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Today Is My Daughter's Birthday...

Today is my daughter's birthday.

I can remember, almost as if it were yesterday, this day, nearly two decades ago, when I was blessed to witness the miracle of her birth. I even got to see her before her mother, and I remember her taking her very first breath on this earth. Maybe as a result of that unique experience (I wasn't present in the delivery room for the birth of my other children), we had always enjoyed a special bond, over and beyond the magical relationship which often links fathers and their daughters.

I remember the joy I always felt when I would hold her little hand and proudly walk her to school many, many years ago. Or how she would brighten my day , years later, every time she would come to my office to eat her lunch with me (my office was a short walk from her school at that time). And more recently, I remember how, when I would be working late at night in my study, and she would be up late studying for a test or just preparing herself for the following school day, she would bring me a nice cup of tea and we would chit chat together or amuse ourselves by reciting verbatim the dialog of our favorite movies.

Today is my daughter's birthday. It is a day when we should be celebrating, with joy, the blessing that she is, the young woman that she has become.

Instead, because her mother has decided that I should be punished for having had the nerve to break free from her web of manipulation and deceit, my daughter cannot celebrate even the smallest part of her birthday with her Dad. As in the past, my cards and emails will be ignored and go unanswered.
It is apparently far more important for a mother who did have a relationship with her father to deprive her own daughter of enjoying a relationship with her Dad. It is apparently more important for a mother who continues to enjoy a relationship with her sisters to deprive her daughter from enjoying a relationship with her only sister because that sister is in contact with their Dad...

Whatever the reasons that lead parents to separate, is it really necessary to use your children as a weapon to get back at the other parent? Is it really too much to realize and accept that, with very few exceptions, children of all ages can only benefit from an active, loving relationship with BOTH parents?

If you're a parent engaged in that sort of behavior (and you know who you are!), then I beg you, beg you, to please stop. Is revenge really so sweet that it's worth the emotional well-being of your child or children? Remember that no one is 100% right or 100% wrong in any disagreement so, chances are that you're not as blameless as you may have convinced yourself. Besides, there are countless other, more positive ways, to express your dissatisfaction without involving your innocent children.

And if you're a child who, for reasons which you know deep down are not your own, has been convinced by one of your parents that you should have nothing to do with your other parent, then I'm begging you as well to please, please reconsider. If, prior to the conflict between your parents, you had a good relationship with the parent you're discouraged from now having contact with, chances are that your parent is grieving your absence from their life and you are missing out on precious years together. Ask anyone who has suffered the loss of a parent through bereavement if they don't think the years they had together weren't precious...

Not every parent knows the "right" words or approach to reconnect with you under these circumstances. But that doesn't mean that they don't love you, miss you and grieve your absence from their lives. Please give them a chance, if you can safely do so, and reach out to them. At the very least, give them a sign, no matter how small, that you're not entirely lost to them. You have no idea how that little sign may be what they need today to hang in there and to persevere in trying to free you from the selfish grip of your other parent.

Many of us who participate in this Experience Group are parents who have have spent year after year waiting and hoping to reconnect with a loved child. If you are an alienated child (of any age), you can help yourself, and ultimately BOTH your parents, by keeping the lines of communication open between yourself and each parent. You did not create the situation you find yourself in, but you can certainly contribute to resolving it by reaching out to your alienated parent whenever you can. Today. Please.

Many parents here in this Group will thank you for even the smallest of gestures and, hopefully, you will not have to spend another one-sided birthday as my daughter did today.

Life is too short. Please don't waste another moment of it.
Thank you.
lookin4ward lookin4ward 51-55, M 5 Responses Sep 18, 2011

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I am a teenager and haven't seen my dad in about 3 years. And when we do talk on the phone (which is very rarely and very brief) it's meaningless conversation. Reading this gave me tears in my eyes because I remember the special moments I had with him, and now all of that is gone because he cares more about his new family than me--his first born. It's like now he's just a stranger, and if I were to see him on the street I'd just walk right past him because it would feel too uncomfortable to hug him or even call him Dad. I hate the fact that we lost our bond but I've been through too much emotional stress and drama because of him and I feel it's best this way. He doesn't even make an effort to call anymore, he hasn't called since before Thanksgiving and didn't send a christmas gift and my birthday is coming up and he probably won't call either. I'm so sorry your daughter isn't speaking to you--just pray and hope that one day she'll realize that we all grow old, and one day you won't be here anymore and by then it'll be too late. So just stay strong and remember that with a new day comes new challenges--but those challenges will get easier all the time and one day you'll get what you deserve.

Thank you for taking the time to read and comment on my story. I very much hope that, in the interim, the relationship between your Dad and you has improved. Life is too short and too precious to forego the blessing of a constructive parent-child relationship. I write these words with hope for you, but also with a heavy heart as the absence of my daughter from my life continues with no end in sight...I can't help but think how lucky your Dad is to have a daughter like you, who would like nothing more than to be an active part of his life. Wouldn't it be something if he read a few of the experiences on this forum? He might just realize his good fortune before it's too late...I wish you the blessings of true joy and peace of mind.

I thank you for your story. I can barely see the keyboard through my tears. I would love my children to read your words. I am not allowed to upset my 14 and 20 year old children with tears or questions that are too personal. My son works 500ft from my house and I never see him. My daughter will not sleep at my house and refuses to tell me why. I too picked up and moved to be near my children and I wonder why I bothered; because I rarely see them. When my ex leaves the state on business he has someone else stay with them and I live .9 miles from his house. Sometimes he'll tell my 14 old with pity on his face, "Don't worry honey, I'll be right back." while leaving her with me, her mother. My son recently told me his Dad tells him everything and he told the "court people" what dad told him. My son was put on an anti-depressant and my son told me months later, which was rare for him open up to me. If I ask to visit my children will block me from entering the house if their father isn't there, because dad said I am a snoop. I have never been a snoop and he knows I am the most honest person he knows. Thank you again. Your words are a gift.

First of all, thank you for taking the time to read my story and for sharing your experience. The more we learn about this form child abuse, the better equipped we are to recognize and, hopefully, tackle it. I'm saddened to say that I know exactly how you must feel.
At this point in my life, I can honestly say that I see no "solution" to this state of affairs. Indeed, what is often overlooked is the "generational" damage which is a by-product of the alienating parent's self-centered behavior: alienated children often grow up mistrusting their future spouse and/or swear off having children of their own in an attempt to avoid being the victim of the very heartache they know deep down to have caused their alienated parent...What a waste!
It's almost a year since I wrote that story and since then, my every effort at communicating with my daughter has been met with calculated indifference and unwavering silence. As I drive through town, my eyes are always on the lookout for her or her brother. I cannot tell you the number of times I have performed U-turns in the middle of busy traffic just because I caught a glimpse of someone who looked like her on the other side of the road, only to have my hopes dashed once again... Yes, it's pathetic, I know...
As a believer in God, my ONLY hope at this point is my knowledge that "God can make a way where there is no way" because, thinking things through "logically" (in my case at least), I can think of no "solution"...I don't, however, want to end on a pessimistic note so I will tell you that, whether or not you you're a Believer, I have had the first hand experience, several times in my life, of divine intervention in seemingly impossible situations. That is why my hope for you, me and all those of us who bear the unbearable pain of parental alienation is very concrete, based as it is on my personal experience of what can only be described as miracles. I wish us all, parents and children, strength, wisdom and unclouded vision.

There is a book titled The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle which was on the N.Y.T. Best Seller List. It is a book that changes lives including mine. Please read it. Or, One Simple Change Makes Life Easy by the Great Freedom Team, www,greatfreedom.org. I read both books and other's by those authors, as well. This is not some self-help book that you read and forget about in a month. I read the books over 2 years ago and I am less troubled and it's simple and easy. I finally admitted to myself that the children were not coming back to live with me anytime soon. I am able to drop my daughter off at her dad's everytime I see her with fewer bouts of sobbing. I can see situations more clearly and I don't respond inappropriately or over react. This all happens naturally. This one simple change and your beliefs in God will help more than you can imagine. Just keep your mind open and don't reject this, give it a chance. They both have videos on utube, but see the beginner's videos first. I like Candice's video's by The Great Freedom Project more so than Eckhart's. Eckhart is an excellent writer, but he speaks too slowly for me. The best to you, and contact me if you check those authors out.

Thank you very much for your words of support.

Here here!

sorry i have seen it happen to others<br />
but we could never have children

So sorry to hear what you are going through. Birthdays and holidays are always the toughest. I always go to bed early on these difficult days just to make the days a little shorter.<br />
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If you get a second, please check out the resources page of our website, http://www.afamilysheartbreak.com. We have information and resources that I know you'll find helpful. Be sure to check out the video of a speech I gave last year about surviving parental alienation.<br />
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Hang in there!