Archive for July, 2012

This is a conversation that I’ve had with my wife as well as my parents on several occasions. It’s also the subject of many articles on PAS (parental alienation syndrome) and HAP (hostile aggressive parenting). The offending parent hasn’t let go of the previous relationship and is seeking to control the other parent (their ex) by using the child as a weapon. Honestly, to say that this isn’t effective would be a complete lie. Has the lack of relationship with my daughter hurt me? Yes of course it has. Has the stress of dealing with it all had an effect? Again, yes of course it has. The interesting thing is that since I am a healthy, right thinking adult I don’t see this as a rejection by my daughter, but as a manipulation of B’s feelings that has led to the current situation. I’m not consumed by my emotions concerning my estrangement with B. SHE IS ON MY MIND DAILY, but the negative emotions don’t effect me daily.

The person that this has consumed is M. I’m dealing as well as possible and B thinks that she is content with her life or at least willing to accept it. M is left to come up with ways to further her end goal and spin given situations. B is growing and changing and the hold M currently has will fade. If it isn’t me, it will be a boy, or school, or who knows what. B is growing into a young adult and will see things clearly in what I hope is a short period of time. M on the other hand will be left grasping to control the emotions of others. I’ve moved forward with life and I’m raising my step children and have a wonderful marriage. So as you see, M is the only person that is stagnant in her life. She has the same job, the same “boy friend” (we’ve been apart since 2008), the same rental home, and even the same vehicle. This seems to be a very common theme among parents that are guilty of PAS and HAP. They become stuck emotionally and even physically where they were in the past. As the Vince Gill song says, “There ain’t no future in the past”, life moves on and everything changes. Sometimes those changes are good and sometimes they suck, but the constant is change.

What I have found is the key to dealing with all this is living in the present and looking to the future. B will not always feel the way she does now, and if I’m stuck in the past being hurt I might miss the opportunity to heal the relationship. Hence I recently made a decision that is backed by B’s counselor. I’m backing off, waaaay off. I won’t be going to court constantly (we’ve been three times in the last three months), attending B’s doctor’s appointments, etc. B has made it clear that I am not welcome at her doctor’s appointments and that I am not wanted. The only real reason for me to be there is to get information and to give information to the doctor. I have to trust that M won’t intentionally harm B just to spite me. You may think I am wrong or you may agree, but at this point all I am doing is repeatedly chasing B from having a relationship with her father. The more I push to be in B’s life the more she pulls away. The other thing is that as long as we continue this fruitless court battle the more M is a subject of daily conversation. I don’t know about you, but I DON’T WANT MY EX TO BE A PART OF MY CURRENT MARRIAGE. The only way to accomplish this is to break the cycle that has proved ineffective in changing my relationship with my daughter, thus removing M from having the ability to do and say things that effect daily life.

As a parent it is our job to teach our children what is right and wrong, it’s our job to guide them. We can’t make decisions for them and when they make the wrong decisions the consequences are theirs to own. B is making decisions and she has consequences. That’s not to say that when she has a change of heart that I won’t be waiting with open arms, because I will. No matter how long it takes, I will be here and love her with all my heart. I simply have to focus on the family that is here, now, in the present that does love and accept me. They too deserve my time, energy, finances, and love. I can’t give those things to them if I am constantly tornĀ  up emotionally by B or concentrating on my next move to counter M’s insanity. If M want’s to be crazy, she can do it without me. I don’t want or need her in my life as she only hurts those around her. In some way I believe this may have all been a tactic for her to remain present in my life and keep me from having a healthy marriage. It hasn’t worked, and since this isn’t a game I am taking myself off the field.