Based upon helpful feedback from others dealing with Parental Alienation, I've continued to update my book (parentalalienationisreal.info), which not only tells my story of Parental Alienation, but is my attempt to explain some of the underlying psychology and relational dynamics, from one layperson to the next. Here is a short chapter I recently added:
GOODNIGHT MY ANGEL
"Okay, now make him look sad," I said.
Kendra contorted the stuffed animal's face to the appropriate expression, and then whimpered a little for added effect. This made me laugh.
It was bedtime. I was tucking my daughter in. We were lying side-by-side, our heads sharing the same pillow.
My wife and I had not yet fully separated. I was still spending my evenings at our home, but I was sleeping at a little apartment I had rented. There were no lawyers yet. We were considering counseling. But soon the violent episode between Andrew and his mother would take place, and the days of utter chaos would begin.
"Okay, just one more and then I have to go... now I want you to make him look surprised." Kendra raised the animal's paws up in the air, perked up his ears, and then spastically shook his whole body back and forth. I laughed again.
"That was perfect! Okay, now it's time for you to go to bed."
"But you have to stay in my room until I fall asleep."
"No cutie, I'm sorry. I can't do that. I have to go."
"But then I won't be able to sleep."
"I'm sorry honey, but it's time for me to go." I started heading out. I didn't want her to see me getting choked up.
"I love you Dad," Kendra said softly as I left her room. "I love you too Kendra," I replied.
As I walked down the hall I passed the master bedroom. The door was partially open, and I could see the dim shadows cast by my wife's reading lamp. I'm sure she was listening to everything.
"I love you Dad," Kendra said loudly as I headed down the steps. "I love you too Kendra. I'll see you tomorrow night." Had I only known the storm that was coming, I would have savored her words even more. After that night I would not hear them again.
I opened the front door. "I love you Dad!" Kendra shouted to me one last time. "Goodnight Kendra! I love you very much! Go to sleep now, okay?"
I stepped out into the cold and closed the door behind me.
The problem with Parental Alienation is not that it causes the pain of a divorce. Obviously the pain is already there. It's inherent. The problem with Parental Alienation is how that pain is then used as a weapon. Parental Alienation infects the wounds of a divorce and it causes them to fester. It interrupts the natural healing process. It leaves ugly scars, and the scars it leaves last for a lifetime.