In being advocates for keeping good parents involved in their children’s lives to the maximum degree, we meet awesome people, many with stories of their own. This biography is from M.O. She chooses to remain anonymous due to her husbands case as well as respect for her ex husband.
Here is M.O.:
“In hopes this will help the fight and our cause of parental alienation.
I was five years old living in Divide, CO in 1975 and as I ran up the hill in the cold air to our house after getting off the school bus I walked into the living room to find my mom sitting on the couch and the spindle of the record player torn off along with a picture of my parents broken in the fireplace, with glass shattered. I retain that image to this day and it is still painful.
This was the last time I saw my father until 1989. I left high school late in my Senior year knowing I was close to my 18th birthday and no one could stop me from finding, loving and being reunited with him.
This is not an article to bash the mother who was not receiving support unless she begged, who was home with us every evening and making sure we were fed, bathed, clothed and safe. It’s a story of two sides a parental alienation that scarred four children into adulthood.
As a child growing up without my father caused a constant void in my life. I missed him. I loved him. I was half of him.
I only contribute that to the fond memories I had of sitting on his lap driving his big white Ford truck as he laughed that deep laugh and teased not to get to close to the ditch and I remember times of camping and Trout fishing at the 11 mile Reservior. Climbing into bed in the middle of the night with he and my mom because I was scared, and him welcoming me.
Many times I would ask to see my dad, only to be asked why and given this long sorted version of why my parents were divorced and how could I want to see him after what he’s done. That he didn’t support me or didn’t care if I had clothes or even shoes for school. I tried writing him letters only to have those letters opened and me being told what to take out and what I should actually say that might not sound the way “mom” thought he would interpret it.
I remember my mother having a long relationship with a man who I adored, he filled a lot of the void I felt for my own father who would never find me now because “mom” had changed our last names to her fiancé’s last name and put us in a new school to protect us from “dad” in the event he was even looking for us.
Both my parents are gone now. My resentment is evident, I feel the pain of my childhood and don’t often visit the graves of either of my parents. I think of them often and wish things could have been different. I love them both.
I got married I feel later in life to my daughter’s father, she was 8 at the time and I was 29. We have two daughters together both of which have a very open relationship with their dad. I do have primary custody of them. But, quite honestly, I don’t watch the Holidays or the schedule that closely. ( I look in my daughters eyes and they miss their father and his family, just like I did and I know from my own experience that I am probably half the woman I could be if I at least could have known my Dad, Aunt’s, Uncle’s and cousin’s where I came from on the other side.) So depending on what they want, we make plans according to which side of the family they want to spend their Holiday with. It is very hard at times but I chose divorce, not them.
My girls are not a possession and trying to hurt their father or make him feel less of a man or empty inside because of my own animosity towards him is cruel, not only to him but to the children I’m helping raise and example I am setting for them. I am not a perfect mother, I have made many mistakes. I can’t expect perfection from their father either.
My own divorced stemmed from Operation Iraqi Freedom and my ex husband returning to me and the kids with PTSD. Very emotionless towards his life with me, yet angry he wasn’t able to do more while deployed, and at times suicidal. This is where it got hard because in order to protect the girls I had to remove them from this, in hopes it would snap him out of what he was going through and sadly it didn’t. We tried counseling, we tried medications, we tried what we thought would save the marriage but when it came down to instinctiveness, my instincts were telling me to remove the kids.
He still saw them, he went without paying child support for ten months. He still saw them. He called and didn’t have gas money to get to where I had moved to see them, he still saw them, I left money on the kitchen table for him. When he was short on groceries, I packed them for the weekend so the kids could still go, still see “dad” and I grew, I grew big time. I knew in my heart it was the right thing to do and finally after two years of being divorced and doing the right thing I was able to look at this from the stand point of the kids and not the angry ex-spouse.
Eventually he and I were able to talk and of course that is almost always about the kids. In fairness to my husband, it will remain that way. I don’t go into the past with him and I try to have very little contact with him at all unless it is something I don’t feel is appropriate for the kids to relay. I have talked to him about moving closer to share more time, it’s something he’s considering. But in the meantime, when the youngest now 12 misses dad, I say well why don’t you call dad and see if you can get an extra day in this weekend, or you don’t have school Friday, why don’t you have dad pick you up Thursday night. Her eye’s lite up like I have given her a gift. And I have. A gift of peace, trust and love.
In 2011 I married again to a really energetic man, who took to my girls like they were already part of the family and he had his own children as well. Four small children. A four year old, and three, three year olds. We dated for fourteen months before getting married and he spent 12- 14 days with his kids a month even though their own agreement stated every other weekend.
At first their was a lot of contact from his ex and I gave it about six months until the 4 phone calls a day some to his place of employment for meaningless things and the 6-10 texts a day became a bit too much for me to think was normal contact about the kids. The comments about me in the driveway each time she picked up the kids or dropped them off. Many other things I won’t go into detail about that are more personal. Until, I politely asked her “when we don’t have the kids, to please respect our time together.”
Our intent as husband and wife was to have them as much as we could because we love them to pieces, live in the same school district and because we live so close to the other parent.
What we ended up with after all was said and done is this: a split schedule with their mother. Us having them 12 over-nights a month and Monday through Monday all summer long. We are paying full child support, providing Insurance and paying for all expenses when they are with us. We love the idea of shared parenting and are 3 days away from that. My husband is a playful, fair and honest man. He’s hardworking, he loves his children beyond measure and has always provided financial and emotional support for his them. It’s not what’s fair, it’s what he and his children deserve.
I read all of these posts from men and woman who are so threatened by a new meddle-some “step-parent” or by the actual “other parent”. I can’t in my wildest dreams imagine that if everyone looked into your child’s eyes and asked them what they wanted or remembered the look on the other parents face when they held that child for the first time any of this would be going on. I stand up for my husband and his rights for his children not out of spite for his ex-wife but because of his many years not being able to have children he helped bring these four beautiful little people into this world and deserves to be as much a part of them as he can be.
As a step parent I adore my step kids, I love them with all my heart and my door and home is always open to them. I also have a step daughter who is older and a half sister to my two girls and on her own now. We still have an unbreakable bond and love for each other. God puts us in each others paths for a reason and I can’t imagine my life without that sweet girl.
Your children love their Mother. Your children love their Father. Your children even Love their STEP Mother and their STEP father. They love Grandpa, Grandma and they look upto their Aunts and Uncles with love and warm thoughts of play times with their cousins and memories they deserve to have with both sides of their family.
We are raising a generation of broken children, when divorce is at it’s peak and children are being torn to love one or the other parent more out of spite or jealousy. We cannot continue to run the other parent and family into the ground making claims of mental disorders, being falsely accused of abuse and making our children believe they too have to ‘hate’ or “ignore” or “disguise their love” for their own mother or father or step-parents.”