I’ve posted a lot the last few years about things I have learned that have been really helpful. While I think it’s all important, this is one of THE most important weapons in fighting the insanity of the pathological alienator and their allies.
It’s called the timeline. While the concept is simple, it seems to be woefully underutilized. The timeline takes the truth and puts it out in an easy to see, easy to grasp way for judges and evaluators to get. I know that there are some of these professionals who are blinded by their own bias, but I think from what I’ve read there are probably more who, if they could be properly educated, would be able to shift their perception.
The timeline is a tool, and it requires a desire to stay focused on our children rather than winning. The alienator has very specific strengths, and used properly this can help combat them effectively. Not by being better at what they do, but by avoiding getting sucked into their conversation altogether.
Their strengths are based on emotional arguments, flawed reasoning that can come off as sound and getting you involved in their argument. One very effective way they do this is by distorting time and inappropriately shrinking context.
Let me give you an example:
An expert witness was on the stand in recent custody review. They stated I was easy to work with and had no issues getting relevant information from me concerning this case. The other side on cross examination, noted I had gotten a little (and I mean little—I heard the audio and it was not much) assertive when the lawyer started saying things about me that were patently false. As I am pro se I asked the judge if I could object. I then said the lawyer was making this up and overtalked the judge for about a sentence.
My ex’s lawyer actually said, “seeing what just happened before, are you concerned about the Plainitff’s mental state?”
The witness, who is a very cool under fire individual, simply said “I’ve never had any issues with him.”
The lawyer then said, “Are you aware that the Plaintiff was found to be emotionally reactive and demonstrated poor boundaries?”
The expert answered “yes.”
When it was my turn to clarify I asked the expert, “When was I found to be emotionally reactive and demonstrated poor boundaries?”
The long and the short of it was that this was found to be true two and three years ago before and in the beginnings stages of attending court ordered therapy for two over two years—where the therapist currently working with me has stated I have made significant progress and would not say those things are true anymore in a capacity that would be detrimental to my child’s well being.
While this is good, it’s still relatively easy for the right lawyer to keep lobbing these types of things to the point it gets muddled in a judge’s mind (or any human being’s.)
Enter the timeline. The timeline is dispassionate. It simply shows the facts. It is drawn from documentation and records and paints a big picture really fast. It makes an impression, both on your ability to remember and refer to events, but also to people who have too many cases and not enough time.
I am sharing at the bottom of this post a timeline I created out of very inexpensive software showing the correlation between court events, evaluations, and times accusations surfaced and/or my child was at the doctor or reported sick.
If you can afford to have a service to get this stuff in order I’d say do it. If you have been devastated financially like I have, you may only have grit and determination at this point. I feel strongly that everyone deserves a chance at getting their kids back by whatever’s available, not just those with significant money.
I want to do whatever I can to help those willing to put in the work to get one of the most powerful tools in your arsenal out there.
Please feel free to look this sample timeline below. Click on it to get a larger version you can right click or tap and download.
The names have been redacted.
If you have questions contact me, preferably in the comments if it’s general enough (privately if not) so others can benefit.