Shattered - A Story About Emotional & Financial Abuse And Parent Alienation

A story of emotional & financial abuse & parental alienation

I remember running into conflicts with the staff at my sons' preschool. Sometimes I was kept waiting to pick up my son after school while the staff would call my ex-husband to confirm permission for me to take him. I remember suspecting that people there might secretly doubt my qualifications as a parent.

I am a real mother, but I wasn't living with my children. I don't even have physical custody of my three kids, now nine, and sixteen and almost eighteen.However, neither does my ex. What no one knows, or can even comprehend is that I have had to live with the visitation that my children's father has dictated or has not decided to grant me, that I was forced to accept this without a court order and that he has continued to deny me to access to my kids educational records and to other parental rights. He has inflicted his own court ruling through intimidation and manipulation. What no one knows is that the father of my children is an emotional and financial abuser who has committed such fraud against myself and my family that his acts have taken every financial, emotion and physical means needed by me to fight him in any court.

For me, I have spent the five and half years living in fear of my children's father. The thought of trying to get physical custody or even just share that with my ex-husband has seemed like an impossible quest for me to accomplish.

My story may or may not be unique. There may be others who may suffer more or who have it worse. But this is my story to share. I wish there was some way I could relive it and put it somewhere on the Internet where it would live as one of those stories for all eternity. A place that my children may one day find it and finally know the truth, unfortunately, that may be long after I am gone.

I have had suspicions that neighbors, teachers and even former friends may secretly doubt my fitness as a parent, and this always haunts me. I am a loving, caring, law-abiding mother and I have always acted in my children's best interests. I had to leave an abusive man and no one knows the truth to make judgments.

However, I sometimes feel that outsiders who don't quite know what to make of me as a mother who doesn't live with her kids have judged me.I see how my children's father draws charmed smiles and support from strangers.

I am sure that when we separated, or even if everyone knew the secret truths, I can see how it would be assumed that the kids would automatically live with me. People are always surprised that my children don't pack their bags and shuttle between my ex-husband and myself every other week. Instead the roles are completely reversed-my ex-husband is the one who has the kids and I their Mom live somewhere else. I see the look that people give me; I know they might wonder what went wrong. I am sure there are those who assume I must have deserted my children or had them taken away.They think maybe she hit them?Or, did she leave them in order to "go find herself"? However, no one can imagine how complicated the truth really is. No one could possibly understand how it was that I allowed this man, someone I loved and shared my life with, to con me of everything including my own children. This was not a simple clear-cut choice for me. This has been a choice forced on me.

I have faced odd looks, intrusive questions, or rude remarks. I have suffered with guilt, confusion, sadness, and depression. I have been to the brink of darkness and despair. You can't believe the discrimination and bias that people have had toward me.

I would like to see my kids frequently. However, my ex-husband has turned both my daughters against me and limits and dictates my time spent with my son. He denies it, but he continues to try to paint a horrendous picture of me as an inadequate parent who abandoned her kids. I am sure he is not truthful with anyone of how he deceived me into signing divorce papers claiming to me that he was facing so called IRS issues. He demanded that I not question him as he was my husband and when I protested he threatened that we would lose everything. He made promises of re-marrying me when his issues were resolved. I'm sure it may be easy for someone on the outside to ask how I could be so blind. I can tell you that there were warning signs but there I was, a new mother with a young infant being told that I had two choices and that only one was the correct choice.

I am sure my ex doesn't share with anyone that he so easily defrauded me and my parents of their entire life savings. This forced my family into bankruptcy and ruined my credit.That even today he was aware that I am faced with paying off a debt he created in my name and feels no remorse with the fact that I had to take out a loan in which to pay off that debt. All that was done without truthful understanding, or knowledge. Debts were incurred in my name while I was still with him. At the time, I never completely understood what he was doing. When I ever questioned him, he would become angry and state that he did not need to explain anything to me. I was a stay-at-home mom with our children and was completely kept in the dark.

I'm sure he will deny his years of mental abuse that he inflicted on me, or the countless times when he drove me to tears with his abusive "venting episodes." He would always tell me that he had lots of stress and pressure in his life and that he needed to periodically "vent" as he called it, because if he didn't he would have a heart attack or an aneurysm which he claimed ran in his family. Then he would calmly explain how awful that would be for me and how could I possibly survive with our little children without him. Then he would tell me that he loved me and that out of love for him I needed to understand this and put up with this. And then there were his countless out of town trips for "his business" and the numerous calls from women that followed always questioning who I was and then typically hanging up the phone. Or the repeated times I would call him on his away trips only to get his voice mail or even a "do not disturb" on his hotel phone. Of course he always had some excuse or would mange to turn things around as if somehow it were entirely my fault. There was even a time he came home from a trip and I unpacked his luggage just to find a worn pair of women's underwear. He tried to tell me that his buddies pulled some kind of joke. I just failed to see the humor and grew even more depressed when he refused to even call the guys he was supposedly with to comfort my concerns.

You may be reading this and wonder if perhaps I was abused in my early years. You would be correct in thinking so. Isn't that often the case, an abused child who grows up and marries an abuser? It's a terrible vicious cycle many repeat. The abuse changed the very fabric of the little girl I was. I was forced to grow up and I kept the abuse I had suffered a secret. I left home when I was barely 17. I swore that I would never allow anyone to ever hurt me again. I thought my life would be different. I thought I had left that behind me and that I had become a strong woman. A survivor. I went through years of counseling and managed to even forgive.

However, when I married my ex and he emotionally abused me, it all came painfully back. I blamed myself, I often talked myself into believing it wasn't so bad. I convinced myself because he didn't hit me it wasn't really abuse. After all, he would always tell me he was sorry. We even had many moments of happiness and I thought I just needed to be a better wife. But I came to realize that cruel words hurt, you just can't see the bruises. There were times, I even wished he would just hit me instead of hurt me with his words. I tried to talk to him. But he would tell me that he was not abusive and that it was me who had problems, not him. I tried to bury my pain and believed and bought into everything he said. Yes, we had moments of happiness, but no matter any periods of happiness those were trumped with sadness from the "venting" that was ever increasing.

I am sure he told no one of how I finally asked him to leave the children and me in our home, and freely go because he was the one so unhappy. When I finally found the strength to stand up to his bullying, he laughed and told me that there was the door in which to leave, and that everything including the children were now and would always be his. He intimidated me further by letting me know that all our assets were in his name only and that now we lived in California the courts did not recognize common law marriages so I would not be entitled to anything. He reminded me that a common law marriage is all we had since I was forced to sign divorce papers all those years ago and that he never remarried me. A terrible secret that I was never allowed to share with anyone. He arrogantly told me that no court would ever award anything to me. He said since I did not have an income he would be awarded our children. He intimidated me, and sadly I believed him.

I was terrified and felt I had no one to turn to. Who would help me? Who would believe me? I had been a stay-at-home mom of 15 years who did not have a career or separate finances. I couldn't afford lawyers and lengthy court fights. I didn't have a college education and had no money, no family support. I was in a controlling, abusive relationship with a man who conned me into signing divorce papers after he had borrowed money from my parents, which later turned out to be their life savings. He convinced my father to even loan us the money for the down payment on our first home together.

I later found out he went and opened businesses in my name and my father's name, but all the while he controlled the finances. He told my family and me that he needed to manage the businesses and the finances alone. He was so convincing to us all in his sincerity. When bills continued to mount up he would ask my father for more and more. His management style began to take its toll on my father. My father began to question me about everything because my husband quit taking his calls and avoiding coming home if my father was there. However, I was in the dark about it all. This caused a rift between my parents and I. There were so many secrets and lies that he insisted that I keep. He would become angry if I questioned anything. This would always lead to a "venting" episode. He also insisted that I could tell no one that we were divorced and that I could never tell his family about the money that he had borrowed from my parents.

My father was diagnosed with lung cancer, he increasingly grew weaker and after just 2 months after his diagnosis he called me and knew he was dying and asked me to come and help him get into hospice. My husband refused to come with me, as he knew he would be faced with questions about the finances of our businesses. He even refused to care for our kids because he said he had business (which I later found out was a golf date). I watched my father die that night. I carry so much guilt as he was so distraught about all the money he had given my husband. He kept telling me that my husband had taken everything and that my mother would not survive this alone. I didn't know what to say or do to comfort him. I called my husband and begged him to come right away. He didn't. Instead, he showed up days later to attend the funeral. Telling everyone there that he loved my father and was saddened of his passing. He never even apologized to my father before he died or my mother. He later told me when I was inconsolable to stop crying he said my father was a big boy and shouldn't have given him any money if he didn't have it to give. After my father passed away he told me to tell my mother to file for bankruptcy as he refused to take on all the loan payments that my father had been making on our behalf. He said that the businesses had failed and that there was no money. I felt sick, but I had no choice but to believe him. I allowed him to control everything. I felt powerless to do anything. He then moved us from Arizona to California. A move that would seal my fate.

It wasn't until years later that I discovered papers that appeared to show he had committed fraud. That he had lied about everything. That he had taken all the assets and had put those things in his name only.

It was really an accident that I even discovered these papers. The papers showed everything. All the money he had borrowed and what he had done with it. How he had taken "white out" and removed my fathers name from the corporate documents and meticulously replaced my fathers name with his own. I found documents that showed the businesses that he said had failed were actually sold for a profit. It showed that he took the money. There was even a copy of the check he cashed. It showed the home my parents had also loaned us money was also sold at a profit.(he told me the home was a loss and forced me to sign a power of atty to handle the sale as not to stress me further as I was still dealing with my fathers passing) I found copies of statements of numerous bank accounts that were in my name with money that I never knew about.

It wasn't difficult to figure out that he put all the money that he acquired from the businesses and assets into bank accounts that he opened in my name with a power of attorney. He did this all without truthful understanding or knowledge to me. He then filed for personal bankruptcy for himself and then later closed all the bank accounts in my name and transferred all the cash into his own bank account. I found documents of fraud he had even committed against his own mother, where he had borrowed money from her too and was paying her small monthly amounts from the businesses and money he had taken from my parents. Payments that suddenly stopped going to her, when my father had passed away. This explained to me his wish for me not to share anything with his mother. It also explained why his mother frequently made comments that our house and business were all due to money she claimed she had given her son. She treated me very cruelly during our entire marriage. My ex had told me that she was not completely sane. He denied any of her claims and dismissed her actions as early dementia. In fact she was the reason he told me that he had to file for personal bankruptcy. She had sued him. I never understood why and he kept me in the dark and refused to let me go to court with him. He continued to say it was all due to her dementia. Discovering these documents now explain her comments and confirm she was definitely sane. However, the documents don't excuse her treatment of me during my relationship with her son. I can however, empathize and can only imagine the stories or lies that he probably told her as well.

Finding these papers years after I had left my ex-husband was bitter sweet. I felt relief in finally seeing the truth, it gave me validation that I wasn't crazy. As he had told me I was for so many years. It was painful because it forced me to relive all the memories I had tried so hard to forget and to question whether he ever really even loved me. It forced me to wonder if I had somehow brought this on myself and had been a willing victim. I questioned if I had allowed him to use me and then toss me out like trash when there was no more left for me to give, or should I say, for him to take.

When I found the strength to leave, he only allowed me leave the house with a few of my personal things. He physically intimidated me so I did not fight him. After I had left, he then told me that he had destroyed everything else including family photos of me and memories of my family with the children when they were young. He refused to even so much as give me a $100 to help me get into an apartment.
He demanded that I not leave and told me that the abuse was imagined by me. He demanded I stay for the sake of our children but refused to accept any responsibility for his actions or his "venting". He continued to say that I was the one who was sick and needed help. He claimed that he only did what he did for the sake of our family. I was devastated. I was hurt and confused and only knew that if I did not leave him my depression would lead me to further darkness. When I left he was so angry, he manipulated my daughters so that they would be terrified to leave with me, and would threaten me saying that my son will never leave his house. I begged for counseling for the kids countless times. I also begged for him to stop the alienation that he was instilling in their minds. He would simply deny any such actions.

The facts are that I have always wanted my children, and I never wanted to leave my house that I made a home for 15 years. When he refused to work out some kind of resolution and alienated my daughters from me. I had one of two choices. Lay down in self-pity or worse go back and continue living with him, and the abuse that he denies.

I chose to live and fight him another day. Now, for over the last 5 1/2 long, heart-breaking years their father has emotionally kidnapped my children. I have felt helpless, as my relationship with my youngest daughter has ebbed toward total estrangement. My oldest daughter is so angry and only calls me with demands of money. I have struggled ever since I left my emotionally abusive ex-husband. Both my daughters were in their pre-teens when the relationship between their father and myself came to an end. It was my oldest daughter who came to me very distraught because she and her sister had repeatedly witnessed their father's abusive venting episodes. These episodes would always end with me going behind the closed doors of my bedroom and crying. My oldest came into my bedroom and asked me, "Why mommy do you let daddy treat you this way?" The children were scared of their father and scared for me. I will never forget that day, or forget the look on my daughters face. All the years of emotional abuse that I endured from their father, I thought I had hid it all so well from my children. I was so ashamed. It was that moment that I said, "no more."

However, today my daughter will deny that she ever said that to me, she would tell me that it never happened. She now parrots everything that her father has told her.

Sadly, my daughters don't even recall all the numerous happy times we shared together. I can still see the smiles on each one of my children's faces. All are at different moments of their lives but I can picture each of them in the memories of my mind like it was yesterday. I thought in those happy moments, those warm sweet feelings would just last forever. I will always remember the days that started out with nose and butterfly kisses and tickles ending with bedtime stories and prayers. In between there were walks to the park playground, dress up tea parties with the girls in the afternoon, or planting in the garden with my son.

There were summers on the beach, sandcastles, finger sandwiches and countless songs from Veggie-Tales and Barney. There were trips together with their aunt. Rock climbing in the desert, to rock collecting along streams. There were travels to the Big Apple, shopping in China Town to sight seeing in Williamsburg. There was river rafting along the Lehigh River to memories of the best chicken and dumplings at a wonderful roadside cafe that we fell upon when we got lost together during a trip.

I cherished the look of amazement and delight on their faces the first night we caught fire flies during our trip to Pennsylvania. I recall the feeling of family, as we all laid on the grass together and looked up at the wonderment of the vast night sky that was filled with more stars than we had ever seen.

I remember the little things, like how I adored the sweet smell of my children's hair. Or how it made me smile looking at my little cherubs as they slept, I would always have to give into the temptation of holding their precious little hands and feet. I would thank God for all the miracles the three of them had each given me.

They have now been brainwashed into only memories with their dad. Both my daughters have now told me to my face with their father's words, "You left us mom, you abandoned your family, and you imagined the abuse."

I try and keep constant contact with my daughters, now 18 and 16 who my ex-husband has told me don't want to see me, and my son, now 9 who my ex-husband will only let me see every other weekend at best. Initially, the alienation started off on a small scale: Daily phone calls that I would make to speak to my daughters would go unanswered. My ex-husband then told me to stop calling, as he informed me that my daughters didn't want to speak to me. Then my ex-husband forbid me to speak to my son on the phone as well during the time he is with his father. My ex-husband told me that I needed to have any conversations with my son only during the time, which he would decide I was allowed to have.

I believe all the children should be in therapy, I believe that both the girls suffer from a form of brainwashing described by a psychiatrist I once saw as parental alienation Syndrome (PAS). I believe that my ex-husband and turned both my daughters against me and have alienated the children.

My younger daughter won't visit or even try to reconnect with me. I thought perhaps she and I were possibly making a breakthrough. She had come to stay with me once before for a sleep over with one of her girlfriends. However, as soon as that happened her father intervened. Suddenly she has pulled away and became angry. The last time she spoke to me now over a year ago, she complained about the financial problems their dad is going through and blames me for breaking up the family. Our children should have never been exposed to the personal opinions of their father. They are children, who now have been forced to deal with adult problems. These are all his views and words. I believe they suffer from clinical alienation.

My older daughter started to come around when I opened my salon to get free services. I gladly obliged any opportunity to just see her. However, She would let me know how little she thinks of me because of the conversations she has about me with her dad. She is always extremely upset when she speaks to me and treats me with an enormous disrespect. I always listen and tell her that the problems are between her father and I and that there is much more to the story. I tell her I am so very sorry for the pain that she and her siblings feel and ask her to forgive me and that I hope one day she will see things differently.

My son has commented to me on more than one occasion that he would like to spend more time with me however, when he asks his dad this. He says that his dad tells him to go and live with your mom and never see your sisters again. One visit he had with me he cried and said that he was scared to ever speak with his dad about this, because his dad becomes so upset with him. Another mom whose son plays with my son when he visits, let me know that my son had confided that he wants to stay with me longer, but his dad won't allow it. He also told his friend that he was afraid of his dad and making him angry.

My ex-husband has also made comments to me that I have made our son weak with all my mothering. For example: His dad was one of the coaches for a baseball team that he signed our son up to play on. My ex-husband put pressure on him to play. My son confided to me that he did not enjoy playing baseball but when he shared this with his dad, his dad became angry and told him to then go live with his mom and become a girl as in his opinion he was acting like one. I witnessed something similar when I attended a baseball game that my son was playing in. My son was just not into the game and his dad kept screaming at him to pay attention. I thought he was being harsh with him. My son then got hit in the face with the ball. He began to cry and my ex-husband pulled him off the field. I ran up to comfort my son and he told his dad he didn't want to play anymore. His dad then yelled at him and told him to go put a dress on and live with your mom. It was a horrible thing to say to our son who then cried uncontrollably. Many times I have heard my ex-husband ask my son to choose one of us over the other. It bothers our son tremendously. My son has also told me that he was distraught that his dad has made the suggestion that the family would move up to Orange County and live with his dad's new girlfriend. When my son expressed to my ex-husband that he did not want to leave his home or be so far away from his mom again his dad told him to go ahead and live with his mom and not come back.

My ex-husband has frequently informed me that he has sat the children down and has told them everything about the problems that were wrong with our relationship; he states that he has told them that their mother is the one who needs help. He says he is just being honest with the children. However, I have witnessed both daughters suffering for his decision to share this information with them. They both harbor such hostility toward me and frequently bring up these conversations they have had with their dad. I have tried to continue to reach out to them, ask for their forgiveness, and tell them that I am here for them and love them unconditionally.
Yes, I had to find a job. I had to find work that would make me enough money to have a roof over my head and pay back the loan from my friend who helped me get a place to live. My ex left me with ruined credit and numerous creditors. I had to pay a judgment that was placed on my name. I had to try financially to help my mother who had lost everything because of the money my father had given my ex- husband money. Money that my ex never paid back to my parents. I have had numerous jobs many of which did take me out of town as a salesperson doing trade shows. I have also repeatedly tried and sometimes failed numerous times to start businesses. I believe if I could successfully achieve financial success this would somehow provide the means and stability needed to fight my ex-husband in court.
I opened a salon in January of 2011 and am working hard to make a success in what has turned out to be the worst economy. I am once again hopeful that my business will finally flourish and give me a steady income. I set up credit cards for my girls and put money on their cards weekly. Its not a lot but I give them everything I can. I also send them gifts on their birthdays, Christmas etc. I never hear anything from them but can only hope that someday they will have a change of heart.
I hoped to find along the way some type of resolution that would give me legal access to my children. My ex forced me through his manipulation and control to accept his dictation of visitation with my son and proceeded to alienate me completely from my two daughters lives. No, I haven't had custody of my children, but that doesn't mean I was negligent or that I didn't care about my kids or that I didn't want my kids all the time. This was just a matter of my ex-husbands intimidation that he could afford the best attorneys, and that he led me to believe he had legal connections of retired judges. He told me If I attempted to take him to court over anything including custody that the court would then rule that I would not even get the visitation that he was granting me. No one can understand the fear I have lived with all these years.

No one can understand if they were not in my shoes. No one can imagine how difficult each day that has passed without my children has been. No one can begin to comprehend the pain of knowing another woman has moved into the home I once shared with my kids, and hearing that my ex forces my children to call her mom. No one can imagine how it feels to be told that I am simply the "biological mom" and that this stranger is now their real mom. No one can assume the heartache I have endured to hear that this new woman has had discussions of adoption with my son and younger daughter. No one can imagine the daily pain and torment I feel knowing that someone I once loved, the father of my 3 children is a con man holding all the pieces of my life in his hands.

He will no doubt deny everything. He will point the finger at me with accusations. I have heard what he tells people. He says that I abandoned him with the children. That I choose to live apart from my kids and that I willingly travel in a job to be away from them. I hear how he tells people of what he says is selfishness, as I went out and had breast augmentation, and a got a tattoo. He shares this and many other things that paint a picture of a horrible mother.

Truth, I left an emotionally abusive relationship with a very controlling man. He took everything from me, including my children. I later discovered that there was financial abuse and even elder abuse of my parents and his own mother. After 15 years with him, I had become a shell of the former woman I once was. Yes, I had to find a job with the only skills I had. I worked hard. It wasn't easy, as he wouldn't give me anything. Yes, I had breast augmentation but not for the purpose of attracting others, but that I needed to do this for me. I wanted to feel pretty again after so many years of torment from my ex-husbands negative comments about my body. The body of a mother who had the visual signs of giving birth to three children, his children. No one knows that I got a tattoo to cover my c-section scars because it was a daily, visual, painful memory of my three children who passed through me but were no longer with me.

I recognized that I have remained co-dependent on my sociopath ex-husband for all these years. Allowing him to continue to intimidate me. And that only now because of the new information that has come to light I found concrete evidence that validates everything. I had suspected acts of fraud and deception but never imagined the absolute devastation that my ex- husband caused. I now recognized that I have allowed him to manipulate me all these years and that everything he has ever told me was a lie.

He recently met someone on-line and felt the need to call me about her. Instead of telling me that she was a wonderful person he told me that she had a beautiful home in an expensive part of California. He also shared that she was a recent widow who has a 7-year-old daughter. After only 1 meeting he had decided in his words that "she was the one, however he stated she didn't move him". (I know him well enough to know he was suggesting she didn't physically appeal to him. So to me he is with her because of what she can give him) The following weekend I would go to his house to pick up my son and find that she was already spending the night with him along with her daughter present. A few short months after that he convinced her to sell her home and she was quickly preparing to move into the home we had once shared.

He decided to have a garage sale to get rid of everything before she moved in. Finally, after all these years there on his driveway were all my belongings from my life, that he had refused to allow me to take. He did finally allow me to take a few things. I opted to take a huge box of piano music that my father had given me as a child.
This is where I would find all the documents that I have been referring to. I have to say, that I probably would have never known the complete truth had I not discovered these papers. In a weird way I have his girlfriend to thank for this.

He has since disconnected the phone at the house making it impossible for me to communicate with any of the kids. He no longer allows me to come to the house to pick up my son. He goes to great efforts to prevent me from ever meeting with his girlfriend. In fact to this day, I have never even been introduced to her. A woman who is living with our children. Even at my son's school where I frequently see her picking up her daughter she has physically turned from me as if she has been coached not to speak to me. I can only imagine what he has told her.

He has forbid me to participate in any school, or parent teacher activities at my daughter's school or extracurricular activates that the girls are involved with. He has even lied and told the school that he has physical custody of the children, which is untrue. When I have tried to contact my daughters about this, my ex-husband has gone so far as to send me an email letting me know that I would not be welcome at any of these events as his new girlfriend is now the one attending any of these types of events that involve my children. He goes on to say that this will now be the norm not the exception with her attendance and that my participation at any such events would make it uncomfortable for her.

My ex-husband has not hesitated to lash out at me in front of the children. He was demanding that I sign over some timeshares to him that were in my name. Why not? He has taken everything else why not take anything else I have left. I told him that I had always intended to put them in the children's name and would do so when they were old enough and refused his demands.
He became out of control angry right in front of my daughter and postured himself in my face and started screaming. He then screamed at my daughter to get out of my car, which she and her friend were sitting in when he lost control. He threatened me by saying that I would do exactly as he says or I would never see or speak to my children ever again. I remained calm and hoped that my younger daughter would see wrong his actions were. Instead, she has never spoken to me since that day. He later sent me a very disturbing email that he went so far as to CC my two daughters a copy. My ex-husband has made it clear that any actions on my part to attempt to get the courts involved about visitation or counseling for the children will cause all ties between my kids and I to be severed. He then left the same type of message on my voice mail as well.
I sought what legal help I could afford. This is when I found the documents under the piano music. Unfortunately, I was getting no help from the lawyer I had hired. So I confronted my ex with my discovery of the documents. He responded by first telling me that anything I had found he could explain. He claims that anything he did was for the family. Then he angrily demanded that I give him back these documents, as he said they were his property. Of course I have refused. He became even angrier and went even so far as to say that he only stayed with me because he wanted children. No one can imagine how raw the pain I have felt because of all this has been. I have since put these documents in a safe place.

When he found out that I hired an attorney. He was enraged and told me that I had made a huge mistake. He left many threatening voice mails stating that it would be my end to go down such a road. He then manipulated the children and inflicted his own personal views and beliefs upon them. He left a voice message on my phone letting me know that he sat the children down and had them make statements against me for possible future court cases. He frequently now uses this as a threat to get me to back off from attempting to see the girls or my son any more than he allows. I know these actions are hurting the children.

My ex-husband tells me constantly that he has had discussions with the girls and that they have told him that they do not want me there. The girls have frequently told me that their dad is their friend, and that he has shared everything with them. They feel that because of their relationship they side with him on all issues.
My oldest even confronted me and demanded that I give their father back the documents I had found. I was shocked that her father would share this information with our children. I and told her this was between her father and I. She continues to parrot her fathers words.
On holidays my ex-husband never allows me to have the children and he refuses to even dial the phone and hand it to my son so that he can speak with me. He does this even though my son has told his dad he wants to speak with me and spend time with me. My son tells me that he misses me and wants to spend more time with me but that upsets his father. My son tells me often that he is afraid to upset his father. He has shared that he is afraid of him.

My ex-husband also lets me know that my daughters do not call me on any holidays, birthdays etc. because they have no desire to speak with me.

The separation from the children has affected not only myself as their mother, but also their grandmother and their aunt. My ex-husband refuses to let me even take my son to visit my mother and sister. My side of the family was the only active family members during the growing years of all my children. His family was estranged from us and rarely participated with us when our kids were growing up. However, since I have left he and his mother have reconciled and his family now has become the only family my children are exposed to. Their father won't allow visits to Arizona with the children. Sadly the kids are now missing out on the love of one half of their family.

The children should all be in therapy. I know that they love their father and believe that in their hearts still love me too. However, with each day that this parental alienation continues will make it difficult to reconnect with my daughters. My oldest daughter just started college at Boise State this year and my younger daughter is a junior in high school. I reach out and text my daughters weekly. I have continually sent both my daughters' heart felt letters telling them I miss and love them. I had hoped to get court ordered counseling at the very least for my younger daughter and son to give them an outlet to help them deal with the pain I know they feel. I have had great hope that I would have my day in court and that the court would grant me regular and frequent visitation with my son, I know he wants to spend more time with me and loves me very much.

However, I have found that after much sought out legal help. There is no one willing to do anything more than help me fill out forms. Without a huge bankroll there is little more that I can do except to accept the current conditions that my ex-husband has dictated all along.

I am still struggling in my life both emotionally and financially. I can't seem to get things going well. I can't find peace. It's difficult to find closure when I continue to deal even today with financial debts he has left with me. All the while I continue to receive emails that pressure me to give more and more financially to my ex as he states for the children. I don't have it. He constantly says he spends tens of thousands of dollars each month on the raising of our kids. I don't know what he does for a living or where he would get such an amount of money. He still is "working out of the home" just as he always did when we were together. I can only imagine that he is taking his new girlfriends money.
I give everything I can to my kids.I have called him and reminded him that he took everything, and that it is wrong to alienate our children from me. He tells me that the girls have made their own decisions and that he has not influenced them in any way. He states that his girlfriend is financially giving to the raising of our children and now since I have remarried he thinks that I should be able to give more. I tell him that if I had more to give I would and that I would have gladly given the money that I am still paying for debt that he left in my name. I also remind him how I have to financially help with my mother care as she lost everything. I tell him that I cannot understand how he can sleep at night knowing the devastation his actions have caused to so many people. He tells me that he sleeps fine and that he has simply moved on.

I cannot express to the tremendous sadness and pain I feel daily. There is not a day that passes that I do not long for reconciliation with my children. There is not a day that passes that I don't cry. I have turned to God for comfort. I have reconnected with my faith through prayer. I have asked for forgiveness, even from my ex. I have to believe that God will reunite me someday with my children. I want to believe that will happen in this life.

Yes, I did remarry. However, I married a USMC officer who has been in Afghanistan and when he returned home was transferred across the country. So he is there, and I am here for the next 3 years. I don't want to leave the city and state where my remaining two children are. My son needs me and I hope for reconciliation with my younger daughter. If I leave I know all efforts with my children will be lost.

You can't imagine how difficult it is to be in a place all alone without the support of family or friends. It is difficult to continue to go through this pain daily without ever knowing if it is all in vain. I have made mistakes, I accept responsibility, I am truly sorry.

I don't know if whoever reads this will take the time to read my whole story. Perhaps this is the story for all eternity that I am leaving behind in hopes that one day my children will know the truth and know that I have always wanted them and will always love them unconditionally. I am here waiting for them with open arms and pray that their hearts will soften one day.
shatteredmom shatteredmom
46-50, F
7 Responses Sep 5, 2011

Your story mirrors my story and i now have full custody of my youngest son and my 18-year old daughter as finally come around. I did it without incurring additional legal fees, after the alienation occurred. With him having full custody, you will end up paying "back" support long after your children are 18 if you don't do something fast.

Please get in touch with me thru my blog. I need a way to contact you so that I can help you. My blog is: I'm in Northern California. I don't want to post my telephone number or email address here. I can help you if you get in touch with me and give me a way to contact you.

I am so sorry. I have a similar story and fear can turn me into this unreasoned animal, head spinning high like grief and anger and pain combine into a potent drug.<br />
I don't want to say it but it is what I thought.<br />
I hope I won't find myself like you.<br />
I'm sorry I thought that.<br />
I'm sorry there's nothing you can do.<br />
I go nuts, physically nut-panic some days knowing my boys live just a few miles away and I will get in trouble trying to see them outside my weekly allotment.<br />
Already he is deciding what he should or should not have to tell me.<br />
I ask that he tells me when they are sick.<br />
He does not.<br />
And to the state's face says. 'I don't need to tell her every time they get the sniffles or a cold. It's not like they have the flu.'<br />
He even pointedly invited me to my bubs birthday party and completely ignored the rest of my family.<br />
Like I should be happy I was at least allowed to be a guest.<br />
He has written off my family as family of the boys.<br />
And hate it. I hate.<br />
I'm so fricking scared.<br />
I see that train coming but I'm tied to the tracks.<br />
I'm so sorry I had the thought of not being like you.<br />
Please know, though, I hope people won't be like me either.<br />
This kind of pain, living children made dead to us by circumstance. This kind of pain should be reserved for a circle of hell.

I think if this story is for your children, it should be printed on acid-free archival paper, and lodged with a solicitor whose job it is to hand the letters to them in personally when they reach their majority.<br />
It may help to consider moving and leaving no contact details.<br />
You could keep in touch with them via face book or EP (make those arrangements via notes to them left in their school lockers.<br />
Your ex is the type who could get much worse as you go through the courts, because you will win, and he knows it and has a lot to lose.<br />
You will need emotional support.<br />
If you don't have friends in your current life, consider reaching out to women's support groups, volunteer telephone counselling services, and here on EP.<br />
Not many people write or read very long ones here, so you might find more responses by breaking your story into separate chapters and making them very concise.<br />
I completely understand your decision to leave your marriage; literally a life saving coice in this sort of circumstance.

I too know it well. My blog is There's some good information there about the family court system in my latest blog that anyone who is contemplating divorce or family court should read.<br />
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I'm sorry you know this paiin. I have one of my children back but my daughter is so full of venom and hate I fear we will never be the same. <br />
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Parental alienation has changed me. I don't go out anymore or socialize. I'm not eager to find love and I don't celebrate birthdays and I've become very introverted whereas I used to pursue an active social life. I just don't have the desire - I'm not the same person as I've experienced the pain and humiliation and loss that is parental alienation. But the guilt of what he has put my children through is by far the biggest pain in my life. How do we ever make it up to them.<br />
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Stay strong dear ladies. They say eventually kids always come back. Think of kids who have been adopted. At some point in their lives, most will seek out their birth parents. The bond is that strong between mothers and their children. It will be for your children too. Pray and be patient and just wait and they will come back. I believe it.<br />
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Yes, I do know your pain. We are on the same page. Some paragraphs were a carbon copy of my story. I am just today learning how many people are in the same boat. It's cold comfort. <br />
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I have not seen my daughter or son since Dec 2004. I chose not to travel down the court road because I knew that would not achieve peace or security for my children - just chaos. Enough damage had been done in their young lives. What sort of life is it to go back and forth between parents. From the multitude of research I did and still do, I believe I made the right decision. The ultimate sacrifice because I love them much more than myself. <br />
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Besides, I needed time to heal... it had been a long and unhappy 14 years with 'him'. I wasn't much good to them in the state I was in. <br />
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I sure as hell made mistakes too and blame myself for making bad decisions. Like forgiving the violence - over and over. In hindsight I realise there are connections with my Dad leaving when I was so young but that's another story. I just know there are connections with that. <br />
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For God's sake, the first year we were together, he knocked out 3 of my front teeth. Why the hell did I instantly forgive him? Yep, I'm ashamed to say, I sat bleeding on the gutter, reassuring him that it was all ok. Lucky me tho' - his best mate's father was one of the top oral surgeons in the city, so it was all very convenient for him. When asked what happened I told the doctor it was a car accident. <br />
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I also lied to my family, telling them I was just in the wrong place at the wrong time when 2 guys were fighting at a party. They trusted me so much, they believed me. <br />
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When it was finally talked about months down the track he said, "I did you a favour... your teeth were crooked anyhow!" Nice.<br />
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The children (fortunately) never witnessed any of the DV - they know nothing of it. The end finally came when he relapsed into his violence after quite some time of none. The only reason I survived that final night was because I had learned the art of stealth escape through a martial art I was studying. He was 6'2" & 19 or so stone... me @ 5'7" & 8 stone, I wasn't foolish enough to think I could knock him down! <br />
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To top all the crap off - he left and soon after, my best friend left to be with him. The only consolation with that is that I know who they are living with. Better the devil you know, they say. <br />
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Anyhow, they left on holidays and never returned. I know they loved me when they left but that was soon squeezed out of them. They stopped answering my calls and texted they never wanted to hear from me. After trying for some time, I realised the futility and the pain every time became too much to cope with. I chose to honour their wishes and to be honest, I didn't have a lot of choice. <br />
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The only connection I have to their lives is the school newsletter. I monitor it, search their names and sometimes find some info about them - like a hungry prospector finding tiny pieces of gold. Every year I request their reports and buy their photos through the school photographer. I had to have a community department intervene to allow that as the X had banished me from any contact or receipt of records from the school or otherwise. This is all without court orders. <br />
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Anyhow, today, they inform me that my daughter is no longer attending that school and my son's report was only the mid-year one. So - I have spent the day in emotional turmoil trying to comprehend that I have lost them all over again. I knew the day would come that they'd leave school and eventually be untraceable without a P.I. - I just thought I had another year or two up my sleeve. <br />
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I have repeatedly read the same things over and over of how people feel, what they compare their feelings to, the hopelessness we share. Again I say this is cold comfort but being the "Mum" I really thought I was in more of a minority. How sad that there are so many of us. <br />
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I am not innocent but I am certainly a scapegoat - at least for now. One thing I do know though... he will fight hard to keep us separated because the thing he fears most - is the children finding out the truth about him. Tho' I have no doubt that he has brainwashed them enough to never believe anything I may have to say. <br />
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I amtrying so hard not to give up hope but it is a battle. I have been accused of many bad things and circumstances have been distorted to make me look as bad as possible. You know, I reckon some people are simply born to always land on their feet no matter what... and others can just never appear to do anything right despite doing many things right but they somehow go completely unnoticed. <br />
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My only hope is belief in karma. He's got some bad stuff due. <br />
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So, Shattered Mom, we share the same pain and I hear your heart's cries. <br />
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Patience, endurance and unending love is the order of the day, weeks, months, years...

I feel like parents in our shoes go through the same thing as parents who are grieving the death of their child....I have missed my childrens' for over 7 years and the other for 2 years....I am not completely innocent in how I handled myself, but no person deserves to lose their children....I never thought my children would stop loving me. THE PAIN IS UNREAL....EVERY DAY I THINK OF IT AND MOST DAYS I CRY WHEN I'M ALONE. I, too, didn't believe my exhusband would be capable of doing what he has done to me.

So sorry that you know the heartbreak of parental alienation. Sadly, too many parents, both Moms and Dads, know what it's like to wak in your shoes.<br />
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Please check out the resources page at There are resources there you'll find helpful. Look for both an article and a link to a You Tube speeck on surviving parental alienation.<br />
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Hang in there,<br />
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mike jeffries<br />
Author, A Family's Heartbreak: A Parent's Introduction to Parental Alienation