Sunday, April 25, 2010

April 25 is Parental Alienation Awareness Day

Today is the 5th Annual Parental Alienation Awareness Day. Why is this important? It is important because as the public, attorneys, judges, teachers, police, social workers and others are educated about the effects of parental alienation then change can happen. Burying one's head in the sand and having the attitude that is just a phase will not make change happen.

There are so many theories, beliefs and opinions about parental alienation. I am not sure what I would have thought about parental alienation until I experienced it first hand. Quite honestly, if I heard my story from someone else, I may have nodded my head, said "oh I am so sorry" and avoided contact. The stories I hear seem something made for drama lifetime movies. The stories I hear all ring the same though.

As I have mentioned before in a previous post, I have reconnected with my son. One of the hard things I have accepting at times is the lost time that I will never recover and the fact that our relationship is now different.

This morning my son called me to ask if we could meet. We spent a few hours together and on my way home I thought about many things. I thought about the hoops I have jumped through just get to this point and how I still am no closer to answers as to why. There seems to be no sense of closure on that fact. As I thought about it longer, I realized that idea of thought kept me angry about what happened. Not as I was angry with my son totally, but more angry that his father could do this to his child. Then it dawned on me that my anger meant that his father still had control of me. The only way I can and will move forward is to let go of the anger. That also means I may never get closure or answers to many questions I have. is it important? Yes and no. And I am working on that.

As I continued to drive home I thought about other things as well. I thought about how lucky I am compared to other target parents and how selfish I was in my thinking that I wanted answers. I started to wonder was there a positive side to all of this?

So here are some of my thoughts. Four years ago I did not exist as a parent. I was not listed as one for his school. Phone calls I made to my son went unanswered and not returned. Text messaging was pretty much non existent unless I was being told something negative. Holidays were not important for me. I was not privy to know anything about school, friends or events. I was not allowed pictures. I existed as a mandated weekend, when enforced, as the person who allowed my son to do what he wanted and to treat me as he wished. If I felt bad or was sick, oh well was the sentiment. I was the doormat and allowed it to spend anytime with my son. I never knew if my weekend would be forbidden or not. My name was not mom, but my given name as well.

Today I am mom. I get phone calls and text messages. They are not regular and go in cycles. I may hear from my son several times a week or I may go a week or two without hearing from him. I am asked for advice about things and told things as well that he does not want his dad to know because my son says his dad will yell at him. I do not disparage his dad to him, although there have been times I could have. I imagine he tells his dad things that he does not want me to know and I accept that. I now get a hug from him and he does not pull away from me. I can tell him I love him and he does not give me that disgusted look. I still do not get I love you Mom back.

So what was the positive to come from this? From experiences and other people's stories. I am able to overcome insecurities and am able to embrace what time I have with my child. I am not afraid of sharing him especially with the other parent. My child is an individual molded from ideas that both my ex husband and I believe in. Anger is a tool that someone holds over another to control. Letting go of my anger took away the control that my ex held over me. My son is no longer a 10 year old, but now an adult and he has adult ideas, thoughts and words. Life is too damn short to sweat the small stuff. Take whatever nibble of positive you have and work from that.