“You can’t handle the truth!”

The line Jack Nicholson immortalized from the movie “A Few Good Men” seems the perfect title for today’s blog.

We’ve tried to provide documentation when available to avoid being accused of lying, or this becoming a “she said ….. she said” situation. Of course, there are times that we’re unable to share actual documents. That being said, we’re aware of several instances where we know people have lied to our alienating parent, in order to protect her feelings, or to avoid a conflict with her. That is entirely understandable. And it does make many of our alienating parent’s rants more easy to understand as well, because she is basing her comments on what she has been told. Which, unfortunately, is oftentimes not the truth.

Are people hurting our alienating parent by lying to her, or helping? “When we enable people, we prevent them from experiencing the consequences of their own actions. We are also preventing them from realizing they have a problem and depriving them of fully reaching their own potential.”

If our alienating parent went to her sister and asked: “Did you say: ‘I haven’t talked to her in over a year because she’s so far gone,” do you think her sister would lie and say “No”? Probably.

If our alienating parent went to her daughter and asked: “Did you lie to me when you told me ******* [her granddaughter] said she loved me most in the whole wide world,” do you think her daughter would say “No”? Probably.

When we asked my stepdaughter why she lied to her mother, she told us: because she freaked out! So, it was easier to lie to her than to tell her the truth and deal with her freaking out. Our alienating parent’s sister also called my husband on one occasion and during the telephone conversation, told him that she hadn’t spoken to her sister in over a year, because “she’s so far gone.” Her solution to the problem of alienating parent’s behavior was, obviously, to simply avoid it.

Our alienating parent believes we’re lying when we tell of these occurrences, because she honestly believes what people are telling her. Doesn’t help the situation any, but it does explain it somewhat. Maybe she’s not as delusional as we thought and is simply reacting based upon the lies that she has been told by well-meaning family and friends?

Bitter Ex-Wife?

Reminiscing about my mother-in-law’s observations and concerns about our alienating parent’s behavior brought up some very interesting theories, one of which — obviously — is about bitterness from an ex-wife. Which is not unusual:

“Simply put: The most religious, spiritual, conscious women have been known to act a plumb fool, or other than themselves, when a new woman is introduced to her children.”

The Court docket from our alienating parent’s divorce proceeding(s) will bear that out. From the time of their divorce in 1978 until my husband and I moved in together and started planning our wedding in 1983, there were no actions brought in their Court proceeding — other than the original divorce. From 1983 until the last child became emancipated in 1995, there were one, two or sometimes three separate actions each year!

“The bitter ex-wife shows signs of jealousy. She constantly has the need to always be in control. She feels it’s her job to run the other woman’s household. She will use children as pawns in her quest to conquer and divide. She sends subtle messages to the children, inciting rebellion against their other mother. This type of woman is always angry. She gives you a million reasons, none that she can explain and probably have nothing to do with the new wife, why she doesn’t like the new woman in her ex-husband’s life.
This has nothing to do with the new wife, it has everything to do with the former’s own insecurities, guilt, bitterness or shame for the dissolution of the marriage.
When women try to control someone else’s household, or run their life, it’s like trying to stop a wind-swept blaze but you are the one who’s starting the fire. It’s virtually impossible to do, leaving the controlling woman left trying to clean up emotional debris. You have broken the affinity between everyone in the blended family, and all is left is a pile of rubble where a foundation was being built.”

My mother-in-law was the first person who ever came to us with her feeling that our alienating parent was jealous, but unfortunately, she hasn’t been the last.

Another tidbit we found about ex-wives deals with Bitter Ex Wife Pattern:
“Is she domineering, hard-nosed, malicious and controlling?
Does she….
Always dictate what happens with the children?
Make all communication as awkward as possible?
Complicate arrangements when a simple ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ would suffice?
Think she can interfere in your life?
Still punish him for moving on with his life?
Waste Police and Court time with her lies and petty made up stories about her being the Victim?
Thousands of Second wives/partners can identify the very familiar controlling and domineering bad behavior of their husband’s ex-wife. We have discovered there is a predictable pattern and a very common theme to their behavior and have called it the Bitter Ex-wife Pattern.”

Whew, that one could have been written about our relationship with our alienating parent!

And, time and time again, these women will explain their behavior by: I’m doing it for my children. When, in actuality, their behavior is detrimental to their children, by making a close, loving relationship between the child / children and their father virtually impossible.

A targeted grandmother’s thoughts ….. continued …..

After posting Wednesday’s blog, I came across another letter. This one was written by our alienating parent to her former mother-in-law, after our alienating parent had moved to Texas.

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My mother-in-law’s comment to us when she received this was: “She’s probably hinting for some money.”

We’re willing to give our alienating paren the benefit of the doubt, in that she may not have been hinting for a financial hand-out from her children’s grandmother — and I would hope that she wasn’t — but the important thing to note is the targeted grandmother’s reaction when she read it.

Which might tell us more about her feelings toward our alienating parent, than what our alienating parent would like everyone to believe?

Letting those who have gone on before us, rest in peace

Our alienating parent has posted on several genealogy websites (of course) about a letter which I wrote to my mother-in-law.  Yes, I wrote a letter to my mother-in-law, but as usual, our alienating parent’s version is not quite accurate. And is anyone who has been following this blog surprised? lol!

Yes, I wrote a letter to my mother-in-law in response to her letters to us, urging us to keep trying to have a relationship with my husband’s children. My husband and I were both very upset at the time and I probably should have waited to respond to her letters. The letter was written in the heat of the moment and I did subsequently apologize to my mother-in-law for some of the things I said. The letter did, however, provide us with the opportunity to discuss the situation about my stepchildren, so some good did come out of it.

Our targeted grandmother explained to us why she was so worried about everything that was going on. As a grandmother myself now, I can have a little more understanding of where she was coming from. In addition, she told us several disturbing stories, which definitely explained her actions. First of all, she was distraught because she knew that if our alienating parent got angry with her ex, she (the grandmother) would not be allowed to see her grandchildren — since that is what had happened in the past. She felt her son should just do whatever our alienating parent wanted, in order for her to be allowed to see her grandchildren. Needless to say, that didn’t sit too well with our targeted parent! 🙂

More disturbing, however, were the things my mother-in-law told us: for instance, about the time that our alienating parent came to her, hysterical because she (our alienating parent) felt her children liked me better than they liked her. This concerned my mother-in-law a great deal because she could not imagine a mother worrying about something like that. She also told us that she felt our alienating parent was jealous and felt threatened by  her ex’s new relationship. And the icing on the cake for my mother-in-law was when our alienating parent told her that she and my husband were getting back together — just a few months before our wedding. My mother-in-law knew that was not true and was frightened by our alienating parent’s apparent hallucinations.

The children’s behavior was also a concern to my mother-in-law. She worried when they had an accident or got dirty, and their first response was: “Don’t tell my Mom!” This distressed their grandmother a great deal. Why would her grandchildren be so fearful of their mother’s reaction? I imagine most grandmothers would find that behavior disconcerting, and this just goes to show what a loving grandmother my mother-in-law was.

My mother-in-law’s version, to us, about how our alienating parent came to be in possession of the letter also doesn’t correspond with our alienating parent’s version. My mother-in-law admitted that she showed the letter to our alienating parent, but told us that it then mysteriously disappeared. Only to reappear at a Court hearing dealing with child support. Our alienating parent presented it at a hearing in an attempt to show that her ex was working two jobs!

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Notice how our alienating parent doesn’t mention how she attempted to use the letter to collect more child support when she mentions it on genealogy websites under the names of her former in-laws?

So while our alienating parent has her version behind the letter I wrote to my mother-in-law, and wants to make people think it was a bad thing, I can’t help but thing it was a good thing. It cleared the air between my mother-in-law and I. She didn’t agree with our decision, but we hope she eventually came to understand our reasoning behind it. And we didn’t agree with her decision, but felt she was certainly entitled to make that decision for herself. And it opened our eyes to what was actually taking place, as far as oour alienating parent was concerned.

Here’s a portion of a letter my mother-in-law wrote after my father-in-law’s death:

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So, as you can see, it ended up being “all good.” My in-laws dearly loved their grandchildren and would have done anything to keep them safe and happy — even putting up with their former daughter-in-law’s behavior. Everything else being posted on genealogy websites is disrespectful to these wonderful people and their memory. It’s not about which daughter-in-law they liked best, which is what one person who read our alienating parent’s posts concluded: our alienating parent wants people to believe that she was like the daughter they never had, while I was the wicked, mean daughter-in-law. Why? Why is that so important to our alienating parent, that she would disrespect her children’s grandparents in such a fashion? These posts have nothing to do with genealogy and are simply our alienating parent’s avenue to share her thoughts — which is what blogs are for, by the way.

The Importance of Fathers in the Healthy Development of Children

Writing the post the other day about our targeted parent’s grandson’s paternal family sharing photos with us reminded me of a brochure I had read, which was published by the government, dealing with the importance of fathers in the lives of their children.

Our alienating parent has a problem with a child’s paternal family sharing photographs with that child’s grandfather?  Why?  Doesn’t a father, or a father’s family, have the right to decide whom they will share family photos with?  Or does that right only exist for the child’s mother?

Remember the remarks made in one of our first posts, about our alienating parent’s need for control? Think this falls under that aspect of her behavior?

In any event, after many studies, experts would undoubtedly disagree with denying a father the small, simple choice of whom he will share family photos with. And if a father is being denied that right, what other rights is he also being denied?

Fathers are equally as important to a child as mothers are. And mothers who purposely try to destroy a child’s relationship with their father are doing harm to those children.

“Even from birth, children who have an involved father are more likely to be emotionally secure, be confident to explore their surroundings, and, as they grow older, have better social connections with peers.”

“Children with involved, caring fathers have better educational outcomes.”

“One study of school-aged children found that children with good relationships with their fathers were less likely to experience depression, to exhibit disruptive behavior, or to lie and were more likely to exhibit pro-social behavior.”

“In short, fathers have a powerful and positive impact upon the development and health of children.”

Don’t you think a mother who actually loved her children and put the well being of her children first would, instead of only thinking of herself and what she is feeling (I’m angry; I’m upset; I’m jealous), would put her child’s best interests first and work toward maintaining a close, loving relationship between child and father? Would our alienating parent’s children have been better off if they had had the opportunity to share a relationship with their father? Unfortunately, we’ll never know.

Makes for good fiction …. and drama too!

We couldn’t help but chuckle at our alienating parent’s version of how we came about having photographs of my husband’s grandson.

OLF version Colin photos

Makes for good reading, doesn’t it? And don’t you just love all the drama?

Unfortunately, as usual, it’s not true. Our alienating parent likes reminding everyone of paternal biological ties on genealogy websites, but seems to conveniently forget about them in real life. My husband’s grandson has a paternal family. A member of that paternal family called us, stopped by our house and gave us some photographs of my husband’s grandson and his sister. It’s as simple as that.

And, as you can see, we still have those photographs:

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Even though we’re aware of our alienating parent’s difficulties with telling the truth, we figure in this particular case it was actually a situation where someone, when confronted by our alienating parent, simply told her a story to appease her. People oftentime lie to protect someone. They’ll likewise lie to avoid ranting and raving. We hypothesize that that is probably what happened here. Our alienating parent’s own daughter once told us that she lied to her mother because “she freaked out” and she (the daughter) didn’t know what else to do. So, it’s not difficult to believe that is what happened in this situation as well.

We’ll probably never know the truth behind our alienating parent’s version that I “hunted down” my husband’s grandson’s mother “(a person she knew she could manipulate) and after a enormous amount of lies… convinced the woman to give up an online site which contained an electronic image” of the grandson. But we do know the truth: we were contacted by the grandson’s paternal family and given the photographs.

We won’t mention who gave us the photos, to avoid them being harassed by our alienating parent for that transgression. Although what is wrong with a person giving photographs of a family member to that family member’s grandfather? How dare they!!! 🙂

Understanding …..

Yesterday’s post had to remind us all of one of the most obvious underlying reasons as to why we are even writing this blog: child abuse.

“The USA Surgeon General states under the category of mental health:
… severe and repeated trauma during youth may have enduring effects upon both neurobiological and psychological development altering stress responsivity and altering adult behaviour patterns … these individuals experience a greatly increased risk of mood, anxiety and personality disorders throughout adult life.

In short, the long-term impact of child abuse is far-reaching, with some studies highlighting that the effects of childhood abuse can last a lifetime (Draper et al., 2007).

A study by (Draper et al., 2007) found:

Child abuse survivors demonstrate
Poor mental health: are almost two and a half times as likely to have poor mental health outcomes,
Unhappiness: are four times more likely to be unhappy even in much later life
Poor physical health: are more likely to have poor physical health.

Childhood physical and sexual abuse
Medical diseases: increases the risk of having three or more medical diseases, including cardiovascular events in women
Relationships: causes a higher prevalence of broken relationships, lower rates of marriage in late life,
Isolation/social disconnection: cause lower levels of social support and an increased risk of living alone
Behavioural health effects: is associated with suicidal behaviour, increased likelihood of smoking, substance abuse, and physical inactivity.

The impact of child abuse does not end when the abuse stops. If you were abused as a child, the long-term effects can interfere with your day-to-day functioning. However, it is possible to live a full and constructive life, and even thrive – to enjoy a feeling of wholeness, satisfaction in your life and work as well as genuine love and trust in your relationships and more. Understanding the relationship between your abuse and your current behaviour is the first step towards ‘recovery’.

Over two decades of research have demonstrated the negative impact of child abuse and neglect on the mental health of children and adults. Adults who report experiences of abuse and neglect as children report differentially low mental health outcomes, including:

depression
anxiety disorders
poor self-esteem
aggressive behaviour
suicide attempts
eating disorders
use of illicit drugs
alcohol abuse
post-traumatic stress
dissocation
sexual difficulties
self-harming behaviours
personality disorders.”
[Source: Adults Surviving Child Abuse]

Pathological liar?

During a discussion with someone about our prior posts, the person — very matter-of-factly stated: “Well she is a pathological liar.”

I oftentimes felt our alienating parent was simply bent on arguing with me. If I said the sky was blue, she’d disagree and say it was pink …. and post her thoughts about my observation on a genealogy website (of course). For instance, when I mentioned my Irish ancestry, she made sure to voice her opinion about people who fake being Irish.

But, after reviewing a lot of the documents we’ve amassed over the years, and seeing details set down in writing, I wonder if that person is actually correct in his observation that our alienating parent is a “pathological liar.” I have first hand knowledge of many occasions where I’ve seen her lie about a situation and I wondered why. What benefit did she get out of lying? Would good was lying doing her? Was she lying just for the sake of lying? It does make you wonder, doesn’t it?

When discussing pathological, or chronic, liars, Wikihow notes: “There may be other personality disorders at issue, such as narcissistic personality disorder, bipolar disorder or borderline personality disorder.”

Another portion of that article reads: “Insecurity. Low self esteem is one of the biggest reasons why people become pathological liars. Whether they consciously recognize it or not, a pathological liar feels that he or she is not important enough as they are so they must make up accomplishments or events to position themselves as worthy.”

Narcissistic Personality Disorder continued …..

We touched on Narcissistic Personality Disorder in our April 22 blog and came upon another perfect example:

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This is a photo our alienating parent posted of her granddaughter. Unless this child was an immaculate conception, she had another grandmother! 🙂  And I’m not talking about me — I’m talking about the child’s paternal — biological — grandmother.

For someone who is so intent on telling the world all about her family’s biological ties, it’s interesting when she oftentimes seems to — conveniently — forget about them. She’s the one, the only grandmother to this child!

Obviously the child had another grandmother, who was living when our alienating parent posted her comment on the photograph. After the child’s paternal grandmother died in 2012, our alienating parent (of course) had some things to say about that as well:

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Is this a tribute to the woman who had just passed away, or a tribute to our alienating parent?

If this doesn’t constitute an “overwhelming need for admiration” and a “pattern of grandiosity,” I don’t know what does. And we all know what an “overwhelming need for admiration” and a “pattern of grandiosity” are symptoms of, don’t we? Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Whoever mentioned that to us back in April obviously got right to the heart of the matter.

On the bright side (if there can be a bright side to this bizarre behavior), it appears that our alienating parent insists on injecting herself into other families, not just the us! But you’ll notice it is — again — the paternal side of a child’s family, while our alienating parent is on the maternal side. Interesting ….. very interesting …..

The next generation ….

This is an excellent illustration of the results of Parental Alienation Syndrome which we’ve discussed previously. This is a post-em which our alienating parent’s daughter put on a genealogy website (of course) under her paternal grandfather’s name. And, of course, our alienating parent had to add it in to the narrative which actually appears under the grandfather’s name, because someone might miss it if they have to click on the “post-em” link. 🙂

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First of all, my father-in-law would be mortified to see this listed under his name on the internet. Secondly, other genealogists are puzzled to see personal observations such as this posted on genealogy websites. We won a raffle from the Huron County Genealogical Society called “Who Do You Think You Are” and they are going to be undertaking some research on the my husband’s family. Imagine what they’ll think if they stumble across this little gem?

What does my father-in-law’s relationship with any of his daughters-in-law have to do with genealogy? Absolutely nothing. But that doesn’t stop our alienating parent, and now her daughter, from posting their personal thoughts and observations on genealogy sites.

Our alienating parent has a blog where she can post all the personal comments she wants to post. People who read that blog are interested in what she has to say. To post entirely inappropriate comments on a genealogy websites shows exactly how desperate these people are for me to read what they have to say. I don’t read their blog; I do, however, visit genealogy sites. So naturally that’s where they post their comments. Not thinking how they might appear to legitimate genealogists (or perhaps they just don’t care how ludicrous they appear?) and not thinking about the person they are posting these comments about. And I’m talking about my father-in-law, not me.

It’s easy to profess love for their dearly beloved grandfather and former father-in-law, but their actions tell another story: it’s more important to express what they’re feeling than to respect him now that he’s gone. As we said in our earlier post, it just goes to show how little respect they really have for this gentleman, who they claim to have loved so well.

But back to Parental Alienation Syndrome: our alienating parent’s daughter was 12 when her grandfather died. Yet, she knows that I did not like her grandparents? Was that from what she observed and remembers 24 years later? Well, as the court docket will show, there were extreme difficulties getting visitation with my husband’s children. We even went an entire year without seeing them at all. But this “child” — which is what she was at the time — is an expert on my relationship with my father-in-law?

Or is she actually stating what she had been told? If our alienating parent made such an effort to alienate these children from their own father, she certainly did the same with me.

My father-in-law was in the habit of getting in his car and just driving. Everyone who knew him is aware of that. He would suddenly pull up in our driveway, chat a few moments, and head on his way. We always invited him in, but he declined. Leave it to our alienating parent to turn that in to my making the children visit him in the driveway. Especially since during most of his visits, her children were not even at our house. So how do they know what took place there? Undoubtedly by what they were told.

Let me post here — and not on a genealogy website — I had great affection for my father-in-law.  My mother-in-law and I had our moments — which I’ll go into more detail later. But we did eventually agree to disagree. I’ll never forget the time we were at her brother’s funeral.  She had just lost her last sibling — she was the only child left. She was visibly upset and I went to her and put my arm around her. No words needed to be spoken.

And my father-in-law, oh my, he was a dear. Does our alienating parent’s daughter have any disdain for her mother, after learning about the letter her beloved grandfather received, due to her mother’s actions? No, but she can certainly tarnish his memory on genealogy websites by making ridiculous comments, based upon the alleged memories of a child … a child who was very rarely even at our house when her grandfather would drop by.

It makes for more drama if he had a daughter-in-law who didn’t like him instead of one who enjoyed his company and welcomed him at our home at any time.

So, in conclusion … here we have a “child” whose mother (who just happened to be custodial parent after her parents’ divorce and who has a history of Parental Alienation Syndrome) has her attorney write the child’s beloved paternal grandfather a letter, accusing him of spying on the mother and instructing him to limit his visits — but nothing is said and this “child” obviously thinks no less of her mother because of this situation. She certainly doesn’t feel the need post inane comments on the internet about her mother’s behavior toward her beloved grandparent.

Then, on the other hand, we have a step-parent, married to this “child’s” biological father — the same father she had very little contact with as she was growing up and whom she has subsequently banished from her life — and this “child” declares the step-parent didn’t like her grandparents. Based upon very limited experience in her father’s home? Or was it based upon what she heard at the home of the custodial parent?

Ending a Relationship with a Family Member

Here are some interesting observations we’ve come across dealing with ending a relationship with a family member:

“Sharing DNA means there is an obligation to take special care in your relationships with your family, not that you are obligated to tolerate a parent’s, sibling’s or child’s abuse because he or she swims in the same gene pool at you.

The questions I ask in every case are, “If this person weren’t your mother or father or sister or brother or daughter or son, but were a colleague, acquaintance or friend and they treated you like this, would you have anything to do with them?”

When blood isn’t involved, it’s a no-brainer.  You avoid abusive jerks, but when the abusive jerk is your mom or dad or your son or daughter, most people freeze like a deer caught in headlights at the thought of walking away.

If your child is being alienated from you, you MUST do your best to intervene as soon as possible.  The seeds of lifelong alienation can be sown in a very short time.

It’s not unusual for otherwise healthy adults to have some bitterness during and shortly after the divorce process, which oftentimes spills out onto the children.  Healthy reasonable adults realize that a child deserves both a loving mother and father, set aside their differences and get on with the business of co-parenting their children.

But there are many individuals who do not move past divorce bitterness and embark on lifelong campaigns to deprive their former partners of loving relationships with their children.  Approximately 20% to 30% of divorces and custody disputes are considered high-conflict.  It’s no surprise that this is approximately the same percentage of the population that suffers from some form of personality disorder.  It is also a fact that both men and women engage in parental alienation, but alienation is much more effective when conducted by the custodial parent, of which 82% are mothers.

Parental alienation does not end at the age of 18.  Alienated children often become lifelong foot soldiers in the alienating parent’s campaign of hatred and destruction.  I suspect that, if some form of personality disorder is at play with the alienating parent, that it may become manifest in the alienated child — either through genetic heritability, modeling or both.”

[Source:  Shrink4Men]

It may be too late for my husband, but we hope some of the information we share here might help someone else in the same situation. He obviously made a big mistake in not talking to his children, while they were young and the alienation was taking place. At the time, that was what most people thought was the best course of action: don’t talk badly about the other parent in front of the children. But years of studies have shown that the best course of action actually is to intervene, and as quickly as possible. Wish we would’ve known then, what we know now.

Treatment of the paternal family ….

A lot of our difficulties with our alienating parent stem from the fact that her children are biologically part of my husband’s family. We touched on the subject of biological ties and emotional ties earlier and wanted to complete that train of thought.

One of my husband’s cousins had contact with our alienating parent and one of her daughters and, as you can see from the e-mails she received, it didn’t go well. (Click on the photos of the e-mails to read them more easily.)

Murray e-mail 1
Murray e-mail page 2

Does a person simply asking that their name be removed as a source on genealogy websites warrant the tone of the two e-mails which were written in response? On one hand, they go on and on about being part of the family — yet this is how they treat members of the family when they actually come in contact with them?

Another cousin had a stroke while traveling in Italy. He was hospitalized there for several months, so the family created a site on CaringBridge to keep all of us here in the U.S. up-to-date on his condition. I innocently posted a link to the CaringBridge page on our photo website and our alienating parent and one of her daughters immediately started posting comments on the CaringBridge page. This concerned the family during an already difficult time, because they had no idea who these people were. We had lunch with one of the brothers of the cousin who was ill and his first question to us was: who are ***** ******* and ****** ******? We had already ended our relationship with my husband’s children by that point, so — as usual — we had to explain why someone who doesn’t know my husband’s cousin, and who will undoubtedly never even meet the cousin, felt the need to get in touch with them during this troublesome time. Because of biological ties, of course!

And, as we’ve pointed out before, actions definitely speak louder than words. They claim they’re interested in the family history (which has been well documented for several years now), which entitles them to be considered part of the family. But then when they do come in contact with family members, they act entirely inappropriately. Guess that says more about the reasons behind their behavior than what they’re trying to get everyone to believe, doesn’t it? 🙂

Some people just can’t get along with anybody …..

Thought we’d share a couple more posts from our alienating parents public facebook page:

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Seems we aren’t the only ones our alienating parent has trouble getting along with ….. sister-in-law, cousins, and who can forget the time she disowned her younger daughter because she (our alienating parent) wasn’t there when her older daughter got engaged.  And, of course, that was the younger daughter’s fault, wasn’t it?  Step-father not welcome at a family wedding because our alienating parent didn’t approve of the way he was treating her mother.  Sister who hadn’t spoken to her for over a year because she was “so far gone.”

“There is a sub-group of people however, that don’t seem to get along with almost anyone. These persons tend to project blame onto others for their conflict and may also cause others to feel guilty for not meeting expectations in the relationship. Further, some of these people while feigning interest in others, are really only interested in meeting their own needs. These people can be manipulative, self-serving and very distressing to others. If they themselves are distressed, it is only due to the reaction of others, or for others not attending to their demands. They tend not to be distressed about their own behaviour. In fact, when confronted on their own behaviour, they are quite unable to see a problem with themselves and treat the confrontation as a serious attack. They are incredibly adept at making excuses that continue to exonerate themselves while making it seem like everyone else is the problem.  If you explore their childhood, one often sees a history of abuse or abandonment. There may have been parental alcohol or drug abuse and violence in the home.”  [Source:  Mediate.com]

Suddenly, thinking back on all of this, I don’t feel quite so bad that our alienating parentt can’t get along with me, because she apparently can’t get along with a lot of other people too.

Family history ….

We noticed an increase in our alienating parent’s comments on genealogy websites immediately after we announced that we would be putting together a book about the targeted parent’s paternal family. Why would that prompt our alienating parent to start her campaign of declaring to the world how special her relationship was with her ex-inlaws?

What does her relationship with the targeted parent’s mother and father even have to do with his family history?

Our book is going to include facts (dates of birth, marriages, death, etc.) which anyone can ascertain from the internet. But the book is also going to include personal stories and many unpublished photographs of the family. Is that why our alienating parent suddenly started posting about her relationship with her former in-laws, and stressing about biological ties? Because, even though her children are biologically part of the targeted parent’s family, they are no longer emotionally part of the family and will never hear these treasured family stories?

While we were at Notre Dame a few weekends ago, our targeted parent mentioned why he roots for the Fighting Irish — and it has to do with his Dad and his uncles. That will be included in the book, along with other stories his cousins are sharing.

It’s a shame that the targeted parent’s biological children and grandchildren will never know the rich history behind the his family, and will only hear the so-called “truth” behind our alienating parent’s relationship with her former in-laws. And, as everyone can plainly see from prior posts, she is obviously not a very reliable source, is she?

As we’ve mentioned before, the targeted parent’s mother and father loved their grandchildren — all of their grandchildren — unconditionally. No one denies that. But they are gone and our alienating parent’s children no longer have a relationship with their father. End of story …

Our alienating parent has done a tremendous job putting together all the facts behind our targeted parent’s family. All the names, dates and places are posted on the internet. What she’ll never be able to give to her children and grandchildren are stories and memories about their father’s family, so it seems she decided to create some of her own to pass down. Too bad they’re not true. But if her family is happy with them, let them pass them along for future generations. And leave us to pass along the true stories of our targeted parent’s family.