In 1998 Pearl Jam released their fifth studio album Yield. It marked a return to the band’s earlier straightforward heavier approach to albums. The stand out track is the soaring epic Given to Fly, a song that carries underlying themes of existence and rebirth.

A subtle, yet sublime guitar riff from Mike McCready opens the song. The track slowly builds into a majestic cacophony of a chorus, before returning to McCready’s opening guitar riff. With each return to the chorus the song builds in both intensity and energy.

“Not becoming bitter and reclusive, not condemning the whole world because of the actions of a few.”

It is reported that Eddie Vedder penned the lyrics to represent a man blessed with the ability of flight, who hopes to share it with others only to be greeted with violence. Vedder talked further about the meaning of the song to the Philadelphia Inquirer in 1998. “It’s a fable, that’s all. The music almost gives you this feeling of flight, and I really love singing the part at the end, which is about rising above anybody’s comments about what you do and still giving your love away. You know — not becoming bitter and reclusive, not condemning the whole world because of the actions of a few.”

Pearl Jam have always stated that their songs are open to interpretation, and that the fans should take part ownership and make them their own.

GivenToFly_PeaceNotPas

I interpret this song as a tale of overcoming adversity. Both lyrically and musically the song easily lends itself to the feeling of a wave that slowly builds in strength. The building crescendo of each musical bridge that carries the listener from verse to chorus evokes in me the rising and subsequent breaking of a wave. The arrival of each chorus conjures up in my mind the image of waves violently crashing on a shore. Each crashing wave, represents for me a metaphorical barrier to escaping adversity. I view the final wave as the wave that the character is able to overcome and escape from, due to his ability to fly. I see the flying away of the character as the ‘rising above’ of the negative perceptions and comments of others.

I have never tired of listening to this song, and I hope I never will. As encouraged by Pearl Jam I have taken part ownership of this song. It has been a part of me during both good and bad times. I have seen it performed live twice, which is an incredibly awe-inspiring experience in itself. I even have Given to Fly tattoed on the inside of my right arm. So this song really does go everywhere with me. I certainly feel I have earned my part ownership of this song.

And he still gives his love, he just gives it away
The love he receives is the love that is saved
And sometimes is seen a strange spot in the sky
A human being that was given to fly 

 

btg dad


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The Peace Not Pas Team

Like many other alienated parents I have taken to the internet to vent, give and receive support and ultimately attempt to raise awareness of parental alienation.

And also like many other alienated parents out there I have a blog. This humble little blog of mine is simply a cathartic narrative of my journey of fighting parental alienation.

As somewhat of a subconscious distraction technique of missing my children I am very often thinking of ways to raise further awareness of parental alienation.

A short while ago, while in conversation on Twitter, @ColinWardWriter introduced me to a website called medium.com.

“Medium.com reported 60 million unique monthly readers in May this year.”

Now, by no means is this a shameless attempt at promoting my medium publication and writers profile. My point is that medium is a place for writers and bloggers. Anyone can create a profile and, or a publication. It is completely free to join. Anyone that can write a blog can do the same on medium.com. Medium.com reported 60 million unique monthly readers in May this year.

On medium.com I searched the term ‘parental alienation’ and the results were as following:

  • Three publications (one of which is mine!)
  • Eight profiles that return with some association with parental alienation.
  • Parental Alienation as a ‘tag’ only has 12 followers.

I implore, beg, request all those affected by parental alienation to check this website out. For those of us with blogs, such articles can be posted on medium. For those without blogs, simply joining medium.com and reading and supporting parental alienation related articles would surely increase awareness.

Basically what I am proposing is for as many people as possible who are affected by parental alienation to check this website out. And ultimately write, engage, network and increase the discussion and awareness on a website that has 60 million unique visitors in one month alone. We could network and support each other to raise awareness.

A good introduction to medium.com can be found here.

Our medium publication is here. Our medium profile is here.

Lost-dad from Twitter, his medium profile can be found here.

A big thank you to @ColinWardWriter for introducing me to medium. Colin’s medium profile can be found here.

Thank you.

btg dad


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


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 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


It is now a year since I have had any contact with my three beautiful young children.

My ex continues to deny me any contact with them.  My ex continues to take advantage of a flawed system. A system that enables her to ignore and breach court orders for contact and engagement in interventions, with no legal consequence.

I do not claim to be an expert in parental alienation. My story is no worse than any other of the incalculable number of alienated out there.

The following is certainly not intended to be viewed as some kind of checklist to battle parental alienation.

I have simply reflected on the last year and compiled a list of what I have learnt during the last twelve months.

  • Normalising the sense of sadness and low mood one will invariably experience as an alienated parent is okay to do.
  • Allowing this sadness and low mood to spiral out of control is a slippery slope.
  • Professionals that claim to be experts should always be challenged.
  • Reading and learning as much as one can about parental alienation is an integral part of fighting this battle.
  • Connecting with other targeted parents, be it online or in person is incredibly important. Invaluable for emotional support, sharing of ideas, information and advice.
  • Complaining to services and institutions with a dignified, articulate and well informed argument is key. You may not feel you are making a difference, but every bit of ‘chipping away at the system’ helps.
  • It took me far too long to realise that the way people treat me negatively, says more about them than me.
  • Professionals and friends have told me numerous times to engage in activities that will distract me. It is not always possible. As such I found a distraction that was connected to the issue at hand but also therapeutic, for example this blog.
  • I have realised that keeping myself well, mentally and physically is key to this battle.
  • I no longer feel guilty when I find myself thinking of my children less. This is simply a coping mechanism.
  • I have learnt that this does not mean I love them any less.
  • I do not need to feel guilty for what is happening to my children. There is absolutely no justification for the abuse that is being inflicted on them.
  • I have learnt who my real friends and family are.
  • I am way stronger than I thought I was.
  • I have learnt from others the true meaning of love, compassion and kindness.
  • I have learnt how much I love my children.
  •  I will never give up.

Please feel free to comment or add what you have learnt below.

btg dad


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

Too many of us spend far too much of our lives trying to fit in.

Some individuals are lucky enough to be born with an enviable, but healthy disregard for what others may think.

Individuals that do not need the validation, recognition or reassurance of others.

Individuals that are happy enough with themselves.

Individuals that understand that any strive for absolute perfection is flawed, unrealistic and unachievable.

Individuals that not only adapt to the unpredictability of life but embrace it.

Individuals that vrive on, learn from and grow from the chaos of life.

Individuals that understand that to turn away from the chaos of life is to not live at all.

To not push ourselves to the limit, is to limit life itself.

To live a life any less than challenging, is to not live at all.

btg dad

There are numerous behaviours one can ‘get away with’ by being a Dad. No, I do not mean childbirth, nor do I mean parental alienation.

For example I love climbing trees, however it is not deemed socially acceptable for a grown man to walk over a forest alone and then proceed to climb trees, and hang upside in joyous celebration of such an achievement.

I have also never pretended to trip up ‘slap-stick’ style when only in my own company. Prior to being alienated from my three young children I would ‘trip up’ without fail every time I would serve them their evening meal at the dinner table. Each time would result in the same responses; my youngest child G, giggling loudly each time, appearing as if she would never tire of such tomfoolery. My eldest child B simply looking at me with dismay, refusing to show any acknowledgement that at his sisters age he had also found such idiotic behaviour funny. My middle child T rolling his eyes, while subtly grinning. “One of these days Daddy, you are going to fall over for real!” he would regularly exclaim. Not too long ago I attempted a ‘pretend trip’ while carrying someone, I nearly killed them! But that’s another story for another time.

PeaceNotPas_PeaceAtLast

It is also not socially acceptable for a grown man to read a children’s story out loud in character. This brings me onto the subject of bed-time story telling. Perhaps somewhat of a chore for some parents, particularly after a busy day. On reflection there may have been odd occasions, where my focus may have strayed. For example if there was perhaps a bottle of Merlot awaiting my attention downstairs. (Someone once told me, it doesn’t count as drinking alone if your kids are in the house). Anyway, I digress, I know of one crazy parent that reads their child four whole bed-time stories each night. Crazy fool!

One of my many favourite activities as a dad is the reading of bedtime stories. My absolute favourite children’s picture book is Peace at Last by Jill Murphy. This is the tale of a Bear family and Mr Bear who is having difficulties getting off to sleep one night. I would read this to my youngest child G very often, it was also her favourite bedtime story.

Mr Bear is unable to get off to sleep. At the turn of each page he is seen taking himself to different rooms and locations around the house in a futile attempt to get himself off to sleep. The kitchen is too loud with a dripping tap, the garden is too noisy with nocturnal animals scurrying around, you get the idea. In each location, upon the discovery of each annoyance that prevents him from going to sleep, Mr Bear exclaims “I cant stand THIS!”

PeaceAtLastBook.1

I would employ my strongest cockney accent for Mr Bear (for any non-UK readers out there, I am referring to a proper East End London accent). I would get into character as much I could; accent, mannerisms and gestures. G absolutely loved this story being read to her by me, her loving Dad.

“where may I ask did you draw the inspiration for such a challenging role as Mr Bear?”

As my mind wanders now, I imagine finding myself as a guest on Inside the Actors Studio. Being interviewed by none other than the show’s very own creator and host James Lipton, in front of a worshipful audience of students from the highly acclaimed Actors Studio Drama School. “So btg-dad” James Lipton starts to inquire in his own inimitable style “where may I ask did you draw the inspiration for such a challenging role as Mr Bear?” I look upwards, slowly stroke my chin, in deep contemplation. “Well James, the attitude I wanted to present to the audience for Mr Bear I drew from the work of Ray Winstone. In terms of delivery of the tone and intonation I was inspired by Danny Dyer. And as for the gestures and mannerisms I was heavily influenced by the character of Del-Boy Trotter from Only Fools and Horses.”

Right that’s enough of me talking rubbish! The point is G and I absolutely loved the bedtime story routine. At the end of each story, G and I had somewhat of a ‘slap-stick’ routine to work our way through to bring the story telling shenanigans to a close.

“I love you too Daddy, goodnight.”

I would ask G to close the book, and at that point I would over emphasise an attempt to lean in and give her a goodnight kiss. She would then pretend to close the book and get my nose caught in the closing book. This would inevitably result in a bout of uncontrollable giggling from G. While rubbing my nose ‘better’ I would be leaning on the side of her bed. At this point G would then ‘push’ my arm off her bed resulting in me ‘falling’ onto the floor. Further uncontrollable giggling would ensue. We would have a few more minutes of loveable and joyous banter then I would say good night.

“I love you so much G, have lovely dreams, goodnight” I would tell her before giving her a proper kiss on the cheek and giving her a combination of a hug and a proper squeeze. “I love you too Daddy, goodnight.”

 btg dad


Please Note:  We will gladly refer readers to true professionals who add value, deliver results and operate in line with our core principles. Should you wish us to refer you to an appropriate professional please contact us here.

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

So 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