Mixed media on paper58 (H) x 48cm (W)
FRAMED: Bright white matt | Natural Oak Timber and glass frame | Framed Size 89 x 56 cm
Always used in within a campaign of parental alienation is The Interrogation – or the intense questioning of the child about every interaction that transpired while they spent time with their other parent. This is a 3 tiered process.
Step one (the manipulator at work) is setting the kids up to look for problems whilst they are with their other parent before they go. Step two (the narcissistic ego at work) is the immediate interrogation process when the child returns from their visit. It is the expectation and demand for fit for purpose information. Step three (the personality disorder at work) is the reinvention of events according to the projections and ‘understanding’ of the Alienator. It is the insane distortion of everyday events to the point where seemingly normal activity is carefully manufactured into a series “Unforgivable Events”. The new ‘truth’ is presented back to the targeted parent by way of email and it becomes the ‘official’ version of events to which they are now held accountable for all the irresponsible and insensitive things they did to their child.
This is how it played out for Isabella.
(STEP 1) I went to Dad’s last weekend. And this is what Mum said. To help me.
“I’m just worried that a whole weekend at your Dad’s will be too much for you. He is really stressed and angry at the moment and being very aggressive towards me. He is out of control. I don’t want him upsetting you. You have a lot going with school and the separation at the moment and Dad isn’t in a place where he is able to understand your problems. He never listens to you. Unfortunately he still has a lot of work to do on his anger issues. I’m worried that if you are stressed about your homework Dad will take his anger out on you.”
“I hope Dad is going to feed you properly this weekend. Every time you go there he only ever feeds you rubbish. You had better tell him you don’t like junk food.”
“Before Dad takes you to gymnastics this weekend you had better call me to make sure you have everything you need. Your Dad is hopeless at being organised and never gives you enough time to get up in the morning. He’ll most likely forget something.”
“Your Dad mentioned something about going to to see some friends this weekend. We have an agreement that your Dad is not allowed to spend time with anyone outside immediate family unless I agree. He needs to tell me who they so I can approve your visit. Make sure you ask him if it is OK with me first and make sure you tell him that you only want to go for 90 minutes. You should not have to put up with people you don’t know just because your Dad has decided to move on to a new life. He seems to want to spend time with his new friends instead of spending time with you. Its not fair on you. You should be his priority. You are doing him a big favour by agreeing to go at all. He needs to be very careful because you don’t have to go at all if you don’t want to.”
(STEP 2) When I got home from Dad’s place this is what Mum said. To help me.
“What happened to your face. You have got so many pimples. Doesn’t Dad have pimple cream for you? Were you eating rubbish all weekend? Why doesn’t Dad buy you bottled water? Did he even make sure you took your tablets?
So you had to stay up late doing your homework because you got home from the barbecue at 7pm? Now you are going to be tired and irritable all week for ME. Who was there? How does Dad know them? Were they all men? Do you think its Dad’s new girlfriend? How dare he introduce you to women you don’t know. They could be anyone? How are you supposed to understand what relationships are going on. That must make you feel so upset. Were you really upset? Thank you for telling me all of that Issy. Your Dad puts you in a very difficult situation and you are so brave to be able to tell me all of that. You are being so grown up. More than your Dad. I’m proud of you for handling al of this so well for me.
So, when you were at the barbecue, did you get my text asking if you needed to come home? Why didn’t you call me? Didn’t Dad take you home straight away? That was more then 90 minutes. Didn’t you tell him 90 minutes was more than enough for you to have to spend with his new friends? Did you tell him he had better be very careful otherwise this won’t work out well for him? Why not? You need to stand up for yourself Isabella! It is OK for you to tell your Dad what your boundaries are. Remember I told you what your boundaries were? Otherwise Dad will abuse you the way he abused me.
What did you Dad say to you when you were late for gymnastics? Did he yell at you? Your dad should know that you need at least an hour to get up in the morning. He needs to organsie HIS time better, not name you for not getting out of bed. Thats just not fair.Was he driving fast? Does he always do that? He always used to do that with me but he should know better with you in the car. Now its going to be really difficult for you to stay at Dad’s at all. I can’t allow him to drive you anywhere if you don’t feel safe, so now he won’t be able to take you to school, or to gymnastics. And you aren’t going to get enough sleep if you have to get up early to catch the train. Honestly your Dad is impossible. He only cares about himself. Well its his own fault. He’ll only be able to see you in the school holidays now, which is hard for you as he always makes the holidays so boring for you.”
(STEP 3) Mum doesn’t like me communicating Dad, incase he gets aggressive. She likes to make sure he is doing the right thing so Mum talks to Dad on my behalf so he can’t upset me. If she doesn’t know what he is saying she can’t protect me. We had a long talk and Mum said it was for the best that I didn’t go to Dad’s until he got over his issues and learned how to behave like a proper parent who actually cares about his daughter. So she wrote this to Dad.
“It is Isabella’s decision not to stay with you at present. She doesn’t feel properly cared for with you and is uncomfortable with you forcing your new life upon her. She told me you took her to a party where there were strangers. She wasn’t sure if any of the women you were talking to were your girlfriends. This is very distressing for Isabella. So that Isabella can understand what is going on with you, please provide me with details of those who were at the party with you and the nature of your relationship with them. She does not want to spend time with your new friends. She told you 90 minutes and it was closer to 2 hours before you came home. This is not acceptable. Why will you not listen to your daughter? Why do you continue to push her away? Clearly you are more interested in your own life than Isabella’s at the moment and you are unable to put Isabella’s interests before your own. That has always been the case. You have always had to come first so it no surprise that you are any different with your daughter.
I would also like to inform you that raising your voice when your daughter is late in the mornings is not an appropriate way to build trust. Isabella told me that you screamed at her to’ get out of bed now!”, because you were running late. Isabella also had to call me before leaving to make sure she had everything she needed. I am respectfully informing you that making sure you are on time in the morning is an adult’s responsibility, not the child’s. You need to organise yourself better and not blame your lateness on your daughter. Can I suggest that you consult a counsellor in relation to working through your childhood issues. You may find this improves your manner and your relationship with your child. Do you have any idea how scared your child is when you get so aggressive? Your child can not trust you. She no longer feels safe in the car with you which means you have no way of getting her to school and gymnastics.
I am respectfully informing you that we are no longer interested in your smoke and mirrors. Unfortunately, until you can put forward a ‘genuine’ plan to prove to me that your behaviour has improved, unlike the facades that you have been through with previous counsellors, Isabella won’t be returning to your house.
And that my friends is how children are manipulated into agreeing not to see loved parents. GRRRRR.