Whose Trauma Story is it Anyway?

Complex Relational Trauma is caused by the type of psycho-pathology which is seen in cases where children reject a parent.  But it is not seen in the child, it is seen in the backdrop to the family, in the narratives which surround the child and in the ways in which these hook together to create the double bind the alienated child is found in.

Whilst the child shows behaviours which appear confusing and responses to the parent who is being rejected which can change swiftly like the wind (more of that later), this is not a psychiatric problem which resides in the child, it is the child’s response to a trauma story which does not belong to them, but which is causing them to act out the behavioural pattern we have come to call parental alienation.

The behavioural pattern we call parental alienation is the child’s use of defensive splitting in a landscape which is controlling their behaviours, emotions and psychological stability.  There is, in essence, one clear sign that this behavioural pattern is in play and that is the child’s division of feelings about parents into wholly good and wholly bad and an accompanying disdain or contempt for the parent they deem to be wholly bad.

When children are using this defence, their unconscious aim is to resolve the double bind they are placed in, which is that they are aware that they cannot love both parents at the same time.  The reasons why they cannot love both parents at the same time may vary depending on the trauma story which is transmitting the signals to the child but the outcome is always the same. The child idealises one parent and rejects the other.

In psychoanalytic terms, the child splits their own ego, identifies with the more powerful parent, splits off and denies their positive feelings for the parent they perceive as weaker and then does everything possible to keep that split off and denied object relationship out of their own conscious mind.

In laypersons terms, the child develops a false self which is identified wholly with the parent who is causing fear of abandonment (appearing to the child as the strongest possible threat and therefore emanating from the parent with the most power).  To survive the double bind and retain the love of the threatening parent, the child rejects the other parent completely.

This is the drama of the alienated child. Pushed to the limit of their psychological safety, the child splits their own self identity in order to survive.  This is the reason why alienated children sound so brittle and rehearsed in their narratives. This is why they are so difficult to work with and why so many therapists end up simply making things worse by trying to ‘buddy up’ to an alienated child. What therapists do when they try to befriend the alienated child in this way is inflate the false self and deepen the splitting, leaving the child psychologically more harmed than they were previously.

The first thing that anyone working in this space must understand is that whilst we are looking at the drama of an alienated child on the surface, what we are really looking at is someone else’s trauma story and that someone else may not even be alive anymore.

Not all children who do not want to see a parent are alienated and that cannot be said often enough.  Alienated children show distinct clinical markers in their behaviours and the family system they are living in also show clinical markers. Families who are truly affected by this problem, by which I mean those who have been properly differentiated and identified as having the clinical markers of the problem, are a distinct group.

For the truly alienated child, the deeper layers of the problem lie in relational trauma. Uncovered, alienation of children is about violations of their interpersonal boundaries and about enmeshment into an unwell parent’s felt sense of who they are. The reality of relational trauma in divorce and separation is that the crisis of the breakdown of the family allows unresolved traumas to emerge, which are displaced into the wrong place in the generational line.  There is trauma in this story alright, but whose trauma is the question that we should be asking all of the time.

This is forensic work, it is about entering into the inter and intra-psychic world of the family affected and finding the paths through the forest which lead to ground zero.  When an unresolved trauma is emitting signals from the past, there are many ways in which the here and now can be affected. Alienation of a child in the post divorce and separation landscape is just one of them.


Screenshot 2020-05-29 at 17.20.13

 The EAPAP Conference will feature presentations on trans-generational trauma and relational trauma in divorce and separation and looks forward to welcoming Jill Salberg PhD  as our headline speaker.   This conference will be of interest to all clinicians interested in working with relational trauma in divorce and separation.

BOOK HERE

THE SHADOW OF OUR GHOSTS: GENERATIONS OF RUPTURES

Jill Salberg, PhD

‘When trauma revisits a person transgenerationally through dysregulated and disrupted attachment patterns, it is within the child’s empathic attunement and search for a parental bond that the mode of transmission can be found.’

Salberg, J, (2015). The texture of traumatic attachment: Presence and ghostly absence in transgenerational transmission. The Psychoanalytic Quarterly. 84(1), 21-46.

Parental alienation is typically described as a child’s rejection of a parent. However, whilst the problem appears to be the child’s rejection of one of their parents, in reality, the rejection is not the cause of the problem but is, rather, a symptom of the child’s pathological alignment to the other parent. Similarly, many papers on the subject refer to the alienating ‘strategies’ of aligned parents.

Whilst it is true that some cases are driven by the deliberate and conscious actions of a one parent seeking to remove the other, many more feature dysfunction in the inter-psychic relationship between the aligned parent and the child. Such cases feature high levels of psychopathology and maladaptive defences which are often rooted in the transgenerational transmission of unresolved trauma of the aligned parent.

We are, therefore, delighted to able to welcome Jill Salberg, PhD, as our special guest speaker at the European Association of Parental Alienation Practitioner’s 2020 online conference hosted by the Child and Youth Protection Center of Zagreb (Poliklinika za zaštitu djece i mladih Grada Zagreba). Dr Salberg is a world leading expert in transgenerational trauma and the effect that it has on children’s relational self.

Dr Salberg argues that children of parents who have unresolved trauma inherit altered biochemistry that can leave them more vulnerable to registering fearful and anxious situations and to being more fearful and anxious themselves. She writes that the legacy of transgenerational transmission of traumatic forms of attachment is an alteration in both the biology and the attachment systems and suggests that, whilst some of these parents will be able to transmit safety and provide for consistent attachment, others will transmit a confusing mix of messages of fearfulness and safety.

For clinicians working with post divorce splitting in children, the patterns and disruptions of attachment are of vital importance as what often appears, on the surface, to be warm and attentive parenting can be charged with the projection of unresolved trauma, enmeshment and the child’s unconscious, existential terror of abandonment. This area of research is one that is opening up new ways of understanding children’s experiences and new approaches to treatment. The work of Dr Salberg is, therefore, something that will be of great interest to anyone working in this field.

 

* * * * * * * * * * *

 

Jill Salberg, PhD, ABPP is a clinical adjunct Associate Professor of Psychology, faculty member and clinical consultant/supervisor at the New York University Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis, faculty and a supervisor at the Stephen Mitchell Center for Relational Studies and the Institute for Contemporary Psychotherapy. She has written on reformulating concepts of termination, trans-generational transmission of attachment trauma, gender, Freud, and the intersection of psychoanalysis and Jewish studies.

 

Her papers have been published in Psychoanalytic Dialogues, Psychoanalytic Quarterly, Studies in Gender and Sexuality and American Imago and she has chapters in Relational Traditions, Vol. 5; The Jewish World of Sigmund Freud; and Answering a Question with a Question. She is a contributor to and the editor of the book Good Enough Endings: Breaks, Interruptions and Terminations from Contemporary Relational Perspectives (Routledge, 2010). She has co-edited two books with Sue Grand, The Wounds of History: Repair and Resilience in the Trans-generational Transmission of Trauma and Trans-generational Trauma and Dialogues Across History and Difference (Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group 2017). She has conceived of and co-edits a new book series Psyche and Soul: Psychoanalysis, Spirituality and Religion in Dialogue (Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group). She has co-edited two books with Sue Grand, The Wounds of History: Repair and Resilience in the Transgenerational Transmission of Trauma and Haunted Dialogues: Conversing Across History and Difference (Routledge, 2016). She is in private practice in Manhattan.

21 comments

  1. Good Morning
    I see this in a family where the father is an “undiagnosed” Aspergers and the children have fallen into these alienating behaviors against their mother!
    The Aspergers father can not see (self introspection, mind blindness?)what he is and has done so there’s no sincere apologies or explanations that could change the children’s perspective about their mother.
    I see narcissism in this father and the children are seeing it as self confidence
    The breach remains broken!
    The Aspergers father as far as I know has had NO trauma to speak of so I’m getting the sense that parental alienation doesn’t always originate from a Traumatized parent having a collapse in a rejection scenario. The parents remain together in a marriage.

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  2. 1959gayle

    It’s interesting that you should mention Asperger’s on here. Besides being convinced that my husband is a narcissist, I have also wondered several times if he has some form of ASD such as Aspergers, mainly because of the things he said latterly which were truly bizarre, for example;

    (from my journal written at the time) :

    Daughter’s dog’s coat: It was winter, and it was very cold and icy. It had snowed heavily and we’d had ice for the best part of a month. We’d been to the cafe for dinner after a walk along the cliff top with daughter’s dog. We’d had a lovely walk and a lovely meal at the cafe. Everything had been pleasant. I was happy. As we walked out of the cafe I put dog’s coat on. This small act was followed by:

    Robert : “Why are you putting his coat on?”

    Me : “It’s cold” (and he’d already worn his coat on the way to the cafe)

    Robert : “Tell the truth, why are you putting his coat on?”

    Me : “What does it matter, it’s cold, I’m putting his coat on”.

    Robert : “You can never tell the truth can you? Go on, tell the truth for once in your life!”

    Me: “I don’t know what truth you want. The truth is I’m putting his coat on because it’s cold”.

    And yet again he’d spoilt another nice walk and a nice meal. I asked him before I left him in 2015 why he always did that. He looked ponderous and thoughtful and said (completely innocently) he was asking the questions because he was curious. It was at that point that I started to seriously wonder whether he had a form of Aspergers but, having tried to research it, I later discounted it, although not fully. Who knows what made him tick. To him, THE TRUTH was all important. He regularly told me that he had never told a lie in his life, unlike me……….. he told me that it was impossible for him not to tell the truth – except that I caught him out more than once but of course he always denied it.

    And perhaps the most bizarre of all:

    ………..and then one day, just before I left him, he said…………..

    “Do you want me to scatter your ashes with K—‘s at ………….?” (K— was the name of our first child)

    My whole life was in absolute turmoil. Until (now alienated) daughter had told me to get out of her life in September I could never have imagined leaving my life behind and going to live in a place I had absolutely no desire to live in. I loved my big four bedroomed house. I loved the tidy, modern estate we lived on. I loved the sea and the sand and the cliffs. I loved it all. I’d lost K—- and now I’d lost ‘Sarah’. I was also losing the only thing that made my days worthwhile – her dog. And (husband) acted as though he couldn’t have cared less; that nothing was happening; but now, he was asking me if I wanted him to scatter my ashes!!!

    I managed to ask him quite calmly why on earth he’d want to do that. He said he still cared about me (but not enough to understand what he was doing to me!) . I told him not to bother! It was such an unbelievably crazy thing for him to think of at such a time, let alone to ask when everything was shot to pieces, but then that was how his mind worked. There I was leaving him and he was offering to take care of my ashes after my demise………… madness.

    There are many, many, more exampels of the way in which he had me reeling in disbelief!

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    1. Willow, read up on Cluster A personalities, paranoia, superstitions etc. have a read as this is about odd and bizarre behaviours that mimic Aspergers. Schizoid and schizoidtypal. My ex was similar to yours and he also said strange, odd and bizarre stuff. Telling the truth was one of his beliefs but he was a chronic liar. He lied without even knowing he was and then would confabulatie to conivine himself his story was true. If I probed I would accused of spying on him and then asked why did I want to know, then told it’s none of my businesses, then asked did I want to know because I was planning to knock him off. That was just asking how his work day was. It came and went and was truly bizarre. HF.

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      1. Hello Hey Freud?!
        I guess I shall never know but boy would I like to know! I’ve searched personality types before but I’m just not qualified enough to know or be able to slot him under any banner.

        The strange (perhaps) thing is that I cannot think of my daughter without her being completely overshadowed by him. Believe me, most of the time I am in complete acceptance mode but I cannot help but be totally puzzled (maybe even a tiny bit obsessed) by my husband’s ‘behaviour’. What has got to me the most over the last couple of years (since the hurt and frustration has gone) is the fact that he will not even think I need to know anything about my daughter. I found and sent a copy of a long, diary like, letter to my daughter and to him telling them both that I was putting it up on my facebook page and would not be removing it – the letter was originally sent to my parents way back in the summer of 2004 and documented our adventures all over Europe in great detail ; it was the only summer where I seem not to have spoiled all THEIR holidays! I never expect my daughter to reply and true to form, she doesn’t, but he did and this is what he wrote:

        “Hard to believe it was so long ago, it was a good year. I could not live at that pace nowadays. It’s a good record of what we were up to, I’m assuming they were letters to your Dad. No boating this year so far but I am riding out with a biker mate most weeks. L—— (daughter’s dog) is ok, lovely as ever, sleeps a lot, see pic.”

        I have communicated with him by email maybe four times in the five years since I left him, usually because I’d forgotten to take with me important things like my birth certificate! Each time he replies in similar vein. Absolutely no mention of daughter, but a quick sentence about her dog. I can’t decide if it’s deliberate (as in failing to warn me daughter was getting married), whether it’s his way of ‘protecting’ her, whether it’s about keeping me under control, or whether it’s just his weirdness! Either way, he still stuns me and even though I try to shake him off and just think about my daughter, he continues to loom like a huge cave over her. Very hard to explain!

        My best wishes to you (smiley face emoji) Karen, you could do with a ‘like’ button on here.

        Here’s one interpretation of his ‘behaviour’ and I hope the person who wrote it will forgive me quoting. (I tend to agree that the interpretation is quite possible):

        QUOTE: I was struck by the very end when he seems to realise you were actually going to leave. It’s a puzzle to know what that leaving meant to him, isn’t it? He carried on as if nothing was about to happen. But I think he was blank because he is blank about relationships and emotions. But somewhere in his rule book, he sort of knew this was a big change coming. Or a big change to other couples. He knew (with the Relate counsellor) that the rules require you to want to talk rather than to lose your partner. But he didn’t mean it because he didn’t know what talking means. He didn’t have a problem if you’d only get back to following his rules. I imagine he was at a loss to know what a person says in the face of this ending, but he knew it should mean something to him. Puzzled but feeling he needs to make something of it, he comes up with a weird freshly created rule: “I’ve got some kind of role here. I’m her husband soon to be ex. What a relief?! What’s my duty though? All I can think of is … when she dies. Have I got something to do with that as a legal partner? Funerals require families to come together – so probably we will do that (unlike her parents at our wedding). Presume she’ll get cremated? That’s what she/we did with K———-. Maybe the sort of thing that people should think about and say is: Shall I scatter your ashes where K—————–’s are scattered?”

        I think this weirdest comment ever is perhaps the closest he ever came to trying quite hard and to working out some kind of expression of an emotional concerned connection. But it’s still done within his limited mental and relational capacity – a personality that is limited to calculating what people do, not spontaneously empathically feeling what people feel and need others to say and do.

        I can only imagine that as his ‘close’ relationship with (daughter) continues, then both of them find this ‘shared hobby and rules’ basis for life suits them both.

        Apologies Karen that I have strayed off topic.

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    2. Hi, your relating about the dog’s coat reminded me completely of many similar happenings in the book, “The Verbally Abusive Relationship and how it works” by Patricia Evans. Maybe that book would be helpful to you–it was to me. Also, I just want to say that it doesn’t matter if he has Aspergers or is Narcissistic or is a Martian–what matters is how his behavior affects you, makes you feel. Best wishes to you.

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  3. Karen!!!!!!

    Please, IF YOU POST MY LAST PIECE OF WRITING can you PLEASE change the name ROBERT to PETER????????

    I thought I’d checked everything after I’d copied and pasted but obviously not!

    (not that he’s ever likely to find this piece of writing and if daughter did I’d not be too upset)
    Thanks

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    1. willow, Yes your example here does show someone emotionally devoid. The ashes is a curious thing to say and I think your summation of why makes sense.
      There is not a lot of good nuance info on schizoid type personalities but what it does say is that they are ‘odd’ and ‘eccentric’ and express very little emotion. The sad thing is they do wish to be in a relationship but their own emotional blindness and there odd and eccentric behaviours prevent them from being able to connect. His response to your emails and very conversational and he acknowledges good times. I wonder if the fact he doesn’t mention your daughter is because in his mind when you left him, you also left your daughter (in his mind). Your comments in the past have described someone who has not been able to tap into his own feelings of grief and loss over the end of the marriage. Hence, the curious comment over the ashes. Out of curiosity, have you ever directly asked him in an email how is x? what has she been up to?……

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      1. Hey Freud!?

        Last Wednesday I left a VERY long post – with examples from my writings – in reply to your ‘curiousity’ question but it’s gone AWOL, probably because it was another essay (smiley face emoji) The gist of the answer is …………….. he believes that, since it was (according to him) me who fell out with her (over her dog!) and then left him as a result of that falling out, I don’t have a right to know anything and unless she gives her permission (which he never asks for of course) he isn’t at liberty to tell me anything therefore, her privacy is kept …….. by him.

        lulutoo:

        You are of course absolutely right……… I married a Martian!
        I looked up that book you mentioned but as far as I can see it’s currently out of stock. I could order a second hand copy at less than £2 but it’s over £30 to get it shipped from America. I have however found the author’s website which I will read.

        My husband was indeed verbally abusive, something that Relate flagged up when I emailed them seven years before I left him. I used to imagine in my mind giving as good as I got BUT, I couldn’t even THINK up the words that came out of his mouth let alone speak them! When I showed him the emails to and from Relate, initially he refused to even read them. Ever after that in arguments he’d say “All those lies you told Relate about me. It’s all in your head, you’ve never been right since your menopause (!!!) you’re a fantasist and a liar, you just make things up and think they’re real’ and so I remained until the day I left. My daughter swallowed it whole and also insists I imagine things that never happened. Obviously I have an excellent imagination! (something tells me I should use it to write a book.)

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      2. Willow, I took it down to change the name and didn’t put it up – I will make a cup of tea – tea in this heat??!! and put it back up x

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  4. So hard to find anyone who can understand this. And see what’s going on. Who want to consider that maybe the story they’ve been fed has been a manipulated scenario by the alienator. They are so quick to jump on the alienator’s bandwagon and work the plot for them. Never considering for one moment, “But what about the child… really… how does this separation benefit the child?” They do so much damage. They coward behind their actions using terms like “protection” and “child abuse” when the allegations are false and everyone knows it.

    It’s a power play.

    The child is the loser.

    Usually the only one who can see it is the targeted parent and they are handcuffed, gagged, and eventually erased from the storyline all together.

    And the child grows up fully traumatized and the child’s future is marred.

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  5. Sarah Pressler – all so true. I’ve lived that story for 6yrs, even the school fell for it regardless of what evidence I put before them. Maybe soon things will get better for the children caught in the middle. Maybe ….

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  6. Hi Karen, bless you! I know you’re very busy and probably juggling (smiley face – can’t do them on here they come out as squares) Hope you managed to enjoy your cup of tea!

    QUOTE: Willow, I took it down to change the name and didn’t put it up – I will make a cup of tea – tea in this heat??!! and put it back up x

    You’re referring to my July 25th post which I can see on here in its original form together with my HELP Karen!!!! note which I can also see (another smiley face).

    I’m referring to a post (a very long essay) I wrote on Wednesday July 29th (to Hey Freud?!) while I was waiting for the AA man to fix my car in my drive (having got me mobile enough to get me home – what a lovely, helpful, cheerful bloke Gareth the AA man is!)

    The post began:

    Hello again Hey Freud!?
    In answer to your question…………….. I last asked him about daughter at the start of the pandemic but he didn’t reply at all. I suspect they had a ‘family pow wow’ and he left it up to daughter.”

    And I went on with a copy and paste of the conversation I had with husband over the phone three months after I found out she’d got married…… (it was very long and I suspect very long posts get lost in the ether without anyone helping them hence the ‘AWOL’ statement, maybe it’s the browser that I favour (as it was for the podcasts!)

    All the best Karen (another smiley face)

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    1. am looking for it now Willow I fell asleep after my cup of tea – it is so hot here that I have been wilting all day! x

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  7. It’s been very hot here too. I love sunny days but not THIS hot. It’s still 22 degrees this morning (7.30 am) hopefully it’ll not get too hot again! If you feel asleep you must have needed it – I did the same this afternoon in the shade in the garden (smiley face) Charlie on the other hand stayed awake all day but was quite happy being busy doing what dogs do. Too hot to walk him xx.

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    1. I can’t sleep well in this heat Willow, it is cooler here today though thank goodness! I am looking for your comment to HF, I cannot for the life of me find anything other than the one that I took down because of the name, is that it? xx

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  8. Nope 🙂
    I’ll post it again in two parts – all the heat does is make me feel wiped out! Though I did manage to walk Charlie for an hour this morning with my sister, my eldest niece and her 16 year old son who has been walking a cute Westie for an old lady since lockdown began.

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  9. Part Two

    Since then I’ve only communicated with him a couple of times via email. I ask how they all are and how her dog is (he’s now 13 years old) but get nothing at all about (daughter) and only a sentence about her dog. I am reluctant to be ask more specifically about daughter because deep down I feel as though he has ‘a power’ over me if I do and also,” as in the conversation above where he says ‘I suppose she hasn’t told me not to’ , he’ll go on thinking in his head that he has to protect her from me invading her privacy! The other thing I am certain of, is that he believes he is completely innocent. He told both myself and a Relate counsellor, that he had never done anything wrong, it was all my behaviour and my obsession with daughter’s dog. Therefore, he believes that, since I LEFT HIM, he is innocent and I deserve it. I wiped myself out of ‘the family’ so he owes me nothing as I am now nothing..

    After I left he told everyone who mattered the same thing. Months later I got a an email from his male cousin:

    “When we received the invitation to (daughter) and (partner)’s wedding we were surprised and upset to realise that you wouldn’t be there, but decided that G, myself, D and N should go to represent the our side of the family, although it did not seem right you not being there. We did not get too involved in the wedding not knowing anybody other than (daughter) and (my husband)., especially as we were not staying at the venue. We only took a few photos on our camera and did not have much to do with the official photographer.

    (my husband) first ‘phoned N and D In May (three months after I left) to ask if he and (daughter) could come over to see us all. D asked how you were and he said that you had split up but would explain when he saw us.

    They came over in early May. G and I went over to N and D’s house. (my husband) started to explain but was very sad and distressed, in fact he was in tears. As far as we could understand it was all over a disagreement between (daughter) and yourself over her dog, he seemed to have to choose between you and (daughter). but he didn’t want you to leave at all. (he never gave me that impression!)

    The only reason that you were not invited to the wedding, as far as we know, was because (daughter) was adamant that she didn’t want you there.

    (my husband) seemed to be a bit lonely, he came and sat with us for a while at the evening do, and mentioned a couple of times he was worried about what your reaction would be when you found out.

    We only saw (daughter) and (her new husband) briefly on arrival at the wedding, had a couple of group photos taken and didn’t have any contact with (daughter) and (new husband) after that.”

    My husband couldn’t see that he had any part of this he could only see that I had left him. He was very good at putting on a show of distress (totally dry eyed but very effective and only applied when daughter was present) He has had no contact with his cousins since and neither has daughter, even though we used to see them regularly. He told his old school friend the same thing and hasn’t seen him since either ………

    Mind blowingly crazy living it……….. and so wonderfully peaceful without HIM in my life!

    Best Wishes, Willow

    (If it goes missing again I will not stress about it !!!!)

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  10. Dearest Willow, I am so sorry to hear of your daughters (secret) wedding. This would have been a very hurtful time for you. The feedback from the family cousins is interesting. Even they can see a marriage does not fall apart over a dog also their surprise that you weren’t at the wedding shows their memories of your good and loving relationship with your daughter. Your ex has done the classic splitting of his all good and his bad parts are hidden from his conscious. My ex is the same except he tells people my anxiety made me see things and do things so I am therefore mentally unstable. He did everything and I was never happy. From the way your ex behaved at the wedding I suspect he often disclosed to your daughter how he can’t do anything right, and when you left him he would have made her believe you left her too. He would have convinced her that they where both victims of your impossible standards and expectations. So sad.

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  11. Hey Freud?!
    (Part One also went AWOL and it was, word for word, the ‘conversation’ I had with my husband over the phone 3 months after I broke silence and blurted out that I knew about her wedding, his response “How do you know?”)

    I firmly believe that my husband believes exactly what he told his cousins and his old school friend, that it had nothing to do with him and I left him because I fell out with my daughter. I NEVER fell out with her. On the fatal night it was HER yelling at ME to get out of her house – after I asked if I could watch her competing with her horse the following Sunday – while I was pleading with her that she had to start to talking to me – she’d not spoken to me since they got back from Germany on Aug 10th and on that day it was Sept 18th, the last time I ever saw her. Before I even got home that night she’d phoned her dad, my husband, and told him I’d been rowing with her. He believed her and waded in on my return. The following day I drove away and set in motion my plans to find somewhere to live near my sister.

    My daughter is convinced I treated him badly and he’s convinced her that I left him because of her. He also told me that I was ‘leaving him because, “for the first time in my life I couldn’t get my own way” !! Sadly no one can tell me anything about my daughter, he won’t, and nobody else can, because he never talks to anyone about her and has practically cut off anyone who might have been in a position to tell me.

    Karen’s Shadowlands: The World in Negative Projection describes HIM. I could have just as easily posted part one and two there to illustrate her writing!

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  12. What about the child and what about the damage to that child. I have been thinking about this for many months now. My grandchildren are happy. They have a stepfather who in the words of my youngest grandson, is a better father to us than dad. Their stepfather has three other children, two of them are adult children who work at the same firm, and my eldest grandson has also got a job there. My son telephoned the firm a few months ago and left his phone number
    in the hope that there might be a response, but nothing. They also have two sets of grandparents, three if we are still included. I see my youngest grandson occasionally, I always tell him that his dad loves him and would like to see them both at any time as the door is always open. It falls on deaf ears. The usual response is that I have come to see you Nan, not talk about dad. So the mystery continues as to why and what happened, was there a trigger, did their dad say something wrong. I ask myself the question endlessly but there is no answer. So may be the answer is to accept the children have settled down in a new life and have no need of the old one. Their dad has moved to London anyway now. He has found happiness with someone else and I am glad for him but the pain of the loss of his two boys is always there. Is this the point where the rejected parent and grandparents say I have done all I can but they are adults now and it is up to them. My eldest grandson is 20 and my youngest is now 16.

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