This is what it is like to be alienated from your children on Mother’s Day due to an abusive ex, and an unjust family court order…
The last time I saw my children, they said to me, “Dad is thinkin’ about letting us visit on Mother’s Day… we might get to see you.”
My son was hinting about a gift he for me, I told him an extra big hug was I wanted most. My son is getting so big that when he hugs me tight, I can barely breathe! My daughter was excited to spend the day together, but hesitant to say much in fear that the visit would not happen.
I don’t know how long my kids were teased with the half-promise, “Spending Mother’s Day with Mom…” It had to be at least 2 weeks.
Two weeks of remembering special memories. The time my children gave me purple flowers for Mother’s Day, my favorite color. The time my children squashed into those plastic toy cars you ride in the mall for a few quarters, how they laughed as they bumped back and forth, their legs and arms smashed the tiny car…how my youngest son tried to cram inside, and I angled from the outside, snapping pictures as they screamed and laughed, making exaggerated faces. How we used to play “The Million Things I Love About You”.
Two weeks of excitement, as Mother’s Day neared, the possibility… seeing Mom on one extra day.
Two weeks remembering the last hug, the last “I Love You”. The big hugs, laughter, talking about our next visit.
Once my children see their father, they shut down. Eyes go blank. Laughter silenced. No hugs. No sign of affection. They look like zombies as they coldly turn away with barely a word, and my youngest (who lives with me) screams, “Sissy! Brother! Come back!”
Two weeks: One week before the visit, when it was suggested to my children that they might see Mom. And at least a week passed since the visit. Two weeks ticked down to nothing. It did no good to send an e-mail, Martin would not respond. Same with text. And Martin certainly would not answer a phone call from me. Someone suggested I call and ask to see my children on Mother’s Day. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry at the suggestion. Martin would enjoy having all the power, making me beg to see my children…he would give a vague answer or no answer at all. Maybe at the last minute he would relent and I could see the kids. Maybe he would just let me visit the kids without a problem. And maybe there would be nothing at all.
During these two weeks, my kids would be teased with the half promise they could see Mom on Mother’s Day, and when the visit never happens my kids will be hurt, sad and angry. My son has already told me, “I don’t expect to see you Mom but when it happens it’s a bonus.” My daughter does not understand why she cannot see me, and has demanded I personally talk to “the judge” and tell him to allow more visits. Over time, my children are becoming more distant…even angry… I am a Mom. I am supposed to do something. I am supposed to make it better. But I can’t.
Judge Robben and the Family “Justice” Center is also responsible for this Motherless Day. Judge Robben had it in his power to order a holiday parenting time schedule, to include Mother’s Day. But he refused to give me even that. It is really disgusting that a so-called “family” court judge would not work to keep a family intact but instead work to destroy the family. Judge Robben gave me one visit a month with my children—period. There will be no holiday parenting time. No Mother’s Day. No birthdays. No vacation time. No school release days. No religious holidays. No chance I will ever be able to be active in my children’s life, able to see them grow up, and nurture their progress as a Mother should.
I just want my children to know: I love you from the top of your head, to the tips of your toes, to the inside of your heart and the light of soul. I thank God for you everyday. I love you with all my heart. And pray that you will be home soon. Wherever I am, I think of you. I love one million things about you!
~ Emily Court, Motherless Day 2014
What is Parental Alienation? Parental Alienation is when a parent uses a child as a pawn to get revenge on, hurt or retaliate against another parent. Often, parental alienation is an extension of abuse hat occurred within a family. Or, it manifests at the onset of a family crisis or separation/divorce.
Children do not naturally reject the relationship and love of their parent. Parental Alienation uses manipulation, threats/intimidation, bribes/coercion, controlling behavior and other forceful tactics to separate a child from the targeted parent–and ultimately get that child to hate, reject or refuse contact with that parent. Many children who have been alienated will even reject or refuse contact with the targeted parent as an adult, long after the custody battle is over.
Common tactics of alienation include (but not limited to):
*Throwing away/destroying gifts from the other parent
*Not allowing the child to wear clothes from the other parent, insisting they put on special clothes instead
*Denigrating, talking bad about, calling the other parent names in front of the child. And encouraging the child to do the same.
*Discussing adult issues, marital issues or court related issues with or in front of a child. Pressuring a child to take sides. Telling the child information to make them dislike the other parent. Making a child feel responsible for the family or for adult issues.
*Giving a child sugar, caffeine, candy to make them hyperactive or difficult to handle during the other parent’s visit. Giving a child benadryl or drugs to make them sleep through, or behave differently during a parent’s visit. Giving a child things they are allergic to to sabotage a visit.
*Bribing a child with toys, candy, trips, money etc to do something to sabotage a child’s visit or relationship with the other parent.
*Threatening or physically punishing a child for showing love or affection to the other parent
*Not allowing communication (telephone, text, e-mail, snail mail etc) with a child and the other parent
*Refusing visits with a child and the other parent. Sabotaging scheduled visits. Disrupting visits. Asking the Court to restrict or take away visits for no valid reason.
*Trying to replace the parent in the child’s life–this could be another person, replace the parent with gifts, replace the parent by inviting friends over or scheduling events with friends during the other parent’s scheduled visits, replace the parent by scheduling so many activities that it interferes with the other parent’s visits, moving far away so visits with the other parent are impossible etc
*Alienation can also include manipulating, lying and denigrating the other parent to important people in the child’s life–school, doctors, church, family members etc
Parental Alienation is child abuse!
Note: I am well aware of the pro-pedophilia views of Dr. Richard Gardner, and do not agree with any of his disgusting theories. But parental alienation is real, and is a tactic of domestic abuse that causes serious, life-long damage to children, and families as whole. We cannot ignore the devastating impact of domestic abuse, and the tactics abusers use against their partners and children–you don’t have to support Dr. Gardner to acknowledge alienation exists.