My ex-husband’s “Aunt N” works as an advocate for special needs children in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is the person who has given him legal advice, encouraged him to lie (see previous post, “Steps to Ponder“), falsified stories and documents while encouraging him to drop legal terms such as Parental Alienation Syndrome.
I don’t doubt for a moment that there are parents who fall into this category. When they first started dropping the term, I looked into the syndrome. I fit none of the criteria. I have never once bad-mouthed him to my children let alone tried to turn my children against him. It’s absurd. In fact, I deal with the exact opposite: him speaking poorly about me in front of the girls. It’s escalated to the point that my oldest daughter brings it up daily because it bothers her so much. She has expressed that she doesn’t want to go to his house because of these issues.
I want to repeat– I’m sure this syndrome exists. In my particular case, it does not.
Joan Meier, Executive Director of Domestic Violence Legal Empowerment and Appeals Project (DV LEAP), said, “PAS was invented to defeat child abuse claims – and it has been remarkably successful in misleading family courts into believing that women who are sincerely trying to protect their children and themselves from abuse, are just seeking to end the children’s relationship with their noncustodial father.”
Meier states that research has shown that children become “alienated” from a parent for a variety of valid reasons, most often resulting from the parent’s own negative behavior and relationship with that child.
“The proponents of ‘parental alienation syndrome’ are purveying invalid junk science that is not even legally admissible. PAS has been emphatically rejected by the Presidential Task Force of the American Psychological Association and by the National Council of Juvenile & Family Court Judges. Leading researchers in the field of custody have agreed that PAS has no scientific validity and the only courts to address the issue have found it inadmissible,” said Meier.
So, if Parental Alienation Syndrome exists in our case, it is not in the way he is claiming. He is personally starting on a path to alienate our daughters from ever having a healthy, loving father-daughter relationship with him.
He alone is creating this syndrome by his own actions.
- My daughters are learning that they can’t depend on him when he doesn’t show up for visitations.
- They are learning that he speaks poorly of their mother in their presence.
I want nothing more then for them to have a healthy, stable relationship with their father. I want him to be healthy for them. I want him to get help and be emotionally available. I don’t know if that is possible. It’s what I pray for.