Halloween is just another seasonal celebration missed by those of us that are alienated from our children.

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

I vividly remember helping my children each year carve out the Halloween pumpkins to be placed outside the house. I also remember every evening after nightfall being reminded by my kids to light the candles in the pumpkins. As if it was only yesterday I remember my little G saying to me one year “daddy, we need to light the pumpkins, can I help you light them today because it’s my turn tonight, remember?”

“Parental alienation, by its very nature is all about tricks and treats too.”

I remember my kids and I getting dressed up in our Halloween costumes each year to go ‘trick or treating’ round the neighbourhood. On returning home, the children’s faces full of joy as they emptied their Halloween bags onto the floor. All of them excited beyond words from the sheer amount of sweets they had each managed to acquire.

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However it is not just Halloween that involves trick or treating. Parental alienation, by its very nature is all about tricks and treats too. Allow me to explain.

I now haven’t seen my three beautiful children for almost fifteen months. Their mother has tricked them into believing I no longer love them following our separation. Their mother has ultimately tricked them into believing they are better off without me.

In addition to this their mother has tricked them into being scared of me. She uses such abhorrent tactics as tricking them into believing I prowl around the house at night. Which of course isn’t true.

Their mother has also tricked them in the past into worrying about the idea of them possibly having to move house and schools because “daddy isn’t paying for the house anymore” which of course isn’t true.

As if all the above wasn’t bad enough, their mother has also tricked all our previously mutual friends into believing I used to abuse my children. Suffice to say their mother has ensured that all these ex-mutual friends have rejected me on this false information. They clearly weren’t real friends if that is their reaction without checking my side of the story first. These ex-mutual friends have now become what are known as enablers of parental alienation. Enablers are individuals that an alienating parent tricks into providing support for them. The alienating parent will also in many cases trick the enablers to turn against the targeted parent.

For a more detailed insight into enablers of parental alienation please see my article An Open Letter to Enablers of Parental Alienation.

My children’s mother also tricked one of the children’s schools into believing that my whereabouts were not known and that I had stolen money from them and therefore left them destitute.

“Having the financial resources to spend in excess of £10,000 in legal fees over the last fourteen months to continue to prevent me from having any contact with any of my children.”

Furthermore their mother also tricked the local authorities into giving her food vouchers due to her false claims of being left penniless and destitute following our separation. This is despite their mother somehow having the financial resources to spend in excess of £10,000 in legal fees over the last fourteen months to continue to prevent me from having any contact with any of my children.

At each court appearance, of which there have been many their mother regularly tricks the judge. She assures the judge she will engage in the next intervention aimed at encouraging contact between the children and I. This is despite their mother not engaging in any previous interventions at all.

So there you have it. These are the ‘tricks of the trade’ used by an alienating parent. There are many many more tricks, but I’m sure you get the idea.

But what about the treats? Once again, please allow me to explain.

The children get treated by way of numerous rewards for siding with their mother. They get treated with praise for helping her through the pain and hurt of separation. Clearly this is emotional transference from a parent to a child and completely inappropriate and unhealthy.

And then there is the previously mentioned mutual friends that have sided with the childrens mother. They are treated with validation and praise for helping who they believe to be someone who is penniless and destitute. Little do they know this mother is emotionally abusing her very own children and continuing to deny them contact with their father.

“Tragically the children have absolutely no idea that they are being constantly tricked and treated into rejecting and hating their very own father.”

So this year their mother will probably carve out the pumpkins with the children. And she will most probably take them trick or treating.

However, rather tragically the children have absolutely no idea that they are being constantly tricked and treated into rejecting and hating their very own father.

On a similarly tragic note these enablers are also clueless to the fact that they are being tricked and treated into supporting a mother who is emotionally abusing her very own children.

“The only thing more frustrating than slanderers is those foolish enough to listen to them,” writes Criss Jami in his 2015 book, Killosophy.

btg dad


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The Peace Not Pas Team

As regular readers of this blog will be aware I was recently invited to talk about parental alienation as part of a book launch.

Colin Ward (twitter.com/ColinWardWriter) the author of his newly published novel To Die For kindly invited me along to give a talk on the subject as parental alienation features heavily in his aforementioned new novel.

Over the last fourteen months I have become somewhat of a self-taught expert on parental alienation. As such I have subsequently become an avid online activist against the misunderstood and unrecognised form of abuse that is parental alienation.

However speaking in public about it was a whole new experience for me. As an online activist I have the privilege of writing under the online pseudonym of ‘btg dad’ and promoting the Peace Not Pas brand in the hope of promoting awareness of parental alienation.

Writing anonymously online is easy enough. Although one’s emotions are expressed through words, ultimately the cathartic process of writing about being an alienated parent is carried out in private. Followers of this blog will read my posts, but through writing I only reveal the emotions I choose to reveal.

However speaking in public is a whole different ball game. Prior to the event I sought advice from Colin. I asked him if I should inform the audience I have never spoken in public before. He adamantly advised me not to. I respect Colin, so I followed his advice and did not disclose this to the audience. Until now!

“I remember looking around as I spoke and seeing heads nodding in agreement as I talked about life as an alienated parent.”

As for my speech, if asked, I wouldn’t be able to recall what I said. It was as if I simply ‘zoned out’ and went into ‘auto-pilot mode’. However I can recall how I felt. I felt empowered, I felt I was doing something good. I remember looking around as I spoke and seeing heads nodding in agreement as I talked about life as an alienated parent. At the end I received what appeared to be a sincere round of applause.

“It took a couple of years for my son to get his kids back, but he done it in the end. So don’t you ever give up.”

As I walked away from the stage I passed an older lady who was sitting at a table nearby. She gestured to me to come over, which I did.

“You done really well. Good for you for doing that” she said in a very pleasant but assertive manner.

“Thank you” I replied.

“Let me tell you something” she said. “I was once an alienated grandmother. It was a horrible experience. It took a couple of years for my son to get his kids back, but he done it in the end. So don’t you ever give up.”

“No I won’t and thank you for your show of support. I really appreciate it.” I gratefully replied.

“Parental alienation is allowed to exist due to a flawed system.”

There was then a well-timed break where I had the opportunity to speak to numerous people affected by parental alienation. The general consensus was that parental alienation is allowed to exist due to a flawed system. Several of us managed to put the world of parental alienation to rights before the break ended and Colin’s event subsequently continued!

At the end of the event there was some live music to finish off what had been a lovely and thought-provoking event.

So in returning to the title of this post I have reflected on both the event and my speech and come to the following conclusions.

  • More should be done to promote awareness of parental alienation.
  • More should be done to provide support for all those affected by parental alienation, regardless of gender.
  • More should be done to promote and encourage education of professionals in understanding parental alienation.
  • More should be done to develop a credible working professional and academically recognised definition of parental alienation.

I could go on, but I won’t at this point in time. To conclude, I am incredibly grateful to Colin for inviting me along and giving me the opportunity to speak publicly about parental alienation.

I have since realised that evening was a pivotal point in my battle against parental alienation and has pushed me to want to do more. As such, myself and a small number of people have agreed to work together to try to make a positive change.

With this in mind this site is no longer me. It is now us. The point being is this blog itself will become just one of many components of our newly founded movement.

As a movement we will endeavour to work as hard as we can to make a positive change regarding the emotional abuse that we know as parental alienation. We believe that collectively we have the right skill set, motivation and knowledge to challenge the obstacles that lay in front of us.

We are currently in the process of finishing a final draft of our Vision Statement and a 7-Step Mission Statement that will identify what our plans for challenging change are.

All I can say for now is, watch this space!

It was Mahatma Gandhi that once said “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”

btg dad


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Thanks

The Peace Not Pas Team

Today was a tough day for me. Today it was my birthday. The day I would have loved to have shared with my grandchildren, but I couldn’t. The reason why? I am an alienated  grandmother, that is the reason why.

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

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I missed seeing them on my birthday, I missed hearing them shout “happy birthday nanny!” I missed watching  their faces as I open the presents they would have got me. I missed reading the birthday cards with their handwritten messages in.

I missed them so much today, but then I miss them every day of my life. I wonder if they miss me, I wonder if they would have remembered today was their Nanny’s birthday. I wonder if they thought of me, as I thought of them. I like to think they did. I have to believe they did or how else will I go on.

“These are the moments, hours, days of their lives and mine, that we can never recover.”

I hope they know how much I love them. Then there are their birthdays, which  I can no longer share with them. Yet again this is because I am an alienated grandparent. I don’t know how this came about. I have done nothing wrong. My grandchildren have done nothing wrong. So why are we not allowed to share these special days together anymore?

I am missing seeing them growing  up. These are the moments, hours, days of their lives and mine, that we can never recover. That we will never get back. And that is what breaks my heart. So today has been extra tough.

I have to hope tomorrow will be a little easier as this is the life of an alienated grandparent.

Written by

pascampaigner


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The Peace Not Pas Team

Dear reader,

It occurred to me today to think about parental alienation from a different angle. How do people become the person that stops one person from being involved in their child’s life when they are divorced?

Perhaps its stems from problems they already have? Please don’t think for one moment that I’m condoning their behaviour; I’m not, but by knowing the enemy you have a better chance of out manoeuvring them right?

I started doing some research and came up with this – gatekeeper parenting. My understanding of this is that one parent, normally but not exclusively, in first time parent situations, ends up taking control of the family unit.

A gatekeeper parent exhibits the following behaviors:

  • Criticizes the way the other parent, spouse, or ex-spouse parents
  • Creates unbending or unrealistic standards in order for the other parent to spend time with the children
  • Demeans or undermines the other parent’s efforts at being an authority figure in the child(ren’s) lives
  • Controls all the organizing, delegating, planning, and scheduling in the home
  • Becomes reluctant to let go of some of the responsibility for caring for the family
  • Needs a great deal of validation of their identity as a parent, both from the other parent, spouse, or ex-spouse and from outside the marriage or parenting relationship
  • Believes in the traditional roles assigned to husbands and wives
  • Views the other parent, spouse, or ex-spouse as a helper and not an equal when it comes to household chores and child-care responsibilities
  • Asks the other parent, spouse, or ex-spouse for help and then gives explicit directions on how to accomplish a task

Inside a marriage, the characteristics and symptoms of a gatekeeper may already be apparent, with one parent being relegated to second tier status and disenfranchised with regard to their parenting skills or their ability to practice and nurture their own set of skills. This lends itself to the dominant parent taking complete control of the household, and it causes severe resentment and sense of helplessness in the other parent’s relationship with the children.

In a post-divorce situation, the gatekeeping parent may limit contact between the other parent and the child(ren), abuse the child verbally and psychlogically, or utilise derogatory remarks regarding the other parent, including threats in order to maintain control.

This would explain a lot of some of the behaviours that have happened to a lot of the parents, in a lot of the cases of divorce!

In 2013, the National Office of Statistics in Britain stated that of the 114,720 couples that divorced, 94,864 had children involved.

Being an optimist, but also trying to make the math easier, I generalised that of the 94 thousand couples with children, half would be reasonable and try to sort something out with each parent. That leaves 47,432 possibilities that didn’t work out, and that could be subjected to parent alienation.

That works out at five children, every hour of every day of every week of the year. That works out to just one child every ten minutes.

This takes me back to the title of this blog ‘Dungeons and Dragons’. This means that one parent every ten minutes or so, is effectively locking their child away in the dungeon of their construction, gatekeeping their interactions with the rest of the world.

Now, I’m not suggesting that they might be dragons (God forbid!), but from their perspective they may well be looking after their children, just like Smaug did the goblins hoard. And we all know what happened to him!

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Perhaps these gatekeepers need to look towards the film Tangled. If you keep someone locked away from their natural curiosity, all you will be doing is just prolonging the inevitable. They will find out for themselves what you have done and you will lose them for ever.

Take this as a clarion call; work with the parent you have disenfranchised from the child you BOTH created. Or else you too could end up like the woman from Tangled, losing everything you’ve ever worked towards. The choice is yours…

Written by

psychman

Please do visit psychman’s blog at

psychmansite.wordpress.com


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Thanks

The Peace Not Pas Team

Today, October 15,  my daughter turns five.

I will call her using my tablet, that’s our channel.

I hope the tablet is turned on.

If the tablet is on, I hope she hears it and is allowed to answer.

It’s been like this since February. A period after which the terrible and sinister powers of parental alienation descended upon us.

I feel sadness and more importantly, I feel for my two children. Who are the true victims, knowing they wish to see their father  yet their mother has other plans… Vindictive plans I must make clear.

Nothing justifies this, nothing.

Written by

Mito


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

World of Psych

The news has been awash with stories of children cast to the dark forces of abuse by persons unknown, and not protected by the very forces such as the police, social workers, and other professionals that should be helping them.

They are now being offered support, mental health advice and have all the professional guidance needed, because as a nation we have been appalled that children should be allowed to fall between the cracks in this way. But this has taken close to a decade before the nation’s conscience has been pricked into action. Such abuse is unconscionable and will leave children growing into adults, that will require extensive use of the mental health services. As a society we all feel responsible that we have allowed this to happen, and will now be hyper-vigilant to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

As a society, we seem to learn retrospectively from our…

View original post 629 more words

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Written by

Albert Glover


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The Peace Not Pas Team

“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?

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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


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Thanks

The Peace Not Pas Team

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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pascampaigner


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you” I replied.

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

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

Okay” she remarked in a somwhat aloof manner.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

btg dad


Please Note: We 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