I had asked someone I follow on Twitter (@daddydoesfight) to talk about his experience with Parental Alienation. I follow this account on Twitter and am always struck by the awfulness of the experiences people like him talk about. Below is what he wrote about his personal experience. Some edits have been made for clarity but the whole text is included.
First off parental alienation gets called a syndrome sometimes. I see it more as a disease like a cancer; it slowly kills something or someone inside. It’s sometimes fast, sometimes slow, and sometimes curable and sometimes it’s not.
My story is sad…. but I’m not after sympathy as I’ve heard worse. I’ve contemplated ending my life and thought through this…. but heard of dads/mums who have. I’ve sorted my life out now and got a partner who’s made me realize I’m not the problem and I’m deeply in love with her.
So, April 2016 I’ve decided to end a marriage that was destined to be perfect, or at least we hoped. We struggled to conceive for 3 years and went through vast horrible treatment, but overcame this. In ending the marriage I left a home we built, wife who did love me and a child. I was ready to walk away as new the marriage was over and wanted to be happy again for the sake of the child.
However, my ex wasn’t ready; she wanted to try and work and unfortunately used our child as bargaining power. I saw the child periodically in the early days of separation and in the coming weeks identified that the time spent with the child was being used to cause arguments and case build.
From May to august I did not have contact as refused by the mother. Grandparents were stopped contact and uncles/aunts/cousins were cut out the child’s life.
I battled through contact centers, courts, and police…. never once being arrested or convicted for allegations.
After getting a court order in place for fair (ish) contact, my ex stopped contact again 3 months later with further allegations.
Allegations which were all proven by the court to be lies
I raised my concerns about parental alienation and the impact on this child, but only once was I listened during an initial hearing at court. The next hearing I had different judges which made the situation a bit more complicated.
I have a court order now. 4 days every 28 my child gets to see me. 2 nights every 28 the child stays.
The child is two… I’m a parent who has loved and cared for both mother and child. And due to parental alienation I’ll get 7% of the time until the child is 18 years old. I have to pay 14% of my gross salary to the mother for the maintenance.
So what is parental alienation? I believe it is child alienation as the child suffers. My terminology is “the use of the systems rules to prevent meaningful contact between a parent and a child” it is also “the deliberate act to prevent contact of a child with extended families”.
Meaningful contact is, unfortunately, different case by case and it has the possibility to be misunderstood.
Below are examples I’ve experienced:
· Contact stopped for no supportive reason. No evidence and no details provided to children’s services or the courts. Yet mother is unpunished.
· Contact being controlled by another parent by forcing into contact centers and preventing contact via Skype for extended family.
· Being unable to provide food and drink for child, to change a child or take pictures when being supervised in a contact center. Stopping one parent providing simple basic needs and making other appear superior.
· Refusing contact on important life time events, 1st birthday, walking, talking, Father’s Day and Christmas.
· Refusing holidays with a parent post court order.
· Not being kept informed of key health issues.
· Unable to be involved in nursery or school projects. Including cutting out one side of family tree.
I mentioned earlier about PA being like cancer. So how has this impacted my child?
- The child will see mother as “the main care giver” not because I can’t, because she would let me. The child will believe that she is more important than the other parent.
- The child’s contact with me and my family is restricted to 7% of his life. This means his bonds will be closer to the other half of the family.
- The next 16 years will be a battle to be involved in the schooling and education.
- Holidays will be few and far between to just suffice a court order and not consider the child’s needs.
- If my relationship leads to a partner and we co-habit then her child will see me more than my own.
All the above will confuse and cause mental health issues down the line unless parenting together.
My blog is called parenting takes two. We must do this to raise a stable child.
In summary parental alienation is not healthy for the child, alienated parent or alienated extended family. If allowed to fester it can take lives.
I plan to blog next week about my parents and the impact on their lives.
Thank you for reading my story.