Posts Tagged ‘parental alienation’

Although not one of them would admit it, and you’re to self-absorbed to realize it, you don’t know your own children. You may have carried them inside you and gave birth to them, but you don’t truly know them. You know the version of them that they MUST show you. The mask they must wear to receive your love and approval.

It started long ago. It’s gone on as long as I’ve been in the picture. Most likely from their births. The stories you made up, the responsibilities and lies you laid on them. Early on in my relationship with them it was evident they craved motherly love and attention. I didn’t set out to “steal your kids” or usurp your position in any way. If you were truly bonded to them, how could I? How could anyone?

Their love for me threatened you. It shouldn’t have. But you are weak. You are insecure. You hadn’t really “mothered” them much at that point, had you? Their Daddy was the one who took care of them. Even after your divorce, he was the one to stay home with them when they were sick, to feed them, clothe them. True to form, then as now, you were all about show. What people saw of you isn’t what went on behind closed doors. The kids watched all this. They took it all in. When they found safe haven at my home and in my arms, you couldn’t cope. You took it as a personal blow.

They would beg to stay with me even before I married their Daddy. We had so much fun on our adventures. Hiking, cooking, picking apples, playing with my dogs. It was safe at my house. No strange men coming in and out. No high school boys hanging around. No yelling. No having to fend for themselves. No drama. They got to see a Mom in action as I mothered my own children. They obviously liked what they experienced.

The oldest child loved my son. He was fascinated by the fact that he didn’t speak. He loved to play computer games with me. In elementary school he asked me often to visit his classroom. Once I gave a talk there. His class wrote thank you notes. He wrote an extra special note. I treasure it. It was written from his heart before you were able to poison him.

The second child saw right away her Daddy’s love for me. She watched me carefully. I loved that about her! She was shy. Her self esteem virtually nonexistent. I did my best to build her up and make her aware of her own unique talents and beauty. She and I had a secret code we would use to make puzzles out of our notes back and forth. She would make art for me.

The third child tried so hard to be happy and carefree but underneath she was angry and insecure. She would cling to me. Almost every night I would hold her and rock her in my rocking chair as she sucked her thumb. She loved to play games. I gave her a nickname that she was so proud of! I have a little wooden strawberry she gave me that says “I love you” when you open it. It will be mine forever.

The youngest child was always so quiet. He was only three when I met him. He wanted to be pretty much anywhere I was. A few months after I met him he asked me if I would marry him so he could be with me forever. I have the little ring he gave me to wear even though I told him I couldn’t marry him because his Daddy was my boyfriend. We would write stories and draw pictures to match. He was an artist, a creator. You took that out of him, didn’t you? Instead of being allowed to follow his own interests, he had to participate in whatever the dude you were “dating” at the time was doing. Pathetic.

They were happy. They were safe and secure. They loved the family rituals we had…”special plate” each night at family dinner, family game night, date night one on one with each child. They will remember these things. They will also remember the lies you told and the chaos you exposed them to on a regular basis. They will understand that they weren’t “stolen” but that your own actions caused you to be proven unfit and to lose custody. They will understand that was when the war began. Maybe, just maybe, they will realize that if nothing else, you had to step up and at least attempt to be a decent mother to them. The best you could be, anyway. Their Dad had a moral obligation to take them from you and keep them safe which is what he did. I supported him and loved him all the more for it.

Another Mother’s Day as rolled around. Lot’s of praise for you on Facebook as usual. “World’s Greatest Mom!” It’s funny, infuriating, and sad, all at the same time. All of the water that has gone under the bridge and they still can’t be honest with you. They fear your temper tantrums. They shudder at the thought of your disapproval. It’s just easier to lie and make you feel important. No, you don’t know your own children. You never will.

Enjoy your accolades whilst they last Momma. Sooner to later, all of the hate, the lies, the hurt, you have spewed out over the years will make it’s way back to you. Deservedly.

Symptoms of Parental Alienation

Parents Acting Badly (Book)

Helping Adult Children of PAS

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Bet you didn’t sleep well last night. Bet you’re nervous today. Bet you’re scouring the internet and reading all the comments posted under the local news stories, searching social media about the latest local teacher accused of sexual assault, wanting desperately to find what I have written. You know I AM writing about it…you know I AM writing about you.

Every time one of these cases makes the news I think immediately of you. How can I not? I wonder how is it you have gotten away with sexually abusing students for over 20 (yes, TWENTY!) years? There are so many questions…

Over fifteen years ago I found out you had a history of having sex with students. Not “a” student, although that would have been bad enough…but many, many students. Your family – your husband at the time, and your small children – were literally run out of the town where it all began with threats of violence due to your behavior. You seem to have no boundaries in telling the kids things, have you told them you were run out of town? Seems even backwoods, “country folk” as you once referred to one of the boys, don’t appreciate their young sons being preyed on by a school teacher. Maybe it was because some of them were smart enough to figure out that one of your pregnancies was due to your affairs with high school boys. People talk. Seems with you there was plenty to talk about.

Tell me, do YOU know which one of the students fathered the child that you fraudulently passed off as your husband’s for TEN years? My guess is yes, based on the information that the State Police discovered, but I’d like to see you have backbone enough to admit it. Does the boy that fathered this child know he has a daughter? Honestly, I am surprised you didn’t try to sue him for child support. I have no doubt you would have done so, if you thought you could have done it and kept your teaching certificate. Do the kids know who the father of their sibling is? Does your current husband know who the father is and how old the kid was at the time of conception? Bet you concocted a dandy story to cover it up.

You moved to this school district, but the behavior continued. You’ve been here for many years now. This is not a big area. And again, people talk. What I wonder every time one of these cases pops up is, WHEN will you be caught? Not when will you be found out, because everyone knows…the Superintendent, the School Board, fellow teachers and staff…students…parents…your children. When will you be held accountable for all the crimes you have committed against students? Multiple counts of sex acts, stalking, harassing, just to name a few. All felonies. All crimes against children entrusted to your care and authority. How do you manage to stay employed as a teacher? How have you managed to never be arrested? It amazes me. And let’s not forget the paternity fraud you committed and parental alienation you have fostered.

What kind of a stories have you spun over the years that allow your children to even be in the same room with you? They are adults now. They’re old enough to know what it meant having all those high school boys coming in and out of the house, going up to “Mom’s” room. They know what people were talking about in school. They know why the neighbors were talking. I am relieved that they are all out of school now. I used to worry about what would happen if you were arrested while they were in school. Clearly I worried in vain. This school district certainly doesn’t have the balls to fire you.

Eventually, I believe justice will be served. You cannot hide what you have done. There are too many victims. Too many people know. Sooner or later, it will catch up to you. Karma. Reaping what you sow. What goes around comes around and one of these days it will find you. In the meanwhile, you will live your life constantly looking over your shoulder, wondering when that day will come.

 

Biomom

Much of my life has centered around mothering. I am the oldest of six siblings. I have two biological children, four step children, and countless other ‘kids’. I love being a mother. It is something I consider an honor.

Being a good mother isn’t easy. You put yourself aside much of the time and focus on giving your best to those babies. It’s not all about YOU anymore, the babies come first. You protect them, you guide them, you correct them when they drift off course. You love them unconditionally.

Being a good stepmom is even more difficult. At least in my experience. I remember asking a friend about being a stepmom when I first considered marriage to my husband. She told me, “Run! Run as fast as you can and never look back!” I laughed aloud when she said it, but she wasn’t kidding. It wasn’t that she didn’t love her stepchildren, she did. It was the family dynamics involved in raising the four of them after the death of their biological mother, along with her own biological child she had with their Dad once they wed that wore her down. She told me being a stepmom was often a thankless task.

Even under the best of circumstances I would imagine being a stepmom is always somewhat tricky. You get a lot of responsibility and very little, if any, authority. You can love them, you can feed them, you can put a roof over their heads, but at the end of the day, you’re not the “real” Mom. Not that you even want to be. But you do want to have some say in the lives of these little people who take so much physically, emotionally and financially. It really shouldn’t be that difficult. If all adults could just be adults and work together for the good of the children, it wouldn’t be.

My role as stepmom didn’t start out hard. My stepchildren loved me, loved coming to spend time here at my home, fought for one on one time with me. Everything was great. They were young and had lots of energy. We had tons of fun. At least until it became apparent I was in the picture to stay. Even then, the resistance didn’t come from them. It came from their mother. Over the years, it has escalated, especially once she lost custody. Over the years, every consequence the bio-mom has suffered due to her actions has somehow been twisted to be my fault. It’s easy to make the stepmom the scape goat. After all, the kids do not have any biological ties to her. She is the outsider. Or so a twisted parent would substantiate.

My stepchildren have been effectively alienated from me, and even worse, from their father. We hear from them on Holidays, sometimes on birthdays, or if they are in need of something. That hurts. A lot. We both sacrificed and endured much over the years to protect them from their mother’s poor lifestyle choices, to provide them with stability they didn’t have with her. I brought them into my home and cared for them as if they were my own. I loved them as my own, and still do, but do they even remember that? If they do they are not allowed to admit it.

They are all adults now. The youngest turned 18 last November and will graduate from high school this coming Friday. Perhaps as they mature and start their own families someday they will look back and see the truth. Maybe, but maybe not. At the end of the day, it doesn’t really change anything. If I had it to do all over again, I would. In a heartbeat.

The bio-mom hates me and has done her best to pull these kids away from me, but at the root of it all, because of ME she had to step up and at least try to be a decent mother. Because of me, she had to take parenting classes. Because of me, she was not allowed to have her children around every Tom, Dick and Harry with whom she chose to have sex. Because of me she couldn’t continue to bring high school boys to her home. Because of me, she at least tried to cook them real meals and she started actually doing family things with them. Yes, because of ME, she had to at least TRY to be a real mother to them. Whether the kids ever acknowledge the truth or not, I get satisfaction knowing that because of me, they had a better shot at having a good childhood. My love for them only added to my husband’s love for me. It strengthened us while she was set on destroying our relationship.

To the stepmom’s in the trenches I say, “Hang in there!” Love yourself enough to take good care of you. You deserve it. Love your stepchildren but maintain healthy boundaries. They need your love and attention. Try not to take things personally. (Good luck with that one! It’s not easy.) Love your husband and work on your marriage continually. You need to support each other. The kids grow up. One day the battles will be over and it will be just the two of you. Take pleasure in knowing that time is on your side.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Liar

“If her lips are moving, she’s lying.”

That’s what my husband told me about his ex-wife pretty early on in our relationship. He didn’t say it with malice, just stated it as fact. Over the years I have thought many times about how accurate this statement turned out to be.

Some people wouldn’t know truth if it jumped up and bit them on the ass. That statement definitely applies to the ex-wife. She has told more lies than I can count. It’s a way of life for her. She has lied about so many things that have affected me over the years and I have not had the opportunity to publicly refute them.

Some of her lies have been to people I know at work and in the community. Telling people that I “stole” her children. No one stole her children. She lost custody because she was unfit to care for them. She repeatedly put them in situations that children should never be in, and continually exposed them to men and boys she was involved with sexually. She was court ordered to take parenting classes. Not me. Not my husband.

She repeatedly told the children that I was the reason she and my husband were not together. Really? Guess that makes me pretty powerful considering when she started having sex with high school students I lived over 700 miles away and wouldn’t meet my husband for another 7 years. No, the reason my husband was not with her had nothing to do with me. She could have been the last woman on earth and he wouldn’t have been with her.

She once filed a countersuit in court that included a statement that the family counselors said I should not be allowed to be alone with the children. Both family counselors denied that and were willing to testify in court. Settlement was reached out of court so once again, I did not have the opportunity to confront her. In actuality, the court appointed family counselors were requesting that SHE only have supervised visitation with the children. It wasn’t me who was the unstable person in their lives.

She accused me of child abuse. Yep, that’s right, the one who has had the police called on her for physical abuse…the one who has preyed sexually and emotionally on teenagers for years…reported ME for child abuse. Thankfully, we had taken all four children to visit the family counselor following the incident in question and it was noted that the child I supposedly abused had no marks on her. However, when she got to school that morning after being driven there by the ex she suddenly had marks under her eye and claimed I had struck her face. The DHS judge called her actions a “gross manipulation” of the system. I’m not gonna lie, it has been frustrating, not being able to call her out publicly on all of her bullshit.

But the lie that tops all lies, the one I would most like to hear, is the lie (or lies) she has told the children over the years to turn them against us. Part of me understands her turning them against me. She is insecure and threatened by me as a woman, and as a mother. But why would she turn her children against the man that is a dedicated father to them? A solid male role model. She told the children long before we even knew that one of them was not the biological child of their Dad. What exactly did she tell them? She was married to their Dad at the time, yet having sex with someone else that resulted in pregnancy. She passed this child off for over TEN years as his, collecting child support, medical expenses, sending her with him for visitation, then when she gets caught and called out on it, suddenly HE is the bad guy? I want to know what line of CRAP did she tell them to make HIM the bad guy? And now that they are adults, why can’t they see it? Why do they continue to support her lies?

Yesterday I read a post on the blog A Shrink4Men titled High-Conflict, Borderline Ex-Wives: It’s the Most Drama-Filled Time of the Year!  That mirrors what goes on in our lives every Holiday, birthday or any other special occasion.  It’s sadly predictable.

My husband’s ex finally got re-married about a year and a half ago.  We had hoped that might take her focus off of us, but what little reprieve we got was short-lived.  Within six months it was business as usual with her.  If anything, the remarriage has made it worse where her interference with my husband’s visitation with his son is concerned.

Without exception, the hobbies or interests of every man who the ex has had in her life have been put upon my stepchildren.  If the guy liked kayaking and boating, she made sure they all went kayaking and boating.  When she started dating a guy who liked baseball, my youngest stepson was signed up and made to play baseball.  Same with football.  Believe me, one look at him out on the field and you could be certain he wasn’t there by choice.  It’s been the same with religion.  First, they went to the Baptist church where her sister’s family attended.  Then a guy she dated went to a non-denominational church so she switched.  One of the last guys she wanted to hook before getting married was Catholic, so she started taking the kids to the Catholic church.   The new husband is into hunting, so suddenly my stepson must be interested and involved in the sport of hunting.  This young man is not, and never has been, allowed to have his own voice where his mother is concerned.  He is a soft-spoken young man.  Just turned fifteen.   She easily manipulates and guilts him.  These activities are, of course, scheduled to take place as often as possible on my husband’s visitation times.  This past Thanksgiving Holiday and my stepson’s birthday the weekend before were no different.

The role of step parent to the children of a high-conflict personality is anything but easy.  I have always busted my ass for these kids.  As the kids get older, it seems to get easier.  Perhaps because I see the light at the end of the tunnel.  Two of the kids are already adults.   They know and understand even if they are unwilling or unable to admit to themselves what they see.  It hurts to see “Happy Birthday to the most amazing mother in the world” posted on Facebook when this particular son doesn’t even bother to wish my husband Happy Birthday.  Then again, this is the same child who at twelve years old we over heard saying to his mother on the phone, “What do you need me to say?  I will tell the judge whatever you tell me to say.”  This the night before a court date where they subpoenaed him as a witness. What kind of person puts a child in that position?

And then there was the time my oldest stepdaughter posted, “I am so thankful for my wonderful mother.  She has made me everything I am today.”  Being very candid, I must tell you I nearly vomited when I read that.  My husband and I are very close to this child and she is absolutely nothing like her mother.  I would rather have been kicked in the face than read that statement.  It felt like a complete and total betrayal.  Because we are close, I gently asked her about it the next time I saw her.  I explained to her that it hurt me.  She began to cry.  Sob actually.  She told me she was sorry.  That she never meant to hurt me, but that she lives every day of her life seeking her mother’s approval yet knowing it will never come.  She described it as “Everything is always good here.  I don’t have to try to make you and Dad love and support me.  But with Mom, I can never do anything right.  If she’s happy with me even for a few minutes, it is good.”  Isn’t that heartbreaking?  After all, isn’t every child entitled to the unconditional love of their parents?

A friend of mine likens the kids’ relationship with their mother to that of  Stockholm Syndrome.  I believe this pretty much sums it up.  Here is what one link has to say:

What causes Stockholm Syndrome? Captives begin to identify with their captors initially as a defensive mechanism, out of fear of violence. Small acts of kindness by the captor are magnified, since finding perspective in a hostage situation is by definition impossible. Rescue attempts are also seen as a threat, since it’s likely the captive would be injured during such attempts.

It’s important to note that these symptoms occur under tremendous emotional and often physical duress. The behavior is considered a common survival strategy for victims of interpersonal abuse, and has been observed in battered spouses, abused children, prisoners of war, and concentration camp survivors.

Over the years, we have gotten great guidance and advice from a couple of highly qualified family therapists who have experience with high-conflict, personality disorders.  They have spent a lot of time and effort in educating us on how to protect ourselves and give the kids a “safe place” from this woman.  Never under estimate these people.  They are masters at lies and manipulations.  Experts at twisting the truth and playing the victim.  I am so thankful to see professionals such as Dr Tara Palmatier writing, speaking and educating the public about these issues.  We need to press forward with getting this knowledge into the family court system.  Not only so that the proper and rightful party is getting hit with the stick of justice, but more importantly, so our kids can grow up being kids.  Not little “mini” adults spending their lives walking around on eggshells, waiting for the other shoe to drop.