Stories submitted by parents, supporters and readers
I want to pause a moment to take you on a journey. This journey is one of pain, but pain that has found purpose. It is difficult to hear, and even more challenging to understand and believe. But when you see past the pain, the journey is one of healing, hope, and a love that doesn’t stop. The journey is my journey. I am writing about my experiences, offering my hope, and praying it produces good fruit in those of you who can relate. If you have not experienced anything similar, it is hard to take in. But bear with me please. Because I come not only with the pain, but with many solutions to dealing with what I never in a million years thought I could face, much less rise above. I implore you to see with eyes of hope. And not get stuck in the muddy pits of pain. To see the other side. To know the mountains can move, and giants before you can fall. To have faith that the armies around you cannot withstand. To believe that good prevails, love is more powerful than hate, and hope does not stop or know limits.
I cannot share my name. Clearly whatever surname I am using today isn’t real. I try to pick names that are so clearly not real as to operate from transparency. But due to my circumstances, it gives autonomy without the risk of……retaliation. Freedom to have a voice without having my thoughts and hope twisted and turned, taken out of context, or used as a weapon to attack me. I keep my identity private for the children I so love, so that they not be drawn into what is not theirs to withstand. The attacks are on me, not them. I intend to do all I can to keep them out of the cross hairs. Much of my story will one day serve reminders of their mistakes, and may trigger embarrassment or guilt for not knowing. One day they will be out of this, free. And I don’t want it to haunt them.
I will spend a little more time focusing on the hope than the problem. What you will hear is merely the tip of a mountain iceburg in my life.
Today I will share a small part of my journey, and a couple super easy tools to use if you are an alienated parent. Each tool I have used has been the direct opposite of the tactics used against my children. So each tool doesn’t address the alienating parent, but the undoing of their antisocial and hate filled weapons.
You see, I was an alienated child, who was also abused in every form and fashion you can imagine. For those of you who know, alienation is considered psychological abuse. According to the APA, this is the worst form of abuse there is. Many do not recover. Many call us the hopeless. The ones who will not function well in society, whose lives will forever be impacted by the trauma we endured. By being forced to choose to hate one parent, to be safe or be loved by another. I am here to break that stigma. I am not hopeless. I am filled with hope. And crossing the threshold one after the other. The mountain must fall. I have seen it. I refuse to hate my parents. I love them both. Even the abuser. While I do not have contact with the abuser anymore, I have overcome. Many will tell those of you that are targeted parents and alienated as children, that the pattern repeated itself. They may disqualify you as a parent because of what you went thru. It is because they fear you found the way out. They want to keep you believing that because you have been trained in all they do. And having known abuse, you are most qualified to parent children who are abused or alienated. My children are not hopeless. Because I know the way out. I walked it. Without parents who led me. Following the light at the narrow path. Following God. Praying. Believing. Hoping where everyone else saw impossible. I said IN possible. You see, alienated kids are of the most hopeful in the world. And often fail to launch it. Yet when you do. It is spread to even the worst of the worst. Nothing is impossible. No one impossible.
I think there is a ton of information floating around on what alienation is. If you are not familiar, Dr. Craig Childress has great information, as does: Dr. Richard Warshack, Jennifer Harmon, Karen Woodall, and Amy Baker. I have not personally been able to know these amazing professionals, but the information they produce has been astounding in understanding the process. If you need information on alienation, they are my go to resources for reading. In addition, Tammy Mariposa’s book: Be your own hero explicity walks thru the issues and hope. I will let them do what they do and explain the details of what it is.
For now, I wanted to just tell my story. After a very quick and quiet divorce, My parents decided it was best for me to live with my abusive father. I had seen my mom’s face busted open. I had endured abuse myself. But hers was more. My father hated that I loved her. Like many abusers with 3 kids. One of us was favored. One of us hated. And one of us neglected utterly.
I was the abused. The trash can for everything wrong in his life. My mere essence drove him nuts. Moreso because I wasn’t exactly well controlled. I hated watching him beat my mom. I hated him. Loved her. Just seeing him hit her impacted me so profoundly that I was a mess. A strong willed little gal who was named b.a. For bad attitude. No one asked what I was mad about. But it was the abuse. His hate for her, was turned on him thru me.
When my mom left, I begged her to take me. She didn’t. Fast forward a bit. Without her I was shutting down. Loosing hope. Not given love in a way that I could receive. My mom loved me. My dad, I didn’t feel did. At 10 years old I flipped. I knew what Dad wanted. What hacked him and his wife off. My sister nicknamed her Jezabel. If you know anything about Jezabel in the bible, you will not need explanation as to what that means. Anyway, Jezebel hated us, and provoked him to increase the abuse, often joining in the the denigration and put downs. Control was sweet aroma to them. I knew they both hated my mom. My brain was changing. I was growing. Right at an age where I was learning to understand and process things I couldn’t before. Before I wouldn’t let her go inside. Not in my heart. And not tired enough of the abuse to quit saying it. But around 10, I was tired. I wanted it to stop. So, I faked it. I let myself welcome hate for the only person I believed loved me. My mom. I began to run away from her, to cuss her, to wish her dead, to utterly reject her by day. Still, at night. When no one looked. My tears ran down my face. No noise. No one could know it was killing me. They couldn’t know I loved her. I let myself feel the rage in day. But at night, I was sick. The one letter she wrote. Pages of reminding me of the things she remembered that she loved. Things I had forgotten. Things that she loved, but weren’t sticking in my memory. My memory was being erased. Everything good about her replaced with hateful distaste of Dad. My mind was brain fog. I hid the letter. I read it nightly. Trying to remember the things that she said she loved. That made her laugh. As years passed the memories were distorted. Sometimes the letter seemed to be a fraud. And the only thing I had to hold on to her all at once. Read so many times I was fading. I began to forget her face. I would cry at night. Begging God to give me a dream. Just so I could see her face again. The beatings were slowing. I was growing. Giving what they wanted. Putting a mask on that they couldn’t see thru. They thought I hated her. They didn’t know. I counted the days until I could legally runaway and not be jailed. I left. And found her.
I was worried I wouldn’t recognize her. But I did. It was wierd. Someone was putting her down that day. In public. I was livid. No more. I found myself angry again. Protecting her from slander. It came at her from everywhere. Even from me. The oddest thing. I thought I forgot. I thought I didn’t care what they said about her. I did. I surprised myself that day.
Fast forward a bit. After going from one abusive relationship to another. I began to heal. You see. I had a baby. I couldn’t do to him what was done to me. I thought I could prevent it. By being different. Being good. I wanted one thing for this new baby. Someone to love. To really love. It was my bottom line as a mom. This child will know I loved him.
The abuse would obstruct that. I left. Got safe. Thought I was well. I thought that if I dated again it would be someone stable. Charming. Who could hold down normal jobs and not drink. I was biased. Thinking it must only be men who have trouble keeping jobs or with drinking doing this. I didn’t realize my dad really wasn’t that, but was an abuser. I was caught off gaurd by my Marine husband. Who within months of being married, showed a face that was more terrifying than anything I had seen. You see. What was the worst, was that he was charming. I didn’t see it coming. As he suffocated my toddler, and threatened to but the baby out of my belly and leave me for dead, I was in way too deep. I knew it. The baby I wanted to love, thought I didn’t care enough to protect him. Yet he still loves me so. It is mind boggeling.
Fast forward. I got out. Again. Now a mom of 3. This time, I wasn’t doing well. I was so turned around, upside down and inside out that I couldn’t function. I went from being a stay at home mom, to suddenly with no career, no way, providing for 3 children with no money. I pulled myself up, went to nursing school, and watched as my second born recovered from a virus that left him with heart disease. I graduated for him. I started for him. And finished for him. To prevent complications, and learn to help support his heart. Only it wasn’t over. I wouldn’t just be learning to protect from his heart disease, but fighting for his heart in spirit too.
The alienation game started. Police reports for 32 felony charges put in place. Thrown out. Thanks God. Anxiety kicked in. And my awareness that this was not going to be over soon set in. My fear was big. But I knew healing by now. I had been round after round. The healing started around trauma for physical abuse. My parents still fighting. Mom MIA, in and out when she wanted, and my dad I cut out to keep my mind right. The mind games too much. I began to forgive my DAd, and grieve the loss of my father all in the same breath. I was letting him go. He couldn’t dis empower me anymore. I began to realize I had to choose not to hate anyone. Including my current abuser; my ex.
It seemed every leak in my life that I closed up, two more came. My ex, who I will call…….The Hammer, was pounding me. But each wave he threw, another round of serious inner healing and growing up.
Around 2 years after our divorce, our son was getting worse. He began to pull knives, choke his bears. All the things people said were failing. Telling me that because I had more time with the kids, I would be the greater influence. Not to fear, be strong. Something was off. At that time, I began to learn attachment disorders. Which led to research on alienation. At first, I thought, no that doesn’t fit. Until I found an extensive checklist. It was all there. I was horrified. My then 6 year old, was convinced I was a witch, and he invited the devil to possess him to take God’s throne. Their plan: Cut my head off so he could live with Dad, And Satan could take God’s throne in heaven.
I like to say I don’t really believe in Satan. I don’t give the devil so much power as to present in the world I live. My faith not in him, but in God. I had a mentally ill child. Who believed in Satan. Apart from the rejection of me, the pain of him rejecting my Father was greater. I felt hopeless. Even moreso as I researched parental alienation.
You see, there is so much information free that tells us what the problem is. But it is so sketchy. No one can really say, hey, there is a way thru this. The book prices to see the solution were guarded with fees. Where to turn. What to do. Therapists fighting if it is real or not. I knew it was. Because I did exactly what they said, and suffered from severe guilt for it daily. Now my children. No more.
For the last 3 years, every moment I have free time has been dedicated to finding answers. To trying things. To healing. To refusing to believe the stigma that I am hopeless as an adult alienated child. Or that my children are. I had to get well. So I could lead them out of the proverbial hell around them. And so it was.
As I watched them. And intervened on them. Things began to shift. I was praying non stop. For wisdom. And wisdom I was given. Ideas began to come. My gut coming alive. We are going to do this.
As time passed. Court dates ensued. The Hammer didn’t want them to get well. One child, at 4, refused to eat for two weeks until visitation with dad because he was convinced my food was bad, and dad’s was good. His weight plummeted 4lbs in a month. Dad didn’t care. The rage me. The weapon them. So, I read scripture.
“Every weapon formed against you shall not prosper”. In the penal code, which I ended up learning to rep myself. When they use the word “shall” it means it is not negotiable. It has to happen. It must be ruled in that way. I was crying my eyes out daily. My 6 year olds 4 hour rages wanting to murder me and himself and his half brother was….whew. My 4 year old not eating, was…whew.
So piece by piece I set out to take the house of hate down. I guarded my mind with music that helped me cry out the pain. Bethel church if you need to be moved in pain and hope all in one. If you need words of scripture but can’t read it. If you need fire when your in a war and beat down. Love it. Any music really though. I should make a play list for the emotions. LOL. Actually…thats a thought. I will get to that later. In another post.
I put the words of the great MLK Jr in my mouth daily. Never let a man drag you so low as to hate. For I have seen so much hate, it is too great a burden to bear. For me, I choose love…….James Arthur “This is my recovery”, in spite of my pain. I began to breathe it. Letting it soak so deep in my soul, it was coming to life. I began to realize. I was alienated. I began to refuse to hate. Even my abusive ex husband, the Hammer.
There came a moment, many, where I was a walking target. Where I realized that even being in a room with my kids was hurting them. I suddenly understood why my mom gave up. I wanted to desperately. But because I judged her, I couldn’t be her. I began to face that I couldn’t judge her any longer. It was time. The Armageddon. The last battle. I would walk in pro-se for my last trial. I was pro-se so many times for several trials. I just didn’t want to fight. And more, I couldn’t be the reason they hated. Not my kids. I wouldn’t anymore. I was fighting myself inside.
After meeting a friend. She let go. That was one of my favorite songs. Surnames. LOL. She was a mess at times. But man. She refused to be depressed all the time. She dated. She lived. She started over. And she let go of her little loves. She was still standing. If she could look herself in the mirror, I could too. I went in unhindered by fear. And I gave it my all. Knowing that if the children were allowed more time with dad, I would need to put myself on supervised visits to avoid more false allegations, to be safe. My 6 yr old had actually acted on his wish to murder me. I couldn’t keep doing it. My only hope, was to separate them from the abuse, or to separate myself from theirs.
Fast forward. We are a few months beyond supervised. I think they have sued like twice since I was given sole custody and Dad put on supervised. I was utterly burned out. Fired for all the missed work days for court. Nurses aren’t allowed to call in. I mean really. My house broken into. The police super ugly to me. But the kids were getting better.
Our now 6 year old, who is the little who wouldn’t eat, has gained weight and back at 25% of weight for his age. Up from 11%. He eats so good now and is growing. He no longer calls me bitch instead of mom. I am mom again. He is about 85% well. At least on the outside. The inside has some work, but he is functioning 85% better.
Our now 8 year old. Still has thoughts so big of murdering me, and committing suicide that the meds are needed. The thoughts so loud they are like audible voices to him. His paranoia about it is lessening. He acts normal mostly. The psychosis up and down, but the oppositional side is much improved. He no longer threatens to murder me. Though he feels terrible for the thoughts and still doesn’t want to be touched often. At times he is so clingy its weird. At other times he is still shut down.
The point. Everyone said that the kids were so far gone, I needed to think of giving them up. I say 3 more years. 3 more years until my 90lb 8 yr old is bigger than my small self. Until he has to show that he can carry this, or I have to consider something else to protect my other children. 3 more years to make big waves in him. To connect in a way that no one can take it. No time, or space, no hate, no distance, nothing in heaven, nothing in this hell, nothing in earth. It is noticeable to others the changes. They are rocking being alienated kids. I wanted to tell my story. Because I am going to spend the rest of my time telling you what worked. I am not charging the book fee right now. LOL. And when I do, much later, I will still offer it in pieces free. You see, I have paid for this. I was blessed to be able to have the most amazing parenting coach in the state. To make amazing friends who shared their successes. Who fought thru this inside, to see the fruit outside. Who got educated. And I am putting it together for you. Because many I know. Don’t know where to go. What to do. Or how to get there.
I will warn you. I am a believer in Jesus. In my Papa, Abba, Father, in the Holy Spirit. That is what has carried me thru. Thru the days I didn’t believe in him anymore, when he showed me he wasn’t giving up on me like everyone else. Like I didn’t have to believe in him, for him to believe in me. My kids don’t have to love me, accept me, believe in me, for me to do that for them. And like you. You do not have to believe in him, for him to believe in you. I want to warn you, because much of my point of reference is things I have learned in serious prayer and intercession, in going thru sessions for inner healing and deliverance, in going thru trauma training with the church, in many things. But in my life, I am God centered and lack ways of explaining without the mention of his name. I am not in any way worried about your own acceptance or denial of God. He doesn’t fear that. Nor does he withhold love if you don’t believe. But I will mention him. What I have learned in the journey. In prayer. In the bible. Which by the way explicitly describes parental alienation. I am not an evangelic. I am advocating for families. With God behind me. Leaving none behind. Despite your belief. Theory. Faith. Or lack of it.
I will also disclose. I am a nurse. I love science. And have often lacked faith. Though, so often I find science meets spirit. God must know I need to see tangible and realistic things to understand. So I may discuss the brain a bit, trauma impacts on the bodies, hormones, diet to support brain health, etc, etc. This is an important area in my life that I love and often crosses into the undoing.
Lastly. I lie to my kids all the time. I know their Father does not know love. It is not love to starve a child to punish the parent. It is not love to pit children in a war on rage. It is not love to hit children in the face leaving bruises, then convince them it was their fault or accident. It is not love to force children to lie to social workers or threaten to murder mom. To tell them and teach them to make literal weapons to throw at a parent, to stomp bruises into their feet if they are not military style compliant, to steal their voice, give them no choice, suck their personality away and conform them to soldiers at a mere 6 and 8 years old. I do not honestly believe their Father is capable to love. But for them, I lie. I tell them their Father loves them. And adults sometimes do good things, and not so good things. We all do after all. And I tell them that Dad loves them. I do this, because I do not have to tell them every detail of what is happening to see them heal. In fact, the details would not be understood anyway. And the war gets bigger over them if they know. So, each tool I am going to give you. None will address the alienator. Every tool I have learned to use is de-weaponizing them. You will get it as we go. But I do not want my children to feel guilty for hating a parent. It is utterly dreadful. There are no words. After all. This is not about the Hammer. It is about the children. However, I will explain the tactics of the alienator, the impact, and the undoing for each tactic. I am not a therapist. Nor educated by books. Well….lol…okay maybe by books plus experience. lol. Anyway. I am merely telling my story. Giving my perspective. And praying God someone else finds hope. There is too much hopelessness in the world. I am not asking for hope that does not produce. I want to walk with you thru producing fruit.
For today. I will keep it simple. And give a few things that seem to make little waves. And open the door to the children thinking. I will say that this works well over time if you have contact. And depending on the severity of alienation how quickly it will set in.
1. Alienators like to use the most well known weapon: Campaign of denigration. They use smoke and mirrors to make others thing badly about you. So, learn from their torment. When they plot, you plan. I mean its a really good idea to use smoke and mirrors sometimes. As parents we all do it.
Yesterday one of my little was super excited for a friends birthday. He is a hider. He hides his love. He also gets super weirdly attached to strangers. With insecure relationship with me. For now, it is what it is. Anyway. The friend was super not excited for his birthday. He says to my little “I have had too many birthday’s, I don’t want to celebrate.” So I pull the friend to the side, and explain my little was so upset that we bought a cake and friend won’t eat it. I explain this little guys heart is unseen. He is doing something nice. And wants to do so to show he cares. So friend, dreading the number on his cake (hahahaha) says ok. And smoke and mirrors it was. We all faked excitement for the notches on his belt that are years old. His joints sore. And his body aching. And all the while playing it up. Love it! My son was beaming with a smile. That is what I mean by smoke and mirrors. The odd thing, the fake excitement began to feel real. It was a good day.
Here is what I am getting at. There are tools I have learned to use that also came with needing to really realign my beliefs. This is one of those. I mean who wants to use Narc tools? It just feels wrong. Well, turns out parents do it all the time. And not to harm. Their words to build others up. To support their kids dreams and feelings even when they dont feel the same. The bible says out of the essence of the heart a man speaks. I realized my heart couldnt let me use this tool until I aligned my beliefs. I began to have to sort thru my fears and judgments of the Hammer and his tools. I realized I dreaded his antics, tactics, and ways. I judged smoke and mirrors along with him. I honored truth, believing parents shouldn’t ever lie. So much so that I wasn’t faking any emotions for anyone. I began to set boundaries, and free other walls. I believe that if we live from a place that honors our truth, whatever it may be, our actions flow from those places. Our behavior is a reflection of our heart. Our beliefs, Our judgement. The obstacles to really succeeding in using these tools are that we use tools that align with who we are and what we believe. I have no issue changing my mind on my beliefs. I have had to in order to heal. I am no longer the child who carries the dirty laundry and emotional anguish of my household or others. I care. But not my job to be the catchall. I had to stop seeing myself like that, in order to see who I really am. Where I conformed to the world around me, I saw myself as being transformed by it. No longer in a prison. But free. A portion of that has meant really asking myself if I judged the tools. Like smoke and mirrors. And redefining what words meant to me. Separating myself from what I thought they were, and what others think they were, and making my own mind up. I judged my ex. So I chose to forgive him. Giving him to God. And all his tools too. I encourage you, if any tool makes you cringe. To search your heart. Ask why. What does that word, or that tool, or that thing mean to you? And have you judged? I know I do all the time. We all do. But change comes when we redefine who we are and what we believe. How we see changes with that. And what we do flows from our hearts. Feel free to pass on some of these if you are not there or ready. And please let me know the tools you use that help.
Okay, now for how to apply smoke and mirrors. You are the target parent. Targeted by negative words, and negative statements, negative everything from the alienator likely. That means your kids don’t hear from others that you love them. That you are a good parent. Maybe your friends just don’t understand why you are such a hot mess. Why would they? I wouldn’t wish this pit on my worst enemy. Thanks God they don’t know. But it hurts, its lonely. So I connected with another target parent.
What you do, is you move in the opposite spirit. No more defending your love. No more arguing details. Just smoke and mirrors. When you hear a negative statement, lets do an easy one. Lets say your friend at work, who we will call Mrs. Daisy tells you that she thinks your co-worker, who I will call Jane Dough, is sleeping with her man. Immediately you say, no, I know this gal, Jane Dough would never. But during the next work Christmas Party you notice Jane Dough at the shrimp cocktail line hanging out a little longer chatting it up with the man. And you begin to say, hey, that’s odd. Then for New Years, you notice the same. Suddenly, the environment began to fit the allegation. Maybe they are. But maybe the man is a real estate agent and no one knows Jane Dough is wanting to buy a house. I mean really. It looked like it. Maybe it is, maybe it isnt. But you took note because of one person’s suspicion. This is how our brains work.
Now lets apply that to alienation. Lets say the AP tells your kids you are a witch. Ouch. But you brush it off because you are in fact not a witch and that is just absurd. But you love essential oils and yoga to relax from all the stress. I mean really. Suddenly your kids no longer want lavender baths and reject oils. You don’t understand. But its ok. No biggie. Only later it comes out. Nex told them you are a witch. Then went on raving about how witches use oils and herbs to curse people. And bam. The kids immediate thought of no way, is reinforced by false information and tangible things they actually see you do. Gossip spreads like wildfire.
But so does good. So lets reverse this. Lets say that AP tells kids you don’t love them. You don’t miss them. You don’t even want them. What now? The kids cringe every time you look at them. Saying I love you is met with “you hate me”. You argue that you don’t. It doesn’t get thru. Phone a friend.
AP may say you don’t care to even tell your friends about them. But now, smoke and mirrors applies. Every time you pick up your littles, you plan when they plot. You phone another TP, tell them to call right about 2 minutes after kids are in the car. Since you are driving, you must put phone on bluetooth right? Oops.
Ok, so your friend may have never met the kids. But she calls raving about how amazing of a mom you are. What the kids say? “No way? Someone actually thinks she is a good mom? Can this be right? They don’t know she hates us?” She rants with the excitement that I faked during the birthday party last night. “Oh (name) I cannot believe how adorable your kids are, I loved that video collage you did at work. Your kids are so amazing. You love them so much. And the story you told about how brave your little is. I am just blown away! I had no idea. We need to do a play date one day. I would love to meet your little fighter. Haha. Tough guy. I mean it takes a tough (mom/dad) to raise such a strong kiddo”.
Smoke and mirrors. You need to hear that your a good parent. Your kids need to hear from the world how much you love them. When you can’t say them, because it triggers them, someone can stand in the gap. And make movement that you can’t. That statement may bring you to your knees. There are things you cannot do for your kids. It twisted my guts to realize my kids could not understand from me that I loved them. But, after whailing it out for weeks, I began to search. For someone. It was not until the last several weeks I found that. And change has come again. I will say this again. Because it is important. You need to hear those words. Even if they aren’t real. And they are played out ahead. It is like music to my ears.
Secondly. If it hurts. It tells you who you are. If it hurts that your kids don’t know you love them. It is because you so desperately want them to know. There may be guilt, fear, or misguided beliefs about who you are as a parent too. Pain. Trauma. But below that is you. The you that loves them. Your pain tells you what you love, what you fear, where your insecurities are, where you need to search your soul and overcome. Thanks PTSD. You served me well. You may go now. Haha. I will go into that a little more later. But for now. Dive deep. Deep beyond the pain and see you. Hold on to that even when they can’t.
I recall when my kids utterly rejected me. I mean it was horrific. Everything set them off. My presence spun them into a rage. When they wore themselves out after the 4 hour rages you will hear me speak of time and again, I needed them to hear those words. “I love you”. In their sleep, they couldn’t scream bitch in my face for saying it. So I spoke it often. Nightly if I could. If I wasn’t on my face begging God for strength or to just end this. If I had energy. I told them. Having a friend say it, does so much more. It makes them realize, you speak highly of them despite their rage and rejection. It means you brag about them. You talk about loving being a parent. Loving your kids. It is that second piece of evidence they need to pause and think.
Know that this may trigger them. In the back they may spiral into hate. To protect themselves from the pain of hearing it. So making sure to start by putting them up is wise. Calling out what you see in them. Or what you once did. Their love of friends, even when it is used to distract them from you. Or hate you. Anything. Just so they hear those words. And know you brag on them. Even when its utterly ripping your guts out.
Lastly on this piece. Having a friend get excited. Talk fast. Get hype. Or fake it till you make it. Smile when you hear it. Let it soak in. Let it permeate the air. Even if it hurts. The hype is evidence in itself. When people get excited, I get excited. When people are sad, I feel it. There is an energy that shifts. Maybe they say nothing. Seeming to shut down. But maybe in that they are wondering. Can this be real? Doing this every time you pick them up from AP, or every time you can helps.
Tool 2: The kids triggers. Understand that the children have had to choose between you and the AP. All of us wish for a mom and dad. It is so horrific to have to be in the place to hate on and love the other not even funny. You may trigger them. The sight of you. Your perfume or cologne. Your car. Your home. They are made to hate your car, and love AP’s, to choose their home over yours. This means that the sight, smell, sound of it triggers them. Music would even trigger my kids. Their fav songs no longer fav, and hated. The music we once danced around to in the living room being goofs rejected. It hurts. But change the song. Find a new one. Avoid the trigger. Now many cannot avoid home. But if you can, avoid it immediately after pickup. Let their brains reset. Be in public. May it be a game, park, spray park, walking trail, the Y, the gym, anything. But be with them. Walk around the mall. Go to eat. Whatever you can to avoid home immediately after. This has another perk.
Alienated kids like most kids have stranger danger. I mean I have one that was like Woah in the grocery store. It was….ugh is all I can say. Anyway, in public they don’t tend to act out as much. One of mine is oppositional defiant disorder. I have to tell you, even and especially he knows to come right in public places he has not been. He wants to find a new mom at every park, or cling to people he barely knows. So, we stayed in public as much as possible. Until the car triggered him so much we couldn’t get down the road. I mean really. I will get more into that too.
The goal is to do anything next to them you can. No pressure to talk. Showing love sometimes means giving them a quiet space to unwind. But having that at home means triggering them and a big hot mess. For me, routinely staying out of the house worked well for a long time. Making it a routine meant that they knew when I got them home we would be with a different friend, swimming, doing something that did not require talking, pressure, or anything. It meant they knew what to expect. And there was no pressure or reminder to choose which home they liked most, which parent they would have to choose, and they were not about to call me bitch in public…..well mostly anyway. I had no energy. I didn’t want to get out. I wanted to hide. At some point, I didn’t even want to talk. Nor did they. So don’t force it. Just be. Sometimes that is all we can do. And honestly, that is enough.
Developmentally toddlers don’t have social skills to play with friends. They typically play next to friends. They don’t know how to share (sound familiar), how to engage, connect with peers, how to enjoy it. Many toddler daycares will have play sections. Putting 2-3 kids in a kitchen area, and they play in the area but next to each other. Maybe coloring books, lined up next to each other, but not really playing soccer or engaging as a team. So if your kids aren’t ready to engage, play next to them. Watching movies is good. I was broke a lot. So going to a friends and putting on a movie worked well. They were super close to friends they made with me, so that was our saving grace. Apt pools were free. And Parks too, which generally resulted in a fit or two but not constant. Whew. We pulled balls and tried playing soccer. They tripped me. They screamed if I made a goal, so we quit playing with goals. The engagement thing was a mess. So we kept it small and fewer. And did things that didn’t require emotions, sharing, or much thinking. Just doing something. No brainers. It will be different for each of you. But know that your home triggers them as much as you do. Its hard to hear that you trigger your kids. But remember. It isn’t you. Its their fear of having to choose, fear of not being loved by the AP unless they do. Fear of abuse. And maybe they are rejecting you to keep AP from hurting you.
I will end it here. For now. I will be going into some of the harder tools as we go. But I wanted to give some simple ideas to start.
Please leave comments on the areas you feel you need the most help in facing in this. And know that I am not a pro. I have access to my littles. Many of you may not. I will be posting on the healing process for those of you dealing with that. It may not fit to a T. But there is healing for the loss. And it starts with assessing those beliefs about yourself. If you can bear to dive deep past the sadness, or sit in it long enough to hear the negative thoughts and overcome them.
Here are a few topics I will be writing on. Comment on the ones you are most interested in and which you need the most. Add any not listed. Many of the overcoming that addresses kids will have activities that kids can do to reiterate the teachings and conversations too.
1. Creating a safe place for yourself and your kids
2. Dealing with the unending verbal assaults
3. Overcoming fear and letting it serve its purpose
4. Anger and protective walls
5. Letting Go
6. Permission to dream
7. Facing judgments
8. De-weaponizing the rewriting of history
9. Splitting and the undoing
10. Rigidity verses flexibility
11. Boundaries and enminishment
12. Overcoming lies we believe
13. Emotional neglect
14. Domestic Violence and parental alienation
15. No voice is no choice; following the gut
16 .Emotional regulation with scripts
17. Dealing with depression in AP
18. Dealing with mental disorders in alienated children; the links
19. Fear of authority and Stockholm
20. Self- acceptance
21. Belief inventories
22. Shifting perspectives
24. EMDR and undoing of trauma
25. Dealing with rejection
26. Control vs Freedom
27. The after effects on the TP of gaining custody
28. Alienated children and Guilt; TP and Guilt
29. Self Awareness
30. Giving your children a voice
31. Dealing with Hate
33. Teaching children empathy
34. Connecting with alienated children
36. The victim, hero, bully trifecta vs. establishing a foundation in God
37. Parental alienation and scripture
38. Spiritual Warfare
39. Love and Logic/Loving your Kids on Purpose
40. Overcoming lies your children believe, Id them, and challenge them
42. Childhood rooted beliefs
43. Grey Rock method
44. Child hood development and trauma impacts and undoing
45. How I overcame parental alienation
46. Loving both parents
47. Picking your battles
48. Music and the brain
49. Dancing as coping
50. Meditation and negativity fasting
51. Setting intentions and goals
52. Overcoming hate
53. Overcoming being hated
54. Shame and its kryptonite
55. Overcoming child sexual abuse
56. Self care, and living again after abuse
57. Overcoming isolation and gas-lighting from the community
58. Gas lighting and its undoing
59. Where is God in this?
60. Love vs Fear
61. Mercy vs Vengeance
62. Forgiving the unforgivable
63. Overcoming sadness
64. Grieving the loss of children right in front of you
65. Bias towards courts vs believing in them
66. Loss of hope and finding it again
67. Bitterness and restored hope