Parental Alienation Needs to be Stamped Out and This is Why
The definition of Parental Alienation is:
“The process, and the result, of the psychological manipulation of a child into showing unwarranted fear, disrespect or hostility towards a parent or other family members. It is a distinctive and widespread form of psychological abuse and family violence – towards both the child and the rejected family members – that occurs almost exclusively in association with family separation or divorce. Most commonly, the primary cause is a parent wishing to exclude another parent from the life of their child, or other family members or friends. It often leads to the long-term, or even permanent, estrangement of a child from one parent and other family members and results in significantly increased risks of both mental and physical illness for children”.
When I first split up with my ex-husband, our son was five years old. His friends and colleagues told him I probably “just needed a break” and that eventually we would patch things up again. I had hoped we would remain friends and work together to jointly raise our son. And at first, that’s how it was. There was zero animosity between us and we happily transferred him back and forth between our two homes with no drama.
Then…I met another man (who went on to become my husband). And everything changed. When it was my ex’s turn to drop off our son, I would be met with a screaming, hysterical child in the back seat of his car who refused to get out and would take hours to calm down. Then I started receiving phone calls in the middle of the night with odd accusations like; our son was covered in mosquito bites and didn’t I have any fly wire on my windows (I did). Or, he’d taken him to the hospital because his arm had been stretched when my new partner picked him up off the ground. Of course when queried he couldn’t even tell me the name of the imaginary doctor he supposedly took him to.
It got worse from there. He told my partner he had me followed by a private detective and that I’d had affairs with everyone under the sun, including my current boss. In short, he did every single thing he could think of to split up my new relationship and cause me stress, anxiety and hurt in the relationship between me and my son, even briefly doing a complete disappearing act interstate with him.
The only thing that turned my life back to normal was when HE acquired a new partner, had children with her and suddenly all the drama ended.
And I wish this was an unusual story but sadly it is not.
My friend Brian and his 11 year old son are currently the victims of parental alienation – he is one of the sweetest, nicest, kindest men I have ever known who absolutely adores his son but his wife has been refusing him access for over a year now. He has had to sell his house to finance the court costs.
My friend Lisa and her son are currently the victims of parental alienation – her ex husband has turned her son against her and one day after the usual weekend access visit to his father, he refused to return. That was two years ago and she is still fighting the legal system. Meanwhile her ex husband’s new wife continually posts photos of “her new son” on Facebook adding to her hurt and distress. She is a broken woman from who she once was.
Another friend Rick – pillar of the community and his two children are victims of parental alienation. One of the best fathers I’ve ever had the privilege of knowing who was already the primary carer of his two children; taking them to and from school, gymnastics, swimming lessons and motocross, in addition to taking them on solo camping trips. He separated from his long term partner a year ago. Recently she took out a restraining order on him (because you can do that with zero proof of any evidence that he is any sort of threat to her or the kids) and now he has been unable to see them, call them or even meet with them.
And just last week he learned that his daughter, in a desperate attempt to get in touch with him, had her mother mail him a letter inviting him to a father’s day event at her school. She mailed it the DAY of the event so not only did he not learn about it and attend, their daughter would have, sadly sat there on her own, wondering why he didn’t come.
And that is just the tip of the iceberg. These are just a few of the people I know that are going through it, let alone the tens of thousands I don’t.
All of these examples are blatant child abuse. There are no other words for it.
And any parent found guilty of it should have their custody rights stripped away until they pull their heads out of their arses and realise that what they’re doing isn’t just harming their ex partner, it is causing irreparable damage to their child or children.