Advertisements

Peace Not Pas

A Parent's Story of Battling Parental Alienation

Tag: emotional abuse (page 1 of 2)

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.

Advertisements

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

The Sheep Skinned Wolf

‘Narcissists attack the things you value most, because those are the things in life you will defend most passionately. And make no mistake- it’s intentional”

[The following was written by an anonymous contributor.]

Covert (not openly acknowledged or displayed) emotional manipulation and abuse occurs when a person who wants to exert power and control over you, uses deceptive and underhanded tactics to change your thinking, behaviour, and perceptions. Emotional manipulation operates under the level of your conscious awareness. It holds a person psychologically captive. Covert mental abuse is very common and yet, difficult to detect as it does not leave physical bruises and scars for everyone to see. This type of abuse is invisible and often not recognized by the public as abuse at all.

“Victims of this abuse are usually left with no support to escape the situation since the abuser has taken everything from them.”

Most victims do not even realize the damage done until they are already affected in a psychological way. Narcissists and psychopaths use this type of abuse to wear down their victim and strip away the victim’s confidence, self-esteem, self-worth and perception of reality. Victims of this abuse are usually left with no support to escape the situation since the abuser has taken everything from them. This may often include the victim’s finances, their identity, turning all the people in the victim’s life against them, based on nasty lies and deceit. The victim is made to feel trapped with no way out and NO OTHER OPTIONS.

All victims of this abuse are made to feel as if THEY are the problem, a feeling so low and worthless that they question, “is this my doing?” Victims often turn to drugs and alcohol as a coping mechanism to allow temporary escape from the situation. The stress levels on the victim become so severe that if the victim cannot find a way to escape their anxiety, and emotional suffering, it can drive them to a state of actual mental insanity.

“Essentially the victim has been robbed of anything worthy in their life.”

The abuser will never quit. Hundreds of lies become their truth. The victim must conform to this truth and the abuser will ensure compliance. They use many powerful techniques over long periods of time such as manipulation, shame, violence, emotional blackmail, exploitation, privacy invasion, crazy making, isolation, character assassination, triangulation, deflection and gas lighting. These techniques can appear subtle but to the victim, left feeling completely distressed, they are anything but. Given that the abuser has groomed the public eye to hate or distrust the victim for years under false perceptions, there is often nowhere to turn. Essentially the victim has been robbed of anything worthy in their life. Having the victim where they want them, the abuser may start to show compassion to further manipulate and confuse their victim.

“The victim is so broken with no one and nothing left that they have to find a way to end the suffering.”

This sudden compassion often prolongs the victim from seeking help or when the victim tries to seek help the abuse becomes unbearable. This often prevents the victim from accessing the help they need. The victim is made to feel as if they are a nobody, nothing, and that they have nobody to turn to. This leaves the narcissist in full control, having succeeded in turning the victim into their emotional slave. The narcissist is patient and persistent in their destruction, and the full effects of this abuse may take years to show. Eventually the victim is so broken with no one and nothing left that they have to find a way to end the suffering, some succeed in seeking help, others suffer in silence while others attempt to drink the pain away, some drinking heavily to the point where they feel like they want to die, or they commit suicide. The aftermath of the narcissist, psychopath is severe and this outcome is certainly intentional.

“Narcissists are human predators who completely hide their true identity, creating a fake persona to gain trust of the victim so they can dominate, control and use them.”

People with narcissistic personality disorders are bold and confident liars and will spend every second of their lives working to ensure that people believe their well-constructed lies, no matter the cost to anyone else. Narcissists lack empathy. They are masters at smear campaigns, preferring to use minions to their field work as they attempt to destroy a person’s character, credibility, and reputation based on lies, half truths, and malicious rumours. Meanwhile, the narcissist can sit back appearing like an innocent victim while a good person is shamed and discredited by anyone willing to spread and/or believe the toxic gossip. Narcissists are human predators who completely hide their true identity, creating a fake persona to gain trust of the victim so they can dominate, control and use them. They often have families and use their children to extend the exploitation. When a narcissist can use a child to control and alienate a parent, their influence can be particularly destructive, as the alienated parent tries to appease the narcissist in an effort to protect their child.

“Narcissistic supply to a narcissist is like food and water to a typical person”

The Narcissist needs an endless supply of admiration, attention, and approval; this can be both positive and/or negative, as long as they are in the spot light. This is considered ‘narcissistic supply’.  Narcissistic supply to a narcissist is like food and water to a typical person. They are completely obsessed with obtaining this supply and will go to great lengths to achieve it. This is why many narcissists are addicted to social media. This environment is the perfect place to garner attention and admiration on a large scale. They use social media to groom new targets and/or minions and bolster their egos with instant gratification online. When a narcissist loses this supply all hell breaks loose and the war begins. Anger, vicious attacks and psychotic behaviour begin, grasping at any type of drama or attention they can hold on to, doing anything or saying anything in desperate attempts to illicit a response, any response. But this drought will not last long. A narcissist will move on to a new target quickly as they are constantly on the prowl for new targets to satisfy their supply source which is vital for narcissist survival.

“They are the eternal victim, most often to circumstances they created.”

But pay careful attention, narcissists actions rarely match up with their words. They thrive on drama and chaos, drawing people into their craziness. There always seems to be a sense of impending doom surrounding them. They are extremely calculated when they create this drama knowing what and who will give them the best outcome. Their conversations are generally repetitive, revolving in circles, and never end with a resolution. They are the eternal victim, most often to circumstances they created. They are never accountable for their behaviour, ever, and have an excuse for almost everything. They constantly are accusing you of doing things that are doing. This is projection. After engaging with a narcissist you may find yourself so emotionally drained, with a mishmash of unrelated points, you can’t articulate what in the world just happened.

“They are a wolf in sheep’s clothing, hiding their true identity beneath an image built on lies and deceit.”

They are a wolf in sheep’s clothing, hiding their true identity beneath an image built on lies and deceit. They move freely through society undetected, playing many roles including: mother/father, loving partner, and victim. They are masters of manipulation and emotional con artists, securing their image and hiding their true intentions in every aspect of life. This is why many people do not know they are in the presence of a wolf, until it’s too late. 


If you would like to hear a true story of how narcissistic behaviours relate to parental alienation please read my previous post below:

The Story of a Great Man and a Great Father who Suffered at the Mercy of an Alienating Parent

GreatManGreatFather_PeaceNotPas


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

We are also more than happy to feature quality content by writers; any wish to remain anonymous will be respected.

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

Thanks

The Peace Not Pas Team

The shadow on the wall – Interview with a self-confessed (but reformed) parent alienator.

You’ve heard the phrase “it takes two to tango?” Well parent alienation requires an antagonist and an antagonised, a targeter and a target and a resident parent and a non-resident, in that order.

While there are a few exceptions to the rule, because parent alienation is the act of one parent turning the children against the other parent in order to exclude them from their lives, the alienator’s greatest weapons are time and proximity to the kids. So, for that reason, they tend to be the resident parent, often the one who has used the children to acquire the combined assets of the family. This tends to cause a great deal of ill will.

That is why it is such a lucrative but frankly filthy business and why alienators are so reviled by those in the know. So no surprise that no-one wanted to step forward for this interview as they’re either in denial or hiding in plain sight.

So much credit to Lizzy (not her real name), who describes herself as reformed following over a decade of war with her ex over parenting their children.

Q1: Why did you do it?

So straight to the point? It wasn’t something I decided on lightly. I’ve also given it lots of thought since. But there were a number of reasons. Firstly, I still loved him but my family didn’t after a big row about another family matter. Having a baby is stressful and my parents were not the easiest. He is not a man to be pushed around and I guess, my mother in particular took offence when she didn’t get to spend as much time with her first and then second grandchild. They lived far away and I used to be so close to them.

Secondly. my lawyer was worried that he would be a very good litigant in Family Court. My lawyer was my Dad’s friend and he suggested we start a storyline about him being a bully. He had shouted at me in the past and I him but there had never been any real fighting. If anything I had the temper. It would also get me legal aid. I thought that would save us money. But what the approach did was start a war.

“What the approach did was start a war.”

Thirdly, I was still getting over the birth of our second child, a boy. I was full of hormones and struggling to cope and not thinking straight. I went to see my mum for a week and the relief was so huge I just stayed. I didn’t think about the impact on him and my mother didn’t exactly help.

Q2: Why did you continue it for so long?

It’s a bit like telling a lie. Once you start then you invent anther and another and soon it becomes your life. I was surrounded by other women who had divorced and got rid of their exs. They had long lists of the things to do and when and there’s loads on online sites, you know, for abused women and stuff? Everyone knows you just have to say “I won’t do that with my children” and refuse everything saying you’re scared and the court and lawyers and social workers will side with you.

But it was tough. My ex is charming, a great role model and intelligent. He fought and fought and spent everything while I was getting legal aid.

“Refuse everything saying you’re scared and the court and lawyers and social workers will side with you.”

Q3: Didn’t you feel anything toward him in many years of fighting?

It seems odd but I was terrified he would win. He’s actually been better at me at so many things at work and stuff and I thought he would take the kids from me. But he was on his own while I had a lawyer, a barrister, my whole family, friends, other mums and everyone believed me first. A lot of people resented him and seemed to be on my side. And I was pretty messed up. The lawyers get in your head and make you do things you wouldn’t normally.

Q4: Why didn’t you both focus on the kids?

Well, that’s the thing, I thought he was, that he was after them, They adored him when they were little and I couldn’t compete. I was the one who wiped bums all week and put up with their moods while he was “good time parent”. I know I made it that way, but still.

It was a case of the more he tried the more I pulled and actually, it annoyed me that he didn’t try that hard to keep me. Yes, that annoyed me a lot.

Q5: How did you turn the kids against him?

It’s no one thing but it’s not that hard, When kids are young they will go to the one who offers the best sweets and presents. When older, they stick to the one who arranges things with their friends and takes them to activities. To go to his they would have to miss out and at 10 or 11 that really annoys them. So after a while they get embarrassed and annoyed and tired of the drama and all you then have to say is “you don’t need to go” or “would you rather go for that sleepover”. It’s easy really and no-one can prove you’ve done it. After that you just cut off all lines of communication. It’s called stonewalling. He’s left grasping at shadows.

Q6: Did you never feel guilty?

“It’s easy really and no-one can prove you’ve done it. After that you just cut off all lines of communication. It’s called stonewalling. He’s left grasping at shadows.”

All the time. I came close to breaking during tough nights alone. But they’re your kids and they’re worth it, And he had someone new by then anyway.

Q7: So what changed you?

Most of the women I know in this situation never stop and the kids don’t re-connect until they’re maybe late teens or at Uni. But for me, well my Mum passed away and he found out and despite everything, not seeing the kids for years, he was kind. Also I saw how the kids were so like him as they grew, Used to hate that at first but that changed. Also I started a new career and money wasn’t such an issue any more, I started going out more and he seemed an obvious choice to help out and I didn’t want the kids to blame me in future.

Q8: So if you had that time again would you……?

Do it again?

Well I don’t regret having the kids to myself and my family. It saved lots of arguments and compromises. I regret paying lawyers so much. But I knew that he would survive and he has proved me right. So I guess it turned out ok in the end.

In conclusion:

I agreed to publish her words without editing.

I also agreed not to add any interpretation or critical take.

The interview was offered in good faith by a friend of a friend.

She is aware of the site and wants her perspective to be used to help others understand both sides of the wall.

We hope this insight has been useful.

Feel free to comment below.


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

We are also more than happy to feature quality content by writers; any wish to remain anonymous will be respected.

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

Thanks

The Peace Not Pas Team

Narcissism and the Death of Hope

There are many people in our society who are narcissistic in their nature, and even though few would be willing or able to admit to, most of us have certain tendencies that come from a similar place.

narcissist_nation

Vanity is in us all

Vanity itself has its roots in such behaviour, but in some contexts it is merely identified with a preoccupation with self image. Society has indeed placed such behaviour at the forefront of our daily lives for centuries. It’s just just Hollywood actors or the world’s “Top Models” who are guilty of poisoning us with physical ideologies that are far beyond the reach of most of us. As much as we try to blame self-image and self-esteem on the prevalence and bombardment of body image in the media, we must recognise that such issues always come from some level of insecurity within. Otherwise everyone consuming the same media would succumb to its terrible potential, and we know that isn’t the case.

There is also the more recent obsession with taking “selfies” which seem to be an extension of the age old habit of constantly checking on one’s looks in a shop window. We don’t to do that any more because we all carry not only a small mirror in our pockets, but one that can take a picture of our outer beauty, but it can also instantly share it with the world. Literally: the world. For some people this is just a spot of occasional or holiday fun – “Look where I am today…” – but for others this can spiral into a habit of astonishing and worrying regularity.

However, when we start venturing into the realms of mental health and psychological disorders the world begins to get more complex. More dangerous. Above all, it becomes more likely that not only will some people finally succumb to the effects of a disorder, those around them – and especially those close to them – will be caught in the emotional shockwaves. Anorexia, Bulimia, obsessions with plastic surgery, and all other forms of body dysmorphia don’t simply affect the individual, they take hold of relationships, entire families, friendships, and sometimes even entire communities.

It is unfair to lay blame on those who suffer from disorders simply because they have an illness. We are so ludicrously behind the treatment of physical illness when it comes to mental health. Indeed, we are still woefully behind recognising, or even accepting it, let alone treating it. Our prejudice is rooted in our everyday culture and language, and we casually use self-affirming phrases that worsen prejudice rather than address it.

The Lunacy of Language

Most of us will recall Walt Disney “Loony Tunes” with great fondness, and there never was anything sinister in their creation. But when you just hop back a little along the etymology scale it doesn’t take much to link “looney” with “lunatic.” A little thought further takes you to the word “lunar” – of the moon. Now think of all the things we associate with the moon, such as Werewolves. The idea that madness stems from the presence of a full moon is ingrained in our thoughts. Everyone from teachers, to doctors and nurses, and the police, will attest to an increase of “mad” behaviour when there is a full moon.

Many theories have tried to support this; many have debunked it. The moon makes the oceans change, so surely its power on humans should be expected, right? Well, maybe. But the motions of the Earth and the Moon, and their magnetic fields, are really why the seas move. As for increased criminal behaviour, some more cool-minded people have pointed out that a full moon provides more natural light to carry out late night crimes, making it more a pragmatic solution than a sign of some “lunacy” affecting behaviour.

Image result for full moon mad

What about women? They are to blame for all out madness, aren’t they? Even dating back to the writing of the Bible, we can see that it was eve who bit that apple and led to all the troubles. The ancient Greeks believed that Prometheus created Man first, and it was only upon the creation of woman – Pandora…yes, her – that we ended up with all of man’s ills being brought down upon the Earth. Hardly surprising, therefore, than madness becomes associated with women, and given the fact that they have a tendency to go “slightly mad” every month (roughly as often as a cycle of a moon…funny, that), and proceed to shed blood at that time, we can hardly blame the medically untrained from centuries ago from making the association between woman’s madness and her womb.

That’s where we find the word “hysterical” – linking to the rather horrendous cure being a hysterectomy. It all made sense to medical practitioners back then who had to assume a physical reason for a mental anomaly. We barely understand the brain these days, let alone back then. (By the way, it is well worth researching “hysterics” and the etymology of the word, the history of science and mental health, and so on.) Take a moment to wonder at scenes in our history of drama. Shakespeare’s Macbeth is a story of male ambition being misguided by witchcraft and madness. It was a disguised attack on James I of England (James VI of Scotland), who was famed for his obsession – his own madness – with hunting and killing witches. Witches, who come from the Pagan faith, which was governed by the motions of the moon – true lunatics – commanded Macbeth into acts of madness. This madness took over his wife, who ended her days obsessed by spots of blood on her hands … well, I hope you can see where I am going with this.

So, when we describe someone laughing hysterically, we’re really referring to the notion of the loss of control to emotions. Women are associated with this madness, and this had a huge bearing on the horrific use of the Sanatoriums – the old name for mental health institutions that derived its name from the Latin “sanus-“ (“well, healthy”), and therefore “sane.”

Gender Politics in Parenting is Madness

Here’s where some thought should be put into the concept of mental health in parenting. We spent centuries in our society with a film belief that women were the “fairer sex”, far more susceptible, and possibly even the root cause, of so much “madness” in society. Connect this the gender imbalances, particularly in the west, and especially under Christianity, the learning, rules, governance and ownership of everything was left to a firm patriarchy. Everything pointed back to the church, which was run solely by men. Everything followed the word of God – which was written by men, who were also virtually the only people able to read what was written. Even when education and schooling began, it would take decades, or centuries before girls were given an semblance of equality in being educated (and they still aren’t in some countries of the world).

Image result for mad woman hysteria

By the time we reached the 19th century and Victorian times, our society was so split by economic factors. Previous understanding of madness – and women being at the core of it – would definitely inform the medical profession. As would marriage, which was a business of the church, and therefore at the behest of the patriarchy. Children were born after a couple were married (this is not the time or place to go into the alternative) and therefore they belonged to that bond. A bond signified by the man’s “ownership” of his wife – symbolised by the wedding ring he put on her finger.

If a divorce was to happen, a marriage to end, it would be the ownership of the woman that would be ending. Since the children were conceived in the marriage, they still belonged to the man. Hence why – in middle class family politics at least – if a marriage ended, the woman would probably be leaving the home on her own. And she’d struggle to have much of a “custody battle” because the law was based on the word of God, as written by men, and practised by men. Well, after all, if a woman wanted to leave a marriage, there was surely only one explanation. Madness – right?

Maybe this should give us pause for thought above just how far back the behaviour of Parental Alienation goes. We should also be very careful with any assertions of gender being any part of the mental health of children requiring, merely by a means of genetics, the parentage of both parents, just the mother, or just the father. Especially since so many children in such middle class family structures were brought up more by a nanny and the house staff then their own parents.

We might imagine a total reversal of such family dynamics in the poorer families where all members of the family would be working themselves to the bone just to survive, and the main reason most poor people left their families was because…they died. In those days, most people had long died before they had the chance to go on Jeremy Kyle for a DNA test.

As gender politics became transformed throughout the twentieth century, the dynamics of the family did too. The obliteration of massive proportions of men in two world wars, coupled with a baby boom in the post-war era, shook up the whole structure and approach the creating and sustaining a family. Women had more rights – and rightly so – more independence, and society was many exciting moves in all corners of modernisation. Rock music poisoned the youth (apparently), and the hippy culture probably caused an untold level of STIs to prevail. LGBT politics finally starting getting a long overdue voice, and now we not only have gay marriage, we also have openly gay parents, fostering and adoption.

We should be revelling in a world of astonishingly successful, rounded family structure and success. But amongst the many reasons why we aren’t, there is still one facet of mental health and psychological disorders that takes a hammer to safety that should be the family: narcissism.

Parental Alienation is Everyone’s Problem

I recently saw Stephen Fry live on stage in Birmingham, performing an amazing monologue of and about the stories from Ancient Greece – Mythos. I have written my own blog, The Mythos Masterclass, on the fantastic evening, but I wanted to focus on the ending of his retelling of the Narcissus story. Fry gives a brilliant and eloquent explanation of Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) which anyone who has come across Parental Alienation (PA) will recognise:

Narcissistic Personality Disorder, much talked about these days, is marked by vanity, self-importance, a grandiose hunger for admiration, acclaim and applause, and above all an obsession with self-image. The feelings of others are railroaded and stampeded, while such considerations as honesty, truthfulness and integrity are blithely disregarded. Bragging, boasting and delusional exaggeration are common signs. Criticism or belittlement are intolerable and can provoke aggressive and explosively strange behaviours.

Stephen Fry

FryMythos

Fry’s definition would be scary enough if we were only considering how adult narcissists affect other adults. But when it comes to PA the main issue is that the true victims of the “railroaded” and “stampeded” emotions are children. Having worked with children of all ages for well over fifteen years – many who, with hindsight, were definitely victims of PA – I’ve got a very clear image in my mind of what an emotionally weakened and fragile child looks like.

In an ideal world, when relationships end they would do so amicably and without the animosity that results in the needs for solicitors and courtrooms. Understandably, sometimes that cannot happen. In fact, sometimes the relationship itself is such a destructive force – and continuing it would be harmful to the children – that separation is the only answer. We’re all mature adults here, right? We can accept that, can’t we?

No. Someone with NPD cannot. And the more they are challenged, the more they are even invited to accept at least part of the responsibility for the breakdown of the relationship, the more their NPD bites back. And it bits back hard. They will go to any lengths to fulfil their self-image and any threat to that will be challenged. Even railroaded.

That is why it has to be the responsibility of everyone involved in the welfare of children to be alert to the effects of PA. If we don’t all atop worrying about our rights and start focusing on our responsibilities, there is only one possible result.

The Death of Hope

Even their own children are used, way beyond their understanding or cognitive ability to process what is going on. It leaves them hurt, confused, scared. But worst of all – it leaves them silenced. They cannot say to a social worker: “help me, I believe I am a victim of Parental Alienation.” That means they rely on us to see it – and be prepared to do something about it. To be ready and prepared to help them, not matter how uncomfortable that might be for the parents.

What angers me most is how so many people will claim that the NPD ex-partner managed to manipulate everyone. Where I do not doubt that, what I do find abhorrent is how so few people will stop and look a child right in their eyes.

That look in a child’s eyes. The look that says ‘please’. When they can’t express what they think or how they feel, but they no longer want to hide it. And their shoulders sag under the terrifying weight of the world as they inhale their words. Quiet, uncertain, punctuated with anger, flickering with desperation. Their gaze drops down, slips to the side as if the answer is written somewhere just out of reach. Until suddenly their eyes fix on you and their soul threatens to spill down their face, slipping through their fingers as they lose grip on their thoughts. Through burning-red rage, or the stone-cold silence, you know, you feel, that gaze screaming ‘help!’ The window to the soul; the gateway to the heart. Those eyes, that look … saying ‘help me’.

from No Smoke*

ChildEyes

The extract above is from I play I wrote and staged in 2014. It isn’t about PA, but it is about false allegations of child abuse and how children get dragged into them. It’s also about when the false allegation isn’t based on the fact the abuse isn’t happening, it is because the abuse is happening where no-one has cared to look.

The link here is that when it comes to Family and Custody law, the lengths the parent with NPD will go to in order to get what they want, no matter what, can and does leave a terrifying trail of emotional destruction in its wake. In their blinkered pursuance of hatred towards their ex-spouse, and their obsessive need to control the situation, and make the world hate them, their NPD stampedes and railroads the feelings of the child. The damage is profound and worsens with time. The longer the abuse is allowed to continue, the more their hope of ever being saved dies.

When Pandora opens that jar and lets out all the terribly things that will punish, harm and kill humanity, the only thing she is able to trap inside the jar by closing the lid, is hope.

If that is the only thing left for our children to cling onto, as they are left on their own to suffer the abuse is figurative and often literal darkness, with the lid firmly held on, how long can they survive? How long can their own mental health survive before it suffocates and dies alongside hope, trapped in the darkness of hatred?


*No Smoke, by Colin Ward (Act II, Sc. vi), 2014. Publication pending.

The Mythos Masterclass, blog by C Ward.


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

We are also more than happy to feature quality content by writers; any wish to remain anonymous will be respected.

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

Thanks

The CCA 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

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

Have you heard the joke about the parent who complained to Cafcass!

For those readers not familiar with my blog I have now not seen my three beautiful children for over 13 months. This is due to my ex-partner and mother of my children breaching numerous Court Orders and ‘successfully’ denying me contact with my children. Like so many other alienated parents out there, my case is one of severe parental alienation. For those unfamiliar with this form of abuse see here for a more detailed definition.

So in returning to the subject of this particular post I recently put in a complaint to Cafcass (The Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service). Cafcass is a government run body that claims to look after the interests of children involved in family proceedings.

First I would like to present the reader with some context. As stated above I have not seen my children for 13 months. Cafcass have evidence that my ex-partner is emotionally abusing my children by alienating them against me and Cafcass are failing to protect my children from this abuse. Cafcass lack the expertise, clinical knowledge and experience to deal with such cases. They continue to view such cases as child custody issues as opposed to child protection. They continue to believe such cases should be managed by social workers as opposed to mental health practitioners. Anyway these arguments are for another day.

And so, with my increasing concerns for the welfare of my children combined with Cafcass’ increasing incompetence and negligence I took it upon myself, several weeks ago to email the Senior Service Manager of my local Cafcass office with the following questions via email. In the interests of confidentiality and professionalism I will refer to the Senior Service Manager as Groucho Marx:

Dear Groucho Marx,

Could you please provide me with answers to the following questions please.

  • Can someone from Cafcass please explain why there is such a difference between theory and practice that has allowed this alienation to go on unchallenged for just over a year. 
  • Can someone from Cafcass please explain why Cafcass practitioners are clearly not knowledgeable enough to recognise parental alienation.
  • Could you please explain to me your professional understanding of the difference between acute, significant and chronic harm
  • Could you please explain the criteria, assessment process and formulation used to differentiate between these different forms and degrees of abuse.

Kind Regards

btg dad

GrouchoMarxComplaint

Groucho Marx


I left it a couple of days. Suffice to say I received no reply from Groucho Marx. I emailed it again directly to Groucho Marx. I left it a couple more days, still no reply. I left it another couple of days and sent it yet again to Groucho Marx. Totally predictable I know, but guess what, still no reply.

So I then put in an official complaint to Cafcass politely inquiring as to why Groucho Marx, or anyone for that matter was unwilling or unable to answer any of my questions. One would think that was a reasonable question to ask considering the complexities of my case. The following is my reply from the Cafcass Complaints Department about 5 days later:

Dear btg dad,

Thank you for your email dated #############.

We note your comments, however, we have nothing further to add.

Kind regards,

Customer Services Team


So I found myself sitting in front of this email thinking to myself, who the fuck does this organisation think it is. An organisation that claims to look after the interests of children involved in family proceedings, my arse!

So there and then I decided to telephone the Cafcass Complaints Department directly.

The following is not simply my own recollection of the numerous conversations, but a transcript as I took the liberty of recording all the phonecalls:

Phonecall No. 1:

Me: I explained the situation and put my point across that the emailed response from the Complaints Department was completely unacceptable.

Call Operator No. 1: “Have you actually received a response from us regarding your complaint?”

Me: “Yes I have had a response. But the response doesn’t help me in anyway. It doesn’t answer any of my questions. I find the response not actually answering any of my questions. The response actually implies that the complaint is now shut down.”

Call Operator No. 1: “But sounds like you’ve got some kind of response.”

Me: “But what’s the response though? I’ve asked them several questions and they haven’t answered any of them.”

Call Operator No. 1: “Let me see if I can speak to that team.” [She puts me on hold and then puts me through to a different person.]

Call Operator No. 2: “I just want to clarify that you have actually received a response from the complaints team?”

Me: “Yes I have had a response, yes. Because my case hasn’t had a case manager for over six months I have been in contact with Groucho Marx. He recently made some comments that I want to clarify, discuss further and get some questions answered.” [I then give another long winded account of my current circumstances. Then I read out the email response to her I received from the Complaints Department]. “The response is astounding because i dont really know where to go with this as Cafcass are supposed to be helping me.

Call Operator No. 2 attempts to interrupt me at this point.

Me: “Please let me finish, I then received a further email stating that this response has been quality assured” [I know what you’re thinking, this shit is unbelievable right!] I continued with my point… “It is unbelievable that the response from the Complaints Department that didn’t answer any of my questions has been quality assured. So I emailed back to the Complaints Department stating you still havent answered any of my questions!”

Call Operator No. 2: “We have heads of departments that oversee the complaints we receive. Each complaint comes in centrally to one location. There are a team of customer service managers that respond.”

Me: “So is it that my complaint has now been closed. No one’s going to answer these questions, or is it still open? Someone is clinically  able to make certain statements but when questions are raised in response to these questions it feels like they are just not able or willing to answer any of these questions.”

Call Operator No. 2: “I just want to clarify the these questions that you asked Groucho Marx, are they just questions or are you raising a complaint?”

Me: [I tell her the same story again.] “I have clinical questions about Cafcass. I am a service user of Cafcass I have the right to ask clinical questions about the practice of Cafcass. But no one is being supportive of this request.”

Call Operator No. 2: “We have a one step process in terms of dealing with complaints. Once we have dealt with a particular issue we will not revisit it again.”

Me: “But you haven’t dealt with the issue that I’m raising have you? I’m not leaving this phonecall until someone answers these questions.”

Call Operator No. 2: “What I can advise you regarding this particular call is that I’m not going to be able to answer these questions for you.”

Me: “So can you put me through to someone that can…”

Call Operator No. 2: [She then starts to talk over me] “This is is what’s going to happen. I’m going to take these questions and send them to our ‘enhanced service manager’ and actually get them to look at the complaint that is on file and then come back to you. And that will be done by email.”

Me: “When should I expect a reply and are they going to be able to answer my questions.”

Call Operator No. 2: “I can’t advise you what the response is going to be, I’m telling you that I’m going to forward this information on.”

Me: “So you’re saying you’re not sure they are going to be able to answer the questions but hopefully they can?”

Call Operator No. 2: “I can’t guarantee what the level of response will be. Thank you very much.”

Me: “Please don’t hang up on me.”

Call Operator No. 2: “Thank you goodbye.” [She ends the call.]

I then call the complaints department straight back again. I repeat my story of my current circumstances and get put through to someone from the Complaints Department yet again.

Call Operator No. 3: “You will get a response today responding to your complaint, it will be via email.”

Me: “Ok, but will they be able to answer my questions?”

Call Operator No. 3: “They didnt go into any detail?”

Me: “The problem is that we just go round in circles. Ive already had…” [I start to tell her the same story again, she interrupts me at this point.]

Call Operator No. 3: “So it will be in response to your conversations today.”

Me: “So will they be able to answer my questions then?”

Call Operator No. 3: “They will respond by email.”

Me: “If they respond by email, and still don’t answer these questions then nothing is achieved. The frustrating thing is that I dont actually get to speak to anyone that can help me.”

Call Operator No. 3: “If I was you I would just wait and see until you get the email.”

Me: “But I just want to speak to someone who can help me.”

Call Operator No. 3: “Well you spoke to someone earlier didnt you?”

Me: “Yeah but they were unable to help me. I still get no answers to my questions.”

Call Operator No. 3: “I would just wait for the email, and it should be the response that you want.”

Me: “Well that’s highly unlikely. And then if it isn’t the response, as in answers to my questions, do I then need to do all this again tomorrow?

Call Operator No. 3: “Well all I can say is just wait for that response.”

Me: “So if they continue to not answer questions I have been asking for over a month do I just keep going through this procedure?”

Call Operator No. 3: “Well you could call the complaints call centre again.”

Me: “But the point is no one is able to answer the questions I am asking. I’m just wondering when I will actually get to speak to someone who is qualified enough to answer my questions.”

Call Operator No. 3: “Im not sure becauses I’m in the call centre.”

Me: “So do I just need to do this again tomorow when I get an email response that will probably not answer my questions. Is that what you are saying I should do?

Call Operator No. 3: “Yes I would advise calling the call centre again.”

Me: “Well that’s the whole point. I’ve done that before and it doesn’t get me anywhere.”

Call Operator No. 3: “I think you just need to be positive and wait for the email. Thank you.” [She ends the call immediately after her sentence.]

Now, I am an incredibly patient and determined individual. So I thought, lets call them back again!…

Me: [I give the same story, get put on hold then get put through to someone else.]

Call Operator No. 4: “I can give you the number for the ombudsman.”

Me: “But the ombudsman isn’t going to be able to answer my questions.”

Call Operator No. 4: “There is nothing more I can do for you I am just in a call centre.”

Me: “So I need to go through an ombudsman to get answers about Cafcass?”

Call Operator No. 4: “We have already sent our response.”

Me: “But it wasn’t a response, I asked questions and no one answered them.”

Call Operator No. 4: “Okay, but that was the response they sent to you.”

Me “But that response is insufficient.”

Call Operator No. 4: “Ok this is somethng you need to bring up with the ombudsman.”

Me: “There must be someone there more senior I can speak to. Cafacass are supposed to be an organisation that safeguards children, I have concerns but I’m not able to speak to anyone directly about these concerns.”

Call Operator No. 4: “Because we have sent you a response there is nothing more we can do.”

[At this point I then hear a faint male voice in the background instructing the call operator to end the call.]

Me: “Can I speak to the person that is speaking to you in the background?”

Call Operator No. 4: “Theres nothing more I can do I’m afraid.”

Me: “You didnt answer my question, can I speak to the person that I can clearly hear in the background?”

Call Operator No. 4: “Unfortunately you can’t.”

Me: “I just find this whole process incredibly frustrating…” [she interrupts me.]

Call Operator No. 4: “Okay there is nothing else I can do” [I can clearly hear a male voice in the background telling her “end the call, end the call.”] Call Operator No. 4 then says “thank you for your call” [and then she hangs up on me.]

I then call back again, believe it or not:

Call Operator No. 5: “How can I help you?”

Me: [I explain yet again my circumstances.]

Call Operator No. 5: “I understand sir that you have recently spoken to my colleague and I cannot give any further information.”

Me: “I know what youre going to say. People keep hanging up on me. I’m not being aggresive, I’m not agitated, I’m not getting irritated. The last person I spoke to wouldn’t let me finish my sentence and cut me off.” [Call Operator No. 5 attempts to interrupt me]Can you please not interrupt me, can you please let me finish my sentence?”

Call Operator No. 5: “Certainly sir.”

Me: “Can you please put me through to my Case Manager?”

Call Operator No. 5: “No you need to speak to the ombudsman sir. That is your next point of call and I need to be quite firm in that. There is nothing we can do here. I am unable to put you through to anyone.”

Me: “Okay, lets forget the complaint, can I just speak to my Case Manager about the welfare of my children?”

Call Operator No. 5: “Just give me a moment and I will see what I can do. [Puts me on hold] “Well that request is outside of the complaint. Let me see if I can put you through.” [Puts me back on hold]. “Her line is busy sir, but what I can do is email the person you are requesting to speak to and ask them to call you back.

What else can I say! What a bunch of idiots! And the sad and tragic point is that this organisation’s aim is to safeguard children.

The American writer Walter Dean Myers once said “idiots don’t know they’re idiots, which is unfortunate.”

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

Now, I’ve met some idiots in my time, but seriously!? 


To those unfamiliar with this blog, this is a cathartic narrative of my numerous experiences in battling parental alienation. See here for a definition of parental alienation.

In writing these numerous posts I tend to veer away from going into too much detail of the numerous conversations I have with services and so called “professionals” as most are uninteresting and tedious to read.

“If we can’t laugh in the face of adversity when can we?”

However very recently I received an email from a ‘professional’ that works at my children’s school. This was in response to a request for help I have been making since May this year. I wish to share these comments with others for two reasons. The sheer astounding nature of the comments made and ironically, for entertainment purposes. If we can’t laugh in the face of adversity when can we?

But first if I may l would like to give the reader some context. Unknown to me at the time, sometime last year my ex went to my children’s school and made a number of false allegations against me. The school were led to believe that following our separation, my whereabouts were not known and that I had abandoned my children and no longer wanted anything to do with any of them. For extra drama it had also been reported to the school that I had stolen the family savings. Suffice to say, none of these claims are true.

However this is the nature of parental alienation. Such seeds of negativity planted in the minds of ‘the right people’ are an invaluable tool for the alienating parent. These ‘claims’ aid and support the alienating parent in tarnishing and undermining the character and reputation of the targeted parent. So, lo and behold when I approached the school to request help for my children they were and still are cold, clinical and aloof. Their approach, they claim is to ‘remain impartial.’

During one of several visits to the school last year I engaged in a lengthy conversation with the ‘professional’ who is the subject of this article. In the interests of maintaining a level of both professionalism and confidentiality I will hence forth refer to this ‘professional’ as Ms Clown. I opened the conversation by talking about the nature of parental alienation. Ms Clown however immediately attempted to challenge my understanding of parental alienation by firmly informing me that “we must be careful when talking about parental alienation!”

Clown_PeaceNotPas

During the same conversation Ms Clown disclosed to me that my ex had actually made the false claims to her in person. Bingo! I thought to myself. What a valuable nugget of information. Since then I have been politely but relentlessly asking Ms Clown for a written statement regarding my ex’s false allegations made to Ms Clown.

Unsusprisingly Ms Clown has ignored my numerous emails over the last couple of months. In response to this lack of reply I took a somewhat firmer and evidenced based approach. I challenged the school’s lack of support for my children in attempting to minimise the emotional abuse being inflicted on them. I also politely and appropriately highlighted the school’s lack of knowledge of both emotional abuse and parental alienation.

The following is an excerpt from Ms Clown’s reply to my above mentioned comments:

With T’s (my son, aged 11) permission, I passed on his wishes and feelings to you, which clearly stated he did not want contact with you, and that this was his own choice and not a decision made for him by his mother.” This was Ms Clown’s attempt to reassure me that she had been giving me appropriate help and support, as per my requests. Ms Clown appears very confident in her judgement that this was T’s own choice and “not a decision made for him by his mother.” At this point I would like to point out that somewhat remarkably Ms Clown is actually the Mental Health Liaison worker for all the schools in the local area.

With regards to her above comment, she clearly felt that she had not highlighted her ignorance of parental alienation enough. Therefore she then went on to make the following comment. “I hope you are able to resolve your feelings of parental alienation.”

“Please Ms Clown there’s no need to go on and make yourself look even more stupid!”

I know what some readers may be thinking. “It’s okay Ms Clown, we now understand how ignorant you are of parental alienation. Please Ms Clown there’s no need to go on and make yourself look even more stupid!” But no, she did not stop there! She was absolutely determined to provide further evidence of her complete lack of comprehension regarding parental alienation with the following comment:

“T (my son) was clearly upset about some of the things that had allegedly happened, for which he was encouraged to keep an open mind and to be aware of being drawn into adult issues. I feel this must have been understandably very difficult to hear and seems to have further fuelled your thoughts that his mother is preventing the contact.”

In terms of entertainment value this last comment is my absolute favourite. Ms Clown appears to be astoundingly comfortable making such a flippant and biased assumption that her handing over of such information to me is “fuelling my thoughts that his mother is preventing the contact.”

Well, what more can I say? She has certainly put a lot of work into convincing me that she knows absolutely nothing about parental alienation. It’s a shame that such a work ethic can not be employed supporting my children who are being emotionally abused on a daily basis at home by their very own mother.

The Lebanese-American financier Ziad K. Abdelnour once said, “Always remember, rumours are carried by haters, spread by fools, and accepted by idiots.”

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

“To enable, or not to enable, that is the question…”

The above play on words got me pondering on both the nature and choice of behaviours of those that intentionally or unintentionally become enablers of parental alienation.

To be, or not to be, that is the question,” from Shakespeare’s Hamlet is arguably the best known line from literature and theatre. In its entirety the speech shows Hamlet’s profound dissatisfaction with life and its many struggles.

Shakespeare_ToBeOrNotToBe_PeaceNotPas.jpeg

He is uncertain what death by suicide may bring. This is subtly  underpinned with the Christian denunciation of suicide, the Tudor belief that suicide leads to the fires of hell. Hamlet is highlighting the dread and uncertainty of suicide. He believes the wrong judgement call leads to the fiery gates of hell with no way back.

In life there are many decisions and actions that are pivotal. Enablers of parental alienation ultimately make the wrong judgement call, when they intentionally or unintentionally engage in certain behaviours. Some choose to ‘turn a blind eye’ while others are prevented from doing the right thing.

“Nowadays we are encouraged to not just stop ‘turning a blind eye’ to such things as sexism, racism and any other form of abuse, but to actually challenge it.”

I short while before writing this post, I politely as possible I challenged the behaviours of some individuals who were clearly enabling the parental alienation of my children. Their response shocked me. One of their many counter-arguments were that they understood parental alienation, however they reminded me that when a couple separates it is important to remain impartial.

I have reflected on this point and given it a lot of thought. Nowadays we are encouraged to not just stop ‘turning a blind eye’ to such things as sexism, racism and any other form of abuse, but to actually challenge it. However it saddens me to think that individuals, that might even have a gut feeling that something is amiss, adamantly stand by the argument that it is more important to remain impartial. This is something I simply do not understand.

On a separate note I write letters to each of my alienated children, however their mother refuses to hand them over to the children. I recently asked one of my children’s schools if they could start reading these letters to my youngest child. Their reply was that without the consent of the children’s mother they are unable to facilitate such a request. This is despite the school being more than aware of the ongoing significant level of emotional abuse being inflicted on my children by their mother. In response to this I forwarded the school a Court Order that explicitly states that both direct and indirect contact has been ordered. I also put forward the point that the school was unintentionally and arguably unknowingly enabling this severe alienation by not facilitating my request.

To enable, or not to enable, that is the question. Being unable to answer this question themselves, the head-teacher sought legal advice from the local authority. The subsequent advice was that the school should not get involved and that they must remain impartial. The head-teacher stated that he wished he could help but it would be going against legal advice! Once again this is something I simply do not understand. To enable, or not to enable, that is the question. Should we even need to question it?

“Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.” William Shakespeare, (All’s Well That Ends Well).

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

© 2019 Peace Not Pas

Theme by Anders NorénUp ↑