After 7 yrs of no contact I finally got to see my daughter. Never give up!

Please don’t ever give up hope for your alienated children to find their way back to you. After 7 long years of no contact my now 15-1/2 year old daughter made her own brave voice be heard that she wanted to see her Mother and it was still a battle to make this happen. On August 19, 2020 I finally saw my daughter in this miracle. I want to write about our meeting for the first time after all years because there is so much hope to be had just how beautiful and perfect our meeting went I want to give hope to other parents still in this hell. I need to let this sink in a little longer and then I will be back to write about it.

Trying to switch to WordPress.org has been a nightmare…

If anyone is reading this blog I really and literally need to and am aching to write specifically NOW and I stupidly thought if I switched to WordPress.ORG i could easily make my blog the way I want but it’s only been a nightmare and so far costed me almost $300 and more charges I’m trying to cancel and haven’t heard back in any of this since oct 3 and not did anything promised like all my published and unpublished posts ever get transferred and I just need to find a way to cancel what WordPress promised and stay with the free WordPress.com site so I can start writing again.

I need to write again…

I am back to needing to write again that this time I would like to find myself not deleting everything I write. For endless years that was what I need and believed that I had to because my fear of the ex finding my posts (or making anything up) with his stalking me for the last decade while alienating my daughter was too very real and just too intense that I honestly feared for my life and had/have every reason that for the first time in this situation that I am in my life right now I am FINALLY and ACTUALLY 2 steps ahead of all that hell which I wish I could say was about rainbows and sunshine BUT NO.,.. it’s just more new drama going on that I will simplify it with 2 things…. 1). I still have not found housing after my landlord sold my townhome I was renting and am actually homeless but have the 2nd friend who is letting me stay with her for a short time. AND 2). I was just supeaoened to appear as a witness in my old roommate’s criminal trial in which he is innocent that isn’t my concern but my actual concern is the actual police made multiple false statements ABOUT ME IN THEIR REPORT FOR PROBABLE CAUSE STATEMENT and AGAIN I am back to fearing for my own life and safety NOW with police retaliating again me for testifying they did so. I would just like a second in my life where I could relax and not be scared shitless for every fucking second. Is that just too much to ask for some peace and find healing about losing my daughter?

Entered a photo contest

I have one of these last photos I ever did of my daughter that was a thing of mine of do photo shoots and regardless it’s hard to talk about but this series was the one last visit to our farm that she ever okay again before he ended up taking her and it was these series of pictures that one of them is my one all time prized possession and if I had one thing I would grab if my entire house was burning down this is the one thing that I would take. It hangs in my bedroom. I’m so actually decatched from it it doesn’t have any emotional feel cuz I would would survive from that feeling again that’s been shattered in every false hope a mother can ever go through. But I entered it into a photo contest. A real one. Just have to actually submit it meaning put the actual jpeg into the website. It was 10 years ago. Now that’s it’s all down and over with. I left to a twin mattress with no frame and no clue where hell I will live in less than a month. I fought with my life for 10 years because WHY THE HELL WOULDNT I HAVE JOINT CUSTODY OF MY DAUGHTER? I told HIM I WAS LEAVING HIM AND THAT OUR CHILD WAS NEVEF WATCHING HER OWN OWN DAD ABUSE HER OWN MOM AGAIN! AND BELIEVED THE COURTS WERE GOING TO HELP! ANd he never stopped filing false OFPs and I never saw her again and I never got hef and instead that I could never afford all the places that now I was paying child support for instead while he alienated her

Please ignore my last post

WHAT I wrote was what I’ve have stated in these last 15 more years then carried in in the the last ten of court that kept my daughter alienated out of my life and I am I am left hopeless in every single moment that I give up in defeat and will find a new to keep going on but that was my complete feat day after 10 years and happened to be my 52 birthday that I don’t give a dame to child that I have existed in 10 years and the pain I have never been in her thoughts for any birthday but for some reason it is my 52 birthday I can not matter for her to to wish me a happy birthday is no longer acceptable at her age of 16 and the pain is no longer her father doing for the last 16 years and this child has a responsibility to k is right from wrong and and act appropriately to to her parents divorced or not and I have never allowed her any acception to disrespect for any reason no matter who was giving her permissions to do so that teach her she had the right to lie to me and treat in any type of disrepectal attitude .

What even matters anymore’

No oxygen cared and nobody removers and it’s was just 16-1/2 years of only me thinking I ever mattered or even is memory that only exists in something that happened over a decade and a half ago I was the only pretending I ever mattered to anyon

Living With The Alienator: Parental Alienation as Coercive Control in Five Easy To Understand Steps

Karen Woodall

I work with social workers a lot.  I also work with CAFCASS (GAL’s for our stateside readers) and I teach and train psychotherapists, psychologists and others in the psychological helping therapies about how to work with alienated children and their families.   Most of the people I work with are aware of parental alienation and are aware that the behaviours they are seeing in the families they are working with are unusual and most know that there is something deeply wrong in the dynamic.  What they don’t know is what to do about it, how to formulate their views and how to plan and deliver an intervention which assists the child.   As part of our training to Local Authority teams and CAFCASS in the UK and to professionals developing their practice in Europe, we deliver a three day training which focuses upon the what, why and how of parental…

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Really need to move on in life

I think I just wrote how I really need to move on in life but I’m saying it again. I am in search of where u go and what u do with one owns life at this point. I can see I’m trying by own writing again but what really what in the hell is the purpose?nobody reads this or a decade of writing to my daughter she will will never read it and then alli did wa try to protect her and could never actually say what the hell her dad was doing cuz I can’t handle her being hurt by him and I scrwedmyself thinking I was protecting her to never tell her anything going on and never said what he did and never wanted her to be hurt by him and the result is10 years of her right g alienated and brainwashed and abused with the excuse now she is not ready to see me. And I really want to move on and find a fulfilling life and have for a long time but I just can’t figure out how to move on and find my new purposes in mylife because in my heart and my life was meant for my child.

I am stuck in a place I need to move on from.

I am stuck in a complete dead zone in my life that that I know that I have to move forward and honestly want to and and have been ready to make that happen and rebuild my life that I know I deserve to be happy again and have a happy meaning full life that I realize I can and deserve happiness while still finding a balance to hold onto hope with having a relationship with my daughter one day and I know I was set back after such a hopeful and promising future with renewing our relationship she stated she wanted after we meant 6 months ago after we hadn’t had contact for 7 years and it went so perfectly well with everything we both said and heard from each other and I really left our meeting expecting we were going to move forward having have friendly easy going communication in a very easy going matter with no pressure and would have some slight communication at her own pace and I has thought I was doing the right think and reached out to her 3 times in the course of these last 6 months and she made no effect to respond and back and with after I tried to reintroduce the idea of having an alternative Christmas after 19 years she never responded and then did my biggest mistake reaching out to her father about having her for Christmas still learning the hard way that he will never encourage or support her to see me and only back his response that she isn’t ready yet so I don’t know why I put myself through it wanting to believe that he will do the right thing and encourage her to see me that I know has never happened these last 10 years he has changed his strategy after the courts stopped him from filing anymore false ofps then immediately turned the tables how she wants to see me and he is now super dad encouraging how supportive he is to finally see me after nearly 19 years to only now blame it on her that she doesn’t want to see me BECAUSE SHE’S NOT READY. And I am sorry but I sick and tired of this bullshit of everybody in the last decade giving adult choices and powers to a child that with the adults in her life allowing a kid to make choices defying the authority of me as a parent and when I planned our alternative Christmas it was not a question to my child to deny having Christmas with her mother that it was time to begin holidays with her other parent because it was needed after 10 years of her father denying her to share holidays and birthdays with both of her parents and was meant for her own good and it wasn’t a question for her to choose if she wanted to come for Christmas and it wasn’t for her farther to place the blame on her why she wasn’t showing up for our christmas… he had a parental responsibility to enforce and encourage his child that she needed to attend Christmas with her mother and start resuming normal life activities with her mother and start rebuilding our relationship that was stolen and shattered. The reason besides a hundred things why taking this back to court with her being at the age of 16 is as pointless as this father is now blaming it on her how she is not ready to see me that the judge would only say the same thing and it’s a lost cause with a decade of my parental authority being stripped me from me in every way that this father and everyone involved taught her she doesn’t have to respect her mother and it’s a beyond sickening and disturbing triangulation and parentification that her placement in the family hierarchy is abuse at it’s finest.

Still can’t find what I’m looking for.

Many years ago I stopped searching to find that book or blog or article that perfectly states and describes my own alienation story but now and then come across other parents discussing how their exes used false order of protections to get custody and find some relief that I am not the only one. But it’s few and far between coming across their stories that I know there are so many more to find and have also not been able to connect with others who have chosen this weapon as a form to alienate their children from us. If it has happened to you once or like me for straight 9 years like me that I am looking for your stories.

okay, when I wrote I never hit the publish button but between then and know I actually did come across a narc abuse survivor group and found the same type of stories that gave me enough relief in similar hell with at least filing a false ofp to relate to. Not quite like my 9 straight years but relief enough their narc stories were similar enough to at least get relief

Q&A from a Adult Child of PA

I tried to credit the author with the link to this medium.com article but it’s not letting me paste it.

Parental Alienation Questions Answered From A Child’s Point of View

The Glimpse Inside: A Personal Column of Answers

Parental Alienation

Parental AlienationFollowAug 22, 2018 · 3 min read

I cannot speak for all children of parental alienation, but I can speak from my own personal experience. These questions are ones I am most commonly asked:


DiId I reunite withhttps://medium.com/parental-aliens/parental-alienation-questions-
answeredhttps://medium.com/parental-aliens/parental-alienation-questions-answered-from-a-childs-point-of-view-f19688849aa9-from-a-childs-point-of-view-f19688849aa9 my targeted parent?

Yes, I did. It took about seven years while working with a therapist.

2.) Do I still have a relationship with the alienating parent?

I have a relationship with both parents, but the word ‘relationship’ may not be what one tends to assume. I have very firm boundaries and usually do not spend more than an hour or two with either parent.

3.) Did you believe the lies directed toward the targeted parent?

Yes and no. I believed that I was in a survival situation and that if I wasn’t careful, I could lose the love and support of both parents. I believed (subconsciously) that the stronger parent could weather the accusations, making my actions more tolerable for survival.

4.) Did you truly hate the targeted parent?

No. I believe children aren’t really wired for the kind of hate they may display in this type of situation. As a child, trying to understand manipulation and truth, I was incredibly angry. I took that anger out in all sorts of ways. A lot of them weren’t the situations or people I was truly angry with. When one parent hates the other so strongly, it’s hard not to be frightened that the half of you that is the targeted parent, isn’t worthy of hate too. It became easy to hate myself and because of that, it became easier to direct that hate to the targeted parent.

5.) Did you want to hear the truth when you were reunited?

Yes, but it would not have been wise for me to hear it at that time. My idea of reality was so warped, I needed time to feel safe more than I needed facts that could or could not have been true without the inner-knowledge of safety.

6.) How would I have preferred my targeted parent handle things before I turned 18?

I did not want another parent badmouthing the other. I did not want to hear that I was brainwashed. I did not want to hear anyone else try to persuade me. I wanted my targeted parent to keep life as normal as possible under the circumstances. To talk about things other than parental alienation. To keep up with family rituals even if I fought them. To see my parent still able to enjoy life. There was not a lot of happiness living with my alienating parent and to see that the world could be joyful, instead of vengeful or hateful, would have been ideal.

7.) Did I push the targeted parent away to keep the peace with the alienating parent?

I had very little respect for the targeted parent, but I had even less respect for the alienating parent. I was afraid of the alienating parent, but that’s different. I think I did push the targeted parent away because when it came down to it, I thought that parent was stronger and could handle it until I could figure out what was real when I was an adult. I was basically putting life on hold until 18.

8.) Were you alienated by a parent or the court system?

A parent. Nothing is stronger in a child’s life, I believe. Parents are the law — they tell you what’s right and what’s wrong. They create your system of justice.

Replied to a story that sounded like mine

I was reading through my posts and reread a comment from a karen Woodall reader who’s story is similar to mine and went back to read the articulations the comment was about and found the comment again and reached out to the anonymous poster despite it was back from 2016.
Dear anonymous. You are the only other mother or parent who I have found that shares my similar story almost word for word (I also read ur OTHER COMMENT down below). My ex has filed 9 straight continuous overlapping years of exparte order of protections/hro/charges to get custody and keep my daughter alienated from me with every kind of false abuse and false allegations imaginable except for sexual abuse. Just like yours I told my ex I wanted a divorce the day after his abuse was done as my 6-1/2 yr old daughter was on the same couch as me while he did it and abused me one last time then immediately ran down to the courthouse and filed a exparte ofp claiming I had abused HIM, my child thought I wanted to kill her and I was having a psychotic mental episode and he immediately got custody and I was kicked out of our home and only saw my daughter a rare few supervised hours in the first year then a few more hours after almost 3 years (the 4th lawyer fought back my parenting time then resigned and with in weeks he started with false child abuse allegations and then never saw her again for 7 straight years while his false allegations grew through the years to include I had told my daughter (and him) that I wanted to kill her to attempt to get his 50 YEAR ofp he was after that thank god I stopped that one because I got my first fair hearing after our corrupt judge left our case to go to be a Supreme Court justice and I was finally allowed to cross examine this man and still went further trying to charge me with a false felony claiming I was trying to contact my daughter after he stalked my FB about page and saw i wrote that I love and missed my daughter and then another fair judge stopped him by dismissing my jury trial after a year and as my trial was to be called next the judge called a special meeting in her chambers so pissed off that after a year nobody had any evidence that saying I loved her on my own Facebook was me contacting her and dismissed it right then. Finally last year after the last ofp expired he was finally stopped from refiling . I finally got to see my daughter after 7 yrs no contact and it was everything I could have wished for with her telling me how much she loved me and wanted a relationship. That was 6 months ago and I’ve reached out to her 3 times by letter with the last one inviting her for Christmas but she has not contacted me again and her father intervened and says she is not ready and then refused to reply when I tried to get him to give me a day and time then to drop off her Xmas presents and all the ones I’ve been saving all these years. I didn’t push it because he could just another harassment order. She will be 16 next month. I’m stuck where to go from here except to send her birthday and Xmas cards etc.

Went back to no contact

The last post I wrote in Aug 2020 was the miracle of seeing my daughter for the first time after 7 years of no contact. As perfect as that meeting was and she insisted how she wants to have a relationship with me and loved me so much, I still have not heard another word from her since that day almost 6 months ago. During these last 6 months I had gently reached out to her with writing her a short friendly thank you card after I saw her, sent her a halloween gift and then tried to invite her to an “althernative” christmas to celebrate with me, her grandma and aunt and her father intervened and said, “She’s not ready”. It’s beyond heartbreaking to write about all that new built up hope after 10 years of being refused christmas just to go through the exact same thing after 10 years. I have so much to write but can not go through anymore of this pain.

My story is so complicated!

It’s so impossible to write about my story without it branching off into a thousand different directions that not literally does it take every detail and situation explained but then the that actual time length in the span of not just the last 10 years when my daughter’s alienation took the placement in the courts THAT TIME but this goes back to 2004 when I was 7 month pregnant. I’m actually trying to JUST DISCUSS this final part of what happened and how it went for my daughter and I to see each other after 7 long years… and I’ll have to try again maybe tomorrow to just only keep it to that.

Seeing my daughter after 7 years.

It has has been more than a week since that miracle day I finally saw my daughter for the first time after 7 years of no contact and I’m finally ready to start writing about it. I guess I should say ready to START posting about it that I’ll start with this post because I’ve privately been writing non-stop to process what I need and let all the good things settle in and finally talk to my therapist who was present and made this happen and has been the God-sent angel who even SHE KNOWS if it weren’t for her and the her last 5 years out the last 10 years my child was alienated in this extreme and if it wasn’t for her THIS NEVER WOULD HAD EVER HAPPENED. It was not only a miracle that it ever happened but then that when it did happened everything that was done and then said was it’s OWN miracle. Then that doesn’t even describe the ACTUAL MEETING OF MY DAUGHTER AND I that right now I’ll just just say when it was over my therapist had cried because she said had just witnessed a true miracle. This ending to this (what next is another story) is just so absolutely crazy mind blowing to her even more then everything that was already beyond the impossible and she herself is processing through all this too talking about it all to me coming from her side that she just can not believe what all really happened and what was all really said DESPITE EVERY SINGLE THING SHE HAS ALWAYS KNEW, READ, WITNESSED, BELIEVED , HEARD, LISTENED ABOUT THE LAST 10 YEARS OF THIS HELL MY DAUGHTER AND I HAVE FORCED TO CONTINUE TO BE ABUSED TO KEEP US SEPARATED FROM EACH OTHED really didn’t make sense until she personally experienced ONE SINGLE SITUATION INVOLVING THIS THERAPIST OF 9 YEARS AND THIS FATHER that has gone on for 10 years refusing a mother and child to be together and then threw in a witness where for the first time time in 10 years a mother and daughter are allowed to talk about anything that matters and it’s it all not that surprising the child and mother who have t had contact in 7 years and see each other for the first time again goes like a miracle.

I found another Mother’s Story like mine…

For my own future reference, I found another Mother’s story like mine from an anonymous commenter on Karen Woodwall’s blog posted back in 2016. These are her comments that share my similar story…


Anonymous- I can identify with every word you said. I was debilitated and crippled when my ex-partner pulled his heinous strategies. I had no idea the extent of his cruelties or game. I had always thought that I was strong, but his game was beyond anything I can handle. I was a fool to think I could talk to him and reason. He had accused me of false abuse allegations from day one. I was blindsided and I had no idea of this type game. He went to the domestic violence center and claimed I was abusive. Not only that I was unfit as a parent but also mentally incapable in my faculties and wanted to do away with me. Take all property and assets, the children and have me stay away from home, schools and miles away from him and the children. Then it got worst, when he did not get what he set out for. He took the kids and went to live with his family. He called the cops on me so many times and claimed false abuse and he coached the kids to do the same. It got so toxic to the point the kids were willing to hit me and push down the steps. Though abuse claims were unfounded, he never let up and the attacks continued one after the other. He took the children to get counseling for abuse when there was none. Everything that spewed from his lips was to repeat the abuse and support it. The more you repeat something the more it sticks; he was trying to erase good memories and fabricate things in the kids mind. There was no backing down from his game. He went to extremes to hurt and destroy me to ensure he wins. He knew me and used everything in his power to destroy me. It is as Karen writes, the alienator often knows you inside and out. It was an attack; a bomb that blew up and I did the best I could to survive and am still healing the after math. I do not know how I survived to this day, but it is certainly the hands of God. As you can imagine he used the kids to lie to all professionals, lawyers, school, therapists and judge. When you are falsely accused of abuse and even the outcome is unfounded, you are never cleared of the abuse. You are stained. The court system and counselors and all associated professionals helped to fail me and that was further support for the kids that supported the alienator’s abuse claims. I had to bow out. I had no money as I was a stay home parent to raise the children. Everything was taken from me. And I had to pay child support instead of getting alimony. I had to quickly find a job and an apartment to live. The story is horrible and is painful recounting. And I am only recounting my side I can’t imagine how the kids feel as they are the true victims. I was hurting from my trauma and hurting for what the children were going through. My story is extreme as many of us target parents go through some sort or a different variation of horror. The ex-partner was a bully who got their way.
The alienating parent and his supporting family is still spinning things and making it very difficult and he is part of the children’s lives and they depend on him. I am gingerly trying to reconnect. Yes I am vulnerable and probably scared. I do not want to have to deal with the police all over again as that is too much emotional pain. I am trying to find my way back and be part of my daughter’s life. This proofed to be very difficult as they are still victims and brainwashed. I can’t tell if the bulb has clicked on yet. I am still blocked from her life. I am blocked from all social media and phone. If I manage to send an email there is no response. I am met with every obstacle imaginable. It seems everything is stacked high up against me and there is no way to penetrate.
Reading your response, I do admit that I am scared. I am not sure how not to be invisible. I want to work with a coach on this, but money is limiting me. I am trying to be strong and heal for me and the children.


Thank you for your response. It helps immensely.
“I was wondering at what point along the timeline your Ex thought it was Ok to make false allegations against you so that he could take sole charge of the children. Has he chosen a replacement surrogate mother for your children?”
Very interesting questions.

My Ex partner served with an exparte order of false abuse allegation on the day after I called him out that he was abusive. In the US an exparte order is a temporary order for protection of children until the hearing within 7 days. We had been arguing and having couples arguments. I told him to stop being abusive or I want a divorce. The next day he served me with the exparte order. That was the pivotal point that he snapped. That is how it all started. Abuse was unfounded but he lied to the kids about the outcome and told them that I was sick and needed help. He told the kids they needed to go the domestic violence center to talk to counselors and about how I treated them. I did not realize my expartner was a narcissist and potential have borderline personality disorder until much much later in the process. I discovered other disorders as I learned about PAS and alienators characteristics. He does have anxiety, depression, and panic attack disorders. He takes medication from a regular physician and not a psychiatrist. I was cutoff. There has been no communication since that day with the expartner. He has chosen no communication. He tried to erase me from the kid’s life. It has been very hard. It is very hard to express all the experiences I have lived in the past 12 years. It may be easier for others to write about. It has been a very extremely difficult journey. There were times I did not want to be here. It becomes easier when I read that it has affected others that way. Then I may have an avenue to pursue and find a way back to the kids.

The surrogate mother. The best way to answer the way I see it. His whole family which I was very close with are on his side. These people were in my house all the time for all occasions, at least once a week sometimes more. We saw them frequently. So they sided with him and I could not understand that and still do not. Very hurtful and baffling. He took away that support system from me. This is his two sisters and parents and brother and his family. His brother later alienated himself and children from the bunch and no longer speaks to any member of his siblings and parents. The only person who was on my side was his brother’s wife and all hell broke loose because she sided with me. He replaced me with all those females. So the answer is the surrogate mother is his mother and two sisters. Though one sister he is close with more than the other. I think is my oldest daughter which Karen writes about as the “target child”. She was acting as the mother and still is to this day. She is still lying and helping her father to this day.
My younger daughter who is 24 is afraid and has her loyalty to her dad. I don’t think she has figured out how to have me in her life. She is still pulled to alignment by her older sister. Her sister acts like a bully. I do not know what to do to free her. I was thinking to go with my friend together. If I send a friend am not sure what to say. I am not sure what to say in general. It will be awkward. What would be the reason for the visit? I send her messages all the time that I love her and ask her if she would like to go to lunch/dinner, have a cup of coffee, go for a walk together, run together, get our nails done, do some crafts together. But no replies. These are things she loves to do. I send her random emails about what I do or how am doing. I send her old pictures. I know she likes the pictures because she asked to send her some more. She doesn’t call me by mom.

I do have a middle child who has a relationship with me. He decided in 2010 he wanted to have me in his life and it has been working out. We have a good relationship. Though the other parent and older sister hurl curve balls and spin things all the time. They do this to put pressure on him and attempt to pull him back to the unit. We never discussed the past at his request. I do not know what he believes. He doesn’t understand his sister’s behaviors and think that it is cruel. He thinks that they should have a relationship with me. I do not think he understands that his other parent is the driver of all this mess. My son works for the other parent and there is loyalty there. The other parent gives them so much money. He buys them with money. My son thinks his sisters are making their decisions independently. There were many times were his older sister and father would complain about me stalking them and harassing them and send their brother to scold and scare me on their behalf. ( the learned tactics from the other parent) But he learned that his sister is a liar. They keep him in the middle. They tell him not to tell me anything. It is hard for him and there is a lot of pressure to pull him back in the fold. He is dependent on his other parent since he works for him. He has not broken free. He does not recognize the other parent games and manipulation. The other parent is scared and insecure of being alone. He will do anything to keep the children to himself.

The more you respond the more I learn. Thank you again for your help and empathy. I am very grateful for all this. it is like soaking in some sunshine or having Gods hand patting me on the back and embracing and comforting me.



  1. In the fall of 2007, towards the end of a year all of us would prefer to forget, Judy, then aged 12, her mother Laura 38 and her father Maya 43 were all at their wits end. Laura and Maya had recently separated and were living in homes but a stone’s throw apart. Judy had recently started high school and was encountering new challenges and added pressures from relationships with new classmates and extraordinary study demands from teachers.

    In addition to these pressures she was feeling the fall-out from the acrimonious break up of her parents’ relationship. Laura had aggressively gained control of day to day procedures as they affected Judy’s life. Judy would receive ear bashings that would cause her to become quiet and withdrawn but she would also be explosive when she found her mother’s behaviour intolerable. In these battles Judy would always be the eventual loser being overcome by her controlling mother who would forcibly impose strict boundaries for Judy; Laura had a guilt edged sword which she wielded toward those whom she wanted to control.

    Maya was an altogether quieter person, some would say timid and weak. He had learned over the years that it was pointless to disagree with Laura. He was simply ridiculed and made to feel small and pathetic. Sometimes he would be told so.

    Judy’s relationship with her father began to deteriorate. She would accuse him of being a stalker, she would declare to his face, “you don’t love us any more” and “I don’t have to come and see you”. She would talk loosely of paedophilia as if men who hung around waiting to talk to their children were of malicious intent.
    It was a close run thing but Maya managed to maintain his relationship with his daughter. He absorbed a lot of hurtful comments from the mouth of Judy although he suspected Laura was behind most of Judy’s tirades directed toward him. Mostly he simply missed Judy not being around. He began to lose touch of Judy’s day to day life, her needs, fears, desires and friends.

    The legal stuff and the social service paraphernalia was of no help to Maya. He quickly realised their objective was to choose winners and losers and this was no way to mend relationships. They didn’t seem to understand his predicament nor what Judy was going through. Judy would scream at her father, “your trying to send Mummy to jail!” As much as Maya wanted to explain to Judy that the purpose of going to court was to resolve the situation and put in place a “family plan” that would ensure Judy got to live with both her parents, Laura obviously didn’t see it that way. Otherwise why would Judy be coming to her Dad’s house to tell him off for wanting to send her Mummy to jail.
    What followed was the doldrum years, a period when Maya was cast adrift, though he never really left. He was like an annoying itch that Laura could never rid herself of. Maya clearly wasn’t the bad guy Laura made him out to be, but somehow making out that he was the bad guy kept him at arm’s length. That way at least she wouldn’t have to deal with such a disagreeable adult. Besides which Laura was frightened that if Judy became attached to her father she might never see Judy again and that would break Laura’s heart.

    Fast forward to 2015, the children are now young adults.

    So far as Laura was concerned she had done a good parenting job in difficult circumstances. To some extent a couple of boyfriends and a semi-reluctant brother of hers, Norris had performed the duties of a surrogate father for Judy. Maya hadn’t faired quite so well. He was distraught at the loss of his daughter and her changed behaviour. For the first couple of years after separation he was living a blur. He was in a dark place and depressive mood. His work, financial and social life all suffered. He attended regular counselling sessions and would switch between therapists in search of the holy grail. He found companionship on the website in the non-personal wanton judicial rights of single parents and discarded fathers. He called this the invisible placard.

    Judy seemed okay, not that you could tell at first sight. She had done well at school. She presented well and was articulate. Over the years she had come to accept her lot. What fate had dealt her was simply that. Her Dad had gone missing and there was nothing that could be done about that; she was angry for sure and felt cheated but it was all too late now. Where the hell had he been?

    Up State New York in a roadside motel bar Maya had met an intriguing man who was speaking in riddles. He said his profession was “dam buster” but you could tell from the soft unblemished state of his hands that he had not been anywhere near breaking equipment nor pics and shovels. He said to Maya, “I couldn’t help noticing that heavy weight around your shoulders and was wondering if I could do anything to take it away from you?” Maya looked up in surprise, he didn’t know how visible his pain was.

    Maya told the gentleman how recently he had been so close to having a conversation with his daughter. He had done all the hard work researching how it would be possible to catch his daughter on her own in public and away from her mother, so he would stand a good chance of gaining an unchallenged conversation with his daughter. He had rehearsed over and again what he would say and had an almost inexhaustible list of answers to any of Judy’s responses. On the evening of graduation day Maya milled around with other delighted parents and students in the College pavilion. Speeches had been made and he caught site of his daughter from across the room. He couldn’t believe how much she had grown and what a confident young lady she had become. Maya began to have misgivings about his planned surprise reunion. He didn’t want to spoil Judy’s day. What if her mother was here as well? Judy might run away and then everyone would think he had done something wrong. There would be repercussions if Laura got to hear of his whereabouts. Judy turned to look across the room and caught sight of her father. She looked shocked and puzzled at the same time. It was all too much for Maya he gulped and turned away like a shamefaced schoolboy, as if he had done something wrong. Maybe he was a stalker after all?

    The gentleman ran a warm finger down the side of his cold beer glass and commiserated with Maya. I have heard of such places he said, where waves of optimism meet only to be smashed against the rocks when fear and doubt strike so mercilessly. I can see you are a kind and loving man so I will do what I can to help you, but the rest is up to you, if you want to become a dam buster like me you will have to be prepared to cover new ground, be adaptable and believe and trust in yourself, take risks. You have had some nasty body blows. I want to help you improve your recovery rate.

    The gentleman was a practicable man. “I am going to give you some tools”, he said.

    “These are blinkers; they protect you from what other people are seen to be doing with your life”
    “These are ear muffs, they block out all the verbal messages that so offend you and give you so much cause for alarm”
    “Here is a pen and paper. I want you to write down what you think might go terribly wrong if you do set up a chance meeting with Judy and then want to bottle out at the last minute. Who are these invisible protagonists who you let control your life?” When your list is exhausted you can dispose of it. It’s only causing you trouble. Keep the pen handy it may come in useful at a later date.
    “This is a box labelled, “fund of knowledge and skill set” it contains all the thoughts, training manuals and reference papers that have been made to date on your specialist subject”.
    This is your heart, it was so battered and hurt I had to take out the immune system and reset it completely with something altogether more resilient. I hope you don’t mind.

    Kind regards


    1. there’s an old saying….he who feels it knows it. of course, “he” means he or she


    2. I had to come to this story over and over again. Crying each time. There is a connection; it is as thought Maya and I are brothers sharing the same fate. It is like reading my story that I have not written. If my brother fares well so well I.


  2. The following is another excerpt from A New Earth, which is pertinent to PA and false allegations of whatever kind. Had I already known it, I would have spared myself a lot of pain and wasted energy (not to mention staying focused on the most important issues)…..

    – “IS THAT SO?”

    The Zen Master Hakuin lived in a town in Japan. He was held in high regard and many people came to him for spiritual teaching. Then it happened that the teenage daughter of his next door neighbour became pregnant. When being questioned by her angry and scolding parents as to the identity of the father, she finally told them that he was Hakuin, the Zen Master.

    In great anger the parents rushed over to Hakuin and told him with much shouting and accusing that their daughter had confessed that he was the father. All he replied was, “Is that so?”

    News of the scandal spread throughout the town and beyond. The Master lost his reputation. This did not trouble him. Nobody came to see him anymore.

    He remained unmoved. When the child was born, the parents brought the baby to Hakuin. “You are the father, so you look after him.” The Master took loving care of the child

    A year later, the mother remorsefully confessed to her parents that the real father of the child was the young man who worked at the butcher shop. In great distress they went to see Hakuin to apologize and ask for forgiveness. “We are really sorry. We have come to take the baby back. Our daughter confessed that you are not the father.”

    “Is that so?” is all he would say as he handed the baby over to them.

    Hopefully, the above will make sense to other readers….that the “truth” on a given issue can be so subjective/overvalued and, more importantly, the truth of that issue (from person to person) often changes frequently over time


  3. Thank you for the wisdom, “this too will pass.” I have so much work to be done to healing.


  4. Anonymous – you’re very welcome…..we all have a lot of healing to do and, furthermore, really are “all in this together”. As we heal, our offsprings’ odds of future healing increase exponentially

    Following “this too will pass”, the final (and very resonating) parable in the ANE trilogy is……..

    – MAYBE

    The deeper interconnectedness of all things and events implies that the mental labels of “good” and bad” are ultimately illusory. They always imply a limited perspective and so are true only relatively and temporarily.

    This is illustrated in the story of a wise man who won an expensive car in a lottery. His family and friends were very happy for him and came to celebrate. “Isn’t it great!” they said. “You are so lucky.” The man smiled and said “Maybe.”

    For a few weeks he enjoyed driving the car. Then one day a drunken driver crashed into his new car at an intersection and he ended up in the hospital, with multiple injuries. His family and friends came to see him and said, “That was really unfortunate. “ Again the man smiled and said, “Maybe.”

    While he was still in the hospital, one night there was a landslide and his house fell into the sea. Again his friends came the next day and said,“Weren’t you lucky to have been here in hospital.” Again he said, “Maybe.”

    Sound familiar?!?

  5. Ok so, briefly let me suggest something else. Your eldest daughter is very controlling over your 24-year-old whom you are currently trying to regain a relationship with.
    The eldest daughter will likely have taken on what was your role in the family. She has been “parentified”. She is being just as controlling as your former partner was making sure in no uncertain terms that your 24 yr. old does as she is told and rejects you.
    From a family dynamic perspective, it would appear that the key to releasing your 24 yr. old may lie in improving your relations with the older daughter.
    Your older daughter will be in need of you as a parent as much as your 24 yr. old. She will also be justifiably jealous if you are devoting all your energies to connecting with your 24 yr. old and not her.
    How about an “amends letter” to your older daughter?
    I am assisting someone at the moment who wants a relationship with two of his estranged children but not the third (the eldest). I see this as an almost impossible task and one that makes the “alienation” situation worse because it accentuates rivalries within the family unit. (Especially as he appears to be rejecting the child who has been parentified……………no surprise that the parentified child is angry, hurt, feeling abandoned)
    Ref; Sibling rivalry. Faber & Mazlish.

    If you can release the eldest daughter from her unhealthy attachment to her father then your 24 yr. old may follow suit. All your children need to be loved and attended.

    Kind regards


    I came across the “amends letter” when I read the book “The Prodigal Father” by Mark Bryan. It is a soul searching read about a father coming to terms with his life and fatherhood. In it there are some beautiful quips. On page 101 he states, “you can focus on the problem and the problem gets bigger or you can focus on the solution and the problem gets smaller”. He covers many of the topics we discuss today although the terminology is dated. The book pre-dates “alienation”; instead he uses the term, “estrangement”. On page 5 he talks about how a father becomes disengaged from his children. He talks about forgiveness and reframing the past; some excellent lessons in humanity. You can look at this book in several different ways and some would reject it on the grounds that it is not relevant to their situation, but I defy anyone to reject the beauty, courage and awareness of human spirit and all that is good in it which defines our best resolve to make reparation despite the frailty of human condition.

    He devotes a whole chapter to making amends with his Ex…………”a man may see his Ex as a barrier between him and his children, he may not see her as a valuable and vulnerable human being anymore”
    When we pigeon-whole our former partner as “super alienator” or narcissist it does not help our relationship. It defines our desire to pass responsibility for our predicament to our former partner. It immobilises us from making positive change.
    You may have to grit your teeth when writing the amends letter because it goes against the grain. (Your current line of thought is that it is your Ex who is the problem; the one who is stopping you see the children and polluting their minds).
    I adapted the “amends letter” to state my desire to have my children spend more time with me. At that time I was only seeing my children at weekends and thought it was high time the children got to stay with their Dad mid-week too. Although I sensed my Ex would reject my letter I nevertheless went ahead and posted it through the letterbox.

    The immediate response was fairly predictable; what I had thought might happen.

Homecoming – Helping the Reunited Child

Karen Woodall

This weekend I begin a new project called Homecoming.  This is an exciting piece of work for me because it is based upon my practice with alienated children who are reunited with a once rejected parent. As such it is a close look at the needs of children who move from the psychologically split state of mind through to full recovery. It is a journey which I share with the children that I work with and this project, brings to the surface those hidden challenges that children face as they move towards restoration of health.  My intention in developing this project, is to provide for practitioners and for parents, those insights, tools and skills which help children in these circumstances.  For children, I hope to give voice to the harm that they suffer and their struggle to find balance and peace in their world. For the wider world I hope…

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Homecoming: The Paths and Pitfalls of Reunification With Lost Loved Ones

Karen Woodall

We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
Through the unknown, remembered gate
When the last of earth left to discover
Is that which was the beginning;
At the source of the longest river
The voice of the hidden waterfall
And the children in the apple-tree
Not known, because not looked for
But heard, half heard, in the stillness
Between the two waves of the sea.
Quick now, here, now, always–
A condition of complete simplicity
(Costing not less than everything)
And all shall be well and
All manner of things shall be well
When the tongues of flame are in-folded
Into the crowned knot of fire
And the fire and the rose are one.
Little Gidding V,
Four Quartets.
— T.S. Eliot (1943)

A wave of reunifications between now…

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The Legal Argument Package


Dr. Craig Childress: Attachment Based "Parental Alienation" (AB-PA)

Forensic psychology gives parents and the courts only one legal argument option, and it seeks its particular goal by marshaling a particular set of evidence to present to the court in favor of that goal.

The goal of the legal argument package from forensic psychology is to obtain a court order for a reversal of custody away from the allied and “favored” parent, over to the targeted and rejected parent, and the evidence to support this desired reversal-of-custody court order is through proving, at trial, to a judge, that “parental alienation” is the cause of the child’s rejection of the targeted parent.

Up until recently, this forensic psychology legal argument approach has been the ONLY option available for parents and for the court.

Things have changed.

Parents and the court now have two separate legal argument packages, seeking different orders from the court, and there are now three separate approaches…

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Useful Words When Reunited Again

This is a comment from a blogger on a karen Woodall post that gave me hope that my daughter really will return to me one day and reassured me that my mind’s own constant pre-planning and preparing and visioning it happening for my words she needs to hear have been right on track with who I am as a Mother to her and bottomless bounds of patience will shine through one day that this reader validated with very similar scenarios that I’ve been practicing that her words have now become beyond one of the most helpful things I have ever yet to read because she goes into such great detail over a span of time that while it aligns with my practicing, her real life story offers the most valuable advice and lessons I ever learned in my entire life that I’ve ever needed to know and has all come down to what I was able to instill in my daughter until she was taken at age 6-1/2 and then to save her life. I thank this reader that are words from an angel when there was no where else for me to go in this anymore.


19 May 2018 at 8:57 pm

Hi Karen-

Touching base again at 6 months post-reunification. To recap: my daughter suddenly returned home to me last November after approximately 7 years of alienation and 8 months of complete silence. You were kind enough to post our reunification story as an article on your blog a few months ago, and asked that I give updates now and again. I thought the comment section of this article was a fitting place for an update.

After her return, I gave my daughter space to “unpack” what she had been through and told her there was no rush to discuss it and sort it all out. I told her I knew it was overwhelming… re-evaluating what she was told for years and what she thought she knew, analyzing everything through fresh eyes, seeing a bigger picture version of her former microcosm world. I explained she would probably be unpacking things for years and that’s okay, and even to be expected. It’s a lot to process, and it will all happen in due time.

After our first conversation the night of her return, touching on things that had happened recently on her end to prompt her move, we touched a little on our dynamic and incidents in the past before she told me she didn’t really want to talk about the past anymore. She asked if we could just move forward. I told her that was fine, but if she ever did want to talk, I’m here. Since then we’ve had multiple in-depth conversations, all initiated by her. I let her approach the topics, and I answer her honestly when she does. We’ve learned a lot about each other. She said she doesn’t remember a lot about specific incidents involving me, that she must’ve blocked them out. I told her that was probably for the best. She got tears in her eyes and told me she was sorry for everything she May have done that hurt me. I thanked her… it was truly touching… but told her there was no need to apologize. She was a victim as much as I was. She and her brother were manipulated and were pawns as much as I was. I told her that if she felt the need to apologize to me then I should apologize too, for not having been able to stop it and protect her and her brother from what happened. I told her that in truth neither of us owed apologies, we were both pawns of a dysfunctional dynamic, and that I don’t blame her or her brother for anything. It was a cathartic conversation for us both.

In the beginning she was hesitant with me. After a few weeks she confided that she’d been initially nervous for multiple reasons. For one, her stepmom told her before she left “Your mom won’t want you back after everything that’s happened.” And after my daughter replied that I’d already said she could come home, stepmom said she’d call me and tell me horrible things so I wouldn’t want her. My daughter cried as she recounted this and said she was so afraid I’d reject her after her stepmom called. I reassured her that her stepmom clearly doesn’t know me if she thinks that’s all it would take.

My daughter was a month away from her 18th birthday when she left her dad’s house. The catalyst was her stepmom’s controlling, erratic, and harsh behavior. Among other things my daughter said stepmom accused my daughter & her own 18 year old daughter of things that hadn’t happened, forced them to apologize for damage to things the stepmom damaged, spied on the girls through their bedroom windows, and ransacked the girls’ rooms—emptying drawers, clearing countertops, turning over mattresses, leaving clothes and possessions in a heap in the middle of the floor “looking for evidence” of wrongdoing. She found nothing. Stepmom grounded them for a month, saying they wouldn’t even be allowed to go to school because the girls took a stroll to look in store windows after breakfast one day. Stepmom told them they had permission to have breakfast but not to walk around, and since they hadn’t asked first they’d be grounded to teach them they aren’t to assume they can just do what they want. They protested, so stepmom ended up kicking her own daughter out and told my daughter she couldn’t leave the house until she turned 18, four weeks away. My daughter told her stepmom she was going to move out, and stepmom went into the verbal tirade above saying she’d make sure I didn’t want her back. Stepmom called and told me the girls had been doing drugs and drinking and being promiscuous. It was all lies (my daughter admitted she had tried alcohol twice at friends’ homes but had never even been to a party, and hadn’t yet even held a boy’s hand or been on a date because stepmom was so controlling they weren’t really allowed to spend time with boys without stepmom in the room.)

My daughter said that before leaving she asked her dad why he let stepmom treat her and her brother the way she did (belittling them, making unreasonable demands, doling out severe punishment that outweighed minor wrongs, name calling, etc). Her dad responded that he stood by everything stepmom did. When my daughter left in tears she told her dad “I love you.” He just said “good luck” and shut the door on her.

In the few weeks after leaving, my daughter was contacted by her stepmom who continued to berate her via text message. My daughter is in college and found out that her stepmom had cleaned out her financial aid account, approximately $4,000. Stepmom told my daughter that the money was used to cover living expenses while my daughter lived with them. She told my daughter that my daughter had a big ego if she thought there wouldn’t be consequences for her actions. My daughter replied: so you’re stealing my financial aid?? Stepmom said if my daughter hadn’t defied her she’d still have her money. Unfortunately, because my daughter was a minor, law enforcement said her parent was technically allowed to take the money, so they wouldn’t pursue it. My daughter had to pay for college books out of her own pocket when school started back up. The last text my daughter received from her stepmom was after my daughter turned 18. Stepmom said that now there are no more financial ties, my daughter shouldn’t contact her again. If she needs to talk to someone she can call her dad.

I told my daughter that I understood that reading that hurt her. I told her it was ok to recognize that stepmom has issues but that she also meant something to my daughter for a number of years. I told my daughter that the best-case scenario is for her to see that there was still some good mixed in with the bad, such as trips they took and experiences she had, and it was important to acknowledge that part too. I told her that seeing her stepmom for what she was without hating her, and doing the same for her dad whom she now calls a coward for not having defended her, was in her own best interest. I told her that distancing herself from them now, in these early stages, was probably for the best (especially since they continue to talk badly about her and me). But that in time I hoped she could see them objectively without hatred, not because I care about them but I care about HER and harboring hatred for them will hurt her in the long run.

Here are a few specifically notable things that have happened since her return:

– we’ve had deep conversations about things that transpired. I’ve told her it’s important to think of everyone in terms of shades rather than absolutes;

– she sleeps well. She told me she hadn’t slept more than 3 or 4 hours a night for moths at her dad’s house. She rests easily now and told me it feels like a huge weight off her shoulders;

– she’s kind to me. She will bring me little gifts now and again saying she thought of me that day, and we talk every single day, even when our work schedules conflict;

– for Mother’s Day she asked if I’d spend the day with her. What was for years a sad occasion for me was wonderful this year as I went to breakfast with both my son (who is still at his dad’s house) and my daughter, and then my daughter treated me to a hot tub soak with her at a spa followed by mom/daughter massages. It was amazing!

– and the biggest milestone: last month, for the first time in about 8 years, my daughter said “I love you” to me. And yes, I got tears in my eyes.

One important thing about our reunification is that we’ve agreed not to dwell on missed time or imagined missed opportunities. It’s nice to imagine all sorts of glorious and ideal “could have been” mother/daughter moments we’d have shared if we we had been close all those years. But that’s just fantasy, and a form of mental torture for us both. The truth is we may just as easily have gotten into a fatal car accident while I was taking her to a sports lesson in a variant past. We don’t know what alternate pasts may have held for us, but it’s equally likely they’d have been bad as they would’ve been good. What we can say for certain is that the real past led us here, to this moment where we are living happily together. It was a hard road, but if any of it had been different or had gone another way, there’s no saying we’d be here now. And now is good. She is happy, healthy, doing well in school and in her new job, and she chats with me daily, texting and calling just to share little moments in her day with me. She is relaxed and silly and at ease, and a joy to be around. And as for me, my heart is truly happy.

My Ethical Obligations

Dr. Craig Childress: Attachment Based "Parental Alienation" (AB-PA)

In my role as a professional consultant in legal cases I have often been asked to review the professional reports of other assessing and treating psychologists. 

In this review, I frequently find myself deeply troubled by the seemingly sub-standard and exceptionally poor professional practices of my professional colleagues in these cases.

As a clinical psychologist, I am required by Standards 1.04 and 1.05 of the APA ethics code to take steps when I become aware of possible ethical violations by other psychologists.

1.04 Informal Resolution of Ethical Violations
When psychologists believe that there may have been an ethical violation by another psychologist, they attempt to resolve the issue by bringing it to the attention of that individual, if an informal resolution appears appropriate and the intervention does not violate any confidentiality rights that may be involved.

1.05 Reporting Ethical Violations
If an apparent ethical violation has substantially harmed or is…

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