Helping Adult Children with Parental Alienation SyndromeMarch 29, 2012 • A GoodTherapy.org News Summary
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.
Find a Therapist
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.”
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.
© Copyright 2012 by www.GoodTherapy.org - All Rights Reserved.
The preceding article summarizes research or news from periodicals or related source material in the fields of mental health and psychology. GoodTherapy.org did not participate in or condone any studies, or conclucions thereof, that may have been cited. Any views or opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by GoodTherapy.org.
ameliaMarch 30th, 2012 at 4:06 AM
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 PMarch 30th, 2012 at 3:14 PM
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.
CaseyMarch 31st, 2012 at 12:38 AM
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!
LindaMarch 31st, 2012 at 7:37 AM
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 SMarch 31st, 2012 at 8:01 PM
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 aApril 1st, 2012 at 4:58 AM
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.
MonTanaApril 2nd, 2012 at 11:02 AM
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.
AdamApril 8th, 2012 at 1:41 AM
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 FApril 12th, 2012 at 11:23 PM
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.
LynnApril 23rd, 2012 at 1:09 PM
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.
CherylJune 5th, 2012 at 9:49 PM
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 FSeptember 16th, 2012 at 9:09 AM
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 F
BrandyDecember 5th, 2012 at 11:20 PM
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.
BrandyDecember 5th, 2012 at 11:23 PM
And I second your opinion.
BrandyDecember 5th, 2012 at 11:28 PM
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.
JanetJanuary 1st, 2013 at 3:21 PM
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.
derekJanuary 8th, 2013 at 4:33 PM
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.
CherieJanuary 31st, 2013 at 6:50 AM
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.
LynnMarch 8th, 2013 at 6:39 PM
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.
MaggieApril 14th, 2013 at 5:01 PM
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!
BethApril 15th, 2013 at 6:16 AM
Do the children get what they deserve?
Jennifer & Jimmy FApril 18th, 2013 at 11:28 AM
Gloria BMay 7th, 2013 at 9:54 AM
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 MJuly 5th, 2013 at 6:59 PM
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 PASAugust 11th, 2013 at 6:46 PM
To Maggie… you must be a person who does PAS since you are saying what you said. You need help!!!
Iowa PASAugust 11th, 2013 at 6:54 PM
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.
TerriOctober 22nd, 2013 at 8:47 AM
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 JOctober 28th, 2013 at 6:16 PM
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.
John ONovember 14th, 2013 at 1:40 PM
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 ONovember 14th, 2013 at 3:36 PM
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.
StephonieNovember 25th, 2013 at 9:41 PM
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 ONovember 27th, 2013 at 10:34 AM
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!!!
KyleDecember 1st, 2013 at 7:48 AM
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 ODecember 2nd, 2013 at 8:29 AM
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.
JacquelineDecember 4th, 2013 at 4:37 PM
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 OralDecember 6th, 2013 at 9:18 AM
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 ODecember 13th, 2013 at 1:22 PM
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.
DonnaDecember 27th, 2013 at 11:55 AM
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 OJanuary 1st, 2014 at 9:16 AM
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
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 OralJanuary 10th, 2014 at 8:37 AM
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!!!
DadJanuary 23rd, 2014 at 1:22 PM
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.
MitzyJanuary 24th, 2014 at 11:46 AM
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
MitzyJanuary 24th, 2014 at 11:58 AM
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.
MitzyJanuary 24th, 2014 at 12:14 PM
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.
MitzyJanuary 25th, 2014 at 4:56 AM
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 MomFebruary 3rd, 2014 at 9:09 AM
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.
SteelWorkersWifeMarch 17th, 2014 at 6:34 AM
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.
ConnieMarch 18th, 2014 at 7:09 PM
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.
ConnieMarch 18th, 2014 at 7:32 PM
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.
ConnieMarch 18th, 2014 at 7:58 PM
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
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 MApril 1st, 2014 at 11:20 PM
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.
liraApril 2nd, 2014 at 12:41 PM
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
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 FApril 12th, 2014 at 1:11 AM
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 M.April 19th, 2014 at 9:41 AM
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 P.April 19th, 2014 at 11:28 AM
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 P.April 19th, 2014 at 12:18 PM
You need to tell your son the truth.
Maureen FApril 23rd, 2014 at 5:55 AM
Amen!!! Thank you for your comment!!!
How do you know?
Love to hear your story!!!
It may help My sons in there pain””
Maureen FApril 23rd, 2014 at 6:02 AM
I love to have you comment as a man to a child / son who has been SEVERLY alienated from the mother for past 8″ yrs or to a father who is deny IT!! “””
Calling it everything under the sun!!!!
Now my sons are 15&17″””
Pain of there pain is so immense I can’t live my life without agonizing over it”””” everyday!!! I feel like my sons have been murdered!! The reality of this targity!!! Yet completely twisted!!!!!
Thank you, I appreciate your reply,
Maureen F.April 23rd, 2014 at 11:39 AM
Thank you for your comment, it is so comforting to know someone knows & understands your pain.
I have read alot about divorce PA, PAS;) however I wondering if you have read anything on the alienating parent after 7 yrs of severe alienation turning the table ;) seeking reconciliation yet without truth ;) as if forgotten yrs of severe events is Not real, or what really happened to the targeted parent;) talk out of two sides of face to cover up the truth as it unfolds to the teen adults???
Thank you, Maureen
Mary J.May 6th, 2014 at 5:26 PM
PAS is HEREDITARY!!!
If someone was taught to hate one of their parents, they are at a high risk of teaching their children to hate their other parent.
Especially if the same gender dynamics are involved. e.g. Father taught to hate his mother, will then teach his children to hate their mother.
Don’t marry a PAS!!! They are likely to alienate your children from you!!!
The healthy parent thinks they can prevent it from happening…
Warning – It’s really easier than you think. The PAS parent is permissive, they give the children anything they want. They criticize the parenting of the healthy parent. They berate the healthy parent personally, in front of the children.
They create a gang with the children with you as the common enemy.
Brainwashing is the psychological process involved here.
MarisMay 6th, 2014 at 6:32 PM
THANK YOU for sharing. I am completely devastated and struggling to come to terms with the nastiness of parental alienation I am experiencing from my teenage daughters. With mother’s day around the corner, they have already expressed they want to celebrate with their “other” mother (step mom) and that I am only their biological mother. Their father warned me he would make me “pay” for divorcing him (yes, he was abusive in every way imaginable). This is literally killing me and the pain is becoming more and more difficult to deal with. My daughter’s will never read literature about PAS. I don’t know what to do anymore.
jennifer & Jimmy FMay 9th, 2014 at 5:23 AM
“You can tell a lot about a man by the way he treats the mother of his children.”
It’s truly sad that alienated children never see the destruction the alienating parent has caused and how the alienating parent is using them. In many cases, the alienating process begins years before the marriage breaks up. The process of destroying your child’s relationship with you is the foundation of many divorces. The children are taught by the alienating parent that the target parent is “no good” and they are not to be treated with any kind of respect. They are only to be used and abused.
These learned behaviors can indeed be passed down from your children to their own children. Another sad truth is – your alienated children’s children – your grandchildren – are being taught to dislike you. Many of these children have never even been allowed to meet their grandparents!
Our hearts go out to all Mothers on this Mother’s Day whose children have been alienated against them.
roseMay 13th, 2014 at 7:36 PM
Ive been thru the wringer with PAS. MY ex husband had NPD, severely allienated my oldest three girls (I have 6 kids). Believe it or not he actually got them to sign sworn affidavits that I did everything from molestating them to being a drunk. I lucked out with a great judge who sent us all for forensic eval with a wonderful psych- thats the guy who dxd my ex with NPD. From that I got sole custody of my two remaining kids. However the Judge warned us that after the younger kids reach majority and are out of the Courts jurisdiction; they run the risk of ex allienating them.
Well its over 10 years later; I remarried two years ago (to a great husband) and my ex has now allienated the younger ones just as the Judge predicted. My youngest 22 YO son just trashed me because I bought him a cvic when he said he wanted an accura TL while his father gives him zero towards support.
Goes to show you that even with a great Court/Judge/Psych an allienator is bad bad news. I doubt these kids will ever speak to me again. Its awful and despite my now loving marriage I still cry myself to sleep at night.
Coni WMay 21st, 2014 at 7:30 PM
Our stories are very similar with the exception my boys now live with me, however the struggle with PAS and anger is still aimed at me
Abandoned and afraidMay 22nd, 2014 at 6:56 AM
I’m writing to you because my daughter was victim if pas. Ir has been 2 years now that we have maintained a relationship. My ex, did try to alienate my son, but my son, at a really young age, recognized the abuse, and left. My daughter was entrapped. She was scared.
The after effects she carries today are probably even scarier, she lives with my ex primarily, wants to live with me, but feels compelled to live with him. She is 16 yrs old now and still completely enmeshed in her relationship with him. She talks about him in the highest regard, causes a lot of friction in the home with her brother which of whom has made an attempt to see his father- but father is unreciprocated. When I ask why, father states “I can’t trust son”.
Daughter suffers ptsd rarely attends school, I have joint custody in school and health, I got her I to therapy, and I’m involved in the school. Problem is, therapy has to be on my visitation night, and she must go to school that day in order for father to let her go to therapy. This is what our legal system has cone down to, to think this was the best interest of the child and to grant him full custody. He wants power and control he doesn’t want to keep her safe and nurture her – he wants to win.
My son, struggles with not having a father in his life. His grades are suffering and now into drug use.
What once was a happy family has now been destroyed, some people look At PAS as two parents in conflict. It is very real, it is extremely abusive to everyone involved, it was fought to be put in the DSM5 and rejected. The more people coming out about this the less damaged our children will be.
This syndrome effects each race, male and female. Just hateful, narccistic, people who need help themselves after divorce. They need not involve the children, divorce is hard enough. The children love each parent . No matter how awful that parent is.
Rebecca RMay 23rd, 2014 at 4:20 AM
Hi Neil, I can relate to your situation. I am the product of a mother that alienated her children from all contact with any relatives after her divorce. When I, sadly, divorced my husband, i made it my highest priority to not bad-mouth my ex. Unfortunately, he did not follow same the path. Today, I find myself alienated from both of my daughters and all grandchildren. It has taken him 20 years to accomplish this, but success is his, at last. Unable to find anything directed at the children, I decided to write a fictional short story about this topic in the hopes that my grandchildren may some day read it and start to question some of the “tactics” as well as the reasons why they may not have been allowed to know their grandmother. I wrote it geared towards young adults. The title is “Gammi Payne”. It is available in kindle or print on Amazon and should be available in UK. I set it at the lowest price allowed. I am hoping that through my pain others may benefit. In the story, the grandmother is the target, but perhaps that might make it easier to discuss the topic. I wish I had seen the signs long ago. Don’t let decades pass before you deal with this problem. Speaking from experience, it doesn’t go away and only gets worse. Good Luck.
BorisJune 3rd, 2014 at 11:40 AM
I am not a victim, although my fiancée was a classic victim of PAS by her husband. Neither legal nor therapeutic efforts were productive although they ran to six figures.
I find little hope, and even less solid therapeutic guidance. Most guidance (Amy Baker) is easily overcome by emotionally dominant alienating parents and limp legal systems and therapists.
The eleven catalysts are impractical, short of removing the child from the alienating parent’s context, and the legal system usually awards the alienating parent more rights either primary custody or “we can’t make the child do what she doesn’t want to do”
This is a crime which no one seems ready to prosecute.
JeanJune 3rd, 2014 at 6:58 PM
My daughter is now 27 but when she was about 16 she started spending Mother’s Days with her young stepmother. It was devastating then, particularly as my son had lived exclusively with his father and stepmother since he was 14. I did ask her if she wanted to spend Father’s Day with me as she was spending Mother’s Day with her father and stepmother. There have been moments of hope like this Mother’s Day my son sent me an email wishing me a Happy Mother’s Day.This was the first time in 20 years he had done so. But then a few days later he wrote to tell me could not invite me to his wedding I assume due to his
father’s objections. PAS is horrible. I don’t know the answer but treasuring the little victories and trying to understand the pathology of the alienating parent does help.
Terri F.June 8th, 2014 at 7:49 AM
Thank you so much for sharing hope. Hope is all I have of my lovely daughter. I am glad for your reunion and pray for the same for us all.
TerriJune 8th, 2014 at 7:55 AM
Thank you Connie. Breaking Ties that Bind” is a good tool.
TerriJune 8th, 2014 at 8:35 AM
Dear Jennifer and Jimmy F. I am so sorry for your loss.
Thank you for sharing.
You suggest that we clearly tell our children what is happening in regards to Parental Alienation. Prior to reading your comment today I had the same inclination.
My daughter has been alienated from me for almost 9 years now. I for a short time had the ability to text with her. I texted some things wrong for sure ( I don’t want to hurt her) but some things right I guess. Tried to let her know how very loved she is. I got brave and decided to ask that she read about Parental Alienation. She got enraged and now has me blocked. I am soooo sad that she cut me off but am not feeling guilty for asking her to learn about Parental Alienation. (especially after reading your comment) They say that the truth sets us free. I don’t know what the future holds and certainly can’t control it. I just want my beloved to know how important she is to me and to have a chance to decide for herself. God please help us all.
Jennifer & Jimmy FJune 10th, 2014 at 4:23 AM
Thank you for your condolences. After William died we said, “If Losing William isn’t enough to shake the family into reality, then nothing will.” After almost two years, nothing has changed except the family dynamics have actually gotten worse. Some of the children – who are well over the age of thirty – have attacked us AND William’s memorial pages. It’s been horrific. We are always on edge. William’s Birthday is less than a month away and we are bracing ourselves for more abuse.
Since William’s death we have significantly changed from missing our children to hoping not to hear from them again if all they can do is abuse us and William’s memory. It’s hard to miss people who show no compassion. Sadly, their father is of no help. We have contacted him in recent months to ask that he please speak to the children to encourage them to stop their horrible behavior; only to receive more abuse from him. He flatly refuses to get involved – even to protect William’s memory. He seems happy with the way the children are attacking us. A rational human being would be horrified. To witness the children and their father turning on William soon after his death – to say nothing about the relentless attacks on us – has been horrendous. The pain is indescribable.
We agree with you about telling children what the alienating parent is doing to them and to your relationship with them. If they refuse to acknowledge it now – hopefully they may piece it together themselves in the future. The fact that your Daughter became enraged at you when you asked her to read about Parental Alienation is a sign that you’ve struck a nerve. Hopefully she will reflect on what you’ve said. If she doesn’t, you will at least have Peace of mind knowing that you called it by name and that you are under no illusion about what and who is keeping you apart.
Parental Alienation is Child Abuse and anyone who witnesses this in the family and deliberately does nothing to intervene, are equally guilty of the abuse. Everybody in the family knew what our children’s father was doing because we made everyone aware – yet no one got involved. No one in the family bothered to even reach out to us after William’s death. We have been fighting this fight alone. We feel part of what is going on right now in the family is displaced anger. The children know what their father has done, but are emotionally paralyzed to do anything about it because they have gone along with him for so long. They know the consequences of going against their father.
Although we are alone in this – together we are very strong and we are at Peace knowing we did everything we could do to get through to them. After years and years of rejection and abuse, there is a point when you must move forward for your own sanity. That point for us was when William died. We feel we are now walking down the path of Peace with William – on what we call William’s Path. We are channelling our sorrow in positive ways to honor William’s memory.
We will never give up hope that our children will one day see the light – for not only themselves but for our grandchildren, too. Parental Alienation could very well happen to them with their own children. Unfortunately, history has a way of repeating itself.
Thank you, again, Terri. We wish you Peace and your Daughter, Peace and understanding.
Jennifer and Jimmy F
Bob and SandraJune 17th, 2014 at 2:22 PM
To Jennifer and Jimmy,
First, having read all of the preceding posts,we want to thank you for your candor and willingness to share your pain and experience for the benefit of others who have been been touched by PAS. There are so many parents and children of divorced families out there searching for answers and hopefully your story and the others that have been shared here can some light the issue of PAS. The variety of responses on this site are a testament to the array of circumstances and consequences PAS. It impacts not only targeted parents, the children (even after they are adults themselves), as well as extended families.
To those who replied back to Maggie…who ever she is, she gave no details of her own story… and so it is interesting to read your responses as you project your own thoughts onto her blank canvas. Allow us to do the same.
That “Maggie” could be our “Maggie”. She is in her late twenties now and still struggles with the impact of PAS that began when her parents divorced when she was ten. After 8 years of total estrangement from her father, our Maggie struggles with the same questions, word for word, as those posted above see #20. The PAS intensified until her mother was successful at gaining full custody of Maggie when she was 14, (along with one of her older sisters). At the same time the AP managed to secure a restraining order against the father based on her “fears” of what she thought he might do in response. While the restraining order was of a general nature, (restraining the TA from “harrasing” or “annoying”)it gave the AP a device to use to keep the father from access to his daughters. The father had remarried and was now not only providing child support for “Maggie” and her other sibling but was also now providing for two children of his second marriage. Financially, it was impossible to mount an appeal and he was advised by his lawyer and counsellor that at that point all it would take to have him arrested was another accusation by the AP. He decided not to risk the stability of all his dependents by attempting any further contact. So he faithfully made his child support payments and bided his time until the restraining order was finally dropped. By then both Maggie and her sister had completed not only a first university degree each but also each had completed college diploma programs that helped them to finally establish themselves in the workplace. It was at this point that he decided to risk contacting his estranged daughters.
That was four years ago and the rebuilding of Maggie’s relationship with her father has been slow and for the most part superficial. Maggie believed she had been “dis-owned” by her father for deciding to live with her mother. She bears the psychological scars of what appeared to her to be early paternal abandonment. She continues to live with her mother in a deeply enmeshed relationship that makes it difficult for her to see herself as a victim of PAS.
We are concerned because we are told “Maggie” seems to have given up on finding a significant other with whom to share her life and bemoans ever having a chance to have children of her own someday. We are told that she engages in binge drinking and we have witnessed her chain smoking, anxiety and irritability when around her family members. From time to time, she opens up to her Dad and shares the pain of her lost childhood, but only when they can have privacy, which is almost never. She is grateful for the extra years of support payments and together with four years of low key but loving contact she is open to reappraising and rebuilding her relationship with her father.
Her older sister, who boasts a “parental protectiveness” over Maggie, reportedly suffers from panic attacks for which she must take medication. She has tearfully refused to discuss her past estrangement from her father but has maintained regular contact with her father (about every 4-6 weeks)since the restraining order was dropped.
We visited this site, looking for insights about how to help “Maggie” and her sister while hopefully continuing to improve the quality of their relationship with their father.
May God be with you all as you seek to find your answers.
mjJune 18th, 2014 at 9:09 PM
I know of your pain.2 of my 4 children have turned against me with what seems to be no reason. When I read these posts U wonder if after all these years (17 post divorce) my ex has convinced them that the divorce was my fault. I did best to not diss their dad, but it was difficult sometimes when he wouldn’t even pay the measly $450/mo support and rarely exercised his visitation rights nor helped with the extra incidentals (pictures,prom, drivers training, ins. Etc). Now I am being penalized by not being allowed to see my grandkids. So who suffers here?
Susan C.June 28th, 2014 at 4:44 AM
I have just spent an hour putting a long, deep and meaningful post here, saying ‘thank you’ to all. The code thingy didnt work and I lost it all and am now exhausted!
Suffice to say I am so very grateful for coming across this page and to read that I’m not alone and I’m not the horrible things that I’m being told I am. So very grateful for the stregnth you all have given me today.
Four older children late 20’s and now lost all but one and two very young grandchildren some 19 YEARS after divorce. He’s very clever, he’s evil.
Susan C.June 28th, 2014 at 5:37 AM
I retract my last sentence, ‘HE’ is not clever or evil, but the process certainly is.
DeniseJuly 7th, 2014 at 12:56 AM
I am a50 year old single female who was alienated from her father. I have two brothers too. My parents started divorce proceedings when my mother was pregnant with me. We didn’t have visitation with my father as his visitation rights were taken away for a ridiculous reason. My patents suited each other. I only ever heard horrible things about my father. Never heard anything good about him from family members. I finally decided to contact my father when I was 38, years after my mother and other family members had passed. They would have been mortified! I got to know my father a little bit as he sadly died four years later. He was not the monster family members made him out to be. He was an intelligent, loving, generous man with a good sense of humor. I’m so thankful to have known him even though it was only for a short time. My mother was a very good person who held onto her hatred and bitterness from the divorce. Keeping us from our father was wrong! He was not a murder, pedophile nor abuser of any kind. She was afraid we would want to go and live with him if we knew him. She did admit this to me once. My father made his mistakes in the marriage for sure, but that was not a good enough reason to be kept from knowing him. I can’t say enough of how it all has negatively affected me psychologically as a child, grown woman and in my relationships with men. My mother never had a good thing to say about men in general, boys I dated or marriage. In fact, her negative comments and overprotective nature when it came to me dating caused me to fear men in general. All I could do is imagine them cheating on me and eventually leaving me! I still struggle with this as an adult. It’s so aweful! I believe it is a crime to alienate children from a parent if the parent has in no way ever harmed the children. Believe me, I could go on and on about how PA has negatively affected me and my brothers. Please, if you are a parent or know someone who is aioli enacted their children from a parent, please stop it from continuing. It is not only unfair and cruel to the children, but also to the TP. The effects are for a lifetime.
DeniseJuly 7th, 2014 at 1:19 AM
SeanJuly 7th, 2014 at 7:46 PM
Maggie (comment #20)- I was never married to my daughters mother and didn’t want to be because I knew it wouldn’t work. However, I did want to be in my daughter’s life. She has continued to alienate me from my daughter and 2 months shy of my daughters 18th birthday, she has decided she didn’t want to see me anymore. I wanted to be a father, the mother decided for me that I couldn’t be. That is not desertion, that is irrational and irresponsible on the part of the AP
ColleenJuly 9th, 2014 at 1:32 AM
I could write a whole book on what my husband and I have been through with my 3 stepsons. In the end all 3 boys have been successfully alienated from my husband and now their step brothers. Just last night the youngest, now 14 years old, called in tears not wanting to come out for what used to be a summer visitation to what was going to be a 10 day visitation. My husband and I did not understand that this was a real syndrome until recently. With the older two we tried it all and in the end they hate him and us. We went to our lawyers initially with no help. Unfortunately this has played out now. The oldest hates his father and has lived a life of bad decisions and no regrets or insight despite rehab and jail time. He still wants his mistakes to be his father’s fault. The middle son just returned home from Hawaii with severe mental illness. We try still to help him, but the damage is done. Now we see it playing out in the youngest. I do not know how to guide my husband anymore. We tried to be the positive parents, we tried forcing them here, but that just increased the anger. We tried conceding and letting them stay home when they were going to come here. Nothing has worked. How do we manage this for our future and can we help these adult children who hate us? I do not find much on what we do for ourselves as the targeted parents after the damage. Do we keep reaching out to the adult children? Weary and sad and depressed. I lay in bed tonight feeling so badly for my husband and his sons and feeling like we lost this battle over and over and not knowing how to help any of them. The alienating parent is still doing her thing and won’t stop and we love these boys but need peace as well. Any advice out there- where do we go, how do we start? Is it too late? Personally I want to help with awareness on this issue. I want to help any other parent avoid this same problem. I worry for all boys and my husband. He feels like the worst father in the world. No matter what he has done for these boys they can’t see anything he has done well for them. He is depressed now and feeling worthless. I want to fight for him. Any advice, help guidance would be appreciated.
Laura SJuly 15th, 2014 at 6:12 AM
It’s sad to me that in recent days and months my ex husband (divorced 12 years ago after 18 years of marriage and 2 children) has made the following statements to our adult children:
I totally understand why you don’t like your mother and don’t want to be around her, she’s impossible and I know this first hand.
I gave her child support and she should have bought you a car with it…she should have bought you a car.
Your mother did ____ and ____ while we were married and I’ll never forgive her for that.
Etc…In addition, he’s sent me and my current husband of 10 years numerous e-mails in the last few days regarding my daughter’s recent emotional meltdown…blaming us for her state of mind. He is also blaming us for her inability to follow the boundaries in our home which are very reasonable for a college student: be in by 2 AM, be respectful and part of the family when at home, and keep in contact when out with friends so we know she is safe.
Sadly, it’s my children who are the victims in all of this. I fear that even though they are college students their self esteem will be affected by their father’s conscious and unconscious need to alienate me from them. ): I also worry about their ability to be in and survive in their own intimate relationships now and in the future because of how all this parental alienation affects their self esteem. This is a REAL Syndrome and it’s very damaging. ):
JamesJuly 24th, 2014 at 7:43 AM
I was divorced 20 years ago and have always been involved with my children,as adults I have continued to support them.Sadly,I have always felt a sense of mistrust towards me from them all which has increased since they have become adults,no matter how much financial help they take from me or emotional support I give them.I’ve never understood until now,why it seems that they neither love nor respect me,if i died tomorrow it really wouldn’t matter to them a great deal.When they were children they would ring me at work,crying because their mother was drinking(she did that a lot)with her partner and plotting to beat me up,I tried to engage with my ex but she told me her new partner hated me and would not, even for the sake of the children.My ex wife and her partner have never worked,they have cheated the state,lied to claim accident compensation,and talked about me to the children,and almost killed my children in a house fire started because their mother was drunk,they blamed the youngest child of turning the cooker on whilst they slept.I begged the school to intervene when my son was sent to school covered in dried faeces,his elder sister had dressed him because their mother slept,his elder sister was 9.The headmistress refused.Yet,today it is me who is dismissed as unnessary,surplus to requirements and their mother is as loved and coveted today as she was when they were children.The youngest child doesn’t speak at all,Fathers day came and went without so much as text though I may get something as xmas approaches,my eldest is aggressive and confrontational with me and certainly disingenuous.My middle child who is a mother her self now talks to me if she has nothing else to do and when no one else is around,in front of her sister she is dismissive of me.It seems in our Society that a mothers love and ability to nurture is on a pedestal and should not be questioned,unlike a Fathers which comes in as a very poor alternative.
ChristineJuly 27th, 2014 at 1:27 AM
Omg, Laura. It was like I was reading my story. I feel so alone. People just don’t understand.
ChristineJuly 27th, 2014 at 1:59 AM
To Jennifer and Jimmy,
I have been divorced for over 14 years to a madman. He has mental damaged our son and has harassed me for 14 years+. My son has lived with me up until this summer. He is 16 and moving with his father, his choice of course. It is very hard to understand how he has brain washed my son, b/c my son has lived with me and I have done everything for him. Does my son not have the ability to recognize from right and wrong? My son hates everyone on my side, family and friends. Including, my two youngest children from the man I have been married to for 11 years.
I knew before reading everyone’s blog that once my son moves away, I probably will not see him for a long time. I find it difficult typing without crying. My son has been very abusive to me. He has difficulty talking about his feelings and is uneasy in social settings. I have tried for 5 years to get my son therapy. But my ex has convinced him that I took him to drs b/c I thought he was crazy.
I know I have two other beautiful children, that will see me for the mother, person I am. However, even though my child is not dead, I can’t help to feeling that he is gone.
Stephanie BJuly 28th, 2014 at 4:32 AM
I’m in the same boat with My 15 year old son…My ex husband is a firefighter and a sociopath…. scary to think how he treats the public at work…
His fellow Co works see his game…
Some day My son will see the lies..
Miss you son … love mom
RobinJuly 30th, 2014 at 6:11 PM
I’ve been dealing with parental alienation for over 2 years. Not only did I lose my kids, I lost my family. My mom couldn’t live without my kids in her life, so she’s actually taken sides with my ex so that she can still see the kids. This has caused me rifts with my sister, so we haven’t spoken in almost a year. Other than a few close friends who simply don’t understand this nightmare, I have no one. I do have a boyfriend, and he’s been great, but how much can you lean on one person, especially when that person doesn’t have kids. I’ve honestly contemplated suicide, but would never want to do that to my kids. That’s not something I want to leave them with. But I honestly just don’t know what to do. On top of all of this, I was a stay at home mom for 15 years, and am really struggling financially. I began my own childcare business, but the self-employment taxes are killing me. I’m thinking about going back to school to be a labor and delivery nurse at age 47. Some days this gets me excited, and other days so depressed. My mom retired at 50, and that’s about the time I will probably begin working. I sit up every night wondering if I can make it financially, and if I’ll ever have a relationship with my kids again. Not the way I pictured my life. Hope things get better with time.
Jason BJuly 31st, 2014 at 6:39 AM
When I am being alienated by my ex-wife it is painful but I have to keep trying. I am a father of 3 daughters. Only my middle daughter fell under her mom’s spell. The emotional brain washing of my middle daughter started at about 5 years old. She was a more sensitive girl who reacted first to her mom’s manipulation. Mom’s goal was to make the kids terrified to be away from her. Repeatedly their mom would act like there is a real danger only mom could keep them safe. Riding an elevator or being away from their mom for 1 hr. Two of my daughters grew up to be strong independent and successful people. When my daughters are with me their mother calls numerous times using a very emotional voice. “I miss you. I love when you call. I sleep with the phone waiting for your call.” Unfortunately I have limited time and resources to combat this type of emotional. The legal system and societies understanding is useless. At this time I am waiting and hoping to my middle daughter changes her mind to start our 2 week vacation. All I can do is wait and insist that I won’t leave without her. Wish I could tell the world but society doesn’t want to here it. Just need to show my daughters that I won’t give up on them.
RobinJuly 31st, 2014 at 7:42 PM
Cheryl, thanks so much for posting this! I’m so happy to hear your story, and it gives me hope. Can I ask, did you text or call your son from time to time? It’s been two years, and I used to text him and occasionally call, but realized it was time to let him be. I sent him a text in April, telling him I would respect him and leave him alone, which he thanked me for. But I often wonder if that’s the answer. I never want him to feel like I stopped loving him, or thinking about him. I hope things continue to go well for you and your kids!
RobinJuly 31st, 2014 at 7:54 PM
I am so very sorry for your loss. As far as telling the kids about Parental Alienation, I don’t think that’s always the answer. Although I don’t see much of my 13 yr old daughter (at least I see her from time to time; I haven’t seen my son since last September), I tried bringing it up once and she went ballistic. They don’t see it – probably for different reasons. Some might be too young to get it. Others might have to just block that from their sweet innocent minds because if they wrap their minds around it and live with the parent that’s doing that, it’s too much for them to take. Others have been brainwashed so much that there’s nothing you can say to ever make them think something like that. Whatever the reason, it really can backfire. It almost did in my situation, and I think my daughter and I took a couple of steps back. It could have been worse had I gone on about it. I haven’t brought it up since, and won’t for several years, if ever.
KathyAugust 1st, 2014 at 8:07 AM
Memories are not forgotten by what the “bad spouse” did, nor is manipulation by the bad one stopped by the signing of divorce papers. Therapists cannot just tell a person to forget and forgive and put things behind them, when the brain will always remember the bad that occurred in marriage and/or divorce situations. In other words, divorce causes future problems in relationships. The kids are suffered by who causes the divorce in the first place. In some cases it is caused by both, in others by the bad one. I was always taught not to have anything to do with the bad people in your life, so alienation in some cases is not a bad thing. Small children are different from the adult children – so there really isn’t one way to solve these types of circumstances. I don’t think therapists know what they are telling people – particularly when they have never experienced the emotions that some people go through themselves and there hasn’t been enough research on the thousands of divorce circumstances. They try to fit one type of cure for all and it just doesn’t work.
JoeAugust 4th, 2014 at 9:02 AM
I wish I had the time to read through each and every one of these posts. However, after reading the main article and several posts, I agree 100% that PAS and the negative effects of divorce on children (many mentioned in these posts) is a very real problem. I lived it. Excerpt from my own life: Senior year of high school went as follows – father moved out of the house in September – divorce finalized on January 2nd of new year – father introduces fiancee to my sisters and me in February – My mother, sisters, and I are evicted from our house on April 1st – father remarries May 14th – graduation comes and goes without me. For years prior to, during and following, I (oldest child) experienced PAS and all of its horribleness. I am still dealing with it at almost 50 years old. For over 30 years I have prayed to God to allow me to go back in time to try to fix what went wrong between my parents and my family. Bottom line is, the psychological scars run deep and the damaging effects are real. I have them and so do both of my sisters. I grew up in a family where my parents hated/resented one another, my mother took her frustrations for my father out on me, and my father became “born again” and dismissed all the wrongs of his past as though they never happened. Thanks for letting me share.
Julian MAugust 8th, 2014 at 3:59 AM
A women (Becky)…lost custody of five of her five children,..the children were born to four different families (paternal)…, the state allowed the women many vouchers for hotel rooms amd she used those rooms for prostitution and many days the children were in the same room watching as the woman smoked crack cocaine amd performed sex acts with many different men, the children had many memories the two youngest cant remember much, one of the eldest also got involved at the age of 12 (aprox. Age), the eldest male commited suicide as an adult, theday he ccommitted suicide he went through every detail to his mother and told her he wanted her to know how many ways she hurt him, he then took his life, the woman who was at fault was the mother, the child now an adult could not keep from being torn in his mind, as he got older and tried to help his mother, she had no teeth due to methamphetamine, and considers her past as beimg a good mom, she goes on facebook amd gets sympathy from others and even uses his death to collect money…she brags about her nails or new car or how she buys amd sells drugs, she threatens one of her children (now an adult) , daily she manipulates the Facebook community about others, and because she is female she claims what ever she has to get other’s against one of her adult children, if the child goes to school and drug free , she speaks against her a and speaks how she will beat her up or have others hurt her.., it was so obvious to.many state social workers amd the judge of the family court case against her…the kids were put in st. Judes ranch for.children and other foster homes, the abuser would like to manipulate others and misguided them about the case..the child the grew to.be an adult was in the national gaurd and went back to the abusernamd neglectful mom and became a drug addict with his mother buying and doing drugs with him..its sad to see how many children known the truth, but growntonbe adults and get lost because society thinks women that abuse children are to be helped and allowed to continue the abuse…I thought about posting the police reports to show. What the mother has done to cause the suicide…and her attempts to have her. Other child also commit suicide, I think ofhow I can show those that read her fFacebook page why she was.put in prison and why some others really were provoked byher for many , many years…I thought of putting a Facebook page so the public cam see how many families have been hurt do to her prostition amd drug abuse
..and how.many ways she hurt her kids.from childhood to adult life…one child she burned with her curling iron when the child was aprox 6 months old!, she would have sex with brothers or fathers of her child dad, and or cousins when the child’s dad would be asleep, she would put medications in people’s food and the child that did take his life she was crushing his medication putting it in his food and also making him take usual dose..then she would have him take street drugs..she put him in mental hospitals and when he would remember he would call someone that knew the history to help…she has done many , mamy more things…and even still calls one of her child “demon”, because the child is speaking up to her or ignoring her…, does.amy here have advice?…or can any give m me info. To get answers of how to stop this woman?
Julian MAugust 8th, 2014 at 4:09 AM
Thank you for you comment!
ElaineAugust 26th, 2014 at 12:17 AM
Dear Jennifer & Jimmy,
Please accept my condolences for your loss and what you continue to endure. You are strong and compassionate to continue to share with others.
I came across this site looking for answers. How to proceed. It’s a long story, as is it is for most. Basically my ex has reiterated over the years he will destroy me and I will pay for going against him. I have endured, paid and although have come to trust more, still a part of me lives in fear. We’ve been divorced for 8 years now. My son is 20 and I remain alienated from him as well as my mother with whom he was so close and anyone related/connected with me.
Last year I was diagnosed with an incurable aggressive invasive metastatic breast cancer. I just had surgery for a new issue last week. A friend of my ex spoke to ex relaying my condition and asked for contact info for my son so I may speak with him and hopefully be given the opportunity to help him begin the healing process while I am still functional. My ex denied and referred me to an attorney mediator who he claimed had kept in contact with our son. So I did and this attorney asked to speak with my oncologist to hear first hand all the details including my prognosis (which I gave her verbally and offered to provide my diagnosis and pathology report). She claimed she spoke with my son and he has not opened my letter(s). I gave this attorney full authorization to speak with my oncologist so she was given answers to her many detailed questions as well as my prognosis which my own doctors don’t openly share with me and instead encourage me focus on statistics because miracles have occurred. My oncologist offered to speak to my 20 year old son directly but the attorney said that was not necessary. Isn’t that unethical? Is she in contact with my son or my ex? Whose interest is she looking after? I’m in Hawaii. My son is in college in Ohio. I’m not well enough to travel. I’ve had many complications from treatment that have rendered me unable to work. I’ve been fighting to live for the day of reconciliation or at least to speak with my son. My fear is my son will not be given the opportunity and he will live with regret should I pass. Regret is very difficult to heal from. I love my son, our only child, dearly and desire him to have a healthy emotional life so I continue to fight cancer and however it has attempted to destroy my body.
Jennifer & Jimmy F,August 28th, 2014 at 11:38 AM
Thank you for your condolences. We have just passed the second anniversary of William’s death.
The last year has been one of growth and change for us. It has sadly been a year of coming to terms with reality and learning to set aside impossible dreams of a genuine reconciliation with our surviving children.
We are sorry you have been alienated from your Son. We are equally sorry you are suffering serious health issues. Your illness could very well be traced to the stress you have been under in relation to your ex-husband’s role in alienating you from your Son. Adding to that is your own Mother, who has not been supportive of you. It is a feather in an alienating parents cap if they can turn a close family member against the target parent. Hopefully your Mother will see this for what it is, but you cannot waste precious time hoping for that to happen.
You contacted the attorney who then contacted your Son, which did no good. Your Oncologist became involved and divulged private information to this attorney regarding your care to your ex-husband’s attorney? Information your Oncologist has not shared with you? This does not sound ethical. If your Oncologist will not share your prognosis with you, please change Oncologists. Information is power and it sounds as if your ex-husband’s attorney has more information than you do regarding your health. YOU need to have all of the facts with regards to your illness – including what health options are available to you. Insist on this. This is your life and you only get one.
Perhaps you can contact the college your Son attends and speak to his college counsellor regarding your health and the ongoing Parental Alienation – which has now turned into estrangement. You are simply trying to make your Son aware of your health issues, that you love him and care for him. For your peace of mind, you need confirmation that your Son has been given this information. From this point on, it is out of your hands. What your Son chooses to do – or not to do – is up to him. Ideally, you will hear from your Son and your relationship will improve – but please know that this may not happen.
All you can do is hope that one day soon – your Son realizes what has happened to him and to you. Sadly, if alienated children come to this understanding, it is usually much later in their life and after the alienating parent has died and can no longer be a threat to them. It’s a control thing with alienating parents. Most alienating parents, if not all, are personality disordered.
We wish you all the very best, Elaine. After you are sure your Son has been given the information you want him to receive, please rest knowing you have done all that you can do. Please be kind to yourself.
Jennifer and Jimmy
ReneeSeptember 2nd, 2014 at 8:28 AM
I have been Separated and now divorced from my narcissistic ex husband for just over 20 years and I have certainly felt and seen the wrath of his anger at me and through my 2 beautiful children. At first I would try and fix all the situations my children and I were having to tolerate, I hoped and preyed that my love and consistent care would see us through…..I was wrong. I lost my battle, I was never going to win, no love or kindness or tolerance of this angry, narcissistic man ever worked!!
My little family unit has been battered beyond human comprehension and is now broken. My daughter has been affected the worst she was a Daddy’s girl and quiet rightly so, but she has been systematically used and emotionally abused, actually both my children were but my daughter has came off the worst. They are now 26 and 22, of course my daughter lives with her Dad and I hardly see her, she shows little respect for me and I have been bullied and abused for many years.
My heart goes out to my children, to my now husband of 11 years, to the loss of a family unit I fought for so hard but Love didn’t win over evil. My daughter has struggled with jobs, friends, family members, she too is very angry and my children do not speak to each other. No a Mother’s Day cards, no birthday cards, no visits, no calls.
Yes, I now know through reading the posts etc that for a long time I fed his anger, rage etc as I got on with my life, I would give the children to him….smile at the door and wait for the onslaught. Telephone calls, swearing at me, my children crying over the phone etc. Calling me names in front of the children, telling lies about me. My smile was false, my fight to work through it was hard, my love was strong……my intentions were loyal.
It didn’t work out for my family unit. My heart is broken. Xxxx
AnnaSeptember 5th, 2014 at 10:31 PM
As a mother myself, I could never imagine why someone would want to turn a child against a parent. My partners oldest daughter has been alienated against him and it is one of the most horrific crimes I have ever come across. The mother is nothing more than a bitter resentful women, who does not care about her children’s well being, all she cares about is trying her best to make everyone else life around her as sad and as miserable as her. She is a narcissistic sociopath who can only keep a man by getting pregnant and lying to all to around her. I pity her. I do however wish I could intervene, but if I do it will only make matters worse and we may also loose the other child.
KathleenSeptember 10th, 2014 at 8:22 PM
I feel your pain Renee, I know only to well what it feels like to be at the brunt end of pure evil. My 19 year old daughter has lived with her father since she was 13 years old. I was no match for him, and had I not moved out of state, I would have continued to find myself in jail wondering why I here? Happened twice! My ex: intelligent, narcissistic, evil, sinister and I am always looking over my shoulder. I have seen my daughter less than 2!weeks in the last 3 years. I pray every day that the scales will fall off from her eyes. I am very patient. I am very very sad! I will pray for you too!
Robert J B.September 16th, 2014 at 8:25 AM
After divorce, many say that it is all about the children, but while that is a helpful point of view for couples struggling to make sense of the chaos after divorce, it is not ALL about the children.
When two parents are validly married in Gods eyes, a legal divorce does absolutely nothing to lessen the indissolubility of the union that God created by the will of those two parents on their wedding day. (Matthew 19:6, Mark 10:9). Life-giving love between spouses remains the source of nourishment for the education and normal healthy maturation of their children for years after they are conceived, and is absolutely essential for the best possible outcomes for the children of divorce.
By the very words of the wedding vows, the only thing that dissolves the union of a valid marriage is the death of a spouse. Therefore, it remains, with or without divorce, that it IS very much about loving one’s spouse, at least in the Christian sense, whether together or not.
It is extremely important that love and respect between parents be nurtured, exercised, practiced and taught – both by word and deed, not only for the sake of the salvation of the spouses, but also for spiritual and temporal welfare of the children. No matter how depraved or how absent one parent might be, the other always has the responsibility to model for their children how to respect, how to love, how to live and how to forgive.
Wake up, divorced parents!!! Our children are NOT the children of a divorce!!! The truth is that our children are the offspring of marital LOVE, empowered by God to give life. If that marriage is abandoned, it is still possible to love! But, if that love is completely abandoned, then our children are also abandoned! We WILL be held accountable for the love we owe to our spouse, whether we are together or not, whether we believe it or not! We also will be held responsible for what we have done to help or to hurt our children! I, for one, refuse to take either one of these responsibilities lightly!!!
CharlotteSeptember 18th, 2014 at 6:00 PM
I am so glad to know we as T.P are not alone. How do you undue what the alienating parent did? My ex husband not only aientated our 31 year old daughter from me since age 6, he also confided he was gay! She lashes out at me and if there is a family event on his side, she has ignored me. I have received the silent treatment off and on for years. Then she brags she’s closer to him. I am the only who has always been there for her. He’s hurt her emotionally and has used her. He’s also a narcissist. I was suicidal a few years ago. I got help but I know you are not suppose to alienate back but for me, keeping my distance was closure. These adult children of PAS can be as cruel as our ex spouses. I’m divorced 25 years and neither one of my children treat me with respect. I’ve given up to save myself as I won’t let her or my son destroy me.
Kevin sSeptember 19th, 2014 at 4:14 AM
Reading these posts provides some hope and comfort. P.A.S. Is so frustrating and devastating. I think and think and think about how I can solve this problem but there is no solution. I have been alienated from my daughter, now 19, for three years now. Her mother I am satisfied is a borderline but she would never admit that. I have never been provided a reason for the estrangement, I was just cut off like a rotting limb. I have to look myself in the mirror and convince myself that I am not what my daughter thinks. I took the high road during the separation but I am sure many of you know that are reading, the high road can be a very lonely place and although it can provide some personal satisfaction, it rarely results in tangible benefits when dealing with a linear court system.
I look back and have to struggle to remember the distress I went through trying to cope with an emotionally unstable wife and manage two children. I literally saved my spouse’s life at times I believe but now I hear that what is being spread is that I caused her illness and that I told everyone that she was mentally ill to make myself look better. this is the poison that my daughter has been given and thinks.
My son recognized this and moved out but he is still careful around me. This weak little waif has proven to be strong as a linebacker and has become mother of the year since the date of separation. I often text my daughter but I get no nice talk despite supporting everyone financially. No respect, no gratitude, nothing. I have been forced to compartmentalism my sadness and move forward with business. If my family unit was still together and this disrespect was present then I would take action against the disrespectful teen but in the family court process judges just order money to the child in her best interest. This is no different than buying candy at the register of the grocery store for the child who misbehaved during the entire shopping trip. What kind of message does this send to a developing teen. They could not behave this way to an employer and still expect to be paid every two weeks. Sometimes I think it is all about money but that is the only contribution I am allowed (forced) to make.
I will continue on along the high road trying to convince myself that good things come to good people and that karma will bite my ex in the ass at some point. I don’t say these things but I can think whatever I want. Cheers
Robert R.September 20th, 2014 at 8:28 PM
Reading your post just brings such tears to my eyes. It reminded of what of I am going through. It seems like there is no hope, but we have a life to live, to try to make the best of. It is the best we can we do, and of course to keep trying to change things for the better.
don’t give up, and be strong. it is sad and horrific what has happened, but we can only be our best. good night.
HeatherSeptember 21st, 2014 at 5:07 PM
I am responding to Donald Poore and anyone else who thinks that there isn’t much cause to be affected by the aftermath of a bad divorce. My mother told me from the time they divorced that my dad could never love.. he didn’t know how. She spent HOURS a day talking about him to me, my sister, any unsuspecting person that would politely listen. It was so much easier to get on her side b/c everytime I had a good interaction with my father, I would hear her voice of doubt. It affected my trust with men I dated. She seriously had me convinced he was rotten and deserving of estrangement. Several times we were estranged and she NEVER said one word to try to help b/c she enjoyed hurting him. My wedding was a disaster as my dad thought I would finally see the light and make him a center of it, but of course it all just turned into a fight. When my parent’s divorced, my mom was rejoicing (or so she pretended out of pride), and I wasn’t allowed to mourn the loss of the family. If I took his side, I was strongly chided. She even kicked my sister out of the car once for saying something nice about my dad. Before the divorce, I had the love of two parents. I butted heads with my dad, sure, but if they were married, they would have supported the work that goes into a relationship. Then, during a 6 year estrangement from my dad, I contracted H1N1 and was on life support and in a coma for three weeks. My dad was devasted and my mom greeted him with hostility at the hospital. She didn’t even think he should come until my husband stepped in. So much pain for nothing. I am writing this now b/c my dad is off-limits as a topic for my mom and the last few days is posting vague jabs at my dad on facebook and it hurts me, b/c she does it and she KNOWS it hurts me. Now that my dad and I are close again, she won’t talk to me much, barely gives me eye-contact and has a short fuse. You can’t win.
rachelSeptember 23rd, 2014 at 8:57 AM
James, I’m the stepmother who married into this same situation. His kids are 27 and 24 both pregnant and only call him when they want money. They cuss him tell him how much their two mothers have done for them. They live with abusive partners and seem to want to blame me when he tells them no about money.he has always paid child support. His 24 year old is still on his insurance and is mad because they won’t cover her pregnancy. I have 2 small children ages 13 and 12 to whom my husband has become very verbally abusive with since his two daughters have started cussing me. They blame my children because he can’t send as much money. He also, pays for his 27 year old daughters and her husband’s phone…it’s in the process of breaking our marriage he told my 13 year old that she was the reason he wasn’t seeing his kids. I feel for you and hope you can overcome whatever the problem is. My ex-husband has no contact with my children because he chooses that not me… Prayers sent everyone’s way!!!
rachelSeptember 23rd, 2014 at 9:09 AM
Amen, I understand exactly what your saying. My husband allows his grown children to cuss, abuse, and use him! And still he pays their bills and is told that is his purpose in life to make up for their mother leaving him. He did pay child support. It has even become my responsibility to make sure their happy? I don’t think so……….
TrevorSeptember 28th, 2014 at 1:39 PM
After not being able to sleep tonight through the pain of my 23yr son in hospital Again after his drinking , I stumbling across this site.
I have struggled for years to be apart of my children’s lives from my first marriage . I was in the Army and was AWOL when we met we got married and stayed in the Army to secure our future . Being very young just kids really at age 19 we were in love but sadly this didn’t last long and we grew apart, But not before we had three children . I was the one that noticed the issues and after 7 years I decided to move out. I was not going to bring children up in a family that was dis functional . My wife took this very badly and was not very nice I was paying for the house and covering their food and electricity . I went in a course for work for three weeks and in my return went to the house and she had moved out . After a day if tracking her down I found out her mother had convinced her to go to welfare to become independent from me . I was told from my family to fight for custody of the children . I was young and chose not to fight, I had no idea this was the wrong decision . I believed children needed their mother and I could still be into kids lives .
Well , I had to leave the army and I moved closer to where she was and I saw the kids every second weekend as per court ordered ,I even walked them to school on occasions without mum’s knowledge . My ex used these children all the time as tools to control my life in many wYs and manipulated situations . She has had 4 other children to 4 other men none of who stayed . After 6 years of living for my children and emotional dramas with her manipulation I decided to move away to help my sister start a business which was 2 hours drive from my children .
Still seeing my children every chance I could and driving to see them and waiting for hours at their house but they weren’t there on many occasions.
After a few years I met the Love of my life and we have made our life together and have been together . She had just broken up from a bad marriage and had 2 infant boys we soon had a son if our own .
It wasn’t long after we got together that my ex got involved using our children again . She said that my eldest boy was having trouble at school and needed to be brought in to line . I agreed and jumped at the chance to have him live with me . This was hard for my new relationship but we made it work and life was good till 6 months on and my eldest son had organised to stay with his mom for the weekend I was getting ready for the drive we my ex mother in law knocked in the door . Behind my back she had organised my son and her mother to take my son back .
2 years later the same thing happens and my second son comes to live with us he was 17 and was ” off the rails” . He had a drinking problem we found out after he self mutilated taking a knife to himself . We took him to hospital and we got help for him we took all the alcohol out if the house got him sober got him an apprenticeship and he was seeing a therapist . Then we were Wokwn one Saturday morning with his elder brother at the door to pick him up to take him back to his mother
My children now resent me and my new relationship and continually complain that I do not come see them or ring them enough . They are all adults now and I find that they have been totally brain washed posting in Facebook ” happy Father’s Day dad cause no matter what your still my dad ” and in the same post on my timeline they wish their mother a happy fathers day !” Going on about how great she is . They never ring me or send cards for any occasions but still expect things on their birthdays and Christmas.
I am worn out and find things very hard to keep a relationship with them .
markSeptember 29th, 2014 at 6:25 PM
My story is vey sad. A real Alienated Parent. I had to step back from two beautiful sons when they were 10 and 12 Ive had no real contact with my sons for 15 years i divorced my sons mother after many years of abuse and cheating. She had a boyfriend who she hyped up with anger and range against me so she had her own bully to do her dirty work for her. I tried being civil no anger against her just wanted to separate and get away from her. She is a sociopath has no regard for anyone will lie on a dime and steal your last cent a very awful person to say the least. She spent every waking minute destroying what little I had left of my broken world. I basically self destructed because I was condition to due what she wanted me to do. I had no real person to talk to inside myself I just couldnt recognize who was me, so I was very vulnerable against a person who had been calculating her whole life on how to steal from my business which left me financially strapped when i divorced. Then came the abuse I finally got Divorced the happiest day of my life ended up with very little visitation to see my sons which was a night mare every time I showed up the drug dealer/boyfriend would come to my car spit on me tell me these were his sons and that if I came back again he would kill me. It was horrific experience I had him arrested numerous times which the police did nothing. at the same time my Boys mother was having me arrested for saying good night to my sons which she turned around and told the police I threatened her any other thing that she could think of to see me in jail. This was her total focus for months she would frequent places I went to and call the cops and make some crazy ass story up to see me in jail. So after months of going in and out of jail I quit, went to my sons house told them in a letter the best way I knew how that I couldn’t see them anymore. But that at anytime they would call I would be right there. Its been 15 years of sheer hell my life has never been the same I miss them so much that I feel I cant live another day. Both my sons are very accomplished Golfers in Ct my youngest son plays on the PGA of Latin America my boys are famous in a few circles. I try emailing them just to say I love you they block me I twitter follow which is the only way I can see who and where their going in life Im basically an outsider to my sons life nothing feels weirder than this kind of torture. I have watch from a far as my sons have gone to grade school high school and college without one word from them. Now my youngest son is on tour I read his tweets i read his blogs and try to relate to someone who I love more than my own life and receive nothing but hate and rejection every time I reach out like Im a piece of garbage. I was a very loving father to my sons, home every night and every weekend playing golf with then since they were 2. This blog I hope will help me deal with this pain because I have to admit Im done! I know it sounds crazy but living without your own children makes you very crazy.
GoodTherapyAdminSeptember 30th, 2014 at 9:40 AM
Thanks to each of you for sharing your experiences here. This ongoing dialogue is heartwarming, and we encourage you to continue talking about your experiences with mental health issues and therapy with a wider audience via the Share Your Story feature on our blog. Writing your story may be healing for you and encouraging to others. Learn more and submit a piece for review here:http://www.goodtherapy.org/submit-your-story.html
StaciSeptember 30th, 2014 at 9:04 PM
Laura, I can relate. My husband and i have just recently divorced. He threw me out of the house last year and bought me a one-way ticket back to Texas from Singapore where he now lives with our son.
My son has begged to come live with me. Hecsays things like how he hates dad. I tell him thstvw3 font talk like that. He doesnt really hste him, hes just feeling angry with him because he doesnt like rules. I encourage him to talk to and appreciate his father because doeaking against him, and sllowing the kuds to speak against him woukd just be wrong. I dont think he speaks against me, but he foesnt encourage any of them yo maintain contact or reach outvyo me in any way.
This divirce is all about him and his feelings, not making sure the kids have a healthy relationship with both of us.
He took all of our kids last year to Oregon for Christmas then California, Disneyland of all places, can you believe it? I had begged him to fly the kids here to see me, but he didn’t answer any of my emails or messages for three months. Three months without talking to my son who is now 12. Hevyold me finslly, none of the kids wanted to come to Texas.
The reason we split up comes from years of resentment on my part. We lived overseas, had four children, and i was always alone. I did everything with these kids. He always said i was the best mother to them.
…. until he filed the divorce papers.
It was my decision to leave and i did things that hurt him. I know that. He told me that i would be sorry one day. That I’m no good and a snake. That my kids would know what an awful person i am. He doesn’t do anything to encourage them to talk with me. He has the luxury of a good job so he flys them to where he is whenever he wants.
It’s so frustrating, because on the surface, noone can see see his cruelty. If I speak out, I’m the crazy ex wife. If I keep quiet, I don’t care. It’s like I can’t win. But i need to get my son back. I cry every day and i want to call him, yell at him, reason with him.
And all i can think about is how Kaelan is going to turn out. This is going to mess him up, but my ex thinks he’s in the right. It’s driving me nuts.
I feel like even this note isn’t articulated properly because I’m so full of emotion.
In the one hand, is nice to know people understand. On the v other hand, it’s frustrating because there’s nothing we can do.
I want to send this link to him, but he will find a way to use it against me or accuse me of something, or b even worse, cut me off from my son again.
I’m so sad
alishaOctober 2nd, 2014 at 5:07 AM
Re: Kevin s
I understand you are upset but supporting your child has nothing to do with how she acts. Even if she lived with you, “this won’t be tolerated, no soup for you!”? In the court system paying and visitation are two separate things. You have visitation rights, but not because you pay. The money is going to your ex.
I guess I see things differently because I was that child. But also, the TP was pretty rotten in a lot of ways. I am now 30 years old and after a 10 year break we have tried a couple times to fix our relationship, but it usually lasts about 6 months or so then goes to hell. This has been going on for a couple years and has caused a lot if heartache. But now I’m back to dealing with the other parent too. It never ends.
dodoOctober 4th, 2014 at 8:00 PM
This is all so sad. I am a mum being alienated from my children aged 17 and 20 by what a husband I think has all the traits of a narcisstic person. I had hoped to find some encouragement here to help me maintain the text contact I make twice a week yet it all seems to go the way of the alienating parent. Is there no good news? It is a living death or as one contributor said – a living torture.
julie COctober 7th, 2014 at 4:08 PM
im in same position as you having been a stay at home loving mother all their lives…you were married to a narcissist.. at least your free of him.. try to find your own happiness.. as i am…its all we can do to stay healthy for ourselves.. do not let him destroy you.. be patient as im having to for over a year.. it may take years for them to understand… perhaps never… but this is YOUR life.. treasure it and find happiness all you can x
KevinOctober 10th, 2014 at 5:42 AM
I’m a stepdad with visitation after divorce 10 days a month. I used audio recordings of the kids with the psychiatrist (hired by my wife to keep me away). Psychiatrists can tell by listening to a lot of recordings what the truth is. After getting visitation, 16 months later, evil mom taught the kids to lie to the psychiatrist, his report to the judge said “seems the children are adamantly opposed to stepdad visitation, and the mom has not affected this decision”. I recorded the kids saying just the opposite;stepdaughter; “let’s get a babysitter for my brother everyday so we can go out and have fun together, just the two of us” and stepson “I told mom I went to school sick… Just…just to goto your house, cuz if anyone went home sick from school….it wasn’t going to be me…I just put my head down on the desk all day and waited for school to end”.
These two recordings made the psychiatrist write to the judge “I was presented with a preponderance of evidence to the contrary of my last report including audio, video and written evidence, and therefore visitation shall continue”.
What I did not know then was my ex-wife hired the psychiatrist and never ever paid him a penny. So he was working for free, and hence he would be done with our case if visitation ended. Ironically, his very first report said “if the mother does not maintain a neutral attitude towards stepdad, the children will rebel and not want visitation”, he told evil mom what to do. Stupid lazy psychiatrist. He got paid when I settled my divorce. Cost $100K roughly for my wife to demonstrate child abuse for 4 years, luckily she left written evidence at my house when she moved out, stating “I must stop physically and emotionally abusing my kids, I want them to grow up normal”, kids were ages 1&3 at the date of the writing, which was 7 months before we met! I married an admitted criminal and the courts required me to pay her in divorce! Grrr!…..kids are doing fairly well, 2 years later, abusive mom just told oldest child “I am a really bad mother”. Finally some truth!
chrisOctober 15th, 2014 at 11:30 AM
so my mother is Norwegian and father Irish.her a social worker then elementary teacher him NAVY,commander,sister triple masters,them Yale and Harvard..me first born only a sister.I have never had a grade higher than c,I went to ten different elementary schools,rode short bus,attended private small classrooms and public schools..parents and sister ganged up on me…all would aggregate ME.then provoke,then say see,look Chris is hitting me sister would set me up.then dad said.oh.had u told me instead of reacting and handling yourself.Karin may’ve received verbal while I got soap in mouth..Karin got time out.I got pulled out of car on side of road on road trips,my father’s turrets kicking in,he’d say for years from age 3 to 18 in fact..this is going to hurt me,him, more than it’ll hurt u,me…or u are going to drive me to drink as he took me over his knee,year after year, my worst, I punch a hole in wall in total loss of words.for I got physical beatings from a sober military captain,I begged my mother for help,she said he works hard,just don’t make him think is what she meant…also,did I mention,my parents made me take Ritalin while my parents physically abused me…I wanted to tell my dad’s commanding officer…!!! my mom said don’t…he’s under a lot of stress…you know I tried to take them to a family counselor on my dime…last month, and a week before the apt. my dad calls POLICE, lied, I won’t even…he basically still pulls my strings.pushes buttons,and says what’s the matter..why are u so SENSITIVE…I smile and ask.why? Did u use tax payers money…lie to local sheriff.to have me pulled from my home..they told police because I asked about ? they were afraidfor my safety….really.I’m forty five…I asked officer nature of visit from cuffs…he replied parents said u we’re going to.kill yourself….I saI’d..how did they say I conveyed this …text he says…I said really.so take my phone.read.and if nothing is found.I DEMAND AN APOLOGY!!!! I was livid…
I got an apology.I asked for copy of report.he replied none was to b filed…I can’t stop my CRAZY parents…they beat on me.put soap in my mouth for years.thousands of times..school teacher and top gun commander…and it doesmy end…I’m hitting poverty level.I asked for a 800 loan from my filthy rich ABUSERS.and I got we will if u see a therapist..Mom blurted out..I read online u are bipolar….the demoralizing, she convinced me I deserved the soap.the belt.the spankings as a child.I’m certain she truly believes I’m a project….she literally told my 55 year old girl friend..after a disagreement at dinner, when I used comode..that I was her biggest project..Stacy was like,wow…u know controlling parents like mine.hiding deep dark child abusing secrets…has diseased her into adult forms of abuse…he ll, I’m at a loss for words..oh…I went to counselor w parents to ORIGINALLY discuss why my parents paid for female nuns, in st.John’s elementary school,Encinitas,ca. to hit me ,with a ruler or soap, I met another gent locally whom reminded me,when nuns hit us,age three, I cried.then asked my mom…..next day, she replies, you were too young to remember that…then came recent police and almost false arrest, sabotage, they are clearly afraid, now that I’m remembering , what Ritalin I’m guessing was supposed to suppress.Instead of having closure…I got almost arrested
JohnHFOctober 19th, 2014 at 1:19 AM
I really don’t understand what you are trying to say in your post here, but I feel your remarks are condemning (“Wake up, divorced parents! And such), but maybe I’m wrong. As a Christian myself, I am opposed to “Christians” using Biblical teachings in a legalistic fashion to condemn others – especially those that may be non-Christians. This site seems to be for alienated parents (most often the parent that was divorced by the Alienating Parent) to help each other overcome very real and damaging efforts to make and keep us estranged from our children!
To quote the Biblical standards of marriage to others who are going through a “fiery trial” is to kick someone when they are down, like Job’s friends. The Lord did not give us commands and rules to live by so that we can condemn others with them, but that we ourselves can live righteously and to show the love of God to others.
John D.October 21st, 2014 at 8:22 AM
Dear readers. After a long and arduous war – my former spouse and her new husband destroyed the love I had for our only son. They succeeded in destroying my second marriage and that wife had enough of them; a yale Psy.d…we never heard or saw our son again – now 4 + years. At mediation they told me to never see our son again and that they would bankrupt me further if I did. During the course of 11 years they caused me to lose a few homes, cars, voluntary repossession, $500K in fees, support and $500K in savings, our son lied to me, said horrible things about me to the court and custody evaluator and in the end the evaluator told me to see him in the JJC juv justice center for supervised visitation, then someone emailed the custody evaluation to my employer and I lost my job and security clearance. It took me 14 years to get back on my feet; our son lives 8 miles from my home and I have seen him out and he never says anything to me and looks right past me. I send cards 2x a year to his last home with some money and when he turned 18; his parents cashed my check b4 the due date and it almost bounced and signed his OLD Name…he now goes by their name as they forced me to put him up or adoption by threat at the mediation 4 years ago. How does it feel? My entire family passed away in the meantime and I am alone with no one and our son never got to see his family or his grandparents much; she even fought the Grandparents visitation request in court. My parents are buried at Quantico Cemetary and were patriots – what a sad waste. I have struggled for years as a victim of PAS and was told to not go to events, wrong dates and locations for meetings and events and embarrassed to no end in public and at work…I struggle every day to get up and put on a game face; counseling of 80+ hours to help me and I am just as emotionally bankrupt as the day he told me I was not his father, and to just go away.
Thanks for reading this. I am too old now to do anything more but I still send cards with money to him to show I care. I do not have any contact information for him and missed his middle and high school years so basically I am not his dad.
SusanOctober 22nd, 2014 at 6:54 PM
I have adult children in their late 20’s. Their dad (my ex) have been divorced since they were toddlers. He successfully practiced PAS all of these years. My kids are estranged from me now. For years they have treated me horribly despite the fact that I was the one there for them. In social media now they are friends with old mutual family friends (They’ve blocked me). I know for a fact they post inappropriate and untrue things about me on there. It’s very hurtful and embarrassing. Yet none of these so called friends ever try to contact me to say anything or ask if I’m ok.
Anyways… My one question I have is “How can Adult Children suffering from PAS be healed to the point of being in a relationship again with the TP”?
MAMAOctober 26th, 2014 at 11:46 PM
For everyone on this board who are target parents in the horrid act of parental alienation, we have a page called MAMA, it stands for “Mothers Against Maternal Alienation”, please come by and like and share our page, in support of mothers who are target parents and have lost their children as a result. We understand that this happens both ways. The MAMA page was created for mothers to take a stand and help raise awareness about alienation against mothers. AGAIN, we KNOW it happens to loving fathers, and welcome all loving innocent Dads to come and help raise awareness and perhaps draw support as well from others on MAMA.
Everyone is welcome, so we hope to see you there.
~ MAMA ~
Mothers Against Maternal Alienation
Al SOctober 27th, 2014 at 8:10 PM
This situationn is happening to me. My daughter who is 12 wants nothing to do with me. My ex wife has taken me to court last november with an emergency hearing to have my parenting time stopped due to an accusation that I am a “crossdressing homosexual”. I am not and the court clearly dismissed this. She has attempted to have me committed mentally, this too has failed. I work professionally as a Fire captain, and an ER nurse for 17 years. MY ex has been found in to be neglectful of the children due to her marijuana useage. She claims its ok because she has a medical card for it. What I have learned is that according to the New England Journal of Medicine dated June 5 2014, the newer weed causes paranoia, depression and psychosis. I last saw my daughter in December of 2014 aside from 2 short court ordered therapy visits. The ex refuses to bring my daughter to these therapies despite the conitnued court order. It is a special therapy aimed at Parental Alienation called Re-unification therapy. I have filed a contempt in September on this and our wonderful judicial system gave me a court date for December. I have a bit of sarcasm, but clearly they have the childrens best interset in mind. The sad part is that my son who is 10 comes and stays with me 50% of the time. Here in Massachusetts my divorce gave me the house, her car back, and joint legal and physical custody of our children. My ex is using my daughter as a pawn to hurt me and destroy my will. I know that there are a lot of people who look down at the dads as being dead beats, but there are those of us who do honestly want to be involoved with our kids. My daughter spoke to me briefly last week only to tell me to “erase me from your life, you lied to me, brainwashed me and tried to take my mommy from me”. Such hard words to hear from daddy’s little girl.
All I can say is that let the children be children, leave them out of it. I never say a bad word about the mother yet I am puninshed by the courts for trying to be a great dad.
Any advice that is constructive would be appreciated.
OnthemendNovember 2nd, 2014 at 5:27 PM
My youngest son never fell under the spell of his father he spent more time with his dad and was exposed to a lot of things which he has never forgotten. He’s very intuitive and aware. My eldest went to live with his father at 16. We were close as I am with my youngest. He never had the time with his father as my youngest was treated as the golden child growing up and had more attention from father and MIL. My youngest is of gentle nature and easily manipulated as I was. Through the MIL and ex NPD I definitely felt I was incompetent and felt like I was a useless mother. I was emotionally abused which has had profound effects on my emotional well being for years not enabling me to make good decisions or live life how I would have wanted. The father now denies he has ever done anything and has been in contact with people at my sons sport which now people just look and are rude to me, friends making out they’re friends but in touch with the ex and family spreading lies and mis-thruths but plays the nice hand to me. I have been called many names. I have been exposed to gas lighting. My eldest is now in contact with me since I wrote to him explaining my reasons for leaving and moving 18 months ago and my need to deal and sort out my emotional well being. I couldn’t cope and moved with my youngest. I have apologised and wrote several letters as I was unable to cope at the time due to the stress of what I had been dealing with. My ex never encouraged us to talk things out and communicate in that time and he wanted to keep the barriers there so he could be in control. It was always the way for him. I couldn’t talk with my son for 18 months. He didn’t want to but I tried constantly and never gave up. My son that lives with me was in contact with his father at times but due to him being unsure due to what he had experienced he is often conflicted and often doesn’t want to talk with him. I felt protective of him as I could see the effects everything had had on him. He makes his own decisions. I have always maintained and taught the kids to be respectful no matter what and to communicate but when you have someone that wants things their way you can’t communicate with them but you bend to them but they never think of you. But it is the needs and wants of an emotionally immature person that has created a situation that need not have happened and has destroyed relationships due to his own needs not anyone else’s. It’s cruel and selfish. They’re never accountable and hide behind a face of lies. I’m not perfect and have suffered but am seeking therapy and am stronger than I have ever been despite others trying to invade my life. People judge without knowing anything and unless you have experienced it, they’ll never understand. I am an empathetic and a very caring person and love family but that was taken away from me and I have grown to not take any crap anymore. I have given up being the people pleaser I have always been. When you do finally take a stand and no longer bend to the whim of those people, people think there is something wrong with you.
KatoNovember 4th, 2014 at 8:00 AM
Jennifer F (comment #9), you invited us to ask how you know. May I ask? I have 2 adult sons who have both been alienated from me in different ways and at different times. They are both very protective of their alienating father and unwilling to hear about what happened to them when they were young. I see how the past is now negatively impacting each of their lives, and I want to talk to them about what happened. I have a feeling you may know something about this. If you are still on this site your response would be most appreciated. Thank you.
Jennifer and Jimmy FNovember 5th, 2014 at 2:47 PM
Thank you for your response. We have added six posts since our initial post of April 12, 2012. Our posts go into detail. We come on the site regularly though we have limited our involvement because of severe family issues directly related to our alienated children – who are now fully estranged from us.
In losing our Son, William, and the hatefulness we have experienced from not only our adult children, but their father – we have gained new perspective and realize that sometimes all you can do is accept the situation (as bad as it is) and go on the best way possible. William lives on through us and we are committed to keeping his memory free from anger and pain.
There are many good books on the subject of PAS; the best we have found is Divorce Poison. Also, please do not keep this inside you. Tell people what you are experiencing.
Best wishes to You and your Sons, Kato. We hope they come to realize what has happened to them and find their way back to you and that you can have an honest and meaningful relationship.
Jennifer and Jimmy
TuffieNovember 12th, 2014 at 2:30 PM
To those of you commenting things like “get over it” or “be adults”, you obviously have no understanding of what it is to try to co-parent with a sociopath. As the “normal” parent, you watch your child be manipulated and damaged, robbed of a healthy relationship with their non-alienating parent. Are you supposed to just sit back and watch that happen? The people you love most in the world, who you’re instinctively driven to protect are being emotionally and psychologically shredded by a person whose wiring makes them incapable of truly loving their own kids. It is the most excruciatingly difficult thing in the world to live with. So you might want to consider gaining a little more understanding before telling both parents to “grow up”.
TuffieNovember 12th, 2014 at 2:47 PM
Cheryl – I cried when I read your message. My son, now 14, lives with his Dad full time and has nothing to do with me. My daughter (19) recently quit school because of an eating disorder and anxiety. She came home for some support and help and was to live with me full-time while she got it. One weekend with her Dad and she’s turning toxic again. After 10 years of dealing with this, developing cancer and going through a stem cell transplant this past year, I’ve developed what I’d call almost a PTSD. So when my daughter came home after being with Dad for 2 days and starting again with the disrespect and cruelty (you’re going to die alone Mom), I just couldn’t do it anymore. I told her to go to her Dad’s and stay there – otherwise I will literally die if I have to live in this hell one more day. I’m in total despair. I am so raw and shredded inside that I have nothing left to help either of my kids. And the only way I can see for navigating all of this is to try very hard to forget I have kids. Because it’s my love for them, and how he uses that as a weapon against me, (in the process destroying them) that is quite literally killing me.
And I know, that until my daughter recognizes the impact her father’s sick behaviour has had on her mental health, she’ll never be able to get well herself. So I’m sending her research and resources on counselling for PAS – getting no response – because of course, I’m the crazy one and anything I have to say about her father is pure delusion.
Doesn’t there come a time when the losses are just too great? Isn’t there a tipping point from which there just is no return? I’ve been following the die with dignity debate closely, envying those who can opt out of life without judgement from others.
Laurie M.November 18th, 2014 at 2:05 AM
My husband and I let my single daughter with my grandson move in almost a year ago, I am disabled do to arthritis her stipulations no rent, enroll in online classes and she works full time and I keep baby free. This has happened several times she has outburst of cussing that includes me and Stepdad she came home last night and I was dosing to sleep, but had 1 eye open and listening out for him, she come in and started hollering profanity and called me and stepdad everything under sun, plus was hitting us! My husband called police he let her leave with her sister…. and said we have to evict her out! My main concern is the toddler and I don’t know what to do!
AmyNovember 18th, 2014 at 2:25 PM
Maybe the “non-custodial” parent wanted their child to stay in the family home and couldn’t afford it, and had to stay with family after separation because there was not a lot of money. I’d say that’s putting the child’s needs first, and any normal person wouldn’t think something like parental alienation can or would happen.
So, you might want to think before you give such a black and white answer.
DianeNovember 18th, 2014 at 10:32 PM
I can so relate to your story, my daughter is so hateful and rude to me, but still expects me to buy her things. Her father is a narcissist and has trained her to hate me. I didn’t realize he was brainwashing her until this year, she’s 29 with a toddler. I had thought she had an addiction to painkillers and that was the cause of her meaness and wanting money from me. I took her in when she was desperate with a toddler and a horrible relationship with the baby daddy. She was ungrateful and rude to me for a year, she got worse and worse with every month. Had to send her back to her father, it was taking a toll on my health. Her father still is brainwashing her, I’ve learned that he will still have control of her until he dies…
Margaret C.November 18th, 2014 at 10:35 PM
So sorry to hear about your troubles Laurie. You are definitely in a pickle here. May I suggest that the toddler may not find adequate care if he stays with his mother for now, until she shores up a stable living arrangement, etc. I commend her for working and doing the classes. However, she is being abusive to you and this cannot be tolerated. Perhaps insist on her getting counseling as a condition of agreeing to letting her have partial custody of the child. Also Laurie … Sounds like you need some resources yourself. Could you get the toddler into a head start program? We love our children to a fault, no doubt, but some boundaries must be drawn up. Get legal aid to help you with the custody issues. God bless, and good luck. MC
MarionNovember 21st, 2014 at 12:56 PM
I identify with muchof what you say, and I commend your courage. These psychopaths look for people who are kind, sensitive and honest, so that they can mess with their heads while they do whatever they feel like. People who haven’t been there like to think they know what they would do, and that they would never be so silly, but they have absolutely no idea what terror does to a person.
Read Psalm 37, and keep on mending!
MarionNovember 21st, 2014 at 1:19 PM
LaraNovember 23rd, 2014 at 6:27 PM
I am the sister of my step-dad’s children who are not blood related to me. So they are my step brothers. I am 14 years old and have known them since I was 6. We had/have many family complications, but now there is a main point. My parents, divorced, are both re-married which I suppose I am ok with me since it was when I was 5-6 years old, but now my step dad has a really sad life. He is also re-married (to my mom) and has two sons. Since his ex met my mom, she has rarely let the boys see their father. They used to come over at least once per week and we would watch a movie and have dinner and dessert and we were all happy being a little family. Then they would go home and we would all look forward to them coming back in the next few days, but one day they didn’t come. Now my step-dad does not have 100% custody, but he has some and really does love his children, but the ex-wife doesn’t let their boys visit us anymore. My step-dad has gone to court several times about this but every time the mom (ex-wife) lies to the court and says that she lets them come over and visit. She also persuades the boys to tell the court people that they see their dad or something like that (I do not know all the details because I am still “young” to understand), but I know quite a bit. Now the mom (of the boys) hardly lets the dad talk to them and definitely doesn’t let them see their father. Now they coincidentally live one block away from us (me, my mom, and my awesome step-dad), so we see them riding bikes or skateboarding every once in a while. When we drive by the boys always run away like they are scared of us. In my words she (their mom) has hypnotized them to do as they say. She told them they could only come over if their dad gave them presents? I mean she is actually a little mental (seeming). Does anyone know what I could do to help them socialize with their own father? He is one of the best dad’s. He is an amazing cook, he loves taking road trips, they loved him until all these complications it’s killing me and especially him. Those boys are about 11 and 13 and I think they will need their father! Thank you for your future replies.
The WifeNovember 26th, 2014 at 7:39 PM
Can someone please advize me what to do before my temper gets the best of me. My husband has been hurting now for two month, from the selfish self centred attitude he got from his two youngest children(who are in their 40s)a couple of month ago. They now seem to think it has all blown over, and they continue to text him (occasionally), although my husband feels they are even more distant now. The youngest has always been what I term has a ‘mummy’s boy’.
The middle son always seem closed to his dad, and I think that is what is hurting my husband the most, the attitude he was dealt that day of the meeting.
I personally believe the youngest instigated the events of the meeting, pulling the strings of his older brother to do all the talking, or should I say shouting.
Not a day goes by when I want to pick up the phone, we don’t get weekly family visits, even though we all live in the same town, and COMMUNICATE to them a few home truths that they seemed to have forgotten. But my husband says to forget it, it may all blow over by Christmas. And what if it hasn’t, what should I do?
AndyDecember 2nd, 2014 at 4:52 PM
My ex is the most evil person you can met she made false allegations against me had me arrested.l have two daughters l love dearly one was told lies and the other didnot believe her.My exs boyfriend hit my youngest due to her wanting to see her dad.went to court got full custody had to move due to threats from her family to hurt me and my daughter who was 9 at the time.its been 5 years now my daughter is doing well and am so proud of her.no contact from her mum or sister been told by a good person my other daughter wishes me dead but l will always love her she is totally brainwashed P.A.S its sad my daughter has lossed out on so much but much keep going for my daughter love her so much enough said thanks
TokiDecember 3rd, 2014 at 7:19 PM
There are beautiful people and animals and places in life. If your children are not respectful, vent with good friends, get support, go to therapy to gain more insight into your options and choices. Give your time to an elderly shut in or a homeless dog or cat, so that you get gratefulness and appreciation in return. Your ex sounds like an immature narcissist.
Jennifer and Jimmy FDecember 5th, 2014 at 9:09 AM
We hope that your children will realize and accept what the alienating parent has done to them. In many cases they sadly don’t, until it’s too late. Some children become estranged and you must accept this and go on with your lives the best way you can. You cannot put your life on hold waiting for a genuine relationship that will never be. We agree with Toki above. Do not waste precious time with people who are disrespectful and rude to you. This includes your children. There is nothing written that says you must accept abuse! These adult children are mirroring the alienating parent – they are abusing you by proxy. But remember this as well, these adult children are ADULTS.
A wonderful group of people, who have walked in your shoes and can provide support, can be found on Daily Strength : Parents of Estranged Adult Children Everywhere. PEACE
As Christmas and a New Year approaches, it is a sad time for alienated parents, but also the children who are trapped in a delusional world created by the alienating parent. It takes a lot of strength and courage to break free from an abusive, narcissistic and sometimes deadly relationship. We wish all of you strength and courage in the New Year and the years ahead.
KrissDecember 25th, 2014 at 7:17 PM
How can i possibly move on knowing they could be alone with their manipulating father. I’m Tring to support my two beautiful children emotionally but most often play right into being abused by them how could that be fair to them why can’t i be the mom they need. How can i stop what’s happening to the loves of my life i only want us to be a 3 person family that can communicate snd support eschother in the love that is still there.
Marie CJanuary 7th, 2015 at 10:30 AM
Hi Tuffle — I needed to respond because your hurt and your words are exactly my experience. I am now physically getting ill – because of the amount of pain I have had to receive via proxy my daughters are both young adults. The situation has gotten worse with regard to the forms of abuse.
I love my youngest daughter as I love my oldest; I had come to accept the complete alienation of my oldest but was hopeful that my youngest had rejected the hatred. However, it is not the case she just kept her rage and delusional thinking out of the forefront and hidden.
I have really come to accept that we can not control how our adult children think or what delusions they seek to tell themselves or the world. As someone who has delt with this type of personality disorder – is that they will make up lies and slander you – in the face of all your loving support.
It is truly mind boggling how the more love and support you give; and strength you show the more they twist the truth.
So I do believe, that as much as you love your children if they choose as adults to abuse you – disrespect you, slander you in response to love and caring you give them. You must remove yourself from the abuse.
Otherwise we enable there delusion and the narcissistic supply they and the alienating parent and family members – including adult siblings make.
Life is about choices — always choose Love. This starts with you.
Time heals all wounds and reveals all truths – if not in this life – then the next!
My prayers are with you — to attract what you deserve –love and release negative energy. Forgiveness is the gift we give ourselves to live with love – and this is when true healing begins.
paul g jrJanuary 16th, 2015 at 12:12 AM
PAS has led to the early death of my son PJ on 12/27/14 at the age of 23… The court in nj blew off the doctors concerns years ago….lets not lose any more young lifes…. this abuse has to stop
Jennifer and Jimmy FJanuary 16th, 2015 at 1:43 PM
Dear Paul G Jr. –
Please accept our deepest condolences for the tragic loss of your Son, PJ. We know that every loss is unique and personal. One thing we do have in common is the role that PAS has played in the lives and deaths of our Sons. In 2012, we lost our Son, William. The court system failed William and us, as well.
So called “family and friends” turned a blind eye and deaf ear along the way. Almost 2 1/2 years later, we find they are no different. It isn’t only the court system that fails children suffering from PAS. It’s also the people who protect the alienating parent – whether it is by action or inaction.
It is a long and lonely journey you now find yourself on. May you find Peace and comfort knowing you tried to help PJ.
We are determined to walk forward because William lives on through us now. Very early on, we decided to improve the lives of children in William’s memory. It gives us hope and strength for the future.
Surround yourself with people who truly care about your Son and who truly care about you. Let the others go.
Jennifer and Jimmy F
Sharon G.January 18th, 2015 at 4:46 PM
Thank you for this post. I am in this situation and now have a grand-daughter I may never know. But you must keep living and going forward.
DiamondsnailJanuary 26th, 2015 at 6:17 PM
My kids are a-holes. I’m sorry, but that is the truth. Yes my ex is a sociopath but my kids are now adults and need to take responsibility for their actions and their behavior. It is not only wrong to treat me, their mother, badly but it is wrong to treat anyone this way. I feel much better after reading this thread. We all know it is not our fault. I still cry from time to time. I still hope that one day they will come around. However I know this is highly unlikely. Even if they did come around I don’t trust them. They have become sociopaths themselves. It evens enters my mind that they may try to poison me.
I know they also treat other people badly, as does their father. These are people to stay clear of.
My part in this..I had children with someone I didn’t know well enough. I was irresponsible in that way. I still love my children in some ways and I always will. However, in the forefront is preservation of myself. And thatis how it will always be.
I wish the best to all of you. Remember, no one is more important than you, not even your children.
GraceFebruary 4th, 2015 at 6:57 PM
My ex told my kids I was evil, manipulative, a fighter, had affairs, ruined our family, etc. The kids are old enough that they conveyed all of it to the ad litem to the point that she left in tears. My kids became afraid of his angry outburst. He alienated himself, but the courts don’t care about that. It seems it’s ok to attempt to alienate the other parent as long as you’re not successful. It’s still emotional abuse and still causes great harm!! The ad litem criticized me for telling my daughter to go out and enjoy her day with her dad and “try” to have fun. I should not have said “try” but isn’t it reasonable that trying is necessary after so much emotional abuse? If he had been beating her for years, no one would question the word “try.” I am very careful with my words to my kids. I recognize they have half his DNA and would benefit from a healthy relationship. I have to pretend to the ad litem that there’s no animosity for what he’s done to my kids. He changed who they are!! Can we just be real between the adults?! Again, would I have to do that if he had been physically abusive? There’s so little information about parental alienation backfiring. Anyone else having the same problem?
Anne MarieFebruary 5th, 2015 at 5:45 PM
As a target parent with adult children, I must say it is a hard road. I have one of my three children who has broken through that wall of pain from my former husband. He is the middle child, and said that the key issue was his guilt. Knowing that I didn’t deserve the bullying and abuse, and doing it anyway because his father wanted him to. My oldest son is still struggling, and my daughter is currently living the lie her father wanted for her. The issue for their understanding is the development of empathy for others in general. They have to go deep within themselves and understand that pain is never the enemy, have real remorse over being a bully, and actively seek movement towards health and growth. The beginning of this with my middle child, my son, came when I began presenting my person to them in a way that is similar to someone who is held hostage saying, my name is. . . I feel. . . I love. . . I think. . . PAS is a form of brainwashing. Getting the child to see me as an individual, as human, as someone worthy to be loved was the beginning, and I had to fight for it, and hang in there all these years. Further, there were times that I needed space from the behavior of my children, and still do with my daughter. I am grateful for the space as well as time with them. Moreover, I can celebrate who I am as a person. The more they see this, the better it is for the relationship. However, I still endure the pain from my daughter, but she is having some of the same coming her way through others. This too, is a great teaching period for her. Overall, I have decided to love life, cherish beauty, and walk with the Lord through this terrible ordeal. I hope this will be helpful to others. You can overcome the pain, and others do love you.
Isabel r.February 7th, 2015 at 12:15 PM
Wow I really feel bad for you, its horrible that you get treated that way by your kids.
Put it in Gods hands, I promise he knows whose wrong. Let him be in control of that situation. Woooh idk how you deal with it. I’m so ,so sorry that you have to go through the disrespect from your kids.May God Bless You.
Coco b.February 7th, 2015 at 3:36 PM
I’ve watched my husbands relationship with his son go from really positive to non existent. His case is not your typical scenario. For years my husband begged his ex to allow him to have primary custody. Naturally she refused until he decided to purchase a new home and marry me. Within 2 weeks of us starting our new life she abruptly decided to move 100’s of miles away and drop his son off with us. She left for two years without physical contact with his son. She did send morbid letters & paintings to his sons school. She convinced his teacher and school
administrators that my husband was keeping
his son from her. After two years she returned
back to California. This is when the brainwashing started. She blamed my husband for her abandonment. My step son
was going to school telling everyone that his dad was mean & evil. He even refused lunch
money so that he could maintain the delusion
that my husband was mistreating him. His is
now 17 years old and continues to abuse my
husband & I with silent treatment, stare
downs, oppositional behavior and passive
aggressive behavior. He continues to create delusional scenerio’s so that my husband looks mean and evil. He continues to perform badly in school because his mom has brainwashed him into thinking education is not important. He leaves on our house and completely identifies with her. This is just the tip of the iceberg. It would take me all day to describe the level of sophistication that she’s used to alienate him from his dad over the years. I
AnneMarieFebruary 8th, 2015 at 10:44 PM
Thank you, so much, Isabel for the encouragement. Yes, God has blessed me, and He is orchestrating circumstances for my children to learn empathy–something only He can do. However, I do believe that there are certain people who have “crossed the line” as Coco described in the ex-wife of her husband, and it is true with my ex as well. It is a personal belief, that when a person sees other people as only prey, they are done. It is God’s mercy to allow them to live out the rest of their days, as their future eternal life will not be so good. For the children that are acting out what the AP is telling them, there is hope. For most young people, trying out ideas is fairly common to see if those ideas work or not. I have experienced that with all three children. But for Coco and her husband, the strength of character within the two of you is seen by others. My best friends are those who have been through what we are describing. When we feel as though we cannot handle one more battle, we say to each other, “You have to fight.” I guess it is true, those who love peace are the best at war.
SusanMarch 13th, 2015 at 9:51 PM
You have no idea how much your posts have helped me! I have three adult children that are estranged from me due to PAS. It’s been so saddening. Very isolating. What’s more, is the fact that others (family friends etc) don’t quite understand why they aren’t talking to us. People assume that we must have done something horrible. My oldest daughter says that I was never there for her. When I really was the one that was there for her. Idk if it will ever get better. I email them and get no response. It’s so sad!
SusanMarch 14th, 2015 at 8:52 AM
How do you break through to these adult kids with PAS?
Do I continue to send emails once a week that say I love you etc.. Not ever getting a response?
My oldest daughter and I went out to lunch a couple weeks ago (she antiated) it went well. However the next day we got in an argument. This is after a couple years of being estranged. She tends to bully me. I don’t know how to stop it or break through. Any suggestions?
MaryMarch 19th, 2015 at 3:57 PM
I think I am in the right place. I am experiencing parent alienation from my youngest daughter who is 25. First of all my situation is very complicated. What I am dealing with is partially my fault I think. I was married to my ex for 26 years. During those years I was a devoted hard working wife and mother and a devout catholic. I put my ex through professional school and we adopted our children as infants. My ex was and is a very passive aggressive person. I always felt like I was all dressed up but never invited to the party. My ex wasn’t very affectionate and I was always working so hard to please him and get invited to his party but I could never make the grade. My mother and I would have long discussions about this issue, I loved her more than anything. She died at the 23rd year of my marriage. 2 years later I began a very short lived extra marital relationship with a person who I believe was a predator. I was lonely and above all I was stupid. I confessed this indiscretion to my ex and at the same time requested a divorce because I knew I would never be forgiven by him because even now I can’t really forgive myself. He moved out and we had joint custody. Not long after the divorce I met my now husband he is the love of my life. When my kids were15 and 13 is when I remarried and moved 2 hours away. (During my divorce my ex said if I tried to get half of our business he would quit working because he is the business) I told him I would agree only if he payed for all their education and that I would have to pay no child support. When I married my current husband I asked my children if they wanted to live with me or their father. They chose their father because all their friends were there that they had gone to school their whole life. At that time their father hadn’t remarried yet. So at the time I thought that the sacrifice I made to let them live with him was the best because they would have opportunities that I couldn’t afford to give them. Over those years I saw them every other week-end and holidays. When my ex remarried I was happy for him. The woman he married is a very strong and powerful person. She has a very prominent position in my children’s life. I first noticed the behavior in my youngest when I took her on a vacation that I used some of my inheritance on. This was about three years ago. She moved here after college because of a job. For the first year I never knew where she lived. The second year we started having some lunches together which I enjoyed. Then she decided to move back to the town her father and his wife live in. Now she has pretty much erased me. By the way I was honest with my children about my indiscretion because I didn’t want them to hear about it from someone who didn’t love them and I asked for their forgiveness. Now the things I did wrong are of course stepping outside the marriage and letting my ex raise them. I was,when they were young a disciplinarian. I never abused my children physically. I did make them mind and do the right thing. My oldest daughter said she had a great childhood. I felt like the youngest child had some problems attaching to things. I can’t determine if she has been coerced into this behavior or if in fact I am the person responsible and deserve what I am getting. The reason I say this is because the oldest isn’t this way at all. My youngest may have abandonment issues that I have caused by my own emotional issues. All of this is very painful to me and I have suffered for 12 years. I am accepting this as my punishment for my sin. It is what it is and I think all there is to do is accept what God has decided for me. I can only think about the story in the bible where Jesus said ” let anyone of you that has not sinned cast the first stone”
YolandeMarch 28th, 2015 at 3:45 AM
As long as you will entertain the emotions behind your comment you will get nowhere with them. You will continue to justify their disregard for you and fuel their PAS.
YolandeMarch 28th, 2015 at 4:11 AM
Hi all, I just wanted to share that I have suffered from PAS. I figured out what it was 6 years ago. I finally had a name for all the nonsense that happened during my childhood. For all those parents that are trying to reconnect with their adult children that have suffered or are still suffering from PAS all I may recommend is : Do NOT give up, ever! I never met my father but reached to his family…my family, 20 years after his death. I am so glad I finally found the courage and the strenght to reach. I finally was able to mourn my missed relationship with him. The ONE thing I wished He would have left is a letter, a note, expressing his hardship in all this. A note that said he tried, and that he loved me! My new found family told me he did put it is not like him telling me.
I am now 50 years old and I am so gratefull that this parental alienation is taken seriously in today’s society. Coming back from PAS is a very hard long journey, patching all the holes….
For those parents who are alienated, do not give up! Patience will be your friend, continue to love your missed child. An adult child who suffered PAS will not be able to come toward you until the light bulb turns on in his brain about the reality he lived. That takes patience. Yes you will get rejected at first but keep trying. Be sincere in your approach and be sure that you never bring your issues with your Ex into your relationship with your adult- child. You have to keep it about YOU and YOUR adult-child.
As an adult-child who suffered PAS, I have been affected in the deepest of the person I am. i do not trust easily, I test relationships, I question, I feel more comfortable as solitaire. When I feel new relationships such as frienship get to close, I walk away , I distance myself. I am afraid to be hurt again!
I am still constructing myself, or I should say reconstructing myself. It will be a lifetime sentence that my mother’s abuse toward created! But I am ok to rebuild, I am happy to be able to do so, even at 50, I still have so many years left to be happy!
YolandeMarch 28th, 2015 at 5:24 AM
To Jennifer and Jimmy.
I sincerely invite you to read the following book| adult children of parental alienation syndrome-breaking the ties that bind, written by Amy J.L. Baker. As a 50 year old adult-child that suffered PAS, I can assure- you that your point of view on things will not bring the openess required to have a futur relationship with your children. Better understanding what they went through and the consequences left on them by the emotional abuse they suffered will give you a better chance at having any king of relationship with them.
YOU are the parent even of those adults and your role in loving them unconditionnaly should never change.
Good luck and do not give up, you may be quite suprised on how things will turn around if you go into this with the right reasons.
And yes it will be difficult and there will be tears involved!
I wish my father would have been still alived once I understood what I suffered from PAS. Luckily his family…actually my family too opened their arms and embraced me coming into their lives.
YolandeMarch 28th, 2015 at 6:01 AM
I understand your pain! I had to put thight boundaries with my mother and claim my right to having a mother and A Father. She still rants about him negatively and whenever she does I leave or hang up the phone. By the way he has been dead for 25 years!
There was never any reasoning to do with my mother, she is mentally incapable of seeing what she has done and still do .
I have read several books over the years about: controlling people, walking on eggshells and the last one Adult-children of parental alienation of Amy JL Baker. I worked on myself, on my reactions to events. This has help me avoid much more pain caused by my mother. I have also accepted who she is. My relationship is very limited with her now because she interacts always in a toxic manner.
I still have a relationship with her and must admit it will always be difficult. but with tools to help and boundaries i have been able to hold on to a minimal relationship.
I am the most important person in all of this and I owe it to myself, my husband and my children to ensure that the past trauma cause by PAS will no longer control nor affect my life.
Good luck and I wish you lots of strength.
AmyMarch 28th, 2015 at 12:35 PM
I hope you are right.
Jennifer and Jimmy FMarch 28th, 2015 at 1:28 PM
Thank you for your input but you don’t understand our situation because you have not lived it. I am in no way qualified to weigh in on your situation because I do not know you. We have read every book on PAS and we are certain you would agree that every situation is unique. No one can begin to understand another family’s dynamics. The Parental Alienation began long before my marriage ended, though it was subtle and happened systematically.
I was married for 27 years and in that time he abused me in every way – even giving me a skull fracture. I wish now that I would have had the courage to press charges when the police at the ER urged me to, but I was afraid. Afraid of the threats that he would take the children from me. He is very skilled at manipulating, as all alienating parents are.
There comes a point when everyone – even a loving parent of abusive adult children – must decide that the abuse has to stop. A relationship built on someone abusing you is unhealthy. When our Son, William, died the abuse that our adult children threw at us was unimaginable. They range in age 30-37 and know right from wrong. Unless you have been through this horror, you do not know what it is like. We are not giving up that our children will one day see what their father has done – and continues to do to them – and move toward a more healthy way of life. We have given up on accepting their abuse. It’s the only sane option we have.
Our Son, William, was a victim of PAS at the hands of his father and latterly, his siblings. We did everything to try to get through to everyone in the family, but nothing worked. William is now dead. Our children and their father worked hard at keeping us from William’s funeral and we are the ones who hired the funeral home. Most of the funeral home staff quit over the way we were treated by the owner and our “family”. William was still being alienated from us even after his death.
There is no such thing as loving someone unconditionally when they are deliberately abusing you. Our adult children know – from all of our previous attempts at trying to rebuild and restore our relationships with them – that we were genuine. Our “point of view” is based on years and years and years of constant abuse and exploitation by our children and their father. We tried longer than most people would have.
We are not accepting any further abuse from anyone and that takes courage and awareness. It took years for us to finally reach that point. We are moving forward in a positive way because William lives on through us now. In William’s memory so far we have provided 29 operations through Smile Train and have planted over 800 trees. This gives us hope for the future.
Best wishes to everyone suffering the effects of Parental Alienation and Parental Alienation Syndrome.
MaryMarch 29th, 2015 at 1:18 AM
Jennifer and Jimmy I am so sorry for you loss. There are no words that can comfort the loss of a child. It is unthinkable the pain and suffering that an ex-spouse can cause by manipulating the mind of a child against the other parent. I don’t know what makes someone so evil. As you know even subtle remarks by the alienating parent against the other parent over time can do severe damage. I in my heart believe that is what has happened in my case. I am no expert on PAS but I believe it is a way for the alienating parent to continue to have control over you, to torture you. It’s like some sadistic thrill they get knowing that the one thing you love more than life itself they can take away from you or drive a wedge between. I have a friend who this happened to but she never gave up she would drive miles for visitation only to be turned away. She is a wonderful Christian woman. The woman that her ex married kept fueling this fire. Then after 7 or 8 years they divorced. Her ex finally married a wonderful Christian woman from Spain she told him to let my friend see her son that is every parents right she said. After that her son and her were reunited. Now her son insisted that she move to the city where he lives. He loves her and she helps take care of her grand children. Her ex and his wife and my friend have a cordial and respectful relationship now. But I will never forget watching my friend suffer such heartache that was caused by a jealous, immature wife of her ex husband May God Bless You!
Yolande50March 29th, 2015 at 7:18 AM
I am sorry you lived this abuse. It is very sad. It is also very sad that your children have not awaken yet from the brainwashing they recieved during their childhood.
I agree with you that no one should submt to abuse and boundaries need to be set. But setting boundaries does not mean to stop loving!
My point was only front the point of vue of the child caught in the parental alianation. The parent that does the alienation does one of the worst kind of abuse that can be done to a person. So all your children that where caught in the middle where being abused. This has lasting effects on someone, espcially when you have growing up being abused, and that your identity is battered. All that I merely tried to say was to try to see it from their point of vue. They suffer greatly, trust me , I know what it is like….
Wishing you hapiness in your life and healing!
Yolande50March 29th, 2015 at 7:58 AM
I was just reading the reference presented in the introductory paragraph of this blog. Being an adult-child who has suffered from PAS, I agree with the conclusion of the research. I still have problems with attachment, doing better with self esteem, did get depressed but stayed functional. Right now I am working on the attachment part.
I am strugling with emotions that I should not be experiencing when lets say one of my kids says :” i am not coming home this weekend because I have to much work at school”. My logic says ” this is fine and I understand” but my emotions just flow right out as ” what have I done, maybe I am annoying so that is why they wont come, and just a flow of negative self battering internal dialogue pops into my head” I feel stressed and sad. I am doing better now as I get over this flow of internal emotions much quicker. But I need to make a conscious effort to wine down and connect with my logic.
I do not have many friends…because it is safe not to have to many people close, this way I avoid getting hurt. But I envie so much all these people that have visit and go out every weekend with friends, they look like they have so much fun. Unfortunately, I am not there yet as the payback and the incentive is still too low….not getting involved to avoid hurt still wins in this portion of my life. It is hard to trust.
Is there anyone else at that stage in their healing?
Jennifer and Jimmy FMarch 29th, 2015 at 12:48 PM
Thank you for your condolences. We began posting on this site almost three years ago – before William died. In total we have posted eleven times. It’s hard to understand the mindset of an alienating parent. Whenever I witnessed such abuse within my family and even friends throughout the years, I would always speak up against it. I never knew that one day it would happen to my own children and to me.
Thank you, again –
Jennifer and Jimmy FMarch 29th, 2015 at 1:35 PM
You’re looking at this from a different prospective and we understand this.
We did not say we do not love our adult children. We love and miss the people they were before they inflicted so much pain and hatred on – not only us, but also on William. Our oldest son has threatened our lives since William’s death and he physically abused and threatened William, too. William placed a restraining order against him six months before he died. Love our oldest son unconditionally? There is no way.
We do not love the people our adult children have become. Unless you have experienced the pain and grief we have – over and over – it’s probably hard to understand. If our children were to contact us now, we would be suspicious as to what they wanted because each one of them has used and abused us time and time again. They hold no love for us – only contempt. It took us years to finally realize that.
It seems people who treat others badly, fully expect to be treated with respect and to be loved unconditionally. It’s the sense of entitlement they have that makes them feel they can dish out abuse and other people must accept it.
Well, no thanks. We’d rather be alone than in bad company.
There are people who are in the same situation that we are in and they go through their lives feeling pressured by society to endure people who repeatedly cause them and others pain. Everyone has to make choices based on the situations they face and although it wasn’t easy, we have made ours.
Best wishes to you always.
Yolande50March 29th, 2015 at 2:00 PM
I hope too,Amy,
in my case my father passed away when I was still suffering from PAS, I was 23. i learned about my father death 2 years after he passed away. i had never met him, they separated when my mother was pregnant. (She did everything she could so I would never see him or he would never see me. She even went into hidding when I was 3-4 years old. )
My mother told me he passed away, she said he passed away from ALS. She said to me: you can get more information, she guided me into getting the death certifcate and get the information about where he was burried. She turned around and sued the people that heritated from him, his 2 nd wife. She had some clause in her marriage contract that was irrevocable that was not cancelled when they divorced. She won 50% of the money from that clause. She kept it all! It was all about Her. She was saying” i am suing them because they owe me that money”. She wanted me to sue them also…I did not, it made no sense tome to do that. She manipulated me into obtaining the death certificate because only I, his daugther could get it. Her lawer called me in as a withness to confirm that I never had a relationship with my father and that he abandonned me. When I was a kid she said my father had no interest in me and so did his family.
Now , inside my heart, when I learned he passed away, I cried, and felt that now I would never know him. Yes I did want to see him, but I had to work against the brainwashing that was done to me and the evil manipulation of my mother. She told me that , regurlarly, when I was groing up, that if I dared to go see my father or his family, I could never come back to her and she would reject me. With no brothers, no sister, I could not take that chance. What if my father and his family rejected me, what if what my mother said was true, that he was a schizophrenic, sadistic person. Then I would be alone with no parent, of course as a child I would choose the lesser of 2 evils.
After my mother sued them, I though that all my chances where gone of being accepted by my father’s family because of my mother actions after his death. I would not blame them. So for years I abandoned the idea that I could meet them and have a relationship with them.
It took me until I was 43 years old to understand what had happened to me, to be aware of the PAS I suffered and to gather the courage, the strenght, the self-esteem to contact my father’s family. To take the chance of being rejected. I was ready to face it. The first time I spoke to his 2nd wife on the phone I was crying and shaking my entire body from happyness, guilt, still felt like i was trahison my mother. Yes my mother ´s brainwashing had that much power over me. She does not know I now have a relationship with several members of my father’s family, yes my family.
I am so glad I did reach, Although I have not had the chance to know him, the people who have described him as the nicest and most gentle person. He was also very very hurt to not have had me in his life. He tried to see me, when I was a baby and a little child, but in the 60s and early 70s the courts always prefered the mother to take care of the child.
oh my goodness, I am writting too much! It Is hard to explain such a complex situation with few words. My point is that the adult-child does want to have a relationship uncounsciously if not consciously. What keeps them from doing so is their inside battle from the brainwashing that was done to them. this is why I say to the target parent…Do Not Give Up!
Yolande50March 29th, 2015 at 5:00 PM
We share a similar life story. Unfortunately I was not able to meet my father as he passed away when I was in my early 20s. But I finally took all my courage and search for my family when I was 43-44. I found a cousin that is just 3 months yonger than me. She talked alot about my father as he was her godfather and was very involved in her life. I was happy to learn that he was not the monster my mother portraied him to be. The only thing though is that everytime she tells me about how good and involved he was , it feels like I am stabed right into the heart. He was my father and my mother took it away from me.
I am now 50 and am totally awaken and delivered from the PA syndrome but I am picking up the pieces of the damage that was done to my innerself. i am working hard to keep understanding and evolving for the better. i owe it to my 3 kids and my husband.
DoriMarch 31st, 2015 at 3:03 AM
Thank you for this. For years I felt guilt at being angry at my daughter for believing the lies. Once she turned 18 and it was obvious nothing I did was going to change how she treated me I made an important decision. I couldn’t go on like this anymore. Breast cancer twice in two hears , MS 10 years and health was steadily getting worse. Two days ago took all the pictures down and carefully put them away. I don’t want any reminders. Cried, a lot, felt like a death. But in reality was grieving the daughter she once was. She will continue to think the worst of me and nothing hurts more then indifference, avoidance. I am done!
MaryMarch 31st, 2015 at 9:25 PM
Thank you for sharing your experience. I too have removed pictures from my home. You are right it is a painful reminder of what once was and could have been. After years of being made to feel inadequate and even made fun of I have also decided to remain indifferent. I choose to surround my self with people who enjoy my company and who see the value that my life brings to them. I choose to help others who need me and appreciate any help that I am able to provide. I no longer choose to wait for phone calls and texts that never come or holidays that are never remembered. I choose not to have my attempts to connect rejected. There comes a point in time when enough is enough and you must let go in order to survive. It is not healthy and I am too old for mind games and the emotional abuse that comes with this issue. It is like a death in some ways but it is also like being reborn. You know the Serenity prayer is so true. God please help me to change the things I can change and help me to accept the things I can’t change and the wisdom to know the difference. If your child can’t see the beautiful person you are and the love and influence your life has made in theirs it is their loss and their choice. I am respecting their choice and moving on with my life. A life without them. Once I let go of it I have been so much happier. I wish only good things and happiness for my daughter and I will always love the memories of the good times I shared with her those many years ago but that was then and this is now. My door will always be open to her but I will no longer have unrealistic expectations. I will let her live her life as she chooses but I will also live my life on my terms. No more pushing buttons. I spend my time now working, painting , reading, playing with my dog, and laughing with friends. Yes I said laughing! I have no more tears. I am so grateful to God for giving me this gift of accepting what I am unable to change. I think that just because they are our children doesn’t mean that there won’t be consequences for their behavior. Compassion , empathy, and respect are qualities that should be afforded to all people we interact with especially between family members even if our families have suffered through a divorce. It is also about reclaiming control of our own lives and not allowing others to control it with guilt, emotional or physical abuse, it’s about driving our own bus and not letting them drive it for us. Once you remove yourself out of that sick equation your happier and hopefully they will be too. Personally at this point I’m no longer concerned about trying to please her. I am concerned with pleasing myself and re-learning to like myself. To be rejected over and over when you have been nothing but nice and excepting affects your self- esteem and makes you feel like such a failure. You know there are no directions that come with parenting or how to handle divorce we are just people doing the best we can and yes all parents make some mistakes and when our children have kids they will make mistakes too.
Yolande50April 1st, 2015 at 3:34 AM
I am sorry you lived pain and hardship and emotional distress…..but you all, ( in the parents) all had 20 years of your lives to change the situation, to reach to your child. Your are dissapointed in them for not being being the child you wished. I am sorry your lives turned sour but I will continue to beleive that in no way the Child or adult child carries the blame in this. if your kids did in deed suffer from PAS they would not try to kill the target parent! Something else goes on in your family dynamic.
And as you say ” you could not understand what a PAS child goes through unless you lived it” you can not if you keep looking at your pain not theirs!
i guess I thought this blog was to help adult-children who suffered PAS and to help them rebuild their person. But I guess I am wrong, it is all about the PARENTs again.
Whishing you all lots of luck and hope you will all get it one day!
MaryApril 1st, 2015 at 3:12 PM
It is my perception and understanding that this is a safe place for target parents and kids with PAS to interact. So far I think you maybe the only PAS child. That should tell you something about how much the parent suffers. No parent here from what I have read doesn’t take responsibility for their own actions many acknowledge mistakes that they have made.Not everything is nor can always be about the child. The child is not the only person who suffers. When we are discussing adult children they are in fact adults now and the expectation is that they are accountable for their own actions just as parents are accountable for their actions. It is unexceptable and inappropriate for adult children to think that abusive behavior is OK because that is how they choose to vent their frustration and anger it is equally unexceptable for them to think that we have to stand there and take their abuse. No one parent or child should tolerate abuse period. Many of the parents in this blog are very good parents who were targeted unjustly by a controlling, vendictive ex- spouse they have sustained unsurmountable psychological damage and are attempting to come out of the wreckage whole. As targeted parents we don’t pretend to know how a PAS child feels we have been too busy dodging hurtful remarks from them and emotional cruelty. I do think it is always good to have your perspective as a PAS child but we all need to keep an open mind and not attach blame because both the child and the target parent are victims. The only one who doesn’t appear to be suffering is the person doing the targeting. Many parents have tried for years to establish a healthy relationship with the child but as the years wear on sometimes it just can’t be fixed. And it needs to be OK to accept that and move on for both parties. No one is perfect on either side we all make mistakes but forgiveness is essential in order to be happy. I have nothing but forgiveness for my child and I hope she will have forgiveness in her heart for me someday. I love her and me letting go will make us both happy. It is not my child’s responsibility to make me happy nor is it mine to make her happy. We have to do that all by ourselves. So you must not think that because we discuss our pain as a parent slights the suffering of the child because we love our children we just basically for some of us have simply ran out of options. I do want to thank you for your perspective because it is good hear the child’s view. You know we were all children once and we still are in God’s eyes and I do remember what it was like. God be with you and bless you everyday. Through him all things are possible.
George S YApril 3rd, 2015 at 8:33 PM
Dear Yolanda, Jennifer and Jimmy, Mary, and other contributors above,
I sincerely thank you for your contributions in the above. They have helped me enormously at a very difficult time. I will explain below.
The realization of what has happened and continues to happen in my relationship with my adult children is very new to me. I am 56 years old, and my adult children are victims of Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS). I am also a victim of Parental Alienation (PA) as the Targeted Parent (TP). For many years I made the error to “take the high road” and have reached a point of unbearable hurt, not as much because of what the Alienating Parent (AP) did or continues to do, but because of what my adult children are doing to me now. In searching for help in the past month I learned what are PA, PAS, and only today came to realize what the initials TP and AP mean. It has taken me many years of self discovery and reflection to understand how we got to this point. I talk to my children, and it is evident there is underlying mutual love every time I see them. However, they avoid contact, “they are rude, ungrateful, spiteful and cold, and appear impervious to feelings of guilt about the harsh treatment” to which they subject me. They also have clear symptoms of the “independent thinker” and “borrowed scenarios”, and in my opinion it is evident there are “cult parallels” in the way they view their mother (I found these apt and succinct descriptions earlier today in Amy Baker’s writings). When I press my children for discussions to get to the bottom of this I am accused of having been an abusive parent in the past, but the specific examples are not convincing (see below). Then the children take me on a guilt trip about material possessions or finances (their mother has taught them that game), and break the conversations and meetings in tears or anger, leaving me perplexed on how to continue the healing process. Do I continue this strained and painful experience for them and for me, or do I press the children more to get to catharsis and possible rebuilding of a true relationship? If the latter choice is best, then how can I implement it?
Nothing is black or white: in my world everything is in shades of grey. I am not perfect, but my ex did write to her lover that I adore the children and would do anything for them. I was a good provider, recall with horror each one of the times I lost my temper and shouted at the kids (I probably recall more of them than they and their mother do), but I did work long hours and consequently spent much less time with the children than I should. I did what my own father did, and stupidly expected my ex wife to do what my mother did: to assure the children I loved them unconditionally and was doing all this to provide for them. Instead, my ex started the PA many years before the breakup. It is not black, and it is not white. It is various shades of grey.
I started my search about a month ago after years of hurt and coming to the realization that the relationship with the children is just not improving. I started by looking for how to help the children, and after some reading I realized that the children have now become my psychological abusers. The children are there to take financial support, and they exhibit occasional affection, but then sting with the worst venom imaginable. The venom varies in potency, but it is always there in various doses. It is absolutely lethal every time they spend time at their mother’s house, and gradually loses potency when they are away from their mother. The potency of the venom also varies by their age at the time of the divorce and the time they had with me as a father figure in the house. The less potent venom is by the eldest of three children, and the most potent by the youngest.
I am worried about the effects of PAS on my children’s future, but I am also beginning to worry about me. In the last three or four months the stress from interacting with the youngest child has begun to take a real toll on my health. In the last few weeks things got so bad I considered terminating the relationship in order to survive. This saddened me enormously, and has sent me into a spiral of depression and stress. I subsequently looked for help for PA parent victims. All I could find was various websites geared to help parents of young children with legal or child-access issues earlier on in the PA process than where I am with my children, and help for adult children suffering from PAS. As I kept reading I gained an even bigger appreciation that my children are victims, and they need help as much as I do, except they do not know it, and I do not know how to convince them to seek help. I then read some of the comments in this blog, and found that my case is not as extreme as others, just very hurtful; and that others like Jennifer and Jimmy and Mary have much worse experiences and have found terminal solutions that work for them. Finally Yolande’s comments drove another set of facts home. Yolande considers most PA and PAS websites are there to help parents, not the children; and (another wake up call for me) only a small minority of her comments are about how her now-deceased father might have felt.
The difference in perspectives is enlightening. I see others are fighting PA in parent-access through really wicked situations. My case appears mild in comparison, but it is not. What loving mother would alienate her children from a loving father? I took the high road and waited for my opportunity to develop the relationship with the children after they reached 18. I did not know PA was possible, and did not understand its long-term effects as it was happening earlier on, yet its effects are now devastating to me and my children.
I may find the courage to write more in the future. If I do not, please know that I hope all contributors to this blog find the peace we so desperately seek while we still have time on this earth.
YolandeApril 4th, 2015 at 1:34 PM
I find your comments hopefull. You have become aware of the situation and adress it with an open mind, which are the first steps of the healing process and acceptance. You wrote: “my children are victims, and they need help as much as I do, except they do not know it, and I do not know how to convince them to seek help.”.
Unfortunaltely you can not convince them as they would perceive it as you targetting their mother. If I may share, my enlightenment came from comments from outsiders when I was in my twenties such as: “why did you never seek to see your father?” Or ” but you only know your mother’s side of the story” . Also observation as an adult ( so from and adult point vue) of relationships and interactions with children of fathers. The ” awakening process was started”. If my father would not have passed away, I would probably have been ready to meet him when my 3 rd child was born, in my early 30s. So this is why I mentioned in my previous post that the TP need to be very patient has it takes time. Also , the wounds of the adult-children are very raw in the early stages of the awaking. The dose at which you are able to take in the truth is very small at a time.
I went to see therapists over several years so I could break free of my mother’s control and Brainwashing.
To deal with this alone is very difficult if not impossible. If I was to recommend one thing , it is to get support in your endeveour to learn , for you, to set boundaries and how to communicate with them So It is postive and factual and using the “I” in sentences.
I wish you all the strenght required to continu your journey and to hold on to one day having a positive relationship with your adult-children.
All the very best wishes.
MaryApril 5th, 2015 at 9:31 PM
I’m glad you found this place. I read your story and you hit the nail when you describe our situation as shades of gray. There is no black and white to this thing. Although each story is different in terms of severity they all have one common denominator pain and alienation. I want to begin by acknowledging Yolanda because I think what she is experiencing is very painful because by the time she was able to figure out what was happening to her she lost her father forever and there could be no reconciliation or even closure to the issue which must create tremendous guilt that children feel. Children always feel guilty when a divorce happens they some how feel it’s their fault when of course it isn’t there fault at all. This journey that we are on is definatly a hard one. The one thing that you and I have in common is that we are close to the same age and we are baby boomers. We were raised at a time when mothers stayed home, fathers were the bread winners, and divorce was rare. Then the sixties and seventies hit and there was flower power, women’s lib, and family structure changed forever. Mothers and fathers both worked and kids started going to daycare, divorce became more common I believe due to the stresses of trying to keep the same standard of life we enjoyed as kids for our own kids. In order to do that both parents have to work which really cuts into time spent with kids and even the energy level parents have to spend on there kids. Life literally beats couples up some are able to weather the storm others aren’t. I too have done so much soul searching to actually look at myself and to take ownership for my part in what happened with this scenario. First of all when I divorced my ex I really wasn’t thinking about the ramifications that would occur with my children I was thinking more of myself and my own happiness and survival. I was unhappy and stuck it out for 26 years. Then I remarried and allowed my ex to be the custodial parent thinking I was doing what was best for my kids (wrong!). The decision I made had serious consequences that I am now paying for. The proverbial hens have come home to roost so to speak. It has been unrealistic for me to believe that my kids would love me as unconditionally as I love them. In there eyes I left them even though they chose to stay with there father. You said your youngest seems to have more anger than the oldest and this is the same for me as well. I believe this is because they were emotionally and developmentally more immature. They were still too young to figure out just what happened to their family unit. Then the custodial parent steps in to comfort them and I think it’s human nature for that parent to interject their pain and anger into the child either unknowingly or intentionally. So the baby starts to become protective of the custodial parent and more resentful toward the parent that left. The anger and disconnect that my youngest feels for me I accept as I must for leaving. I love my kids and I blame them for nothing. It has been hard for me to see it through their eyes. Self reflection and taking responsibility for my part is painful but necessary in order to heal and become heathy. It’s sort of like when an alcoholic finally admits to themselves they are one. Apologizing to your kids for it may help you but it does little for them quite simply you can’t ever fix it. You can only roll with it. You have to have the patience of Jobe and try to remain as calm as you can. It is through this hurricane this storm that one finally reaches peace. For me it has been the acceptance of what this is that I can’t fix it that I have to allow my children the freedom to have their feelings whatever they may be about me or for me. To put what I want or wish for in terms of a relationship aside because if they don’t want it then I can’t force it because what happens are mercy visits and obligations that they feel are a duty and not a pleasure. I can see my kids anytime I want to if I pay to see them and I have before. I can bribe them with shopping if I get so desperate to see them I can’t stand it. The thing is that their dad has a lot of money and he buys them they are both adults and he continues to make car payments, pay for clothes, trips, etc. things I can’t afford. So if you were young who would you choose the gravy train or unconditional love? Most kids choose money and fun. My kids aren’t verbally abusive they are just evasive and disconnected. They remind me of the song “the cats in the cradle and the silver spoon” I think they love me and I am grateful for what little time they choose to give me but I no longer choose to dwell and live for those moments I just accept what I get and roll with it. I can’t compete with Willy Wonka I don’t have that kind of money. I guess what I am saying is by accepting what I can’t change has helped me see that their is peace and beauty in letting go of it. I have a full and meaningful life with or without them. They are grown now they are in charge of driving their bus wherever they want to and if they don’t want to drive it to this bus station that is their choice and their right. We are at an age where we are beginning the reflective stage of life where we begin to review all of our past to see what we’ve done wrong and what we could have done better and maybe we fear growing old and being alone but even kids who are engaged and close to their parents often don’t visit they just put them in a home and see them when it’s convienent. Children today are a very different breed than we can relate to. Their all about texting.Compassion, empathy, forgiveness etc. aren’t part of their ethical make up. If they aren’t happy they move on. I say this because I see it in the work place. They are task oriented and not critical thinkers. There are maybe a few but not the majority. They are all about social networking and friends the last thing they want to do is spend time with old people. I am sure my parents probably felt this way about my generation. Although I never treated my mother the way I am being treated but then I was never the product of a divorce and that totally changes the game for a child. So having said all of this basically you just have to take it one day at a time and do what is right for you. We all have different coping mechanisms and what works for one may not work for someone else. Being active, having hobbies, and enjoying friends helps tremendously. The most important thing I feel is to never make your kid feel guilty because they don’t want to come over. I just roll with it and pray that someday they will have a change of heart although I am not expecting it. I hope my experience in dealing with this will some how help you in your journey although mine may be different. I have a lot of faith in God and trust in him that this journey I am on is his will for me a lesson I must learn. May God bless you and give you the strength and guidance you need at this time in your life.
Marie CApril 6th, 2015 at 12:56 PM
Thank you All for the comments. The problem I find is that therapist are ill equipped in understanding the enormous amount of pain that alienating parents feel and continue to experience.
I am middle age – divorced – and sacrificed my own personal romantic life because of the two daughters who are now adults.
My father who was my true loving parent died 10 years ago — and I am left with an NPD ( Narcissistic Personality Disorder) mother, brother and Ex -Husband who are now complicit in the sick delusions, lies and manipulations of the NPD world and have successfully alienated both daughters. My youngest is pulled for periods of time to join the cult like behavior. My oldest daughter began to truly manifest hate, jealousy, and disdain for my relationship with my youngest and towards me — a few years ago. She became involved with a young man, who I initially considered to be well intentioned. Unfortunately, I think he has ulterior motives and has utilized this family dysfunction to his advantage.
The oldest daughter is portraying her own NPD characteristics and is influencing her youngest sister.
I feel so completely alone and if it wasn’t for my dear life long friends –life would be impossible.
I have become physically ill from the enormous amount of stress involved.
But I resolve to continue to heal from all this unjustified abusive behavior. We must look within and release the negative energy that is being unjustly given to us and internalized. We must learn to work through the pain and combat the negative with love for ourselves and others.
I will pray for All of us — who are suffering from the people we Love the most — our CHILDREN!
YolandeApril 6th, 2015 at 1:05 PM
Hello Mary and George,
You sound like someone who adresses this the right way. If I may , I would just like to clarify a misconception that I have read often. I have never felt any guilt for having felt the emotions I did during the time I suffered from PAS. Little children may feel guilt when witnessing arguments between parents, especially those which start about different vues about raising the children. This was not my case as I never met my father, nor witness this type of arguments, even though he lived in the same city. The emotions I was going through have always been fear of my mother the AP ( better be on her side otherwise life would have been even worst than what it was), fear of abandonment, rejection, fear of rejection, Sadness. I could add that there was a period when I was angry at him for not taking me away from my crazy mother (she is mentally ill – severe paranoia, narcissistic personality, severe anxiety….I have wondered if she is not borderline personality). She was manipulative. But in those years, the judges always prefered the mother to take care of the child….good that things have changed.
I would fear my mother’s anger and I would be the little angel child to avoid beatings and her rage. she was so good at hiding what she was doing. No one would have known. There was my public mother and then the mother behind closed doors . she would play her game so well that everyone would tell that my mother is a good person that had such a hard life as a single parent. But they did not know what was going on behind closed doors.
My mother would say that my father was a mean, irresponsible individual that was a schizophrenic and that he was evil. She would then tell me when she would be her rages that I was the spit image of my father…..for sure there was a time, before I understood, I would never have wanted to associate with my father …that was during my PAS period. I was brainwashed.
When I was a child my mother threatened me by saying: If you go see your father or his family, you will never be able to come back here, I don’t want you anymore….
If you take a moment and see how hung by the throat a child would be in those circonstances and how painfull it is to hear from the only parent you have ever known. Of course , I would not ever admit to anyone that I wanted to see my father….who would take that risk when you are a child.
You as TP do not know of the strategies that the AP was using and the level of brainwashing your kids went through. They are very hurt and it will take a lifetime to heal from the PAS effects. Early on once they start figuring out what the AP was doing, there is a lot of emotional confusion. That period is very critical in how you respond to them. As I said earlier when you realize what has been happening, you do feel angry toward the TP as you feel they where not there when you needed to be saved from this horrible situation. A good thing is that with time anger goes away and is replaced by sadness….this is when as an healing PAS adult-child you need a really good support system as it would be easy to fall into depression. I was lucky to have a wonderfull husband and great kids that reminded me every day that although my child life was a total chaos and nightmare, they were there and worth living for! I personnally found my strenght to overcome this through them.
I hope that sharing my experience , althought your kids is surely different, will provide some insight into the emotional chaos, identity spin ( your 50 dad and 50 mom but you are yourself), pain and task ahead they have to surmount ( all PAS adult-children share the same effects at various level, it is very well documented in Baker’s research).
Wishing you a good day!
MaryApril 6th, 2015 at 5:10 PM
I am so glad you responded back today. You have been on my mind. I am grateful to you for sharing your perspective from a child’s eyes. It upsets me that your mother was so cruel and that she kept you from your father. I had no idea how involved your story was . I just want to say that I can’t imagine how much fear and pain you must have endured and never really understanding why this has happened to you an innocent bystander of something you had no control over. I have always been loving and nurturing to my girls I have never shown anger or frustration when they won’t come and see me. I usually just cry. It is hard because mother’s always want to fix it and make it better but this requires more than a kiss and a band-aide. It requires patience and time. I don’t want my girls to ever be made to feel guilty by me because they spend so little time with me. I am trying to do the best I can to give them the space they need to think things through. I am keeping busy to keep my mind occupied as much as possible. I think you are doing great! You have made marvelous stride in working through this abuse. I bet you are a wonderful mother having gone through this experience. It has been hard for me to take a good look at myself and own my part in my kids pain but it is healthy to hold myself accountable. I am glad you are here and that you are helping us to understand. I will pray for you and I will also pray for your mother because she needs it the most she is very ill. I hope to hear from you again. You really are a blessing!
YolandeApril 6th, 2015 at 5:30 PM
You are right about therapists. PA and PAS are very difficult and complicated issues. I read a library of self help and psychology books to educate myself. And saw 3 therapist over time, at 24 ( when i learned my father had died), at 34-35 ish and around 42. Everytime I broke through milestones. At 50, i feel i spent my whole life figuring this out, healing the damage on myself, learning to set boundaries, picking up my own mistakes as a parent, and I could go on. All this learning and work is well worth it because I am so much happier now. I have accepted this as being a lifetime self therapy.
The best I got from all that work was to find a cousin ( my father was her godfather). She is 3 months younger than me and he had a close relationship with her. I get to know him through her. She wants me to get togheter with our other cousins this summer for dinner. 50 years, half a century and I will meet them for the 1 st time. They are my family! I am so happy that they kept an open mind and want to meet me. It is all worth it.
YolandeApril 7th, 2015 at 4:11 AM
When I read your posts, you sound like a good person and a good mother. My case was severe. There are milder case , i hope your children were affected by the milder level of PAS.
As I mentionned in my previous post TP do not know the level of brainwashing and Alienation the other parent is doing. For sure at any level it will affect the child self-esteem and trust.
In my case , trust is very difficult. I will test relationships to see if in deed the person really cares….and if I am not sure, I will keep my distance. I do this to protect myself from hurt. In my case, It has been 6 years since I met my father’s 2 nd wife. I saw her once. She was extremely nice an emphatic….but I do not think I will see her again. I have met 2 cousins and one is 3 months younger than me. The first time we met is as if we always knew each other…I will see her for the 2nd time this summer. After 3 years. She would call early on after we met, but I found myself finding reasons not to talk to her. I think it was a mixture of irrational fear, she is a stranger after all…..and protecting my self from some of the pain when she would tell me memories about my father and how good he was….that is very painfull to hear!
We have been exchanging ” likes” on our facebooks posts. And happy birthdays. She is very patient and let me live the distance I need to learn to trust and build confidence in our relationship. She is always happy to hear from me.
MaryApril 7th, 2015 at 11:38 AM
You have no idea how much I appreciate what you have been able to share with me. I agree with you. I have no idea what my ex and his wife have been telling my girls. I found out this week end that my oldest daughter flew in from Boston to visit and she never told me and left without seeing me. It has been 7 months since I have seen her. She texted me on Easter to wish me a happy easter it took every thing I had not to tell her I knew about her visit because I didn’t want her to feel guilty but it hurt me my heart aches all the way to the bone. I can’t help thinking about Christ when he was suffering and nailed to the cross he was so thirsty and a roman soldier dipped a cloth in some vinegar and moistened his lips. He showed compassion and mercy to him for his suffering. I feel as if I am being crucified but there is no mercy for me. No wet cloth, no compassion. I ask God how many years must I endure this pain? How long before I have paid for my sins? There is no relief and no answer. It may be for eternity. If it his his will then I must withstand this because he gives us no more than we are able to take.i continue to pray for my girls and all of us you, George, Marie, Jennifer, and myself that God in his tender Mercy will heal our hearts and give us wisdom on how to help our children in the right way. I understand perfectly the trust issues you have afte dealing with a mother who abused all trust you could have. You have to test the water to make certain it is safe first. Our minds create protective filters to protect us from psychological harm. We are fragile emotionally. It is a defense mechanism that God has given us to protect us from incapacitating psychological harm. I think it is awesome that you have been able to connect with your fathers side of the family. Do you realize how much courage that took and what a huge step toward healing that was. I am so proud for you. If you get a chance and you have some titles to some books on PAS I would love to get some so that I can become more educated. I think that may help me have a better understanding. I think PAS is so new that it is uncharted territory. I think there will be a lot more on it in the future. Keep me posted and pray for me if you feel like it I can really use it. God bless you Yolannde these chats are so helpful!
alienated mumApril 8th, 2015 at 12:02 AM
im going through it too and had zero contact with my kids for 2 years as he lingers any kind of divorce settlement so i have to rent a tiny house not big enough for kids anyway.. i was a stay at home mum.. not a high earner.. its tough making ends meet too…for me the ONLY thing that gets me through is the love from my new partner… i left my ex as we had zero love. this is the price of having a loving relationship for me. i never expected my lunatic ex to poison all my kids coz ive left him at last.. he must be so ill inside… dont you think.. not capable of love only revenge and hate
MaryApril 8th, 2015 at 12:16 PM
I totally agree. This PAS is so complicated. As Yolande and Marie said earlier ther aren’t very many therapists that know how to treat this in all of its different levels because the children’s ages range from very young to adult and I’m guessing there has to be different stratigies for ages parents and children. I was talking to my husband last night about my ex and I told him that I feel like for the past 13 years he has programmed them against me and this is due to his subtle passive aggressive indoctrination of negative remarks targeted at me. My problem had evolved over time. He still keeps them dependent on him for money and they are 28 and 26 years old. In reading about PAS just what I am able to find via the internet this is how the alienating parent keeps them close and bound to them. As Yolande says you have no idea what he is saying about you to them. As the targeted parent all you can do is always be nice to them and very patient when and if yo see them. Don’t show anger, frustration, or make them feel guilty if you can. They are being brainwashed and programmed into believing something that isn’t true. They try to convienent them that you are crazy especially since you chose to leave him because after all your ex thinks he is perfect so you must be insane for leaving him or at least that is what I think has happened in my case. I was married for 26 years I had no idea until I met my now husband what being married to a real man was like. I have never been loved by anyone like he loves me and I him. He is amazing. I have a great relationship with his children and even his ex- wife. His ex- wife and I are even friends and we all do things together there is no vendictive jealousy. To have the maturity and the ability to bring two families together after a divorce is awesome instead of fragmenting them and using coercion to poison children against a parent just because they decided to make a life change that would result in their happiness. My contention is that if he ever really loved me then he would want me to be happy and he couldn’t be doing to me and my kids. My current husband has never said one negative thing about the mother of his children to me or his kids. He treats her with respect when we have family get togethers and her and I talk like magpies when we see each other. I know this is rare but it is proof that divorce can be handled in a positive fashion once the initial pain subsides. Surf the internet and look up PAS I was reading last night about attorneys that specialize in PAS during custody battles. They also recommend you keep a diary for everytime you seek visitation and you are refused. This establishes a pattern and provides dates and documentation of the event. Try not to ever lose your cool because then your ex can say “See I told you she was crazy” if you haven’t seen th in two years prepare yourself for the worst so that you won’t appear upset if they are rejecting. Yes it hurts but remember it isn’t the child’s fault put the blame where it belongs. Try to do a self evaluation and be brutally honest with yourself to acknowledge what your contributions have been to the situation. When I left although my girls were teenagers and they chose to stay I know they must have felt that I abandoned them and for that I feel nothing but guilt. But I can’t fix that all I can do is move forward and keep telling them that I love them. Yolande is a survivor child of PAS and she was heartbroken because she wanted her father to take him with her instead she was left with a very hurtful mother and I am putting that mildly. What the alienating parent doesn’t ever get in their self serving egotistical mind is that they are psychologically hurting their children to get to you. For some ithet can be relentless and abusive and it’s unending. I will say some prayers for you as this has become my evening routine to pray for all of us. May God show you the way through this dark tunnel and into the light of his tender mercies for he loves us all.
MishappyApril 10th, 2015 at 9:05 PM
There is no such thing as unconditional love. There are consequences to every action and every action has a reaction.
On another note: Do you find estrangement runs in families? I wonder, sometimes I think it is just a product of not knowing how else to either control someone (the abuser) or to protect one’s self from someone (the victim).
MishappyApril 10th, 2015 at 9:25 PM
If I may share, what helped me to keep my sanity, after doing everything in my power to bring my family together for 3 decades and finding greater and greater estrangement and alienation towards me instead – as a last resort I considered them all dead. Now I think of myself as born again, new people, new adventures, new life. When I remember and I start to long for my family, I redirect my thoughts to the wonderful things that are in my life today – caring people, hobbies, adventures and giving to my community.
MaryApril 11th, 2015 at 3:14 PM
I know how you feel . I find myself coming to the same conclusion. When you do everything in your power to connect and nothing ever works then for your own salvation you must redirect your focus. I will always love my kids and be greatful for any connection no matter how small but I no longer live for that moment. I live for the life and friends that are close to me and know who I am. I do read as much as I can now about PAS I have ordered some books because I may find a way to help my kids.
YolandeApril 12th, 2015 at 7:29 AM
Action-reaction simplified concept: mom and dad get pregnant- mom and dad dont have a good relationsghip- mom keeps baby and uses baby to hurt dad- dad gives up because too self absorbed in his pain. Mom who is mentally ill raises baby to kid to teen, abuses child and is an AP. Child leaves mother’s home at 18, takes her 20 years to enderstand the consequences on her of mom and dad poor management of the whole thing and The mental illness of her mom. In the 60s and 70s a judge decided of my fait, dad’s family, mom’s family and mom all created the environment of child. Actions: all parents fault, consequences a life sentence of cleaning up the damage those two people did to child.
Adult-children react to the S**** their parents created!
Take your responsabilities and own your actions. You will never have a good relationship with your kids until this happens.
I have three children and I will always love them unconditionnaly and I did everything in my power to protect them, love them and provide them a nurturing and safe environment. DID it take a lot of work, yes, is it hard, yes, is it my duty, yes. I put them in this world and it is my duty to ensure when they are grown up they felt loved and nurtured and they had a good childhood.
I had to work extra hard because of the non love, non caring and abuse I lived growing up. YES everyone chooses, I chose NOT to do what my parents did : go on the merry go round of parental alienation. I chose that my kids would get it better than I did. I know to much how destructive PA and PAS is on a child.
Good luck on your wellness path!
AlanaApril 19th, 2015 at 3:49 PM
Yolande, that’s exactly what happened in my husbands case (I’m pretty sure my husbands ex also has borderline personality disorder) but it may help to understand it from the perspective of the non alienator. While it’s fantastic that you’ve successfully raised your own children, the difference between parenting in a non PA environment and an extreme PA environment is like chalk and cheese. I work as a counsellor and have first hand experience of how impossible it can be for parents to just “work it out” when one parent has a mental illness or disorder and is hell bent on destroying the child/parent bond and refuses to look after their children’s basic needs. I’ve also seen just how much damage my husbands ex wife has done to my husbands relationship with their children. While we have tried to address this in court twice, today my husband chose to stop. He has been the target of such extreme abuse by both his ex wife and children (particularly his eldest daughter)that over a period of 10 years he has developed PTSD which is triggered constantly because of the conflict (Those with BPD often thrive on conflict and therefore are very invested in that conflict continuing). It’s important to know that the rejected parent very rarely decides to walk away from their child/ren unless they have exhausted all other options. I don’t think it’s so much about selfishness or an inability to accept responsibility but often just a necessary means of survival
MaryApril 19th, 2015 at 7:37 PM
I think you have hit on a very realistic point. At what point is it safe to say it’s time to let it go? How will we be judged for giving up. Am I a bad mother because I no longer have the strength to fight it? No matter how hard I try to let them go my brain can’t separate this thing from my heart. How long will it take before it quits hurting? I think our children are so young and influenced by the alienating parent that they have no choice. If they don’t comply they feel they risk the loss of financial support, love from the alienating parent, their self esteem is tied up in there too. They simply have to Agee with the abuser in order to survive they can’t even say they enjoy spending time with the targeted parent for fear of retaliation. It’s such an impossible situation that becomes futile. It’s a pain that is inconsolable. Am I kidding myself when out loud I say I give up but my heart says never give up. For me I think it’s too late. The chapters have been written and the book finished. I really have no options my kids are grown and I am only allowed what I call mercy visits. Do you know how degrading that feels. I am tired, too tired to fight. If I say anything about it it pushes them further away. I just try my best to muddle through and be patient. Am I a fool for hoping against hope? Probably. I see myself becoming bitter and angry with this frustration I have. Not with my kids but with this situation. I think you are correct in saying if you choose to let go it gives the abuser nothing to do and I think in some sick twisted way that is how they stay connected to you. If they can’t torture you anymore I think it frustrates them even more. I think by being the abuser they receive a a lot of secondary gain by posing as victims. They weave their web and convince their family and friends that they are the victim while all the while they are brainwashing your kids against you. I find myself praying a lot. As for me I think it’s too late I am destined to forever be in this situation probably until the end of my days. I don’t think my kids give me a second thought. It’s ever so sad. I pray for us all who have been damaged by this pawn game because we are pawns used as puppets by very manipulative, narcissistic, passive aggressive, sadistic, mean spirited, individuals that use their children to make the targeted parent pay for not loving them anymore. I have no idea what damage this has done to my kids. They appear to be happy but then they are really strangers to me at this point. I really don’t know who they are. I only see what they choose to let me see. May God Bless you and your husband and guide you through him all things are possible.
AlanaApril 21st, 2015 at 1:50 AM
Mary, this is something I think each individual has to come to terms with on their own as each situation is so unique. It’s also been something my husband and I have been guided through with the support of a supervision counsellor (counsellors also get counselling)who has had experience with BDP as well as working with families. From personal experience however, I feel the following questions should guide the decision making process in regards to staying or going. Firstly have you tried all options available, mediation, counselling, court etc?. Secondly, are you really ready to give up??, deep down can you really accept the possibility that you may never have a relationship with your child/ren and be able to come to a place of acceptance with that? Thirdly, are you really ready to create a different life for yourself if you do choose to go? Fourthly, is your children’s emotional health suffering more by having you in their lives or more by NOT having you in your lives? (i.e which is the lesser evil) Fifth is your own emotional health starting to suffer to the point where you’ve developed mental illness or the alienation is severely impacting on your parenting?. Lastly, what does your own moral compass say? If it was your best friend in your situation would you advise them to go or to stay?
P.S There are some things that can be done to help treat children who have been subjected to PA. The most effective include dialogue therapy and inner child therapy (basically looking at what age the child or adult child is stuck at and finding ways of meeting the child’s need in terms of attachment.
MaryApril 21st, 2015 at 12:04 PM
Alana I think these are all great questions. I can’t speak for others but as for myself I can’t really answer them. If I could I probably would not be on this blog. It is sort of like asking a person who is depressed “why are you depressed?” Often times they can’t really pinpoint why.. I think since every situation is so very different with only a few common denominators this is something very difficult for therapists to address. I think most of us here are all going through Kubler Ross’ stages of grief. Denial and isolation, anger, bargaining, depression, all of these we seem to be stuck on going back and forth with these emotions and yes the final stage is acceptance. I think that is what many of us have a problem dealing with. The next thing that has to be said is. We are real people with true heartache not a clinical case that ends up as a statistic in some book somewhere. We come here to find some validation, acceptance , and comfort in knowing we aren’t alone. There is no blame, shame, or rejection here. It is a safe haven for voices to be heard who rarely get heard . This syndrome is a journey that each one of us must face alone because the road is different for everyone. No two situations are exactly the same and yet similar. It is through tolerance, patience, compassion, caring, and kindness that we are able to help each other. Above all listening to what is written by others from their perspective, thoughtful self-evaluation including ones faults and making them transparent to yourself first before others, and genuine heartfelt concern for others experiencing this nightmare. For many this may never be resolved and they know it but they still want to talk about it. If your arm or leg is cut off you still have phantom pain you still feel it even though the limb is no longer there. So basically for some of us we just want to let these various stages of grieving to have a forum to be expressed with no expectation that it can be fixed necessarily.
There is one element that can never be destroyed for any of us and that is HOPE!
KelleyApril 29th, 2015 at 3:05 PM
Hello all, I just came across this article as I was trying to do some research on how to proceed with my stepdaughter. I only recently found out what PAS is, but after reading everything I am confident that this is what my stepdaughter has. Her mother (AP) and my husband (TP) have been separated since before she was born, so she has no recollection of them as a couple. The relationship between the two parents has always been strained and there have been countless court hearings over child custody. It’s important to note that the mother has also been diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder by the court psychiatrists. Regardless, the courts have always sided favorably with the mother, as they do in most cases, so the AP has remained the custodial parent for the entire time (excluding one time where she phsically assaulted my husband and he was granted emergency custody). My stepdaughter is now 16, and over the past 6 months she has been showing an increasing amount of contempt and disrespect towards her father. She makes absolutely no effort of a relationship with him and only calls when she wants money.
About 6 months ago, a major event happened where we took her on a vacation and she ran away from us and went missing. Apparently she called her mother and stepfather, to which they advised her to runaway and they would come get her. We only found this out after we called the local police and they called her mother to get her my SDs location. The police located her and gave her the choice of going home with us or going to jail for being a runaway. They also gave my husband the choice of having her arrested, or being released back to us. He chose to have her released back to us. Obviously, the 7 hour drive back home after that was very emotional with lots of tears and yelling. She never really gave us a straight answer as to why she did that, but said she was only following directions of her mom and stepdad. During that drive home though, she started spewing off all the “horrible things” my husband has done over the years and telling him why everything was his fault. That’s when we discovered she’s been straight lied to over the past 16 years by her mom. When my husband started to counter her mom’s lies with the truth, she went ballistic- accusing him of manipulating her and sayin “my mom would never lie to me, she’s perfect!” It was absolutely sickening. My husband even has several court documents from back in the day that prove her mom is lying, but she refuses to see them.
Fast forward to when we get back home, both my husband and I made several attempts at contacting her and she told my husband to leave her alone and blocked him from calling her anymore. He went to one of her sporting events at school to show support and 2 days later he was served with a restraining order request. The restraining order request was ridiculous and was dismissed when it went to court. Then for about 2 months there was absolutely no contact with her at all. Just over the past couple of months, she has started to call her dad again, but ONLY when she wants money for something. Even though he pays her mom plenty of child support each month, he usually does give her extra money when she asks because he feels that’s the only way he can have a relationship with her. When does give her money, there’s never a “thank you” or anything.
Now just over this past weekend he finally put his foot down and told her he won’t be giving her any extra money unless she comes over or makes an attempt to involve him in her life. He then reminded her that he gives her mom money every month so if she needs money for something, it should be taken from child support. He told her how he feels like she’s taking advantage of him and that she’s been treating him really crummy lately, and her only response was to tell him that HE was being rude. She feels absolutely no remorse or guilt about anything. She started to say again how he’s manipulating her and talks about her mom ( the only “negative” things he has ever said about her mom in front of her is when he pointed out the lies she has been told over the years). She has all the symptoms of PAS- she excuses her mom’s attrocious behavior, vehemently denies that her mom has done anything wrong or that has mom has ever lied to her, blames my husband for everything p, and treats him like dirt with no sign of guilt. He sent her an article on parent alienation and just asked her to read it, and she once again blocked him from contacting her anymore.
My main concern and my main question is this: how can we fix this before she reaches adulthood? She has some major life events coming up that would kill my husband to be excluded from. He desperately wants to have a relationship with her and he has been so upset lately. To make matters worse, the AP has been heedless in having her new husband replace the father role.
Please send me suggestions on how we can move forward with this. Does PAS kids ever realize what has been done to them?
MaryApril 29th, 2015 at 8:22 PM
I hear you and feel your husbands pain. Your stepdaughter has been methodically and strategically over time programmed and brainwashed. She feels no guilt because she feels that what ever she gets from your husband she is entitled to. He may never be able to have a relationship with her unless he is relentless in withstanding her abuse. My children are in there late twenties. I have been basically astranged from them for the last ten years. Excluded from many milestone events. My relationship consists of occasional mercy visits and nothing more. My children are strangers to me. I have gone through every emotion from anger to depression and now finally acceptance. Many targeted parents reach the same conclusion only when it is right for them. Unfortunately it could be many years before your husbands daughter is mature enough to realize what has happened to her. Remember children of PAS feel defensive and protective of the parent doing the alienating out of fear that this parent wil quit loving them. How is a child supposed to react to that? For survival they succom to this parent. Remember no matter how horrible their behavior, no matter how much it hurts it really isn’t the kids fault. There is a good book that I am reading called “Surviving Parent Alienation ” The last chapter has some helpful stratigies that could possibly help. There are no guarentees for me it’s too late. I love my kids but I no longer feel the same as I once did toward them. The years of abuse from them have forever changed me. I now seek peace and have actually moved into a more satisfying life that no longer revolves around them. When I do hear from them I am polite and pleasant like any extended relative would be. I do not feel close to them only more like an acquaintance and truthfully I am OK with it. I never thought that time would come but it has. It’s weird I know but years of this gets you here. Since your stepdaughter is still so young perhaps professional counciling would help you and your husband with how to better deal with this issue. It takes a lot of time, patience, and endurance to go the distance. In the book I suggested you read the parents that were able to break through were the ones that never gave up. Unfortunately those are rare. The propaganda these kids are polluted with at such an early age is almost impossible to undo. I do know that as parents and just being a human being we must demand respectful treatment from others including our own children. Because they are our children does not give them the right to be verbally or physically abusive to us. During those times one must learn the right way to defuse that behavior. I also think it is important to not always be available when they want or so ready with the cash when they want. For me it’s about taking back the control and no longer taking abuse or manipulation by them due to the guilt I have had. There is no better person to manipulate than a person who feels guilt you can bend them anyway you want and they will take it. The best recommendation I can give to you is get every book on PAS you can get your hands on so that you can understand what you are dealing with. It’s affirming and gives a name to what you have been experiencing. It’s a shame it has to be this way I see no reason why two parents that loved each other once can’t be kind enough and respect each other enough to love their child enough to instill the good in them of each parent. To make a child choose one parent over the other should be considered child abuse but it isn’t it’s perfectly acceptable in our society especially during and after divorce. I wish only the best for you and your husband as you walk this long road together you will need each other so embrace each other and support each other. Find the answer to what happiness will be for you and don’t let people tell you what normal should be for you. Most of them have not dealt with PAS and they have preconceived ideas about what they think your lfe should be. I have learned over time to completely remove negative so called friends and even family from my life. Why would I want to spend time with or associate with people that make me feel bad. I am almost 60 and my time on this earth is getting shorter I don’t have the time to be unhappy and mistreated.
Best of luck to you and I will pray for you and your husband there is always hope if not for resolution at least acceptance.
A sad MomMay 1st, 2015 at 3:09 AM
I am a parent who suffers from PAS. My son is 18 now…has another sibling by my second marriage who he adores and for 3 years now refuses to have contact with us besides Christmas And her birthday. My son through his father, fathers family, and his stepmother’s family (who do not know me or my family) have initiated and been successful with PAS. My son acted in very poor behavior not only at home but in school, up to becoming aggressive verbally to a male teacher. This 18 year old young man believes that he was abused by me, my husband, his children, and every single one of my family members, regardless if they had long term to minimal interaction. Which is not true….but his fathers family went as far as entering into my home when I was not present or agreed to their coming in and “inspecting my home” or going to the school and removing my son and taking him to children services to support abuse allegations. Need I say in court they stated no abuse had been initiated but the relationship with my son was so difficult I had no choice but to agree for him to go live with his dad because he had become aggressive to us physically. I can not see my son, talk to him on phone, or text with him that he does not bring up information that is inaccurate or he was not involved in. It is sad.
I sacrificed my life for this child, cared for him 24-7, protected him from his dad when he was physically abusive to us, and when his dad would say “you wanted him you had him you take care of him”…,it was me always there. Now today I am the enemy…no relationship…and it started long ago ten years ago when I received a text message from my ex saying I have one last thing left to take from you. Eventually those words played out to be true after he kept my possessions, made me homeless, and destroyed our sons ideas of me being his mom. And I speak from large lawyer bills….the courts do nothing but keep reiterating we have placed a decree follow it. Yes that is very upstanding theory….but when push comes to shove nothing is ever done to stop PAS.
MaryMay 1st, 2015 at 4:47 PM
My heart goes out to you. I wish there were words to ease your pain but there are none. There isn’t much you can do when the child is now a young man and they have become aggressive. The only thing you can do is be as kind as you can and prove the alienators wrong. Find as much comfort and strength in God’s words. This thing is a pain that aches your heart to the core. Time heals it but it takes years. To find happiness in loving those who give back is the best medicine and ironically the best revenge for your ex. Their goal is to rob you of it and if they do then they win. My hope is that someday my kids will somehow remember in the dark recesses of their minds the love and all the wonderful things I did for them as they were growing up. I will say this thing has taken it’s toll on me. I no longer have that warm fuzzy feeling for them I used to, years of alienation has changed my affection for them. I love them but I have a life that is full and busy and sadly doesn’t include them. I no longer wait by the phone for their becon call. I really don’t want to anymore. I guess my give a damn just got up and went. It would take a large investment on their part at this point for me to re-engage in more than a superficial Hi how are ya relationship. I look at this way they are going to think what they want to think and no amount of discussion will convince them otherwise. So why put myself through it. The knife cuts both ways and that is one thing they forget. After years of this PAS and the many tears shed you reach an emotional indifference and surprisingly it takes all the power they thought they had over you away. I am by no means recommending this for you or anyone other than myself. It works for me. Part of what your situation may be teenage rebellion. Kids act out as they are striving toward independence. They are trying to cut the apron strings so to speak. I would almost bet that your ex may be experiencing some of the same rebellion you are at this time. He is only 18 and trying to figure out what his place is in this life. By not making demands and listening more than advising or mothering him may help. Acknowledge as much as you can his feelings in a non judgemental way will take you far. Treat him as an adult not your baby and he will notice. We all see our kids as our babies because to us they always will be but for them that is the one thing that drives them away. I pray that your pain will be eased and that your son will find his way back to you. May God Bless!
MaureenMay 3rd, 2015 at 2:26 AM
I am up again at 2:00 in the morning when I should be asleep worrying and scouring the web for relief from the pain of PAS. This blog has been very helpful and I especially appreciate the message from Yolanda getting the perspective of a child who is recovering from PAS. It gives me hope and helps me remember it’s not their fault.
When seeking help for this I realized my situation was unique in that my estrangement was only emotional. My husband and I had my son more of the time than the AP but since we were the sole financial support my sons father had to make sure to not have that stop. His PAS was constant while he was with my soN, forgoing play dates and many outings to have more time to brainwash. I spent $150,000.00 trying to fight for custody once I found out my son was vomitting at his dads for no reason. The court did nothing except opening up my son to the PAS kicking into high gear and that was when my son started to pull away from us emotionally. Anyway fast forward to now he is at college at our expense and my son is having many social issues and I constantly worry about his ability to have a future. Our trip to visit was a mixture of forced good moments, spending too much money on him to that look of hatred in his eyes trying to pick a fight. Then of course the call from his father that he had to take for 15 minutes even though we were visiting from across the country and waiting in a line to see a show. That was followed by the sullen look throughout the entire show. Tonight was another call for money. Anyway we all know how hard it is to explain, how you distance yourself from people who can’t understand and how the pain is so excruciating you don’t know if you can go on. I’m so fortunate to have a wonderful man in my life who has been a great step father and amazing support for me but I am seeing his pain become more pronounced lately and that is hard for me to watch knowing all he gave to him from the age of 4 to now 22 and the crumbs he gets back. I am trying to fill my life and as Yolanda says and I have read elsewhere “never give up” on my son but at times I feel like the abused girlfriend again by taking his insults and ignoring them for his sake. It’s so hard, I’m going on with my life and trying to fill it knowing all the happiness I could be experiencing with my son may never be part of it. Thank you all again for your powerful shares.
MaryMay 3rd, 2015 at 11:56 AM
It sounds as if you and your husband are doing all the right things. He has to know deep down how much you love him. I think that some of it has to do with their ages to a certain degree. I have friends that have never divorced and their kids pretty much want to be left alone. They are trying to grow up and they want to be independent but they can’t quite manage it financially. I think sometimes it bothers them that they have to ask for money. People have told me that when they reach their thirties they start to figure it all out. Just be patient and kind with every encounter and it’s important to not give advice or be judgemental. Yolande really drives home the fact that the true person suffering is the child. Can you imagine being torn between two parents that you love. It’s like the story in the bible where the two women were fighting over a baby and went before King Solomon for resolution. His judgement was to split the baby in half at that time the true mother said no don’t do that let the other woman have him. That was when King Solomon knew the real mother of the baby and gave the baby to her. In many ways this story parallels what we experience rather than split the child we think of what is best for our child and not what makes us happy. So we give in. If we do our best to put their happiness above our own no matter how painful I believe if not in this life in the next life we will be rewarded..
MaggieMay 11th, 2015 at 12:07 PM
I am seeking information:
I am a single parent who relied too heavily on my own mother to help me with my child.
At the time I was a teenage mother.
As I matured I realized my own mother was doing things I couldn’t understand but I sensed were wrong.
I tried several times over the course of my life to escape her clutches.
Unfortunately during all these years of an on and off relationship with my Mother. My own Mother has gained a relationship with her grand daughter and I have lost the relationship with my daughter.
My own Mother took parental authority without it being given to her. At first I just thought how wonderful it was to have help me being a single mom. I didn’t realise I was unknowingly allowing her parental authority even over me the parent.
Over all of these years my Mother has been alienating me from my daughter without cause. I feel so stupid because I didn’t see what she has been doing all along. I was just thinking it is my fault because I allowed my Mother too much parental control.
I fear I have lost my daughter because my Mother has manipulated my daughter into believing horrible lies.
carolMay 18th, 2015 at 8:26 AM
i know someone who wasnt even invited to his daughter’s wedding because of how the mother ran him down. The daughter will regret this in the end
BessMay 22nd, 2015 at 11:45 AM
I am currently separated from my husband. He was verbally abusive to my boys and me. My sons are 18 and 20 and have stopped communicating with MEA few months after I left their father. I thought they would understand as they lived through it, but they appear to be siding with him. I want what is best for my boys. I love them more than life itself. I do not know what to do at this point but keep trying to reach out to them with no success. I think they would be much better off having a loving relationship with both their dad and me. Please help. Do you have any suggestions?
MaryMay 22nd, 2015 at 5:01 PM
Are your sons living with your ex- husband? I am assuming that they are. Although your sons are 18 and 20 which is older than most kids that are subjected to a marital separation or divorce it is still very traumatic for them you and your husband have always been a family unit through their most developmentally crucial and formative years. Even older adult children have problems dealing with it. Sometimes I think they just need some space and time to get their head around what has just happened to them. At this point and this age you need them more than they need you. I know that is hard to take it was for me. At this age they are all about their friends and striving for independence . If your husband was the lesser disciplinarian they may see this as an opportunity to have freedom to do things that you would not approve of while living under your roof. He may treat them more like adults which most kids love. Mothers have a tendency to see them as the babies we nurtured and at that age it’s like a repellant. What I do these days is just text them occasionally and say ” hope your doing well! I love you!” Sometimes I get a response and sometimes I don’t. The other thing your dealing with is that their boys and at this age they are interested in girls and that can take a huge priority over moms. So what I think you are dealing with are a number of issues that may not totally be related to you. The other thing is if you left and left them behind without giving them the option to go with you they may resent that because they may have wanted to come with you. You might see if you can invite them to lunch or dinner at their favorite restaurant and allow them to express how they feel about everything. Your job would be to listen and remain neutral and not be defensive about anything they say. Your response should be something like” thank you for being so honest I will need to take some time to think about everything you said. Your happiness is all I am interested in”. Be prepared to receive criticism because at that age kids are usually very judgmental about anything a parent does. Remember how much smarter you thought you were at 18 as opposed to now. It will be the hardest thing you will ever do to not react defensively, but if you can it will serve you well. This could be an opportunity to open the lines of communication. My kids are in their twenties and my rare interactions with them are spent with me listening. I never offer advice unless I am asked. I can’t stress enough how much they want to be treated like an adult even though they aren’t quite there yet . At this age they should be able to make decisions without being told and it’s important to let them as long as they aren’t harmful. If they make a mistake they learn from it. I hope everything gets better for you soon. There is nothing more painful than alienation. I have dealt with it for years and have finally accepted it basically because I have had no choice. God be with you, he will comfort you during these trying times.
WendyMay 23rd, 2015 at 8:32 AM
I’m writing trying to find the right words for my husband to help his pain. Little background… I am a true single mom, my daughters father passed when she was a newborn, now 29 I am 46. My husband age 45 was also a very young parent, a son who he and his mother raised (the childs mother walked away) and a daughter whos mother he had married.
My husband was adopted and his parents split when he was very young, he didnt see much of his father and his mother never cut his father down. But there was still pain there and as a late teen, he drank, he was a tough kinda kid and very defensive, the drinking lasted and still exists (we are working on this).
His divorce happened when his daughter was 5. He said that the mother never really treated both children the same, that she never wanted to join them out to dinner, the movies or on a boat ride, she never really wanted to work, clean or cook. He had a great union job and after divorce always was there every visitation for his daughter, all school meetings and was the one that picked her up and took her to doctors appointments. (BTW his son was being raised by him and dc his mom as he moved back to home) His son is a great adult now but this isnt about his son, its his daughter.
About 6 months after the divorce his ex remarried a former lover she had before him and had cheated with during the marriage. My husband and this man had actually been friends well before his daughter was born, and yes, with the young adult drinking both raised heck together. The divirce was difficult on him and broke him financially.
Then, enter me. I am a full time careeer gal independant and dedicated and what I have been told and know that I am a wonderful loving parent.
His daughter had many fights with her mom and I supported him to gain custody when she was 14. We got it and she moved in. She was unruly and seemed to want to have complete freedom with no rules. I work from home and had to lay diwn rules
WendyMay 23rd, 2015 at 8:45 AM
Sorry,, more… lay down rules about noise, her father backed me and she didnt like it, then back to her moms.
One day she came over (last time she was here… with her bf and his mom, telling us she us pregnant, in love and getting a house and moving in together. Well, we told her the truth,, she didnt want to hear. The truth aboyt life. Well our predictions came true. Now shes got a new beau and getting married and she told him via FB that she wanted her step dad to walk her and that he was never a father. Come to find out her reasons were based on what her mom said about him drinking and being wild before she was ever born. Hes not a mean drunk never was,, more of a teddy bear drunk. She doesnt rememver the past. She doesnt sem to care that she hurt him deeply. I am trying to help him and hes come a long way since his divorce, back to college and drinking much less but he sits and waits to see his grandson and I have come to know that she lies aboyt her her real father is to her friends because whenever he is mention in earshot if her friends she goes into a rage. My husband is considering not going to the wedding but tv knows he has to be the bigger man, but its all killing him and rewinding all that hes strived ti change about himself. Hes to the point hed rather have my daughter than his, I need to help him.
WendyMay 23rd, 2015 at 9:23 AM
My take on this. I have read about alienation, estrangement, narcissistic behavior and found many to have the mother being the instigator. I assume that this site is filled with the mother being the TP is because, well women like to express their feelings. But what I cant find are after the children
become adults and the “brainwashing” continues from the narcissistic parent. I have told my husband that he cant think of all thats hes done as a good parent cause she either doesnt remember, doesnt want to or basically is told lies about the past. Its not his daughters fault and some blame does come from him for letting all this love just seemingly stop out of the blue. No matter what we think we can say or do we think she will turn it around and hes at the point “why even try”. She sound more and more like her mother each day with her hate. And now seems as her mother has her claws back in and helped her daughter choose her father. I dont have anything against step parents, except when they are forced love or bought love. … they recently came into alot of money and her father and I are barely making it with him just finishing going back to college at age 40,,, I get all this I do, but in my eye she caused unrepairable harm, told him about him never being a father 1 month b4 he took a state board test for his licence, he was devestated, didnt eat, fell off the wagon drinking again, fell and broke 4 ribs missed the test, retook it and failed.. this weighs so heavily on him, I can litterly see his heart break.
WendyMay 23rd, 2015 at 9:47 AM
I hear you Carol, My husband was invited to his daughters wedding in 2016, to watch his daughter being given away by her now rich step father(the man his ex cheated with ). Hes still on the fence if he will go or not.
MaryMay 23rd, 2015 at 5:30 PM
Let me begin by saying how much I identify with your husbands pain. You are a wonderful caring wife to share in his pain and to try to help him. He has every right to feel hurt that his daughter chooses her step father to walk her down the isle rather than her own father. Children can literally be vicious and they have a cunning way of pushing buttons and hitting below the belt often cutting you to the vary core of your being. There may be some comfort for him in knowing that he is not alone. We love our children and only want to share in their happiness no matter how brief they will let us in. It’s a catch 22 for him. If goes he endures the humiliation of watching someone else walk his daughter down the isle. If he doesn’t go then he is portrayed as a non-caring father. The best and most classy way to handle this is to have both men walk her down the isle and give her away. It is a shame that the four of you can’t go to dinner and come to terms. He is the only father she has you only have one father by blood. I think in time his daughter will regret this. It’s very immature and lacks grace and respect. It is important for the children’s sake for the divorced parents to mend fences and to be civil and respectful to each other. Once people move on to other spouses there is no need to continue to feel anger because that emotion should have left long ago. Sometimes kids paint pictures that are fiction about a divorced parent with their friends because they get attention and sympathy it’s called secondary gain. The best way to over come much of this I have found is to be busy living your own life through hobbies, volunteering, enjoying friends and your immediate family. You know as parents we all make mistakes no one is perfect. We ask for forgiveness from God and he always forgives us if we are truly sincere. The sad thing is that people don’t forgive, many are judgemental and enjoy the crucifixion of your character all the while they have way more dirt in their backyard that know one knows about. As far as the drinking goes self medication for emotional pain never works you have to acknowledge the pain and work through it or it will always be there. It’s better to drink in moderation for happy events with friends. Regularly drinking can cause severe liver damage and lead it cirrhosis. I have witnessed this type of death. It’s as tragic as cancer. You have to have your liver to live. I don’t know how severe his drinking is but I do know that AA is really great. My father was an alcoholic and as a young teen I attended Alanon and it helped my mother and myself tremendously to know how to deal with his drinking. My father was a mean drunk unlike your husband. He died from alcoholism. I loved my father and his illness did not make me love him less. As a result of this I have spent my life caring for the sick as a nurse and have always felt the need to try to fix things that is pretty much how all kids of alcoholics feel especially abused ones. I always feel that we have two choices we can be a victim or we can rise up out of devastation like a Phoenix and do something about it. My inspiration are our American Veterans who have sustained devastating, disfiguring injuries but they don’t give up. They get artificial limbs and run a marathon they remain the Heros they always were. I love them all. If they can do it with such unsurmountable odds we can do it with our smaller issues. It helps me to put my sorrows in perspective and realize there are others out there that have it so much worse than me. I hope you will be able to find a way to ease your husbands pain. For me it comes and goes. The busier I keep my self the better. Good Luck and may God Bless you both.
AnnaJune 1st, 2015 at 9:31 AM
Reading this article and so many of the comments afterwards…reinforces for me that my husband and I are doing the right thing in reducing our kids’ contact with my parents.
My parents divorced when I was 7, and it was a constant custody battle for the rest of my childhood. They couldn’t be in the same room together until my wedding when I was almost 23. They both talked badly about the other, especially my dad about my mom. I’m the oldest of 4 kids, and it fell to me to handle these difficult conversations where every other weekend, both before and after visitation, each parent took their turn trying to secure our loyalties to them against the other.
It started getting better after I got married, and they actually have a very decent working relationship now, even to the point where my mom has invited both my dad and step-mom to join the family on big vacations together, which they have done. So we thought everything was going well and moving in the right direction.
Then 3 years ago, my husband, our kids, and I all moved to the same town as my mom. She wanted to be with us as much as possible, getting together 2, 3, even 4 times a week. That was okay until it started interfering with our time to be our own little family. So we started declining some of her offers to get together. She got really clingy and defensive, convinced we were being hateful to her and kicking her out of our lives, despite the fact we still spent some time with her…just not as much as she wanted. When we started hearing her say things to the kids about “we just need to wait patiently until your parents will let us be together again” and saying things to us like “I must have done something terribly awful for you to be treating me this way” (i.e., saying no to some of her offers to be together), we knew things were getting out of hand. She was building that same “us vs them” mentality in our kids, where she was trying to earn our kids’ loyalty to her above their trust in and relationships with us…teaching them that she and they were co-victims to our trying to keep them apart.
My husband and I have really struggled with decreasing contact with her. It’s difficult to explain to the kids why they can’t have sleepovers with her anymore, but we know we need to monitor what she’s saying to them so that their relationship with us is protected, especially as we’re about to move into the teenage years with the oldest. It’s very sad to see her repeat this pattern with my kids. It’s been difficult for me to identify the dysfunctional patterns as they’re recurring, and especially to defend the “knowing” in me that what she’s doing is wrong. But reading stuff like this helps me see it more clearly.
ParisJune 6th, 2015 at 6:35 AM
Interesting article. But here is a different poin of view.
I was raised by two strong willed and narcissistic in different ways parents in a bipolar family. Obviously, they divorced. It took them seven years of nasty horrible fights before they divorced. Both talked bad about the other. Their personalities are very opposit and that had caused many problems for us kids. First, my older brother. The only boy in the family. My brother was my mom’s angel from heaven. By far, her favorite. My father on the other hand, had very high expectations from him. He was not happy with my brother’s decision to leave country and drop out of university where he was studying to become an engineer to follow my father’s footsteps. Because he hoped for his son to take over his engineering firm. So, he allenieted my brother. Told him he is no longer his son and didn’t want to have anything to do with him if he leaves the county. My brother did and it took many years before they even talked to each other over the phone. And many more years later before they saw each other. That did not go well. My father had very unrealistic expectations from my brother. A typical narcissistic dad for him. I on the other hand, became his favorite. His golden child. We understood each other. He respected my decisions and supported me. My decisions were passing all his expectations. As a girl, learning three langauges, becoming a doctor, and listening to his advises were more than he expected.
But to my mother, I was a forgotten and invisible child. She never paid any attention to me. As the middle child, I became very independent, but never really felt loved by my mom. I was her scapegoat and my siblings were her golden children. My mother never liked me. Never bonded with me. Criticized my every move and was ashamed by me, being too simple. She wanted the shallow, pretty, Barbie like daughter who shows money. She wanted a kardashian. I was a Hillary Clinton. I am a minimalist who prefer a simple and green lifestyle.
Now my younger sister, now 41, is just like my mother and forever her baby and another golden child. A typical narcissist. Seeking attention in every occasion. Self loving and selfish in many ways. Believing they are better, more beautiful and superior than everybody else. No education, yet feeling that outer beauty is all you need. My sister was criticized by my father though. She never finished high school. Had first boyfriend at the age of 13. Moved Bach to my dad’s house after having troubles with her husband and had a boyfriend while still married. That is in Iran. A country she could have become stoned to death for doing that. My father kicked her out of the house and she stayed at my uncle’s till my mother arranged for her to leave county. Now at 41, and two divorces later, after many hours of my hard work and talking to my dad, he finally contacted her and asked for her forgiveness for throwing her out.
Few years back, my mother moved ten minutes from our house and before I knew it, she was there every single day favoring my children over her other grand children. Upon arrival, she started immediately criticizing my motherhood and my every move. Trying to take over my life. Correcting everything I did and having opinions about every single decision I made. Telling all my friend what a horrible mother I am and how if it wasn’t for her, my children would not even be alive. Once she moved close to me, a sever and horrible depression came to me. After several years of treatments and trying to let her judgments not getting to me, I finally had to do what I needed to do. I cut her out of my life. Hopefully forever. We had to sell our house and move, just for me to be able to keep her away. She created huge scandals about her motherhood rights and how I am taking her grand children away and how I am not good enough for my children and how my children needed her. So, now, when I read articles that say, adult children are allenieted because of brain washing of a narcissistic parent, I think this is just over simplifying a very complex problem. In my case, I cut my mother out, because I couldn’t stand her in my life any longer. Her existence in my life, deteriorated my health and was extremely toxic. So, maybe, in a divorce situation, a divorce is due to parents being too different and not matched right. And maybe, by nature, the children could not be matched with one parent as well due to genetic lottery. Maybe, there has never been a bond between the parent and the allening child. Maybe, the child had never felt love from the day one and it was really easy for her or him to let go and live without that unloving parent.
My family’s story, is the story of a complex situation. Hope it helps you see a different scenario.
Leave a Comment
By commenting you acknowledge acceptance of GoodTherapy.org's Terms and Conditions of Use.
Do you have a mental health story or experience that you wish to share? Whether your story is about therapy or psychiatry, self-help, personal healing, wellness, or a particular mental health condition or challenge, please consider contributing your written story to GoodTherapy.org!Share Today
- Hugosvoice: I a wondering if “to leave or not to leave” can update us on their situation?
- Michael: J112, Thank you for caring about him enough to dig for answers and help :) For my part, the wonderful woman who has become incredibly...
- good witch: My Narc hits me from all sides. Every social media, fakey profile this, shared profile that. It is unrelenting. I enjoy our...
- good witch: Huh?
- Joanna: Interesting view. It is important to realise that we will adopt certain roles in live like being a mum, doing different jobs these are...