Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving, why?

As we enter the holiday season of Thanksgiving, Christmas and the New Year, this can be a very difficult time for parents who are separated from their children because of parental alienation. They may have a court order that states they have holiday visitation, but they may not get to spend time with their children because the alienating parent interferes once again. It is difficult enough that target parents have weekend visitations taken away or interfered with, but the holiday interference really puts the icing on the cake so to speak. Holidays are stressful enough without the added aggravation. Perhaps it is the notion that we spend hours making the perfect dinner and everyone gathers around a table to eat and we share special moments isn't all that it is cracked up to be.

The three main triggers for depression and stress during the holidays are finances, physical demands and relationships. As a mother, I want to have the so called perfect holidays be it with the meal, decorations or the gift giving. With the state of the economy right now, this places demands and stresses to do what I can with less. These demands, although stressful, I can handle. I get excited being to save and being creative. Some of the demands are self induced be it doing more than one can afford, not knowing when to say no or trying to buy expensive needless gifts. I have always thought that the holidays are about family and about gifts from the heart. So this brings me to relationships.

The holidays can be a painful reminder of the death of a loved one who has passed during the holiday season. They can also be painful that you may be alone or if a target parent, that you are unable to spend the holiday time with your children. If a loved one has recently died or you aren't able to be with your loved ones, realize that it's normal to feel sadness or grief. You can't force yourself to be happy just because it's the holiday season.

So as we enter the holiday season, I ask Happy Thanksgiving, why? I do not get to spend time with my son. I cannot even hear his voice. As usual, my phone calls go answered, messages that are left are ignored. In this age of technology, the emails and text messages left are also ignored. So I can be depressed or I can think of what I am thankful for.

I am thankful that I have a job. I am thankful that I am not homeless and that I have a roof over my head, a warm bed to sleep in and clean clothes to wear. I am thankful that I can prepare a meal today and have the ability to share. I am thankful that I do not have to worry when my next meal will be. I am thankful to have friends that are supportive, even when I have been very difficult. I am thankful that I am not in a hospital right now because of some illness. I am thankful that my son is healthy and alive. I am thankful that I have the freedom to express my feelings and thoughts and the capacity to do so.

So in closing for today, realize that target parents may very well be somewhat down today and for the next several weeks. It is a difficult time for them.

I pray that one day not another parent will ever have to experience the pain and heartbreak of parental alienation.

Parental alienation is abuse! Stop the abuse!

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