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(reply to Anonymous)

Unfortunately, I live in a state that is very supportive of the parental alienation theory... when I took her to a therapist five years ago and she began telling her story about how his hand flapping and anger, lack of emotions, etc. was making her afraid and she did not enjoy visiting -- the therapist tried to begin treatment with her but dad refused and I was promptly accused of Parental Alienation Syndrome and of brainwashing her to hate her father and he sued me for Emergency full custody. I guess he doesn't get it that she is yet another person (of dozens) who he is unable to have any meaningful relationship with. He has no friends at all and his family wants very little to do with him. He spends his Thanksgivings with her at a buffet restaurant because he has isolated himself and alienated everyone around him.
However, the PAS theory gets a lot of traction in Florida and so what followed for me and my daughter was a very long (two year), very expensive $50,000 court battle with half a dozen attorneys, therapists, custody evaluators, personality tests, home visits, --- you name it. A total nightmare.
Anyway, he didn't end up with custody, but it didn't get picked up on during that court case that he has AS. It wasn't until just recently that her therapist (after a full year of observing the family together), said he is nearly certain that he has it.
During the custody battle, he failed all of his personality tests miserably on the first attempt, so they just coached him and let him take them all again two weeks later (which is supposed to be against the rules -- but if you have enough $$$, the "rules" pretty much don't apply). He still did not do well -- and he did not get custody. They did however, order her into counseling with him to "work on the bond between them." Time after time she was told she was a liar. She was told she was "making up terrible stories about your wonderful daddy who loves you more than anything." She was told she was "taking things wrong" and "believing and repeating what your mommy told you to say about daddy." She was told she had no right to her feelings. It was a nightmare for her for two years.
I will not take her down that road again. However, I am hoping now with her current therapist (dad is not paying this one $120 cash per visit) -- treating her now, maybe things will change a little. I am not entirely confident enough in that to make waves at this point in time though.
It is so tough for her and tough to watch her go through the constant emotional blackmail and abuse that she goes through. I can't tell you how relieved she was just to find that "the robot" (which is what she referred to his hand-flapping and angry mumbling as) is just "stimming." I think understanding does help her a little bit. I do recognize that she does need to have her dad in her life because he can be a positive influence as far as his work ethic and other things go, so I won't try to sever contact. I do wish it wasn't so much though. 12 days a month currently is getting to be extremely difficult for her, the older she gets.
Just Friday, he said she could go with me to an arcade for a drawing they were having for cash prizes. Even though he said she could go (this is the first time he agreed for her to go anywhere with me on "his time") -- when I got there to pick her up and she went to hug him goodbye -- he refused to hug her back. He just sat stiffly at this computer. When she said "I love you" he refused to acknowledge that either. He just barked "BYE!" at her and glared.
When she won $50 in the raffle, she called to give him the good news and he refused to answer his phone. Then, when she reached him an hour later, he screamed into the phone (I could hear clearly) -- "you need to GET HOME RIGHT NOW!!" She was shaking and feeling sick to her stomach all the way back to his place. When I dropped her off, she was shaking and crying.
This is common behavior for him. She has told me and her therapist that there have been several times he has become upset with her that he simply gives her the silent treatment -- refusing to speak with her for sometimes days on end, aside from commands like "it's time to eat now" or "it's time for bed." If she is ill and wakes him up at night, he also starts yelling at her, saying, "get back to bed! daddy needs his 8 hours of sleep! daddy has to get up early!" He always refers to himself in the third person. Does that sound familiar to anyone else?
Anyway, I wish she could just go on the every other weekend rotation with him to limit the amount of exposure to the emotional abuse, but for the time being, I am waiting for the therapist to help. :-(
I know other moms who have attempted to curtail the visits with dad due to sexual and/or physical abuse. They were accused of PAS too, only they lost all custody and are ordered to supervised only visits because of their "brainwashing the children". It is sick and scary. Since my daughter's abuse is "only emotional and not physical" I probably won't get far until and unless her therapist sends a strong opinion to a court. I don't have the financial or emotional resources to battle him again right now. He is in a much better financial position than I am and he knows it. He drags each court battle out for several years. The custody one caused me to lose my house, my car and my job five years ago. I am still in the process of rebuilding from it.
I know, to many people, it seems like a no-brainer, just restrict her contact with him, but in a PAS embracing state -- it's very far from what happens.

October 21, 2012 - 8:05pm


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