It is Mothering Sunday in the UK and I woke up this morning to read a letter from a mother who is worried that she may not be around next year, asking me for guidance on how to reach out to her child. This stark reminder, that mothers all over the world suffer from their child being alienated from them, prompted me to go back in time to the very first post I wrote for this blog, which ironically, for someone so often accused of being for fathers, was about alienated mothers. Here it is.
Mothers Day Can be A Painful Reminder – 16th March 2009
When the daffodil trumpets start to open up, it’s time to think about Mother’s Day again. For many families, this is a day when children make cards and dads remember to take them shopping for presents.
For separated families, it can be a day that is as complicated as Christmas or birthdays. A special day that requires all the planning of a military campaign. For separated mothers who live apart from their children, Mother’s Day can be another painful reminder of what has been taken away, of what has been lost, of time passing by.
Mothers who do not live with their children after divorce or separation all share something in common; the trauma of loss and the silence surrounding their status. Some of that silence comes from mothers themselves, unable to talk about their situation for fear of judgement, but most of it comes from the society in which we all live. A society that conspires to believe that a mother who is not the main carer for her children is somehow not really a mother at all.……Read the full article here
In the last few weeks, as the issue of alienation of children has been widely debated in the UK, I have been frankly appalled at the callousness of those who purport to support women and their denial of the suffering of alienated mothers. When I look at the readership of this blog, the comments on it and the hundreds of emails I receive from desperate parents, there are often more from mothers than from fathers. When I look at who attends our online seminars, it is mothers, more than fathers who seek our help. This group of silenced women, who have recently tried to have their voices heard and who have been ignored, are abused by their sisters who tell them that they are being persuaded by men that they are alienated when in reality they are not because alienation doesn’t exist.
Alienated mothers know that this is not a gender war. They know that mothers alienate children and that fathers alienate children. They know what alienation does to children because they see it and they suffer it and for too long they have had to suffer it in silence. I was writing about their plight twelve years ago. That there are some who still want to silence them twelve years later, is sickening but it won’t stop those of us who know, standing up for alienated mothers (and fathers) and it won’t stop the work to raise to public consciousness the harm that alienation does to children.
For the mother who doesn’t know how long she has left and who wants to do the right thing for her alienated child, for the mothers who have been silenced and for the mothers who tried to have their voices heard, and for all mothers everywhere who put their childrens needs first last and always. From me to you around the world. Happy Mothering Sunday.