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PAS wins again

CompletelyPuzzled's picture

The last few days at our house have been overwhelming. My SD12 just came back from visiting BM on Friday.  She was at BM's house for two weeks.  Before she went, she was doing well.  Her grades were better than ever and she seemed happy.  

Since she has been back, our lives have been a living hell.  SD12 hasnt said more than five words to any of us.  She is refusing to eat and cries all the time.  Its so bad that she is keeping the entire house awake all night because she cries as loudly as possible.  Its so bad that I can actually hear her with both our doors closed and the TV on.  Needless to say, things are extremely tense. I am 36 weeks pregnant and already dealing with insomnia.  

Things came to a head last night.  She was crying at midnight. DH tried calming her down but nothing was working.  After a while it was quiet,  but then I started hearing her phone's text alert going off.  DH went in there and caught her texting BM.  She isn't supposed to have her phone in her room but she snuck in our room and took it.  Apparently, she's been doing this alot lately,  sending BM messages about our house and how "mistreated" she is.  

DH confronted her about it and she told him that she hated it here and wants to live with BM.  Apparently, we aren't her real family.  She said that she isn't happy and hates DH for tsking her away from her mom.

This is all new to us.  My DH is devastated.  I am angry and hurt.  Where do we go from here?  She has been living here full-time for five years. Everytime, she goes back to BM's house, we have to start over. This goes on and rips our household apart.  I am just at a loss. 


Harry's picture

BM must let her do whatever she wants, most likely no rules, because BM knows she sending her back to you, and does not have to deal with a kid no rules 

CompletelyPuzzled's picture

There are no rules, bedtime or expectations at BM's house.  In fact, she encourages SD12 to act out at our house.  SD told us that she doesn't even sleep alone at her mom's house.  The whole family sleeps in one room and she cuddles to sleep with BM every night.

thinkthrice's picture

There are no rules, bedtime or expectations at BM's house. . .The whole family sleeps in one room and she cuddles to sleep with BM every night."


Yep sounds EXACTLY LIKE the Girhippo 'n' Clan.   And oh yes, the encouragement to act up at biodad's house.  They all read from the same script.  Your DH should prepare himself for the inevitable final PASout.  It's truly horrible for these men but when they start from day one letting the BM call the shots, coupled with the realization that the "system" encourages this aka treating biodad like a walking wallet and the BM as "saintly" despite her abdication of parenting which leads to juvenile delinquency and worse it's only a matter of time.

SonOfABrisketMaker's picture

Send her to live with BM. I'm really sorry I can't recall your backstory but if there is no history of drugs, abuse or neglect then let her go.

I was the same way when I was little. I would spend visitation with my dad for a week or two and be absolutely devastated going back to my moms house. My mom got tired of it after years of me doing exactly what your SD is doing. She thought it would be hilarious to send me to my literal Disney dad and watch us crash and burn. It was rough at first but I learned independence and he learned to stop being a Disney daddee. My grief over leaving my dad after visitation (at first) had nothing to do with my mom as a parent and everything to do with me and my dad were so much alike. The first year, I was so hysterical at visitation with my mom, she sent me back early. I couldn't eat, couldn't sleep, cried for a week straight. Just talking about it makes me remember the weight in my soul from missing my dad. 

Save the household the grief and send her to BM.

tog redux's picture

Get her a therapist to help her sort this out. If she lives with you full-time, you will have to keep deprogramming her each time, but try to help her learn critical thinking.

Don't send her to BM's - she will stop coming over entirely.

CompletelyPuzzled's picture

She is in counseling and has been for 5 years.  The counselor disagrees with the judge allowing visits/calls with BM, as it is obvious she is the one feeding SD12 all of this.  We are going to take her back tomorrow and see if she will open up again.

Survivingstephell's picture

Has DH laid out the facts to SD about the history of her mother's choices and actions that led to his having custody?  Is he taking the high road on all of this?  I skimmed your blog to see some of your story and it was way too long to read everything but obviously BM caused herself to lose custody.  When working with PAS kids, they recommend NOT having contact with the alienating parent so that the bonds of affection can be allowed to resume without added outside pressure.  

Stop allowing BM to work from afar.  Stop isolated CO contact with SD and BM.  SD is 12 and does not need to have her phone on her 24/7 so I would take it away from her and allow her to have it under supervised situations for now.  Its causing strife, so remove it.  

Explain that you and DH are the parents/adults in the house and therefore are in charge of creating a home life that is stress free and peaceful.   Out of control 12 yo does not get to  have the power over the house, the adult do.  Take charge.  Kids need structure and reliability and consistency to flourish.  Your own children probably thrive in that situation, I know mine did.  

It might also be pointed out that an expert aka the judge decided where she would live with the best intended for SD to grow up in a safe and stable home.  DH did not take her away, the judge decided it was for the best after much reflection on the facts of the case.   Critical thinking skills are needed when processing all of this and SD12 is old enough to start thinking about the whys of her life.  Ask her why instead of getting caught up in her "feelings".  Girls are full of feelings and need to be taught to focus on facts.  Especially in their teens!  BTDTx3.  

CompletelyPuzzled's picture

Yes, she is aware of why BM lost custody.  She knows that her mom's house isnt the healthiest place.  She cant explain why she wants to live there, just that she does.

As far as the CO goes, we follow it to the letter.  She has her phone only for the 15 minutes a day that she is court ordered to speak to BM.  She pits her phone back in my room when she is done.  But apparently she has been sneaking in there and taking it. We've never had a problem so I didn't notice until last night.  Now the phone had a passcode that she doesn't know.

thinkthrice's picture

She cant explain why she wants to live there, just that she does.

SonOfABrisketMaker's picture

its hard to articulate specifics. You couldn't have tortured a logical reason out of me why I wanted to live with my dad at that age. These days I can tell you it was because he was consistent with consequences, never tried to use me to fight his battles and kept a strict schedule (my favorite. No vacuuming st 4 am or sudden road trips to weird places because mom decided to be spiritual that day or whatever). (These are my reasons, nothing to do with OP.) Even as an adult, I struggle with dissecting the why of how I feel. It's a huge detriment to me how my brain is wired since I am also an English major and am baffled still why people can't just read a story and enjoy it. Why does it always have to mean something else??I've learned to accept my feeling and have faith that there is reasoning behind them. However, I am also slow to respond or act on things because I prefer to consider the situation carefully. Almost all of the time my feelings were correct. So, if something warrants fast action, I go with my gut as I am willing to defend anything I do based on that.

Winterglow's picture

In an earlier post you said:


"The judge also gave her a stern warning that she will yank this visitation if there are any problems."


I thik it's time your DH either reminded her of that or looked into how to exploit that.

tog redux's picture

yes, agreed. If there is a judge on DH's side, go back and get supervised visitation.  Find the texts between SD and BM and use them.

What she is doing to SD is emotional abuse, and don't think she can't successfully alienate her with as little time as she has. She can. Your DH has to protect his daughter.

SonOfABrisketMaker's picture

I freely admit that I'm not too familiar with the the whole back story. All I can offer is my perspective.

i would be careful about using the judge to control this situation. I would be careful about telling BM to cool it with communication or telling SD that she needs to calm down and submit to DH's authority in his house. That could be interpreted as PAS or threats. "If you don't do what I say, I'll have the judge keep you away from your mother more." Also be careful limiting contact with BM. Back when I was a kid, we had to pay long distance to call my dad. My mom only allowed me to call him once a week and I hated her for controlling my contact with my dad. Also, when he filed for custody of me, one of his arguments was that my mom was monitoring our phone calls and he felt we couldn't have open and honest conversations.

This is such a crappy situation for everyone around. Can I ask what you have to gain by not letting SD love with her mom? It seems like she's at the age where she needs her mom's advice and input. (Not that I believe you aren't doing a great job in that. But.. a mom is a mom.) Why does SD want to live with her mom?

tog redux's picture

This mom is PASing her kid against the dad. She's filling her head with stuff about how she's being maltreated by the father. If she goes to live with her mother, she will soon enough refuse all contact with her father.

I don't know your story - but this one sounds like clear alienation to me - the mother against the father. In your case, your mother may have been alienating you!

Dontfeedthetrolls's picture

I don’t think SonOfaBrisketMaker is saying that her mother was alienating her from her dad. She states that they had to pay for the long distance call and could only do it once a week. When I was growing up we could only call my grandparents once a month because we just couldn’t afford the call.

I think SonOfaBrisketMaker being a child didn’t understand that and reasonably felt that her contact was being denied. It was but not in attempt to alienate the child.

Dontfeedthetrolls's picture

I agree not to use the judge as a threat. In this case though something needs to be done and the judge has made it clear he understands the situation and the harm it’s causing. BD needs to go to court and present them with the facts. Not threaten to try and stop the behavior because of the exact reason’s you said. BM is deliberately upsetting the girl and encouraging her to disobey her father. She is actively working against the best interest of the child. Contact needs to be reduced and supervised till BM learns how to be a parent and stop putting her feelings above the wellbeing of her child.

OP has stated that the girl can’t identify why the girl want’s to live with mom and shared examples of the harm BM is doing to this child. Letting the child go live with mom might make op’s life easier but it comes at the cost of the child’s wellbeing.

CompletelyPuzzled's picture

Court is the next step.  I think the only way to stop the PAS is to take away most of BM's contact.  I just dread it because I remember how hard SD12 took it last time.

I am not angry with SD12.  I am just furious and disgusted with BM. 

Cover1W's picture

I don't think there's too much you can do - really.  DH just went through this with SD15.  It was around late age 13 to early 14 and 6 months later she was gone.  The crying, the whining, the "horribleness" of our home, how she felt "stifled" and "coudn't do anything" and there was "nothing to eat." 

She was constantly on the phone with BM, no limits were placed by DH in his own home.  No limits were every placed on either SD really; DH didn't see it coming.  He's still upset but better and thinking more clearly.  Sure, he could have gone to court, but likely would have ended up losing SD15 anyway and paying more CS plus legal fees.  He doesn't have the ability or income to do this.  He's still paying off the divorce from 8+ years ago. 

He has a counselor which is helping.  He's trying to maintain some sort of distance, emotionally, from BM and SD, but that's hard for him to do.  He's a negotiator - and I have told him that will not work because ultimately BM doesn't care at all about him as a father or if he plays a role in SDs life, just as long as she is #1.  And she's full on Disney! 

We are now watching for the signs in SD12...the phone calls with BM have started and DH has counter-acted them fairly well so far (short of taking her phone which he's considering doing).  She's changing the schedule too, but so far he's rolled over on that which I let him know is a mistake.  I would be very sad to see this happen with SD12 as she's a great kid and pleasant to be around.

I recommend the book "Co-Parenting with a Toxic Ex."  It's about parental alienation and it was shocking to me to read in detail about situations that happened with SD15.  DH still has not read it and I actually told him we will not have too much discussion about any more (unless it's a short convo or yes/no on my part) unless he freaking reads that book.

Gracefulsilver's picture

Before I found this site I never knew what PAS was.  Wow! I see it as one of the most harmful and manipulative tactics that can be used.  I don't undetstand why these "parents" would risk the harm they cause to their own children through this type of manipulation.  My BS and BD have never been denied time with their father.  He was the one that left and signed away his rights and then took off with no contact.  Children are not stupid and will be able to make their own decision when they are old enough.  It is a really sad thing to do to a child.