Home > Parents > Twenty Techniques to Become a Target Parent: Wrong if You Try; Wrong if You Don’t Try

Twenty Techniques to Become a Target Parent: Wrong if You Try; Wrong if You Don’t Try

Twenty Techniques to Become a Target Parent:
Wrong if You Try; Wrong if You Don’t Try

File for a divorce.

Follow through on a divorce.

Leave an abusive spouse / partner (verbal abuse is normally considered a form of abuse).

Attempt to remain civil (your ex will display contempt).

Do not speak negatively about your ex-spouse within an ear shot of your child (your  ex-spouse will denigrate you, directly to your child, and utilize your child as a confidant).

Kindly ask your ex-spouse to stop speaking negatively about you and  extended family. Explain that children should feel free to love both parents (if you’re lucky, and your ex-spouse understands emotional abuse, he, or she will stop and you will not become an alienated parent).

Kindly ask again, attempt to explain that your child is in distress. (Your child cries and reports that “they told mom /dad that it makes them sad to hear bad things about mom/dad” but the parent continues to speak negatively).

Find assistance (with due diligence you can find someone well-versed in the nuances of parental alienation; if you are unlucky, you may be told your child’s behavior is a phase. Or, you may be informed that your situation is nothing more than a theory).

Follow court orders / parenting plans (your ex-spouse will violate the orders).

Enforce the orders (out of necessity as your ex-spouse believes that he or she is above the law.

Enforce the orders again (beware your case may  be deemed “high-conflict”).

Enforce the orders yet again (save your money too; your ex-spouse may have plans to flee the state or country—yes, some follow through).

Ignore the aforementioned.  (It is not good to be in and out of court enforcing orders that should be followed at the onset).

Remain calm. Should you display anxiety over your child’s emotional abuse, you will not appear  “put together” in comparison to your ex-spouse (an axiom: he who cares the least, controls the most; your ex-spouse will stay cool, calm and collected. Yes, they have power over you and your child.  they control a vital relationship— a parent-child bond. They know too, that they can get away with such cruelty as parental alienation is not taken as seriously as it should).

Attempt to be a parent and not a friend (your ex-spouse will be your child’s friend).

Ignore the aforementioned (if you engage in normal parental duties, such as enforcing homework and chores; it will backfire. Your child may run away to your ex-spouses home, make false allegations, trash your property, key your car, or with the coaching of mom/dad engage in another court battle to alter custody).

Attempt to be a friend and not a parent (your children will love this new role! Your ex-will continue to be a friend.  Consequently, your children will have two friends, not two parents Some children may become spoiled brats with a spirit of entitlement, but it may keep you from a permanent cutoff).

Discard the aforementioned (your rationally realize that relinquishing your parental duties to sustain a relationship is not healthy for you, nor your child).

Accept that you will be treated with disdain for being a parent and simply human—one that makes mistakes within normal limits (your ex-spouse will be exalted to an angelic status).

Realize that not only will your children reject you, spite you, and claim to hate you; others will chime in too. Neighbors, friends, and extended family that do not understand unhealthy parent child alignments and irrational alienation will question and quiz you.  In some cases, if you decide to obtain help, you may be blamed all over again.  Our society teaches that it, “always” takes two to tango. (once again, you may become defensive in trying to explain such irrational hatred. Consequently, your ex-spouse appears sane while you come across as a neurotic mess) certainly, it often takes two.  However, “  In other cases, though, attributing a parent-child problem to both parents, when one parent is clearly more responsible for destructive behavior, is a misguided effort to appear balanced and avoid blame.  Unfortunately, this sometimes results in blaming the victim, and leads to inadequate remedies that prolong rather than relieve a child’s suffering” Dr. Richard Warshak, 2011

Categories: Parents
  1. joe
    November 28, 2011 at 8:07 AM

    Hi everyone, I noticed the short article on the right, written by Leona Kopetski, that a confusing dynamic of PA is that most times the alienated parent has more obvious signs of psychological distress. I am glad to see that because that was going to be my question/ comment. Since the serious stage developed I have been going back and forth with the same question, “Maybe I am doing something wrong or is it me?” Then I would read the PA symptoms etc and say, “No way is it me, this stuff is really happening and I never harmed my son, The false accusations are indeed outright lies.” I have been depressed and slowly deteriorating day by day as I sit alone in my house. I have no energy to go outside or shower. I am a retired Policeman (two years ago) 25 yrs of service. I own my house, I am smart and was healthy, good looking, don’t have to work and should be happy and going away? I was alone for Thanksgiving. Wouldn’t a normal co parent have their child call the Father on holidays? I just filed contempt and modification forms and will finally present my case directly to the judge. This is something I have relied on and trusted the Court mediators and GAL, who had me guilty from the start and completely ignoring my PA claim.

    • Marcello
      April 29, 2019 at 8:56 PM

      Unfortunately the stories it’s always the same, and the only things that changes, are the characters involved on the cases.
      Don’t ever give up… take a break whenever it’s needed to recharge and get back on track.
      We need to continue to grow this parent army till we snake to change the law for all the kids.
      Get involved with organizations, are a good way to go.
      We need more people on board, so the kids victim of alienators.
      They need people like us to fight for their rights.

  2. joe
    November 28, 2011 at 8:15 AM

    I meant to say I haven’t presented my case directly to the judge after numerous hearing because I was relying on the Court mediators honesty and how they would talk me out of seeing the Judge for “Your own good.” The GAL actually said, “The judge will believe the Court mediator even if she is wrong, and you may not ever see your son.”

  3. Gina
    November 28, 2011 at 11:56 AM

    You just wrote my story. THANK YOU for putting this together. It is an amazing concise and extremely accurate description of my life for the past 5 years… I will be sharing this with all who struggle to understand how something like this could have happened to me and my children. I am scheduled to visit them over Christmas holidays ( court ordered, they now live overseas) but am being told by my ex that perhaps I should ( “bite the bullet” and come another time as they have many friends in town and ” social” obligations…) One small detail that my lovely ex likes to use is to leave me emails telling me to “work it out with the kids”, asking me if my plans with them have been agreed yet..?) My children do not answer my calls, emails or texts, which he knows quite well… he writes this to leave his paper trail..making it look like he does ALL he can to facilitate visits…In case I decide to take him to court AGAIN for failing to uphold court orders…
    Again, Thank you for writing and posting this.. I was to mentally exhausted to write this myself, bless you for doing it for me..

    • November 28, 2011 at 3:36 PM

      Dear Gina, recently I read, “when something is unnamed, and is seen by no one else, it has an aura of unreality about it,” Thankfully, there is now a name to this phenomenon. Still, what is visible to others is that one parent has a great relationship with a child and the other parent does not. Thus, some quickly and erroneously conclude, the rejected parent must have done something wrong. Until a person experiences parental alienation, or studies the phenomenon extensively, the situation seems unreal. As you mentioned, many ex-spouses can make the appearance that they are working amicably (i.g paper trails) with the rejected parent. Sadly, they are not; appearances are misleading. Consequently, the rejected parent fumbles over his or her words. The rejected parent also may become tearful and frustrated as he or she attempts to explain why and how the parent lost a relationship with their child(ren). Wishing you well during your travels over Christmas and hoping for a restored relationship with your children.

  4. November 28, 2011 at 1:44 PM

    Thank you for your work. It has been a long hard journey for me to piece together the truth about my former life. Finding the Parental Alienation work is helping me to come to terms with it.

    • Molly
      September 19, 2016 at 2:26 PM

      Good Morning Phyllis — my 66 birthday has just passed and because the ex is really mad at me like for over 24 years now he has worked it so and at the point that my oldest child does not talk to me and the youngest child does not talk to me. The son in the middle is the peace maker as best he can be but the ex is alhohllic and very very manipulative. I had 5 children with him two are in the cemetery now the lord has given me a extremely hard task and it goes without saying am going to heaven because it is hell here on earth. I remarried a dam nice guy — we get a phone call in the middle of the night his son age 40 had a heart attack he is still alive and am home waiting for news. I have a major background in waiting for new I know how to do this well. have as good a day as you can. I will go to the gym and take my frustration out there.

  5. November 28, 2011 at 2:30 PM

    Oh how true this is! Painfully true.

  6. November 28, 2011 at 5:49 PM

    Excellent blog on such a very sad and realistic reality for many parents who once had a good loving relationship with their children. Helpless alienated parents often wonder and ask, “What am I supposed to do?” Few individuals understand why their children or youth are acting with such rebellion when there doesn’t seem to be a cause for it. Targeted parents experience the worst torture imaginable. Unfortunately, but true, many attorneys, judges and mental health professionals continue to lack the knowledge, understanding and balls to help offset third party alienation. As a society, we must all take swift action to stop the seeds of parental alienation from sprouting quickly.

    Dr. Kathleen M. Reay, Clinician, Researcher, PAS Speaker and
    Author, Toxic Divorce: A Workbook for Alienated Parents

  7. Gina
    November 28, 2011 at 8:10 PM

    You are so right Kathleen, and the sad truth is by the time the lawyers, judges and therapists begin to believe that this is indeed happening it is often too late. I have had three lawyers in 2 countries and only the third finally believed me after months of motions and proceedings, and admitted as much to me! Uninformed and disbelieving therapists made my sitiuation worse , not to mention that my ex would not Comply with orders to even Bring them to therapy, insisting that I was the one who needed psychological help. In the last proceedings one therapist went so far as to state to the court that I was”hung up” on this parental alienation theory… remember we are dealing with Masters of Manipulation and very Narcissistic individuals as the Alienators.. I will never win , no matter what I do or how hard I try, and the title” Wrong if you try ; Wrong if you don’t” will ALWAYS be how my ex will play his game. I hope to find some strategies on your workbook.. I will not go back to court, because the system just does not work. There is NO enforcement for contempt, and now my ex is back in Hong Kong with a court order modified in Utah. ( I live in New York) Who’s going to care what he does.?? Only me.

  8. December 7, 2011 at 5:19 PM

    Thank you for another excellent post Monika.

    One of the biggest frustrations of parental alienation is the “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” Catch-22 that targeted parents are forced to endure on a daily basis. The old communication and parenting rules have changed, but nobody tells us what the new rules are (or when they will change again). We’re the subject of countless false allegations and spend hours trying to prove that something “didn’t happen.” Alienating parents are masters at taking every well-intentioned word or action and twisting it into something sinister, and taking ever non-action or unspoken word and also using it to further separate a loving parent from a child.

    As I wrote in A Family’s Heartbreak, the whole situation reminds me of the Seinfeld Bizzaro episode. Everything looks the same but nothing is as it appears. Educating others and helping parents, leagal and mental health professionals learn to recognize and address parental alienation are the keys to helping families avoid these heartbreaking situations.

    Keep up the great work Monika, and happy holidays!


    mike jeffries

  9. Sam
    December 16, 2011 at 1:24 AM

    Thank you for this.
    Your postings are helping me see little things I do that might not have the intended positive effect of helping my kids cope. The past couple years ( about 4 or 5 visits total) their Dad has been trying some of this stuff & it’s sad… it has caused a rift to form between my kids & I. I have even printed out telephone logs to prove to them he never called me about seeing them. Talk about ridiculous. I don’t understand why he tells them he calls or emails when he doesn’t.

    I started reading your website a couple months ago and have been carefully changing how I handle/respond to things with them when they bring him up & ask questions about what he’s told them. I want them to be happy, healthy content people with the presence of two parents. I refuse to allow their Dad to get them in a bad rut.
    Hopefully my efforts & help keep things straight – fingers are crossed…

  10. December 21, 2011 at 2:44 PM

    Anyone know of a sympathetic psychologist to evaluate a situation in the south island of New Zealand.

    My SO’s in a complete mess, his eldest daughter (age 14) assaulted him 8 weeks ago (after he refused her visiting a friend at 9pm on a school night) and has since refused all contact…and the courts are saying she is competent to make her own decision where she lives.

    Oh, and the courts don’t want to separate eldest and youngest (another daughter age 11), so he is about to lose any visitation for both girls.

    The standard of proof needed for PAS is ridiculous and there is no way we can get it short of his ex actually doing something in public, and having someone who will testify to her behaviour – and she is too smart and culturally it seems no one is willing to do this


    • December 22, 2011 at 3:21 AM

      Greetings: posted above, on this page, is a resource / contact list. Best of luck to you.

  11. June 2, 2012 at 6:06 AM

    Anybody know agreat lawyer or therapist in Texas to deal with the worst of the worst cases that I have yet to read about? An 80 year old judge today just took my son away, as his father has completely alienated him against me and my new husband. Incredibly awful/evil stuff. And now my son is gone, the court showed up that lying is rewarded. Evil wins, good looses. Please help with any names. God Bless!

  12. June 5, 2012 at 2:00 AM

    You may want to visit http://www.warshak.com or check out the Parental Alienation Awareness Organization.

    • Trish
      June 22, 2012 at 1:17 PM

      Hi Brooks, it’s absolutely amazing how broken the judicial system is in regards to Parental Alienation. I haven’t seen my children in 6 years and am hoping to reunite with my son who will be 18 in a year an a half. Never give up hope that you will be reunited. I didn’t want to just drop in on him because my ex would have taken me back to court for emotional distress. You know how the story goes. I am in North Carolina and if anyone who reads this blog is interested in helping me form a local organization in NC against PAS in the Greensboro/Raleigh area on parental alientation syndrome please contact me at 336-693-5278.

  13. A. Crosby
    March 19, 2013 at 6:02 PM

    I appreciate this website and am so thankful for all the posts I have been reading. I am sorry to hear there are so many people suffering with the same heartbreaking issue. You all took the words right out of my mouth and it is reassuring to realize others out there know exactly what I am going through and how damaging effects of PA are. Our children are the ones paying the highest price in the end and that is almost too much to bear.
    I have to believe that what goes around comes around when it comes to co-parents who resort to this most cruel, damaging, and cowardly form of “revenge.”

  14. dea
    August 24, 2013 at 6:42 PM

    I am following this from Ohio, and have read everybody’s responses…i am finding nothing in my area of this…an just as the storybook reads 8 years of abuse 3 years of not hearing from or seeing my children I was “phased out” and no one cares…just like everyone else here…the unsubstantiated allegations etc, the wrecking of my career. I still hold my head high and have not crumbulled because just as my original 9 yr relationship it wasn’t worth the smudging designer makeup and puffy eyes. but I absolutely do not understand is why we can” bind together as one and overthrow the decisions of city hall, the decision makers that are so pathetic and inept. i believe in the power in numbers. that if everyone could just bind together in a common ground of disatisfaction we could afford the best class-action attorney and mean total business taking out our speed-bump and leveling justice. the only drawback is probably time, we’ve all sacrificed enough. Parental Alienation is an EPIDEMIC, it’s more the norm than amicable parenting, it’s ridiculous. This isn’t revenge of any kind, there is no revenge fo whats been done there’s only life to find with my kids and i’m entitled to know them and vs/vsa. if they don’t want to interact w me they can just listen to the radio or hang out with their stuff in their room until their ready to chill w me…rome wasn’t built in a day and i din’t give birth the day after conception…but love them even tho i don’t know them anymore but we deserve the opportunity… (i still wouldn’t cut the other person out they love him I don’t have to, always been that way)…

    • joehope
      August 31, 2013 at 7:00 AM

      Dea, I wish I hadn’t crumbled and continuing crumbling towards death. Hats off to you. Are you female or male. If male, I think my situation has to be the worst case of PAS. Not to think less of anyone elses distruction. They all are a slow, confusing, step by step cycle, (all go just as it states in the PAS research.) Once you become aware of what has been happening it’ usually too late. If you can avoid the unfounded, (Lies), of the later stage false accusations you still have a chance to reverse the brain washing. I found out what had been accuring by a Social Worker who amazingly knew her job and done it well. This was a rare occurance throughout all those you come across during this struggle to hold on to your children. I found the worst, besides losing your child’s love, was finding one person that believes and understands the problem!
      I asked if you were a male because I have yet to find a honest PAS matter where the PAS victim was a female

      • dea
        September 3, 2013 at 9:15 PM

        really?(yes i’m female), you’ve never heard of a pas victim being a female?I’m aware of both quite equally… here it seems to kind of follow the money trail I think or better not who makes the money but who ends up with it( to put the comical spin on it)if there is a thing to say. I was aware of what was going on from the start, just getting someone to pay attention and not pass it off as “spousal cautions” etc. And feed the courts cash box (wow, is all that expensive). I am the payee etc…(there wasn’t support on my case during shared/ which i asked for because i thought it was perfect we each had houses to support etc…) If you don’t mind i’m interested in hearing different cases for research as well.. this area has no trained experts to use for consult during a hearing, so I have to use field prep the best I can for my attorney ( it’s an interesting process to say the least), we have a joke that i paid for his ex wife’s house…pretty much. Being old friends does ease the process some and he used to know my children and foster children so strong faith. I also have a no-nonsense approach tell me if were sunk before the papers come to my house so i can go to the mountains or ride a horse or bike or beach anything but be home…I’v never judged myself against the other PAS cases just heard the arguing at the court door between the GAL and the mediator in conference of why he cant be bothered to be at pickup…who would screw up a 4 block walk?…that takes a lot of sand to say I don’t show up( i run 2x a day)…foot powers is reliable transportation, is it not?How many people are blessed every day to have legs to use?…think about it I am…I use them every day, I’m in good shape and want to pass a good value on to my children…

      • Trish
        September 5, 2013 at 10:30 AM

        I am a female victim as an alienated parent and paid child support voluntarily versus being chased later by the alienated children. It is still possible to be chased however I have paid the full freight.

      • Aber
        February 20, 2015 at 10:11 PM

        You are lucky that you were able to have a social worker see the abuse.

      • Dea
        February 24, 2015 at 5:25 PM

        IM finding all of this strange that post after post there is no hope, no light, and no recourse from judicial abuses…but I have noticed one thing too, no one has gotten together and “stormed the capitol” as one suit…to be heard: things must affect the masses, remember there is safety in numbers, numbers get recognized and eventually combined strength can move mountains! still takes time but if you keep throwing single pebbles in the water just as only one case is heard in the county at one time, nothing will continue to change, but if 5 or 10 people walk into your county with the same judicial problem at the same time it becomes a group effort and most certainly a problem they don’t want all over the papers and in the supreme disciplinary committee…if your courts have “family services coordinators” (hoaky title I know) start there and drop the same letters at every desk with your groups signatures on every letter, problems bulletted etc… Yes I am organizing here in Mahoning county ohio…daunting task! but power to the people!, I support the constitution in it’s original form…you should too…

  15. September 4, 2013 at 5:12 AM

    Greetings Joe, you noted, ” I have yet to find a honest PAS matter where the PAS victim was a female” the key word here is “I” while you may not found an honest parental alienation matter, where the victim is female” studies indicate otherwise. I will include a link below, from an expert in the field. Parental alienation is gender neutral and can also occur when equal parenting time is awarded (joint custody), studies support this too, although, it is often overlooked (it is possible, as not all orders of “joint custody” are followed, plus, it depends on how time is spent.) If time is utilized in productive activities, this benefits the child, on the other hand, if one parent, each weekend, spends time denigrating the other parent ( called the rejected parent) so given enough time, even those with joint custody can become alienated. Keeping in mind too, that alienation differs from estrangement. It is unfortunate that this form of child abuse, over the past several years, contributed to gender wars. Best of luck to you.

    • joehope
      September 6, 2013 at 2:15 AM

      Hello Dea and other,
      I should have said there are more fathers whom are victims of PAS. I had joint custody and tried so hard to keep my matter out of the courts. My sons Mom however, a narcisist, really had no concern the effects the Court would bring, mostly negative. At first I was able to reverse the brain washing my son mom was doing on my weekends. My son would attack me with all the negativity his mom had put in his head about me, each time I picked him up and were driving to my house. “Your a bum, you have old clothes, your food is bad, there car was better than mine, etc”
      This would go on for 15 minutes. I would then say, “Is that all?” jokenly. My son would then smile and seem to feel at ease. He would then put his head down on my arm and hold my hand. Doing this he would say, “my daddy.”
      He seemed to be loving as soon as he thought he was far enough from his Mom to do so. Thiss is so awful! He would tell me that it was a secret between me and him that we had fun together. He said the mom ould be angry if he told her he had fun with me. Because I was able to reverse her brain washing, she then began making false accusation because she knew the court would issue restraining order and not allow my visits until investigated. The first claim was I seually abused him. He was 9 at that time and is 12 now. She claimed I touched him as he took a shower. Thisclaim really screwed me up even though it was unfounded by Police and DCF. & more unfounded claims in the next 10 months followed and all unfounded. The mom just outright lied!!!! This allowed her to successfully alienate him from me. My life sucks now as I allowed it to depress me. I have video, pictures, of how we loved each other. It was like noone knew what I desperately tried to eplain to them what PAs was! Too long to keep writing, but I have not seen my son for over two years now. I don’t cry as much but I am heart broken and do nothing but sit home.

      • Trish
        September 7, 2013 at 2:32 PM

        Dear joe. Stay strong! Every time you feel depressed remember it is the alienation and not you. I didn’t know what to do since when it happened to me there was no support like there is today. Find a way to say you love him every day Look up Monica Giglio on Facebook. You can write your sin notes there every day and tell him you love him. He is now at an age where tweet and all the rest of the stuff is the way they tAlk. Find his accounts and try and reach out to him. That worked with my son after six years. My daughter is still angry but don’t give up the ship yet. Be prepared for his mothers statements to surface when he speaks and remember he has been programmed. Stay the course and let him know you love him anyway. It is hard since you take it personally I know. Prayers are with you Trish.

      • July 12, 2014 at 10:27 PM

        You sound like a wonderful dad. I like thousands of others have suffered and continue to suffer the same heartache.
        Stay strong get out and be a part of life. Seems impossible but it helps clear your mind of the constant thoughts of the children. God bless and goodluck.

  16. Sue
    September 7, 2013 at 12:20 PM

    My son’s Dad is cut from the same wood as your Ex. My son’s Dad has told my son such ridiculous lies about me that the child has unleashed anger that almost put me in the hospital! My son’s Dad has never cared if his stupid lies end my kid up with jail time or me being permanently hurt. According to him I deserve it.
    The little smiling boy I tried so hard to give a happy childhood has been in hell since he was 8 or 9 because of his Dad (that was the age my son started acting on his Dad’s behalf). The child does not trust me. He really thinks that I steal gifts his Dad mails from him, that I delete phone messages, that I conspire to keep him away from his Dad. I have no idea where he thinks I’d have the energy for such things – I have a life. A police officer has helped the violent anger go away, no joke – the guy said something that penetrated the rage one evening they had to come over. My child lives a shadow of his former self. My son just sits around watching the paint on the wall waiting for his Dad to call, not participating in activities with other kids because his Dad says it’s stupid,my son has weight problems now because of the sitting around, he speaks to me like I am putrid mud & still breaks things around the house.

    It’s been 15 years and still his dad continues the stupid grudge over I don’t know what. Our relationship didn’t work out, he didn’t make me happy & I didn’t make him happy. I’ve spent thousands in therapy trying to get my kid help, so I could see his eyes shine & that smile again. I don’t think I ever will. The rift between my kid & I will probably never be mended.I try hard to take the high road, be the better person but it is hard to be civil to someone who has caused my child such deep harm.

    It is sad when a parent tears their own kid down to make themselves feel empowered & better about themselves. Children should be joys to their parents, not tools in adult dramas.

    • dea
      September 8, 2013 at 5:47 AM

      True very true…I’ve sat and tried to figure where the drama came from…its flying at me and I’m running like crazy to get away(no kidding, here I’m a marathon runner) to get rid of negative energy. I love the peace the outdoors brings to me. I’m trying to live for my solo son now because he deserves the best I can give him and not worry about the others because it’s such a lost cause, I haven’t seen touched talked to or have any clue what they done or do in the last 3 yrs because of the lies they build up and for what some secret war that doesn’t exist? right? he should have a clue i didn’t care about him an his wife in the first place the fact I have my own family and career etc…you know who has time for all the non-sense. its stupid and anyone who does that isn’t a parent in my eyes…i would never think of taking someone elses kids and taking over their position…that’s awful. no matter what. say if I had a step child and their mum was a drugie in jail id still aknowledge their mum as such, because maybe i can lead that person by example and improve their relationship… i dunno maybe its just me. i think people should help each other not cause more problems. I love my children dearly but I realize I only loved the children I knew…they were so precious to me i savoured every moment because it always felt like the last…I called them my diamonds and gold

  17. Crissi
    March 26, 2014 at 6:44 PM

    I myself live the life of an alienated parent. In 2008 my ex and I divorced. I thought that I would be fine and get custody of my children. I was a stay at home mom and knew more about our kids that he ever cared to. I was wrong. The court gave him custody and everything else. He had me arrested numerous times and in front of our kids. I lost my mind. I did not want live with out my children. Coming from a family that was never really there for me, my kids fulfilled a void that was inside of me. My kids were the love that I always wanted and needed. It took me a long time to be able to handle life without them in it. And to this day I still fight and search for help. I am thankful that my children have a piece of me in them because if they didn’t, then they would believe everything their daddy said and hate me. It is hard to carry on living my life without them here with me. I feel guilty for being happy because I feel that I should not be happy without them. Even though the judge acknowledges that he sees that my ex-husband is alienating me, he still allows my ex to move to Montana with the kids. I live in Louisiana. I only get to see them twice a year. I have to pay for the trips, on top of paying child support. I have no confidence in the court system for justice. But for my children, I will never give up. They deserve a mom that will never let them go.

    • Tracy Anderson
      October 10, 2014 at 1:19 PM

      My heart hurts for you.

  18. a2zgirl
    October 4, 2014 at 7:04 PM

    Wow. I only just found this. And I thought it was me. All these years. Oh, and I’ll never say that I did nothing wrong. In the beginning I was upset and angry, he cheated on me, the divorce was nasty and he was a selfish narcissistic guy who would never say ‘sorry’ or admit he was wrong… but the length he went to make me believe it was all MY fault: I was basically a bad mother from the day I (yes, not the kids) was born. Initially I had custody (more out of convenience, he had a busy career) and had to endure constant criticism. As soon as I got married, he started fighting for custody with everything he got, DYFS investigations (which proved unfounded), expensive attorney, you name it. He was not going to let me have a new family with HIS kids. A lot of nastiness that I can’t post here, including manipulation (dare I say indoctrination) of my kids, ‘spying’ on me and my husband, quizzing the kids… and a judge who was remarkably partial got him what he wanted. I now pay child support and expenses. I’ve had to work really hard at keeping a relationship with my kids who believe all this is my doing and are sick and tired of all the hassle. He truly believes that he has ‘helped’ me in this, when it’s been one hand giveth and the other taketh away. I don’t trust him when he’s ‘nice’ because if I let my guard down, he will turn it against me. I still talk to my kids and see them on ‘my’ weekends when they’re not too busy with their own stuff. It’s a very slow process, and both our confidence in each other has been shaken, and I don’t think our relationship will ever be the same – at the same time, I have to believe that the kids (now teenagers) don’t totally believe everything he says anymore or they would not be talking to me at all. They’ve even confided in me with some criticism about him, which I have kept to myself (unlike he did – if they criticized me, he made sure I knew what a terrible mother I was – forget confidentiality). Some of the above posts are so much worse than mine – I am sorry for all of you. You’ve got to be a pretty tough and strong person to get through this – I’ve had counseling, medication, shoulders to cry on, contemplated suicide, but the thought of my kids always pulled me through, even though they were sometimes so cold to me. And yes, I didn’t want to give up – they deserved me.

    • dea
      October 10, 2014 at 3:35 AM

      Many of the people on here are complaining about tiffs and fights with exs, grow up the hes said she said stuff stops at your mouth, just don’t engage…many of us others are being kept from our kids with no contact we don’t know where they live, what their phone numbers are and there are many people helping them keep it that way:: by way of recruitment, the isolation from the other parent the alienation of no gains, haven’t seen or heard from, havnt heard from the exs even other than what comes third party they just keep running. You all don’t seem to get it: It’s not a WAR: KIDS are NOT property. Stop Bitching! at least they have the courtesy to fight with you, fighting (you may not agree is still something) … A ISSUE of CONTEMPT is just a piece of paper, with no-one to enforce it, doesn’t matter what the judge says if two parties aren’t following the rules…there’s no one to enforce anything in these courts, its garbage a money wasting emotional joke. the afflicting party is believing their above the law in some way while the affected party is just that, burned and affected. just keep it up people keep going about it by yourselvs and not grouping together, when you should be lodging mass movement against the very court system that is ineffective as a group…its called a class action lawsuit! ..out very constitution guarantees right of assembly, and if not exercised will perish.. no one listens to a single person, but a group with similar problems standing together. BELIEVE it

  19. Tracy Anderson
    October 10, 2014 at 1:17 PM

    I stumbled upon this website via Facebook. I only wish I had found this website 5 years ago. I have not had a relationship with my daughter in 5 years and this is now defined to me as PA. Her Dad and Stepmom are major players in that reason. Since my daughter turned 14 (she is now 18 1/2) I have seen her maybe 3 times, talked t her probably 4 times. I had to watch my daughter graduate from high school online via webfeed because I was not invited. My other 2 children and my Sister and her kids are victims of my daughter’s alienation as well, It is heartbreaking and it has created emptiness in my heart that I have to watch my beautiful daughter grow into a young lady via pictures I find on her Instagram page which I admit, have had resorted to stalking just so I can see her beautiful smile. I had to come to the reality last year that it was time to “let go”. I no longer have any of her pictures in my home nor do I acknowledge her as my daughter an longer. I am now a parent of 2 children rather than 3. I struggled with having to come to this realization but understanding the difference between “giving up” and “letting go” are clearly defined in heart and mind. I am at peace with my decision to “let go” of her. I have even moved to the other side of town so that I don’t have to always be looking for her when I am at the mall, out to eat or any other time that I am outside of my house. I have moved on and accepted this but there are still times that I sit and daydream about her and when she was little and long to hear her voice or her laugh. My friends and family will never know what this feels like and I will no longer discuss this with them because to me, this really is the equivalent of losing a child (death). I know a part of me died the day she saw me come into her school to pick her up when she saw me, turned and ran the other direction. My heart ached for any parent that has to experience this kind of loss of a relationship with their child. It isn’t fair. Prayers, thoughts and peace be with the parent dealing with PA.

    • Trish
      October 19, 2014 at 11:25 PM

      Peace to you my sister. Letting go and moving on is hard but necessary. It gets a little easier without the reminders around but you will have thoughts that do come and go. I always hoped I coul reconcile with her but being apart from you is normal for her but hard for you. My prayers and wishes for peace are with you.

    • AH
      November 19, 2014 at 4:52 PM

      After a lot of thinking, soul searching, and a lot of pain later, feel it is the best for me to let go of my son. So many people will look at me as a bad mom or judge me for this hard decision that I have made. I decided not to fight because he will be 13 next year and by that time I go to court, he can choose who he wants to be with and it will be just a waste of time/money/unnecessary use of the court system anyway. I have so many emotions that I am dealing with that no one understands. I have been told that this is all going on because of my choices in life (which are all true). That does not give my ex the right to alienate/brainwash my son and daughter against me. This is the worst pain I have ever gone thru,,its as close to loosing a child to death as I have ever experienced. My heart goes out to others that are going thru the same hurt, loss, and pain of loosing your child. Each parent that experiences this, you know your situation better than anyone else, so you are the only one who can decide what to do here. What I may decide may be different from others. I do fear of my decision, the results that come with it, but its the best for me and to keep my sanity. Praying for strength and guidance thru this process for all involved.

      • Trish
        November 20, 2014 at 12:57 PM

        My son was 10 when I had no choice to let go. Every time it was my visitation time with him he was never dropped off by his father. His father told him I didn’t love him anymore and since I had remarried I had found another family I loved better. I eventually reconnected with him last year when he was 18 and he understood what had happened but the damage had been done. There was nothing more legally I could do in the courts since they were busy dealing with mothers who had abandoned their children which I didnt. He was just kept from me and there was no legal recourse in the fl courts. It’s not ideal in terms of our relationship now but it’s better than nothing. I would say keep in touch as best you can and hope later you can reconnect. My daughter won’t speak to me at all but I take what I can get at this point from my son. Hang in there

      • Tammy
        November 23, 2014 at 7:47 AM

        I’m praying for you AH and everyone involved with any sort of PA situation. As of now my son is 15 years old and it has been since he was 10 that the PA started….. gosh i’m just in too much pain to put my story into words right now but finding this sight has been a blessing. I look forward to reading and sharing more.

  20. Michele Rousseau
    February 3, 2015 at 5:00 PM

    It has been nearly 12 years since the PA began and with each passing day things are getting worse. I have no resources to change the circumstances and my children are suffering due to this. I feel so helpless and I have no one to help all of us out of this mess.

  21. Stefan
    March 7, 2015 at 4:52 AM

    What is the best way to walk away from family court
    . Im done jumping through the hoops. tried of paying the legal fees, tired of going to court every second month. tired of the false abuse claims, tired of driving 800km round trip for 3 hrs supervised visits. because that was the only way to see the kids and only on kids shows up to the court ordered visits, and mostly I cant afford to keep paying $5000 amonth in legal fees.
    on top of everything.

    How do I go to court and say you win I give up. but still leave the door open so if your kids want to call you they can when there 40yrs old.

    • dea
      March 18, 2015 at 9:15 PM

      become closer with your church, o whatever group you can be involved in and throw your energies there, it helps…I’m sorry, God bless and keep you on your journey…

  22. Tyrell
    September 12, 2017 at 4:50 PM

    What to do in this sad.unpeacefull.emotional financial mental .husband controls our emotions decisions peace happiness. My right to be their mother in anyway .as well as our kids right to love want need to have relationship w mother. If they do show any of this towards me. They know that i have no money . no way to provide for them . no way to stop neglect they get for this behavior . can go to extreme .financial neglect .suffer not say a word. Complain defend there selves . portray they are just fine .w their right to be provided w what require deserve right by law

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