I was in the country of my birth last weekend. The first time privately (not business) since 2009. There are many reasons for this – lack of money, the shame of what has happened to me etc. etc.
The reason was for a reunion of friends that graduated in the summer of 1987. Yes it really is thirty years since I graduated, when my whole life seemed rosy and full of promise!
To tell the truth I did not want to go. I was afraid of another round of having to explain why I am in the situation with the children that I now find myself, “What did you do to make her do that?”. My wife persuaded me to go, and I love her for it, for I had one of the best weekends ever.
At such gatherings, there are several topics, but two are omnipresent: Swapping stories about the old times (and there were a lot!) and how are your children.
Naturally, I relived the stories of diving into the town hall fountain after the finals, the toga parties, the drinking games, and lots more too delicate to mention here. But what do you say to the question “How are your kids?” in a situation such as mine? I decided to answer honestly and not attempt to skirt round the question.
I was pleasantly surprised.
I did not go into any great detail or insult my ex-wife. But the overwhelming response was positive in that I didn’t have to explain in great detail what parental alienation was, and all of them condemned the behaviour of my ex-wife and her partner from the go. Not one asked what I ‘did’ to her to elicit her treatment of me.
I thought this might be down to the responses of people I know and love since over thirty years, but no. A partner of one of my friends, who I have never met before listened intently and told me of several cases she knew about, and how dreadful it is, that this matter is not addressed more severely by the courts.
I came home after a very full weekend not only happy, but with the thought that society is perhaps starting to understand the plight of the alienated parent, and condemns those that create it.
Perhaps I will see a change in the law and society’s attitudes in my lifetime?
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