Agony Aunts and PAS

I wrote to Denise Robertson of the ITV This Morning programme.  I wrote to tell her of my situation and because I wanted to raise awareness about PAS.  I got a reply from one of the counsellors that work on Denise’s behalf.  She said that she felt for me and saw that I had a need to ‘be heard’  but she also said that she was sceptical of PAS and that she didn’t like labelling.  I replied back in a fit of pique that it really doesn’t matter what you call this set of behaviours, there are many people that get in touch with me and tell me that they are so relieved to find out that what they have been going through has been recognised and understood, that their experiences can be validated and that we, the alienated parent, are not going insane.

The reply I received also prompted me into making a decision about court.  I have been passive in my approach to what has been happening to me and Thomas in part because I am afraid of what it opens up in my life.  My partner calls it coming to the boil.  I have got to this place on many occasions and backed down simply out of fear and lack of belief in myself.  And, I am heartily sick of my self image as seen through the bad alienated parent that must have done something to deserve the situation I find myself in, I have decided that it is time to look at myself differently, I know that I deserve to have my son in my life what ever his father says.

I have been in touch with my solicitor, we talked about the next steps and the likely cost of taking this case back to court.  What I have had to weigh up in my mind is whether this action will actually make any difference.  My worry is that if Thomas has been so alienated and says he does not want or is to frightened to have contact with me.  What I need to find out is that if Thomas says he does not want to see me, will the judge/court have to uphold this point of view or will it be challenged by the court and surely the judge will wonder how it got to this stage.  It does feel like I am taking an expensive gamble on court proceedings to find out that I can’t see my son because his father has completed the act of alienation.

I have to face this situation now and go through it.  I know it will not be easy and all I can do now is find the courage to face my fear.

Being an alienated parent is painful for other family members too!

It has been a tough ‘full of feelings’ week.  I sent Thomas a letter with an sae and not surprisingly, heard nothing.  I managed to talk to the school finally and although they promised to send and then did send Thomas’s report, the head of year was clear that other than enquiring if there was any reason why he should not send this information, he was not going to get into any conversations about our situation. That feels very hard to me, I want the school to know that I exist and that I care.

By all accounts Thomas seems to be doing well in his first 6 months of secondary school and I assume that not being in the line of conflict means that some of the struggle goes out of sight.  If I am honest, it hurts a little.  My partner reminded me of the story about King Soloman. Two women were arguing over mothering a child.  The King said then I shall cut the child in half and the real mother said no, let her have the child.  This is the place that I have come from.  I could no longer see Thomas being torn apart and living with the consequences is so tough.

With no contact with Thomas what so ever, I manage the feelings each day and some days I don’t manage them and it feels so hard.  I spoke to my daughter during the week and it ended up in an argument, she was telling me that I needed to get on with my life and that if I were not willing to go to Thomas’s father and beg, then I had not done everything I could to see Thomas.  I was really angry, I have been trying so hard to just get on with my life and here was my daughter telling me that she thought I was stuck.

Of course, ultimately the aim of the parent doing the alienating is to do as much destruction into the absent parents life by proxy.  It is true that we live with the spectre of Thomas’s father in our lives every time we talk of Thomas  and because he is responsible for taking my son out of my life and denying Thomas his mother, brothers and sister.  Whatever I do, I cannot stop feeling something about that, it is a wound inflicted by a psychopath who can’t help what he does.  Damn right I am angry!!!!!

I do want to try and limit the damage that this man does in our lives and in order to do that, I have to find my way through or a better way to be with, all these feeling, both my own and other peoples.  I decided today that it is time to go public with some of this.  I am going to contact some of the chat shows that tackle social problems.  I am going to write to some of the agony aunts and raise some awareness of the symptoms of parental alienation and how that plays out in people’s lives.  I am also going to try sending a list of those symptoms and a covering letter to the exec producer of Eastenders and suggest they do a storyline where the brain washing of a child by a vindictive parent splits the family and ends in alienation, it will be powerful stuff in a tv soap because it is powerful stuff in reality.

In some ways even the most perfect of parents,  undermine the other parent at times.  I would like people to know what happens what more severe undermining starts to set up in the children.  When these child/ren are exposed to something that leaves them feeling they may have to choose between parents (even when they are still together) that they need to align themselves with one or the other parent.  Once that happens a child soon knows what they need to do in order to stay safe.

I have worked hard at looking at my feelings this week and I have cried a lot, all more healing than letting them stew inside me.  I apologised to my lovely daughter who finds it hard to deal with her mum being down.  I told her that even though we argued, I still love her even if she does think her mum is a miserable cow.