Can you forgive the other parent for abducting and/or trying to alienate your child?
A few days ago, a post was written on a Facebook group that asked the question "Could you ever look your ex in the eyes and tell them that you forgive them for what they have done??" and the responses were varied although weighted on the fact that many could not.
When you look at the "tactics" that are sometimes used in a relationship breakdown where the children are used as a weapon, it is quite undertandable that affected parents might feel this way
The group was Parental Alienation World Wide Support Group that has over 30,000 members which really highlights how many families are affected by this behaviour.
One parent stated "If I do not forgive, then I am no better than the ex" and went on to say that if you do not forgive, then it is hypocrisy. But are these the true feelings or is this "programmed" by the system as what needs to happen to re-establish contact and a positive relationship with your child?
To understand the feelings that could be pent up inside a parent, you need to understand what they have had to cope with, often for long periods of time.
Firstly, in the case of a parental abduction, the parent often will go through a similar grieving process which has some similarities to if they had lost their child through a sudden death. (By no means am I saying that this is the same).. I addressed this point in an earlier article.
In the family court process, the tactics seem to be in a number of cases, to provide as many reasons as possible to justify the behaviour of an alienating parents such as false allegations of domestic violence or abuse, coaching of the children to dislike or fear the other parent, and frustrating any contact to try to sytematically remove the other parent and their family from the child's life.
I am not naive enough to think that this type of abuse does not take place at all in any cases but more often than not, I believe that these claims are fabricated to be used as a tool in the family court process which should upset REAL victims as much as the many targeted accused that are false.
Many of the lawyers use these "tools" as a mechanism to win a case... But are there ANY real winners?
This, in effect, is beating the child and the family with an emotional stick and the effects can last a lifetime. Would this lack of forgiveness be more understandable if the scars were visable?
However, I ask the question if this "forgiveness" is actually the answer?
For many, the hurt is so deep that it would be simply unrealistic to suddenly state that they forgive. Also, how can one forgive when the behaviour continues to happen?
Surely, one can only aim to forgive something that is in the past?
Maybe the focus should not be whether or not one can forgive the alienating parent but instead put the focus on what the child needs to go through in order to maintain a good relationship with both parents?
I reiterate from an earlier blog that the impact of parental child abduction and alienation needs to address ALL concerned.
Far too often when psychological intervention is suggested, the focus is on the parent wishing to reconnect with their child but very rarely is the abducting/alienating parent assessed and even more concerning, help for the child is rarely ordered. These being the young minds that have to at some point make sense of the fact that one or both of their parents has lied to them or abused them either emotionally or physically.