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.
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