Five Years

This past weekend, Dove crawled into my lap and curled up like a cat, lifting her head every now and then to kiss my cheek.  Moments like that, holding her in my lap or watching her wrestle her father, I feel like she is safe, free to be who she is really is.

When Gary and I saw Dove before her pre-school graduation a few weeks ago, she instantly smiled when she saw her daddy and started heading toward us.  Then a shadow crossed her face, she stopped, dropped her head, and avoided us the rest of the evening.  The fact that her mother stepped directly into her path as she started walking toward us?  Ah, merely coincidence, of course. 

All of the kids are punished for loving their father and me.  I have seen it so many times, it can be construed as nothing but abuse.  Dove, as the youngest, is the most confused about the profuse praise and attention heaped upon her for not sitting with her father that night, or for the anger and hostility unleashed on her when she wants others to play “like Daddy”. 

Whether the kids completely understand what is happening (and I don’t believe they always do, or possibly can), they understand in no uncertain terms that loving their daddy or me is going to be met with anger, belligerence, and punishment, while joining in with their mother and their grandparents in putting us down is rewarded, praised, and encouraged.  As they get older, the kids seem to be catching on that not everything they are told is exactly the gospel truth.  Realizing that your own mother is a hateful liar cannot be easy.

Watching the kids in Hickville, then watching them at our house, is like watching two different sets of children.  They seem to shed shackles and tear off their masks once they are safe in our home, bursting with radiant true colors that are suppressed and squashed in Hickville.

Dove is immersed in the poison heavier than the older kids since she is younger and not able to question what is happening.  It takes an immense coward to twist a child’s mind and prey upon innocence.

Each time Dove kissed my cheek, each time she ran into the room just to say “I love you, Daddy”, I wished the kids could simply enjoy being kids, could love freely, could grow and explore and feel without fear of retaliation or sanction.  
Today is Dove’s birthday.  She is five years old and ready to dominate kindergarten when school starts in the fall.  She is a whirlwind of energy with a tender heart, a snappy sense of humor, and a stubborn streak a mile wide. 
She is also confused as hell and already scarred by her mother’s and her grandparents’ alienation attempts.  Five years of being lied to, manipulated, told what to think, ordered how to feel, punished for loving her daddy, listening to an endless litany of put-downs and insults about both Gary and me…she is such a young child but has already experienced so much she never should have been exposed to.
I wish I could say it will get better from here.  But all I can say is, I hope all of the kids manage to hold on tight to what is true in their hearts, what is soft and gentle and loving, and manage to not be dragged down by people in their lives intent on destroying them.

About TheSmirkingCat

I am endlessly trying to make sense of a world that has completely and unapologetically lost its mind.
This entry was posted in bad mothers, birthday, Dove, parental alienation. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Five Years

  1. Amy says:

    Here's waiting for the day that they get old enough that they will tell the Egg Donor (because no one that treats a child like that can be considered a “mom”) that they don't want to live with her any more. And the time is coming that as teenagers, they will call her out on all her lies and manipulation. And you might find them residing with you. Which would ultimately be best for the kids

  2. lamadrastra says:

    Jesus. Your stories about this Bio-mom make me despair my species. You hardly need me to tell you this, but just keep doing what you're doing. Your wonderful example will go every bit as far as hers does toward shaping those young lives.

  3. Syn says:

    I hope they can as well. My stepkids couldn't take it year after year after year.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Has Gary tried reading this book with Dove: Amy J.L. Baker, “I Don't Want to Choose!
    How Middle School Kids Can Avoid Choosing One Parent Over the Other.” She is about the right age for it to help her if he goes through it regularly with her. We used it with my SD, but by the time we started (12), it was too late and she is only now, at 15 with two years of therapy under her belt, starting to realize the alienation and reject it. Here is a link to purchase the book:

    There is a companion guide, for parents only, called “Beyond the High Road: Responding to 17 Parental Alienation Strategies
    without Compromising Your Morals or Harming Your Child.” It is also available for purchase at, but I just found a PDF of it for free at

  5. So, so sad to read this. I know I've dropped out of the blogosphere for a while and I was really hoping to read some good news. Those poor kiddos. I know how hard it is to watch the kids be safe in your care and exposed to madness with the other parent. I will tell you from my experience, it gets much, much worse before it gets better. But, it will get better. Sending you all much strength and hope.

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