Trevor first started this book in the late 2000’s whilst in the middle of a bitter separation. He experienced various tactics to ensure the relationship with his daughter was severed forever. The trauma of re-living much of what had occurred while writing this book meant that it has been put down several times.
What happened to drive Trevor to pick it back up and complete this book?
– in Trevor’s words –
The first was my daughter, and that if she ever asks why I was not around then there is a record and a clear message that she is loved.
The second was a request to participate into a research project which started with “I need to advise you that I have the phone numbers of some emergency counselling services if required and I must inform you that if I feel there is any danger that I will call the emergency services”. The impact on the displaced and loving parent, frustrated by common tactics of those doing the alienation who are aided by government agencies, police and courts is profound. This situation has such an impact on so many people’s lives it needs to be more openly discussed by more than just academia and felt this story needed to be told.
The third was the information provided by experts in the field of parental alienation. While varying in their methods of diagnosis using ‘The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders’ (DSM5) or ‘International Classification of Diseases’ (ICD11), they were all consistent in the devastating impact on the children and declaring parental alienation as a form of child abuse. Having facilitated groups in this area I had been also been exposed to those impacted by the attempted and completed suicides of their children, that have suffered this form of child abuse. I considered that bringing a real case to the attention of the general public as important.
The fourth was the experience from running separated-parent’s groups. One therapist doing his second Ph.D. and was on work experience watched me facilitating over several weeks and was astounded that whatever people revealed, I was able to give snippets of my story to build rapport and then have others in the group share their experience. He became fascinated by what I had experienced and how anyone could cope under such circumstances. For the group participants, knowing they are not ‘Robinson Crusoe’ and that their experience, psychological and physical manifestation are not unique, helped them enormously. Hearing from others and that have successfully navigated the path ahead and learning that there is hope, there is light at the end of the tunnel is crucial for them to continue and maintain or improve their mental health. It was clear that sharing my experience was helping others. To the professionals not exposed to this area and for those going through a difficult separation I hope this book assists you in your dark days.