Unhealed trauma muffles the inner impulses that guide your authentic brilliance to fully emerge.
In order to disrupt the faulty systems, we have to be willing to withstand criticism and disapproval from others while rooted in the greater vision that motivates us.
The adult alienated child, if able to see the truth of their childhood, faces the daunting task of holding the alienator accountable. Ideally, adults in the child’s life would have been able to handle this task long ago, if not stopping the alienating, at least making it more difficult for him. But all this parent really needs is access to the child’s mind, and some of the child’s time, in order to begin the damage. And in the unfortunate trauma that is parent alienation, it is often the targeted, alienated parent who is made into the villain, not only by the alienator, but also by the other people who surround the child. The disgrace fallen upon the out casted parent can be shockingly insidious.
I can recall sitting outside with my sister and a neighborhood friend about a year or two after my mother was cast out of my life. We were young children, and one of us brought up the subject of my mother, a very rare occurrence. Our neighbor, a little girl of about six years old, said “I remember she used to give us whole bottles of coke”. She was referring to the individual bottles of coke. It wasn’t what she said that spoke volumes, but the tone in which she said it, implying that our mother was a bad, irresponsible mother. This was a childhood friend, a neighbor who had been welcomed into our home by our mother. Somehow even this innocent little girl had gotten on board the hate wagon.
This influence spread far and wide and each time I was witness to it, I remained silent. I only had four years with my mother; how could I prove to anyone that she was good? I was a child when she disappeared from my life, and I was led to believe it was irresponsible abandonment. I did not believe this, but how does a young child explain that their heart tells them otherwise, while living in an atmosphere that forbids such declaration?
It is up to me to finally, after decades, to confront my father without backing down again. I need to approach him with the possibility for forgiveness, but with the confidence and knowledge that I have now.
No one else is going to do it.
Not even my mother, who was robbed of her children. Despite her undying resentment toward him, she does not have the courage, strength, or desire to ever speak to my father again.
Not my sister who still feels very protective of my father, akin to Stockholm syndrome.
Not my stepmother who does not know the truth because she does not want to know it. She has been enabled to remain obliviously unaware of the past.
But here is the good news about being the one who must hold him accountable.
I get to stand up to him, realize my own courage and speak my own truth, and fully heal my own wound.
I will no longer wonder what he will say if I mention my new-found, albeit fragile, reconnection with my mother. There it will be, my words giving voice to what should never have been taken away.
I get to reclaim my birthright, my authenticity, my power.
I get to free myself.
I have been warned, by a trusted expert and also by loved ones, that it won’t be easy. I know this is true. I’ve been told it will bring about feelings, and pain and memories that I may not even be aware of yet. To say that I am not looking forward to that part is an understatement. I am dreading it.
But I know that our greatest gifts lie right beneath our deepest wounds.
Many never go there, understandably. We can easily spend our whole lives avoiding it, and some do. In fact, there is all kinds of encouragement to “leave the past behind”, and “focus only on now”.
I am calling bullshit on that.
Because if we do venture there, if we face our biggest hurts, we will be freed up in ways we could not even imagine.
I feel lucky to know this.
This is not just a topic of parent alienation. This is about facing and healing our wounds.
It’s about making our way back to our true selves.
That is the gift of the journey.
What could be greater than that?
Reminder: Parent Alienation Support Group in Massachusetts
Thursday, June 2, 2016 from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
40 Speen St., #106
Framingham, MA 01701