We are coming up to Christmas. In London the lights are twinkling all around us and the music floating out of the shop doorways reminds me of my own childhood christmases (who would have thought that the pop songs of the 1970’s would be so long lasting).

For all families everywhere, wall to wall nostalgia and cosiness is being pumped out in a powerful marketing strategy to get you to buy stuff.  Everywhere you look, pictures of someone driving home for Christmas are persuading us that anyone who doesn’t have someone to see or somewhere to go this year is deficient or different or downright sad.

Christmas has become an annual shopping cum pretend festival of closeness and care, which from the inside stuns the brain and dulls the senses and from the outside makes some of those who are suffering the absence of a child still living, feel the injustice so keenly that for some it is too much to bear.

This year as in all other years in our household we will light candles for the people missing in our lives, those who have died and those who are still living and we will wish peace and love to everyone else who is doing the same.

My wish for all families who experience the loss of a child still living is that they will live to see another year and in that year they will see how much change is coming in the world for children and families of divorce and separation.

2018 was a big year of change.  2019 promises to be even bigger.

As we begin the run up to the most difficult time of year, know that you are not alone, that there are so many others around the world (including the 230,000 people who read this blog this year) who are seeking change in the world and that significant changes in awareness of the problem of parental alienation are already happening.

Keep your eyes on your own health and wellbeing.  Never forget that without you your children cannot find a path home or a future in which the use of splitting and estranging the self from others does not feature.  Remind yourself daily that you deserve to live and live well and let yourself laugh and find some kind of peace inside of your soul.

You are your child’s best hope for a healthy future.  I know how important you are because I watch children who are reunited with the parent they were forced to reject, grow and glow their way back to healthy and happiness when the splitting stops.  Never let anyone tell you anything different.

Do not let therapists or social workers or unaware people tell you anything different.  Do not submit yourself to the madness of unaware practitioners.  This year I have worked with a smaller group of children because I have been resting but each and every one of the children I have reunited with a parent this year has shown me the same thing, love never dies, when proximity to a parent is achieved whether that be through spontaneous reunification or forced through the court, love wakes up again and flows.

My top tips for surviving 2019?

  • Don’t fall for the hyperbole of internet experts.
  • Stay away from online forums in which self taught armchair psychologists dispense advice as if they are Freud or Jung, these people are not helping you they are defending their own wounds and listening to them will only lead you into places which belong to them not you.
  • Become an informed consumer, read, learn, observe and maintain your critical thinking skills.
  • If something sounds too good to be true it probably is – no-one in this field has a 100% record of success (including me).
  • Love yourself, appreciate yourself, give yourself the blessing of self care.
  • Be interested in the world around you, leave the world of parental alienation aside for the biggest part of everyday and feed your curiosity about what else is happening.
  • Find people who sustain you, interest you and excite you and spend more time with them.
  • Send love to your children in your mind everyday.  Write to them regularly.
  • Fill up the space which is excoriated by the pain, with love and interest in the world around you.
  • Give, share and celebrate your togetherness with the people you can be with, that is a protection against sadness and bitterness and loss which is sustainable and which will sustain you.
  • Do something physical every single day, exercise is good for every part of your self and soul.
  • Find ways to sleep well as often as possible, sleep routines, calming music, lavender sprays, loving meditations all help.
  • Let go and let a higher power than you lead the way.

As we move closer to the most difficult time of year know that you are not alone.