The days following the separation were terrible.  Looking back, so much damage was done.  My boys were immediately directly being told by James that, “you can’t have a relationship with both your parents,” and “you must pick one parent over another.”  


Alienating the entire family

Since Parent Alienation doesn’t just affect the alienated parent, it affects his/her entire family, my mother was being cut out of the boys’ lives as well. My younger two boys started to refer to her by her first name. 

My sister’s children were immediately blocked from Sam’s social media accounts.  There wasn’t a fight, a disagreement, or anything at all. He just cut ties with all his cousins on my side of the family.

Bullying me to return

The first week of our separation, James texted me, “You will be left penniless and childless.”  

One night he took all the boys out to dinner and they decided as a group that if I would call off the divorce they would “forgive” me and let me back into the house.  

Even though James technically filed first, the boys refused to even listen to me explain that. 

I was getting texts from my younger two boys that evening saying, “yes or no”, “what is your decision”, “we need an answer right now.”  

When I refused to answer their texts (because it was such an unhealthy thing for James to put the kids in the middle of), it just added fuel to the fire.  They were blaming me for the demise of the marriage. Their dad was telling them that I must not care about them if I wouldn’t answer or agree to their terms. 

In the boys’ eyes, a simple yes from me would have restored all peace in the house.  What they didn’t know was that for the past 21 years everytime I went against the grain, or didn’t agree with something James said or did, he would threaten divorce. 

I was tormented on what to do.  Do I go back?  Do I take the blame for all of this?  Do I try to put the pieces back together again?  Do I go back silently dying inside to keep the peace for the boys and continue to be their buffer?  I was finally gaining some self-confidence, some self-worth. When I decided to stay the course and proceed with the separation I knew that it wasn’t going to be an easy path but in the end I assumed that it would all settle down at some point.  Almost three years from that day, the alienation continues and things just get worse every day.

Training the boys to disregard me

In that first week, the younger two boys became emboldened. The role of mother and son meant nothing.  None of my rules, ideas or discipline was followed.  I was laughed at, called by my first name and disregarded like a piece of trash laying in the street.  

I would hear things from my boys like, “you have really done it now”, You really blew it”, “I will never talk to you again once I am 18 years old.”  I had lost all parenting power.  

I would talk to my attorney about this and she assured me that this is common in high conflict divorces and that things would settle down. Things did not settle down. The bizarre behavior from James caused my attorney to suggest getting a Guardian Ad Litem (GAL) involved. That is an attorney appointed to a minor child to be a voice for that child, to represent that child and his/her needs.  

James thought it was a great idea and sent the boys right in to tell the GAL how I was a terrible, abusive mother that had abandoned the family.  The younger two both told her that they wanted to live with their dad and that I was unfit to care for them.  The only problem with that was that they didn’t have any examples to back it up. 

In fact, the GAL said in her report that all three (James and the younger boys) had the same story.  She said it was like they were reading from a script.  

On the other hand, I was able to provide an accurate history with many examples.  At this point in a divorce, it is just, “he said, she said.” The experts are trying to get a clear picture of the dynamics of the family and who is telling the truth.  This is a LONG process, a VERY long process, not to mention a very FRUSTRATING process.

My head is swimming at this point!  I am at a loss as to what is happening.  I still don’t understand how these boys that I raised and love/loved so dearly and deeply were saying these things and turning against me.  

Accusing me of “abandonment”

Then another huge blow: I got a call from Child Services.  They wanted to interview Sam because James had mentioned abandonment so many times. He actually put it in the divorce papers.  To James, “abandonment” meant leaving to do work without putting dinner on the table for him and 3 teenage boys, or going to bookclub with my girlfriends rather than staying home to help with homework. Child Services??  My heart sank!  Why on earth?  Why is my son being put through this?  

Again, James thought it was a good idea.  Another person on “his” side.  Another person he could tell about what a terrible human being I was.  A horrible wife and mother.  At this point, I think I need to start defending myself and protecting myself and proving that I am, in fact, a good parent. I went to the pediatrician’s office and asked them to print off all the kids’ shot records from when they were born.  A parent has to sign for that.  After every appointment for all three kids, there was MY signature, not their dad’s, mine.  Years and years of signatures, times 3.  I don’t even think James knew what doctor the kids went to. I thought, “That will show that I am not a neglectful parent.”  

Next I went to all the schools my kids had attended.  All three boys had some learning difficulties and were on IEP’s or 504 Plans.  I got all that documentation.  Guess who had been to every meeting and signed every form? (Me!)  

Then I started collecting reference letters. Letters from friends, family, coaches, kids parents, people that knew me and knew my family.  I asked them to write freely and have it notarized and sealed.  I said please don’t “bash” James, just tell stories about the family or observations you have made through the years. 

I gave the reference letters to the court-appointed psychiatrist, who also asked for phone numbers of five contacts (each) who knew me and James.  He wanted to call people that knew us. I easily handed over the numbers of five people that would give positive references on me. 

After many requests, James handed over five numbers:  

  • One was the wrong number. 
  • One was someone who didn’t even know the names of my kids. 
  • One was a vague business acquaintance of James’s brother. 
  • One was a family friend who had extremely negative things to say about James and positive ones about me.
  • One was a coach who mentioned that James had a very bizarre relationship with his boys.  

FINALLY……I think these experts are starting to put the pieces together.  Next, the psychological evaluations.  Is this really happening?