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Do they ever overcome PAS?

Lndsy747's picture

I have a 16 year old SD that I've known for 10 years. Her mom has always alienated her and our relationship/time since with her has been on and off and at this point she's back to not speaking with us again. She blames her dad and feels like he doesn't want to be in her life even though she makes the decision to stop coming over each time. We always felt like she would eventually see who her mom is and would realize that this want the truth. I wish I had heard of PAS previously.

Over the summer I had some good conversations with her when she was spending time with us and she sees that her mom's behavior isn't normal but that didn't keep he from running back and cutting is off again 

For those of you who have Skids that are now adults. Did they ever have a breakthrough and change? Did something happen to make them see the truth if so? Or should I just be happy I no longer have to deal with them again and move on with my life?

Kes's picture

In answer to your question, do they ever have a breakthrough and change?  My answer is not so far, no.  I met my SDs when they were age 5 and 7, their mother started PAS'ing them against me, but their Dad as well to some degree, straight away, before she'd even met me!  And it's not as if I split her and DH up or anything bad like that - they'd already split when I met him. 

The SDs are now 21 and 23 - they still hate me - and I can't stand the sight of them.  For me it's got worse over the years, I used to try and do stuff like get them birthday and Xmas presents that they'd like - but I've completely stopped all that now. I can chat to the elder one if she ever comes around, which is about two or three times a year - but only as you'd talk to an acquaintance - there's no real warmth to it.  SD21 I just totally can't stand at all.  She does things like correct me when we're speaking.  I imagine some SKIDs grow up and get a bit of sense, enough to realise that their SP isn't their enemy - but mine never have. 


tog redux's picture

My SS18 was fully alienated for 3.5 years and in that time, I did a lot of research on it.  The consensus is that yes, most kids do figure it out, usually by late 20's. It's best just to keep in touch with them as much as you can and let them know the door is always open.

My SS18 is not "alienated" anymore, in the sense that he now speaks to DH, but he's still fully under BM's control and so he still hasn't figured it out.  He's only back at her urging, we believe, out of concern she could lose child support if he won't speak to DH.  He has a long way to go to see what's been done to him.

hereiam's picture

My SD27 knows who and what her mother is. She is still up her ass, and still has an attitude towards her dad. They talk on the phone but rarely see each other.

I think she still believes all of the crap BM has fed her over the years. And, I'm sure she believes that things would be different if I weren't in the picture.

After 22 years, I just don't care.

Lndsy747's picture

SD referred to her mom as being shady this summer and knows her own family doesn't trust her so I was thinking with distance she'd turn around. Her mom does like to be the center of everything so I can see her continuing and I'm sure she'll learn to play the victim like her mom boohooing about how her dad never loved her

2Tired4Drama's picture

I think in most instances PAS is something that BMs do.  While I am sure there are fathers that PAS, it's not nearly as frequent.  Probably because "mother love" is the strongest love there is and it is very territorial.  If a woman feels her child (no matter the age) could be taken from her in any way shape or form she will do what she can to ensure that doesn't happen.  This includes alienating the BF even if he is single and not in a relationship.   

That's why I think PAS is very difficult to combat.  I know it is possible for some kids to come around as they get older but many do not.  Don't count on it.  When it comes to your SD, keep your emotions in check and expectations at very, very low.

In our case, SD28 has not come around and never will.  Her mother did a rock-solid job of ensuring SD understands that her father and his family are not worthy of her consideration.  Now that SD is married, her husband is also following suit.  BM is fully integrated into their lives and her dad is fully excluded. 

My advice is to fully follow the practice of disengagement NOW.  You don't have to make any big announcement about it, it can be silent and subtle.  Find excuses not to spend time with SD when and if she visits; let her have that time with her dad.  Stop asking questions about her or having conversations with your DH about the relationship with SD.  And most importantly, don't say another word to SD about her mom, her own attitude, or anything else related to her relationship with her dad.  Stay out of it.

Naturally, your SD is a teen and you expect distancing at this stage of life.  But it is not the same when you add years of PAS on top of it.  We hoped that our SD would come around as she matured, but unfortunately, the distance she mastered in her teens has only continued well into her adulthood.  She is a well-oiled PAS machine.  I fully expect that when and if gskids arrive, my SO will also be cut out of their lives.  

Be prepared for the heartache which your DH will exhibit at some point when he realizes that this situation will probably not get better.  



Lndsy747's picture

No need to disengage since she's not talking to us again but I do wonder if she'll resurface again. I will definitely step back if she does and not be as involved. SO and I have decided we are no longer going to try to save her from BM if she returns and that she needs to apologise for her actions before she's welcome back.

lala-land's picture

I think some grow up and eventually realize that you and your DH are decent human beings and the relationships can be improved.  Unfortunately for these stepkids, they may have so damaged their relationship with either of you by the time they sort things out,  that reconciliation is near impossible.  I think there is only so many times that you can be a Charlie Brown to their Lucy (remember the football comic strip).

Lndsy747's picture

That's definitely where I'm at now. I'm done feeling like she needs to be saved. Her mom created this monster and they can deal with each other. We've tried to offer help multiple times and she runs back to mom. I would like it if she came back around to visit but she is no longer welcome for more than a weekend.

Ispofacto's picture

The disordered thinking these skids are exposed to is not limited to their attitude towards their dad, it's very pervasive.  They are empathy-challenged.  Nacissism breeds narcissism, and these kids are messed up in most aspect of their lives, particularly all of their relationships.  They are damaged, and they will be toxic to some degree their whole lives.


Lndsy747's picture

She has few relationships with friends and is quick to cut them off when something goes wrong too. She also seems to have Daddy issues already seeking attention from guys however she can get it so I have no doubt the damage is deep.

Goodluck's picture

I suggest to you reading and watching everything by Dr. Craig Childress. Go to youtube....type in Dr Craig Childress

Watch all of his short vids. They are numbered.

A few things I have learned along the way, they are.

At age 18 a kid who has met the criteria for Pathogenic Parenting will NOT all of a sudden run back to dad who was ncp and NOW/WAS the target parent.  THAT is not what Pathogenic Parenting looks like.

There is NOTHING you or anyone else can do until the bio kid is in protective custody and is completely away from Pathogen ie bm in your case. BM needs professional treatment independently all by herself AND is closely monitored by Professional skilled Phd in Psychology  Kids will also need Phd in Psychology  to help them , Visitation can resume when BM knocks it off.  IF bm reoffends,,no visits.

Some families never recover because Pathogen has surrounded herself with other family on her side who ALSO take over for Pathogen in Pathogens absence. IF you look real hard at BM' family---you may see Granny did this also to her kids (now bm).

Amy Jo Baker is no help...she misses the mark AND pushes her books feverishly to parents who are deep in the hell of it. I finally Blocked her at what was our lowest lowest point. 

Pathogenic Parenting is Child Psychological Abuse. It is a mental health problem and not should NOT be a Family Court Problem because Family Court is unable to deal with it proficiently. A skilled Psychologist can.

 Kids do not reject a parent unless Pathogenic Parenting is present. They don't. Kids will get mad,, ignore and retreat away from parents THEN they will sheepishly tip toe back to their 'clan'. THAT is normal.

 I am scared to go to dads...dont make me gooooo. I want a relationship with dadddd buttttttt I feeeel better with my mom. MOM all wonderful, dad bad man.

Teens take over where a pathogen could no longer break thru. When teen takes over it may become very scary for target home and target family. It may becomes a safty concern. Bios between dh' and sm are also targets, no one in the target home is off limits. Injuries occur, always accidents...personal belonging missing, broken, animals inside target parents home are also injuried.

OH, know what your dealing with. IT IS OK to say...not in our home anymore. You are required to protect your own bio's if you have any. And yourself too.

Remember Dr. Childress....


Lndsy747's picture

Thank you for your response I will definitely take a look at the videos because so much of what you talk about is what we've dealt with. 

At age 18 a kid who has met the criteria for Pathogenic Parenting will NOT all of a sudden run back to dad who was ncp and NOW/WAS the target parent.  THAT is not what Pathogenic Parenting looks like.

I've worried about this as she's made comments about living with us once she can make her own decisions but I think it's mostly a manipulation techniques since she runs for the hills and disappears when something doesn't go her way.

 IF you look real hard at BM' family---you may see Granny did this also to her kids (now bm).

Her granny is crazy according to her and her mom and they have an off and on relationship. I do know that BM told SD a story about how her own dad kidnapped her once(SO thinks he was probably trying to rescue her lol) and I know BM never had a good relationship with her dad but he died when she was younger and I don't think they ever had much of a relationship.

 I am scared to go to dads...dont make me gooooo. I want a relationship with dadddd buttttttt I feeeel better with my mom. MOM all wonderful, dad bad man.

This is definitely how she paints the picture to her mom who has accursed us of mistreating her and said that's why she won't force her to see us.

ldvilen's picture

Interesting point: "Kids do not reject a parent unless Pathogenic Parenting is present. They don't. Kids will get mad,, ignore and retreat away from parents THEN they will sheepishly tip toe back to their 'clan'. THAT is normal."  And, it makes sense.

sandye21's picture

You would think that distance would be a factor, that more physical and emotional exposure would allow for a better relationship.  But is SD's case this was not true.  She didn't seem to adjust her behavior whether she was nearby or in another state.  Same with BM who moved to another state for some time.  Even when SD moved closer to us.  It didn't seem to make any difference in SD and DH's relationship at all, or her relationship with me.

amyburemt's picture

I have an sd who was so brainwashed it didn't matter what dh and I did. and she lived with us. and she became a completely hateful person each time she talked to biomom or went their for her weekend. We tried everything but she ended up just like bio mom. (read my previous forum posts.). I walked around with a target on my back. she was snide and hateful to me but would change her tune when daddy was within earshot. Daddy just thought i was compalining about his daughter so i quit and just took her venom. how do you fight back when you are being bullied by a 17 y/o. needless to say, her life with bm isn't quite as wonderful as she imagined and i find a smug sort of satisfaction that she is having to work at mcdonalds to help her mom with bills. this girl who supposedly couldn't be around people because they made her anxious. she was basically a load of dramatic bullcrap and will be like her crazy ass mother when she's an adult. 

sandye21's picture

" ---she was snide and hateful to me but would change her tune when daddy was within earshot."  This went on for 20 years.  If I complained DH would say, "I didn't see it."  She finally had a meltdown and DH had a small view of what I had been going through.  Still he wanted everything to go back to 'stephell as usual'.  I had to put my foot down and stand firm.

Disillusioned's picture

Speaking as a child of divorce whose BM always alienated us from our father, I can honestly say it can change. 

I realize from all the things I read on here that my case may be rare, but nevertheless yes it can change

My parents officially divorced when I was in my teens although were basically there when I was a pre-teen and my Mom absolutely alienated us from our Dad

For many years we bought into her crap and our post-divorce relationship with our father suffered

But kids do grow up, they do one day realize it all wasn't necessarily true

In my case, I was in my 40's when I realized that it was in fact my Mom not my Dad who really was to blame for the family Dad turned out to be the class who loved my Mom and us no matter what sadly....I realized my Mom was the selfish one

With that said, most of my siblings sided with my Mom's side post-divorce, myself and one sister saw through it all and supported our yes it can happen!


Fed Up after 14 Years's picture

Are right. My skids are 36 and 34. They withhold their children from visiting, have parties for the grand's birthdays on dates and times that DH can't make because he works. They have told enough lies about me to make me the scapegoat that I no longer go to any event because I am ignored by the whole family. We have been together 19 years but some days I want to just split up and be done with all of them.

jam's picture

Good advise from "Goodluck". Watch the Dr Craig Childress videos. They are very helpful. Also, there is a documentary that is coming out sometime in 2019. The documentary is recommended by Dr Craig Childress. The name of the documentary is "Erasing Family". You can go online to "" for more information.

My dh has 3 kids. Two of which we are totally estranged. SD30 has been estranged from us for 10 years & has two kids we have never seen, the other (SS26) has been on/off again. He didn't talk to us for 1 year, then 3 years, and now at least another year. Each time he would come back into the picture, he plays victim and puts the blame squarely on me.

It is just close to impossible to have a relationship with kids that their mother does not give them permission to love their own father, let alone like their stepmom.

The other sd32 has a relationship with her dad and I but it is totally superfiscal. We are treated more as the enemy than family.


ldvilen's picture

Yep! "It is just close to impossible to have a relationship with kids that their mother does not give them permission to love their own father, let alone like their stepmom."

Rags's picture

We pretty much did not give my SS a choice to pull that crap.  My wife was the CP and the SpermIdiot had 7wks of long distance visitaiton.  5wks summer, 1wk winter, 1wkk spring.

Their manipulative crap started very early when SS was a toddler.  We took the position that it was our responsibility to defend SS's best intererests. So ... as he was growing up we adopted a share the facts mantra to confront the SpermClan's toxically manipulative crap and to pretect him as much as we could.

We shared the facts with him in an age appropriate manner starting when he was very young by telling  him when the SpermClan was not telling  him the truth.  We progressed to reviewing the CO with him, the complete court recorts, documentation, call logs, journals, recorded telephone conversations, SpermClan arrest records, marriage licences (the Spermidiot claimed that he was never married when in fact he married  his underage (16yo) GF a couple of weeks before we went to court so that we could not have him arrested for serial statutory rape) etc, etc, etc....

As he grew up, SS was capable of countering their toxic manipulative crap because he had the facts and could easily discern when some crap they were spouting didn't pass the smell test.  He is now 26 and has been effectively managing the toxic crap his SpermClan spreads since he was in his mid teens.  All because we kept him abreast of the facts.  We held him when he cried over it, we guided him when he had questions, and we promised to never lie to him. And we didn't.  We made sure to not badmouth them to him.   We just stated the facts, showed him the official records, etc... and we he asked "why would they do that?" we explained any possible reasons the best that we could. Ultimately we told him that if he wanted to know the why he would have to ask them.  They didn't appreciate it much when he asked and my bride got a fair number of ranting calls.  The SpermClan does not appreciate the facts.  Never have, never will apparently. 

Start the factual enlightenment campaign with your SD.  It is an important part of preparing her to be able to protect herself from her PASing toxic BM.  That crap doesn't just magically stop when the Skids turn 18.  Having a manipulative toxic parent is a life time sentence if the kid is not prepared to deal with it.  So, you and DH prepare her.  Give her the facts.

His mom and I married the week before he turned 2yo.  SS-26 asked me to adopt him when he was 22.  We made that happen. He no longer shares even a name with his toxic SpermClan. He does keep in touch with SpermIdiot spawned half sib #2.  SS is #1.  He has a sustainable relationship with his little sister but #3, #4 and the SpermIdiot are pretty much total write offs.  Even the SpermGrandHag and SpermgrandPa make no effort and SS reciprocates their lack of effort.  I am sad for my SS as far as the SpermClan part of his life is concerned.  But.. he is doing great. 

Good luck.

thinkthrice's picture

as a CP than an NCP to control the pathogenic parent.   If the pathogenic parent is the CP then you're chances are slim to none of reversing the PAS.

Rags's picture

Sadly this is a fact.

Fortunately for us.. the toxic SpermClan was the NCP influence in our blended family adventure.

My kid survived and thrived because his mom and I were able to counter the negative manipulative crap pulled by the shallow and polluted end of his gene pool and raise him to viable adulthood in a manner that prepared him to protect  himself from their manipulative crap.