The first time I spoke to my daughter Maya in 2013 was on my birthday. Her mother was put into a position where she HAD to have Maya call me, which she did. We spoke for nearly 30 minutes, had a WONDERFUL conversation– so far removed from the BS narrative that her mother “crazy” is constantly spinning (about how Maya is SCARED of me and such). One of things Maya had mentioned to me was her Communion, which she explained would be on the 27th of April…and she asked me HERSELF if I could come. The answer, simply enough, was OF COURSE I could! The problem with that…”crazy” had NO INTENTION of inviting me.
“… Interference with the non-custodial parent and child’s relationship is an act so inconsistent with the best interests of a child, as to, per se, raise a strong probability that the offending party is unfit to act as a custodial parent.”
That is an excerpt from an article I read last week, involving a ruling by a judge condemning the actions of a woman who was purposefully alienating her children from their father. That one line speaks VOLUMES to the thousands of alienation cases worldwide. It’s also a line that is THOROUGHLY relatable to my situation.
“Crazy” is FURIOUS with me right now– more so than at ANY other time. Her problem is that she has suffered a sizable blow in Family Court recently. For the last several months, in spite of everything going on with Maya, she has decided to try to fleece me for money, IN ADDITION to filing a bogus Order of Protection charge against me. Both cases have not gone according to her plan; which was not surprising for everyone else, but her. The OP has been withdrawn, and over 80% of the moneys that she requested (I’d say demanded) were stricken. The fact that I hired a lawyer to handle this (and the following custody hearings– more on that in a moment), the fact that my mother, my fiancé, and “CRAZY’S” FAMILY AND FRIENDS are in concert for believing that “crazy’s” behavior is the problem…the WORLD IS AGAINST HER. That’s where her mindset is right now. It’s not the fact that her behavior, her emotional instability, her piss-poor custodial parenting skills, her fiscal irresponsibility– it’s NONE OF THESE THINGS that are to blame. According to “crazy”, EVERYONE (except Maya) is OUT TO PUNISH HER. The ironic thing is, though…she’s kinda right. But not in the way SHE thinks.
“Parental alienation” is the practice of mentally manipulating or bullying your own children with the express goal of damaging their relationship with their other parent. Both parental alienation and its related practice, “hostile aggressive parenting,” deprive children of the stable and loving relationships they need when coping with divorce (and life in general).
The communion itself was very nice– I’m not a religious person, and if I had my way I wouldn’t bother with this stuff…but it’s what Maya’s mother decided, and “crazy” has absolutely no interest in entertaining my point of view. Which has led to one of her financial issues– she was determined to send Maya to Catholic school…but had no answer with regards to how she had thought we would be paying for that. “Crazy” didn’t care. And I told her that I was in no way, shape, or form paying for private school– there were PLENTY of good public schools that she could go to. This is one of the issues the judge threw out– immediately. He said that I was in no way, shape, or form responsible for paying for private school. “Crazy,” and her lawyer, were NOT pleased. But I digress…
The communion was nice– Maya was BEAUTIFUL, as always…! The picture at the top of this post was afterwards; that was the ONLY time I had with her. And not because Maya’s family and friends didn’t want me, and my mother, there (Mom came with me– my lawyer recommended NOT going alone). All of the ire, the stress, the anxiety was ALL because of “crazy”.
My mom and I had a brief conversation with “crazy’s” mom before we left. That’s when she told us that “crazy” had not only not intended to invite me to the communion, we WERE NOT invited back to the house afterwards. But it wasn’t said like that– “crazy’s” mother said the following: “I tried to get her to change the guest list– this was a month ago, and…she just wouldn’t listen.” Yeah, no shit.
I felt REALLY BAD for my mother, though. See, we’re not used to this passive-aggressive, dysfunctional garbage. And mom, to her credit, tried to keep it together– up until we got to the church. It was when she read the church program that she went nuts. On the back of the program, they listed all the kids that were participating in the ceremony. About 40 kids. Among them was Maya. The problem was that Maya’s name is typically hyphenated with my last name and “crazy’s” last name. On the program, only “crazy’s” last name showed up. Now, this did NOT bother me– I just figured that they didn’t have enough room to fit her full name. My mother, on the other hand, didn’t buy that. Look, “crazy” is as petty as they come, but I know her well enough to know that she wouldn’t have gone out of her way to try to force the committee that put the program together to drop Maya’s paternal last name. Besides that, Maya’s full name is on the records throughout that school, so I wasn’t worried. Mom was so furious that she confronted “crazy” about it before we left. Now mind you…”crazy” had GONE OUT OF HER WAY to avoid getting ANYWHERE NEAR my mother OR me.
She steered FAR AWAY from us for almost the ENTIRE TIME. Which was fine, because it gave EVERYONE even more opportunity to see how “crazy” works. Believe me, her behavior DID NOT go unnoticed by family, friends, and friends of friends. No one wanted to really “get into it”, which was fine– the mantra of that communion was “This is Maya’s day.” That’s what everyone kept saying. In reality, though…it wasn’t Maya’s day…it was “The ‘Crazy’ Show!” because EVERYONE was acting in a way to NOT draw “crazy’s” ire!
Oh, the egg-shelll walking and the pins-and-needles, the stress and anxiety was SO BLOODY PRESENT outside of that church you’d think Jesus HIMSELF was about to get his dad to bear judgement on that group! ALL that energy, all that angst…for WHAT?! That’s right…ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.
Maya was very happy to see me and mom. She gave me a big hug, and we gave her some presents, and took some pictures and video and stuff. We even posed for what could be the most AWKWARD family photo EVER! It was the grandmothers, Maya, me…AND “crazy” herself! I’ll tell you– I’d just LOVE to have a copy of that picture JUST for the story alone!
Signs of Parental Alienation
Children perceive one parent as causing financial problems for the other parent.
Children have knowledge of the divorce details or legal procedures.
Children show a sudden hostile, negative change in attitude toward target parent.
Children are not delivered for court-ordered visitation and/or are not allowed to “choose” to visit the target parent.
False allegations of abuse are made against the target parent.
Children are asked to choose one parent over the other.
Anger and negativity toward target parent is reinforced.
Children are given the impression that if they have a good time with the target parent during a visit, it will hurt them.
Children are asked about the target parent’s personal life.
Children are “rescued” from the target parent when there is no danger.
That’s the list right there. Go down that list, check off as many as you can. I can attest to all but one of them– namely discussions of legal matters with the child. It puts a knot in my stomach to see my daughter in this situation. She’s just a little girl– and her mother in putting her in such a difficult spot! The bright side of this situation is yet another affirmation of allies behind enemy lines, so to speak. It’s knowing that the people in Maya’s life understand that “crazy” is a BIG PROBLEM in keeping Maya from having a relationship with me. So many of them were saying “I am SO GLAD you’re here!!” As if they had NO IDEA that I would be. But hey– when your Minister of Information is insane, you’d be surprised by new information as well! That’s one thing to take away from all of this– NOT EVERYONE is convinced by the alienator. Let me repeat that– NOT EVERYONE IS CONVINCED BY THE ALIENATOR. Sure, they have an EASY time lying to a child…but it’s not as easy to convince adults!
And, of course, I recorded all the interactions. Basically, I used my iPhone’s voice recorder app, and put the phone in my shirt pocket with the mic side sticking up. Great thing about that app is that it runs while the phone is in standby mode, so you don’t have to worry about the app switching off or another app opening…you can have the screen be blank without drawing any suspicions. Again, I know this cloak-and-dagger crap seems a bit shitty and ridiculous…but it’s REALLY NOT. I had to get into a habit of making this happen, EVEN WHEN I DIDN’T FEEL LIKE IT. Having to sneak recordings seems a bit immoral…but you know what’s even worse? PARENTAL ALIENATION. You DON’T LET that woman (or man) LIE to your kids and everyone else, misrepresenting and slandering you, because THEY’VE got the problems/issues/disorder! Who the hell gave them the right to keep YOUR CHILDREN away from them!? NO ONE did– THEY took that right! That makes them criminals. PERIOD.
See? There IS hope! There ARE people in the legal system that FROWN UPON alienators! Know that, YOUR JOB is to PROVE THIS. The mindset of the alienator dictates that they will try to fight against these allegations– as is their right to do so. And they may even try to exploit gender stereotypes to make a convincing counter-argument. That’s why you need FACTS. You need to HYPERACTIVE in collecting those facts. And listen, there will come a time when your alienator discovers that you are recording them OR keeping records of interactions. GOOD. “Crazy” knows that I record phone calls– hell, I told her that 5 years ago! That knowledge has caused SOME alterations in her behavior…but like I’ve said in previous blog entries…crazy is SLOPPY. People who act this way mess up. It’s INEVITABLE. YOUR JOB is to be there when it happens, AND DOCUMENT IT. Pretend you’re filming your own reality show– CAPTURE EVERYTHING. Have friends or family accompany you, and have THEM record things! Record interactions with your children– video mostly, if you can. You see, “crazy” can tell ANYONE IN THE WORLD that I have “anger issues”….but she forgets that a lot of the people in her life ALSO know me…! And they KNOW that I don’t have anger issues, and THEY KNOW that I love my daughter, AND THEY KNOW THAT MY DAUGHTER LOVES ME!!!!
So, the bubble is getting smaller. And “crazy” is getting sloppier. She showed her true colors at that communion. She thought that simply avoiding/snubbing my mother and I would be the best thing to do. And all that did was draw attention to her poor behavior. The people in her life noticed. Maya noticed. And therefore, “crazy” has been PUT ON NOTICE.
Before we left, “crazy’s” mother told my mother and I that “…maybe she’ll [‘crazy’] change.” She knew DAMN WELL when she said that that “crazy” will NEVER change. That’s exactly what I said, followed by “…regardless, I’m taking care of it. Once-and-for-all.” She replied, “I hope so, for Maya’s sake.” I’m sorry, but when YOUR OWN MOTHER can’t support you…you’ve got PROBLEMS.
TO BE CONTINUED….
This is the article I referenced in this blog post: http://www.momlogic.com/2010/06/new_york_dad_and_parental_alienation.php