Advocacy, Blended Families, Child Abuse, child custody, children's rights, Divorce, father's rights, Mediation, mother's rights, NJ, Parental Alienation, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Post-Divorce Issues, Step-Families
My Sunday Routine Memory…
This morning, as I was still in bed listening to my children giggle while watching television in the living room (waiting for me and my husband to wake up and make breakfast), I scrolled through Twitter and noticed that #Sunday Routine was trending worldwide. This made me think about Sundays before “The Big Break”. A light term for a heavy subject. Otherwise known to me and my family as when my step-daughter had completely succumbed to Parental Alienation Syndrome and made a conscious decision to cut my husband’s family off, and let her hate override her love for us. As my son would say “she turned to the dark side”. Dark humor, I know, but my young son said this with the only words he can relate to, Star Wars theory. My eldest son and my bonus-daughter were like Frick and Frack. Boy, did my son look up to his big sister!
So, back to Sundays in the good old days. My dear step-daughter (my DSD) used to live here nearly every weekend, every long holiday, and many summers. Sundays for us consisted of the following: the boys (I have four biological sons and one biological daughter, but my little girl does not know her big sister.) would wake up and before anything go straight to their big sister’s room and attempt to wake her up, attempt being the key word. My DSD was a heavy sleeper, and she absolutely loved to sleep late! However, by the time my husband I woke up and made it to the kitchen to get breakfast started the smell of Daddy’s Pancakes (my husband’s specialty) would find its way to DSD’s nose and that would be enough to wake her up! We loved, loved, loved Sunday Pancakes (now officially known as Saturday Pancakes). When DSD cleared every morsel off her plate my husband would always ask her this, after every single pancake breakfast, “On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate the pancakes?” DSD would usually give an 8, she was always a strict judge, but we knew that she thought Daddy’s Pancake were the absolute best!
After our pancake breakfast we would quickly get ready for church and, mostly arrive late, but nonetheless, we were together as a family. After church we had a few hours to kick around before DSD had to return home. Sometimes we would go to a park, visit my in-laws, or come home and let the kids play while my husband and I cleaned. Whatever we did was mundane, with some special moments thrown in. That’s how families work. However, it was those pancake breakfasts that were the most memorable to me.
These days my husband still makes pancakes every couple of weeks, and I fill in sometimes too now that I’ve learned how to make edible pancakes (not my specialty). However, now when he asks “On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate the pancakes?” A quiet pause fills the air between my husband and me. We know that this question was really made for my DSD, his precious first-born little girl, who is no longer here to give the meager “maybe an 8” that my husband longs to hear again from her sweet lips.
A sad post to a Sunday Routine, but a sweet memory nonetheless. Parental Alienation is emotional abuse. My husband’s former wife, from the time their daughter was born, began a mind control campaign over their little girl. By the time she was 3 her parents separated and then divorced. The things that were put in her head by her mom about my husband and me are things that no child should be subjected to, not to mention they were lies, far-flung truths, and exaggerations. By the time my DSD was 8 she was trained to never call her dad, and never answer the phone when he called the home, but would have to wait for his call on her mom’s cell phone. By the time she was 12 she began questioning those long-held “truths” about our family, but could not fathom (as a protector) the possibility that those “truths” were false. At the age of 13 she completely cut us off for reasons that are very vague. At the age of 15, she is completely enmeshed with her mom and hates my husband, and his entire family, including her brothers and sister. As her mom told my husband “it looks like that ship has already sailed”. We are grieving for a child who is not in our lives any longer, but still lives 10 minutes away. We have been Targeted and Destroyed. We are the Targeted Family who lost their princess to Parental Alienation Syndrome.
However, now as Sunday is here again, I will tuck the good memories inside my pocket and remember my DSD the way she used to be; a sweet, quiet, considerate, loving young girl who loved her brothers, pancakes, art, Sponge Bob Square Pants, laughing, guitar, and family. After we come home from church maybe my dear husband will make a Sunday brunch….Daddy’s Chocolate Chip and Banana Pancakes…mmmmm. In Memory of my Dear Step-Daughter, with Love.