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Topic : 12/26 "Brainwashed by My Parents"

Number of Replies: 954
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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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May 4, 2009, 2:48 pm CDT

Um euxuse me..

Quote From: natesmom4ever

AMEN TO THAT!  I agree that people who don't believe PAS exists haven't experienced it first hand and I would even add to that, that many of those people turn out to be the ones who justify that it's "good parenting" to "save" their children from a parent who has defects THEY can't stand.  They just can't admit or won't admit that deep down, they are the ones who are hoping the children agree with them and see the same thing they see wrong with their ex-spouse and it's them who don't want to do the shared parenting thing because it does take a lot of work and compromise to make it work.  Especially when there's a new partner.  It's almost like they wish the ex would agree to let this new person take over their role.  It would be so much easier for the children to have a "normal" family with two parents in the home.  And I agree about the court system.  As soon as you try to help your children from this horrendous abuse by going where you're supposed to go to help them, you get the feeling you're living the Little Red Riding Hood story and you're at the part where the granny turns into the wolf!  We have a long way to go before the changes that need to come about are made and I know it probably won't happen in my life time or in time to help my son who I haven't seen in three years but I'll guarantee this:  I will NEVER stop wanting, loving and fighting for my child and for this plague to be exposed for what it is!


I agree with PAS only in certain cases, in our case, it dosent exsist. There was certain unfortunate situations that led us to where we are now.  My step son is far from ever being abused, his mother left when he was young, the father has raised him and now the step mother the last 5 years, my step son is doing remarkably well, considering all he has been put through. He is 15 years old now, wants nothing to do with the bio mom at all, with step mom encouraging him to reuinite with his bio mom i am hoping that he will reconsider and forgive his mom for everything that has happened to him, without going into great detail.  He has had it rough, my husband has had it rough. no child support paid for the last 10 years to help him raise this young boy.  Step mom works and supports him, but bio mom dosent contribute.  My husband has been on disability for the past 6 years, and with no help to support him.  Of course he is bitter. But not to purposely alienate my step son.  The bio mom has contributed to her own alienation.  I understand maybe not enough to warrant her own son disowning her, but nevertheless, turned her child against her.  It is sad.
May 28, 2009, 4:00 pm CDT

You got that right Karen...!!

Quote From: tigger2908

I have been separated for 7 years, having been married for 23.  For the last 8 years of our marriage, my ex-husband suffered from Clinical Depression.  As far as I know, he still does.  We have no direct contact.


During the early part of our separation, my ex accused me of alienating our two sons from him.  The accusation came to me through my lawyer.  While he has stopped accusing me (at least I haven't heard anything more) it was extremely hurtful at the time and I still remember the feeling it caused. 


I consider myself a good Mom and I think my sons agree.  I'd be lying if I said that I have never said a bad word about my ex to them.  After all, I'm human.  However, it is his behaviour that has alienated our older son, not anything I said.  Without going into it all, my ex is guilty of physical abuse (just once, that's all it took), emotional abuse (saying that our sons would be better off in foster care than with me - if I'm so bad, why didn't he take them?) and financial abuse (he refuses to pay child support),  For the first couple of years, I insisted that both sons see their father.  Eventually, our older son got to the age where he could make his own choice.  He chose to cut off all contact.  Our younger son still has a relationship with his father, which I do not discourage in any way.


My point is that just because a child cuts off contact with the non-custodial parent, it's not always the fault of the costodial parent.  Some of these people have to take ownership for their own behaviour and accept the fact that they just might be at fault.



I totally agree with you with that statement " just because a child cuts off  contact with the non custodial parents, its not always the fault of the custodial parent. Some of these people have to take ownership for their own behaviour and accept thefact that they just might be at fault"

My husbands' ex has accused us repeatedly, and we've been to court, and she lost her joint custody, she has no visitation with him and only phone access, which he has refused as well, my step son is 15 years old, his mother left when he was 5 years old, and he has been through alot. He had his own childrens lawyer, his mother made him get a psychological assessment, because she couldnt deal with the fact that he wanted nothing to do with her. So basically said it must be us. I could go into many details, but why bother, the fact remaiins, we haven't done what we have been accused of, she even got the Dr Phil show to call us.

July 14, 2009, 11:32 pm CDT

I was brainwashed as a child and now my ex is alienating my child

I've experienced this problem from 2 different angles and would like to share my experience.


My dad had hit my mom when I was little. My mom was extremely verbally abusive to him and he would lose it. This was in the 60s and 70s and I think it was common. My mom would say all kind of things to me and I ended up hating my dad. They never divorced. I stopped talking to my dad or acknowledge him in the same house. The emotion went through me was 2: (1)I wanted to protect my mom by giving her an edge: ME. (2)I hated the fact that my dad beat her, even though he never did that to me.


Long story short, after I grew up, I changed my way toward my dad and we have a normal relationship. And more and more I am finding out many lies and exaggeration my mom told to me. I became angry and disgusted with her. By that time I was over 30 years old.


Now, my ex is blocking and badmouthing me to my child. I know how it hurts the child, especially in the long run. It is sooooo tempting to fight back by pulling the child to my side and tell him how bad his father is....but I try to draw on my childhood experience and do the right thing. I know it is hard when someone hurts your precious child you want to hurt him back in the worst way possible. But leave the child out of it. I think most of the alienating parent just need to vent, need allies, need to relieve their pain. They don't really know how much it would hurt the child.


I think the target parents have to learn to understand that the alienating parent has a sickness, a wound they are not healing. It's a mud fight and people get hurt. You need to wash the mud off your child but don't throw any more mud. The other parent cannot control their sickness, they do not know how much it hurts the child and people around them, it has to be dealt with as an addiction with things like 12 steps.  If there's a way for us to help them heal their wound, to acknowledge our mistakes in the marriage, or to make ammends on other issues, they would heal better and the alienation would be less.


But know that some sickness is beyond our control. We can only provide the best circumstances for people to get well, they have to be the one who wants to change.

August 23, 2009, 9:39 pm CDT

A real issue

It has now been 10 years since I left my marriage. My husband was a bully & had a marked biased relationship with my 2 daughters. He treated the eldest like a princess & the youngest like a leper. On the horrific day I left, I took both children with me, to a safe place until things had calmed down. When he did make contact we discussed the contact issues & I was determined to never deny him any access with either of his children. That same day he came to collect the girls to take them on a visit to his parents. I have spent one day in 10 years with my eldest daughter since. It was from this very moment ( earlier with the eldest one) that he started the tirade against me. He told my daughters I was mentally ill and that I wouldnt be back until I was better, as well as telling them & people in the community in which we lived that I had a drug problem ( despite the fact that he has had a serious drug problem since the age of 14). He would lay on the floor & cry in front of them saying that if they ever left he would die, he bribes me financially in way of denying contact if I dont pay him what he wants, he threatens me with self harm & harm of the girls if ever I were to take them away from him. He has also isolated my daughters from all members of my family. Despite the fact that they were our main source of carers when we were both working.Hard for anyone to cope with , let alone a 7 & 5 year old. There has not been one week in 10 years that I have not made or attempted to make contact with my daughters. His personality is one that someone had to give & it was never going to be him. I was never going to enter into a tug-of-war with my children, I loved them too much to ever do that to them. His biased treatment of the girls continues to this day. I am fortunate enough to have maintained a relationship with my youngest daughter. Finally ignoring death threats & treats of moving away from the area ( he moved interstate after our separation) I have been traveling interstate every second weekend for contact for the past 5 years until moving permanently 3 months ago. I now live in the same suburb as my daughters go to school. I am getting to see my youngest daughter more ( she is now 15). But my eldest daughter is still too scared to have any contact with me. I feel like a stalker if I happen to come across her anywhere because I see the fear in her eyes. Fear that has been deeply ingrained by her vindictive father. I know deep down that there are some serious emotional issues that my eldest daughter will have to deal with & I dont know if I will ever have a real relationship with her. It breaks my heart. My youngest daughter once made it clear that she wanted to spend more time with me. Her father took her out the road, called her every despicable name he could & threatened to abandon her there. By the time I got to her ( I had her step mother intervene) she was distraught & rocking back & forth.
He is a master of manipulation & a very selfish person. I dont wish him dead anymore ( that takes up too much valuable energy), I just wish for emotional health for both of my beautiful daughters.
This is such a REAL problem that certainly needs more research & monitoring. Those guilty need to held accountable & need to attend some type of rehabilitation.
Im unsure if this type of abuse is recognized in Australia but it should be.
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