On the eve of a New Decade I want to share with you this beautiful piece which has just been sent to me by someone I worked with some time ago and a comment, left for me on social media by someone I have supported through the horror of parental alienation until he reached the other side.
Both of these pieces are written to help others, both are utterly stunning in their honesty, integrity and absolute intention to expose this inhuman reality that too many families are forced to endure.
For both of these authors, one a mother and one a father, their children’s future is strengthened, brightened and protected by the work they have done to keep well and safe through this nightmare.
No-one should have to live through this. Children and their families should not have to suffer this awful problem and the lack of support that goes with it.
As we go into 2020 I know that the world will know about this child abuse scandal which has been hiding in plain sight for over fifty years by the time we reach the end of it.
And help will be available around the world for the children and their families who suffer it.
We keep on.
For all those who suffer, for everyone who doubts that change will come. It will.
Keep yourself, your heart and the love alive into this new decade and beyond.
Courage comes from the heart
Definition: Strength in the face of pain or grief
Origins: Middle English denoting ‘the heart’ from old French
I was in the midst of a years-long, exhausting parental alienation battle against my ex-partner – a personality-disordered man hell-bent on destroying my relationship with my child. One of my closest friends wished me ‘courage’ – explaining how the word was of French derivation, related to the heart (la coeur).
Looking back from my ‘better place’ today, I can fully appreciate the true sentiment of the word ‘courage’ and how finding this quality from deep within is an essential resource for mothers feeling lost in the wilderness of alienation.
It was ‘courage’ – a primal, maternal heart-driven force – that empowered me to fearlessly do and say things that I never would have dreamed possible of myself.
Courage to challenge the overwhelmingly unfamiliar, slow, bureaucratic system of Family Law and Children’s Agencies.
Courage to argue against the parties around me (including my own solicitor) asking, “What did you do to make your child never want to see you again?”.
Courage to defend myself against the cruel lies perpetuated about me in court by the QCs of both my ex-partner and my child.
Courage to self-represent in court when the money ran out.
Courage to withstand the impact of my child being removed from their father’s care – and then angrily choosing to remain in foster care. (Against the Judge’s order of interim foster care with eventual transfer to residence with me.)
Courage to keep battling for therapeutic intervention to repair our fractured relationship when all other fatigued parties were petitioning to give up on this case – to shut me up!…
Today I’m pleased to report that the heart is at play in a loving way.
It is my (now) 18-year-old’s heart that recounts happy memories of a playful, caring Mum – the ‘abuse’ script in their head now silent.
It is a teenage heart that reaches out to thank me for doing ‘Mum things’ for them.
It is our hearts that smile at each other when we share a joke or connection.
Our hearts are finally uniting again.
My heart occasionally grieves for the ‘missing years’ and the fact that our warm and joyous meetings are too infrequent, too brief.
But I hold on to the knowledge that I can continue drawing on courage as we properly rebuild our relationship in the many years that lie ahead of us.
I want to pass on the wish of courage to other mothers (and fathers) still in the process of finding their way back to their child’s heart.
More active than ‘hope’. More dependable than ‘justice’. It is ‘courage’ – your heart – that will provide you with the mettle to successfully navigate the journey.
It is a furnace we pass through
Its a furnace we pass through, and as you know it can be hellish, and it can be so damn hard and so easy to cave in and give in to the darkness that descends upon us in pain, the times I have felt so angry and helpless, despairing and despondent, full of self pity and at times even self loathing and felt like crying at the sun and yelling at the moon, why oh why oh why.
It is what it is, and what it is can be brutal to the heart soul and mind and although we can know the reasons why things have happened we are still powerless to turn back time and we have to stop our hearts bleeding out, our children dont need to find wreckage where a loving parent once stood, they need to find us still standing, bigger, braver, stronger, greater, more gracious and kinder than ever before.
With clarity and perspective and good intention we can affect the future in a positive way and look forward to better times due to the spaces we create in the here and now and tomorrow too having learned the hows and whys that alienation rained down in our lives……
Knowledge can be an umbrella, it may not stop the rain but will keep you dry and stop you withering away until the weather gets better….and it always stops raining, the sun does shine again much brighter after so long hidden behind clouds….and if you’re parting the clouds with the clarity and grace of love and light, with openess and clear intentions……those sunny days get closer quicker….
And the pain and grief of loss doesn’t bite so hard anymore, it becomes toothless and gummy.
Love is a dentist pulling rotten teeth!!