Category: Kids


Monkey came to me the other night to ask me an important question.

She waited until I wasn’t distracted by one of my favorite TV shows, “The Walking Dead”.  However, she did ask during a commercial break, so I did miss part of the show.  It doesn’t matter.  I’m honored that she came to me.

Monkey is now 16.  Apparently, she’s been having some “woman issues” that has her concerned and asked me if I could make her an appointment with the doctor.

I asked her several questions to make sure I understood the nature of her concerns.  I’ll admit, my first thought was she is pregnant and I asked her if she thought she was (her boyfriend, while sweet as can be, is 18, so Hun and I have been insistent on chaperones and expectations – but they’re kids – they’ll do what they’ll do).  She insisted that she was not.  Other than being concerned that a pregnancy test at the doctor’s office might involve a needle, she was unconcerned that the doctor would require one.

Monkey is usually a horrible liar, so I’m as confident as I can be that she doesn’t believe she is pregnant, so I currently choose to believe she isn’t as well.

At one point during the conversation, my show came back on and Monkey pointed that out.  We weren’t done talking (the sound was already muted, but I didn’t think about it till later that I could have just paused the show on our DVR – duh!).  I told her that our conversation was much more important than any silly TV show.  I can’t be certain, but I think that made her feel better.

Towards the end of our conversation, I asked her if she had talked to her mom about these concerns.  She quietly said no.  When I asked why not, she just shrugged her shoulders and looked away.  I encouraged her to talk to her mom about this.  I reminded her that her dad and I only wanted her to be safe and healthy and the doctor may want to do some things that her mom didn’t agree with.  She nodded her head and we left the conversation there with me promising to make her an appointment.

This may end up being a battle with Jetsam.

Other than routine doctor appointments, she fights us on everything else medical related.

I suspect that one of the treatments the doctor will suggest is for Monkey to go on birth control.  Not because she is sexually active (although, she might be), but rather to help control her hormones.  If that happens, I am going to highly suggest an option that doesn’t require remembering to take pills.

And anything I suggest is automatically wrong in Jetsam’s opinion.

Once I have the appointment made, I’m going to set Monkey down and talk to her some more to make sure I understand why she hasn’t talked to her mom about this.  I’m also going to explain why I need her to talk to her mom about it.  Why she needs to be able to confidently stand up to her mom if she disagrees with her mom’s opinion, especially in regards to Monkey’s own health.

It’ll be an interesting next couple of weeks.

There are days when I wish this roller-coaster ride called being a step-parent was over.

There are days when I wish it would never end.

One wish out-weighs the other, but not because of the kids.  Rather because the bio-parent in our lives makes things so much more difficult than they have to be.

Last night, Jetsam called a family meeting with all of her kids.  In the 15 years that I’ve been with my husband, this is the first time she’s done that.  It makes me slightly uneasy because something like this, based on past experiences, typically means that she is plotting something.

I shouldn’t let it bother me, but – also based on past history – whenever she’s plotting something, it always turns out negative for the kids; which in turn, turns out negative for Hun and me.

Just a few days ago, Jetsam attempted to press charges against me for abuse against Monkey.

That backfired on her because the police that came to investigate ended up filing a family violence report against Monkey for assaulting me the evening prior.  At Hun and mine’s request, we asked the officer to call Jetsam to explain the situation, as we knew she wouldn’t take our word for it.  I could overhear the policeman telling Jetsam over the phone, after explaining everything, “No ma’am, you cannot file charges against Karaboo because there is nothing to file charges against.  Monkey is the one in trouble because she assaulted Karaboo, not the other way around.”

Hun and I made sure that Monkey knew that the reason we didn’t allow her to call her mom on the night everything happened was because we were attempting to protect her.  We reiterated everything the police officer said, that if they (the police) had been called out that night (which Jetsam would have immediately done), Monkey would already be behind bars at the Juvenile Detention Center (JDC).  As it stood, now that her mom had called the police, there was still the possibility that she may go to JDC.  The report was now in the hands of the detectives and DA to decide if they wanted to press charges and go forward.

I was asked and I declined to write a formal statement for the family violence report.  In my discussions with Hun, my opinion was that I did not want my name formally on anything associated with this report.  I did not want Jetsam or her family to point to my signature and say, “SEE!!  Karaboo is DIRECTLY responsible for what happened to you Monkey!  NOTHING would have happened to you if she had not written that statement!”

It doesn’t matter.  They will blame me anyway.  No matter what the outcome is.  They will absolve themselves and Monkey of any responsibility.

Monkey acts like this entire incident is no big deal.

She acts like her mom is going to protect her and not allow anything to happen to her.

My question to Monkey is – if the person you have put your trust into has lied to you in the past, failed to follow through on promises and cannot take care of herself without assistance from those around her – what makes Monkey think she’ll come through for her now?

Maybe she ought to re-think who she’s placed her trust in.

Which is really sad and makes me cry to think about.  You’re supposed to be able to trust your mom.  You’re supposed to be able to trust your dad.  When that trust is broken, it affects all areas of your life.

I suspect that Jetsam’s next step is to contact Child Protective Services (CPS) against Hun and me since the police were of no help to her.  I’m not sure why I suspect this, but it would be the next “logical” step in her mind.  She’ll do anything to show that we are abusive, as she’s been claiming for all of these years.

I won’t be surprised to get a knock on the door and a CPS worker is standing there asking to come in.  It might surprise Monkey and Jetsam that I will not hesitate to let them in.  Hun and I have done nothing wrong.  We have nothing to hide.

My only fear/wish is that if that knock comes my house is actually clean the way I like it to be cleaned.

An Open Offer

Dear Rowdy,

Happy 18th birthday!

I wish you every success for this next year and for every year after.

To help you with your success, I would like to offer you a gift – a gift that will keep on giving to you, long after you read this letter.

I would like to pay for you to take the GED test.  It does not matter the cost, the day you say, “this is the testing date I am attending”, I will pay the cost of that test for you.

I know you can pass the test RIGHT NOW.  I am so confident in your ability, that if you say the testing date is tomorrow, I will pay for you to take it, no questions asked.

You may have doubts about your own abilities.  I do not.

You may ask – what if I fail?

So what if you do?  What is the worst thing that will happen?

The worst thing that will happen is you still do not have a certificate that employers’ want that shows you are capable.  You are no worse off than you are right now.  However, you will be slightly ahead!  You will then know what subjects you need to focus on to pass the test the next time you take it.  You will have a better understanding of what to expect.  You will be prepared and the next time, you will succeed!

…..I don’t believe you will need a “next time”.

All you need is the faith in yourself, the same faith I have in you, to take the plunge and take the test.

Despite everything that we have gone through, I believe in you.  I care about your future.  I want you to succeed.  I want you to be happy.  I want you to be able to follow all of your dreams.

I care about you and I love you.

Continuing my current theme of Jetsam telling us that she is going to get custody of Monkey.

Recently, Hun and I were having breakfast together one Saturday.

He commented to me:  “Do you know what I’m most worried about with her asking for custody?  I’m worried that we will be required to pay for her lawyer and court fees.”

Me:  “I’m not worried about that at all.”

Hun:  “Why not?”

Me:  “Because court costs for custody cases are very rarely assigned to the other parent.  It is on the parents to pay for their own fees.”

We continued eating and thinking.

Me:  “Do you know what I’m worried about regarding Jetsam asking for custody?”

Hun:  “What?”

Me:  “Not a single thing.”

Hun (shocked):  “Why not?”

Me:  “Because she’s not followed through on anything else, why in the world should we be worried about her following through on this?”

Hun:  “Oh”

I went on to explain:  “She hasn’t followed any of the original court-ordered requirements for her to get custody of the kids back, why should the courts award her custody now?”

I pointed out – she did not stay stable for the first 5 years that we had custody of the kids.  She even moved out of state for 6 months.  She has only been stable for the last 2 years because she’s living with her boyfriend.  The house doesn’t have enough room for everyone to move in with her if she was to gain custody.

I reminded him that a home-study would be required.

I reminded him that the courts would look at the original requirements and find that she didn’t follow the original court order.  That she signed off after only 6 months, rather than going back to court a year later.

I also reminded Hun that she had asked him, before stating she was going to take us to court, that she wanted him to allow Monkey to either move in with her (Jetsam) or in with her sister.  Jetsam knows there is not room for Monkey in her home – so she was hoping to seem “reasonable” by offering up her sister’s house as an alternative.  If Jetsam offers up this option in court, something tells me that the judge will not view this as a favorable deal.

I could be wrong – I’ve been wrong before.

However, if a parent is attempting to get custody back – stating the current living situation is horrible, but doesn’t have living space for the child and instead tells the judge they can move in with a family member – I suspect the judge isn’t going to go for it.

Now, Monkey is old enough to request to live with someone else.  This, the judge will probably listen to.  As Hun and I have told Jetsam before – we’re not going to pay the court costs to go through the hoops for the kids to live with someone else.  They already live with us.  We’re already meeting all of their needs and some of their wants.

I asked Hun – what exactly are they going to say we’re doing to “abuse” these kids?

That we don’t give them smart phones?

That we don’t allow Monkey to have unsupervised time with her 17 year old boyfriend?

That we don’t give in to their every whim and expect them to do chores?

If we end up going to court and if the judge orders that Monkey is to move in with Jetsam or another family member, then so be it.  We’ll follow the court order – just like we have done in the past.  Until then, I’m not worried about it.

I’ve been thinking about my last post.  About how I confronted Jetsam in front of the kids.  About her giving up on her children.

As I stated, it wasn’t said to hurt or with maliciousness – but I’m sure it hurt anyway.  I know it did.  But I also know that in their hearts, the kids already knew the truth.  It was like a scar had been ripped open, exposed, and there was nothing they could do about it.

This makes me hurt for these kids.  I would never have done half of what their own mom has done to them.  It makes me ashamed that I caused them hurt as well.

I’m not excusing my behavior.  Maybe I am.  I don’t know anymore.  Maybe reading the following, as a reader, you’ll understand better why I said what I said.

All I know is that I have watched lie after lie after lie be spoken against their Dad and myself.  That accountability from their mom was dismissed and all blame be laid at our feet.

Recently, Jetsam made the comment to Hun and myself that it wasn’t her fault that she couldn’t get custody of the kids back.  That she was requested to do unreasonable things by the court – things she couldn’t complete, hoops she couldn’t jump through – to get her kids back.

Of course, this was said outside of the kids’ hearing – when it was just Hun, Jetsam and I.

Some of the things she stated:

  • The courts required her to complete parenting classes. She couldn’t comply because she didn’t have the money.
    • This was the first we had heard about this requirement. We knew we had to attend parenting classes within a certain time frame of having temporary custody of the children – but we were never informed, nor did we know, that she was also required to do these classes.
    • As a mom myself – NOTHING – would have kept me from attending those classes if it was a requirement of getting my child(ren) back.
  • The courts required her to stay within the county. She couldn’t comply because it limited her job opportunities.
    • We also knew nothing of this requirement. Court was in one county – during the custody hearing, once the judge ruled that Jetsam needed to be stable for one year before considering giving custody back, she asked if it was okay that she was moving that very weekend – out of the county we were in.  The judge agreed.
    • This move wasn’t something that was forced onto Jetsam. She made the choice to move to a location that was miles away from job opportunities.  Hun and I are both VERY aware of the location she moved to – we both moved out of that area in our pasts because of the lack of jobs.  Jetsam had lived there previously as well – she knew what she was moving back into.

I guess the point of this is to say, she did give up on getting custody of her children back.  She did not follow through on any of requirements of the court that I’m aware of – except for one.

What I’m aware of: this is what the judge verbally stated in court:

  • Stable home for one year.
  • Stable job for one year.
  • Get rid of the loser boyfriend. (Judge’s words, not mine!)

What we weren’t aware of until just recently:

  • Complete parenting classes.
  • Stay within the county.

Based on her mode of operation – there are probably other stipulations that we are yet unaware of.

The only requirement that she actually complied with was breaking up with the boyfriend.  The others – she did not comply with based on her own statements or actual observations by Hun and myself.

In my view, she lied to her children.  She went so far to give up on them.  She disagrees with that assessment.

We’ll see if she actually attempts to gain custody of Monkey as she says she will.

Subject Matters

Buddy is one of those young adults that you aren’t quite sure what he’s going to “grow up” to be.

At almost 19 years old, he both amazes and frustrates me at the same time.  I see him compared to other kids his age and can honestly say, “Yes, this child is different than the others”.  That’s not a bad thing, just an observation.

He doesn’t act like the others.  He doesn’t care about fitting in.  He doesn’t worry about social conventions.  He wants to be him and only him.  Don’t ask him to act like someone else because that’s not who he is.  He is the poster boy for “live and let live”.  He doesn’t care what you do, as long as you don’t care what he’s doing.

Sometimes this is frustrating when trying to get him to follow “social conventions”.  Because he doesn’t care about fitting in, showers and basic hygiene can be spotty at best.  Because he doesn’t care about social conventions, he thinks nothing about blurting out what he’s thinking, even if it is completely inappropriate.

Trying to figure out how his mind works has been a life-long task of mine.  Not because I want to change him, but because I want him to be able to understand the world around him better.  I want to also understand him better.  His mind works completely different than others.

Years ago, I taught him that it was completely acceptable to answer “I don’t know the answer to that” to questions he didn’t know how to answer.  That was, and is, okay when dealing with fact based questions.  Now that he’s older, answering the question of “why?” with “I don’t know” isn’t always acceptable when the questions are abstract rather than fact based.  At almost 19, think I finally figured out how to help him with this and we’re still working through the new learning curve.  I’ll report back if it is successful.

But there are times when Buddy doesn’t act like the others that it is absolutely amazing!

His mind is a deep chasm, waiting to be filled with all sorts of knowledge.  He doesn’t care what your opinion of the subject is, if you don’t know the answers to his questions or not, he just wants to know what you know about the subject matter at hand.

And those subject matters at hand can be very deep, philosophical and abstract in ways I would never have imagined when he was first born.  Whenever he says, “Mom, I have a question…..” there is no telling where the next part of the sentence will land.

The best time for us to talk is when I’m driving and it is just the two of us in the vehicle.  He’ll ask questions with others in the car, but he’s learned that they don’t always like his subjects of interests; which is fine by him, because he could usually care less about their areas of interest as well.

Case in point – whenever I drove him down to the driving test, an hour away, the subject matters for that particular car ride were:

Interest-bearing accounts, mathematical engineering and space travel.

Ummmm…..I don’t even know where to begin answering these questions, let alone have what I feel like is a rational conversation about these subjects!  But he accepts my fumbling answers with a grace and humility that I can only hope to emulate someday.

Just this past weekend, the subject matter in question was, “What was my opinion on the aftermath of nuclear war?”

When it is just the two of us, it is guaranteed to never be a dull ride!

Asking him to clarify his question led nowhere as his mind is so different from mine, he doesn’t know how to explain what he’s asking.  He just knows he’s interested in my opinion on this subject.

So…..I answered his question with an abbreviated science and history lesson instead, starting with evolution and the Stone Age.  At first, he began to stop me, but quickly realized that my way of explaining things for him to understand shows how intricately the past and history helps us to understand the present and future.

Then and only then, after explaining the past and history, did I explain to him what my answer/opinion of his question was.

He knows that I won’t laugh at his questions.  He knows that I won’t make fun of his mind.  He knows that I will do my best to help him and his quirky ways.  And he knows I will answer as honestly as I can.

I hope he knows he can always come to me with any question and I will always try my best to help him.

Will There Be Food?

LaLa gets excited over the smallest things.

Sunday morning, I happened to pass her in the hallway.  This is eventful because she now works nights and we only see her occasionally.  Like ships passing in the night, I’m gone for work before she gets home and she’s asleep when I get home.  I’m usually in bed asleep, or falling asleep, when she walks out for the night.

So, when I do see her, I try to catch up in small ways:

Me:  Do you have to work tonight?

LaLa:  No

Me:  Do you have any plans for today?

LaLa:  No

Me:  Well, we’re going to Amy’s for……

LaLa:  SUPER BOWL???  (getting very excited)

Me:  Yes, you’re welcome to come if you want.

LaLa:  Will there be FOOD?  (we know where her priorities lie)

Me:  (Laughing)  Yes, there will be food.  Dad and I are bringing hot wings…..

LaLa:  OOooooo…… (eyes big)

Me:  And Amy is making fajitas…..

LaLa:  OOOhhhh…..  (starting to drool now)  I’m SO HUNGRY!!!

Me:  You do know we’re not leaving for about 10 hours right?

LaLa:  Yes – but I’ll still be hungry then!!!

Me:  (Still laughing)  Okay, we’ll let you know when we’re getting ready to leave.

I love that she takes such great pleasure in the little things!

Crisis Averted

Tentative knock on my bedroom door.

Buddy (in a quiet, worried voice):  Mom…..can I talk to you?

Me:  (thoughts flashing rapidly through my mind…oh dear….what’s going on now?  He sounds worried.  He sounds like he’s in trouble, he did something wrong.  Did he wreck the car?  He didn’t say anything when I walked in the house, that can’t be it.  School work troubles?  No – he never worries about those.  Issues trying to find a job?  Maybe…but we already had that conversation.  What is it?  What Is It??  WHAT IS IT!?!):  Come in

Buddy (something’s definitely wrong!):  Mom….uh….mom….I need to talk to you….uh…

Me:  What’s the matter?

Buddy (face matches his speech, worried, concerned, waiting for bad news):  Uh…well….I don’t know how this happened….

Me:  ….

Buddy:  You see….uh….it’s my….phone….

Me:  (whew!  Oh thank goodness!  I can handle phone issues today) Okay – what’s wrong with your phone?

Buddy:  Well…you see…my “Clash of Clans” keeps logging me out any time I try to open it. Let me show you.  (starts opening up the app)

Me (Really?!?  This is the BIG emergency?  I guess it is an emergency in his mind….): Do you know what the main purpose of a cell phone is?

Buddy (confused look on his face):  Uh….it’s a…..tool?

Me:  Yes, but it has a main purpose….what is it?

Buddy:  Uh……

Me:  It’s main purpose is to make calls.  It’s a tool to communicate between people.

Buddy:  Okay…..

Me:  Is anything else not working on the phone?

Buddy:  No

Me:  Okay, if the only thing not working on your phone is “Clash of Clans”, it’s not a big deal.  You don’t have to play that game on your phone.

Buddy (true panic on his face):  Okay…..

App finally comes up and sure enough, it’s sluggish and almost non-responsive.

Me (checked and saw he closes all apps, so it isn’t an issue with having too many apps opened at once): When was the last time you turned your phone off?

Buddy:  What?

Me:  Turned your phone off.  This is nothing more than a very small computer.  You have to give it time to reboot occasionally for it to work properly and reset its operating system.  Do you know how to turn the phone off?

Buddy:  Yes, but I haven’t done that in a long time.

Me:  Try that and see if that works.  If not, there’s something else we can try.

Buddy:  Okay – thanks Mom!! (as he’s running out of the room)

Me:  Hey!  I expect a hug if this works! (I yell after him)

 

There are days I wish all of our family problems boiled down to something as simple as a reboot.

 

About 15 minutes later, I was tackled in the kitchen with a bear hug and a “THANKS MOM!!!  THAT WORKED!!!”

Whew!  Crisis averted!

Beyond Livid

I haven’t blogged in a while.  I’ve been trying to decide if I want to continue or not.  I’m not sure if this is still my season.  After all – there is a time for everything….

From a mental stand point, I’ve had a horrible last couple of days.  My mind will not turn off when something is bothering it.  It keeps me awake and doesn’t allow me any mental peace.  I tend to lash out at Hun when I’m like this.  It isn’t his fault.  I’m so sorry Hun.

From the outside, the weekend was spectacular – I spent Saturday with LaLa, friends and girls from my family having lunch and painting; and Sunday lazing around the house doing not much of anything.  Outwardly, I had a lot of fun!

I’ve tried to put my mind to sleep.  It won’t listen.  From past experience, it will only rest when I’ve gotten what’s rattling around inside, out.  So I’m going to release what is torturing my mind out into the universe.  Maybe I can get some sleep tonight – I do have to work tomorrow after all.

Once again, we discovered Monkey actively going against our rules.  I had known for several weeks that something was up – I didn’t confront her until I had proof.

One of the first “signs” of proof I had was my Mom asking what had happened this time with Monkey as she had posted a very unflattering comment on Facebook about her father, Hun.  Something along the lines of Hun being, “a sperm donor” was posted several days before Mom brought it up to me.  Neither Hun nor I had seen the post, so I knew immediately that she had blocked us again (one of our rules was that we were not to be blocked).

I brought this information to Hun’s attention (not in a good way – again…I am very sorry Hun!  You didn’t deserve my outburst).  He, in turn, brought it to Jetsam’s attention on Saturday while I was away painting.

Jetsam’s response was agreement with Monkey!

I am beyond livid at this.  How dare she?  I am ashamed of her as a mother.  I am ashamed that she calls herself a mother.  She should be ashamed of herself, but alas, I suspect she is not.

Why in the world would they refer to Hun as this?  Confronting Monkey gave me no answer.  She had no reason she could explain to me why she would say or believe this.

I want to just shake Jetsam and scream at her.  I want to remind her that Hun has ALWAYS been there for his children – both physically, monetarily, and emotionally – where she hasn’t always been there for them.

I want to remind her that SHE is the one that was pregnant by another man, before her and Hun’s divorce was finalized.  And that the guy who got her pregnant has never once paid a dime in support and has been in his child’s life less than 6 months total.

I want to remind her that SHE is the one who insists we don’t love the children, just because we don’t give in to their every whim.  That just because we have rules and structure and accountability and parent differently than she does, doesn’t make us horrible parents.

I want to remind her that SHE is the one that insisted they not show any affection towards me.  That she insisted they couldn’t trust me, couldn’t count on me and couldn’t believe anything I said.  When this subject comes up, the kids can never remember anything where I lied to them, didn’t support them, or wasn’t there for them.  It is ALL a mental game to appease their mom, protect themselves from her anger towards me and not appear to be choosing me over her.

I want to remind her that being divorced parents does not mean that whichever parent the child hates, the other parent has won.  How horrible for the child!

I want to confront her, shake her silly and insist she listen.

She will not.

She will not be ashamed.

She will sit there in a self-righteous manner and believe that she has won.

I am angry at her for doing this to her children.

I wonder if the children will ever truly understand what she has done to them.

I wonder if there will ever come the day when the kids understand what we tried to do for them.

I wonder if we, all of us, any of us, will survive these years or if one day we will look back in regret and say, “I wish we hadn’t done what we did.”

Parental Alienation

For those people who have never been exposed to PA (Parental Alienation) or PAS (Parental Alienation Syndrome), it is difficult to comprehend exactly what life is like for families exposed to this.

First, a brief history/explanation:

Who discovered Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS)?
In association with this growing child-custody litigation, forensic psychiatrist Dr. Richard A. Gardner first identified Parental Alienation Syndrome in the 1980’s. He noticed a dramatic increase in the frequency of a disorder rarely observed before, that of programming or brainwashing of a child by one parent to denigrate the other parent. 

However, the disorder wasn’t just brainwashing or programming by a parent. It was confounded by what Dr. Gardner calls self-created contributions by the child in support of the alienating parent’s campaign of denigration against the targeted parent. He called this disorder Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS), a new term that includes the contribution to the problem made by both the parent and the child.


What is PAS?
Gardner’s definition of PAS is:

1. The Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) is a disorder that arises primarily in the context of child-custody disputes.

  1. Its primary manifestation is the child’s campaign of denigration against a parent, a campaign that has no justification. 
  2. It results from the combination of a programming (brainwashing) of a parent’s indoctrinations and the child’s own contributions to the vilification of the targeted parent.Excerpted from: Gardner, R.A. (1998). The Parental Alienation Syndrome, Second Edition, Cresskill, NJ: Creative Therapeutics, Inc.


What is the child’s part in PAS?
Gardner notes that the PAS is more than brainwashing or programming, because the child has to actually participate in the denigrating of the alienated parent. This is done in primarily the following eight ways:

  1. The child denigrates the alienated parent with foul language and severe oppositional behavior.
  2. The child offers weak, absurd, or frivolous reasons for his or her anger.
  3. The child is sure of himself or herself and doesn’t demonstrate ambivalence, i.e. love and hate for the alienated parent, only hate.
  4. The child exhorts that he or she alone came up with ideas of denigration. The “independent-thinker” phenomenon is where the child asserts that no one told him to do this.
  5. The child supports and feels a need to protect the alienating parent.
  6. The child does not demonstrate guilt over cruelty towards the alienated parent.
  7. The child uses borrowed scenarios, or vividly describes situations that he or she could not have experienced.
  8. Animosity is spread to the friends and/or extended family of the alienated parent.

In severe cases of parent alienation, the child is utterly brain- washed against the alienated parent. The alienator can truthfully say that the child doesn’t want to spend any time with this parent, even though he or she has told him that he has to, it is a court order, etc. The alienator typically responds, “There isn’t anything that I can do about it. I’m not telling him that he can’t see you.”

PAS is an escalation of Parental Alienation (PA)
Dr. Douglas Darnall in his book Divorce Casualties: Protecting Your Children from Parental Alienation, describes three categories of PA:

The mild category he calls the naïve alienators. They are ignorant of what they are doing and are willing to be educated and change. 

The moderate category is the active alienators. When they are triggered, they lose control of appropriate boundaries. They go ballistic. When they calm down, they don’t want to admit that they were out of control. 

In the severe category are the obsessed alienators or those who are involved in PAS. They operate from a delusional system where every cell of their body is committed to destroying the other parent’s relationship with the child. 

In the latter case, he notes that we don’t have an effective protocol for treating an obsessed alienator other than removing the child from their influence.

An important point is that in PAS there is no true parental abuse and/or neglect on the part of the alienated parent. If this were the case, the child’s animosity would be justified. Also, it is not PAS if the child still has a positive relationship with the parent, even though one parent is attempting to alienate the child from him or her.

Source: http://www.breakthroughparenting.com/PAS.htm

Now that a definition and explanation has been made, back to my own personal life and post.

This subject came up, once again in my family, because of a brief comment my mom made on Thanksgiving.  The comment stayed with me for the remainder of the day and turned itself over and over in my head.

The scene of the comment:  Monkey was with Hun, Buddy and I at my parents’ house for our Thanksgiving celebration with my extended family.  LaLa has taken a 3rd shift job and was sleeping.  The plan was for LaLa to sleep until about 2pm, go to Jetsam’s house and pick up Flounder (as Jetsam was working), swing by our location to pick up Monkey and then head to Jetsam’s extended family celebration.

As planned, LaLa arrived with Flounder and greetings and well-wishes were exchanged all around.  After about 5 minutes, the three left.

My mom commented to me, “What happened with that?  Flounder was pleasant, polite and cheerful with us.  He acts nothing like Rowdy or Monkey (who was being very grouchy about having to come with us and couldn’t leave fast enough).”

At the time, I just shrugged….. but the comment stayed with me and fermented in my mind.

It dawned on me.  Flounder has no bias against us because Jetsam has not spent the last 14 years of his life implying that we are horrible people.  Sure, he may have overheard her saying things to the other kids, but as his loyalty was never “tested” or “required”, none of the negatives stuck with him because he didn’t experience having to choose between parents.  LaLa, Rowdy and Monkey have spent the last 13+ years having to carefully choose their emotions, lest they make their mom upset over any minor thing.

Talking with Hun about the incident, we theorized that the same Parental Alienation that has happened with LaLa, Rowdy and Monkey, probably has also happened with Flounder.  The only difference is, his father isn’t in the picture and so, there is no one to lash out at.  While Hun and I are VERY present and easy targets, so we get to experience the abuse in all of its horrifying glory.

This makes me terribly sad for my kids.  They have been brainwashed into believing that Hun and I are abusive, horrible people who are hated justifiably in their young minds.  Besides continuing to do what we already are doing, there isn’t anything left for us to do.  Either the kids will mature and realize that their impressions are/were wrong or they won’t.

For my own piece of mind, I will continue to believe that they will eventually realize that we do love them, always have and always will.  No matter what.  I love you guys!