Saturday, 7 March 2009


There are quite a few Facebook groups dealing with Parental Alienation. Obviously, take care about which groups you join or read, and the people you speak to on there. Also, remember that your alienator will probably be able to access the same groups ... they will read whatever you say there and can/will use it against you.

Have you joined any groups?

And if you see anything from my blog used without credit, please let me know. Many thanks.

Monday, 6 October 2008

Dates - the edible kind

I like dates. I LOVE dates. Right or wrong, I eat a pile of them and count them towards my five a day fruit and vegetable quota, something I am fanatical about. I could easily sit and eat a bagful.

You're wondering why I'm telling you this? Well, here's why: as an alienated child, I was so firmly entrenched in believing the mendacious brainwashing of my alienating parent that until 2008 I wouldn't eat dates. My mother told me at some point that as a little child I loved dates. I was so convinced she was a liar that I wouldn't eat them.

Over the past 3 years, since the alienator/male parent disowned (my kids and) me, as I've mentioned in this blog, the layers of deceit have slowly been peeling themselves away from my mind. Once I learned from a third party that he was lying about ME, to cut a long story short, it made me realise that if he was lying about me, then it's possible he lied about my mother. It was akin to a house of cards falling: I have slowly been reassessing my relationship with my late mother and have seen what a monstrous act of crime he committed in telling his own child from the age of 6 until 35 that her mother didn't love her. He twisted everything she said and did, criminalized her in my mind, and made her out to be the ultimate deceiver. He led me to believe I was literally living with the devil. I had no trust for her whatsoever because according to him, she didn't love me, she just wanted to control me. Everything she said or did to me was based on that, so when she told me I used to love dates, I didn't believe her. I thought she was lying in order to make me eat something disgusting, to torment me for her own pleasure ... when guess who was truly doing that?!

Saturday, 9 August 2008

I'm still here

In response to enquiries, yes, I'm still here. I don't have much to say about PA at the moment. Well, I don't think I do, but the subject has been on my mind again recently. Weeell, it's always on my mind to some extent, I guess, because it has shaped my adult life.

I've been trying to get my head around the Asperger's lately. That's taken up a lot of my thought processes, and has probably pushed the PA to one side.

I joined Facebook 3 weeks ago after much prompting by the offspring. It's been weird because family members I haven't heard from in a decade are "adding" me as their "friend", but then not speaking. I assume that's normal :> I've been reconnecting with one, however, who himself spent a lot of time out of touch with the family.

Joining Facebook has meant facing the presences of my male parent and my sister. I called her after seeing a comment that she made about her husband being sent to a war, to offer my support to her and particularly her children. She thanked me for calling and hung up. Neither of them have approached the offspring on FB - not that the latter would want that, but I have spent the last 3 weeks complaining about the former. I've probably been earbashing the offspring about them a bit too much.

I just don't understand. I keep saying it and it might get old, but I don't understand disowning people. Offspring also received birthday card and present from the male parent, with a note from his partner inside saying "We're thinking of you and your sibling" (paraphrased). I was completely excluded and thoroughly pissed off at such a direct and deliberately cruel exclusion of me.

My sister's children are living in fear of their father dying - and yet she won't let them have the comfort of me and mine.

My offspring keeps saying "Your family are crazy. Seriously. They're mental. You have been surrounded by insane people all your life".

My ex spent a great deal of time insisting he wasn't going to talk to me about my sister, by talking about my sister. Apparently she's angry about things from our childhood. Well, I TOO am angry about our childhood - but I forgive her. I did a long time ago. I'm not going to hold anyone to ransom over something that happened in 1978 when we were both little children, but apparently she's allowed to. It's SOOOO bizarre. She complains about things I did 30 years ago. I don't get it. She made my life miserable - and we argued, like sisters do. But I feel like she should get over it - and if there weren't any ulterior motives, surely she would? I feel as if there is something else going on here.

And then today out of the blue I realised that my grandfather, my male parent's male parent, disowned his daughter too, for not behaving exactly as he wanted her to. This man (whom I adored, despite my mother telling me he wasn't "a nice man") also kicked his wife out of the family home and made her leave her children behind. My offspring said "So maybe your male parent thinks that's normal? Does that make it less malicious?". Does it? It makes it more so, in my opinion, because he's been witness to what disowning does to children and grandchildren - but he did it anyway.

No, there is more than just me not towing the line for him and my sister. There's something else. I still think he chose her over me. Or I should say her and her kids over me and mine (and I have the older grandchildren who knew him, my sister's children didn't).

I have spent the last few months in a very dark place. I called the Samaritans at one point, because I honestly felt that I had nothing to live for other than my children, and that if I didn't have them, I would end my life. I spent weeks fantasizing about death, but not telling anyone. That mood lifted after a week of enforced decent sleep at night (hay fever medication!), but I still feel lost and by myself. I never actually even approached taking my own life, but I wished for an escape. I wished SO HARD!!

The Asperger's is helping me understand myself better in many, many ways, and is helping my life to become easier by giving me understanding. I can eliminate things that I can't deal with and alter how I approach others. What it doesn't do for me is repair broken relationships, even the ones I want to repair. I cannot even tell the people I need to because two in particular are spiteful and would take great pleasure in grassing me up to authorities in order to cause trouble, all the while pretending that they're just trying to do the right thing for my kids. My kids are FINE. They are great, they're happy, lively, thriving, balanced, well educated (because I hide everything negative from them, as exhausting as it is, and because I have replaced their lost family members with alternatives from our church and also have supported/maintained/encouraged relationships with step-relations). My Asperger's does not affect them.

Asperger's also tells me that there are some things that even "normal" people don't understand - and that's deliberately harmful behaviour towards others. Alienation is one such behaviour.

To sum up PA and Asperger's in my life: I was told I was unwanted so I felt excluded. I also have a condition which causes social isolation. I have been doubly excluded socially. No wonder I'm a wingnut ... but knowledge is power, and I know what I'm fighting now, instead of wallowing in misunderstanding.

I'm still not going back to the mailing lists. I can't be drowned out on my own blog so I'm staying here. Please do continue to email me and leave comments. Ask me more questions. Offer comments, even, but please do it nicely :>

Saturday, 21 June 2008

Parental Alienation in Fiction

Here's a secret: I'm a writer in my Other Life.

I've finally come up with a way of integrating Parental Alienation (and perhaps Covert Incest) into a piece of fiction. For three years a backdrop has floated around my mind but that is all it is: a backdrop. I've never had a story to go with it. It was more like an entry in an encyclopedia than a story per se: plenty of interesting and distinct characters, lovely scenery and voyages, family dynamics shifting and growing, love, hate, fear, epiphanies, a travelling circus ... I'll give too much away ... a wonderful little world - where nothing much happened. I had no real story.

But now I do! It's interesting that I can understand the mindset of the alienator now - I know why he did the things he did; I get the corrupted state of mind that allows a person to hurt his children - and as a consequence a beautiful piece of fictional history becomes something far greater and more meaningful.

Would you be interested in reading a novel about this subject?

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

An amazing source of help

My counsellor called it "haunting". The events of my past relationship with that man are almost always on my mind in varying degrees. Usually typing up a post about a particular event helps rid me of that event to some extent; this is why some of the posts in this blog are so dramatic or heartfelt or upset, because I write them at the moments I'm experiencing the memory or the trauma. This is why sometimes I say extreme things, for example that I'm going to end the blog. That man exerted control over me in so many ways, and by saying I'm going to end the blog, I think I'm taking back control and deciding whether I will continue to talk about these things or not, on my own terms in my own time.

Usually the traumatic memories float around in my head until I find a way to make sense of them or understand them, or even just name them. To discover "Covert Incest" (which is quite a strong term but what else can we call it?) has been a revelation. Naming something gives me so much power and helps me to further understand the Parental Alienation - and even the reasons for my mother's actions. She pretty much kidnapped my sister and me and for decades I was angry about it. However, as information starts to creep out, and as I've been making sense of things over the last 3 years, as I've read about PA and now Covert Incest, I'm beginning to see that it's entirely possible she was escaping with us in order to keep us safe from him. I'm not sure she would ever have been able to name what he was doing anymore than I could until I found the CI website, but I know for damn sure his behaviour made her uncomfortable. Other people noticed his behaviour too - and thought it was creepy (they said he was obsessed with me, had a strange fascination with me). So if she was seeing Covert Incest, and if she was afraid that it would lead to actual abuse, I would have done what she did too. I would have left him and left everything behind.

Insomnia is making me incredibly miserable at the moment. I'm trying to go to bed at a reasonable time but I'm unconciously avoiding sleep. I'm actually afraid of sleeping, but I don't remember any dreams at the moment, so I don't know what's going on. I'm so tired that my memory is going and I don't even have the energy for much housework. I'm sleeping in my clothes and all I want to do is read books. So ... displacement much?

And yet I can't put my finger on what's wrong. I feel so alone - but that's normal. I only have my children. I was afraid I'd seen the male parent last week. I saw someone driving the opposite direction who looked just like him in a car just like his, but my startled expression didn't cause any reaction whatsoever from the man. I'm fairly sure it wasn't him. He just looked at me blankly with no recognition at all. It terrified me though, and reminded me that he's a creep and wouldn't think twice about driving three hours up here to spy on us. I'd bet money that he has already.

So, on to this amazing source of help. This brought tears to my eyes and caught my breath. It's from here:

It's all about Flashbacks, and I think it's worth reading and then re-reading by all of us, not just those who were affected by CI. Parental Alienation is a form of child abuse, just like CI, and therefore we have suffered harm from it. PA especially means that at some level we were emotionally neglected by one or both of our parents - and that means that some part of us is still a child. A counsellor once told me some of the things in this list and I failed to remember one that I felt was so important at the time: that self-care is vital, especially for the child in us that has stunted (because if your childhood wasn't normal, then you didn't grow properly in all areas), and that even self-parenting may be important. I need to remember that and read this list over. I might even print it off and put it up in my room because I'm so forgetful. I need to be the adult and parent myself - take care of myself the way my parents should have, and be affectionate, treat, arrange cuddles from somewhere (I have a child who is always happy to oblige, and a cat that is occasionally happy to deign to oblige), feed properly, exercise properly, ensure quiet time and rowdy time, and proper bedtimes - even if I don't sleep because then at least I'm resting. I also need to remind myself that I'm doing a GREAT job with my kids, and that I'm achieving good things in my life.


Flashbacks are memories of past traumas. They may take the form of pictures, sounds, smells, body sensations, feelings or lack of them (numbness). Many times there is no actual visual or auditory memory. One may have the sense of panic, being trapped, feeling powerless with no memory stimulating it. These experiences can also happen in dreams.As a child or adolescent, we have to insulate ourselves from the emotional and physical horrors of the trauma. In order to survive, that child remained isolated, unable to express the feelings and thoughts at that time. It is as though we put that part into a time capsule until it comes out in the present.When that part comes out, the LITTLE ONE inside of us is experiencing the past as if it was happening today. As the flashback occurs, it is as if we forget that we have an ADULT part available to us for reassurance, protection and grounding. The intense feelings and body sensations occurring are so frightening because the feelings/sensations are not related to the reality of the present and many times seem to come from out of nowhere.We begin to think we are crazy and are afraid of telling anyone (including our therapist) of these experiences. We feel out of control and at the mercy of our experiences. We begin to avoid situations and stimuli that we think triggered it. Many times, flashbacks occur during any form of sexual intimacy. It may occur with a person who has similar characteristics as the perpetrator. It may be any situation today that stirs up similar trapped feelings.If you are feeling small... you are experiencing a flashback. If you are experiencing stronger feelings than are called for in the present situation... you are experiencing a flashback.


Vietnam vets have normalized this experience and have coined the term as posttraumatic stress syndrome. Even the diagnostic category book for psychiatry defines posttraumatic stress syndrome as the normal reaction of all people experiencing an event that is outside the range of normal human experience.Flashbacks feel crazy because the little one doesn't know that there is an adult survivor inside to help.


2. REMIND YOURSELF THAT THE WORST IS OVER. The feeling and sensations you are experiencing are memories of the past. The actual event took place long ago when you were little and YOU SURVIVED. Now it is time to let out that terror, rage, hurt, and/or panic.
3. GET GROUNDED. This may mean stamping your feet on the ground so that the little one knows that you have feet and, if you need to, you can get away. As a child, you couldn't get away... now you can.
4. BREATHE. When we get scared, we stop normal breathing. As a result, our body begins to panic from lack of oxygen. Lack of oxygen in itself causes a great deal of panic feeling: pounding in the head, tightness, sweating, feeling faint, shakiness, and dizziness. When we breathe deeply, a lot of the panic feeling can decrease. Breathing deeply means putting your hand on your diaphragm and breathing fully so that your diaphragm pushes out against your hand and then exhaling so that the diaphragm goes in.
5. REORIENT TO THE PRESENT. Begin to use your five senses in the present. Look around and see the colors in the room, the shapes of things, the people near, etc. Listen to the sounds in the room, your breathing, traffic, birds, people, cars, etc. Feel your body and what is touching it: your clothes, your own arms and hands, the chair or floor supporting you.
6. SPEAK TO THE LITTLE ONE AND REASSURE HER/HIM. It is very healing to get your adult in the picture so your little one knows that he/she is not alone. Say: "You are not in danger now," "You can tell me about it," "It's OK to feel, I won't hurt you." The child needs to know that it's safe to experience the feelings and let go of the past.
7. GET IN TOUCH WITH YOUR NEED FOR BOUNDARIES. Sometimes when we are having a flashback, we lose the sense of where we leave off and the world begins; as if we do not have skin. Wrap yourself in a blanket, hold a pillow or stuffed animal, go to bed, sit in a closet... any way that you can feel yourself truly protected from the outside.
8. GET SUPPORT. Depending on your situation, you may need to be alone or may want someone near you. In either case, it is important that your support people know about flashbacks so they can help with the process... this may mean letting you be yourself or by being there in a way that is safe for you.
9. TAKE THE TIME TO RECOVER. Sometimes flashbacks are very powerful. Give yourself the time to make the transition from this powerful experience. Don't expect yourself to jump into adult activities right away. Take a nap, or a warm bath, or some quiet time. Be kind and gentle with yourself. Appreciate how much your little one went through as a child.
10. HONOR YOUR EXPERIENCE. Appreciate yourself for having survived that horrible time as a child. Respect your body's need to experience those feelings of long ago. Keep a journal as a testimony of your healing.
11. BE PATIENT. It takes time to heal the past. It takes time to learn appropriate ways of taking care of self, of being an adult who has feelings, and of developing effective ways of coping.
12. FIND A COMPETENT THERAPIST. Look for a therapist who understands the process of healing from incest.

Saturday, 14 June 2008

The person I used to be

I realised yesterday just how different I am today from the alienated person I used to be.

Within myself I am immeasurably more self-confident - not arrogant, but more self-aware and sure of who I am (the Asperger's notwithstanding).

I used to be very different. The alienated Me was tense all the time, stressed, frightened. I felt permanently stupid because I had been brainwashed into thinking I didn't know anything (again, the Asperger's notwithstanding - it's an issue that does merge occasionally with the effects of alienation but I (hopefully) am well able to separate the two). He always put my opinions down and calmly explained to me why I was wrong about EVERYTHING - even the day on which I celebrate my eldest child's birthday (she was born late at night in a different timezone from the one we live in. He believes that her birthday should be the day it was in the timezone we live in, not where she was born. This logic would also change the date of my own birthday but he never mentioned that) and about how to deal with my children, my sister, my mother's family, my personal life, that it was okay for him to walk into my bedroom when I was asleep naked with my also asleep and naked then-partner next to me, to feel me up, etcetera etcetera and und so weiter. Blah blah and blahdy blah.

I second guessed myself and worried about my decisions a lot. I was always *somehow* wrong if I asked him for advice or opinions. He always spoke down to me. He put me down too, indirectly - he wouldn't defend me if someone else made negative comments about me. My sister says truly terrible things about me. He liked to regale me with these. I once had a strange feeling about the way he was speaking that led me to ask if he actually agreed with her. His reply was that he didn't know. No. Probably not. It wasn't too reassuring - though I've never been able to put my finger on what was wrong with his response, my initial reaction was: he's lying. He does agree with her. He can't tell me outright that he doesn't. NOW, however, remembering the conversations properly, he seemed vague, not in denial. I don't think he had ever thought that deeply about me before. THAT is why I think he sounded so unconvincing: he truly didn't know because he didn't have a clue about my actual, personal character. He didn't know me. He once texted me when I was at a heavy metal concert. "What are you doing there?" he asked in surprise. "Erm, watching and listening to the band" I replied. "I didn't know you liked that sort of thing" he said. I joked that he didn't know me at all - and didn't get a reply to that.

Looking back, I'm amazed at that rubbish I fell for and the things I put up with. It's very easy to look back and wonder why the hell I put up with the abuse, how I believed the lies and manipulation. It wouldn't happen now - but that person believed in her male parent. She trusted him. She believed everything he did was for her own good and that he was behind her 100%. She believed he knew her and loved her. She did not believe a word against him because she had been forewarned by him that certain people were not trustworthy and only wanted to cause her harm. She had been shown how untrustworthy and evil her own mother was, and without him she would never have been able to unravel the subtleties of human behaviour to see that even the smallest gift was nothing more than bribery. He helped that little girl to see that her mother didn't want her or love her - but that little girl was in her thirties before she realised that he exposed her to terrible terrible thoughts and actions and beliefs like the fact that she was unloved ... and then left them to mill around her mind and torment her and haunt her. He sent that little girl to her bed at night in a house she was not wanted in, filled with people who hated her, ALONE. I spent days and nights thinking about my mother not loving me. It was on my mind constantly, even as an adult. Walking home from school was difficult because I was heading for that house where my presence was unwanted, my entrance dreaded not anticipated. I tried to earn her approval, just to receive a nice word, because it was impossible for her to love me, wasn't it?

When I think about my own offspring, especially the younger one, lying in bed crying and wishing someone else were her parents and that someone would come and rescue her from that hideous existence, it breaks my heart.

I sympathise with his heartbreak. I've been left too. I have NO sympathy whatsoever for what he turned me into because of it. I would NEVER tell my children their other parent doesn't love them! Even when things go bad and I feel like bopping my ex over the head, I try to explain that his behaviour is NOT because he doesn't love them!

Kids get hurt feelings when you don't praise their paintings enough. I can vividly remember the feeling accompanying the words "Your mother doesn't love you. She just wants to control you". My stomach would turn over. My chest would feel empty. My brain would feel like it had all fallen to the front of my head above my eyes, where it would try its hardest not to let them cry. My head would fall forward and look at my knees or the ground and the muscles in my neck would become solid. I'd wordlessly ask myself how I was going to live with this. I'd wish I was my sister because "she loves her because she doesn't look like me or you". How will I live with this? Of course, I didn't know how, I wasn't even in double figures, but my heart was broken.

I became so used to that feeling (because it was permanent. He reinforced it every time I saw him) that it felt normal. When boyfriends or friends made me feel that way, it felt normal - and I'd let them abuse me too.

He didn't just tell me these things once or twice, he told me them continuously for YEARS, from 1976 until 2005. He deliberately inflicted that heartbreak on me (and he knew how it felt to believe your mother might not love you because his was kicked out of the family home when he was eleven), but not on my sister.

After 2005, I was free of him. He was out of our lives completely. It was like a detoxing. Slowly I came to understand (and it's ongoing) what a heinous crime he committed. Slowly I came to review past events and revise their definitions where appropriate. I'm like a historical revisionist now. Once I realised that he was lying about me, everything started to unravel in my mind (and that moment came a few months after he disowned me, it wasn't immediate). Understanding of what he'd done and what Parental Alienation is has grown within me since then. I did not have a sudden epiphany - but I'm a different person. I'm stronger now. I trust my own opinion. I stand up for myself more. I am calmer and more content in many ways. I trust my own plans for my life. I don't feel stupid or worry that I am a bad parent or a let-down or a disappointment or that I can't make my own decisions.

If I saw him again, I'd have an absolutely screaming fit. I'm sure of that - right now, that's how I feel. I wouldn't be able to feel calm at this point in time. I'd scream and scream and scream for him to get the hell away from us. I'd call the police if I needed to. He'd start with his excuses and rationalizing and putting me down ("Don't be so silly") but I wouldn't put my head down and put up with it. I'd scream the place down. I'm not letting that psycho anywhere near us, no matter what rubbish he spouts. My kids - well, the younger one hardly remembers him but trusts Mum. The older one knows that man has legal rights to his grandchildren and has never even attempted to assert them, let alone call since the last birthday in February of 2005. They're loyal to me and they know as much as is appropriate for them to know at their respective ages. My ex supports me.

Time was I would have believed anything he said, including his definitions of my character (a character into which I stepped and played for decades until I realised he had applied the personality traits he wanted to me, and never actually saw the ones I truly have). He told me I was a tomboy (I'm not but I believed him and played that role whenever I was around him - but never at home), that I was loud and gobby (I'm not. Asperger's can make you the opposite, it can make you hide away, shy and nervous), that I'm a typical Leo (!), that I might be the reincarnation of his previous wife (WTF?! See my post about Covert Incest!), that I'm stupid (I'm not going to brag about this. Suffice it to say I'm CLEVER. It's the one aspect of my being that I'm proud of. I have nothing else that shines, just my stupendous brain. Okay, so now I'm bragging.), that the only reason I married my ex is because he was a "big, tall American", that I allowed myself to be fooled by my mother every day of my life - that I mistook her acts of love for bribery or manipulation or guilt or showing off or competition against him, that I needed him to help me form my opinions and see things clearly.

I can't help but look back at how foggy my brain was when I was under the spell of Parental Alienation. I can remember my ex ranting at how "pathetic" he thought my male parent was. He reached a point with him when he just lost his patience and couldn't deal with him without wanting to scream. I remember not being able to understand AT ALL where my ex was coming from. I thought he was mad. When his friend formed the same opinion, I thought he was mad too. My ex's exact words stay with me today because they sum my male parent up perfectly: "He is a pathetic man". He didn't mean, he's a pathetic person. He meant a pathetic male of the species, and only now do I understand the two meanings. He meant my male parent is not a real man, according to the standards of other men. It's telling that my male parent has never, ever had any male friends. His friends have all been women - and when I remember them, I remember them as being easily manipulated, vulnerable women just out of divorces who dumped him or withdrew their friendship after a year or so. And I am sorry that he has spent so much time alone - but he has no conception of it being his fault. He thinks it's everyone else. I believed that too.

I am stunned when I realise how much rubbish I accepted.

Parental Alienation is Emotional Terrorism. It is the deliberate harm of innocents in the pursuit of selfish desires (usually revenge).

There is no need for it.

Sunday, 8 June 2008

Manipulation - sometimes it's in the littlest incidents

I've mentioned this incident before I'm going to repeat myself because I've possibly discovered a new interpretation of the event. It's one that has puzzled me ever since it happened in the late 70s when I was little, perhaps eight or nine.

We used to have fairly regular visitation with the male parent, once a month more often than not. He would pick us up and take us home again. I can only remember one occasion when Mum came to pick us up because she was on holiday in the area so it made sense for everyone.

We hadn't seen her for at least one week, may have been two, so we were excited to see her again. When she pulled up outside the house, I remember I had been on the sofa by the window, looking for her for a while. She walked towards the window all smiles and I shouted "She's here!". The male parent ordered me not to go to the door "in case she grabs you".

Of course I didn't understand. She was coming to pick us up and take us home. We didn't live with him. We were going home no matter what, plus the law had said so. I could see her confused expression as she beckoned me to the door, but I shook my head and mouthed "I'm not allowed". Later on I told her what he had said, and asked her why he'd said it. She had no answer and neither did I until a few days ago.

It could be that given how excited we were to see her again, he was jealous. Perhaps it annoyed him - and to have us running to the door to greet her reinforced that to both him and her. He wanted to hurt her (that's what Parental Alienation is all about, after all) so he used us to achieve that. She couldn't hear what he was saying inside the house, so didn't hear his instructions to us, but those instructions made it look like we weren't bothered about her arrival. For us not to run to the door, especially when he knew that we had seen her, made it look like we didn't care much for her arrival.

I think, at that point, it would have had no effect on her other than confusion, because both of us still loved our Mum a lot. I remember feeling the beginnings of PA back then but not enough for her to feel hated (which came later). I was only eight or nine so my sister could only have been five or six. Plus we explained later on why we hadn't come to the door - so his efforts achieved nothing.

It's the only explanation I can think of, because his makes no sense. Why would she have grabbed us and run off with us when she was coming to pick us up anyway?! He wasn't keeping us, we knew that.

Can you think of any other reason for his behaviour, other than wanting to make it look as if we didn't care that she had arrived?