10. We know what it’s like to go through custody battles, and we don’t want to seal our kids to that fate by marrying the wrong person.
This past week I have been struggling about blogging my life. One of my kids says she hates reading about her family here… I know it hurts her and I know she probablly feels compelled to read anyway.
I feel I must continue blogging here because I run across so many people on a daily basis facing choices I once made; facing outcomes that might hurt all the people they love, and I think my experiences might help them avoid mistakes that can’t be undone mistakes known by experts in PAS & High Conflict Divorces (HCD) shown, known and proven to cause serious, sometimes PERMANENT, psychological trauma to kids and parents in high conflict divorce cases (HCD}.
If you’ve been reading here before then you know that I feel that sometimes a parent isn’t alienating the child/ren on purpose; sometimes they are just so full of pain over the break-up they can’t bring themselves to be respectful… Talking about the other parent in a positive light is actually impossible when one is hurting so badly… and alienation can occur subconsciously. However, once a parent understands that their behavior, comments, and preventing contact so that normal healthy parent/child relationships can continue to exist, is harming not just their ex, but also damaging the children, well then we move to a different level. We may be leaving kids in the care of a cruel and possibly dangerous person… One who doesn’t care about the child’s self esteem, or who places their own feelings above those others. This is the person who should face sanctions, possibly criminal charges for child abuse. That is EXACTLY what this behavior is; Child Abuse.
Signs of parental alienation include:
- Bad-mouthing the other parent to the children
- Limiting contact
- Erasing the parent from the children’s lives
- Forcing the children to reject the other parent
- Forcing the children to choose sides
- Creating the impression the other parent is dangerous (yes I just said the alternator is the dangerous one…)
- Belittling comments to the other parent in front of the children
- Calling the children to testify against the other parent
- Convincing the children the other parent is creating financial hardship on the family
- Spreading rumors and lies to community members which make it difficult, if not impossible, for the other parent to remain within the family’s previous shared community.
- Making criminal allegations to law enforcement causing legal issues and sometimes incarceration when there is no validity to the charges; or the charges emanate from legal activity prior to divorce or separation.
My son believes that I stole from his father, he says he was shown proof. I have asked to see this proof to no avail. I’m left to believe either it doesn’t exist, or may be easily refuted once I can see what was shown to him. Proving a negative is almost impossible. However making sense of documents, providing legitimate reasons specific papers exist, is quite simple. Showing a kid some stock trades or line item purchases without giving background, or dates, (perhaps a married couple decision to make a purchase, now being twisted into a theft by the outsider) whatever the case may be, if their was a CRIME COMMITTED then the District Attorney would file charges, a criminal trial would ensue, and the truth would come out because unlike family court, criminal court has due process and burdens of proof to satisfy. How is a child supposed to have the critical thinking skills required to question legitimacy of these types of accusations? S/he can’t s/he just believes it or not.
MY HIGHEST CRIME:
ONE DAY while I was still married I did something out of anger that I knew was wrong. I charged 100 pizzas to his card and had them delivered to his former workplace with a nice greeting. $500. is no felony. People enjoyed it and I felt a little less angry that day.
Yup I did that.
Losing A Parent is Childhood Trauma
The popular press has reported many stories about adults who suddenly remember having been abused as children. Some media reports have emphasized the unusual circumstances or content of such recovered memories while other reports have declared that the “recovery” of memories of abuse is false for a variety of reasons. Little in the press, however, has dealt with the science relating to memories of childhood trauma.
is working on life affecting issues arising from trauma exposure of many origins. According to their research memories can not only be false, but they can be planted by others!
Q: Are Recovered Memories Always Accurate?
Scientists believe that recovered memories – including recovered memories of childhood trauma – are not always accurate. When people remember childhood trauma and later say their memory was wrong, there is no way to know which memory was accurate – the one that claims the trauma happened or the one that claims it did not.
Q: How Might False Memories Develop?
A great deal of laboratory research involving normal people in everyday situations demonstrates that memory is not perfect. Evidence shows that memory can be influenced by other people and situations; that people can make up stories to fill in memory gaps, and that people can be persuaded to believe they heard, saw or experienced events that did not really happen. Studies also reveal that people who have inaccurate memories can strongly believe they are true.
Q: Is it Possible to Forget Childhood Trauma?
People forget names, dates, faces and even entire events all the time. But is it possible to forget terrible experiences such as being raped? Or beaten? The answer is yes – under certain circumstances. For more than a hundred years, doctors, scientists and other observers have reported the connection between trauma and forgetting. But only in the past 10 years have scientific studies demonstrated a connection between childhood trauma and amnesia.
Most scientists agree that memories from infancy and early childhood – under the age of two or three – are unlikely to be remembered. Research shows that many adults who remember being sexually abused as children experienced a period when they did not remember the abuse. Scientists also have studied child victims at the time of a documented traumatic event, such as sexual abuse, and then measured how often the victims forget these events as they become adults. They discovered that some people do forget the traumatic experiences they had in childhood, even though it was established fact that the traumatic events occurred.
Q: What Makes People Remember a Traumatic Event after Such a Long Delay?
At the time of a traumatic event, the mind makes many associations with the feelings, sights, sounds, smells, taste and touch connected with the trauma. Later, similar sensations may trigger a memory of the event. While some people first remember past traumatic events during therapy, most people begin having traumatic memories out side therapy.
A variety of experiences can trigger the recall. Reading stories about other people’s trauma, watching television programs that depict traumatic events similar to the viewer’s past ex perience, experiencing a disturbing event in the present, or sitting down with family and reminiscing about a terrible shared episode – for some people, these kinds of experiences can open the floodgates of frightful and horrible memories.
CALLING All Women Whose Kids Were Taken Away & Given to Fathers: MainStreamMedia (MSM) Is Listening!
Many National Mainstream Media Investigative Journalists, both TV and print, have recently contacted Cindy Dumas, Director of The Women’s Coalition, about the epidemic of children taken from women and given to fathers, many of whom are physically or sexually abusive.
MSM wants to know the extent of the crisis so this social media event has been set up for all women to get their voices heard. Editors, reporters and producers will be reading the posts and comments so please let them know how this has negatively impacted your life!
There are three ways you can participate:
1. Join the event and post about your case.
2. Comment, Like and SHARE posts
3. Send an email to
with a one page or less summary of your case. Put MSM in the subject line. [TWC will keep name confidential if it is requested.]
NOTE: It can be very brief if you’re short on time, something like:
“I am my children’s primary bond, but they were taken away from me when they were 8 and 10 and sole custody was given to the father who was abusive to them. I have been restricted to supervised visits and have been bankrupted fighting for them. We have been destroyed by the system.”
If you sent one for the UN Complaint, you can use that summary.
If you want anonymity TWC will post it for you.
Use a photo for more impact.
WHO should participate: Any woman who was the primary nurturer of her child(ren) and lost primary custody to a father (whether he was abusive or not)–even if joint custody was awarded–without a fair hearing.
NOTE: One journalist is especially interested in Massachusetts cases and two are especially interested in cases where the mothers went into hiding.
ONE PAGE SUMMARY (optional):
• You were/are the primary nurturing parent
• How many children were taken
• What false accusations were used
• What kind of visitation you got, if any
• How long you went without seeing your kids
• What kind of abuse was involved, if any
• Whether your evidence was covered up or disregarded
• Whether you were coerced into silence; by whom
• Which officials involved: DA’s, law enforcement, social services, family court officials, psychologists, therapists, etc. (names optional);
• Whether you/your kids suffered trauma symptoms
• Whether you were financially devastated
• Whether your career was damaged or destroyed
• How you feel about what was done to you and your children
Please SHARE this event so MSM is deluged with cases!!
(bloggers opinion, this should be an issue of injustice regardless of sex)
Source: The Missing Years
Alienation is a cruel experience because it removes from a child or young person the opportunity to engage with all of the aspects of people who love them in ways that enable them to accept that people can do good and bad things. It causes children and young people to adopt coping mechanisms of cutting out or running off, of avoidance of conflict and of heightened self righteousness in the wrong place at the wrong time. In the brain of the child, the critical firing of neurons and synapses fails to take place and the opportunity to build conflict resolution skills, perspective and a strong sense of self is lost. The false self which emerges through the missing years when a child is alienated is a ghost like persona, fragile and uncertain, masking fears and anxieties and a sense of self which is both over inflated and crumbling all at the same time. What happens to children and young people who are pushed into an alienation reaction is that so much more is lost than the relationship with a once loved parent. That is why prevention of this harm done to children is so essential, those missing years steal more than love from a parent, they steal the very chance a child has to build a normal and secure sense of self.
I work with children who are being alienated, who are alienated and who are struggling to recover from alienation. I meet them almost daily in my work and I understand that what they are experiencing is a complex trauma which is deeply hidden from the outside world. So well hidden in fact that most of the children I work with do not know it is there and most of them would tell me and anyone else who asks them that they do not need help thank you very much, apart from help in removing the target of their hatred from their lives. Work in such circumstances is counter intuitive, it is against the grain of what we are taught in our society and what we believe about children. A child’s decision to eradicate a parent is often accepted on the basis that the parent must have done something bad or that the child needs to be protected from conflict. If we only knew what we were condemning children to when we allow this to happen, many more of us would work harder, strive longer and find more creative ways of keeping children engaged with the parent they have ‘chosen’ to be rid of in their lives.
There is increasing evidence which demonstrates that the underlying problems which arise as a result of rejecting a parent, leaves the child carrying a burden which grows heavier as they get older. Children who are allowed to reject a parent and pretend that the parent no longer exists, fail to learn many soft skills that are essential in life if one is to navigate the relational world successfully. Children who have been alienated grow up believing that only their perspective on the world is the true reality and that avoiding people who do not share their world view is a normal way to behave. As young people grow, those missing years of relationship with a parent means that they do not have the opportunity to learn that parents are people who provide boundaries and they miss the chance to respond normally to the differences which are eventually expressed between parents and their children on the road through to adulthood. This is why alienated children will eventually struggle. The vital relationships with provide them with the opportunity for healthy brain development which in turn gives them sound relational skills and capacity have been cut out of their lives. If only those working with families in these circumstances knew the extent of the damage being inflicted when a child’s ‘decision’ to reject a parent after separation is being upheld.
Recovery from being alienated is about being able to learn that people can behave in ways which are good and bad and that those behaviours do not need to trigger a defence mechanism of believing that bad behaviour means a person is wholly bad. This is an extraordinary task to achieve if the capacity of the brain is limited because a person has been using the coping mechanism of psychological splitting. There is evidence that people with personality disorders for example, do not have a well developed corpus callosum. This is a bridge which divides the two hemispheres of the brain and which is made up of a bundle of fibres which enable communication between the two sides of the brain. A well developed bridge assists with a balanced use of the brain, in studies however, people withborderline personality disorder are seen as having a less developed corpus callosum, as are those with high conflict personalities who lack the relational skills to see other people’s perspectives.
All of this evidence is convincing us at the Family Separation Clinic that what we see in children and young people who are attempting to reject or resist contact with a parent after separation are behaviours which will, if they are upheld, lead to longer term problems for the children concerned. Problems which will not be readily resolved because the missing years of that parental relationship and the lack of resolution of the child’s efforts to utilise a coping mechanism which is harmful, leads to a lasting gap in the child’s capacity to achieve positive and healthy brain function. Fortunately we also know that about the plasticity of the brain and its capacity to continue to grow and change. Which means that whilst those missing years can never be regained, there is a possibility for repair and recovery should the young person be enabled to resolve the splitting which prevents reconnection to the lost loved one.
Missing years, missing knowledge, missing opportunities to prevent harm being done to children in the critical years of their lives. Isn’t it time that someone noticed that the gap which opens up between parents after separation causes children to have to deal with something more than conflict?
This is another Huffington Post Blog for W/C February 15 2016
Click above for Castles Family Law Blog. It has a lot of good articles, I highly recommend it.