Archive for the ‘children’ Category
“The mother has to comply with a court order and send her child to be alone with an abusive, violent man.
This is torture for her, and for the child, when they find themselves in a frightening situation, taken from their protector and forced into contact with a man, whom they may have witnessed seeing him beat their mother or who has been abusive to them.
This is abuse by Family Court.”
“Domestic Abuse by Proxy, Family Court Abuse: Failing to Protect Children and Mothers” is a powerful and informative video released on Youtube by Family Court Abuse (UK).
This video describes how abusive ex partners will use the family court system, and manipulate the legal process, to gain control, and inflict further harm of their victims. Abusers also seek custody to cause the most damage to a former partner; by attacking her love, and maternal bond, with her child. An abuser attacks by taking a child away from their mother, and destroying their relationship. Children are also used as pawns by an abuser in other ways designed to terrorize, hurt and harass their victim.
The legal system is a minefield for an abused woman.The process of how the family court system can perpetrate and enable domestic violence to continue is also described in this video. Family court judges and professionals often lack training in domestic violence, and do not recognize the abuse. Or, the judge and professionals have been so indoctrinated in parental alienation theories, and other prejudices, that they mistake signs of abuse for parental alienation syndrome and discredit legitimate concerns. Or see the mother’s attempts to get help as a sign that something is “wrong” with her. Domestic abuse advocates and experts are rarely consulted by the court system, and a judge has the discretion to disallow or ignore evidence presented by a mother (evidence of abuse, and expert testimony is commonly discredited by judges after a mother has been falsely labelled). Obtaining legal representation is also difficult, most women go to court without an attorney because they can not afford one. An abuser with an attorney has a powerful advantage over her, and gains an ally in the legal system.
The lives of children are also endangered when Courts work to give an identified abuse custody and/or unsupervised visits. The video mentions that the Courts order “more contact than would be usual, to enable the child and father to ‘quickly establish a relationship’“. This means there is less scrutiny, and less care given to how these decisions are being made, and the effect on the child involved.
This video will be familiar to those who have experienced family court, and offers validation to what you have endured. It is also a powerful teaching tool to educate, and raise awareness, of how the family court process fails to protect victims of domestic violence and their children.
Note: The end of the video offers suggestions on how to raise awareness of family court injustices by using social media as a platform. PMA International does not offer legal advice or professional services. Reposting this video does not constitute advice or suggestion of any kind. Please use discretion, and take reasonable care, when making decisions. If you need help or legal assistance, please contact a qualified professional and/or organization.
“The child’s misidentification of authentic sadness is being created by the pathology of the narcissistic/(borderline) parent. The child’s authentic sadness and grief are being transformed by the manipulative pathology of the narcissistic/(borderline) parent into “anger and resentment, loaded with revengeful wishes.” Dr Childress
I am working as hard and as fast as I can to bring this nightmare of “parental alienation” to an end – for all children and for all families. My next blog post will be significant in moving our fight for your children forward. In the meantime, I was asked by a targeted parent if I could write a letter to the children explaining things to them. So I did.
For a variety of reasons, I can’t actually write a specific letter to your specific child in your specific family. But I can write a general letter to a general child in a general family. And this is what I did.
I wanted to speak directly to the child (an adolescent between the ages of 13-17), so I had to make four versions of the letter, one for a daughter who is rejecting her mom (A Letter to Mary) and one for a son who is rejecting his mom (A Letter to Jason), one for a daughter who is rejecting her dad (A Letter to Jessica), and one for a son who is rejecting his dad (A Letter to John). They’re all the same, but it simplifies the use of pronouns. I think of this as my “Letter to Mary” series, since this is the one I started with.
Until we can protect your children we cannot ask them to reveal their authenticity. They have to survive in the psychologically dangerous upside-down world of the narcissistic/(borderline) parent, where night is day, and black is white, where truth and reality shift with the needs of the narcissistic/(borderline) parent.
Fundamentally, though, the problem for the child is a misidentified and unprocessed grief response (the famed attachment theorist, John Bowlby, referred to it as “disordered mourning”). The child’s misidentification of authentic sadness is being created by the pathology of the narcissistic/(borderline) parent. The child’s authentic sadness and grief are being transformed by the manipulative pathology of the narcissistic/(borderline) parent into “anger and resentment, loaded with revengeful wishes.”
From Kernberg (1975): “The [narcissist’s] need to control the idealized objects, to use them in attempts to manipulate and exploit the environment and to “destroy potential enemies,” is linked with inordinate pride in the “possession” of these perfect objects totally dedicated to the patient.” (p. 33)
From Kernberg (1975) “They [narcissists] are especially deficient in genuine feelings of sadness and mournful longing; their incapacity for experiencing depressive reactions is a basic feature of their personalities. When abandoned or disappointed by other people they may show what on the surface looks like depression, but which on further examination emerges as anger and resentment, loaded with revengeful wishes, rather than real sadness for the loss of a person whom they appreciated.” (p. 229)
In normal-range divorces, parents help their children understand and process the children’s sadness and grief surrounding the divorce. This is what parents are supposed to do. But the pathology of the narcissistic/(borderline) parent has no empathy for the child, and instead manipulates the child’s authentic sadness into anger, into blaming and resentment toward the other parent in order to exploit the child’s anger as a weapon against the other parent.
About the only thing I might be able to do for the child caught in the loyalty conflict imposed by a narcissistic/(borderline) parent is to do for the child what a normal-range parent should do, help the child understand his or her authentic hurt, and sadness, and grief beneath the anger and blaming. So that’s what I tried to do in these letters to the children. It may not be successful and it may not help. But it’s the most I can do until we are able to protect the children from the psychopathology of the narcissistic/(borderline) parent.
The four versions of the letter are up on my website, down at the very bottom. Direct links are:
A Letter to Mary (mother/daughter):
A Letter to Jason (mother/son):
A Letter to Jessica (father/daughter):
A Letter to John (father/son):
Craig Childress, Psy.D.
Clinical Psychologist, PSY 18857
Kernberg, O.F. (1975). Borderline conditions and pathological narcissism. New York: Aronson.
Originally posted November 11, 2013, on Ostara Gets A Divorce
“You’re evil, you’re evil, you’re evil”, Muppet sings while hugging, kissing and frolicking with her big sister while I’m setting the table for dinner. I smile; her words and actions are clearly contradictory, so she is not aware of the meaning. Such a sweet little toddler.
Time to have the discussion about certain words we don’t use, I think to myself.
While I’m serving dinner, I start out “There are certain words that are not nice to say to people, and I don’t want you to use them. We don’t say ‘people are evil’, we don’t use the word ‘stupid’. I want you to respect others and show respect in the words you use.”
“But Dad tells Kelly, my sister and me that you are evil. That we get the flea bites at your house and that you give Muppet the booty rash.” Sweet Bee says.
RIP. MY. HEART. OUT.
How many target parents have heard similar words? How many target parents have felt the same feelings that were going through me?
Countless, but even 1 person having to go through this is too many, even 1 child having to be subjected to this is too many.
And it is not like I had not heard it before. During trial we entered into evidence and email from Ex to me where he calls my mother ‘the Devil’, because my mother held him accountable for not taking good emotional, physical and financial care of me and the kids. The pattern is only repeating itself, but now with me who is to be eliminated.
The most prominent alienation strategy was denigration of the targeted parent, informally referred to as “bad-mouthing.” — Baker, Amy J. L. “Adult Children of Parental Alienation Syndrome: Breaking the Ties That Bind”
Bad-mouthing the other parent seemed to serve the same function as bad-mouthing the “outside world” has for cults: promotion of dependency. — Baker, Amy J. L. ” Adult Children of Parental Alienation Syndrome: Breaking the Ties That Bind”
Parental Alienation is depriving a child from a valid loving relationship. It is about creating dependency on the alienating parent, not based on the truth and reality, but based upon subjectivity and persuasion.
Drama replaces reason.
And that is the ‘hook’ Reunification Therapists take a hold of. They work with the child to teach them to ‘figure it out’, to learn to discern between fact/reality and subjective distortion. The Reunification Therapist works to improve mental functioning by working on reality testing and mitigate the trauma by weighing evidence.
Most parents don’t know what a therapist does, but that doesn’t mean a parent can not do ‘supportive’ work while the therapist is not available. It is hard and can be difficult, but the parent has to calmly, objectively and non-emotionally clarify the reality which the child themselves can test.
So what is the evidence in the statement of Sweet Bee? Ex has a ‘rat problem’, rats carry fleas. The kids return from access with numerous bites, documented by 3rd party. I have dogs who are religiously treated with K9 Advantix. The kids leave without flea bites. Muppet has been returned from access with a (bleeding) diaper rash multiple times, diagnosed and treated within hours by dr.’s.
“Are you itchy right now?” I ask. “No” they answer. “Do you have any bug bites right now?” I continue. “No” they answer again. “When you are itchy and have bug bites where are you then?” “We’re at Dad’s, and he has no bug bite lotion” is the answer. They emphasize the lack of bug bite lotion. While that seems trivial, it is not. It means they (unconsciously) did a reality check. They had been looking or asking for bug bite lotion while at Dad’s.
I didn’t lash out and said Ex was a liar to the children. I calmly did a reality check. While dealing with the bug bites was ‘easy’, internally I was trying to figure out how to bring up the diaper rash. The dr.’s diagnosed it as being the result of prolonged exposure to urine and it extends down her leg(s). It is not normal for a 3-year-old to have this when she is fully potty trained. The last episode likely had to do with the fact that Ex left the children unattended in a car for periods of time without supervision, access to food/water or bathroom. ‘Inadequate guardianship’ is what CPS supervisor called it.
“Where does your booty hurt the most?” I ask Muppet. “In the front” she replies. Ok, good point, a good factual statement for a 3 ½ year old. “But when you are with Mom or with Dad?” I try to probe a little further. “Both” she innocently replies. And she is right, it is not like it is instantly over, and how am I going to explain to a toddler that it takes time to heal? How do I explain the cause and effect; prolonged exposure to urine = diaper rash?
And this is why parental alienation takes ground with younger children so much easier than older kids, teenagers or adults. Younger kids don’t have the same conception of reality, developmentally they are not ready yet. They still believe in Santa. They’ll believe anything a parent tells them.
Distorting reality for a child this young and depriving them from the other parents’ love, making them question the validity of this love is devastating and has long-lasting effects. It is cruel to the child.
But parents with this attitude do not solve problems by being rational. They have no internal conflict, it doesn’t bother them they are hurting the child. If a problem arises, it is always someone else’s fault.
There is no protocol to fix the alienating parent—not legally, not therapeutically, and not by reasoning with them. It is also unlikely that they will ever stop trying to perpetuate the alienation, because it has become a gut-wrenching survival issue to them! — Douglas Darnell, 2000
Courts are supposed to uphold the statue of Best Interest of the Child. It should protect the child from the harmful effects of Parental Alienation, which is considered psychological child abuse in the DSM 5. Fighting parental alienation is not about a mother’s right, it is not about a father’s right, it is about the children’s right. They are not 2nd class citizens.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” — Declaration of Independence July 4, 1776
BOSTON (CBS) – A Connecticut teenager is being released to her family after a long custody battle.Justina Pelletier’s sister says the family will be reunited on Wednesday.
Justina’s family lost custody 16 months ago when Children’s Hospital said it found evidence of medical abuse and the state of Massachusetts stepped in.
WBZ asked Justina’s mother, Linda, about potential legal action against the state but she would not comment.
“I’m still numb from it,” Linda Pelletier said Tuesday. “I am so excited, and Justina started crying.”
The family is planning to hold a news conference on Wednesday.
Massachusetts Secretary of Health and Human Services John Polanowicz weighed in on the judge’s ruling, calling the result a collaborative effort.
“Today’s decision is a result of our collaboration with the Pelletier family around the reunification plan, and the strong work of staff at the Susan Wayne Center for Excellence in helping Justina along her road to recovery. The Court’s ruling reflects a thorough review of this complex case, and we are very pleased with the result,” he said in a statement.