Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Self Righteousness

I've been meaning to write for a while.. but I guess I kept putting it off, and now it's 2 years since my last post!! How time flies!

Still.. yesterday I had an experience that made me reflect on the difference between Alienators, Self-alienators, and regular people.

As you may or may not know, I am again the President of PAAO, and as such, when it happens that someone uses our logo and/or our name without approval, I need to politely say something and ask them to stop. This happens once in a while, and it's a testament to all the great work and credibility PAAO has accomplished thanks to thousands of volunteers all over the world. In this scenario, as in many past, a person had put our logo on an unapproved poster. Even though the person was wise enough to mention on the poster that it was unofficial (and therefore unapproved), the fact of publishing it to the public without approval was still an issue. This has happened many times in the past, and each time, I contact the individual and explain to them that we are very careful with our logo and name, and that even though we may love their poster, we do not allow our logo or name on anything without the procedure of having it approved. This is to protect our name in the long run. I'd say this has happened maybe 20 times in the last 7 years of being with PAAO.

In 18 of those cases, or 90% of the cases, the person responds saying they apologize, that they understand and/or did not realize, and that they will take the information down, and if we approve it, put it back up. No harm done, mistakes and assumptions happen, I approach them, they understand, and comply. Some of these people have continued on to do many great things with the PAAO name on it, which we appreciate very much. But from then only release board approved material publicly.

Now we come to the 10%. These people, when approached politely to stop using our name, logo and reputation without approval.. they act entitled, self-righteous, and get angry. They say things like 'what does it matter, we're doing good work too!'. or ' I worked hard on this, and I deserve to use your name/logo/etc, you cant stop me', or 'You should be ashamed of yourself for confronting people who are trying to help others'. And basically all manner of vitriol, and excuses as to why it's OK for them to simply do what they want. Their self-righteous, entitled attitude is amazing to watch. These people dont' care about right and wrong, they are simply concerned with themselves, and their agendas, and as long as they feel they are doing 'good' work, then they feel entitled to taking anything from anyone, and are not concerned with 'wrong'.

Today I was thinking of the similarities of these people and Alienators. I believe 90% of alienators feel they are doing  'good' by their children, and they did nothing wrong. They are protecting their children, or standing up to bullies, etc. They feel they are doing 'good' and protecting themselves and kids, and therefore, they then feel entitled and self-righteous enough to act in the ways they do.. being rude to the other parent and his/her family, stealing, conniving, manipulating, etc.. in order to meet their agenda.

So I have 2 thoughts here.

One is, if someone behaves in these manners about other things, not necessarily children, AND they are also alienated from their children.. maybe it's time to self-reflect as to how they are probably responsible for a good majority of the reason they live in such conflict with the other parent, and possibly why they are alienated.

And two, .. I feel we the public, especially if you are in the field of fighting Parental Alienation, should not tolerate such behaviors. Some things are simply wrong, no matter how 'good' your cause or reason, and if you don't stand up and say something, or go just along with it because what's the big deal, the work is good and you feel you need to stand by your friend/colleague/peer.... then what is the difference between you and someone who aids an alienator alienate?  or stands by and shrugs that they can't do anything and it's not their problem? or they don't want to get involved? What is the difference?

To me, the following behaviors are just wrong.. no matter what the cause of them, or how good the intentions:

1. Stealing & lying
2. Treating a parent with dis-respect

and when noticed, should not be accepted as OK. Ever.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Confirmation.. or not!

Two weeks ago was my friend's youngest daughters Confirmation. I'm not sure what that is, but apparently it's an important event in a child's life of a certain faith. It was an important event in the life of this young girl. My friend found out about it last week, a week after it happened,.. by accident. This is a classic example of alienation still happening even though my friend has a good relationship with his daughter and see's her often. Parental Alienation is not about parents not seeing their children, it's about a form of emotional and mental abuse of that child, even if you are seeing them. I hope this example makes it clear.

Now, I would suggest you confront the other parent and their family, in a very polite manner, every time something like this happens, because if you just say nothing, you have given them permission to do it again.

I'm sure any kind of confrontation would be met with 'X did not want you there, or she felt uncomfortable with you there so I did what was best for the child, or if she wanted you there, she would have told you about it'. A remark like this can be answered with something like.. "As a parent, you should have communicated the event to me yourself, not put the child in the middle. Also as a parent, you should have insisted on both sides of the family being there, we need to teach our children respect of family. I suggest you take some parenting classes in order to be more aware of what children need, may I suggest XYZ class on X night, and I'm happy to do them with you as well!" Note none of it is said in anger. It's a fact, if you can't control your children or you can't understand that you need to communicate with the other parent, then parenting classes may be of great benefit.

The point is not to get angry or point fingers, the point is to speak up in a polite, non-anger fueled manner, suggest a solution, and even though it will most likely be ignored, you have said something, done your part, and not ignored it. Alienators thrive on people saying nothing. Someone once said all that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good people to do nothing. So say something.. I stress again.. politely and as nicely as possible.. but still say something. Do not just ignore it, it will get worst, not better.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Parental Alienation Awareness Day & Forgiveness

On this day, the day after the 6th Annual Parental Alienation Awareness Day, I wanted to share with you a true story. The below is an excerpt from an email from a alienator.. a lady who alienated her ex husband from her kids for 16+ years, and then later apologized to her ex and children. (All names removed for privacy)

"I wanted to share something with you as I listened and then read what was being said (on the radio show), I noticed that they were completely absorbed in talking about how awful alienators are and how they do it on purpose and so forth. I thot to myself, how in the heck is that helping anything???

Then I thought about what has helped me and it came to me. (My ex husband), first of all, and others such as you and Sarvy have played a big role in this...an alienator needs an environment where repentance is accepted and welcomed and forgiveness is available...and then accountability for their future behavior towards their kids, especially.

One of the reasons why talking about alienators and how bad they are is that the alienators are doing the same thing about the targeted parent. What if all those people's kids heard them talking about their mom/dad that way?

The goal is to have change, for the alienators to see their behavior is damaging, to repent (turn from it) and have forgiveness extended and then accountability. If (my ex husband) hadn't have forgiven me, I would not have had much motivation to keep changing!

It is extremely easy to alienate. It can be as simple as being silent when your child talks about their other parent or as awful as threatening to never speak to the child again if they have to do with their other parent. It also escalates very quickly.

I'm also beginning to see more and more (especially for myself) that jealousy is my BIG problem. I really struggle with that. I had so much taken away from me by my parents and want to hang on to what I have left and steal back what they stole...namely our kids loyalty, love, and affection...their souls. So I plan to study jealousy from the Bible and see how the Bible says I should handle it.

The thing is also that children who are alienated will most likely turn on their alienators someday and may also alienate the grandchildren from their alienator because they have learned that it is accepted behavior. I know that from my own experience and from what (my daughter) has said to me.


An additional note that I thot of, Sarvy, is surprisingly enough, I first realized that my behavior was wrong towards (my ex) and then, after reading about PA on your site and others, I realized that I had wronged our kids also. When I apologized to (my ex), I really didn't expect him to accept my apology, I just knew that it was the right thing to do. The rest of the story...you already know.

Thank you, Sarvy, for your acceptance and care you have manifested towards me. It has been a rocky road for me at times as I am healing and still dealing with alienation...didn't see that coming...the continued alienation from my family. I hope that what I am learning can be used to help others at times.

Hope this might help in some way. Sometimes when I hear people "ranting" about alienators, I want to say "wait a minute!". Because I come from a family of alienators and used to be one, I'd like to "set the record straight". But that won't accomplish much also...we want change, not more attention for them because they love attention...I try to work at what my motivations are when I talk about PA...still getting the "poison" out..."

I wanted to share this with you because this wonderful ladie's email to me gives great insight into Alienators. We all have moments where we just get so angry and frustrated with their tactics and wish horrible things on them. I'm no angel myself when it comes to my BF's ex and her family. But if we don't step back, realize that alienators also need help, and give them space and room to change by forgiving, then we are also part of the problem.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Power of Words

With Parental Alienation Awareness Day April 25th fast approaching, I'm going to take a slight tangent off Signs of PA for this post and talk about PA and it's effects on children, awareness and education.

When I started Parental Alienation Awareness Day, it was to educate Roger's ex and her family about the damage they were doing to their own (grand)children. PAAO was borne out of that same premise. In the beginning, I had many arguments and discussions with Roger, and later with other parents. The discussion is about PA and it's effects on children vs it's effects on parents and family.

I'd like to say I fully understand how hard it is as a parent. I have seen Roger go through the pain of not seeing his children for more than 2 years, of the horror of the false accusations his ex threw at him, and the despair and infinite frustration at the courts for not dong anything about it and allowing his children to be abused emotionally and mentally. I am not diminishing this pain at all, and I truly believe there should be resources and materials out there for parents and family to cope with this pain and frustration.

However, it is of utmost importance to remember and understand, that no matter how much you hurt as a parent, the absolute true victims are the children. They are innocent and they are being abused, and will be affected for a lifetime. No offense intended to those in pain, but stop complaining about not seeing your kids or that the kids hate you, and start realizing that it's not about you at all. Your children are in pain if exposed to PA, even if you do see them and even if they do not hate you! It is very important to understand this.

I like to use this scenario. In some countries, children are stolen at a young age, and taught to hate, even their parents, and taught to fight some crazy person's war. How do you think those parents feel? Their children are stolen, they are not seeing them, and even if they managed to find them, they have been brainwashed into hating them. I would bet you a million dollars, that those parents do not talking about not seeing their kids, how hard it is for them (and I"m sure it's excruciating). I bet you their absolute total focus is on getting their children out of the danger they are in, whether or not they are hated in the end, and whether or not they get to see them after. Even if they were allowed to see them, their focus would be to save them from the abuse of the camp.
Can you see the resemblance to PA? Children are 'stolen', parents and grandparents are not seeing them when it becomes moderate to severe, AND in extreme cases, the children are taught to hate their one side of the family. Can you see that it's about the kids! They are being harmed! It's our duty as adults and parents to get them out of that harmful situation, no matter how much pain we are in personally.

I truly 100% believe the above. I am not an alienated parent, but as a person that has seen the kids go through it, as well as the parent, and as a person who has spend 7+ years helping children and parents alike and trying to educate and raise awareness about PA, I can tell you this.. I have minimal sympathy for the parents, and absolute resolution to help, and utmost sympathy for, the kids involved.

So what is the point of all this? What I'm trying to help you understand is to put your own pain aside and concentrate on helping your children. What I"m also trying to point out is that the majority of the world is like me. Especially if they have no exposure to Parental Alienation. People care about children and animals. Just like I care more about getting the children out of the hands of lunatic war lords, than about helping their parents cope with the pain and trauma. I'm not saying I don't care about the parents, I'm saying I care more for the kids.. and so do most people.

So when you are out there raising awareness and education, try to focus on the children. It's their right to see their parents, its their right to have a happy childhood outside of courts, it's their right to know both sides of their family, it's their right to be free of guilt for loving and receiving love from their parents. It's very sad that you may not be seeing them, and people will have some empathy with that, especially if they are exposed to PA, however it's 1000 times more horrific to know that children are not having the right to love both their parents, that they are punished for doing so, emotionally and/or physically, that they are forced to choose, taught to lie, steal and cheat and are missing the support they could use from one half of their family.

They may be two sides of the same coin, but one side is much more effective in raising awareness, helping the kids, and ultimately helping all else involved.

I'd like to end it with this great video that I feel exemplifies what I mean:

It's the same principal as the new Bubbles of Love Campaign. It's about LOVE, it's about what to do to help children, as opposed to what not to do. It's a positive fun message that hopefully the world will embrace. ie: Kids should be free to be loved and show love... love should not be contained.

Happy Parental Alienation Awareness Day everyone. Thank you to all that participate in 20+ countries around the world. Together we CAN make a difference and show the world that love does conquer all :)

For more information, go to www.paawarnessday.com and www.bubblesofloveday.com

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Making a Mountain out of Shrubbery

This is an interesting tactic of alienators. I used the title Mountain out of Shrubbery, 1st because I love Monty Python and second, because the mountain has barely a relationship with shrubbery (unlike a molehill), but it's still relevant as there is shrubbery on mountains.

What does all this mean? What I'm trying to say is that alienators have a knack of taking an inane everyday occurrence and turning it around into a major act of bad parenting. I'll give you some examples from the alienator in my situation.

My friend took his children to Playdium. For those of you not familiar with Playdium, it's an arcade center where kids play games and win tickets, then at the end, they can take those tickets and trade them in for prizes. The more tickets, the better the prize. I believe Sylvan learning centers also work like this concept, the better you do at homework, the more stars or tickets you get and then you can trade them in for prizes.

Well, my friend took his children to Playdium on one of this parenting weekends. They were around 8 and 12 or so. Next thing he knows he's hit with a motion from the kids mother, the alienator, that he is a horrible parent and has taken the children to a 'gambling establishment'!

Again, many things are wrong with this scenario besides the obvious. One is that the same shameful human being Sharon Shore of Epstein Cole in Toronto, actually puts such crap into legal documetion just to harass my friend, waste court time and obviously make more money for her! Secondly, the children wanted to go to Playdium because the weekend before one of them was at a friends birthday party held at Playdium (which I guess the mother had no issue about as they were not with their father), and thirdly, this is coming from a woman who took her children to Las Vegas hotels and gambling establishments herself!

Again, if two innocent children and thousand of dollars wasted on bullshit like this were not involved, this is so ridiculous, it's hilarious. I bet Monty Python would have a hay day with it even!

There are many examples of things like this. Again from my situation... 7 year old daughter going into dads bed at night becomes 'inappropriate behavior' on the part of the father, taking the daughter to a park and talking to kids at the park becomes 'dangerous irresponsible' behavior on the part of the father, father being late for drop off by 10 minutes becomes 'abduction', father taking the kids out for ice cream becomes 'feeds them nothing but junk food'.. and so on. I think you get my drift.

Alienators will pick at minute, mundane events and turn them into giant mountains of concern that they need to 'protect' the children from. They seem to have no concept of reasonable behavior, and interestingly enough cannot see any of their own parenting or human flaws. They are obsessed and focused on finding every little thing they can to exaggerate how 'bad' a parent the other person is, and how 'good' a parent they are. What is sad about all this and why education and awareness is so important, is that some lawyers encourage this type of behavior (such as Sharon Shore of Epstein Cole) by putting it into legal documentation!

Maybe you have some examples of this kind of behavior.. ridiculous things that everyday people have no issue with but the alianator has turned into a 'mountain'. Share it with me and others on this blog.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Blame it on the children

We just got this email last night from the abuser in my situation. I wanted to share it with you all because it's an excellent example of how alienators manipulate everything to make it seem like their abuse is really for the sake of the children. BTW, this occured after 7 years of not following her own agreement, but now that child support (ie: money) is in question, she is using it as a form of control over my friend. This is also a very common form of alienation as alienators need to have control, that is what it's all about!

So let's look at her email:
"In observance of our agreement I would like to reiterate your access.
Wednesday evening and every second Saturday.
Please observe the schedule and refrain from involving/ pressuring the girls
into agreeing to break the set schedule
. When you do so they feel
unnecessary guilt
which creates unwarranted conflicts. "

The sentence to note is in bold and underlined.
What she is really saying is that even if the girls want to see you or want you to pick them up from school/work, you need to decline because they know the schedule now, and I will make them feel damn guilty about it for seeing you outside of it!

I co-parent with my ex, and the children come and go as they wish even if it's against our 'set schedule', they never ever feel any 'unnecessary guilt' or have 'unwarranted conflicts'. This is because my ex and I love them more than to use them in our petty conflicts, and put their happiness first.
It is disturbing and disgusting to hide self-centered behavior behind the pretense of 'what is best for the children'. What is best for children is for them to feel free to love and see both their parents as they wish without manipulation. My friends children are not retarded or stupid. They are just as smart and able as other children and capable of adjusting to things as long as both their parents encourage them to. It's when one side, like this alienator, manipulates them that 'unwarranted conflicts' arise!

This is very sad for all involved, especially the children. However, it is also a great example of how alienators twist things to make it look like they are watching out for their children, not themselves.

Notice how before it was 'I can't help it, the children don't want to see you and making them would cause pain/suffering/guilt', and now it's 'be a good father and stop making the children want to see you as it's causing them pain/suffering/guilt'. In either case she is hiding her self-interest behind the rouse that it's for the children's sake and trying to make him look like a 'bad parent' for wanting what is really best for his children.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

School Play

A very common sign of a parental alienator is a person who refuses to share when school plays, recitals, sports games, parent teacher nights and any other event special to the child is happening to the other parent. These parents may even go so far as to request that the school or sports team take part in the alienation and not inform the other parent of any functions or important events.

In this way, the alienating parent can re-enforce their message to the child(ren) that the other parent does not care about them, therefore is not showing up to their special functions.

In my situation, the alienator did try to stop the childrens school from informing the father of functions and such, however, the school abided by the law and once approached with documentation by the father, did report functions and events to a small extent.

The alienator in my situation also refrained from telling the father about any school activities, functions and so on. Causing the children to feel that their father did not care about them, and re-enforcing her message that their father had abandoned them.

What these alienators don't realize with their self-centered ego-centric tactics is that they are harming and depriving their own children of happy childhood memories. Very sad for all involved!