How do we frame this our reality?
Where are we now that defines how we feel?
It’s not what is past or what is to be,
It is the here and now, all that is real.
We cannot change what has been and is done,
Long lost longings lay littering the mind,
Desiring of brighter days washed with sun,
Masks the joy of the moment we may find.
Once stopping these whirring wheels that wither
And letting go of all our clinging needs,
Come back centre not hither and tither,
We will rediscover the dormant seeds
Of our true nature bursting in flower,
Feeling the world’s glory and power.
“The dictum that truth always triumphs over persecution is one of the pleasant falsehoods which men repeat after one another till they pass into commonplaces, but which all experience refutes.” -John Stuart Mill
Strange shifts in perspective are occurring whereby the paradigm I’m used to is changing. A broad church of ideas and acceptance of differences is sliding towards narrower viewpoints and decreasing tolerance of diversity. Is it a consequence of wider unsettled times where established norms are shaken and people retreat into something more atavistic, identifying with ingroups as a form of self preservation? It is seen with the rise of identity politics giving a voice to white extremists, pseudo legitimizing these groups which are in fact out and out racist collectives rebranding. This narrow-mindedness is observed on a smaller familial scale with ever decreasing circles of us against them, black and white attitudes where if you are not for the group you are against it. As an antithesis it is necessary to be mindful, cultivating compassion, equanimity and understanding, not retreating into narrow self-interested groups, recognising we are stronger together and remembering ‘that which unites us is greater than that which divides us’.
I’m sorry that you’re struggling with this at the moment. It is a constant struggle I find, oscillating between hope and despair, the children always being ever present in the mind but out of reach and always the sense of burning injustice. That sense of injustice I think encapsulates a lot about PAS for me, we’re are brought up with a belief that wrongs will be righted and those who perpetrate crimes will be punished. PAS is awful in that it isn’t recognised in law and people like you and I who act with dignity and respect for others who then can see in plain sight what is going on are left helpless and hopeless and waiting for that restorative justice, unable to be like those that are treating our children and us with that singular lack of dignity and respect. However I couldn’t contemplate being like the alienating parent as it would leave me less than who I am. Even from the start of my marriage breakdown, during that period when I could see the inevitable split but wouldn’t probably fully acknowledge it I swore I would maintain my dignity and self respect and not be dragged into a war of words and not to involve my children. Shame it wasn’t the same on both sides and my way of living then became a kind of catch 22, whereby paradoxically my good intent to protect and nurture my children only saw them drift further and further away until they were lost to me. Every good intention is twisted by the alienating parent and turned against you so it is a lose-lose outcome for the alienated parent. I cannot and do not regret the way I dealt with the situation as to act otherwise would, I think have only made me bitter and resentful and all those other negative connotations that can so easily develop when relationships breakdown. I do of course regret the fact that I don’t see my children but despite this I still choose to turn away from the negative and seek out the positive, to cultivate loving kindness, compassion, empathy and all those other wonderful human qualities associated with the light and not the dark. Sure there are moments of intense sadness but I feel I have grown from the experience and am not now crippled by it as I first was. I hope for the same for you and who knows when you or I get that knock on the door the child we love will see the positive and turn away from the lie that has been told to them.