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SKs finally seeing "the truth"

young_step_mom's picture

Does this ever happen?

I have a coworker who knows a bit about my situation, and he told me about two of his adult kids who refuse to see/speak to him because of PAS from their mother growing up.  He didn't tell me ages or specifics about their situation, just that they are both adults and that he hasn't seen or spoken to either of them in years.

DH on the other hand, has a coworker who moved in with his dad when he was 12 because of PAS from his mom.  He told DH that he started to "see the truth" and began to realize that his mother was lying to him about his father and that HE asked his dad if he could move in and his dad pushed custody.  He says he still has a relationship with his mother but isn't particularly close with her.

In our current situation, if things stay the course, I see us ending up as my coworker.  SS is 11, so to me that means that he is old enough to not believe BM or her family blindly in whatever they have been telling him about DH.  DH of course thinks the exact opposite, that SS will eventually want to live with us because I guess one day he will just wake up, have an epiphany, and realize BM and her family are liars.

I guess I'm just wondering about people here, how much do kids believe and do they ever actually have that epiphany where they realize what's going on?

Let me just make a note that for the most part, even though we have had issues with BM through the years, SS has been a good kid, we (especially DH) have a good relationship with him and the PASing is really a result of DH contesting the CS increase she is requesting and we THINK that once things settle down again, she'll stop messing with SS (although I don't really anticipate that to be the case for another year or so).


hereiam's picture

With my SD27, it's weird. She knows her mom has lied to her about DH and yet, when she's mad at DH, she throws all of the lies in his face, as if they are truth. DH and I have been together since SD was 5, so a lot of years for BM to lie and alienate.

BM has raised her to be co-dependent, so SD is very dependent on her. It's convenient, and in her best interest, to just stay loyal to her mother. Sometimes, it seems that she WANTS to believe the lies. Maybe that's easier than admitting that her mother damaged the relationship and that she let it continue, even as an adult, when she knew better.

I just can't care anymore.

Maxwell09's picture

My skid is still young but I tend to believe he will end up PAS-ed against us or at the very least never see "the light" that is BM's lying, decietful antics. DH assumes SS will get tired of our rules and expectations to go live with BM where he runs things as mini-husbands do, but then he thinks he will get sick of her bipolar tendencies and blackmail style of affection and come back to us. I have little hope for this as I assume once BM gets her claws that deep into SS, she won't let him go because she knows that is her ultimate revenge against DH. 

ntm's picture

GUBM is the be-all and end-all. I think it takes a level of critical thinking skills that some are better at than others. DH’s adult daughters are severely lacking in that area. 

ESMOD's picture

I think it somewhat depends... some kids are very aware of their parent's limitations and still love their parent.  My SD's have no illusions really about their mother.. but they still love her.  They won't lend her money

I think it is possible for kids to see the BS their PAS ing parent throws.. unfortunately there can be an awful amount of guilt and the kid can see negative consequences if the pas parent is sick enough to literally make loyalty to them a condition of their love or other benefits to the kid.

It also depends on the nature of the child... if your SS is generally a good kid and he still spends decent amount of time with you and your DH.. he won't be able to ignore the fact that some things his mom said are not true.

Then never really know.  If mom punishes him enough for loving his dad he may withdraw.

young_step_mom's picture

I'm sure SS will never stop loving BM, even if he does eventually realize that she is a liar.  She definitely uses her love and affection to punish him, when he was here for Christmas she asked him to bring her back some donuts from a shop in our city.  Well the last day he was here she started texting him asking if he had bought her donuts.  SS said we hadn't and she started telling her he obviously didn't love her, and he hadn't missed her or thought about her the whole time he was with us.  It was ridiculous.

ESMOD's picture

sounds like my BM situation.  My YSD went on a day trip with my DH and I to Southern MD and BM called and gave her heck for being with us and told her she must love her dad more and then literally BLOCKED her number!!!  The girl was 19 at the time.. nice huh?



thinkthrice's picture

my skids are permanently PASed out.  Just checked my calendar and it's been almost 9 years since we've not heard one syllable or seen one hair of YSS 15.5.

Older skids are driving now and are young adults; the hatred is still strong. 

I also worked with a guy who refused to see his dad because of his mom's PAS campaign.  He was in his late twenties/early thirties at the time.  I think if the PAS gets ahold early on and campaigns 24/7 for a number of years, there is little hope for them to have an epiphany.

I know that is the dream that all alienated parents have but it's not reality according to my experience.   Chef's acquaintences are always telling him "there's always hope that they will come back."  I sincerely doubt it.  Chef set the dangerous precedent early on by letting the Gir take the reins and walk all over him (and me.)  Chef rarely tells anyone now that he actually has children.  It just doesn't come up.   Fortunately my well-raised bios have stepped up to the plate and accepted Chef.

Cover1W's picture

SD14 started asking DH why he and BM weren't together about 2 years ago.  He kept it non-committal in that they were not compatible.  He kept the truly awful behavior of BM quiet - in fact, to this day, he still doesn't know what happened as BM is not exactly a talker or one to actually communicate well at all.  He was very hurt and while the SDs know something happened they aren't sure what.  Well, until DH laid into SD14 around April becuase she just pushed him too far.  He told her exactly what happened and how BM behaved and how horrible she was during the divorce.  He didn't go into details, but IMHO, he did say a little too much.

SD14 ended up crying and crying all night.  Because she really didn't want to hear it. 

Then she ran back to BM who called DH and told him basically to 'shut up' about it and now SD14 has disappeared from our home.  Because she (likely) believes only BM who is very, very good at blaming DH for everything and making accusations about behavior that never happened.

So I don't think that SD14 will have a 'revelation' about it - BM is too good at the blame game for that and SD14 is learning very well from her how to avoid conflict and get what she wants. 

I only hope that this doesn't repeat with SD12.

Iamwoman's picture

It is extremely rare for a person who has been PAS’d from one parent by the other to eventually accept the truth about everything.


We are hardwired in our childhood. How would you like to wake up one day to discover that everything you’ve ever been told by your own mother is a lie?

Imagine yourself being kidnapped at the age of one or around that time. Your kidnapper is a woman who cannot conceive on her own and really wants a baby, so she lovingly raised you as her own. 

She sacrifices for you, feeds, clothes, shelters you. Buys you toys you desire for holidays, takes you on vacations. Heck, maybe she kidnapped others and you have siblings who are just as brainwashed.

Then... one day when you are a teenager or older, you see your face in the Missing Person’s Database. You subsequently discover that you were stolen from another very loving family, and that you’ve missed out on what should have been your original life with your bio mom and dad.

Do you say eff off to the only mother you’ve ever known, and run crying into a stranger’s (your real mom’s) arms? 

Probably not.

You would be traumatized. You would have conflicting feelings for the rest of your life. You would try to bond with your original family, but would never forget who actually raised you. You may hate your kidnapper-mom, but you would love her too, because she was the only mom you knew. 

You would have questions but probably be afraid of the answers. You may or may not want to know all of the answers.

You may swing back and forth between families. You would certainly never again trust anyone who claims to love you.

This is why PAS is so incredibly damaging. If you choose to remain PAS’d, you hate one of your parents forever while retaining a sneaking suspicion that the target parent isn’t all that bad. If you choose to accept reality, then you also have to accept that your entire life has been nothing but a house of cards, and that the one person you trusted the most spent your life lying to you - followed by having to rebuild the past in your own mind through stories, anecdotes, etc so that you’re not left with a gaping hole in your past.


The OP’s example of a child seeing the light was realistic because the child was still very young and malleable. There will still be damage from the lies though.

young_step_mom's picture

This is the saddest and scariest thing I have read on this site.  To be honest, I had been a bit pissed at SS that he so easily believed his BM and her family but your example seriously made me tear up for him.  I had not thought about it like that, but you are absolutely right.  It makes me all the more angry at BM for doing this to her own kid.  She is literal trash.  

elkclan's picture

I do not think you can ever put the responsibility on the child. The child HAS to believe what the primary custody parent says because on an instinctual level, they believe that there surivival depends on it. Children are unable to feed, clothe, defend themselves, and they are unable to 'see' things clearly - esp not at age 11. My son is being raised part time by a racist, homophobic, sexist, anti-Semitic father, I see him struggling to deal with these issues. My partner is Jewish. He's not observant or even religious at all (in fact, I would like us to be more involved with the local as it's got a nice community feel and I have long time friends who are members and have been attending functions there for years before I met him).  We didn't make a big deal out of my partner's Jewishness, because I didn't think it's something we needed to 'declare', and frankly I didn't want my ex to know, but my son was a little shocked when he found out from OSS. I don't think this was my son's fault. This is my ex's fault.

My OSS is having issues of jealousy now because his dad spends more time with my son than he does with his own son. OK, that's on him, but that's a natural feeling. But BM is ramping this up and whipping it up his mind and so enmeshed she involved OSS in a letter to my partner that said "the kids need to feel like they are enough for you and that you don't need anyone else". WTF? Sorry, I love my son but he is not 'enough' for me. My life is so much better with a loving adult partner who helps me share the adult burdens of life and partakes in other adult activities with me - both bedroom type ones and just having adult conversations. Children should not be a replacement for other adult relationships. Also, my partner is not 'enough' for me - I need to have other friends and a job and all sorts of stuff - no one should be someone else's everything. 

My mother PAS'd me - and it took me a long time to see it - it wasn't made easier by the fact that some of the things she said were the absolute truth and my dad had zero business having custody of us - given that he was an active alcoholic. But it was more about her being the saint, the martyr and the only one who cared about us - she talked down everything about my dad's family - it took me years to see that actually she's hypercritical of everyone and tried to alienate me not only from my dad's family but from her side of the family as well. She couldn't stand that her first cousin, who frankly everyone loved and was one of the funniest people I've ever met, got lots of love from the whole small town they live in when she was dying from cancer. Somehow my mom made it all about her. Whenever I go to visit (I live in another country) my mother does whatever she can to keep me away from extended relatives. But I am almost 50 and it took me until my 30s to see what was up. 

Ispofacto's picture

The thing is, many of these BMs are NOT nurturing.

Our BM is almost a worst case scenario pyschopath.  BM PASed the living shite outta SD, but the only reason she didn't succomb completely was at some level, SD is afraid of being completely at her mother's mercy.  Our BM is downright dangerous.  But SD doesn't want to admit to herself that she is a product of someone so deraged, so she'll never completely "see the light".  And playing the victim fits in with the worldview her rolemodel taught her.

So SD acts like we are terrorists, but won't go along with false abuse charges, for her own sake, not ours.  

Our SD also knows at some level who butters her bread.  She will never get anything from her lazy, greedy BM, but DH and I are well off, so she wants things from us.

strugglingSM's picture

We're more likely to end up like your co-worker. Right now, my SSs still enjoy spending time with DH, but they also ignore him when they are not around and they definitely don't see him as a parent and BM has convinced one that the divorce was DH's fault (in reality, she filed for divorce because she met someone else - they were both miserable, but BM never would have been able to be single). 

DH also believes that someday, SSs will see the truth and realize how manipulative and terrible BM is. For their sake I hope they do, because she already totally manipulates both of them - not just in relation to DH, but in relation to everything - and sooner or later her BPD victim routine will be directed straight at them.

My assumption is also that BM's current SO (they tell people they are married, but they are not actually legally married) will be gone as soon as he's gotten BM to pay for college for his child (BM's SS) or as soon as BM figures out that he's a fraud and using her just as much as she used DH (she would probably never want to admit that publicly, so she may just keep him around to avoid being outed). I did a google search on him and found an active dating profile, so I'm assuming he's already looking around for his next target. When that happens, SSs will be in trouble, because she won't be able to blame DH for that, so they'll be the only ones available for blame.