Saturday, 20 October 2007

The alienator's background

He is the youngest of four, brought up by his father. His much older sister left home at around the time their mother was forced to leave because she wanted a divorce. His mum was gone by the time he was eleven. Imagine what that did to him? He did see her on and off but visitation was at the whim of his father who, I might add, was great in my eyes but disliked by my mother for reasons she never elaborated on. My mother believed that the alienator hated women, in that he was angry at them, due to his mother leaving him. Perhaps he, as a little boy, wanted to go with her (wouldn't you?) and wondered why she didn't fight hard enough for him? I know that the legal system at the time would not have been supportive for her.

He joined the service at sixteen and never lived at home again. He kept in touch with his siblings and father and, until she died when I was three, his mother and her husband (on and off).

After his divorce from my mother, he moved around one town, living in different places, with friends and family, until he bought a large house in 1983. I never understood why. As I mentioned earlier, he kept EVERYTHING, every single item that was in our house after the divorce, even my mother's personal possessions, my toys, kitchen equipment, the lot. He moved it all into his new house, mortgaged based on a well paying job that he then got laid off from. From then onwards, 1983-ish, he was unemployed or self-employed, though he never earned much money. He paid almost no maintenance due to being unemployed which meant my step-father paid for everything. Despite my anger towards my mother and wariness of my step-father, I was clear-headed enough to know that this man was paying for my food and home and clothes. He knows and always has known that I know this and appreciate it (see, I'm not completely stupid).

At one point the alienator was paying the equivalent of $15 a week for my sister and me. He argued with my mother and step-father about this, saying it was too much and that he was subsidizing another man's child (ie my brothers). Even I, loyal as I inexplicably was, knew he was out of order. I think even my sister, who wasn't more than ten, agreed with me and the alienator found himself shouting outside our house with no one supporting him or listening to him. I'm still not sure what that argument was really about because surely he knew that $15 wasn't enough for even one child? And how could he complain when my step-father was paying for everything else? It was illogical and I can't help but think there was something else going on.

I'm getting off the point. This post is supposed to be about factual elements of the alienators background. My mother and his current partner are his only successful relationships - and by that, I mean not short term. He was with my mother for eleven years and his current partner sixteen so far. Obviously I've had no contact with him since 2005 but as far as I know, he still works at the good job he was in, as does his partner. He's financially comfortable for the first time in his life.

I don't know what else to add to this.

Friday, 19 October 2007

Um ... weird

Maybe I'm just tired (most likely) but today I feel like crap. Right after my last post, I spoke to my counsellor. It was a powerful session that began as if it were an ordinary conversation. Based on the previous session, it evolved quite strangely. In the end she asked me to talk to my child self, which made me feel like an absolute goon. I felt preposterous, so much so that I said no more than once. She offered to moved out of my sight and I kind of did what she asked. A bit. Even so, it made me absolutely sob. I felt so much pain coming out of me. The key thing I "told" myself, that little six year old she thinks I still am in some ways, was that my mum did love me. It was killer, I'm not kidding. I'm really not into psychobabble and I did not believe for a minute that it would work. She said it was a powerful technique but I failed to grasp its power until I actually sat there and did it. I wailed, and I didn't even know I had it in me. Well, maybe I did. Maybe it's all that anger.

Afterwards I felt worn out and relieved. So strange - but good. However, since then I have felt sad at all the wasted years, incredibly sad. I also feel huge amounts of sympathy for my mother for what she must have suffered without really having any idea of the motivation for my constant anger towards her.


I feel grief and sadness. I also have been feeling unsure of myself again but I wonder if that's because I'm really, really tired (late nights, not the infamous insomnia that plagued me for two years after the male parent disowned me. The shock and stress of what he did and the complete change it caused in my understanding of my life and relationship with both parents kept me awake for hours nearly every night. Insomnia is an evil curse). I didn't want to go out anywhere or follow my normal routine. Found myself doing lots of my distracting things.

The "hole" is filling but far slower than I anticipated. I was all excited, wasn't I? A week ago I thought I'd be "cured" within days. Got a bit ahead of myself. I do feel better in odd ways, though. Instead of constantly feeling worthless, I think I've only really felt that way, the way I've felt most of my life, today and perhaps last night. This is good, an improvement. I suspect being so tired has an effect. I do feel intensely but manageably sad about my mother. It's timely and necessary and okay and will settle down when I've grieved enough. I'm not afraid of this grief. I MUCH prefer it to the dislike and anger I used to feel for her. Feeling sad is much nicer than feeling something verging on hatred.

I also felt violently ashamed for what I did. I know, as my counsellor repeatededly told me, that the alienation wasn't my fault. I was brainwashed from a very young age, I know, but I'm also supposed to be the clever one. I'm finding it hard to accept that I couldn't see what he truly was until I was an adult and he did it to me, until he lied about me and tried to bully me the way he did to her, all because he couldn't get his own way. I still feel stupid and complicit. The man felt me up and I still believed in him!

I have no one to protect me or take care of me. I take care of everyone else. This is okay. I have learned to take care of my offspring and am learning to take better care of myself - including self-protection. I think this is what my counsellor meant when she said to parent myself. I also need to do things my parents would both do if they were both alive, sane, able and willing. Right now, Mum would tell me to sleep more and chill out more, but also not to mess about on the Internet so much when I have important things to be doing. She'd tell me to manage my money better and be stricter with the offspring (because I think I'm too soft, given that I've always been afraid of making said offspring too angry at me, like I was with my Mum) . Critically, she would tell me that she is glad she now understands what made me the kind of child I was, that it wasn't my fault, that she forgives me and is proud of me for seeking help, for facing upto my part, however much blame you want to attach to my actions, and mostly importantly that she DID and DOES love me and that she knows I love her; she just never understood me and did not know how to show love to a child that seemed to hate her and reject her at every turn.

I'm sad but relieved that I know the truth because sophistry eats you alive and lies can kill you.

Tuesday, 16 October 2007

Regarding the silent parent - perhaps I was wrong about the reason

I was thinking about my mother's death today and the last thing she said to me (well, almost).

It was: "Do I still annoy you?".

She said that to me, not the other way around. At the time, I had no idea what she meant but I wasn't about to lay anything on a dying woman so I said "No". "Annoyance" wasn't a term I had ever used to describe our relationship. I just thought she didn't want me so I was angry. To me, it was always as simple as that.

I've thought about that question on and off for the last ten years. When I mentioned it to the male parent shortly afterwards, I was confused. I even said, "That's just like her, putting it all on me," and I can STILL remember his reaction to this day. He just nodded and looked embarrassed. He barely said a thing. He was sombre throughout the period after her death. Could be guilt but equally could be grief for someone he loved. He did visit her grave a while afterwards which, as far as I know, he didn't tell anyone but me about. The only reason he told me me was to ask for directions to the actual gravesite itself because cemeteries are large.

The whole issue was WEIRD and confusing and I could never make any sense of it. I had ALWAYS believed it was ME who annoyed her, not the other way around.

But today I got thinking, especially in relation to her keeping silent in the face of his alienation and badmouthing etc.

Did she actually know about it?! And if she did, did she have any knowledge of the depth of it?!

Her deathbed question, which today breaks my heart, opens up a can of worms. To me, that question sounds like she didn't know. She just had a child who hated her and didn't understand why. It also explains a lot about her behaviour towards me: it wasn't all hateful and hatefilled. It must have been frustrating and distressing and confusing and depressing - because if there was ever a candiate for lifelong depression, it's my mother. She had a hard life even without this horrendous child who hated her (ie me). BOTH my parents had hard lives but I've never seen any signs of depression in him.

I'm now sick to my stomach at the thought that I was a cause of her depression. I have to be honest about this as hard as it is. I feel intensely guilty today. I have suffered depression and so know how terrible it is. It can be debilitating but I don't remember her being "happy". I remember how much she loved our youngest brother (but then we all did; that boy is the most wonderful human being I have ever known and everyone (seriously! EVERYONE) who knows him says the same thing) and for a period of time after he was born and before we moved house, she was happier for a while. Things went wrong for her after that, but she did have a period where I know she was happier than I'd ever seen her.

So, I'm wondering now if she really knew what was going on.

I have to go right now so will finish this later. Just wanted to get the beginnings of the idea online so I won't forget. I haven't forgotten my list either.

Saturday, 13 October 2007

Summary of effects of Parental Alienation on me

Insecurity - as in feeling physically unsafe because prior to the PA, I had felt secure in my place in the world. I felt loved and wanted. Once the PA began, I felt unloved and unwanted.

Insecurity - emotional, because I was convinced by the alienator that my mother did not love or want me, I therefore imagined I was flawed or that there was something wrong with me. He said he loved me in spite of "my ways" (which were no abnormal "ways" at all, he was trying to make himself seem like a hero). As I mentioned, I have spent the last thirty one years believing that there was something vastly wrong with me, like a medical condition or brain damage that led to me being so hateful that my mother did not love me or want me.

Social difficulties - all stemming from feelings of worthlessness begun by the alienator telling me that my mother did not love me, that she had rejected me, that she loved my siblings more.

Relationship difficulties - no close friends, but I also am solitary by nature, I think. I like being on my own but I would like calls on Christmas day ...

Sometimes a stammer, if I'm not babbling like an idiot, when in company. I think it comes from not having adults to speak to, partly. I feel so stupid because I can't stop talking, knowing that thereafter whomever I'm speaking AT will avoid me in the future. I have seen my low self-esteem problems in someone else recently and I recognize that her symptoms really annoy me - so now I know why people avoid me and dislike me and have done forever.

Friday, 12 October 2007

Parental Alienation made me think I was autistic?!

I've just realised what a tragic comment I made about myself a few days ago. I said that at one point, I felt so damaged by the Parental Alienation that I thought I was autistic!

That's a horrific thing to say! A human being felt so broken and irreprable that they thought they were brain damaged! It's tragic!

Good grief. NOW, only NOW, after the breakthrough on Monday with my counsellor when she made the point that my emotional development may/probably was stunted at six years of age when the alienation began, do I feel calmer and more hopeful, as the most recent posts demonstrate. The tense little hole in me is closing and every day I'm waking up feeling better about the future. I can begin to look back at how this cruel and evil behaviour by one parent over thirty years, not even stopping when the target parent had died, truly caused me significant mental harm.

But what a telling description of just how low I sank: that I thought I was brain damaged, and this was inflicted on me by a parent.

Tuesday, 9 October 2007

Things I need to remember to discuss

I'm making a list because otherwise I won't remember and I'm making it here because a piece of paper will vanish in my house:

What I did, as a child, because of the alienation, ie how horrible and hateful I was.
Male parent's own background.
Summary of the effects of PA (on me, anyway) for those who don't want to trawl through my posts.

I've been tense for thirty one years

Going back to my social skills and lack thereof: I realised yesterday while I wrote that post that I have had a knot in my stomach for as long as I can remember. It's a tenseness, a feeling of stress, one that increases whenever I leave the house and that grows exponentially when I'm around people. It's a foreboding when I meet someone knew because I know without a shadow of a doubt that they will eventually realise they dislike me, despite us getting on well at first.

THIS is the feeling I mentioned - the not feeling normal. I can remember it not being present before a certain point and then sitting in my stomach ever since.

The feeling in my stomach began the moment he first told me she didn't love me anymore and intensified every time he told me things this:

My mother told a lie - or so I thought. She told me that we were returning to our home country for a holiday and that we'd being going back again after two weeks. We never left. We returned to this country with only a suitcase or two - and as I mentioned previously, male parent kept EVERYTHING including our clothes and toys. Male parent told me that she had lied to us, that she had never intended to go back, that she had known all along that we would not be going back abroad. "She lied to you." She also didn't love me, according to him. Was just using me. Only wanted control over me. Thought I was her toy and possession. Didn't actually want me at all. Just wanted to keep me away from him to hurt him.

I worry so much, all the time. My ex affectionately once said to me that if I didn't have something to worry about, I'd worry about that. I was a worried child. I was - and still am - permanently afraid of upsetting people and, even now, at the age of 37, if I think I've made someone angry or upset, I'll cry. When I used to get hauled into the boss's office at my last job for making mistakes, I'd cry. I couldn't help it. It used to drive me mad! I'm too old to be crying about raps at work!

But now I know where it comes from: a worried, disturbed, scared, unsettled, traumatized little girl who thinks that she's so bad, evil, unloveable that even her mother cannot love her. I have felt shame for who I am since the age of six.

This situation was brought about by the one man in the entire universe I should have been able to depend on and trust in. Parents are all flawed, I know that. I don't expect him to be perfect, not for a minute. I'm a horribly imperfect parent, but that man hurt me on purpose. With deliberate intent, he said evil things to me that have affected my entire life, my entire personality, all my relationships, my self-esteem, my mental and physical health, made me ashamed of myself, EVERYTHING. I have no friends (at the moment) because of what he did. I'm incapable of normal adult social interaction (at the moment). My stomach is in permanent knots because of what he did.

BUT today I woke up feeling hopeful about myself for the first time. The knot is still there and still almost as big as yesterday, but today I know I can get rid of it. I know that I'm not damaged beyond repair, that I'm not autistic, or insane. I just have a broken part or two - and broken parts can be fixed.

I went around my normal social interactions today watching myself as if in the third person. I was less tense than normal and less ashamed of myself. I spoke less today and felt good about it. The only time I feel relaxed and unembarrassed about myself is on the days I don't leave the house.

She did love me, no matter what he said. Nothing can change that. Nothing he says can change the fact that the person she didn't love was him, not me, and that's not my fault or my problem. I didn't do anything wrong. He abused me - parental alienation is child abuse. I have a lot of negative imprinting to alter in my mind - but now I know I'm permitted to do that and I'm allowed to do that and that I should and must do that, that I CAN do that. I have no need to feel shame, though it's not going to vanish overnight, but I actually feel better about who I am today than I did yesterday. This may not sound like a big deal but this is HUGE!!! I don't want to tell total strangers that my mum didn't want me - because I know now that it's not true. I don't have to feel worthless because I'm not, no matter what he said. She did love me and in fact loved me so much that, though the silly woman was incapable of hugging her kids even when they were in desperate need, she kept me and took care of me in the face of my hatred for her (and believe me, I wasn't nice to her).

My mum used to tell me that you have to think up nasty things before you can say them, and that to think them up means you'd carry them out. "You'd only say that if you had done it first". Now I know that everything he said, like the old saying "Many a true word spoken in jest", was true about himself, not her.

He, the alienator, lied, did and does not love me, used me, saw/sees me as a toy/possession/object, does not see me as a person with any individual worth, used me to control and hurt his ex-wife, my mother. At the moment I don't feel a thing towards him other than anger. It's odd. After he disowned me, the shock was intense: I had to understand the kind of person he was then showing himself to be. I then spent two years crying as I realised what he had done to my mother and me (and to my sister to some extent), getting into trouble at work because I couldn't keep my emotional state outside, alienating people all on my own by being so tearful and down and depressed. Today, two and a half years after he disowned me, is the first time I've felt good about things in any shape or form. My counsellor has helped me make a real breakthrough in understanding the alienation. I was all kinds of upset for a while but now I feel very little towards him beyond anger.

I'd rage at him if I met him but at this point in time, I feel like I've never had a father and am grieving for that loss. For him personally - that's who I feel little for, to clarify. I don't care if he lives or dies. It's VERY odd to say that about the parent I thought mattered most but it's true. My uncle tried to patch things up but I couldn't raise any interest, not least because male parent is a dirty pervert, but besides that, I couldn't care less about him. I don't wish him ill. I just don't care. Maybe this is numbness, who knows. Time will tell.

I'll never speak to him again, that's for damn sure, and neither will my offspring.

Monday, 8 October 2007

A hard post

I'm not good with people. Socially, I'm rubbish and have been for as long as I remember. Remember me saying I felt normal until my parents divorced and my male parent began his campaign of alienation?

After that and ever since, I have never felt normal. My sister and I once discussed this as teenagers. We didn't feel right. We felt unwhole. We felt a lack of something but didn't know what to call it. Once my male parent had begun the alienation and thus once my mother had begun to pretend it wasn't happening, I stopped feeling safe.

Apparently, I also stopped developing socially in some areas too - because of the alienation. The divorce itself may also have been a culprit but I know children of divorce who are doing okay. I'm not going to say that the actual divorce of my parents and end of my previous way of life did not affect me, because it did. However, what damaged me was their behaviour afterwards, and in particular the war waged against my mother by the male parent.

I was about six years old when the first comments were made, maybe six and a half. We returned to my country when I was seven. The first comment I remember him making, which I think I've mentioned before, is the one he made in the middle of the night. Somehow he was in bed with me. I have no idea if it was his bed or mine. I know that my mother was sleeping on the sofa and he used to wake me up every night and take me into his bed. I'm fairly certain my sister was present on this occasion too. He said, crying, "Mummy doesn't love us anymore", the sicko.

According to my counsellor today, this could be the point at which part of me is emotionally stuck and undeveloped. She asked me to think about that point of my life, which didn't thrill me a great deal, but the more I thought about it and verbalized the event, the more I realised that those words shattered me and my world view. I had never known that it was possible for anyone to stop loving anyone else, let alone my parent, my beloved mother, to stop loving me. But he insisted and repeated it. Every action that she carried out that was in opposition to what he wanted "proved" him right. "If she loved you, she wouldn't do that", from mild tellings-off to bringing us back to our home country (click here for why I don't give any identifying details about myself in this blog). He's still the same dictator now: if you don't want what he wants, you're an idiot, you're selfish, you're stupid, you're thick. I think a pretty traumatized kid lay there in that bed after she heard that her mother didn't love her anymore. I told my Aunt, my mother's sister, about this a couple of years ago. She said it was lies and that she "could kill him for saying that, the bastard". "But it was true," I said, surprised. No it effing wasn't, came the outraged reply. "She used to sit and cuddle you for hours, not doing house work, just cuddling and playing with you! She adored you!" Their brother responded similarly: "She loved you, she just didn't understand you."

I guess she didn't. I rejected her - but she never spoke to me about all this. I don't know if she was stoic or just hated talking about her marriage, but she kept her mouth shut. Under ordinary circumstances that would be the right thing to do: to keep the kids out of grown up problems. But this wasn't an ordinary circumstance and, as I've said before, her silence was a killer.

I don't know what to think about him having me in bed with him. Could be innocent. I can't remember anything happening. No idea. I don't think I was afraid to cuddle him until puberty. I remember he wouldn't let me sleep in his bed when I was eleven (pre puberty).

So, anyway, thanks to my insane male parent, I am a bit emotionally stunted which makes me feel terrific, especially as I also feel stupid at the moment too. Today I feel inadequate and thick. I'm terrible in social groups and have never really had friends. I'm always the same: I try so hard to please everyone, to make everyone like me. I'm smiley and helpful (too helpful) and over eager and desperate for friends. I have felt stupid my whole life because he has treated me that way so I try to make people see that I'm not stupid. I didn't realise that I just come across as a big head, as arrogant, and as if I'm trying to put people down. People then clam up and don't want to talk to me, so I talk even more. People end up hating me and avoiding me. It's HORRENDOUS to be a social misfit, someone everyone avoids. And I know it's happening so it makes me even more desperate to be liked. A vicious circle. Now I avoid people. I do like being at home but I am afraid to go out socially. I haven't been out in years with another adult. People make me nervous because I know what's coming: that I'll babble and suck up and make myself look like an idiot, all the while thinking "Shut up! You're doing it again!".

My counsellor sees a six year old in all that, who has been told that their mother doesn't love them or want them. Remember me saying I spent my whole life trying to be her little girl? It all seems to come from there, from that moment (thirty one years ago!!!). That terrible, selfish, egocentric man has made me this social inadequate and made me think I was so unlovable that even my mother didn't want me - but that he stood by me, despite me "having my ways".

This is really, really painful. I can't stress that enough. It feels like she's right though because my whole body is reacting to it. It's awful and I want to scream my head off BUT if I know what the problem is, I can take steps to fix it. She recommends "parenting" myself, which sounds completely ridiculous but as my mother is not here to do it, I'll give it a go. If you know how to approach this, please jump in because it just makes me feel weird. She wants me to parent myself like I parented my offspring at the same age. Ooookay. Can't hurt, can it?

Just knowing the name of the problem is an excellent start because you have to remember I've lived for the past 3 decades thinking that there is something horribly wrong with me, something medical. I've even looked for symptoms of Asperger's, to the point that I wanted to go for diagnostic tests. I don't have Asperger's. I'm emotionally broken in one place - but it's fixable and I will fix it. I already feel better just knowing that I can change the problem - it's not autism and therefor permanent. It's damage and damage can be repaired.

If you're an alienator, re-read this post. Save your kids from this. My throat hurts from crying.

Saturday, 6 October 2007

Alienators are never wrong

Continuing from the theme of my last post, what's hardest for me to understand is, after all the long list of dirty, nasty things he did and said to me, how the hell did I succumb to the brainwashing?

I'm an intelligent person. I'm genuinely bright, but that man savaged my self-confidence and always managed to blame it on other people. Again, I'm not saying my mum was a perfect parent; she was far from it. Sometimes she was even cruel, but most of the time she did her best. He made me doubt my own mind. When I felt uncomfortable about him insisting on me going swimming during puberty or deliberately starting intimate and inappropriate conversations, I'd say so - but somehow, he was never wrong. I was. He was never wrong, never at fault, never to blame, and always had a million excuses as to why it's your own fault that you feel uncomfortable because you misread him drawing pictures of your breasts/got embarrassed by him using the word "erection" during a game of scrabble with two teenagers/kept ornaments of men with large penises around the house.

When you're consistently told something - in this case that I was imagining his bad behaviour - it sticks eventually. I feel so stupid for falling for this. I can forgive myself for believing in my dad as most kids do. I can forgive myself for not knowing he is a nutter when I was a teenager. What I can't fathom is how I allowed myself to believe in him as an adult?! I'm currently on my second university degree so I'm not uneducated. My offspring fares excellently - thriving, in fact. No criminal convictions for anyone in my house. I'm a good person. I contribute. I have responsibilites and respect from my friends. And yet, I fell for brainwashing until I was 35. I feel utterly ridiculous.

Unless I'm wrong, I've answered my own question. Brainwashing overrides your confidence in your own opinions. When someone you (secretly fear and) look up to and think is your friend builds you a world view from six years old and no one challenges it, when that person insists that they are always right and know better because they are older and male and no one corrects him, it imprints on your mind, despite the evidence of your own eyes and ears, despite your own best judgement, despite your instincts.

He abused me in many ways but always talked himself out of it and blamed ME. When you're growing up, you're trying to make sense of the world. One of my parents barely spoke to me - my mum. The other one - the male - spoke all the time and even now freely admits he may have talked too much. He bragged that he treated us like grown ups when our mother treated us like kids - hence us watching "Salem's Lot" before we were in our teens (a film so frightening I won't watch it now) - and that this meant he had more love and respect for us. I believed this too. I trusted him and he knew it so he fed my brain with rubbish and adult rubbish at that. Once he knew I trusted him, he could say anything he liked.

I think that the moment he knew that was the day they abandoned me when I was maybe seven. They argued and my mum picked up my then baby sister. She ran from the house in such a panic that her shoes came off in the front garden. He ran after her, jumping over a fence to chase her. And there was I, left in the house by myself. THAT moment is when my mental outlook, my whole perception of life changed. At that moment, I realised I was not important to either of them for myself, or at least not to him, anyway. I don't know what was going through her head. Maybe she didn't think he would chase her and that he'd stay in the house with me? I don't know. I have, until I typed the preceding sentence, consistently believed that being left behind by both of them means that both of them did not love me. I don't know. I will have to think about this. Anyway, I think the moment he realised he could use me against her was shortly after they ran off. I ran up the road after them, wondering where the hell my parents had gone and why they had left me. I found them at a house futher down. My mother was sat in an armchair crying with my sister on her lap. I was so angry that she had left me - and taken my sister - that when she reached out to me for a cuddle, I backed away.

THAT was the moment for him. He knew then that he could (ab) use me against her. No thought of the two poor little girls involved in adult arguing. No thought for the seven year old they'd just ran off and left behind. Just: "I can turn her against her mother as revenge."


Friday, 5 October 2007


My male parent is a chauvanist. He thinks women should never work when they have children at home. When my daughter was very young, I worked part time out of necessity. He criticized me regularly for it, said I was leaving my daughter. He also put a fake baby voice on when I would leave for work, saying, "Mummy, don't leave me again!". Git. My mum even once said he hates women.

He treated me like a boy. Once he'd decided I was a tomboy, that was it. His mind wouldn't change. He decided what I was and has never changed his mind. Even I believed it. I'm not sure I am a tomboy. He tried it with my daughter and went through a stage of buying her nothing but boy's things, until I protested. His partner bought her girls' things alongside his choices.

When I hit puberty, he became a pervert. He leered at me, would "accidentally" rub against me, against my breast, ran his fingers up and down my back to see if I was wearing a bra. He ogled my sister and I horrifically when we breastfed. He did this to me once. The second time I had to yell at him to leave the room. He actually argued with me about it, demanding to watch. He made disgusting sexual jokes and innuendoes. He drew pictures of me and added breasts (my daughter remembers this). I blocked a bedroom door once to stop him coming in but he pushed the block out of the way - I was 21. He kissed my neck like a boyfriend would (it was after this incident that my mother told me she had been warned, when I was a baby, never to leave me alone with him ... but she did, didn't she?? Visits, long stays ...). He looked at the back of my trousers to make sure my bottom wasn't visible through the material and made comments about "around the front".

He never thought he was wrong. My sister and I complained often and long to our mother about his teasing. To hear "You're getting big" and "You're growing up" all the time was mortifying. It made us feel so uncomfortable AND spied on and observed. I understand parents say these things. It's hard to convey the tone of voice he'd say these sentences or to describe the expression on his face, but I must stress that these were not the normal words of a parent amazed at a child's growth. His expression was DIRTY when he said these things. He was perving on our adolescence, telling us boys would be queuing up for it with us. Mum spoke to him once and asked him to stop. He told us afterwards that he had no intention of stopping because he wasn't doing anything wrong, that we were the problem - he therefore didn't care about how we felt, going back to my posts about Objectification and him not seeing me as a person. I remember a similar incident when my sister was about to get married. She was SO afraid of him going on about her growing up (which he had never stopped, just as he said) that she asked me to speak to him. I did, wondering what the point was because he never listens to anyone. He, of course, said "I will say it if I want to". I said, "Please don't, you'll spoil her day." This became an argument. He said he had the right. He felt entitled to say whatever he wanted, no matter what the cost or how much he hurt her. We both repeated our cases and he only behaved himself after the intervention, I believe, of his partner.

He has an excuse for everything. This used to drive me absolutely mad. He is impossible to talk to, sometimes. He's someone you would avoid talking to because he'll give you "a lecture with diagrams", someone once said, when you've only asked him for the time.

About me

There's not much I want to say about myself at the moment. I'm female and 37. I lived with my mother, the target. Male parent was the alienator. Siblings.

I think that'll do for now. I don't want to say too much for a couple of reasons.

Firstly, fear. If my male parent ever found this blog and worked out my identity, he'd be after me in a flash. He'd encase my feet in concrete and chuck me off a bridge. Though I may no longer see him as the tragic hero, he still portrays this front to his own family (though why don't they ever, ever, ever invite him over?!) . I am afraid of him. I have only dreamed about him once that I know of and during that dream I angrily told him to go eff himself. In life, I'm constantly worried he'll turn up where I live. I wouldn't be surprised if he has spied on us already. Sometimes I see men who resemble him and I panic. I feel like I want to run away. My daughter is 15 and I don't want him perving over her. I don't want him anywhere near her.

Secondly, I don't want anything to detract from its purpose. I don't want anyone to go away thinking that my words don't count because I'm somehow not like them or their situation is similar. Parental Alienation is what it is, no matter the gender of the alienator or the target or the children. Gender is irrelevant. Fathers do it. Mothers do it. All sorts of people do it. All sorts of kids get hurt. Simple.

YOUR child will be or is like me if they are in this situation, no matter who you are or what gender you are or where you live or how much you earn or your skin colour or country of origina etcetera, etcetera. The differences between YOU and ME, right here, right now, are meaningless.

I'm speaking for YOUR CHILDREN.

Comments. Questions.

I'm getting panicky about continuing the previous train of thought so I'm going to hold off for a few days. Deborah's lovely comment here sums up the purpose of this blog: cleansing.

If you want to ask me anything, fire away. My email address is on my profile, plus you can leave comments.

I appreciate all the comments so much, as well as the increasing number of visitors this blog is receiving and the referring links which provide half the traffic (I'm considering reciprocating. Leave it with me). As I said at the start, my posts are about catharsis but also about warning potential/current parental alienators off carrying out their attacks on the other parent. I know that someone reading this may splutter indignantly that they have every reason to make their children hate their other parent or "see them for what they are", but believe me, you're hurting your children (and yourself because one day they'll suss you out, I guarantee), not helping them. Deep down you know what you are doing. Please stop.

I have spent much of my life trying to find out what is wrong with me. Turns out it's nothing that a good dose of counselling and catharsis can't heal. I remember sitting at a train station in my country writing in my diary when I was eighteen. I wrote: "Will someone please help me?". I did not know what I meant. It took nineteen years to find out. All through my childhood and adolescence, I knew something was wrong somewhere but I couldn't put my finger on it. The mental signals I received from each of my parents was wrong. I believed my male parent to be the greatest person on Earth - and yet he abandoned me three times, called my mother a slut, my aunt a slag, my grandmother and a second aunt lunatics, and also felt me up. My mother cared for me and tried to be my friend, but smacked me when she lost her temper from frustration and tiredness (and a second husband who cheated on her and admitted to never having been faithful to any woman, and treated her like a doormat).

I thought the problems were all my fault: that I was the screw up. When one parent does their best to care for you, and the other one is acidic and merciless in their attack of that parent, causing you to doubt your own mind, your own memories and experience of that parent, what the hell are you supposed to do? I felt like I was out of my mind sometimes.

But I never was.

A counsellor told me the following: you're not unstable, you were around unstable people.

NOW I know she was right, but I waited thirty years for those words. I thought I was evil and worthless and useless and ugly because of the words/lack of words of my parents. As I said previously, the alienator used every single situation he could find to denigrate my mother. She almost never said a word about him - so I believed him, not her. He said she was wicked, she never said she was not, so therefore my child's mind believed him.

He thought it was hilarious.

Monday, 1 October 2007

Don't get me wrong ...

I lived with my mum and she was NOT perfect. She wasn't a brilliant parent either, but one of the issues I'm trying to understand is why she wasn't a great parent. She could be a real bully, when she wanted. She was also into corporal punishment BIG TIME, although this seemed to lessen with my younger brothers. Perhaps she realised what I realised when I was seven: hitting kids does not punish them or teach them ANYTHING. It just makes them angry and if they get angry enough, they will hate you. End of story.

Mum put a roof over my head, cooked my meals, clothed me, took us on holidays, helped me hugely with my education - but did not hug me.

I'm trying to understand, timid person that she was by nature, how much of the anger she displayed towards me came as a result of what the alienator did. I don't remember EVER having any anger towards her before my parents split up, nor even immediately after they split up. At first, though I was confused by all the changes, I didn't blame anyone. I wasn't angry at anyone.

My relationship with my mother changed when my male parent came back into our lives during the first year after their divorce (there were legitimate reasons for his absence of a few months: we had been living abroad and he needed to sell the house etc). All of a sudden, the floor dropped out from under me.

I trusted her. I loved her. I was quite happy living with her and her parents while she tried to get our lives sorted out. I remember this period of time. It was weird and changing but I took it in my stride. I was with family who loved me. I lived with Grandma! How great is that?! I loved it!

And then he came back to our country and the nastiness began. My memories of that period have emotions and underlying feelings attached to them, and whenever I think of his return to our country and to our lives, I feel uncomfortable and negative and sad. I was sent off for weekends with this man who I hardly knew anymore. I kept telling him my sister's characteristics as if he was a stranger. "She always does that", I'd say. I could barely rememeber him, and yet he'd been gone no more than a year. I feel odd right now, typing about this, because, to be honest, I've rarely analyzed this period of my life before. I think there's some anger there, in me, for her letting us go off with a complete stranger, four hours away in the car, to a town we did not know and the home of an uncle we had no memories of. I feel pain and sadness. A knot in my stomach. We had no control of anything! Shunted off with this guy who, surely, if I loved him or had any good memories of him, I would not have forgotten in the first place?! Just to show how long it was that we'd been away from him, he kept everything in our home and would not let us or our mother have a single thing from it, other than the clothes we had returned to the country wearing/carrying in our suitcases. He would not even let us have our toys - he held them hostage at his home. As such, by the time we saw him again, and by the time our mother had been legally coerced into letting us visit him, I had forgotten about all my toys. I just realised this recently. I have seen photos of myself as a small child with teddy bears that I must have loved - but by the time I was reunited with them, I'd forgotten them. That's so sad. I had no bond with any possessions I had grown up with.

He kept my toys from me to punish our mother, to force her to go back to him. Even things she'd owned all her life - he never gave them back to her. He considered everything from her previous life and their life together his property and kept (still keeps) everything.

Unrelated though this has been on my mind for a while: I spent my whole life trying to be mummy's little girl again, like I was before the alienation started, but always failed because he told me she had never loved me in the first place. Everything I ever did was to gain her approval and make her love me, because I completely believed that she didn't - because he told me that. This is not the end of this subject but I'm feeling a huge, distressing lump in my throat right now I'll stop for today.

Definitions: which parent is which

The alienator, the male parent, is consistently referred to as either "male parent". He's not my "dad". Never was. Never will be. I've never had a "dad" because no real dad would do what he did. I did not live with this person. My sister and I talked to him on the phone once a week at least and saw him every third weekend, usually.

The other parent, the one to whom the campaign of alienation was targeted, my mother, is "target parent" or "mother" or even "mum". I lived with this parent.