As an alienated mother on this Mother's Day 2021, I understand all too well the mixed emotions that come with this holiday. I have been dealing with Parental Alienation or been a target parent for years. I would love to say it gets easier, but the sting will always be there.
It is kind of like ending an abusive relationship. You are grateful for being out of the abuse, but you mourn the end of what you had hoped the relationship could have been. Of course, we miss and love our children, but we are also mourning the hopes and dreams we had for the future. Hopes and dreams that started the very moment we found out that we were having a new baby.
I used to sit and imagine what they would look like as they grew up, who they would marry, how many grandchildren I would have, and where they would live. I would sit for hours and pray for them while daydreaming about the memories we would make. There was nothing I wanted more than to be a mom and have a large family.
I grew up with no real family to speak of and always yearned for a place I belonged. Little did I know that I could have a large family and have it torn away. I believed that the family was forever. I had suffered years of abuse in my childhood, but I was very naive about life. The truth is that until you face Parental Alienation, it seems like an impossible thing.
We cannot change the fact that some or all our children will not be around us for Mother’s Day. That does not take away the fact that we are mothers. It also does not take away our ability to pray and dream about the future. I know that our future will not always be what we expected. That does not mean that it cannot be just as fulfilling and wonderful.
Instead of getting caught up in everything we have lost, let us focus on what we still have. We still have the memories of carrying those precious babies inside of us. We have the memories of their birth and bringing them home from the hospital. We remember the time we spent with our children before my ex poisoned them against me. And most of all, we have the knowledge that we did the best we could at loving and raising our little ones.
I can say that even before my separation from my children’s dad, I did not always have good Mother’s Days. He was abusive and selfish, so it was entirely dependent on his mood. I spent most of my Mother’s Days like any other day. I would get up and care for the kids, and if I got a gift, I probably had to get it myself.
There were a few Mother’s Days that fell during what I called “love bomb” stages. Those days I got breakfast in bed and a little more attention. Those were rare over the ten years we were together, so I learned to make the day special.
As alienated parents, we must control what we can. Mother’s Day will be what we make of it. I will spend time with the children and family I can. I will pray for my alienated children and daydream about the day they finally reenter my life. I will always love my children and will always want them to be happy. There is nothing they can say or do that will make me stop loving them. I will, on this day, as on any day throughout the year, attempt to demonstrate unconditional love to everyone around me.
Instead of beating themselves up, alienated parents need to remember they are not bad people. We are simply people who made bad choices in relationships. We need to remember who we are and remember to love ourselves on this important day. We need to treasure the memories we have and continue to feed our hope for the future. We need to use this day to remember that we are mothers and always will be mothers.
My homework for you is to practice at least one act of self-love.
I don’t care if you buy yourself a present, take time for yourself to do something completely selfish, cook your favorite meal, or binge-watch Netflix. The point is to love yourself and be kind to yourself on Mother’s Day. We need to use days like this to replenish our tanks for the battle ahead. Keep demonstrating love to your children and being available for them.
My prayer is that with education and awareness, we can someday find a permanent solution for Parental Alienation to stop destroying children. That's my prayer and wish for you on this Mother's Day 2021.
The mother who wrote this blog post couldn't reveal her identity because she is in active litigation still. Pray for her and make sure you reach out to an alienated mother this Mother's Day.
When you support FUAN, you support parents like this mother everywhere.