On Saturday 22nd September I had the pleasure of being one of the public speakers at an event called The Dad Takeover.

The event took place in London. It was organised by Priscilla Appeaning. Priscilla is the founder of The Step Mums Club.

“I set up this initiative to debunk the ‘wicked stepmum’ stereotype and give support to this growing community of mothers with their journeys.” Read more about Priscilla’s reasons behind creating her movement here: Why I Launched The Step Moms Club.

The event started with a panel of four laypeople up on stage. All of them fathers that gave different, interesting and unique insights into modern day fatherhood. This was well received by the audience and rightly so.

The next stage of the event involved a Family Law Solicitor, named Tejal and I going on stage.

Tejal introduced herself, her professional role and then spoke about the family court process regarding cases of divorce and separations. Tejal advocated for self representation and signposted the audience to where they could find the relevant forms online. It was refreshing to hear a family law solicitor advocating for self-representation. Tejal’s talk was clear, concise and helpful.

After Tejal had finished, I then took the microphone and introduced myself. First of all regarding my profession; I explained I am a Charge Nurse on an acute psychiatric assessment unit. I then introduced myself in a personal capacity; an alienated parent of three children, who I have not seen for over two years.

Staying within the event’s broad topic of modern day fatherhood I then went on to explain what parental alienation is. How it occurs, the long term effects on all those affected by it and the flawed legal system that enables it to go unchallenged and fails to protect an incalculable number of children from emotional abuse.

I was then bombarded (all be it appropriately) by numerous questions from the audience about parental alienation. There were many more people there that had/are experiencing parental alienation first hand. Some of these audience members were aware that it had a name, some did not.

There was then a brief break where I had another opportunity to speak with numerous parents and step-parents that are currently battling parental alienation, all at different stages.

After the break there was a general Q&A session. Such topics discussed involved the Child Maintenance Service, fathers legal rights, fathers mental health and society’s perception and expectations of modern day fatherhood.

The Q&A session invariably turned into a debate. However, as is always the case in such circumstances, the event simply run out of time.

After the last Q&A session there was enough time for all attendees to discuss with one another the various topics highlighted in the day’s event.

I had the pleasure of meeting and talking to many people that have been and/or still are affected by parental alienation. I was also fortunate enough to meet a member of The Cornerstone Community Project; one of many attendees that engaged in the lively debate.

From my own experience I know how emotionally difficult it can be to disclose your own personal story of parental alienation to someone you have just met. With this in mind I would like to say a big thank you those people that shared their stories with me. It is such shocking stories that fill me full of motivation and energy to use Peace Not Pas to continue to raise awareness of, provide support for and lobby for reform regarding all elements of parental alienation.

Thank you so much for having me Priscilla. I am very grateful that you gave me the opportunity to talk publicly about subjects that I am incredibly passionate about; parental alienation, mental health and last but not least the importance of shared parenting post separation.

Priscilla Appeaning’s Step Mums Club can be found on Instagram and Twitter.

btg dad

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world” Nelson Mandela.


Please Note: We pledge to never make a profit or any other form of financial gain from any individuals affected by parental alienation.

We will gladly signpost individuals to true professionals within our wider network who add value, deliver results and 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 these professionals for any referrals made.

The Peace Not Pas Team

The word ethical derives from the Greek work ethos; meaning ‘moral character.’ Within the world that we live in most people, most members of society would agree that a moral character describes the characteristics of an individual whose overall behaviour is right in a moral sense; honest, fair and truthful.

In it’s simplest definition ethics are a system of moral principles. These moral principles influence how we make decisions and lead our lives.

Past philosophers have put forward the argument that ethics entirely influence the way people behave. They have argued that if an individual comes to the realisation that a potential behaviour or response is morally good, then it would irrational not to do so.

And then there is also the concept of moral ambiguity. Some individuals struggle with this concept as they may want there to be a simple and straightforward answer to ethical dilemmas or questions, but there may not be one. For those that struggle with moral ambiguity it may force these individuals to take ownership of their own behaviours and choices in the absence of simply falling back on conveniently placed customs or rules.

So this then brings me onto the topic of the institution that is the Family Court. This institution is defined as being a court of law that hears and makes legal decisions involving issues such as child custody and divorce.

As we know there are many services and institutions that ‘work’ alongside the family court. Services such are Cafcass here in the UK, CPS in the US and Children’s Social Services for example, to name just a few. These additional services are viewed by the Judge as their eyes and ears. These services should be gathering information, evidence from numerous sources and collating this ultimately into a portfolio of evidence from which the appointed Judge will be expected to make a legal decision on.

So moving onto a typical, genuine textbook case of severe parental alienation the following factors, dynamics will most probably be in place:

  • One parent (in most cases the resident parent, known as the targeting parent) will be denying contact between the children and the non-resident parent (known as the targeted parent).
  • The targeting parent will constantly denigrate the character of the targeted parent in the eyes of the children.
  • This denigration of character will also be underpinned with a false narrative of events being fed to the children by the targeting parent. For example a skewed account of the circumstances of separation, false allegations against the targeted parent etc.
  • In most severe cases the targeted parent’s family are also excluded from the lives of the children.
  • All of the above actions normally result in the alienating children unjustifiably completely and utterly rejecting the targeted parent.

Now in returning to the concept of right or wrong, here in the UK Cafcass CEO Anthony Douglas publicly states that parental alienation is recognised by his organisation as a form of abuse. Furthermore Douglas goes on to state that this form of abuse should be treated with the same severity as any other form of abuse. So in terms of ethics, so far so good!

In addition to the above statement from Douglas it is worth noting that in the same interview it is stated that according to Cafcass, parental alienation is responsible for around 80 per cent of the most difficult cases that come before the family courts. In my opinion, that figure coming from an organisation as inept and ineffective as Cafcass is more likely to be much higher.

Due to the nature of our campaign/support group we are privy, almost on a daily basis to overwhelming evidence of the continuing nature of biased, misinformed, prejudicial and evidence omitting reports that are being written by Cafcass Family Court Advisors (FCAs).

Now, lets imagine if  you will, that we live in a world where Cafcass FCAs do not write biased, misinformed, prejudicial and evidence omitting reports at all! I know it’s hard to imagine and that in the real world, such professional conduct from Cafcass FCAs is rare, but please bear with me.

So in this imaginary world we have fine upstanding Cafcass FCAs handing in well-balanced, well-informed and well-evidenced reports to the family judge in all cases of parental alienation.

Now at this point the judge will be informed by the FCAs that there is overwhelming evidence of alienating behaviours being exhibited by the targeted parent (as highlighted in bullet points above).

The judge will be informed that the children are being emotionally abused by the resident parent. The judge will also be informed that it is not in the children’s best interest to be denied a relationship with the targeted parent. There may well be a psychological assessment that informs the judge that there is little to no evidence of the abusive parent changing their approach.

Such scenarios have in most cases been returned to court numerous times already. This is due to the abusive parent having already breached numerous contact orders that would have lead to contact between the children and the targeted parent. So this is the evidence that the judge has before them.

At this incredibly pivotal point the judge is required to pass a judgement that will effect the future well-being, future mental health etc, of both the alienated children and the targeted parent.

Now lets return to the subject of human ethics. Lets imagine another scenario, we grab an honest, fair and truthful average person off the street and present them with the above moral dilemma.

Now would this average person see the above scenario for what it is? Would they see it as one parent emotionally abusing the effected children? Would they also see it as the targeting parent attempting to erase the targeted parent from the lives of the effected children? Would they see that there is no justifiable reason for these effected children to absolutely reject their other parent, who they had previously had had a loving and healthy relationship with? Would they see that a swift, robust, pro-active decision needed to be made in the best interests of the children. Would they see that the emotional abuse being inflicted on the children must stop. Would they see that these children need to be protected?

Perhaps you the readers could answer the above questions yourselves. Presented with the above ethical dilemma what would you do in the best interests of the children? Is it even a dilemma at all?

Or is the answer to all of the questions, obvious to any given person of ethical, moral character?

I myself am an alienated parent. I continue to battle to have a relationship with my children. I continue to navigate my way through a flawed judicial system. I get knocked down. But every single time I pick myself back up, I dust myself down and I carry on. I don’t carry on fighting for me. I carry on fighting on behalf of my children.


Please Note: We pledge to never make a profit or any other form of financial gain from any individuals affected by parental alienation.

We will gladly signpost individuals to true professionals within our wider network who add value, deliver results and 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 these professionals for any referrals made.

The Peace Not Pas Team

The following is an individual’s experience of growing up with parental alienation. We have changed the individuals’ names in the following post.


I never knew my mum. According to my dad and my two older brothers, she walked out on us all for another man when I was only three years of age.

I remember as a child my dad only ever talking about my mum occasionally. And even when he did it was in an incredibly negative way. And this narrative was backed up by my brothers.

“As a child I never questioned this.”

They also never referred to her as mum. They would only ever refer to her by her first name, Jackie. As a child I never questioned this.

I was told by my dad that ‘Jackie’ was an alcoholic, a drug user, a serial cheater and that she was someone that did not deserve to be called a mother.

“I never questioned this narrative. Why would I?”

I never questioned this narrative. Why would I? This story was also backed up by my older brothers who, according to my understanding at the time would have been old enough to at least have remembered Jackie.

Once again, according to my father, shortly after Jackie left us, he met a new woman who he claimed was everything that Jackie was not. Her name was Sandy. My dad encouraged me and my brothers to call her mum, which within a couple of months of Sandy’s arrival became quite natural to us all.

As I got older and naturally became more curious as to the exiting of Jackie from our lives, my dad would simply repeat the same narrative. He would not elaborate any further regarding Jackie’s abandonment of us. With my father’s same response with each inquiry I eventually stopped asking about Jackie. I simply resigned myself to the fact that my birth mother was simply a very horrible person. My dad made me feel that I should be grateful for Sandy being more of a mother to me than Jackie.

However as I entered my teens, there was a change of dynamics in the household. Although on reflection, perhaps it wasn’t so much a change of dynamics, but more a new awareness of the family dynamics that I had previously not been aware of. At around this period of time one of my older brothers had already moved out. My remaining brother started being very isolative within the family home.

Around this time my remaining brother began arguing regularly with my mum (Sandy) and dad. I remember these arguments making my dad be very hostile and domineering over my brother. I felt very intimidated by my dad’s aggressive behaviours during these arguments. I wished I had  had the courage to stand up for my brother. There was something very unfair about my dad’s overbearing demeanour towards my brother, who was actually the more sensitive of my two brothers. My dad appeared to turn into someone else during these arguments.

Within a year my remaining brother left the family home and moved in with a friend. I was then left living alone with my mum and dad. As much as my dad had always been somewhat of a drinker, at around this time he began drinking every day.

“I started to find his behaviours more and more domineering, controlling and intimidating.”

The relationship between my dad and Sandy steadily deteriorated. At it’s worst, they were literally arguing with each other every day. My dad also became very controlling of both Sandy and I. He would always want to know where I had been, even if I returned from a night out with friends, even just five minutes later than I said I would be home. I started to find his behaviours more and more domineering, controlling and intimidating.

After another couple of months I also moved out. I went and lived in a different part of the country and moved in with a good friend of mine named Georgie, who I had known from high school.

As much as we had been good friends at school, it didn’t take long for us to become best friends. We both had dead end jobs; however we didn’t care. We were both living life as we had never lived it before, freely.

There was one particular night I will never forget. We had come back to our grimy little apartment after a night of cocktails. As we did quite often after returning from a night out, we stayed up all night talking. However on this occasion Georgie started talking about my biological mother. At first I insisted she refer to her as Jackie. Which she respectfully did.

“Most of them were spineless bastards and didn’t have the balls to speak out.”

However she went on to say something that would prove to be a trigger for a number of life changing decisions. I will never forget what it was she told me “you do know that most of the people in our hometown knew what really happened between your mum and dad? But most of them were spineless bastards and didn’t have the balls to speak out.”

Initially, I didn’t quite comprehend what it was she was saying. It made no sense to me what Georgie was telling me.

Trusting Georgie as I did, I reluctantly agreed for her to elaborate on what she had just told.

Georgie then went on to tell me words to the effect of “so basically your dad was cheating on your mum for years with Sandy. No one dared say anything though cos everyone in town was pretty scared of your dad. They all knew what he was really like. They all knew that he chucked your mum out in the middle of the night and basically told her to fuck off! He threatened her. He said that if she did not disappear he would make her disappear. So she left, she was heartbroken, but left because she feared for her life. Your dad used to beat your mum up. Everyone knew that. Everyone knew what really happened except for you kids [my brothers and I].”

I remember replying to Georgie’s above statement with something along the lines of “what the fuck are you talking about?”

However we continued to discuss this subject through to the morning. We both retired to bed at about four or five in the morning. Apart from waking up the next day with an obvious hangover, I remember feeling incredibly confused, conflicted and for some reason unknown to me at the time, very afraid.

That day Georgie and I spent the whole day together. In a state of sobriety we went back over the conversation of the night before. I vividly remember Georgie constantly apologising for what she had said. But ultimately there was enough evidence, my trust in Georgie and ultimately my gut feeling that allowed me to believe that everything Georgie had told me was true.

On further inquiry from me Georgie disclosed to me that my biological mother’s sister lived on the outskirts of town.

Within a few days Georgie and I had contacted my aunt, who’s name was Jean, and we arranged to go and meet her.

Given my father’s negative accounts of my biological mother’s general disposition and approach to life, Jean was not what I expected at all.

Jean warmly welcomed us into her home. She had never married. She lived quite modestly. She had a stall in a local market and rescued dogs from shelters to keep her busy and motivated. She immediately struck me as someone that was incredibly kindhearted, open and honest.

We invariably got on to the subject of my mother. Jean talked about Jackie with such warmth and love. Jean told us that Jackie had somehow ended up getting in with the wrong crowd at school and ended up starting a relationship with the ringleader of that group of kids. This of course was my dad. Jean stated that she never liked my dad. However she somehow had the ability to articulate this without actually talking overtly negative about my dad. She managed to be honest and open about how she felt about my dad, but did it in a respectful manner.

We then got on to the subject of the circumstances that lead to Jackie leaving her husband and three children. With an unintentional devastating effect on me, Jean confirmed Georgie’s account of events.

“Your mum understandably never got over losing you kids.”

This invariably lead to me asking the following question, “so where is my mum now?” As I said this question out loud I became acutely aware that it had been years since I had felt comfortable referring to my real mum as mum.

Before answering my question Jean came and sat next to me and took my hand in hers. She then told me “your mum understandably never got over losing you kids. Even though she realised within a couple of years she had married the wrong person, you kids were everything to her. She loved you kids more than life itself. She was prepared to stay in an abusive relationship rather than be chucked out to the street and potentially never see you kids again. This was the life she had resigned herself to. However it all changed when Sandy arrived on the scene. Your dad, being the kind of person he was simply discarded your mum. She never got over it. She came to live with me for a couple of years and then that was it.” 

This then naturally lead to me asking the next question “what do you mean that was it?”

I felt a tightening of Jean’s grip on my hand before she answered my question. “Your mum lived with me for a couple of years. I supported her as best I could. However I was no substitute for her children. She had tried to fight for contact through the court, however she simply run out of money at some point. She was ill-advised by an attorney who was clearly more interested in taking her money than supporting her to have a relationship with her children. Your dad would have known she fought as much as she could to get to see you kids. However I would imagine he never informed you of this”

Jean then paused before continuing. “As if your mum was not going through enough, about two years after spending the last of her money on attorneys she was diagnosed with lung cancer.”

I sat there frozen in time. I was inconsolable at the realisation of the reality of my mother’s life and that of my own took hold of me. With an overwhelming amount of compassion and empathy Jean informed me that my mum was no longer with us.

Several hours later my aunt Jean handed me a bundle of letters written by my mum and addressed to me and my brothers. Maybe one day I will have the courage to share them in a forum such as this.

I would like to end my post with the following statement, “I may not have known what it was called at the time. I may not have known what was being inflicted upon my mum, my brother and myself by my very own father. However I now understand that many people label it as parental alienation. Whatever we decide to call it, it is abuse and destroys not only relationships, but ultimately lives.”


Please Note: We pledge to never make a profit or any other form of financial gain from any individuals affected by parental alienation.

We will gladly signpost individuals to true professionals within our wider network who add value, deliver results and 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 these professionals for any referrals made.

The Peace Not Pas Team

The following is an anonymous contribution from a former alienated child that approached us, wishing to share her experience of growing up with parental alienation. We have changed the individuals’ names in the following post.


I am a former alienated child and I would like to share my story for two reasons. First of all (in no particular order) I would like to raise awareness of the damage and impact parental alienation has on all those effected by it. The second reason is to give alienated parents out there hope.

“I was supposed to be a daddy’s girl wasn’t I? It just didn’t make sense to me.”

When I was aged around 11 years of age my parents separated. Thinking back it did not seem an acrimonious split and subsequent divorce. All I can remember from back then was that one day my dad was present in my life and the next thing I know, he was suddenly no longer in my life.

At the time I really didn’t understand why my dad would walk out on my mum and I. After all, I was supposed to be a daddy’s girl wasn’t I? It just didn’t make sense to me.

My older brother, who was 18 years of age at the time left shortly after my parent’s divorce and he went to go and live with my dad.

This also didn’t make sense to me. First of all my dad had left my mum and I and then my older brother, who I had always looked up to, then went on to abandon my mother and I.

“Very quickly I took on the belief that my father and brother were bad people for abandoning my mother and I.”

I don’t remember feeling sad for too long following my father and brothers’ exit from my life. However what I do remember is that these feelings of sadness were replaced very quickly with feelings of anger towards my father and brother. My mother’s version of events were that my dad wasn’t the dad he pretended to be and neither was my brother for leaving us to go and live with my father. I do remember my mother constantly commending me for staying with her. She would always reinforce the idea that I had made the decision to stay myself and she would very often commend me for “sticking with her.”

And so, very quickly I took on the belief that my father and brother were bad people for abandoning my mother and I. As I went through my adolescence I can recall not only hanging on to these feelings of anger, but I also remember them increasing in there severity. At times they were all-consuming. I would go round friends’ houses and see their fathers there with them, I would also see older siblings and particularly older brothers. On such occasions I vividly remember feeling really angry and bitter inside due to the fact that my father and brother had left me and my mother.

Looking back on this period of my life I can also recognise that I had a constant need to please my mum. I became more dependent and even overly-compliant with her strict parenting style simply because I was afraid she may abandon me too, just like my father and brother had done.

Fast forward to the age of 19; I had got myself a boyfriend named Adam, (who would go on to become my husband). In the early days of our relationship I remember Adam asking why I was not in touch with either my father or my brother. At first I was dismissive and would shut down such inquiries from Adam.

“How do you know what you have just told me is completely true?”

However as we became closer I remember Adam asking again and again about the lack of contact with my brother and father. On one of these numerous conversations I must have felt comfortable enough to disclose what ‘had happened.’ Adam’s initial response was to simply listen. By simply listening I gave him the full account of what I believed had happened within our family.

I will never forget his initial response, once I had stopped telling him. “How do you know what you have just told me is completely true?”

This comment of Adam’s did not have an immediate effect on me. I accept we talked about this subject a little longer that day, however I did not feel that my beliefs had been sufficiently challenged.

However over the next couple of months, Adam and I found ourselves talking about this more often. The more we talked about it the more I allowed myself to consider the idea that my mother’s version of events may not have been the entire truth.

Fast forward once again to almost a year later; I had met up with my father for the first time in almost nine years. I won’t bore you with the details. Suffice to say that over the course of a couple of months my father and I reconnected. It was tough at first. I felt conflicted, I felt unsure whether to trust my own father.

However at no point throughout this period of reconciliation did my father ever talk about my mother in a negative manner. He was able to speak about their marital difficulties with such candour and respect.

Several months later I went through the same process of reconciliation with my brother Anthony. This time it was much easier, compared to my re-connection with my father. I do not attribute this to any negative aspects of my relationship with my father. I feel that it was simpler as it was, after all the second act of reconciliation I had undertaken. I now realise that while reconciling with Anthony, my mind was now more receptive to having my mother’s false narrative challenged.

I now understand and accept the real version of events; my father left my mother because he was incredibly unhappy. Their marriage had been loveless for many years beforehand. My mother told my father that if he ever left her she would make sure he never saw me or Anthony ever again. My father stayed put in this loveless marriage for another couple of years. He stayed until such a time he felt Anthony and I would be old to understand what was happening and ultimately with this, he believed he would continue to have a relationship with both Anthony and I, post separation.

However my father was gravely mistaken. Following their separation my mother immediately brainwashed me against my father. She also brainwashed me against my brother. During the time of the separation Anthony knew the truth; as much as he did not take sides, he simply chose to go and live with my father.

“I now know that what my mother did to my father, my brother and I was parental alienation.”

I ultimately went through almost nine years of my formative years with an absent father and brother. I now realise my mother completely brainwashed me at the age of 11 into believing a completely false narrative regarding my father and my brother not being in my life. I now know both my father and brother attempted to be a part of my life immediately following the separation. My father sent me regular letters, however my mother simply threw them away without me knowing.

I now know that what my mother did to my father, my brother and I was parental alienation.

I currently have somewhat of a minimal relationship with my mother. I no longer trust her, but she is still my mother. I forgave her a long time ago.

Despite the lost years I now have a loving, healthy and close relationship with both my father and brother.

I will never get those lost years back. But I will always make the most of the time I have left with both my father and brother.


Please Note: We pledge to never make a profit or any other form of financial gain from any individuals affected by parental alienation.

We will gladly signpost individuals to true professionals within our wider network who add value, deliver results and 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 these professionals for any referrals made.

The CCA Support Team

So I’ve been asked, what is parental alienation?… Simple… It is my ex stopping me from being a parent.

What does she stop me doing? Everything a normal loving parent does. I’m excluded from nursery, I can’t pick my son up from there. And I’m accused of being convicted of crimes falsely when I attend parents evening.

Parental alienation isn’t a syndrome… it’s an action, a choice and ultimately one parent saying “I’m superior to you.”

I have no awareness of his medical records, she thinks its acceptable for me to pay to get these, as I hold parental responsibility… Thank you very much for that.

I know nothing about his life other than the 52 days a year I see him.

Parental alienation isn’t a syndrome… it’s an action, a choice and ultimately one parent saying “I’m superior to you.”

I’m at a loss as to how to stop it; courts ignore it and the ex refuses to engage with mediation.

The current set up of courts and family law makes this acceptable for the resident parent to alienate the non-resident parent (statistics inform us that alienators are mostly resident mothers here in the UK). There are some resident parents who don’t misuse the system, but with the CMS (Child Maintenance Service) taking around 14% of my gross salary, the courts ignoring the issue and my ex’s refusal to engage in mediation… I feel it is portrayed as she is right and I am wrong.

All I want is fair contact, awareness of my son’s life and ultimately him to see me as a parent.

I would like to give you one final example of the kind of tactics an alienating parent uses. My son has got a birthday party coming up. But according to my ex, the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) stops her confirming names of his friends to invite.  This is not an action against him but me. As she doesn’t want other parents to see the real me… A great dad to my son.

A belated show of support for all the alienated dads out there that had to endure Father’s Day. And well done to all the mothers out there that promote equal parenting.

My divorce came after my wife made it clear to me that my function was that of a sperm donor. We wanted a second child, and after having sex once (scheduled by an Excel spreadsheet for her fertility) and not falling pregnant straight away, she insisted I have my sperm checked out and wouldn’t sleep with me anymore before knowing the results. She fell pregnant soon after and it became crystal clear that she had achieved her objective and I no longer mattered.

It took a while for the real meaning of that to settle in with me, but it did eventually. It ended up, so my lawyer tells me, one of the most conflicted, protracted and expensive divorces that took place in Australia in recent times.

“Little did I know that my ex had no intention of allowing her daughters a life that included their father.”

We have two daughters, my wife’s strategy was clearly laid out; she was on a mission to inflict as much damage on me as possible, financially and by using our children for revenge. And so the divorce took five years and a quarter of a million dollars in legal fees alone. I fought hard and was awarded joint custody, my daughters would spend around a third of the year with me, at least on paper. Every additional hour with my kids I negotiated cost me tens of thousands in lawyer fees. Little did I know that my ex had no intention of allowing her daughters a life that included their father.

As soon as the court matter was finished, she employed a new strategy: In all those years I have only found one term that properly describes her; pure evil. There would be zero cooperation in anything concerning the kids. Trying to arrange holidays? No chance, she would simply not reply to my emails. Arranging regular visitation times? My emails were left unanswered for months. She would respond one day before the next calendar period started and state that she disagrees with every single day I proposed and wants everything the other way around. No reasons given. No way I could plan anything.

When the kids were handed over to me, they would be dirty, smelly, with ingrown nails, inappropriate clothing (t-shirts and sandals in winter). If I’d say anything about it, they’d be more dirty and smelly the next time around. She would say she lost the kids’ passports a few days before I wanted to go on a holiday with them.  Asking for a drop-off one hour later than usual because of a special event – only possible if I get the lawyer involved. Not once, but every single time. She would make sure I couldn’t reach my kids on their birthdays and I haven’t seen or spoken to them on their special days for seven years. It became harder and harder.

“I had no idea what was coming my way.”

Things got so ugly that I came to the conclusion everything would get better if only I allow her to return to her home country of Switzerland (she said she wasn’t happy in Australia and I would block her from leaving). I would return to my native country of Germany with my new wife and our son. We would move to a city we have no friends or family, just to be close to the girls so I would be able to see them. We lived only two hours apart. I had no idea what was coming my way.

Back in Europe, my girls started turning against me so fast I couldn’t believe it. In the first few months they still visited more or less regularly. But they started cutting me out of their lives; they didn’t tell me anything about their lives. One of my daughters was almost constantly chatting with her mother on her iPhone when she was with me. If I said that I would like to spend time with her she would scream at me “stop shouting you bully.”  Any question I would ask, like “how is school?” would be treated like stalking or bullying them. They grew ever more distant. The mother became even more evil.

One day, I was supposed to pick the kids up behind the Swiss/German border, I was stuck in a traffic jam at the border, literally 200 metres away from my daughters. I texted my ex to tell her about the delay and that I would be there in 15 to 20 minutes. Her response was “if you are not here in 5 minutes you won’t see the kids.”

She sent me forged dentist bills and asked me to pay. These are just examples, basically every single action of hers was aimed at destroying my relationship with my daughters.

“I was simply cast away.”

Then around three years ago one of my daughters accused me of hitting her, completely out of the blue. It was a complete fabrication. Her sister was standing next to her when that happened. I couldn’t believe it when she refused to back me. I was lucky that my wife was also in the room, so there was no doubt that it never happened. But I have never seen this daughter of mine since. I tried over and over to repair things between us, but there was simply no cooperation or any goodwill at all. I wrote to their mother about the incident; no reply, as usual.

A few weeks ago, my same daughter wrote to me “you were born on a highway, because that’s where most accidents happen” that she wished I was dead and she called me a child molester. Once again I asked her big sister to show some spine. And once again she refused to have my back. Once again I contacted their mother. No response. I couldn’t believe how evil she was.

“I have to protect myself. It became too much to bear.”

For me, these years were traumatic. Now, after having suffered almost 10 years of abuse I have made the difficult  decision to cut my daughters out of my life, for now. I cannot stand the abuse anymore, I have a new wife and a son who need me and I have to protect myself. It became too much to bear.

I do not want to become depressive, I want to be a loving dad, and if they wont allow me to be that dad for them, then at least I can be a good dad for my son. The only way I can make sense of what happened is that they have been exposed to evil and raised by an evil person for so long that they have themselves become evil. I know that sounds really hard, but the way they treated me, my new wife and their own brother was so horrible that it seems the only word that properly describes their behaviour.

The ten years of aggressive parental alienation by their mother has damaged them and shaped them into becoming little clones of their mother. Full of hate and resentment, out to seek revenge for me “leaving them” without the rage ever abating, a total incapacity to reflect, to empathise, to say “sorry.” All actions dominated by spite, hate and lies. Lies everywhere about everything. They would move house without telling me where. They wouldn’t even send an email for birthdays, not even for their little brother. Presents I sent were left unacknowledged.

And so I ended up having to make this decision: I have to end my relationship with them, I cannot live a happy life with them being the way they are. Should they ever change, I am happy to accept them back, but I don’t have high hopes for that.

Where evil and malice is so entrenched over such a long time, I see little hope that these young women will ever develop the ability to empathise, to see things critically, to take a step back and reflect on what’s really gone on. I might be surprised, but for the moment all I can do is to stay sane and be there for my ‘new’ family; and I can only do that without constantly being exposed to malice, hate, abuse and manipulation.

I have loved my daughters through all of it, but being called a child molester by one and the other one refusing to step in and say a single word in my defence, it was too much for me. I have to move on, and if they can’t move on from a divorce that happened 11 years ago and for which they seem to hate me more with every day that passes, then I don’t see how I can help them.

Haters will be haters, the saying goes. At least I have removed myself, my son and my wife from the torrent of hatred, lies and malice of these people who I once called my family.

Life goes on. And who knows what the future holds.

I think it is important to draw a line, for the sake of the targeted parent’s emotional survival. I am so grateful I met my new wife and started a new family, I don’t even want to think of how things would be for me if I were alone in all of this horror.

Daniel, Dad of V and V


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, 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.

The Peace Not Pas Team

[The following is an interview with an alienated parent who wishes to remain anonymous]

What is your experience of parental alienation?

I separated from my wife two years ago. She told me that if I ever left her she would make sure I never saw my kids again. She said this numerous times throughout our marriage, but I never thought for a minute she would actually attempt such a thing. At the moment I have not had any meaningful contact with my three children for almost two years.

Why is this?

Well, immediately following the separation she locked me out the house. The following day she changed the locks. She instantly became the resident parent, only by virtue of the fact she changed all the locks to the property that at the time was still co-owned by us both. I also requested that we shield the children from our separation but she refused. She also at this time refused me any contact with the children. I now know that it was at this point that she started to alienate the children against me.

What alienating tactics were used?

She started making false allegations against me. She claimed that I had stolen money from her. She also claimed that I had physically and emotionally abused her and all the children in the past. This resulted in an unnecessary and unfounded safeguarding referral being put in against me. During this time I was legally prevented from having any contact with any of my children for approximately 3-4 months. I now know that during this time she brainwashed the children against me and my entire side of the family.  She encouraged the children to write hate letters to me. She then emailed these hate letters to me.

What happened next?

Well, once I was deemed to not be a safeguarding issue my ex had already brainwashed my children against me.

How did this present itself?

By that time Cafcass were involved. They have this ‘wishes and feelings of the children’ approach. However as I have come to understand the complexities of parental alienation more, I now understand that the children were simply telling the so-called professionals what they were told to say by their mother. My children were telling Cafcass that they no longer wanted a relationship with me, because of what I had done to them all!

What happened next?

The Case Manager at the time remarkably advised me to give the children time and space. At the same time I was busy researching parental alienation. I am fortunately a mental health nurse with a professional interest in both research and psychology. So with this professional background I understand research and how to use it. And what I found in terms of evidence based approaches to assessing for and managing cases of parental alienation was very interesting?

Why was that?

Well, what I found in terms of research was in stark contrast to the current approach taken by Cafcass. The advice from the Case Manager to give the children time and space, was the complete opposite to what you should do according to the research out there. In actual fact the approach of whole system to parental alienation is flawed. And when I mean the whole system I mean Cafcass, Children’s Social Services, Judges, the current legal system, the whole lot, the whole system. Parental alienation is basically emotional abuse, but the UK Government does not officially recognise it as such.

So how do you fight a system that is flawed?

Good question. With great difficulty, that is how you fight it. It becomes something akin to a full time job. Constant emails to numerous services, regular meetings. It completely takes over your life.

Do you feel you have made any progress fighting what you call a flawed system?

Well, I’m definitely not going to give up on my kids. But I do feel that I have made progress. If I had listened to the advice of the original Case Manager, the case would now be closed and my children would be completely estranged from me, with no hope of reconciliation. I have chipped away at the system, I have got results that have prevented this case being closed down.

What is your experience and opinion of the professionals within this system?

Shocking, absolutely shocking. None of them appear to care about the job they do. They allow themselves to buy into parental stereotypes. At some point my case was under the management of two different services; Cafcass and Children’s Social Services.

Did that work to your benefit?

You would think so, but no it didn’t; absolutely not. Since a public statement by Cafcass CEO Anthony Douglas in February 2017, Cafcass do now recognise parental alienation as a form of abuse. However Cafcass are clearly not disseminating this down to their front-line staff in the context of training and/or organisational change. This was evidenced by the fact that the Case Manager at the time, informed me that although he saw evidence of parental alienation on the part of my children’s mother, he informed me he was not permitted to use the term in the case notes. In fact he was only permitted to use the term ‘alienating behaviours.’ However on the other hand Children’s Social Services do not recognise parental alienation as a form of abuse at all. So ultimately for a period of time I had two organisations co-managing my case, however with one organisation that recognises parental alienation as a form of child abuse and the other that doesn’t. It’s bonkers, absolutely bonkers!

Had you ever heard of parental alienation until it had happened to you?

No, not at all. This is now a whole new world I never knew existed. It is weird to explain, but now I do know, I find it hard to comprehend how so many people don’t know what it is. It is ultimately child abuse happening right in front of us and no government body, service etc appears to want to do anything about it.

What is your understanding of parental alienation now?

My understanding is that parental alienation is when, in most cases the resident parent, following separation will deny contact with also brainwash the children against the other, non-resident parent. The targeting parent’s aim is to destroy a previously healthy and loving relationship between the children and the targeted parent. I have also come to understand that in severe cases of parental alienation, the targeting parent will statistically present with some personality traits indicative of an un-diagnosed personality disorder.

What is your advice for anyone else effected by parental alienation?

Support, support, support. This is absolutely key to surviving this. Whether it is actually having people around you, or connecting with people online, either of those I have found an absolute life line.

In terms of connecting with people online, I was absolutely shocked by how many people there are out there effected by this. I am proud to see myself as part of an unofficial anti-parental alienation community online. As a community we all look out for each other.

What are your next steps?

Well, like I said I am not giving up. I owe it to my children. They deserve to have their father in their lives. I have a date to return to court and a member of the reconciliation team that you referred me to is currently reviewing my case notes. She is incredibly concerned with the way Cafcass have and are still managing my case. So I will return to court and carry on. Like I said before, I will not give up on my children.


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, 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.

Mental health problems continue to be a growing public health concern. The aim of the following paragraphs is to explore the current statistics associated with mental health and it’s impact on adults and children alike and also highlight mental health’s inextricable link with parental alienation.

According to the 2013 Global Burden of Disease study, the predominant mental health problem worldwide was identified as being depression, followed by anxiety, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder [1].

Depressive disorders also contribute to the burden of suicide and heart disease on mortality and disability; they both have a direct and an indirect impact on the length and quality of life [2].

Traumatic experiences were found to be associated with lone households, with households containing a lone adult under the age of 60 and households with no children having the highest rates of traumatic experience (39.2%) and PTSD (10.8%) [3]. With this statistic in mind lets consider Kielty’s 2006 study at the University of East Anglia; Kielty’s study identified that in terms of post separation child custody, 97% of residencies are given to mothers by the family court in the UK.

Suicide and Self Harm

Suicide and self-harm are not viewed as mental health problems. However they are recognised as being actions or behaviours linked to acute mental distress. According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), in 2014, a total of 6,122 suicides were recorded in the UK for people aged 10 and older. This rather tragically equates to approximately one death every two hours. Of these suicides, rather alarmingly 75.6% were male and 24.4% were female [4].

In 2014, suicide was the leading cause of death for men under 50 years of age in England and Wales, and for women aged 20–34. The demographic with the highest suicide rate was men aged 45–59 [5]. Once again, this is not at all surprising; as already stated above 97% of residencies are given to mothers. In my humble opinion, I would argue that it does not take a statistician to argue that there is a correlation between the number of residencies given to mothers and men being more at risk of suicide than women. There are also numerous theories out their that argue that men who live by more masculine ideals, are less likely to seek help, as such men view the seeking of help as a sign of weakness.

Our article The Story of a Great Man and a Great Father who Suffered at the Mercy of an Alienating Parent, illustrates the incredibly tragic toll being an alienated parent can result in.

Challenging the Stigma

Statistics inform us that people with severe mental health problems are much more likely to harm themselves than they are to harm others. In 2013, 1,876 suicides were recorded among mental health inpatients in the UK, compared to 51 homicides [6].

A recent analysis found that the rate of violence over a four-year period among those with severe mental health problems was 2.88%, compared to 0.83% in the general population. Rather than mental illness causing violence, the two were found to be connected mainly through the accumulation of other risk factors, such as substance abuse and childhood abuse/neglect [7].

Individuals with mental health problems are more likely to be victims themselves of violence than those individuals without mental health problems [8].

Children’s and Young People’s Mental Health and Abuse and Neglect

The Mental Health Foundation argues that there is considerable scope for increasing interventions that reduce the incidence of children and young people developing mental health problems [9].

Poor attachment, neglect, abuse, lack of quality stimulation, conflict and experiencing family breakdown in childhood can negatively affect future social behaviour, educational outcomes, employment status and mental and physical health [10].

A survey undertaken in 2015 of children attending CAMHS (Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services) found that family relationship problems were the single biggest presenting problem [12].

The Millennium Cohort Study informs us that children’s behavioural problems are strongly associated with the quality of their parents’ relationship [13].

A plethora of evidence on the impact of abuse during childhood has shown that it increases the risk of most mental health issues. This includes, in no particular order, PTSD, suicide, depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, OCD, phobias, substance abuse, eating disorders, and personality disorders [14].

With this paragraph in mind, it is very alarming that the emotional damage inflicted on children due to the nature of parental alienation continues to be unaddressed. For example Anthony Douglas, CEO of Cafcass publicly acknowledges parental alienation as a form of abuse. However as an organisation, Cafcass fails to disseminate this down to front line staff, in terms of training, etc. And Children’s Social Services within the UK remarkably refuse to recognise parental alienation at all as a form of abuse.

At the other end of the scale, it probably comes as no surprise to anyone that children and young people who have good personal and social relationships with family and friends have higher levels of well-being [11].

Relationships

Current available data informs us that there is a clear correlation between being happily married or in a stable relationship and physical and mental health benefits, including lower morbidity and mortality [15].

Statistics acquired  by Relate in 2014 show that more men report having no friends (11%) compared to women (7%), with men having lower satisfaction in their friends than women (73% of men rated their friendships as good or very good, compared to 81% of women) [16].

Digital Technologies

Technology has at an astounding speed, become a fundamental part of our modern day-to-day life. As such it is not surprising that people have embraced technology in seeking out advice and ways of managing their mental health. The Aviva Health Check Report conducted in 2015 showed that 63% of those surveyed in the UK utilise the internet when seeking how best to manage a condition or illness, be it physical or mental [17].

In relation to the above point we now have an Apps Download Page with links to apps that some individuals may find useful in managing their anxiety and depression.

The Financial Cost of Mental Health

According to the Chief Medical Officer’s report from 2013, it was estimated that the wider costs of mental health problems to the UK economy are £70–100 billion per year [18].

Conclusion

We have come a long way in recent years in bringing the discussion of mental health into the public domain. It is still improving, but as a psychiatric nurse I believe we can do better in normalising and discussing mental health more openly, such as we do with physical health.

Absolutely anyone can be affected by mental health issues. With regards to my own personal circumstances I am an alienated parent, a psychiatric nurse and someone that suffers from depression. And as such I can clearly see from numerous perspectives the correlation between being an alienated parent and the very high risk of experiencing mental health issues.

The discussion and recognition of mental health in the public domain has increased and improved. However there still continues to be no official recognition of parental alienation as a form of abuse, nor any kind of official support for those that are targeted by the abuser. And until such a time, all of us that are effected by parental alienation must continue fighting, while supporting one another.

“I think the saddest people always try their hardest to make people happy because they know what it’s like to feel absolutely worthless and they don’t want anyone else to feel that.” Robin Williams, 1951-2014.

btg dad


References

  1. Vos, T., Barber, RM., Bell, B., Bertozzi-Villa, A., Biryukov, S., Bolliger, I., …Murray, CJ., (2013). Global, regional, and national incidence, prevalence, and years lived with disability for 301 acute and chronic diseases and injuries in 188 countries, 1990-2013: A systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease study. The Lancet, 386(9995), 743–800.
  2. Ferrari, A.J., Charlson, F.J., Norman, R.E., Patten, S.B., Freedman, G., Murray, C.J.L., … & Whiteford, H.A. (2013). Burden of Depressive Disorders by Country, Sex, Age, and Year: Findings from the Global Burden of Disease study 2010. PLOS Medicine, 10(11).
  3. 4. Fear, N.T., Bridges, S., Hatch, S., Hawkins, V., & Wessely, S. (2016). Chapter 4: Post-traumatic stress disorder. In S.McManus, P. Bebbington, R. Jenkins, & T. Brugha (Eds.), Mental health and wellbeing in England: Adult Psychiatric
    Morbidity Survey 2014. Leeds: NHS Digital.
  4. Office of National Statistics (2016). Suicides in the United Kingdom: 2014 Registrations. Retrieved from ons.gov.uk [Accessed 18/05/18].
  5. Office of National Statistics (2016). Suicides in the United Kingdom: 2014 Registrations. Retrieved from ons.gov.uk [Accessed 18/08/18].
  6. University of Manchester. (2015). National Confidential Inquiry into Suicide and Homicide by People with Mental Illness: Annual Report 2015: England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales July 2015. Manchester: University of Manchester.
  7. Van Dorn, R., Volavka, J., & Johnson, N. (2012). Mental disorder and violence: Is there a relationship beyond substance use? Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric
    Epidemiology, 47, 487–503.
  8. Pettitt, B., Greenhead, S., Khalifeh, H., Drennan, V., Hart, T., Hogg, J., … & Moran, P. (2013). At risk, yet dismissed: The criminal victimisation of people with mental health problems. London: Victim Support.
  9. Kessler, R.C., Berglund, P., Demler, O., Jin, R., Merikangas, K.R., & Walters, E.E. (2005). Lifetime prevalence and ageof-onset distributions of DSM-IV disorders in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication
  10. Bell, R., Donkin, A., & Marmot, M. (2013). Tackling Structural and Social Issues to Reduce Inequalities in Children’s Outcome in Low and Middle Income Countries.
    Retrieved from instituteofhealthequity.org/projects/unicef-tackling-inequities-in-childrens-outcomes/fullreport-tackling-structural-and-social-issues-to-reduceinequities-in-childrens-outcomes-in-low-to-middleincome-countries.pdf [Accessed 18/05/2018].
  11. NatCen Social Research. (2013). Predicting wellbeing. London: NatCen Social Research. Retrieved from natcen.ac.uk/media/205352/predictors-of-wellbeing.pdf
    [Accessed 18/02/16].
  12. Wolpert, M., & Martin, P. (2015). THRIVE and PbR: Emerging thinking on a new organisational and payment system for CAMHS. New Savoy Partnership Conference, London, 11/02/15.
  13. Garriga, A., & Kiernan, K. (2014). Parents’ relationship quality, mother–child relations and children’s behaviour problems: Evidence from the UK Millennium Cohort Study. Working paper. University of York. Retrieved from york.ac.uk/media/spsw/documents/research-and-publications/Garriga-KiernanWP2014.pdf [Accessed 18/05/2018].
  14. Roberts, R., O’Connor, T., Dunn, J., & Golding, J. (2014). The effects of child sexual abuse in later family life: Mental health, parenting and adjustment of offspring. Child Abuse and Neglect, 28, 525–545.
  15. Holt-Lunstad, J., Birmingham, W., & Jones, B.Q. (2008). Is There Something Unique about Marriage? The Relative Impact of Marital Status, Relationship Quality, and Network Social Support on Ambulatory Blood Pressure and Mental
    Health. Annals of Behavioural Medicine, 35, 239–244.
  16. Relate. (2014). The Way We Are Now. Retrieved from relate.org.uk/sites/default/files/publication-way-we-arenow-aug2014_1.pdf [Accessed 18/05/18].
  17. Aviva. (2015). The Aviva Health Check UK Report: Autumn 2015. Retrieved from aviva.co.uk/healthcarezone/document-library/files/he/healthcheckukreport2015.pdf
    [Accessed 18/05/18].
  18. Department of Health. (2014). Annual Report of the Chief Medical Officer 2013: Public Mental Health Priorities: Investing in the Evidence. Retrieved from gov.
    uk/government/publications/chief-medical-officer-cmoannual-report-public-mental-health [Accessed 18/05/18].

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.

The Peace Not Pas Team

In this post I would like to explore the subjects of truth, mental health, suicide, music and of course parental alienation.
a
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.
a
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.
a
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.
a
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.
a
I would like to start by exploring the concept of truth.
a
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.
a
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…
a
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.
a
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.
a
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.
a
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.
a
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.
a
See our heart-wrenching post The Story of a Great Man and a Great Father who Suffered at the Mercy of an Alienating Parent. This article highlights the tragic consequences that can result from parental alienation and it’s impact on the mental health of the targeted parent.

“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.

Why?

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.

btg dad


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.

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.

[The following is written by an anonymous contributor]


Easter Sunday, April 22nd, 1973.

I saw my father for the very last time, when I was aged three.

He travelled down to South Jersey to see me. I heard him knock on the door. My mother shushed me to my bedroom.

I peeped through my Mickey Mouse curtains; saw my beautiful Aunt Debbie’s red ’67 Mustang parked in front of our apartment.

My daddy’s knocks grew louder… I heard him say my mother’s name… Begging her to please let him in to see me. He began to sob… The knocking stopped and standing on my tiptoes, I watched him get in the car and drive away. I never saw him as a child again.

My little heart shattered and my childhood ended on that day. I never had the chance to call him ‘Daddy’ again… Never held his hand, visited the zoo or rode in a canoe with him again. No walks on the beach… No kisses goodnight.

I found him 34 years later.

408 months; 12,410 days; 297,840 hours; 17,870,400 minutes.

He is too wounded I believe, to have a relationship with me in the present. He is too broken and bitter from the lies of the past.

My wise attorney once said, “nine months is an eternity in the life of a child.”

I spent my childhood in a form of emotional and physical purgatory.

And yet still, I love them both.

I haven’t seen either my mom or dad in over a decade now.

The alienated child, if she survives, lives in exile from the parents she loves.

Why? How could this be?

Because it is what they both taught me to do.

But don’t feel sad for me; I have built a beautiful life filled with music, laughter, teaching, children and a nuclear family unit that is living and loyal.

My purpose and mission in life, I believe, is to break the cycle of abuse… To bear witness to its existence.

And to be the voice of every child who has none.


Please Note: We pledge to never make a profit or any other form of financial gain from any individuals affected by parental alienation.

We will gladly signpost individuals to true professionals within our wider network who add value, deliver results and 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 these professionals for any referrals made.

The Peace Not Pas Team