Consumed me for years. Ate away at me and robbed me.
We ended up in Family Court years after the divorce and Me fighting to keep custody of a 14-year old that was convinced I was the worst thing and all my kids wanted nothing to do with me; for years. It devastated me and even with all put back together years later, the wounds are deep and the scars aren’t so visible, anymore, but if one were to press on any area, tears would flow.
There is an actual term for the “condition” and it’s known in Family Law as Parental Alienation and there are various levels of how deep. Some courts recognize it as a Social disorder of sorts and recognize the pathology of it by one of the presenting parents and some courts call it poppycock- but it’s real.
A quick search on the internet and you come up with this definition: “It occurs when the child becomes aligned with one parent as a result of the unjustified and/or exaggerated denigration of the other parent. This leads to an impaired relationship with the alienated (target) parent and an absolute loss of parenting as a result of the hostility of the parent producing the alienation.”
My reading became the parenting forums and web posts of other parents like myself. The shame coupled with the daily sadness of the loss of my children’s love and respect became too much to bear and I lived the next several years barely getting by with the support of friends . I worked (and when I do- I make a lot of money for other people) and thank heavens I don’t drink, do drugs or sleep around. Looking back, it’s as if I was frozen. Well aware of what needed to be done, but unable to do it. My self confidence wavered- and so I stayed in this miserable place of wanting and not knowing how or what to do. The thought of a life without my kids was too much and so from 2011 to 2019- not much in the way of anything got done. My whole Mantra and being was I want and need my kids and that sadness and emptiness pretty much dominated my 50’s.
That’s all changed- I am one of the lucky ones. Maybe all that energy I put into wanting “my family”- that expression of “where your mind goes, your energy flows”; My 60th birthday is less than six months away. The relationship with my now-adult kids is better than ever. It will never be what it was before all that-and maybe it wasn’t so good. We had CPS at our home a lot. There was domestic violence in my home. It wasn’t perfect even when it looked perfect. My kids are OK; they have done well and they are productive members of society, giving back. My energy flow has never changed on that- and in the last few months as all comes back ten-fold, and now focusing on my future and what I can do to make not just MY life better but how to share the faith and hope with other parents with similar experiences. The statistics show, most broken families (and mine was up there for compound fractures with no chance of healing) don’t mend. It is a fascinating topic in itself when it is happening to others- but, it’s the worst thing for a parent, second to the actual death or loss of a child and even then, it compares. I would definitely wish it on my worst enemy, but as it is- I get to serve her electronically (legal stuff) , soon, so there is a silver lining on that.