Measuring Loss.

How do we measure the loss to a child when a parent is removed through family separation by one hostile parent acting against the other.

Or the loss that happens when the court officer says ‘no contact.’

As a society we have been trained to measure it in ‘the best interests of the child.’  A phrase which alternately means prevention of conflict is best for the child and a child does not really need two parents to do ok.

In some cases that may well be the case.  Where a parent (mother or father) has harmed or could harm a child  and where there is a clear benefit to the child to remove them from conflict which is severe and unending (and in that case the removal should be from the parent causing the conflict, not the targeted parent, the one who is usually removed).

We do not measure loss because we do not measure the number of ‘non contact’ recommendations and we do not follow up on how children fare when no contact is ordered.

And we definitely do not follow up on what happens to the targeted parent when the child is surgically removed from their world.

This is what happens to the child.

‘I lost my mother she became a sort of dark shadow in my mind, like an ink stain or a blot on a perfect landscape. She spoiled, in her absence, all of my special days, happy days, glory days and for many years I resented her for that.  But then, as I grew older and worked out she hadn’t left me, that my hatred of her and my indignation that I should have anything to do with her had driven her away, I began to wonder what my life would have been like (would be like) if she were not this dark stain on my past, someone I never wanted to talk about in case anyone asked me awkward questions.  One day I decided to find her on facebook and I was knocked over by the experience.  My loss was measured in the years of her life which were shown, picture by picture, status by status and her words on my birthdays, to my sweetest child, I love and miss you every day..’ That was me. That child was me.  And the hours and the days and the weeks and the months and the years that had rolled by since she turned into that dark stain on my internal landscape, were washed away by the realisation of what I had done. And what they had helped me to do.’

And this is what happens to the parent

‘Timeslip, time dialation. Realising the different stream speed between me and him. I still hold onto the boy, the 12yr old who was taken, hoping he holds onto something of me from then. I hold on feeling as though it was yesterday….waiting, time flashing by, waiting, hoping, looking, waiting, slow in the moment, condensed nothingness of 6years, a blink….the wounds still open and raw, waiting, hoping to connect to the boy, to my son that was lost, taken.

For him now 6 years on, to me the painful long stare and blink..for him, filled with so much, such a long time, such a gap, canyon between now and then, so much experienced, so much thought, so much shared, so much lived, so much grown.

I look at what im expecting, to connect with my boy. The reality is he doesnt exist anymore. Im hoping to connect with him, for him to find connection between him now and him then….to me a blink, to him a lifetime.

The difference in me between 12 and 19, the experiences,…the memories, the events, a continuous stream…….and im expecting my attempts to connect with him will resonate from a place we were connected. That 6 years to me….the longest blink. That 6years to Josh,……when i look back at how it was for me…..it was a lifetime.

I watched Interstellar last night. Similar dynamics play out here on earth in cases of alienation. …..you dont have to travel at the speed of light to experience timeslip. The thoughts that have been fermenting in my head about timeslip and six years have been occuring over the 12months as the 5yr waypoint was reached….and also with losing the home i had last year which brought things into more focus.

As each day passed, it may as well have been a year. The longer cases of alienation go on, the less likely they are to be resolved….as each year passed through his teens, it may as well have been a decade.

Now i end up frozen in time, perpetually 39 whilst he grows and ages. One day in the future i may see him again, he could be 64. I will still be 39 in a 90yr old body….my brain turned to sponge as months condensed to minutes, weeks to seconds…..leaving nothing but space and a vacuum.’

I received an email last week, from a dad and step mom who drove past their child recently.  She told me that his dad commented that it was the first time he’d actually seen his son in a year – and a year ago he was about 5’4″ and now he is six foot plus. Another way of looking at loss –  he has lost his young son; lost 8″ of growing and maturing from pre-teen boy to young adult.

‘They tell you that they will come looking for you one day, how do you tell them that you don’t want one day, you want now and every day.  Who will ever recompense that child (and me) for all of the days and nights I was not allowed to be there?’

Who indeed.  Measuring living loss, two things that the family courts cannot help you with.

For the sake of the children? Or because for too long we have been told that the only thing that is wrong with family separation is conflict and poverty?

Time to change our thinking.

Living Losses launches on Parental Alienation Awareness Day – 25th April 2015 at the Family Separation Clinic in London.  More information at livinglosses.wordpress.com

22 comments

  1. karenwoodall · April 16, 2015

    Reblogged this on Living Losses.

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    • Chinasa Anya · April 20, 2015

      Karen, How would one measure the loss to the child, when out of one parent’s egotism the child is denied that particular egotist parent, even when the society found no scintilla of domestic violence falsely alleged by the egotist?

      The egotist parent has for almost one year not seen this child aged six (abandoned by the egotist parent at 5), even though the egotist lives only 200 yards away and the child has, through the parent he was denied by the egotist for 18 months, tried severally to contact the egotist parent. The egotist says the child is not entitled to two parents because of the egotist’s perception of the attitude of the other parent to the egotist (which the court did not make any findings upon).

      And to curry sympathy from the society (which know nothing about the court proceedings), the egotist parent tells others that the other parent is denying the egotist contact with their child. And guess what? The people around the egotist enable the egotist morally (and probably financially) to continue the cruelty to the child.

      How would we quantify the loss to the child? The nightmares the child goes through, denial to the child of the other half-sibling of the egotist parent, the heartbreak of the six-year old sending a video of his first song (Honeybee March) played beautifully on the keyboard, without any reply from the egotist parent. How do we quantify the hatred bred into this child in terms of the effect on him (of the egotism of the other parent) and the society in future when he becomes an adult; when he reminisces on his crying on the school playground inconsolably for two hours that he wants the two parents?

      All because the Social Services very readily supported the separation based on the false allegations of the egotist parent, hence gave the egotist the leverage to perpetuate her evil till the court was able to unmask the egotist. And the same Social Services is now unable to help this child out of the trauma they landed him into through not listening to both sides before encouraging separation.

      How do we recompense this child?

      Like

  2. Oakland Magpie · April 16, 2015

    Thank you for this Karen, and thank you for not forgetting about us and our children.

    Like

  3. Iwanna · April 16, 2015

    Tears in my eyes, for this triggers my pain: the “loss” of my daughter. She was 12 when she was taken away, and now she’s 15 and time goes by. Time lost, forever. Most of the time i block my pain. But every now and then when i read such articles, my heart aches and it brings tears to my eyes. This has to stop!! I can only imagine what harm this does to all these children and that thought is devastating.Thank you for all your hard work, I love your blogs and they give me hope. Hope is so much needed for all the targeted parents.

    Like

  4. Pingback: Measuring Loss caused by alienating parent — adult child speaks out | Moms' Hearts Unsilenced
  5. Torn 2 Peaces · April 16, 2015

    Reblogged this on From Torn 2 Pieces 2 Peace and commented:
    Child of parental alienation speaks out on the loss…

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  6. CG · April 16, 2015

    Some time ago you shared a thought from someone about what it was to be a parent who has no contact with their child in a world which has bombs set to go off around them all the time, when someone innocently asks “do you have children?”, or someone you haven’t seen in a while asks “how is (insert name of your lost child)?”. That even within your own family speaking about your child can be, at best, an uncomfortable and, at worst, a taboo subject, because no-one, really no-one, understands, unless they’re unlucky enough to be in the same timeless vortex of grief and pain as you are.
    The comment above about ‘…loss was measured in the years of her life which were shown, picture by picture, status by status and her words on my birthdays, to my sweetest child, I love and miss you every day..’ makes me ask how you can/might ‘talk’ to your child on something like Facebook, which is so very public, when the last thing some parents want to do is advertise their situation. Any thoughts?

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    • karenwoodall · April 16, 2015

      always difficult CG and made more so by the silence around the issue, one of the reasons it is important to talk about what has happened as much as we can and raise awareness of the fact that there are so many people suffering this. I think that a facebook page in which the person is able to speak freely about missing and loss is important, it is also important to be surrounded by supportive and understanding people, people who really ‘get’ it. Those who don’t or won’t, let them go, it is their loss not yours as an alienated parent or partner of one. Make it your business to educate people, let them know that you are facing a loss which is unspeakable but you are going to speak about it because what has happened is wrong. Don’t always take the high road, sometimes people need to know that the other parent has supported the rejection of you or caused it. Most of all be amongst people who love you and who care, it stops the corrosion of the soul. When you know you are loved you can give love out via face book and every other place possible, when you do that you leave a living path for your child to follow. Be brave and speak about your loss, it is nothing for you to be ashamed of is what we say at the Clinic. Changing hearts and minds so that this cannot keep on and on is what we are trying to do. K

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      • CG · April 16, 2015

        We reached out recently via another social media channel – it was forcibly, threateningly, rebuffed by the parent but I take comfort that the message ‘I’m still here trying to reach you’ was heard loud and clear by the child – positively or negatively received, it still got through. If the child looked, and I so hope they did, they would have seen their image, and a loving message from the parent who misses them with all their heart.

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    • Flynn · April 21, 2015

      CGs words are so accurate and when co-workers would ask; “How are your girls?” Things like this were done with the right intention yet it is so hard to describe what a crippling pain this was. They would ask this because all I would do was go on about my kids and then they slowly stopped asking me that question.

      “It is good to see you, how are you?” Became more common and I would be careful of responding with the truth; “hanging tough and fortunately not at the end of a rope.”

      I have isolated myself from family and friends for a myriad of reasons but they all tend to be a withdrawal into survival mode. I can’t be around my childhood friends though they are in full support of me. Just seeing their healthy kids and normal parents is too much. Meeting strangers is hard only now and if they ask; “Do you have kids?” Seems the best answer is to say no but it blows up inside because it is an reaffirmation of reality.

      Saying I had kids but they hate me and this X person has used them as a weapon to destroy me and suggested I kil myself and …

      Just easier not to meet people who don’t understand and to back out of life and somehow hold on for the kids you don’t really have.

      Yes I am a father and think about my kids all of the time but I am not a parent because that is who I used to be until they managed to remove this from me.

      A parent is someone who is directly involved in the lives of their children and now I’m not sure how to describe what I am. It is a frightening emptiness but I carry on waiting for Godot,,,

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      • karenwoodall · April 22, 2015

        Your life under the full control of the alienating parent Flynn, what better revenge/attack on you could she possibly achieve, her dream come true, you on the canvas backing out of life, what a win for her.

        This is a fight and you are the rejected parent, that doesn’t mean you are a bad man, bad dad, bad person. When you are on the canvas in the way you describe you have to think to yourself, what good is this doing my children to have their dad flattened in this manner?

        This blog and our new forums coming soon are places where you can be with people who understand and who, when you hit the canvas will stretch out their hands and pull you up on your feet and brush you down. You are a good dad, you are still a dad, you never stopped being your kids dad and you are still there, in their world, just hidden from view for now because of what their mother is doing to them.

        When people ask about your world tell them ‘yes I have kids but they are in that unfortunate place after separation where they are forced to choose between me and their mum, no matter, I love them anyway and they will know that one day’ and then ask about their kids and what they are doing. Draining your soul and your spirit of all life is the intended goal of a lot of alienating parents, don’t fall for it, don’t let her hold your kids hostage until your life force drains out of you, do something, be something, live your life, find your purpose, the other purpose, not just your kids, we all have more than our kids and we should all, each and every one of us, find what pleases our own souls and do it as much as we possibly can because without that, what are we? Just wreckages waiting for permission to live again? Don’t let it get that way.

        A parent is not just someone who is directly involved with their kids, who told you that? If you told yourself that you have been misleading yourself badly. You are still their dad, you are still their parent, you are still loved even though they cannot reach in and touch that right now. And I know that because? I work with alienated children most days of my life. And as some will know, for 30 years I was one.

        You are your children’s best hope for a healthy future. If you go down, their whole future falters and changes forever. Don’t let their mother do it to you.

        Stand up, brush yourself down.

        Now, how many kids do you have? tell us about them.

        Like

  7. You Fill Up My Senses · April 16, 2015

    Sometimes the loss is just too great to measure, loss can be, is multidimensional… each breath we take is an increment upon a scale of an infinite measuring stick which passes underneath feet as time marches on. Each moment that passes with the promise of an infinite amount of different outcomes…yet always the same persists. Divided. Sometimes the loss is too painful to detail…and for some each footstep without their loved ones too painful to bare when they have no influence in their childrens lives and connection and they give up….and end it…..and are usually blamed and shamed….by those who would sweep everything under the carpet with a dead body, countless dead bodies, to protect their own woozle inspired charitable and government funding. x

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  8. Pingback: #PAS Parental Alienation Round-Up! | World4Justice : NOW! Lobby Forum.
  9. woodman1959 · April 17, 2015

    Whilst not suffering anything like the total loss that others have…even so – the loss of thousands of moments of opportunity to support all three children in their ongoing lives…knowing that nothing whatsoever is (or really, could be) in place, in its stead – is bad enough to to continuously threaten to send me into despair.

    Even for those of us who occasionally get to “see” our children for a few hours on something of a regular basis – for most of these children, this is not how they need to absorb the benefit of their parent. I can see from my children, and I’m convinced this is true for many or most, that if they cannot access a parent within an easy, relaxed, stress-free everyday format – it is hard for them to do so at all.

    For the sake of those like the well-meaning Jane Palmer of CALM – talking about ‘it’ – when the issue is about family breakdown – is just as likely to be either pointless or to make things worse – as it is to do any good.

    Although, yes – not to give up trying altogether, in my experience no-one wants to HEAR about this kind of injustice and suffering. They might want it to STOP…however, if there doesn’t appear to be any obvious way to achieve this – if it seems inevitable – then the subject is immediately blanked.

    Politicians and ordinary everyday folk – are entirely alike in this respect.

    Maybe the sheer scale of the numbers of suicides mentioned recently…and the vast wake of further tragic fallout for those left behind which is then perpetuated – may do something to shake some key people out of complacency. Unfortunately…just at this precise moment – there are no sitting MP’s to approach. I’m not sure that parliamentary candidates at this time will find it easy to focus on.

    Going forward I suspect that a key thing will be to have some clear policy initiatives ready which could be put forward to whoever so needs their consciousness raising about this desperately disturbed imbalance of the so-called ‘developed’ world.

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  10. Jane Jackson · April 17, 2015

    Thanks Karen, I absolutely agree that we have to keep talking about the reality of ‘loss’ Jo Public have no understanding at all, in fact no-one understands fully until they are faced with it themselves. A remark from a producer from a TV programme we had been invited to be one says it all, after days and days of phone calls and emails at the last moment, I was told that they would have to contact my ex daughter-in-law, for her right to reply,(A legal requirement) when I said that couldn’t happen as it would be detrimental to my granddaughter, her reply was, “Why, would it be detrimental?” Nothing to add really.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Linda Turner · April 17, 2015

    Reblogged this on PARENTS HEALING FROM ESTRANGEMENT- #PAS and commented:
    25 years for a son, 18 years for a daughter and now 3 years for a grandson.The loss can never ever be measured.

    Like

  12. Pingback: Measuring Loss – there is no measure | PARENTS HEALING FROM ESTRANGEMENT- #PAS
  13. Flynn · April 22, 2015

    i will get back up and my teenage daughters who,I was very active with were my life until it was put on hold about 2 years ago. The court battles just to have reunification therapy and even though they see clear evidence of the X destruction on my relationship with my children they can do nothing. It has been a very painful 2 years of episodes of hope interrupted with a reality. I don’t want to discourage anyone yet feel it is essential that they understand we are dealing with a vicious psychopath who will not let go of the prey. Society is empowers this type of sociopathic behavior offers no support to a survivor. I would have rather been raped and at least it is something that we understand as a crime. My children are not doing so well and due to the “unfounded” horrific claims of abuse against me I am not in jail yet am getting up. It is a very empty place and I hope to support others through this place I know too well. The high suicide rate of Dads I see as a type of murder by proxy and we need to do something about this or at least talk about it. I live only so my children will have a Dad. Seems like a rambling reply and I am sorry for this. Just wanted to respond and say

    thank you

    This Raw pain that I hear others express is the cause of death for many and we are encouraged to “talk about it” yet it comes with a concern that it will only bring about more despair or encourage others to do the same. The treatment isn’t working and I strongly doubt the actual statistics are accurately reported.

    I don’t want to go into too much detail about my daughters other than to say they are not doing well without a parent who acts in a reasonable way. 50/50 parenting laws that do do address the ease encouraging false claims will only worsen the destruction.

    Thank you for listening and opening up about your experiences. We have to drag on as parents even though we have no influence in the lives of the children.

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    • karenwoodall · April 23, 2015

      It is the most horrendous place Flynn and murder by proxy is a good way of describing it but you are not on your own. I alone can count 15 families where what you describe is happening and I know that we carry many more cases of the same nature at the Clinic. It is a truly horrendous state of being and no-one should have to go through it, this is why I talk about it on here and why we work as hard as we can to raise awareness of what is happening. I know that just talking about it is not going to help you but I want you to talk about being a dad and i want you to think about being a dad because you are still a dad even though at the moment you have no influence in the lives of your children.

      The more we talk about it the more we make others aware of it and the more that others become aware of it the more chance we have of stopping this awful situation. So let’s talk about it, you are safe in talking about it here and you are understood and you are not judged. Your parenting is vital to the lives of your girls even though right now you are not in their lives because one day you will be and I know that it cold comfort but that day can happen at any time depending on the process you are undergoing. In my experience of working with alienated children and their families, the truth will out…even in the cases I thought were the most impossibly entrenched….the truth came out in the end…and children not doing well is one of the first signs of the truth of the matter starting to come out.

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      • Everythinghappensforareason · November 3, 2015

        Flynn – I recognise, personally, all of the abuse you describe having suffered and after 14 unrelenting years will say that my view has always been that (in the eyes our children) our actions, as parents, are just as important, whilst excluded, as they would be if we were enjoying regular contact. Why? Because we’re constantly being judged by ALL whether we are visible or not……both what we do and what we don’t do……and whilst we should ignore most of the rubbish that is said and thought by misguided 3rd parties those judging us include our child(ren) and one day we want to demonstrate how we did our very best to turn things around, despite the overwhelming odds faced. How do you think most children will feel when they know what you stood up to, against fierce opposition? Very proud, in many cases, I suspect,,,,,,,but more importantly, you’re setting the standard for what a son may aspire to or for what a daughter might look for in a future mate (albeit subconsciously). In short, for however long it lasts, this is our “opportunity to shine”…..with virtue (moral excellence) and fortitude (courage in pain and adversity). Character traits you cannot fake!!

        I so agree with Karen when she says “you ARE lloved…..even though they cannot reach in a touch that love”. All humans NEED love (most crucially from their parents) and, therefore, it’s your choice whether to give that love or not, being, ACCEPTANCE, UNDERSTANDING and filling that VOID we all have within us from birth. You see, whether they’re aware or not it’s almost impossible for our kids to reject love they need any more than they would reject food if starving hungry

        I hope things have improved for you and, if so, I hope others will benefit from the above which has served me extremely well over the years

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  14. Kristen Ritchie · April 27, 2015

    How do you measure the loss to grandparents…
    Loss; Double loss. Deprivation of joy. A robbery of my granddaughter and a robbery of the sweet depth of character that my daughter once had before it was lost by the loss of her daughter.

    How did he do it?
    How did he so completely rip my granddaughter away from me. We were close. How did he rip her away from her mother and the whole family and leave us all so bereft?

    I know how he did it. He controlled her. I heard him say to her…”you don’t need anything to do with these people”…just stick with our plan and we’ll be together Forever.” This while he put his arms around her and led her away.

    From the time when he got custody of her she did not participate in any holidays, parties, vacations, visitations, birthdays, or weddings. She has not even attempted to meet the innocent ones not even born at the time …her niece & nephew (now age 7 and 9). It is as if we don’t exist. More importantly, she missed the intangibles; the loving, caring, giving, attention and familial support.

    He managed to control her social media contact pages; even changing her name so we couldn’t find her. He controlled her email, mail, time, school and work situations. He even became friends with her friends. It was difficult or impossible to see her. He managed to cast us in negative light and even as abusers. First, using her for his financial gain. Playing the child abuse card when my granddaughter was only 12 years old. Brainwashing my granddaughter, and having her carry protective order papers everywhere; school, extra-curricular sports, sleepover & dinner out with friends in my daughter’s community. All for his financial gain and narcissist control.

    My grandchild’s father would move out of the realm of reality (overblown); an abrasion, cut or childhood bruise to the point of convincing the child that the mother is abusing the child. Consequently, it was cat scratches received at father’s house. Pushed thru our ‘System’, school district then County started investigation, but was unsubstantiated. The irony, is my granddaughter is a professional social worker at local school (26 years old).

    After many years of coloring the truth by the father, the child started to believe it. He brainwashed our granddaughter. He would discount or make fun of whatever our daughter would try to do in parenting whether it be music or dance lessons, school projects, sports or even help with tutoring services. Even tearing to pieces birthday invitations and throwing them out the car window as they left mother’s home. I observed over and over how father’s attitudes were imposed upon his daughter and if the opposing view was more beneficial to him he would take it even if it was not beneficial to the daughter.

    The brainwashing was so severe the father knew that no matter how much money demanded by lawyers during the custody hearings, the outcome would not be affected as long as the daughter would say to the court officials…”I want to live with my Dad”. The father also told my daughter that the local ‘Casino tribe’ was paying off the judge.

    How do I know what strength and power those words would bear on the court? I know, because my own father asked me to say them when I was a child long ago. What a tremendous burden laid upon a child when asked to say those words. Traumatic!

    It doesn’t seem to matter at all which side would be the better parent as long as one side can persuade the child to say those words…”I want to live with my Dad”.

    I know we must look out for the best interest of the child. But, who will look out for the parent and grandparent who has been denied and even with devious plans, any access to the child…the constitutional right to parent.

    I remember an episode when my daughter sought out the help of a counselor to deal with her emotional devastation over the loss of her daughter and she was told she should plant a tree in the backyard and have a funeral.

    Yes, loss, double loss, deprivation of joy. this is what I have experienced because a man, called a father, could purposely manipulate a little girl, twist and contort life’s situations and totally deprive her from any life with her mother or her mother’s family with no remorse. A sick game aimed at bitterness towards mother but sadly hurting an innocent child.

    Please note; This was written together with the grandmother.

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