Tag Archive | parental warfare

Passive Aggressive Games: Rising Above

Since 2010, I have been writing in this blog and posting experiences. Oftentimes I forget how dysfunctional these experiences were at the time. Time has a away of softening things and making you remember the story in a less crazy light.

My post Accepting the Painful Reality was one of the ones that really stuck out. Rereading those texts from my daughter didn’t even sound like her. Even the way it was written, perfect sentences, punctuation, and specific words did not sound like my daughter. Perhaps she was having someone help her write the perfect respond. May someday she will share what in the world her father and his wife were saying about me.

A few weeks ago, my daughter posted a picture on Instagram. She mentioned that she was no good at captions. Many times I will say something like how beautiful she is inside an out. This time I decided to caption “I got all this from my mama ;)”. It was a lighthearted comment. She does look a lot like me, but I always tell her she also has her own unique look.

So her stepmother actually comments to me “hahaha” publicly on my daughter’s feed. Honestly I was very surprised how brazen she was in making that public comment. My experiences with my ex-husband’s wife have never been positive. She has never said a kind word once over all these years. However, I was angry after getting the notification from Instagram that she commented to me on this post.

Clearly this was a passive aggressive comment that was meant to get a rise out of me. I did not take the bait, good for me! After all, this women has never met me in person. I think we talked on the phone once. She hates me because I am her husband’s ex-wife. She hates me because of whatever he says about me. He is not a honest or nice person. My experience with him was he was a cheater, liar, drinker, gambler, sports-a-holic, verbally abusive, work-aholic, and worse suspected paedophile. He is pissed at me because… what… I left all that?

My husband and I talked it over and he said, “It is really sad. She will never have what you have. She will never be her mother. She will never have kids of her own now. You are above that. Don’t even give it a second thought.” My other good friend said, “She wishes she could be your daughter’s mom.”

One of the members of my NPD group said there was a simply answer for her comment, “She is threatened by you.” Although I cannot guess how anything could be threatening to my ex-husbands wife at this point. She must know I have zero interest in my ex-husband. His behavior is so bad that I have had to go no contact with him.

Of course, I have to discuss this with my closest friend and she was angry. Her initial thought was there must be a good way to respond to that. However, I decided that the best way to deal with her was to block her on Instagram. I had no idea that you could block someone you were not connected with and now she cannot see my posts or profile. As an added bonus, I cannot see any of her comments either. Win win!

So yesterday, I met my daughter for coffee after she got off work. Side note, I am so happy she is working and starting to gain that independence. She really needs that. I asked if she had seen the comment her stepmother made to me on her feed. I added that I realize you live there and cannot say much. She said she did see the comment and tried to give her stepmother the benefit of the doubt. However, she worried that I might comment back and how that might escalate. I told her that I had given her the benefit of the doubt too, but that she really has never said a kind word to me in all these years. That I just ended up blocking her and that solves the problem.

Anyway, it was another good visit with my daughter. She mentioned that she found the Eiffel Tower necklace my husband had bought her and cleaned it off. She also showed me a picture of her stepsister and her together. Perhaps she is feeling a little nostalgic. She has not stepped foot in this house since she left a year and a half ago.

Her room looks very much like the day she left, but much cleaner. The bedspread and curtains are different. I know that it is probably time to make it a guest room, but I haven’t been able to bring myself to convert it. It seems like there would be wash of emotions. It makes me a little sad to go in there. My mother even mentioned that it made her feel a little sad during this last visit.

This has all been quite a struggle to deal with emotionally. My daughter is still not allowed to visit the city where I live, “It is forbidden.” He says it is because he is grounding her from a friend. However, she is nineteen and has been “grounded” from coming to my area of town for 2 months.

Someday, I expect my daughter will put all these memories together and it may hurt. One day she may realize how much she was being manipulated here and that maybe her mom wasn’t the problem. It is really horrible when parents pit a child against the other parent. This was my ex-husband’s personal war and all of us were casualties of that war. So pointless and unnecessary. My mother said today that a good father would encourage a daughter to visit her mother. Instead he makes up rules to prevent it.

Children – Casualties of Parental Warfare

flowers roseToday, I had to make a super difficult decision. It is likely I am going to have to let my daughter go live with my abusive ex-husband and his wife.  I do not believe this is the best decisions for her, but she will just resent me if she stays, and will likely move in eight months when she turns eighteen. My heart is absolutely breaking over this decision.

She is a casualty of the parental warfare my ex-husband is waging on our family. It is so sad, because I feel like nobody wins here, everybody loses. Unfortunately, he has waged war and our daughter is a victim in this horrible situation. She is a casualty of parental warfare.

Sending her to live with my abusive ex-husband seems like the worst thing for her.  His permissive parenting will not be good for her, but she is almost an adult and may have to learn the grass is not always greener.

She has been absolutely hateful since June, ever since she was busted smoking pot. As soon as we took away her privileges, she threw a tantrum and called her dad, her dad swooped in and picked her up didn’t discourage her behavior. Plus, he took advantage of her anger to help turn her against me.  In the end, I am not sure if it made any difference all the decisions I made or the lessons I taught. In then end I feel like I lost our daughter anyway.

The problem is, that I chose to marry this man all those years ago, and he would never stop being abusive. No matter how I responded, he just continued to user her as a pawn in his personal game. Perhaps God is working some miracle here for all of us. Only time will tell.


Abusive Ex-Husband Trying to Alienate Mother

My daughter is 13 right now and it amazes me of how many years my abusive ex-husband has been trying to use her as a pawn, weapon or any way to hurt me.  I came across an email I sent to my attorney 7 years ago regarding a bizarre reaction my 6 year old had when returning home from a visit to her father’s house.

I almost have an image of that day in my head because the reaction she had was so strange and unwarranted.  I cannot remember what we were doing in the kitchen, maybe making dinner, but that is where the situation took place.   We were in the kitchen and she suddenly reeled back from me, like she was scared and said, “You scare me mommy!”  I was caught completely off guard because there was no reason for her to say something like that.  It seemed like her father must have said something to her before she came home.  Dealing with Parental Alienation Syndrome is probably one of the most challenging situations to deal with.

I never knew what he said to make her react like that.  She was so young at the time and I may never know what was said to her.

My email to my attorney on March 20, 2005:

Well obviously something was said at his house.

We made PB&J for her then went to the park.  Then we snuggled on the couch and I said, “You said earlier that I scared you, what do I do that scares you.”  She shrugged her shoulders.  I said, “If I do anything that scares you, I need to know about it so I do not do it anymore.  What is it I do that scares you?”  She said, “I don’t want to talk about it.”

Can he do this?  This is obviously not healthy for our daughter.

How do you combat mental abuse with your children when your ex-husband is constantly saying negative, untrue or unhealthy comments?

  • Negative or Untrue Comments:  One thing I have taught my daughter is ‘Actions Speak Louder Than Words’.   I truly believe even though he says really untrue things his actions or my actions can prove the truth.  For instance, many of the comments he has said I have simply overcome by consistency with my actions.
  • Disney Dad: One thing I have done regarding the no rules ‘Disney Dad’ visitations is teach her that we have rules because I love her.  If I did not love her I would let her eat whatever she wants, not worry about where she goes or care for her.
  • Buying Love:  In dealing with the showering her with gifts to buy her love which was beginning to work.  I have taught my daughter that money cannot buy love.   The things most important in life are things that cannot be bought.  She understands this more as she gets older and has a real relationship with me when compared to a very superficial relationship with her father.  He has not spent the quality time with her to help establish a real bond.
  • Putting Her In the Middle: this is an extremely challenging situation to deal with.  It is very difficult to deal with her being put in the middle of my ex-husband’s personal war against me.  I have learned not to go to him for anything regarding our daughter.  I mean when she returns home and has repeated something he said that was just out-of-line it did more harm if he knew I got the message.  It only caused more harm for our daughter.  So instead I have tried to give her things to say, “I don’t know, ask my mom.”  “Dad, I really don’t want to be in the middle.”  “These topics make me uncomfortable.” Etc….

I am not going to say I have the perfect answers but this has been hard raising her and dealing with the constant attack coming from my ex-husband.  It is terrible that he uses her like that and it legally should not be allowed.  It is truly a shame that the courts do not get involved in parenting.  So many children are put in the middle of negative divorces.

In one of the books I read, Joint Custody with a Jerk, it described our situation as the worse type of divorce. Obviously divorce is never good for a child but living in a bad marriage is certainly not healthy either.

  1. Ideal Divorce Scenario – where both parents work together for the best interest of the child.  They try to create similar household structures so the child can go back and forth with the least disruption.
  2. Indifferent Divorce Scenario – where both parents maybe are really working with each other but continue with their own lives.  They may not be truly working with each other but they are not trying to work against the other parent.  I believe in this situation the child would be less in the middle than the next one I am about to describe.
  3. Absentee Parent Divorce Scenario – I am not as familiar with this but I have witnessed this with other people I have known throughout my life.  It seems like this can be better than the Parental Warfare Divorce but can be negative depending on the single parenting style.  I guess it depends if they say negative things about the ex-husband or if they do their best to discourage the absentee parent from visiting their children.  Or if they try to make the child/children dislike the other parent to the point the absentee parent gives up all contact.  I have seen children deal with abandonment issues and have trouble with trusting people in their lives.  As I said, I personally have not encountered this but when you deal with an ex-spouse waging war I would rather they just go away then stay.
  4. Ongoing Parental Warfare Divorce Scenario – where one or both parents continue an ongoing battle and work against each other.   One or both parents may try to put the child in the middle, use the child against other parent and create opposite households environments.  One or both parents may say negative comments about the other parent that creates a very unhealthy situation for the child.  The best case for this scenario is for one parent to try to not to respond or engage in this parental warfare.  In this scenario if only one parent can create a healthy environment for the child it is the best that can be done especially if the other parent refuses to let go of their hatred for years to come.

My divorce falls under the category of Ongoing Parental Warfare Divorce Scenario.   This makes me so sad because there is absolutely nothing I can say to appeal to my ex-husband to discontinue this private war he is determined to continue.  The best I can do is try to teach my daughter right from wrong and encourage her to say what is on her mind.

Unfortunately my daughter has had to learn things she should not know at an early age.  I guess the things I am teaching her are really life lessons.  My ex-husband encourages her to go against my rules when she is not near me.  He exposes her to things he should not, like alcohol at the age of 12.  He tells her that I am not a good mother or I overreact.  His house is so loose with rules it makes our house seem extremely strict.  Honestly, this is not so unlike peer pressure in some regards.  What she has to learn is she knows right from wrong and try to do the next right thing.

Parental Warfare

Are you a parent
Or a soldier at war
Attention on deck !
Clear the floor
Major parent is here
You know the intention
Not to relate and show affection
Sights are set
Both hands are full
Projections at you
Eyes steadfast for
Objects in motion
Centrifugal force
Propelled by emotion
Were you trained in parental warfare
I’ve got deep battle scars
Do you even care
A prisoner of war
I’ve survived under these conditions
Just another day
Just another mission
By Robert Wilkom

Poet: Robert Wilkom


Abusive Ex-Husband Reading Daughter’s Text Messages

Smart Phone Bugged

Smart Phone & Privacy

We were driving back from an appointment today and my daughter mentioned her dad did not like it when her step-dad (let’s call him Chris) called her names (like Turd, Buttlips).  I asked her, “How would he know if Chris said something like that?”  She said she did not know.  I asked, “Does Chris ever text you with those names in there?”  She replied that he sometimes did when he was picking her up from tutoring.  I said it sounds like your father is reading your text messages on your phone.  Her phone is password protected but there is no other explanation.  Time to wipe the phone and set a new password.

My husband and daughter have this way they talk to each other and I am not sure how it started but they tease each other like that.  I have never felt anything uncomfortable about the way they interact.  My awareness of unacceptable is really very high after all the stuff I have gone through with my abusive ex-husband.  It is very interesting for my abusive ex-husband to criticize something my husband is doing.  My husband has been more of a father to our daughter than he has ever been.

My ex-husband has given our daughter beer when she was 12 years old.  My ex-husband tells my daughter endless untrue negative comments about me. There was also  an email regarding my ex-husband wanting to put our daughter in braces.  I told him I was concerned if she was responsible enough for the care and maintenance of braces.  My ex-husband told our daughter, “Your mom does not want to spend the money for you to have straight teeth.”  If he truly cares about her teeth I wish he would be equally concerned for her mental well being and stop putting her in the middle of this war he continues to keep with me.  I also think if someone is that concerned about teeth he would not bathe her teeth in sugar every time she comes to visit to the point he makes her physically sick.

It is really hard for me to think like an abuser.  I do understand from different angles because my father did some of these same things to me when I was a child.  It is very strange to watch my ex-husband do the same thing to our daughter.  I only know my father admits he purposely tried to cause problems between my mother and I.  He admits today he was wrong to do that.  It feels awful sometimes that I couldn’t protect myself when I was a child any better than I can protect my daughter from this mental abuse.

I truly wish the courts would recognize psychological and mental abuse as they would physical abuse.  I personally feel mental, emotional and physiological abuse is just as bad if not worse.  I am still trying to heal from my entire life of dealing with verbal abuse.  I also do not believe someone who is being physically abused is not also receiving mental abuse along with it.  I would think it rare or unlikely to have a really nice physical abuser that never says anything hateful.

My daughter is only 13 and has been aware of the constant passive aggressive attacks my ex-husband and his current wife expose her to.  She has not yet found the voice to speak up and say anything.  She told me today, “I wouldn’t know what to say.”  I said, “Just be honest and say what you feel.”  I have encouraged her to speak her voice and let them know when something bothers her.  I told her they may not change their behavior but you will know you said something.   I hope I am doing right by trying to empower her.  I think she would just rather pretend they are not doing these things than accept the reality of it.  I suppose I can’t blame her for that.

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