clarienne – Musings on the family saga… Another Case of Parental Alienation Syndrome

In Best Interest of the Child on December 9, 2009 at 7:25 pm
Musings on the family saga…
Had a weekend visit from my adopted dad. We’ve always had quite a strange relationship – growing up there was a certain distance between us because his marriage with mum was rocky, and she was very good at getting our support and making him out to be the bad guy behind his back. When they divorced we were her loyal troopers, and cut off contact with him, but he has never lost hope of getting back in touch with us. A few years ago I got back in touch and have been slowly rebuilding the relationship, but its taken a few years for the negativity and falsehoods implanted by my mum to start really falling away. We had a good visit this weekend, and its left me with a lot to think about.

This kind of toxic situation has a name and an ancronym these days of course – Parental Alienation Syndrome. Some hotly dispute that it exists, but I can vouch that it does, as the home I grew up in was a textbook case. My half-sister Francine (Mike’s daughter with mum) refuses to even hear his name or discuss him, saying she wants to protect her family from his mental illness. (He’s suffered in the past with schizoaffective disorder, which was scarey for us kids growing up, but is a good person, and in no way a danger to anyone).

Francine has told me she doesn’t even want the subject mentioned. We have drifted apart over the years – and while I’ve sometimes felt cut off, the truth is I’ve distanced myself from her too. If I could be sure she was the bitch I sometimes suspect she is, I would walk away with a sigh of relief, but I’m starting to wonder if in fact she’s hearing things about me behind my back that have encouraged the rift. Since we left home Mum has always had a policy that we don’t both visit her at the same time, that she wants to see us seperately – and I know she’s very keen that I “respect Francines decision” not to have anything to do with Mike. (A decision she made when she was all of 10!).

Francine has two little girls now, and it breaks my heart that they are growing up not knowing me, Chris or Polly, or their grandad Mike.

clarienne – Musings on the family saga….


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