Archive for the ‘Looking back’ 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

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Well I recently got B’s new phone number. It’s been over a year since I had a working number for her and just the idea of being able to call or text her is pretty exciting. In the past if I called M she would let it go to voice mail or on the rare occasion she did answer, she’d say, “I’ll let her know you called.” Honestly I am not expecting much of anything to change, but at least now I can call and hear her voice…even if only on voice mail. Side note: We have a consult with the court ordered counselor!

I’ve talked about the fact that I think a lot of ingredients and a lot of people contributed to B being in the emotional place that she is. I think taking a look at all the major players is a good idea. I know that my parents being married for over forty years has effected my outlook on love as well as all the relationships in my life. To start with we have B’s biological mother. Strange side note, she and M are now friends! They’ve always hated one another….so strange. Ok, back on track. We’ll call the womb donor R.

R and I met in high school and started doing all the things we shouldn’t have done. It was a little hard not to. Her home life was just ridiculous. Her parents were long divorced, but her mother had just gotten custody of her. R basically had gone from a religious nut-job of a father to a no rules, drunk mother. I actually bought food for the house and stayed late into the wee hours on many occasions so that she and her younger sister weren’t alone and had food. All of which were insane considering the fact that R’s mother and step father made good money. He was a pilot and she worked in the IT industry. The problem was that mom was out partying/whoring around (the woman tried to seduce me not once but four times), and step dad was working all the time literally. This was her mother’s fourth marriage by her own choice and she wasn’t even close to 40 yet. I felt the need to be rescuer and white knight, which was a bad move. You can see where a teen girl might get a little screwed up in that type of situation. It really brought out the worst in R. She was selfish, lazy, and generally not really that nice of a person. The issue was that I loved her (17YR OLD LOVE ANYWAY) and felt responsible for her. Notice I say I loved her, and not that I was in love with her. There is a huge difference and I was too young to understand that. Shortly after graduation, B was on her way into the world. Three months along and in a wedding dress, and for all the wrong reasons on both sides. She needed a meal ticket and I felt like I needed to take care of her. Within a year of marriage R and I were not even friends and room mates was as close to a relationship as you could describe what we had. Looking back I know postpartum depression was an issue, but at twenty I couldn’t spell it much less understand it.  A couple of years later, her mother died in an alcohol related motorcycle crash and her hole grew even deeper. B was a constant source of stress for her and I was just there. To be fair, I had a couple of serious car accidents during the time we were married and that too was a huge stress in our lives. The short version is that we never should have married, I should have asked for custody of my child and gone about life. B never saw love or affection from R for the first four years of her life. I think the divorce was a huge relief for R, and she was able to pursue things for herself and try to find happiness. She did all those things, and gave me full custody of B and within a year, she stopped seeing B. I held her feet to the fire and made her do things correctly, and it was just too hard on her. Several years later R would give up all parental rights. Enter M….

M was the product of a broken marriage and had very little contact with her biological father. She and her step father were close, but it was a bit of a strange relationship. Let’s just say there are several things about the man that made me question his character and question the childhood experiences of M. The relationship is just “different”. I’m not making any accusations, but the signs were and are there. M’s mother was an addict the first time I met her and to my knowledge still is. There are three sisters and the whole family dynamic is volatile and based on who can use the other the most. It was bad enough that M had moved out prior to turning 18 just to get out. Not the best background and a huge red flag, but I had hopes that she had risen above it. She had unfortunately not and is very happy being who and what she is. M and I did have several good years, but I truly think she was playing house. She was trying desperately to be the person she was expected to be by me and my family. The problem is that she never was that person and the strain was too much to bear. You can’t pretend forever and she is no exception. By the last few years the change was obvious and she tried less and less to convince anyone of who she was. At this point she doesn’t even try to put on a front to my knowledge. Every time we have contact, she is all games, all lies, and all “what can I get out of this situation”. I’ve said an awful lot about M in previous posts, so I won’t take up any more space for her here. You have a pretty damn good idea of who she is and what her character is. Not to mention I get tired of even thinking about her.

Now, for some self examination. This should be fun, NOT! I’m  a pretty decent guy by most accounts, but I have spent most of my life rebelling against one thing or another. For the most part I have run from God as often as possible. You see, my dad is an ordained baptist preacher and I didn’t want any part of that. Most of my teens were spent pursuing what made me happy or what I enjoyed. Mostly girls and a few good fights from time to time.  Sex and fights are  pretty fun past times, but both have serious consequences. Brianna was not the consequence of a fight obviously.  Being a decent guy, I wanted to do the right thing and hence my white knight complex. Doing the right thing means a lot of different things depending on the situation and I was too young to understand there were options available to me. I did my best to be a good husband and father, but the husband part was out of my hands. It was a dead relationship from the start and the dysfunction was very obvious.  From early on B was the victim of the dysfunction and felt the constant stress. I worked a lot to survive both financially and emotionally. The more time I spent away the more the grass looked greener. So I mowed a few lawns over the years and then had to deal with the guilt I felt. Dysfunctional or not I was married and it ate away at my soul to be that person, “that guy”. I think on the whole I was a good father, but a really shitty husband. The divorce from R was such a blessing for us both and was healthy for not only us but B as well. I then hooked up with M and like I said for a while it was good. My white knight complex is what got me in trouble yet again by ignoring all the big red flags. I take responsibility for the influence that M has on B . I also take full responsibility for the abandonment that B feels from not having R in her life. So I completely acknowledge my role here. This is all partially my fault and I know it. I don’t beat myself up because at the times I made those decisions I wasn’t mature either emotionally or spiritually. The past is just that and you learn from it an do your best to overcome the consequences of your actions. I hate that B has to be a victim of my decisions and would give my life to change it all, but it isn’t possible and I have to live with it. You see if I had made better choices, B wouldn’t feel abandoned by R and wouldn’t cling so tightly to M because of those feelings.

So the three parental figures in her life have thoroughly screwed up B’s emotional health! However, B is making her own choices now and shares a bit of blame as well. Most stories have two sides, but this one has four. So there ya have it. The highlights of the players in this sordid mess we have made of my daughter’s life.

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.

 

This didn’t just happen overnight. As I have said before it all really started long before the marriage ended. Things did kick into high gear during the divorce and the a huge leap was made when I remarried. At the time of the divorce I didn’t realize that M’s actions were not just to cause me pain, but were also positioning for what was to come. The idea or ongoing manipulations and a “grand plan” is somewhat unbelievable to me, but I can see it very clearly now. Alienation is slow and insidious in the way it takes hold. It takes months or years to carry out and if you don’t know it is happening then how can you defend against it?

 

During the separation when faced with her infidelity M almost immediately began positioning herself to be in a place of power. The locks on the house were changed after a time for me was set to get my remaining possessions from inside. It was still in my name, so I broke in. No big deal because I owned the property and owned a construction company at the time. All damage was repaired and I got my clothes, work items, and literately very little else. That evening my daughter went missing! She was in the custody of my ex but I was refused my call to her. Shortly after I found out that M had tried to secure warrants for breaking and entering against me! (You can’t break into your own house by the way.) When that didn’t work, she went with domestic violence charges. From there it snow balled. I was legally refused access to my daughter, my ex (as well as her family) , my home, my vehicle, and my guns. In essence she found a way to legally kidnap my daughter without proof of any wrong doing on my part. After several weeks the charges were dropped, but not before she had perjured herself to keep the charges in effect until a hearing.  This allowed several things to happen. It put M in a position of power to determine custody. I had done nothing wrong or even remotely resembling domestic violence and we both knew it, but the mere suggestion cast a cloud over me as a person in general. Let me stop here and say that I detest wife beaters and think they all should be lynched publicly. I have put countless numbers of them behind bars and loved every second of accidental tripping on the way to the back seat of my big blue car. The second thing it did was keep me and B apart. After several weeks of not seeing B, I was pretty much willing to do anything just to see her. It took the fight out of me. The pending charges could have been continued for months, during which I wouldn’t be able to see my daughter. At this point’ I’d agree to anything. I’d never been without my daughter for more than overnight at this point. When I finally was able to see B, I was immediately hit with the question of “Why did you try to have Mommy arrested?”  How do you explain to an 11yr old that exactly the opposite happened. Immediately she was being forced to choose a side/parent. I chalked it up to my ex being a lowlife liar, I didn’t see the big picture.

 

The above several weeks were drama filled and I  won’t even get into everything that happened. Needless to say I protected myself and went no where with out a recording device and a witness. That was the first huge, obvious, in your face time I should have stepped back and asked myself, “What the hell is going on???”. I didn’t, plain and simple. There were just too many angles to view things from that I was blinded to the picture as a whole. Over the next few months and years, other things started to happen. I found that I had been removed as an emergency contact from B’s school records. In fact my whole family had been removed from existence from anything having to do with her schooling. I wasn’t being informed of school function unless B told me, and then it was always last minute. Parent/teacher conferences began happening without my knowing. It was one thing after the other. I saw everything as isolated incidences, again not seeing the big picture.

This means WAR!!!!

 

Does anyone see a pattern forming here? I sure as hell didn’t at the time. I was being phased out of my daughter’s life. The other thing that was happening is that M was doing things so that she could play the role of the “poor single mom”, dad just doesn’t even care, “see, he isn’t even here”! The bitch woman had made sure I wasn’t there! You see all this is happening in the background, B had zero knowledge of what was happening. All B knew was that M was handling things and Dad wasn’t there. Even this is multifaceted in it’s effects on B and all those in her life. All this is preparing B to view me in a bad light and M as her rock, when the exact opposite has always been true. When you add the day to day, “dad’s a jerk for…..fill in the blank” conversations, guess who becomes a bad guy? That’s right, I am this evil controlling overlord that is never around. The actual truth is that this whole time I am being a good parent and father, but holding to rules and attending everything I am told about. I was always there for my visitation and constantly asking for more time, but again that was always behind the scenes and B never knew any of it. All she was allowed to see was negative about me. When I defended myself, it was me against Mommy. It was truly a losing battle. M does no wrong. It is always someone else’s  fault, the world is against her.

 

This thing is like boxing with the invisible man. You can’t see him, but that uppercut sure puts you on your ass! There are a lot more incidences that have occurred, but  I may or may not get into them. I really just want people to understand what I have been dealing with and be able to see the big picture if they are going though this as well. I would give anything to have known what PAS was years ago. I would have been prepared to go to war for my daughter. As it happened, I didn’t even know I was in a street fight much less a war. The overall theme of this post is that I wasn’t prepared and didn’t recognize the signs. I was systematically being  removed from my daughter’s life and painted as a villain. I never realized what was happening until it came to the point that B felt it was actually ok to physically remove me from her life. I was way behind the curve. As a parent in a broken family, you can’t afford to be as blind as I was. Look for the signs and put on your armor. It’s a war for the love and affection of your child!

Last night, well after midnight my wife and I were laying in bed talking. The conversation started off on a completely different subject, but as usual ended up on the subject I have been so readily writing about.  As usual she had some very good points that really made me think. This dealing with my ex and the emotional turmoil of dealing with my daughter has brought back a lot of the past. There are no unresolved feelings for my ex but there are unresolved emotions about that time in my life. Thinking about B so much has brought back specific instances where I now recognize how this all started.

There has always been an “us” (m&b) against me under current. Whether it was a board game where they teamed up to cheat and win, or inside jokes at my expense it was always me being the odd man out. It seems so small at the time and of little or no consequence. Now looking back it was all in preparation for what is now happening. The clarity that hindsight provides is a blessing and a curse. I am so thankful to see things in the light of truth now, but so sad that I never realized what was happening when it happened. If only I had been in a place that I could have routed this before it happened. My daughter would be healthier and I would be in so much less pain. It really speaks to where I was emotionally, spiritually, and psychologically that I never saw the red flags. I’m sure I saw them but instead of recognizing the danger, I was like ” ooh look at the pretty red flags going by!” I feel pretty dumb now.

I was very miserable for a lot of years. There were days that I couldn’t even stand the sight of M while we were married. I let my beliefs about divorce cloud my logical thinking. I was so focused on standing solid on the commitment that I had made that I let life pass by without addressing the issues right before my eyes. The truth is that I should have never married M. I knew she was damaged goods, but thought that love could conquer all. It can, and it will if two people truly love each other and follow God. When one person loves the other without it being returned completely and neither is following God then a marriage is doomed for failure. I honestly thought I could love someone enough to make them into the person I knew they could be. I was wrong. That all comes to bear in this current situation. I can love B with every cell of my being, but I can’t make her change her heart with my love. Loving someone to the point that it destroys you is not biblical or even smart. Look around and talk to the hobo you see on the street. I have and most of their stories begin with a woman or a family member. Losing sight of life because of your love for someone can and will destroy you. It is so easy to wind up addicted, or all alone if you allow yourself to go down that road.

Some of you may think I am being overly dramatic, but I’m not. The pain that I felt after my divorce and now dealing with the rejection of my daughter is more than enough to push someone over the edge. If I allowed it, I would be in a closet with a gun in my hand. Depression is no joke and it kills if you allow it to. It’s interesting that the pain that M caused me is now what is allowing me to deal with this. If I had not overcome that pain I would not be equipped to deal with any of this. Ain’t that a bitch? M hurt me enough that I can now handle whatever she throws at me. Can you say backfire?

For those of you that don’t know what parental alienation is, read up. Mel actually posted a link on one of her comments to another blog that has the best explanation I have ever read. Read it if you care to gain more understanding of what we are dealing with. What is happening with B is real and tangible. It is very plain to see and understand once you have all the pieces to the puzzle. Hindsight has given me all those puzzle pieces. Knowing the past is what is allowing me to deal with the present. I now know that the future holds promise that I can never imagine in this moment. In the heat of my divorce I could have never imagined that I would be healthy, happy, and the looking forward to every new day before me. At the time, it was the end of the world. Now I refuse to let this be the end of the world for me. Although I may be facing the death of the current relationship with B, I know that tomorrow holds promise. The birth of a new,better, loving relationship with her is on the horizon.
This truly is like a death. Imagine being told that someone you love has six months to live. Some of you have faced this and it is a reality not just a concept. My heart goes out to you. In my case, we saw this coming and it was more than I could handle. Some how I muddled through the last several months. Now with the visit on the 21st, the clock has run out. It’s killing me that I can’t stop this and turn the clock back. It’s going to hit like a .50cal slug when it happens, but the sun will still rise. It’s like losing that loved one that you know is saved. They are leaving you but going to be with the Lord in heaven. Your pain is tempered with joy, just as mine is. B will come back to me, and when she does it will be a new creation. The new relationship will be better than this one ever was, because it will be new and all the past forgiven.