Solving the mystery

   A few years after the mysterious disappearance of my mother, my sister and I found a kite in our yard that did not belong to us. We took it upon ourselves to travel about the neighborhood, searching for its rightful owner. It was a challenge, a game of sorts, to try to find the child who had lost his kite.

  But  to me, it felt like more than a game. It wasn’t that I was overly concerned with the kite owner’s loss; it was that I had an unfulfilled need to solve a mystery. It felt urgent to me, like an obsession, or an all consuming task. The mystery had landed in my own backyard, and I had a burning desire to get to the bottom of it.

  Maybe if I could solve the tiny mysteries,  some day I would find out the big truths.

 To my disappointment, we never did find out who the kite belonged to, but I never forgot that day, or the feeling that was evoked in me. I recognized that feeling  at seventeen, when I searched my parents’ divorce files at the courthouse, looking for clues. It consumed me  again as an adult when I contacted my mother’s lover, the one who was going to help her escape my father.

Fortunately, my unrelenting truth seeking led me to my mother, where I could get her story. It also led me to family members, both hers and my fathers, who could help me to fill in some missing pieces, or in many cases, validate what my childhood memory held.

She was a good mother.

She was afraid of my father. 

Even though she had no car, my father refused to drop my sister and me off to see her after he threw her out of our home. He made it as difficult as possible for her to see us. 

He told people that she asked him to take custody of us because “he could take care of us better than she could”.   

Although  this story has been tragic, I believe the ending is a happy one.  I am talking with my mother and we are having the big, important conversations. I threw caution to the wind, and took the chance that I might scare her away with discussing the painful past.  This led to a breakthrough in our relationship. I think with each conversation we have, she is getting just a tiny bit stronger, and so am I.

It is not easy being a truth seeker when much of the truth is ugly. But here’s the thing: the truth is beautiful too. I have not sought evidence against my father, as much as I have sought evidence for my mother.

And though it has taken me decades, the clues were easy to find. They have been tucked away in my heart and memories my whole life.  The years, and the seeking, were just an excavation of what was there. I already knew.

20160617_074742  *This photo of my sister and me was given to me by mother.  It was taken shortly before my parents’ divorce. We had no idea we were about to be torn from our mother.                                                                     PARENTAL ALIENATION MUST STOP

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18 thoughts on “Solving the mystery

  1. I am so so glad that you found your mother. And even happier that you found the truth. My soon to be ex was trying very hard to alienate my own kids from me. It’s been an awful ordeal. No child should be taken away from either parent unless that parent is harmful to the child.

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  2. I see this from the other side. I am a targeted dad. My ex wife has done everything she possibly can to terminate my relationship with all 3 of my children. My oldest is 16 and he dumped me one night while standing next to his mom. He informed me that he would no longer speak to me because I cheated on his mom and verbally abused him. Ridiculous. I have 2 other children ages 11 And 14. They are constantly being driven away from me by both there mom and older brother. They also get help from there grand parents. Some people are just plain mean and nasty. They have more hatred for me than love for my kids. Courts here in NH are also lop sided to the moms. Some days I have to ask God for help.

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    1. Paul, yes there are indeed many dads who go through this situation. In my case, it happened to be my mother, but the pain is excruciating no matter which parent it is. I have not heard any success stories involving the courts yet, anywhere. I think this will change when things change in the mental health field and parent alienation is recognized as the psychological abuse/pathogenic parenting that it is, already in the DSM-5 (*see blog of Dr. Craig Childress).
      You said that some days you have to ask God for help. I understand. And I suspect your desperate plea for help has been heard clearly. I hope you believe it has!

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  3. Thank you for sharing your story, and giving voice to other alienated children. I pray one day my children will be as courageous as you, and will reach out to me. My door is always open, and you never have to ask.. wherever I am will be your home. xoxo

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  4. Your mother’s sad experience is mine. My children haven’t spoken to me for 8 years, except secretly from him. They were 10, 12 and 14 when their father decided to get rid of me, thinking I was no more useful to him. I had worked so hard for our business, he thought he could manage it on his own and reap the benefits.
    I was so relieved to be no more under his controlling behavior and his bullying that I didn’t realise he would again benefit from the situation, neither did I imagine he could convince our children I was a bad mom. They were so protective and as afraid as me about his violence. Despite I was homeless, with no money because he immediatly emptied our bank accounts and put locks on our house doors, I felt I was a real person again, able to think, talk, do things without asking for his permission.
    .I know, they know. I also understand they are unable, yet, to talk to me, because they just can tell their father. For 4 years, I have been secretly in touch with my youngest child, my daughter, thanks to social networks. I also visited her at friends’ . But he discovered it last November. Since, I haven’t heard of her… I know it must have been frightening for her to confess we met.
    But I keep hope alive. I know she needs time. She is only 19 and she spent half of her life with her alienating father and grand parents. My sons

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    1. I’m so sorry. I am glad you are keeping hope alive..so important! Did your children’s father literally keep you from coming home? And then got custody? It was brave and telling that your youngest daughter regained contact w/ you; it probably means she understands the situation enough to not hold you responsible for “abandonment”. She is under the control of a volatile man, as you are well aware. But there was contact, and there likely will be again.

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  5. I was one of you twice over. My grandparents took control of my mother’s pregnancy. I learned just last year at age 43, while I was 3 hours away from home, driving to my home on the interstate. My birth mother had unleashed her fury, and had done the unimaginable because I, on Facebook, acknowledged on Mother’s Day that she was a child when she had me and did her best. She would have never even read it, had she not broken into my child’s iPad and used the saved sign-on and password that I had saved one day. She unleashed holy hell on me, and my job, and my future- all with lies, just to get me back for what she thought was the unthinkable, and for what I thought was my release of her from the area of my brain that held bad memories. I’ve never been able to tell her that I love her, and that was my way. She thought it was the worst thing I could have ever done. I found out that day the truth that I had searched for for 43 years. I was in the car, driving alone when I was told that I was supposed to have been aborted, and the abortion was paid for by my grandfather who raised me. It didn’t hurt so badly until I realized that he sent her, my uncle (who I have always seen as a brother) and my grandmother (who I’ve always known as my mother), with her to New York, since it was 1971, and abortion wasn’t legal. I don’t know how I drove home. Surely God took the wheel, because I couldn’t see for years of tears pouring out of my eyes. I held it back until I could get off of the phone. My father still will not acknowledge me. He was “paid off” to forget me, and forget me, he has. My birthday was two days ago, and just like the little girl who always made a wish, there’s not a day that I don’t wish he’d call me so that I could either a) cuss him out, or b) release him from it all too. My grandfather died 15 years ago, and held on to guilt for that long. I can’t help but wonder if I’m what he cried about when he would sit in his room and listen to gospel music. I wish I could have released him. Oh, what I would have given to set him free. Now, the only person who’s not free is me. I live it everyday and though I had the most normal of childhoods, I also had a mother with 13 marriages, 2 suicides, and many fights because I was who she wanted to become. Ironically, i looked at it as just a nuisance until I had my children. At that very point in time, I couldn’t understand how it all happened. Now, I’d give it all back to have kept the secret living even longer. She says they took me away. I say that she did it to my brother and sister too. I don’t know who’s right. I probably never will.

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  6. I’m so happy you’ve managed to turn your horror story around and I LOVE when you said you’re not so much looking for bad things about your dad as you’re digging for good things about your mother! I pray with all my heart that my daughters someday are open to that.
    Thank you for sharing some hope on this painfully devastating issue.

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