This has been an amazing week, despite my last blog.
And about that…
I am sorry if my last blog made you feel sad. I was selfishly thinking only about me at the time. I usually don’t complain. I know that rumination only reinforces the triggers that cause me to relive the trauma. But it is healthy to journal and I guess that I needed to vent. You know what it is like to try to tell someone about what the narcissistic/borderline has done to you. There are no words that can adequate describe the emotions. No matter how much our friends and family love us, they can’t relate.
For that reason, you are an incredible blessing to me. You’ve felt the depth and breath of the worse days of my life. You not only hear me---you know me. Your understanding and your will to keep fighting is what keeps me going. Thank You.
OK, on to the Good News:
Holiday time or not, the work to save and protect our children and us continues, thank God. The momentum has been swiftly and steadily rising over the last year. Given the progress that I’ve seen this fall, 2017 will make history.
Let me share a few very recent examples of how we are beginning to turn the corner on narcissistic/borderline family abuse.
1. Last Thursday, I went to a presentation by a very popular nutritionist (I still want to lose some weight). Do you know what she talked about? ACEs and trauma! As I listened I thought, “This is not an accident.” The presenter explained that chronic high levels of cortisol from traumatic stress (our ex-partners) breaks down muscle and turns it into fat. So those of us who have CPTSI – Complex posttraumatic stress injuries are prone to weight gain even if we are eating healthy. That explained why nutrisystems didn’t work for me!
We all need to go on an elimination diet. We need to eliminate the narcissistic/borderline from our lives and that includes our thoughts, feelings and reactions. For many of you actively engaged in the battle, you need to see this person as he or she really is. Mentally ill, void of empathy, and living in a delusion. Narcissistic/borderlines are dead to this world but extremely toxic to everyone else. They are like an android, programmed by their parents. There is no upgrade.
2. Speaking of ACEs. Everyday, more and more articles come across my desk like this one from the Chronicles for Social Change.
“The blockbuster Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) Study has become the fulcrum of a powerful and diverse consortium of interests bent on preventing and addressing childhood trauma.
Groups ranging from pediatricians and charitable foundations to politicians have increasingly asked how this growing body of research—which clearly shows how bad events experienced as a youngster can negatively affect adult health—can be applied to policy and practice.
While a politically viable and economically feasible strategy to lift up the lives of millions of children has been elusive, the interim step of using the study’s Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) questionnaire as a screening tool is gaining traction.”
This means that we are going to start to see routine screenings for ACEs at just about every point in which our children touch society. Whenever and wherever our children are screened. it will set off alarms that our children have an ACE score of 7+. The first question they will ask is, “What has this child been through to cause so much trauma?” The second question that will be asked is, “How do we reduce this ACE score?” There is only one way, and we know what it is.
3. I was surprised to read that Dr. Bernet of the Parental Alienation Study Group is familiar with how ACEs cause mental health problems. He included a discussion about ACEs in an article he published with members of the DSM-V last summer. While he got some of the information wrong in the article and is still on the fringes of the problem-- pushing the language “parental alienation,” it is obvious that ACEs are entering into every conversation about child abuse and neglect.
4. Also, in a recent blog, Dr. Craig Childress strongly asserts that mental health professionals must STOP using the words"parental alienation.” He mentions that parents can still use this nondescript term, but I totally disagree. We all need to be on the same page. We may be traumatized, but we are not stupid. We have lived through triangulation, aligning a child in a cross-generational coalition and splitting so we can certainly attest to it by the scientific names. Personally, as the parent, I don’t want to look ignorant or throw any obstacles in the way of interventions. The words “parental alienation” will always divert the attention from our families and ignite the age-old controversies. Besides, one the strongest assets for the ACE framework is that it provides a common language and platform for all of us to use, and that framework will never include the words “parental alienation.”
5. The BBC aired an excellent investigation about “parental alienation” on one of their network channels. Within the short documentary, they defined “parental alienation” as a set of strategies that one parent uses against the other… This is exactly right. You and I know that these strategies are rooted in the narcissistic/borderline’s decomposition into persecutory delusions because they are reenacting their own attachment trauma. But, that’s not necessary to explain…yet.
6. From the family court arena, a member of the Alliance and a candidate for both her family law and social worker degrees, recently published an article in Family Court Review titled: High Conflict Divorce: A Case of Child Neglect. In her well-documented article, Alexa Joyce proposes that high conflict divorces are cases of child (emotional) neglect and should involve child protective services. I talked with Alexa about how well her article has been received by the extremely conservative but powerful Association of Family and Conciliation Courts. Alexa told me that her arguments (which stem from the ACE study) are strongly supported.
7. Finally, an investigative reporter has taken on the daunting task of exposing how Family Court Judges are placing children with the abusive parent. I don’t want to let this cat out of the bag just yet, but she has already published in ACEs Too High. I'm following up.
On a personal note, I was honored to receive a full scholarship to attend Rick Hansen’s Foundations of Well Being Program. It starts in January and I am sure I will learn ways to improve my life by using my brain, by one of the best teachers. I look forward to sharing. .