Tuesday, 5 February 2019

What is Parent Alienation?

It’s my belief that everyone in society is affected by or has been affected by some form of abuse.   Sorting it out is not an easy task, either on a personal level or on a wider societal level.  It’s work that I’m motivated to engage in.  The reason I’m writing my book on Understanding Abuse is that I believe the solutions start with understanding and education on the patterns of abuse and how to get away from it.

Today I want to give you an overview on Parent Alienation.

Parent alienation is a form of child abuse that goes largely unreported and under-discussed.  It’s swept under the carpet, although that’s not clear why.  Maybe because it’s so scary how common it is or because the pathological parent is too difficult to contain or control.  Those can’t be reasons not to speak up about it and get some proper systems in place to tackle it.

I can’t give you statistics on its prevalence in the UK because of the aforementioned lack of reporting.  It’s barely recognised by the UK Government and rarely discussed in Parliament.  But there are online groups with thousands of people affected by it (and the effects are very serious), all reporting the same behavioural patterns, the same troubles, and those people are speaking up and getting their voices heard.  CAFCASS admit there is a lot of work to do but thankfully they are getting on board with its seriousness.

The topic of Parent Alienation did get an airing on the BBC yesterday which is amazing news.
Millions of children are growing up estranged from one of their parents because of the deliberate brainwashing and destruction of the child-parent bond by the other parent.  The reasons vary, and the only solutions that can work are:

2.       Get the pathological parent to a psychotherapist to sort out what on earth is going on in their heads to cause this behaviour

Number 1 is a problem because the law is wishy washy and likes separated parents to play nicely and pretend to be friends.  The law regularly perpetuates the cycle of abuse by sending children back to pathological parents and patronising the targeted parent, because child abuse was not detected (and how could it be when a psychological assessment is so rarely ordered?)

An underpaid and overworked Social Worker with little training is simply not equipped to detect the levels of underhanded covert abuse of the pathological parent.  As with everything nowadays, there’s this obsession with structures and systems to the point where people even in their professions, are delivered of the need to actually use their human emotion and judgement.  Killing human impulse cannot be effective.  Any fool ought to be able to see that taking a pathetic tick box and overly-structured systems of pointless paperwork to detect and resolve deeply ingrained embedded pathological abuse is not fit for purpose.  But why isn’t anyone doing anything about it?  It's too easy for agencies to pass the buck between each other and ultimately do nothing.

The targeted parent is told they know nothing by the lawyers, when they are precisely the ones with all the knowledge.  They are the ones we should be listening to, not doing more victim blaming.  We have a system that actively disregards the number 1 rule of solving abuse which is remove the victim from the source of abuse.  Stuck in this system, you can’t get your child away.

Number 2 is a problem because the pathological parent displays behaviour that is always right, outrageously difficult, manipulative, deceitful and is the least likely person to ever get near a psychotherapist’s couch.  (Sadly, given that they need it most.)  Threatening to break down their ego structures is like a threat on their life.  They will simply up their game, step up their abuse and step up their false allegations.  Anything to stop them looking at whatever issues lie inside them that need resolving.

There’s a misconception of what causes a parent to behave in this way.  Each person has developed their pathology their own way throughout the course of their own lives.  Thus, only they can unpick it – and let’s be honest, that could take years.  Meanwhile, the child deserves to be removed from psychological and emotional harm and deserves to have a chance at a healthy functioning relationship with the non-pathological parent.  I am not advocating that the child be removed permanently from the pathological parent - but that emotional health must be restored before that relationship can be functional.

There are misconceptions around what causes the pathological parent to act out in this way and abuse their own child.  All parents who have been the targeted or erased parent will have attachment to their own situation, whether it seems to be motivated by financial gain or an extension of Intimate Partner Violence, perhaps only a psychologist could truly say.

The epidemic of parent alienation is a massive problem for society: it is abuse on a huge scale from childhood.  IT AFFECTS EVERYONE – those children who have grown up in healthy functioning families will soon become young adults and take their pick of future partners from the children who have been alienated from their primary care givers, with Mum or Dad attempting to erase the other.

The systems are currently not fit for purpose in the UK and US.  I perceive both a lack of psychological and spiritual understanding of the patterns of behaviour.

Additionally, the people who could actually take action are those in the legal system, however, since they stand to gain financially from the misery and long drawn out court proceedings that ensue from cases like these, there is little motivation for them to work to resolve it.

The people who can take up the mantle here are those who have been affected and managed to come out the other side.  For many targeted parents, sadly “the other side” includes a life where they may be estranged from their own child or children.  I sympathise with and applaud all of the erased and targeted parents who have been affected by this horrendous abuse on both them and their children or grandchildren.  Many of them are working for a change in the system so that others do not go through what they have suffered.

There is so much work to do.