PAS at Its Worst- When BM Turns an Entire Family Against the Targeted Parent
I haven't written about my own situation in a while, but something came up yesterday that got me ticked off all over again.
First, a quick backstory for those who don't know: When DH and I met, he had two sons, ages 10 and 5. They were overall good kids, we really hit it off, and all was well. When we married, OSS was 13 and YSS was 8. Like flipping a switch, the PAS hit. The skids stopped listening and following the rules at our house. They started hiding out in their rooms and not interacting with anyone. Within six months, YSS started the "I KNOW you're not my real dad" comments, and sure enough, this was eventually confirmed by a DNA test. Not that it mattered to either DH and I; that was his son. BM admitted that her current DH (who had been a friend since high school) was YSS's biofather, she TOLD this to YSS, and eventually, he was completely alientaed from DH. Shortly before he turned 9, he was admitted to a psychiatric hospital for suicidal ideation. His psychiatrist recommended that we let him go as he was "caught in the crossfire," and let him be with his biological parents. After many agonizing weeks full of tears and grief, DH let him go. He was adopted by his biofather and his name changed. Within six months after that, OSS stopped talking to us completely. He would come over for his weeks and literally speak not one word to anyone, even when directly spoken to. Right before Thanksgiving four years ago, CPS was at our door. OSS and BM had cooked up false abuse claims, and that was it for us. Due to the horrific nature of the claims, which were quickly unfounded, OSS was no longer welcome in our home. We haven't seen or heard a word from him since, except for two texts: one to ask for his PlayStation and one to berate DH for being a "father and not a friend, like you should be."
OK, maybe this backstory hasn't exactly been quick. Anyway, after YSS's adoption, DH's parents started treating DH like crap. We'd attend family functions, only to be shunned, ignored. MIL (%^&ing rotten b&*%) became quite vocal about how he was a terrible father, and her own father abandoned her so how could he be so cold, blah blah blah. (MIL's father didn't "abandon" her; he moved to the next town over, remarried, and saw her every other weekend and holidays). FIL just went along with everything because he kowtows to MIL and doesn't want to deal with her passive-aggressive "punishments." DH quickly grew tired of the toxic BS and stopped having contact with his parents and sister (MIL's minion). The final blow was when MIL insinuated that maybe DH really was abusive, and that his kids are probably better off without him. (She KNOWS better!!)
We still send birthday and Christmas cards to the ILs, but that's it. MIL and BM (who absolutely DESPISED each other when BM and DH were married) have since become BFFs. They vacation together, they attend all of the skids' events together, etc. The ILs have absolutely no boundaries when it comes to information sharing or family loyalty, and we have no place for that in our life. They made the choice, really; we did the only thing left for us to do.
Anyway, what happened yesterday was this: One of DH's work friends asked if he had heard anything lately from OSS. DH said no. She asked if OSS (now almost 20) had ever graduated high school (he was due to graduate this past June). That got DH wondering, so he checked MIL's Facebook page, and found pictures of OSS at his high school graduation, flanked by BM and MIL, all smiling radiantly. There were other pictures with the skids and BM that included FIL, sister-in-law, sister-in-law's EX-HUSBAND, BM's DH, and our niece and nephew. It hit DH pretty hard. We know the ILs have a close relationship now with BM and the skids, but seeing all the happy family pictures just really affected him. (This is why we don't have social media!) His family, who live three states away, are regularly in the area for skid events, 20 minutes away from our home, and it's like DH and our family don't exist. They see nothing wrong with what they're doing, and no one will ever be able to open their eyes.
Normally, parents who PAS their kids alienate the targeted parent's family as well. But that wouldn't be enough for BM. She wanted to really put the screws to DH and alienate HIS FAMILY against him. She knows MIL and her weaknesses, she exploited them, and she succeeded. In BM's mind, SHE wins. Not only does she have the kids all to herself, but she's got HIS family too, as her own. She was always envious that DH and his family were close while she's estranged from pretty much everyone in hers. Turning his family to the dark side was the ultimate coup de grace.
She can have them. They've shown her true colors. They can all rot in their dysfunction together. DH is happy. He has a wife who loves him, a stepson who respects the he&* out of him and who he considers a son, and yes, he has a family. My family. My parents are "Mom" and "Dad." My grandmother adores him. My four siblings and their partners are his siblings. They know he's a good man and they love him dearly.
I'd wish for Karma to come for all of them, but I'm not the kind of person to wish for bad things for others.