"But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint." -- Isaiah 40:31
In The Hopeful Heart by John Claypool, the reader is assured that there is SOMETHING to hope for. Not only that, but Claypool stresses that it is presumptuous of us to fall into despair because we have no way of knowing what "The Great Not Yet" will be.
Most of us who have been severely alienated from our precious child (some of us have alienated children who are young & some of us have adult children with kids of their own, grandkids who are also alienated from us) know about despair vs. hope:
Everything is going great & then suddenly, after contact with the alienating parent, our child isn't speaking to us.
We get on our knees & beg God for our child to be back in our lives, at least for the holiday, & nothing.
We hear of other parents & experts talk of alienated kids reunifying with their alienated parent, but then we hear more stories about older adult kids who remain emotionally neglectful & verbally abusive towards their mom, who they blame even in the face of the facts.
Our hearts feel so vulnerable, we get scared to hope....
Experts do tell us that reunification is unlikely the longer it goes on & the more intense & obsessed the alienating parent has worked at brainwashing our child, but I have hope that when parents all put there stories out there, education will be a major factor in
Claypool, whose daughter died of childhood leukemia, points out that forces we aren't aware of may break in & change everything...
BUT things may not change in the way we want -- we've heard this before, but I want to share (this may also be a reminder to you) Claypool's three main categories of hopetaken from his observations & scripture (in my own words, etc.).
1. Hoping for a miracle: Claypool illustrates how life itself is a miracle, but what we refer to as miracles are really amazing things speeded up. He points to creation.
Indeed, I once ordered a butterfly hatching kit for my kids from amazon. The chrysalis were not the most attractive things, but, oh the miracle of them turning into live butterflies!
I recently listened to a lecture on butterflies. Listeners were told that the protein from the caterpillar COMPLETELY turns to liquid & rearranges itself into a butterfly! This information left me in awe AND HOPE: If that could happen, my daughter & I could heal from the trauma of parental alienation & be together again IN PEACE & JOY!!!
Not only does God perform miracles, but we -- you DO NOT HAVE TO BE PERFECT to be blessed by miracles. None of us are perfect. An alienated mom messaged me today about her guilt & shame with her situation. She is not the only mom to blame herself.
Alienated parents: You no more deserved to be cut off from your child than Holocaust victims deserved to be incinerated, than slave deserved to be torn from their families, than Claypool's daughter deserved leukemia.... Claypool acknowledges the evil in the world, but states that God is not a God of punishment, but grace.
2. Collaboration: Claypool says that God seems to most often work in collaboration with us. "We will be accompanied by divine energies and empowered collaboratively to achieve solutions."
We are given strength to accomplish his good. I think this can come through divine inspiration, ideas, creative problem-solving, unexpected help & contacts. (Let's work together, alienated parents.)
3. "In some situations, what God chooses to do is to give us the grace to 'walk and not faint' (Isaiah 40:31)."
I think many alienated parents can probably relate to this. Recently, I brought my daughter's birthday present to her school in order to assure she received it without any negative verbal/facial expressions from her dad attached to it. As I made my way to her school, it hit me how hard it was to be shut out of her life -- how much I NEEDED, how much I ACHED to be able to be there for her, but was blocked.
Would my knees buckle? Would I faint? I did not. Without violating privacy laws, her counselor expressed concern for my daughter in her tone & expression as soon as I introduced myself & asked her to tell my daughter I loved her.
My voice did shake, but I spoke: "I've become an advocate for parental alienation. I have an informative handout if you would like to share it with your teachers."
With sincerity, she assured me she would make sure all the high school teachers received a copy.
To those who cannot understand why we alienated parents are so upset, I want to share a quote from Claypool I think is the feeling of many severely alienated parents:
"I know from experience what it is like to be in a place in which there is no occasion to fly and no room to run and, in such circumstances, the ability to walk and not faint is itself a towering miracle."
I have met & made friends with some lovely people through speaking out about my experience. This feels like a miracle. Many times I've wondered how I could get through another day. Many of us have contemplated ending our lives in despair, as our hearts are stabbed over and over and our lives are shattered from the pain & the legal fee drain. Others before me in their struggle with Parental Alienation told their story, & it helped sustain me. I thank God for their strength. It is no easy task to share this terrible truth with the world.
"A depth of mystery pervades all of life and the only appropriate response is genuine humility and the willingness to admit, at least to oneself, 'I may see what is happening before me, but my understanding of it is very partial indeed.'" -- The Hopeful Heart
If you are blessed with family/friends you will be
joining them for a huge meal.
You will catch up on each others lives
and brag about your own (maybe)
and... If you are in my family a subtle food fight may be
this usually only happens at my house.
My adult daughters are the culprits .
So tonight, the Monday before Thanksgiving,
I heard on the news
that a great topic to bring up
for discussion during dinner on Turkey day
would be Obamacare. No this was not
a joke news cast.
This got me thinking of other horrible topics
for dinner conversations.
- medical procedures
- Gramma's sex life
-your STD test results
-Debating whether or not there is a Santa
-What to do with Grampa's porn stash
-Who is taking in Mom when she gets old
I am sure you can think of many more
I wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving
I have so much to be thankful for♥
and talking about Obamacare is not one
of them !!!!!
The weight had really crept up... Like 10 pounds more than I was 9 months pregnant. Ya, a lot.
Okay tried Atkin's again for like 5 seconds. Just because I can eat chicken, bacon and eggs 'til I explode doesn't mean it will work.
I admitted to myself that I am an emotional eater. Yes my life is stressful (whose isn't?) Try to ask myself
"Are you really hungry or just bored?" All that psycho babble worked for about a day and a half.
So I have found a constructive solution.
Yes, there you have it.
I can't snack while I watch TV if I have an afghan on my lap....
chocolate stains you know.
Parental alienation is a set of strategies that parents use to undermine and interfere with a child's relationship with his or her other parent. This often but not always happens when parents are engaged in a custody battle over the children.
There is no one definitive set of behaviors that constitute parental alienation but research with both parents and children has revealed a core set of 17 primary parental alienation strategies, including bad-mouthing the other parent, limiting contact with that parent, erasing the other parent from the life and mind of the child (forbidding discussion and pictures of the other parent), forcing child to reject the other parent, creating the impression that the other parent is dangerous, forcing the child to choose, and belittling and limiting contact with the extended family of the targeted parent.
Taken together, these 17 parental alienation strategies work to create psychological distance between the child and the targeted parent such that the relationship becomes conflict ridden and eventually non-existent, as the child is empowered to cut that parent off completely. Each of these strategies serve to A) further the child's cohesion and alignment with the alienating parent; B) create psychological distance between the child and the targeted parent; C) intensify the targeted parent'sanger and hurt over the child's behavior; and D) incite conflict between the child and the targeted parent should the targeted parent challenge or react to the child's behavior.
Parents who try to alienate their child from his or her other parent convey a three-part message to the child: (1) I am the only parent who loves you and you need me to feel good about yourself, (2) the other parent is dangerous and unavailable, and (3) pursuing a relationship with that parent jeopardizes your relationship with me.
Children who succumb to the pressure and ally themselves with one parent against the other often exhibit a set of behaviors that have become known as parental alienation syndrome: (1) The first manifestation is a campaign of denigration against the targeted parent. The child becomes obsessed with hatred of the targeted parent (in the absence of actual abuse or neglect that would explain such negative attitudes). (2) Weak, frivolous, and absurd rationalizations for the depreciation of the targeted parent. The objections made in the campaign of denigration are often not of the magnitude that would lead a child to hate a parent, such as slurping soup or serving spicy food. (3) Lack of ambivalence about the alienating parent. The child expresses no ambivalence about the alienating parent, demonstrating an automatic, reflexive, idealized support of him or her. (4) The child strongly asserts that the decision to reject the other parent is her own. This is what is known as the "Independent Thinker" phenomenon. (5) Absence of guilt about the treatment of the targeted parent. Alienated children will make statements such as, "He doesn't deserve to see me." (6) Reflexive support for the alienating parent in the parental conflict. There is no willingness or attempt to be impartial when faced with inter-parental conflicts. (7) Use of borrowed scenarios. These children often make accusations towards the targeted parent that utilize phrases and ideas adopted wholesale from the alienating parent. And, finally, (8) The hatred of the targeted parent spreads to his or her extended family. Not only is the targeted parent denigrated, despised, and avoided but so too are his/her entire family. Formerly beloved grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins are suddenly avoided and rejected. When children exhibit these 8 behaviors the most likely explanation is the manipulation of the favored parent.
Once children exhibit these behaviors much of the damage is done. Prevention is critical as it is easier to stop children from becoming alienated than it is to undo the alienation once the children have adopted false ideas and feelings about the rejected parent. For this reason, parents who are concerned about the use of alienation strategies on the part of the other parent should become educated as quickly as possible about different options for responding to parental alienation