog are potentially distressing. If you feel you need support over and above the resources available, we will gladly refer readers to professionals within our team, such as those mentioned, who can help deliver results and who operate in line with our core principles. 

We are also more than happy to feature quality content by writers. Any wish to remain anonymous will be respected as you will observe.

So if you have someone to recommend, are someone we would recommend or have something to say on the subject of shared parenting and parent equality in either a personal or professional capacity and would like a platform to have your say or contribute in some way to our cause, please contact us.