I cannot recall how many meetings I have attended since my battle against parental alienation began back in the summer of 2016. Some meetings have had numerous so called ‘professionals’ in attendance and still little to nothing is gained. And then following such time wasting meetings, I have attended so called ‘follow up’ meetings, just to make sure no one knows what they are doing!
Yesterday I went to yet another meeting. However it was like no other meeting I have attended so far. It was a meeting with the only mental health worker currently involved in my case. I was supported in this meeting by my partner.
So what made this meeting so different? Please allow me to explain; unlike other so called professionals I have had numerous meetings with, the professional yesterday spoke to me with respect. This professional actively listened to me. They validated what I told them. They did not interrupt me. They empathised with me. They wrote down notes of pertinent points, issues and concerns I was making. In summary they gave my partner and I the impression that they genuinely want to help us.
As I write this I am suddenly aware that I am commending a professional for behaving and conducting themselves in a caring, compassionate and ultimately professional manner. I am ultimately commending them for doing what they should be doing!
“Most professionals involved in cases of parental alienation are arrogant, uncaring and lack any sense of empathy or compassion.”
However, as anyone affected by parental alienation will know, most professionals involved in such cases are not like the one I discussed above. In terms of interpersonal skills, anecdotally most professionals involved in cases of parental alienation are arrogant, uncaring and lack any sense of empathy or compassion. In terms of professional competence, once again, anecdotally the majority of them appear to be ill-informed, judgemental and not willing to have their opinions or findings challenged.
So in returning to the subject of yesterday’s meeting, at some point I was asked the following question, “so what kinds of activities did you used to do with your children, how did you used to play with them?”
Since I have been battling against parental alienation, not one single professional involved has asked me such a question. Truly unbelievable.
“Such memories are locked away for safekeeping in the back of my mind.”
For the next ten to fifteen minutes I talked about all three of my children. I spoke about the nicknames I used to call them. I talked about the activities I used to do with them. I also explained how I used to play with each of them. I could have so easily have broken down yesterday during this part of the meeting, but I did not. Maybe I should have, who knows.
Up until yesterday I had not talked to anyone about my children at such length and in such detail; not since becoming alienated from my children. Such memories are locked away for safekeeping in the back of my mind.
In scientific terms, these memories, up until yesterday were probably consciously or subconsciously exiled to the deepest, darkest parts of my limbic system; the part of the brain responsible for memories. Although they are positive memories, once again, anyone affected by parental alienation will understand the need to detach oneself from such memories and feelings. Does thinking about your children less, mean you love them less? Of course not. It is simply a coping mechanism.
I went straight from that meeting to work. Due to the chaotic and busy nature of my job I did not have time to process or reflect on my lengthy discussion about my children.
However the minute I left work, it hit me like a brick wall. It was as if the memories of my children that I had verbalised, had metaphorically left the limbic system and were now in the front of my mind. The frontal lobe part of my brain that was now attempting to make sense of what felt like to me an emotional outpouring earlier on in the day.
For the rest of the evening these memories, thoughts and feelings of my children remained very much on my mind for the whole evening.
Those memories, thoughts and feelings are still with me now as I am writing this. I do not want them to go away. I just want them once again locked away for safe-keeping.
Dr Seuss once wrote “sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.”
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.