Someone 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!
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