Saturday, 15 September 2007

The parent that never speaks aids the alienation

My mother never said much about my male parent or his actions. Not to me anyway. It confused me. I often said, even when I was very, very young, that I wished I knew both sides of the story. Without both sides, I only have the alienator's story to believe. I had no alternative and, as a seven, eight, nine year old, did not have the mental capacity to understand that there WAS another side to the story.

I understand her motives: protection of her children and herself. She wanted to keep us out of adult problems as much as possible but also did not want to dwell on a relationship she had fled. Her marriage was over, in her mind.

Unfortunately, by keeping quiet, she unwittingly made matters worse. What I wanted to hear was that she loved me and wanted me, that my male parent was lying. I needed to know this but never heard it. The only time in my whole life that I can remember her telling me that she loved me was literally on her death bed. Maybe she assumed I knew. I don't know.

She did not want to involve us in what was already a difficult and protracted divorce.

If you're in this situation with your children right now, tell them you love them OFTEN. Tell them that your divorce is nothing to do with them and that BOTH parents love them. Don't do what the alienator does: don't tell the kids that the other parent is being mean or that if they really loved their kids, they would be nicer, etcetera. Don't do that! They don't want to hear it! They don't want the details of your marriage or divorce! I had that rammed down my throat when I was far too young to cope with or digest it or understand it. Adult concepts in a child mind mean confusion and disturbance. I did not need to know. What I needed was reassurance that both my parents love me. I never got that. I got little affection from one (naturally reticent) parent and plenty of affection from the other one, but all swamped by assurances that the reason the former didn't hug me was because she didn't love me, and that the latter was the only one who really cared about me.

This confused me even more: at the age of eight I could not understand why he chose to live four hours from us. If she was so terrible a person, why did he abandon us to her?

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