You are here

Anyone with a PAS success story?

GrudgingSM's picture

I'm wondering if I'm anyone's situation their skids realized the PAS was Going on, and if so, at what ages. I'm an SK who became a SM with a dynamic verrrrry similar to how I grew up. I realized my mom was a classic HCBM in my early 20s, but my siblings never did. To them, she's a saint, One of the Most victimized victims in the history of victiming.

i also ask because one of my skids has been really desperate for connection (sD12, don't think it's manipulative, seems genuine). I both care and want to try but also feel there's no way it ends well. Her mom has tried sending secret messages to me through the kids and they are deeply enmeshed. But I don't want to give up on this kid and am hoping there are stories out there that could give me some hope. Also, I know this is StepTalk so you can give me all the reality too.


bananaseedo's picture

Yes and no.  SD was pas'd by BM but SD also didn't much take the bait, she remained close and loved her dad.  We struggled with mini-wife syndrome mostly and there were shows of PAS but we fought it.  That said, nowadays they aren't super close.  They talk on the phone every few weeks, we haven't seen her much since Covid and she lives only minutes away.  So it's not a distant/cold relationship but not super close either. 


bananaseedo's picture

It's ok.  I prefer it this way to be honest.  I can only take her in small doses and so can DH to be perfectly honest.  We are content with where we are overall. 

MissK03's picture

Well this isn't really a success story but, in my situation the skids "see" to an extent of who BM is. 

There isn't really PAS because they live with us 100% full time for 3 years now and before that was EOWE but, the handful of times a year she does see them she tries to (especially with SD13) make her "pick BM" over me. 

It doesn't work and I feel bad for SD when she puts her in these situations. Example: she took SD for a few hours a few months ago (first time since august 2019) and instead of just enjoying her time she spent x amount of minutes talking crap about me. (SD told me about this convo a week later) So I guess you could say it's PAS but, because she rarely sees them it doesn't work.

It won't work on SS16, and I'm disengaged from SS17 because he is just like her so I'm sure they have tagged team via text. Which whatever don't care. 

BM focuses on me not SO. She wouldn't talk crap about him...only me. Ya know, it's my fault I changed their whole dynamic of her using SO. Her infamous line she uses on SD "those are the things I should be doing." BUT never did and still hasn't attempted too. So I am the bad guy for doing it. LOLL ok BM! 

She also sends constant time hops to skids from when they were babies/toddlers to remind them she is their "mother." And mommy loves. Gag! Also, she sends mother/daughter memes to SD like she's around to actually parent her. In BM's head though she is a "good" mom. 

She lives 10 minutes away and goes months without seeing them. She hasn't seen them since Christmas which was for 3 hours. 

Now, what the future holds... who knows. Things can always change. I'm always slighted mentally prepared for it. 

With BM it was always about control over SO. He wa ssupppse to be her forever back burner. If it really was about skids she would see them... which she doesn't. 

GrudgingSM's picture

It's wild to me that so many parents can be like this and justify it. 10 minutes away and never sees her kids?!?! It's also surprising how much biology plays a role, how even with almost no visitation the SS is still so much like her that those genetics dominate. Makes me feel hopeless.

MissK03's picture

BM and SS17 are forever victims. Genetics took over 100% with him. Also, if you were to meet BM you would have no idea she is so uninvolved in their lives. She puts on a good show. Yeah she texts them and stuff but, she has zero obligation to them. 

We never talk about her in our house. We just live our lives and she lives hers. 

I laugh every year because for Christmas I take pictures of the skids for SO and I get prints and a frame for BM too. I started this when things were "cool." I hate doing it now but, try to be the bigger person. So every Christmas I look at her Facebook because BAM cover story of the picture I took. I say to SO I'm so lucky I made the cover story again this year. SO would text her pictures of their first day of school BAM cover story haha. It's all about an image. It's not reality. Delusional. 

ExhaustedByItAll's picture

My DH was alienated from his dad as a kid. He never hated his dad, but hated all of the grief he got from his mom whenever he saw his dad. He said it was nonstop interrogation and bad mouthing, anything he did that she didn't like, "you're just like your father". He reconnected with his dad after he turned 18 and moved in with him, stepmom and step/half siblings.

His sister didn't catch on until much later. She bought the us vs them mentality, he chose his new family over you two, he doesn't pay me any money, I'm the victim! hook, line and sinker. She reconnected with her dad when she was in her mid-30s, though she is still heavily enmeshed with their mom. Example: her mom didn't speak to her for 2 years because her daughter was "ungrateful" for all grandma had done for her, mom told DH that sister wasn't talking to her. Out of the blue, mom starts texting her again and they reconnect, mom starts trying to cause issues between DH and sister. DH asks, "why would you believe her? She hasn't spoken to you in 2 years over what?" Sister backpedals and backs mom, now DH and sister aren't talking...and the cycle continues...

GrudgingSM's picture

I'm glad you're SS sees it, though it sounds like she made him the black sheep with the "you're so much like your father" stuff. I wonder if it's harder for SD if she's the BMs Golden child. 

ExhaustedByItAll's picture

That was my DH and his sister many years ago and yes, his sister was the golden child. 

My skids, SS and SD, and both on the PAS path hardcore. BM plays them off each other, whoever hates dad the most is her favorite.

GrudgingSM's picture

Sigh. I'm so sad that people do this to their kids. Is it a little hard that my bio has a stepmom? Yes. But any damage I did to that relationship or with his dad would hurt you kid, and you always have to love your kid more than you hate your ex. I'm glad your DH was able to heal and see things for what they are.

Daisymazy2's picture

 My XH and I had 3 boys.  When we divorced, my oldest BS was 12 years old.  I was very close to all my boys.  I was a Stay at home mom and involved a lot at school.

When Oldest BS was 14 years old, his attitude  start changing. He was no longer my sweet little boy.  I thought he was just being a typical teenager with an attitude.  He decided that summer he was moving in with his dad and NEVER wanted to see me again. He wouldn't tell me why but he told me that he hated me.  XH took me to court and sued for custody of him. He won because Oldest BS told the judge he wanted to live with him.

 I tried for years to speak to my son.  He refused.  I stepped back from his life.  It was VERY hard. I would buy him a Christmas gift and a birthday gift every year.  I didn't have any other contact with him.  He wouldn't answer my calls and XH wasn't going to allow him to see me.  I felt that my BS had died and I was grieving his death.  

When he was around 20 or 21 years old he moved out of his dad's home.  He would come around from time to time and would talk to me some. He mostly just wanted to visit with his brothers.  He was still VERY loyal to his dad.  I didn't push a relationship with him.

 Around this time, my middle son, age 17, told me that he was not going back to his dad's house and that he was living with me. I was totally blind sided again. I didn't see this one coming either. 

At this time,  Middle BS informed me that his dad and girlfriend/wife were trash talking about me for years.  I couldn't believe all the lies they were telling my kids about me.  

XH and I had agreed that we wouldn't trash talk the other one in front of the kids.  I was stupid enough to believe he wasn't doing it.  I wasn't talking bad about him in front of the kids.  I waited until I was around my friends to do that away from the kids.  I just didn't realize the crap my kids were exposed to at his house.  Both XH and his wife drank a lot.  They were often sloppy drunk around the kids. My kids were threatened that if they told me, they would be in trouble. 

 I was invited to my oldest BSs wedding. After BS and his wife had their first baby,  I proceeded with caution and asked if I could stop by and see the baby. He allowed it.   I would schedule a visit with him twice a month to see the baby.

When the baby was a few months old, BS and his dad had a huge fight and didn't speak to each other for almost a year.  During that time, I was still visting the baby and would listen to BS and his problems with his dad. I just listened to him talk about his dad and is stepmom.  I never said anything bad about either one to him.  Because his Dad and stepmom refused to speak to him, I believe it opened a door for me to walk in. 

We are not as close as I would like to be BUT I do get to be grandmother to his two kids.  We try to visit each other a few times a month.  We were getting together about once a month for lunch or dinner before Covid.

It amazes me that XH was able to brainwash one child but not the other two.  

GrudgingSM's picture

I'm so sorry your XH did that to both you and your son. That's awful. But I'm glad you've come out in the other side of it. Still, my god, all those years grieving and feeling like you had lost him. Nothing makes up for that, and I'm really sorry.

Wicked stepmo.'s picture

I was able to watch first hand former SIL alienate her two younger children from their father. The oldest fought it at first but eventually the mindf@$king got to her and she began to believe that all of BMs problems were her father's fault and she directed all her anger onto her father.

So BMs mental instability and financial irresponsibility are dad's fault. The child's stress and anxiety caused daily by BMs mental instability, is dad's fault. If dad didn't leave it wouldn't be this way. Even though it's the exact reason dad left.

The younger child I don't believe is PASd but she is too scared of BM to not behave as she is told. Therefore she does not ask to see her father.

OSD has PASd out, which is fine by me because of her being a mini me to BM. YSD is still very close with her father and her way of coping with BMs PAS is to bind with BM over her hatred for me. I accept I am the sacrificial lamb. 

Just like my SIL oldest, all of YSDs hurt and pain caused by her relationship with BM is my fault. If I didn't exist her life would be better. Her relationship with BM would be better. 

I don't lose sleep over it. If that's the lie she needs to tell herself to get through the day, it is what it is.

Gimlet's picture

If dad didn't leave it wouldn't be this way. Even though it's the exact reason dad left.

That was the gist here as well.  BM leaned on OSS heavily after the divorce and I think a lot of his anger at his dad is based on that.  By treating him as the "man of the house" but also not teaching him adult skills (and making it so he didn't want to listen to DH about a damn thing), she now has this weird, stunted man child who is enmeshed with her, feels obligated to her, but also doesn't understand how credit works.   It's bizarre.

DH left an unhealthy and dead marriage, but I think all OSS sees is that he had to step in to "be there for his mom".

GrudgingSM's picture

It's so weird how similar so many of our stories can be. DH hates it when I "call" the future but I've already been right so many times because his ex follows all of these patterns.

Winterglow's picture

I have a partial one. My ex-SIL did her damndest to PAS all 3 of her kids (including whisking them 11 hours away to her parents' place when my brother said he wanted a divorce). It worked perfectly on the two eldest but not on the  youngest one (probably because, at age 7, he realized he could really cash in on the situation lol) who decided that he would certainly go to his father's for visitation. Ex-SIL forbade him to ever be anywhere near his SM resulting in the kid making up lies about going camping alone with his father just to shut her up.

Anyway, fast forward more than 20 years. He refers to SM's daughters as his "sisters" (no "step" about it) and his SM as his other mum. He got married last year and his SM was at the top table with the other two mothers because as far as he was concerned it was her place. She got all the honours that the other two mums got. I was thrilled for her and proud of my nephew. 

ESMOD's picture

It's interesting how you can put multiple kids into the same situation... and get different results.  I'm not sure how it works with only kids.. but it kindof seems like the best chance most kids have to be immune to PAS is when they are the younger child and their parent's breakup happened when they were fairly young..  With the right circumstances.. you can get results like the one with your nephew.

I think with older kids... they are more likely to end up in these loyalty binds where they feel like they have to 'take care" of their mother.. and I know in my SD's situation.. that was probably true.  BM has never been super stable with employment, men, housing.  I think to an extent the older child felt alliegance and despite the fact that she was a daddy's girl (apparently.. I didn't meet her until 3-4 years after the divorce) she sided with mom.. and in fact was very ready to believe mom's narrative that "daddy abandoned you".  

The younger girl was a toddler when they split up.. and she was the one that was perfectly willing to accept me in her dad's life.  To this day (she is 22).. we are close.. she comes to me for advice (before mom).. and while I wouldn't call it an overly parental relationship I have with her.. we do have a close relationship.. this is all in spite of the fact that her "crazy mother" to this day punishes her for any knowledge that she is spending time with us.. etc..  She refuses to turn her back on us.. because she knows we are there for her.. and as I have reiterated.. loving her dad doesn't mean that she loves her mom less.. and she doesn't have to choose.. so she doesn't .. and usually her mom just gets over her snit.

The older child.. is actually a bit distant from BOTH her parents now (at 26).. she resents both her parents for "ruining her childhood".. her dad for abandoning her .. for both of them not giving her what she should have been entitled to.. new cars.. designer clothes etc..   The rich irony is that she got PG by her BF.. and they have gotten married.. but it is not a super happy relationship.. and was not started out with love as much as it was started out of a sense of obligation to provide their child with a home with both parents.... I know she struggles.. and as I told her when she was pregnant.. "this is your opportunity to do things differently than your parents did.. but I think both your parents did the best they could.. you may also find it isn't as easy as you thought it should be"  I think she kind of gets that now.. staying in a less than great relationship is a tough pill to swallow.. even if you think it's best for your kids... it's YOUR life too.. and it's hard.

GrudgingSM's picture

My siblings and I all feel differently about our parents divorce and all of DH's kids land somewhere different on the spectrum too. And they all hear the same PAS. It's weird.

thinkthrice's picture

To me, not having the the ferals setting their cloven hooves over my threshold in well over a decade is a PAS success story.