Wednesday, May 9, 2012

To my anonymous reader:

It is clear to me that my posts on the Marine fb page have done exactly what I wanted them to do. Which is, draw the attention of others onto my blog, and learn more about who I am and Parental Alienation.

The "constant" posts paid off.

I do want people to post comments at anytime, good or bad on my blog or send me emails. I welcome that!

I too, can come off very harsh or hurtful when I text or send an email and don't mean for it to come off that way. Communicating this way can sometimes be difficult since we can't see the facial expressions,or know the tone of the person behind the message.

 I do however, share my opinion and I am very bold at doing so, whether behind the text or to someones face. I do know when not to say something as well. So basically, I pick my battles. But, I will always defend myself and my story and own up to a mistake if I make one.

I believe that you were not attacking me at all with your message. And you certainly didn't make me mad. You are right, my ex does know the truth, but he fails to acknowledge the truth. He fails to share the truth and honor his children with the truth. But like I said, the truth will prevail and the little web of lies they have spun about me with unravel. They live in a protective shell. That has always been the way they have lived ever since I've known that family. It's a very secluded and private "cult like" atmosphere. If you are not one of them, then you don't belong. That is the way most alienating families live. They will even seclude themselves from relatives in order to keep the secret life they live away from them.

It seems to me that you have a very kind heart and share a deep sadness for families that are struggling with Parental Alienation. Your interest in my story says a lot about you. I appreciate your interest and hope that through all of this, we might become blog/facebook friends. We do share a common interest, both of our sons are in the Marines after all. We both love them, and miss them. The only difference is, you can talk to and write your son, and I can't. Not right now anyway!

My son, is in California right now and will graduate from MCT on May 22. Then he will head off to his permanent duty station. I know the location and the MOS, but I am not going to reveal that information.
It's funny what a desperate parent will find out about their children! I was asked that question a few weeks ago, "how do I find out so much information?" Well, an alienated parent becomes a better investigator then the FBI! I have some amazing friends and family too, that always lend a helping hand.

Please continue to follow my blog and unless you feel more comfortable remaining anonymous, I will understand....but don't feel like you have to hide yourself either. I am not mad at you for sharing your opinion. If I didn't want other people's opinion, I wouldn't have invited the world to read my blog. This story isn't over ..... I have so much more to tell and share. So much is happening right now that I can't share ...... but when it does finally happen my readers, friends and family will know.

You can also "like" my 4 ever their mom fb page.
send me a private message via FB ...... I would like to get to know you and I would really like for you to know who I am as well!

By the way, what platoon was your son in? Mine was 1043

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Whenever I receive a comment on my blog, it is usually from someone who is an alienated parent, thanking me for sharing my story and struggles and exposing the truth head on.

This morning, I woke up to this comment:

This was a comment left by an anonymous reader regarding my post on April 20th.

"The Facebook page you are referring to is for Marine family and friends of that Co. The only person who can remove you is the Admin. it had nothing to do with the person you are implying. It did have everything to do with you & your friends constant post about being alienated from your kids. I didn't join the group to read your constant post. I did feel sorry 4 u @ first but every time I logged on your post was at the very top. All I can say is that there are 2 sides to every story."

First of all, I would like to apologize for the amount of posts that I added on the Marine page. Although I didn't feel that they were as constant as this person makes them out to be. Nonetheless, I am sure they were annoying. However, the reason for them being at the top, could very well mean that someone else commented on the post, and commenting, brings all posts back to the top of the forum. I understand that no one joined that group to see another parents posts about being alienated. I get that, and I am sorry!
That wasn't the right place to do that, especially after everyone was returning home from graduation with their Marines. But I was hurt, sad and disappointed again that all my efforts to reach my son once again were blocked. Do you not get that he is 19 years old? If he is capable at making the decision to join the Marines, he's capable to decide if he wants to talk to me or not without being afraid too?

Yes, I said "afraid" too! In order for one to understand the fear that an alienated child or young adult has, you have to educated yourself on Parental Alienation and the affects it has on a person. The alienated child or young adult has been taught how to fear the other parent. They have also been taught, by the alienating parent to fear them.  If they decide to talk to the target parent, they will be made to feel as if they are letting that parent down. They will makes threats, like taking away the car, or phone and sometimes worse, making them feel guilty for younger siblings who can't speak to the target parent. They will tell the child that if you talk to your mom or dad, then you will just be making it harder on your brothers/sisters if you do. So guilt keeps them from reconnecting with that target parent. This is were I am at now with my oldest son. As long as the alienating parents can keep the guilt motor running, then they will always have control over the young adult who has already moved out! Not only that, but the now adult son will use "this was my idea" "I am not being told what to say", "this is my decision to make." These are very typical signs of Parental Alienation at it's best!

Secondly, from the first time I made myself public on that page way back in January, I didn't say a word. I was as quiet as a mouse.  As a matter of fact, I actually left the group at one time because it was hard for me not to post anything, especially since I didn't have anything in common to share with the group. It wasn't until the day the platoon videos came out did I ask to rejoin the group. I also left the group because I was targeted as a "dangerous parent" with "legal issues" and an Order of Protection against me. Which all are lies! I am not a dangerous parent. The only legal issue is the OP, which is based on lies and only exists to keep everyone believing their story that I am a danger or threat to them. Which is a lie!

I am very well aware who can remove me from that FB page, I have a private group page that I admin and add and remove people all the time. Only the admin can do that! I now that another party cannot click that button and remove another person. HOWEVER, it only takes one email to the admin from another party asking for an individual to be removed. I believe that is what happened in this case. Her little house of lies was being exposed and she didn't want anyone to know the truth. But that is all fine as well. Eventually, there will be no way out.

As for your statement "there are 2 sides to every story"! You are right, there is! However, who is the one who is sharing the story with the world? Who has not been afraid to share details of her life over the past 20 years? Who doesn't hide behind blocked settings so no one can see? Who has not been afraid to post court documents backing up my story, or emails, letters and those returned cards I sent my kids?" Me! I wanted my story to be told and tell it I will!!  I am not alone! There are thousands of mothers and fathers who have been alienated from their children who fight every day for the same thing I am fighting for. I am fighting for those people. Bringing awareness to Parental Alienation. I welcome them to share their side of the story! As a matter of fact, I encourage them too!

If their side of the story is so captivating, then why don't they share it? We would all love to hear what they have to say! But they won't,  the same reason why NO parent who is alienating a child from their mother or father will come forward, they know what they are doing is wrong!! They know that if the lies and stories they have told so many over the years comes out in the open, then they will be the outcast. So in order for that not to happen, they have to hide behind privacy settings, only letting those few followers and believers in to their world. That is also why they have to keep the children at an arms length, they definitely don't want the kids to find out, then it would be all over for them.

But what a lot of  people don't know about me, is that I won't back down. I am not going to stop until justice and the truth prevail. I will not stop this until the laws are passed in this country that Parental Alienation be recognized as Child Abuse and parents and step-parents and third party alienators be brought to justice and punished for this crime. This is the ultimate hate crime against a child and their loving parent.

I am not a mother who abandoned her kids to make my life better. I didn't give them up to stop paying child support so I could travel the world. I didn't give them up because I didn't love them or want them. Parental Alienation over the course of 8 years, and the failure of the judicial system forced me to relinquish my rights to my kids. That's what the alienating parents do.....they make your life difficult and hope that one day you give up! But forcing me to sign my rights away didn't mean that I signed my love away with it, or my desire to want to be with my kids. It just made me fight harder. Maybe this is what Gods plan is for me....maybe I will be the one to help make change and help bring awareness to those who know nothing about PA, the affects it has, the damage it does to families and the struggles we alienated parents face daily.

As for your attempt to say your sorry and you "didn't mean to hurt my feelings," apology not needed, Don't feel sorry for me! Feel sorry for my children who are living in an abusive, mind altering home. Feel sorry for them because their rights have been violated, their freedom of speech and right to choose has been violated. Feel sorry for all the children and parents who are alienated from each other. I don't want anyone to feel sorry for me, I just want people to know the truth!
shared my recent court hearing on their news page. Take a look at it.
Then check out all you can about Parental Alienation.
I certainly hope you are not enableing these parents or these behaviors on any child.

I'd really like for you to explain to me your statement  "why things are going the way they are."
I am curious to know why you think things are going the way they are?! What would you do differently, and why?

Thursday, May 3, 2012

On January 20, 2011, Judge Edward C. Schreiber entered a 64 year Order of Protection against Angela Kadow.  There were two glaring problems: (1) The duration is “not to exceed two years” and; (2) One of the persons to be protected was not a minor, nor an adult household member.

There are exceptions to the two year duration; but these exceptions are tied to other proceedings, none of which apply.  Additionally, the two year limitation and the exceptions are indicated on the court form; and one is required to be checked.  None were checked - most likely because the Order signed was beyond the statutory authority of the judge.

As to the minor/adult issue, one can protect other adults who are household members – notably, those that for some physical or mental reason cannot file the petition.  In this case, the adult that should not have been on the Order of Protection was a very capable adult – a U.S. Marine.  The Marine was listed as a minor on the Order of Protection, and his birth date was not listed despite the form requiring a birth date for minors – most likely because the petitioner knew that the Marine was 19 at the time of the Order of Protection.

On April 26, 2012, there was a hearing to void the Order of Protection, or amend it to remove the Marine.  Judge Robert L. Janes denied voiding or amending the Order of Protection despite the two glaring problems.  He noted that there were exceptions, and then refused to identify the exceptions despite repeated requests as to what exceptions he was relying on – most likely because he knew that none of the exceptions applied.  He also refused to address what appeared to be knowingly misrepresentations and missing information on the form by the petitioner.  And as a last resort he hid behind the Soldier and Sailor Act – which does not apply in this case.  But even if it did apply, the Marine was available to testify at the time of filing of the original petition; but he was not present.

How can this happen?  Because the culture of the court is to accept all allegations without any thought or analysis, or perhaps another reason – Prairie State Legal Services.  Prairie State Legal Services involved themselves in the case.  The relationship between the court and Prairie State is so close that Prairie State has the actual keys to the courtroom where they enter the courtroom and lock it behind themselves prior to any of the public entering the courtroom.  If Prairie State is involved in a case, the parties are required to check in with Prairie State, not the Court.

This is an example of two judges not doing their jobs (or how warped the culture of the domestic division has become) and how easy it is to misuse the courts.

Monday, April 23, 2012

I am not using Parental Alienation as a means to make myself feel better about relinquishing my rights. Parental Alienation over the coarse of 8 years led up to the decision to relinquish my rights.”

This is very important for all to understand. In some cases, such as mine, the slow process over a period of time can become daunting. It can make you physically sick, and mentally worn down.

The agonizing task of emailing them to ask if I could pick up the kids a little early so we can attend a family event, and being told no over and over again, gets to you. Especially when there is no reason for being told no. They never strayed off that court ordered time of visitation that I was given, even though it says “not limited too.” However, I did remind them of those little and meaningless 3 words to them over and over...and yet it didn’t even phase them. The LESS time I was spending with my kids the better his plan was working. But why? Why wouldn’t you just agree to let me see the boys for an extra hour? Why didn’t you allow for me to pick them up a little bit early so we could go have dinner with some of my relatives that were in from out of town?

The beginning of our divorce was hard. I was left out in the cold, with no place to actually go.

When I was made to leave the house back in May of 2000, I stayed with my aunt and few nights, then a family friend. In June of that year I was moved in with Brian.

I will admit, I had a difficult time dealing with all the aspects of a seperation and divorce. I was scattered brained. To many people telling me what do to and what not to do. But who are they to tell me what I should be doing or not doing? I was feeling so lost and confused. I was being thrown in so many different directions. The only person who held me together was Brain. He was the constant in my life. The pilar of strength I needed in my life at that time. He was the one I relied on.

After I setteled in his home, and made myself comfortable, we know had to figure out a way to get the kids from Dundee to Kankakee. I still had my car at the time, and I still had that first order of visitation. So for a little while, I would drive to Dundee on Saturdays and spend time with the boys. The order hadn’t been changed yet to reflect a full weekend, so I just spent Saturdays with them.

Then I would drive back to Kankakee.

But when my car was repoed I was unable to make the trip to Dundee to see my boys. That wasn’t easy. But it was all part of the alienation process. Up until that time, the ex was paying for my car. But for some reason he decided to stop paying for it. And then left me with no transportation.

Not being able to see my kids for a few weeks, was also part of the plan. He was going to use that in court later on to show that I didn’t even show up for visitation with the boys. I would forever be judged as the parent who just didn’t care. Which isn’t true. I always cared and loved my kids, he just made it impossible for me.

He was establishing the primary care giver roll, while he portrayed me as the mother who left her kids to be with another man. Again, that is wrong. Brian was the last resort for me. I stayed with 2 other people before I moved in with him. And, I only lived with him from June of 2000 until August of 2000. I moved back to Carpentersville that August...but stayed with my aunt and uncle until I was able to move into my apartment and find a job.

It wasn’t easy trying to grasp all the stuff that was going on. The attorney I had immediatly started the child support order, which I wasn’t working at the that started to add up. Then when I did get a job, it wasn’t set up to take the money out of my check to pay that child support....and I had no idea how do to any of this stuff. It was all a foreign to me. I was just trying to process this entire mess. It was to much to handle.

So after I moved back to C’ville, my attorney set up a new visitation schedule. Wed nights from 6-9 and weekends.

But there were so many things the ex pulled with me even during that time that should have set off red flags to me.

For example:

November of 2000, I was to have the kids with me for Thanksgiving that year. My family came in from Tennessee to spend time with me and bring a car to drive until I was able to get one on my own.

I had the kids for Wed night, like on the order, but when I asked if I could just keep the kids for the night, since they were coming back the next day for Thanksgiving, he said no! So instead of allowing my kids to stay the night with me, and spend time with my family, he thinks it’s better for them if he just brings them back by 8 am the next day! I was not happy about that, but he was in control now, and I wasn’t. So his answer was no.

It was also in the order that I was to have the kids for the entire weekend of Thanksgiving. But he didn’t seem to comprehend that the entire weekend meant, sleep over too. So on Thanksgiving night, he came and picked up the kids and brought them back to me on Friday night at 6pm to start our weekend visitation. Are you kidding me? But, this was all part of him making my life difficult. This was him on a power trip and not using common sense. This was only the beginning of the struggles I had with him.


Isolation makes children more vulnerable to divorce posion. It is an alienating behavior.

1. Isolation breeds dependence

2. it prevents exposure to competing views of reality.

Isolation removes the child from the influence of people who would counteract the effects of bad-mouthing and bashing.

One common means of achieving isolation is to keep the target parent from seeing or spending time with the children. Another example of this, which happend to me on several occassions, was when I would arrive at his house to pick them up for our scheduled visitation, no one is home.

Another common trait of an alienating behavior is screening phone calls. Just letting the machine pick up the calls. Of course, these calls are never returned. This also happend to me on several occassions. Eventually I just gave up calling. Which is what made the ex very effective in promoting alienation.

So these were not all of a sudden over night experiences that I had with PA. It was over a period of 8 years....which then led to the forced relinquishment.

Now when I say forced, I literatly mean I was forced into making the decision to do it. His attorney and mine, actually gave me a deadline, or else type of ultimatum. Like I said befor though, both attorney’s will deny that accusation, and rightly so, they can’t admit to actually forcing a loving parent into doing something they didn’t want to do. That would make them monsters.


Isolation achieves physical seperation, but brainwashing also requires breaking symbolic and emotional connections. Cult scholars call this “stripping.”

They do so by purging their home of any reminders of the other parent. They remove all photographs of the absent parent. They avoid mentioning the other parents name and they discourage the kids of speaking positively about the other parent.

They learn to associate even there persoanl belongings with “dads home” and “moms home.”

The children learn that anything associated with “mom’s house” in my case, was unwelcome in the “dad’s”home.

A perfect example of this happend to me. Dalton had wore socks and underwear from my house home to his dad’s. That Monday morning I reveived an email from “her” requesting that I please mail the socks and underwear that he had on when he was picked up for my visitation.

I responed to her email and told her I was not going to mail them back to them. That they will be returned at the next scheduled visitation. Not another word was mentioned about those socks and underwear.

It was these petty little things that just made my skin crawl. Are we seriously going to get as petty as socks and underwear? I tapped the boys frantically searching for the clothes they wore to my house, before it was time to take them back home. They said we have to find them or we will get in trouble. They don’t want us to bring home “your” stuff. My heart sank for my boys. I tried to tell them that there is no need for daddy to get mad, they’re just clothes. But, they insisted on making sure they had those clothes to take back home. So sad!

The name game

The alienator will go as far as changing the child’s names or middle names so the child can’t identify with the other parent. This changes the way the child relate to the target parent.

Parents who engage in this practice are usually oblivious to the impact this had on the children.

It expresses a depreciation of the child’s tie to the other parent.

She resented that middle names I chose for my kids, when they were born. Especially my son Austin, who’s middle name was Jeffery after my dad....and chaned to William.

The children overhear the alienators call the target parent by his or her first name. They repeat it so often that the children begin to refer to the target parent by their first name. Same with derogatory terms. This teaches the children to be disrespectful of the target parent and her family.


When efforts to eliminate contact between the target and the child are unsuccessful, one option remains. The parent tries to sabotage the child’s enjoyment of the contact.

This happend to us on sever occasions. The boys would avoid having “to much fun” while at our house because they were told not to have to much fun or it would make “us” sad. Although, my kids always seemed to have fun and looked forward to our visits. They always seemed to be more excited to go back to dad’s because of he manipulated the boys with promises of rewards for returning home.

One time during our 2 week summer visitaion, SHE sent the kids letters and a birthday card to Brandon. One year, her whole family sent him birthday cards. Even though there wasn’t suppose to be any interuptions during my time. This was a distraction and intended for that purpose. They didn’t need to send the cards directly to my home. They could just send the cards to the dad’s house.

A common strategy for undercutting children’s pleasure with a parent is to refuse to let the children take important possessions with them when they spend time with the other parent.

If the boys did ever express the fun they had with me, he would top it with something bigger or better.

Cloak and dagger

Some parents enlist their children as accomplices in operations against the target parent. They instruct the children to keep secrets, to spy and to report back to the other parent.

I found a note one time written by my son from when I got onto my other son for being direspectful.

He was clearly taking notes of visits.

The parents will also coach the kids to lie in court under oath.

This happend to me as well. Their dad wanted them to an on camera interview about visits at my home. But the judge told him that was not going to happen. That there was no indication that these kids were in a position to have to do that. Nothing warranted this type of interview.

resources came from Divorce Poison by Dr. Richard Warshak

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Parental Alienation and relinquishment of rights

Recently, I was asked the question "what does Parental Alienation have to do with you relinquishing your rights?"

My answer:

Relinquishing my rights was just the straw that broke the camels back. It was 8 years of dealing with a very uncooperative x. It was the constant struggle I had communicating with him. It was the obvious ignored phone calls, the letters that were never received by my children, or the letters that were always sent back to me "address unknown."

It was the interference with visitation that I dealt with. The missed visits because the ex hid them from me. Or, how about when I would ask for a little extra time with the kids an hour or two, and he would always say no. Or when I needed to switch weekends, he would always say no. But if he wanted one of my weekends he would have the kids ask me so that I would feel guilty if I said no. He had the kids involved in activities that interfered with my weekend visitation time, forfieting my friday evenings with the kids so they woudn't miss soccer games the next day. I was never provided with school information or medical emergencies.

This constant struggle of power and control with him was non stop, agonizing and relentless. Once his new wife was in the picture, the communication with him totally stopped and she became the main communicator between he and I.

We never had a year that we were not in court. I would ask for more time with the kids, and he would say it wasn't in their best interest. When we would go back to court, I was always left paying $1000.00 dollars of his attorneys fees for some stupid reason or another. On top of them rasing my child support.

But what really sent me closer to the edge of the cliff, was when my husband and I moved to Alabama. I filed a motion to request a change in the visiation schedule. I needed it modified to allow the kids to be with me in the summer since I was moving out of state. Of course, the ex wasn't having it. Claiming it wasn't in the best interest of the boys. The judge agreed, he said he didn't feel that it would be in the best interest of the boys if they were away from their dad for that long period of time. It was just 6 weeks of summer, seriously?!

....let me go back a few years here:

In 2004, Brian and I hired a lawyer. When we went back to court that year, some things did change. Although the ex wasn't happy about it, I was awarded an extra week of visitaion with my children, and was allowed to pick them up from school on Fridays. Victory for me. I wasn't going to complain. She also was able to reduce my child support, just a little. Again, the ex wasn't happy. He stormed out of that court room rambbling something in swedish.

During that same court hearing, his attorney was happy with the modification of child support either, and made it well known that he was going to file a motion to have it reenstated to what it should be. The judge said "you can file all the motions you would like too, this women is already paying what I felt was enough, and I won't change it."

Well, his attorney did exactly what he said he would do, and the judge, the same judge, did exactly what he said he wouldn't do. So, he raised my child support. But one little thing his attorney forgot to do, was add in arrearage that I was paying proir to this huge child support issue. From 2000 until 2004, I was not only paying child support, but I was made to pay back arrearage from 2000-2002. So an extra $50 dollars was added onto the amount that I was paying according to the calculations of the "phinplan" that attorney's use to calculate child support.

So conviently, he "forgot" to add that $50 back in with this new child support order. I had no clue until 3 years later.

I hope I am not loosing anyone so far.

Ok, fast forward to 2007.

I made a phone call to child support to report that I quit my job. But I was going to make every effort to make sure that I paid something, so that I would't be in trouble. Why do they tell you to call child support if you loose or quit your job? They don't do anything but say ok.

Anyway, when I called child support that day, the recording said that I owed over $14, 000 in child support! How could that be when it was being taken out of my check bi-weekly? Something just didn't add up? I was dumfounded, speechless, scared and shocked. How could this be?

Well, in 2000 when I was ordered to pay $100 week, when I wasn't even working at the time, that was adding up. It added up for 2 years. Then in 2002 when the divorce was finalized, and a new child support order was made, they added that $50 in with that new child support order. But only $50 dollars each check. So $100 a month was for arrearage. That $100 a month didn't even begin to touch the surface of that arrearage.

Then in 2004, when that other child support order was made, he somehow over looked that extra $100 a month and didn't add it in with this new support order. So from what wasn't getting paid, from the first arrearage, and the overlooked $100 from started to add up. Not to mention the interest. Yes, I said interest!

In 2008, I hired yet another attorney to help me get this mess cleaned up. She was going to try and get my summer visiation with my children since by this time, I had already moved to Alabama.

On June 20, 2008 we went to court regarding child support and visitation. His attorney had filed contempt charges on me for not paying child support, and for the arrearage that HE failed to add on to that support order in 2004.

In court that day, the judge denied my request for summer visiation with my kids. He didn't feel it was in their best interest to be away from their dad for that long. OK, I covered that!

Here is where it gets all sticky.....

In January of 2008, I filed a motion to modify child support. I sent the ex and his attorney a copy of the motion like I was suppose to do. I showed up at court that day, and they didn't. But the judge lowered my child support to what I could afford at that time, since I wasn't working and we were about to move to Alabama. The judge ordered me to pay like $150 a week or something like that, anyway, at least he signed off on it and I felt better. But he did say that my ex won't like this and will probably file another motion to change it. And, he did!

I hired this new attorney in April of 2008. I got a part time job and started in May of 2008...making $9.00 hr. (which I had to provide my stub to my attorney)

When I lost my job in November of 2007, and called to report that I lost it....the order for child support didn't stop, it just kept building and building....week after week. Although, I was paying what I could weeky with Brian's check....I sent the ex $150 a week. I know it wasn't the $800 he was use to receiving, but I made the effort and paid that.

When I got my job in Alabama, still made sure to make that payment. I wrote a check out directly to him and mailed it.

His attorney filed a few motions, one for contempt of not paying, filing a motion without knowing how, failure to provide them with the motion I filed...and of course, a motion to raise child support.

That's when I hired the new attorney in April of 2008. This was getting way out of control and I felt like I was being railroaded again.

On June 20, 2008 the judge ordered me to pay $1200 dollars a month, mind you on my $9.00 part time salary.....$1000 just in child support and the other $200 to start October 1, 2008 which equals $1200 a month. I also had to pay for $1000 dollars of his attorneys fees for filing the contempt charges. Although those charges were dropped since I made the effort to pay child support, even though it wasn't the full amount....

I left that court room that day in tears. I was confused and sick. How does a judge order someone to pay $1200 a month in child support when he sees that I am making $9.00 hr part time?

This is when the options of relinquishing my rights came into the picture.

This wasn't the first time I had actually though about it. A few years earlier, I had made the comment in an email to HER. I said "it would be a lot easier if I just relinquished my rights and waited until my kids turned 18." This was probably after being told I can't see the boys for an extra hour......I got so fed up with dealing with her, and constantly being told no when I wanted to spend time with my kids. I wanted to scream!

Her relpy back was "adoption can be arranged!" I was livid!

After the judge made is final decision, I looked at my attorney, who did nothing by the way to help me, and said "I am being forced to give up my right's, this is what it's boiling down too!"

Since I was in Illinois that day, and it was time for my summer visitation, I had requested that I pick up the kids that evening. I was denied that, again. I was awarded my rental time to begin at 6pm the next evening because "they" had plans. How? When I specifically requested that I pick them up that Friday night so I can get back on the road Saturday morning.

The judge did allow for me to rent them for that evening from 6pm until 8 or 9 pm.

So I picked them up and took them back to our hotel. It had a pool so the kids swam and then we went to McDonalds for some ice cream. Little did I know that was going to be the last time I would spend with my oldest son, Cody.

When we got back to the hotel, the kids were excited to see me. They asked when were we leaving for Alabama? I told them not until Sunday morning because dad said he had plans for you guys tomorrow. They all looked puzzled, like they didn't know anything about these "plans!" So while the kids were swimming, I called my attorney and let her know about my recent discovery. Not like she could do anything about it....and not like she would later on either. Another way to keep me from being with the boys any longer then he wanted me too.

The next day I was there at 6pm to pick them up. Cody wasn't able to come during this visit because he had football camp. I totally understood and didn't want him to miss it.

So from June 21, 2008 until July 5th, 2008 I was with my boys. During this time, all I could think about was how am I going to pay $1200 a month in child support. I couldn't!

But how could I just sign my rights away to my kids either? What was going on? Was this some type of sick joke? I didn't know what to do. I didn't want to think about it...I just wanted to enjoy my boys while I had them.

July 5th, 2008 I dropped off my boys for the last time. It would be the last time I would talk to them, hug them, see them, smell them....hear their voices or tell them I loved them.

The pressure was on to make a decision. Although my attorney will say she didn't pressure me, she did. I was being forced to make this life changing decision or pay up.

So, I sat down and did the math again. If I could use my entire paycheck to pay the $1200, that would leave me broke. I would still be, behind in child support so that would cause them to file another contempt charge and possibly to go jail this time. Which to me, is so unfair when I was trying to do the best I could with what income I had.

My options were looking grim. So, once again I receive a letter from my attorney, stating that if I decided to relinquish my rights, that $14,000 dollars in arrearage goes away, I won't owe that anymore.

So here it is again....either I pay what I can on $9.00 hr and not meet what I am ordered to pay, get in trouble for NOT paying it in full....and then what I can't pay starts to add up even more....or relinquish my rights and it all goes away.

This is what they wanted.....they wanted to put me in this position from day one. This is right where he wanted me to be. Stuck with no place to go....and left with one option. He finally pushed me over the edge....he had finally won after all those years.

It started when he would't budge from the court order allowing me extra time with the kids. The failed attempts to at making phone calls to them through the week. The letters that were sent back....all very easy to tell the boys that I never tried to call, that I never sent letters....that I never ask for extra time....all so easy for him to just put me in this position now....finally the straw that broke my back.

On August 13, 2008......the life I had with my kids ended.

I didn't know that Parental Alienation exsisted until AFTER I was forced to relinquish my rights. Would it have made a difference? At that time, probably not. But I do think that with all the noise other mothers and fathers are making now about it, and bringing awareness...I think I might have had a chance....and I don't think that It would have ever led to me relinquishing my rights.

So I hope this helps you have a better understanding as to your question.

As you can see, I didn't want to do it. It was something that I was forced to do. My hands were tied and it was all part of the plan to remove me from the lives of my children. If it wasn't their plan all along, then why did their step mom feel the need to adopt my kids and change their names?

If it wasn't their plan all along, why are they trying so hard to keep me out of my oldest sons life now?

If it wasn't their plan all along to keep me from my children, then why did you file an Order of Protection against me for calling my son on his birthday? Does wishing my son a happy birthday really warrant an Order of Protection? It does if you don't want me to have any contant with my children.

Do an OP really need to be extended for 63 years? Only if they NEVER want me to contact my children for the rest of their lives.

So if it wasn't ever really your plan all along, and you believe you did't force me into this, then what is it?

So does a parent who is being forced to relinquish their rights means that it is Parental Alienation? YES IT DOES!!!

Symptoms of Parental Alienation

Copyright 1997 by Douglas Darnall, Ph.D.

To prevent the devastating effects of Parental Alienation, you must begin by recognizing the symptoms of PA. You will notice that many of the symptoms or behaviors focus on the parent. When the child exhibits hatred and vilifies the targeted parent, then the condition becomes parental alienation syndrome. After reading the list, don't get discouraged when you notice that some of your own behaviors have been alienating. This is normal in even the best of parents. Instead, let the list help sensitize you to how you are behaving and what you are saying to your children.

1. Giving children choices when they have no choice about visits. Allowing the child to decide for themselves to visit when the court order says there is no choice sets up the child for conflict. The child will usually blame the non-residential parent for not being able to decide to choose whether or not to visit. The parent is now victimized regardless of what happens; not being able to see his children or if he sees them, the children are angry.

2. Telling the child "everything" about the marital relationship or reasons for the divorce is alienating. The parent usually argues that they are "just wanting to be honest" with their children. This practice is destructive and painful for the child. The alienating parent's motive is for the child to think less of the other parent.

3. Refusing to acknowledge that children have property and may want to transport their possessions between residences.

4. Resisting or refusing to cooperate by not allowing the other parent access to school or medical records and schedules of extracurricular activities.

5. A parent blaming the other parent for financial problems, breaking up the family, changes in lifestyle, or having a girlfriend/boyfriend, etc.

6. Refusing to be flexible with the visitation schedule in order to respond to the child's needs. The alienating parent may also schedule the children in so many activities that the other parent is never given the time to visit. Of course, when the targeted parent protests, they are described as not caring and selfish.

7. Assuming that if a parent had been physically abusive with the other parent, it follows that the parent will assault the child. This assumption is not always true.

8. Asking the child to choose one parent over another parent causes the child considerable distress. Typically, they do not want to reject a parent, but instead want to avoid the issue. The child, not the parent, should initiate any suggestion for change of residence.

9. Children will become angry with a parent. This is normal, particularly if the parent disciplines or has to say "no". If for any reason the anger is not allowed to heal, you can suspect parental alienation. Trust your own experience as a parent. Children will forgive and want to be forgiven if given a chance. Be very suspicious when the child calmly says they cannot remember any happy times with you or say anything they like about you.

10. Be suspicious when a parent or stepparent raises the question about changing the child's name or suggests an adoption.

11. When children cannot give reasons for being angry towards a parent or their reasons are very vague without any details.

12. A parent having secrets, special signals, a private rendezvous, or words with special meanings are very destructive and reinforce an on-going alienation.

13. When a parent uses a child to spy or covertly gather information for the parent's own use, the child receives a damaging message that demeans the victimized parent.

14. Parents setting up temptations that interfere with the child's visitation.

15. A parent suggesting or reacting with hurt or sadness to their child having a good time with the other parent will cause the child to withdraw and not communicate. They will frequently feel guilty or conflicted not knowing that it's "okay" to have fun with their other parent.

16. The parent asking the child about his/her other parent's personal life causes the child considerable tension and conflict. Children who are not alienated want to be loyal to both parents.

17. When parents physically or psychologically rescue the children when there is no threat to their safety. This practice reinforces in the child's mind the illusion of threat or danger, thereby reinforcing alienation.

18. Making demands on the other parent that is contrary to court orders.

19. Listening in on the children's phone conversation they are having with the other parent.

20. One way to cause your own alienation is making a habit of breaking promises to your children. In time, your ex-spouse will get tired of having to make excuses for you.

Posted: Sunday, April 22, 2012 12:00 am
For Angela Kadow, parental alienation awareness is personal.In 2000, she separated from her husband and what would ensue was eight years of court battles.“I was targeted as the ‘bad mom,’ the ‘noncustodial mom,’ which those words in itself is like wearing the scarlet letter on my chest everywhere I went,” she said. “My kids were slowly being isolated away from me. Their dad would sign them up for so many activities that it interfered with my visitation. I was forced to forfeit some of my Friday nights just so the kids wouldn’t be mad at me for making them miss a soccer game. I would call them on our off weeks and I would always get the machine. I would never get a call back. I would send my kids cards and letters, some returned saying wrong address. In 2008, I gave into parental alienation. I felt like the judicial system let me and my kids down.”
Parental alienation begins when a parent or family member attempts to undermine and dismantle a relationship between a parent and child. It may seem unfamiliar to most, and that is why Kadow and Hilary Crowe spent several weeks organizing and garnering support for their Bubbles of Love Parental Alienation Awareness Day event beginning at noon April 25 at the Toddler Park outside City Hall in Loganville.
Like Kadow, Crowe has her own personal story to share.
“My husband has been alienated from his own daughter for three years,” she said. “He sought legal counsel, but it took six months to find the right attorney that was willing to take the case head on. Then it took six months for him to get a court date. By this time, his daughter had successfully been alienated from his life and the judge hearing the case decided first to have them reconnect through a therapist to avoid any additional emotional harm to the child. Now they are seeing the third court-ordered psychiatrist. Each has come to the conclusion that this is parental alienation.”
Going through this process, Crowe said her involvement in organizing not only the event but a concerted group in the community stems from the fact the family court system knows little about parental alienation or what to do when they come across a case.
“There are other cases in Walton County and all over the world. Parental alienation is very common after divorce or custody litigation and mothers and fathers both experience it,” Crowe said. “As we have started our own awareness movement, we have had several other families in Georgia contact us with their own stories.”
The local movement is gaining momentum, as mayors from Grayson, Loganville, Snellville and Monroe have signed proclamations in support of the seventh annual Parental Alienation Awareness Day, where people around the world “will join together in blowing bubbles for 10 minutes at noon on April 25, 2012, to show their support in spreading the simple message of love for all children ...” In addition, the local effort is working with The Partnership for Families, Children and Youth to help spread the message that there is hope for families who have suffered or are suffering with parental alienation.
“We want our awareness campaign to be centered on a message of healing and repairing relationships with every party involved,” Crowe said, noting most of the groups she came across in the state were either anger-orientated or sponsored by law firms that tend to focus on revenge. “We would like to be a resource for other families in Georgia to turn to for quality referrals to licensed therapists, attorneys and other resources experienced in parental alienation. Also, we hope to get more families involved with raising awareness and hope to make a change at the legislative level.”
The first step will be the Bubbles of Love in Loganville. For more information on the group, visit www.georgia, email or call 770-500-7463.
© 2012 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Welcome to the discussion.

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Friday, April 20, 2012

So how far will one go to either keep us away from our children, or our children away from us?
How far will a person go to keep the truth under lock and key, and the lies pouring out like lava?

It amazes me the people that fall for the lies of the alienators and fall right into the same behaviours of these people. This is way these types of behaviours are "cult" like. They get followers to believe what they say is true.

Recently, I was in a group on facebook called MCRD. It was for parents who kids were in boot camp.
The one I mentioned in my post yesterday. Anyhow, I logged into my facebook today to find that I was removed and blocked from the MCRD group. No big deal really, it just made me think of all those people who have fallen in that trap of lies as well. After I posted my latest entry on my blog, I shared the link on that page. Apparently, someone didn't like it. *clearing throat
Wonder who that could be? No names were used, so no harm done. I just wanted to share my story with the group.

Well I guess the truth hurts, and so I was removed. It's a sad thing when you don't want people to know that you have alienated children from their mother or father. It's a sad thing when one person can manipulate a multitude of others into believing that you had "good reason" to keep the kids from their mom or dad. Those are lies!

Alienators act as if their main goal in life is to make their ex miserable. Often they succeed. They may be so successful that they drive the alienated parent away. Alienators are also very paranoid.
These people are exquisitely sensitive to slights. It takes very little to arouse their suspicions.
        -Dr. Warshak author of Divorce Poison

Corrupting Reality

Most common strategies for distorting the child's perception, beliefs and memories of the target parent:

*manipulates names to disrupt children's identification with the target parent.
    This is what happened to my kids after the step mom adopted them She changed their names.

*repeating lies until they are assumed to be true

*directing the children's attention to the negative aspects of the target parent and ignoring the positive

*telling lies about the target parent

*revising history to erase positive memories of the target parent

*claiming the target parent has total changed

*conspiring with others to reinforce the programming

If you would like to see more of these strategies please read Dr. Warshak's book Divorce Poison

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Not defeated.....

After I found out that Cody had enlisted in the Marines, and the initial shock wore off, I knew nothing was going to stop me from attending his graduation. I put on my inspector gadget magic fingers and I began to investigate. Day after day I would sit and look for any clues that I could to know when and where he was going to be leaving for boot camp. First, he wasn't suppose to leave until April 2012. Then, soon that date changed. He was leaving January 17, 2012.

No sooner he landed in San Diego for his 13 weeks of training, and I found out when his graduation was, I booked my flight for San Diego. I was bound and determined to make it to his graduation. Come hell or high water I was going!

So, I joined the MFN (Marine Family Network) site and followed along with all the other proud parents as they counted down the days until graduation. I watched as they all received their first phone calls. Their first letters. Then the second, and thrid. Then one of the mothers began a Facebook group. Immediatly, I joined! Hoping that someone might have information they were willing to share.

I put out there that I was an alienated mom and was hoping to find out what platoon my son, Cody was in. Instantly, mothers and fathers rallied to help me find that information. They all were going to send letters to their sons asking if they new Cody Collins. But that was short lived. She got a hold of that post and made it perfectly clear that I was not to receive any information regarding that recruit due to leagl issues.

I was instantly the outcast. I left the group. I knew that I shouldn't have, but I did. I knew that because of the target she made me out to be, I would never get anyone to talk to me.

On March 29, 2012 my attorney went to court to try and get that OP dropped. He knew that it was based on lies. He knew from the Illinois statutes, that no judge who was given the correct information would ever sign such an order. OP's are not extended for 63 years. Only in 2 year incriments and after a review. I am not a threat to my kids. I have not stalked them, harrassed them or showed up at their home, or place of buisness. Not only that, but Cody is no longer a minor, therefore the OP no longer applies to him.

He was going into the court room with all this to back up his claim on why the OP needed to be dropped. But, like always, it got continued. April 26th is the new hearing.

April 11, 2012

I landed in San Diego about 730pm. As I flew in over that beautiful city, tears started streaming down my face. I knew that the runway was on the same side as the base. I saw for the first time where Cody had been for 13 weeks. The time had finally arrived. I was a mix of emotions. Just beyond that gate was my son. The son that I had longed for so long to reconnect with. The son that I wanted to badly to hug. I was hopeful, this time I will get that chance.

The next day I had plans with my friend, Kim. She and I had been planning these few days for weeks. She and I met in 2nd grade. So we knew we had a lot of catching up to do. First stop, the San Diego Zoo. Then Misson Beach, and harbor island. We finished out that night at Hard Rock Cafe. We filled up our day with fun activites. Not only did I enjoy the day with her and her children. I fell in love with the city of San Diego.

That night, after her kids were all tucked away. We talked about the next day. The graduation. I told her what could happen. I showed her who to call if I was arressted and what to do. I hoped for the best, but prepared myself for the worst. We talked until 2 am. I told her what led up to all this mess. She was a great support.

April 13, 2012 Graduation Day

That morning, after we were all ready to go. I sat on the bed and began to shake. Tears poured down my face like the Niagra Falls. It was an uncontrollable sob. The time had finally come. After 4 years of not seeing my son, I was about to come face to face with him. Or so I hoped. Kim was a great support. She comforted me. Yet she didn't know the real pain I was feeling. The loss of a child, unless you have experienced it, you just don't know the pain.

Before we left for the base, we prayed. I am not one to pray outloud in a group or even lead in a prayer. But that day I did. I just felt like I needed God to hear it from me, outloud.

Then I wiped my face, and off we went. We were so close to the base, it was like no time we were at the gate. First hurdle was just getting on the base. The fear I had was "her" alerting them about me. Telling me who I was and asking them not to let Angie Kadow with a Georgia liscense on the base. But, like everyone else, we had to get out of our vehicle, it was searched, like everyone elses, they scanned our drivers liscense and away we went! Phew!

I was so focused on "them" that I forgot to take pictures. So I gathered myself and began to take a few pictures of the base. I was so happy to just be on that base. I was so hopeful!

We found a place to park, I took what I needed and we started walking towards the crowd. It was calling for rain that day, so they moved the ceremony indoors. Which I was hoping that wouldn't happen. We stood as far back as we could, to go unnoticed...

They started letting people in the auditorium and we slowly followed. I had to use the bathroom, I know, bad timing right? I was sure that she would be in there. Ahhh, the bathroom stop was a success. "She" wasn't in there!

As I walked out, Kim says, "there are two doors to choose from, which one will you choose?" We laughed! I picked the one we were standing closest too. Door 1!

We walked in and I kept my head down, and sunglasses on. Good thing or bad thing?

We made our way to the left and up 9 stairs. We sat down, and I laid low. I didn't make eye contact with anyone. About 15, or 20 minutes went by and Kim looked over at me and said "is that your son right there?"

She was refering to Dalton. I said "omg, YES!" How did you know that? She had NEVER met my kids or my x. Only pictures of them over the years. But somehow she just knew.

So I slowly leaned to my right and in full view was Dalton. Sitting behind him was "the x!"

I was in total shock. Boy did "he" look bad! At first I didn't think it was him because he was bald in the back. But after I saw his profile, I knew it was him. I laughed to myself and repeated a "George Castanza," "He's bald!" "Bald, bald!" 4 years sure had taken its tole on him. Yikes! But, God has his ways of punishing people. I guess he's working on him slowly!

The ceremony started and I was eager to find Cody. The opening ceremony started off by recognizing any former Marines the crowd. Guess who stood up? Yep! Now I am going to remind you, that he was discharged from the Marines after 4 years of service because he was accused of raping that women. He was stripped of his rank and was discharged. DISCHARGED PEOPLE! I don't believe the saying "Once a Marine always a Marine" pertains to someone who pissed away thier entire military carrer for a piece of tail. He was a disgrace to the Marines.

But he stood up anyway. The only 2 people who knew what he had done 17 years ago, was me and him. Funny, how this has come full circle. While applauding for all the other former Marines, I was screaming in the back of my mind, "sit down, your a disgrace to the Corp"!

But then, a small tear came trickling down my face. My life was sitting in those seats in front of him. He was still holding on to the Marine motto, and living this lie. I actually for a bried moment felt bad for the guy. But, it didn't last long!

After that, 3 young men were standing up front on stage. It was time to retire the flags that the guides carried throughout bootcamp. One of those guides was my son, Cody. I remembered someone telling me that he made guide, but it was a while ago. I didn't know that retiring the flags was part of the ceremony. They name all 3 of those young men.

For a bried minute, I looked over and noticed, she was gone. 2 things came to my mind: 1, she moved closer to get pictures of Cody because she knew he was receiving special honors, or 2, she went to alert the MP's! It was funny how, when she was gone, he moved up sitting on the edge of his seat blocking the kids so I couldn't see them or so they couldn't see me. Sick, sick people!

After the ceremony was over, all the Marines went out the side door and all families went out the doors we came in. As Kim and I started making our way out of the auditorium, I noticed that HE was standing up watching my every move. PAAAAALLLLEEEASE! Arms crossed at times and other times he was on the phone. Sooo COOL!

As we made our way out the doors and outside, he stayed far enough away, yet close enough to keep his eye on me. She was out of site. But they remained on the phone with each other.

He started walking over to the left, so I slowly followed. I was thinking, he was headed right to Cody. Then like a fart in the wind, he vanished. I asked Kim, "where did he go?" She didn't know either. Then over to the left of me there she was. One of my sons was standing with her. Both very defensive, both with arms crossed like a gate. A barrier. I told Kim, don't look, but she's standing to the left of me with my son, who I believe is Brandon. My sweet little Brandon...being forced to watch as the MP's came and removed me from the crowd.

As I saw the MP's approach me, I knew right then and there HE was leading me to the slaughter. The once excited and defining crowd became silent as I walked towards the MP's car and we started talking. Everything was silent was like we were the only people there at that moment.

The MP's were super nice. I told them exactly what my attorney told me to say. I gave them the statutes that my attorney gave me, and that seemed to work. I explained to them, all I wanted to do was see my son graduate. No tears were shed, my voice didn't's like I had performed that speech 100x .... and I will say, I laid on the charm and personality too. Come on....I had to add some humor to this situation. I didn't get a smirk from them a time or two.

They said they wouldn't arrest me, but they had to escort me off the base because THEY were still on the OP. They totally got it, that Cody himself really was not according to the Illinois Statues. As they walked me and Kim to her car, I asked the MP if he would try and get my sone to come talk to me. Then I mentioned that this will make for a great new story in the paper. He excused himself and told me to follow the other MP. Where was he going? MMMM!

As we waited for the other guy to come back, I called my attorney, who didn't answer the phone. I started talking to him about Parental Alienation. That SHE lied when obtaining the OP about Cody's age and SHE lied about him enlisting in the Marines. He said, that I needed to tell the other MP about that. I also decided to tell them that my x was dischared from the Marines for duriliction of duty. And I told him the story. He was flabergasted! I got his sympathy vote! Then I handed him a brochure about that time the other MP came back. He said he called the Illinois States Attorney's office, but said he didn't feel that I did anything wrong and that they were not even going to file a police report, just make a journal entry. We got in the car, and they followed us until we were off the base.

I was fine! I got to watch him graduate. Yes, the goal was to hug him and get pictures of him...but I was there. My boys know I was there. AND of course THEY knew I was there and that pissed them off. They would have rather chased me all over that base then focus on Cody. So sit back and pat yourself on the back for allowing my son to stand next to you as the MP's removed me from the crowd....HE SAW THAT I WAS THERE! HE SAW HIS MOM.......

This hasn't stopped me. This little detour.....hasn't shaken my faith or made me stumble. It has made me want to fight harder. It has made me want to make sure that every alienator is exposed. That I will someday be part of making Parental Alienation recognized as a form of child abuse. I will be part of that law being signed!

Trust me, I've already been thinking about what to call it!


Friday, March 2, 2012

3 types of Parental Alienation

American Judges Association
When Psychiatry and the Law Join Forces

Richard A. Gardner, M.D.
In the mid to late 1970s, in association with the replacement of the tender-years presumption with the best-interests-of-the-child presumption (and the gender egalitarianism incorporated therein), we witnessed a burgeoning of child custody litigation. Fathers who previously had little if any chance of gaining custody now found court support for their quest. Since the late 1970s, in association with the increasing popularity of the joint custodial concept, there was an even further burgeoning of custody litigation. Whereas previously the courts tended to award one parent sole custody and assigned the other parent visitation status, now litigating parents could each hope for a large share of time with the children. In association with what can justifiably be called a custody litigation explosion (which is still going on), I began to see a disorder, which I rarely saw before, that developed almost exclusively in children who were exposed to and embroiled in custody disputes. The primary characteristic of this disorder is obsessive alienation from a parent.
Originally, I thought I was observing manifestations of simple "brainwashing." However, I soon came to appreciate that things were nor so simple and that many other factors were operative. Accordingly, I introduced the term parental alienation syndrome.
I use the term to refer to a disturbance in which a child is obsessed with deprecation and criticism of a parent (more often the father) denigration that is unjustified or exaggerated. At the same time, the other parent can do no wrong and the nonpreferred parent can do no right. The notion that such children have merely been brainwashed by the preferred parent is narrow. The term brainwashing implies that one parent is systematically and consciously programming the child to denigrate the other parent. The concept of the parental alienation syndrome includes much more than brainwashing. It includes not only conscious but subconscious and unconscious factors within the preferred parent that contribute to the parent's influencing the child's alienation. Furthermore (and this is extremely important), it includes factors that arise within the child-independent of the parental contributions - that foster the development of the syndrome.
Typically, the child is obsessed with "hatred" of a parent. (The word hatred has been placed in quotes because there are still many tender and loving feelings felt toward the allegedly despised parent that are not permitted expression.) These children speak of the hated parent with every vilification and profanity in their vocabulary - without embarrassment or guilt. The vilification of the parent often has the quality of a litany. After only minimal prompting, the record will be turned on and a command performance provided. One not only detects a rehearsed quality to the speech but often hears phraseology that is identical to that used by the "loved" parent. (Again, the word loved is placed in quotes because hostility toward and fear of that parent may similarly be unexpressed.) Even years after they have taken place, the child may justify the alienation with memories of minor altercations experienced in the relationship with the hated parent. These are usually trivial and relate to experiences that most children quickly forget: "He always used to speak very loud when he told me to brush my teeth," "She used to say to me 'Don't interrupt,"' and "He used to make a lot of noise when he chewed at the table." When these children are asked to give more compelling reasons for the hatred, they are unable to provide them. Frequently, the loved parent will agree with the child that these professed reasons justify the ongoing animosity.
The hatred of the parent often includes that parent's complete extended family. Cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents - with whom the child previously may have had loving relationships - are now viewed as similarly obnoxious. Greeting cards are not reciprocated. Presents sent to the child's home are refused, remain unopened, or even destroyed [generally in the presence of the loved parent]. When the hated parent's relatives call on the telephone, the child will respond with angry vilifications or quickly hang up on the caller. The rage of these children is so great that they become completely oblivious to the privations they are causing themselves. Again, the loved parent is typically unconcerned with the untoward psychological effects on the child of the rejection of these relatives.
The child may exhibit a guiltless disregard for the feelings of the hated parent. There will be a complete absence of gratitude for gifts, support payments, and other manifestations of the hated parent's continued involvement and affection. Often, these children will want to be certain the alienated parent continues to provide support payments, but at the same time adamantly refuse to visit with that parent. Commonly, they will say that they never want to see the hated parent again, or not until their late teens or early twenties. To such a child I might say: "So you want your father to continue paying for all your food, clothing, rent, and education - even private high school and college - and yet you still don't want to see him at all, ever again. Is that right?" Such a child might respond: "That's right. He doesn't deserve to see me. He's mean and paying all that money is a good punishment for him."
Those who have never seen such children may consider this description a caricature. Those who have seen them will recognize the syndrome immediately, although some children may not manifest all the symptoms. The parental alienation syndrome is becoming increasingly common, and there is good reason to predict that it will become even more common in the immediate future if custody conflicts become even more prevalent.
Elsewhere (1, 2, 3, 4, 5) I have described in greater detail the causes and manifestations of the parental alienation syndrome. Of the causational factors, those that are most pertinent to this article relate to what I consider to have been the misguided egalitarianism of the "sex-blind" criteria for assessing parental capacity in custody disputes. Whether the result of genetic difference (probably of survival value in past times, when women were primarily child rearers and men hunters and warriors) or the fact that mothers (even today) are more likely to have been the primary child rearers, the mother-child psychological bond is generally stronger than the father-child I believe that the symptoms of parental alienation syndrome - in both mothers and children - have been related to the attempts to preserve this stranger bond. Although many of these mothers' tactics may be considered vicious, manipulative, and deceitful, I have sympathy for these women. They have felt helpless and impotent and have often resorted to primitive techniques because of the failure of more civilized and adult maneuvers to work for them. And children, too, have been threatened by the disruption of the mother-child bond. The children's techniques have been even more primitive because of their naivete about the world. Although they have selected maneuvers that seem absurd and preposterous to the adult, these maneuvers do not appear so to children because of their cognitive immaturity and less sophisticated ability to defend themselves against the disruption of the mother-child bond. Here I focus on the therapeutic and legal approaches to the treatment of these children and their families, which (with increased experience) I have divided into three types. Each type warrants its own special therapeutic and legal approach. Finally, I will propose guidelines for evaluators and courts, which if implemented are likely to reduce, if not prevent entirely, the development of the parental alienation syndrome.
The Three Types of Parental Alienation Syndrome Families
Based on my more recent work with these families, I have divided them into three categories: severe, moderate, and mild. Although there is actually a continuum, and many cases do not fit neatly into one of these classifications, the differentiation is still important with regard both to psychotherapeutic and legal approaches. If evaluators are to provide the most judicious recommendations, it is vital that they determine first the proper category in which the family fits. In each category I will discuss the mothers, the children, and the appropriate psychotherapeutic and legal approaches. I will use the mother as the example of the preferred parent because this is the case in the majority of such families. My explanation for this disparity has relevance to my theory of the causes of this disorder. However, the same considerations apply to the father when he is the favored parent.
I cannot emphasize strongly enough that in many (if not most) cases the therapy of these families is not possible without court support. Only the court has the power to order these mothers to stop their manipulations and maneuvering. And it is only the court that has the power to place the children in whichever home would best suit their needs at the particular time. Therapists who embark upon the treatment of such families without such court backing are not likely to be successful.
Severe Cases of the Parental Alienation Syndrome.
The mothers of these children are often fanatic. They will use every maneuver at their disposal (legal and illegal) to obstruct visitation. They are obsessed with hatred of their husbands. In many cases, they are paranoid. Sometimes the paranoid thoughts and feelings about the husband are focused on him alone; in other cases, this paranoia is just one example of many types of paranoid thinking. Often the paranoia did not exhibit itself before the breakup of the marriage and is a manifestation of the psychiatric disintegration that often results from protracted divorce (especially custody) disputes.(2) Central to the paranoid mechanism is projection. These mothers see in their husbands many objectionable characteristics that actually exist within themselves characteristics that they do not wish to recognize. By projecting these unacceptable qualities onto their husbands, they can consider themselves innocent victims. When a sex-abuse accusation becomes incorporated into the package, such mothers may be projecting their own sexual inclinations onto the father. (3 6, 7) In the service of this goal they exaggerate and distort any comment the child makes that might justify the allegation. And this is not difficult to do because children normally will entertain sexual fantasies, often of the most bizarre form. I agree with Freud (8) that children are "polymorphous perverse," and they thereby provide these mothers with an ample supply of material to serve as nuclei for their projections and accusations.
Such mothers do not respond to logic, confrontations with reality, or appeals to reason. They will readily believe the most preposterous scenarios provided by or elicited from their children. Experienced and skilled mental health examiners - who claim that there is no evidence for the accusation are dismissed as being against them or as being bribed by the husband. And this is typical of paranoid thinking: it does not respond to logic, and any confrontation that might shake the system is rationalized into the paranoid scenario. Even a court decision that there is absolutely no evidence that the father is guilty of sex abuse does not alter her beliefs nor reduce her commitment to deprecation of the father. Energizing the rage is the "hell hath no fury like a woman scorned" phenomenon.
The children of these mothers are similarly fanatic. They often share her paranoid fantasies about the father. They may become panic-stricken over the prospect of visiting their father. Their blood-curdling shrieks, panicked states, and hostility may be so severe that visitation may seem impossible. If placed in the father's home they may run away, become paralyzed with morbid fear, or be so destructive that removal becomes necessary. Unlike children in the moderate and mild categories, their panic and hostility may not be reduced quickly in the father's home. However, there are children in this category whose state of agitated rage against the father will become reduced if required (especially by court order) to remain in their father's home over an ongoing period.
Regarding the therapeutic approaches in this category, traditional therapy for the mother is most often not possible. Usually, she has absolutely no insight into her deep-seated psychiatric problems and is thereby totally unreceptive to treatment. Often, she will consider therapists and other evaluators who believe that her delusions are not warranted to be joining in with her husband. These examiners thereby become incorporated into the paranoid system. A court order that she enter into treatment is futile. Judges are sometimes naive with regard to their belief that one can order a person into treatment. Most judges appreciate that they cannot order a frigid wife to have an orgasm or an impotent husband to have an erection. Yet, they somehow believe that one can order someone to have conviction for and commitment to therapy. Accordingly, the court does well not to order such treatment because it will only make a mockery of therapy.
It is important for judges to appreciate that treatment for the children is most often not possible while the children are still living in the mother's home. No matter how frequently they are seen in treatment, no matter how skilled the therapist, the time in therapy is only a small fraction of the total exposure time to the mother's vilification of the father. There is a pathological psychological bond here between the mother and children that is not going to be changed by therapy as long as the children live with the mother.
Accordingly, before meaningful treatment can begin the children must be removed from the mother's home and placed in the home of the father, the allegedly hated parent. This may not be accomplished easily, and the court might have to threaten sanctions (such as fines or permanent loss of custody) and even jail if the mother does not comply. Following this transfer there must be a period of decompression and debriefing in which the mother has no contact at all with the children. Only in this way will the children be given the opportunity to reestablish their relationship with the alienated father without significant contamination from the mother. Even telephone calls must be strictly prohibited for at least a few weeks, perhaps longer. The transfer can be monitored by a court-ordered therapist or guardian ad litem who has direct input to the court and who the mother knows will be reporting any resistance or uncooperative behavior. Then, according to the therapist's or guardian ad litem's judgment, slowly increasing contacts with the mother may be initiated, starring with monitored telephone calls. The danger here, however, is that these will be opportunities for reprogramming the children against the father.
In some cases this program may be successful, especially if the mother can see her way clear to entering into meaningful therapy (not often the case for mothers in this category). In these cases the children might ultimately be returned to the mother. However, if she still attempts to alienate the children it may be necessary to assign primary custody to the father and allow limited visitation with the mother to protect the children from significant reprogramming. In extreme cases one may have to sever the children entirely from the mother for many months or even years. In such cases the children will at least be living with the healthier parent. My experience has been that in such cases the animosity toward the father gradually becomes reduced. In contrast, if the court allows the children to remain living with such a disturbed mother - and believes that therapy of the children will "cure" them of their alienation - then it is likely that there will be lifelong alienation from the father. I recognize that some readers will consider this approach very stringent, even punitive. From the point of view of the mother it certainly is; with regard to the welfare of the children, it is the most humane approach.
Moderate Cases of the Parental Alienation Syndrome.
The mothers in this category are not as fanatic as those in the severe category but are more disturbed than those in the mild category (who may not have a psychiatric disturbance). In these cases the rage of the rejected woman is more important than paranoid projection. These mothers can differentiate between allegations that are preposterous and those that are not. There is still, however, a campaign of deprecation and a significant desire to wreak vengeance on the father by alienating the children from him. Many are quite creative in their excuses to obstruct visitation. They may be unreceptive to court orders; however, they will often comply after threats of fines or transfer of custody. When a false sex-abuse allegation is incorporated into the parental alienation syndrome [a not uncommon additional weapon](3, 6, 7) they will be able to differentiate between the children's preposterous claims and those that may have some validity. Whereas the mothers in the severe category have a sick psychological bond with the children (often a paranoid one), the mothers in this category are more likely to have a healthy psychological bond that is being compromised by their rage. The mothers in the moderate category are more likely to have been good child rearers before the divorce. In contrast, the mothers in the severe category, even though nor significantly disturbed before the separation, often have exhibited formidable impairments in child-rearing capacity before the separation. Therefore, mothers in the moderate category can most often remain the primary custodial parent if the combined efforts of the court and the therapist or guardian ad litem are successful in enabling the children to resume normal visitation with the father.
The children in this category are less fanatic in their vilification of the father than those in the severe category but more than those in the mild category. They also have their campaigns of deprecation of the father but are much more likely to dispense with their scenarios when alone with him, especially for long periods. A younger child may often need the support of an older one to keep the campaign going. The younger children are often the parrots of the older one, and they develop the parental alienation syndrome by imitating an older sibling. However, the primary motivation for the children's scenarios is to maintain the healthy psychological bond with the mother.
With regard to court-ordered therapy for these families, it is important that one therapist be used. I cannot emphasize this point strongly enough. We are not dealing with a situation in which the mother should have her therapist, the father his therapist, and the children their own. Such a therapeutic program, although seemingly respectful of each party's individual needs, is not likely to be effective in treating parental alienation syndrome families. Such fractionization reduces communication between family members, sets up antagonistic sub-systems within the family, and is thereby likely to intensify the pathological interactions that contribute to the parental alienation syndrome. Again, it is crucial that the therapist be court ordered and have direct input to the judge. This can often be facilitated by a guardian ad litem or a child advocate. The mother must recognize that any obstructionism by her will be reported immediately to the judge, either directly by the therapist or through the guardian ad litem or child advocate. The judge must be willing to impose sanctions, such as fines or jail. The threat of loss of primary custody can also help such mothers to "remember to cooperate."
My experience has been that mothers in the severe category, having absolutely no insight into their psychiatric problems, do not generally have therapists. However, mothers in the moderate category often seek therapists. However, they typically select one with whom they develop a mutual admiration society in which the therapist (consciously or unconsciously) becomes the mother's champion in the fight. Most often, the mother chooses a woman as a therapist - especially a woman who is herself antagonistic toward men. Often, the mother's therapist has little, if any, contact with the father and so does not hear his side of the story. When they do meet with him, they typically will be hostile and unsympathetic. Sometimes the children will be brought to this therapist, ostensibly to help them deal with the indignities they are suffering at their father's hands. Although the court may appreciate the pathological nature of the bond the mother has with her therapist, it may be reluctant to order a cessation of such treatment. The court, however, does well to at least prohibit the children from being "treated" by her [as mentioned, rarely a man]. Even if the court were to order the mother's therapist to stop treating her, it is likely that she would find another person who would support her position.
The court should order the mother to see the court's therapist even though her cooperation is not likely to be significant and even though she may be influenced significantly by her own therapist (whom she may still insist on seeing). The court's therapist must have a thick skin and be able to tolerate the children's shrieks and claims of maltreatment. Doing what children profess they want is not always the same as doing what is best for them. Therapists of the persuasion that they must "respect" their child patients and accede to their wishes will be doing these children a terrible disservice. These same therapists would not "respect" a child's wish to refuse a polio shot, yet they will respect the child's wish not to see a father who shows no significant evidence for abuse or neglect. The therapist should recall that the children were likely to have had a good relationship with the father before the separation and that strong psychological ties must still be present. The therapist should view the children's professed hatred as superficial and as designed to ingratiate themselves with the mother. To take the allegations of maltreatment seriously may help entrench the parental alienation syndrome and may result in years of, if not lifelong alienation.
It is crucial that the therapist appreciate that the children need him or her as an excuse for visiting with the father. When "forced" to visit with the father, they can say to the mother that the therapist is mean or cruel and that they really do not want to see the father but that the therapist "makes them." The judge, too, can serve this function for the children. With a court order, they can say to their mother, "I really hate my father, but that stupid judge is making me see him." I cannot emphasize this point strongly enough. It is the most effective way of reducing the children's guilt when they visit, and, in many cases, it may be necessary if the visitation is to be possible.
It is important to appreciate that older children may promulgate the mother's programming down to young ones. And the older children are especially likely to do this during visits with the father. The mother thereby relies on her accomplice to work over the younger ones when in the enemy camp [the father's house). These older children many even mastermind inside jobs in the father's house. Accordingly, a divide-and-conquer approach sometimes is warranted. This is best accomplished by requiring the children to visit separately - or at least separate from the older sibling programmers - until they all (including the mother) have had the living experience that the terrible consequences of being alone with the father were not realized. This is a good example of an important aspect of the therapy of these families; namely, that less is done via the attempt to get people to gain insight and much more is accomplished by structuring situations and providing individuals with actual experiences. Here again, the therapist must have the court's authority to implement such structuring.
Transition periods (that is, the points when the children are transferred from mother to father) may be especially difficult for children with parental alienation syndrome. It is then (when both parents and the children are together) that the loyalty conflicts become most intense and the symptoms most severe. Accordingly, it is risky to have the father pickup the children at the mother's home. In that setting - with the mother directly observing the children - they are most likely to resist going with their father and will predictably gain their mother's support (overt or covert) for their reluctance. Alternative transitional arrangements must therefore be devised, arrangements that do not place the children in a situation in which they are with mother and father at the same time.
A good transition place is the therapist's office. The mother brings the children, spends some time with them and the therapist, and then goes home - leaving the children alone with the therapist. Subsequently, the father comes, spends some time with the children and the therapist, and then takes them to his home. Or a truly impartial intermediary, with whom the children have a good relationship, can pick the children up at the mother's home and bring them to the father's home. A therapist, guardian ad litem, or child advocate can serve in this role. The problem with the latter plan is that it is usually expensive, especially if the intermediary person is a guardian ad litem (most often a lawyer) or therapist.
Once the court has made a final decision that the children shall remain living with their mother, then they are able to dispense with their campaigns of hatred. This is a very important point. The children develop their campaigns of denigration in the desire to maintain the psychological bond with the mother. The custody litigation has threatened a disruption of this bond. Once the court has ruled that the children shall remain living primarily with their mother, they can relax and allow themselves to enjoy a more benevolent relationship with their father. In short, the court's order obviates the need for the symptoms, and so they can be dispensed with.
Sometimes, mothers in this category suddenly decide that they want to move to another state. Some suddenly decide that they want to remove themselves (and children, of course) from the unhappy scene of the custody conflict (including the whole state) and "start all over" or "find themselves" at some remote place (hundreds and even thousands of miles away from the father). Some claim better job opportunities in another state. Some suddenly become "homesick" after many years of comfortable adjustment in the state in which the children were raised. It would be an error for the court to take these arguments seriously. Rather, the court should inform the mother that she is free to leave the state at any time she wishes; however, she should understand that if she does so it will not be with the children.
It is important for judges to appreciate that not all therapists are suited to work with such families. As mentioned, they must have thick skins to tolerate the children's antics as they claim that they are being exposed to terrible traumas and indignities in their fathers' homes. They must also be comfortable with taking a somewhat dictatorial position. This is especially important in their relationship with the mothers of these children. The therapist must appreciate that more of the therapy relates to manipulating and structuring situations than to providing people with insight. False perceptions will be altered to the degree that the therapist can provide people with living experiences. Therapists with a strong orientation toward psychoanalytic therapy are generally compromised when treating parental alienation syndrome families. I am a psychoanalyst myself and involve most of my adult patients in psychoanalytic therapy. However, when a parental alienation syndrome is present, the therapeutic approach must first involve a significant degree of people manipulation (usually by court order) and structure before one can sit down and talk meaningfully with the parties involved. Moreover, therapists who accept as valid the patient's wishes (whether child or adult) and consider it therapeutically contraindicated to pressure or coerce a patient are also not good candidates to serve such families. I, too, consider myself sensitive to the needs of my patients. As mentioned, doing what the patient wants and doing what the patient needs may be two entirely different things. It is for this reason that the courts play such an important role in the treatment of families in which parental alienation syndrome is present. Without the therapist's having the court's power to bring about the various manipulations and structural changes, the therapy is not likely to be possible.
Mild Cases of the Parental Alienation Syndrome.
The mothers of children in this category usually have developed a healthy psychological bond with their children. They believe that gender egalitarianism in custody disputes is a disservice to children but are healthy enough not to involve themselves in courtroom litigation in order to gain primary custody. Some of these mothers may undertake some mild degrees of programming their children against their fathers. Others recognize that alienation from the father is not in the children's best interests and are willing to take a more conciliatory approach to the father's requests. They either go along with a joint custodial compromise or even allow (albeit reluctantly) the father to have sole custody with their having a liberal visitation program. However, we may still see some manifestations of programming in these mothers to strengthen their positions. There is no paranoia here (as is the case for mothers in the severe category), but there is anger, and there may be some desire for vengeance. The motive for programming the children, however, is less likely to be vengeance (as is the case for mothers in the moderate category) than it is merely to entrench their positions in an inegalitarian situation. Of the three categories of mothers, these mothers have generally been the most dedicated ones during the earliest years of their children's lives and have thereby developed the strongest and healthiest psychological bonds with them.
The children in this category also develop their own scenarios, again with the slight prodding of the mother. Here the children's primary motive is to strengthen the mother's position in the custody dispute in order to maintain the stronger, healthier psychological bond that they have with their mothers. These are the children who are most likely to be ambivalent about or receptive to visitation and are most free to express affection for their fathers, even in their mothers' presence.
With regard to therapy, in most children need a final court order confirming that they will remain living primarily with their mother and complete reassurance that there will be no transfer of primary custody to their father. This usually "cures" the parental alienation syndrome. If the children need therapy it is for other things, possibly related to the divorce animosities.
In the majority of cases of parental alienation syndrome, it is the mother who is favored and the father who is denigrated. However, there are certainly situations in which the mother is vilified and the father favored. For simplicity of presentation, and because mothers are more often the favored parent, I have used her as the example of the preferred parent - but recognize that in some cases it is the father who is preferred and the one who may be brainwashing the children and the mother who is the despised parent. In such cases, the fathers should be divided into the aforementioned categories and given the same considerations as described for mothers.
I fully recognize that the division of these families into three categories is somewhat artificial. In reality, we have a continuum from severe to mild cases. However, the distinctions are valid and extremely important if one is to make judicious therapeutic and legal recommendations. It is crucial that the court make every attempt to differentiate between mothers in category one (severe) and those in category two (moderate). The former mothers are often so disturbed that transfer of custody is the only viable option. The latter mothers, their antics notwithstanding, generally still serve better as the primary custodial parent.
Last, a special comment about the guardian ad litem. I have generally found collaboration with guardians ad litem to be very useful when conducting custody evaluations.(2, 9, 10) They can generally be relied upon to obtain documents that a parent might have been hesitant to provide or to enlist the court's assistance in getting reluctant parents to cooperate. The guardian ad litem can be a powerful ally for therapists. However, there is a definite risk when recommending that the court appoint such a person. A guardian ad litem who is not familiar with the causes, manifestations, and proper treatment of children with parental alienation syndrome may prove a definite impediment during treatment. The guardian ad litem traditionally takes pride in supporting the children's needs. Unfortunately, many reflexively support the children's positions. They may not appreciate that they are promulgating the pathology. Some have great difficulty supporting coercive maneuvers (such as insisting that the children visit with a father whom they profess they hate), because such maneuvers are so different from their traditional approach to clients in which they often automatically align themselves with their clients' cause. For guardians ad litem to work effectively with families of parental alienation syndrome children, they must accommodate themselves to this new orientation toward their clients. Accordingly, judges do well when appointing ,guardian ad litem to secure an individual who is knowledgeable about the special approaches necessary for these families.
A Proposal for Preventing the Development of the Parental Alienation Syndrome
All agree that preventing the development of an illness is far more desirable than treating a disorder that has already developed- lust as the parental alienation syndrome developed after the introduction of new criteria for determining parental preference in custody disputes, we are in a position to reverse this pathological situation by introducing what I consider to be more judicious criteria for such determinations. I recommend that we give preference in custody disputes to that parent (regardless of sex) with whom the child has developed the stronger, healthier psychological bond. Because mothers today are still more often the primary child rearer, more mothers would be given parental preference in custody disputes adjudicated under this principle. If, however, in spite of the mother's superiority at the time of birth, it was the father who was the primary caretaker - especially during the early years of life - such a father might very well serve better as the primary custodial parent.
This proposal is essentially sex blind (thereby satisfying present demands for gender egalitarianism) because it allows that a father's input may outweigh the mother's in the formative years, even though he starts at a disadvantage. It uses the psychological bond with the child as the primary consideration in custody evaluations. A mother may be good with infants and toddlers, who are totally dependent on her, but she may do poorly with adolescents, whose independence she has difficulty tolerating. A father may be almost completely inept in taking care of an infant but may excel as a parent when he can share sports and other activities with children at subsequent levels of development.
I refer to this proposal as the stronger, healthy psychological bond presumption, which, I believe, is the one that would serve the best interests of the child in a custody dispute. It is important for the reader to appreciate that the parent who had the greater involvement with the child during infancy is the one more likely to have the stronger psychological bond. However, if the early parenting was nor "good," then the bond that develops might be pathological. Accordingly, I am nor referring here to any kind of psychological bond at all, but a healthy psychological bond. It is not a situation in which any psychological bond at all will do. A paranoid mother, who has so programmed her son that he, too, has developed paranoid feelings about his father, may have a strong psychological band with her son, stronger than that which he has with his father. But this is certainly not a healthy bond, and its presence is a strong argument for recommending the father as the primary custodial parent.
In summary, the stronger, healthy psychological bond presumption is best stated as a three-step process:
  1. Preference should be given to that parent (regardless of sex) with whom the child has developed the stronger, healthy psychological bond.
  2. That parent (regardless of sex) who was the primary caretaker during the earliest years of the child's life is more likely to have developed the stronger, healthy psychological bond.
  3. The longer the time lag between the earliest years and the time of the custody evaluation or decision, the greater the likelihood that other factors will tip the balance in the direction of either parent.