“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 However due to a multitude of issues with Cafcass, a biased and outdated judicial system and many other factors (that are way beyond the scope of this particular article) I continue to fight to simply be a father to my children.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


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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.

The Peace Not Pas Team

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

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

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

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


Roles Vs Labels

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

Click here to continue reading…

btg dad


Please Note: We 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

PresentMomentContactDrawing
Present Moment Contact

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

btg dad


Please Note: We 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