Thursday, March 27, 2014

Writing our Alienation Tales: Truth as a Weapon Against an Arsenal of Lies

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"It's just sheer horrific pain every day. There’s nothing like it and nothing you can do about it. You can't escape from it. Can't hide from it. It follows you, haunts you, cuts you like a knife and your gut wrenches and doubles you up. It sours you on everything and you become sick and have to sit and can't think because you can't do anything when you're cloaked in that kind of emotional pain."
–  The pain of parental alienation, from my journal - September 26, 2013


Recently I offered to help a mother write her story about how parental alienation has affected her life by taking her 13-year old daughter away from her. And during the process of responding to her story, I started examining my own reasons for writing my story – an endeavor I began a little over a year ago about how my children were poisoned and alienated from me much like this woman's child was from her. It's a topic I had thought a lot about before I began writing my storey but had never written about.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Afterthoughts of Homespun Terror

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And so I've left the girls and they've left me, and we now lead lives separate from each other. And this was nothing that should ever have been possible according to the unwritten laws and rules we grew up with regarding family. These things shouldn't be possible in a world where family is valued like it is in the Midwestern Catholic family I grew up in where generations continued on connected to other generations with no thought that it could ever be otherwise.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Parental Alienation During the Holidays

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Pioneer Cemetery University of Oregon













The Pioneer Cemetery is located on the east side of the Knight library in the middle of the University of Oregon campus. Today it sits outside the window I found while looking for a place to sip my coffee, read, and do some writing. With its organized rows of century-old gravestones claiming space next to tall Douglas firs, it’s snow-covered road trailing off and away to an infinite horizontal landscape, it makes a pleasant backdrop upon which to gaze as I read, write, and think about the move I recently made and the children I left behind.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Who Thinks Like This Part II

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There are more similarities between parental alienation, abduction, and cults then there are between parental alienation and anything else, especially divorce. In fact I don't like to see the word "divorce" associated with PAS because it muddies the issue and fills in a story in peoples' minds before they have a chance hear the real story – your story.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Who Thinks Like This Part I

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That's a good question. It's the question I asked at the end of my last post and it's the question I'm going to try to answer in this post. But maybe a better question is why some divorced parents try so hard — as if on a mission — to deny their children a life with their other parent? What's wrong with these people? Why do they act like this? And are we even talking about divorce anymore?

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The Campaign of Denigration and the Warning Signs of Parental Alienation

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Each of the manifestations of parental alienation plays an important role in alienating children from their parents. Each has a part in tearing apart the fabric of the family, severing the parent-child bond, and destroying the life parents once had with their child.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

The Independent Thinker and the Science and Sins of Memory

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I Can Think for Myself - An Imaginary Dialog

"How does my dad know what I'm thinking? He doesn't know. No one knows but me."

"Right."

"He reads all these books on parental alienation, or whatever it's called, and then he thinks this is why I don't want to see him anymore. If you ask me it's all a bunch of bunk. Other people say so too. Parental ‘whatever’ isn't even a real problem."

"Oh?"

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The Road Home

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Can you see by your lonely light of day
Is this road really the only way
Can this road be taken, taken at all
                                                                                  — Graham Nash


When I say it's been nearly three years since I've seen Mary and Grace, what I mean is that I haven't had a relationship with them for that long. I've seen them though, here and there, around town mostly, and usually always from a distance.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Conclusion to Part 1

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    Becoming a dad was 10,000 times better than anything else I've ever done.  

                                                                                                                — Steve Jobs

Grace and Mary on the swings while Mary reads a book
















A couple of years ago I was walking into a local Barnes and Noble when I noticed an elderly man standing in the entrance by himself. He was holding on to a walker and looking out the window at the parking lot. He seemed lost. I stopped and asked him if he needed any help, and he told me he was only waiting for his daughter to get the car. Soon a car pulled up in front of the store and his daughter came in and got him and they left together.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Never Got to Say Goodbye

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It was a late summer day. Goldenrod and asters were coloring the hill. The days were growing short, the birds were gathering in flocks, and there was a feeling in the air that school would be starting soon.
                                                — From Betsy-Tacy by Maud Hart Lovelace 

Grace with flowers

















When you tell a child her father is evil and that she should hate him, you're telling her that everything she once thought to be true about a person she loves more than anyone else in the world was wrong – that she was wrong. If you think being told there's no Santa is hard on a child, this she'll never forget. In a short period of time, the bond she once had with her father will be severed, the effects will last forever, and in the end she'll end up hating herself.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Heaven Help Us

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I was trying any way I could think of to connect to my kids. I tried to find out where they were living so I could see them and talk to them. I mailed them letters hoping they would get them. I talked to their teachers and friends asking them odd questions like "Have you seen my kids lately?" or "Would you give them a message if you do see them?" I even asked my siblings to help.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Mary Calls Me from the Hospital

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Later on, during the summer of 2011, I got another call from Mary. This time she called me from a hospital where she had been taken after a car ran into her while she was riding her bike. She said she was crossing the street and didn't see the car coming and it slammed into her and sent her sailing across the pavement. Luckily she survived. It was the first I'd heard about her accident. Her mom hadn't called to tell me about it even though Mary was living with her at that time. I guess she didn't want me to know anything about Mary, even something like this.

Friday, January 25, 2013

State and County Connection – Part 2

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Mary Wouldn't Have Wanted a Social Worker in Her Life

The fact that Mary would seek out a social worker at this time in her life is extremely difficult for me to believe. Of all the people in the world, she would be the last person I would expect would want a social worker in her life, or, as in her case, back in her life. This was a time when she would have wanted anything but this — when she was trying to exert her independence and show the world she had grown up. For years the only thing Mary had wanted was to prove to others she didn't need these people in her life anymore, and she was proud of her achievements primarily because she had accomplished them without social workers. These were the people she had wanted to get away from more than anything else. 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

State and County Connection – Part 1

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I think Trish Reedstrom, the Blue Earth County social work supervisor, planned to take Mary from me ever since the day I scoffed at her threat to make up child abuse charges against me if I didn't sign a form letting her place Mary in a foster home in Fergus Falls, Minnesota. Instead of giving in to her threat that day, I took Mary home, raised her by myself, and gave her the kind of life the County was never able to give her. And while Mary was busy putting together her life and living with me, Trish was putting together a plan on how she could finally take Mary away from me.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

I Call Mary's Social Worker

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I call the Social Services office in early 2011 to talk to Mary's social worker.

Me: "Hi, this is Mary Brosnan's dad. I'd like to talk to Mary's social worker."

I'm put on hold.

Receptionist: "I'm going to have to put you through to the social work supervisor."