Alienation or estrangement?

Assessing high conflict separated families, we distinguish between Alienation (“there’s no good reason”), and justified estrangement (“there is good reason”). Commonly it is a hybrid mixture of both. Estrangement can be looked at in its own right in other adult family situations where it means the same: “distanced relationships with a good reason”. Understanding estrangement illustrates some important points about Alienation.Screen Shot 2015-08-03 at 17.18.42

About “good reason” or not: It is important for those experiencing the injustices and false allegations to show they remember that justice is as essential for the many cases where there are significant or awful real abuse and risks to assess. Sorting out justified, unjustified and hybrid – and doing it promptly – is not easy for the professionals who do it. Only by recognising the justified situations can we expect others to recognise the unjustified ones.

Stand Alone estrangement survey

Stand Alone is a new charity offering support to adults estranged from their family or children. We welcome Stand Alone here on the alienation experience blog. They’re now in our useful links and services. They have a ‘meeting people’ page and (so far) offer support services in London, Sheffield, Newcastle and Glasgow. Outside those areas, they have a comprehensive on-line support service. Stand Alone may not mention Alienation specifically, but the estranged and Alienated alike would surely find sympathy there.

Among the innovative things they’ve done is to commission research on levels of estrangement in the population. They got Ipsos MORI to do a preliminary survey. It shows that around 1 in 5 families in the UK will be affected by estrangement, 1 in 4 know somebody who is no longer in contact with a family member, and 1 in 10  said they were personally estranged from a family member.

You can see details and download more and the top line and full data too.  Ipsos MORI do long face to face interviews in people’s homes with specific commissioned questions included. One way to get a better idea of how many people are affected by Alienation would be to craft and commission our own questions for a survey. Stand Alone’s key question was:

Do you know anyone who is estranged from a member of their family? By estranged we mean they are no longer in contact with at least one member of their family due to a breakdown in the relationship.

Screen Shot 2015-08-03 at 17.19.11So this is not asking about estrangement from  thewhole of the rest of a person’s family. Severe Child and Parental Alienation (PA) means that a child is cut off from one parent plus their whole family too. The estrangement need only be with just one member of your family. You wonder how an Alienated person would respond to the estrangement question asked. Other questions emerge too.

It is great to have some new facts on the overall picture:

Over a quarter (27%) of the GB public know somebody who is no longer in contact with a family member. 8% of those surveyed said they were personally estranged from a family member. The figures show little variation in terms of gender … The figures stay consistent across class and earnings, yet the regional breakdown showed a lower incidence of estrangement in London versus the rest of the country. This preliminary research points to the fact that family estrangement permeates all types of families, including those who consider themselves highly educated and earning well above the national average wage.   … among a sample of 2,082 adults aged 15+ in September 2014. Data were weighted to known population figures for age, region, social grade and working status within gender and non-interlocking targets for household tenure and ethnicity.

Estrangement will be of harder on young adults because, having distanced from their family of origin, they are less likely to have established other families and support in their lives. Why is there less estrangement in London? Seems surprising. Maybe the larger ethnic population in London means communities of people who stay closer to their families:

What would alienated people have said?

What a single question like theirs cannot control or get at is what people took as their definition of ‘family’. Older people are likely to be in one or more extra families of marriage or cohabiting. So older people have a wider selection of families and family members to belong to, and be estranged or Alienated from. To be estranged from all members of all your families would perhaps not be so much rare bad luck, as to raise a question about what that individual may do to fall out so much. But it is common for an Alienated person to be completely cut off from a whole family network having done nothing to deserve that fate.

People who said “yes” to being or knowing someone who was estranged would mostly be talking about people who continue to have good relationships with the other members of their family/ies. Have a look at the full data that explores multiple yes-es more. More detailed answers to these questions would require some extra different questions asked.

For Alienated families, if you are a grown-up alienated child, you may well still have a strong link to one parent and siblings and that side of your family of origin. You wouldn’t say that you were estranged from that your (perceived main) family. And you might or might not say you know someone who is estranged – even though you do very well know of one: the parent you rejected along the way. But the rejected parent would say they were estranged (if not Alienated) to this general survey question, and so would those who know them. For Alienation you could expect the answers to give you figures that don’t match. And if your questions were carefully defined – estrangement = “good reason”; Alienation = “no good reason” – then you would get diametrically opposing views of the same relationship depending on whose side you were asking. Perhaps the value of a non-technical use of  ‘estrangement’ is that it invites fresher responses, and gives you richer answers and interesting questions. For many people, the word ‘Alienation’ already brings in too much baggage.

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Young people’s views from SCCR survey 2013

So it would be great to build on this preliminary research to explore some more underlying details.

Estrangement and Alienation

He was interviewed for Women’s Hour on BBC Radio 4 recently (listen from 1 min 20 secs).  Here’s an academic presentation of his research on negotiating adult family estrangement.  Shaheen Hashmat also talked on the programme about her choice to distance from her family – because of their cultural requirements that she couldn’t accept or find a compromise with.Stand Alone was mentioned by Dr Jason Robinson,psychologist who has studied estrangement.

The picture from this is that estrangement is significantly different from Alienation though it still leaves the estranged person bereaved and unsupported compared with those who have family around.

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Parents’ and carers’ views from SCCR survey 2013

The key difference between Alienation and estrangement is this: Where Alienation entails three parties, estrangement in the BBC discussion is more of a two-party pattern. Alienation is when one person turns another against a third (see more on this broad definition here). In Child and Parental Alienation this is specifically a parent turning a child against the other parent. The broad meaning of estrangement (that Stand Alone used) means that, faced with unresolvable differences with their family, a person chooses by their own (reluctant maybe but) free individual choice to create a big distance. They find it a relief to make the break. This may be with just one family member, some of them, or all of them. For Shaheen Hashmat it was with all her family except for one sibling.

But both three-party Alienation and two-party estrangement involve seriously difficult family relationship conflict, and both are miserable predicaments all round. With the high prevalence shown in the surveys, it is right to look for other ways to help.

Another organisation that has grown into this field is the Edinburgh-based Cyrenians and the umbrella organisation, the Scottish Centre for Conflict Resolution that grew from realising how homelessness was mostly the result of family fall-out.

The SCCR diagrams here give some of the statistics from their own 2013 survey. 41% of parents or carers and 61% of young people report having weekly arguments in their family. 25% of youngsters each month think of leaving home and 50% would like to talk to someone who could help. 70% of parents would think of talking to someone to help sort things out.

In conclusion

It’s good to have some real facts to work from. It would be good to use this survey approach to find out more about Alienation in the UK – as well as more about estrangement too. Looking at estrangement in its own right is relevant for this blog given the estrangement Alienation is contrasted with, and given our interest in broad thinking about the hard end of broken family relationships. We can see more clearly some similarities and differences between estrangement and Alienation.

Nick Child, Edinburgh

Source: Getting familiar with estrangement

Does Parental Alienation Cause Post Traumatic Stress Disorder?

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Manipulate a child’s mind.

Parental Alienation and The Nurturing of Hate.Parental Alienation Chart - 2016

It may appear as though the child is happy about their new, parent-less status, but suppressing a relationship with the other parent is emotionally unhealthy and impacts them for a lifetime. This is a reality in Albion, PA, where children and parents are impacted, just as it is a reality all across the World. We need to find people who can help.

Parental Alienation is a term used to describe the behavior of a parent and often other family members who manipulate a child’s mind with the motive of severing all ties between the child and the other parent. The agenda is packed with various tactics and actions are pre-meditated. When the pressure on the child to remain loyal to the alienating parent becomes too intense, the child gives up, and total rejection of the other parent becomes reality.PA IS EMOTIONAL ABUSE-COLLAGE - 2016

Interestingly enough, one elementary school counselor took a brochure but told me she is told “not to get involved” with these situations. My response to her was, “That is a problem.” I have to question if people understand that parental alienation is emotional bruising just as physical abuse leaves visible marks on a child’s body. It harms a child’s development. Do people care or are they ignorant? Are we failing our children by not facing reality? What kind of society do we live in?

Parents who are on a mission to destroy a bond between a child and the other parent can only be punished through the courts and by God. There is little we can do about them and their behavior. They tell others they are “protecting” their child and make the child feel like the other parent is unworthy of a relationship with their child. Something no child should have to hear, for that parent is parent of who they are.

Parents who are on the receiving end of the alienation are often helpless. There is little they can by themselves. They stand helpless, as they watch the relational death between themselves and their children. They watch their children construct a wall between them as a result of the brainwashing. The parents witness the joy being drained out of their children’s lives, as they are asked to spy, lie, and even partake in the intense denigration. They watch their children sabotage their time with them in order to remain abnormally loyal to the alienating parent (and family). Alienated parents cannot help their own children because they are portrayed as the enemy. The courts fail them too.

Family courts embrace adversarial situations and often empower the alienating parent. Alienating parents have passed the course in manipulation and are very convincing. As a result, the courts lack of education, empathy, knowledge of children development or need for power further hurts the child.PAS Normalizing - 2016

The damage caused by the breakup of families is not going away, especially if we continually turn our backs on the abuse. Research shows that 20-25% of children in divorce situations are alienated from a parent. The impact lasts a life time. That was evident as I spoke to adults, in Albion, PA, who were alienated from their children.

Teachers, college professors, pastors, ministers, doctors, counselors, coaches and many others can begin to help children in an area that is desperately needed. Right relationships are what life is all about! Parental alienation is real, parental alienation is child abuse!

Don’t Alienate Your Children from Their Dad

To Be Immune from Parental Alienation Allegations, Just Don’t Alienate Your Children from Their Dad

 

There is one disturbing side to the fight of some women denying parental alienation syndrome. The rights to be protected against domestic violence and to protect their kids from child abuse are theirs. They consider it as their property, and as Proudhon would say in “Qu’est -ce que la propriété? (What Is Property?), property is more the right to exclude someone else from the enjoyment of a good than that to derive enjoyment from it. The women rights movement, which succeeded in making domestic violence and child abuse against the law, has fought for them and them only. Those fathers and mothers who claim the rights to be protected against parental alienation are just bums and usurpers that have to remain disenfranchised. Domestic violence is about a man beating up his wife and his kids, end of the story. The work of Gardner and others is phony and their authors’ agenda is to help fathers abusing their kids with legal protection.You are Disgusting - 2016

For these women too, family courts have been converted  to the parental alienation syndrome doctrine and are massively granting fathers custody of their kids (I guess, lucky me, I have missed Manhattan family court’s conversion). Hence mothers filing for divorce need to be coached to face the courts’ new biased scrutiny. That’s what RightsforMothers.com is doing in a recent posting, and its advice to mothers is quite telling. Among others: don’t refer to your children as “my” children;  don’t badmouth the father of your kids; keep pictures of your children with their dad; allow contacts between your kid and your ex’s extended family… In other terms, don’t alienate your children from your ex. That’s a start.

How great the world would be if these folks were to understand that mothers’ rights shall not be exclusive of fathers’ rights and the other way around!

January 17, 2010 by fearlessfathers

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“Too Inconvenient” – Florida Family Court Abuse Against “FIT” Father

“ Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.”~ Aldous Huxley (1894–1963) English writer

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“There is no question that our family law statutes need to be reformed and that there is a great deal of ‘judicial discretion‘ in family law matters. Often times, the outcome of your case depends more on the judge that you have been assigned than the facts of your particular case. If you were to have your case in front of one judge, the outcome may be very different if you were to have your case in front of a different judge.”  ~ Christine Bauer,  A Florida Attorney. 

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Children with involved, loving fathers are significantly more likely to do well in school, have healthy self-esteem, exhibit empathy and pro-social behavior, and avoid high-risk behaviors such as drug use, truancy, and criminal activity compared to children who have uninvolved fathers.

• Studies on parent-child relationships and child well-being show that father love is an important factor in predicting the social, emotional, and cognitive development and functioning of children and young adults.Get the help you need bio mom - 2015FRM USA - 2015ChangePolitics - Fatherlessness Epidemic - 2016I ruined my ex - 2015Project Fatherhood FL 10- 2015Project Fatherhood FL 4- 2015

• 24 million children (34 percent) live absent their biological father.

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