Tip for alienated parents: Find the joys that you can
Find the joys that you can. Because this takes years in most cases to recover from a severe alienated state from your son or daughter or children; you can’t be fixated on the alienation and let the poison that’s being dripped over your kid or kids and yourself infect and drown out and poison all the other areas of your life.
There are six specific things I really want you to concentrate on because you can’t let they alienator win, so to speak, by allowing this to make you depressed or to crowd out all the other good things in your life.
Here are the six: friends, family, job, hobbies, religion, and passions, and obviously, not in that order.
Go for each one of those and write out a list of what you have that’s joyous in your life, what you have that’s amazing, that makes you really happy, and you’re going to have lots of things in all of these. If you feel like you’re short, especially on passions, start something new. Be creative. Say ‘you know what, I’m going to use this time of alienation to do something I normally would never do.’ It’s taking a negative thing and creating something positive out of that. That’s going to be another video I’ll be doing.
Start a new hobby, start something new. Do something that you could look back one day and go, ‘you know what, without the alienation I would have never learned Italian, with the alienation I would have never reconnected with Joey in New York.’ Find one thing or many that you can start now so that there’s some seeds that you’ve planted even though you’ve planted these seeds in some rotten, disgusting, ugly soil, can’t think of a better word. What you’re essentially doing here is compartmentalizing in a healthy respect.
We all have pains in our life, but instead of taking those pain compartments and blowing them up and making them bigger, especially making them bigger than they actually are, it’s taking those pain compartments and shrinking them down. If you’ve heard of neurolinguistic programming (NLP), that’s exactly what it talks about, it’s almost like you have these balloons up here and shrinking in your head that represent the different areas of your life and taking the painful balloons, in this case the alienation of your son Johnny, and shrinking it down and blowing those other ones bigger.
You blow up the family one in your head to where you’re actually looking at a balloon and go, “Hey, I’ve got all these good, positive balloons in my head,” and taking the alienation one, instead of making it bigger and crowding everything out, you’re actually making it smaller and shrinking it down to size, it really works. It’s what helped me immensely during those years. I don’t know how I would’ve stayed sane otherwise because sometimes I just thought about him all the time.
Try to do that, I know it’s easier said than done, especially early on, but really try that. I hope these six can help you!
“MY son/daughter” vs. “OUR son/daughter”
One of the trademark expressions of an alienating parent is the use of the terms “my son,” “my daughter,” or “my kids.”
It’s as though the other half of the child is discarded, leaving only one parent (when in the context of mentioning the other parent, of course. On its own, “my son,” for example, is appropriate). And in an alienator’s mind, that’s exactly the case. They are the “good” parent, and the other is the “bad” or unworthy parent. They would never admit to co-parenting with their ex.
You will never, ever hear an alienator– on any level– use the term “our son/daughter/kid.” As to utter those words implies an importance and biological connection to the ex.
As the non-alienating parent, you should always use the correct term of “OUR son,” “OUR daughter,” or “OUR son” when speaking in reference to the ex.
When your finances prevent you from getting legal help
Many parents faced with an ex who’s assaulting their parent-child relationship feel helpless, and think that taking legal action is too costly. While it can indeed be expensive, it can also end up costing you nothing… and the alternative is simply not acceptable, which is the continued emotional abuse of your child.
If your child is being abused in a campaign of parental alienation, you need to get legal help. Many decrees have standard language addressing badmouthing the other parent or discussing other adult matters, but many do not.
Here’s an example from a Texas decree:
Minimize Exposure to Harmful Parental Conflict
The conservators agree that any discussion regarding the child(ren) will not occur in the presence of the child(ren). The conservators further agree not to discuss any any conflicts that may be occurring between the conservators with the child(ren).
Family courts are aware that many parents will drag their kids through the divorce drama, so most have standard language like the above depending on what county and state you’re in.
If your decree doesn’t have such language, it needs to be inserted. Consult an attorney, who will be able to advise you on how to add this (usually called a “Motion to Modify,” which is a written request to the court to change a prior order regarding custody, child support, etc) to your decree.
But before you take the legal route, consider getting CPS involved first. Although CPS doesn’t deal with many parental alienation cases, you could get a caseworker who does understand this form of abuse (sadly most CPS caseworkers do not). Be prepared from blowback from your ex, but don’t let that stop you from taking every effort to protect your child. I suggest having some audio or video evidence to back up your call to them. Being that abusers frequently abuse on multiple levels (see this post), the caseworker could end up discovering abuse that you were unaware of.
Then, it’s time to find a good attorney. If you’re a father, find a male attorney, and if you’re a mother, find a female attorney. Why? Because sexes tend to side with and have a better understanding of each other.
Call at least five or six attorneys. Since an attorney’s job is to fight for the best interest of children, make sure you mention that your child is being abused. Any good person/attorney is not going to say, “I can’t help you” just because later in the conversation you mention that you don’t have the money immediately available.
There are many options for paying attorneys that you and your attorney can agree to. Don’t be shy in suggesting one or more of these. In most attorneys’ eyes, some money now or over time is better than no money at all.
Here are some ideas and tips:
- Don’t go with big-name law firms. Go with the smaller firms or independent lawyers as their odds of needing you as much as you need them are pretty good
- Dig deep: use your credit card, sell some possessions on eBay or Craigslist, take out a home equity loan, downsize your $30,000 car, borrow money from a friend or relative, etc.
- Suggest bartering if you’ve got some talent, skills, or a product that could help the attorney
- Your attorney should advise you that you’ll be suing the other parent for attorney fees (as he or she is the guilty party, and the reason for the legal action in the first place).
With the divorce rate as high as it is and the amount of parents that are unable to control their emotions, parental alienation is a common problem. And in the mind of a parent who’s capable of abuse, the best way to hurt the other parent is to turn the child against them.
There’s always a way to legally help your child who’s a victim of parental alienation. Lack of money is no excuse for not fighting for your child.
Bonus tip: Remember, if your decree has any wording addressing keeping the child out of conflict, your legal efforts should be an easy fight for your lawyer because he or she would be likely setting up a contempt hearing. Get as much evidence as you can, including therapist notes, audio/video evidence (complying with the law, of course), other witnesses, etc. The more evidence, the better.
Other ways of describing the brainwashing of children
- Teaching hate
- Indoctrinating the child in hate
- Attack on the child’s soul
- Parental alienation
- Sabotaging the parent-child bond
- Aligning the child against the parent
- Poisoning the child’s mind
- Inducing false hatred
- Stealing the child’s soul
- Crushing/killing the child’s spirit
- Relationship is under attack
- Erasing or rewriting the child’s good memories
- Bashing the parent
- Denying a loving relationship
- Flooding their brain with lies
- Squashing the child’s desire for a relationship
- Mental torture
- Mental torment
- Badmouthing the parent
- Instill hatred where love once existed
- Campaign to destroy the parent-child relationship
- Mental or psychological child abuse
- Emotional child abuse
- Denying the child the love of one of his/her parents
These phrases can be helpful in describing to your child’s counselor, your lawyer, CPS, and any judges what you’re facing.
Top 7 ways for live-away parents to stay in contact with child
In today’s computer age, there are some very cool, innovative ways to stay in contact with your child who’s living with your ex. So when you can’t be there in person, here is a quick rundown of the top 7:
1. Telephone/cellphone (directly speaking to child)
2. Telephone/cellphone (leaving a nice message when unable to speak to child)
3. Email (kids start using it as young as 4-5 years of age)
4. Text messaging, or text messaging apps like Whats App or Viber
5. Skype video conferencing (both computers must have the software, but the video chat is free. Great for long distances)
6. Send postcards (or better yet– personalized cards where you can draw funny things or make longer comments)
7. Send letters (timeless)