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Whether or Not/How to Reestablish Relationship with Children After Parental Alienation

After being denied contact with my 2 children for the past 8 years, I had all my parental rights, I recently found my now 21 yr old daughter on Instagram. Upon receiving a reply from her..I found out that her father had told her that I threatened him until he allowed me to terminate my parental rights 8 yrs ago, that I didn’t want her… only my son. That all my rights were gone, and that she & my son had been subjected to horrible stories of abuse etc during their 1st 13yrs of life with me.

It’s not true. I did drink… and I admit that it was a problem but only in a sense that I did drink. I never abused my children… and the judges order took into account the whole story and none of my rights etc were ever taken away… just that my daughter was 13 and allowed to choose where she lived which resulted in his getting physical custody of both. Immediately after which he began to deny visitation and started his lies.

I left the state after taking him to court for contempt several times over the period of 1.5yrs. He was ordered to comply… next weekend came around… I was told he’d call the cops if I came in the property..and at the last hearing..both my children testified that they wished I’d just leave them alone.

So I left. I had to..I couldn’t handle being in the same house..same town..without my kids. I sent cards..I sent gifts..I tried calling..for the first 2 years. I finally gave up. I started trying again 3 years ago. All gifts/cards refused and returned by mail. No contact.

My finding my daughters Instagram acct is the 1st chance I’ve had at getting a direct message to her without interference. Only to be told all of this.

What do I do? She’s now blocked me… but do I push the issue? Do I send her the proof that I never signed off on her? What do I do? I’ve suffered horribly over the last 8 years… thinking they both truly just didn’t care… that their father had finally won his plan of revenge since I left him. He did win… he’s the only one who did. But what do I do? I love them both so much.

A:  I can appreciate the deep love you have for your children. This is complicated — and with legal implications — so my answer is going to err on the safer side. There are times when the law and psychology conflict, overlap, or cancel out each other and when this happens I think it is important to be on the firmest ground legally, first.

Get a good consult from a lawyer who is experienced with parental alienation. Let him or her review the case and find out what your rights are, how your daughter’s age affects your contact, and perhaps most importantly what the risks are of pushing the connection. Following this you can decide what to do, and what kind of support you need. There are psychologists and social workers that specialize (or are at least familiar working with) parental alienation cases. You may want to use them after you make your decision as they can either help you cope — or move forward.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

Whether or Not/How to Reestablish Relationship with Children After Parental Alienation

Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: http://www.dare2behappy.com/. He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2018). Whether or Not/How to Reestablish Relationship with Children After Parental Alienation. Psych Central. Retrieved on June 23, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2018/06/12/whether-or-not-how-to-reestablish-relationship-with-children-after-parental-alienation/

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 10 Jun 2018
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 10 Jun 2018
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.