Posts Tagged ‘brainwashing’
PMA International has launched a new series called”TIPSS 4 Hero Protective Moms – Ask PMA”.
Once a month, PMA International will share with our members/supporters on our official PMA International Facebook page, commonly asked questions and concerns about family court abuse, domestic abuse and personality disorder issues. Parenting tips for children of all ages whose families have been affected by the above will also be a topic of conversation.
Emphasis on peer support and drawing from our wide range of experiences on these issues is our goal. PMA International will encourage all our members and supporters to offer their insights and opinions to each situation addressed.
We are confident as this series continues you will gain knowledge, hope and discover the Protective Mother Hero within yourself and each other.
~ The PMA International Team
(We start the TIPSS series in June 2016. You may send your questions in a FB message on our FB site until further notice,link below)
TIPSS 4 Hero Protective Moms- ask PMA Does Not Get Involved In Personal Custody Cases and cannot give advice/ legal advice, on personal custody cases, as we are not attorneys.
The information from this series is not intended to serve as legal advice or as a guarantee, warranty or prediction regarding the outcome of any particular legal matter.
If you have a legal problem, seek professional legal counsel.
TIPSS 4 Hero Protective Moms- ask PMA is based on opinions and experiences only and is not meant to serve as a substitute for legal advice from a qualified professional.
For your safety, we strongly suggest you do not use any identifying information about yourself, your minor child or your legal issues.
PMA International reserves the right to edit both submissions and responses for your safety and safety of your minor child.
Originally posted on Karen Woodall
As PMA International has posted before, we prefer the term DV by Proxy to explain the manipulations an abuser parent uses to teach the child to reject the protective parent. We prefer this term because;
1. It more accurately depicts the actions taken by the abuser parent towards the child
2. There has been a lot of misinformation about parental alienation circulating the internet and beyond.
3. The term parental alienation and /or parental alienation syndrome has been use as a legal defense for abusive dads in family court. Most often this term has been used by the attorneys of dads who sexual abuse their children. This defense is used – most often- by attorneys in family court for the purpose of deflecting blame from the criminal actions of their client onto the protective mother.
4 The result of the above has frequently been, abusers winning custody due to this misuse of the term.
Because the term is so emotionally charge for protective mothers, and for all the reasons above, we feel DV by Proxy is a better choice. Please keep in mind others still use the term Parental Alienation. Since PMA International did not author this piece, the term parental alienation or alienation may be used.
The truth is that much of the alienated mother shaming that I see happening is perpetuated by those feminist trained professionals who profess to care so much for women. Which is another reason why this group of alienated parents is invisible and unable to share their experience widely. Karen Woodall
It is often said that parental alienation is not a gender issue, by this people mean that the issue can affect either mothers or fathers. At first glance however, it would appear that alienated mothers are in the minority, but in reality they are not so small a group. What faces alienated mothers however is something so deeply unpleasant and so deeply shaming, that it is small wonder that so many women in these circumstances do not reveal to the outside world what has happened to them. Not only do alienated mothers face the loss of their children and all of the grief and suffering that goes with that, they face the hostile and deeply suspicious attitudes of society at large, where the belief that if a mother has lost her children, she must have done something dreadful to deserve it, is an obstinate and poisonous mindset.
This mindset is one that the alienating father is often quick to feed by exploiting the assumptions that other people make about mothers who are not the main carers of their children. Manuvering a child into a position where he is expressing fear of his mother and making allegations about her behaviour towards him, is a key component of the strategy used by alienating fathers. Whilst in this respect it is similar to those which are used by alienating mothers, the alienating father will seek to ensure that the belief structures held by many professionals, about the importance of mothering and its primary function in a child’s life are utilised to the full in the process of convincing the outside world that this mother is not fit to be a mother and this mother has caused her own child to reject her.
On another blog this week I read a comment in which it was asserted that non resident mothers are either drug addicts, alcoholics, prostitutes or dead. I kid you not. In taking this person to task on the matter it became clear that this belief system runs rife even through the mind sets of those who want a more egalitarian way of parenting after separation. When men who seek shared care, loftily and without even blinking, proclaim that non resident mothers are to be thus described, is it any wonder that so many women fight to maintain the role of primary carer after separation and would not choose to share care even if they wanted to? For alienated mothers, exploited, shamed and shoved to the outer margins of our society (as well as their own children’s lives) what hope is there when such horrible attitudes exist?
Alienated mothers are a group of people for whom there is very little support and very little written which is dedicated to them. In the UK there is one support group called MATCH which is lifeline for women in this situation and whilst Families needs Fathers welcomes mothers as well as fathers this may not be readily apparent to mothers in this situation, (leading me to believe that they really should get their act together and call themselves Families need Mothers AND Fathers).
The truth of the matter is that parental alienation IS a gender issue. It is a gender issue because the experience of being an alienated mother or an alienated father, whilst having much in common internally, in the endless loss and lack of completion of the process of grieving and the sense of helplessness and hopelessness that this brings, is a DIFFERENT experience externally. This difference is caused by the gendered attitudes of the people around us, by the professionals who attempt to assist parents and by the internalised gendered expectations of the parents AND their children. A good mother is ‘supposed’ to be a mother who is eternal and ever present. A good mother is the parent who cares. A good mother is there when her children get home. A mother who is alienated and whose children are making allegations about her being not good, is a mother who faces first the horror of her own alienation and then the horror of other people’s suspicions about why her children have rejected her. The final nail in the coffin of her self confidence and belief is then the disbelief of the professionals around her who, having fallen foul of their own assumptions about good mothers, walk blindly into the trap set by the alienating father in swallowing whole the projection of the mother as the cruel/evil/hopeless/ wrong doer.
This theme is very common in situations where children become alienated from their mothers and whilst many commentators will say that it is also true where children are alienated from their fathers, different attitudes about mothering and fathering, in the professionals around the family, act to create distinctly different outcomes.
For some professionals for example, the thought of a child being alienated from a mother by a father raises the question of whether this is a domestic violence situation in which the father is using the child as a weapon against the mother. In others, the assumption that the child’s rejection is because of something the mother has done, is easier to go with, especially if the father does not readily present as the stereotype of the violent and aggressive man that they expect to see. When a child is alienated against a father by a mother, it is often more readily accepted as being simply the collatoral damage of the separation itself, the assumption being that so long as the child is loved by the mother then that is all that is necessary. In others a child alienated against a father has to have been abused by that man in order for the rejection to have occurred. Some Judges may feel comfortable with the idea of removal of a child from a father, but removal of a child from a mother may be an anethema. Similarly, the alienated mother who faces allegations from her child, may be more suspicious to professionals because her role is to be good and there in her child’s life and if she is not then she cannot deserve the intervention that will change the dynamic. So much depends upon the outside world and the beliefs held about mothers and fathers that the alienating father, alive to the assumptions that other people make, will set up the child to confirm the worst of the negative stereotypes about the not good enough mother.
In many respects this is an issue which should be of deep concern to feminists given their focus on the rights of women and the ways in which they are exploited by men but it isn’t. Alienated mothers seem to face the same kind of dismissal of their reality by feminists as they do by the population at large. In a recent case I was astounded at how social workers who we consider to be working in a feminist industry, swallowed the whole of the tale of a mother who had caused her children to reject her by taking them on holiday to Cornwall instead of the Caribbean. This ‘abusive’ act had even been cited as one of the reasons why the mother was not able to put her children’s needs before her own. The lack of understanding and the complete lack of analysis of why children would use such frivolous reasons for rejecting wholesale a relationship with a mother they had been close to up until only 18 months previously, astonished me. When I questioned them about their understanding of the Duleth Model approach to domestic violence and whether this might just be a case that fitted into this post separation as it likely had prior to it, it was their turn to be astonished. Feminist approaches to post separation support appear to me to rely upon the presence of the stereotyped mother as carer and father as either hopeless and refusing payer of child maintenance or demanding and controlling absent parent. Reverse that dynamic and it is as if the ability to analyse the reality disappears out of the window. The truth is that much of the alienated mother shaming that I see happening is perpetuated by those feminist trained professionals who profess to care so much for women. Which is another reason why this group of alienated parents is invisible and unable to share their experience widely.
Mothers AND fathers are alienated from their children and both suffer immensely. For mothers the loss of the role of carer as well as the loss of the relationship with their children is a burden made heavier by the attitudes of people around them. That is not to say that alienated fathers do not suffer equally, they do and their burdens are made heavier by the attitudes of those around them too, only those attitudes are often different, more dismissive and less caring whilst those facing women are more inquisitive, judgemental and damning.
All of course made so much worse by the very attitudes that poison the world that post separation parenting takes place in. The notion that the only good non resident mother is a dead one, featured strongly this week. It is the other side of the belief that the only good resident father is a widowed one, which is also strong across our society. It speaks of our deeply held societal beliefs about men and women and what they should be doing in the world. It is outdated, it is shaming and it needs to stop. When the only good separated mothers and fathers are those who willingly and co-operatively work together after separation, then we will live in a modern society in which alienation as a crime against children will be recognised and acted upon swiftly and decisively. Until then we must work to eradicate the ignorance that causes the already deeply wounded to suffer even more.
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
A Must See!
This wonderful articulate young lady explains in detail some of the manipulations used by her Dad and his second wife to keep her from her mom after her parents’ divorce. She also explains how this made her feel and how she was able to realize the manipulations and lies, admitting some children ” buy into the lies”. She also gives great advice stating ” a REAL parent would make sure the kids would keep in contact with the parent”
A must see for all parents and professionals involved in family court. Also for the child victims of DV by Proxy who sadly, bought into the lies.
Read this powerful story about DV by Proxy in a mom’s own words. Notice the progression and circumstances in which this hateful smear campaign against a loving mom thrives.. Twisting up a child’s mind and teaching them to hate a loving parent by using lies and manipulation is child abuse.
The Success of Love
BY ADRIENNE, ON JUNE 11TH, 2012
The success of love is in the loving. —Mother Teresa
A few days ago I read the first post I ever wrote about my two eldest children, Jacob and Abbie, and how they came to live full-time with their dad. I sat at my computer, eyes goggling half-out of my head, unable to believe I had accomplished the mental-gymnastics necessary to believe what I wrote.
Like hell it was better, but I definitely believed it at the time, at least at the top of my consciousness. I was mostly (sort of? who knows) convinced that Jacob and Abbie’s dad was a better parent than I; that I was, if not abusive, at least profoundly deficient.
Truth? Yes, I’ll tell the truth: in some ways, in the very beginning, it was a relief to have them gone. I missed them terribly, but at the same time, Carter was so sick that I was living far beyond the limits of my emotional and physical resources and I was stretched much too thin.
More truth? In spite of all that I believe now, and all that I am about to say, I was at my low point as a parent when Jacob and Abbie left. The things other people did and said can’t absolve me of my responsibility, and I am responsible. I did the best I could under terrible circumstances, but that isn’t the same as being innocent.
When they moved out, I never imagined for one minute that they would go away and stay away. I assumed that, given the freedom to choose, they would spend most nights at their dad’s house and just one or two (as opposed to four, as it had always been) per week at mine. I thought they would come around a few days a week after school, or hang out with us sometimes on Saturdays.
When I didn’t see them for a few weeks, I thought they needed some breathing room, a chance to decompress from the difficulties of life at chez Jones, and so I gave it to them. This was not a decision I made lightly. I prayed and pondered and agonized, staying up late at night writing and crying. Ultimately, though, I decided to live by the credo, “This is a family. We take volunteers, not hostages.”
So while I continued to invite my kids to dinner and other family events, and kept calling them several times a week, and texted them every night to say goodnight and tell them I loved them, I didn’t push or force. I stepped back, focused my energy on Carter and helping him get stable, and I waited.
As carefully as I made that decision, it was absolutely the wrong one. What I didn’t see, the giant piece of the puzzle that I didn’t even know I was missing, was this: my kids’ dad and other members of my family were actively working to keep my kids away from me. That, combined with their anger at my genuine shortcomings, stewed in a broth of early-adolescence, created a case of parental alienation syndrome (PAS) that I didn’t recognize until it was two years entrenched.
The kids’ resentments against me grew and deepened both because adults they love and care about encouraged (in overt and covert ways) those resentments, and because they saw me so rarely (we didn’t see each other for months at a stretch sometimes), I didn’t have enough time to show them that I wasn’t the person they had created in their minds.
Starting in the summer of 2011, when I began to push hard in any way I could to have more time with my kids, I watched it happen: when they were with me more, they started to soften. Their defenses began to relax as they let the reality-mom impact idea-mom. Then, something would happen (something always happened), I would see the kids less, and the fierce, hateful, horrible words would come from the kids’ mouths to my heart again. The same words that their dad and other people spoke to them about me.
Never, ever, ever underestimate the power of a good story.
My family’s experience of parental alienation syndrome is unusual in that the alienation began long after the divorce itself. In fact, Robert and I co-parented fairly peacefully for quite a few years. Or so I believed; I know now that he wanted our kids all to himself long before he got them, and when the opportunity presented itself, he took it. If my kids’ PAS had been more typical (that is, happening during the immediate post-divorce months or years), someone probably would have identified it sooner. As it was, I flew blind for a long, long time before I knew what was happening.
My 18-year-old son and I remain fairly alienated (though I see signs of progress), but my daughter has been home with me now for several months and, while PAS will always be one of the most painful experiences of my life, I’m healing.
Having my beautiful, brilliant daughter, with her heart wide open and her mind searching for her truth, doesn’t hurt one tiny bit.