Words from a step-mom

I read these words and felt so much kinship with the author, that I had to share them here:

I never thought I would be the “other” parent that another parent would resent. I am that parent whose mere presence in a child’s life causes another adult resentment, and pain. Though “her” family ended long before “mine” began, I never imagined my place with my husband would be a stark reminder of another woman’s lost place with her husband. I never imagined That my place with my step children would be a reminder of “her” time she “has” to share, with me. I never thought my loving them could hurt her as much as it would if I did not love them. I do acknowledge that my presence does cause these things, though completely unintentional. I never imagined two children who “are not mine” would have me so wrapped around their little fingers. I did not know I could love a child I did not give birth to so much that it literally hurts. I did not know I would want to fight so fiercely for my time, my bond, and my place with two children who I feel with every bone in my body are mine. I knew I would have children that would fill my life with love, joy, hope, chaos and clutter. I knew I would do everything in my power to protect, love and cherish every moment with “my” kids. I knew I would become a mom by choice to children I gave birth to. I did not know that I would have that same desire to love, protect and cherish children not born to me. I knew there would be times my children would be angry with me. I knew I would make mistakes and cause hurt. I knew I would mend the hurt, calm the anger and explain why I do what I do to “my” kids. I knew I would both reward and punish “my kids” with no remorse because that is my job as their mom. I did not know I would feel so guilty by my own presence that I would overly reward, and seldom punish the children I did not give birth to. I never knew I would feel I don’t have the right to demand and earn respect from “other” children as much as I do from “my” children. I never thought I would always worry my actions and words would favor “my” children over the “other” children so much that I actually show more favor to “other” children over mine at times. I never thought I would say I am an ex, a wife, a mom, and a step mom, All in one. I am all of those things and I am these things at the very same time. I sometimes struggle to decide which hat I am suppose to wear at which time. All of these inner struggles are real, and part of my life. I am exactly where I want to be. I realize I am exactly where God planned me to be. I do have the husband and children I did always long for. I am thankful for all the good and bad that comes with this life and these roles. Yet I have no idea how to navigate my happiness and love without someone else being hurt, or resentful, in some way because of it. I have no idea why I even care that my presence, my role, and my place effects any person other than my husband, and our children. I just know that I do care.

[Source:  totallyjessifiable.wordpress.com ]

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The healing power of telling your story.

Because telling your story—while being witnessed with loving attention by others who care—may be the most powerful medicine on earth. Each us is a constantly unfolding narrative, a hero in a novel no one else can write. And yet so many of us leave our stories untold, our songs unsung—and when this happens, we wind up feeling lonely, listless, out of touch with our life’s purpose, plagued with a chronic sense that something is out of alignment. We may even wind up feeling unworthy, unloved, or sick.

Every time you tell your story and someone else who cares bears witness to it, you turn off the body’s stress responses, flipping off toxic stress hormones like cortisol and epinephrine and flipping on relaxation responses that release healing hormones like oxytocin, dopamine, nitric oxide, and endorphins. Not only does this turn on the body’s innate self-repair mechanisms and function as preventative medicine—or treatment if you’re sick. It also relaxes your nervous system and helps heal your mind of depression, anxiety, fear, anger, and feelings of disconnection.

[Source: http://www.psychologytoday.com ]

How To Spot Sociopath Women

Reading this blog was like reading a history of our alienating parent’s behavior.

Custody Struggles

How To Spot Sociopath Women

” The sociopath acts to protect and sustain an inflated, but ultimately fragile and unstable sense of self.”

http://welldoing.org/how-to-spot-sociopath-women/

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The Village Speaks. Parental Alienation Syndrome

The alienation of my stepchildren against their father began in the 1970’s. We dealt with an abusive parent (and yes, parental alienation IS abuse) for decades. It may be too late for us, but it’s encouraging to see the issue of parental alienation is finally getting some much-needed recognition.

Aria E. Appleford

You can bully a child but you cannot bully me nor the millions of other thinking caring adults who recognize the damage you are doing to that child as abuse. Tell whatever stories to yourself that you have to in order to go to sleep at night but I will never be silenced. Keep telling your lies to the people who will listen and nod but even they are talking to everyone behind your back and condemning what you are doing. When we make choices to live our lives in reprehensible ways you have to be prepared to live with your own reflection when someone holds up the mirror. Your anger at everyone else is sadly misplaced because they are not the problem for speaking out against it, YOU are the problem for having committed these acts. I hope that people might find the grace to extend to you when…

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Giving up

Here’s a very moving, powerful post, showing just how devastating parental alienation is.

Living Life Better Blog

There are times I just can’t face it. Recently my current wife has gotten involved with Parental Alienation groups to help support me.  I follow along, but the pain inside is so deep it’s hard for me to participate.

I’ll write my daily letters to the kids. But that is a passive activism.  Sometimes, I question my actions.  Shouldn’t I be researching the laws?  Shouldn’t I investigate my rights? Isn’t there more I could do?  ….    I’m scared.  I hurt so bad inside that I’m scared to even open up a chance of hope to see my children again. I try to appear brave, but having my children taken from me was worse than castration.

So, I’ll do the best I can.  I’ll write my letters.  I’ll go to work. I’ll pretend to laugh at jokes.  All the while, I deal with a gaping hole in my heart.  THAT is…

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Parental Alienation and the Fight for Children’s Hearts and Minds

Parental alienation involves one parent spoiling the relationship between a child and the other parent in the absence of actual abuse or neglect. In both my personal and professional lives, I have seen many parents actively turn their children against the other parent in an effort to “keep them (the child) close,” and to undermine their child’s loving bond with the other parent. Although research has demonstrated that parental alienation has very negative effects on children (e.g., depression, substance abuse and conduct disorders), few researchers have examined empirically how exactly parents engage in this alienation behavior.

The majority of research on this topic has surveyed young adults (e.g., children) who report having been alienated from one parent by another. Alienating strategies include bad-mouthing or denigrating the other parent in front of the child (or within earshot), limiting the child’s contact with the other parent, trying to erase the other parent from the child’s mind (e.g., withholding pictures of the child with the other parent), creating and perpetuating a belief the other parent is dangerous (when there is no evidence of actual danger), forcing the child to reject the other parent, and making the child feel guilty if he or she talks about enjoying time with the other parent. The impact of these behaviors on children is devastating, but it also often has the opposite intended effect; parents who denigrate the other parent are actually less close with their children than those who do not.

Children who are caught in the middle of alienating behavior have a different perspective than the parents, so work that focuses on the alienated parents provides a more thorough view of this unfortunate family dynamic. For example, in a survey of parents who are targets of alienation, Baker and Darnell found that targeted parents reported that alienators interfered with parenting time (e.g., scheduled appointments or frequently called during the other parent’s parenting time), interfered with contact with the children (e.g., intercepted phone messages or email), interfered with symbolic contact like gift giving (e.g., threw away gifts or sent them back), did not inform them about important information (e.g., school activities, doctor appointments), threatened to take children away from the them, and formed unhealthy alliances with the children such as having had their children spy and report back information to the alienating parent, or sending cell phones with children to call the alienating parent from the target parent’s home.

Some children were not even allowed to bring personal items (e.g., sports equipment, toys) back home from the alienating parent’s home. In sum, this survey of parents identified a large number of abusive tactics that were not always readily visible to children, yet inflicted damage to the parental relationship nonetheless. Ultimately, the researchers drew a grim conclusion from the study: many of the strategies described involved active participation of the children which resulted in the child colluding in the betrayal and rejection of the alienated parent. The result: the child feels guilt and shame about having done these activities; in order to cope with this betrayal, kids justify their actions by actually believing the targeted parent is evil, unreliable, does not care about them, is dangerous, etc.

With endless ways to combine alienation strategies, alienated parents have little recourse to defend themselves and repair their relationship with their children. For example, if the parent tells a child that a lie said about them by the alienating parent is untrue, then it appears to the child that the parent is calling the alienator a liar. It is a lose-lose situation for the targeted parent. There have been calls for intervention and counseling programs to help families that have been affected by parental alienation, and there remains a great need to further understand how alienation affects the psychological health of the parents themselves. In addition, court and family systems need better methods of identifying and intervening when alienation is occuring. Many times courts need to determine whether an accusation of abuse (domestic, physical, sexual, etc.) by one parent is true or false: if false, then the accusation is a sign there is active parental alienation, which is recognized by the American Psychiatric Association as another form of child abuse.

By:  Dr. Jennifer Harman

http://www.scienceofrelationships.com/home/2014/10/1/parental-alienation-and-the-fight-for-childrens-hearts-and-m.html