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Where we are, a year post-reunification

tog redux's picture

Around this time last year, BM took DH to court to get more Child Support and to force him to help pay for SS19's college tuition.  At that time, DH had not seen SS in 2.5 years or even heard one word from him in over a year.  SS was alienated at age 15.  We saw him twice around 16, and then not again until last year this time, when he was 18.5.

After DH reported in court that he was alienated from SS and was given instructions on how to file to try to stop child support, a miracle happened!  SS began responding to DH's emails and texts.  DH had regularly texted him through the entire time of alienation - maybe every month or so, got no response; and suddenly he was responding and willing to meet DH for dinner. 

At first we all were guarded and it was tense and challenging. He'd ignore DH's texts for a few days or not respond at all, then he'd respond again.  He stopped responding for a couple months around Christmas, we didn't see him at all. DH kept trying and he'd eventually respond. 

My DH is not a Disney Dad, he won't buy his son, and he won't stop trying to be a parent.  He would right off the bat call SS on his poor school performance, plan for becoming independent etc.  He hasn't ever been willing to stop being a parent just because SS was alienated.  It was always worrisome to me at first that SS would get mad and disappear, but DH has always believed he has to keep being a father to him no matter what.

Now it's been almost a year.  SS brought a friend over tonight to meet DH, and the three of them went to a car show.  This is the 3rd friend he's met of SS's, including his now ex-girlfriend.  He consistently responds to DH's texts.  He even texted DH from Canada this past weekend when he was traveling with BM. Bear in mind, he hadn't regularly texted DH since the alienation began at age 11 or so, and BM had been the gatekeeper for all communication, so him texted DH while away with BM is huge.

He still hasn't called DH "Dad".  But they seem to be getting closer and I'm hopeful that all of these friends are giving him feedback about us not being the monsters BM says we are (well, DH - she's never targeted me).  He has been down to visit with my family as well, who he hadn't seen in 5 years.

For my part, I started off very anxious and avoided seeing him as much as possible. He did so much lying and manipulating, but SS has always been respectful to me and likes me, so gradually I decided that I would deal with my anxiety and participate in things with him.  I'm still guarded with him, and I will be until he realizes what really happened to him, which may be years.  He's talking now about moving back to Canada to work, he liked some job options he saw up there.  I don't believe he will until BM has collected that last Child Support check 17 months from now, but we will see.

And ... BM is quiet. DH ignored her bullying and harassment and attempts to gatekeep and she's gone quiet, thank god.

Anyway, just reflecting on how far we've come, and maybe giving some hope to those whose skids are alienated (and who are upset by that).   I really didn't think he'd be back until his late 20s, if ever.


Petronella's picture

Great update and the Canada plan sounds best. 

Has SS done anything yet about getting his green card?

What happened with the crazy girlfriend and her civil case?

tog redux's picture

Well, he's still got no money for the Green Card.  His friend tonight said something to him about having "never worked a day in his life" and what a surprise these jobs will be to him. LOL!

Case is dropped, he survived the time down there, and hopefully, he's done with her.

justmakingthebest's picture

I need all the hope I can get!

Thanks Tog! Glad to see that slow, steady and consistent has worked. 

We plan on totally shifting gears when we lose in court next week. At least it will be over for the most part.

tog redux's picture

You're at the worst part, hang in there - letting go of the rope is incredibly hard. Take care of yourselves.

Kes's picture

How refreshing to read such a positive story - congratulations on sticking with it, and for all the hard work I'm sure you and your DH have put in.  

In our case, all NPD BM's considerable efforts at total alienation didn't quite work out, in DH's case, although they did in mine. I don't think my relationship with my SDs will ever be very good as too much damage was done by her. 

tog redux's picture

Yes, my DH has been tenacious and I hope SS appreciates some day that not all fathers would have hung in there like that.

I don't think I'd have stuck around if I were the target. For whatever reason, BM seems to almost like (?) me?  And SS definitely does.

thinkthrice's picture

the "miracle" happened when the courts were willing to stop CS for alienation tactics.  Outside of this SS would not have entered back into your lives with a somewhat better attitude. 

And being in BM-centric NY, your DH lucked out on this as most courts here would not be willing to deplete local CSEU coffers for alienation of a child.

Will be a decade for Chef this Sept. 12th for YSS.   OSS has been moved out for almost 4 years but had made no contact.   He was the most promising emotionally but not much.  Out of the three,  he was the only one with a conscience. 

SD 20.5 who recently moved out I have no hope for and frankly hope she stays away due to her psychotic traits as a child. (animal torture, uber aggressiveness, sexual precociousness, attention whore, miniwifery)

Same with YSS...all the hallmarks of the next school shooter.

tog redux's picture

Maybe it’s the CS issue. But my DH has made effort from the beginning to stay involved and keep communication lines open, which I don’t believe Chef has done. Nor has Chef even mentioned trying to stop CS in court with BM there, has he?

I think my DH has done a lot of things right including taking advantage of a chance to scare BM into opening the gates.  It’s not been just luck. If Chef wants a relationship with his kids, he should have been making that known to them. 

Reunification with an alienated kid is much more likely if the targeted parent makes effort, per the experts. 

Siemprematahari's picture

What a difference a year makes and glad that there has been some progress in SS and H's relationship. My hope is that they continue to build on a stronger bond and that they can both look back on this and know that they are better because of it. You have also had your H's back and having you in his corner has kept him going.

Wishing you all the best!

beebeel's picture

The thing that struck me the most when my alienated SS came back to his dad was how incredibly stunted this kid was/is at 18/19. There was zero maturation during the 2.5 years he was alienated. The kid still acts like he's 15. 

tog redux's picture

Yes, agreed. My SS is the same - he's 19.5, no driver's license, never worked a day in his life, and still 100% dependent on BM; but in denial about all of it.  I was glad to see his friend was calling him on this stuff as DH does. We've offered to help him learn to drive, but he never takes us up on it.  He definitely has not matured.

It will be interesting to see how the next 17 months go, until he turns 21 and no more Child Support is going BM's way.