To live a life any less than challenging

Lee Serpa Azevado

PeaceNotPas_ToLiveaLife

Too many of us spend far too much of our lives trying to fit in.

Some individuals are lucky enough to be born with an enviable, but healthy disregard for what others may think.

Individuals that do not need the validation, recognition or reassurance of others.

Individuals that are happy enough with themselves.

Individuals that understand that any strive for absolute perfection is flawed, unrealistic and unachievable.

Individuals that not only adapt to the unpredictability of life but embrace it.

Individuals that vrive on, learn from and grow from the chaos of life.

Individuals that understand that to turn away from the chaos of life is to not live at all.

To not push ourselves to the limit, is to limit life itself.

To live a life any less than challenging, is to not live at all.

btg dad

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The Adverse Childhood Experience of Parental Alienation

Karen Woodall:

On Saturday I presented at the Centre for Child Mental Health in London at the conference ‘Too much Pain‘ on the issue of parental alienation as a child mental health issue.  The subject is clearly one which resonated with delegates as many had questions to ask afterwards and we discussed the issues facing children and parents in the context of us having watched the film Resilience at the start of the day.

Watching this film made me realise that the experience of parental alienation is not just about children’s mental health, it is about the impact of their mental health on their physical wellbeing. In fact, at worst, it is a public health issue in which children who are alienated from a parent face the likelihood of having a shortened life expectancy of – wait for it – 20 years less than their peers.  Let me unpack that.

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The Empathy Gap

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WARNING: Dilettantish, exceptionally amateur psychology follows, please look away if you are not empathetic (!)

Looking around the internet while researching this there are several articles discussing the empathy gap between couples. For instance, when one partner doesn’t give the appropriate response the other partner expects when something happens, be it a cut finger, slip, being fired, etc. etc. Empathy with the partner declines when one or both of the partners are not interested in the relationship anymore. This is logical – another way of putting it would be to say they are not in love anymore.

But what happens afterwards?

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Can there ever be any excuse for parental alienation?

Old, but nevertheless an insightful look at how one actually gets learn about parental alienation *first hand*.

Lee Serpa Azevado

ExcuseforPAS_PeaceNotPas

Until I had personally experienced parental alienation at first hand, I was not really aware of its existence, neither was I aware of how often it happens. Furthermore I was certainly not aware of its devastating effect on all those involved, in particular the children.

“I now see the world of parental alienation laid out in front me. A sea of helpless and powerless parents.”

I can recall a news story from several years ago of a dad dressing up as batman and staging a protest on the Buckingham palace balcony. This was in fact an incident that was one of several high profile stunts from 2004, all instigated by the Fathers for Justice campaign group. Reflecting back on the news coverage, such security breaches were called ‘unacceptable’ by the media. Fathers for justice would be called such things as ‘notorious’ and little encouragement from the media was given to the public to look…

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Away for the weekend

Leicester - Attribution: https://www.flickr.com/photos/alant79/

Leicester – Attribution: https://www.flickr.com/photos/alant79/

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.

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A Living Death ?

This post was suggested by my various professionals during my journey and a post by David Shubert on iwaserased.com

I have thought about this a lot over the previous years. How to put into words the loss that I feel not seeing my children, having no idea what they are up to, not being asked daddy questions and an infinite amount of other possible situations.

I was ‘lucky’, in that I have found (or they found me?) a wonderful new partner and her son, both of whom adore me. They make me feel whole, and the residual doubt that I had every now and then that I could have been to blame for what happened between my children, their mother and I have been exorcised. I know I am a good partner and a good father to a son who isn’t mine. I certainly must take part of the blame, as no break-up is without fault on both sides, but certainly, the majority lies with my ex-wife and her new partner, whose actions regarding the children I really cannot even begin to understand. And to be frank I don’t think I am even capable of understanding how insidious their campaign against me was and probably still is.

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UK: Suspended jail sentence for breaching contact order

OK, this is from April, but I am genuinely surprised that it has not ‘surfaced’ before!

A family court in Nottingham sentenced a mother to 56 days for contempt of court. The sentence was suspended for one year which means that should she continue to be ‘unwilling’ in that time period to abide by the terms of the child arrangement order she will go to jail.

A signal against parental alienation, and parents that think they can get away with just not letting absent parents see their children.

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Karen Woodall: How to Change the World

Karen Woodall:

Yesterday I worked with an inspiring group of people who attended our only UK practitioner training to be held this year.  Despite a couple of technical hitches, we worked through the day on the principles used by the Family Separation Clinic to unpack and analyse cases of parental alienation. Each person was focused and brought to the training their own experience of working in this field. Psychologists, psychotherapists, child protection social workers, step parent support workers and specialist mediators and psychotherapists from Holland, all together in the desire to further understand the problem and how to work with it.  I ended the day inspired, invigorated and absolutely certain that the way to change the world for alienated children is to prepare and plant seeds in as many places of the world as possible and then water and nurture them and support them to flourish.  Which is what I will be…

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Karen Woodall: The Politics of Love and Hate

PA is obviously gaining traction. Some people are compiling a database to enable criticism of Karen Woodhall not only as a practitioner in this field but also as a person!

Karen Woodall:

It has been another busy week at the Family Separation Clinic where we continue to deliver services for families affected by parental alienation.  This week I have been once again working with children affected by the problem, as well as thinking about new projects coming up which will keep us busy long into the new decade.

In the coming months our new book will be published, we will launch Parental Alienation Direct as a self help site for everyone affected by parental alienation, and we will be travelling to Prague with colleagues from 14 other EU countries, for the launch of the European Association of Parental Alienation Practitioners.

On July 8th, I will be speaking at the Children’s Mental Health Centre conference ‘Too Much Pain’ where the groundbreaking film about adverse childhood experiences – Resilience – will be shown.  I cannot tell you how excited I am to see this…

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