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Molly Finnegan

Molly Finnegan

As of this writing, I have been separated from my ex-husband for 22½ years and happily divorced for 14½ years.  There was certainly one bright light after the wedding – my child… an amazing daughter to whom I refer as the best baby ever born.  She is everything to me, and I don’t believe that I would have weathered this storm without her support, encouragement, and a smile that would melt the deepest and tallest glacier.

“I am not going to be the one to ruin that relationship.”  That was not only my mantra, but it also became my commitment to my daughter with regard to her father.  Prior to separating, I communicated with my entire family that I did not want anyone to bad-mouth my ex in front of my child; by and large, they acceded to my wishes – but outside of my child’s earshot, one family member particularly insulted, demeaned, and criticized both me and my ex.  To this day, this person (to whom I am indentured) is blind to the fact that he/she is exactly like my ex in character and temperament – and they absolutely can’t stand each other (never have; never will).  Even though they have not been officially diagnosed by any mental health professionals, I can honestly say that both check off several boxes of Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

While I am including this TAR Tale under “Parental Alienation”, I want to tell you it is possible to minimize the effects of this terrible form of abuse and manipulation for your children.

My ex-husband is a brilliant person.  A perpetual student with several advanced degrees (including two Masters’ and a Ph.D. in an extremely marketable field).  We fell apart following the birth of our only child – she was, after all, an infant and needed everything to be done for her.  She became the center of my world, and I had no problem with that.  Jealousy and competition became the orders of my ex’s life – resentment over my maternity leave, having to buy diapers instead of movie tickets, cleaning up after my child, and generally committing every waking hour to her.  He felt all of this was at his expense, and he participated less than minimally in the wonderful job of parenting.

I told him that he must leave our home after a “straw that broke the camel’s back” day.  I woke up early to get my daughter ready for her day with my Dad, who provided care for her while I worked full-time 20 miles from home.  Before I went to pick her up from my Dad, I went home to put dinner together for the three of us.  My heart started palpitating, I became short of breath, and I found my ex in the bed where I left him 10 hours prior.  He hadn’t even taken out the trash to be picked up the next morning, and left a huge mess in the kitchen.

Using my best outside voice (many of my friends will say that I don’t yell), I demanded that he come downstairs.  Fifteen minutes later, he showed up in the living room.  I said, “you have two weeks to find a place to live.”  He knew that was coming – and offered no argument.  I called 911 to come and evaluate if I was having a heart attack when he went back upstairs.  After being told that it was a panic attack, I settled myself down and went to pick up my daughter and treated us to a fast food dinner.  He moved out the next day; I can’t tell you the relief I felt.

My ex could have made this very difficult, but I never gave him any ammunition to use against me.  I didn’t file for divorce for 7½ years, left him on my health insurance for five of those years, and allowed him to call me three days in advance of when he or his parents wanted to see our child.  My daughter and I told each other everything; she was so precocious and spoke in sentences at 16 months to my complete relief.  She understood when I explained that she had to live by the rules of three households – mine, my parents’, and her father’s parents’ homes – and she adapted pretty easily.  Every month her father would ask me if I wanted to go through with a divorce; believe me – if I thought things would improve and he would be a member of the family, I might’ve said “no”.  I knew that change was not happening, so when a dear friend brought me to her law firm saying “we’re getting you divorced” I did not refuse.  We had to take classes to manage custody, finance, and contact; my daughter’s teachers told me that she could teach the class for her peers all on her own.  That was another relief for me – she was adjusting to our new life pretty well.

Fast forward.  He opted out of the divorce hearing and didn’t contest anything.  We had no property, and he certainly didn’t want the responsibility of caring for our daughter even half of the time.  He also did not pay child support after the divorce.  I’m no hero, but I remained steadfast in my commitment to my daughter. 

“I am not going to be the one to ruin that relationship.”

The best advice I can give all of you struggling with leaving a toxic, narcissistic relationship is this:

  • Build your relationship with your children.  Let them know where they fit into your life.  Make them your priority.  Love, hug, and kiss them all the time.
  • Never speak ill of your ex if at all possible, especially while the kids are tiny.  If your ex speaks badly of you, make sure that your communication is open enough with your children to attempt to explain why she/he says mean things about you.  If you take a few minutes to think about how to explain, you can adjust yourself in the direction of “tact & diplomacy” – one of my Dad’s favorite adages.
  • When the kids are tweens and teens, let honesty enter the conversation.  While you still need to interact with your narcissistic ex, make sure all of the rules are clear.  It’s okay that we have most of the control – it sends the message that you will not allow your children to be victims of a toxic relationship or person.

I think that the worst thing I said to my ex after he didn’t show up for our child’s high school graduation – “She’s an adult now.  I never want to sit across a table from you ever again.”  Finally, after not paying child support for more than 10 years and never being denied a visit when it was convenient for him, he has limited contact with my daughter and knows very little of her life.  This does not make me happy; and there is no room for vengeance in my heart which is filled with my daughter’s love.  Honestly, I hope that someday he will learn how to build his relationship with her.  He really has no idea what he’s missing; that is the tragedy in all of this.

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 a simple nugget for those going through this. 

What I Have Learned: 

  • My daughter’s alienation was not my fault – I have learned that I am powerless over the alienator’s ways and it is in no way beneficial for me to harbor blame upon myself. I don’t need to list my achievements as a father – I have 18 years of memories that tell me exactly what happened. 
  • There remains but one truth – Dissect statements and thoughts and what you have seen with your own eyes. No matter what “they” say, whoever they are, there is only one version of the truth. As long as your intentions are well-meaning and humble in nature, stick with the truth. Like Richard Roma tells George Aranow in Glengarry Glen Ross — “The truth George, always tell the truth. It’s the easiest thing to remember.”
  • I was a good parent – No time for superlatives. Fact: I stepped up at every moment to be the best father I could be. Everyone makes mistakes, I sure did. But I never left my daughter’s health and safety up for chance. She never needed anything. While this is a tough thought to process (particularly while alienated), part of my recovery must allow this truth to sink into my psyche.
  • I am prepared for her to never return – It has been mentioned in earlier blogs that even if a child returns to an alienated parent there are still serious implications that cause a detriment to the already fractured relationship. That really sucks on the whole outlook front. It’s been a year with no contact and I am prepared for her to remain alienated. I understand the power of this debilitating family disease. Think alcohol, schizophrenia, and other major mood disorders including narcissistic personality disorder – all handed down genetically. My ex never had a chance, and neither did I.
  • I have people that love and understand me – Although slow to start, it was imperative that I opened up about how alienation has affected me. I post publicly and occasionally am asked. Lately, I have averted simply saying that it’s been a while since I spoke with my adult daughter. I am more apt to share this facet of my life – while never really giving a shit about what the receiving end thinks about me personally. This is not about me. I may be alienated, but I am not alone. My daughter is alone in the abuse she is enduring. My close friends understand and the community at Parental Alienation Anonymous (PA-A) and CPTSD Foundation have really supported this journey. I am thankful for those I have met in 12-step groups – they inspire me to push forward even when I don’t want to.
  • Stronger than a year ago – Getting acclimated to my new world over this past year has delivered challenges. Like you, if you woke this morning then you have what I consider the greatest gift of life: another shot to get it right. 12-step programs allow you to open your mind to differing scenarios, many of which your mind never even considered. It is within the confines of these meetings that I cumulate my hope. I could not even tell you how poor my state of mind was when this final bout of alienation began. 
  • You have to do the work to get better – There is a moment when alienated parents ask themselves “How do I go on living?”. I asked. A million times. There are no answers and the sooner you realize that the better your individual situation will become. There is no way to figure this thing out, just as you can’t figure out a family member’s drug problem. The realization that you are comfortable letting go of the need to understand how an issue works itself out is quite freeing. You have to put in the work. Whatever that means to you.

In a recent PA-A meeting, someone mentioned the absence of guideposts during the alienation journey. As a family disease, much secrecy lies within the borders of alienated families. There are few who can understand outside of the walls of a PA-A step program meeting. The truth is that the rest of us have no guideposts, no road signs, no speed limits, and no justification in terms of accountability. It’s an open and empty road, filled with large obstacles and no driving manual. I take great pride in the fact that I learn something new in every meeting. 

I realize how topical these statements are; however, because of the truth that is embedded within these thoughts I have found a moment of clarity. It is okay to breathe deeply and let the worry exit your chest, neck, and shoulders. It’s okay to smile and to live. It’s okay – when the time is right – to come up for air.

A special thanks to those whom I have had the pleasure of working with during my alienation journey. Without PA-A, I could not confirm where I would even be today. Thank you. 

You are not alone. To learn more about Parental Alienation Anonymous, as well as our weekly schedule of meetings, please click here:https://parentalalienationanonymous.com/meeting-schedule/

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, 2002Roemer, Litz, Orsillo, & Wagner, 2001)

This struck an immediate chord with me. By better understanding the behavior of trauma sufferers, we can better our state of mind and find a level of expectation that works for us. What emotions are we living by and which are we quelling? Is my own personal positivity a shield – an indirect flight or fight moment that leads to continual fleeing?

Since parental alienation entered my life about six months ago, I have been searching for a balance to which I may not be entitled. A balance which offers flexibility to allow me to feel the traumas and the guilt I possess while living a purposeful, service-filled life. I have found some common ground: attending and leading parental alienation meetings has been pivotal to my recovery. Expressing and sharing my thoughts in writing and conversations is equally of value and allows others to learn about similar situations.

Today Was Different

I must have slept poorly as I had almost zero game plan for this day. It’s not that I didn’t have my work tasks and my personal tasks mapped out, but my fortitude to rule the day was in place; however, the mental stability to see it through is at best questionable.

Trauma causes indifference, stagnation, and second-guessing in everyday decision-making.

Shortly after being alienated from my only daughter, I felt astoundingly deep grief in which I wallowed for several weeks. After I dusted myself off and decided to make the best life I could – despite unforeseen circumstances – I found relative security in my day-to-day life that I could cope with such trauma.

At my request, I asked for a full mental health evaluation. I also started weekly therapy to deal with the grief and outpouring of emotional loss that is attributed to parental alienation.

What To Do With This Wasted Day

I realize that this day is not wasted, despite feeling that way. I know that every single day that is lived is a gift. What do trauma sufferers do with a day that’s about to get away from them?

Take a break. Breathe. As a trauma sufferer – you are much more likely to want to wade in your negative emotions than break free of them. It’s not your fault – we are scarred to feel this way. Yet it is at this moment we must make a profound call to action – SEIZE THIS DAY.

It’s 3:15 p.m. and I cannot work anymore today, I did the very best that I could accomplish given the circumstances. As much as I am happy with the role I am in, dedication to my mental health supersedes it. I need to find a quiet place where my mind can slow down – a movie, loud music, handball, or perhaps bump into a few friends. The latter two – basically any activity that introduces outsiders – rate a big “no” when feeling like this. I don’t even want to pick up the phone on days like this. I am trying to remind myself that there are no wasted days. Trauma sufferers are damaged, but not broken.

Someone

Someone

I am an alienated mother.  I haven’t seen my children for 5 years now.  My dear friend referred me to this website, and I hope that these tips will help others mitigate the damage from their own personal war of parental alienation.  Please stay strong, endure, and one day your children will come back to you.

Only speak about the other parent in neutral positive terms – if your child is having difficulty with their other parent, help them develop a plan of how they talk to their other parent and resolve a situation.

Be open to talking to your child about the other parent – what they like and value about them.  Remember it is not a competition – your child loves both their parents mutually.

Try to see the other parent like a business partner and relate to them in this way.  You are in the
business of raising your children together.

Be flexible and return favors – timetables with children may have to change suddenly.

Remember you are doing it for your child and not for the other parent.

Keep your children informed – predictability and routine are essential for children.  Let
children make arrangements directly with the other parent as they get older – let them have
some age appropriate control.

Never lose hope.

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 way people treat me negatively, says more about them than me.

Professionals and friends have told me numerous times to engage in activities that will distract me. It is not always possible. As such I found a distraction that was connected to the issue at hand but also therapeutic, for example this blog.

I have realized that keeping myself well, mentally and physically is key to this battle.

I no longer feel guilty when I find myself thinking of my children less. This is simply a coping mechanism.

I have learnt that this does not mean I love them any less.

I do not need to feel guilty for what is happening to my children. There is absolutely no justification for the abuse that is being inflicted on them.

I have learnt who my real friends and family are.

I am way stronger than I thought I was.

I have learnt from others the true meaning of love, compassion and kindness.

I have learnt how much I love my children.

I will never give up. Nor should you!

JohaNNa

JohaNNa

I am a mother who was alienated from my children in South America. I grew up in Ireland and emigrated to South America in my early twenties. I met my husband there, got married, and we had a son and daughter.  I can, like many people who are separated or divorced, say that we were happy at one time, enjoyed life, and had children together. But as one knows, life can change and rearrange. Over time my relationship with my husband began to deteriorate. It is one thing to split up, but to be deliberately and vengefully alienated from my beloved children is an entirely different matter.

I had a woman helper in our home. One day she came to me in the kitchen and said “Your husband is saying bad things about you to the children in the living room.”

I have witnessed separating parents who do not alienate the other parent. They are able to part and still be good, cooperative parents. These children play and go to school knowing that both parents love them. The benefits to the child are huge.  They remain being loved by their extended families. This benefits the extended families who are not torn from their nieces, nephews, or grandchildren. This leads to more peaceful communities which in turn leads to more peace in society.

Our reactions to being an alienated parent are not always what they should be. One is thrown into new territory that we could never imagine or plan. There is shock, disbelief, and anger. We are thrown onto a rollercoaster that we were not expecting. It’s full of troughs and very few rises. We are thrown around like sand in a dust storm.

Why does this happen? It happens because many legal systems in many countries are not set up to deal with this situation. Alienated parents are hurled into legal systems where there is little knowledge or training of what Parental Alienation is, or how to identify it, or how to deal with it effectively and quickly. The alienating parent knows this and presses the button on the rollercoaster. There is little or no accountability for the alienating parent in many of these legal systems. They cannot be arrested for drowning the natural love and affection a parent has for his or her child or children so that they can grow and develop into decent citizens in society. 

From my research and personal experience, alienated parents can be dragged into court again and again; costing money they can ill afford. In the meantime, children are growing up. These children can be asked to make adult decisions while their young, growing, and developing minds are trying to find their own identity as humans, sometimes within a home war zone. These are children without fully developed personalities or life experiences being asked to make adult decisions for they are totally ill equipped. With a vengeful, alienating parent pulling the strings, these children are sometimes asked to choose with which parent they want to live, but then they can – or may be forced to – choose to alienate the other parent who can become isolated not only from his or her children but also from in-laws who side with the alienator.

As a result, the alienated parent cannot stop it, cannot control it, and cannot change the legal system on their own. They have to go through it. I know of some alienated parents who have walked away in despair. The fight is too hard,  too exhausting.  A friend of mine in South America committed suicide when her three children were alienated from her. The youngest child was a four-year-old girl. I knew this woman and often visited her when our children played together. I witnessed a very good mother who loved her children. This was long before I knew what Parental Alienation was.

I am now retired and live here in Ireland.  I have not had a relationship with my son for 22 years. My daughter has kept in touch on and off over these years. We have had a rocky journey and at this distance, it is harder to repair. However, we have not given up on each other, for which I thank God. My Christian faith has sustained me in this horrible journey where one struggles to find meaning when one has lost the love of one’s beloved children.

My two adult children live in South America. They are in their thirties now and they are both married. Here, I give two quotes from my adult daughter in two particular phone conversations over the last few years. “I have to keep both your secrets”; this comment refers to the fact that my ex-husband refused any contact with me over the years because I divorced him. On another phone conversation, I brought up the fact that I had been alienated from her, and my son. Her reply was “Who did that to you?”

When I realized she had blocked out what happened, I changed the subject. There have been times when I thought my heart would burst out of my chest in the agony of losing the love of my children.

Edhar

Edhar

Mr. Perfect, I am not, nor ever will be.

When my emotions are triggered, sometimes I yell at the people I love, and it takes me several minutes before I give them the apology I immediately know they deserve. My sense of humor is occasionally offensive & immature.

I’ve been known to fart in the car after hitting the window lock to punish my sons for not doing the dishes the night before. I constantly forget the birthdays of friends I have known since I was five.

My omelets still fall apart in the pan one-third of the time (okay, two-fifths).

But I am Mr. Sincere Effort. My grandfather always said, if something is worth doing, it is worth doing right, and I applied this mantra to my marriage. I didn’t excuse myself from the domestic responsibilities. I did the grocery shopping & the cooking. I made the arrangements for holidays, birthdays, camping trips, vacations, & special occasions. I bought the picture frames and hung the family portraits in ascending chronological order along the staircase in our home. I did my best to make decisions together, to view marriage as a partnership of two equals, and always create an environment where my wife felt comfortable speaking her mind. I valued my wife & my family and did my best to express that in every way I could.

I took breaks when I had to, made mistakes because humans do, and sometimes pouted more than a grown man should, but I was always authentic & sincere with my words & my actions. I wore my heart on my shirtsleeves. When she spoke, I truly listened; when she felt, I truly cared; when she smiled, I rejoiced; when she cried, my world stopped. If my wife told me she wanted something, she got it. If she said something wasn’t right, I changed it.

I never placed any other woman above her; I told her she was beautiful and that I loved her as many times each day as I could, and I sought out as many different ways to show her as I could. I was quick to forgive, slow to give up, and the first one to give in & apologize after a disagreement.

Everything I owned belonged to her, and everything I did was for her. Throughout our divorce, I continually told her, “I have no problem with you getting half; I was planning on giving you everything for the rest of my life.”

We had numerous conversations where we had agreed if ever we did get a divorce, we would conduct ourselves with dignity and mutual respect — not to disclose each other’s secrets, to share custody of & responsibility for our children, and to allow each other the freedom to find happiness with another person. I kept those promises even after she broke them because, to me, they were promises I made to myself — not to her. Too late, I realized that silence only benefits the abuser. When deciding whether to disclose something personal, I have learned to ask myself whether remaining silent or being honest would be more harmful to myself and others… once I applied that rule, it became readily apparent that remaining silent about her abuse & her lies is no longer tenable.

I was so loyal to her, I betrayed myself.

Until the end, she knew that she was still my first choice, and I would have done anything she asked — if only she would commit to the only two things I ever asked of her: to be faithful. Looking back, I’m ashamed of how weak & desperate I appear; while living through it, I saw it as exhibiting Christ-like forgiveness, turning the other cheek, and responding with love no matter what.

If any of the chances I gave her had resulted in her making that commitment and saving our family from brokenness, it would have been worth any potential loss of pride. I didn’t care about what the world thought of me… until she started to turn the world against me. It was only once I accepted that our relationship was doomed from the start that I began to regret all that I had invested into it.

It’s easy to cast judgment once we know all the facts and how things end; it’s not so easy living through it, hating yourself for loving someone who is no longer the person you loved, burying yourself deeper into the delusion as the reality of your situation becomes ever darker & more terrifying.

I went from a world where the most beautiful woman in the world was my ideal lover & my best friend forever to a world where I had sacrificed my dream job, my career, my potential, my wealth, my friends, my reputation, and two decades of my life for nothing. Knowing firsthand the pain of divorce, the shame of admitting to being abused by your intimate partner (particularly as a man, where showing weakness is emasculating and a loss of one’s very gender identity), the devastation caused by a narcissist’s smear campaign and the difficulty in rebuilding one’s life from the ashes, I no longer question why people find it difficult to leave abusive relationships.

When she cheated on me, I tried to understand why and asked what was wrong with our relationship rather than condemning her for seeking to have her needs met outside of it. I prayed for the strength to forgive her and struggled through the grieving & the healing that I had to do without her because I believed it would be worthwhile if it resulted in our family remaining unbroken. I kept a hopeful heart, and gave second chances when I should not have, out of hope, love, & loyalty.

Her on-again, the off-again affair had lasted over twelve years by the time she chose to take advantage of the trust shown to her by myself & my parents and engage in illicit, overtly sexual, & clandestine conversations with her lover while on our family vacation, after promising it was over and pretending to send him a message ending things between them once and for all. She had heard me say repeatedly that I did not want to be with someone who did not want to be with me. If she wanted to be with him, then I was willing & ready to work together with her to divorce in a manner that placed the least possible amount of stress upon our finances and our children.

Yet she consciously and with undeniable intention chose to deceive me, to violate every agreement we had made, to weave a false narrative that presented her as the victim rather than as the instigator of the illicit activities that had occurred behind closed doors in the privacy of our bedroom. When her deception threatened the financial stability of our family, the professional reputation I had spent a decade and a half nurturing. The educational opportunities available to our sons, she chose to remain silent rather than confess to her crimes… sacrificing her children and the man who had loved her selflessly for nearly twenty years rather than accept any threat to her perfect self-image. It was then that I began to understand the true depravity of narcissism: once someone has sacrificed their most valuable possession — their inner child, their light, their divine spark, their soul, their True Self — on the altar of their ego, there is nothing they will not sacrifice.

When she falsely accused me of being abusive, having not yet learned this lesson, I was beyond shocked & hurt. The most unbelievable thing of all to me, however, was how quickly her false accusations were accepted as factual, despite numerous, well-documented evidence of her alcoholism, drug use, affairs, false statements, and mental health issues — including attempting to seduce an on-duty police officer while severely intoxicated, just moments after falsely accusing me of abusing her.

As much as I attempted to view the situation with detachment from my perspective & consideration of their points of view, I found the incompetence & bias exhibited by the local police department to be simply staggering… not to mention the ease in which they were able to subvert the process of justice to serve their agenda and avoid ever being called out for their grossly unprofessional and in some instances criminal misconduct.

It’s considered to be in poor taste to question the statements of a woman claiming to be a victim of domestic abuse, so no questions were ever asked of her. It’s disrespectful to accuse a police officer of lying, so none of their lies were ever called out in court. All the evidence that did not support what they wanted to believe was ignored, and their imaginations filled in the gaps in their knowledge with reality so twisted & far from the truth that it says more about their demons than mine.

When I found out later from someone who worked in the county corrections department that one of the officers had gotten divorced after his wife caught him in bed with another man and that another officer’s wife had shown up at the hospital covered in bruises a few months after giving birth to triplets (everyone in the department knew what happened, she told me, yet the officer never suffered any consequences for beating his wife), and that the police chiefs in the surrounding community all considered the head of that department to be chauvinistic, arrogant, and impossible to work with, the pieces started falling into place. What we refuse to see in ourselves, we see in others.

All I have left is truth, love, and hope.

The truth I cling to as a drowning man to a piece of the ship that failed to hold together against the storm and left him adrift in a dark & uncaring sea.

The love I have for my sons keeps me getting out of bed when I feel I have nothing left to look forward to, happiness is a shore upon which I will never rest, and all my dreams are now forever out of my reach.

And hope…

Well, I hope that I am wrong.

I do not share this in hopes of receiving sympathy or pity.

My motives in writing this are purely selfish… to be able to look at myself in the mirror.

To hold my head high when the world wants me to be ashamed.

To say that, come what may, I spoke my truth.

To grow more confident in telling my story and to defy the fear and the voice that would have me fade silently away, leaving it all unsaid.

Fuck that fear.

Fuck that voice.

And fuck narcissists.

Anndrej

Anndrej

I’ve seen too many women alienate children from their fathers. My ex-partner was one of them. I asked myself why? It too me years to understand that the reasons is that they wish to hurt their ex-partner for leaving them. These partners focus only on their own wishes and needs — they are driven by an obsessive desire to punish the other parent. They don’t understand that children need both parents to develop into healthy adults.

I am struggling to co-parent with my ex. I tried for years to keep the communication open, positive, and productive. I engaged in countless, nonsense communications with my ex to keep in touch with our children as I feared that the ex would cut me out of our children lives.

But I am a parent too. I parental responsibility and my ex can keep up causing issues but I have the right to be involved in our children’s lives. This year I finally secured a court order.I hoped that things would become easier but they didn’t. The ex continuous to engage in toxic behaviours such as:

• Intervenes and limits the communication between me and our children.
• Tells lies, badmouths and belittles me in front of our children.
• Speaks poorly about my family.
• Undermines my authority.
• Disregards the court order — visitations and contact arrangements.

I’ve realized it’s nearly impossible to to co-parent with a toxic parent who does the above things. Co-parenting is teamwork. It’s a mutual effort to do things in the best interest of the child.

But I understood after few years what I can do to protect myself and our children:

“I got a court order.”

You can’t negotiate with terrorists. You need to have a plan and know what you want to accomplish. Go before a judge with a plan, ask for visitations, create the timetable when and where you will be seeing your child. Add also online contact — phone communication. How the ex should keep you up to date with school issues, medical emergencies or anything else related to the child. Keep the communication in one place, ideally via email. If she the ex-partner starts making mistakes and creates issues, you can take them back to court. Get the most detailed court order that you can.

“Wait…”

The best thing you can do is wait: wait for your ex to mix up the court arrangements, show hostility, forget to pick up the child. You should also wait for your child to grow older to be able to make their mind of their own. Waiting doesn’t mean giving up — on the contrary, waiting means being there for your children when they need you and they will need you very soon.

That’s why keeping your distance and focusing on building your life for you and your children is the best thing I and you can and should do.

“In the Meantime, Live Your Life”

I can’t change your ex. I did all you could. Now I need to focus on myself — this way you I am helping my child. I took time for myself and to improve my mental health, sought therapy. Every time I come by to pick up children — I come with the biggest smile.

“Keep The Focus On Your Children.”

I call, text and am present in my children’s life. Even if my ex hides the phone and tries to cut contact I have the evidence that every day I texted your children goodnight. One day you I will be able to show all of these messages to my kids.One day, my children will come back to me because they won’t stay children forever. From now on I only focus on today and tomorrow, for my children.

Jose

Jose

I Have Three Children, But In Reality, I Have None.

“You know, always wanted to have a family. I wanted to have children. I wanted to be a good husband and a devoted father. I wanted to be the provider for the family, someone they can always lean on and find comfort and support…I have three children and somehow I feel that I have none…”

I am an empath.

A few years back I got divorced. I was married for 8 years, and in the last 5 years of my relationship with my ex-wife, our communication and closeness started fading off. I have two boys with her. She too wanted a family, but not with me.

She just wanted the kids — not the relationship.

She persuaded him to move from Berlin to a small town in south Germany, just so she can be close to her mum and dad. She stopped working, and I was okay with that. After all, I was the provider. The man!

My wife decided it would be good if we buy a flat in Berlin, but live with her parents, under their roof in this little town. I obliged and took a mortgage and got them a spacious apartment in Berlin.

Years went by and my wife along with her parents made more decisions, excluding me and just demanding more money from me. I  kept on giving them the money. By doing so I hoped to keep my family. I worked long hours, and side gigs, and gave money directly to her father.

Later I found out that he was actually paying off her father’s debts, but most importantly I realized that I have been shut out from the family. I was never asked or consulted about any of the decisions and when I tried to communicate with my wife — she ran off to her Mummy and Daddy.

I kept all of these frustrations bottled up inside, until one day I could not anymore. I stood up and asked my wife to move away with me and our children back to Berlin — to start again, to seek therapy, to get closer. She refused.

The next day I was informed by her father that it would be best if I would leave, adding that his daughter will be divorcing me! I was devasted. What followed next was months of suicidal thoughts, depression, and pure agony.
I left for Berlin and within two months her family pressured me to sell the flat that I bought for her and our children. I didn’t want to go to court, nor i could handle it emotionally or financially. I agreed and sold it. All the money went to her.

From now on I was seeing my sons, once or twice per month. She refuses to take them to Berlin so I embark on 380 miles journey to see them whenever the finances allow me. I call, and the phone is turned off. I send gifts and they are undelivered.

At my lowest point in life, I meet another woman. And just then, I so desperately hopes that my life might just turn around for the better. Unfortunately, it didn’t. It got worse.

I fell in love with a narcissist, who not only suffers from NPD but also from a borderline personality disorder and OCD and god knows what. Within the first three months of our relationship, she displayed minor traits of the above diagnoses such as jealousy, obsessiveness, black and white thinking, and subtle manipulation.

Soon she got pregnant her true persona came to life.

She beat, belittled, and isolated me. She stopped me from communicating with my two children, she controlled all the finances and threatened me.

“If you dare to leave you will never see your child again!”

I made the same mistake again.
I took another mortgage and bought us a smaller flat, but this time, but didn’t marry her. This abuse lasted for a year and when I finally reaches the bottom — being punched in the face so hard, that my lips were swallowed, my face scratched and my work computer destroyed just because I dared to go to the office meeting instead of staying with her and working from home.

I gathered the strength and the will to admit that I am a victim of a toxic abuse relationship and that it will never get better.

And with the help of my friends, and the family I left her.

Now I live in his mother’s home, while the flat I pay off is empty. She demands the flat be sold and half of the money be given to her. She demands spousal support even though she was never my spouse. She demands an unimaginable amount of child support. She demands that I pay her rent.

She calls me 10 days per day and leaves threats.

“You will never get rid of me! Never, you hear me?! Never! I will make the rest of your life a living hell and when our son is older I will tell him all about you!”
My friend sees his baby twice per week. His baby is only 7 months old. His son is innocent. But what awaits this baby?

So what can people like I do?
When you spend time with your child you need to focus on maintaining a loving, positive and compassionate relationship so the child knows that they are safe with you.
Never speak about the other parent in a derogatory way. Focus on your child, listen to them, and don’t pressure them into speaking when they aren’t willing, just be there for them. Always be even-tempered and keep your emotions under control.
Keep reassuring your child that they can always speak to you about anything and everything and that you are here for them. Keep telling them how much you love them. Keep showing up. Be always rational and reasonable and have the best interest of the child at your heart.
Be proactive, if you can and are allowed, seek therapy for your child. Search for a specialist in a PSD and someone who is not affiliated with the alienating parent in any way.
Be the role model for your kids. Show your children through your actions that you have their best interest as your priority.
Stay focused and most importantly present when you spend time with your children. Keep calling even when you know that the phone will be hidden, show up at the door even when you know that the other parent has made plans and your child will be made unavailable.

This will be painful but you must and will endure because you must remember that you have the tools to give your child a chance to develop into a healthy adult.
Please don’t care what other people will say, think or do. These are your children and you are their parent. And only you know who are you dealing with when it comes to your ex-partner.
Stay strong and don’t give in. There is a long bumpy and treacherous road ahead of you so you must be physically and mentally prepared to embark on it.
At times, you must make your well-being a priority, before helping your children. And that’s okay, don’t be hard on yourself.
Life was never meant to be easy, and it’s not your fault that you’ve ended up in a relationship with a narcissist.

But it’s also not your children’s fault.

Do your best to help your children grow up and become responsible parents so they don’t repeat their parents’ mistakes.

Protect yourself and protect them from any harm, even when it comes to protecting them from their own families.