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- Separation & Divorce
Divorce and Parental Alienation - A Deadly Combination
Parental Alienation is the Ultimate Hate Crime
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There are hundreds of thousands of divorces every year...
Wow, what a sad statistic and topic that is all by itself. But the numbers don't even come close to reflecting the pain and heartache that divorce brings with it. Most of the time, both partners feel hurt, angry and possibly even betrayed. If not by their spouse, then by the hopes, dreams and commitment that they once shared.
If you have ever "survived" a divorce you know exactly what I mean. If you haven't experienced one then you are most fortunate. The emotions, demands and the decisions that need to be addressed while going through and after a divorce are staggering in scope and importance. It's a wonder any of us survive. My heart goes out to anyone that has ever had to rebuild a shattered life and dreams because of divorce.
The difficult scenario that I've just shared describes a husband and wife navigating through this life changing event. I think we would all agree, when children are introduced into the equation the stakes go up considerably for everyone involved. That's where the potential for "Parental Alienation" rears it's ugly head. And PA is ugly folks...
In fact, Parental Alienation is so ugly that very few people even want to admit it's existence. They would much rather debate whether it should be classified as a "syndrome" or not. Or assign self-serving motives to anyone who dares to shed light on it's deadly impact on children.
Let me be clear, I am NOT attempting to address every issue "surrounding" this topic. I want to get right to the heart of the matter. Let's cut through all the posturing and game playing here.
No matter what you "label" Parental Alienation, it comes down to this. Any parent that deliberately and maliciously attacks their child's other parent, and does everything they can to destroy the relationship their children have with that parent is abusing that child. In my opinion, Parental Alienation is "The Ultimate Hate Crime"!
Now I'm not talking about occasionally venting about your ex-spouse (although even that is not healthy for your children), I'm talking about a willful desire to use your children to "hurt, control or attack" your ex-spouse by turning the children against him or her.
Most of the time these attacks are hidden behind the guise of "protecting" the children from their "father or mother. In reality there are very few situations (although there are some) where the children are in need of protection at all.
What about the children? Do they deserve to be caught up in a deadly game of hate and manipulation just to make one of their parents feel better about themselves or meet their needs? What about our God-given (or at the very least our humane) responsibility for their welfare?
The sad fact is that the same parents that would probably fight to the death to shelter their children from harm, end up being a perpetrator that inflicts some of the deepest wounds their child will ever receive. It boggles the mind and daunts the spirit to even consider such a thing! Doesn't it?
The statistics are bleak concerning children of divorce to begin with. The incidence of depression, fear, anger and feelings of pain directly related to divorce and a "broken" family are significant by anyone's standards. The statistics for children that have successfully been alienated from a loving parent is even more staggering and alarming!
Can you imagine how horrible it must be for a child to be torn from the arms of a parent that has loved, protected and provided for that child since the day they were born? Someone that comforted them, spent time with them and nurtured them for as long as they can remember. Now for reasons they can't comprehend, that parent is suddenly "the enemy".
What must it be like to be told (or at the very least strongly encouraged) that they must "hate mommy or daddy" to keep the alienating parent's love and acceptance. What must go through their fragile little minds when they are taught to call the parent they once looked up to and respected by their first name, essentially taking them out of the role of parent in that child's life?
How does a child feel when every reference made about one of their parents by the alienating parent to others, is demeaning and cruel. I would speculate that it makes them embarrassed by and resentful of the targeted parent. It makes them hate a part of themselves...
I could go on for a lifetime. I am still living the nightmare of being separated from sons that I love for over 9 years now. They were 4 and 7 years old at the time they were taken. I wish that my case was unique but I receive similar stories every day from people around the world at our website. Our site is designed to help bring healing to parents and children that have been separated by alienation and the family courts (the family court system is a topic all by itself).
I do what I can to make a difference. My goal is to help parents realize that they are abusing their children when they engage in alienation tactics, and the payoff is just not worth the price their child will pay. I am also committed to work toward changes in our family court system that will promote shared parenting, instead of tearing families apart by creating an antagonistic environment between parents. I hope that in some small way my story will make a difference for those precious children affected by divorce and alienation. Our children need us to be the "adults" and protect them from our own emotions and baggage just like we would any other threat to their safety and well-being.
Thank you for investing the time to read this article. Please pass it on to anyone that might benefit from it.