An insight into the life of a target of alienation…
You drop your son off at the other parent’s house.
He said over and over he didn’t want to go back there. He’s tried to stall by forgetting how or just being slow to get dressed, brush his teeth and hair. But you reassure him that there are good things waiting for him.
He puts on his coat reluctantly.
His shoulders are slumped as he walks with you to the door.
A glare meets you at the door. (You were 3 minutes late).
He hugs tighter and longer. And he tries to get the last “I love you/I’ll miss you” in.
You walk quietly to your car as you hear a door slam, not close, slam behind you.
You drive home, without making a sound in the car, just thinking, reminiscing of the time that just ended. Other times you will try to avoid going home at all in order to avoid the “nothing” that awaits you.
You arrive home to a space that is quiet and cold. The thermostat says 68, but is still colder than when you left.
You walk into the living room and see a toy or a stuffed dinosaur or an errant sock.
You go upstairs to his room. You see an errant line of silly string, a remnant from a string fight he and a friend had.
You see an indentation in a pillow where his head laid just an hour ago. The indentation slowly shows the outline of an ear or a cheek or the bridge of a nose.
So you lay next to this pillow. And you try to pull in his scent.
You grab his stuffed dinosaur and sniff it’s neck.
You then pull yourself together.
You get up and walk out of the room, closing the door behind you as if you’ve just put him to bed. Because you have put this time to bed. Waiting for the next time he’s there so you can wake up again.
It’s something of a bipolar existence. “Double life” may be a better phrase. Can’t have the mental health people diagnosing you.
But it is the life of a parent who is the target of alienation.
Parents, my advice to you- be good to each other. Because there may be a little boy or girl who has their process in dealing with being in the middle of alienation tactics. You may not like their process. You may not know their process. Your focus has been on trying to eliminate the other parent. But have you paused to think about what your selfishness is doing to these young minds?
My fellow targeted parents, keep solace in the fact that they may get the first 10-15 years. But stay strong. Stay “there”. Stay involved. Stay intact. And you’ll get the next 40.
Thanks for letting me rant.