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PAS at Its Worst- When BM Turns an Entire Family Against the Targeted Parent

GhostWhoCooksDinner's picture

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.


justmakingthebest's picture

Wow... Just wow....

I don't even have words. Are you guys close to your family? Do you have a good friends support system? Family isn't always blood. 

GhostWhoCooksDinner's picture

Thankfully, yes, we are very close with my family. My parents and stepparents love my DH as their own, and tell him so. They lived the nightmare right along with us, and support his decisions 100%. We have a good therapist with lots of experience as well, both professionally and as a SM herself who dealt with PAS from one of her SDs. You're so right- family is what you make it!

beebeel's picture

This has always been one of the worst cases of alienation I have read about here. I'm sorry to see OSS is still playing along with his mother's rewriting of history. They all deserve coal for life!

GhostWhoCooksDinner's picture

And the sad thing is, we really have zero hope for him at this point. None. Especially since DH's OWN FAMILY is basically supporting the whole sick scenario. I mean, if there were consequences, if DH's parents were encouraging him to reconnect with his father, that would be the right thing to do. But no, he gets more money from them than ever, more gifts, more vacations, more attention. They're telling him with their actions that they agree with the PAS. What's SS got to gain by reconnecting with his abusive asshole of a father? (eye roll)

Siemprematahari's picture

It's crazy how BM cheated on your H when they were together, produced a child with her so called HS friend, had the child thinking your H was the father to only tell him years later that he wasn't. This is why this kid needed/ or may still need psychiatric help. It's ashame that your H's family does not see all the damage that was caused and he's the one being penalized for it.

When it comes to toxic people even if they are family they have to be cut off. Your H letting go is the best thing he can do as much as it hurts. I'm sorry he had to go through this and I pray that he gets to place in his life where he heals and knows that he has a wonderful family with you.

GhostWhoCooksDinner's picture

Thank you for your kind words! And the saddest part is, DH is one of the kindest, most decent human beings I know. He regularly goes out of his way to help others with anything. My grandma needs a ride to the salon? DH's on it. Stepdad needs help stacking wood? DH's there. Without a second thought. Just the kind of person for a PASinator to prey on, right? I think BM hates him because he's the kind of person she could never hope to be, and would hate for their kids to unfavorably compare next to him.  

Goodluck's picture

Hi Ghost, I remember you very well. Pathogenic parenting is awful just awful.  As we have learned through the years BM's who do this have zero boundaries. Their intent is to hurt Dh with all intent purposes. Nothing stops them...NOTHING.

Ours has also reached out to our family BM never even met to taunt my DH and I. The kids are now adults (we havent seen nor heard from them in years)  and you would think she would knock it off..........nope. Hell she is over AARP age. My dh still pays cs NOT arrears.

I am sorry and I know this makes you sick in your stomach.  Not sure if your DH is there yet, but we just dont care anymore.  We have lives too.

Ghost I am sorry..

.please dont be a ghost around here. So many famlies need help and understanding. Especially with Pathogenic Parenting.


GhostWhoCooksDinner's picture

Thank you. Maybe I should post about this more. If I can help other people through it, then I've done something good.

I know we all know what PAS is, but I think few of us have seen it at its ugliest and most evil. The power the BM in our scenario has is downright scary.

nengooseus's picture

Our BM has done the same thing to DH.  His dad, to whom DH donated a kidney, called my DH a pu$$y to his face because he didn't kowtow to BM and then, when DH cut him off, took family pictures with BM and her 2nd husband (who she's currently divorcing) that are on full display in their home and on FB.  

Like you, OP, I'm so glad that I can give DH a family.  Maybe not by blood, but definitely with love. 

GhostWhoCooksDinner's picture

He gave him a kidney and got treated like that?!?! Holy c^&%. I sooooo feel your pain!

NO ONE in DH's so-called "family" had better EVER ask us for anything except forgiveness. And even that would be a lot to ask at this point.

tog redux's picture

Ghost, you were always one of my favorite posters! We shared a lot of similarities. I'm glad your DH has been able to find some peace, and it's sad that the peace has to come at the cost of relationships with his kids and his family. But good for him for cutting out that nest of vipers.  I can see how seeing all of those pictures must have set him back emotionally.

My DH had found peace too until BM recently dragged him back to court. I think BM here is the type to continue using the kid as a pawn and a weapon to force DH to engage,  rather than just cutting him out entirely, which would be my preference, since the in and out of our lives is so painful.   I'm thankful that BM's attempts to turn DH's family against him didn't work, and if anything he's gotten closer to them since leaving BM, since she was always subtly undermining his family relationships.

Parental Alienation sucks.  I have a hard time thinking of my SS as a victim anymore, now he's just a willing minion.

GhostWhoCooksDinner's picture

Tog, I always felt like we were living parallel lives! I agree with your sentiment on SS- mine, too, I can't picture as a victim of PAS. He's almost 20 years old, was 16 when he and BM cooked up the whole abuse deal, and knows eactly what he's doing. Is he horribly damaged? Yes, and most likely beyond repair. But he's an adult, and needs to be accountable for his actions at some point.

It just boggles my mind how these so-called parents are capable of using their children as bombs to plant in the "enemy's" camp. It's just so selfish! I'm sorry your BM is still using your SS. It's pathetic.

CLove's picture

Glad to see you back, not glad to hear of the most recent snubbing. Thats horrible! 

DH's family despises BM, Toxic Troll, and now Toxic Feral Eldest is burning her bridges. I would hate if DH's HUGE family were to embrace Toxic Troll. They dont torture us with old photos either. We are included in most everything (well, with me as appendage!) 

Your DH's family - well Karma bus will hit Mil sometime soon. Not that we are wishing it - merely observing it!

GhostWhoCooksDinner's picture

LOL! Yeah, maybe I can't wish it on her, but it WILL come! Maybe when BM gets tired of using her as well. THen again, she never does seem to tire of her favorite game!

I suppose just BEING BM or MIL is Karma enough in a way!

Harry's picture

As time goes on that maybe OSS will reconnect with his father.  YSS has his real father so he a lost. 

STaround's picture

OP's DH WAS a real father to this kid for a number of years.  Hopefully when YSS grows up he will remember that. 

GhostWhoCooksDinner's picture

Maybe. You never know. But I'm far from hopeful. YSS has always been really enmeshed with BM, way more so than OSS.

GhostWhoCooksDinner's picture

Yeah, YSS is definitely a lost cause. For OSS, I think it'll take a major falling out with BM AND DH's family t oeven get him thinking in the right direction. I don't think it'll ever happen, knowing the extent of the pathology with these people. If he does, it'll be a shock. ANd he won't be welcome back into our lives without a heartfelt apology and a sincere, sustained effort at making amends. DH and I are 0% sure that will ever happen.

thiscantbenormal's picture

We are throwing in the towel after this last CPS investigation.  We told the caseworker our concerns of BM engaging in PAS and she said she didn't know what that was and didn't think the kids being able to recite the exact same thing was from them being coached.  

I'm not living in a house with cameras again to protect myself and my baby from lieing kids and their nut mother.  We had to do that in the old house.  We thought it might be okay if DH took kids out to dinner but now I'm thinking he can't safely do that either without wearing a go pro.

I don't know if or when MIL might cross the line to bring BM into the fold in order to see the kids.  If she does it won't bother me one bit to cut her off.

The only blessing to this is I don't have to be exposed to Ss's ultra narcissistic personality and psychotic episodes anymore.  

GhostWhoCooksDinner's picture

It’s sad, but sometimes it’s all you can do. Unfortunately, many CPS caseworkers (and therapists and judges, for that matter) aren’t well versed in the dynamics of PAS, so nothing is done about it. At least not until it’s far too late. Living without the presence of a toxic entity is far better than having to live in fear of what’s going to hit the fan next, because something always does happen, and it’s never ending. I hope you and your family come to find peace with your situation!