HI, I’M CAROLINE…
How do you think it would feel if you had such incredible joy and happiness in your life, you could walk around every day with a smile on your face no matter what is going on?
Is there even a way to get there? Especially when you are going through or have been through a High Conflict Divorce and Alienation or have had so many losses in your life, you feel frozen in time.
Do you think it’s even possible?
I am here to say… Yes! Yes! Yes! It is possible! Anything we put our minds to is possible, especially when we’ve had enough of the life we’ve been living.
AND HERE IS MY STORY…
There was trauma when I was a little girl; it had started out as Attachment Trauma. On the day I was born, the story was that my mother left me with the nurses to go take care of the other patients in the hospital. At the time she was a Red Cross volunteer. Leaving me to take care of others became her way of life. It was ingrained into my psyche and shook me to my core. It was the beginning of my journey.
The belief systems from that and many other things that came up for me, also ran my life.
For the past four years, I dug deep. I did a lot of forgiveness work on her and myself. Then on December 13, 2018 she died, and my very existence was exposed.
It was time. Time to go even deeper inside, to grieve and to forgive some more.
What came up wasn’t just the grief from my mother dying. What came up was never having a real relationship with her as she left when I was young. Her leaving wasn’t just her decision. My father was involved in that decision too. I stuffed down the pain.
And that wasn’t all. The death of my grandfather when I was in college. Then my father, who died during the worst part of my life, in 2003. I was not told of his death until a week later. More stuffed down pain. Within four years of that, my grandmother died in 2007. This I found out about in a card during the same time. And even more stuffed down pain.
I was raised by my father, grandfather and grandmother.
The biggest loss of all was that of my children to something called Parental Alienation. I have lived with that loss for almost 20 years. This caused me to push down the grief, anger and sadness more and more throughout my life.
I felt all alone in the world except one beautiful friend who stood by me during that tumultuous time.
I say that to say this all happened for me, not to me.
This is how I see my journey now. It is a flow where I live happily in the moment, no matter what happens and anything that comes up, good or not, I accept, and it becomes part of that flow.
It is possible. I wouldn’t be talking to you like this now if it wasn’t.
When all of this started with my children I was in such a deep depression I didn’t leave the house for three days.
Growing up, I was taught to make sure everyone else was happy and that I should always keep the peace.
This just got me lost and confused, desperately wanting to know why I was even here to begin with. My mother didn’t want me, my father was always busy and emotionally unavailable. Was I not even enough of a human being for them to love me?
In this process,
I LOST MYSELF
A few years after the death of my grandfather, I married. I was in my early 20’s and within the year we had a son. All during this time I felt there was something wrong with me. I loved my son deeply, yet I couldn’t figure out why I could never make my husband happy or no one for that matter.
I felt like I was dying inside and couldn’t figure out why. Little by little I lost myself.
For many years it felt like no one really loved me and at the same time I was losing touch with myself. I thought, as a new mother, that having this beautiful human being, this beautiful soul to take care of was going to be amazing.
What I ended up with was no one around to guide me and feeling alone and confused. I’m pretty sure I had post-partum depression at that time as well. It didn’t help with the way I was feeling about myself to begin with.
I was no super mom. I was no super wife. I was no super woman. I could barely keep myself together. I began to feel like a failure and I needed to find a way to fix myself.
That is when my journey began, six years later. In the process I learned that it was ok to just be human with all its ups and downs.
MY JOURNEY TO “FIX” ME…
I began this journey at the ripe old age of 27. I tried to show on the outside that I was fine, but it took me years to figure out just how sad, angry, ashamed, discouraged, and helpless I felt, among other things.
My marriage went further and further downhill and so to fix that, we decided to have another baby. During this time my beautiful daughter was born, it was a Magic Moment for me. Even on the day we took her home from the hospital, the song, by The Drifters, came on in the car.
Things appeared to change for the better; only to get worse.
The journey to find myself and fix whatever was wrong with me took me to looking everywhere outside myself for healing and guidance. I did this for 23 years. I tried getting those answers through acquaintances, religions, places I visited, college degrees and schools of thought.
I researched teachings such as Eastern Philosophy, Yoga, Ayurvedic Medicine and Energy Work/Reiki among a whole slew of other things.
Where I landed was with Native American Spirituality and nature-based cultures which helped me the most to get me to today.
And…I came to find the answers were not out there. They were inside.
The marriage lasted 12 ½ years and then the unimaginable happened.
At the end of the tumultuous relationship with my ex, my life began to shatter around me. I tried so hard to keep my little family together, but to no avail. I felt small and helpless, like Daniel in the Lion’s Den. I had no one else besides the one friend I mentioned earlier stick by me through this.
High Conflict Divorce/Alienation/Emotional Trauma/Attachment Trauma. These became the words that surrounded me.
For me, it was just the beginning of a hell that no one should ever have to go through and basically there was no reason for it. The children are the biggest sufferers of this and as a parent, there are no words to describe that deep and painful process of grieving someone, your children, who are still alive.
It was a grief so deep, I couldn’t shake it until my mother’s recent death. Then with the help of a beautiful friend who sent me a book called “It’s OK That You’re Not OK – Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture That Doesn’t Understand by Megan Devine, I was finally able to grieve the loss of my children and the other deaths in my life. She showed me how to grieve the loss and…
I learned to carry my grief.
PARENTAL ALIENATION – WHAT IS IT?
I mentioned earlier the term Parental Alienation. At the time I learned of this, it was just coming out into the public…barely. I looked online and couldn’t find any information on it and there weren’t any support groups to be a part of. No one knew about this.
I had no one in my life, not even the friend that was helping me, who understood what I was going through and what was happening to my children. No one believed anything I was saying and some wouldn’t listen anyway.
They couldn’t fathom that a parent would do this. I couldn’t explain it away and when people asked me how my children were, I stopped saying anything about it; just that they were good.
Well meaning people would say, “just take him to court.” That didn’t work, nothing works when people are going through this.
Parental Alienation; I had found out this phrase from my children’s therapist. This was the one my ex and his wife hired at the time. Many years later, she denied ever talking to me about it.
The time was very confusing for me and I couldn’t understand what was happening all around me. I just wanted to be my children’s mother and everything I tried from visits, to phone calls to emails ended up in a huge arguments and being blocked from seeing my children.
They now call what happened in regards to that, gaslighting. This means manipulating someone by psychological means into questioning their own sanity; I felt like I was going insane. The people who do the manipulating use this to control the person they are manipulating.
Feeling so out of control, I tried to control everything around me, but to know avail. I fell deeper and deeper into a hole of depression and it felt like I couldn’t get out.
I just wanted them to work with me and to sit down with the children together to let them know we all loved them and would work together and be there for them no matter what. To the extent that the legal system, DCSE, the police department and anyone else I tried to reach out to for help who didn’t help me, was the extent to which I watched as my children were slowly and surely slipping away from me.
Why? Why? Why?
It was all I could ask. I felt so helpless, hopeless and alone.
FINALLY… SOME INFORMATION ON PARENTAL ALIENATION
I believe it was about seven years before I could find anything related to this online. I found the Parental Alienation Awareness Organization (PAAO). It was so new, I was able to speak on the phone with the founder, Sarvey Emo.
She was my lifeline back into the world.
Parental Alienation occurs during a high conflict divorce, basically where the children end up living with one of the parents and due to the normal and natural growth process of children, not being told the whole truth or being lied to about the noncustodial parent, the child decides to not want anything to do with a loving parent.
Children naturally love both parents which makes them who they are. During alienation, the child begins to parrot the custodial parent and they don’t even realize what they are doing. It is a form of emotional child abuse.
This, I believe, is a huge component of the breakdown of our society when families and children are torn apart like this for no reason.
Imagine being told as a child that one of your parents doesn’t love you, isn’t paying the child support, isn’t doing anything to help raise you, is forcing the custodial parent to go to court or isn’t fighting for you. Then imagine finding out when you are an adult that these were all lies. They did fight for you, they always loved you. What does that do to a child? What does that do to the adult they become? What does it do to our society?
There are over 22 million parents in the US alone, not to mention the grandparents and extended family and parents and families from other countries who are being erased from their children’s lives.
Countless families and children are affected by this; our children, who are our future are affected the most.
The results: addiction, depression, continued alienation with adult children (if they ever get married) and suicide. This occurs with the alienated parents, grandparents and the children; many more than just them.
THE SEARCH CONTINUES
At the time, I still had no idea which direction to turn and still no one in my life who really understood what I was going through, although my friends tried. Finally, after seven years of a living nightmare, I could put a word to what was happening to me.
But it didn’t end there.
During that time, I felt lost, alone and in a complete and utter depression and was desperately looking for a way to “fix” myself so I could be there for my kids.
Going through my process after many years, I started to realize there was nothing wrong with me, nothing to fix. I found out that I wasn’t the only one going through this or feeling this way. This is much more insidious than I had originally thought.
When you are going through something so completely sadistic as Alienation and dealing with the Family Court system, it’s enough to put anyone in a state of depression and anxiety and the feeling of insanity from the gaslighting alone. Wouldn’t you think?
Statistically, approximately 65% of marriages end up in divorce in the US and 15-30% are High Conflict Divorces. Alienation happens in about 70-80% of the countries in the world. Think there might be an issue here?
I now use the word Alienation to describe this. As my son and other adult children who have gone through it, the phrase Parental Alienation doesn’t feel right to them. I respect that. This is about healing and words can hurt or help the healing process. I chose to use words that help to heal.
THE FAMILY COURT AND LEGAL SYSTEM
What was discovered by others in the field who have studied this endemic in the legal system and having been exposed to this myself, as the noncustodial parent, there is generally nothing you can do to fight this system; it is broken.
Sadly, even those that have a lot of money are being taken advantage of by some unscrupulous attorneys, judges and the system. This system, through the very act of a high conflict divorce, is tearing down our family system*. *Note – Alienation not only affects the parents and the children, it also affects the siblings, grandparents, extended family and other special people in a child’s life.
DISCOVERIES THROUGH MY JOURNEY
After going through over 27 years of self-discovery I have come home to a place of clarity about myself and my life.
I don’t, however, want to make this sound glamorous; it was not. It took four years, during the deepest part of my healing journey, of tears and many Dark Nights of the Soul to completely break through the anger, sadness, shame, fear and feeling in lack and not good enough.
It can be done.
These events that put me on this journey for the past 27 years, involve a lot of personal development which led me to getting certified as a Spiritual Life Coach, getting my MS in Metaphysical Humanistic Science, becoming an Ordained Minister and using all of it to become a High Conflict Divorce/Alienation Consultant.
I also have a wide and varied background in many fields such as the military, business, administration and alternative/metaphysical healing.
As a High Conflict Divorce/Alienation Consultant, I am now able to assist and guide others who are feeling hopeless and helpless by using processes that will break through the anxiety and unconscious belief systems we all hold.
I am also a singer/songwriter.
In order to see change in the world, we must first work on ourselves.
“Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls, the most massive characters are seared with scars.” E.H. Chapin
Awaken to your infinite potential and join the critical mass through healing ourselves so we can be advocates for others who are going through this.
How do we as a society heal from the madness and massive pain that has been inflicted on us through trauma and belief systems?
What can you do?
To facilitate emotional and spiritual healing, advocacy, growth and connection to those parents, children, and extended family members experiencing High Conflict Divorce/Alienation. By aligning with others in a spirit of support and cooperation, I am committed to bringing awareness to the general public by utilizing various support groups, classes, coaching, healing modalities, conflict resolution, speaking, etc., helping people on their journey to heal and grow so they can be advocates of change through cooperation, while empowering them to find ways to create a better future for our families, children and world that works for everyone.
To provide support groups online and in person to those parents and families going through High Conflict Divorce and Alienation. To educate people and bring about awareness on High Conflict Divorce and Alienation and to help connect people with each other and partners who work in this field. Assisting alienated parents and erased families reunite with their children. To bring parents, children and family member to a point of healing and balance so they can find their purpose and potentially advocate for others going through this in order to change the systems that are broken.
I believe in working for healing and change not fighting against the problem. When we fight against something through competition, fear, hate and anger, it does nothing but pit people against each other which backfires and the change isn’t permanent. By working for something, we become a positive influence and can use our anger to propel us to changing our society and world, so we can heal our planet through unconditional love and peace. Be the change you want to see in the world.
A NEW WORLD
The work I do on my journey for myself is the catalyst to guide and assist others toward the critical mass of healing and change our society and world so desperately needs.
For those going through High Conflict Divorce/Alienation:
Writing Support Groups:
Glimmers of Hope – Empowering Parents thru High Conflict Divorce/Alienation (The Write to Heal Process)
Glimmers of Hope – Empowering Parents thru High Conflict Divorce/Alienation (The Write to Heal Process) (Online)
Glimmers of Hope – Noncustodial Moms – High Conflict Divorce/Alienation
Glimmers of Hope – All Inclusive Family – High Conflict Divorce/Alienation
(These are closed groups. You must answer a couple of questions for entry.)
Erasing Family Documentary
Facebook Business Page: Caroline Rena