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Topic : 12/26 "Brainwashed by My Parents"

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Created on : Friday, September 26, 2008, 02:43:44 pm
Author : DrPhilBoard3

(Original Air Date: 10/03/08) It’s being called the ultimate form of child abuse -- brainwashing your children against an ex-spouse to win custody. Could you be harming your child emotionally and not even know it? First up, Ken is a successful surgeon who says he’s the victim of parental alienation syndrome (PAS). He says he hasn’t seen his 14-year-old son since last October and claims his ex-wife destroyed what was once a loving father-son relationship. Mel Feit, director of the National Center for Men, says Ken’s situation is a classic case of kids being turned against their father, but family law attorney Liz Kates says PAS is a phony tactic used by some men to get out of paying child support. What does Dr. Phil think? Then, Karen lost custody of her children after she was accused of parental alienation syndrome by her ex-husband. Karen maintains her innocence, so why were her parental rights terminated when her daughters accused her ex of sexual abuse? Plus, 19-year-old Demi joins the show via Web cam and says her father verbally abused her mother during their divorce. Now, she fears that her 15-year-old sister is caught in the middle. Find out what you can do if you’re caught between sparring parents. And, meet a father so desperate to see his young children, he kidnapped them from his ex-wife and went on the lam for two years. Talk about the show here.

Find out what happened on the show.

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December 27, 2008, 11:07 pm CST

The product of manipulative parents

I wanted to comment on the topic of the show.  My parents divorced when I was two.  Both my mother and father talked bad about each other in front of my sister and I.  They also would play guilt trips on us if we chose to live, spend a holiday, vist, etc with the oposite parent.  I resent both of them for this.  I grew up to be a "people pleaser" .  Never saying "no" to anyone, in case I might hurt someones feelings.  I always wanted to be liked by everyone.  This also lead to unhealthy relationships with boys/men in my life.


My husband's mother "brain washed" him during her divorce.  She would them him that his dad was not a good person, cheated on her, etc.  My husband decided not to have anything to do with his dad and stopped talking to him.  My husband was just a teenager then.  Now an adult and seeing that his mom is a controlling, manipulating person; he has realized that he cant remember why he stopped talking to his father.  After 8 yrs, he is now trying to play catch up with his dad.  My husband is guilt ridden about treating his father so badly.  I tried to explain to him that it was not his fault.  He was a teenager and nothing is clear when you are that age. 

Parents that manipulate their children are only thinking of themselves.  I also think that there must be something wrong with that person's mental health..

December 27, 2008, 11:51 pm CST

So sad!

Quote From: svstitches

My teenage boys hate me and I have done nothing!!!
I am believe that I the victim of parent alienation. My ex will not even speak to me about the boys! I have emailed him daily and he refuses to sit down and discuss the kids!!! I am very concerned for my kids particularly my 15 year old. He has chronic health issues that have been aggravated by the stress of our divorce.

My relationship with my sons didn't deteriorate overnite. I was very seductive and calculated. It started when my ex began ignoring my calls and emails. My ex would not engage me in co-parenting the boys. I kept my ex informed regarding the boy's academics, medical and social concerns. When my oldest started skipping school and drinking, my ex refused to back me up in imposing consequences. Rather he offered refuge when my son decided I had too many rules. (This after I came home and found the football team jumping off my roof into the pool! I do indeed have rules at my house!)

Once my oldest moved out, my younger son began to act out toward me. He was angry and abusive toward me when he would return from visits with his Dad and brother. He spews vile and hurtful comments and has threatened to kill me!

I am devastated. I am a good and loving Mother. I am worried for my boys. They hate the single most important woman in their lives, their Mom. What will their future relationships with women be like? I pray each day that they will recognize that I do love them.

My husband has had the same issue.  It is really sad one of the problems during divorce is that the parents battle by not disciplining the kids and spoiling them. I guess trying to win them over.  Then you create a totally myopic kid/adult  I think  the kids actually start creating lies in their heads to justify not having a relationship with the other parent.  Don't ever feel like you need to justify having rules and being a parent first and not a friend to your kids.  My heart goes out to you, but please for your own sanity try to move on at least a little. I know it is easier said than done. God Bless!
December 28, 2008, 7:25 am CST

12/26 "Brainwashed by My Parents"

I am going through this right now.  My ex has custody, based on lies he used.  Now since he has had custody he has withheld the kids from me 3 different times.  I have not seen the children since October 26, 2008 for my visitations.  I went to their school to visit them in beginning of December and my ex had actually told the school that I wasn't allowed there but I have an order stating that I can see them on the lunch.  That was the last time I seen them.  I wasn't able to call them and tell them Merry Christmas.  It is so hard.  My daughter, 5 years, and I are very close but I fear he is ruining that.  I would just about do anything to see the kids or at least tell them that I love them.  My ex has stopped all communication from me to them.  We had a court hearing two weeks ago but the judge said it was a parenting time issue that needed to be heard in front of the magistrate.  Is there not any justice?  Now I wait for more time to set another hearing. 
December 28, 2008, 11:36 am CST

I feel your pain and apparent fear

Quote From: weckert

I am embroiled in a case of PAS to the extreme, The two parents involved have 7 children between them. They have done everything they can to turn the children not only against the other parents but grandparents as well. If anyone dares to speak out against them they are on their list.  I as one of the grandparents are given strict boundries and rules if I wish to see my grandchildren. If I go against them I will not get to see the kids. Some of my rules are that I am not allowed to talk to ex spouses and their familes, Often times their offer of letting me see the kids come with strings attached like a loan of money (never returned). The children are grilled as to what anyone says to them.

The other grandparents are also in the same situation. They constantly tell the children that we did not come to their birthday parties or other occasions when we were not allowed to go or not told about it. I have had my grand children ask me why I do not want to see them anymore or why was I mean to Mom or try to get them in trouble.

They blame all the problems they have on other family members. We all have to be so careful on what we say or do as we do not want to lose contact with these kids. Now they are being observed by family services and we are all to blame for that as well. The children have learned not to trust anyone and seemed to be very wary of everyone. 

They constantly try to play all parties against each other and basically hold the kids for ransom. Even though we have all finally been able to know that we are all in the same situation it does help what is happening to the kids. I can only hope that these parents get serious help before they ruin the kids completely. These kids need all the love they can get, and should not have to feel that if they espress love for their other parents or family they will be punished and made to feel they have upset the parents.

I read your comment and felt that I had to write.  I am a grandmother whose daughter is NOT separated or divorced, but she is mad at me (she blames me for everything that is wrong in her life - yeah right!!!) and she has cut off ALL rights to me visiting my grandchildren.  Now she has even turned MY ex-husband against me, and we have had a wonderful relationship for the last 10 years (I am divorces over 25 years now). 


My friend, who is also friends with my daughter, spoke with my daughter last week and advised me that my granddaughter asked "Why doesn't "Bubbie" come over or call anymore?" and my daughter's reply was "Because I am mad at her and I don't want her to call or come over."  My granddaughter's response was, "BUT I'M NOT MAD AT HER."  My granddaughter turned 8 years old in October and I haven't seen her or my grandson (who turned 5 in July) since December 9, 2007.  THE PAIN AND GRIEF I FEEL IS ALL CONSUMING, especially since I now know that my granddaughter remembers me and WANTS to see me.  My grandson was too young at the time and he does not even remember me.  I FEEL AS IF I HAVE SUFFERED A LOSS BY DEATH - with no contact at all with either of the children.


You are completely right that these kids need all the love that they can get, especially since my daughter, herself, has been physically abusive to BOTH children, and now is completely emotionally and mentally abusive to them by denying them their own grandmother's love.  My daughter had said on numerous occasions that she "hated" my granddaughter.  She clearly never bonded with her and this poor child has now been alienated from me, the one person that CAN give her the type of love that she so clearly needs and wants. 

I walked on eggshells for a couple of years, and YES, even then, any time I was allowed to see the children THERE WERE STRINGS ATTACHED.  Once I had no more money to give them, and her husband was beginning to make enough money that she no longer needed my money - that was the end!!!  NO MORE VISITATION.  My daughter no longer HAD to use me - and all that time during those 2 years that things were "shaky" in our relationship - she just tolerated me because she needed my financial support.  Once that need was fulfilled, I was kicked to the curb and never allowed to see or speak with my grandchildren again. 


So I do completely understand how fragile a situation you are in with the "rules and boundaries".  My best advice to you is STICK TO THE BOUNDARIES AND RULES or you will end up like me - heartbroken and grieving.  Don't get me wrong, I DID STICK TO THE RULES AND BOUNDARES, AND I EVEN ALLOWED MY DAUGHTER TO VERBALLY AND EMOTIONALLY ABUSE ME, but in the end it was her greed that was allowing me to see the children all along, so the boundaries and rules meant nothing.  I put up with the abuse from her just so I could see the children.  Unfortunately, there are NO grandparent’s rights in the state where I live, unless your child is deceased or incarcerated.  So I am S___ out of luck – with no way to see my grandchildren.  I am going to attempt to go to my granddaughter’s school with a friend and see if I can see her during Recess or some type of school program.  I know I can go to public places and my daughter can’t do anything to stop me, but my daughter is so mentally ill that she will call the police.  She threatened to when I tried to attend my granddaughter’s Ballet Recital.  I decided to stay away because I did not want to cause a scene and upset my granddaughter, but my daughter also has no legal recourse and the police would just have laughed at HER.  I have never done anything wrong – she tried to get a Protection Order against me, but a lawyer said until I do something to endanger the children they have no chance of getting a legal order to keep me away.  IT IS JUST A SHAME FOR THE CHILDREN – IT IS EMOTIONAL AND MENTAL ABUSE, especially when the child so clearly wants to see me, as she has expressed missing me. 


I wish you all the luck in the world – my best advice to you is just comply with what your daughter says or you will end up not seeing the children at all.  It is a horribly depressing and painful way to live.  If you like, you can read some of my diary entries in the Shared Diary section.  My Diary is titled “I know life isn’t fair....but HELP STOP THIS FAMILY FEUD”.  I have been writing there for well over a year but the diaries in the beginning I have marked “private” after I was contacted by the Dr Phil Show to appear.  That never happened, unfortunately, because my daughter REFUSED to appear on the show as she knew that what she was doing was wrong – she just doesn’t care about anyone but herself, ESPECIALLY her own children.  PLEASE send up a prayer for me that my daughter finds some peace with her anger and allows me to see the children again someday soon.  She also told my granddaughter that when she is 18 years old she can do what she wants and then she can see me if she wishes to.  That is no way to treat a child.  I will keep you in my prayers also that things get better for you.  My thoughts and prayers are with you!


A very sad, heartbroken and grieving grandmother,

Marlene (screen name:  mpc333)

December 28, 2008, 12:24 pm CST


Is there ANYONE who can help me find someone in the State of Pennsylvania that can assist me in seeing my GRANDCHLDREN? 


My daughter is consumed with anger and will not allow me to see my grandchildren.  THERE WAS NEVER ANYTHING I DID OTHER THAN STOP SUPPORTING HER FINANCIALLY - her greed and her blaming me for everything that is wrong in her life developed into such an ALL CONSUMING ANGER that she is completely in control and will not allow me to even speak with my grandchildren.  I can't call there, and I haven't seen or spoken to them in over a year!!!!


In addition to all of this my daughter has been PHYSICALLY, EMOTIONALLY AND VERBALLY ABUSIVE TO THE CHILDREN.  She WAS under investigation by Child Services, but all they did was go to the house and see that there was hot running water and food and said that the claims were "unfounded" - WHAT A CROCK!!!!  My daughter put on a very good show for them.  It didn't matter that she locked her son in his bedroom every night, or confined both of the children to 2 rooms of the house with a gate to prevent them from "roaming around the house".  It is if they are in "prison" in 2 rooms!  WHAT CAN I DO TO SEE THESE CHILDREN???  Clearly Childrens Services in completely inadequate and turned a blind eye because the children did not have any visible marks on them at the time they did their investigation. 


I miss the children terribly - PLEASE HELP ME!


A heartbroken and grieving grandmother,


December 28, 2008, 1:15 pm CST

thank you

Quote From: teacherjudy

I know many of the feelings that you described in your note. I truly hope that you will reunite with your daughter soon. It sounds like she has been placed in a terrible situation. Young girls often see their Dad as someone who is above reproach, especially if their position in the community is considered honorable. I know from experience that these individuals can go from Dr. Jeckle to Mr. Hide at a moments notice. I witnessed this over and over during my 16 years with my exhusband. The massive control issue is frightening to say the least. Just remember that one day the lies have to stop and the truth will surface. We just have to be there strong and waiting to help in any way we can. Yes, we know we were good mothers, and that we made mistakes, but I love your line about how we can face God knowing that we loved our children to the fullest and strived to do our very best. Hang in there! My two children have been away from me for over 16 years and I still maintain the hope that today will be the day they return. :-)

your comments were very kind. i wish they would do shows like  this on a regular basis. educate the public so it does not happen to anyone else.

Best Regards and Have a Wonderful Holiday


December 28, 2008, 2:59 pm CST

Heart of the Matter

I've read many of the posts and after watching the show, I was a bit disappointed - whether people want to call this a syndrome or not, the fact is brainwashing is going on in an attempt to get back at an ex (you don't have to be male or female - this isn't gender specific) and unfortunately, when children exist from that union - they are the pawn being used. 


Let's get real, if the alienated parent didn't love the child(ren) so much, they wouldn't appear to be such a great pawn for the ex.  - isn't that a large factor in brainwashing, find the most vulnerable point and exploit it!  Another point, many states now allow the preference of a child to play a factor in a custody decision - another perfect open door for an ex to 'brainwash' a child and get them to say what they want. 


I think if courts could truly define best interest and define for divorcing parents what EACH of them must do TOGETHER - a structured road map, maybe it would stop all of this.  Let's face it, some parents just don't want to 'DO THE WORK' required to be a parent - if parents aren't willing to do the work, then they should just let the other parent handle it and the other just enjoy visitation with their child(ren) and leave it at that.


I am currently in the middle of a custody battle myself, 3rd time in 10 years my ex has taken me to court.  My children are now teenagers and my ex has admittedly stated conversations have occurred over the last few years about where they live.  I know that my children enjoy being with both of us and have many times said they wished we were back together.  I completely understand that and I do believe that NOW they understand that will never happen.  I have no idea how things will turn out, but I faith in God and what will happen will happen.  I think the laws need to be changed and children being able to decide should not be a factor in - it only puts children further in the middle of a really bad situation.

December 28, 2008, 9:31 pm CST

Lost son

I lost custody of my son in NOV.  His father accused me of this PAS.  I NEVER said anything to my son about his father.  A friend many years ago told me, you do not have to tell your son what his father is he will figure it out himself.  From the beginning both my mum and I told my ex that a Lil boy needs his father. My ex lied about so many things to the court.  My ex-lawyer was not doing what he should have and I really believed he was taking care of business.  Due to money dispute my lawyer quit.  That is when I found out the terrible truth when I received my files from him that there were many documents that should have been answered and were not.  It looked as if I did not comply with any of the court orders. (and I had all of them) Well, as soon as the other side found out I no longer had counsel they took me to court on a Ex Parte for immediate change of custody.  I was so stupid because I went to the hearing without a lawyer.  I was given only 1 days notice.  I did not have the money for a new lawyer and I really believe the judge would not rule and give me the chance to find new counsel.  Boy was I wrong.  He believed all that my ex said about me.  It was ruled that our son was in danger from me.  My ex got custody.  I did not stand a chance.  I had two lawyers (ex's and minor's counsel) tearing me to pieces.  I had never even spoken to the minor's counsel except for about 3 minutes.  When I first walked into the courtroom I heard the minor's counsel tell my ex's lawyer, "I will back you up on everything"


Now, my ex is refusing some of my visitation.  I text him to speak to our son and he will wait 15 to 30 minutes before he will let our son speak to me.  He makes excuse as to why I can not speak to our son.  My son has told me that he had asked his dad how I was going to survive without him (our son) and his dad said "She will get use to it"  My son kept telling me he wanted to come home to me.  Then my son went to his lawyer and he no longer says this to me.  He has told me that his dad has told him not to tell me their secrets. Our son lived with me his whole life. Our son is 10 years old.  Lastly, my son is not allowed to speak to his grandparents and he and I have lived with them for over 6 years.  His dad refuses to allow our son to speak to them.  My son said to me at one of our visits that I am no longer his mum because he no longer lives with me.


I can not stop crying.  I lost everything when I lost our son.  It is hard to breath, eat, sleep and even live.  I am still in shock with no proof at all a judge would consider our son to be in danger of me.  I would never, ever do anything to hurt our son.  I lived my life to take care of him.


Sorry if this is long and may not make much sense but my heart is broken and I feel sooooooooooo alone.  I feel as if I am in the twilight zone.


Thank you for reading this any help would be appreciated.


P.S. I do have a new lawyer but I am so afraid.  I now find it hard to trust anyone. 

December 28, 2008, 9:38 pm CST

Love your children

I am happy to  see someone actually give information  on  PAS.  I  first encountered it while researching family law and read an article in  the Florida Bar Journal on  PAS.  As a bystander I have seen it in action. I have a roommate who has been paying for child support regularly since his daughter was  removed from  the home  by the birth mother.    He recognized that the child (then 9 mos old) needed her mother since he  would have no  means or experience in  caring for an  infant. 


Now you wonder how this relates to PAS, well their divorce suggested he would have scheduled visits with the child and the mother would be there in case the child was having problems  adapting to the visits. Needless  to say the mother was  unwilling to chaparone  the visit and refused him  any visitation. After several attempts at contacting the mother  to schedule a visit.  She moved and failed to give him her new address, phone number.  Unfortunately he could not hire a  detective to  locate  her. He found out by an acquaintance that she had been telling people they both knew, that she left him because he had sexually abused their daughter (9mos old, charges were never filed or proven) she also accused him of domestic violence (which she never  filed charges in court and  when they divorced the judge did not accept the accusation). 


Getting to the now of this situation, he finally found out where the mother lives and went to a lawyer unfortunately the lawyer was of no help (except take his money), he went to court to get visitation and was  informed that because of the agreement they had on chaparoned visitation he would have to comply.  He was willing to do this, he finally had a chance to see his daughter (another adult was with her on their first visit). Needless to say the visit was both scary and short, his daughter was beautiful, and very angry with him,  refused to look at him and told  him that she did not want to see him. When he asked her why she told him "you know why!" he then said "no I don't, why don't you tell  me?" , She stated "You know what you did to me!"  He again told  her he had no idea of  what she was talking about.  She then said "my mom told me what you did and I don't want to talk about it."  Now when he heard this he knew that her mother was tellling her a bunch of lies and trying to turn her against him.  


He has tried to schedule the visits with the Salvation Army, but their schedule is made  to where a parent trying to utilize their services they have to stand in line and have to pay for every visit. And it has to be approved by the opposing parent.  Now tell me who is the winner here???  NO  ONE.  The child is missing out on the love of a parent and living a lie that the mother fabricated to hurt him.  (by the way she left him while he was at work took everything fom the  house and  only left him his clothes and his bass.) The father is missing out on his memories of watching his daughter grow up into a young lady, the mother  will eventually lose beacause one day the daughter will find out her mother lied and will end up hating  her.    I could go on  with  this saga  but I  just wish Dr. Phil could talk with this little girl (she is 12 yo now)and  let her understand  that what she was informed is incorrect and should try to form  her own judgment on her father and  not rely on  what her mother  says.   I pray everyday that god  help  these people get it  together because all they are doing is losing  on life by playing with hate.

December 29, 2008, 6:45 am CST

12/26 "Brainwashed by My Parents"

Quote From: love_your_kids

 One way to help stop parental alienation is to give the children the tools they need to not be helpless victims.  I believe this is best received from someone other than a parent.  Maybe the leader of a support group.  The Guardian ad Lit em (did I spell that right?).  Or maybe if someone talked to kids in a school assembly about it.  Teach them what parental alienation is, how to recognize it when it is happening to them and how to respectfully say, "Mom/dad that is alienating me from my other parent and I would appreciate it if you would not do that."  I'm not naive enough to believe this would put an end to all parental alienation, but I believe it would empower the child enough to call it to the parents attention and maybe embarrass them enough to stop it when they realize that even the child knows what is going on.

Dr. Phil, anyone...if you know of any way I can hook up with someone or some organization to set this plan in motion to help others, please let me know.  Just like court ordered parenting classes I wish the courts would order that at a reasonable age children were educated in self-defense against parental alienation.

I would love any help on this also.  My boys are in the middle of horrible PAS.  The courts even recognized it.   While I was able to get court ordered counseling for my two sons (13 & 14).  It is difficult to find a counselor that will approach this subject.  They all want to tip toe around it.  The children are in the middle and don't know how to have a relationship with me without being disloyal to their father.  Help please!



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