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Parental Alienation(3 Posts)
Sorry for the very long read in advance!
I met my ex partner when I was 16 years old and working part time while at school. He was 26 years old and the manager of where I worked. He was my very first boyfriend and the relationship lasted 7 years and only because we had 2 children early on. The last 5 years of the relationship was marred by emotional, verbal and financial abuse. He also used the 10 year age gap as a form of power and was incredibly controlling. He treated and spoke down to me like a child, swore at me and called me names on a daily basis. I tried to leave him at least a dozen times but he would never let me go, always using our children as emotional blackmail to get me to stay. I was young and naive and believed he'd change, but in truth I didn't have the strength to follow through with leaving him because I had nowhere else to go.
When the children were about 2 & 4 I went back to do some study and then got myself a job. It was a small win for me being able to regain some independence. I am not proud of it, but I ended up having an affair with a coworker. I never set out to do it but it just happened, and to make matters worse I fell pregnant with my 3rd child. I felt so terrible and guilty and life was just a total mess. After telling my ex he still wanted me to stay and abort the baby, but I refused and inevitably ended the relationship.
We had discussions about custody and both agreed that I would have primary custody of the children and he'd spend substantial time with them. I worked an hour away, so the agreement was the children would stay with him temporarily until I got a new rental and had it set up for the kids, then they would come to live with me.
My punishment for having an affair was to be left with all of our debt and I wasn't allowed to take anything from our house but the clothes on my back. Because of this it took me about 3 weeks to find a house and get set up set ready for the kids arrival. But when I went back to get the children he wouldn't give them to me. I had been fooled, he was lying all along and never had any intentions of the children living with me. He only agreed to the arrangement to get me to leave without them. Had I known he would do this I never would have left without them.
We have now been separated for 12 years and he continues to punish me for having an affair and leaving him at every opportunity. Nothing he ever did to me matters anymore as he is the ultimate victim and he has used what I did as his justification for his disgusting treatment of me. Robbing my 3 and 5 year old sons of their mother at such a crucial time in their life, making me take on all of his personal loans and credit card debt, making me sign our business over to his father while making me continue to pay for the business loan, refusing to let me take any furniture or any of the children's clothes or toys etc. I left with absolutely nothing and have had to rebuild my entire life. For the last 11 years he has lied (hidden) his income so that I have to pay him more child support than required and he refuses to do any of the driving or to meet me half way (I still live an hour away). His theory is I was the one who chose to leave, therefore his and the children's standard of living should not suffer as a result of my selfishness. He wouldn't get away with that had I not had an affair, but he steamrolled me and used my shame and guilt to get his way.
I have cried myself to sleep more nights and over thousands of miles in the car over the loss of my babies than I can remember. I have initiated numerous mediation sessions in the last 12 years to try and get my kids back or at least try and get consent orders in place but he refuses to cooperate or agree to anything. He just threatens and bullies me that no judge will ever give me custody of my children after what I did. I was so conditioned to his control and emotional abuse and felt so guilty for what I'd done that I believed him and eventually gave up trying. I was mentally exhausted, he had successfully threatened me enough to make me too scared to take him to court for custody. I settled for whatever time I could kick and scream for.
He repartnered after approx 3 years and he and his GF do their best to cut me out of every single decision to do with the children. They treat me like an inconvenience in their lives that they are morally obliged to let the kids visit when it suits them. I have them every second weekend and half of the holidays, but not set time, it's time that he dictates at the last minute so that I can't plan anything nice. He always gets first choice of dates and I have to take whatever is left.
I love my children dearly, and no matter what he throws at me I have always been there for them, I have had consistent time and contact with them, I have always provided for them and supported them in their education, all of their extra curricular activities and friendships. I have taken them to every single soccer, football and basketball game and every birthday party. I have attended karate gradings, fundraisers and school events to support them even when it's been outside of my time with them. I have never spoken ill of their father and have always tried to keep things civil for them. I am not perfect but I have tried to be the best mother I can given the limitations I'm under.
Over the years he has has regularly taunted me that he can't wait until the children are old enough to understand so he can tell them what I did and they will hate me too. He has taken great pleasure in torturing me with this secret.
My children are now 17 and 15 and I feel that this time has finally come and I have paid the ultimate price. We had a custody issue last year where he tried to take half of my weekend with the children without asking me or offering to make up the time because it was his birthday. After all the years of being pushed around by him I finally snapped and went to pick the children up from school for the weekend a day early so that he couldn't take half my weekend. The eldest who is very loyal to his father was not happy with me and would not come with me. The youngest did come, although I could tell he wasn't happy about being caught in the middle. Obviously it wasn't my finest hour and I didn't really think it through. I acted in the heat of the moment and didn't think how it would impact the children. I should note too that there was no big scene made at school in front of their friends. No yelling or screaming, I didn't skull drag them kicking & screaming to the car against their will. The oldest refused to come with me and I didn't push the issue. He rode his bike home from school.
Their father and I had a massive row about the weekend and his constant dominance and intruding on the little time I get with the children. He demanded I return my younger son or he would call the police. I refused. He rang my mother and raved at her hysterically for hours demanding that she make me take my youngest home to him. He had finally lost his grip of control over me and he could not handle it. From that moment on he said he would no longer facilitate a relationship between me and the boys, he would no longer encourage or force the children to come to me on the weekends and that they were old enough (14 & 16) to choose for themselves whether they come or not.
As a result, it has now been 18 months since I've seen my oldest son or spoken to him. It initially started out that he was just mad at me and needed time to cool down and he blocked me on his phone and defriebded me on Facebook. He called me once to thank him for a birthday gift I sent him and gave me a Mother's Day gift & card at a changeover last year (both within 2 months of the incident occurring). However since then he has not cooled down, and has blocked every avenue of communication and refuses to have anything to do with me at all. Naturally I am devastated and so angry with myself. I miss him everyday and my heart aches to see his face, hug him and tell him I love him. In this time he has grown taller, gotten his licence and bought his first a car. He is graduating high school soon too. I have missed so much of his life, including Christmas and 2 birthdays and I'm beyond broken hearted. I send him presents, cards, emails, I leave voice mails, I send text messages, but nothing. I'm blocked and ignored from every angle.
My question is, is this a normal reaction, or major over reaction for a teenager to give for the incident that happened? Or is it likely that this father has finally told him of the affair and this is the fallout I have been threatened with for so long? I just can't believe he would have such an extreme reaction, it doesn't make sense and I can't help but feel there is more to it.
I don't want to ask my younger son what his brother's issue is because I don't want to put him in the middle. So far we still have a very good relationship so I don't want to do anything to risk that.
I suppose I am looking for advice on whether this is normal? Or if you think my ex has alienated him from me. Has anyone else had any experience with parental alienation?
Lastly, even though my son refuses to have any contact with me, I still want to attend his high school graduation. He is still my son and I am so proud of him and I will never forgive myself if I miss this major milestone also. Do you think that's a good idea or will it make matters even worse? Not that I can see things really getting any worse.
I know I will probably cop a lot of hate and judgement for this with many thinking I deserve it. But there isn't anything anyone can say that will hurt me more than I have already hurt myself. I have already paid the ultimate price.
Oh rose - poor you.
Just some initial thoughts to a desperately sad story...
Your exp was controlling and domineering which is what sought you to look elsewhere, so quit blaming yourself for this mess. Your exp is in such a controlling position with your children its no wonder that ds1 has withdrawn contact. My advice at this point would be to make it clear that you will always be there for both of the kids. In reality as ds1 gets older exp's grip will loosen and ds1 may begin to see things himself for what they are, so keep being there in the background. Sorry if not that helpful but just wanted to give you a hug really!
Do they have a relationship with their half sibling? Have they ever asked why you left them? Your answer?
It's a tough situation. This does read a lot like what unfaithful men deal with after an acrimonious split. Angry ex spouse, angry kids, etc.
I'm guessing going the legal route for access would be a waste of money at this point due to their age?
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