01-09-2023 09:21 PM
01-10-2023 12:57 PM
Hi @KariBJ , it's so lovely that you're keen to share your lived experience of estrangement with other parents. I'm sure that plenty of parents would benefit from hearing your story and knowing that they are not alone in what they're going through. Do you feel comfortable sharing a little bit with us about your experience of estrangement?
01-10-2023 10:15 PM
4 weeks ago
I'd love to hear anything you can share. I don't know what is going on with my kids. Their dad is very controlling. Very domineering. I think I was brainwashed by him for years, I can't quite figure out how I got to this point. When my eldest was about 8/9 she started to become really disrespectful towards me. I think part of it was she was struggling a bit and needed our help to manage big emotions but her dad was adamant that everything she did was normal and I couldn't take her to see anyone. She was so perfect in school and would come home and rage at me. The thing I didn't really notice was that she was copying the way he spoke to me. She'd mock me, call me names, belittle me and I would talk to him about how we can deal with her behaviour, not even twigging that that's how he spoke to me. I didn't take her to see anyone but I went to talk to a psych myself and based on what I told her she felt that her dad had elevated her above me in the family hierarchy. He had started to talk more to her about things like plans for the weekend etc. I had a toddler and another child that kept me so busy and I'm so easy going I just went along with things. I think her dad enjoyed talking to her more than me as being a child he actually has authority over her. Anyways, at some point I came across the idea of parental alienation and realised that some degree of this was probably happening in our family eventhough it was fairly intact. The more research I did the more scared i became. Then as things really went bad in my relationship with him, his subtle controlling became more nasty and abusive. A lot of verbal abuse, name calling, raging etc. I've been a stay at home parent with no family this side of the world so very vulnerable financially if I leave. But what's kept me stuck more has been the absolute fear of losing my kids completely. I have such a strained relationship with my eldest who is now 16. Now her dad is turning his attention to her brother who he used to criticise and bully with her. I was so close with him and now he barely speaks to me and is just lapping up finally getting attention from his dad. But since his dad showed an interest in him, he's changed so much. Surly, rude, moody etc. He did turn 13 too so it's very hard to disentangle what's his dad's influence vs teen behaviour vs a normal reaction to our dysfunctional situation.
I can't tell you how many books I've read on PA / estrangement, podcasts, youtube videos, but it all feels completely hopeless against a man who doesn't give a jot about his kids wellbeing but is only interested in winning against me.
I'd love to hear your story and especially how you managed to fix the estrangement.
2 weeks ago - last edited 2 weeks ago by Chloe-RO
Gosh there can be so many reasons! Firstly I feel for you. It's not an easy road to navigate especially when you aren't getting any support from the Dad.
2 weeks ago
Thank you for sharing your story with us, it sounds like you have had a lot to deal with for a long time now and I'm really glad you reached out for some support.
You've mentioned that you don't have any family close by, do you have any friends over here that you can talk to? You also mentioned that you saw a psychologist which is great. Are you getting support from them regularly?
The behaviours of your partner that you've shared are very concerning, for both you and your children. I can definitely understand why you'd be feeling hopeless at the moment. Abuse is never ok, you deserve to be treated with respect and care. You shared that you feel like you have to stay with him because of financial reasons, I'm wondering if you've reached out to any supports to help you and your kids find a safer place to live? I'd recommend getting in touch with 1800RESPECT, they offer free counselling and would be able to direct you to support services to keep you safe.
I'm also going to send you an email, so look out for that coming your way soon.