Monday, January 18, 2010

Taking Action and Never Giving Up

I met with a dad recently who is sadly representative of so many mom’s and dad’s who are: (1) being falsely accused of doing things that they have never done, (2) of having scary qualities that they never have had and somehow of (3) posing a danger to the child that they have been moving heaven and earth to somehow see. This familiar and tragic situation can easily overwhelm the strongest parent, yet I continue to notice how few actually give up and walk away. In this dad, I saw the same thing that I have seen so many times: a parent desperately searching for actions, or things to do that will combat and overcome the campaign of vilification that is being waged against them in an effort to poison and remove their children from them. This might be the most important message of his story, the refusal to give up and become inert and defeated. The actions that represent this refusal to give up can take many forms and new ones are explored constantly. I recently heard of a dad who planted a tree in honor of his absent and alienated son. The tree became a symbol of his commitment and love and this father’s care of it kept him sane I think. I heard of a mom who began rescuing the breed of dog that her absent and alienated son had always wanted. Her commitment to this love of his kept her connected to him and moving forward. I heard of a dad who began a website devoted not just to his absent and alienated children, but also served as a touchstone and message center for other alienated children providing them a place to reach out anonymously to other like children and even to their missing parent. I hear many stories of parents who start support groups, chat groups and discussion groups.

I guess that the point is that one must have an action plan in order to be successful. Sometimes the plan may be directly related to the court case, or to the therapy or to the evaluation, but other times the action is more personal and indirectly related but still a part of the refusal to give up. I routinely marvel at the creative actions that parents can do in these circumstances.

1 comment:

Cindy said...

Does it mean that you have given up if you finally ask the child to leave because you refuse to take any more verbal abuse? Sadly, telling her that I loved her, I asked my 17 year old daughter to call the other parent, and that she is welcome back when she could act kindly. It seemed like weight was lifted off of her shoulders because she was working so hard to keep distance between us. It seemed to be her full time job. If she had a pleasant time then she worked overtime to sabotage it? What do I do now? Sometimes we get desparate for answers..... And I want to ask what motivates a parent and step mother to tell a child their mother does not love them.......?