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Episode 1. What is an LBP?

Welcome to Episode 1. What is an LBP? In this introduction episode I will talk you through the meanings of the acronyms LBP and IPCA. I’ll also give a run down about the podcast and why I’m doing it as well as sharing some relevant statistics and basic explanation of the situation. I’ll also share my personal story.
Show notes;

https://www.ag.gov.au/FamiliesAndMarriage/Families/InternationalFamilyLaw/Pages/Questionsaboutinternationalchildabduction.aspx

http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/parenting/kids/international-parental-child-abduction-is-a-cinch-in-australia/news-story/9be38c36b0fd5f9abc26c11f1645ba8b

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hague_Convention_on_the_Civil_Aspects_of_International_Child_Abduction

https://www.ag.gov.au/FamiliesAndMarriage/Families/InternationalFamilyLaw/Documents/Hague-Convention-application-statistics-2011-2016.PDF

https://www.ag.gov.au/FamiliesAndMarriage/Families/InternationalFamilyLaw/Pages/HagueConventionOnTheCivilAspectsOfInternationalChildAbduction.aspx

https://www.ag.gov.au/FamiliesAndMarriage/Families/InternationalFamilyLaw/Pages/InternationalParentalChildAbduction.aspx

https://www.hcch.net/en/instruments/conventions/full-text/?cid=24

http://via.library.depaul.edu/ihrlj/vol2/iss1/2/

 

19 Replies to “Episode 1. What is an LBP?”

  1. Children with non-cohabitant parents experience more psychosomatic problems than those in nuclear families. Those in joint physical custody do however report better psychosomatic health than children living mostly or only with one parent. Longitudinal studies with information on family factors before and after the separation are needed to inform policy of children’s postseparation living arrangements.
    http://jech.bmj.com/content/early/2015/04/09/jech-2014-205058.full

  2. Losing a child is the worst thing that can happen in any parent’s life…

    But what if that child is actually living just around the corner from you and, every now and then, you pass on the street but you cannot even acknowledge his or her existence anymore?

    And what if that child has attacked you publicly and on social media telling the world, naming you and shaming you, exposing you as the worst dad or mum ever and saying how much she hates you?

    Welcome to the world of the broken-hearted, a world where, sadly, so many victims of parental alienation are condemned to live.
    https://www.consumerwatchfoundation.com/parental-alienation-long-since-seen-child/

  3. Parental Alienation in all forms is child abuse and causes long term psychological harm to children.
    “The outrage that people have been facing the past few days, I wish people would keep in their minds that this is continuing to happen in our country every day,” Cardoso said.
    “What we’ve all been focused on at the border, it’s just a microcosm of the trauma that is happening and will continuing to happen.”
    https://www.sciencealert.com/separation-trauma-remains-after-children-and-parents-reunited

  4. Parental alienation is the term used to describe the overall problem of children being encouraged by one parent — the favored parent — to unjustly reject the other parent – the targeted parent The specific behaviors that they engage in are referred to as parental alienation strategies. Parental alienation often but not always occurs in divorced families.
    http://www.amyjlbaker.com/parental-alienation-syndrome.html

  5. Thank you for taking the plunge and doing this Paul. It’s something that has been needed for a very long time. More people need to know about parental alienation and it’s devastating affects,

  6. “You can’t underestimate how traumatic divorce is for the children. When your parents divorce, it makes you grow up fast. I’d urge parents to strongly consider working things out. I’d work things out and I’d definitely stay put. Especially if there were babies involved,”

  7. A child has the DNA of both parents! Nurturing the relationship with your co-parent is an important part of the divorce process. Encouragement to include your co-parent can have long term benefits.
    A couple weeks ago, my son and I were at Kohl’s and I asked him what he wanted to get his papa for father’s day? He ran around the store looking for a gift for his papa! My son was so excited to “surprise papa” This made my heart happy.

  8. Grandparents play a special role in a child’s life. This grandparent shares the love for her grandchild and the heartache of no contact their special little one. The caption is very true: What better way to love a child than surrounding them with the love and adoration of many family members. No one could ever have too much love!!!

  9. We’re always looking to grow our research team with individuals who have a specific interest in researching aspects of Family Law.

    If you’d like to be considered for our research team please complete the brief application form below and one of our team will be in touch to review your application and to take it further

  10. Children who grow up without a father lack the ability to understand the necessity and importance of a father/man in their lives and once parents in the lives of their children (Even men). Fatherless children are more likely to repeat the dysfunctional cycles of their fatherless households! #FatherlessnessIsNotAboutRace

  11. I’ve been following this podcast for a while now, and want to thank you for the work you do. I imagine it would not be easy for you. but thousands of people around the world are benefiting from it.

  12. 4 days a month is devastating as it is. But let’s not get carried away, 4 days a month is really only Saturday morning to sunday afternoon. Maybe 60 hours a month. That doesn’t leave enough time for a healthy meaningful relationship.

  13. An adult child of divorce shares the emotional process of parental alienation. He outlines the emotional journey and arriving at the point and reaching out to his father. This author describes the heart wrenching childhood memory of how his father was treated. This is a heartbreaking read with a happy ending. Perhaps this shows how a parent-child reunification is possible even after many years. This also reveals how the stories a child hears in childhood may not be the final chapter in the parent-child relationship book.

    I remember the night that my mother told me she was divorcing my father. It isn’t a very detailed memory (I was only 6 years old), but it is potent in its recalled pain and rage. I remember crying, striking out at my mother, telling her I hated her, and generally being inconsolable.

    I remember literally nothing of the court battles over visitation that followed, although they went on for the next 6 years. Somehow, I have blocked or lost those memories (I know high stress causes poor memory formation), but the basic visitation pattern that was established over that period was for every-other weekend Friday-Sunday visitation with my Dad for my brother and me. He’s 4 years younger, and thus has no memories of the actual divorce (or the time before it) – his experience and story of his childhood is different than mine, and I do not insist that he make my story his.

    At the same time, I have come to understand that what I experienced during those years amounted to nothing less than continuous and pervasive emotional manipulation and psychological abuse that has left me with wounds the depth of which I am still sounding.

    People who grow up in a PAS (Parental Alienation Syndrome) household have a lot in common with people who grow up in cults. One of these similarities is the presence of dogma – elements of unquestioned faith that must be adhered to. In out case, first and foremost among these was that my father and his entire side of the family were dangerous, compulsive liars who only wanted to see us in order to hurt my mother.

    The only reasons I (I cannot speak for my brother) was ever given for the divorce were:

    Your father is a liar, a compulsive liar, who never does what he says he will (no details – just the assertion)
    He and his family have never been able to accept your brother – they thought it would be better if he had died at childbirth (my brother was born with a slightly smaller left hand, and a missing left pectoral muscle – Poland Syndrome)
    As the older child, I was explicitly tasked with “protecting” my younger brother. This meant that it was my responsibility to call in to check with my mother every day that we were with our father. This would protect us against the kidnapping that she told us might occur if we weren’t so vigilant. We were absolutely not allowed to leave town for a vacation with my father or his family – my grandparents on that side owned vacation property near Lake Havasu, for example, and we were never, ever permitted to see it. My father was also a civil pilot at that time (non-commercial), and we were not allowed to ever fly with him – again, the threat of kidnapping.

    The one time I DIDN’T call in to check with my mother, she called the police and told them that she feared her kids were being taken by their non-custodial father – the cops showed up at my dad’s house, and I’m sure that helped cement and validate my sense of threat. My dad had remarried by then, and I’m glad my half-brother was too young to remember that.

    In between visitations with my dad, we were subjected to a constant litany of complaints and criticisms about him from my mother and my maternal grandmother. More, there was a canticle of responses that we were trained and coached to make. If someone asked us about whether we missed our father, we would reply “it would have been great to have a dad, but not the dad we had.”

    We were told that he was always late with child support payments – he never was, my mother was just terrible with money and it made for a good excuse when the power or the water got turned off.

    We were told that he never sent us gifts – I later discovered that he absolutely had, and that my mother had no-doubt thrown them away.

    Worst of all – when my father sent us birthday cards, only those for ME made it through. The ones for my brother were intercepted, and this was then presented as proof of their monstrous rejection of this poor little boy with a small hand and speech impediment.

    We were also coached to explain that we had lots of great male role-models in our lives (my maternal grandfather and uncle), who more than made up for the loss of this so-called “father.” We were encouraged to refer to him as our “biological father” and it was extremely clear that his only possible worth or contribution was as a sperm donor. Eventually, both of these men would be knocked off the approved list as well, and they would be erased from my life.

    Within a very short time after the divorce, I truly hated my father and held him in boundless contempt. My brother and I would do everything we could to make our time with him as unpleasant and brief as possible. Excuses were made to skip visitation as often as possible, and when he insisted, I was as much of a little bastard about it as I could think to be. We were also encouraged to spy on him, and we would be rewarded for reporting back anything that could be twisted into a failing or a criticism.

    We were encouraged to be cruel. Here’s a small example – my father had a Volkswagen bug that he drove for a number of years, and my brother and I would fight, every time, over who got to sit in the BACK seat – furthest from our father. I remember the day that my father, in pain, turned and said “stop it! I know what you’re doing!” The guilt for that and similar cruelties haunted me then and still does now. It’s part of what I’m working through.

    Living in a state of continual one-way warfare with my father, and being encouraged to attack using whatever means were available, took a huge toll on my childhood. From 2nd grade forward, I continuously struggled in school – both academically and socially. I was bullied and isolated with no real friends. Part of that was due to my mother as well – we were Jewish in a part of town that had very few Jews, and she would create a huge incident any time a school put up anything to do with Christmas. I was not allowed to participate in singing carols or similar – when the class began to practice, I would be sent to the library and then called back when practice was done. Seeing the weird, loner, skinny, Jewish kid stand up and walk out of the room brought me to the attention of the bullies. As much and as cruelly as I punished my father, I was punished by these bullies at school from the 2nd through the 8th grade.

    Towards the end of the 6 year period, my brother and I were in court-ordered family counseling with our father in order to improve our relationship. By this time, I was 12 years old in 7th grade, and experiencing the worst of all possible worlds. I was failing in school, was utterly isolated and without friends, was being bullied on a daily basis (being punched and spit-on were the most common forms as a “jew-boy” or “kike”).

    I remember the coaching sessions with my mother and brother before what ended up being our last meeting with our father. Our strategy was to present the argument that a regular visitation schedule was just too onerous for my busy schedule (I had zero out-of-home activities), and that it would be far better if my dad could just call up every now and then and ask if he could see us on some specific day – like a date. To 12 year old me (living in the cult for 6 years), that sounded reasonable – and, if and when he objected to such a reasonable suggestion, that would be proof of his unwillingness to compromise and his inherent cruelty.

    Our last meeting took place in the office of the court-ordered psychologist who had been working with my father, brother, and me for about a year. My grandmother (a truly frightening person – she and my mother were inseparable in pretty much everything) drove us to the office and waited in the waiting room. Once in the office, I made my pitch to my dad – his response to my “…how does that sound?” was “I think it sounds pretty shitty.”

    I leapt from the sofa – shouted “then you can go to hell!” and burst out of the office. I ran to the bathroom and kicked and punched the stall walls until they were visibly bent. My grandmother took us home, and within a few days my mom told me that I had finally won – my father was dropping all of his custody and visitation battles. I used to tell that story of the office with great pride in standing up to the monster and finally getting him out of our lives. I feel very differently about it now.

    It wasn’t until 17 years later, when I was contemplating marriage of my own, that I became open to connecting with my dad.

    I was working as an actor at a dinner theatre, and one night my father’s wife, my step-mother whom I barely remembered, came to the show with a message that my dad would love to talk with me if I ever wanted to. She brought their number and left it with me. I was polite, but cold and distant. I had no intention of calling, but I kept the number. It as more than a year before I called it.

    Just before I got engaged to my now-wife, I began to think that I really should at least meet my father before I became one myself – even if only to see how NOT to be a dad.

    I called the number, and we arranged a neutral place to meet – we had coffee at a small sidewalk cafe and talked for more than an hour. We didn’t even begin to touch on our relationship or history – we just talked and tested the waters. He seemed really nice, smart, and he was obviously deeply moved to be with me – there were tears in his eyes more than once, even though we were talking about mundanities, mostly.

    Since then, he has become an integral part of my life – he is grandpa to my children, and dad to me, now. I love him, and I deeply mourn the years we lost together and the life we might have had.

    I’m still in the process of uncovering all of the lies my mother and grandmother told me – as I said earlier, both my grandfather and uncle were eventually subjected to the same behavior, and I only found out the truth about them well after I was married and with children of my own.

    #489, Hope for Reunification

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