On International Women’s Day and amidst a growing wave of negative transference, it is time to pause and look at the ways in which mothers and fathers suffer the experience of being rejected by their child differently.
By focusing on mothers today, I am, by no means suggesting, that women suffer more or that mothers are somehow more important. Women suffer in the alienation landscape differently to men and they are also pushed out of their children’s lives differently too. That does not mean anything other than the way they live this experience is different and it is always important to understand that equality does not mean treating everyone the same, equality means treating people differently in order to enable them to have an equal voice.
Having worked with equality issues for much of my life, the issue of how mothers and fathers experience rejection by their child is one which is of great interest to me. The way in which mothers and fathers who are rejected by a child are perceived by societies is also an important interest. Jennifer Harman’s research on this aspect of parental alienation is informative in this and it is the way that mothers are conceptualised in society which brings with it the deepest levels of shame that we see when children reject parents.
Despite feminism, as women we are still raised with the idea that the very essence of motherhood is that we are the most important parent in the child’s life and that our role is primarily that of mothering and that all else comes next. This is such a confusing message in a world that also tells women that they must be working outside of the home, successful in everything they do and at the point of separation they absolutely must assume primary care of the children.
Mothers are most often alienated in a pattern of behaviour which is the very definition of coercive control. The removal of the right to care and share the upbringing of a child through the control of the child’s mind and feelings about their mother is often an overt strategy which begins with very common language patterns. In our assessment work with families where children are rejecting their mother we hear the same repeated phrases from fathers –
‘She wasn’t interested in the children when they were born’
‘She isn’t very motherly, she is more masculine and interested in working’
‘She has some kind of psychiatric disorder that prevents her from connecting to the children’
‘I would love them to have a relationship with her but she is mad/bad/sad’
Commonly used phrases in mother alienation – FSC 2019
When we investigate a child’s rejection of a mother we seek to understand the patterns of behaviours in the family leading up to the child’s outright refusal. What we most often witness are the terrorisation of the mother and the witnessing of this by the children. In that scenario, the inter-psychic messages being given to the children are that their mother is unable to be strong enough to protect them and in the dynamic which is described as identification with the aggressor, the terrorised child identifies not with the mother they love and are afraid for, but the aggression of the father. This is a survival mechanism which is largely unconscious and employed as a defence by the child because if their intra-psychic awareness is that they will be targeted next and their mother cannot protect them from that, their only option is to bend to the aggressors will in order to survive.
If we keep in mind that the child in the post separation landscape is highly attuned to the different messages passing between parents in a space which has now opened up between them, it is easy to see how mothers who leave and hope that their children will be able to manage that space are eventually condemned to the fate of losing their children completely. This space is not a neutral space and the children are not impartial in this space either, they are vulnerable to whoever is willing to take control over them. When the child says an absolute no therefore, to a relationship with a parent, in the absence of any abusive behaviour by the parent who is being rejected, it is an indication that they have had to use the defence of psychological splitting in order to survive what has happened to them.
Defensive splitting, which only happens when the child is in an intolerable position and unable any longer to hold two realities in mind, causes a child to become fixed and rejecting and at the same time, in the case of being forced into splitting by a father, the child suffers a traumatic bonding which is caused by the fear that they feel of the father. A fear that they turn into loving the father blindly as part of the defence they are using to survive.
I should say here that the alienation of a father is no less traumatic for a child who is forced to split by an alienating mother but it is different. Children who are forced into psychological splitting by their mothers are more likely to suffer enmeshment and the inability to experience themselves separately from their mother who colonises their experience and renders it indivisible from her own.
Death of the psychologically healthy child by suffocation with the mother’s own unresolved needs (enmeshment) is what we see most often in children who are rejecting their father. Death of the psychologically healthy child by terrorisation of the child into identification with the aggressor (stockholm syndrome) is what we see in mother rejection.
To give voice to mothers who are alienated we worked on a project called Living Losses in 2015. This brought together a number of mothers to share the common threads in their experience. The words of mothers whose children had rejected them after separation can be heard as part of that project. (press the picture to go through to audio interviews)
In all of our work in this field, it is the negative transference which colours the experience of anyone who does this work (negative transference is that which is denied in a person and projected onto the therapist or other emotional object), which is most noticeable.
Rage and spite about things which are unresolved in the self, which are split off and denied in the self and then projected at others is something which often obscures the plight of alienated mothers and obfuscates the reality of their lived experience.
An example of this is the denial of a child’s induced psychological splitting by the women’s rights groups and the projection of the belief that children only ever reject a parent because of something that parent has done. Whilst there is a nod to the experience of alienated mothers in an attempt to call this phenomenon domestic violence by proxy, this is the classic obfuscation of denial and projection.
If this were simply domestic violence by proxy the children concerned would not be using psychological splitting as a defence and would, on recognition of domestic abuse in the family, simply be moved from the abuser to the healthy parent. Unfortunately, because this is not just domestic violence by proxy but a mental health defence utilised by the child, this does not happen without a huge fight on the mother’s part.
This is because the children, captured by identification with the aggressor, display fear and terror not of the father but of the mother who is depicted as not motherly, never having been interested and cold and uncaring. Until or unless this reality is properly understood, explained and acted upon, it is not possible to resolve it by declaring it simply domestic violence by proxy because the systems within which we work, will not allow it.
If a child says no and then says they are terrified of a mother then that is what will drive the case and all the jumping up and down and saying that the courts are biased against mothers in the world won’t change that. What will change it is an acceptance of the reality that what is happening to children when they reject, is that the children themselves are having to maladapt their behaviours to survive the pathological alignment with one of their parents.
We cannot have it both ways. We cannot say a child always tells the truth when they are rejecting their father but that the child is being forced to lie when they reject their mother, because the mechanism in the child which causes that is the same and the behaviours we see in children who reject mothers and fathers is the same. How that is caused in children however is different and we would do well to recognise and articulate that better.
Underneath the socio political denial of this problem in post separation families, lies a mental health problem which is configured in the child as a survival mechanism. Understanding how mothers and fathers live with the result of this is essential, understanding how it is caused is equally important, making sure we release children from the defence so that they can love their father and their mother is our overarching goal.
The concentric circles of denial, projection, blame and shame are powerful in parental alienation and it is vital we pay attention to them.
As the negative transference rises against progress in this field, we must not let our attention be dragged back into the swamplands of gender wars, but must understand difference in the lived experience of alienation, in order to build strong coalitions for positive change in this space.
Celebrating and supporting each other is how we will do that and preventing splitting between alienated mothers and fathers is an essential part of that process.
Today I send my support to all mothers who have suffered the loss of a child still living. Your experience is not denied, it is recognised, validated and understood.
Together we press on until the reality of this social ill is fully understood around the world.
My gosh..here we go with the pity for mothers and how the aggressive behaviour of the Male is the ‘norm’.. let me tell you the so called victim mother is the biggest alienater of innocent children in the western world and other areas where the female is dominant in the corrupt practices of the family court. Here in Guernsey we have the most corrupt jurisdiction with no recourse. The current Head of the judiciary and the government is so corrupt and untouchable it’s scary. Male suicides are one of the highest rates in the western region..human rights are none existent for alienated children and fathers..the victim mother has all the power, human rights and legal aid..the family court lawyers take in millions every year here in Guernsey..nothing and I mean nothing is done. Members of the child Services and associated Services have been responsible for deaths of children and they then start up consultation practices to further destroy children and fathers….dont tell me about bloody women who are victims..my experience is totally the opposite..they epitomise pure evil and narcissistic behaviour with the help of a ultra feminist/femiman system..my 2 children have been verbally, physically abused by their victim mother, her partner, her family..she even put myittle Princess through 2 invasive examinations bases on false allegations I abused my little girl…her partners brother assaulted my little boy..nothing and I mean nothing was done..the ultra man hating magistrate virtually called my son liar…welcome to good old corrupt Guernsey…no wonder the NSPCC left the island..
Oh come on peter read the article properly
Nobody helps this crime a living hell
I have read the article many times. The fate of the mother is sown in the sociological concept of a marriage within the church and times of the day – the father provides food on the table and the mother runs the home..That was back in the day but sociology within the family courts and associated services and judiciary use the ideology of the past for millions of pounds, hatred of men and corruption.. Until the law introduce equality in the family courts, prosecution’s of those who practise Parental Alienation, those who kidnapp children from couples or single mothers who only require support but whose child/dren are sold to wealthy english couples – (yes this happens in Guernsey) can real change happen and equality reign supreme.. My heart goes out to ANY PARENTS and child/dren who are living with Parental Alienation 24/7..we must all unite or surrender our child/dren to evil and abuse from a system not fit for purpose..
I have seen this first hand- false allegations of sexual abuse. I think you will agree, Peter, that all accusations have to be taken seriously and investigated. What is missing is any follow up if the accusations prove to be false, especially when those allegations are multiple and/or made against multiple people – in the case I know about, a mother accused the biological father of her three children of abusing them during a divorce. She ditched Dad in favour of someone she thought was richer.
When she then decided to end her next marriage (in favour of younger model), out came the exact same allegations against the Stepfather. Very luckily for him, the three girls were old enough by this point to tell police officers very clearly that it never happened, and were never subjected to physical examinations.
Both men totally exonerated, but zero action taken against her. Social services involved both times, but nobody asked the question about why she made the false allegations, and what sort of a mother subjects her children to this- the youngest was 11 at the time of the second allegation, and was cross examined by social workers and the police – surely a traumatic experience for anyone, especially a child?
I am a feminist and 100% behind “women’s rights” but the “system”, as you say, Peter, is blindly mis- applying ideology in favour of the “cult” of motherhood.
The statistics are that men perpetrate more abuse than women, but the judgements of courts and systems are supposed to be based on the individual facts. This takes effort on the part of those making the judgements to obtain those facts and then apply independent thought.
There just aren’t enough people with the required skills and commitment, so lazy “generic” actions abound.
Alison, excellent comment and thank you for not attacking me. Surely with the false allegations made by the mother and proven false, charges and imprisonment should follow. The lives destroyed, the children traumatised the rotten mother walks free to continue her disgusting behaviour. I live in an island where if I were a Free Mason I could commit any crime and have my children. The judiciary is proved to be one of the most corrupt in the world – yes woree then Russia without the murders..Not my words but the words of another victim. Innocent men are languishing in Guernsey prison helpless to prove their innocence due to a corrupt system..Mysandry is rife in family courts and through the rotten Child Services and associated services. Believe me when I say don’t be fooled by the chocolate box mentality of island life..lift the picture box lid and 90% of the content is rotten to the core..stay safe and healthy to you all
So just as you should be ashamed of your comment you should be empathetic, it happens to both sides, regardless you are losing the point in your he/ she part of it….this is not about what sex did what; change your perspective…. look at it rather from a child’s point of view and the effects on them. There are, in the adult world, 3 sides to every story and everyone has an opinion. Look at yourself and your own story, screw the other parent. That parent will get their pay tenfold. Eventually. Patience is your advantage and perspective is your light into understanding your child and helping them through the most traumatic process they may have to deal with. While I absolutely do NOTagree or even take light of the parent throwing false accusations, condemnation and “brainwashing ” a child through manipulation, maladaptive and down right good old fashioned inappropration of conversation in or around and especially to a child concerning the absent parent. It is truly the children who suffer life long relationship, confidence and trust issues as well as teaching them this is acceptable behavior. While us parents do suffer miserably and grieve immensely, children do not have the capability to emotionally/psychologically proces and move forward to a meaningful path filled with faith, friends/family and unconditional love an understanding. They are truly being robbed of this, a life promised when born yet torn apart by an angry, hostile, malevolent parent.
I can say this as even though its been 20 years, my children are grown and have ones of there own….yet their parent causing them the grief of casting me out and making me sound like Satan himself, still cause mr grief. They follow me, won’t allow my 26 yr old daughter to introduce my granddaughter to me or they will take her away from her.
I can live day to day with a painful heart, but knowing she blames me and I refuse to throw punches and dirt hurts more than ever.
Stay strong, change perspective ( it’s not healthy to keep anger and resentment built up) look at the how and why. It’s hard however, with every moment.
Rikki, it it possible for one nanosecond to fully grasp the trauma heaped on a child/dren is the responsibility of the family courts and associated services and hangers on like psychologists who make an extremely wealthy living from their part in the destruction of the child/dren and target parent. One must not forget the lawyers who commit fraud, perjury, criminal intent all to get wealthy and peddle their agenda..here in good old Guernsey we have magistrates and lawyers who work with each other to destroy children..These nazi court officers are accompanied in their facist pandemic by the usual child services, the best child trafficking organisation in the channel islands..totally untouchable and with powerful backers..Phedofiles come to Guernsey because its safe and those at the top of the food chain are free from justice because of their secret societies. I empathise with ALL alienated parents and children but please the children are NEVER the concerns of the system. The children are way way less important..its all about the money, power and promotion..By the way its is about gender in the jurisdiction I reside…the lousy, abusive so called loving mother and her equally abusive partner are ALWAYS the winners…The children and target parent are the losers..The abusive system makes sure the MH patient of tomorrow is a product of the family courts..the generation of abusive circle continues..
Doing more damage to the innocent.
You really didn’t read it did you….
How can you be going through parent alienation and not only be 100% hateful but hateful to the whole female gender.
I guess i wish I could be hateful or feel just a little of anything other than the pure misery of missing my children.
News Flash, I am a female and I am being alienated from my children just like you. Also news flash my ex and my mother worked together to make me the bad guy. Should I be blaming and spewing hate about every single male and female?
Trust me I understand the hurt but taking it out on people who honestly relate to your pain makes no sense. You think the parents denying their kids the other parent would ever stop to read an article like this? Not a chance in h ell.
It is not one gender, one race, or even 1 type of person you should be placing the blame on. Its the specific people men and women and the corrupt court systems. Maybe if you spent the time you did writing this spew of hate on something more productive like writing your next argument for court or writing your government then not only would you not look completely insane but you’d find the support and help your so badly wanting.
Im not religious so im going to send the most positive vibes your way. You are a prime example of what is so wrong with the world today. Hurt feelings should not automatically turn into hate for a whole gender, the same gender that birthed you.
I hope you read this because I am a victim of parental alienation. I was brought to Canada from Uk by my husband and he never sponsored me. I was put in maximum security jail . While I was in there he told my daughters I had left them for another man. When I got out of the jail Children’s aid took me to court as my husband told them I was trying sex traffic my daughter’s. As an immigrant I had no rights as a parent but I fought hard and once I got my permanent residence I was given joint custody but it wasn’t over. My ex husband completely turned the children against me. They don’t want to see me , they tell me I’m useless I have hurt their dad , ruined their life and all they want is money off me. It breaks my heart but this has been going on for 7 years now. It doesn’t matter what gender parent goes through this , it is all equally terrible and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.
Dear Clare, I send you my support and good wishes, I am sorry to read about your suffering which is horrible in every way. Your fight has been long and your children harmed severely, I Hope you keep going and keep well and know that there are many many people around the world who understand your situation and want to help change things so that this cannot happen. If you would like to try out one of our listening circles without charge to see if this could be a source of support for you just email me at email@example.com. Sending my best wishes Karen
Hi Clair, my heart and best wishes goes out to you. Your ex husband is what is wrong with low life men who merrily advocate psychological child abuse and Parental Alienation. Please understand low life like your ex husband are not typical and do NOT represent the majority of fathers. Try to keep strong..
It’s so tramatic.
At times you wonder how you function and stay alive.
I have some tips if you need.
Rikki, I’m very sorry for your terrible injustices which gave followed you and your children into adulthood and also your grandchild. The harsh reality with PA is those of us who are alienated want justice. Not for us but for our children. We feel their pain, loss, anger and uncertain future. I was raised to respect the law and all associated services. Sadly, when one finds out its a cesspit of pure evil especially towards father’s and our children one must confront the injustices to fix the broken rotten system. Not just for us or our children of today but for the alienated Parents and most importantly the children of tomorrow..Any alienated Parent will tell you they would not wish any child or parent or grandparents to go through the daily hell and loss we feel..
Thank you for sharing this article Karen.
O come away, O human child…..
May these sorrowful experiences be a thing of the past sooner rather than later.
This article is spot on Karen and you are certainly right regarding QUOTE: “Until or unless this reality is properly understood, explained and acted upon, it is not possible to resolve it by declaring it simply domestic violence by proxy because the systems within which we work, will not allow it.”. END QUOTE. I have heard the same thing over and over again from partners of abusive men who insist that PA does not exist (because their ex partners accuse them of parental alienation syndrome (PAS) in court in an effort to take their children from them). Instead these women insist that the phrase ‘DV by proxy’ is more than adequate to cover what happens to those of us who first become targeted parents and then become fully alienated parents..
I don’t know if I dreamed it, but to help these women there seems to be the very beginnings of an idea to look at the whole family (which I know you do alongside looking at the child) in cases of proved DV and a willingness to accept that men who abuse their wives may well be abusing their children in some way. Maybe THAT will finally close the gap.
I am sorry that you feel as you do. I can feel your pain, it screams out at us with your words ….. but what Karen says is true. She is writing under the banner, if you like of ‘ International Women’s Day’ but I know that, come Father’s Day, the emphasis will be on alienated dads of which I know there are more than a few. Whether you are an alienated dad or an alienated mum like me, the pain is exactly the same. A living death. Hell on Earth. And it feels like all hope has gone out of the window.
Look again at Karen’s first two paragraphs and know that all alienated parents, mothers or fathers, share the same pain. I know that you are angry (I’m angry) but expressing pain through such anger directed at your alienating partner will not help you get your children back. They don’t want to know about your pain and anger. My daughter doesn’t want to know about mine. She doesn’t want to know what her dad did to me. She loves him and to her, he is perfect. In their world, I am not; I am wholly flawed, crazy. I hate what my husband did but I don’t hate him. I simply am, for want of a better word, utterly bemused as to how he could be so determined to airbrush me, the mother of his children, out of her life as though I was less than a surrogate, a nothing in his eyes. I will never understand how it could happen to me and to my once loving and lovely daughter. But he made it happen and I live with it.
Willow, may I point out I have never abused my ex in front of the children or when my ex has accused me of the most horrific allegations in front of my children, to many others via social media and parents at my childrens schools. Yes I am angry. I’m pleased this is demonstrated via my original post. But, this anger is never directed at my ex..Equally, I acknowledge their are alienated mothers..in my location this is so very very rare so excuse my apparent sexism and lack of understanding..any father who alienates a mother from her children or children from their mother because they seek revenge are no better then those women who behave the same. The irony of my situation is I have 3 older children and 5 grandchildren..my younger children are from my second marriage..I babysit for my grandchildren and yet I’m alienated from my 2 younger children..the ex of my younger children had a string of affairs during our marriage, and left me with my 2 children asking for a divorce on valentine’s day..my youngest was just 2 months old..I started fighting for contact on December 11th 2011..I’m angry my ex wife cqn abuse and use my 2 children in such an appalling way with the help of corrupt practices and lawyers..even a local clergy person of the Cof E gets thousands for writing discriminationary reports against fathers for the family court and charges over £250 per alienated fathers to attend Parental classes…utter utter disgraceful…one alienated father spent half a million pounds fighting to see his children..family court lawyers in Guernsey are morally bankrupt but financially rich from destroying fathers and childrens rights..So, please excuse me if I’m appearing somewhat angry..not with you or other alienated parents regardless of gender..
Pete, your anger is understood and recognised as valid, I guess when you start off saying things like ….here we go with the pity for mothers…. it makes it difficult to listen properly to the rest of what you want to say. I am writing about mothers because it is international women’s day, I will write about fathers on fathers days and other days, there is no intent to hold one above the other, simply to think about difference and how mothers and fathers alienate their children differently. K
Karen, I fully understand. I’m most certainly not sexist. I understand the past and current struggle of women in the world. I’m a great supporter of equality regardless of gender, religion or sexuality. In saying this when ones whole life is destroyed purely because of their gender one must say this is not right. Mysandry is alive and well and flourishing in Guernsey especially in the family court. Destroying a childs life and creating the MH victims of tomorrow is not the signs of a caring society but a broken rotten system. Today my ex wife sent her FB freinds a message accusing me of not having xo tact for a reason..insinuating abuse was the reason..this is so so wrong..I have no recourse because I am not allowed to respond..her shocking and disturbing post stems from me seeing and talking to my child for the first time since boxing day 2014. By chance I saw my child..it was the most amazing feeling in the world..my child smiled when we spoke..nervous because her chap was present..the second occasion my ex was..today I saw my child again – by chance..this time there was an intimidating person also there..I spoke to my child ignoring the person. I left soon after as my son looked very very anxious..I cried when I was home..seeing my child look so scared because of his mothers narcissist behaviour..sadly, the media in Guernsey are run by free masons who control all voices of dissent..
You have our support Pete – know that despite all that is thrown at us we all know the truth of this terrible social and it’s impact. Sending support. K
You just told my story! A parent that uses a child to mentally destroy the other parent is a very dangerous person. I wish I knew the answers to this devastating problem. How do you get through to the child that they have been used as a weapon of mass destruction?? How do you rebuild a relationship with a child that only blames you?? How do you expose the truth when the child won’t listen to your side of the story? How do you save your own son or daughter without destroying yourself??
I wish I knew.
This is the heart of where I am today. How do I heal when I have never been given an opportunity to tell my side of what happened? My adult children were told that I abandoned them when in reality they were taken away by an angry ex-husband.
Thank you so much for sharing this. I’ve recently begun researching “narcissistic sociopath”, as this is what I’ve come to realize is the closest to what my ex husband would be classified as, and this was very informative and educational. Thanks again!
Peter I am sorry that you are treated so badly by your ex and the system. It defies belief what people can do to one another and I for one find it very difficult to comprehend that they not only can, but they do without even a backward glance.
Your child smiled when you spoke ……………… One day your child may break free and come to you. You don’t say how old your youngest are, but I assume they are young and therefore not free to find you….. yet.
My husband told me shortly after our first child (profoundly handicapped by a very rare neurological degenerative ‘disease’) died …”If you ever leave me I will fight you for custody and I will win. You will never see her again”. The daughter he came to fully alienate was not even three years old when he told me that. I cannot even remember him ever picking up and cuddling, kissing or even helping me with our first child and after she died he would never speak of her or openly remember her again. It was beyond painful but I stayed with him because I couldn’t bear to lose my other child. By the time our surviving daughter was 15 he had fully turned her against me but I still stayed and clung on knowing that if I left him, I’d never see her again. I was prepared to pick up crumbs if it was all I could have and it was. Five years ago I could take no more of his cruelty and continuing emotional and verbal abuse. My daughter told me to get out of her life. He shrugged and when I told him I was going he told me “Good, I won’t have to share her with you any more”. He told me that, even though I had been a very good mother “She grew up and saw you for what you are”. What he meant was, he TOLD her what I was in his eyes and to him I was worthless. She believed his every word and even repeated some of the phrases he used to attack me. I left. I was broken but I have survived and I found a wonderful PEACE without him. I have not seen or heard from my daughter in over five years and I know that without help (which is too late since she is now an adult but still enmeshed with her dad) she will never change her mind or the beliefs about me which he planted.
I repeated my story here because Peter, you still have hope. I have none. You have other children. I have none. You have grandchildren. I will never know the joy of a grandchild. Believe me I know the pain and I know the utter disbelief and pain of deserving none of this. I also know what it was like to be married to a narcissist though even now I can hardly believe all the things he put me through or all the losses in my life. You see, to me Peter, you are lucky because you still have children in your life and you still have a glimmer of HOPE.
We are all hurting Peter and we need to stick together.
Willow, your story always hits me. I did know of your first child and her consequent death and to be told you can not talk about or grove her. You are still a Mother of two children to have the Father tell you not to speak of her again is in humane. I also find it interesting how similar our experiences are. I was pushed into an abortion by mine when we were in our early twenties and was never to discuss it later we suffered a miscarriage and again his response was bizzare and I was shut down from discussing . When our first child was finally born he said in the hospital no matter where you go I will always find you. Again it was bizarre comment then when fell pregnant with our third which he really pressured for he said “good now you have 3 kids no man will ever want you” again bizarre comments and I felt tricked and used. What I now realise was sexual and procreation abuse.
Hi Willow, truly sorry to read your traumatic experiences at the hands of a barbaric, exploitative insult to the Male gender. I empathise with you..because I had had cancer and therefore chemo the only Avenue opened to us for children was IVF..I truly believe I was used to give her children..when she left for an ex she meet again on FB she cleared out the bank account, paid for his flights, and set up home with the ex wife of one of my best freinds.this after severely beating me up..she wanted me to hit her so she could ‘get me for something’. I didn’t of course. Anyway, her fun over when he went back to his partner she wanted to come back..I told her no..she then assaulted me in front of the children and called the police..she accused me of assault..I was having contact with my 2 children from the March to the December when she stopped contact.she had another chap who like the first chap insisted my son call him ‘daddy’. My nightmare and my childrens nightmare started on 11 December 2011…its still going.. May I ask if you would be so kind and sign my petition and circulate to all your freinds etc..your support would be most most appreciated….Can you help get my petition to 99 signatures by the end of today? I started a petition and I need you to sign and share it now. please share on your Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts
Hello again (big smiley face emoji if I could only post one on here!)
We were too innocent to know what we were getting when they found us weren’t we? I was 17 years old when I met my husband and I missed so many red flags….. or excused them and thought it was me that was the problem. Now I know better.
Perhaps times have changed since I was 17 (it is a VERY long time ago) but I’m not always sure we’ve come so far. Before we were married, I told him that I’d missed my period (very unusual for me to be that late). His immediate reaction was to ‘air punch’ my stomach. Why didn’t I run for the hills!!!!
I had a miscarriage between having my two children and it was in the days when no one had any sympathy. In hospital I cried and was told to pull myself together by the nurse on duty. When I got home next day it was ‘business as usual’. It was as though nothing had ever happened. Maybe it was just the times I lived in. There was no emotional support when I found out that our first child had a condition ‘incompatible with life’. I cried almost daily for the two months between that bomb shell and giving birth to our second child. They had told us when I was 7 months pregnant, there was a one in four chance of our unborn baby having the same condition and I was terrified. My husband told me “I’m sick of coming home every day to your miserable face”. So I tried to hide how I felt. There was no counselling then and no counselling when she died. I was desperate for help to cope with my almost three year old (thankfully unaffected) but there was nothing, nothing at all so I muddled on as best I could. I hope that things are different now. It crippled me when the first anniversary of her death arrived, and I cried only for him to ignore me and from then on he acted as though he hadn’t even thought about the meaning of the day let alone remembered her.
What frustrates me now more than ever before is that he could do what he did and have no conscience about it and, not only that, but my daughter thinks he is the best dad that ever lived. My self esteem was and still is shot to pieces and I still find it very hard to let people in. It’s a crazy world that we have lived in.
My husband was damaged by his parents and I got caught up in it all. How damaged my daughter is remains to be seen. There are times when I long to have her in my life but there is such a brick wall guarding her; it will never come down.
Yes, my ex also very damaged by his parents. Your comment of “I don’t want to come home to your misery”. God so similar to me. I was told that many a time over During critical periods. I was never aloud to be sad otherwise his needs would not be met. However, my nightmare continuous as my children are still young. My eldest still semi alienated but my two youngest are not and we have equal shared care….. now my middle child is being pressured and recruited with cult like messages from my eldest daughter who sadly believes her Dad. My middle child has both her Dad and older sister making constant comments and her poor self is crumbling. I am again powerless to do anything having spent much of my money on the first court trial with a hopeless outcome because of the over cautious judge who would not act swiftly and decisively. The control and abuse continuous on me and my children. This week I just really struggled with the continued power he has. It’s never going to stop and some days I just get so tired of trying to keep my head above water. But then I look at the photo of my girls on the fridge and I gather myself together and rally on. I am looking forward to Karen’s online workshop For rejected parents to gather More skills to keep moving forward as best I can.
I do so hope you can save your children. Sending you my very best wishes and a huge hug! xxxx
Thank you for the article, from a rejected mother.
Naive,young and under the thumb of an abusive; in every form, narcissistic tyrant of an ex husband. I am the mother of a covert narcissistic daughter. If only, I had known how to escape his clutch over me and inevitably my baby. She is now 26. She is emotionally, physically abusive and financially ungrateful. She is the product of a despicable, self righteous, tyrant. My daughter is an emotionless, unhappy, aggressive, ungrateful woman, emotionally immature; an empty shell. Parent alienation by my ex husband has snuffed my daughter’s spirit. She is a joyless husk. I have grieved her as I would a death. The last time we hugged….20 years ago. If only I had known…..
She isn’t emotionless- you say she is aggressive so she’s angry so that’s an emotion right there.
Wow, what a dreadful thing to do, to character assassinate your own daughter in front of strangers simply to attack your ex husband and promote your own victim hood.
Step up and own your part in this- you chose her father and you didn’t set a strong enough example to counteract his bad influence and now you sit by passively while claiming the status of bereavement.
Your daughter is undoubtedly furious with you for your utter failure to protect her and for just giving up and I don’t blame her!
Yes, there were reasons you fell under her father’s spell (I notice that your first words are aimed at excusing you) but you still have to shoulder the blame. If you want any respect and credibility with your daughter you need to start by admitting that you failed and apologising for your part in this. Later, she might be able to understand why you failed, and have compassion and forgiveness, but you can’t expect or demand that. Giving a long list of her deficiencies followed by you saying you have given up on her and she might as well be dead is just so wrong.
Alison green, that’s harsh, very harsh.
I didn’t read LD’s post as you did.
I just feel really sorry for the daughter who is probably mentally ill through her upbringing and who’s mother has written off any possibility of her recovery despite her being still a very young woman.
There are mothers all over the internet desperately seeking advice and resources to help their troubled offspring- even in adulthood.
But this mother’s post is all about how her daughter’s problems affect HER and how it is all somebody else’s fault and absolutely not hers. She uses very judgemental language about her own daughter in a forum where the daughter has no recourse to defend herself.
Talking all about your own feelings, deflecting blame, criticising people covertly to any audience you can find, dramatic claims of being the victim- just makes me wonder which parent was the Cluster B here? Unfortunately for the daughter the answer may well be “both”.
What is LD’s motivation in what she wrote- to seek help or advice? No- because she has already declared her daughter as dead to her. Is it to educate others? No- because she isn’t offering a “red flags” list or suggesting what she could have changed to alter the course of events.
To share her experience? Well- what she shares is in fact her daughter’s experience and she does so absolutely without empathy.
So… I’m interested in what you found that leads you to read it differently?
Allison you are a horrible person and I question why you are attacking a mother who is an abuse survivor?? You don’t belong in a support forum for parental alienation. Your motivation and identity are really suspicious and I suspect you know the father that has been abusing this mother through her daughter. Go crawl back under the rock you crawled out of to post your rhetorical BS
I just heard a terrible pain and still think your reply (replies) was/were very harsh and blaming.
I can also relate to LD’s post!
“Naive,young and under the thumb of an abusive; in every form, narcissistic tyrant of an ex husband.” (me too! And although I don’t express it in the same words, I too railed in anger and utter frustration inwardly at what my husband did within our marriage)
“If only, I had known how to escape his clutch over me and inevitably my baby.” (me too, if only I’d known then what I know now I wouldn’t have stayed with him so long but, when he tells you – soon after the death of your 5 year old – that if you ever leave him you’ll not see your daughter again and he means it …….. well, I couldn’t risk that happening so I stayed another 15 years and he made sure I lost her anyway)
“She is emotionally, physically abusive and financially ungrateful. She is the product of a despicable, self righteous, tyrant.” (worded a bit strong perhaps! But I can feel, and identify with the utter frustration and feeling of helplessness – Also, I can relate LD’s words to my own adult daughter’s treatment of me (fully encouraged by her dad), though I have never blamed her or used such strong words with her. Instead I have always told her how much I love her but she knows that deep down I blame my husband, her dad who she sees as 100% perfect)
“My daughter is an emotionless, unhappy, aggressive, ungrateful woman, emotionally immature; an empty shell. Parent alienation by my ex husband has snuffed my daughter’s spirit. She is a joyless husk.” (I just see total despair and yes, anger that it came to the point it has. There are five stages of grief and anger is one that shows up pretty early on in the process!)
“I have grieved her as I would a death. The last time we hugged….20 years ago. If only I had known…..” (again despair and deep sorrow. Speaking as someone who lost a child aged five from a rare, degenerative, incurable disease – mitochondrial disease – I know how much parental alienation is like a death; a living death of a much loved child and yes, at least with death, there can be closure though it still hurts)
That is why I think your reactions and comments are harsh and I hope LD will not take it to heart.
Words hurt and I don’t think it’s my place to add to anyone’s hurt or pain.
No idea what Karen thinks.
Can you not see how the way you describe your daughter is so different? You express love for her and a desire to continue a relationship with her. You don’t expressly state hope of things improving, but I sense hope in what you say.
You do not blame you daughter – you say that very clearly – and also that you have communicated that lack of blame to her.
You note that “words hurt” and indeed they do. Can you imagine how much LD’s daughter might be hurt if she read what her own mother wrote about her?
I was going to shut my computer down and start my evening meal but I have to ask (wonder), and I may be wide off the mark here but ………………… are you by any chance an alienated (adult) child feeling your own pain and frustration?
My question is asked in all seriousness and I’m really sorry if I’m wrong or sound patronising. You just made me wonder.
Thank you, I got a lot from this article.
What would you do if it happened to you? Would you handle things perfectly? This woman was abused by a narcissist sociopath and she is doing the best she can! The daughter is 26 years old! She is an adult! If she is hurt by the truth of what happened in her family that isn’t her mother’s fault! This is the abusive ex husband’s doing and the blame should be placed squarely on him!
Thank you for this article. You do not have to explain the equality politically correct issue. Most of us in the real world know it’s b.s. a mother is more important because #1 she has the baby, to be ripped from his mother’s life so soon is damaging to both who was once physically attached #2 the mother does most of the . It’s the mom , it’s the continuance of #2. To say we are equal is absurd but I know In order to keep ur website going u must do the speech to avoid shutdown by this new movement coup. Yes father’s are important of course. No parent should be shutout for manipulation reasons. But we are not equal. But both different in our importance. Anyway! Thank you again for ur article. I was alienated from my dad so made sure I didn’t do the same when I had a child. I didn’t know he was a freemason. He kept him while I had sudden feelings of the most peculiar presence. He’s almost 18 now and it is absolutely ridiculous! Life is over nothing. Left. My trying and trying was so manipulated in itself
It goes both ways. Mother’s and father’s are victims of alienation. I was alienated from my father, and now alienated from my three daughters. My ex was diagnosed as a sociopath years ago. I couldn’t save my children. I was powerless. All I can do now is move on with my life and new purpose in helping others. None of my children include me in their lives. It’s painful. We all need to realize that the Judicial system doesn’t protect our children. What we can do is try to prevent our friends from marrying poorly and especially not having children with a sociopath. It’s my fault for choosing to get pregnant with a sociopath. I’ve been single now for over 12 years and I would never even date. Don’t trust my own judgement from my own childhood rearing. It all began with my mother, my grandmother, and so on. I’ve got generations of divorced relatives. Doesn’t stop me from being successful. Anger only hurts yourself.
@karenwoodall, thank you for this article. I bookmarked it two years ago while trying to comprehend and cope with my experience as an alienated mother. I reread it again today and still feel overwhelming appreciation not only for the validation it gave to my experience, but more importantly, it helped me to better empathize with what was happening in my daughter’s mind. There are many experiences of parental alienation that fall outside of what you’ve focused on here. I am infinitely thankful to you for giving clarity to mine. Sincerely – AT
My mother, that emotionally and physically abused me as a child, and who is struggling with hoarding disorder, pathological narcissism, and other psychological issues, sent me this article to read. I was angry firstly because she had the audacity to do so given the years of mistreatment, and secondly because this article exists as a justification for women like her. Most daughters choose to cut off ties with their mothers after years of enduring mild to severe abuse from them. Perhaps in a minority of cases, while the daughter is a child, what is presented here may apply. However, I believe that the conclusions drawn in this article are completely disrespectful to the experience of now-adult-women, including myself, that found the courage to free themselves from their mother’s toxicity and say “yes” to self-respect.
You have every right to cut off your mother if you feel that this is your best path to health. However, and this is perhaps the only reason for you think about what cutting off does, you will always be your mother’s daughter – her blood runs in your veins, her relationship with you, the harm she caused you, the way in which that abuse has shaped your life, is your lived experience. She is there whether you cut her off or not. This is not to advocate for her, it is to advocate for freedom for you, to live without having to defend against her. I completely disagree with you when you say ‘most daughters choose to cut off tied with mothers after years of enduring abuse from them’. it may be your experience, it is not universal or even the majority experience. Your mother cannot see what she is doing to cause you to reject a relationship with her, many mothers who are healthy and loving and well have done nothing at all to cause this.
Your experience is yours and your relationship with your mother will last all of your life, even if you never set eyes on her again because she is the foundation stone of your entry into this life and as such she lives within you. Healing from the hurt she caused is not about cutting her off it is about understanding, grieving and growing beyond the harm she did to you.
Do not let the defence harden your contact with your own authentic self, you have misread the intention of the article by filtering it through your defence against your mother’s harm.
Sending you my best wishes, my intention is always to help the child who is harmed by a parent and your experience is acknowledged and validated. K
Thank you for your reply and for acknowledging that some mothers, indeed, deserve to be cut off. I do believe that, in the same lines as you stated that my experience is not universal, in the same way healing from this type of experience is an individual endeavour and cannot be generalised. For different people different solutions apply. Of course, the healing process begins and ends in one’s own mind, with the appropriate sense of responsibility. I also don’t believe that just because a mother gives birth to her child and is present during his or hers first years of life means that they are irremediably bound. Being bound to someone is a conscious decision, and choosing to set firm boundaries, or choosing that a violent person no longer belongs in one’s life is an act of courage that actually opens the heart.
Thank You for Your Understanding and Support.
You described the dynamic to the t
I knew my children would somehow be mentally affected in being separated from their mother(myself), a mother who in their memories is a good kindhearted loving compassionate Understanding honest loyal giving hardworking hopeful woman. I often wonder if their hearts will be crushed forever and if they will be able to show and accept genuine love.
Their father chose another woman over me, the woman came in and legally removed me from their life.
In order not to mentally beat myself up, my defense was and still is to block it out. It is the worst pain I have ever felt, it’s as if they are dead, but they are still alive and 30minutes away, making it far more unbearable.
The Affair came to light while I had post partum depression after my 5th child was born (she was a shock, I’d had surgery to prevent any further pregnancies- tubal clamps). The entire pregnancy was high risk and i had monthly ultrasounds to monitor a blood clot that was in the placenta with my miracle baby girl).
I realize emotions should not be an excuse for not fighting it out legally for my parental rights and enforcing the parenting plan.
Perhaps even being a victim of mental abuse isn’t an excuse.
Especially because I have chosen the less traumatic route for the kids(not putting them in the position of being asked by a police officer if they want to go with their mother)
Knowing that they most likely would be to scared of the reprocusions from their father when they returned, they would choose to stay with their father.
He sticks to this story that I am sick and having a hard time in life. Well that’s been going on for almost 10 years now, I must be half dead from all those years of sickness and hard times(sarcastic)
Aside from the loss of those I love(the deceased and the living) I enjoy a simple life nestled in the woods where I am free to roam and ground my spiritual self to the beauty and calming therapy of mother nature, I have developed a love for this earth that’s almost undescribable. I sometimes would feel guilt for taking off in the woods and not facing the challenges involved with legally fighting my ex husband. It has become my escape from my harsh reality, that I was still letting my ex control me, and I didn’t even see or talk to him. I would justify his reasoning, then believing that he must be right and put myself down, mentally repeating the picture he has painted of me.
It has all become so overwhelming and I feel so much time has passed that it would be better for the kids if I just kept out of their lives.
I am working full time at the united states postal service, staying current on my child support and paying on the back support I owe. I am a law abiding citizen working hard paying my monthly rent, etc. I’ve kept out of trouble my entire life. Minus the trouble that comes with being in abusive relationships. I have hope that my children will overcome any challenges they face due to being separated from their mother.
I believe that vengeance is GODS and my ex will have to answer to his maker in truth because GOD sees and knows all. He may be enjoying his “freeride” off “his” children, but that will not last all eternity. His greatest fear will become his reality and he will reap what he sowed.
I ended on a bitter note, I release. My apologies, I am tired and need to go to sleep.
I just wanted to share my story, so other alienated mothers may have hope in their lives, hope in this world, regardless the torment they endure every second of every day, being kept from their children.
To those who are quick to judge and have no idea what abuse feels like;”Forgive them, For they do not know”, the last words that Jesus Christ said as he died on the cross.
God is So Good
We are ALL GODS Children!!!!