There is one no-fail trick to the evil known as Parental Alienation.
Do everything you can
to prevent the childrens’ court-ordered visitation
with the non-custodial parent.
Then convince the children
their father (or mother) doesn’t want to see them.
Doesn’t love them.
During my husband, Rhys’, long battle with Parental Alienation, one of the most painful aspects was the struggle for visitation with his children. On paper, the courts laid out a schedule that allowed him to see his children regularly throughout each month. The reality was much different.
‘My ex held me to the letter of the agreement’, Rhys told me, ‘and then added rules and strictures the court never ordered. But she played fast and loose with her side of the agreement so I hardly ever got to see my kids.’
His trans daughter, Tarren, tells a different story. ‘Da never came around’, she told me once. ‘Didn’t he want to see us? Why didn’t Da come to see us’?
But he did come. Rhys went to pick up his children for visitation at every opportunity. Whenever his grueling work schedule to meet the demands of child support allowed, he rushed to his ex’s house to pick up his children. He had no other social life, no romantic life, no hobbies and barely enough food to keep body and soul together. But he always came to see his children and fed them well.
So what happened? Why were his children convinced their Da didn’t care to see them?
It was very simple. Every time he came to see his children, to pick them up and show them a good time, his ex-wife physically removed the children from their home minutes before his arrival. Bribed with the promise of toys or take-away, the children never knew the treats offered by their mother were merely to spite their father, to convince the children he didn’t love them.
Time and again, he arrived for visitation only to find the nest empty and the birds flown. Visitation was her impetus to physical remove the children from any opportunity to see their father.
Was it protection, you ask? Was there some reason she needed to ‘protect’ the children. None whatsoever. Rhys is the kindest man you’ll ever meet. Gentle. Respectful. Paternal. No, this was Parental Alienation at its finest.
It took a few repetitions of this before Rhys realized it wasn’t incidental. It was purposeful. So he got smart. He began leaving clues to prove to his children that Da had come. Da had been there. Da wanted to see them. It was all he could do. The courts didn’t care that visitation wasn’t happening.
But the damage, the brainwashing, the Parental Alienation was too strong. To this day, the children choose to believe their mother’s version of the facts. They choose to believe their Da doesn’t love them and doesn’t care.
But he does. So very, very much.