January 9, 2019 at 12:39 pm #68009
I was going through some old boxes of memories yesterday. It really struck me what a happy and loving child my youngest ED was, even post-divorce. It was so helpful to see all of her little cards and notes she’d leave me, little lights of love.
That started to shift in her teen years, as she spent more time with her dad’s new wife. I put it up, (at the time) to just the usual pulling away of a teen (although she went further than the normal and her disdain towards me became palpable as the years went by).
I always tried to put my finger on why she came to dislike me so, and, of course, put all of the blame on myself.
I now recognize that her dad’s new wife was actively and obsessively alienating my youngest ED from me. I don’t think her dad was much involved in the alienation, although I think he was happy to reap the benefits of the thing, ie: me being the bad guy, confirmed. Re-reading emails from that time, with my perspective of today is eye-opening. I wish I had been more aware.
I’ve never brought this up to my ED(now 24). Should I?
She is in therapy. Would a therapist ferret this out? Parental alienation?
Another thing I was reminded of as I went through some pictures, which I didn’t discover until a few years ago, after my ED was grown. Her dad’s wife seemed to delight in taking photos of my ED and her dad ‘playacting’ violence towards one another.
In the picture I stumbled across yesterday(from her collection of photos, left behind), her dad has his back to her and she (must have been 12 or 13) is coming up behind him with a real knife, pretending she is about to stab him! Her dad’s wife is taking the photo! There are others with her taking shots of them pretending to strangle each other, push off a ledge and the like. They found this amusing.
Should I bring these things up with her or no?
January 9, 2019 at 3:43 pm #68028
As to whether a therapist will ferret out the alienation…it depends. If she’s brainwash he enough then you’ll be talked about as the bad guy, and she’ll be speaking about you as if it’s true. On the other hand, maybe she’s not. It could depend on a therapist’s experience with PAS too. And maybe what she/he thinks will help. Lots of variables
Regarding bringing it up….did you mean the photos? I think if there comes a time when that is right, you will know.
Regarding you wishiny you’d have been more aware. Well, you had no idea such crap existed probably. It would not be something you’d do, so you expected integrity in others. Hindsight is always 20-20.
Even people who see it cannot always stop it. But, I know how it feels to wish like that. It’s a shame these things even are part of our experience.
January 9, 2019 at 3:45 pm #68031
I guess that depends on the level in which you are estranged. Do you think it will help your case? Or do you feel like she will twist it against you?
That is an odd thing to take pictures of, numerous pictures of.
January 9, 2019 at 4:02 pm #68041
Well, I guess I meant the whole PA thing, mainly and the pictures as evidence that there was something really ‘off’ in her dad’s wife.
But honestly, I think it will be twisted.
It helped to write it out here. I think I know I can’t bring it up with her.
Her last words to me of any import: accept my view of things or stay out of my life.
Overall, I think I am fairly good with not getting involved any further.
Sheri: you hit the nail on the head with your comment about expecting integrity. I definitely did that.
January 9, 2019 at 7:35 pm #68081
Addendum: When I said that I am fairly good with not getting involved any further, I meant simply this: until my EDs want to honestly look at life as it actually was/is (ALL of us playing our very human parts in the thing), there is little hope of any sort of real reconciliation.
Until they want to forgive and be forgiven, it’s just more playacting.
When they won’t discuss things, what can one do? Nada. Discussion leads to openness and they don’t want that.
SO sad that they are SO scared to see that their emperor has no clothes. Yet they know it deep down. And I know it. Most folk I talk to about the whole thing also know it.
Pride is such a stern taskmaster for these girls.
January 9, 2019 at 11:22 pm #68107
I understood you to be asking, at first, should you bring up to her, the role her dad’s wife has played.
If that is what you meant,
then I wish I thought that would help your ED to see the realities, of how she has been incorrectly influenced against you, but I don’t honestly think it would.
Many of our ED’s align themselves with someone else, and then, I don’t think our pointing out to them, anything about that persons motives or personalities or problems, etc, would help our relationships with them.
I think they would just reject those ideas , coming from us. And see us as critical and wrong, again.
I don’t think our daughters will change their views from our attempted ‘convincings’ of our side of the stories.
I wish I did think it could be worked out, like that, but I don’t believe so.
I think they themselves would have to want and choose to look a their own issues, and their relationships with others , in a new light. I don’t think we would be successful in trying to lead them toward it.
Without their initiating a change, I don’t think it would work.
I wish I knew something that would.
January 10, 2019 at 11:31 am #68152
Thanks, Needs….that hope springs eternal, doesn’t it?
That hope that they might see clearly. Might see that we all played our parts in the family dysfunction. Might see the possibility of healing, in the light of honesty and openness.
You know, it really does help so very much having this place as a sounding board. I can’t tell you how much.
PS: I do have much sympathy for my ex’s second wife. She married my ex quickly after her 1st husband committed suicide. As he is a maladaptive covert narcissist (and how….he fits that category to a T!), he was in no shape to help a new wife in such a grievous situation. Poor woman…I know the loneliness of being married to him. I can’t imagine how difficult that must be. 🙁
January 10, 2019 at 4:47 pm #68171
Regarding therapy helping your daughter “ferret out” stuff, it depends on the therapist and what your ED is trying to “achieve.” My ED has been in therapy for a couple of years now, and to my view of things, she has gotten worse. So much, “It’s not about you, mom!” When she is attacking me about something I said or did. Also, she’s been through all of this “trauma therapy,” and there are all of these “catch phrases” that keep coming up. I seriously want her to “be happy,” as she has a wonderful husband, two beautiful sons, and a more than “comfortable” life, but she maintains this “woe is me” BS. Oh, side note here, she has a masters in counseling.
I am just done with the “blame mom dance,” so I am out.
January 11, 2019 at 1:05 am #68256
I know the first time my ED went through counseling it didn’t seem to help much(she was living with her dad and his wife at the time, after high school).
She moved there after a break-up with a boyfriend, her first. She probably just needed to work through that grief, but her dad’s wife thought she needed counseling because the ‘abuse’ at my house, so in she went.
She’s older now, and has a very good husband by her side. There is a little balance, I hope, because of that.
Her dad’s wife does not hold sway the way she once did, thank God. Sincerely.
And maybe this therapist will help her. She needs to claw back some truth/reality into her life.
January 11, 2019 at 5:55 am #68281
I’m from the Parental alienation world funny isn’t it a world that when your right in it you dont even know what’s happening but you know something is happening and finally you put a title to it and its like bingo you know your werent going crazy its a syndrome and I’m the targeting parent.
What helped me was first in Sheri’s book and then a book Adult children of Parental alienation Syndrome Breaking the ties that bind. Your questions will be answered in this book answered all mine, and I have understanding when this happens you start to heal.
We can all look at the why didnt we fight harder but yes hind sight a beautiful thing but does it ever happen no, we are our worst critics and this needs to stop we did the best we could at the time and who would of thought.
What I have read the AC of PAS need to start to question for them to open their minds to this world that we know you could say something but I’m sure she wont believe you. Think of it like being brain washed and your ex as the cult leader with his wife by his side thats how they explain alinators.
Its a waiting game really but in the mean time we all have to live a life and live it fully cause thats something my ex cant ever take away from me and if I do ever get a knock on the door well I might just not be home cause its a beautiful world out there…………
Treasure your memories and your cards, photos you have, but those other ones that your ex’s wife took now that just plan odd not sure what to make of that but is this a control thing? They have over each other Idk?
January 11, 2019 at 10:51 am #68288
Veronica, thank you so much for the heads-up on that book on PAS.
The cult comparison is very apt. So much dysfunction in that household. I was in no means perfect, but compared to the stuff my daughter faced with them, sheesh. There was a reason I divorced that man.
But he wasn’t really interested in having much to do with our daughter until he remarried. IOW: his second wife was interested in her. Very.
Those pictures are so strange. At least they weren’t trying to stab/strangle, etc. my daughter in the shots. :/
January 12, 2019 at 11:24 am #68401
I wrote a long reply a day or so ago but it didn’t appear, perhaps Sheri decided it had too many quotes – I’d referred to Karen Woodall who is my go to person for understanding of PAS but also quoted my daughter.
(Karen writes a blog, works with alienated children to reunite them and was herself an alienated child – in fact your story seems very similar to the way in which Karen’s mother was pushed out)
I bought Amy Baker’s book Surviving Parental Alienation over Xmas and it is very GOOD. I haven’t read her other book as it’s more expensive.
There seem to be quite a few parents who have suffered PA on here!
And yes, those pictures are very odd.
January 17, 2019 at 8:35 pm #68998
Ann, this was very helpful. Karen Woodall is a very good resource for people with alienated EC. Thank you SO much!
January 18, 2019 at 1:47 pm #69080
You’re welcome 🙂
There’s a huge list of links that that have been compiled by Karen and Nick (I’m slowly working through them) at: thealienationexperience.org.uk
The Child of Divorce : The Alienation Experience Resources
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