Archive for the ‘Feelings’ Category

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 torn  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.

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Well, I spoke to my attorney and the motion for contempt should be filed today. M’s attorney, bless his heart, wants new wording in the custody agreement because he was to inept to recognize the agreement was not to his client’s liking. So I should have a court date this week or next and I’m sure there will be some type of motion made from M’s side to amend the custody order. From here I feel that a no mercy approach is in order. I plan to nail M to the wall at every chance possible. We have tried to imagine what her next move will be or what the next drama will be, but when dealing with someone that isn’t mature or stable it is rather difficult. We have had the foresight to recognize that things may become outlandish. If that is the case, it’s fine and we’ll deal with it. Honestly the weirder it gets the better for my relationship with B. It can only go so far before B looks around and says ” what the hell, really?”

So at the moment we are waiting and hoping for swift movement on the part of the court. We also have found a group on FB about PA. It has been a great resource and has help me not to feel so alone in this. I don’t think that the court will move quickly, and I don’t think M will abide by any order unless forced. To be truthful I think M may even go so far as to play the martyr so that I can be blamed and look bad in B’s eyes. I don’t put it past her to attempt to absorb financial punishment or even a night or two in a cell. It’s really strange to think that M is that far removed from reality and so deep into her “game” playing mode. If the past is any indicator the truth is that we should expect the most extreme and strangest behavior possible.

So I am sitting here waiting to see what will happen to force this into a counselor’s office, where it all should have been years ago. I pretty much know based on her behavior how M is reacting. What I don’t know is how B is, or is going to react. I have no idea of what the outcome will be. I keep hoping that my hopes are correct and that the Lord will bless B with the “ah ha” moment where the light switch just goes on. The truth of the matter is that there has been a lot of time that has passed and that it is much more likely to take a long period of time to heal and regroup emotionally. B has been subjected to what many consider child abuse by emotional manipulation. I tend to agree and that is a serious thing. Abuse of any kind is difficult to heal from and sometimes it is a long road to what most would consider a normal emotional place. So as a father I have no idea what to expect, and truly just want that relationship with B back in any healthy form. I’m not sure what is left of the relationship we had or if it can be restored. Will it be something new and completely different? A lot of time has now passed and I just don’t know what to expect.

As far as I am concerned there is nothing to forgive B for. She is a victim in this and although she has made decisions of her own, those decisions were made while under the emotional control of an unhealthy adult. There are no feelings that I need to resolve with B, I just want to be able to be a father again. I just want to see those moments that only happen once. The look on her face when her team wins a game, the smile when she gets off the phone with her latest boyfriend, those moments. I feel like I have lost so many of them over the last year and a half. So, no I am in no way angry with B. M on the other hand, is another issue altogether. Yep, I am mad as hell that she is so sick and manipulative as to use a child as a pawn in a sick game of her own making. That is something I have to work on. Not vomiting on her from disgust while in her presence is going to be a challenge. Unfortunately I will have to be in the same space as her and hopefully one day co-parent B with her. That is going to be rather interesting.

One of the biggest mistakes in the treatment of PAS is that many counselors concentrate solely on the child. Not the child’s relationship with the non preferred parent and not the relationship between the parents. The relationship with the child has to be healed and the relationship between the parents must be healed. Without that healing the cycle will just continue indefinitely. The truth of the matter is that the child isn’t the issue, the parent or parents are. The parents need counseling as much or more than the children. It’s the alienating parent that has caused the damage and the other parent that has dealt with the damage, and the child has been hurt and damaged from the actions of the parents. The whole family unit has been effected and needs to be healed. That includes step parents, and siblings as well as grand parents etc. The animosity has to stop and be healed or it all just continues.

So here I sit waiting. I’m waiting on the court to do it’s job. I’m waiting to see how B will react when counseling starts. I’m waiting to see how weird and wild M will get before this all is resolved. I’m waiting to see how difficult it will be to forgive and move past all the hurt and anger. I’m waiting and ready for it to all be resolved and done. I’m waiting to once again be a father to my child.

All the waiting is just killing me!

  • 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

I know there are those that read my blog and wonder how I ever let this happen. How could a loving father become estranged from his daughter in such a dramatic way. My answer is that it is easier than you think for drastic life changes to occur before you ever see it coming.  I certainly never could have imagined that “Daddy’s Little Girl” would turn against me and want nothing to do with me, but she has. From the time of her birth, literally, B and I were extremely close. Just my opinion, but even closer than most father’s and daughters.  B’s womb donor, as I refer to her, was ill equipped for motherhood and married life. She had her emotional issues and her own personal problems. That left me as the main care giver as well as the one showing B affection. It was a role that I relished and loved every moment of. I may be big, bad and tattooed but I’ve always been very sensitive as well. It really wasn’t hard for me to be a father and I really loved the role. The womb donor, not so much. She wasn’t much of a wife or a mother, but when we divorced it did leave a hole that was in need of filling in both my life and B’s. I had custody, and was receiving child support because I had B full time. The problem was my job. I was a cop and my family really had to step in and help.

I won’t pull punches, there was a girl I was involved with and had been for a while when the womb donor and I separated. After a few months, she decided to step up to the plate. Here is where M enters the picture as well as B’s life. She was wonderful with B and I saw my daughter blossom under her care. Of course my heart was gone, completely stolen. If she loved my kid that much, how could I not love her? On went the blinders and out went common sense. There were a lot of warning signs, and a a few neon stop signs that I totally ignored before we married. I should have at least paused, but I didn’t. Her broken home, the way we got together, her basic out look on love and relationships should have told me to put on the brakes. The problem was I was lonely, hurt and needed love as much as my little girl did. It’s how the mistakes started, but they didn’t end there. I think M enjoyed the role and was getting what she wanted from her life. She had a husband and child that adored her, a new car, a new house, and really didn’t want for much. Not a bad deal for her by most accounts.

Me on the other hand, I had issues. I was working my ass off and spending less and less time at home. I had to keep up, and keep moving so I was around less and less for B. I became angry when M became jealous. You see wearing a badge isn’t without it’s peril and I don’t mean guns and knives. Women literally throw themselves at you. M knew this because she had been one of them, and it’s how we got started. She also knew that I obviously wasn’t immune to them, hence her jealousy. I was angry because she was jealous and I felt like the odd man out at home. It was a combination of ingredients that were forming the perfect storm. The marriage was on the decline, but things changed dramatically. In 2005 I faced major health issues. Those issues took me out of the loop even more and I literally only saw B when she got home in the evenings after school and cheer leading. I pretty much sat at home for over a year. Every thing had changed and not for the better. Less money, less time, and more stress was pushing an already weak marriage to the breaking point. I had become the insecure one and her insecurities hit a peak when I finally got back out into the world.

During all this I wasn’t able to spend the time with B that we had both been accustomed to. M had become the major influence in her life. In a lot of cases I was left to play the heavy when it came time for discipline and the like. I had gone from being B’s everything to a side note in her life, but I didn’t realize how that would come to haunt me in the future. From the moment of our separation,  I feel like I was portrayed as the “bad guy.” Honestly, anyone with any common sense would have seen the writing on the wall, but I didn’t. I didn’t even see my child being intentionally pulled from my arms. It’s clear now that the end of the marriage was calculated and a working plan for a rather long time. M had become unsatisfied with me in general as well as finances and life. To put it plainly, she was tired of trying and was finished. For some unknown reason she was angry with me for not living up to her ideals. For years all the time it was Mommy and B against Daddy. It didn’t matter if it were a board game or an inside joke. Speaking of jokes, there was the one where they both talked about Mommy’s “boyfriend” (we were still very married at the time) and made constant jokes about it. You see for years it was obvious that M was setting a tone of making me the odd man out. It was ok not to include me, it was ok to make jokes at the expense of my feelings. M was teaching B not to take my feelings into consideration, she was teaching her not to respect me as a parent or as an authority figure.

By the time we divorced it was very easy to transition into a Mommy vs Daddy mentality for B. It was also very easy for her to pick sides. It had been her and her mother against me for years already even if it were just a joke at the time. When a tone is set in any relationship it is easy to maintain rather than to change. To change takes strength and courage that most grown ups don’t have. Take battered wife syndrome for example. A wife who is beaten daily will defend the abuser, her husband at all costs. I saw it time and time again in police work. If adults can’t see things clearly and be that strong, how can I expect a child to? It’s been four years now and even with all the back story, it still took until last year for the estrangement to occur. I think B did a valiant job of standing her ground until she grew tired and I remarried. My marriage gave me a safety net and she knew I ‘d be alright. She saw that I now had others in my life to fill the void she would leave. I don’t believe all this went through her head at her age in a black and white form. It is more based on feelings and decisions or lack of decisions as well as the reactions to them.

You see, the estrangement started long before there were any custody issues or we were even divorced. B had been conditioned for so long that when the divorce came, and then her mother ramped up the drama when I remarried…the decisions had already been made. B was caught in an unseen trap that I myself had been victim to. There were years that I was estranged from my family to varying degrees during my marriage. As a person, you make choices based on the information and feelings you have available. I don’t blame B for the choices she has made, nor will I ever hold them against her. I’ll just continue to love her and wait to welcome her back with open arms. I often wonder how any loving parent could allow this to happen, but you see it’s very easy when you want to see the best in the ones you love most.

 

I really feel like some clarifications may be needed for those that aren’t a part of the “inner circle.” I don’t want anyone thinking that I have given up or given in. The fact of the matter is that I just see the reality of the situation that I am currently in. The reality is that B is not a small helpless child. My daughter will be 16 in a few short months. This isn’t a case of brain washing, nor do I think every alienation situation is. The truth is that a child, and in this case my child, has made decisions actively to be where they are and doing what they are doing. That isn’t to say that I believe that M has no part in this.

Looking back this was set up for many years to mentally condition B to make the decisions that would lead to this.  Pointing fingers is extremely easy to do, but honestly I have made a lot of mistakes along the way as well. I don’t blame B nor do I totally blame M for the situation. I also played a role in this whole messed up deal. I saw warning signs that I ignored, because I didn’t want to see them. No one wants to look at their spouse and see a manipulative horrible person. That is almost impossible to do, even for the most intelligent well adjusted person (I don’t claim to be either). I could have made some better choices prior to the divorce as well as after that would have had an effect on where things are. While in the midst of the divorce things got about as nasty as you can imagine. I actually took 8 or 9 months off from having any contact with my ex, M. My parents, sister, or anyone but me would pick up and drop off B. I simply didn’t trust her and had no desire to be put in jail over some lie or BS that never happened. Yes it was that bad! I’m not sure what I could have done that would have impacted what is happening now, but I do know that B didn’t see her parents as a team working together for her. She saw two people that had zero trust for the other and a tremendous amount of malice.

All that malice is gone on my part. What it has been replaced with is anger at what is happening in the moment. I don’t look back and hate M for the things she has done, but I do get annoyed, pissed off, or frustrated when we have to deal with stupid issues now. When I think of M now it just makes me sad for so many reasons. The same can be said for B. They both aren’t allowing themselves to feel true happiness and love from the people that surround them. B has made the decision to cut me, my parents, both step-siblings, her cousin, aunt, uncle……..shall I go on? Out of her life. M could have partners in raising B and a pretty decent ex (if I do say so myself) if she only would allow it.

So I am hurting from not being able to be in my daughter’s life, but there is a lot of pain on the other side as well. Living in an emotional box and refusing to feel isn’t without pain. B is hurting herself as much as she is hurting me. The difference is that I have life experience and maturity that she doesn’t have. I’m simply better equipped to deal with emotions and life in general. I honestly worry how the decisions she  is current making will effect her long term. My biggest fear is that she will stay emotionally in a place where she blames me regardless of the reality of the alienation. There really is no right thing for me to do. I followed the advice of therapists and gave B space. That space turned into her saying that I abandoned her in favor of my wife and family. So then I pushed to see her, and she reacted violently as did her mother.  It’s the worst kind of catch 22 possible for a parent. The harder I try the further away she gets, but if I do nothing I feel like a horrible parent and she feels abandoned.

That’s why we see the current custody situation as a win for both sides. I’m not forcing B to see me, and she finally has to attend therapy and discuss things with a professional. I hope she gets some perspective on things and begins dealing with her emotions. Well, I have a lot more to say, but that will more than likely continue for a while. So I think I will end things now and try to enjoy the weekend.

Well it’s been damn near a year since I last posted and everything was converted to private during that time. Blame my attorney! She was watching out for me and is as good as any lawyer I have ever met. A lot has occurred since my last post, some good and some bad. We’ve been in court for various silliness, the funniest one was for child support. I was served for being behind on my child support which is direct drafted from my account. Withing 15min I had proof from my bank, the clerk of court as well as child support enforcement that I was current. The issue came down to the fact that my ex, “M” had moved and not provided the child support people with a viable address. Her attorney nor her even tried to call and get any answers, so off to waste a judge’s time we went. Our state also requires mediation in custody disputes and she refused to cooperate, so again we went to court. The judge found in favor of my wishes and the states, but it was pure stupidity and nothing but games.  At least I tried to work it out and hold up my end. I gave her multiple options that she refused because as she said,”It isn’t what I want I am just doing what my daughter B wants.” Whatever…..

We did spend three months, twice a week staring at one another in a parking lot…NOW THAT WAS FUN! To avoid contempt charges M did bring B to our usual meeting place but they just sat there and refused to do anything else. My parents did attend one of those meetings where B was pretty hard on them and M played her usual games. By the end of the three months I had a few conversations with B  where she made her wishes very clear.  Honestly, I was just emotionally drained and couldn’t take it anymore. My mood would change the day of the meetings and my sleep patterns would go to hell, so I explained to all involved that we should probably end the meetings. If it had that much of an effect on me I knew it had to be effecting B in a negative way. The last thing she needs is more negative in her life and I didn’t want to continue to pursue her if all it was doing is pushing her further away. In the end I had a couple of really good conversations where B did say that she loved me and expressed her reasons. The reasons weren’t logical, but they were as far as she is concerned, as valid as anything else in her life.

I’ve continued to send B at least one e-mail a month expressing my love and that I miss her but not pushing or prodding her in any way. I guess I could say that I am at peace with where things are. It would be a lie, but I could say it anyway. Where I really am is at a point of quiet resignation. It seems that I am in a lose/lose situation. If I push her to see me it pushes her further away, but if I don’t she can say that I am not trying hard enough (which is one of her reasons). In the end, following the advise of therapists was the wrong thing to do. Giving her that space allowed her to use that time to say that I just don’t try or that I didn’t try enough. Again, damned if I do and damned if I don’t. There really is no right thing for me to do and I understand that as much as one possibly can.

It’s been a couple of months since I saw B last and we have had a few lawyer visits since. The modification of custody finally resurfaced and we literally just put it to bed yesterday. Through our attorneys we finally came to an agreement on the custody issue. It’s a bit of a hollow victory for both M and myself. M got the custody changed from 60/40 to at the wishes of B and a couple more dollars a month. I got court ordered counseling and more information on what is occurring in B’s life. We’ll see how it all plays out, but I expect contempt charges and more court dates if history is any indicator. To this point I have avoided filing any contempt orders, but enough is enough. You can only be burned so many times before it’s actually for the good of the child to make sure things are enforced to the letter of the law.

Well that pretty much brings things up to date and I don’t want this blog to be about bashing my ex. If it does then I am as guilty as I believe she is and just as big a problem. My goal is to vent, be honest, let other parents know they are not alone, and maybe help myself deal with it all. I’ve found a lot of good resources that I want to share and I’ll post again sooner rather than later. Please feel free to comment, it’s nice to know someone is listening out there. 

Well it’s the day after the big visit that never occurred. You would think that I would be more relaxed and at ease. The attorney is hard at work, M slipped  up and made her intentions plain to see, and the waiting game is over. Well, I’m not more relaxed! I was up until four am last night because my mind just wouldn’t shut down. The next “thing” coming was rolling through my mind over and over. It’s dumb because I have no idea what comes next. Trying to figure out what M has up her sleeve is impossible. There is no telling which direction she may go at any given moment. The only thing that is sure is that M will do anything she can to be able to “win” in her own eyes. No need to worry there, because there isn’t a damn thing that I can change or make different.

The next question rolling around is, what will the lawyer do? Again, it just doesn’t matter. I have come to trust and believe that my attorney is God sent. The woman truly understands and is a pitbull in the courtroom. The only thing I worry about is how much is this all going to cost me in the long run? It’s not that my lawyer is sooo expensive, but that things could go quickly or drag out indefinitely depending. So, why am I worrying about my lawyer? I trust she is doing what is best, and that she will wrap it up as quickly as possible. I really have nothing to worry about thus far. M is going to be M and my attorney is going to do her job well.

Honestly what was eating me last night was B. I know that last night was a big game for M. The fact that she took B to a location where I wasn’t after being informed that I wouldn’t be there and why, as well as where I could be found and why shows her intent. My worry is the effect of all this on B. My question is how much of this shit garbage is B buying into. Does my daughter actually believe that I cared so little as to not show up to see her? When I don’t know details of what is being said and done, I don’t have specific things to worry about. When I know exactly what is being done and said it really comes into focus and I worry a lot. I know B is intelligent and that she truly knows her father, but how much does she believe her mother’s lies?

That is the heart of all this, I am worried about my daughter and the effect all this is having on her. What does she believe and how long will it take to undo the damage being done? I just don’t know any of the answers there, so there is nothing I can do to combat it. I don’t even know at this point how long it will be before B even has the ability to see the truth of the situation. Until she sees the whole picture, she only has the side of things being presented to her. That “side” is obviously tainted and slanted to benefit M. The truth of the matter is that B has and is already making decisions to believe what M is spewing. If B wasn’t choosing to believe the lies then we wouldn’t be where we are now. The track record doesn’t bode well for her future decision making abilities.

All I want is for my daughter to be healthy and happy. Right now I know for a fact that B isn’t happy. How could the child be healthy with all the emotional and psychological warfare going on?