This heartfelt story from an alienator that lost the most precious things in her life is a powerful message. She identifies the source of her own personal motivation: she believes she is right and justified in her behavior. She only “see’s and listens to” things and people that support her beliefs. Once down that rabbit hole Alice, it’s hard to see and hear the facts and truth. It’s hard to come back to reality, though its not impossible.
It’s never too late to step back, look at the big picture and listen to your heart and the good intensions and Love from the other parent. If the alienated parent is honorably fighting to see their children, you better believe they LOVE those kids just as much as you do and has their best interest in their hear and mind.
This article is worth the read for anyone involved in alienating children from another parent.
I Would Give Anything to Go Back
(Not the actual author, in order to protect her identity)
Author: A grieving mother
Editor: Ben Willaims
Date: 4/19/2016 (Re-post)
I saw you guys in the Huffington Post, and I wanted to share my story so you can share this with every single parent you possibly can. I’m no role model, but my message is important. There isn’t much that angers me anymore, except when two parents can’t set their differences aside and do what is best for THEIR child. I’ll be blunt. I was an “alienator”. I played the whole ‘false allegations’, and ‘he did this’, ‘he did that’ game, which was encouraged by my lawyer.
I DID think that she was more “mine” than she was “his” because I loved her so very much. I wanted to mold her into what I wanted her to be. I didn’t think there was anyone who could care for her or love her like I could. I can’t tell you why I thought that or what could have changed my mind back then. But, because of MY selfish actions, I lost custody of my precious baby girl when she was 6. This is why your story in the news really hit home with me. It brought me to tears for everyone involved. I was so caught up in bitterness and being right, that I stopped seeing my little girl. I hated my ex so much, and I hated that he “won” even more. I cried every single day. And, I had to play the victim. Pity from others was the only thing bringing me comfort at that time. It’s behavior that, now, is hard for me to even comprehend. I don’t think I’m a bad person? At least, I certainly never intended to be.
It had been almost 5 months since I had seen my little girl when she and her Dad were hit by a semi truck. She was 7. I died that day too. Even then, I tried to blame him for it. Initially at least. I needed someone to blame. Now, I struggle daily to not blame myself. Obviously, I’m not saying that my little girl and her Dad would still be here today if I had done things differently, …but when they were hit, they were on their way to see her Counselor… no doubt, it was counseling needed because of MY actions. So, that is tough for me to swallow.
PARENTS, life is so short! And it can be taken in an instant! Life is never easy, and relationships are never easy. But, you need to figure it out! You DO NOT love your child more, and you aren’t the better parent. You are not helping your child by keeping them from half of their family, I don’t care what your lame, self-centered excuse is. We all have our good qualities, and we all have our problems. Perfectly imperfect. And, when YOU choose to fight and withhold your child, this is bringing out the worst in YOU anyway, so then your child has no positive role model in their life at all.
Learning about what my ex went through during the alienation and learning what a great father he was, was devastating to me. Simply because I couldn’t get past “my issues” and figure out how to communicate, I had to learn after his death what a great man he was and how much pain I caused him and our daughter. Don’t wait until you’re in my shoes and all you’re left with is thinking “I wish I could have the chance to do things differently.” There’s only one reasonable excuse for you to say “I can’t make things better TODAY” … and that is when death takes that opportunity from us. Everyone else, you have absolutely NO excuse.
I think Tim is experiencing, in a way, what I have experienced these last few years.
My plight is a little more dramatic than Tim’s; but, what I’m learning is essentially the same.
I have experienced betrayal, loss, anguish and uncertainty. Instead of lashing out and losing myself to sadness, I’ve chosen to embrace and learn more from myself, how and why people live and act the way they do. I tried to understand people and how they behave in relationships. Even in great despair, war, family loss there is always Joy and happiness in our hearts to tap into and not succumb to hate and anger. Tapping into that kindness for others is infectious and feels good, really good. It’s uplifting to smile be kind and help someone, than to succumb to hate, anger and fear.
I’ve found that those whom have lost so much or have little for themselves tend to be the first to give, help and lift others up.
Keep going Tim. It’s uplifting to see more positive “giving” stories about how we help each other. Thank-you!
What are some advantages and disadvantages of being a pilot?
Answer by Thomas Zerbarini:
I can’t think of one disadvantage in being a pilot. There are obstacles along the way to becoming a pilot that can be overcome with planning, goals and follow-through. There can be limitations on how much you can fly like cost, weather, health, etc…
Becoming a certified and proficient pilot is very rewarding personally for me. It’s a huge responsibility that one must be personally dedicated to the safety of their passengers, cargo and equipment. Pilots need to be good decision makers and constantly evaluate risk.
As far as a career as a pilot; its much like any other career choice a person makes in their lives. You have to weigh your own preferences “pros and cons” as to your career choice and how you want to live your life. For example: travel is a big part of a professional pilot. When your single and want to see the world, travel is wonderful, a “pro.” But, when you start to have a family and want to spend more time at home with your children, travel becomes less of a priority and can be a “con.”
I’d suggest asking yourself a number of questions and categorize them in a “Advantage” column or a “Disadvantage” column. I’d also suggest you make age brackets as well to try to forecast how your priorities in life might change as you get older. (Life events: Graduate College, Meet the Partner of you dreams, Get Married, Have children, etc…)
Here are some questions I thought of myself when I was getting started:
- How much will it cost for training
- How much will college cost
- Can I go to the military
- How much income can I get as soon as I graduate training/college
- What will my debt load be when I graduate
- Who is hiring low time pilots
- How do I build hours and gain quality flight experience
- Can I volunteer my time and gain experience
- What are the minimum Regional airline hiring requirements
- What is the income of a Regional Pilot
- How fast can I upgrade to Captain
- What are the minimums for a major International Airline
- What is the income of a major International Airline
- What is the risk of Furlough/Layoff at any point during my career
- When and how much do I start to save form my retirement
- Do I want to get married and how will that affect my career
- Do I want to have children and how will that affect my career
- How much will I be home
- Should I consider a Corporate Pilot position instead of the airlines
- Should I find a local, night, daily, or seasonal flying job instead
- Should I become a full time instructor or simulator instructor or ground instructor
As you can see there are a lot of personal decision you’ll have to consider throughout your career as a pilot. You’ll certainly have to reconsider these questions and many others over the years as well.
Take a look at some of my other blog posts regarding becoming a pilot and how to research the steps to take.
I hope that helps get the thoughts and goals flowing.
My answer to Was the 1500 hour flight time rule an over reaction?
Answer by Thomas Zerbarini:
I absolutely think that it was an overreaction by ill informed special interest groups pushing congress to “react.”
The focus on training performance history and flying experience that was highlighted and addressed after the Colgan accidentdue were good “actions” by the industry. The arbitrary 1500 hour rule was not.
I will say that the quality of the training and experience that a pilot gets will determine their proficiency and performance in the cockpit. I have flown with many pilots with various hours. I have flown with pilots with a few hundred hours that were excellent. I’ve also flown with pilots that had a few thousand hours and were horrible.
Logged flight time is a good starting point to determine experience and proficiency; but, it’s not the tell all.
Check out the FAA’s Call to Action following the Colgan accident in Buffalo. I participated in these roadshows in 2009.
You can see in this report that the focus was mostly on training and safety initiatives. There was a non-scientific statement about pilot flight hours correlating to accidents that had no empirical conclusions. There was also an over-focus on flight time developing at this time that eventually crept into congress that gave momentum to the 1500 hour rule.
The focus should have centered on Training, Rest, Regional Airline “portfolios” and the RFP Contractor bidding wars that give rise to low budget start-up regionals with little or no industry experience or corporate safety cultures.
Thomas E Zerbarini
My answer to Is it a good idea to become an airline pilot now?
Answer by Thomas Zerbarini:
It’s always a great time to become an airline pilot if you have a passion for it. Over the next 30 years, there will be a shortage of qualified and available pilots. So Yes! It is a great time to become an airline pilot.
- Will passenger planes be pilotless in 25-30 years from now ?
No, Passenger planes will always have a pilot onboard. There maybe ground based linked relief pilots or similar in the future. I for one do not believe that safety and security issues will allow the ground based links though. And, I believe that passenger perceptions and concerns will demand a human pilot on board with them.
- What is the average pilot salary for 1st year F/O in Europa and Canada ? (A320 or B737 pilot)
First year pay is relatively low still; yet, it is climbing with the use of bonuses and incentives. Average starting pay is around $40,000-$60,000/yr for Canada. Check out this website for more airlines:
- Will pilot salaries decrease in the future ?
Not likely. The supply and demand principles would apply here. Salaries should actually go up as the demand for pilots grows. Countries in Asia and Africa are struggling to find qualified and experienced pilots. Many foreign airlines are offering attractive pay/benefits upward of $300,000/yr for experienced captains.
If you want to be an airline pilot, go for it. Just be sure you like the lifestyle and travel. It can be challenging, although not impossible, raising a family when you’re on the road. It takes a strong, flexible trusting partner to pull that off. But, that’s a little off topic for this answer. Just do your homework and set your goals. Most of all, do what you love to. Make it a career, not a job.
Thomas E Zerbarini
My answer to How would you define life in one word?
Answer by Thomas Zerbarini:
As soon as I saw this question, I had to add my two cents:
Thomas E Zerbarini
My answer to Is it mandatory for 3-year-olds travelling via airplane, to sit on a child seat?
Answer by Thomas Zerbarini:
This is a topic that I have been wanting to share my opinion about, since I myself started having children. As an airline pilot and a father of four who each have traveled extensively since they have been as little as 3 months old, I do have some experience on the subject.
First, to answer your question, No it is not mandatory on most airlines. I feel it should be though for all children that are required to sit in a car seat in a vehicle.
It’s understood that a restraining systems (seat belt) sole purpose is to keep you in one place during excessive and sudden acceleration forces, like what you’d experience in a car accident or during airplane turbulence. In your car, the likelhood of a car accident is very low in our day to day drive. Similar, severe turbulence in an airplane is a fairly low risk. But, the risk is there.
In an airplane, there are a few situations where you will experience sudden and extreme acceleration forces. They include:
- Aborted Take-off – A maximum effort braking and stopping maneuver of a aircraft rejecting an takeoff at speeds up to takeoff speed for the purpose of stopping on the available runway/stopway. Forces in excess of 2g to 3g’s can be experienced.
- Moderate to Extreme turbulence in flight – Even though aircraft can handle very intense turbulence, it is more difficult for passengers to remain restrained effectively and avoid becoming projectiles in the cabin, thereby posing an injury threat to themselves and to others in the cabin. Severe turbulence is defined in theas, “Occupants forced violently against seat belts or shoulder straps. Unsecured objects are tossed about. Food Service and walking are impossible.”
- Incident/accident –
During these unexpected and rare situation on an airplane, if you have a lap child or a child sitting in a seat with a simple lap belt, it will be impossible to secure them, hold onto them, and/or restrain them sufficiently so they do not become a loose projectile in the cabin.
As pilots and crew we train, prepare and follow strict guidance to minimize risk and increase safety for our passengers and crew. As parents it is our obligation and responsibility to look out for the safety of those precious little ones that depend on us to keep them safe when they can’t do it for themselves. That being said, it would behoove us to mitigate the risk as best we can for our children and provide them with a safe and secure means of restraint in our vehicles and aircraft alike. After all, our children are our precious cargo traveling with us in this adult world.
Even thought it is not mandatory (and a politically charged topic) the FAA also shares the same thoughts I do and strongly urges parents to properly restrain their children. They offer great guidance and advice on approved Child Restraining Systems (CRS) and how to use them:
Thanks for letting me be a sounding board for this question. As an airline pilot for many years having the responsibility of the pubic and my passengers safety; and, as a father, I feel strongly about protecting our children when it comes to restraints and carseats. When your flying with me on one of my flights, you’ll see me walk through the cabin to check on those little ones before pushback to see how they are being secured and maybe share some advice to parents.
Update! I recently discovered another video put out by the NTSB about child passenger safety. It covers much of what I discussed here in this blog post…
It’s surprising how many under 2 lap children I discover during my cabin walk. For those parents all I can tell them (and I know the flight attendants say the same thing) is to be sure not to wrap the child between themselves and their seat belt. If we did have a sudden stop or turbulence, the full weight of the adult will crush the child between them and the seatbelt.
I hope this is welcomed advice for all considering the huge expense of a seat for your child when you consider traveling.