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Helping Adult Children With Parental Alienation Syndrome

 

When parents use children as pawns in their divorce, the psychological consequences can be devastating. Parental alienation (PA) is the act of deliberately alienating a child from a targeted parent (TP) by an alienating parent (AP) and can cause a psychological condition referred to as parental alienation syndrome (PAS). Although this term is relatively new, the damage this type of behavior inflicts is not. When one parent denies a child access to the TP, the child struggles with feelings of hatred and fear towards the TP. These children often live in an environment riddled with malicious and derogatory remarks about the TP, and as they age, maintain guilt over harboring these feelings toward their parent.

Research on children of divorce has shown that this pattern of behavior can cause children to have social impairments that negatively impact their quality of life as adults. But until now, no study has looked specifically at PAS and its effect on key factors of development. To address this issue, Naomi Ben-Ami of Yeshiva University in New York evaluated 118 adult children of divorce and compared the children who experienced PAS to those who did not. She assessed several areas of social and psychological well-being, including depression, trust, self-hatred/esteem, anger, guilt, marital status, and achievement and identity problems.

Ben-Ami found that the PA participants had substantially lower levels of achievement than the non-PA group, which was demonstrated by fewer college degrees, less overall employment, lower college enrollment, and more economic hardship. They also exhibited attachment issues, impaired relationships, and decreased self-esteem, possibly as a result of the lack of attention they received from their APs. The controlling behavior of an AP was also shown to increase feelings of anger and guilt in the PA participants. These emotions, coupled with diminished self-sufficiency, elevated the risk for depression in the children who were exposed to PAS. Ben-Ami believes these findings support previous research that shows the destructive and long-term consequences that a child must bear when he or she becomes entangled in a parent’s highly fueled emotions arising from a divorce or separation. This type of evidence, if made available to parents and involved psychological and legal experts, could help prevent this type of activity and maintain the integrity of relationships, present and future. Ben-Ami added, “Ideally, the trajectory can be interrupted successfully to allow children to maintain healthy relationships with both parents, to be loved by them and loving with them.”

Reference:
Ben-Ami, N., Baker, A. J. L. The long-term correlates of childhood exposure to parental alienation on adult self-sufficiency and well-being. American Journal of Family Therapy 40.2 (2012): 169-83.

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Comments
  • amelia March 30th, 2012 at 4:06 AM #1

    Divorce affects children in a myriad of ways. Sometimes it can be for the best though. It is not right to deny a child access to a parent who has done nothing wrong except file for divorce in a marriage situation that he or she was not happy with. Why should they be punished? And then I know a lot of couples who then go around villifying one another, and of course children are going to be made to feel like they have to choose sides in order to maintain peace with them. It can be a very sad situation when allowed to be ahndled like this. There is no reason hy two grown adults should not be able to work out something more amicable so that the kids don’t have to suffer as much as they often do.

  • Donald Poore March 30th, 2012 at 3:14 PM #2

    Sorry, but I kind of take the hard line here. I know divorce is hard, it’s not easy on anyone involved. But these are adults. Don’t you think it is time to leave the past behind you and get on with life? We all had tough things happen to us growing up, but that does not mean I am going to let that determine who I am forever. Sometimes you just have to be willing to let it go and stop having a big pity party for yourself.

  • Casey March 31st, 2012 at 12:38 AM #3

    Horrible of the people who do this to their kids. Why bring your hatred towards your former spouse in between him/her and the kids?? Play clean, divorce can be a painless thing too, you don have to make it full of conspiracy!

  • Linda March 31st, 2012 at 7:37 AM #4

    Donald- you say for them to just get over it but it is obvious that you never experienced this in your own family, otherwise you would have a little more of an understanding about what it meant to be pulled from parent to parent and to still feel that way as an adult. As a child you should not be made to feel like you have to choose or that one parent is the enemy but unfortunately there are many children of divorce who are made to feel exactly that way. So not only does this cloud their judgement as to how they should act around one parent or the other, it also skews their own adult relationships as they were never provided with appropriate role models for a mature relationship of their own when they got older.

  • Robert Samery March 31st, 2012 at 8:01 PM #5

    This is very important work and needs to be continued, broadened and widely distributed. There are comments on this page that help the reader understand why this is necessary.

  • brandon adams April 1st, 2012 at 4:58 AM #6

    My parents got divorced when I was 15, and it felt like a tug of war between them ALL THE TIME and I was in the middle. Please, be adults in this situation if you are going through it. Do it for your kids.

  • MonTana April 2nd, 2012 at 11:02 AM #7

    The relationships that we create with our parents as a child are a clear indication of the types of relationships that we will be able to forge in our own lives as we become adults.
    If there is no stability in our lives that we can find as a child, then how are we expected to have this in our own adult lives, and thereby how can we ensure that our own children will receive the same?
    I really hate to see cycles like these become a constant, but it is true that once the wheel starts turning it is hard to find another direction for it to turn.
    I am saying all of this as an adult child of divorce, and one who then had the same thing happen when my husband and I split. I wanted it to all be a better and healthier experience than what I had grwoing up, but I guess I did not know any different and somehow it all feels the same.

  • Adam April 8th, 2012 at 1:41 AM #8

    As a father, I can tell you Courts in California do not fully accept this concept. Judges act on things they can see. The Superior Court of Solano County hires experts that are older women and I have found that many consider this topic to be a theory. They have not read up on the topic. The Court directs that families be examine for child support and physical violence. This stuff is not on the radar. I tried to bring it up in Court and the Judge said I don’t know what to do–This was after the Court’s expert testified she knew nothing about this topic. I express only anger on blogs that the system is so screwed up that whether you give this stuff a name or not, it happens and is forbidden by Court orders in California–but Judges do not act bad mouthing….it needs to be physical violence or not paying child support. The anger on the blogs represents my anger as well as what other fathers have had to say.

  • Jennifer Fry April 12th, 2012 at 11:23 PM #9

    Stealing a child’s heart and soul is the worst form of child abuse. The spiteful parent who alienates the child from the loving parent – cares not in the least for the child. The child is used as a pawn to seek revenge. The long term effects are devastating. Ask me how I know.

  • Lynn April 23rd, 2012 at 1:09 PM #10

    I have experienced this in my family. My ex has spent years that I was not aware of making very negative remarks about me to the children which basically told him I was not a good mom or wife. He has been successful in even turning friends of ours at church against me. He will pretend to cry and act as if he has been hurt when he is the one who has done all of the hurt (physical abuse to me, cheating and lying). Now my 2 grown children will have nothing to do with me. He was never there for them growning up. I was always with them including teaching at the school they attended and was at all their games (he was not). I don’t know how to get them back in my life but I will never give up as long as I am alive.

  • Cheryl June 5th, 2012 at 9:49 PM #11

    Here is a message of hope for TP’s. I divorced when my children were 6 and 9. My ex-spouse has NPD, actively alienated me and successfully separated me from my youngest, a son, (while vilifying my daughter, for not totally rejecting me), when my son was 12. For years, I had no regular visitation with my son, ( my daughter was with me) courts would not intervene or enforce, and any interaction whatsoever with my ex just made things worse. I still went to any public function (scouts, school), just so he would see me there, I volunteered at his school, attended his sports and scouts events, met his teachers, said a simple “hello” to him when I could, and asked how he was, told him I loved him, was proud of him. Sometimes all I could do was be a loving and supportive presence in a room, and I had to do so with his father standing right there, angry and purple by his side. I treasured any little visit with the three of us (with sister) even if it was interrupted by Dad’s constant and continual phone calls. The part that ultimately saved my relationship with my son was never completely giving up, always being around and available and always showing him and the people around him, ( teachers, neighbors, friends) a kind and unconditionally loving energy, (never clingy, needy, or angry, and even if I was all torn-up inside). He is now nineteen, still lives with his dad, and we still have to maintain a low-key relationship, as he still gets actively punished, if he spends much time with me. But he does love me, tells me so, and he finally gave me a Mothers Day card, in which he wrote “Thanks for always being there.” He also gets along well with his sister. When he was younger, he ignored me, he hurt my feelings, he resented my presence when it caused him problems with his dad, I despaired often, but some part of him noticed I was there, and that I loved him. It was excruciatingly painful for me, but the critical message got through to him, thank goodness. Hopefully, as he grows up, things will continue to get better.

  • Jennifer and Jimmy Fry September 16th, 2012 at 9:09 AM #12

    On April 12, 2012, we posted a message regarding Parental Alienation and it’s devastating effects. It is with great sadness that we write to say that our 22 year old son, William Tyler Huber, died tragically on August 23, 2012. William was alientated from us, by his dad. Although we had a relationship with William, it was clear he was never able to break free from the emotional clutches of his dad. William was made to feel guilty for loving us. No child – no matter their age – should be forced to choose which parent to love. William’s dad obviously never knew the meaning of love – because he could never have hurt William the way he did, if he truly loved him. We love and miss William, dearly. Jennifer and Jimmy Fry

  • Brandy December 5th, 2012 at 11:20 PM #13

    I know it’s been 8 months since you posted this, but I wanted to say thank you. Thank you for letting the world know that you are one that knows. I know much too well myself and hope to do something someday to help the world gain an understanding on a broader plane. You aren’t alone either and your willingness to speak up did not go unappreciated tonight.

    Brandy

  • Brandy December 5th, 2012 at 11:23 PM #14

    Amen!
    And I second your opinion.

  • Brandy December 5th, 2012 at 11:28 PM #15

    You haven’t a clue!
    Yes, we are adults; however, just consider this: from age 5-30 I lived one reality that was a complete falsehood and because of that, still today at 37, well-educated healthcare provider with 4 of my own children, I don’t know how to get back 25 years I lost with my father and had to walk away from my manipulative, alienating mother. One does not simply get over it when the very core of your foundation is shaken upon the realization that you lost a living family member, a parent for Hell’s sake, simply because the other one was selfish and manipulative.

    Shame on you if you lack the ability or desire to rethink your position here.

  • Janet January 1st, 2013 at 3:21 PM #16

    Ive been divorced for 10 years. My ex has never stopped manipulating my daughters and did a very terrible thing to my son. When my oldest daughter was 10 he decided to tell them I had just left and took them so he couldn’t see them anymore. I didn’t know this for 3 years and had been wondering why my children were angry with me all the time and eventually started to not want to be around me or my family. My ex was the one who had an affair walked out and moved in with another woman. We are still going through this awful antagonistic situation and it’s hard but I am going to bring light to this syndrome. My children are text book cases and I’ve documented everything. He went so far as to accuse my son at the age of nine of molesting the girls who were 4&2. My son is now 19 and I still have not told him. If anyone has any advice for me please feel free.

  • derek January 8th, 2013 at 4:33 PM #17

    My Mother invoved me in the preocess of leaving my father we packed everything quickily jumped on an areoplane and left the country to another on the oppisite side of the world when i was 12 years old.
    My mother made up lies and told these to me about my father e.g she said my brother who had allready ;eft home had boiling water poured over him from my dad and that he held pillows over our faces as children to stop us from crying when he was sleepy. my father found our telephone number as he managed to contact one of my mothers relatives who provided him with the contact number and this i was put in th emiddle with my father calling crying or enraged that my mother had gone and my mother throwing me the phone and saying talk to your father after she had wound him up and i would be made to say im sorry dad mum doesnt want to speak with you. at age 17 i went to see my father and stayed with him a short while. I only realised this year how damaging my mother was to me andthat it wasnt just a strange divorce it was actually abduction. My life has been complicated i can never settle anywhere for long e.g ive now in my thirties and have lived in over 52 places 4 continents for longer than two month periods. life has been a little tricky really i have such deep anger at my parents now i choose to live in a complete seperate country and try to see them only once every few years the longer the better.

  • Cherie January 31st, 2013 at 6:50 AM #18

    This article is very frustrating because like almost everything I read, it just states the problem which we already know!! but has no advice on what to do! With grown children, it is no longer possible to attend sporting events etc. especially when they live far away. My son has told me in the past that he doesn’t open my letters. He never emails me back and I have to assume he deletes them without reading. My only connection to him is through his siblings. I can only hope that he can see that his younger brother and sister have a great relationship with me and that I have raised them to be good people. His father really did a number on him starting when he was only 13. He is now 26 and still wants nothing to do with me. I have tried and tried over the years to no avail. To say it has been painful is a huge understatement.

  • Lynn March 8th, 2013 at 6:39 PM #19

    Dear Cherie,
    I understand the pain you are going thru. There is nothing you can do that will get your sons attention. I’m sorry to tell you. Your son is just as unhealthy as the other parent. I beleive that therapy might be helpful, altho they will fight tooth and nail no to take part. I too have a similar situation and it was also when my daughter was 13, she’s now 26 and still will not speak to me. Her siblings don’t understand and can’t help. It breaks our hearts. I beleive it’s all too painful for the child and or young adult to deal with and they are still dependant upon their abuser.

  • Maggie April 14th, 2013 at 5:01 PM #20

    I just have trouble understanding how a non-custodial parent who deserted their children has the right to complain about parental alienation. I feel that if one had better things to do than to love and nuture the most precious gift on every has,one’s children, there might be a just cause for parental alienation. Stop your whining! You got what you deserve!

  • Beth April 15th, 2013 at 6:16 AM #21

    Maggie,
    Do the children get what they deserve?

  • Jennifer & Jimmy Fry April 18th, 2013 at 11:28 AM #22

    Wake-up Maggie

  • Gloria Billingsly May 7th, 2013 at 9:54 AM #23

    I have seen so many situations where children have one parent who puts the other down and it’s usually the one who the child lives with who is doing the dirty work. I think a lot of parents don’t understand the true impact on their child and sadly, some of them just don’t care because they are seeking revenge and use the children to hurt the other parent. They hate the child’s other parent and genuinely feel that their child needs to know the ‘facts’ and reject the ‘other’ parent. The devastating effect it has on the child’s psychological well-being is heart breaking and it can lead to drug abuse, alcohol abuse and suicide when these children grow up. If a child is half Dad and half Mom, then they see themselves as half good and half bad, right? Seeing one parent as ‘bad’ makes them feel bad inside. They self medicate to dull the pain caused by the alienating parent. They often feel guilty for ‘hating’ the once loved parent.

    Children caught up in divorce and separation often blame themselves and crave a peaceful home life so they try to be ‘good’ often by taking the side of the parent with whom they spend the most time, the custodial parent. The custodial parent usually is the one alienating the child if it is happening. The damage caused by encouraging a child to reject one parent can last a lifetime. Children need to have a good opinion of both parents and to see their parents have a ‘working relationship’ based on THEIR needs to enable them to grow up with sound mental health. It is a crime to kill off a loving parent simply because you hold a grudge and can’t get past your own selfishness.

    Oddly enough, the children of abusive parents rarely ever go against them because they are afraid of getting treated badly themselves. The children stand by the abusive parent and reject the nice parent. The nice parent gets abuse from the children, extended family and even people who don’t even know them. An abuser infects everyone.

    I feel very contempt for abusive parents who are so self centered they sacrifice their children to punish the other parent. I feel truly sorry for the children and target parents who long to be together in a loving and valued relationship but cannot find peace. I hope all alienated children see the light and see the abusive alienating parent for what they really are. No child deserves to be used and abused.

  • Sherry Mihalko July 5th, 2013 at 6:59 PM #24

    Please don’t ever lose hope. My 21 year old son gave me the best Mother’s Day ever. I received a text from him and then a phone call. We talked for over an hour. A week later he came for dinner. He now realizes what his father has done to him. He hasn’t said as much, but I believe he knows. I will never say anything bad about his father because a person should never have to choose who to love and he’s been thru enough hell. For all of you who haven’t seen your children, please do not lose hope…God does make miracles. He gave me the gift of my son and if I die today, I’ve died a very rich woman.

  • Iowa PAS August 11th, 2013 at 6:46 PM #25

    To Maggie… you must be a person who does PAS since you are saying what you said. You need help!!!

  • Iowa PAS August 11th, 2013 at 6:54 PM #26

    Many of us never did anything to our children. Courts have closed their eyes and don’t want to say they were wrong. Nobody deserves to go through PAS specially the children! Some didn’t get their children because they were deaf and their ex was hearing, some give their life to the arm services and their ex wasn’t in it, some got their children because of who their ex’s family is even though they never did anything for the children but since their family “RUNS” the county they got the kids. These are just a few ways judges have ruled the way they did. Really…how can a person like you Maggie be there saying we deserve what we got.

  • Terri October 22nd, 2013 at 8:47 AM #27

    My suggestion is that a professional on this topic write a book to the adult children of alienation and help them to recover and find a way to mend relationships. I wish I had access to such a book to send to my 26 year old daughter. A book that does not judge but that does provide positive inspiration. This has been an unbelievably painful situation for me (8 years total estrangement) but must be even more devastating for my lovely daughter. She lost all her family since her Dad has none. I offer my prayers to all others out there affected by this this type of situation. You are not alone.

  • Tim Johnston October 28th, 2013 at 6:16 PM #28

    Hello All,
    It’s sad and heart wrenching to know how many others suffer the same pain. When one parent intentionally keeps the other parent away from the child, it only causes pain to the growth of the child. The child should truly know how much the other parent loves them. This is a form of Child abuse. In my case my sons Mother has done this to me. In Japan we don’t have rights. If I was in the States, I wouldn’t have such language barriers, not to mention the Japanese Govt. doesn’t assist alienated parents here. The mediation courts side with the mother. In my case the ex- never lets me meet my son outside a park. This creates anxiety and takes away my right to show my son other things in life. I stay in Japan for one thing only, and that is my son. It’s not his fault, but if,I leave…..I would have regrets even though I have no rights here. It tears my heart apart everyday. Parents shouldn’t be allowed to alienate and the Japanese government should realize, when a child is born to a foreign parent, we deserve rights. In America we express our love openly. In japan it’s all about studying and the family’s aren’t very open with their feelings. I wish my son had been born in the States. I wouldn’t have denied his mother equal rights. But here I am in Japan, fighting and hitting my head against the wall. let’s hope 2014 sees some changes in the Japanese way of thinking.
    Tim Johnston Japan
    Kai Endo japan

  • John Oral November 14th, 2013 at 1:40 PM #29

    Back in 2007 when I was divorced my ex wife told me that she will do anything she can to take my only child away from me at any cost. I downplayed this and did not know what she really meant but when her sister in law came to my house several months after my divorce and stated that I should do everything I can to save my child and that my ex wife is going to take him away from me no matter what, I woke up!!!
    So, in March of 2012 after years of trying to take my child away from me my ex wife started to call dept of children and families, lying to them about stuff to try to take my child away from me.
    My ex wife started to make it a habit to call Dept of Children and Families first in October 2011 when my son was touching another child while under her care and now my son no longer sees that friend of his and the families do not speak.
    First, it started off as me beating my child up but DCF closed this out immediately because it was unfounded.
    A few months after this I took my son to Ny to visit his grandparents and let him see nyc and where I was raised. We got back from Ny on August 7, 2012 and the allegation of sexual abuse started just a couple weeks after this visit to Ny.
    My ex girlfriend actually started to contact my ex wife and team up against me because I had taken away the car she drives on August 15, 2012. My ex s attorney will not allow us to see my ex wife’s phone records but I know that they both teamed up against me because when my ex wife served me an injunction she mentioned my ex girlfriend a lot in it.
    So, on August 31, 2013 I was served an injunction and I could not see my child. On September 4, 2012 my child is interviewed by DCF and states that some woman fondled him while he was with me at my house. However, he also states that he did not tell me about this because he did not want to. The kicker here is that during my hearing on Sept 20, 2012 my ex’s attorney states to the court that my child told me about this woman fondling him and I did nothing about it and the judge bought it and issued me an injunction and i couldn’t see my child for one year unless it was supervised visits.
    When a child is brainwashed supervised visits do not work and the system does not understand this at all.
    So, the fondling of my child did not go anywhere with DCF or the detective so a few months pass by and then more aggressive allegations begin to come out. The next allegation on Jan, 2, 2013 interview with DCF my child states that the woman that fondled my son now had brown hair and not blonde hair and she had an English accent and 17 years of age ( I have never been with an English accent woman). My son also states that I have a video camera system in my house where he can see naked people in every room. This does not exist in my house and i gave full access to the detectives that inspected my house. It gets better and better with the allegations because my son states that all of this happened a year before he complained about it which would make him 6 years of age.
    After the fondling doesn’t go anywhere he then states to DCF that i show him porn with naked people including boys and girls and men and women. He states that i tricked him into looking at it when I told him to look at my screen to see Bob Marley stuff. Bob Marley was actually introduced to my son by my ex wife’s new husband and anyway this scenario never happened anyway.
    Showing of porn goes no where and DCF closes this case as well and the detective on the case even calls my lawyer and says “your client is not going to like what else has come up now”, knowing that all of this is a fabrication and illustration of brainwashing.
    Next up since me showing him porn doesn’t go anywhere the new allegation becomes I now fondle my own child. Isn’t this getting disgusting and repulsive? That, I also masturbate in front of him and one time he even saw black and brown stuff come out of my penis. After he saw this he states that I then told him that I am going to do this to you now. How sick can a person get doing this to a child and brainwashing him like this?
    So, what’s next here? I will tell you what’s next since nothing has stuck or I haven’t gotten in trouble with anyone—-I raped my child is next right? Yes, I believe that is about where we should be next and my ex may want to say this to DCF now.
    The moral of the story and my point here is that I will do anything in my power to educate those out there that have dealt with this same situation because I know first hand what it feels like. You do not know what it is like unless you have lived through this hell and when your ex takes your child to a psychologist that is one sided and biased this adds fuel to the fire. That is probably why the psychologist no longer will see my child because her reports are biased and she was against me the while time, believing in my ex wife and going against an innocent man who did nothing to his child. I filed a complaint against her with the dept of health because she was so biased in her reports and whenever my ex wife made up another story she could not wait to get on that phone to call DCF.
    The best is when my son says to the DCF investigator ” My stepdaddy told me that I cannot talk about certain things with you because I will go to kidjail”. Are you kidding me? I lost my child for a year and none of these so-called professionals can see this???? My son then says to the DCF investigator “am I winning yet?” This has become a game to my son and he has been fully brainwashed but only I can understand what it has done to me, not my lawyer, not the judge, not anyone!!!
    I will continue to be a strong advocate of parents that have dealt with PAS and I will do whatever I can to help those who have suffered from it.
    I hope to God the judge sees what is going on here and reads up on PAS and looks at every print of my reports including transcripts of the injunction hearing, my son’s two interviews with DCF etc. I hope he sees that the prior judge made a mistake and made a hasty decision and took an innocent man’s only child away from him. Now, my child hates me and says to the person in charge of supervised visitations “I do not wish to participate in this”. My child does not know that word or words like “state attorney”. He shows up to a supervised visit and we have a blast and at the end he gives me a hug and says he loves me but then the supervised visitations stop all of a sudden and of course my crying never ends. I even had one of the women that work the supervised visitations cry once when they told me that he will not come in to see me because he is afraid of me. Who does this to a child just 8 years of age? Some sick people with no morals is your answer. Now how do you heal such a situation and who is to pay for this and be held accountable for this? Who can bring me back my 14 months that I have lost without my child? I don’t know what he looks like, I don’t know how he is doing in school, I can’t hear his voice and I can’t play ball with him. What kind of system is this where a person gets away with lies and brainwashes a child but does not have to do any time or even be put in check for her actions? Brainwashing a child should be a felony!!!!!!
    One minute he says “i miss you daddy” then the next minute he doesn’t want to see me anymore. I am still standing and fighting for my son but I have been beaten down like you can’t believe. I am worn out, always crying, have no money left, cannot eat at all, cannot sleep at all and when I do sleep I don’t want to wake up.
    I want my son back and I want people to be held accountable for what they have done to me starting with my ex wife, her husband, the psychologist and the lawyer that lied to the judge at the hearing. This is America and I deserve justice and so does every parent who has dealt with PAS.

  • John Oral November 14th, 2013 at 3:36 PM #30

    I will tell you what needs to be done here with PAS. The judges, lawyers, social workers, psychologists and parents themselves should have mandatory classes they need to take for ce credits, for the parents it would be just a course they need to take, kind of like a parenting course.
    Also,when a child is old enough he/she should take the course too. I do not have the answer as to when they should take it but it would help the child that is being manipulated better understand the situation at hand. He/she would realize what ingredients there are in PAS and how to block this from happening.
    PAS awareness day is April 25th and I believe people should rally and get together and put up signs against this horrific act of brainwashing innocent children that just want to be loved by both parents equally!!! They need both parents no matter what and both parents need their child as well.
    We should all educate those that don’t know anything about PAS. Sounds corny to people that have not gone though what we have but it will not be so corny if they too go through this themselves. It is the worst feeling in the world and the system holds your child hostage at the house of the parent that is controlling the situation the whole time.
    I will never ever give up on my son and I know no one would give up on their child. I will fight this evil act as long as I live and help others who are going through it as well.

  • Stephonie November 25th, 2013 at 9:41 PM #31

    Iowa PAS, your response to MAGGIE took the words right out of my mouth. Either Maggie’s an alienating parent (they have a hard time recognizing themselves as such) or she’s the adult outcome of parental alienation, which is horrifying. Fortunately for me, my children started coming around soon after they finished college (read that, no longer financially dependent on their father). But even now my daughters feel they have to hide their relationship with me because they’re afraid his rage will cause him to burst a vein or have a heart attack. Also, I’ve noticed that they seem to be emotionally “stuck” at the age they were when the alienation started. It’s heartbreaking and demands superhuman patience, but you just don’t give up on your kids.

  • John Oral November 27th, 2013 at 10:34 AM #32

    The worst part about all of this is the fact that your only child states that he now hates his “real daddy” and he continues to introduce me in his statements as “daddy john” instead of daddy. He calls his step dad “DAD”. No one really knows what this really feels like. He is my only child and I have lost him to evil. I guess evil does win. How a person can be so damn evil is beyond me. Patience is key but at a certain time patience begins to run out and you lose faith in the whole system we have here in Florida for sure. The heartache continues!!!

  • Kyle December 1st, 2013 at 7:48 AM #33

    Maggie,

    First I am so sorry that you feel the way you do. I do not know if you suffer from PAS. But please listen to my story. I am the victim of PA. Let me give you some background. Before I told my ex that I wanted a divorce I went through a ton of pain. She withheld all physical contact. No intimacy, no hugs, couldn’t tell me that she loved me. That went on for years. She was also in love with another man. What they did if anything I do not know, but when confronted, she refused to stop seeing him. I agonized over my decision but finally decided that I needed to move on. I couldn’t live that “life” anymore. But I stayed in that loveless relationship for as long as I did because of my children. To leave them was brutal. I finally divorced my ex. What happened during that process still blows me away. She started manipulating everyone around her including me, the kids, her friends, my friends, coworkers and victimized herself in their eyes. Suddenly it was me that had an affair, me that was unloving, me that was manipulating my kids. After a long and mostly happy marriage and giving this woman and children my everything, I am still in shock. My adult children know NOTHING about what she did and didn’t do. That is because I know how much it would have devastated them. I never wanted them to know what she did and how she really was. I withheld that from my kids because I LOVE THEM. Now I am tempted to tell the two who have alienated me, but I am still torn. However they will have nothing to do with me, and have cut off all contact. I love all my children more than life itself. I thought when I left that they would be in the capable hands of the woman that I married. Instead she has twisted their minds and hearts against a loving father. I now understand that she is sick, with narcissistic behaviors and acts only in her confused best interest. I am seeking therapy now to learn the best method to unravel the web that she has woven. To you I can only say that if you have been victimized by parental alienation, you wouldn’t even know it. A loving parent would do whatever it takes to keep from hurting their children, even if it means hurting themself in the process. As a parent I am sure that you understand that. I hope that you open your mind and heart to the possibility that the picture that has been painted may not be a representation of what really happened. Think of how you would feel if 30 years from now you discover the truth, and realize how much pain your alienation has caused your targeted parent. Think of what you have denied your parent, yourself, and your children! Perhaps try and put yourself in his shoes. How would you feel if one of your children suddenly hated you for the way that they perceived you, but not for the loving parent that you are? I will pray for my children tonight, as I do but I will pray for you too Maggie, so that you will be able to see through the haze that clouds your ability to see.

  • John Oral December 2nd, 2013 at 8:29 AM #34

    Kyle,
    Very well written and I pray for you and your children as well on this day. My hearing is next Monday and the truth will be told to the judge who may not understand what PAS is but I pray to God that the judge has had some experience with this at least a little bit. I am with you Kyle.

  • Jacqueline December 4th, 2013 at 4:37 PM #35

    I think your comments are typical of parents who put their emotional needs before their children’s. People can still be parents after divorce and should not be ‘punished’ because they do not wish to be married or stay with that person. Very sad as does not make for a happy life for all involved including the alienating parent who seems driven by revenge and anger

  • John Oral December 6th, 2013 at 9:18 AM #36

    We have gathered everything and complied with everything but now the judge just decides to prolong the process and allow the motion to continue to go on. Judges just pass it along forever by just extending injunctions 3 months here and 3 months there. They have no clue what the truth it and they do not read all the case material either. Judges are to partly to blame for this system as well. My final hearing was to be on December 9, 2013 at 9am and we go everything we needed for the judge. However, now the judge extended the injunction once again for another 3 months. These 3 months will allow my child to be in prison for another 3 months and brainwashed even more thoroughly. I am sure this time he will say that I raped him instead of the aforementioned stuff such as a woman fondled him then I showed him porn then I touched him!!!!! The system allows the “real” perpetrator more time to brainwash the poor child!!!! Damn the system here in Florida. Horrible, as I suffer for another 3 months and trust me it affects me emotionally, physically etc etc. Like a slow death. Damn you Florida state system!!!!

  • John Oral December 13th, 2013 at 1:22 PM #37

    Some people deserve not to see their child or children . Your honor Mr. Apte and I agree with you 100 percent. BUT NOT ME!!!! Look at the other side making these allegations and their motivation to make these allegations your honor. Give me back my only child. I promise you that is the right decision and I promise you that you will be appalled at the other side for taking my son away from me for this long. This story will go public I assure you that your honor because the system doesn’t work, it is flawed and it takes an innocent father away from his child. Anyone can get an injunction against anyone these days. The first judge made a huge mistake by taking my son away from me, please do not do the same here. My ex’s attorney knowingly lied to the court to get what he wants and this is being exposed right now as we speak with the Florida Bar. Trust me when I tell you I am all in, I AM ALL IN. I want justice and I want the truth to come out ASAP. THe more you wait and extend this injunction the more unjust this becomes. . You can take my life for all I care your honor , just as long as my son knows the truth.

  • Donna December 27th, 2013 at 11:55 AM #38

    My sister is almost 31 & not speaking to our mom after a lifetime of her dad putting down my mom and involving her in alimony details while my mother remained silent about the inappropriate behavior and verbal abuse on his part. I have come to realize that it’s affected me to a certain extent as well — just witnessing his disrespect towards my mom. My ex-husband has completely alienated our daughter from me as his dad did him and his siblings who remain alienated from my former mother-in-law while catering to their physically, mentally, and verbally abusive father — oh, but he has an inheritance.

  • John O January 1st, 2014 at 9:16 AM #39

    THE TRUE VICTIM!!!Wednesday, January 01, 2014 12:15:00 PM
    I beg for the judge to please read everything in front of him as my new years wish and prayer, that is all I want in 2014. I want to be re-united with my son more than anything else in the world. Your honor, please find your heart and search for the truth instead of doing the simple thing of extending my injunction once again. Just read , hear and watch all the evidence in front of you instead of just passing the buck at me and my son’s expense and just downplaying what my son means to me!!! I don’t know if you know what this feels like but I wish you would just put yourself in my shoes for once. I did nothing wrong here and yet you are not reading the evidence in front of you!!! Why do I need to spend thousands of dollars more in order to prove my case when everything is right in front of you? Is this just political? It’s a safe bet for you to just extend the injunction rather than make a decision isn’t it? Once again at my expense and my son’s expense. I don’t know if you have children but once again I believe that a person has to go through what I have been through to really understand how horrible this system is. Happy new year your honor, please do not just think about your election and political career, re-unite me with my son!! What has happened here is a huge sin and everyone has a judgment day and I just hope you do the right thing in 2014. I have cried enough, missed enough and died enough so please just read the evidence your honor. You cannot bring back the 16 months that I have lost without my son, you cannot bring back countless Thanksgivings, Christmas’, New Years, birthdays and father’s days etc… However, you can do the right thing and re-unite an innocent father with his beloved son this new year. Happy new year.

  • Dan C. January 8th, 2014 at 12:18 PM #40

    This is for Maggie. How dare you say that the TP deserves it. You have no idea the expense and time, not to mention all the heartache TP’s have endured just trying to have a relationship with their children. If the AP didn’t spend so much of their time alienating maybe they could see their own mistakes. It doesn’t matter that a father moves away from his children, what matters is the mother telling them “your father doesn’t love you” or “your father left you for his girlfriend, he loves her more than he loves you” do you not realize the damage you are doing to your children? That is PAS in its best form. When the father, no matter the distance between him and his children, has done everything in his power to ensure a relationship with his children only to be shot down by his children actually telling him they do not want to talk to him or have anything to do with him ever again. But through all that pain you still TRY. You still send cards, letters, gifts and you still try to contact them even though it’s futile. It’s the not giving up that matters most to a TP so please don’t say we deserve it. Get help for your children as well cause trust me, they will need it also. It’s a damn shame a parent that pretends to be so perfect can’t see the damage they are doing to their kids because they are so insecure they have to have all of the children’s love and attention at any cost. I have 3 kids that are all considered adults now and none of them will have anything to do with me. I also have 2 grandchildren now that I will never get to see or hold or ever be a part of their lives. So please don’t tell us we deserve it. You really have no idea.

  • John Oral January 10th, 2014 at 8:37 AM #41

    MAGGIE: You seriously need help and cannot even begin to understand the pain we go through. Maybe one day you will go through it too and then you will understand this “pain”. Get a life!!!

  • Dad January 23rd, 2014 at 1:22 PM #42

    It has been five (5) years since I have had visitation with my youngest son Alex and at that time my son was in 5th grade. My son hates my guts. The ex-wife, kicked out my oldest, handicapped son six years ago, and I had to go get custody. At that time, she elected to block me from seeing my youngest son. The judge appointed a reunification therapist, and the ex-wife ensured that process would not work. Many years of court, BIA, and now a forensics psychologist, I have been recently told it is too late to legally do anything since my youngest son is now 15 years old. I have been told that soon as my son leaves his mother’s house he will seek me out. My son has lost the value a man could have brought to his life. I have lost 1000 football tosses and seeing my son grow up. I will always love you Alex, your Father.

  • Mitzy January 24th, 2014 at 11:46 AM #43

    I have the opposite problem, sort of. My ex is a very jealous person and likes to abuse me. From day one of my childrens lives (in the womb) I have had to fight tooth and nail to get anything for my kids. We have been married 35 years, and throughout those 34 years ex made every line item purchase a “silent punishment for me” . I had a lot growing up but little help after leaving home due to violence in my home when my Dad drank, because of that I wanted to give my kids MORE help when they got older, plus they are so spread out (4) girls that the oldest got to be young for quite a while (in goody getting, at Valentines and Easter, Christmas etc.) When most parents cut off their kids, I still like to give and they to recieve “holiday goodies”. Hubby grew up in the depression with cold, not loving parents. He griped (publicy but mostly privately so THEY wouldn’t see his abuses ) about every thing I bought irregardless of who it was for. Mostly he always accused me of doing all the spending for me, while I did treat myself as well as other members of the family, no one went without including husband. Due to his “no joy” outlook on life he tried desperately to convince everyone I had a spending problem, not, he was just cheap, thoughtless, and selfish with his money. He STILL acts out if I even buy for my grandchild a few clothes or toys, or sheets for my dying fathers bed. He is a narcissistic individual, and thinks it ALL should be about him, or else, mostly the or else is my being chastized if he even HEARS I have spent money on anyone at all for ANY reason, and is constantly trying to make me guilty, so much so that I am considering asking the adult children to keep what I buy for them underwraps. These are NOT extravagant amounts, and in fact some of the toys are even used toys, just want to give something little to make them happy and me noticing the milestones or the joy of granny hood. He is real polite in front of everyone (he never buys anything) but he was and still is horrible to me about those things in private and we are about to be divoriced. I am aware he is jealous, and sickly so, but I don’t want to stop these treats or go underground, or ask them to lie, but I cannot tolerate the abuses anymore for what he goes fishing for in casual conservations with the adult kids that I know are fishing expeditions to let me know he knows what I do and it is his job to rip me for it. and then tried to abuse me with. I hate his use of them or anyone to abuse me, so What should I do

  • Mitzy January 24th, 2014 at 11:58 AM #44

    ps, I said violence in my Dad’s home, but I only saw one incidence other that that he was a GREAT dad, who succumbed to stress when he lost his business, he continued to be a great Dad till the day he died, but some might use him as a target to abuse me and yes, my husband did. I had great respect for my Dad, and much compassion for his sufferings, but compared to my husband he was a saint and a much much better involved father. He ex always abused my pain of this trouble in my family and hurt me deeply with his hateful sarcastic remarks. He says I don’t know who to trust and I said add himself to that list. Anyway, my husband always gave to strangers while bitching about MY spending and since retirement with (1/2 a mil. in his account) he is STILL horried about my buying anything for anyone and says I am spending all HIS money on myself. NOT, but I do take care of me also in ways he wouldn’t EVER or do for himself. He is just sick with this greedy hatetred and money obsessions while self punishing himself on a cot and acting like I took all his money from him…just really sick as he agreed to all the mediated settlements to look good, but living it is impossible for him. I fear he will end up alienating all our kids, as I “have to back off and do nothing, or he hears about it and STILL abuses me”. No one addresses this aspect of both me and the grown childrens abuses by proxy.

  • Mitzy January 24th, 2014 at 12:14 PM #45

    Also, my heart goes out to you all with minor children and the hell they are put through. After seeing this first hand with my husbands first family, I vowed no matter WHAT I would stay married till my kids were grown. Some think it was the money I stayed for and yet he (ex) didn’t always have money, and I have cc debt to carry the rest of my life, cause when he HAD money he STILL wouldn’t part with it, so all the kids needs went on my cards (hubbies and mine too) and when he retired he REFUSED to pay for these, and lied to himself MORE that I spent it all on me, not, when he retired and before he could collect on his pensions and we still had four kids at home…or ahem almost adults we paid an HUGE amount to keep everyone on insurance, leaving little with the decrease in pay for much else each month. Enter the credit cards, but when he GOT the money to pay these off and still have plenty he REFUSED, claiming it was my spending ONLY. WAS NOT. He would not “allow” me to work, and hated it if I even sold crafts or had any money. So I just bit the bullet and lived in the style we should have had he SHARED his money with the family. Well I am paying for that now, but would do the same again, as putting my kids through the hell you all describe here just wasn’t gonna happen. Yes, they are damaged, but not as much as some kids who are “in the war zone” all their lives and pulled back and forth like dog toys.

  • Mitzy January 25th, 2014 at 4:56 AM #46

    In case someone tried to point out, that I should have “done as I was told” in regards to money, frequently the hubby insisted we purchase something to the kids, even when I might have questioned if we could “afford” it, due to the tight fisted money control husband was always on ME about. Then of course, he told me to get out one of my, my name only ccards. In short, his need to feed his ego at MY expence, by putting most purchases in MY name ONLY, he knew exactly what he was doing. It was a sick game he played with our family, that even I was slow to snap to. He was looking good at MY expense, or turning the knife into me, he knew from being divoriced before the court would award all debts to the person whose NAME was on the care and then attempted to promote me as a golddigger, to his, VICTIM. He became enraged when I realized he was doing this to set me up, to pay for things HE not only knew I didn’t have money for, but because of his attitudes about me working (not) I clearly didn’t. HE LIED in the most horried ways to me, his kids, and himself. Yes, I was FORCED to pay for everything anyone got the last 20 years, including his apartment. He divided the money in settlements, then proceeded to UNDO that generosity, by putting all the old and NEW debits on me. Sick huh? He gets to look good while doing bad. Watch out, these types NEVER run out of tricks to accomplish that goal. To me this is parent alienation with a financial twist. Sick people in the world. I have been a SAHM, and punished greatly for it, as he likes to exert power and control to feel like a big shot and look like a benevolent “provider”. Even the kids don’t know whose name he put everything as a debit in. MINE

  • his Mom February 3rd, 2014 at 9:09 AM #47

    PAS really does happen, no matter how much it is denied. Kids get lied to, they lie, they can falsely put people in jail/ threaten such, some real odd, hurtful things. Much of this stems from a parent making their kid think it is good to lie, because that parent is hurt by a separation. But, most parents don’t go to such extremes with sharing their hurt – to the point they Severely hurt their child by saying/ acting as though someone who loves them dearly, doesn’t love them at all. At this very moment, think how you would feel if you just found out that the person you thought loved you, hated you? That is how children involved in PAS feel, because the parent who is making them believe such sad, untrue things, feels loss and disappointment by a failed relationship Themselves, due to separation/ divorce. Parents all go through pain in divorce/ separation, but to treat kids like they need to not just share the pain, but Live it as a Kid is Awful. Adults have a hard enough time finding tools to use for emotions, to try to force a kid to be able to act self-sufficiently and sort through pain they did Not ask for is so selfish and sad. A child deserves as Much love as people can provide, not as Little. When parents take the amount of potential of love from their own kids, they Hurt their own kids. Parents who are (truly) lied about don’t want to put their child through any more selfish situations than have already occurred against the child by adults (and, I am Not saying that the falsely accused parent was perfect in marriage Or divorce, either). Both parents are trying to adjust to a new situation, and may be selfish toward their kid(s) about time, money, or negative words or behaviors about the other parent. At some point it the Adults should adjust enough to CO-Operate for the Child more, not for Themselves so much. PAS is when a parent is Not adjusting in a healthy way for themselves, much less parenting a kid, at least in True PAS cases – where the accused parent Truly Never did Anywhere Near the harm as what the child is made to believe, and was actually Always a loving caring parent, not perfect, but loving and caring. For Any adult in Or out of the legal system to think PAS is “OK” for a child, is Deliberately trying to fool themselves because They are selfish for various reasons (unless, of course, they themselves have some sort of mental disorder). A child may “turn out just fine” through PAS, but why risk it, and, mostly, why not let them reach their Most Likely route to their individual Potential by allowing them to receive as Much love as possible? I am a Mom, by the way. Many people have learned to use PAS in their social, family, and court lives, not just moms, but dads’ too. Equal opportunity these days, guys, so don’t think too shallow about it. People can be Extremely selfish to their kids – All kinds of people.

  • SteelWorkersWife March 17th, 2014 at 6:34 AM #48

    PAS is a real living and breathing injustice to all involved. We have survived it and meek by everyday, knowing that the children have been forever lost to a narcissistic mother 3 years ago. There was no happy ending in our story. Just tragedy and unbearable pain, endless legal battles, courts, judges all comfortably uneducated and insensitive.

  • Connie March 18th, 2014 at 7:09 PM #49

    I totally know your pain. I have not seen my daughter in 3 years due to ex spouse with false allegations and so much lying, I don’t know how he can sleep at night. The court system in Minnesota plays a sad, detached part in it as they have taken years to finally “get it” about the father of our child. Sadly, it is too late, the damage has been done and my daughter doesn’t want to see me, as she protects her dad, the injured, angry and abusive man I divorced. She is 15 now. I’m sad for her, for him also, and for the future of this country with divorce rates so high and children involved. Nothing good has come out of this, except divorcing an abusive man. But at times I have to ask myself….was it worth the pain and slow torture of losing my child to PAS? There are days I can get by not shedding tears, there are days there are reminders of her everywhere. I would not wish this he’ll on anyone.

  • Connie March 18th, 2014 at 7:32 PM #50

    Amen to that. Everything you said is right on. As a women in your shoes, it’s damn frustrating. The pain T’S go thru is a grief unlike any other. I have to have family look up my daughter on Facebook to see what she looks like ( she has blocked me at her dad’s request). Her voice? I hear it in my head, but that’s when she was 12, she’s 15 now. I am my own attorney at this point, and I had much evidence to prove PAS. So far I’ve gotten the judge to get her a new therapist, instead of the biased one she had that talked to the ex, but didn’t want to “wreck her neutrality” by talking to me. He was pretty pissed when he saw that order. Lets see if he will follow it ( so far its been a month and he wont return my emails)Wow. Every day is a blessing and a curse. But I’m trying to hold on. Everyone says when she’s 18 I’ll hear from her…..it’s what keeps me going. It’s a small hope, but hope none the less.

  • Connie March 18th, 2014 at 7:58 PM #51

    There is a book “breaking the ties that bind” it’s about children that are now adults, and they have realized they were victims of PAS. It’s a very informative book and a great tool for use in court, as it has much research as to the outcome of PAS.

  • 'Shohei' March 23rd, 2014 at 5:55 PM #52

    It is the most hurtful thing to go through. It is like so much damage has been done since young childhood and the child/ young adult now has a very skewed perception of everything. You don’t want to put the other parent down, but feel you need to explain the truth (which you can’t do without he says/she says). The councillors are so politically correct they put all the power in the hands of the child and have been counterproductive.

    The child needs love and help, but just keep kicking us loving parents in the guts, which becomes unbearable. What does one do? There is simply just not enough help out there with this one! Great to see a supportive forum.

    There are some books by Richard A Warshak. Unfortunately I found them too late. Again this is a resource I would have thought councillors would be aware of!

    Stay strong everyone

  • Camille M April 1st, 2014 at 11:20 PM #53

    yeah Maggie, my children are grown and tell me about how they needed me, I went to their childhood functions and watched the whole family give me the dirtiest looks and my children even apologize to me to this day and say even though it is both our faults, but the children took the money and were shipped out of town on our weekends, their dad thought it was just so funny and I logged ever time i drove an hour and a half to get my children and was ready to send his butt to jail…My children were praised for not going with me on the weekends, they were too good for me and my son told me that he thinks i was smart because I had no family but myself and he didn’t think he would turn out the same, and I agreed because I didn’t have the financial support his dad or his family had for my children.

  • lira April 2nd, 2014 at 12:41 PM #54

    Thank you for this article. Amazing how much unspoken pain there is on both sides, the child’s and the parent’s.

  • How Do I Help my sons? April 9th, 2014 at 11:27 AM #55

    I wonder if there is help for these adult kids if they don’t/won’t acknowledge that they need help. My boys are adults and are text book cases of PAS. There dad brainwashed them against me from the time we seperated at age 3 and 6 and they are both now in 20s and still live with him. The older one has not spoke to me in five years and before that hardly spoke to me for four years so a total of 9 years he has turned his back on me. The younger one still visits but is deeply hurt and suffering. It breaks my heart but when I try to talk to the younger one he shuts down. They have both been taught that professionals are out to get them. They both quit school and neither hold jobs or ever have. They have no goals and seem so stuck. Is there anything I can do besides wait for them to see things clearly? It terrifies me. I suffer too from the years lost with them but all I care about is that they get help and have happy lives. I know from living with my ex that there is some sort of phychosis but he never admitted to needing help and lives in a delusional world that he is perfect and the rest of the world is crazy.

  • Jennifer & Jimmy Fry April 12th, 2014 at 1:11 AM #56

    Our first entry on this website was exactly two years ago today. Four months later our Son, William, died. Please read our September 16, 2012 entry. We check this website regularly. We commend you for your honesty and would like to encourage you to sign your real names if possible, because one day your children may come across this article and understand what you have gone through.

    Our suggestion to everyone struggling with Parental Alienation is to tell your children what the alienating parent is doing. Spell it out in no uncertain terms. Do not leave it up to chance that they will be able to see it for themselves; do not underestimate the degree of conditioning they have been subjected to. Children – even adult children in this circumstance – do not have the maturity to understand what the alienating parent is doing to them and to the target parent. Explain to your children the importance of having both parents in their lives, irrespective of the differences between the parents. Please also explain the vital role education plays in building a happy, stable and meaningful life for themselves. The alienating parent will often NOT encourage their children to become better than they themselves are – perhaps because they do not care about the child at all. Emotionally healthy parents want their children’s lives to be best they can be.

    It is understandable to want to take the high-road and be the better person by not engaging in the same tactics the alienating parent uses. But please know you are NOT taking the high-road by choosing not to explain to your children the destructive and deliberate methods the alienating parent uses. The alienating parent is weak minded and self-centered. It’s not that they cannot see what their behavior is doing to their children – the fact is that they do not care sufficiently what it is doing to them! All they care about is getting even with the spouse who couldn’t take any more of their abuse and finally left the relationship. The sole focus of the alienating parent is to seek revenge. Systematically and deliberately the alienating parent will neglect the children’s basic needs and use the children as pawns in their revenge plot against the loving parent.

    Please tell you children what the alienating parent is doing, and keep telling them. Even if your children seem to reject your explanation – the fact that you have told them may one day resonate with them – hopefully sooner rather than later. If you don’t tell them, who will? Do not think your children will one day magically see the alienating parent for what they are. The damage done by the alienating parent becomes ingrained and part of the children’s lives. The children defend the alienating parent and embrace their twisted version of events because along the way, the alienating parent has been able to extract good memories of the loving parent and replace them with distorted memories. Most likely you have seen a physically abused child cry out in defence of the parent who beat them. These children are in many ways similar to children who have been brainwashed by the alienating parent. It’s as if they desperately seek to win the approval of the abusive parent. The alienating parent carefully crafts an illusion that they care for the children. But what is “caring” about deliberately destroying a child’s emotional life? This is blatant child abuse at any age. Unchallenged, these twisted views will be handed down from your children to their own children.

    Ten years ago, we gave all of our children copies of the book ‘Divorce Poison’ by Richard Warshak; we sent it to all of them again after our Son, William, died in 2012. We sent them this article, “Helping Adult Children With Parental Alienation Syndrome”. If you can get your children to read books or articles on the subject of Parental Alienation, please do so. If you can get them to discuss the subject of Parental Alienation with you – even if they deny this is what is happening – you can hopefully begin a process that will eventually lead them to understanding what the truth is. One of the most disturbing and heartbreaking aspects of Parental Alienation is when the alienating parent bends the mind of their child completely to make the child think they feel this way independently – the Independent Thinker Phenomenon. They have been conditioned to think this way.

    Please do not think once your child reaches the age of 18 they will come back to you. There might be a heavy price for not going along with the alienating parent – they see what the alienating parent has done to you and they don’t want the same horrible treatment for themselves. Your alienated children will forever be seeking the approval of the alienating parent. If they haven’t already done so – they will most likely take over the role of abusing you along with their alienating parent. This is another way the alienating parent punishes the target parent – by proxy.

    Please tell your children what the alienating parent is doing – and keep telling them. Tell them now before it’s too late.

  • Neil McKenzie April 19th, 2014 at 9:41 AM #57

    I would like to explain PAS to my children. They are aged 13 and 16. Do you have any literature aimed at that age group? I have been able to see them 3 times in the last 3 years. Their mother ticks every box on the list of PAS traits unfortunately. I have tried every way to get through to them except for explaining PAS as I have always been keen to avoid bad mouthing their mother. I have no options left and feel there is little or no support here in the UK in relation to PAS.

  • Melissa C Pereira April 19th, 2014 at 11:28 AM #58

    I have been severely alienated from my children by their father and my family. My relationship was completely severed (for all practical purposes) when they were each 17. I won’t bore you with the long sordid details, but will say I was a custodial parent who raised my children alone from the time they were 1 and 3 years old. We were a close and loving family. I encouraged them to love and respect their father.

    What I do want to add, that nobody seems to want to talk about other than glossing over it by discussing ‘attachment issues’, is that these adult children mired in the alienation become psycopathic narcissists who seek to use and abuse. Most especially the targeted parent. Under the guise of ‘helping’ the children these parents make the problem worse by becoming enablers.

    I wish more people would talk about this. And I know I am going to get a lot of hateful comments, but ignoring the truth does not make it untrue. And this is the ugly truth of PAS.

  • Melissa C Pereira April 19th, 2014 at 12:18 PM #59

    You need to tell your son the truth.

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  • Theodore T: Seriously I think that our boss does what he can so that we feel miserable at work. He never has anything great to say about our job...
  • Trinity: I try to really hear my husband when he tells me how beautiful and sexy and smart he finds me to be. There have been too many times when I...
  • Eleanor: I know that there are times when we are just not that interested, we have all had those days… or weeks even! But sometimes...