11 comments

  1. Jenny · December 6, 2012

    I’m sure all who heard you Karen will have benefitted from your knowledge and understanding. PA is a problem that some of us have to deal with but many more hear about from people who attend our branches. I know those who attended the workshop you ran in Leicester benefitted enormously.

    So thank you for all you do.

    Jenny

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    • karenwoodall · December 6, 2012

      Hi Jenny,

      The workshop formats work well because it is possible, within those, to help people to share and to lift some of the burden of pain and shame and suffering that so many parents carry in this situation. I was privileged to meet so many wonderful people this year through those and I look forward to more next year. Very best Karen

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  2. pauldmanning · December 6, 2012

    I Have to say this video is really great and I relate to it so, so very much! Yes the outline you describe of PA is exactly the process my son has gone through. Four years ago my son was screaming out to see more of me, on contact he would ask to stay longer to play or make his usual pizza together with me. After some time I asked him why he wasn’t writing like he used to, he answered “Mom won’t let me”, this is when I knew things were going wrong.

    After attending 30 court hearings taking 4 years the Child Guardian visited with him, and to my astonishment he told her that he was no longer sure that he wanted to see me. He has a new dad now and my ex is just not prepared to put up with me in her life or his. She got the courts sympathy and said she thought the process had gone on for long enough and it was causing strain on her and on our son, she claimed. The judge agreed and so I was put out of my sons life for another 2 years until I can apply again. Unfortunately I know by then that he will have had 6 years to be alienated further from me.

    And all this from me being his main carer at home from being a baby, me his play mate and security, me his cook and homework pal. All this from a child I would put to bed and read stories to. All this from taking him to school and picking him up and having him jump into my arms when we me, hugging me till it hurt. We were the best of pals, we were as close as a son and a father could be, closer than that even.

    Some have accused me of having an idealised view of my relationship with my son, guess who? Yes it was Cafcass, who couldn’t see my deep love and care for him. All they could see was my anger and frustration at being parted from the most important thing in my life, my dear son. I lost my son, not because I was a bad father or that I ever hurt him, thats just not possible, no, it was because I got angry after 4 years of being told I was no good and had the potential to emotionally hurt him, the ‘crystal ball effect’ I like to call it.

    There was no other human being closer to me than my son, there was no way I could have cared about him more. There was no way I could have given him more of my love or my time. When he would come home he would want to play marbles or sword fights, even though I was tired my desire was to make him smile and so I was glad to get up and play. Even though I felt silly running around in the park with my arms stuck out pretending to be a Spitfire and everybody thinking I was crazy, I didnt care, I did it because I just loved being with my son. When the weekend would come we would go for walks and I’d show him how to identify the different trees and we would stop and listen to the birds, he loved it. I taught him to love and how to be strong, I taught him to be kind and to smile, why? because he made me happy and I know I made him happy too, he learnt from me and I learnt from his great big smiling heart, how that was so good for us both!

    As I write this I am crying, I can’t help the tears falling. I have had my heart ripped out of me and I have to live with it, but I can’t manage it, I just can’t! If the courts knew what was happening to me and many fathers out there they would stop our suffering and help us. yes I can identify with what you are saying here Karen, its the truth, but its not going to stop MY pain. How I miss my pal, my son. God help me and God bless my treasure. I love him so very much. Will I ever see him again?

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    • karenwoodall · December 6, 2012

      Dear Paul, I know how much it hurts and how much living with being told that your love for your son is idealised has poured so much salt into a wound that cannot heal. I know that what you are suffering is torture and that as the days and weeks pass you lose again and again and again that sense of the joy that being your son’s father brought for you and for him. I can only, this afternoon, send my deepest care and my deepest support to you. You know that what I say in my workshops and to parents that I work with that it is your task, your godawful task to stay alive, to stay as well as you can and to stay as strong as you can and to do so for your son, as his father, for as a long as it takes for him to come and find you again – and, yes, he will, in my experience they all come to find you again, one day, even though that day is too far away in the future for too many for it to be even contemplated as a possibility. Paul, you will always have my support, if you want to call me, do so, I am here. Sending my support. Karen

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  3. Grandmani · December 6, 2012

    Thanks Karen for such a clear presentation.My son and I and our family for last 2 yrs have been dealing with what appears to be PA of my 13 yr-old GS.after years of happy relationship
    .My son signed up for your next workshop which had to be postponed.I do hope that you are soon restored to full health.Meanwhile thanks for all your work – a sane ,clear voice in a mad world.

    Like

    • karenwoodall · December 6, 2012

      Hi grandmani,

      I am running an online seminar on the 20th, I hope your son is signed up for that, also the PA workshop is now on the weekend of 26/27 January. I am recovering but extremely tired after an exceptionally busy year, I hope to be on form properly after the holidays. K

      Like

  4. Kat · December 6, 2012

    Another good piece of work, the more people, who understand about alienation, hopefully the less we will see of it. However you look tired, take care!

    Like

    • karenwoodall · December 6, 2012

      thank Kat, I will. K

      Like

  5. Ken in NZ · December 6, 2012

    As always Karen you have a clear and logical and real explanation of what really goes on.

    Like

  6. Ben · December 6, 2012

    It’s comforting to hear you say that front-line workers are starting to accept and listen to these discussions.

    I think that it is usually too easy to blame the resident parent as being a perpetrator of this abuse, because in the past it has so often been those front-line workers who have condoned and even encouraged it. For example, health visitors only talk to moms, GPs purposefully bar dads from seeing their child’s medical records, headteachers feel they only have a responsibility to the resident parent, etc.. All this sets up the conditions for parental alienation to flourish.

    Like

  7. smile4daddy · December 8, 2012

    Reblogged this on smile4daddy and commented:
    A brilliant description of Parental Alienation by Karen Woodall of The Centre for Separated Families.

    Like

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