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How to carry on when PSA is an issue and only brings hurt

RisingtheWave80's picture

DH hasn't been reaching out to his alientated daughter that much because the responses are always so nasty, disrespectful and filled with lies. So he decided he wanted to reach out and also share some good news with her because it was something that if she heard elsewhere and not from him he would have never heard the end of it.

So the response to the news and his general concern for his daughter was all nasty, it was accusing him of not caring, asking him not to attend the next meeting at the therapy school because she doesn't want to see him (she doesn't want him to oppose her fight to attend the regular high school) that he did nothing for her 14th b-day (he called and texted her MULTIPLE times trying to make plans and then she ended it with "I never want to see you, I hate you") and that when he dropped off money to her mom why didnt he come to the door, she watched him through the window and she was home (yes because it was standard for him to just show up and also that she would EVEN come to the door if he did, she wouldn't have)

Ended with some crazy talk about how she cannot believe he would be with me (a crazy cunt is what she called me, I cannot roll my eyes far enough back) who "disrespected his daughter". It's all so hiliarous because it's all bullshit. She hates that once I was in the picture that I "changed her dad" no I made it so he stood up to BM and SD when they teamed up against him and tried to rule his life. She loved me, She LOVED to talk to me, She said I made it easier for her to relate to her dad, she and I were SO CLOSE. Now I am one of the issues and I know her narrative needs to be consitent so she has a reason to hate her dad (she really has no reason) but it all hurts.

So I don't think DH will be reaching out again because every time he does its met with nastiness and then him having to state none of it is true and he loves her, but seriously HOW MUCH CAN SOMEONE TAKE? I told him he is not  a bad person by protecting his own mental health, I want him to have a relationship with his daughter but I am not sure this is the time it will happen.

tog redux's picture

He as to protect his mental health - but he also has to keep the lines of communication open.  When my SS was sending those nasty texts, it was so obvious that BM was telling him what to say - as are these from your SD. This is parental alienation. This is how the kids behave, as if they are zombies with no brain other than what they share with BM. But they still love their other parent.

He can't take this personally, it's really not personal.  We lived through this and DH was sad, but he thrived, too and he kept those lines open and got those nasty texts.  Remember, this is a pathology that's infected the family system, it's not DH's fault. He may have a part to play, and he should sort that out and own it, but really, this is not caused by him.

His best chance of having a relationship with SD down the road is to keep in touch with her. Expect the nastiness. Expect ignoring. But she knows he still cares and he's still there. And when she comes back, she needs a healthy dad, not a broken one.

RisingtheWave80's picture

Thank you for that. It's hard because I want to support him and I don't have any answers at this point everything I thought may work to get them back to having a relationship hasn't worked, I am fresh out of ideas. He sometimes doesn't know how to respond, he feels that every other text message he is sending her is trying to set the record straight and no matter what he says she comes back at him with everything she has again.

Does he need to set the record straight with her? Should he just respond "I am sorry you feel that way I am here when you need me" . I honestly dont know what will work at this point, it just keeps getting worse the longer it goes on. This has been since May 19th, to say there were not issues leading up to that date with how she responded to her dad would be putting it mildly but she was still in our home 50/50 and we were able to get her away from her toxic mother at least half the time.

ESMOD's picture

Maybe text isn't the best way for him to keep in touch with her.... I would vote for a regular scheduled call.. or he can leave a voice message.  It's easier to convey tone than with text.

For birthdays.. he should send her a card with an invitation to a dinner out for her birthday.. and do it in advance of the day.. so that there is time to schedule it.  If he is afraid of the mother keeping these from him.. then maybe there is another way to give them either directly to her at therapy sessions.. or through another relative.

I think it is a mistake to try to prove the mother is "bad" even though she may be.  He can certainly defend himself..and he can certainly stop a  conversation when she goes off the rails.  

A Calm  "I'm sorry you are upset, but you don't have all the facts, let me know when you are ready to listen.  but, I'm going to get off the phone now because this isn't productive"

RisingtheWave80's picture

he spoke to her on the phone multiple times leading up to her b-day. He text her and she was like "Okay" then the day before her b-day she sent a text asking why he didnt love her and she didnt want to see him for her b-day. So holding this against him was not fair. SD has removed all of his family from her life (unless she needs something) and BM doesnt have any family or such around that would ensure SD gets anything mailed to her but yeah maybe perhaps the therapist would be a good point of contact.

tog redux's picture

Don't set the record straight. That just makes it worse.  This isn't about defending himself, she's not rational right now, and it won't work.  DH used to sometimes go with what SS was saying, just to carry on a conversation.  "I'm sorry you feel I don't care about you" is fine.  

Above all - he has to keep his head on straight. Remember, parental alienation is a form of domestic violence. BM wants to beat him down and make him feel bad about himself.  He can't start believing what SD and BM say about him. He's not a bad father. He's not a horrible person. 

One thing that helped my DH was that he never bought into the lies BM and SS were saying about him. Once SS texted, "you are harsh, cruel and undeserving."  DH laughed and said, "I wonder what my 15-year-old thinks I don't deserve?" It was clearly coming from BM.  The worst thing your DH can do is let this break him, that's not what SD needs. He is the healthy parent in this situation and he has to play the long game. 

RisingtheWave80's picture

Based on our discussion this morning he stated "It doesnt matter what I say to her because she has her own reality like her mother and I cannot change that" I think he gets the fact that this is all a lie and I make sure he understands that what she is saying is not true, he is an emotionally intelligent man, just nothing even prepares you for your kid rejecting you especially when you were the primary parent when you were married. But he needs to work on not letting it ruin every day of his life which I believe I finally have him in agreement that therapy could be helpful on learning some coping skills and ways to respond to this because I am not always unbiased I dont like seeing him hurt.

tog redux's picture

Yes, my DH was the primary parent too when they were married. But BM allowed that because she had control over everything.

The best quote I've heard is "leave the door open but don't sit beside it". 

My DH was very angry and sad for a while at first, that's normal. Gradually, we began to enjoy the absence of BM's influence in our lives, being able to travel without worrying about whether it was SS's weekend and if he'd show up, etc. That took many months. And of course, he always missed him - he just began to live life again and get on with things.  

DH belongs to an organization where he has his picture taken every two years. The difference in the pictures during the alienation and 2 years after he stopped coming over were remarkable. He looks so much more relaxed in the second one, which sounds crazy, doesn't it? But not dealing with the stress of BM and SS was healthier for us. 

And as you know, SS came back - and a year later, they are gradually rebuilding their relationship. 

notarelative's picture

asking him not to attend the next meeting at the therapy school because she doesn't want to see him 

Doesn't matter what SD wants or asks about the meeting. It's a therapy school parent meeting. He needs to go.

RisingtheWave80's picture

Agreed and he will be there. She is mad because he wants what is best for her and this conflicts with what BM and her want

Harry's picture

Why do you think she is going to behave normally?  He is never going to have the relationship he wants with her.  He has to support her as much as he can.  But she is always going to see things as she makes them up. 

Harry's picture

Why do you think she is going to behave normally?  He is never going to have the relationship he wants with her.  He has to support her as much as he can.  But she is always going to see things as she makes them up. 
He has to have some sort of a relationship with his DD.  He has to be her parent.  He has to go with the flow and try to be the best BF he can under these conditions 

Siemprematahari's picture

There's a book titled " Done with the Crying: Help & Healing of Estranged Adult Children" by Sheri McGregor. It's directed mainly to mothers of estranged children but it addresses fathers also. This book has some very helpful tools that your H can use to help him navigate these stressful times. SD has been alienated by her mother and she's also rejecting him and the book gives helpful ways on what to do when a child wants nothing to do with a parent.

In the end your H has to take care of himself and his mental well being as I'm sure it takes a toll on him. He still has to thrive and live his best life regardless of what SD thinks of him. He's a good man and a loving father, he needs to remember that and keep that upfront and center at all times. He can always leave the door open for her but also not be a glutton for abuse either.

Wishing you both the best in all this!

tog redux's picture

Yes, exactly - you hit the nail right on the head.  Take care of yourself, live your best life, don't take it personally or believe the lies, and keep the door open.

When my SS was ready to come back, DH was ready to have him come back, and he didn't find a depressed and broken father who had let BM and SS beat him down.  

Rags's picture

Regardles of SD's manipulative crap, whinning, deflecting, etc, etc, etc... DH has to stay the course in being involved in defining and delivering on what is in her best interests. He for damned sure needs to be at every meeting the the therapy and school teams and do what he can to keep her where she needs to be to deliver the best outcome for this tragically troubled kid.

She needs to be in the special school. Dad needs to keep her there.  If that means that she spews hatred, so be it.  Once she reaches 18 or whatever age that the system will allow her to become responsible for herself then she can have a say. Until then, it is her parents' responsibility to make that happen. Since her BM is a train wreck, that leaves this responsibilitiy entirely to DH.

He needs to stay the course and force SD into the environment that he believes is best suited for a positive outcome for his daughter. 

IMHO of course.

RisingtheWave80's picture

he will be there. I cannot imagine that they will decide to send her to the regular high school as I just posted below a packet we received yesterday. It will be a messy meeting I am sure.

RisingtheWave80's picture

Yesterday DH received an envelope in the mail from the therapy school it was a copy of 5 different incident reports from her actions and behaviors at the school. It was hurtful to read them and see how she has been acting and treating people. I cannot take offense to what she called me because according to these reports she ONLY knows how to call people obscene words and insult them.

They also stated meetings that occurred he was not involved in and apparently a daily tracker that gives this information at the time is occurs (instead of weeks later via mail). So I am certain this will be brought up at the meeting in a couple weeks.

He will 100% be going to the meeting because in our house an angry 14 year old does not make the rules.