You Speak an Infinite Deal of Nothing

“You speak an infinite deal of nothing.” ― William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice

6507071701_87013c3949_o Ah, yes, those emails, we’ve all received them. They make you scratch your head, thinking ‘Did I just really read that?’ Emails that make absolutely no sense, emails that have nothing to do with reality, or are completely irrelevant. Yet at the same time, those emails can be very telling. I have received some true gems in the past, and the following snippets are part of another great one. Grab a cup of coffee (or any beverage of choice) and read along with me.

“It has come to my attention that Muppet has not been attending school most of the days that she is with you…”

You mean daycare? Lets call a spade a spade, because that is what it is. Muppet is 3 years old and signed up for daycare while at Dad’s. When the girls are with me, I make sure I’m with them. As in, I actually use my parenting time to be a parent.

Shocking!

I know. I prepare their food, make sure Sweet Bee gets to the bus on time, does her homework, we do fun stuff together, dentist appointments, doctor’s appointment. You know, the usual parenting things. Apparently the child being with the Mother is an issue. It is preferred that the child be in daycare while the other parent is available.

“I had no idea the magnitude of this issue until I looked at Muppet’s attendance records… “

Oy! Houston, we have a problem! Should we send out first responders? Apparently not attending daycare but being with a parent is a real problem. The ‘magnitude of this issue’ certainly implies we are dealing with a catastrophe here! Does it surpass world hunger, wars etc? Immediate action required!

 “This is doing an incredible disservice to Muppet.  I am copying ‘Parenting Coordinator’ on this email so she can schedule a meeting for us ASAP to discuss and resolve this issue.”

Thank heavens, the legal first responder has been called. I have to admit that was a huge relief to me. Now she could read herself the crazy I’ve had to deal with. Previously I would be pointing out behavior patterns, and it was perceived that I was just trying ‘to make the father look bad’. A clear case of ‘shooting the messenger’. It is easier to discard solid evidence as misgivings from a scorned spouse, then accepting that there may be truth to it. Now it came straight from the ‘horses’ mouth’, there is no denying it now any longer. This is just how Ex is. This is not me trying to make him look bad, this is him showing his true colors.

“I would be more than happy to keep the girls more time during the week if that is what it takes to make sure they get to school.”

HD20812 There we go. Jack popped out of the box!

I was waiting for it. I knew it was coming. I’m continuously on edge waiting for another attempt at getting a change of custody. Ex can’t help it. That is part of the definition of a personality disorder; a persuasive pattern. He will continue till the end of times. Our CPS investigator said it the best; I can only hope it will subsides when the youngest turns 18.

The pattern is pretty evident. We’ve had false reports with CPS, we’ve had false criminal charges, we’ve had Ex show up during my access time with the sheriff’s to claim custodial interference.

Yes, I’m not kidding. During the divorce proceedings Ex would show up on my weekend with law enforcement, and I would have to show them the custody order to proof that it was actually my access time. Talk about really trying to sour and interfere with the other parents relationship with the children.

And that is really what it is. This email is another good example of Parental Alienation at its finest. I previously wrote about delusional parental alienators. I wrote about how they misconstrue reality to suit their perception of ‘the best interest of the child’. Here Ex thinks it is better for the child to be in daycare then be with the mother and he wants to go to bat for it.

I can only scratch my head.

But there is more. When it is his access time, Ex is not available. He puts the children with babysitters.

Alienators choose third parties over the targeted parent to care for the child when he/she is ill and/or not in school, regardless of the targeted parent’s availability and willingness to care for the child. The alienating parent will use every opportunity to keep the targeted parent from having the chance to parent the child regardless of the wishes of the child or targeted parent so at times the alienating parent will hire a babysitter or choose a family member in preference to allowing the targeted parent to care for the child.” – Prof Amy Baker

To top it off, Ex does not consistently use one and the same babysitter, no, he gets whom ever is available. He goes to great length to find somebody, anybody, as long as it is not the mother.

Less than a mile away, on the other side of the block, the mother (me) is readily available to care for the kids. Yes, I’m at home, I’m available and the girls know it. By putting the children with random babysitters he is sending the non-verbal message that anybody is better than being with the mother.

And that is sad.

Ex’s feelings towards me supersede what is truly best for the kids; a relationship with the other parent. It is more important to posses the children, then for them to be with Mom. The delusional alienator can not differentiate between their own wants and needs and that of the children.

And Ex doesn’t have a clue, he does not see how he is harming the children with this behavior. It is his reality. That is why it is called the delusional alienator, they egocentrically confuse their own issues with what really goes on and they can’t ‘snap out of it’, they are not sensitive to reasoning. They refuse to see it any other way than their way.

And so the story will continue. Part of a personality disorder is that history will repeat itself. Over, and over, and over, and over………

Ad Infinitum, ad nauseam.

 

Happy Easter! What’s in a Name?

Happy Easter!

goddessostaraweb

Easter is my favorite holiday! Winter is over (though this year I’m not so sure), and there is a whole new beginning.

Ostara is the pagan goddess of Spring, fertility and the Earth Mother. She symbolizes renewal after the death of winter. Or rebirth after the death and struggle of divorce.

Though very few people know about her, she is very entrenched in our society.

People used to celebrate her on the day of the Spring Equinox, which is pretty much the day we celebrate Easter. Her fertility is symbolized by the Hare, which always accompanies her. Today we call him the Easter Bunny. Rebirth is symbolized by the eggs.

Ostara has many names in the different regions of Northern Europe. In Old German she is referred to as ‘Ostara’, ‘Eostre’ and the month of her celebration ‘Eostremonat’ (Easter month).

Linguistically, not only the word Easter is derived from her name, but also ‘estrogen’; the female fertility hormone.

She has a beautiful lullaby that is sung to children, and which I hold dear to my heart;

“Sweet Child, sleep speedily
Do not cry

Truth forcefully
Fends off the murdering wolf

May you sleep until morning
Dear man’s son

Ostara for the child leaves
Honey and sweet eggs

Mother Earth for the child picks
Flowers blue and red

Bountiful the morrow sends
White little sheep

and One-Eye will protect, swift, hard spears.”

Enjoy your Easter Sunday. I hope it will symbolize to you too that there is life after divorce, that everything will renew.

 

All Alienators are Equal; Some Alienators are More Equal then Other Alienators

So I’m divorced!road_sign_bright_future

Excitedly I told family and friends. People certainly laughed at my reaction.

I guess it would have been politically correct to ‘grief’, but they know the hell I’ve been through and the relief I feel. I’m extremely lucky and thankful for all the support I have from family and friends! Without them, I would not have been where I am now.

Thank You!

Making the rounds in telling people, I called 1 of my friends, who started the divorce proceedings about a year ago. She had filed for divorce as she suspected her husband was sexually abusing 2 of their children. I was shocked, didn’t see that coming at all. In my first conversation with her, I warned her, she should get real solid evidence. If she could not really proof it, this would work against her in the divorce proceedings and she would lose custody. I had just witnessed how an acquaintance who had rock solid proof, including a confession of the perp, had an incredibly hard time protecting the kids. A very disturbing situation to say the least and absolute hell for her and the boys (I’m still FUMING when it comes to this situation!).

As my friend updated me on her situation since we had not spoken for quite some time, it became clear, even to me, that there never had been sexual abuse. A lot of parents would end up in prison if her allegations would be called sexual abuse. Fathers would not be able to wipe a daughters bootie when potty training (I guess a diaper rash is preferred over proper hygiene), a mother can not take a son into a public ladies room (I guess leaving him outside without supervision is preferred). Yes, it was that absurd.

As our conversation progressed, it is became more and more clear this is a situation of parental alienation and my heart sank. To paraphrase Orwell, “All Alienators are Equal, some Alienators are more Equal then other Alienators”.

There are 3 types of ‘Alienators’. All parental alienating is bad, but some is just devastating. Parental Alienation affects all relationships; between the child and the target parent, between the child and the alienator and most importantly the relationship the child has with him/herself; the self-esteem.

The Naive Alienator

“Naïve alienators are parents who are passive about the children’s relationship with the other parent but will occasionally do or say something that can alienate. All parents will occasionally be naïve alienators.” Douglas Darnell

Admit it! You have said things about the other parent you should not have said on an occasion, especially in the beginning of the divorce proceedings. When the heat is on……. I have, I admit, and I have apologized to the kids. It came out of my mouth and the kids were within hearing distance. I should have kept it to myself. I immediately apologized to the children. It was wrong and I’m not proud of it. Since then I have been very conscious of my words and actions, as it is very harmful to the kids, who are innocent in all of this.

The ‘good’ thing is, naive alienators are ignorant of what they are doing and are willing to be educated and to change. Once made aware of their actions, they regret and make a concise effort not to do so again. These parents can separate their needs from the needs of the children and care enough to make things right. To naive alienators the relationship between the child and the other parent is not a threat, but they welcome it. For the benefit of the child.

The Active Alienator

“Active alienators know better than to alienate, but their intense hurt or anger causes them to impulsively lose control over their behavior or what they say. Later, they may feel very guilty about how they behaved.” – Douglas Darnell

Active alienators lose control.

Generally these parents mean well, there is no malicious intend. They do facilitate a relationship with the other parent, and do see the tremendous benefit it has for the children to have both parents in their lives.

But the hurt takes over; the frustration, the bitterness and they lash out. The lines between parent and child blur. These parents know right from wrong, but momentarily lose control. At those moments they cannot separate the needs of the child with their own needs. I guess you could call it a ‘momentarily insanity’. And I’m writing this with tongue-in-cheek, at it is never right to exhibit this behavior and I’m certainly not justifying the behavior.

When the overwhelming and intense feelings are over, theses parents settle down and feel guilty or bad about what they’ve done. There is remorse.

This oscillating between impulsive alienating and then repairing the damage is confusing and unsettling especially for the younger child. There is no stability in the relationship or the view of the target parent, and the child doesn’t know how to respond. (S)he lives in the world of confusion and has a hard time adjusting to the divorce.

Active alienators can be very rigid and uncooperative with the other parent, though they do comply with court orders. This is usually a passive-agressive method of dealing with their own emotions.

These parents are open to and would benefit from counseling. Therapy can help them to work through their negative emotions towards the other parent and maintain control of their outbursts.

The Obsessed/Delusional Alienator

“Obsessed alienators have a fervent cause to destroy the targeted parent.” – Douglas Darnell

These (grand-)parents have all the characteristics of a personality disorder; splitting, denial, blame-shifting and distortion of reality (including delusional twisting). I understand that researchers, psychologists and custody evaluators want to be politically correct and not ‘label’ the parent, but that is doing a disservice to the child. It is abandoning the legal standard of ‘Best Interest of the Child’ in favor of parental rights.

These parents split; there is the all good parent and the evil target parent. They deny; they fail to acknowledge or even recognize their part in the problem. They blame-shift; all problems are the fault of the target parent.

And then there is the most harmful aspect for the child; they distort reality. This is particularly harmful to the child, as it becomes more and more difficult to distinguish between right and wrong. It skews their whole world.

The delusional alienator has poor boundaries between parent and child. They cannot separate the needs of the child from their own needs. These parents align the children and enmesh their personalities and beliefs into the children. Children, who naturally put their parents on a pedestal, are vulnerable to these manipulations.

And then the heartbreak starts.

These manipulations and distortions of reality turn the whole world upside down for a child. What is right? What is wrong?

Delusional alienators are convinced of their reality and nobody can change their view. If you try then you become the enemy. Or as my friend said; “All these so-called experts are stupid, they have no clue what they are talking about”. Sure, 1 person can be wrong, but if you are told the same thing by several experts……………

The delusional alienator will use the court to punish the target parent. When the courts agree with them they will flaunt it and use it. When the courts disagree, they will violate court orders and they will defy the authority of the court.

Goodbye my friend, I wish you well.

I spoke with my friend for several hours, several days in a row. I listened carefully, hoping that perhaps I was wrong about my friend. But her arguments and stories just made no sense. She is a well-educated and smart woman, yet there was a complete disconnect in her stories. I tried to point out the inconsistencies to her, but she didn’t get it. She is absolutely convinced, and can not see what she is doing.

At first she tried to align me with her, but when I put up too many questions and counter arguments, I became the enemy and our conversation turned sour. At that point I knew this was a lost cause. We hung up and haven’t spoken since.

I think of all the (grand-)parents that have such a hard time of protecting the child from a perp when there is clear evidence. They are viewed with skepticism because there are parents out there that use sexual abuse as a tactic of parental alienation.

It’s a sad situation.