Protective Mothers' Alliance International

family court abuse/corruption

The Success of Love BY ADRIENNE

with 3 comments

Read this powerful story about DV by Proxy in a mom’s own words. Notice the progression and circumstances in which this hateful smear campaign against a loving mom thrives.. Twisting up a child’s mind and teaching them to hate a loving parent by using lies and manipulation is child abuse.

The Success of Love
BY ADRIENNE, ON JUNE 11TH, 2012
The success of love is in the loving. —Mother Teresa

A few days ago I read the first post I ever wrote about my two eldest children, Jacob and Abbie, and how they came to live full-time with their dad. I sat at my computer, eyes goggling half-out of my head, unable to believe I had accomplished the mental-gymnastics necessary to believe what I wrote.

Better?

Better?!?

Like hell it was better, but I definitely believed it at the time, at least at the top of my consciousness. I was mostly (sort of? who knows) convinced that Jacob and Abbie’s dad was a better parent than I; that I was, if not abusive, at least profoundly deficient.

Truth? Yes, I’ll tell the truth: in some ways, in the very beginning, it was a relief to have them gone. I missed them terribly, but at the same time, Carter was so sick that I was living far beyond the limits of my emotional and physical resources and I was stretched much too thin.

More truth? In spite of all that I believe now, and all that I am about to say, I was at my low point as a parent when Jacob and Abbie left. The things other people did and said can’t absolve me of my responsibility, and I am responsible. I did the best I could under terrible circumstances, but that isn’t the same as being innocent.

When they moved out, I never imagined for one minute that they would go away and stay away. I assumed that, given the freedom to choose, they would spend most nights at their dad’s house and just one or two (as opposed to four, as it had always been) per week at mine. I thought they would come around a few days a week after school, or hang out with us sometimes on Saturdays.

When I didn’t see them for a few weeks, I thought they needed some breathing room, a chance to decompress from the difficulties of life at chez Jones, and so I gave it to them. This was not a decision I made lightly. I prayed and pondered and agonized, staying up late at night writing and crying. Ultimately, though, I decided to live by the credo, “This is a family. We take volunteers, not hostages.”

So while I continued to invite my kids to dinner and other family events, and kept calling them several times a week, and texted them every night to say goodnight and tell them I loved them, I didn’t push or force. I stepped back, focused my energy on Carter and helping him get stable, and I waited.

As carefully as I made that decision, it was absolutely the wrong one. What I didn’t see, the giant piece of the puzzle that I didn’t even know I was missing, was this: my kids’ dad and other members of my family were actively working to keep my kids away from me. That, combined with their anger at my genuine shortcomings, stewed in a broth of early-adolescence, created a case of parental alienation syndrome (PAS) that I didn’t recognize until it was two years entrenched.

The kids’ resentments against me grew and deepened both because adults they love and care about encouraged (in overt and covert ways) those resentments, and because they saw me so rarely (we didn’t see each other for months at a stretch sometimes), I didn’t have enough time to show them that I wasn’t the person they had created in their minds.

Starting in the summer of 2011, when I began to push hard in any way I could to have more time with my kids, I watched it happen: when they were with me more, they started to soften. Their defenses began to relax as they let the reality-mom impact idea-mom. Then, something would happen (something always happened), I would see the kids less, and the fierce, hateful, horrible words would come from the kids’ mouths to my heart again. The same words that their dad and other people spoke to them about me.

Never, ever, ever underestimate the power of a good story.

My family’s experience of parental alienation syndrome is unusual in that the alienation began long after the divorce itself. In fact, Robert and I co-parented fairly peacefully for quite a few years. Or so I believed; I know now that he wanted our kids all to himself long before he got them, and when the opportunity presented itself, he took it. If my kids’ PAS had been more typical (that is, happening during the immediate post-divorce months or years), someone probably would have identified it sooner. As it was, I flew blind for a long, long time before I knew what was happening.

My 18-year-old son and I remain fairly alienated (though I see signs of progress), but my daughter has been home with me now for several months and, while PAS will always be one of the most painful experiences of my life, I’m healing.

Having my beautiful, brilliant daughter, with her heart wide open and her mind searching for her truth, doesn’t hurt one tiny bit.

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3 Responses

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  1. I can relate: The severe Parental Alienation campaign against me began three years after my separation from a psychologically controlling & emotionally abusive man (it seems alienating fathers often choose the teen years to take advantage of the natural turmoil within the tween/teen & the ease of getting away with not supervising, etc.). I was worried he would hurt my daughter — I knew his promises & seduction all too well — a (female) counselor said the new living arrangement would give my daughter a chance to get the attention she’d been wanting from her dad — this counselor was under the impression my ex suddenly wanted & would treat her like somebody — I knew this wasn’t the case, but I let the counselor make me believe my daughter would see the truth & respond accordingly on her own behalf. Meanwhile, I could work on healing myself. HOW WRONG THIS THERAPIST was: My daughter wound up in a behavioral health hospital five months later & has been on an anti-depressant & an anti-anxiety since, paid for by my health insurance, though I never got to speak with the psychiatrist — my ex’s fifth wife, however, did. My daughter went along with making false accusations against me, I believe to test her father’s concern & care for her. He & his wife ignored her attempts at attention until my ex saw I was doing fairly well financially, professionally, & personally without him — he was so sure I would file bankruptcy after leaving me in a home I could not afford alone (although I was legally entitled to alimony & more child support, this self-employed real estate broker/owner hid is income from the IRS). My daughter is now completely alienated from me, doesn’t have a curfew, winds up in ER for what looks like SPICE drug reaction, & has lost most of her friends. I’m scared all the time for her, but CPS & family court does nothing to a sophisticated manipulator with more money to humiliate me in court & drag our daughter into sick drama of the courtroom. Thank goodness you have your daughter back; I pray for your children’s healing.

    Torn 2 Peaces

    March 17, 2014 at 3:45 pm

  2. Reblogged this on Moms' Hearts Unsilenced and commented:
    Honest talk from a mom who was blindsided with Parental Alienation as I was.

    Torn 2 Peaces

    March 17, 2014 at 3:46 pm

    • Torn; Thank you for your comment. As I read your comment , my heart aches as touches close to the bone. PMA protective moms , have all experienced some form of alienation from our children. We use the term ” DV by Proxy” as we feel it more accurately states what is going on and emphasizes the abuse aspect of this evil deed. Our co founder and Executive Director has been alienated from her youngest for 6 years now and her middle child barely has contact with her. The story above ended on a happy note but sadly that is not always the case. We feel it is important to educate and raise awareness on this issue, for many reasons, mostly because it is painful to have others comment in a hurtful way and look at you strangely when they find out your child does not want to see you. Blaming the victim is something that needs to end in this culture, so we can support, love and help each other heal from the tremendous damage to our hearts and souls that this vicious and evil form of abuse inflicts. You and your daughter are in our hearts and prayers. You might want to join our ongoing Love Letters to Our children event. We are posting beautiful love letters , original poetry and more for our children. It is both on FB and this blog. For more information on this event and others contact Gayle Summer PMA International Admin. Asst. @ gaylesummer@gmail.com Much love to you.


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