Title: A Kidnapped Mind: A Mother’s Heartbreaking Story of Parental Alienation Syndrome
Author: Pamela Richardson
Year of Publication: 2006
Genre Keywords: abnormal psychology, child psychology, co-parenting, corruption, courtroom drama, divorce, memoir, parental alienation syndrome, parenting, psychology, suicide.
Summary: When Pamela and Peter divorced and she chose to remarry, she never guessed how deep her first husband’s hatred would run. Once Peter became their son Dash’s custodial parent, he launched a campaign to manipulate the boy into believing that the only way he could show love and loyalty to his father was by utterly rejecting his mother. Pamela tried every way she could to repair her relationship with her saddened and heartbroken son and to rescue him from an environment characterized by brainwashing, alcoholism, and neglect. But the courts worked against her at every turn, and before long, she and her son were stuck in a nightmare of Peter’s making . . . a nightmare with a desperately unhappy ending.
Who’ll Love It: Those with an interest in psychology – particularly the manipulation and brainwashing you see in cults – will love Richardson’s in-depth account of what it’s like for a family to live with the effects of PAS. Be warned, though: it’s a dark and depressing story, and it ends with a lesson learned the hard way. It doesn’t make for cheerful reading, but I think it conveys an important message with a very personal touch. It’s important reading for anybody who’s involved in the family court system or even for parents who are divorcing, to reinforce a clear understanding about why putting the child in the middle of a battle for loyalty can be a devastating mistake.
In Memoriam: In addition to writing the book, author Pamela Richardson has done a lot to keep Dash’s memory alive. She created The Dash Foundation to raise awareness about parental alienation and domestic abuse, particularly within Canada’s family law framework. She also keeps a blog about PAS and provides other resources for interested readers at her A Kidnapped Mind website. “If my book, A Kidnapped Mind, can save even one child from what Dash went through,” she says, “then my family’s struggle will not have been in vain.” God bless Pamela Richardson for choosing to light a candle instead of cursing the darkness.