7 MIN READ | Mental Health Stories

The Nightmare of Parental Alienation

John McHarg

Cite This
John McHarg, (2019, November 26). The Nightmare of Parental Alienation. Psychreg on Mental Health Stories. https://www.psychreg.org/parental-alienation/
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Two years ago, the term parental alienation meant absolutely nothing to me. Two years ago, the world, or at least my small world was OK, there were difficulties but I was trying to find a path through and beyond them, my wife and beautiful son. Two years ago, I had absolutely no idea just how massive the legal industry profits were based on facilitating, initiating and prolonging child custody cases. Two years ago I had no idea just how broken and corrupt the system was around the fact that child welfare in legal terms meant, as one lawyer put it to me ‘land and expand’ – once you get a client on a child custody case then make it last as long as you can, it’s good business .

Two years ago, I knew my ex has significant personality traits that made my life very difficult, I had no idea of just how clinically narcissistic she was or just how much the legal system would facilitate that very insipid character trait.

I discovered my wife was having an affair, it was devastating, and no amount of counselling or discussion could reason with her, she had done nothing wrong it was all my fault, that is the projection a narcissist puts on others.

Eventually after seven months of efforts and rapidly increasing one-way blame for her actions to myself we separated. To be completely honest it was a relief. We agreed on 50/50 parenting as I was (and fortunately again I still am) very close to my darling son. He was my world and I done my best to minimise the impact of our separation to him.

Everything was OK initially, however, very quickly the complete force of the narcissistic behaviour started to show. From November 2017 to February  2018 rapid erosion of communication, all initiated one way by her started to occur and then, it happened.

I took my son back to his mother’s one Saturday, her irrational behaviour hiding behind the door trying to portray herself as an abused victim was peculiar, I didn’t see, hear or hold my precious son for 104 days after that, it was hell, and it only got worse.

I went on holiday to visit family in the US for comfort and support, I needed it, I was in a constant state of distraught, and it was bringing on depression, something I had never experienced before, not seeing my son, that wee boy whose birth I was at, had held, fed, bathed, changed nappies, taken long father son walks with, read stories to, laid besides awake all night when he was unwell, laughed at Peppa pig with, read his first books to, taught him his first words, cuddled , kissed and completely overwhelmingly loved was being kept from me for absolutely no good reason and it was torture and it seriously affected my mental health.

Being completely naive to this I sought out the and I use this word as loosely as I possibly can ‘help’ of a solicitor. This was a journey of confusion and disgust at these ‘professionals’ I could never adequately describe.

Parental alienation can be described in a variety of ways, in my case it was initially the keeping of my child from me by his mother for no good reason. Then there was ‘family-assisted parental alienation’ With the help of her solicitors she fabricated reason after reason to justify her vile behaviour. I was issued a writ, literally on returning from the airport from holiday, they were there waiting for me and served it as I was opening my front door. What I read was a list of accusations so untrue and so devastating that it floored me.

It said I was an abuser, physically, mentally, I had mental health problems, alcohol issues and here is the term that the legal system use to milk that cow ‘not in my son’s interest’ to have contact with me this is the other form of parental alienation, the ‘legally assisted and facilitated parental alienation’, to add to that type I discovered another form the next day, this was the ‘school-assisted parental alienation’.

I went to get my son from nursery, and they refused. They had heard all the absolute evidence free no proof whatsoever allegations from his mother and instantly decided they were true, and here is another form the ‘gender-biased parental alienation’, they prevented me from seeing my son and it was illegal but they got away with it because here was another the ‘police-assisted parental alienation’. These words actually came out of a police sergeant’s mouth in Stirling Police station: ‘If you were a woman I’d take you seriously but you’re a man. If you don’t get out of here, I’ll arrest you.’ I quickly realised that a retreat was better than giving them the excuse to phone the Police.

So, to the lawyers again. The ‘lawyer-assisted parental alienation’ and in that form I include both parties’ solicitors for the ‘land and expand’ reasons stated. I could elaborate in-depth about just how despicable their behaviour was and is, I’m talking about my own lawyers of which I went through five in total before I realised that I could progress better without them. It is hard to describe just how little they could care about the hell and anguish that their ‘lawyer-assisted parental alienation ‘ was having on me so I’ll leave this statement here and discuss them no more, do not ever expect a lawyer to have your or your child’s best interest in their mind, it simply isn’t profitable and to you, the reader that is the hard fact of the matter.

So now to the ‘court-assisted parental alienation’. If I was accused of murder or a terrorist it would take one simple aspect to both get charged and into a court room: evidence. Not one scrap of evidence is required to drag you on your emotional knees through Hell by the Courts, nothing whatsoever.

To go through the 13 court appearances, multiple accusations of abuse, brutality cruelty , emotional and financial neglect, the seconds, minutes, hours, days, months, weeks and years of despair taking me to to the absolute lowest point I’ve ever been to in my life, loss of employment and almost financial destruction it took absolutely no evidence whatsoever .

Nothing, it took not one single piece of evidence in any form for the courts and legal system to inflict my life with that absolute hell of ‘legally-assisted parental alienation‘ all the while with the addition of not seeing my child, my son, not theirs, the most precious and important relationship with anyone that I’ve have ever had.

Here was another form that I found particularly difficult the ‘friend-assisted parental alienation‘. Those people who you were both friend with and mutual associates, those people who heard the insipid tales of woe from one side and decided that you didn’t deserve to see your child, those are the people who can’t look you in the eye or apologies when they finally know the truth and if you are just going through what I’ve described I assure you, they never were your friends so best to know now and hold your head high as they lower theirs the next time you walk by them.

The process of seeing my son continued. The first time I saw him after 104 days was at a contact centre, the utter humiliation of being ‘supervised’ while I saw my own child was the most demeaning moment of my life but I got to hold him while every word and movement was being recorded for report back to court. This gradually increased through the repeated and I use this term loosely too ‘child welfare’ hearings where the lies only continued. There are two forms of lies going on here, the vexatious lies of my ex and the professional lies of the solicitors. At this point I was ‘party Litigant’; I was representing myself and had been given help and assistance to do so from a couple of invaluable organisations.

Going party litigant, if you are willing and able to put in the time required to sue – our what you need to do – I assure you is better than feeding that fat uncaring greedy belly that is the legal system.

Here in Scotland where legal aid is available there is another aspect that is truly disgusting. It is an established fact that lawyers will encourage women to go to women’s aid organisations to claim abuse even if there has been none in order to get an easier decision on legal aid which would be highly unlikely to be rejected. This is disgusting for several reasons but in particular it takes away vital time and assistance to those women who genuinely need these services. My ex, being the clinical narcissist, she was fully utilised this against me and involved my son in order to use him for her own disgusting attacks on myself. Using a child as a weapon, using a child for ‘parental alienation’ is child abuse. It’s as simple as that.

I was lucky, I figured out what I had to do and on 22nd November 2019 I used what I had learned, reading up , researching going to meeting, talking with others in my situation repeated court appearances and here’s the important one, standing in the corridors and cafes of these court listening to these so called professionals and listening to just how they behave with each other gave me the insight to initiate and gain just what my son needed, co-parenting and I have it on a court document signed by a sheriff.

All the lies, false allegations they go completely unanswered to, too bad, tough luck, grin and bear it the law couldn’t care less. As I said that Aspect of the law doesn’t need one single bit of Evidence to drag you through the gates of hell and to the ten levels below that where lawyers and vexatious narcissist live.

I woke up on the 23rd November 2019 free of the purgatory that I was cast into. The weight off my shoulders is truly astonishing, I had a rapid revised feeling that I could go on and face the world as I had confidently done before although remember I’m dealing with a narcissist so I can only expect more fabrication and falsehoods levelled against myself, they have to justify their putrid behaviour and be the victim at all times as someone else’s fault so while I’m walking lighter today and I’m tentatively looking at a stable happy future routine for myself and my son going forward I do have both eyes closely looking at what may come next, she can’t help herself, she’s a narcissist, a serial liar and a serial victim of her own behaviour which is my fault in her head.

As a result of this myself and some others have decided to start a charity to assists mums and dads who are going through this nightmare. The first important step is to address the mental health of how someone is coping with this type of situation.

We are in the early days but hopefully can get the support we need to give. They desperately needed help and advice others need to navigate through the hell they are in, I use ‘hell’ repeatedly because that is exactly what it is. 


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