As regular readers of this blog will be aware I was recently invited to talk about parental alienation as part of a book launch.
Colin Ward (twitter.com/ColinWardWriter) the author of his newly published novel To Die For kindly invited me along to give a talk on the subject as parental alienation features heavily in his aforementioned new novel.
Over the last fourteen months I have become somewhat of a self-taught expert on parental alienation. As such I have subsequently become an avid online activist against the misunderstood and unrecognised form of abuse that is parental alienation.
However speaking in public about it was a whole new experience for me. As an online activist I write under the pseudonym of btg–dad.
Writing anonymously online is easy enough. Although one’s emotions are expressed through words, ultimately the cathartic process of writing about being an alienated parent is carried out in private. Followers of this blog will read my posts, but through writing I only reveal the emotions I choose to reveal.
However speaking in public is a whole different ball game. Prior to the event I sought advice from Colin. I asked him if I should inform the audience I have never spoken in public before. He adamantly advised me not to. I respect Colin, so I followed his advice and did not disclose this to the audience. Until now!
“I remember looking around as I spoke and seeing heads nodding in agreement as I talked about life as an alienated parent.”
As for my speech, if asked, I wouldn’t be able to recall what I said. It was as if I simply ‘zoned out’ and went into ‘auto-pilot mode’. However I can recall how I felt. I felt empowered, I felt I was doing something good. I remember looking around as I spoke and seeing heads nodding in agreement as I talked about life as an alienated parent. At the end I received what appeared to be a sincere round of applause.
“It took a couple of years for my son to get his kids back, but he done it in the end. So don’t you ever give up.”
As I walked away from the stage I passed an older lady who was sitting at a table nearby. She gestured to me to come over, which I did.
“You done really well. Good for you for doing that” she said in a very pleasant but assertive manner.
“Thank you” I replied.
“Let me tell you something” she said. “I was once an alienated grandmother. It was a horrible experience. It took a couple of years for my son to get his kids back, but he done it in the end. So don’t you ever give up.”
“No I won’t and thank you for your show of support. I really appreciate it.” I gratefully replied.
“Parental alienation is allowed to exist due to a flawed system.”
There was then a well-timed break where I had the opportunity to speak to numerous people affected by parental alienation. The general consensus was that parental alienation is allowed to exist due to a flawed system. Several of us managed to put the world of parental alienation to rights before the break ended and Colin’s event subsequently continued!
At the end of the event there was some live music to finish off what had been a lovely and thought-provoking event.
So in returning to the title of this post I have reflected on both the event and my speech and come to the following conclusions.
- More should be done to promote awareness of parental alienation.
- More should be done to provide support for all those affected by parental alienation, regardless of gender.
- More should be done to promote and encourage education of professionals in understanding parental alienation.
- More should be done to develop a credible working professional and academically recognised definition of parental alienation.
I could go on, but I won’t at this point in time. To conclude, I am incredibly grateful to Colin for inviting me along and giving me the opportunity to speak publicly about parental alienation.
I have since realised that evening was a pivotal point in my battle against parental alienation and has pushed me to want to do more. As such, myself and a small number of people have agreed to work together to try to make a positive change.
With this in mind this site is no longer me. It is now us. The point being is this blog itself will become just one of many components of our newly founded movement.
As a movement we will endeavour to work as hard as we can to make a positive change regarding the emotional abuse that we know as parental alienation. We believe that collectively we have the right skill set, motivation and knowledge to challenge the obstacles that lay in front of us.
We are currently in the process of finishing a final draft of our Vision Statement and a 7-Step Mission Statement that will identify what our plans for challenging change are.
All I can say for now is, watch this space!
It was Mahatma Gandhi that once said “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”
I am an alienated parent of three. Part-time psychiatric nurse, part-time writer. I am also an online activist against parental alienation. I use my knowledge of mental health and lived experience of parental alienation to promote awareness of parental alienation.