In this post I would like to explore the subjects of truth, mental health, suicide, music and of course parental alienation.
I have recently been listening to Chris Cornell’s 2015 album Higher Truth
. And for me, the stand out track from the album is the eighth track of the same name, Higher Truth
Chris Cornell may be known to most music fans as the lead singer of Soundgarden and Audioslave. However the above mentioned album is a different kind of platform for Cornell’s mind-blowing four octave spanning voice. This album allows his voice to simply be laid bare, and I believe the album is also a platform for him to lay bare his emotions.
I am no fan of celebrity culture; I can’t abide it and further discussion of this humble and somewhat trivial opinion of mine is beyond the remit of this post. Suffice to say Cornell was unwillingly a part of this celebrity culture. However it is through the lens of this celebrity culture, that in my opinion Cornell came across as a sensitive and kind soul. And his musical career showed him to be the incredibly talented singer, songwriter and lyricist that he was.
“Fame, fortune and success, however each of us may quantify it, does not equate to happiness. Mental illness, is mental illness.”
Cornell struggled with depression for much of his life. I believe someone like Cornell and his struggles with his own mental health should act as a lesson to those people out there that either dismiss or misunderstand mental health issues. Fame, fortune and success, however each of us may quantify it, does not equate to happiness. Mental illness, is mental illness. Tragically Cornell took his own life in May 2017.
Some of you may be thinking at this point what the hell have the above paragraphs got to do with parental alienation? Well, there are several connections; please bear with me.
I would like to start by exploring the concept of truth.
In the English Oxford Dictionary the word truth is defined as the quality or state of being true; that which is true or in accordance with fact or reality. However as anyone effected by parental alienation will no doubt understand, this particular form of abuse can only be carried out with an absence of truth. In fact it requires an intricate web of lies and deceit.
As an alienated parents, step-parents, grandparents, many of us find ourselves fighting a flawed system that simply chooses to either not believe the truth or turn away from it.
“Many of the stories we and our growing community share on here could literally be taken from the pages of a bestselling psychological thriller.”
Many of us choose to hide our own experiences of parental alienation from others because we strongly believe others would not believe such horror stories. For those of you that are familiar with our blog
, you will understand that many of the stories told on here would simply be unbelievable to anyone unaware of parental alienation. Many of the stories we and our growing community share on here could literally be taken from the pages of a bestselling psychological thriller. However, if only they were fiction; these stories are real. They are our stories…
Our stories are our lives. Lives that are full of pain and heartache. Pain and heartache that we, as a community of alienated parents, step-parents, grandparents, have to face every single day.
Regarding mental health, by our very nature as human beings, some of us are more mentally resilient than others. However nothing can prepare you for the emotional pain caused by parental alienation. As alienated parents, step-parents, grandparents we experience a multitude of emotions; guilt, sadness and heartache, to name just a few. Invariably these feelings will have a negative impact on our mental well-being. Resulting, all too often in anxiety, depression and other associated mental health issues.
As is the case with parental alienation, there still remains in some sections of our so called modern society, a stigma around mental health. The stigma around mental health is improving, but there still remains somewhat of a stigma.
Here in the UK, the Office of National Statistics reports that since around 1990 men have been at least three times as vulnerable to death from suicide as women. This is attributed to a complex set of reasons. Just two factors are the increasing number of family breakdowns that result in more men living alone. Another factor is the social expectations regarding masculinity.
The greatest risk group regarding male suicide is unsurprisingly among divorced men. The Office of National Statistics stated that in 2015 men were almost three times more likely to end their lives than men who were married or in a civil partnership. According to research by The Samaritans, divorce increases the risk of suicide because the individual becomes disconnected from their domestic relationship and social norms. Divorce, and separation from children should be viewed as a critical public health issue. Divorced men are 39% more likely
to commit suicide when they have no contact with their children. Does this ring any bells with anyone regarding the consequences of parental alienation?
It certainly does with me.
“While the truth remains hidden away, the abuse continues.”
Returning to the subject of truth, due to the complex dynamics of parental alienation the truth is simply hidden away. It is the current flawed system’s complete lack of professional curiosity from it’s so-called professionals in seeking out the truth. While the truth remains hidden away, the abuse continues.
And it is Cornell’s above named track that is currently resonating with me, particularly in the context of parental alienation and the hiding of truth. The Higher Truth contains the following lyrics “you can set the world on fire, yeah if you want, it isn’t hard.” I interpret this line as a metaphor for the ease with which an alienating parent can cause such chaos and pain to the lives of those effected by their abhorrent actions.
The lyrics that follow are “I won’t be there looking on, to see the trail of lies, as you fall.” To me, this line represents the idea that at the centre of the alienating and abusive actions of the targeting parent are lies and deceit. And that as much as I myself am not witness to the pouring out of such falsities, I am also not witness to what is now happening; the crumbling of the thin veneer of lies that formerly protected the abuser from being challenged by anyone. Their veneer is slowly falling away, and will undoubtedly I believe, result in the downfall of the targeting parent’s false narrative.
Other lyrics that follow are “make a promise if you can, you know, you’ll only break it, make a promise if you dare, go on right ahead, and let’s see where it gets you.” To me these lines represent the number of false promises a targeting parent will make. Promises that the alienating parent is making simply to play lip service to the court, enablers, services etc. Promises that the alienating parent so obviously knows they will break, simply to serve their own interests.
However, as alienated parents, step-parents and grandparents, in each of our respective situations, we can at least walk with our heads held high.
Because we know the higher truth.
“Make a promise if you dare, go on right ahead, and let’s see where it gets you, but I’ll take the truth. The higher truth.” Chris Cornell, 2015.
Please Note: This blog deals with extremely distressing issues. It is our aim to provide victims of alienation with a voice and trusted professionals with an opportunity to suggest ways to address the challenges this community faces. Should readers need additional support, we will gladly refer readers to trusted professionals who add value, deliver results and operate in line with our core principles.
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