Saturday, 29 December 2007


Since I realised that I was subjected to Parental Alienation, I have travelled through various emotional stages. Grief and pain are involved, but also healing and empowerment. My favourite change is the calming I'm experiencing. Growing up convinced my mother hated me created such panic in my spirit and in my mind that this panic had to begin to leave me before I really comprehended its existence. I no longer exist in that place; I no longer panic and feel stress because I now know I'm NOT NOT NOT that evil, wicked, horrendous, stupid, different, silly, immature, strong person, the person hated by their mother for all those faults. She categorically did not hate me and actually loved me as much as any mother loves their child - I am therefore NOT faulty. The insecurity that arose from being led to believe the above gave rise to the aforementioned panic. As I've said before, I've lived in a state of stress for thirty years because my male parent specifically told me my mother did not love me. Nowadays, I'm so much calmer and at peace with myself. It's visible and tangible and other people notice it. IT'S WONDERFUL. I am a much nicer person to be around. I'm not on tenterhooks anymore, trying to please everyone and be a smiley-happy-eager nervous simperer.

I am so much calmer and more relaxed about myself. This big knot of tension in my stomach is unravelling and it's a miracle.

Understanding the PA also means that every relationship in my life (almost) has to be redefined, in particular those with members of my mother's family as they were also attacked as part of the PA. I have avoided my mother's family for most of my life and almost entirely since she died. Whenever I have seen them at funerals, I have been stand-offish and kept myself apart from them, partly because I was convinced I was a loser-idiot, but also because I believed them to all be as psychotic as the male parent told me they were. "They're all nutters" he said often.

This redefinition is difficult, though. I've made a start and am in touch with one Aunt who was absolutely HATED by my male parent - and lo and behold, she's nothing like he said she was. Another Aunt has tried to maintain contact with me over the years but as I've tried to ignore her as much as possible, it hasn't been easy for her. Again, this Aunt was a target by the male parent: he called her a whore frequently. Now an uncle wants to be in touch and I've held off for over a month. I don't know why I'm so nervous about emailing him. As this point, I'm too afraid to see any of them, apart from the first Aunt who we visited in November, but emailing should be easy, right? I don't know. When I saw my Aunt in November, I cried a lot because we went over the problems with my Mum and what I now know. I didn't mean to blub. It just came out - just like during my chat with the step-father the other day. So at the moment I don't want to see them - but I can't understand my reluctance to email this uncle. I'll have to mull it over. I also have to hope that anyone I get in touch with will be able to see me as I am now and understand that I am not the same as when we last met. I'm hoping for forgiveness where relevant. I'm not that much of a social person so I don't want to be overwhelmed with social invitations or anything like that. I will be happy to be included in the lives of a handful of people who care about me and will talk to me about my Mum - another consquence of Parental Alienation is that I was not interested in her as a person. I didn't want to know about her interests, ambitions, childhood, personal life, nothing. To me she wasn't someone I cared to know or understand. I'm asking questions now but I didn't know the schools she went to, the places she lived, who her friends were, what music she liked. Shaming! This is embarrassing.

Another issue at the moment is that old enemy: grief. As you know, I hardly grieved for my mother (she died in 1996) but this year has been a turning point. I KNOW that I hold so much grief within me that if I let it all out in one go, I would be out for the count, so I'm pretty certain I'm holding back. Mentally speaking, I've been waiting for an opportunity to get it all out but the opportunity is not forthcoming. My counsellor pointed out that it probably never will be. I have commitments on my time, like any other mother, that do not permit me to take hours or a day off to have a bloody big cry. I remember having a cry like that (or three) when my ex left and, though it hurt like HELL, it was cathartic and healthy. I got over that break up well because I cried a lot. Life is different now. I have less time to myself now so, at my counsellor's suggestion, I'm actually letting it out in dribs and drabs, rather than holding it in and waiting for a day that might never come. While grief is painful as we all know, whenever I feel sad about mum, I sit with it for a while and feel it. It's never too big to handle, something I couldn't bear (and maybe another reason I've been putting off "The big cry" because it will also hurt like hell), and each time I feel the pain, sometimes/usually having a cry, I feel a bit better.

I truly 100% am "letting it out", but in a way I can cope with, one that won't overload me with grief. I have these sad moments usually more than once a day but my mind is freeing up. I don't feel so laden down with grief. I'm not in a place where I can cry a lot all in one go and I'm still the Queen of Distraction (ie finding things to do when I really could be taking a moment to work through the grief), but I'm feeling better.

I also know that this is a grief that will never entirely leave. The grief I felt for my ex is gone, end of story. Grief for a loved one cannot disappear, I understand that, but it can lessen and in time it won't be something constantly on my mind, like now.

Grief for Mum, the PA, my sorrow for the pain I caused her - these three things weigh me down at the moment.

Thursday, 27 December 2007

A validating chat with my Step-father

Offspring and I popped round on Sunday to deliver Christmas presents and I found myself talking with him about my Mum. Right now I can't actually remember how the conversation started but suffice it to say that he validated some of the conclusions I have drawn independently recently in this blog. It was awkward at some points because his wife was in and out of the room. He said more than once that he'd pop around during the Christmas holiday - and he never comes to my house, so I'm hoping this means he wants to talk more.

Most importantly, my Mum did think I hated her. I asked him outright: "Did she think I hated her?" He just nodded, didn't say anything. I explained what the male parent/the alienator had been doing and he said she hadn't known anything about it. She just thought I hated her. He also offered the following piece of information: that she gave up on me, in a sense. She withdrew, worn out with me, something you as a reader will remember me saying a while back. I've withdrawn from someone I love for the same reason so I can understand why she did it. He spoke of my teenage years being horrendous, the very time when I knew she was withdrawing from me emotionally, the very time I was becoming angrier and angrier from the hurt that her withdrawal was causing me.

He also said, unrelated to anything, "Your mum always did her best for her kids".

He said he didn't remember my male parent ever asking for custody of us, something the latter made a great big deal out of, sombrely telling us on the way home (which he used as a time to rile us up and make us angry in order to drop us off miserable with our mother) "Mummy has said no". My stepfather said if this actually ever happened, he never knew about it (something that would have been unlikely).

He remembered how poor we were: my school bag was a carrier bag from the supermarket and my pencil case a plastic sandwich bag. He remembered how my male parent kept everything after the divorce (including my school stuff), my mother's possessions, all her memories and photographs.

Actually, this is more important her thinking I hated her: he said several times, "She DID love you." We discussed the anger I displayed towards her leading her to think I hated her and he added, "You know, she knew deep down that you love her." He's having similar problems with one of my brothers - there are no alienation issues, just an angry young man who won't help himself and is slowly wearing out everyone's patience. Neither my stepfather or I really understand what's going on in his head because none of the rest of us are like him, but we are both hanging in there. This brother screams hatred and insults at my stepfather, calls him names, has hit him before or so I'm told, he has a history of self-harming, and even now calls his dad by his given name. Despite all this, my stepfather said, "I KNOW he loves me, no matter what he says or does, and your mum KNEW you loved her deep down, no matter what you said or did".

I need to sleep now but I feel a post about Mum's depression developing. Will probably post tomorrow night.

Tuesday, 25 December 2007

Happy Christmas

To everyone who comes here.

If you're finding today hard, like I do, take a moment with me to remember and count your blessings. If you're feeling really, really bad, find five things you're grateful for. Remember that someone, somewhere has it worse than you today. If your kids/alienated parent is not in your life today, at least they're healthy, right?

I truly hope you find a way to enjoy at least some of today. In fact, I insist! I insist that after today is over, you will look back and think, "Okay, actually THAT bit was enjoyable".

Friday, 14 December 2007

Never give up on your kids

If you're an alienated parent, ie the target parent, never give up on them. No matter how tired or distressed or grieved you become, giving up on them is the single WORST thing you can do. When you feel you don't have the strength to go on, remember this: giving up on your children tells them that everything the ex says about you is right. If you give up on them, it's over.

Chances are, the alienator will also dump them at some point because their alienating tactics are about control. Sooner or later (probably later), your child/ren will realise what the alienator has done. They will also grow up eventually and the control the alienator has over them will weaken. It may even bring the alienator back to breaking point again. It did with me.

The alienator did not like that his control over me had waned because I had simply grown up. No one else in my family has a problem with me, but he could not bear that I had my own opinions, most especially my own opinions about my mother's (the target parent) family.

Something alienated children do to protect themselves is to either never speak of or never say anything nice about people the alienator hates, usually the target parent's family. I LOVED my maternal grandmother with an absolute passion. Given the state of my relationship with my mother while she was alive, my grandmother's love and acceptance was a life saver to me. My male parent, the alienator, couldn't bear that I loved her. I would never mention it to him while I was growing up or I'd never hear the end of it. "THAT WOMAN and above all her eldest daughter are to blame for our divorce! If it weren't for them, your mother and I would still be together!" Of course, they weren't to blame: they weren't even in the same country as us. My mother went home to her family once she'd made her mind up to leave.

I guess it's part of the condition of an alienator. He could never accept that the divorce was only between him and my mother. He could never accept ANY part of the blame at all, ever. Even three years ago he still carried the bitterness and, as I've mentioned before, he said her cancer was karma for leaving him and that it was her own fault.

So, faced with a rant like the one above, I never told him that my relationship with my grandmother was one of the joys of my life. He reserved his nastiest rants for the "eldest daughter" mentioned above, my Aunt. He said some AWFUL things about her when I was younger than instilled such a morbid fear of her that I couldn't bear to be in the same room as her. My aunt's husband, for example, beat her up. He said it was her own fault because she had such a big mouth. As a consequence, I've NEVER had a relationship with her. She recognized on the rare occasions that I saw her that there was a problem with me. She said as much in November of this year when I saw her. She didn't know what it was: she just saw me acting like a little demon, upsetting her sister who, like my own eldest daughter, was really quite a gentle person at heart. Mum didn't know how to discipline us by herself. Aunt knew, for example, on the day of Mum's wedding to my stepfather that I was seriously upset about it and acting hatefully (click the REMARRIAGE label to the left). No one realised the reasons (previously posted: I thought I had failed to reunite my parents, a duty I had believed was mine, partly due to the male parent's pressures and behaviours, and that I was to blame for their divorce) and, to be honest I'd probably do the same too under these circumstances, my aunt took me to one side and threatened me with trouble if I spoiled mum's special day. However, no love of me was inferred so given what the alienator had brainwashed me with about mum and her family and my stepdad, her warning to a naughty child only reinforced what the alienator had told me: that these people were evil, didn't love me, didn't want me, wanted to control me etcetera, etceterea and bloody etcetera.

So, the upshot of this is that once I grew up (and I'm talking late 20s, early 30s), I was braver about expressing myself to him. I was still afraid of him and still am now, but I was more confident about saying that I loved my grandmother. He'd argue and blame her for mistreating him by causing his divorce. I remember the blank look on his face when I said, "Well, she's never mistreated me". He shut right up. I almost laughed - and it was so empowering!! He just couldn't bear it though. It was a beginning for me and the end for him. He started picking on other areas of my life after that (he didn't like my kettle, that I don't give my ADULT cats milk, that I didn't have marmalade in the house when he came to visit (get over it! I hate the stuff!), didn't believe I could wire a plug myself: "Let me do it properly for you"), real nitpicking - and continued picking fault with my religion. He could never sit down and have a proper discussion about it. He never asked me why I chose it. He just picked fault with it via sarcastic remarks and silly comments, ignoring me when I said it was a closed subject.

I think he just didn't want me anymore when he realised he didn't have full control over my mind. So he dumped me - and my kids. Unfortunately for him, that act unravelled EVERYTHING. Within six months I realised what he had done and now there's no going back. Perhaps he knew that would happen and that's why he dumped us.

Now I'm glad he's out of our lives but I'm saddened that I have such a messed up parent who was willing to screw his child up to get revenge. I wish someone else had been my father, because he is not that. I'm ashamed that he's my parent. I'm saddened that he can't be trusted around my children or me. I'm saddened by the lack of a grandparent - my kids have, in fact, lost BOTH my parents now. However, that man will NEVER be allowed near us again. End of story. Sometimes I'm paranoid about him: I'm so desperate to keep him away from us because I am afraid of him that if some guy at the supermarket resembles him, out of the corner of my eye, I panic.

Friday, 7 December 2007

I haven't disappeared

I have deadlines to work towards at the moment and will be finished Tuesday 11th December. I might post before then but only if it's a biggie :>

Monday, 3 December 2007

"The offender's actions create a context in which the mother and child are blind to his role in creating the difficulties in their relationship"(Lang & Kamsler, 1990, 169)

From this website.

I agree with this. I had no idea what was being done to me and I still believe my mother didn't have a clue. She just thought I hated her, that I couldn't cope with, for example, the other kids in the house, my step-father, rules and discipline etc.

Rules and discipline, more specifically HER rules and discipline ... I couldn't cope with them, no, I admit it. I thought everything she said and did to discipline me was personal because she hated me. I NEVER thought she was trying to just raise me and train me to be an adult. I had been told that she wanted to control me and that she didn't want me, as I've mentioned so many times before, and that everything she did was based on her hatred of me, not love - never love.