Alienation no more

Many readers of A Family’s Heartbreak: A Parent’s Introduction to Parental Alienation say the journal chapters, or diary approach, to describe my family’s descent into severe parental alienation are the most eye-opening and informative parts of the book. In these chapters you can literally watch my relationship with my son go from normal to non-existent in a few months.

When most parents write us they are looking for comfort or suggestions to help them deal with their own heartbreaking situations. That was the case with Carol. She was at the end of her rope in January — even questioning her own existence. Now, however, she is rebuilding her relationship with her daughter. Since many of you say the journal aproach in A Family’s Heartbreak: A Parent’s Introduction to Parental Alienation helped you, we’ll let Carol tell you her story the same way.

January 24, 2011
I would like to report that I picked up my copy of A Family’s Heartbreak: A Parent’s Introduction to Parental Alienation from the book store yesterday morning after church. I finished reading it at 9:00 p.m. the same night. 

I am humbled that I am no longer alone as I walk down a road that no loving parent should ever know exits. A few weeks before my daughter’s departure from my life I was asked by my church to start training to be their deacon. Once she was gone, however, I not only questioned the existence of my God, but my very own existence. I now see that my daughter, just like myself, was never given the choice to be part of each other’s life. I raised her myself. I told her every day for 16 years how precious her life was. I still can’t believe this is happening.

January 26, 2011
I just called my daughter’s school. They’ve been poisoned like everyone else. I am escorted off the campus when I show up for my court-ordered visitation. The court order is not worth the paper it is printed on. My daughter’s father continues to violate it, and nothing ever happens to him.

I called because I wanted my daughter’s grades. They hung up. I called back and they put me on hold for five minutes. Then they told me they are not allowed to give me my daughter’s grades. I asked to speak to the principal. He was not available. I’m not holding my breath for the return call.

I feel so hopeless. I have been judged by dozens of people who know nothing about me. I have not spoken to my daughter in almost six months. The only two times I saw her I was handcuffed in the back seat of a police car. I do not have her phone number. I can’t email her. Now I cannot even call her school without being treated like the lowest form of life on this planet.

February 16, 2011
I went to court today. My ex continues to interfere with visitation. The judge told him that if he this situation continues he would go to jail for five months and have to pay a fine.

My ex brought my daughter to testify against me. She did not testify but instead she learned that that I have been fighting to see her for more than six months.

February 19, 2011
My ex did not block me from my daughter today. I called and it was the first conversation we had since August. Her attitude was disgusting. She said she didn’t want to see me. She told me I was an awful person. But she stayed on the phone for 18 minutes. When I told her I loved her she said, “I know.”  

February 22, 2011
Now that I finally have my daughter’s phone number I can call when I want. I called today and the phone went straight to voice mail. I hung up. My daughter immediately called back. The conversation was not as hostile as the last time we talked. I tried to keep her on the phone as long as possible. Eventually she said, “I don’t want to hang up on you but I have a lot of homework to do so I have to go.” I said ok.

February 28, 2011
My ex called my lawyer today and asked if I wanted to see my daughter this coming Saturday. Of course I said yes. I will finally get to spend time with her!

March 1, 2011
I called my daughter today. The call went to voice mail but she called back. This time, the conversation was just like the old days. She was sweet, wonderful, smart, funny, caring and courteous. And the most wonderful thing that happened. As we were getting ready to hang up, I said “I love you” and she said “I love you too.” Her entire life that was the way we always ended every single phone call. After we hung up I cried tears of joy. 

* * * *

Carol asked us to share her story on our A Family’s Heartbreak blog. She wrote, “So many times I wanted to give up and well-intentioned people told me to walk away. I couldn’t do that even though it was killing me inside. I want to be an inspiration for other parents going through this horrible nightmare. I want to let them know there is hope. I thought I had lost my daughter forever and that she would never want to see me again. I know we could regress in a split second, but I want to let other parents know that even during their bleakest hour that you are still in your child’s heart.”

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5 Responses to “Alienation no more”

  1. Carol Mahoney says:

    Thank you Mike for publishing my story on your blog. It is a long, painful, heartbreaking journey, one that I wished no loving parent should ever take. It is not over for me yet, but at lease my ex’s last attempt to sabotage my daughter’s relationship with me backfired on him and I now have seen her, talk to her daily and am working on having her back under my roof like before she was stolen from me. Like you, I am becoming part of the movement to educate parents and the public on how destructive PAS is, and to see reform in government agencies that allow alienating parents the tools to successfully erase a loving parent unjustly out of a child’s life.

    I am available to any parent, child, or group that needs help or wants to know more about my terrible story. I wouldn’t feel right if I didn’t do something to help other targeted parents who are so wronged by their ex’s, the system, and by people in general who are so ready to judge a person on hearsay but know nothing about. It is just plain wrong, pure and simple. I also want all parents to know that their children do not really hate them, but are put in an unthinkable situation by a vindictive parent who puts only their needs first, not their child’s. My daughter played the role for her father of mother hater because she was forced to by him. It was all lies. The first chance she had to tell me she loved me, she did, when not under pressure by him to play brainwashed kid. Please know your children still love you but were not given a choice to do what they really wanted to do, to love you and be in your life.

    I wish I had room to thank all of the people, like Mike Jeffries who helped me during the most miserable days of my life, when I really didn’t think I would make it, and prayed some nights to not wake up the next day. But you all know who you are, and how wonderful you are, and continue to be. I too have become an advocate for parents and children who are victims of PAS. Please contact me anytime; my email address is: The only way I could make something good come out of my horrible experience with PAS is by turning it around on the alienator and helping others deal with or prevent this from happening to their family. You always move forward when you do the right thing. Alienated parents who love and fight for their children’s lives are doing the right thing.

  2. Wow…this is truly moving and heartbreaking. As a Family Law Attorney, I see a lot of children suffering through their parents divorce. It’s so very sad. Thank you for sharing.

    — Patti.

  3. Carol Mahoney says:

    Update for me and my daughter Ramona – I’m so sorry to say, the mother and child reunion lasted 1 week. My ex called dcf on the 2nd day I saw my daughter – he was threatened with being jailed for his refusal to obey a court order, but he walked when the judge was told there was another dcf investigation, launched by his phone call. It’s made that easy for alienators. I was not even home when these people came to my house, but harassed over the phone by dcf and local law enforcement. dcf didn’t even wait for me to get home. So I have an “open investigation” against me and I don’t even know why. I have seen my daughter a total of 5 hours in the last 8 months.

    I am totally tapped out of money so my lawyer said he will not proceed until I pay him.

    Perhaps if I share this information with other parents, they will now be aware of something I didn’t think possibly being a US citizen, in a country that boasts of all the rights we have. In the state of Florida, and perhaps all states, a custodial parent not only does not have to be notified of a custody hearing requested by the childs other parent, they do not even have to be there at all. This was the case with me. My ex did all of this behind my back, I didn’t even know he had gone to court. I came home and my daughter was gone, along with 90% of my homes belongings (he robbed me too). Since having my daughter, he has quit his job and now the state is supporting a man who has no disabilities and is able bodied to work. So basically, my 16 daughter is supporting a bum who never wanted to pay child support, he violated that court order as well and was never penalized for any violations.

    My daughter never calls me, never answers her phone when I call, and ignores or deletes my emails. I receive 1 call a month if I’m lucky from her telling me she has no desire to see me, she is to busy. The same child I saw everyday for almost 16 years and raised myself.

    Beware parents! Even if the other parent walks out of your childs life now they can comeback and legally steal your child away. Law enforcement, dcf, the courts, no-one looks into the history, they only go by hearsay of a sick, accusing, unfit parent. Once being the most important person in my daughters life, she has been told that she is better off without me by her father and all these agency’s. She has been taught to hate and that I am the least important person in her life. Everyone else makes decisions for my daughter now except for me. I no longer know whether my child is alive or dead. Prior to seeing her 5 hours in March, I hadn’t talked or seen her since August 2010 when she was stolen.

    If I only knew then what I know now, my child may still be in my life and have a mother who loves her very much. No court or child protective agency should ever have the power to take a child away from a parent without cause. This is just plain wrong and is an outright assault on loving parents and their children for nothing more than profit from a failing system that puts it’s own greedy needs before children and the parents who love them.

  4. Carol — so sorry to hear about this unfortunate turn of events. Please remember all the positive things your daughter said previously — that same voice is still inside her — even if she can’t let it speak.

    Note to readers — the laws are different from state-to-state. Be sure to learn what the rules are in your state with respect to filing motions, providing notice, scheduling hearings, etc. in family court. Especially true if you are a pro se.

  5. Kavya says:

    this is one reason as much as we srlgugte with our ex we work together for the common good of our five kids.We often say we liked him long enough to produce five children. Its not he kids fault their dad and I are no longer together and our job as adults is to make sure our feelings toward each other doesnt ever alienate our kids, so far thats worked.

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