Archive for the ‘Definition’ Category

  • I miss you.  You may think that’s weird.  I mean, we didn’t get to know each other that well.  I did enjoy what time we had together, and I miss laughing, snuggling during scary movies, you and Jas dancing, and working on your homework that you totally didn’t want to do.  I miss that I don’t know YOU from more experiences of my own.  I don’t at all have a bad view of you, or any of our time together.  I think there were ways that each of us (me, your dad, you, your mom) could have handled things, but we are almost 1.5 years past that now. Unless we are going to live in the past, how we got here doesn’t matter.  How we can fix it does.  It can be fixed.  I have gotten to know you from hearing lots of stories about you growing up, and seeing pictures, from your grandparents and aunt and cousin, and most of all from your dad.  I’ve seen your cards, pictures, drawings, notes to your dad when you were little and some much more recent.  I know you from pictures I took of you, with your family and friends here.  You were not unhappy, and you were not mistreated.  I think there were a few misunderstandings and a normal teenager that got mad…guess what, you’ve missed out on your step-sister having some attitude too!  The difference is she isn’t allowed to pull away and disengage, she has attitude, we deal (she is corrected by me, your dad, her dad and her step-mom as a TEAM), we move on…life moves on.  Turning away is not a healthy part of growing up, or healthy for anyone.  To NOT deal with life is  unhealthy.  In spite of what you may think I know that you are very greatly loved, and missed.  I get to see it daily when we do normal things or go places and I think how much you would like this or that.  How I’m sure your dad misses getting to talk to you about things only the two of you shared.  I know that your grandmother misses you and hearing anything from the emails she sends.  I miss hearing about your sports, cheerleading and awards days.  Your dad has hopes each time he emails you that you will answer, even if it’s just to say you’re ok.
  • At this point, there isn’t much I feel I can say to “change your mind,” but I do want you to hear what other people have to say, that have never met you, or your dad, or your mom, and frankly I don’t think you are getting the information you need.  These people all have lots of information that you will see yourself in.As I’ve always told you, you have a mom, I don’t want to and can’t replace her, but even though I’m new to you, I’m not new to parenting.  As you know, Jasmine has 4 parents that love her and make sure she is taken care of TOGETHER, there is no reason, ever, that a loving, stable, caring parent should be distanced or put out of their child’s life, by anyone, including a child/teenager that doesn’t see all the repercussions of a decision like that.  It’s why there are courts, and judges and why ALL parents are instructed to act in the best interest of a child and why visitation is court ordered.  It’s not a choice, it’s a necessity. It is not in your best interest to eliminate one of your parents because you are mad or think you’re old enough to. You have 3 parents that love you deeply and can each give you something valuable in life, and 2 that are not being allowed to give you what you so desperately need during these years (and the ones to come) in your life.  So, with lots of love, and because I am your step-mom, but more importantly because I love your dad and you, I’m asking that since we’ve not talked for over a year, you check out the next few things I write and watch a link or two.  Just look at it as homework, or research…payback for not having to listen to one of my lectures for over a year, or a way to get me to shut up:)  Just trust me on this…you know I have nothing to gain here besides helping you and your dad be happy together.
  • I want to go ahead and say that lots of this might sound scary or stupid, or you might think it has nothing to do with you or what’s going on with you.  I know you make your own decisions, so I’m asking you, just because I want you to think for yourself, to use the information I’m about to share to gain all the knowledge you can and make your decisions based on facts and what you KNOW.  You’re grown enough to understand that life isn’t always pretty and perfect.  You have to deal with some crappy things sometimes to get to the good stuff though.
  1. There is actually a WHOLE dvd that we have that I will get to you if you want to see it, just let me know.  It explains all sides, yours, your mom, and your dad, and how to resolve things so everyone is happy!  Wouldn’t that be nice?!  Here are some reviews from other teens (that didn’t want to see their other parent, and some that had not seen a parent just like you), moms, dads and people that watched the dvd, because I know you think it’ll be boring. http://www.warshak.com/alienation/pluto/viewers-say.html
  2. Can you do me a favor and watch this little part of it?  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Puy0hjtedU&feature=related
  3.  Also, I know some pretty smart people that have been where you are (and didn’t think they needed help or that anything was wrong).  I don’t want you to think that I or anyone here thinks there is something WRONG with you…we just all know that sometimes things aren’t as they seem and it never hurts to have knowledge about what’s going on in your life.  If you get a minute, this is someone that is now grown and has lived with not talking to her dad for a while when she was your age.  I think you’ll find it interesting. https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=139545826175900&id=100003614494125
  4. Now, these are LONG, and I think if you are honest with yourself you’ll see some very familiar things.  Doesn’t matter how they got there, or how it happened, I want to focus on HOW TO FIX IT…I think you’ll recognize some stuff, you can finish reading my letter here first, then come back and check these out (but don’t forget, they are very informative)http://www.drhavlicek.com/what_everyone_should_know_about.htm            http://www.drhavlicek.com/Parent%20Alienation%20Effects%20on%20Children.htm
  5. Ok, so this one is a little more realistic.  I’m going to be honest and point out that this is your relationship and you have done or said just about all of these things.  Yes, they were your idea, which shows that you are in fact, an alienated child, whether you intended that or not. It’s not fun to read, but you will see that it’s not “just your idea” it is something that is documented time after time for years and is a problem not just for you, but has been and is for thousands of other children and teens your age. It iis considered abuse to allow a child to go through with these thoughts and actions.  It is not healthy for you, and is not normal.

THE RESPONSE AND BEHAVIORS OF THE ALIENATED CHILD

It is important to discuss the typical clinical presentation of alienated children. For the

most part, our observations of the behaviors and emotional responses of alienated children

are similar to those reported by others (Gardner, 1987,1992; Wallerstein & Kelly, 1980). By

definition, the core feature of alienated children is the extreme disproportion between the

child’s perception and beliefs about the rejected parent and the actual history of the rejected

parents’ behaviors and the parent-child relationship. Unlike most aligned or estranged

youngsters, alienated children freely express hatred or intense dislike toward the rejected

parent. They demonize and vilify that parent, often present trivial reasons to justify their

hatred, and usually are not reticent about broadcasting the perceived shortcomings of the parent to others. This is particularly baffling to the rejected parent, extended family, and other

adults knowledgeable about the prior parent-child relationship. Most often, as stated above,

rejected parents have had at least an adequate relationship with these children, and the angry

rejection is not merited, even when contributions of the rejected parent are taken into account.

One of the most common behaviors of alienated children is their strongly expressed resistance

to visiting the rejected parent and, in more extreme cases, an absolute refusal to see the

parent in any setting, including a therapeutic one, and a desire to unilaterally terminate the

parent-child relationship. These children want only to talk to lawyers who represent their

viewpoint and to those custody evaluators and judges whom they believe will fully support

their efforts to terminate the parent-child relationship once they hear all the “facts.” To all,

they strongly advocate their right to choose whether they will see their parent.

Another feature of alienated children is the manner in which they present their stories.

Their allegations about the rejected parent are mostly replicas or slight variants of the aligned

parents’ allegations and stories. These scripted lines are repeated endlessly but most often are

hollow, without underlying substance, texture, or detail to support the allegations. They have

adopted the allegation(s) but, unlike children with histories of abusive treatment, do not have

compelling supporting information. Generally, alienated children sound very rehearsed,

wooden, brittle, and frequently use adult words or phrases. They appear not to be guilty or

ambivalent as the children denigrate, often viciously, the rejected parent. Sometimes, they

appear to be enjoying themselves. There is no obvious regret.

One of the sobering aspects of these presentations is that alienated children have essentially

been given permission to be powerful and to be hostile and rude toward the rejected

parent, grandparents, and other relatives. Furthermore, assisting in orchestrating the obliteration

of a parent does not bode well for their future social and emotional adjustment. Sadly,

even previously cherished pets, now in the custody of the rejected parent, might be denigrated,

and the children proudly describe the virtues of their new and extremely perfect

replacements provided for them by aligned parents.

And finally, alienated children often idealize or speak glowingly of the aligned parent as

an adult and parent. They refuse to consider any information that might undermine this viewpoint

of their perfect companion and parent, and they vigorously reject any suggestion that

their obsessive hatred of the rejected parent has any relationship to the views or behaviors of

the aligned parent. They might describe how that parent is suffering, has been harmed economically

and emotionally by the rejected parent, and is worthy of their total allegiance.

It is important to note that some alienated children-although they present as very angry,

distraught, and obsessively fixated on the hated parent in the therapist’s or evaluator’s

office-appear to function adequately in other settings removed from the custody battle.

They might retain their school performance, might continue to excel in musical or athletic

activities, and at least superficially seem reasonably well adjusted. A closer look at their

interpersonal relationships, however, often reveals difficulties. Alienated children’s

black-and-white, often harshly strident views and feelings are usually reflected in dealings

with their peers as well as those in authority. However, it is in the rejected parents’ home that

the child’s behavior is severely problematic and disturbed. They might destroy property; act

in obnoxious, even bizarre, ways; and treat these parents in public with obvious loathing,

scorn, and verbal abuse. They prefer to be in contact constantly with their aligned parent by

telephone, at which times, they whisper hostile observations about the rejected parent’s

words, behaviors, meals, and personality. If they are resisting or refusing contact, all efforts

of the rejected parents to communicate directly with their children are rebuffed, including

demands that the parent never contact them again, stop harassing them with presents and letters

(which often are discarded or unopened), and cease their useless legal efforts and court

appearances.

The girl in the pictures here was not abused, unloved, unhappy, unwanted, sad, or any of the things that one would assume would cause a parent to be eliminated from her life.  This girl (now a young lady) was told that she was old enough to decide and that it was her decision, when in fact, that was a violation of a court order to have her father eliminated.  The people in the pictures with her have ALL been cut out of her life at the same time over a year ago.  I could understand possibly being that mad at one person…but a whole family?   Again, this isn’t about who is right, wrong, who did what, who needs to change, it’s about how to stop this.  We can fix it, you can have both of your parents, and they both owe it to you to get along enough so you can have each of them without you feeling that it’s necessary to deny one of them.  Did you know that if YOU told both of your parents (nicely and respectfully) that it IS your choice and that they both need to get along so you can have them both involved in your life, that they would have no choice but to do it.  Think I’m crazy?  Your mom has said, typed and told numerous people that it’s “not my problem and it’s between her and her dad” and that “she is old enough to make decisions about her life” and your dad has said that he just wants you to be happy and healthy.  So, if you said to them that it is your choice that they both get along or that THEY ignore each other and allow you to be happy with each of them, they would have to do it, or they would both be liars.  It may not have been started by you, it may have, but regardless, YOU can stop it.  You are old enough, you are smart enough.

  • If you want help, you can reach out to me, your school, your church, your family, you know how to get any of us, and I know you have the means to contact us. We all miss you. You will be welcomed back with open arms.  We will begin again and move forward and learn together how to make life work for everyone involved.
  • If you don’t want help, or don’t think you are ready still, or you’re still mad, or still sure you don’t want to talk to anyone here, even your dad.  I will accept that, but only if you are honest with yourself and inform yourself with the information I shared.  You can’t just continue to walk along thinking that your decisions and those of your mom that have become yours, do not affect you, your dad, your family here, or will not affect you later down the road.  Remember, you don’t get back time lost.  You can’t go back and redo things sometimes.  You can make sure that things you do in the future are done right though.  I hope you choose to be informed, be forgiving, and be happy.  With all my love…Melissa.

Heading to Gigi and Pawpaws, 2nd to last visit Dec 24, 2010.

Gigi and her girls!

Headband crew

Aunt Sherri and Brianna

Daddy and his girl

Our first Christmas together:)

The Ham couch

Jackpot!

Thanksgiving 2010

The sugar high kicked in later.

Matt and Bri waiting for the sugar to kick in!

Choices choices – October 2010

My girls

Daddy’s girl:)

First pumpkin pickin’!

EWWWWWWWWWWW

Still at it

Bri meeting her newphew for the first time:)

4th of July 2010

Daddy and his girl

Girls getting ready for our wedding April 2010

Adorable girls

Love it more!

Badonkadonk

Advertisements

A lot of people don’t understand what PAS really is. There is a difference between a some what healthy/normal relationship with an ex spouse and what PAS is. In a normal relationship with an ex, you don’t let it effect the children involved. An example, if you have an ex that you don’t necessarily like or get along with, then the children or child doesn’t see the two of you fight. The kids don’t have one parent pitting them against the other. No negative comments are made about the other parent and no one tries to influence the child in any direction. My wife and her ex-spouse don’t get along well. It is difficult for the two of them to communicate, etc. But as far as I know, he doesn’t make any harsh comments about us nor do we about him. Neither side tries to pit the child against the other. Now having said that, there are the normal ex games as I call them. This is my opinion, but her ex does try to use us as an excuse.

There are two types of parents. There are parents that will and have walked through hell for their children, then there are parents that have children that seem to be after thoughts in their life. In any family where there are new blended families with new marriages and children there are new priorities. What is right and what is wrong is a choice that the parents decide for themselves. If a parent chooses not to take advantage of visitation for a long period of time and then the other parent doesn’t cooperate with meeting half way or something of the like, it isn’t PAS. The fact is that the other parent has something to prove. They need to prove something to their ex, and the child. A parent should always have the best interest of their children at heart.  If that means that the other parent has to drive a little further to show that they are serious, then so be it. A child doesn’t need a parent when it is easy for the parent and no parent when it’s hard for them. That isn’t the way it works. It’s just not healthy for a child to have a fair weather parent. So the above is normal, and far from PAS.

PAS is a whole other animal completely. With PAS a child is used a a weapon, period. There is one parent that attempts to cut the child off from the other. Now the offending parent usually has their reason. Bear in mind that it isn’t a good reason. I am sure that M could site a laundry list of why she knows best and how B is better without me. Is it true, HELL NO IT ISN’T!  A parent that is guilty of PAS makes the child depend solely on them, they intentionally make negative comments about the other parent and or family. They make sure that the child doesn’t view the other parent as worthy of being loved. It is very complicated and takes time to achieve. It’s all planned out and there is an end goal in mind. The links on my blog and the definition post explain things so much better than I ever could. It’s kind of scary that it has happened to me and I still don’t understand exactly how. I could write about independent incidences and tell you about what has happened blow by blow. It would take days of typing to do that and I don’t really care to relive the past.
There are ex’s then there are sick demented horrible people that you once were married to. There is a difference, a huge difference. If your ex sucks, they are supposed to, they are your ex for a reason. If your ex is truly a monster, read up on PAS and get your child into therapy as soon as possible. It wouldn’t hurt you either.

In a nutshell

Posted: July 13, 2011 in Definition
Tags:

Below I copied and pasted from another blog because she had the most concise definition I have run across. The link is http://noplaceforsheep.com/2011/05/19/when-children-become-weapons/ . I just thought this would be helpful.

As children continue to be murdered by parents caught up in divorce, separation and custody battles, courts and counsellors struggle to establish environments that put the child’s needs first. This can be an impossible task when some parents, blinded by their own emotional turmoil, use their children as heavy ammunition to win a personal battle against a spouse they perceive as the enemy.

Murder is the extreme point on the continuum of co-opting children as weapons. Far more common, though regarded as contentious among some mental health and legal professionals, is a concept known as Parental alienation syndrome. This is a term used to describe a situation in which a child is encouraged to identify with one parent and alienate the other. The child’s behaviour reflects the emotions and perspective of the alienating parent, rather than his or her own feelings. It’s thought to emerge as a consequence of separation and divorce, however it’s apparent in some on-going dysfunctional relationships in which the mother or the father attempts to garner support for his or her position against the other parent from the child. These are general PAS criteria as defined by some psychologists:

Children who succumb to the pressure and ally themselves with one parent against the other often exhibit a set of behaviors that have become known as parental alienation syndrome: 

(1) The first manifestation is a campaign of denigration against the targeted parent. The child becomes obsessed with hatred of the targeted parent (in the absence of actual abuse or neglect that would explain such negative attitudes). 

(2) Weak, frivolous, and absurd rationalizations for the depreciation of the targeted parent. The objections made in the campaign of denigration are often not of the magnitude that would lead a child to hate a parent, such as slurping soup or serving spicy food. 

(3) Lack of ambivalence about the alienating parent. The child expresses no ambivalence about the alienating parent, demonstrating an automatic, reflexive, idealized support of him or her. 

(4) The child strongly asserts that the decision to reject the other parent is her own. This is what is known as the “Independent Thinker” phenomenon. 

(5) Absence of guilt about the treatment of the targeted parent. Alienated children will make statements such as, “He doesn’t deserve to see me.” 

(6) Reflexive support for the alienating parent in the parental conflict. There is no willingness or attempt to be impartial when faced with inter-parental conflicts. 

(7) Use of borrowed scenarios. These children often make accusations towards the targeted parent that utilize phrases and ideas adopted wholesale from the alienating parent. And, finally, 

(8) The hatred of the targeted parent spreads to his or her extended family. Not only is the targeted parent denigrated, despised, and avoided but so too are his/her entire family. Formerly beloved grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins are suddenly avoided and rejected. When children exhibit these 8 behaviors the most likely explanation is the manipulation of the favored parent.

On the other hand, accusations of PAS are seen as frivolous and dishonest by some opponents of the syndrome. Some go so far as to claim that a court’s acceptance of PAS causes children to be exposed to on-going abuse from the so-called “targeted” parent. In reality, they claim, the “alienating” parent has attempted to protect the child from the parent perceived as harmful, and the symptoms of PAS are also consistent with those exhibited by children who are enduring real abuse from the targeted parent.

There is no clinical research into the syndrome, and it remains anecdotal.

I’v seen situations in which children have lost contact with a “targeted” parent, and that parent’s family. I’ve seen situations of dysfunction when the parents don’t separate, but the hostility and hatred of one for the other is conveyed through the indoctrination of the children against one parent. The “target” parent is alienated from his or her offspring within their own household, usually most acutely during the process of an adult dispute. Children take the alienating parent’s part, and when the fight has been temporarily resolved and the parents have made up, they are then permitted to re-engage with the targeted parent. The emotional chaos this causes in the children is enormous and long-lasting.

It’s surprisingly easy to persuade children to take against a parent, particularly when they’ve been taught that the “alienating” parent is the only one who really loves them, and the only one who will look out for them. The target parent is constructed as anything from incompetent and unreliable to dangerous and threatening, while the alienating parent presents as their competent and loving protector.

However, distinguishing between so-called PAS and abuses actually perpetrated by the “target” parent can be difficult. Evidence of abuse can be hard to establish if it isn’t blatant. Too often it comes down to which parent is the most articulate, can tell the most convincing story, and has the best lawyer. Children are collateral damage in such circumstances, as the parental focus makes it “all about me” with scant if any regard for their child’s well being.

I’ve known circumstances in which a “targeted” parent has walked away from his or her family rather than fight the wrath of the “alienating” parent, and continue to live with the acute distress they experience when a child or children turns against them on a regular basis. As well, the targeted parent can feel that his or her continued presence in the family will only serve to confuse and distress their children, and in an effort to prevent their children being further emotionally torn, they give up and leave the alienating parent in total control.

The targeted parent is then described as having abandoned the family, and as confirming the alienating parent’s position that he or she is the only one who really cares about the children. After years of clinical practice there’s no doubt in my mind that these are relatively common practices to varying degrees, between parents caught in conflict and dysfunction.

Parents don’t have ownership over their children. We have a responsibility to do our best for them, but we don’t own their feelings and their hearts and minds. Children are entitled to form and enjoy relationships with their family members, especially both parents. To sever the connection between one part of a child’s family is to do violence to that child’s knowledge of him or herself, and to their sense of belonging. Alienating a child from any family member without good cause is emotional abuse and emotional violence, regardless of whether it is identified as a legitimate mental health syndrome or not.

While the murderous extremes of parental manipulation make headlines, children daily suffer greatly in ways that go unrecognized and unacknowledged. The tragedy is that this suffering has long term consequences, and can be generational. One manipulative parent can tear an entire family apart, leaving children without access to grandparents and extended family members. It’s tough being a kid.

Related articles