“I would rather be grounded near people I like then having fun with someone I don’t, namely you.”
As she said it, I flashed on my daughter as a 16 month old, unable to walk yet. I held her in the rocking chair as she slept and I cried and prayed for her to be happy. I flashed on her as a three-year old, leg braces reduced to AFO’s, coughing from croup. I held her, sitting on the porch wondering if she would need steroids before the night was through. I flashed on her determination to learn to ride a bike. I flashed on her taking karate. I flashed on kisses and declarations of love. I almost couldn’t absorb the words.
“I hate you and never want to see you again.” My other daughter read from a prepared letter. That was the least offensive statement in the 30 minute soliloquy. She cussed. She demeaned. She echoed the hurt and anger of her mother, my ex. I would try everything to continue a relationship with her. It would be 6 months before she was completely estranged. I would hear the experts on parental alienation tell me that she is too enmeshed and too far gone. They would tell me to let go. They would suggest that I have no chance with her and only a small chance with my other daughter.
I have talked with 6 different counselors. I have read books, watched videos. All suggest that the parental alienation is moderate or severe. Some refer to it as emotional abuse of my children. Many wag their heads in disgust and unbelief. Loved ones, friends, and family have told me that it can’t be true. They have said it doesn’t exist to the severity I see it. The counselors suggest it is worse than I know it to be. Regardless, all agree, there is nothing I can do. The parental alienation will continue. The drift of the girls will continue. There will be wagging of heads and clucking of tongues, all of which will not help.
The kids are tormented. They live in an environment that they need to hate to survive. They have to support, even echo their mother in order to feed her paper thin ego. They need to feel angry or the love will sneak in. So, I have decided to hear the love in between the lines. I imagine they are sending secret messages behind enemy lines. The glances across the auditorium or swimming pool. The fact that they have to generate so much hate can only mean they are having to overcome so much love. The small smiles or inability to stifle a laugh. The grin when the counselor says, “You have said you have fun when you are with your dad.” The need to ask me to not say, “I love you,” or sign Dad to letters and texts must mean they just can’t be reminded of that love because it echoes their heart. I Love You, secretly.