To qualify; I am an alienated father of three daughters 27, 24 and 20 years old, I am also an alienated grandfather.
I made it through another holiday. It’s funny, I think that because the holidays are over, my nervous system will automatically calm down and get back to business as usual. The reality is I have a PA holiday hangover. My nervous system goes into over drive and on survival mode around these significant days.
Each year the holidays get a little different. I won’t say easier because I do not believe that is the case for me. Different means I grow emotionally and spiritually each year and during the course of growing I learn and develop new tools and coping mechanisms.
One of my teachers uses an analogy of speed limits to demonstrate how we resource ourselves during challenging emotional states. When I first started experiencing parental alienation my life was ripped apart. I literally couldn’t go over 10 miles an hour. If I tried to speed up I would shut off emotionally (check out) and be unable to process what was happening in the moment. As time goes by and I work on my spiritual, physical and emotional maturity (recovery) I am able to go a little faster each year. I am able to stay present longer and be available to friends and family in ways I could not in the early days of PA.
I miss my kids and grandchild (I have never met), I long to be around them and share some space and laughter. I also have a rich, meaningful, and joyful life. Both of these exist at the same time for me. It is not either or any more, it is both. I am the best father I have ever been in this moment.
Through the pain and crazy making of PA I am slowly becoming the man I always thought I was. I am present and available and the best version of me if and when I get an opportunity to have a relationship with my kids.