Peace Not Pas

A Parent's Story of Battling Parental Alienation

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Why isn’t Parental Alienation being taken seriously?

Another thought provoking piece from ‘lost dad’. Glad to see ‘lost dad’ back, well and writing once again.


Parental Alienation; is change on the horizon?

Regarding the raising of awareness of parental alienation I believe change is on the horizon. I am not naive enough to believe it will happen overnight. However, very much like the general public’s past lack of understanding of mental health, parental alienation is now starting on that same journey.

Last week parental alienation was reported on the BBC national news here in the UK.

Understandably this was shared across social media by the thousands upon thousands of alienated parents out there. It felt to me that the online anti-parental alienation community shared it with a somewhat cautionary sense of relief; that as much as we are sill denied reform, finally something so unjust as parental alienation is now being discussed on prime time national news here in the UK.

On the same day as the above reporting, the BBC also published the following related article on their BBC News website written by their Education Editor Branwen Jeffreys; When a Child Won’t See One Parent.

In her article Jeffreys explores the nature of parental alienation, all be it briefly, but at least, once again this form of abuse is on it’s way to reaching the attention of a much wider audience.

The article finishes with comments from Professor Liz Trinder, from the University of Exeter. Trinder makes the statement “the idea of parental alienation as a pattern of behaviours needs to be treated carefully, because the courts have a duty to consider the child’s best interests.”

Trinder then goes on to state “the problem with the alienation concept is that if your premise is the child has been brainwashed, it means you can’t trust what the child is saying to the court. So if you make an accusation of alienation it almost automatically casts suspicion on anything the child might say.” Even though Trinder appears to be coming from a cautionary perspective, she has clearly and unintentionally hit the nail on its head when she states “it almost automatically casts suspicion on anything the child might say.”

Anyone that knows anything about parental alienation knows that children are simply paraphrasing the alienating parent regarding their expression of negative views of the rejected parent. We all know alienated children have been coached and groomed into hating the other parent. Trinder conveniently chooses to omit that statistically children do not naturally reject a parent or care-giver. Even in cases of where the child is aware of the abuse, children remain attached to that parent. Children are hard-wired to remain attached to their parent(s).

In the above news report footage, Sarah Parsons (Principal Social Worker, Cafcass) makes the following statement “their [the affected children] only way of staying safe is to side with one parent and reject the other.” This view from Parsons, even by Cafcass’ standards is clearly the opposite view of Trinder’s regarding her call for services to be cautious with potential cases of parental alienation.

On 5th February 2018 Martin Daubney wrote an article entitled UK Dads are being airbrushed out of existence by family courts favouring and bankrolling Mums for the i Newspaper/website.

Daubney reminds us that free legal aid was stopped following the implementation in 2013, of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders (LASPO) Act 2012. The only exception in terms of who would still be entitled to free legal aid was women who claimed domestic abuse, which leads to the application for Non-Molestation Orders.

Daubney then goes on to highlight the astonishing fact that in the year following the introduction of this Act, applications for LASPO boomed by 300%.

Daubney then reminds us that prior to the implementation of LASPO, the legal aid split was roughly 40% v 60% to men and women. Post-LASPO it is now 15% v 85% respectively. Daubney rightly argues that the change in these figures is clearly more than coincidental.

On 21st November 2016 parental alienation was also discussed on the Victoria Derbyshire news show on the BBC.

There is, in the following footage an all too familiar and disturbing interview with an anonymous child victim of parental alienation. The discussion in the studio that then subsequently takes place includes Anthony Douglass (CEO, Cafcass), Joanna Abrahams (Head of Family Law, Setford Solicitors) and Greg Mulholland (Liberal Democrat MP). Around the eight and a half minute mark Douglas is struggling to answer reasonable yet challenging questions from Mulholland.

It is incredibly important that those of us that have the time and resources to do so, to continue to chip away at this flawed system. It is incredibly important that we also continue to do all we can to actively raise awareness of parental alienation.

The above are just a few examples of the increase of discussion of parental alienation in the public domain. However despite the above examples, the current low level of public awareness of parental alienation remains unacceptable.

I do believe change will come. However like all past instances of social change, it is only ever pushed and forced on governments from the grass roots level of society; by the very people that are effected by the much needed social change. And this time, those people are us; the hundreds of thousands of alienated parents, grandparents and step parents.

We can do this, change will come. It is definitely time for the sun to set on this outdated and flawed system.

Is ‘Parental Alienation’ the New ‘Mental Health?’

What I mean by the above title is that twenty or so years ago mental health was simply not discussed in the public domain the way it is now. Be it via television reports, shows, documentaries or social media, mental health is now discussed and reported on across numerous mediums in a much more positive light.

My point is that as a modern day society we appear to be collectively much more comfortable in our skin discussing mental health. Now I am by no means stating that there is no prejudicial opinions of mental health still out there, nor am I stating that the positive changes made are enough. Of course they are not. The progress made in challenging the stigma against mental health has come a long way. However it is and must still remain a work in progress.

Regarding parental alienation, I view this contentious subject being where the concept of mental health was ten or twenty years ago. Arguably parental alienation is now beginning to be brought to the attention of the masses.

For those unaware of what parental alienation is, it is a form of abuse whereby one parent (in most cases the resident parent) deliberately damages, and in some cases destroys the previously healthy loving relationship between the child and the child’s other parent (the non-resident parent). For a more detailed description see our page What is PA?

Why is it so contentious if it is a form of abuse?

Why is it simply not criminalised?

These are the questions no doubt asked by the incalculable number of alienated parents, grandparents, step-parents out there. It is not just viewed as contentious, it is also viewed as controversial by it’s opponents.

These opponents, in their most extreme views put forward the argument that parental alienation is used by abusive fathers to gain access to their children. For example, their flawed argument is that following separation a mother is most probably denying her abusive ex-partner contact with their children to protect the children from further abuse. These opponents of parental alienation, with flimsy evidence based arguments claim that this scenario happens in most cases of parental alienation.

Now I am certainly not stating that such scenarios never occur. These are and should be viewed as false allegations of parental alienation. We know that false allegations of rape occur. However this does not and should never be an argument to not continue treating rape as a criminalised form of abuse.

Statistics inform us that parental alienation is perpetrated against fathers more than mothers. I accept there exists a gender bias within the family court system. However parental alienation can and does happen to either gender. Just because it happens against one gender more than another, does not make it a gender issue. That is simply not equality. This topic is explored in more detail in one of my recent posts The Inequality of Fighting for Equality.

In When a Child Won’t See One Parent (published 12th September 2018) Jeffreys states “there is no consensus and not a great deal of research.” However there is a plethora of evidence out there that informs us not only of the prevalence of, but also the the long term detrimental effects of parental alienation.

We currently have a flawed system that is struggling to understand the complexities of parental alienation. While this system plays catch-up it is also tragically and knowingly avoiding accountability and knowingly allowing this abuse to carry on unchallenged.

Alienated parents around the world spend huge sums of money returning their cases to court again and again. Tragically not all alienated parents have the financial resources to do this, so they are left with little choice but to give up. This flawed system financially profits from alienated parents simply fighting to have a relationship with their children.

Should a parent have to pay thousands upon thousands of pounds to fight to be a parent?

Despite it’s opponents, it’s complexities and the fact it is a money-making machine embedded in a flawed system, parental alienation appears to be coming to the attention of a wider audience. Much the same as the subject of mental health did ten to twenty years ago.

Like so many social changes that have come about in the past, they are not pushed or promoted by those in power. They are almost always pushed, promoted and fought for from a grass roots level. By the very people directly effected by the needed social change. As was the case with those effected by mental health and demanding social change, this time, in terms of parental alienation, it is us. The affected parents, grandparents, step-parents, the list goes on.

We the effected, are fighting for social change, for reform. Not for ourselves, but for our children.

On the same day as the following report was broadcast on the BBC’s national news programme.

The BBC wrote the following regarding the above reports:

Are you affected by any of the issues raised above? Share your experience by emailing

Please include a contact number if you are willing to speak to a BBC journalist. You can also contact us in the following ways:

WhatsApp: +44 7555 173285
Or Upload your pictures/video here
Tweet: @BBC_HaveYourSay
Send an SMS or MMS to 61124 (UK) or +44 7624 800 100 (international)

Regarding the above statement from the BBC, if you are affected by parental alienation and it is safe and appropriate to do so, please consider sharing your experience to help raise awareness.

“Once social change begins, it cannot be reversed. You cannot un-educate the person who has learned to read. You cannot humiliate the person who feels pride. You cannot oppress the people who are not afraid anymore.” (Cesar Chavez, 1984)

The Times They Are a Changin’

Anyone that is aware of parental alienation will know, there are an incalculable number of alienated parents, grand-parents, step-parents etc. out there. As alienated individuals we are to some degree either victims or survivors of parental alienation.

However the real victims are not us. It is tragically the alienated children out there. Across the globe there are children that are denied a loving relationship with their loved ones.

Parental alienation is a form of emotional and psychological abuse. How else should we label a set behaviours whereby one parent deliberately damages, and in some cases destroys the previously healthy loving relationship between the child and the child’s other parent?

Parental alienation is emotional abuse, which in turn is rightly recognised as illegal, as is the case with other forms of abuse.

However, as is the case with so many aspects of our so-called modern societies, many of the laws that we as citizens of our respective governments that are legally obliged to abide by, are outdated and not fit for purpose.

And to make matters worse, these laws at times are completely incongruent with the moral code of many aspects of any given society. Furthermore these laws and the systems and institutions they are invariably connected with have another aspect that makes ethically based reform difficult; financial incentives to remain unchanged.

For example, as we are discussing parental alienation lets look at the family court, it’s associated services and the legal regulations that underpin and reinforce this system.

Some might say that the current family court system, particularly in the context of parental alienation is flawed, corrupt and unethical. Anyone that has ever attempted to navigate their way through this flawed system will no doubt agree with this perspective. And as alienated parents etc., all we are asking for is a fundamental right of our children; for our children to have a loving relationship with both parents.

However, conspiracies aside, this system is arguably most certainly fit for purpose for those that financially profit from the unchallenged abuse that is parental alienation. The current family court system encourages an adversarial approach from the separating parents. On both sides, any legal advice or representation costs money. And we all know it’s not cheap. The system also encourages continuous returns to court. Who benefits from this, the legal profession or the children stuck in the middle.

As for the so-called professionals, front-line staff from Cafcass/CPS take very few risks and the legal system allows them to have minimal responsibility and accountability placed on their shoulders. And in turn judges within the family court are ‘guided’ by the ‘findings’ of Cafcass/CPS and in most cases will take the same approach as Cafcass/CPS. How many times has a targeted parent, fighting a severely alienating parent been told “you two need to work together!”

This term you two need to work together, has come to me to define how the family court and its associated services work. You two need to work together is a blanket term that appears on the surface to be a well intended piece of advice to the uninitiated. However this term is simply a call to action for all those within this flawed and corrupt system to attribute equal blame on the shoulders of both the targeted and alienating and abusive parent. By doing this the system is then not accountable for the abuse that they are all too aware of. And as such they are not responsible or accountable for an abusive set of behaviours (parental alienation) that they so clearly do not understand.

However, I personally believe times are changing regarding the challenging of this flawed system.

Type ‘parental alienation‘ in to Google and one will be presented with 1,170,000 results. #PAS on Twitter reaches an audience of 2,107,036 twitter accounts.

Amongst the online anti-parental alienation community there are a number of established and up and coming campaign groups advocating and fighting for a children focused reform of this flawed system regarding parental alienation.

Here are just a few amongst many:

Canadian Association for Equality (CAFE) is a human rights group that advocates equality for all members of society. They rightly state that inequality can affect anybody and should be everyone’s concern.

Erasing Family, a U.S based organisation. The producers of the 2014 Argentinian documentary Erasing Dad. They are planning on releasing their follow up documentary in 2019.

Families Need Fathers, is currently the UK’s leading charity supporting mothers, fathers and grandparents to have meaningful relationships with their children following parental separation.

The Voice of the Child, is a UK based team of researchers and associated members. This group frankly and rightly states that they will continue to challenge Cafcass; an organisation that is supposed to safeguard and protect children within the UK family law system.

The Cornerstone Community, is an up and coming UK based community that aims to bring all family rights campaigners, support groups and charities together under one roof. Their intention is to enable real-time collaboration with all campaigners/groups working towards common goals.

Come mothers and fathers, throughout the land
And don’t criticise, what you can’t understand
Your sons and your daughters, are beyond your command
Your old road is, rapidly agin’.

(Bob Dylan, 1963)

Author’s Note: It is not the author’s intention to purposely exclude certain campaign groups or individual campaigners. The above groups are simply a small snapshot of the incalculable number of individual campaigners and groups out there. There is no financial gain or vested interest for CCA in promoting the above groups. The aim is simply to inform the reader that there are many voices out there that are challenging this flawed system. And as a movement we strongly believe change will come.

Please Note: We pledge to never make a profit or any other form of financial gain from any individuals affected by parental alienation.

We will gladly signpost individuals to true professionals within our wider network who add value, deliver results and 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 these professionals for any referrals made.

The Peace Not Pas Team

My Best Friend Saved Me From Suicide

The following is an anonymous contribution from a very courageous alienated parent.

I used to have two boys in my life. Now i have just one. And the one I have left is my best friend. And this best friend of mine helped me through the darkest time of my life. I think he probably saved me from taking my own life.

I am an alienated dad. A couple of years ago I returned home after a couple of days away at work to discover that my now ex-wife had locked me out of my own property that we previously lived in together.

Within a couple of days I then found out that my ex had the guy from the local liquor store move into my house. They had apparently been seeing each other for over six months. Within six months of him moving into to my house, according to his mom my seven year old boy Jack was now calling my ex’s new partner dad. His mom made sure I was aware of this. She would email me and text me to let me know.

“His mom had clearly brainwashed him against me.”

During this same time period she would also take photographs of hate letters she claimed were all written by Jack and make sure she emailed or texted them to me. In these letters Jake would write that he hated me. He also wrote that after what I had done to his mom he no longer wanted me as a dad. His mom had clearly brainwashed him against me.

At that point I had no idea what parental alienation was, I also knew very little about mental health. I had nowhere to live and nowhere to go. I am self employed, so if I don’t work I don’t get paid. I spent about a week living in my pick-up truck, while still working. That week was tough, but little did I know that I had darker times ahead.

My ex had effectively stolen my son away from me. But she had not managed to take my other boy away from me; my dog Murphy. A rescue dog, with the look of The Littlest Hobo, the Canadian TV show from the 70s and 80s.

Murphy never leaves my side. He comes to work with me. Hence he is still with me despite me being locked out of the family home. So Murphy was by my side throughout that tough first week.

A friend of mine helped me out by allowing me to rent an apartment of their’s for half the price. I had confided in him about my situation. I will always be grateful for him helping me with accommodation. Although he simply didn’t understand what I was going through.

When  I moved into the apartment, although things were tough, I found work a healthy distraction while I began to get my head adjusted to the situation I now found myself in.

“As for me I’d given up on myself.”

However as the weeks progressed I became more and more unmotivated. I didn’t know it at the time but I was beginning to fall into a depressive episode. Within a month or so I was not going to work, I was behind on my rent, and I spent much of each day simply laying on the couch, with the TV on, but I was just laying there feeling hopeless, feeling lost. Feeling heartbroken due to the severing of the loving relationship I had with my boy Jack. However throughout this whole time Murphy was by my side, on the couch huddled up next to me.

Murphy was by my side throughout this whole time. I made sure Murphy was fed and walked. However as for me I’d given up on myself.

My mood became darker. I don’t mind saying now, I was beginning to have suicidal thoughts. As the weeks progressed, these thoughts turned into a plan in my head. These thought processes were all consuming. There was a local woods I would walk Murphy in every day. In those woods I had identified a tree I would hang myself from.

Every day while out with Murphy when I walked past this tree, this plan of mine became more entrenched in my mind. On some walks with Murphy I would walk him as quickly as possible so I could back to the apartment and just lay down. But I would always make a point of walking past this particular tree.

Weeks became months. I continued to spend the majority of my days on the couch cuddling Murphy. There wasn’t a day he didn’t cuddle himself up to me. He was all I had.

“Who would take care of my best friend Murphy?”

However I still continued to have these active thoughts of suicide and yet there was one thought that remained in the back of my mind. “Who would take care of my best friend Murphy?” I know it may sound silly to some people that are not dog owners. But Murphy was all I had, and if I ended my life, what would happen to Murphy?

I remember on numerous occasions, during my darkest days holding Murphy, while laying on the couch and crying in complete despair, not knowing what to do. Would I ever have a relationship with Jack ever again? How would I battle my ex and her partner? Should I just end my life to end the pain? If I ended my life, who would care for Murphy? My ex had never had any time for him. Murphy and Jack used to love playing together. All throughout this dark time, it was as if Murphy was intentionally supporting me in some kind of way.

After about three months, I was completely penniless, I owed my friend even more money for rent and I continued to feel hopeless and suicidal. My friend that owned the apartment gave up trying to persuade me to go and see a doctor. One day he just took Murphy and I. That day was pivotal.

Fast forward two years later. I am now in a better place mentally. I am not ashamed to admit that I am on prozac daily to help manage my depression. I now have an understanding about mental health. I now understand parental alienation for what it is.

I still don’t have contact with my Jack. But I am no longer hopeless. I can’t afford to be. Some days are better than others. But I am continuing to pursue contact with Jack through the courts. I now represent myself, that is how much more stable I am. I have also returned to work and now have a regular income once again. I will be eternally grateful to my friend that helped me out. I now also attend a monthly group that supports fathers in my situation. I get a lot of support from the group.

What about Murphy? He continues to go everywhere with me. He never leaves my side. We are inseparable. We are and always will be best buddies. Murphy probably saved my life.

Parental Alienation; Ethics and the Family Court

The word ethical derives from the Greek work ethos; meaning ‘moral character.’ Within the world that we live in most people, most members of society would agree that a moral character describes the characteristics of an individual whose overall behaviour is right in a moral sense; honest, fair and truthful.

In it’s simplest definition ethics are a system of moral principles. These moral principles influence how we make decisions and lead our lives.

Past philosophers have put forward the argument that ethics entirely influence the way people behave. They have argued that if an individual comes to the realisation that a potential behaviour or response is morally good, then it would irrational not to do so.

And then there is also the concept of moral ambiguity. Some individuals struggle with this concept as they may want there to be a simple and straightforward answer to ethical dilemmas or questions, but there may not be one. For those that struggle with moral ambiguity it may force these individuals to take ownership of their own behaviours and choices in the absence of simply falling back on conveniently placed customs or rules.

So this then brings me onto the topic of the institution that is the Family Court. This institution is defined as being a court of law that hears and makes legal decisions involving issues such as child custody and divorce.

As we know there are many services and institutions that ‘work’ alongside the family court. Services such are Cafcass here in the UK, CPS in the US and Children’s Social Services for example, to name just a few. These additional services are viewed by the Judge as their eyes and ears. These services should be gathering information, evidence from numerous sources and collating this ultimately into a portfolio of evidence from which the appointed Judge will be expected to make a legal decision on.

So moving onto a typical, genuine textbook case of severe parental alienation the following factors, dynamics will most probably be in place:

  • One parent (in most cases the resident parent, known as the targeting parent) will be denying contact between the children and the non-resident parent (known as the targeted parent).
  • The targeting parent will constantly denigrate the character of the targeted parent in the eyes of the children.
  • This denigration of character will also be underpinned with a false narrative of events being fed to the children by the targeting parent. For example a skewed account of the circumstances of separation, false allegations against the targeted parent etc.
  • In most severe cases the targeted parent’s family are also excluded from the lives of the children.
  • All of the above actions normally result in the alienating children unjustifiably completely and utterly rejecting the targeted parent.

Now in returning to the concept of right or wrong, here in the UK Cafcass CEO Anthony Douglas publicly states that parental alienation is recognised by his organisation as a form of abuse. Furthermore Douglas goes on to state that this form of abuse should be treated with the same severity as any other form of abuse. So in terms of ethics, so far so good!

In addition to the above statement from Douglas it is worth noting that in the same interview it is stated that according to Cafcass, parental alienation is responsible for around 80 per cent of the most difficult cases that come before the family courts. In my opinion, that figure coming from an organisation as inept and ineffective as Cafcass is more likely to be much higher.

Due to the nature of our campaign/support group we are privy, almost on a daily basis to overwhelming evidence of the continuing nature of biased, misinformed, prejudicial and evidence omitting reports that are being written by Cafcass Family Court Advisors (FCAs).

Now, lets imagine if  you will, that we live in a world where Cafcass FCAs do not write biased, misinformed, prejudicial and evidence omitting reports at all! I know it’s hard to imagine and that in the real world, such professional conduct from Cafcass FCAs is rare, but please bear with me.

So in this imaginary world we have fine upstanding Cafcass FCAs handing in well-balanced, well-informed and well-evidenced reports to the family judge in all cases of parental alienation.

Now at this point the judge will be informed by the FCAs that there is overwhelming evidence of alienating behaviours being exhibited by the targeted parent (as highlighted in bullet points above).

The judge will be informed that the children are being emotionally abused by the resident parent. The judge will also be informed that it is not in the children’s best interest to be denied a relationship with the targeted parent. There may well be a psychological assessment that informs the judge that there is little to no evidence of the abusive parent changing their approach.

Such scenarios have in most cases been returned to court numerous times already. This is due to the abusive parent having already breached numerous contact orders that would have lead to contact between the children and the targeted parent. So this is the evidence that the judge has before them.

At this incredibly pivotal point the judge is required to pass a judgement that will effect the future well-being, future mental health etc, of both the alienated children and the targeted parent.

Now lets return to the subject of human ethics. Lets imagine another scenario, we grab an honest, fair and truthful average person off the street and present them with the above moral dilemma.

Now would this average person see the above scenario for what it is? Would they see it as one parent emotionally abusing the effected children? Would they also see it as the targeting parent attempting to erase the targeted parent from the lives of the effected children? Would they see that there is no justifiable reason for these effected children to absolutely reject their other parent, who they had previously had had a loving and healthy relationship with? Would they see that a swift, robust, pro-active decision needed to be made in the best interests of the children. Would they see that the emotional abuse being inflicted on the children must stop. Would they see that these children need to be protected?

Perhaps you the readers could answer the above questions yourselves. Presented with the above ethical dilemma what would you do in the best interests of the children? Is it even a dilemma at all?

Or is the answer to all of the questions, obvious to any given person of ethical, moral character?

I myself am an alienated parent. I continue to battle to have a relationship with my children. I continue to navigate my way through a flawed judicial system. I get knocked down. But every single time I pick myself back up, I dust myself down and I carry on. I don’t carry on fighting for me. I carry on fighting on behalf of my children.

Parental Alienation, There is Another Way

The following has been published with the kind permission of David Shubert (Founder of iWasErased) and Lynn Steinberg.

Lynn Steinberg PhD, LMFT, is a Therapist, Mediator and Expert Witness in the field of parent alienation and sexual abuse. Dr. Lynn Steinberg is a skilled and highly trained psychotherapist, specializing in the field of Parent Alienation as well as being an expert witness at court.

Over four decades, she has helped thousands of individuals and families with other interpersonal issues. Trained in the Family System Model, Dr. Steinberg works with families, couples, groups and individuals. For 30 years, she ran therapy groups to treat people who have been abused as children.

As an expert witness at court, Dr. Steinberg has worked on cases such as rape, child and sexual abuse, and sexual abuse in the workplace.

Dr. Steinberg is also a trained mediator, and worked with Superior Cases, private divorces as well as Malpractice cases.

Parent Alienation: Dr. Steinberg is collaborating with people all over the country (U.S.) to change the child abuse law, to include parent alienation as child abuse. In high conflict divorces an estimated 62% of cases, children are poisoned against one parent by the other parent. Many professionals who interact with these families in courts, the mental health area, the department of Child Protective Services (CPS) are untrained in this area. They fail to recognize the counter-intuitive nature of parent alienation and prefer a child’s testimony of abuse at their own parents’ divorce.

The tragedy of alienated children/ parents is witnessed in cases of suicide and homicide worldwide.

Parental Alienation; the Other Day I Challenged a Flying Monkey…

Another anonymous contribution from an alienated parent and their recent experience of challenging a flying monkey.

[Please note the following content contains some expletive words.]

The other day I ended up unintentionally challenging a flying monkey. There may be some of you that are not familiar with the term flying monkey within the context of parental alienation.

Flying monkeys are the alienating parent’s minions, enablers. The alienating parent will use their flying monkeys to spread their smear campaign (which will be against the targeted/alienated parent) to a far wider audience.

Some flying monkeys don’t even realise what they are doing and the damage that they are causing. On the other hand some flying monkeys know exactly what they are doing and in my opinion such individuals are emotionally unstable themselves and benefit from the praise and recognition they receive from the alienating parent for aiding and abetting in the smear campaign.

So where was I with my brief story?

So I rang a family member the other day. I did not ring with the intention of challenging anyone. However while I was talking to said family member I could hear in the background words to the effect of “tell that fucking cunt to fuck off!”

People around me say that I am very laid back. Maybe it was these qualities that initially attracted my ex to me; who has subsequently alienated my children against me. Anyway, as laid back as I am, I will also always stand up for myself.

So I asked the family member who had picked up the phone, if they could please pass the phone over to the individual who was swearing at me. They understandably asked why. My reply was that the individual that was verbally abusing me clearly wanted to say something to me, and I would be able to hear them much better if I was actually speaking to them directly on the phone.

So the phone was passed to this individual and we engaged in a dialogue. The following is a small extract of said dialogue:

Flying monkey: “What the fuck do you want pal?” This was said it a very hostile manner.

Me: “Well you clearly indicated that you wanted to talk to me from what I heard you shouting just now. So here I am. What would you like to say to me?”

Flying monkey: “If you wanted to walk out on your ex and kids, that’s your business. I grew up without a dad. Good luck to your kids mate.” The tone was very sarcastic.

Me: “Okay, so if it is my business and not yours why do you have to verbally abuse me about it?”

Flying monkey: “I used to have a lot time for you Joe. I used to respect you. But after what you did to your family, no way mate, I don’t want anything to do thing you, you can just fuck off as far as I am concerned.”

Me: “Okay I have a question for you; where did you get this version of events from that I walked out on my family?”

Flying monkey: “Janet told me.”

Me: “Okay. Next question; did you hear the second version of events that came from Janet? What I mean by this is, Janet believed a false narrative of events. It wasn’t her thought, she was told this by my ex. However she subsequently found out the true version of events. What I am asking is are you aware of the true version of events concerning my separation?”

Flying monkey: “I don’t give a shit to be honest. I know all I need to know. I’m not interested in any other version of events. You’re a cunt and you simply need to fuck off.”

Well at this point in the dialogue I remembered how futile it is trying to challenge an idiot.

I do recall this individual calling me a “gob-shite” and various other delightful things before I decided to end the call.

So what have I learnt from the above?

  • Flying monkeys are picked to be flying monkeys for a reason.
  • As an alienated parent, people can call me whatever they like. I simply don’t give a shit.
  • An idiot will always be an idiot.

Parental Alienation & the Ultimate Dilemma

The following is yet another anonymous contribution from a parent’s experience of battling a flawed system that fails to effectively challenge cases of parental alienation. 

I wonder how many of you share this particular moral dilemma?

If you are 100% alienated and your child(ren) are confined to a life enmeshed with only pathogenic parenting involving encapsulated persecutory delusions that paint you as dangerous, and contaminate developmental progression to adulthood, how large are your desires and responsibilities to ‘rescue’ your child?

Large enough for you to pursue a legal solution? Yes! Did that.

Large enough to pursue psychological examination to support the legal case? Yes! Did that.

Large enough to make huge compromises and acquiesce to outrageous demands in every effort to keep a foothold in the lives of your child(ren)? Yes! Did that.

Yet, the shortcomings of the legal system, and the psychologists combined to leave your child(ren) entirely entrapped with a psychologically abusive parent. All to no avail.

First, heartbreaking though it is, we can live without seeing our child(ren), indeed most of us have already seen nothing for half a decade. Second, heartbreaking though it is, we can live knowing that our child(ren) have the mistaken notion that we are dangerous monsters. We can skip the injustice of that slander and wonder just how much such a thought hurts our child(ren) and damages their self identity. Third, knowing that today is yet another day of distorted parenting, throwing an almighty spanner into healthy developmental nurturing and progression to adulthood, we can just about manage to retain some hope that enough of the emotional core of our child(ren) will pull through to allow a later restoration of authentic self.

“How do we look back over our record of responsibility?”

But fourth and finally we have to be realistic about the ruined long-term outcomes for our child(ren). Realising through the research of say Amy Baker, or simply from the many despairing narratives online, that our once beautiful child is now neurologically canalised in an emotionally unwholesome way, and that repair would take a lifetime or longer . How do we look back over our record of responsibility?

Surely we were right not to act rashly at the outset. That though, was when we had faith in the legal system of family justice! We were right to examine the psychological factors at play. What we discovered was deeply unsettling. Moreover, that shockingly the courts, court psychologists, CAFCASS, and social workers had not discovered it yet, was immeasurably alarming.

“We feel foolish, and completely inadequate as a parent to have ever trusted the system.”

Of course we see that the system has let our children down. Now we feel foolish, and completely inadequate as a parent to have ever trusted the system. What we had no way of knowing 5 years ago is that acting rashly wouldn’t have turned out to be rash at all! If only we had nipped this whole thing in the bud! Of course if we had done something illegal, everybody would have thought us reckless, but look how it has turned out! They would have been wrong, no matter that they would never have realised it. How could we have been so naively trusting? Not to act! Call yourself a parent? What kind of parent lets their child(ren) be discretely damaged, destroyed?

We all had that conversation when we were happy with our exes, before they turned ‘Hitleresque’. You are on a small boat. You are a strong swimmer, unlike your ex and your child. A freak wave washes all three of you into the water. Who would you choose first (and maybe only) to save? The child of course. It has a right to reach adulthood. Not only that, either one of the parents would gladly give up their own life if that meant securing the life of their child.

Now you have to balance two thoughts. On the one hand, just how damaged has your child become? On the other, how much more damaged will the child become given its present exposure? The other calculation is easy. Your child has its whole life ahead of it, whereas your ex only half, and in any case already permanently psychologically pulled out of shape. Do you have a moral responsibility to free your child(ren) even if that means eliminating the ex? Eliminating yourself? It would not be cold-blooded murder!

There is a category of crime of passion that recognises ‘slow fuse’ provocation. Fuses don’t come much slower than 5 years! It’s justifiable. It’s honourable. Not a sacrifice for your country, but for your child(ren)!

A hundred years ago women’s groups were ridiculing men who would not ‘serve their country’. This is at least comparable. Are you a real man? Well then! But still you do nothing.

Is this because you are a decent citizen? Because you haven’t the guts? Because you are too selfish to spend the rest of your life in prison? Because you are kidding yourself that the damage to your child will one day be repairable? Because you know your ex is goading you to do just this? It is all of these, but most of all it is because you are a good parent and want your child to know it.

You hope at some point to be there for your child(ren) to help steer them away from otherwise troubled distressing lives, not to be among those significant numbers destroyed by alcohol, drugs, and suicide. You model sustained gradual improvement.

But you will always be nagged by the thought that this type of good is, in some measure, cowardly.

Please Note: We pledge to never make a profit or any other form of financial gain from any individuals affected by parental alienation.

We will gladly signpost individuals to true professionals within our wider network who add value, deliver results and 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 these professionals for any referrals made.

The Peace Not Pas Team

Equality Versus Egalitarianism

I recently had numerous conversations with a close confidante who is as passionate about lobbying for reform regarding parental alienation as I am. This friend of mine  raised a pertinent point during one of our most recent discussions. A point that I have reflected on several times since we spoke about it.

He brought up the topic of egalitarianism versus equality. From my point of view this was not something I had ever thought about or considered up until now.

The word equality in the Oxford English Dictionary is defined, the state of being equal, especially in status, rights, or opportunities.

The definition of the word egalitarianism is defined in the Oxford English Dictionary as the doctrine that all people are equal and deserve equal rights and opportunities.

Now some of you may have missed the subtle but incredibly important difference between these two definitions, but I will return to that shortly.

Now lets consider the contentious issue of the abuse that in most cases is referred to as parental alienation. To the uninitiated, parental alienation is an umbrella term used to describe the emotional abuse inflicted by one parent (in most cases the resident parent). The alienating parent will deliberately damage, and in some cases destroy the previously healthy loving relationship between the child and the child’s other parent (in most cases the non-resident parent). Despite it being a very real form of abuse, it is still very much a contentious issue.

On the one side we have those that have been adversely affected by parental alienation; former alienated children, alienated mothers, alienated fathers, alienated grandparents, the list goes on. It is these people that I imagine would wish first and foremost to be reunited with their alienated loved ones. Secondly, I would also hazard a guess that these victims want the emotional abuse that is parental alienation to be recognised as a criminal offence; for it to be recognised as an official form of abuse and as such be treated with the same severity as any other form of abuse.

On the other side there are the opponents of parental alienation. There are groups and organisations out there that dismiss this form of abuse as a made -up theory. They firmly  believe it should not be recognised as a form of abuse. For example The Feminist Family Law Movement makes the claims that abusive fathers often employ accusations of parental alienation as a way to wrest custody from protective mothers in family court.

Lets also look at The National Organization for Women Foundation’s (NOW Foundation) stance on parental alienation. Several years ago they made the following alarming statement about parental alienation, “proponents of parental alienation are predominantly right-wing ‘fathers’ rights’ groups.” On their homepage the NOW Foundation makes the following bold statement, “The National Organization for Women Foundation (“NOW Foundation”) is a 501(c) (3) organization devoted to achieving full equality for women through education and litigation.”

“We don’t diagnose rape. We don’t diagnose domestic violence. So why does Fortin believe that we should be diagnosing parental alienation?”

Jane Fortin a professor of law at Sussex University had an article published in the UK newspaper The Guardian on 29th November 2017. The article was entitled Crackdown on Parental Alienation Could do More Harm Than Good

In this article, despite Fortin being a professor of law she makes some very discriminatory and sweeping statements. She writes “hopefully it [Cafcass] is considering carefully the extreme dangers of mistakenly diagnosing parental alienation.” As a mental health nurse I would like to ask Fortin why she holds this somewhat misguided belief that there is even a need to diagnose parental alienation. By it’s very meaning, to diagnose something is to identify the nature of a given medical condition. We don’t diagnose rape. We don’t diagnose domestic violence. So why does Fortin believe that we should be diagnosing parental alienation?

Parental alienation, plain and simply is emotional, psychological abuse of children. Why would we need to diagnose such abuse? Such a statement from Fortin is a clear indication that she simply does not understand the complex nature of parental alienation.

As stated above parental alienation is an umbrella term used to describe the emotional and psychological abuse inflicted on children.

“Why is she making the assumption that the victimised parent would be a mother, as opposed to a father?”

In the same article Fortin also goes on to state “after all, failure to establish the real reason for a child’s resistance to contact may lead to abuse and/or domestic violence being overlooked, and, worse, to the child being removed from a victimised mother seeking only to protect her child.” I personally find this comment quite concerning; why is Fortin bringing gender stereotypes into her debate? Why is she making the assumption that the victimised parent would be a mother, as opposed to a father?

So I would now like to return to the concept of egalitarianism versus equality. The Feminist Family Law Movement, The NOW Foundation and journalists such as Jane Fortin clearly appear to be writing under the banner of equality. However such individuals and organisations are picking and choosing who they are fighting for regarding equality.

“They are unashamedly excluding all women who are adversely affected by this form of abuse.”

Allow me to explain. The anti-parental alienation camp, by their very opposition to the emotional and psychological abuse that is parental alienation they are unashamedly excluding all women who are adversely affected by this form of abuse. So that then begs the question, where’s the equality in their ongoing campaigning for equality? As stated above The Now Foundation informs us on their homepage that they are “devoted to achieving full equality for women.” However they are clearly not interested in achieving full equality for the incalculable number of alienated mothers, step-mothers, grandmothers that are alienated from their loved ones. And then there are of course the female children that are emotionally and psychologically abused by parental alienation.

So lets move on now from the somewhat unethical, immoral and gender biased notion of claiming to be fighting for equality but actually picking and choosing who you are actually fighting for.

“All people are equal and deserve equal rights and opportunities.” 

And this is where I would like to return to the term egalitarianism. For those that did not pick up on the subtle difference in definitions between equality and egalitarianism, here it is. The definition of egalitarianism is defined as the doctrine that ALL people are equal and deserve equal rights and opportunities. 

The definition of equality ironically does not include the word all, whereas the definition of egalitarianism clearly does.

So that begs the following question, with such a contentious issue as parental alienation, why are we all not taking an egalitarian approach?

“Until you treat everyone one as an equal, you have no right to complain about the treatment you receive from anyone.”

btg dad

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