Monday, 17 March 2008

Please don't confuse me or associate me with anyone

Further to my post a few days ago, I'd like to clarify that I'm being followed around the Internet by someone claiming affinity and similarity with me. Wherever I go, this person seems to appear within a day or two and make huge postings dominating wherever I've been.

This person seems to like all the attention to be focussed on them, to the exclusion of anyone else around, taking up entire pages of boards/blogs etc.

This person's motives do not feel genuine. They feel fake. They post nothing original until I speak, and then they paraphrase what I have said, or even copy it over to another place and make it look like their own words/feelings.

To confirm, I only post on this blog, on (twice there, I think, at most), and PASParents and PAPA Yahoo Groups. I don't use any other names nor does anyone else speak for me. I am nothing to do with anyone else.

This person may claim a "kinship" with me but it is not reciprocated because frankly they creep me out. They are also using the serious subject of Parental Alienation to gain attention. Disgraceful!

Saturday, 15 March 2008

When the alienation begins

In response to a question about how the anger and pulling away begin:

"I was furious first and continued to be so while I pulled away from my Mom. A lot of damage would have been avoided had she told me she loved me and that she was doing her best in a difficult situation, and also that she didn't mean to make mistakes or make me angry. Unfortunately because the PA wasn't recognized, much of the blame for the problems between my mother and me was put on me, particularly by other members of her family. I was labelled a "bad kid" and that label still sticks today. People love to tell me what a rotten kid I was, whereas I was actually a very, VERY distressed and confused child."

Expecting gratitude from alienated children ...

I keep hearing about alienated aka target parents and their irritation/distress/annoyance/unhappiness/confusion that gifts, cards and money that they send to their alienated kids aren't acknowledged. I've even seen someone comment that they "never get so much as a thank you".

Folks, these kids are not your enemies and they don't actually owe you a thank you. These kids are in difficult, distressing, confusing and extremely painful places in their lives and those two words are probably the last things on their minds.

Don't send them gifts at all if you expect something in return, or if you decide to feel that your children owe you! That's not what it's about! Your attempts to reach them are about reaching them! They shouldn't be about getting something back from your child! If you feel hurt that your presents get ignored or go unacknowledged, try to put yourself in your child's place.

They are without one of their parents and may have been told that the non-present parent hates them. Your child might feel worthless. Thank yous are probably the last things on their mind right now.

If they do want to thank you, they may not be physically or mentally allowed to
: they might want to - but the other parent won't let them carry out the act; they might want to, but the other parent may have put them in such a terrible position that their life will be miserable if they so much as admit having received something from you, let alone liking it.

Also, if they are anything like me at times, they will think that you sending them gifts is the least you can do, under the circumstances. Someone on a mailing list asked a question about a child's lack of response to receiving gifts (this person was asking this question from a genuine place, not, as far as I'm concerned, from a sense of feeling like they deserve or are owed a thank you).

This was my response:

"Perhaps in her mind she feels so cheated because of the alienation/lies that she feels he owes her. Sometimes I took from my TP mother simply because I felt she owed me materially, given that she "didn't love me" or fill my emotional needs in a way that the AP told me she should. He used to say "if lying to her or cheating her gets you what you wanted, who cares? If it gets you what you want, go along with it. Use her because she's using you."" Apparently the TP just wanted to "control me and use me to control" the other parent, so why not not take from her? Use the user!

Alienated children, in one sentence

"Programmed to believe [the target parent] is out to hurt them".

Quote from R. Couldn't have said it better myself.

Sending gifts and cards, etc

My response to someone asking if they should continue to send gifts, cards etc, to their alienated son.

"Send him all those things, whether they come back or not.

If he accepts them with or without thanks, he accepts you to some extent.
If he rejects them, he still knows you tried (and I don't believe that children who reject gifts from parents are doing so entirely of their own free will).
If you don't, he'll think "She didn't send me anything. Dad was right. She doesn't care about me".

If may seem like you can't win, but it's not the gifts that matter here - it's that you're sending them.

Another thought has just come to me - when my mother gave me gifts to open on my birthday at my male parent's house (my birthday is in the summer so we'd spend a week or two with him), he liked to watch me open them and sat like a vulture waiting for a reponse or comparison with what he had given me. He liked to mock things she said and did and didn't exclude birthday presents, but even if he said nothing about her gifts, I was tense and stressed WAITING for him to say something horrible which would inevitably spoil the day. I can recall the dread right now as I type. And if I liked what she bought me ... I'd be in for an anti-mum earbashing at some point, whether it was about the gifts or not. He'd find some way of spoiling her efforts.

Monday, 10 March 2008

I don't blog anywhere else

Just to clarify, this is my only blog. I don't have any others. None. The only other places you'll see me are PAPA and PAS mailing lists on Yahoo and I am nowhere else and am no one else!

I'm also the alienated child (although I'm an adult now), not the target parent.

Sunday, 9 March 2008

When your alienated children ignore/rebuff all your attempts at contact

Another post of mine to a mailing list, prompted by a parent's despair at their gifts/letters etc to their alienated children going unacknowledged.

"Following on from Robin's post which I received today, I'd like to tell you that while I infrequently thanked my mother for the things she did for me while I was growing up and even in early adulthood before she passed away, I know TODAY what she did. I remember ALL the little things she did, like the little green rabbit cuddly toy she gave me out of the blue before the big school exams when I was 16. I remember the little notes she put in with mail she forwarded me when I was away from home. I remember that I never, ever once came home to a bed I needed to make myself. I remember how she always gave me just as much for Chrismas and birthdays as the other kids, even though none of them treated her like rubbish. I remember how she saw me struggling with English Lit before the big exams and arranged for extra tuition for me, paid for with money she must have snaffled from my stepfather because she asked me never to tell him. I remember her paying for extra Spanish lessons because I was merely interested in languages, not because I needed them. I remember the little gifts she bought me when we were out together with perhaps just the baby with us who wasn't old enough to blab to the other kids or be jealous. I still have upstairs in my wardrobe garments that she made for me with her own hands (that I was too cool to wear but would never part with, even when I (thought I) hated her most). I kept bizarre things like sick notes she wrote me for school. Her hiking boots. Her purse with a receipt bearing her signature. Her curlers because even today they smell of her. I remember how one year she felt I would appreciate a box of chocolate at Easter, rather than an Easter Egg, as I was a teenager - and how outraged I was! I remember how she laughed and made sure I received a big chocolate egg the next year. I remember she used to always buy me blank videotapes because I loved to record music shows off the TV.

I can think of a million other little things that my now-beloved mother did for me, despite being the Target Parent of some incredibly nasty behaviour from me.

Just like you alienated parents, she loved me and found other ways to demonstrate that in the face of not being allowed to tell me. And she never, ever stopped. Even to the year she died, she liked to send me little bits of money here and there to spend on her granddaughter, a child I hardly let her see.

Back then, I barely paid attention to what she was doing. I hardly saw it. NOW TODAY I can look back and remember and be relieved, grateful and blessed that she did all those things and never gave up, even though the alienation lasted for twenty years of her life.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: don't give up on your children. They will remember everything you do for them, even if right now they throw it back in your face. The comfort I receive from these gestures of love from my poor mother sometimes get me through the day."

Friday, 7 March 2008

The alienator doesn't like rules

If you're new to my blog, welcome and I'd just let you know that it's not in chronological order. I write things as I remember them.

First, a reminder that alienated parents may seem evil, they may even BE evil, but they are also damaged and usually hurting (especially if the Target Parent has a new partner). When dealing with them, I would advocate patience and grace.

Today's post is about the rules the alienator used to make us live by when we visited with him: few, or none.

Of course, as kids, we thought this was wonderful. No discipline, no rules, bedtime whenever we wanted, alcohol when we were teenagers (me) or TEN years old (my sister), any TV show or movie we wanted (including horror films like "Salem's Lot" and "The Car" which even today scare me half to death - I hid behind the sofa or the ironing board when he put these films on the TV or video, so I CLEARLY didn't want to watch them!), dirty words in Scrabble, rude images and jokes and personal stories (ugh), rude comments about our own growing up or sexuality etc etc etc, onwards ad infinitum.

This is all part of him trying to treat us "better" than Mum did. He wanted to make us like him more by befriending, not by parenting. He told me, as I've mentioned before, lurid details of their divorce, including information about Mum having sex with another man (allegedly) when I was perhaps only eight, details you would normally tell your friends, not your little child.

He repeated that he treated me like a grown up, whereas she treated me like I was an idiot. "I've always treated you like you're older."

He lived with a woman called Kathy for a while. She had two sons of similar age to my sister and me, with whom we got along famously most of the time. When he and Kathy hit hard times, they argued in front of us. On one occasion, the argument was about my sister and me. She was angry that the normal house rules didn't apply to us. Everything was different when we visited. We didn't get disciplined the same way her sons did (by him). His response was not a denial that this was happening, but rather confirmation: "I want things more relaxed when the girls are here". Not cool. This situation so unsettled me that I mentioned it to my Mum. I knew it wasn't right, young as I was and even though I loved that no rules applied to my sister and me at his house. She said, "The rules should be the same for all of you".

It was all part of his manipulation of our experiences with him in order to make us like him more than our mother. It worked! Whenever we had trouble at home, the first thing we would say was, "I want to go and live at Dad's". (Today I can only imagine the hurt that caused her, of which I'm ashamed more than you can know.)

He and Kathy split up, but not before he let one of her sons sit without trousers on in front of we other three children for 30 minutes, his private parts on full show, while he lectured him about bad behaviour. The whole speech/diatribe sounded like showing off. He has always bullied the male children of his girlfriends, using threats of physical violence against them if they spoke up for themselves.

Sunday, 2 March 2008

Anger in this alienated child

This is an email I posted to a mailing list today in response to alienated parents discussing their angry alienated children - and their frustration and confusion about that anger. I've been reading so many account of loving children quite quickly developing anger and even hatred towards one of their confused and scared parents, anger that is very difficult to discuss with a child who then refuses to speak to the target parent.

I hope it explains potential reasons for bizarre anger in alienated children.

The main thing I heard from the alienator is "Your mother {insert yourself here} doesn't love you". End of story.

They will hear plenty of other bunkum to "prove" this, and I've read all your stories on this list showing what lengths alienators will go to to "prove" themselves right.

But what it all boils down to, that is what I heard over and over at the root of all alienating attacks/lectures, repeated and reinforced, used as "evidence", appearing in almost every sentence out of the alienator's mouth about my target parent was that "She doesn't love you".

"She does that because she doesn't love you."

"That's because she doesn't love you."

"If she loved you, she wouldn't do that."

"If she loved you, she'd do this."

"I hate to say this but I don't think she loves you."

"She doesn't want you because she doesn't love you."

"You remind her of me so she doesn't love you."

THIS is the foundation of everything I heard from my alienator, and THIS is why I was SOOOOOOOO angry and vile to my mother.

Anger is not an isolated emotion. No one is just angry. People are angry because ... [insert reason]. I was angry because I felt HUGE, MASSIVE, ENORMOUS hurt, pain and despair that my own mother didn't love me, that my own mother didn't want me. I despaired that I was so unlovable that my own mother didn't want me.

I remember watching a tv serial of the Phantom of the Opera when I was in my early teens, starring Teri Polo. She played Christine but also, in a flashback, the mother of the Phantom. The narrator spoke of the child being so hideously and disgustingly deformed that society rejected it - but that its mother loved it and was proud of it, that the mother could not see the ugliness everyone else in the world saw. I was a child already suffering problems because I believed my mother didn't love or want me, and when I watched that scene, I believed that I was so ugly and unloveable that not even my mother could overcome her disgust of me.

That's why I was so angry.