There are so many opportunities for us in the ACEs, trauma informed, and resilience building movement, that I decided the most efficient and effective way for us to get our powerful scientific based message out to all those who can help us end the nightmare of narcissistic abuse, is to publish a book. So, I am taking a 2-month sabbatical from running the Alliance (including the face book and LinkedIn pages) to write.
But before I do, I wanted to up date you on:
What’s working and what is not.
What’s Not Working?—The same things that never worked.
Some targeted parents are still trying to prove “parental alienation” in family court. GRRRRR. Please remember that there aren’t any States with statutes that define “parental alienation” let alone have made it a crime. A lawyer would have to prove “it” by case law- Good Luck with that, Perry Mason.
I’ve had contact with a few lawyers and GALs who know that one parent is using alienation strategies to discard the TP, but that’s as far as they get. Even if they get past the obstacles of trying to prove something that most legal professionals have strongly held misconceptions about, there are no laws or protocols to take it to the next level.
Usually the courts think that the next level is therapy for the child and TP. We know where that goes-- No protective separation---No reunification. Therapy further harms the child and further traumatizes the TP. In addition, children who express strong desires about placement with one parent, intimidate Judges and GALs. They are afraid that the children will be too traumatized if they transfer custody from the abusive parent to the TP and they will be held accountable.
What IS Working.
1. Using an advocate. Advocates can be another parent, friend, sibling, spiritual leader, therapist, a coach or anyone who is willing to help you manage the stress of being re-traumatized by Family Court and Child Protective Services. It is very hard for targeted parents to effectively manage their own high conflict cases even with all that we know about the circumstances and people.
2. Designing a plan. Targeted parents do not have the luxury to “wait and see” what will happen in the next court hearing. I can almost guarantee it won’t be good.
The abuser is spending 24/7 planning how to execute the next attack, the next step to devalue you and the final phases of discarding you. He or she has been in the drivers seat since the beginning. And don’t give credit to the lawyers, your ex-partner calls the shots.
Plan to take the offensive. Use your advocate. Your lawyer will not take the lead and fix this. Family law professionals do not understand child development, attachment systems, personality disorders or trauma. We cannot teach them all of this, we must lead them through what needs to be done.
3. File contempt every time your ex violates a court order (including child support). The only way the court will “see” the narcissistic/borderline traits will be if you show them. You want the conflict to be between the abuser and the Judge; not between the two of you. It won’t take long for the court to see that he/she has no respect for authority and will not comply or cooperate with anything that supports your relationships with your children. This is abuse!
4. Convince the GAL or your lawyer to request psychological evaluations for both of you, as soon as possible. Use an independent clinic that is competent is diagnosing personality disorders. These objective mental health professionals are pretty easy to find. Do not use custody evaluators; they work for the court and will not diagnose the personality disorder or work on your behalf once the evaluation is complete.
When the diagnosis comes back with the personality disorder, be prepared to push the court to involve CPS. If they won’t, you will need to file an abuse report on your own. It doesn’t cost anything but your persistence.
5. File Child Psychological Maltreatment (also called psychological abuse and neglect, emotional and/or mental abuse and neglect) with your local Child Protective Service Agency. Child Psychological Maltreatment is the most prevalent and damaging type of child abuse. And although it co-occurs with physical and sexual abuse it is a formidable type of abuse on its own. Narcissistic/borderline personality disordered parents are psychologically abusive to their children and (ex) partners 24/7.
These are not custody cases they are abuse cases.
6. Make your concerns about child abuse and neglect known to anyone and everyone. Otherwise, it looks like you don’t care and you could ultimately be charged with neglect (I’ve seen it happen)!
7. Keep processing your trauma and elevating to new levels of healing. There is a plethora of information available on the best ways to treat trauma, but you can’t do it alone. Work with a trauma informed therapist and do your homework.
8. Become a trauma expert by getting familiar with the ACES, trauma informed and resiliency movements. They are really very easy to understand and the most powerful agency we have.
Our children have ACE scores of 8+. This precisely defines what is at stake. If a psychologically abused child is not removed from a narcissistic/borderline abuser and isn’t allowed to rekindle the attachment with the healthy parent, he or she will be at extreme risk for developing self-destructive behaviors such as substance abuse, promiscuity and criminal or antisocial lifestyles. These adverse experiences in turn trigger the onset of the most common chronic diseases and a premature death.
Until I blog Again,