This is Parental Alienation

💔 A daughter who is taught to hate.

💔 A loving, committed father who is NOT absent but ignored, ridiculed, criticized for caring and pushed away.

💔 A beautiful girl who doesn’t know it and has no self-confidence.

💔 A missing piece to another family full of love.

💔 Drugs, alcohol, broken relationships, minimal education, lying, stealing and disrespect from little to no guidance and a parent who states “she will learn the hard way – I will not shelter her from her own mistakes”.

💔 Complete confusion, no understanding of the simple life of a child because they are constantly brought into adult issues.

💔 This is real and it is the most un-detected, psychological abuse in children today.

💔 Brainwashing, manipulation and complete lack of care for the overall well-being of the child’s development.

💔 A child who knows we will never disown her regardless of behaviors and actions or our time apart, but also knows that is not the viewpoint of her other parent and has to remain close and do what they say to receive their love.

💔 A beautiful body that is scarred forever from self harm.

💔 A soul that is lost without support, emotional attentiveness, family time and days filled with hatred and depression

STOP THE LIES!

STOP THE HATE!

STOP BEING SELFISH!

STOP BEING VINDICTIVE!

STOP CAUSING EMOTIONAL DAMAGE!

❤️❤️❤️LET YOUR CHILD BE LOVED ❤️❤️❤️

These values are absent during parental alienation and they are simple, free and needed:

1. MANNERS

2. MORALS

3. COMMON SENSE

4. TRUST

5. PATIENCE

6. RESPECT

7. CLASS

8. INTEGRITY

9. CHARACTER

10. LOVE

The difference in 1 year… the total amount of time spent with her father is less than 1 month.

Sacrifice

I’ve always thought I knew the meaning of this word, but as I grow and learn and experience life, I realize it can take on different meanings in different seasons.

The season we are entering seems to be one of the most difficult filled with BIG sacrifices. I find myself angry, confused, hurt and trying to make sense of it all some days. Other days I feel an overwhelming sense that we are going to be successful in what we are trying to achieve because our girls’ lives and well-being depend solely on us.

❤️Today I choose grace for myself and my sweet husband for always sacrificing when we know it’s right regardless of the situation.

❤️Today I can appreciate the kind, loving hearts we both have for each other and for our children.

❤️Today I will keep my thoughts positive even when the enemy attempts to derail them.

❤️Today I will remember there is purpose in our pain.

❤️Today I will focus on my personal financial successes that allow us to make more sacrifices for our loved ones.

❤️Today I recognize there is a greater love than I had ever dreamed and I am so thankful to experience that love each and every day.

We live in a selfish world… how amazing could it be if everyone was selfless and put other’s needs before their own? If everyone thought that their words and their actions could have a negative impact on others – could it change? What if everyone made huge sacrifices each and every day? Communities would come together, differences would be put aside and sacrifice would mean so much more to everyone. Doing what’s right isn’t always easy, but it matters to someone.

Sharing our calm…

There are a few revelations I’ve come to realize over the past month. Our little people are dealing with very BIG emotions and sometimes we just pile on more.

We are the adults and if we don’t have it together, how on earth can we expect them to? Do we allow our kids to be kids or are we dragging them into adulthood and adult issues when their young minds are clearly not developed enough to handle it? I’m going to start some research, but I’m willing to bet that roughly 80% of children of divorce have dealt with “adult issues” and I’m going to also be willing to bet that 60% of those children’s involvement in those issues is due to the women in their lives (step and bio).

That’s a bold statement since that puts me into the category. But let’s face it, men are simple. They can usually move past things much quicker than we can (maybe with a little less maturity, but definitely more calm). For some reason, the ladies are the ones that cannot figure it out. The jealousies, insecurities, the outright disrespect is present and for what? What good is that doing anyone? I firmly believe that if we could get over ourselves enough to see the simplicity that would evolve, the kids that would flourish and the time, energy and money that could be saved, it would blow our minds.

Biomoms accepting another woman in our child’s lives and appreciating her love and support when we aren’t there. Advocating for that stepmom and the loving, giving efforts she has daily.

Stepmoms accepting the biomoms role and supporting (even when they don’t agree) her parenting style. Advocating for that biomom and the loving, giving efforts she has daily.

Collaboration of all parents to do what is truly best for the kids. This means being in the same place, reducing tension and showing unity.

We are seeing an increase in anxiety in our kids today… the suicide rate has more than tripled in teens in the last decade. WE HAVE CREATED THIS! Life is busy and relationships are hard, BUT nothing is worth your child’s happiness. nothing is worth a life that could have a much bigger purpose.

Here are some things that I vow to do just to ensure my little ones are NOT part of these statistics:

I’m going to put my phone down and BE PRESENT.

I’m going to allow them an open platform to speak freely about whatever they would like and know they won’t get in trouble.

I’m going to work harder to make amends with their father and his wife to bridge the gap that is unnecessary.

I’m going to allow them to be kids… they don’t need to be part of ANY adult issues.

I’m going to have healthy boundaries so my kids have structure but are also allowed to make their own choices and mistakes.

They are going to put their phones down and BE PRESENT.

They are going to have hobbies and goals and dreams.

When I look back in the years to come I want to be known for sharing my calm, not adding to their chaos. If we all strive for that, we might see a transitional change with a decrease in anxiety in youth and teens and an overall shift in the stability and strength of a child of divorce.

Examples…

Thank you all for the messages… I’ve missed you too and no, my blog isn’t ending. 🙂 I’ve been away for a bit to focus on my family. We have teens with jobs and cars this summer and everyone is in camp, so we are busier than during school.

We’ve had a lot going on and it’s been good and bad so I’ll fill you in on what I’ve been up to… Just when communications with my ex were improving, his wife gets involved and it’s a new sh*t show. Then communications on the other side were looking promising and the sh*t show returned there as well. I’m certain that dealing with toxic is just going to be the norm while our children are still minors (6.5 years to go). I can do this! It will take a lot of Jesus but it can be done.

I feel I have read more in the past 4 years than I have in my whole life. It’s a great way to gain more knowledge and have some “me time” to escape reality for a bit. I have studied step-parenting, blending families, child psychology and the Bible. I’m in stepmom and biomom clubs I didn’t even know were a thing! If there’s one thing all this reading has done, it’s taught me that I AM NOT ALONE. I am so grateful for that.

As a biomom, I haven’t found a lot of books supporting this role because we’re the ones that seem to get the reputation for being high-conflict, being overly jealous, not disciplining our children or not obeying court orders. I can understand this and see it on the other side, in my experience, but we’re not all that way. I’ve learned there are lots of biomoms that have dealt with some of the same scenarios and regardless of forgiveness or effort, are completely disrespected by the person that is spending 1/2 their time influencing your children.

In my opinion, there is no excuse for the added conflict and the children should come first. We, as adults, have to be mature about how situations are handled and since there aren’t a lot of resources supporting decent Biomoms, I’d like to give some examples of behaviors that could contribute to conflict and, if all are willing, can be easily resolved for moving forward.

Stepmom Examples

🚫 If you were chasing your current husband while he was married to the biomom – your relationship will be strained from that. Almost all women can agree that’s never ok.

🚫 If you were present during the divorce and included yourself in the ugliness during the initial separation – your relationship will be strained from that.

🚫 If you communicate to the biomom through the husbands text or email – your relationship will be strained from that. If you want to say your piece, do what you need to do from your own phone or email account because you aren’t fooling anyone.

🚫 If you have never attempted to speak to the biomom since your relationship with her ex started – there is no relationship.

🚫 If you speak negatively about biomom directly to the children – you are wrecking many relationships there.

🚫 If your step-children need to go to a doctor, your help might be needed, but the biomom should be involved. They are the ones that have medical history on the children and your minimal knowledge cannot detail what the doctors need to know.

🚫 If you are a biomom yourself and you choose to give your young daughter alcohol, don’t assume that decision is appropriate for your stepchildren. Illegal activities can put a serious strain on any co-parenting relationship.

🚫 If you are insecure in your marriage and your husband isn’t the one who wanted the divorce, that is not the fault of the biomom. Blaming her for your insecurities will cause a strain on your relationship. Most Biomoms are grateful for you and know exactly what you deal with daily, so some even have some sympathy for your struggles.

🚫 If your step-children are kind, well-mannered, loving and respectful, they have been taught well. Appreciate the stress that saves your blended family and show some grace to biomom for that effort.

🚫 No one is expecting you to be “Best Friends”, but if you are not capable of basic communication and decency, do not be surprised if there’s conflict.

🚫 If you cannot be in the same place as the biomom, you have issues, especially if she has always been fine in your presence.

Many Biomoms want what’s best for their children and lots of us are thankful for more people in their lives that love them. Lots of Biomoms have zero jealousy when it comes to their ex and have chosen to go through a divorce knowing they would be better off. We should all know that no 2 women raise their kids the same (that’s a fact), but each woman in a blended family scenario has a place where they can add value and should know it. Lots of Biomoms forgive on a daily basis and, while we’re all human and slipup on occasion, can genuinely forgive and move on like anybody else.

Kids these days have more anxiety, more depression and more stress than we ever have and I blame parents that cannot figure it out. The kids deserve so much more!! They deserve to be kids and do kid things. Be mindful of what you contribute, recognize when you make a mistake, own up to those mistakes and forgive. If any of these examples apply to you, allow the forgiveness you are given and be grateful to have someone willing to work it out on the other side.

Empathy

Definition:  the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another of either the past or present.

My heart breaks for the lack of empathy in our world today. I believe empathy is taught and our self-centered society is missing out on compassion, sensitivity to others, caring for someone other than oneself and understanding anything outside the realm of our own thinking.

Narcissism is growing and we are creating more narcissists than empaths. This can make for a very scary and difficult world. I don’t know the solution other than loving everyone the best we can. This is not an easy task! I’m reading a wonderful book, Everybody Always, by Bob Goff – and I highly recommend it. The whole purpose of this book is to consider loving everyone, even the ones that are difficult to love (actually they need it the most). I will admit, I skipped straight to the paragraph about difficult people and tried to find a sentence that could confirm disliking them and maybe even a sentence that said it’s ok to be mean when someone is mean to you. Hint: you will not find that in this book. Instead I found reassurance that love is seen in many different ways and it is accepted in many different forms so we have to adapt. We may even find our purpose in showing love in all the unfamiliar places.

I put that in perspective and in a divorce situation with minor children, the multiple kinds of love we have to portray is overwhelming. We have the love for each other that is amazing because we have overcome the walls that we each had due to previous hurt and betrayal. We have the love for our biological children which is unconditional and so strong it’s hard to describe in words. We have the love for each other’s children which is also unconditional, but it’s a process; learning and growing to be special in their worlds and it’s delicate. We have the love for our exes which is a different kind of love and honestly the most difficult to navigate – this is where empathy comes into play. If you don’t have it, your world will be nothing but anger and chaos.

That different kind of love and empathy is a reminder each day to care regardless of the situation. My husbands ex is not an empath, in my experience, and she has been through plenty of hurt of her own. I can love her and not like some of the things she says or does. I know from experience we are a product of our environment. I know very little about her struggles as we are not close, but I do know that when she is rude, condescending and hateful, she is hurting. I know she was on her own at 16, I know she is not close with family and I know that has to have an impact on her ability to be a mother and her expectations for her own daughter that is the same age. I know she has endured 3 divorces and after experiencing 1, I cannot imagine the pain. I know the hateful way she talks to my husband means there is a lot of hurt remaining there. My husband is a very compassionate man and an empath. He cares deeply And his heart is huge…she knows that about him. His ability to be her emotional support changed when our relationship grew and that is difficult for her. I believe she views this as abandonment and with her history of struggles with relationships, I completely understand. He sees the affects and lack of empathy with their daughter and her environment is a direct reflection of that. I’m not sure if there is a solution, but I can show compassion and only try to understand the entire situation.

My step-daughter is also not an empath. This is a delicate relationship and she struggles daily. She is lacking in developmental skills for her age and when brought together with our family that is so different, she has to feel inadequate or different. We try every day to ensure she knows she is loved, to know we are here to provide for her and ensure inclusion regardless of her attempts to avoid it. When she speaks negatively to her father, it is very difficult for me to understand, but I have to remember this is a learned and allowed behavior for years. She experienced divorce at 5yrs of age and trauma of losing her brother to a fatal disease at 7yrs. This hurt at such a young age is unimaginable to me. I know she is lost, I know she lacks confidence and I know she begs for attention. She spends a lot of time alone, she doesn’t have many close friends and she is lacking in social skills. She sees love differently so we try multiple ways of showing it to adapt to her needs. Again, this is a delicate balance because while showing love, we are trying to correct some of the behaviors which are not appealing and not going to benefit her in her future. To a 16-year-old, this is rude, overbearing and such a contrast of her other household which has to be confusing. She is constantly going through change… 3 schools this year, 2 moves and the addition of 2 step-sisters and a stepmother. She is about to move again, another school and the expectation to be included into a new family with more step-siblings and another father figure. Unconditional love, attention and understanding is what she needs most and we will provide it as much as we can in the short time we get to spend with her.

My ex is not an empath and I’ve had many years to understand that. I worked diligently with our girls to ensure that they are and know how to show love and compassion for others. I have asked them to be kind even when others are not kind to them because we should know that if someone is mean, someone was mean to them. My husband and I have a mutual respect for my ex because he is the father of our girls and while we disagree on many things, we agree that education is important, rules are important, manners are expected and bad behavior will not be tolerated. My ex suffers from a terrible disease that he has not accepted the responsibility to change, but I loved him through it all this time and me, our girls and my husband will continue to do so with boundaries.

My ex-husbands wife is an empath from what I know. She is very caring and loving towards my ex and our girls. I love that about her and even though we disagree sometimes, we are the same in that way and I can appreciate her giving heart.

Everyone’s situation is different. Love isn’t easy and loving the difficult is necessary. Our world is full of hate and our purpose is to fill it back up with love. Boundaries are always important and can be held even when we step out of our comfort zone and put ourselves in someone else’s shoes to see things through their eyes. Showing love and compassion will heal hurt. It may not always be recognized, but it could be the one thing someone needs from you.

Disclaimer: Loving in difficult times with difficult people is something I strive for, but I have failed many times. I get angry, I feel attacked, I don’t know how to make sense of some things and I have responded negatively when I feel that someone is trying to hurt me or those that I love. I’m human, defense is what I know and training my thoughts and reactions to be loving always is a daily struggle. I won’t always be successful, but I am committed to showing love. Empathy is what I know, I’m so thankful that it is part of me and my prayer is that it grows a little more inside of each of us.

Today I Choose JOY …

Every day we wake up we make at least 100 choices before we even get to work. We choose to get up (or hit snooze or skip work), we choose to shower (or not), we choose what we wear, we choose what to eat and drink and we choose what we think about during our morning routine. Those thoughts matter and that routine matters more than we realize because it sets the tone or mood for the rest of the day.

Have you ever thought something and immediately noticed those thoughts can change your course for the day? Your thoughts can control your happiness… or lack thereof. What you think is essentially who you are and what you become. You can actually train your mind to think positive even when it’s hard to. You can choose joy in the midst of complete chaos. By choosing positivity and joy, you have the power to fight off the negative forces that surround us. You may have the ability to have a great day when you thought you might not make it through.

Today is a regular day, but it’s been simple because I have chosen Joy rather than worrying about things I cannot change. I choose Joy because I am stronger than the fears that can taunt my mind. I choose Joy because I am an example for 3 young girls that watch my actions and behavior and learn from them. I choose Joy because my husband deserves laughs throughout the day rather than stress and concern. I choose Joy because my heart is more open to others and their needs. I choose Joy because I can and I challenge you to do the same. You just might enjoy more days and see the world through different eyes.

We don’t have time for bullsh*t and neither should you…

Have you ever realized that you can be very clear on a certain communication and when someone isn’t hearing what they want to hear, they will continue to nag you until you say the exact same thing you’ve already said?  This is our scenario at this time and it is a waste of everyone’s time.  What’s really interesting is when the kids are brought in to harass you into another explanation (a regular occurrence).

There’s a great saying… “No response is a response” – but that doesn’t phase these high-conflict individuals and that’s when the kids are brought in, which is unacceptable.  At this point, email communication is the route we have taken (per court order) and it is there in BLACK AND WHITE with date stamps and additional details to go back and review at any moment there may be a discrepancy or a lack of understanding.  That’s still not enough?  Why are the kids brought in?  Why are they sending multiple text messages while in school when their grades are lacking?  Why is every single communication mis-read, mis-interpreted and completely misunderstood?  Why does every interaction have to be so difficult?  The only answer is… it’s bullsh*t and we do not have time for it!

I created this blog to assist others in my/our situation with the chaos that comes with divorce and being mindful of what you contribute.  I have written about character, boundaries, loyalty, kindness, respect and mistakes along the way.  I have taken the high road most days and have been very proud of my integrity throughout all the trials and struggles we have encountered, but enough is enough.  We do not have time for this type of constant bullsh*t and neither should you.

My book of choice this month is “Everybody Always” by best-selling author Bob Goff.  He is an amazing person, author, husband and mentor.  He has a paragraph in Chapter 1 that states, “There are people in my life and yours who are unsafe, toxic and delight in sowing discord wherever they go.  God gave us discernment, and we should use it as we live our lives”.  At no time are we to continuously allow such chaos to disrupt our lives.  Our happiness is important and toxic people will never be happy, so why spend time going back and forth.  Nothing will ever be what they want to hear and you cannot change that.

The #1 rule in all co-parenting transcripts is – DO NOT INVOLVE THE KIDS.  That is also simple, and should not be an issue of misunderstanding.  We will continue to be clear in communication and respond when necessary and I still believe communication is key.  But at no time will we allow the kids to be involved or instigate anything on our behalf nor will we repeat our communication over and over.  Our time is precious, we are hard-working people and when we draw the line, we draw the line.   Our kindness is overwhelming, our generosity is constant and our love for our children is unmatched.  We will focus our energy on areas and people that matter and use our discernment when dealing with toxic individuals.  When all else fails, feel free to minimize the bullsh*t that toxic people add to your life as well.

Toxic

 

Are you afraid to eat alone?

I was recently having a discussion with a dear friend and previous Sociology professor of mine from Oklahoma State University. We always have fascinating discussions about women and the evolution and liberation over the past century except for one constant – we are lousy in our choices of picking a life partner. We have made such huge strides in equality, women’s rights, independence and success in the workplace, but we lack in self-worth and the ability and comfort of being alone.

I’m writing this for the woman that needs to hear:

  1. YOU are enough
  2. Know what you Bring to the table
  3. Don’t settle for something less just because of your fear of being alone.
  4. Good men are out there and are praying for you
  5. This isn’t the 1920’s – you shouldn’t be expected to handle everything at home while you have a career (besides pearls and vacuuming never went together anyway)
  6. Chasing can be a fun and exciting part of a relationship – not when it is one-sided.
  7. Intimacy is amazing and so much better than “good sex”.
  8. If someone wants to be with you, they will make time – you shouldn’t have to ask.
  9. Be cautious of the “all about me” signs. Selfish ways have no part in a good relationship.
  10. Respect is necessary and you need someone that walks beside you and respects you – nothing less.

So how do make the shift to making good choices in life partners? We expect more! We don’t settle and we learn to be OK with eating alone. Build confidence among your circle and make sure the women around you see their worth. We have a lot of power and we need to start living knowing what we have to contribute.

1/2 Parents

Nothing can prepare you to be 1/2 Parents and it doesn’t matter what you do, you cannot make up the other 1/2.

Children need both parents and both examples whether good or bad. Children are free to make choices and we mold those decisions at a very early age. My question is when do they need to be held responsible for making bad choices and not blame their other parent? At what point are children liable for their behavior? Depending on the parents, some NEVER have consequences and are still protected even when they have children of their own. Some learn at a young age to be held a accountable for what they do, say and how they treat others. Some have to learn in their teen years when their parents realize the effects of their previous leniency. In any of these circumstances, one thing holds constant – we are developing our children’s character, how they handle relationships, how they accept when they are in the wrong and how they treat others.

We have so many mental issues these days and some of these develop very early on. Some are hereditary and some develop later in life due to circumstances. What are you, as a parent, doing to make a change? Are you teaching kindness through your actions? Are you blaming your child’s behavior on their surroundings or others? Are you allowing your child to treat you poorly? Are you teaching grace and gratitude? Do you recognize anxiety in your child? Do you understand depression? How self-aware are you? What are you contributing to your child’s behavior?

These are heavy and I don’t take my role lightly. I make mistakes daily and sometimes I have to apologize for those to our children. But – my intent is to make sure they are an asset to society and leave their mark in a positive way. Our children are still young and very impressionable and they have lots of influences.

Keep in mind when you get a divorce and share custody – you share the right to mold your children. You may have been with your children every minute of every day and after divorce you find that they are gone 1/2 the time. They have more influences and you can just pray they are positive.

Sometimes I think I could have put up with my ex longer to allow our children to not have 1/2 parents and I could have controlled their environment better until they were older. I have even apologized to our babies for making their life more difficult than it already was. But, our girls and I have discussed this and without these circumstances, they wouldn’t be who they are today. They wouldn’t have a mother who is strong, confident, self-aware and independent. They wouldn’t have bonus parents that give them love in new ways that add value to their character. They wouldn’t have my full attention due to my worry about my ex and his diseases. They wouldn’t understand how to process stress and manage change as well. They have so many qualities I adore and know they will value some day.

Today I still struggle with being a 1/2 parent, but I am so grateful for our girls’ resilience and strength. I love their characters (even when I see the challenges of my ex coming through). At least now I can recognize them and work to correct it. I will hold them accountable because that is the only way they will learn and grow into beautiful people on the inside as well.

Expectations…

I have always had high expectations and I’ve learned a few things regarding expectations prior to divorce, during divorce and after a divorce.

Many of you are in the midst of one of these seasons and it IS temporary, but what you can learn from what you expect can make a huge difference in your overall ability to make the best of each situation.

  1. If you are/were married to someone that is selfish, do NOT expect that to change when you are no longer married to them.
  2. If you are/were married to someone that does not put the child’s best interest first, do NOT expect them to do that throughout the divorce or after it is final.
  3. If you are/were married to someone that doesn’t see education as a priority, do NOT expect them to have a vested interest in the education of your joint children of the marriage or to place it as a priority after you are no longer married.
  4. If you are/were married to someone that would hurt you intentionally, expect that to continue and possibly increase after you are no longer married.
  5. If you are/were married to someone with low self-esteem, do NOT expect that to change once you are no longer married to them.
  6. If you are/were married to someone that did not put God as a priority in your lives or the lives of your children, do NOT expect them to do this once you are no longer married… although you can pray for this daily.
  7. If you are/were married to someone that has/had no consistency with their life, do NOT expect them to be consistent when you are no longer married to them.
  8. If you are/were married to someone that has/had a pattern of bad decisions, do NOT expect them to make good decisions once you are no longer married.
  9. If you are/were married to someone that does/did not understand how/when to communicate effectively, do NOT expect them to understand that once you are no longer married.
  10. If you are/were married to someone that blames/blamed you for all their life struggles, do NOT expect that to change once you are no longer married.

This is a short list, but you get the idea.  While there are some circumstances where people change, having the mindset and expectations for them to do so in this environment is not advantageous for you or anyone around you.

High Expectations, while relevant and have good intent, will eventually lead to disappointment in a divorce situation.  There is enough disappointment throughout divorce and the years following, there is no reason to add to it.  It is healthy to expect the behaviors of your ex to continue as they were – you are divorced for a reason.  Your purpose is to lighten the effect those behaviors have on your children as much as possible.  Keep in mind your children may be spending half their time with your ex and they are little sponges.  Re-direction is key and you must lead by example.  Organizing your expectations and not developing un-realistic ones can help you stay grounded, not be surprised by actions/events and avoid constant disappointment.

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