Parental Alienation Event

Parental Alienation – Rod McCall author presentation – Friday April 21st – Doors open 5:30 PM – 9:00PM

Grace Episcopal Church, 76 Eldredge St. Newton .02458

We are less than a week away from learning from Rod about his tragic story and then education, inspiration, and a panel discussion with empowering methods to reduce parental alienation.

40 people have registered already, including Doctors, therapists, lawyers, mediators, GALs, parents, and more.

Agenda:

  • 5:30 Pizza and refreshments
  • 6:30 Rod’s presentation followed by discussion and Q&A
  • (late arrivers always welcome)
  • 7:40 10-minute break
  • 7:50 Panel Discussion and Q&A with:
  •       Rod McCall, PA parent, author, speaker
  •       Dana, a writer who was alienated from her mother at age 4
  •       Joan Kloth-Zanard,  PA expert, therapist
  •       Heather A. O’Connor, a MA Attorney with PA custody trial experience
  •       To Be Announced, a Parental Alienation expert
  • 8:45 Methods to grow PA awareness
  • 9:00 Program concludes

FREE admission but Eventbrite Registration required (Privacy respected) – Donations at the door encouraged to cover costs and PA awareness.       Sponsored by 2 Non-profit Charity 501(c)(3), PAS Intervention,  www.pas-intervention.org.  AND the National Parents Organization (NPO)  “Preserving the Bond Between Parents and Children”  www.nationalparentsorganization.org

FYI – A “once-in-a-generation” 2-day event in Boston:  International Conference on Shared Parenting (ICSP) 2017, under the theme; “Shared Parenting Research: A Watershed in Understanding Children’s Best Interest?”  48+ sessions organized by the National Parents Organization and the International Council on Shared Parenting.  Starting on Memorial Day May 29 – 30, 2017 at the Westin Copley Place Hotel,  Boston, MA  See the website for http://npo-icsp2017.org/

Immediately following the ICSP conference on Tuesdy evening, May 30th, Brian will be hosting an event in Boston (at a Boylston Street location) that will include fund raising for the completion and distribution of the follow-up documentary, “Erasing Family”.  http://erasingfamily.org/

We also host monthly Parental Alienation Parent Support Group Sessions at a variety of Boston area locations. For information and an invitation, please email Brian at helpingparents123@yahoo.com

 

 

 

 

 

Moth GrandSLAM story: Reconnecting

I told this story live at the March 2016 Boston MOTH GrandSLAM.  After decades of being alienated from my mother, this is a window into our attempts at reconnecting. 

***

When my mother called me last September, I was surprised by how easily I still recognized the sound of her voice.  When I was four, my father had thrown her out of our home and out of my life.

My mother became like a family myth, an outcast who people only whispered about when they thought I couldn’t hear.

I saw her once when I was a teen. I didn’t dare tell my father.

I saw her again when I was in my twenties, a mother myself. She met my daughters who were babies then. For the next year we engaged in an awkward attempt at reconnection. We looked so much alike, yet we were strangers.

I had no idea how I would integrate her into my life, the life that did not include her, that in fact was very much built on her absence.

Besides, my father was still in my life and I didn’t know how to tell him I was reconnecting with my mother.  I could not find the words.

So I had pushed my mother away, because this seemed like the safest thing to do.

Devastated, she said “I think your father is controlling you just like he controlled me”.

“Well you’re the one who left me with him”, I snapped back.

Not long after this aborted attempt at a reconnection, she moved to Arizona

And then twenty years slipped by, just like that.

 

But last September she flew up to Massachusetts because her mother, my grandmother, was dying.

On the Wednesday before Labor Day weekend, she called me.  I asked about my grandmother and about my mother’s flight from Arizona.  I was eager to settle on a day that I would come see her, knowing this might be our last chance to reconnect. If not now, when?

I offered to drive to my grandmother’s house the very next day, on Cape Cod where my mother was staying.  She agreed, and then we hung up.

The next morning I went through my closet…what does one wear when they haven’t seen their mother in twenty years?

It was a beautiful, sunny day driving to my grandmother’s house. When my mother answered the door, I thought how lovely she still was.  And she was real, not a myth, not my imagination, Not someone to forget. She is my mother.

I saw my grandmother that day too, and my aunt, also casualties of my parents’ divorce; that whole family had been erased from my life.  Now they embraced me, welcomed me as if I had finally come home.

My mother and I walked and talked of the weather and of my grandmother’s end of life. We talked of my daughters, all grown up now, and of family resemblances and of the ocean and of her quiet life in Arizona.

I wanted to talk about the stolen years, to face everything head on, but I knew that even after all this time, her pain was still raw; I saw it in her eyes that filled with tears at the slightest mention of the past.

I can feel her regret that is so vast it could swallow her; I think her grief might turn her to particles, to the dust in the desert she lives in.

I want to say I wish you would move back to Massachusetts. I want to spend spend time with you, to make up for all the lost years.  I want her to know my husband and our daughters.

I want my mother back.  I don’t want her to live two thousand and five hundred and seventy-two miles away for one more day.  But I don’t say this.  Instead I ask “Don’t you miss the ocean?”

When it was time for me to go, we hugged goodbye and both said how happy we were to have had this day.   We agreed that we both wanted to stay in touch, but we made no promises, no unrealistic mention of all the time we would spend together, knowing she would fly back to Arizona, to her life there.

*We talk on the phone sometimes now.  We are still getting to know each other.

I usually keep the conversation light, because I know that’s what she needs.

But the last time we talked, I did bring up the past. I told her I needed her to know something. I said “I know you meant to bring me with you when I was four. I know that was your plan. You told me so back then. You were preparing me to leave with you; I remember”.

..There was a long pause…and some tears.  She was relieved that I knew this .

I love you she said. I always have.

I say I love you too. And then I ask about her day.

Suggestions for alienated parents

I recently spoke at a support group for alienated parents, PAS Intervention. It was heartwarming and heart-wrenching at the same time, to meet so many wonderful parents. If their children could be freed from the alienating spell they are under, I am certain they would want to run back to these loving parents.

I was given a list of questions to address and here are my notes.  They are based on my own experiences. This is by no means an exhaustive list.

What goes through a child’s mind?

*It is not a conscious choice to reject a parent; it feels like an automatic survival mechanism

*Repression of true feelings (love for the targeted parent) and therefore repression of authentic Self.

*An entire new persona can be built around this inauthentic self, especially in the case of the very brainwashed child. (In my case, I “held onto” my own mind but felt anxious/numb/powerless)

What can a parent say or do to help a child who is a minor?

*Get help/find a trusted, PA- educated professional & If possible, do not allow them to skip visits.

*Let them know you sympathize with their position & will always love them.

*Opportunities to interact w/out telling the alienating parent

What can a parent say to a young adult child?

*Let them know you sympathize with their position

*Opportunities to interact w/out telling the alienating parent

*Encourage them to think for themselves; contradict the alienator through your actions.

*Give them fact based information

*Tell them you love them and will not choose to “go away”.

Anything that might help a parent to find ways back into their child’s life:

*Maintain contact in “nonthreatening ways”

*Encourage trusted acquaintances keep contact with your child if possible-people who would speak highly of you.

*Take care of yourself: show confidence and health and stability and love and self-respect. The alienator is coming across as “all knowing/all confident/all powerful” to the child. You must top that with authentic power.

Anything that might help a parent stay in their child’s life:

DO stay in touch however possible but try not to overwhelm them w/ steps that are bigger than what they are capable of handling at this time. They would need an absolute guarantee of protection from the alienator and/or enough time completely away from him/her in order to ‘deprogram’. Until then, it does not feel safe to reconnect with you. This is true whether they are five years old or twenty years old.

 

Question for alienated parents

Here is my question for alienated parents:  If your adult child were to reach out to reconnect with you, how would you feel if they maintained a relationship with the alienating parent? Would that taint your reconnection? Make you fearful, uncomfortable, distrusting of the intentions of your child?

I have a friend who was in an abusive relationship in her twenties. She told me that even now, decades later, she would be emotionally triggered by seeing that ex.  She also said that she would want to avoid relationships with anyone who had any connection to him. I asked her, what if that person who maintained contact with your ex was your own child?  She seemed to think that would still be a problem, perhaps a big obstacle. She does not have any children so she was speaking purely hypothetically. But still, it was interesting to get her perspective.

My alienated mother’s family has welcomed me lovingly. But I cannot help but wonder if they have to consciously fight the urge to view me as ‘the one from enemy territory’. I especially wonder if this may be the case for my mother. After all, the person who hurt her beyond repair is still in my life. Even when I realized with clarity what role my father played in the alienation, I did not push him out of my life. At times I have wanted to, but ultimately I believe in forgiveness.

I am interested in the thoughts of alienated parents on this matter.

 

*Please visit me at https://danalaquidara.com/