Recovery Hippie

Recovery Hippie

I was in a very bad spot – addicted, broke, and alone – and really needed someone. We met on an online dating site and talked for two months before meeting personally. I admired her reserve and her ability to set boundaries, something I never was good at. I know now that she was feeling me out, getting info, and building a way to manipulate.

After two months we finally met; she would come from an hour away every other weekend and paid for everything. I melted each time she told me something good about myself or when she villainized the people who were doing me wrong. It was instant infatuation, which caused me to put the blinders on when the red flags began to show.

She was 15 years older than me – sweet and innocent, and I knew the area she was from to be a posh, affluent suburb of Detroit. I was living in a recovery house in Flint, and she immediately accepted my flaws and encouraged my aspirations and endeavors to be better. I had never felt more love and affection for another human being in my life. This was solidified even further when she began helping me financially. It started with groceries and rent assistance, and when I could no longer live where I was, she spared nothing to rent several vehicles before buying me a personal vehicle even knowing that at the time I had no driver’s license. I also absconded from parole, and she even knew about […]

Anonymous

Anonymous

Paul Michael Marinello

Paul Michael Marinello

May 9th of this year was a very sad day for me, as it marked a full 365 days since I was erased from my daughter’s life. The process of alienating a child from a loving parent often takes years of quietly applied maneuvering, co-dependency, coercion, and the profound altering of a child’s emotional attachment to the other parent – as was the case in my scenario. It is considered child abuse for a reason. When you take the time to re-evaluate the intricacies of your parental relationship, and that of a divorced spouse, the pattern that emerges can be quite overwhelming. I’m lucky, I wrote everything down. 

Looking back upon the dumpster fire that has been this last calendar year, I find myself waking up more days holding on to the essence of my own hope. Today, I am fully engaged with those around me and have purposely removed myself from a place of isolation. 

I’m not claiming that I’ve been saved, nor am I the savior.

I am one man, peddling nothing but facts and truth. When faced with a moral dilemma that you’ve lost something that you can never properly or organically (re)ascertain, a sense of moral awakening takes place. The embers remain in their worst place – a dark flammable corner – where one spark could cause a four-alarm blaze.

Not today. Today I have some hope. And with hope comes accountability. To concentrate on truths, hollowing out the use of excuses, take control of my own behavior, and offer […]

Paul Michael Marinello

Paul Michael Marinello

A father’s journey is one of perseverance. A journey where each passing day – whether bright and hopeful or dark and pressing – allows for the joys of life, the celebration of milestones, and a reckoning that as a father, you have done everything in your power to keep your child(ren) happy, healthy, and safe.

For seventeen years I was a dedicated, loving, and involved parent to my daughter. I was there for her birth, every birthday, every graduation, every parent-teacher conference, and every doctor’s appointment. I played the Easter Bunny, Santa, and the Tooth Fairy. When she was ill, I was there to nurse her back to health. As recently as a few months ago, we toured colleges and universities together. 

I gladly and willingly paid child support for a decade as it was the only way to ensure no less than 50% of parenting time. After child support orders ceased, I continued to make sure my daughter had health insurance, life insurance coverage, supplies for school, clothing, and adequate social connections (dance, softball, camp, time with extended family).

Those I have spoken to have predicated their thoughts regarding this situation by acknowledging the sacrifice a parent needs to make. I never sacrificed anything – I chose my occupations and geography carefully so that they would align with my trajectory of being a single dad. The joy of having a child should not lead to sacrifice – it should lead to sanctuary. My daughter has made me proud in a million different […]

Paul Michael Marinello

Paul Michael Marinello

I was awoken by my alarm promptly at 5:00 a.m. this morning, the same time it is set for on all seven days. I have always preferred mornings, in darkness, prior to the sunlight’s blissful rise to capture the essence of my day. These morning hours bring clarity, sanctuary, and allow me to prepare for whatever the day has planned for me. For most of the past few weeks, the plan was working.

I feel truant when I sleep past the alarm and so I have several snooze options available at my disposal – and use one almost every day while the coffee is perking.

It’s the middle of the afternoon and I am feeling a bit defeated by the day. Despite trauma by way of parental alienation, most of my recent mornings were pasted with a candy-colored aura reminiscent of gratitude toward all things. I have begun a job I really enjoy after mostly COVID-related downtime and in between a few nannying positions.

And while the days over the past three weeks or so have been good for my résumé and wallet, my mental health continues to teeter somewhere between thinking I am totally fine and thinking I am a total wreck. This is Trauma 101.

I was recently reading a report from the National Library of Medicine which starts with this introduction: Existing research suggests that trauma survivors who experience psychological distress may deliberately inhibit the behavioral expression of emotion (Hassija et al., 2013; Litz, Orsillo, Kaloupek, & Weathers, 2000; Marx & Sloan, […]

Paul Michael Marinello

Paul Michael Marinello

For trauma sufferers as well as survivors, the burden of truth is often a difficult pill to swallow. In a recent dilemma, I have been stretched and squeezed into a mode of discomfort when it comes to decision-making.

My only niece is to be married. RSVPs were due yesterday, and I have yet to respond. Since parental alienation ended in the total estrangement of my only daughter, it has been increasingly difficult to assemble a rhythm of clear decision-making. It is particularly true for otherwise “easy” decisions. My brain is in an utter tangle, yet there exists a consistency of love, disappointment, obligation, and duty. As a trauma survivor, my brain has built a complex structure of defense mechanisms, actually solidifying past behaviors and patterns to which I always get to the same destination. Avoidance.

I love my niece with all of my heart and am so happy for her and her fiance. I want nothing more than to spend time with them on their special day, but I must be mindful of the unavoidable pitfalls of attending.

The burden of truth, in simpler terms, is aligned with my core beliefs, particularly one of honesty. Should I attend the wedding, all of my family will be there. Further, I will undoubtedly be introduced to all of the members of the family my niece is marrying into. This means I will have to give innumerable handshakes, hugs, pleasantries, and god-awful forced smiles. These are the worst kind – and in an essence lying. That’s […]

Abandonment Father

Abandonment Father

It is now a year since I have had any contact with my three beautiful young children.

My ex continues to deny me any contact with them. My ex continues to take advantage of a flawed system. A system that enables her to ignore and breach court orders for contact and engagement in interventions, with no legal consequence.

I do not claim to be an expert in parental alienation. My story is no worse than any other of the incalculable number of alienated out there.

The following is certainly not intended to be viewed as some kind of checklist to battle parental alienation.

I have simply reflected on the last year and compiled a list of what I have learnt during the last twelve months.

Normalizing the sense of sadness and low mood one will invariably experience as an alienated parent is okay to do.

Allowing this sadness and low mood to spiral out of control is a slippery slope.

Professionals that claim to be experts should always be challenged.

Reading and learning as much as one can about parental alienation is an integral part of fighting this battle.

Connecting with other targeted parents, be it online or in person is incredibly important. Invaluable for emotional support, sharing of ideas, information and advice.

Complaining to services and institutions with a dignified, articulate and well informed argument is key. You may not feel you are making a difference, but every bit of ‘chipping away at the system’ helps.

It took me far too long to realize that the […]

Dejan

I was being emotionally and physically abused by my partner. I am not one of those guys who would be typically seen as a victim: I am nearly 2 metres tall, strong, athletic, enthusiastic. However, recently I have lost a significant amount of weight; I barely laughed anymore.

From time to time, our mutual friends tried to reach me, but I never answered my phone. What they didnt know is that my girlfriend made me erase all our old friends from the contact list.

On more than one occasion I had to leave the house and sleep on my friend’s couch.  I was afraid of her — she punched me so hard, resulting in my losing a front tooth.

Just over Christmas, my girlfriend’s brother gave me a Christmas present — a calendar depicting attractive women dressed as Santa’s helpers. It was supposed to be a joke. But my girlfriend got so upset that she made her brother leave the house along with my friend. She ripped the calendar into pieces.

I should have just left her.

But the issue is that we have a baby together and I am a devoted father — so I stay and suffer. I also fear her — she can do anything and everything to destroy me if I dare to leave. She has told me this on multiple occasions.

I fear losing my child. I love my child.

Because let’s be honest, who believes men nowadays? Courts don’t — children are given to mothers even when the mothers are neglectful.I […]

Russtam

Russtam

A narcissist can inspire you to do better. I have a stalker. My stalker is very special — she is a narcissist. A very cruel, insecure, miserable, jealous, self-absorbed woman. She smiles a lot; her face twitches every time she produces a smile — oh how it must hurt to wear that fake facade for most of her day.

Thankfully she doesn’t go out a lot; it’s too much of a hassle for her. What if someone exposes her true nature? She hides inside her house, under her bed, and plots revenge. Health-wise, physically she is falling apart, and I often wonder how she is still among us. But then I remember that she is driven by dark forces, and I know that she will outlive us all.

The good news for me is that I will never be truly alone. The bad — she will be by my side always and forever. Why? Because narcissists never discard their supplies. I was about to use the word “victim,” but experience has taught me better.

I am no victim — I am a survivor.

For years I’ve had this person lurking in the shadows and working against me. She was so nice to me, love-bombed me, and treated me as if I was her best friend. I believed we were good — while she was up to no good.

This narcissist disliked me from the very beginning — but she was quite smart about it. She never publicly showed just how she wished to destroy me […]

Nico

I’ve been through a lot, like many others who have unfortunately dated, married, or had children with narcissistic women. The fact is that narcissistic women are some of the most dangerous creatures out there. But I managed to escape the abuse.

Just after New Year’s Eve, with help from my family and friends, I was evacuated from this abusive relationship. It was hard for me to leave her, especially since we have a baby together. But I had no other option.

Let me rephrase this – I had two options: either I would stay and continue to suffer, or I would leave, suffer, and suffer even more and then slowly heal, stand back on my feet, and be there for my son.

I chose to be there for my son – to give him an example of a healthy relationship.

Currently, I am in very bad shape, like many who have been emotionally and physically abused by narcissists. I started therapy, I thought of suicide, I thought of going back to her, I thought of going forward. Currently, I am living in my mother’s home.

The apartment that I bought is empty and I am unable to pay the mortgage – she robbed me of all the money. She wants the apartment to be sold and the money split evenly. She hasn’t invested a single dime into the apartment, and we were never married. But she still demands it. Legally, she has no right to demand any money that she hasn’t invested. “I will fight […]