Dear Sophie, is a very special and unique communication to the general public about their understanding what happens frequently when Parents separate.
It is a peculiarly direct message to family attorneys who care in the courtroom only about representing the desires of their clients, no matter how divisive nor how damaging it is to children.
Dear Sophie, illustrates so vividly and so musically the pain when children are brainwashed by an offending parent following separation.
When we are in pain, we fall silent or we scream. Through either reaction, we seek attention.
Dear Sophie, is the incontrovertible presentation of how the pain of 30% of parents becomes triaged between those parents and their child.
I would argue with these circumstances, that all are victims. The abusive, alienating parent, the child that become subject to emotional abuse and brainwashing, and the parent who becomes the target of that abuse.
When courts remain inactive, when the messages of this child abuse falls on the ears of deaf Magistrates, when psychologists decline or do not know how to diagnose this emotional child abuse, then the tragedy begins to roar.
Having worked in this field for nearly 20 years, having met and heard numerous lectures by Dr. Richard Gardner who conceived of the concept of Parental Alienation, and being an author on the subject, I remain appalled that still these messages must continue.
Every society that does not act appropriately will continue to implode.
When 30% parents who separate are highly conflicted, and nearly half of those experience the triangulation of Parental Alienation, we have affected outcomes that are immediate and long-lasting. Social science has proven this to be true, for up to six generations.
When the mantra of physicians 'do no harm' will be accepted by the legal profession, we will then find that the children's best interests will be followed.
Till that happens, outcomes represented by the ending in Dear Sophie will continue to be counted.
It is now time for all to bare their truth. If you support the rights of children to live physically healthy and emotionally healthy lives, then you will be well noticed.
The actions of family attorneys and barristers who truly do not care will also continue to be noticed and challenged.
It is my prayer that Dear Sophie will dramatically provide the positive and ethical motivation that many family attorneys and many barristers apparently lack.
I pray that change will be rapid because forty percent of children reside in single parent households, and nearly forty percent of public school children are taking prescriptions for ADD, ADHD and behaviour. Furthermore, only seventy percent of children graduate high school.
Clearly, the need for reuniting children with both parents is critical and immediate.
Dr. Mark Roseman
Author, Preserving Family Ties, An Authoritative Guide to Understanding Divorce and Child Custody For Parents and Family Professionals
Dear Sophie is poignant, powerful, and gut wrenching. It sounds a much-needed alarm about an under-recognized public health problem in which children are manipulated to hate a parent. Parental alienation leaves its victims feeling hopeless
and grief-stricken. Raising awareness of this scourge is the key to preventing tragedies. Alienated children and their parents need our understanding and help to heal their poisoned relationships.
Dr. Richard A. Warshak,
Author, Divorce Poison: How To Protect Your Family from Bad-mouthing and Brainwashing
I'm in the 6th year now and it's been a damaging time essentially for my daughter. It's a story of compliance on my behalf but one of total obstruction denial and abuse from my ex partner, behaviour and will which forced my daughter into threatening to take her own life 3 years ago.
After the split I lived in my van and my workshop. I was fortunate to find a place to live, through a kind customer. My ex wife had insisted on mediation and also had insisted she had full control of when I was allowed to speak with my children, which was nil. Even today I have no contact without it first goes through my ex.
It was suggested that Mediation be progressed as there was no give. Just take. At the time I was still paying for all the overheads in the marital home. The mediator advised this needed to stop so as I take care of myself. Both children I later found were told that "daddy has stopped paying for us and refuses to support us"
As mediation progressed over weeks and I capitulated to all her demands. I asked constantly to review access with my children through the mediator. I was assured it would happen. At the time I'd had no contact with my children for several weeks. I used to attend the mediation sessions early. I'd parked in the car park to attend the meetings in compliance knowing the access would be agreed.
It was amicable much of the time. My ex wife had achieved all she wanted financially. The mediator moved to access and the ex refused to agree any proposals he put forward. The mediator advised her that should I go to court they would agree it. Still she refused. I was fuming. Packed my paperwork and left. Outside the in laws had parked their car with the children in the car waving at Daddy. They were parked deliberately so they had a perfect view. I was completely broken. I complained at the next and last meeting that this was damaging my mental health and the children. My ex denied the incident occurred.
I elected to go to court and represent myself. I didn't have the money to pay a solicitor and could not get aid. Unlike my ex who did not disclose my continuing financial support
I was still paying the mortgage etc Access was allowed by my ex but just two hours on a sunday only. Even then she kept ringing them whilst in my brief care, undermining their confidence.
There were screaming from her wnen I collected them. She followed me around the car as I strapped them in screaming at me that they had to be kept safe.
My ex had a solicitor. During this time my mental health was challenged, with me alleged being a danger to my children. At that time I was under huge pressure with the business as well as paying all the bills on the house whilst she lied to the children. I still do not understand why there was a need to create this atmosphere.
My poor upbringing became a source of attack by her solicitor, to prevent any contact with my children. The solicitor proposed to the court that I obtain a Phychiatric report .
Still paying the overheads on the home I advised the court that I was happy to do so but could not afford it because of the financial position. It was agreed for extra time for me to gather the monies. I booked it through my doctor. Went to see the psychiatrist for nearly two hours. It was established I has ptsd. In his written report, he stated that although I had suffered trauma as a child I was not the alleged 'danger ' to my children as expressed by the ex's solicitor. I kept my cool and complied with her demands and the children became less agitated. I submitted to document to the parties involved. At the appearance date both the solicitor and the ex told the court, that my report was not independent as it was through my Doctor!.
The magistrate became very angry at them both. Apologising to me for not making a decision in my favour, but complimenting me being in full Compliance with the courts directions.
He did order that we appear at the families section of a crown court, explaining that the senior family Court would make a decision and it would be legally binding to all parties.
A month or so later. The ex's solicitor had a meeting with my ex's sister. She personally took the court paperwork from the solicitor which had the copy of my report. I was unaware of this. She booked a day off and took my children out for the day, taking them to another solicitor together with all the paperwork, totally outside of the legal constraints, that is that the paperwork remain with the parties involved only. Both my children were interviewed and were asked to make statements against me. Both refused but this left them Both traumatised. It's appalling how families get involved and cause problems.?.
Access began to die. It was easier for the children to not to see me as it caused so much trouble. I found out about this incident purely by chance. A solicitor friend had advised me along the way and she had phoned requesting I go to her office. It was here where the sister in laws action was revealed. The new solicitor had phoned my friend purely by chance. She realised it was me and this new guy had acted wrongly even looking at the paperwork.
This same sister in law, who had been so instrumental in splitting up the family now became a McKenzie friend to my ex in the crown court. I objected over her involvement based on interference, they agreed and she was ejected. The court made a ruling in my favour that my son needed his father's input and ruled regular contact be established. My daughter was old enough to make her own mind.
However at a major cost. My daughter had a full breakdown as a result and I haven't spoken with her for 4 plus years now. Every phone call has to be made through my ex. She listens into the calls. She hides their mobiles or they have been permanently off.
She refuses any change in the circumstances. Is both objectionable and manipulative in putting me down to both children, as does her family. I have experienced an awful time furthered at school open days. Ive seen my children's confidence destroyed so that overnight stays agreed by the court were restricted to no more than 5 times in the last 6 years. Christmas despite the courts ruling were restricted to just 3 hours every year and sadly it has not changed. The major change is my daughters mental collapse and the blanket of secrecy that has occurred over that breakdown. I am not allowed any information. I don't know how she is. I can't speak with her and I've been told not to write. I'm good with my son but this painful situation continues year after year. I am allowed just 3 photos and that is all I have.
The damage caused is immeasurable. The poison still exists and the lengths the evil ex wife's family has no boundaries and takes no prisoners. The victims are my children who are not allowed to grow and be free even now as teenagers. I am not bitter and have progressed to forgiveness. They believe their action is right despite my daughters mental breakdown. Now its down to plain old waiting.
Never give up.
My story is that my youngest son, Michael, has been severely alienated from me and anyone that had anything to do with me since the age of 11. It is a very long story, but I will keep it short.
I divorced my husband when my son Michael was 3 years old. My ex told me many times that if I leave him I will never see my child again. I have an older son from a previous marriage. My ex was supposed to be a father to him as well. His name is Ronnie.
As soon as I filed for divorce, my ex severed complete ties with my older son, who was 11 at the time. We ended up with joint custody and we all adjusted the best we could with this arrangement.
I had a living, close relationship with my boys. As they did with each other. Family outings, school plays, my parents were a huge part of my childrens' lives. They would babysit when I went to work. If I had a day off from work on my scheduled coparent day, my ex would not allow my son to be with me. He worked, but still brought him to my mother instead.
We were a very happy family. ... Holidays, summer gatherings, etc. ... Fast forward.... Both of my parents got sick. My father passed away. My mother was diagnosed with colon cancer... My brother( whom nobody had seen for 20 years), decides he is going to move in with my mother. Almost immediately, he developed a bond with my son. At first ,I thought it was a good thing.
However through time my mother told me how verbally abusive he was to her and was keeping my son from her. My brother became quite obsessed with my son. He would call him every time he was with me and made my son, his life. I started to speak against this as it was not normal.
Eventually my brother made false allegations that myself and my other son abused Michael... I was not worried about this because it was ridiculous and clearly my brother wanted revenge for me telling him to stay away from my son. To my astonishment, my son went along with my brother in court. I could not believe it.And my ex went right along with it. I was ordered supervised visitatolion because my son was "deathly afraid" of me and his older brother...
It was the supervised visit social worker that told me what was going on. She recognized clearly parental alienation. My son went from loving me and his family to hating us all.
The courts were no help at all. It was all about what my son wanted....(so called wanted)completely brainwashed. I had no choice... He was allowed to decide. I saw him seldom after that. And never after the age of 13.
My son never went to live with his father. He lived and still lives with my brother. My mother passed away two months before my brother filed false allegations.
There is so much more, but its hard to articulate in an email.
The courts never allowed me to speak about what was happening with my brother and ex. It was only focused on what my son supposedly wanted. He was isolated and brainwashed.
Brief introduction to me. I was born in UK and moved to Canada in October 2001. I was engaged by March 2003 and married by July 2003. It was partially arranged...while I was not forced by anyone, his mother did ask for my hand in marriage from my mother.
While I had my license, I didn't have a car, and lived with my in-laws. My children were born in 2005 and 2007 and while our marriage was on rocky grounds I do have to admit that my ex husband appeared to love his children and I credit him as a father.
Fast forward to current time, December 2017...well after a lengthy court proceeding spanning from 2011 to 2014...he got custody and I got supervised access. He has been in contempt of this and many previous orders but the judges will just take his side, feeling sorry for him.
My supervised visits were going fine but since I only got two hours, bi-weekly, there is a lot of time unaccounted for and he slowly reduced my phone and email contact with them. One day I got a text from my ex husband telling me I had upset the children but he refused to tell me what I had said or done and would not let me talk to them.
Up until May 8, 2016, my visits went well, but it was an emotional rollercoaster having to deal with the centres and not being able to be myself with my own children. It was like prison and having to report back to my ex husband who I left for his controlling and manipulative behaviour was not helpful to me.
Slowly, hockey started to compete with my visits. Promises of makeup time were never fulfilled. It had been so long and all of a sudden the children would refuse to come in at the centre but the little communication we did have went fine. I am not allowed to scold them because I get criticsied for that. I am actually stuck.
After 3 attempts of the children arriving at the centre and refusing to see me, the centre closed the file and court thinks that I need to provide more current medical documentation, when I am seeing my children in a supervised centre for 2 hours, bi-weekly...wow!
I have tried to work with my ex husband on financial matters making him understand that we both have the children's best interests at heart and while I am living I only care about them, if I am allowed, and after I am dead, they will want for nothing more from me.
I don't believe my ex husband is saying anything negative about me to the children. i do however think that he doesn't encourage them to have a bond with me, and when they do ask he must limit any discussion on the topic of mom. When they are upset with mom I am sure he reinforces how terrible their mommy is. This is just my educated guess.
One example would be Mothers Day 2017...leading up to this day, I reached out to my children, the only way I could, email. I never received any responses but I know they received my emails...or at least their dad did. I had not wanted them to feel uncomfortable at school when children are asked to make something for their mothers, since most years I was overwhelmed with cards and paper bouquets etc. I had mentioned I was excited to see what they would make mommy because I had never had a bad gift from them and keep them all...
Well, the day prior to mother's day, their dad emails me, telling me I am upsetting the boys and to stop making them feel uncomfortable. Needless to say mother's Day was a very sad day for me. At 6pm, on Mother's Day I received a notification that I had been tagged in an Instagram story. Needless to say I was crying tears of joy when it was from my son telling me how much he loved me.
While the communication is one-sided I have many examples of how my ex husband lies about my children's feelings. I would love to go into more detail but I am tired, beaten down, defeated...if only someone would hear my story and believe it. Use their power and resources to do something. Not just for me but the thousands of other parents who experience this too.
Currently I am off work battling my feelings...and I have to fight back tears because people do not want to hear how sad I am. Life will get better and I will remain hopeful. My biggest fear is that either one of us experiences a loss so great that time can not change it...living with regrets is worse.
Let me know if I can expand on any of this information in anyway. I quite like the idea of having questions that should be answered. Such as: When did you first feel like you were being alienated? What evidence do you have to support the fact that you are being alienated against? What are the steps you are taking to try and see your children/maintain a bond with them? What tools/resources help you to cope? What is your advice to anyone who may be alienated against or is alienating themselves?
My parents divorced and I immediately felt the pressure to erase my father. We were emotionally/mentally punished if we showed any interest in Dad (now we started calling him by his first name though). Everywhere I went I felt like I was being watched, like someone was making sure I didn't show any interest in my father.
If I did it in front of mom, she would be mad at me. My own mother was mad at me. I didn't think about what was happening, I only did what I thought I should or shouldn't do to get approval from mom. I was already desperate for her love.
I now see that she has narcissistic tendencies and my wellbeing was not her concern.
Life went along with us devaluing our father until I saw the same thing happening to another nice guy. Then the light bulb went on and I started investigating and putting the pieces together.
When I heard my mother, 30 years after the divorce, say "it's too bad that the other parent doesn't love you" bingo! I was then convinced that she has purposefully turned us against our father and had been "feeding the hate" all of these years.
I am free now, but when I confronted her, she started to turn my siblings against me. They spewed hate at me when I would try to tell them what happened (not what I am supposed to do). I have stopped trying to bring them out of the fog.
For our entire lives I had pretty good relationships with all of them, until I started talking about Dad. So now I enjoy my life without mom and the alienated siblings.
It's sad but I haven't found a way to resolve it. My mother won't let it happen and the alienated kids are too stuck in her mind set to see what happened.
Hi my name is Philip.
I filed for a divorce in December 2015 after getting my daughter Steffanie from my wife Nickie and put my daughter back in school January 2016.
My wife Nickie took my daughter out of school and lied to the school about why my daughter was not in school and my step son told the school that it was lies. The school sent a letter to me about this matter.
My wife was saying bad things about me to my daughter Steffanie when she talked to her and on visits. Then my wife started having my daughter lie to me.
When we went to court in July of 2016 my wife got temporary custody and I got visitation every starting that Friday my daughter was told that she was going with me for the weekend and she ran down the hall at the court house to get to me she was happy she was going with me for a visit that weekend.
My wife had to keep me informed of doctors visits and have me on school registration for meets and other school information but she didn't comply with most of that.
My wife Nickie had registered my daughter in a school in another town using a false address. My wife Nickie was interfering with visits to the point that I made a complaint to the police. And the whole time my wife and her boyfriend have been texting me from my daughter Steffanie's phone saying things to me so I would think it was my daughter saying hurtful things to me but I knew it wasn't my daughter Steffanie texting.
Then in August 2016 my attorney filed a motion to enforce for the visits by November that year I didn't see my daughter for Thanksgiving and the samething in December. I had a visit with my daughter before Christmas then the 27th my wife text me asking if I want my daughter Steffanie that friday the 30th. I said yes I had my daughter for new years weekend then January 2 my wife called yelling at me telling me to come and get my daughter because she said that she didn't want to be there that she wanted to live with me so I called my daughter Steffanie and she was crying telling me that mom was kicking her out and that she would be at her aunts so I could pick her up there. While I was talking to my daughter Steffanie about this I could hear my wife Nickie in the background yelling that she has to pack her stuff me and my old's daughter went to pickup my daughter Steffanie then the next day my wife Nickie comes to my house with the police to get my daughter back and told the school and her attorney that I got my daughter for Christmas and didn't bring her back my daughter is telling me that her mom is still saying bad things about me to her then my daughter started lying to me and she told that her mom said to lie to me and that she didn't have to listen to me that I had no rights.
In March 2017 we got the final decision for custody and the divorce my wife got full time parenting and I got visitation every other weekend Friday at 4 to Sunday at 6. My daughter Steffanie was sad because it's not what she wanted the visits where going good for awhile then the time changed to 6 on Friday instead of 4 then my wife had my daughter for three weeks in May and I had one week then in June I had to share a week with my daughter's grandma but I got my daughter for father's day and my wife was trying to take that day from me she was texting me telling me that I had to take my daughter back to her when we agreed in that Monday at noon. My daughter was heart broken and was crying because she didn't want to go back that day. Then my daughter tells me that her mom want her to tell her mom what was going on at my house and wanted to know what I was doing then in August I got one last week visit with my daughter and my ex told my daughter Steffanie that I was to take her clothes shopping for school because my ex had no money. The last weekend in August I pickup my daughter Steffanie in a different location. My daughter was telling me that her mom had her text her mom at night telling her that she could not breathe so my ex and her son tried to call me about this but it was late so my ex called the police and they came by at 2:45 in the morning to check on my daughter who was sleeping with no problems my daughter Steffanie told me that her mom is doing all this to make it look bad on you so she looks like the good guy. I never got a visit the whole month of September then on my birthday my son passed away from cancer then in October I got a visit with my daughter and she told me that her mom and boyfriend John was telling her that it was her fault that her brother passed away and I told her it wasn't her fault he had cancer so she knew that she didn't have anything to do with her brother passing away she had a friend stay the night Saturday the next day we all went to see the movie IT at the theater later when I dropped my daughter off I told my ex about sending medicine without a prescription label on the bottle for my daughter that week after that visit my attorney had received a letter that my ex's attorney had sent her a copy of that came from my daughter's school saying that I was mean to my daughter and that I blamed her for my son passing away and that if she told anyone that I would kill her none of that was said or happened in fact Sunday my daughter said her weekend went great. I called my daughter's school and they said that I was not on the registration to receive any information about my daughter or about meetings by November my attorney had received a medical record or report about sexual abuse by my daughter's older sister's boyfriend so my ex had her attorney file a motion to suspend my visits my attorney filed a motion to enforce again and I haven't had contact with my daughter since the last visit in October. I don't leave my daughter with one person my oldest daughter is home if I have to work so there is always to adults in the house and my daughter's friend has stayed the last five visits with her. My oldest daughter Nicole's boyfriend has the same first name as my ex's boyfriends name John. My attorney let me know we had court Friday December 1st but my attorney never showed and the judge said he wanted have a hearing before Christmas so I could have my visit for Christmas but with the sexual abuse I was told that DCFS was talking to my daughter and they agency says that my daughter has PTSD. My daughter talks to me non-stop from the moment she sees me and the drive home and the same going back but my daughter gets real quite when we get close to the town where we meet her mom.
Thank you for letting me tell you my story it would have been longer.