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Letters from children of alienation

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My Story : I am an adult survivor of childhood parental alienation. My parents were not divorced, but together about 45 years until my mother died almost ten years ago. Their marriage for my whole life was not good. My mother yelled shrilly at my father nearly every day, and cut him down verbally. My father would explode or belittle her. Sometimes people would yell and be physical with each other. Sometimes my father would be away for weeks. It was like living in an emotional war-zone. I realize now that both parents loved me as a child and did the best they could, and that parenting is tough and comes with no manual. I also realize that my parents overcame a lot in their lives, and that I'd be hard-pressed to be as good or a better parent as they were to me. Still, it has, and still is, taken and taking years for me to sort this out. I realized 20 years ago or more that my parents should have divorced. I was angry with my father for the things my mother told me that he did to her and how he neglected us. When I was twelve or so I remember him saying to my mother that she was 'turning' me 'against' him. At the time I couldn't even comprehend what he was saying. I didn't think there was anything to even be against. I thought and believed that my father was absolutely wrong, my mother was absolutely right, and that we shared victim-hood: she surviving emotional, verbal and physical abuse, and neglect, and me just being neglected by him emotionally. My father was loyal and provided well for me, and put a lot of pressure on me. I'm trying hard now to realize that this is how he could show me love. He even said he loved me, and after picking on me, he would hug me. He enjoys reconciling. It was hard to accept then and I didn't. And I'm trying to be powerful enough to accept his love now. I am lucky he is still alive to experience this. By the time I graduated high school I became very angry with my mother for sharing so many of her personal problems with me regarding my father. I didn't need to hear those things as a youngster. It was a lot to handle. She said that she was in fear of my father and wanted to move far away, to Alaska. I had nightmares about living in an igloo! In retrospect, she should have shared her feelings and thoughts with adults, like friends, relatives, a therapist. She did see a therapist for a while, and felt 'cured' and grateful to him. She sent me to see him, too. That's weird. She and he should have found a different therapist. Even though she was supposed to be cured, she'd sometimes see him after I saw him. It made me feel weird and insecure in the waiting room. Then I became mad at my father for not trying to be closer to me. If he saw that my mother was turning me against him, why didn't he spend more time with me? Why not be interested in my life, my friends, what I'm learning... Why not offer listening or advice, rather than pressure? For many years, I had no plans to marry and even fewer to have children. I was addicted to drugs and sex, and used women like booze. I'm sober after 15 years of daily use. Now I'm in my forties, and am trying to make a relationship work. It is a lot for us. I know I'm not easy and I have trust issues, and I realize that I'd be far from a 'perfect parent.' I'm also trying out a new field, something creative. I had some bad experiences at jobs in the past, feeling like a victim, and then being victimized. I'm trying to get beyond right and wrong. That victims are always right. I'm trying to get to relating to people in a sustained way that emphasizes getting along and cooperating fairly, and getting beyond winning and losing. I'm trying to be powerful and realize that love is about work and communication and listening and investing and will. I'm trying to be strong enough to love and be loved by my father without feeling insulted or violated or dis-empowered.

For years I told my friends that my mother was dead, but Of course she was very much alive. Convinced by what my father and his wife had told me I was estrange from her."Your mother's illness makes her crazy and if youʼre not careful you'll grow up just like her". I was 11 years old.

My mother never gave up and for years she sent cards, letter and even gifts. After my father gave us over to foster care his control over me diminished and I wanted to reach out to my mother.

I finally called her and it felt as though a short time had passed since we spoken. Although the call was short meany would follow. Our last conversation before she died was in August of 1998 and ended as the first one began, "I love you".


Never let go, they need you.

Name : L
My Story : I guess my story started about 12 years ago when my parents first seperated. I was 11 years old and my dad moved out for the first time I remember resenting my dad somewhat because he was leaving and I felt like he had problems and needed to be away from us. I remember wanting my parents to get a divorce so that the fighting would stop. Through the first years my mom took me to counslers, many different counslers and she would often participate in the sessions, my dad was never allowed to participate in the sessions, even though his health insurance paid for it. I started to resent my mom because I was not allowed to have my own person to talk to, all the counslers were very open about my sessions with my mom even when she was not there. during the next 4 years I stopped eating, I was diagnosed with anorexia and only stopped because my mom was so sad and I wanted her to be happy. I guess thats when it started, everytime I would spend time with my dad, my mom would say somthing to make me feel guilty for spending time with him. Also right before I left she would tell me somthing else about the divorce like someone he alledgedly cheated on her with or a lie he told. So the whole time I was with my dad I would wonder "is he lying about this, what else did he do to my mom" I began to resent him even more, added to this my counslers began telling me that my dad was a bad person and the depression and anxiety I was feeling was a result of my realization that my father was not a good man, or someone I should spend time with. I began to see my dad less and less, and unknown to me at the time my mom began writing "annonymous" letters to my dads co-workers also disclosing to them things he had done and how she felt he was a danger to children and women. As I began to recover from anorexia I began to suffer from extreme panic attacks, I refused to leave the house for fear of one, and was in desperate need of medication, however i was only 16 so I could not get it on my own. Looking back on it now this is what saved my relationship with my father. I rarely saw my father because my mothers letters to his coworkers had forced him to move 2 hours away and my mom said that he was causing my panic attacks, and that I could not get medication for them because they were my dads fault and all in my head and if I took medication for the easy way out I was allowing him to have the easy way out of his responsibility. In other words if I stopped having panic attacks he would not longer feel guilty about what he had done. However after 6 years of hearing negative things about my dad I began to get over my anger and realize that my mom was brainwashing me. I knew my panic attacks were not my dads fault and all I wanted was some relief. I began failing my classes at school adn losing my friends because I refused to leave the house, but my mom still refused to sign for my medication. It was terrible I wasn't seeing my dad I wasn't leaving the house I was depressed I didn't even care what my dad did anymore I just wanted a parent who could help me. I got the medication when i turned 18 and became a completely different person, I moved 3000 miles away for school and made new friends and felt wonderful, however I still had a strained relationship with my dad. I began working hard to spend time with my dad and his side of the family however every time I would visit them or my dad would visit me I would be harassed with phone calls from my mother yelling at me for betraying her and taking sides and talking about her behind her back. Fortunately my relationship with my dad is much improved now, however I am still constantly attacked by my mother, I have had to live with her for the past year because of finnacial reasons, and I am moving out in 5 months but even now 12 years later I am forced to deal with her hatred towards my father, to the point where my mother has said she will not attend my wedding if my father is there. Its one of the most upseting things in my life, and constantly sends me back into depression when I have to deal with it. It has gottent to the point where my mothers alienation of my father has had the opposite effect, I don't want to be around my mom or her anger anymore and should I get married or have kids one day I don't want that anger around them. It is my own decission about my relationship with my father and whether or not I want one, no one should be forced to choose one parent over the other, it not only hurts the other parent it hurts the child or children involved, more than anyone would know

My Story : My parents separated when I was about 4. When the exact time of divorce happened is irrelevant. I lived in a trailer on my paternal grandmother's land with my father and my brother. My mother left my father, and possessions were all my father's, so she left with very little. This is where my story is different from most. It was not my mother, but my father, who was awarded custody. It's painful to think of, not just because of my own grief, but because of my mother's that I never knew she had. After my mother left, there was a huge war with her and my father's family. Mostly told by my grandmother, but supported by my father, we were told that our mother gave us up. She didn't want us. That she never fought for us, and if she loved us, she would have. I was told this for so long, and I believed it because I knew of nothing else. When my mother left, she didn't leave my father, she left us, too--that's what we were told. After an abusive relationship my father had, we "escaped" to FL. I was relieved to see my grandmother, because she put herself in a position where she was my mother figure. We were never told anything positive about my mother, ever, aside from the fact that she was "book smart." We weren't encouraged to speak to her, write to her, see her, or talk about her. We were told she could fly everywhere but never see us, and that she never paid child support. That my father (really my grandmother) supported us entirely because they wanted us and loved us. I would get angry at my mother for things that they told me, and I never gave her a chance to explain anything. Even if she did, I wouldn't have believed her. Over the years, it got intensively worse. My father was in jail (outstanding warrant), and my grandmother blamed this on my mother. It was her fault he was there and now she was going to take us away. She instilled fear in me. My brother was always more easy-going while I was always more fervent in my beliefs that my mother didn't really love me...want me...or anything. It hurts to this day that I have been so robbed of knowing my mother, and what she is like. The melting point was when I was sixteen and I attempt suicide. I was depressed because my father was in an abusive relationship and a drug addict, and because I didn't have a mother who wanted me. It was the most depressing time for me, to think neither of my parents wanted me. My grandmother fed onto this, affirming me that she did love me, even if no one else did. She was too constricting (even my therapist was disturbed by things I told him), so much so that I wanted to take my chances with my mother, despite what a horrible person I "perceived" her to be. We had many difficult times, and she wanted to give me space, which I saw as her not caring. It took us years to work through problems we have had, and to see what was done to me. But when I left, I left my brother, too. I later learned that my mother was cited for abandonment a few weeks after the separation--as which time my father said he needed space, and she relented. I also discovered my mother did want us, she did go to court, and she did fight for us. She, however, wasn't in the situation my father was because my grandmother afforded him a lawyer. She just represented herself because that was all she could do. Being told things are very different than reading court documents. Looking back on it, my mother did a lot of things for me that I couldn't notice. She sent us boxes full of things, letters, always holiday and birthday cards, and her big motto through it all was "things are never what they seem." And they weren't. I was always made to choose by my father's side. Between my father or my mother. Since then, I was seen as a betrayer and getting in contact with my brother is difficult. They are afraid I will poison his mind. I am very much in a similar position as my mother was (and still is) when it comes to him. It is so bad that when I called my grandmother to tell her of my engagement, she refuses to attend my wedding because my mother would be there, and that there was little chance my father OR brother would be. Her hatred for my mother far outweighs her love for me. I realize life will always be like this with them...they will always split me in two when I want to be just one. Some people can't see past their own pain or hang-ups, and feel the need to punish the other partner through their kids--and inadvertently punish their own children.

My Story : I am now a twenty six year old woman, and I just found this site over the previous evening. I have not yet gone to bed and the sun has long since risen. There were so many times where I gasped and dropped my jaw. I never realized how severely emotionally exploited and abused I really was. As a child, I always secretly hated my mother, but always felt deeply guilty for not loving her, because I felt she was always "sacrificing" everything for me. She would call me selfish, slap me, throw things, scream, bare her teeth, tear the glasses off my face and tell me "why don't you go live with your father?" MY WHOLE LIFE. Then I would start crying because of what she said, and she would yell at me for crying, and say that I was the one "showing" her I didn't wanna live there. I finally stood up to that when I was sixteen. I said, "Do you know how much that hurts me, mom?" That was one of the last times she said it, but her behavior otherwise absolutely did not change. Little did I realize that my mother was doing everything in her power to hurt me and manipulate me, separate me from my Dad, who loved me very very much. She would scream at me for even smiling about going to see my father. Sometimes she would even smile when telling me that I could not hang out with my friends when I was in high school. I wanted to have a job as a teenager, but she would not allow it. I made a bunch of money babysitting, and one time she just took it from me, and acted really mean when I objected. As if it was hers anyway. We became deeply involved with an exclusive religious organization that prevented my father from buying me presents for my birthday or christmas, or celebrating anything with him. My father just told me recently that when I was little, that my mother gave my school specific instructions to never come visit me at school or release any information to him about how I was doing. I NEVER KNEW THIS! I was always led to believe that my father was just a deadbeat and didn't really love me. My youth was very painful, confusing, LONELY. After I got past a certain age, I sensed that my dad sort of gave up emotionally, and got remarried when I was about 13. He just didn't know how to talk to me, I was so poisoned against him. In defense of my mom, ALL the women on my mother's side of the family are NOTORIOUS for child neglect, and allowing abuse of all kinds. My dad was only dating my mom for a couple months before she became pregnant with me, and it was not too fun from then on. He did not want to continue the relationship with my mom, but had very much fallen in love with his baby daughter. I don't think my mom ever got over that rejection. She continued on an emotional downward spiral from there, having more children from subsequent relationships. We stayed over at countless babysitter's, one instance where I was sexually abused for several months. I told my mother about it, and she never said a word to comfort me. I was nine years old at the time, and never received any counseling until I RAN AWAY to college! I put myself in therapy. I was so lonely then, in emotional agony. I felt so deceived, but just did not know BY WHOM at that time. I felt no trust for any of the adults in my life up to that point. I have loan debt, but no amount of money was worth my sanity at that point. I believe that I received most of my mother's disdain out of all the children, because my father really did want me I think. So I was severely cut off from him. The relationship between my mother and I is a lot better now, mostly because I don't live in the same state anymore and she never visits me, except for when I got married. Sadly, my daddy didn't get invited to the wedding because I thought he was this awful person. That really really hurt his feelings. But we talked about it, and he forgives me, because he just wants his daughter back. So I have more control over when I have to deal with her unpredictable, spiteful moods and jealousy. I just don't have any idea if she's REALLY being kind to me, or just manipulating, or doing it for show? I know my mom loves me but she has hurt me so so much and to this day does not really grasp what she has put her children through. Just kind of rather pretend all that stuff "wasn't that bad". I have confronted my mom on MANY occasions about how I feel, and she just ends up screaming at me and trying to make me feel guilty by crying. Of course as an adult, I'm not so easily manipulated. But people have different ways of coping I guess. I just rather be open and sincerely try to communicate my feelings to anyone who shows real love for me, like my dear, dear wonderful husband, my dad, my loving little sister, my brothers, my best friends...the list goes on. I am STRONG and now I know that I ALWAYS WAS, no matter how weak the emotional abuser made me FEEL. Otherwise how could I endure so much stress from birth???

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