This is the story that changed my working life. It is the story of so many of you who read this blog and who pin hope upon the fact that someone understands.
This book is written by the father of a boy who was taken from home by his mother whilst his father was working away. It is the story of so many broken contacts, it took several pages to list the dates. It is the story of a struggle with CAFCASS and their gender discriminatory practice. It is the story of a fight with the family law system which did not protect this little boy from the dangers his mother presented.
In so many ways this is also the story of the way in which the family law system in this country is set up to favour mothers over fathers and mothers over children. Whilst this mother was damaging her child, all of the professionals were looking the other way, and blaming the father. It took many months of dedicated study and analysis to uncover the truth of why this boy was so alienated against his father.
This story has a happy ending, although it is not without its challenges still. But what this story tells us is that a father’s love for his child is just as enduring as a mother’s love, just as fierce and just as knowing, when something is wrong.
I learned so much from working with this family. It began, for me, the process of building the kind of services that offer parents who suffer at the hands of the family law system, something different. Whilst alienation, as described in this book is rare, it is not so rare that I have not seen it several times over since this case. This case however offered me the golden template, the most severe case of pure alienation that I have ever worked with. In understanding all subsequent cases, it is this case that I return to, in my forensic study and analysis and my therapeutic work with parents.
This struggle cost this father and his family thousands of pounds. In the process, family members died and a little boy was prevented from ever seeing them again. The heartbreak that this family endured cannot be costed in time or money, the only way of measuring it is in the endurance of this father and his determination never to abandon his son.
For everyone who is in danger of losing faith, I hope this story will bring it back and show you that whilst the struggle is long and often seems impossible, love endures and never ever goes away. This is the story that tells you to never, ever give up.
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