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Helping Adult Children with Parental Alienation Syndrome

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Brandy

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

    Amen!
    And I second your opinion.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Maggie,
    Do the children get what they deserve?

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

    Wake-up Maggie

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Maggie,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Stay strong everyone

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    You need to tell your son the truth.

  • Maureen F April 23rd, 2014 at 5:55 AM #60

    Amen!!! Thank you for your comment!!!
    How do you know?
    Love to hear your story!!!
    It may help My sons in there pain””
    Thank u,
    Maureen

  • Maureen F April 23rd, 2014 at 6:02 AM #61

    Hi,
    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!!!!!
    And Forgotten!!!!!!
    Thank you, I appreciate your reply,
    Maureen

  • Maureen flood April 23rd, 2014 at 11:39 AM #62

    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 Jones May 6th, 2014 at 5:26 PM #63

    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.

  • Maris May 6th, 2014 at 6:32 PM #64

    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 F May 9th, 2014 at 5:23 AM #65

    “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.

  • rose May 13th, 2014 at 7:36 PM #66

    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 W May 21st, 2014 at 7:30 PM #67

    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 afraid May 22nd, 2014 at 6:56 AM #68

    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 R May 23rd, 2014 at 4:20 AM #69

    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.

  • Boris June 3rd, 2014 at 11:40 AM #70

    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.

  • Jean June 3rd, 2014 at 6:58 PM #71

    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 Foster June 8th, 2014 at 7:49 AM #72

    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.

  • Terri June 8th, 2014 at 7:55 AM #73

    Thank you Connie. Breaking Ties that Bind” is a good tool.

  • Terri June 8th, 2014 at 8:35 AM #74

    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 F June 10th, 2014 at 4:23 AM #75

    Dear Terri,

    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.

    Sincerely,
    Jennifer and Jimmy F

  • Bob and Sandra June 17th, 2014 at 2:22 PM #76

    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.

  • mj June 18th, 2014 at 9:09 PM #77

    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 #78

    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 #79

    I retract my last sentence, ‘HE’ is not clever or evil, but the process certainly is.

  • Denise July 7th, 2014 at 12:56 AM #80

    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.

  • Denise July 7th, 2014 at 1:19 AM #81

    Well said.

  • Sean July 7th, 2014 at 7:46 PM #82

    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

  • Colleen July 9th, 2014 at 1:32 AM #83

    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 S July 15th, 2014 at 6:12 AM #84

    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. ):

  • James July 24th, 2014 at 7:43 AM #85

    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.

  • Christine July 27th, 2014 at 1:27 AM #86

    Omg, Laura. It was like I was reading my story. I feel so alone. People just don’t understand.

  • Christine July 27th, 2014 at 1:59 AM #87

    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 B July 28th, 2014 at 4:32 AM #88

    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

  • Robin July 30th, 2014 at 6:11 PM #89

    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 B July 31st, 2014 at 6:39 AM #90

    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.

  • Robin July 31st, 2014 at 7:42 PM #91

    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!

  • Robin July 31st, 2014 at 7:54 PM #92

    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.

  • Kathy August 1st, 2014 at 8:07 AM #93

    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.

  • Joe August 4th, 2014 at 9:02 AM #94

    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 M August 8th, 2014 at 3:59 AM #95

    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 M August 8th, 2014 at 4:09 AM #96

    Thank you for you comment!

  • Elaine August 26th, 2014 at 12:17 AM #97

    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 #98

    Dear Elaine,

    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.

    Sincerely,
    Jennifer and Jimmy

  • Renee September 2nd, 2014 at 8:28 AM #99

    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

  • Anna September 5th, 2014 at 10:31 PM #100

    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.

  • Kathleen September 10th, 2014 at 8:22 PM #101

    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 #102

    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!!!

  • Charlotte September 18th, 2014 at 6:00 PM #103

    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 s September 19th, 2014 at 4:14 AM #104

    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 #105

    Renee,

    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.

    Robert

  • Heather September 21st, 2014 at 5:07 PM #106

    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.

  • rachel September 23rd, 2014 at 8:57 AM #107

    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!!!

  • rachel September 23rd, 2014 at 9:09 AM #108

    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……….

  • Trevor September 28th, 2014 at 1:39 PM #109

    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 .

  • mark September 29th, 2014 at 6:25 PM #110

    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.

  • GoodTherapyAdmin September 30th, 2014 at 9:40 AM #111

    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

  • Staci September 30th, 2014 at 9:04 PM #112

    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

  • alisha October 2nd, 2014 at 5:07 AM #113

    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.

  • dodo October 4th, 2014 at 8:00 PM #114

    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 C October 7th, 2014 at 4:08 PM #115

    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

  • Kevin October 10th, 2014 at 5:42 AM #116

    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!

  • chris October 15th, 2014 at 11:30 AM #117

    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

  • JohnHF October 19th, 2014 at 1:19 AM #118

    Robert –
    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 #119

    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.

  • Susan October 22nd, 2014 at 6:54 PM #120

    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”?

    Please help!!!

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