Advertisements

Peace Not Pas

A Parent's Story of Battling Parental Alienation

Page 10 of 14

Hindsight is such a precise art-form

An incredibly powerful piece of writing about parental alienation.
Please read and share this post to help raise awareness of this relatively unknown and misunderstood form of child abuse.
Thank you.

Advertisements

An Alienated Grandfather’s Thoughts

It has been since the summer of 2016 that I have struggled on as an alienated grandfather. I have the memories still fresh in my mind of the happy and treasured times I once had with my grandchildren.

For those of you unaware of what parental alienation actually is please see here for full details.

GrandfathersThoughtsPeaceNotPas2.jpeg

“It breaks my heart seeing them, thinking how sad, disillusioned and upset they might feel.”

It hurts so much, seeing other grandparents being able to enjoy being with their grandchildren like I once used to be. I have glimpsed my grandchildrens’ faces sometimes on their way to school. It breaks my heart seeing them, thinking how sad, disillusioned and upset they might feel by the hate, poison and lies forced onto them by their so called mother.

Parental alienation is not right or fair. If you watch any of the news channels on TV of the world gone mad; places like Syria, Iraq, I sometimes think to myself how is it possible to survive in such places? Yet during any cease-fire that occurs, amazingly children in such places are seen playing games, playing football. Ultimately doing things children should be doing as children.

“To all those that inform me that my grandchildren are happy. You, like my grandchildren are being used and lied to.”

The point I am making is my beautiful grandchildren over a period of time have arguably been more mentally destroyed than children in such war ravaged countries. People are outaged at the vulnerability of children in these war zones and rightly so. However not enough people appear to be outraged about the emotional abuse that is parental alienation.

To conclude, may I say something to all those enablers of parental alienation, to all those that like to inform me not to worry. To all those that inform me that my grandchildren are happy. You, like my grandchildren are being used and lied to, enough said.

Lets hope one day that the powers that be, recognise that parental alienation is child abuse.

Written by

Albert Glover


Please Note: We pledge to never make a profit or any other form of financial gain from any individuals affected by the current injustice of the family justice system.

We will gladly signpost individuals to professionals within our wider network who operate in line with our core principles; contact us for more details. 

We pledge to never request payment from such individuals, nor request a finder’s fee from such professionals for any referrals made.

We offer a completely free Support Line. To find out more prior to booking click here. To book a call from one of our dedicated Support Line Volunteers click here

The CCA Support Team

Falling in Love and Parental Alienation

“Falling in love is not an act of will. It is not a conscious choice. No matter how open to or eager for it we may be, the experience may still elude us. Contrarily, the experience may capture us at times when we are definitely not seeking it, when it is inconvenient and undesirable.” Wrote M. Scott Peck in 1979 in his book The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values, and Spiritual Growth

I fell in love with a married man. I did not go out of my way to do this. We worked together. It was not an office job, it was a hands on job where our communication skills and our compassion were demonstrated daily. We had similar values, similar way of managing situations, similar musical tastes and most importantly we found laughter in all types of situations. So without any fault or any planning we were automatically drawn to each other and fell in love.

Friendly funny texts in our own time became a little flirty. He told me nothing would happen as he was married. I said I understood. I honestly did not think anything would happen; nor did I really want it to happen as he had children.

As time went on it was obvious we were meant to be together. Not a kiss or a handhold happened until one day he came to me and told me he had told his wife about me. He would not have an affair and came clean to his wife. He had too much respect for everyone involved to be untruthful and live a lie. The morality of his actions impressed me and made me respect and love him even more. This was a man who would always be truthful even in such difficult circumstances.

“She not only stopped him seeing his own children but also brainwashed them into hating their father.”

The outcome of this decision was disastrous for my now partner and his children. His wife told him that he would never see his children again if he left. She not only stopped him seeing his own children but also brainwashed them into hating their father. There appears no opportunity to challenge this because there was and still is no way he can get to his children.

All family who were supportive of my partner’s decision were also denied contact with his children. This woman, my partner’s ex-wife literally had all bases covered. No contact due to false allegations against my partner gave her time to effectively brainwash his children that their own father had abandoned them ALL and taken all their money too. These false allegations ultimately gave her enough time to sow the seeds of hatred in their minds towards their own previously loving father.

“The kids need time,” was a comment made by their mother to the professionals involved. These professionals were and still are clearly underqualified and unaware of such complex cases of contact denial. Sadly the professionals dealing with the case could see which parent was exhibiting the emotional abuse but remarkably bought into this “the kids need time” bullshit. Such lack of understanding by the professionals involved resulted in the facilitation of this needing of time being awarded to her. As such the children’s negative perception of their own father has become further entrenched. As anyone who knows anything about contact denial between children and loving parents, time apart is the worst thing possible.

What I have described above is known as parental alienation. Find out more by visiting the Peace Not PAS page What is Parental Alienation?

Many of us will have all come across it but simply do not know there is a name for it. Over the years I have so often heard people say their exes are useless or their dads didn’t care about them and they are better off without them. You don’t think about it – you take what they say as the truth. Why wouldn’t you?

FallingInLoveandParentalAlienation2.jpg

I remember as a child, my friend had one of those fathers who was always at the childrens parties and always playing with his children and involving himself in all the activities. One day he left.

My friend simply told me that her, her mother and brother were “fine on our own.” That never made sense to me and now I see the parallels of the two situations. The children’s mother would openly make disparaging remarks about the father to her friends in full earshot of the children. She would then scold herself and pretend she should not make these comments as they would influence the children. Rolling her eyes when his name was mentioned or reminding everyone who would listen that they were short of money and had to “go without” knowing this would reinforce the childrens beliefs it was due to their father’s departure.

She would inform others proudly that the children had made their own decision in cutting him out of their lives. They claimed they had high morals and would not accept the injustices they had had to suffer due their father’s “bad choice.” Comments such as “he’s the one missing out,” “he’ll regret this” wrongly make the child feel they are valued by at least one of their parents and their decision to cut the other parent off is the right thing to do.

“People are shocked that the judicial system and the services who are meant to safeguard children allow such abuse to continue unchallenged.”

How difficult it must be for any affected child to challenge these unkown false beliefs and potentially get hurt by the awful parent and risk losing the love and praise of the alienating parent.

Whenever my partner and I tell our story, people are shocked that the judicial system and the services who are meant to safeguard children allow such abuse to continue unchallenged.

Never have people said to us “you’re a terrible person and you should have stayed in that unhappy marriage” or you should have “left that married man alone.”

“As parents we are meant to protect our children.”

We live in an age now where we no longer have to stay in unhappy unfulfilling relationships. It’s acceptable and its common. People separate. Life goes on. But as parents we are meant to protect our children’s feelings throughout any difficulties.

As a mother I cannot imagine putting my son to bed knowing that he feels unworthy, abandoned and unloved by his other parent. Parents are meant to love their children. Imagine the thoughts and feelings in a childs head when they are wrongly informed that their other parent no longer loves them! I want my child to feel all the love in the world and raise him to feel loved and knowing he can achieve anything.

My partner is a great role model and definitely positive step-father material. He is responsible, kind, respectful and funny. Although very quickly a bond took place between them it took about six months for my partner to be able to play with my son. He spends time playing karate, lego and cars with him and although enjoying it I know that in his mind he wishes his children were with him too. Some days he will make a polite excuse as he is unable to play with my son. Children activities and parties are usually a no go-er although occasionally he may feel strong enough to come along.

Life is not black and white. Its grey and if you look out for them you’ll notice snippets of rainbow colours. Of course my partners ex can vilify and hate me as much as she wishes. To her I am a ‘skank’ and that is fine with me. I ‘stole’ her husband.

But ultimately she needs to deal with that in her own way. Drink, cry, exercise, join a group, take up a hobby, change her hair.

She should not let her ex’s decision negatively affect their children’s psychological wellbeing. His decision was not to leave his children; it was to leave the marriage as it was not working. It was his ex’s decision to put their children’s psychological wellbeing at risk and allow them to lose the wonderful man who loves them more than anyone else in the world.

Searching Google Images one will find thousands of quotes about mothers protecting their children. “Hell hath no fury like a mother protecting her children” is just one of many slogans to be found online.

However, tragically for my partner’s children their alienating mother is attempting to ‘buy into’ this parental stereoytpe by attempting to be seen by others to be protecting her children.  However, whether she knows it or not she is doing the complete opposite.

Written by

write4revolution


Please Note: We pledge to never make a profit or any other form of financial gain from any individuals affected by the current injustice of the family justice system.

We will gladly signpost individuals to professionals within our wider network who operate in line with our core principles; contact us for more details. 

We pledge to never request payment from such individuals, nor request a finder’s fee from such professionals for any referrals made.

We offer a completely free Support Line. To find out more prior to booking click here. To book a call from one of our dedicated Support Line Volunteers click here

The CCA Support Team

My Life, then Parental Alienation

When deciding to write about my story, I wondered where to start. Before all this happened to me I was just a mother, a mother in law and a grandmother. I worked in customer services for a well known company and life for me was good. I was happy that my children were all married and settled, with families of their own. I looked forward to their regulars visits and our family get-togethers. They were happy times.

And then just like that, it all changed. No one saw it coming, or maybe I did . Maybe I didn’t want to believe that my family was not perfect after all.

The marriage of one of my son’s broke down and that’s when the nightmare began. Couples break up often enough nowadays. I have have had friends over the years who have separated or divorced but their lives carried on as parents. These friends, although divorced or separated, helped and supported their children to cope with the separation. Children adapt as long as they know they have two parents who love them. With this knowledge children have more chance of remaining happy and secure despite their parents separating.

“How could I have known that once my son and daughter in law parted, that my son would be denied access to his own children.”

As sad as I was about the split between my son and his wife I thought they would co-parent and all our lives would go on. How wrong I was. How could I have known that once my son and daughter in law parted, that my son would be denied access to his own children. And then I in turn was also denied access to my own grandchildren. Not by the courts, but solely by their mother. I had done nothing wrong, why would she do this to me? Why would she do this to the children?

It is now almost two years since my son last saw his children and I my grandchildren. I cannot describe the pain of not having them in my life anymore. Or the pain of wondering  how hurt and lost they might be feeling each and everyday wondering why they are no longer a part of their grandparents’ lives. Having lost the two people from their lives who they thought would love them and be there for them for the rest of our lives.

MyLifeThenPA_PeaceNotPas2.jpeg

It has completely split my family. And the pain that I feel is unbearable. There is also the pain my son goes through every single day that he doesn’t see his children. I am a mother and grandmother, I  should be able to  protect my family. But I cannot do anything to  help ease their pain.

“I cannot describe the emotional pain, it is like a pain inside of you that never goes away.”

I am struggling myself, some days just getting out of bed, getting dressed and going to work is so very hard. I cannot describe the emotional pain, it is like a pain inside of you that never goes away. I have dear friends who are kind and tell me it will all work out. I know they mean well and that they are just trying to help. However  they do not really understand how hard it is to cope with every single day.

I have now found a  website where people do understand. People like me who are going through the same pain. We are able to support each other, as we are all alienated parents, alienated grandparents and alienated aunts and uncles.

Parental alienation was not a term I was ever familiar with. That was until it actually happened to my family. You have no idea that such a form of abuse exists or is even unchallenged by authorities and services that you believe are there to protect children from such abuse.

“It is simply child abuse to deny a child contact with a loving parent or grandparent.”

Tragically I have found out that it  does happen. And it continues to happen to thousands of parents and children worldwide, but why? Sadly their is no law passed yet to prevent this abuse. It is not even criminalised to help families or their children  who are subjected to this kind of trauma by an abusive ex-partner. How can that be? It is simply child abuse to deny a child contact with a loving parent or grandparent or any other member of their family who they have a loving relationship with. So we, the alienated grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, must  continue to  fight on  together for however long it takes to change this.  My son and I will  never ever give up the fight for his children. We will never give up the fight for my grandchildren.

Written by

pascampaigner


Please Note: We pledge to never make a profit or any other form of financial gain from any individuals affected by the current injustice of the family justice system.

We will gladly signpost individuals to professionals within our wider network who operate in line with our core principles; contact us for more details. 

We pledge to never request payment from such individuals, nor request a finder’s fee from such professionals for any referrals made.

We offer a completely free Support Line. To find out more prior to booking click here. To book a call from one of our dedicated Support Line Volunteers click here

The CCA Support Team

Representing Myself in Family Court!

As the title suggests I recently represented myself in Family Court. I would like to share with others how I found the whole experience.

However I will not go into specific details due to both confidentiality and the fact my ex is threatening me with legal action unless I take down this blog. This legal threat is in addition to the fact my ex continues to alienate my children against me and emotionally abuse them despite numerous Court Orders and professionals ordering her to stop. I have now not had any contact with my children for just over 14 months. For those unfamiliar with the term parental alienation please see here.

In terms of representing myself I had no choice. I simply could not afford a barrister. I am in an enormous amount of debt and I have borrowed all I can from those close to me. In the context of parental alienation, fighting to simply be a part of your children’s lives is an incredibly costly affair. My ex and I have spent approximately £20,000 in legal fees between us (that’s 26,762 in US dollars).

“My ex’s aim is to totally erase me and my side of my family from the live’s of my children.”

My plan is to be a part of my children’s lives. I do not wish to shut their mother out of their lives. I simply want the abuse to stop and for me to have regular contact with my children. I will pursue a change of residence if my ex continues to refuse to change her approach. My ex’s aim is to totally erase me and my side of my family from the live’s of my children.

So I digress. On the morning of the court appearance I met up with a very close friend of mine who I shall refer to as G who also happens to be a McKenzie friend and a work colleague. An hour before the hearing we met for coffee. During this time we talked about anything and everything apart from the impending hearing. We talked about work, mutual friends and each others children.

RepresentingMyselfInFamilyCourt2.jpg

At this point I would like to take this opportunity to talk about friendships in relation to parental alienation. Over the last fourteen months I have really discovered who my real friends are. All previous mutual friends of my ex and I have abandoned me due to them believing me to be a cheat, a lier, a child beater and a thief. Obviously all of these are false allegations, but a parent that alienates, quickly aquires what is known as enablers. These enablers believe such lies and false allegations and as such knowingly or unknowingly feed, enable and encourage the alienating behaviours of the targeting parent. The subject of enablers is explored in more detail in an earlier article of mine entitled An Open Letter to Enablers of Parental Alienation.

“I have no time for so called ‘friends’ that desert those who need help and support at the most tragic of times.”

Numerous other friends and even members of my own family have fallen victim to my ex’s lies about me. I have no time for those that judge others unkindly. I have no time for so called friends that desert those who need help and support at the most tragic of times. I now surround myself with a small circle of positive, loving, caring and trustworthy friends and family and I am fortunate enough to count G as being part of this group of friends and family.

Let me tell you a bit about G. We have worked together within the same team on psychiatric units for several years. We have nursed people at their most lowest ebb in their life. I have witnessed G‘s unconditional compassion, kindness and care in the most challenging of circumstances. G is the kind of friend that would give you the shirt off his own back. Actually after I separated from my ex she cut up all my clothes, leaving me with no clothes at all. Within a couple of days G gave me one of his own shirts!

And so back to the story of my day at court. The pre-hearing meet up with G helped enormously. Then the time came to leave and walk down to the court which was just five minutes walk away. On the way and only on the way did we talk tactics regarding the hearing and my planned appoach.

Upon arrival at court we entered the main doors, and went through the obligatory security checks and made our way into the family court area and sat together in a private room that we managed to find.

With or without legal representation, I find the whole experience of going to court disempowering, uneccesarily formal and hierarchical. So there we were, G and I sitting in this room waiting. I felt apprehensive but confidently cautious with the approach I was planning to take. G kept me distracted and amused while we waited.

“Are you comfortable with representing and supporting someone who abuses their own children?”

Approximately 40 minutes later the court clerk knocked on the door and informed us that the Judge was ready to see us. With a tone of confidence that surprised even myself I informed the clerk “I’m not ready to see the Judge yet. I wanted to speak with the other side’s barrister beforehand.

Oh, okay, not a problem, I will go and get her for you.” The court clerk responded, with a sense of surprise.

Thank you” I replied.

Within a minute my ex’s barrister entered the room and introduced herself. Her overall demeanour was cold and overly formal. I gestured for her to sit down to which her non-verbal expression suggested she was being somewhat inconvenienced by such a request.

I just wanted to ask you a couple of questions before we went into court” I informed her, as she sat down.

Okay” she remarked in a somwhat aloof manner.

I asked her outrightly “Are you aware that your client is emotionally abusing our children and is also denying me contact with my children?

Today is not about the children matters, I am here today to represent my client regarding the divorce proceedings” she replied. Although she attempted to remain expressionless, by her non-verbal gestures she appeared to be taken aback by my question.

I accept that. However what I am asking is are you aware of your client’s alienating and abusing behaviours towards our children.” I tried yet again, a bit firmer in tone this time.

Like I said Mr btg-dad, I am not at liberty to discuss any matters regarding the children.” In turn, her tone became firmer and much more assertive.

I am not asking you to discuss any matters regarding my children. However your client’s current treatment of our children and the ongoing contact denial needs to be understood and taken into consideration regarding what each side is asking for from this divorce hearing.

Like I said Mr btg-dad, I am not at liberty to discuss any matters regarding the children.”  She was now beginning to sound like a robot.

Okay, I would just like to ask you one more question if I may. I’m not questioning your professionalism, this relates more to your own morals. Are you comfortable with representing and supporting someone who abuses their own children?” I did not expect an answer, but as an alienated parent, it was a question that I just needed to ask.

That’s an inappropriate question Mr btg-dad and I am not willing to answer it.” Her tone was now abrupt. She appeared to be insulted by what I was asking.

Well, I don’t think so, considering my children are being abused on a daily basis by your client and I haven’t seen them for over a year. I think I have more than earnt the right to ask someone like you such a question.” This I said in a slow, casual and soft tone so as not to be seen to express any agitation or frustration.

I think we should make our way into court now Mr btg-dad” she said as she stood up and left the room.

As she left the room I turned and smiled at G and said “right, that’s how it’s going to be then. Come on then, we better go and get this bullshit over and done with.

We both stood up and G gave me a supportive touch on the shoulder as we left the room and made our way to the court room.

Obviously I can’t go into detail about the proceedings within the court room. But I was pleasantly surprised by the way I represented myself in court. I kept a cool head, remained articulate throughout and felt comfortable cross-examining the other side.

In summing up the hearing, the Judge’s only criticism of me was that I kept referring to the ongoing concerns regarding the children. But even so, she said this was understandable.

So what have I learnt from representing myself in Family Court?

  • Take a trusted friend with you as a McKenzie Friend. There is a legal loophole (in the UK) that allows you to do this. If you are not aware of this and want details of how to do this, contact me here or Direct Message me on Twitter.
  • Representing yourself is not as dreadful as one might imagine.
  • No one knows your story more than you. The truth doesn’t have to be remembered.
  • Representing yourself and standing up for the truth is good for your self-confidence and increases your will-power and inner strength to carry on.
  • Definitely prepare your approach. Start at least a week before, so you have time to reflect and reconsider any planned questions.
  • Evidence is key to the whole proceedings. As time consuming as it is, evidence gathering is essential.
  • You can take evidence into Court with you if you have missed the deadline for submission of evidence prior to the court hearing.
  • I found it useful to type up a word document of questions to take with me. I left spaces in between the questions to take notes of salient points that may arise that relate to certain questions you may be asking.
  • At the end of the proceedings you will be asked to provide a verbal ‘summing up‘ (summary) of what it is you are asking for and back this up with a quick reference to any evidence you have provided. I completely forgot about this bit! So I just had to ‘blag it‘ as I went along.
  • Barrister’s talk a lot more bullshit than I initially thought.
  • Barrister’s are much more immoral than I previously thought.

 

The Dalai Lama once said “When we meet real tragedy in life, we can react in two ways. Either by losing hope and falling into self-destructive habits, or by using the challenge to find our inner strength.” 

btg dad


Please Note: We pledge to never make a profit or any other form of financial gain from any individuals affected by the current injustice of the family justice system.

We will gladly signpost individuals to professionals within our wider network who operate in line with our core principles; contact us for more details. 

We pledge to never request payment from such individuals, nor request a finder’s fee from such professionals for any referrals made.

We offer a completely free Support Line. To find out more prior to booking click here. To book a call from one of our dedicated Support Line Volunteers click here

The CCA Support Team

Father and Son

“It’s not time to make a change, just relax, take it easy, you’re still young, that’s your fault, there’s so much you have to know.”

The opening lines from the Cat Stevens track Father and Son. I have always loved and admired this song, particularly the lyrics. Such poignant and touching lyrics easily evoking loving and reflective emotions in any given loving father.

Cat Stevens

I hadn’t heard this song for quite a while until a couple of weeks ago. It came up on a random Spotify playlist I was listening to and it immediately caught my attention and I instantly viewed the track and particularly the lyrics from a whole new perspective. Lyrically the song portrays an exchange between a father and a son. It is the son’s desire to break away and shape a new life. However the son cannot really explain himself. The storytelling within the song strongly resonated with me.

I am what is known as an alienated parent who has been denied contact with my three beautiful children since the summer of 2016. The mother of my children has effectively brainwashed my children into believing I no longer love them and that I have rejected them and that I no longer want to be a part of their lives. My children are being emotionally abused by their very own mother.

“I continue to fight to simply be a father to my children.”

The family courts and Cafcass are aware of both the abuse and contact denial on the part of my children’s mother. However due to a multitude of issues with Cafcass, a biased and outdated judicial system and many other factors (that are way beyond the scope of this particular article) I continue to fight to simply be a father to my children. My ex-partner is determined to completely erase me from my children’s lives.

For anyone unfamiliar with the term parental alienation please see here for a more detailed definition.

“My children are being forced to live a life without their father.”

So as an alienated father the opening lyrics to Father and Son take on a whole new meaning. “It’s not time to make a change, just relax, take it easy, you’re still young, that’s your fault, there’s so much you have to know.”

My children are being forced to make a change. My children are being forced to live a life without their father. Ultimately it’s not time to make a change. That change is being forced upon them.

“Just relax, take it easy.” As an alienated parent I am unable to protect my children. Even worse than that, professionals currently involved have confirmed that my children have been groomed into being scared of me by their very own mother. They are only children, and yet they are being groomed to be scared and anxious of their very own father.

“You’re still young, that’s your fault.” The fact that they are so young and easily impressionable is being capitalised on by a parent whose sole aim is to brainwash my children into believing I have abandoned them. Evidence shows that children that are fortunate enough to be reconciled with a former targeted parent carry a lot of guilt. Research shows that as part of the emotional fallout of the reconciliation, former alienated children invariably blame themselves for rejecting the former targeted parent. To my children, I would say your only fault is your young age. Which of  course is beyond your control and simply being taken advantage of in the context of the emotional abuse that is currently being inflicted upon you all.

“There’s so much you have to know.” With regards to this line, where do I start? If only you were allowed and encouraged to believe that I have not abandoned and rejected you. If only you knew the truth.

“Find a girl, settle down. If you want you can marry.” The emotional abuse currently being inflicted on my children, if left unchallenged will have a detrimental affect on their short and long term mental health. In particular with regards to their own understanding of what is deemed a healthy relationship. The emotional damage being inflicted on my children has been highlighted by numerous professionals to their mother. However she chooses to disregard and ignore all of these concerns.

“I fear being an old man when I hear a knock on the door.”

“Look at me, I am old, but I’m happy.” I struggle with the thoughts and possible outcomes this line forces me to envisage. My biggest fear is that I will never be reunited with my children. I fear that too much emotional damage has been inflicted upon them already. A lesser fear, but no less worthy of mention is the fear of the amount of time lost between us if and when we are reunited. I fear being an old man when I hear a knock on the door.

“But I am happy.” This latter part of the aforementioned line is of huge significance for me. This relates to my recent struggles with my own mental health. It has taken me a long time to realise that I have the right to be happy in other parts of my life. In being so, this does not lessen the unconditional love I feel for my children. I have accepted that thinking about my children less does not equate to me loving them less. (This concept is explored in more detail in an earlier post of mine entitled Does Thinking About Your Children Less, Mean You Love Them Less?) Thinking of them less is simply a subconscious coping mechanism which is required to get myself through each day without them.

“I wish I could be there for my children now, as my father was for me.”

“I was once like you are now, and I know that it’s not easy, to be calm when you’ve found something going on.” This line prompts me to reflect on my own childhood. I grew up with a loving father, who has been, and still does to this day continue to be such an important and integral positive role model in my life. My dad has helped me through so much in life, as loving fathers do as part and parcel of fatherhood. I wish I could be there for my children now, as my father was for me.

“But take your time, think a lot. Why, think of everything you’ve got, for you will still be here tomorrow. But your dreams may not.” This line evokes in me the idea that my children are being forced to not take their time in their thoughts. They are effectively being told what to think about me. “For you will still be here tomorrow.” I am fortunate enough that they still live a couple of minutes up the road from me. This is despite their mother attempting to abduct them abroad. However due to the enduring risk of parental abduction by her, there remains in place a travel ban on her and the children. As such I take some reassurance from the fact that they “will still be here tomorrow”. The line “but your dreams may not”, means to me that they are struggling with the separation of their parents. Separation is invariably difficult enough for children, even with the most amicable of speparations. However evidence has shown that their mother’s own anger and hatred is being transferred onto my children. In turn they are wrongly living and feeling her emotions for her.

FatherAndSon2

“How can I try to explain, cause when I do he turns away again.” This is a painful line for me. My eldest son claims he has no positive memories of me. We previously had a loving and healthy father and son relationship. It is reported that both my sons have blocked me so as not receive weekly emails I used to send them. Emails attempting to reassure them I have not rejected or abandoned them. Messages of hope, hope of reconciliation. Messages of positive memories. But the emails are reported to be either ignored or blocked.

“All the times that I cried, keeping all the things I knew inside. It’s hard, but it’s harder to ignore it.” For me this line is very much what it means to be an alienated father who is denied access to his sons. I suffered from a bout of severe depression due to the cruel nature of being denied contact with my own children. I manage my depression well enough now. I have learnt not to keep everything inside. Everyday is difficult as an alienated parent, but it is so much harder to simply ignore these feelings of hurt and emotional pain. Arguably they are put to one side in order to cope mentally, however they are most certainly not ignored.

“A system that is ultimately protecting my children from the wrong parent.”

The song for me solemnly ends on the following line “now there’s a way and I know that I have to go away, I know I have to go away.” This particular line strikes a chord with my ongoing battles with an outdated, biased and ultimately draconian system that simply does not understand and recognise the complex nature of parental alienation. A system that is ultimately protecting my children from the wrong parent and continuing to fail to protect my children from the ongoing abuse being inflicted upon them by their own mother. I’ve very quickly learnt a lot about this flawed system and parental alienation in a very short space of time. I now know “there’s a way of dealing” with such a system in a much more effective way. It is difficult, exhausting and all consuming. However it is this system that is ultimately forcing me “to go away”. Unbelievably, such systems that are supposed to protect children are actually enabling my absence from children’s lives.

To conclude, “I know I have to go away.” But I will continue to fight on. And I have to hope that one day I will have a loving and healthy father and son relationship once again.

“No love is greater than that of a father for his son” as Dan Brown wrote in his novel Angels and Demons.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b-7c4VNGOgU

btg dad


Please Note: We pledge to never make a profit or any other form of financial gain from any individuals affected by the current injustice of the family justice system.

We will gladly signpost individuals to professionals within our wider network who operate in line with our core principles; contact us for more details. 

We pledge to never request payment from such individuals, nor request a finder’s fee from such professionals for any referrals made.

We offer a completely free Support Line. To find out more prior to booking click here. To book a call from one of our dedicated Support Line Volunteers click here

The CCA Support Team

Roles Vs Labels

MenTellHealthRecently I had the pleasure of guest writing for Men Tell Health which is an organisation that aids and supports men that are affected by mental health.

As they state on their website if you’re not a man or don’t suffer with mental health issues that doesn’t mean you’re not welcome. Absolutely not. Maybe you’re a guy who cares for a partner, sibling or parent with mental health issues.

Perhaps you suffer with some form of mental illness yourself or simply love, look after or even just know a man who does, there will be something on their site for you.

Please show your support by visiting them at www.mentellhealth.org


Roles Vs Labels

We all fulfill numerous roles in life. Two of my many roles in life are that of being a father and a mental health nurse. I take pride in both these roles.

Click here to continue reading…

btg dad


Please Note: We pledge to never make a profit or any other form of financial gain from any individuals affected by the current injustice of the family justice system.

We will gladly signpost individuals to professionals within our wider network who operate in line with our core principles; contact us for more details. 

We pledge to never request payment from such individuals, nor request a finder’s fee from such professionals for any referrals made.

We offer a completely free Support Line. To find out more prior to booking click here. To book a call from one of our dedicated Support Line Volunteers click here

The CCA Support Team

Under Pressure 

In a previous life, I used to be a drummer. Just for the record I refer to a previous period of my life, not as in reincarnation. Because a life prior to parental alienation and/or depression can seem like a completely different life at times.

For those unfamiliar with the term parental alienation please see here.

Ultimately I used to play the drums more or less on a daily basis. However to prevent further threats of litigation I will not over-elaborate why I had no access to my drum-kit for over a year!

“Due to the level of focus and concentration needed my mind was not free or allowed to wander.

Anyway, I digress. The purpose of this article is not to declare to the world the outcome of my recent divorce proceedings but to explore the concept of coping when being under immense pressure.

When I used to play my drums, due to the level of focus and concentration needed my mind was not free or allowed to wander. I was arguably in a state of mindfulness while engaging in this activity.

For those unfamiliar with the concept of mindfulness, in the briefest of explanations it is the achievement of a mental state whereby one focuses one’s awareness on the present moment. Ultimately my mind, during those drumming sessions of mine would be fixed and held in the here and now.

And this is where I would like to explore the concept of taking and holding oneself in the here and now. There is a psychological concept known as Present Moment Contact. As the name suggests, this very much works withing the same context of mindfulness.

Present Moment Contact was explained to me as follows: If we imagine a timeline. And in the middle of the timeline is the here and now. Going backwards along the timeline from the here and now we reach the past. Going forwards along the timeline from the here and now we reach the future.

PresentMomentContactDrawing

Present Moment Contact

Hopefully the image above helps explain this concept in more depth. We all ruminate about the past. And we all worry about the future.

“So the principle of Present Moment Contact is finding a way to take ourselves to the here and now”

However the underlying principle of Present Moment Contact is that when we ruminate too much about the past, at disproportionate levels this all too often results in depression. And equally when we worry too much about the future, at disproportionate levels this all too often results in anxiety.

So the principle of Present Moment Contact is finding a way to take ourselves to the here and now, thereby minimising any rumination on the past or worrying about the future. Present Moment Contact can be utilised in numerous ways. One of which involves utilising our five senses much in the same way we use mindfulness.

In my humble opinion, both as a psychiatric nurse and as someone that manages my own depression, I believe we should all engage and utilise such therapeutic concepts in whatever way suits us best. As long as we have the insight and understanding of what it is we are trying to achieve.

“A metaphorical dark cloud following me around, that refuses to completely go away.”

So in returning to my drumming, that was the hobby that used to take me to the here and now. I could definitely do with a good drumming session now. Due to parental alienation I have not seen my children for over a year and I continue to pursue this through the courts. I am managing my depression as well as ever. But at times it is akin to a metaphorical dark cloud following me around, that refuses to completely go away. A dark cloud that could pour down a storm at any time.

However whilst writing this article I have been reminising (note that I was not ruminating!) about when I used to have access to my drum-kit. By coincidence one of my all time favourite songs is Under Pressure, by Queen and David Bowie. Suffice to say I had a drumless track of this on my iPod that I used to merrily drum along to.

Drumming along to this was my ultimate here and now. Four minutes and eight seconds of pure unadulterated escapism.

As a song Under Pressure is an insanely powerful song. Both in terms of its musical arrangement and its meaning. It opens with John Deacon’s distinctive bassline. Two and a half minutes in, the track suddenly explodes and the entire song opens like a roar.

Ultimately the main theme of the song’s lyrics are about modern life and the pressures of every day life. However like all well written lyrics, the deeper meaning of the lyrics are left open to interpretation.

To conclude, the above concept is not a magic wand. However he point I wish to finish with is that whether one is battling parental alienation, depression, or both, it is of the upmost importance to take care of yourself.

“It’s a terror knowing what this world is about” (David Bowie, Under Pressure).

 

btg dad


Please Note: We pledge to never make a profit or any other form of financial gain from any individuals affected by the current injustice of the family justice system.

We will gladly signpost individuals to professionals within our wider network who operate in line with our core principles; contact us for more details. 

We pledge to never request payment from such individuals, nor request a finder’s fee from such professionals for any referrals made.

We offer a completely free Support Line. To find out more prior to booking click here. To book a call from one of our dedicated Support Line Volunteers click here

The CCA Support Team

The Triad of Empowerment

As I often do, I am reflecting on my current circumstances whilst writing this article. In terms of my current life stressors I am currently going through a high conflict divorce. I am also unjustifiably being denied any contact with my three beautiful children by my ex-partner. And I have recently returned to work following a three month period off sick with reactive, severe depression.

Both the high conflict divorce and my legal challenge to have some kind of contact with my children is resulting in an increasing amount of financial debt for me.

In terms of my children, the aim of their mother is continue to deny me any contact with my children. She ultimately plans to erase me from their lives and destroy what was previously a loving and healthy relationship between my children and I. The term for this set of behaviours being exhibited by my ex-partner towards me and my children is known as parental alienation and in this case it is severe. For those readers unfamiliar with this form of abuse see my What is PA? page

With regards to my depression, I am back at work but still in a phase of recovery. I am understandably being prevented by my employers from working any extra hours due to the current risk of relapse and the ongoing nature of the abovementioned stressors that triggered my depression.

By coincidence I am a mental health nurse on an adult acute psychiatric ward. Among many other mental health issues I see depression in numerous patients every day at work. So it was a surreal experience for me at the height of my recent depression to find myself a service user of mental health services. This topic is explored in more detail in my article below, recently published in Invisible Illness, entitled Roles Versus Labels.

I am fortunate enough to not be an anxious individual. Therefore this allows me to mostly reflect as opposed to ruminate negatively on all that I am attempting to manage and cope with to the best of my ability. In most aspects of life, when my mental health is stable I am an optimist, even in the face of overwhelming adversity. I am told by those close to me that I always seek a solution as opposed to dwelling on the problem.

With this in mind, I currently find my thought processes jumping from one subject to another in quick succession. I now find myself thinking about impairments of the mind and positive thinking. Please bear with me reader, the point will be made shortly. With autism there is what are known as triads of impairment. These so-called impairments summarise the difficulty of an individual with autism. They are an impairment in social interaction, restricted/repetitive patterns of behaviour and an impairment in social behaviours. This in turn got me thinking about a possibly new viewpoint in terms of facing, managaing and overcoming what at times appear overwhelming odds in managing ones own mental health.

“The family and close friends that remain are real, sincere, trustworthy and selfless. Without them I would not have recovered.”

First I would like to give the reader some context. During my recent bout of severe depression, when I was at my lowest ebb, I invariably shut myself down. As is often the case with depressive episodes I found myself denying the intensity of the way I felt. I found myself shutting off from my family and close friends. Family and friends, that no matter what would always be there for me.

TriadofEmpowerment2.jpeg

Due to the nature of parental alienation and my high conflict divorce friends and some family have ‘taken sides’ and are no longer there for me. However the family and close friends that remain are real, sincere, trustworthy and selfless. Without them I would not have recovered. Without them I would not be able to continue to face what lays ahead.

So this in turn brings me back to my new viewpoint. I dislike jargon, I dislike acronyms and I particularly dislike terminology for the sake of it. However my new view point is what I call The Triad of Empowerment. From my perspective this humble little concept of mine is the combination of, provision of and utilisation of care, love and compassion. Without which I would I wouldn’t be doing as well as I am with my continuing stressors.

In returning to my family and close friends, I am incredibly fortunate to have them. As a mental health nurse I see people struggle in times of acute crisis much more than me, and all too often they tragically have no one close to support them. My family and close friends have shown me unconditional care, love and compassion even at the most difficult of times of both them and myself. They continued to show me unconditional care, love and compassion even at times when I attempted to shun them.

The Oxford English dictionary defines care as ‘the provision of what is necessary for the health, welfare, maintenance, and protection of someone or something.’ 

That somewhat tricky word love is defined as simply being ‘a strong feeling of deep affection for somebody/something.’

And last but not least compassion is defined as ‘the concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others.’

“There is no substitute for true care, love and compassion from those that are truely there for you.”

So on reflection, it is these three attributes in others that I have come to value and appreciate the most in others. I now find myself having a deeper and more insightful understanding of care, love and compassion. I now feel able to identify better when people are expressing them sincerely. In addition to this I also now feel better equipped and more able to offer such attributes back to those in need in a much more meaningful and helpful manner.

At times life can be hard. But in my humble opinion there is no substitute for true care, love and compassion from those that are truely there for you.

Arthur Schopenhauer the 19th century German philosopher once said “compassion is the basis of morality.”

btg dad


Please Note: We pledge to never make a profit or any other form of financial gain from any individuals affected by the current injustice of the family justice system.

We will gladly signpost individuals to professionals within our wider network who operate in line with our core principles; contact us for more details. 

We pledge to never request payment from such individuals, nor request a finder’s fee from such professionals for any referrals made.

We offer a completely free Support Line. To find out more prior to booking click here. To book a call from one of our dedicated Support Line Volunteers click here

The CCA Support Team

Parental Alienation, Good Versus Evil

In my experience of battling parental alienation thus far I have come to realise the following: It is generally not recognised by the judicial system, dismissed by so called professionals, and underestimated even when recognised and documented as minimally as possible with phrases such as “exhibits alienating behaviours.” It appears to only be known by those affected by it.

So we have a set of behaviours that result in both short and long-term emotional damage of alienated children. But tragically no Government institution in the UK officially recognises and manages parental alienation effectively. For those readers that may not be familiar with the term parental alienation, please see here for a detailed definition.

However for those of us that are targeted parents, it is real. It is something we live with every day. As a parent, there is no worse emotional pain than being denied contact with your very own children. Severe parental alienation involves the alienating parent brainwashing the children into ultimately destroying any previously loving relationship between the children and the targeted parent. The emotional pain for the targeted parent is often described as grieving for children that are still alive.

“In most cases personality disorders are at the core of severe parental alienation.”

So I guess, in line with the title of this article we arrive at the following question. What drives the targeting parent to behave in such an abhorrent way towards, not just the ex-partner, but also their very own children.

The available research and evidence on parental alienation identifies that in most cases personality disorders are at the core of severe parental alienation. And herein lies the issue on non-recognition by numerous Western governments. The Family Court and social workers dismiss parental alienation because they all too often view it as a child custody issue as opposed to a child protection issue. In addition to this, neither of these professional fields have any understanding of mental health. And as such will be unfamiliar with the mental health concept of personality disorders. For example, early on in my own case my Cafcass social worker advised me “trust me, I’ve been doing this job for years, your ex will cool down, and in a couple of weeks she will come around to the idea of letting you see the kids.” That was the in the summer of 2016. To this day I am still pursuing contact with my children through the courts. My ex has not changed her approach. She continues to breach any Court Orders that promote or would result in contact between my children and I.

Due to the nature of divorce, particularly where children are involved, very few are free from anger, conflict and hostility. And all too often with parental alienation, it is not until separation that the targeting parent’s personality traits are fully revealed. To the extent that the behaviour being exhibited is vengeful, malevolent, dangerous and abusive.

So what are personality disorders? They are conditions whereby an individual will significantly differ from an average person. This is particularly in terms of how they feel, perceive, think and ultimately relate to others. Symptoms or negative behaviours are known to worsen in stressful situations. The British NHS states that “there is no single approach that suits everyone and treatment should be tailored to the individual.” This evidence based statement is clearly not considered by the ‘one size fits all approach’ provided by Cafcass. The futile and misinformed approach from Cafcass is to send both the targeted and targeting parent on co-parenting courses with the intention of modifying behaviours. However in cases of severe parental alienation that involve the targeting parent potentially presenting with personality disorder traits, such interventions will have no effect  on the alienator.

The following types of personality disorders are most prevalent in terms of the alienating parent in cases of severe parental alienation:

Narcissistic Personality Disorder will present itself as an individual exhibiting grandiose beliefs about themselves, regardless of whether they are real or imagined. The narcissist is completely lacking in empathy for others. And is normally totally consumed with self-gratification. Available research suggests that this type of personality disorder is most common in terms of the alienating parent of severe parental alienation.

Sociopathic Personality Disorder generally presents itself as a flagrant  disregard for the rights and needs of others. In terms of parental alienation, this will normally present as the targeting parent brainwashing a child/children against the targeted parent, therefore engaging in psychopathic behaviour.

Psychopathic Personality Disorder in terms of the personal traits can be quite similar that of a sociopath. However where sociopaths appear more normal, psychopaths are believed to be born with behavioural differences such as impulsiveness and under-arousal. Such characteristics can result in a lack of fear, resulting in risk behaviours and a lack of recognition or understanding of social norms.

Antisocial Personality Disorder is often referred to, within psychiatry as psychopathy or sociopathy.  Individuals with this disorder tend to have a complete lack of empathy and exhibit contempt for others’ sufferings, rights and feelings. In most cases they present as arrogant. They also have a tendency to believe productive work is beneath them. They are also known to be highly opinionated.

Borderline Personality Disorder normally presents with very impulsive behaviours. A distinctive trait is repeating pattern of instability in interpersonal relationships. Individuals affected by this disorder tend to fluctuate between opposite and polar feelings and behaviours. In terms of parental alienation, it is typical for the targeting parent to become consumed with the manipulation of others. While at the same time taking measures to protect themselves against any threats against them, whether real or imagined.

GoodVEvil1.jpeg

So if we’ve explored what makes an alienating parent, it is only fair we look at what makes a targeted parent.

“The experience of being removed as a loving parent strikes at the heart of any loving parent.”

Targeted parents will be subjected to shame and stigma usually due to the character assassination implemented by the targeting parent and their enablers. The alienated parent normally has allegations of emotional, physical and sexual abuse made against them by the targeting parent. This is done to kickstart a safeguarding referral that invariably results in court ordered non-contact, while the allegations are investigated. However for the targeting parent this provides time for initial alienating behaviours on the children. It is worth noting that such allegations are virtually always disproved (Baker, 2005).

The experience of being removed as a loving parent from the life of one’s child due to a court order based on false allegations strikes at the heart of any loving parent. Statistically suicide rates are reported to be of epidemic proportions among parents going through such circumstances. This is of particular concern for fathers, who struggle to fight for a loving relationship with their children (Kposowa, 2000; Kposowa, 2003).

Parental alienation is arguably not a gender specific issue. However due to socio-economic reasons and a cultural and professional biased towards parental stereotyping, statistically (in the UK) most alienated parents are non-residential fathers. This in itself creates a separate issue. Research informs us of an alienated father’s most pressing need; their justifiable need to be involved with their children’s lives, remains unrecognised and unsupported across the professional field. The expectation and patterns of traditional gender-role socialisation creates a barrier in which fathers are not expected to acknowledge personal difficulties and request help. A pattern that all too often repeats itself across the field of men’s mental health. Even respectfully disregarding the suicide rates, such alienation all too often leads to the alienated parent giving up the fight for contact with their children (Lowenstein, 2007). This point is explored in more depth in an earlier post of mine Can there ever be any excuse for parental alienation?

“I had stumbled across an online community with an indescribable outpouring of support, advice and compassion for one another.”

From my own experience as an alienated parent and having sought out specific support, my conclusion is that there is neither support or recognition from any formal or government sanctioned services for alienated parents. So at this point I looked online for support and advice. And what I found was astounding. I stumbled across an incalculable number of alienated parents across the developed world passionately campaigning, advocating and pleading online for some kind of social change that will effectively challenge the abuse that is parental alienation. This was an online world I never existed. This is explored further in an earlier article of mine The Awe-inspiring Online Community of Parental Alienation.

Ultimately I had stumbled across an online community with an indescribable outpouring of support, advice and compassion for one another. This in turn provided me with an invaluable insight into what makes an alienated parent. The support, sharing of advice and overall feeling of camaraderie is astounding.

From my own engagement with other alienated parents, both on and off line I have realised the following. What makes an alienated parent is compassion, strength, resilience, empathy and ultimately support for one another. However in battling parental alienation, particularly when severe, both sides are just as determined as one another, but ultimately for different reasons. One for good and one for bad.

Mahatma Gandhi once said “when I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they can seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall. Think of it, always.”

btg dad


Please Note: We pledge to never make a profit or any other form of financial gain from any individuals affected by the current injustice of the family justice system.

We will gladly signpost individuals to professionals within our wider network who operate in line with our core principles; contact us for more details. 

We pledge to never request payment from such individuals, nor request a finder’s fee from such professionals for any referrals made.

We offer a completely free Support Line. To find out more prior to booking click here. To book a call from one of our dedicated Support Line Volunteers click here

The CCA Support Team

« Older posts Newer posts »

© 2019 Peace Not Pas

Theme by Anders NorénUp ↑