Saturday, October 25, 2008
A Promise to Ourselves: A Journey Through Fatherhood and Divorce
With all due respect to Mr. Baldwin, I never envisioned myself purchasing a book written by him. I do not agree with many of his views that he supports. When the widely publicized release of the recording of the voice message he left his daughter hit the media air waves, I was appalled. My first reaction was, you, Mr. Baldwin are the thoughtless pig. This of course was the goal of the media. After I was able to get over the initial shock that a parent would say such things to their child, I was able to think about this recording. Other than hearing degrading words to his daughter, I could hear anger, frustration and desperation in his voice. I wondered was Mr. Baldwin a target parent as well?
Whether one agrees or disagrees, I find it very discouraging that it took a "celebrity" to be affected by parental alienation to have some media recognition. Unfortunately, the recognition that was reverberating worldwide, could provide organizations that believe that parental alienation is junk science.
One of the most difficult things a target parent deals with is having to separate what they think a child old enough to know better should be capable of thinking and doing and what children that are brainwashed are able to do. It is hard to separate that a child of 10,11,13,15,17 or any age who is capable of knowing the difference between right and wrong, is capable of "buying into" the process of being encouraged to hate another parent. This is where that outburst by Mr. Baldwin, although wrong, is also understandable from a targeted parents point of view.
A target parent, which is "usually" the non custodial or non residential parent, no longer has the parenting abilities they once had. They get "awarded" the standard amount of "visitation" with their child and if they are "lucky", they get "awarded" a more generous or liberal amount of time. When did divorce mean that you give up your rights as a parent and if you play your cards right, you can get "awarded" more time with your child? It is a system seriously flawed and this is one of the things that Mr. Baldwin makes a point of in his book.
Most parents do not have to have their divorce and custody cases broad casted into the media spotlight. To experience a contentious custody issue and to be cast into the media spotlight, is an opportunity by an alienating parent more than happy to exploit.
If you thought of buying his book to read all the "dirty details" of his divorce, you will be sadly disappointed. I thought he did a great job of telling his story without having to trash the mother of their child. Something that target parents are told, is to take the high road and to not discuss the details. Without some details, it is difficult to understand how the alienation plays a role now in your own particular case. If you thought of buying this book to read about parental alienation, he does provide some heartbreaking details about what parental alienation does. It also allows you to realize that sometimes a parent just gives up, not because they want to, but because they are fighting a battle they know they will never win. Mr. Baldwin did not give up and he fights. Most parents do not have the financial resources that Mr. Baldwin has to fight this fight. Please do not let that detail deter a target parent from fighting for what is right and that is to be a parent.
The book was easy reading for me. I did not break down in a sea of tears, like some other books I have read and am unable to pick the book back up to continue. This was not said to minimize his book. I did have a few sea of tears moments, especially because I could relate and knew the hurt. His book seemed to not focus on the let's hit the target parent in the heart, but to explain and discuss. Although I hate to admit this, I found an appreciation for Mr. Baldwin after reading this book.
If you would like to purchase his book and to read it, I would appreciate that you click the link I have posted in this entry and to make your purchase. I won't beat around the bush. A target parent's fight in the courts is expensive and exhausting. Your purchase helps.
Parental alienation is abuse. Stop the abuse.