Editor’s note: Lovefraud received the following story from a reader whom we’ll call, “Suzanne20,” about her quest to protect a child from parental alienation.
The story of my 4-year long battle for my granddaughter and my son. My then 19 year old son Robert (not his true name) had ABI (Acquired Brain Injury) in 2000 as a result of sporting accident. He came out of it well, as he was highly intelligent before the injury. Robert was always a top student, quite creative and artistic who loved science, and he was a much liked young person known for his kindness and adventurous spirit. He has been drug and alcohol free; he never smoked. He never had any involvement with police.
Three years after his ABI he put his studies in chemical engineering on hold and went travelling to Europe. He worked on organic farms for accommodations and food, and in youth hostels to cover his travel expenses. He never asked any money from anyone, he worked and saved. After 12 months he came back home and went to work and travel in America for 12 months. When he came home he decided to complete a TESOL course for teaching English overseas, and he applied to volunteer in Vietnam as an English teacher.
When Robert came home from America, I took him to my work to introduce him to a young, single work colleague who loved travelling too. However, Ruth (not real name) was there too, she was 4 years older than my son and desperate to be in a relationship. Ruth was my good friend at work; I often supported her, because she consistently got into conflicts with everyone, created dramas, fought with even the managers. I felt sorry for her. I became her main support. I know now that she used me, she never really loved me as a person.
Targeting a kind-hearted man
She pulled Robert away from the other girl and asked him to go out with her next day so that she can introduce him to her “friends.” Later on it became obvious that she did not really have friends. That first night she invited Robert to stay overnight, and sleep on the couch in the lounge. Robert was not a womaniser; he always had respect for girls, and he did not like jumping into intimate relationship before he really got to know the girl better. This night despite “clear boundaries” that Ruth set, she almost raped Robert. She said she did not have sex before, yet Robert thought that her behavior showed the opposite.
This is how everything started. The first thing Ruth revealed to Robert was that she had Generalised Anxiety Disorder and other mental health issues. She was “honest,” but she knew that Robert was kind hearted, naïve also vulnerable: he wanted a serious relationship, to settle and have family. He was a very good looking, athletic young man, with high moral and ethical values. Ruth showered him with love and affection and she wanted to do everything with him and to be with him always. Robert thought this was the first person who he felt comfortable with, the first person who accepted him as he was, who shared his interests and values.
The relationship moved super fast. Robert had to go to Vietnam, but before he left, Ruth “proposed” to him. Two months after they met, Ruth announced on FB that she was happily “engaged.” Robert did not even have time to think about it, to tell me and his sisters that he was “engaged.” His sisters got upset that they had to hear the “news” through FB, and they got offended. They could not understand that this was so fast that Robert could not even think.
Robert had to leave for Vietnam, as he already paid $6000 for the Volunteer program. Ruth visited him 1 month later while she was travelling. She stayed with Robert for 2 weeks and later falsely claimed that she was “volunteering” in Vietnam. Robert was much loved in the team, and he was a bit worried that when Ruth arrived, she treated staff with arrogance and disrespect, she was demanding and domineering. Robert felt embarrassed in front of the people who he liked. Later on during the court litigation Ruth turned it around and said Robert was rude and aggressive with staff, which made her worried about Robert’s character.
Ruth came back from Vietnam and requested Robert to quit his volunteer work and come back to Australia immediately. She said she was not willing to wait for him if he stayed there longer. Robert thought it was sweet how Ruth loved him so much, and he thought the relationship was worth more than the money he was losing and the work he loved doing. He came back.
Every time when Robert arrived home, I would wait for him at the airport. Not this time. Ruth told me very assertively that Robert was her fiancé, and I was not allowed to go to the airport, and he was not allowed to come to my home. I was not allowed to see him for 3 days. It was very weird, unusual, and painful, but I thought he was an adult with his own life and I have to step back. However, when he arrived, Ruth was angry with him because he didn’t get off the airplane faster. Robert was excited to see his love, and he got a cold shoulder. He didn’t understand why I was not at the airport; we were always very close.
Isolating the target
From that day on things started changing. Robert was not allowed to visit me; he was slowly isolated from all his friends and could make friends with Ruth’s friends and family only. There was never time to visit his sisters. Whenever they went for holiday, Ruth complained of “not feeling well” and they had to come back home. On my youngest daughter’s wedding Ruth started sulking, because the attention was not on her, because we were interacting as a family, happy. Around 6 pm Ruth started complaining about the quality of the music, it was too loud too, people were annoying, she had a headache, she wanted to go home. Unfortunately, me and my husband offered to drive Robert and Ruth to the wedding, so we would not drive 2 cars. Ruth demonstratively left the wedding and went to lie down in the car demanding us to go home. It was 10pm, my daughter’s wedding, and we were so stressed that we had to leave. The biggest mistake that my daughter could never forgive us. I could not think straight under the pressure, I thought if we leave at least the celebration can continue undisturbed.
Next 2 years went fast. Robert found it stressful that every conflict resulted in yelling, screaming, demeaning from Ruth’s part. Whenever Robert tried to resolve the conflict, Ruth would stop communicating; instead she would threaten to kick Robert out. She would call me every 2-3 months to come and collect my son, because she could not live with him. By the time I got there, she was all sweet and forgiving and loving and everything was good again. The emotional yo-yo started. I told her that if next time she asks me to come and take Robert home, I WILL take him home and he will not go back. They had to learn to problem solve. Never again was I called to intervene. However, I could see my son turning into a “hermit.” He said he was concerned, because he became a short fused person who would yell and scream at slightest stress. He grew long hair, lost weight, he looked very untidy. The house was like a big rubbish bin. Many times when I visited I cleaned the stove top, benches, fridge, washed Robert’s clothes. He was studying and working part time.
Manipulator demands marriage and a child
Then Ruth decided they had to get married. Robert was not ready; he was worried about Ruth’s verbal aggression and domineering behavior. The marriage was pushed by Ruth. It all had to be her way and her mother’s way. They controlled everything.
Robert was doing his last year of studies. Ruth wanted a child. The psychiatrist suggested she NOT have kids. Robert didn’t want children with her, because of her abusive behavior. She promised the world, that she will change, that she will stop yelling. He was not budging. Than he got a phone call from Ruth’s mother, Ava (not her name): “You are disrespectful towards Ruth. If you don’t make up your mind to conceive a child, you have to leave. You have 2 weeks to think.” Rob said he was not ready financially to support a child and wife, he needed to finish his studies first. Ava said that Robert should not worry about the money, she will take care of that. Ava is a millionaire, so he had no excuse. The house they lived in, Ruth’s mother bought for Ruth. Robert was never asked to pay any bills, and he had to sign the Prenup before they got married: Ava made sure that Robert was dependent but unable to get anything if they divorced. Robert was vulnerable: He did not have money, job, he was studying and wanted a genuine relationship. Ruth had everything.
I wish he left when he was presented with that emotional blackmail. We didn’t know about sociopaths, even though I had a degree in psychology and worked in mental health. My two daughters were psychologists too, one of them is a Forensic psychologist. None of us really knew what was happening. Robert was hoping that a child would make things better, make Ruth less abusive and more happy.
Baby arrives, nightmare worsens
My granddaughter Leslie (not her real name) was born 9 months later. My son was so happy, that he did not sleep for 2 days and nights – he was doing everything around Leslie. Then the real nightmare started.
Robert needed 6 more months to finish his course. He had no time to study, he was scared to leave Leslie with Ruth. She appeared completely unable care for the baby. The bottles were everywhere unwashed; she was angry; she saw the baby as a nuisance. I visited few times, cooked meals for them and wanted to help around the baby, but Ruth made it clear that my cooking she didn’t like and I was not welcome. Her mother was welcome to go every day several times. If I bought bottles for the baby, Ava immediately bought 3 times more. They see power and personal value in people’s capacity to buy things.
I gave up, I didn’t want to compete with these silly women. There was always a senseless hoarding in the house, Ruth would purchase 12-20 dvds, CDs in one go, and left them on the floor in the shopping bag for weeks. There were boots and shoes on the floor in boxes. Ava would buy stuff on auctions and than store them in Ruth’s house. Clutter everywhere. Now when the baby was born, the same shopping addiction continued but whatever I bought was not expensive enough, they had to quickly buy more or “better” things. But they did not compete about caring for Leslie. I was allowed to visit only every 2nd weekend.
Ruth became jealous of her daughter. She complained that Robert put Leslie first when he was supposed to put Ruth’s interest first. Ruth didn’t respond to the baby’s cry for food during the night and in the morning before 7 am. Robert kept getting up for nighttime care. He took sick leave and used up all his annual leave because he was anxious to leave the baby in Ruth’s care. Leslie was 3 months old, they were fighting over parenting issues. Ruth started calling Ava to problem solve when she and Robert had disagreements. Ava kept calling Robert to “sort him out.” Robert insisted on feeding the infant on demand, Ruth and Ava believed that the baby needed to be trained to not feed after 10pm and before 7 am. The 2 women ordered my son to care for Leslie before 10 am and leave the rest of the night care for Ruth. Of course, Ruth ‘s part of care was to ignore the crying, hungry child. Robert could not tolerate the baby’s cry he got up, fed Leslie and pulled a mattress in the room where Leslie had to be all alone (Ruth ordered Leslie out of the bedroom). He fed Leslie and took her in bed with him.
Female sociopath kicks out the father
When Ruth realized that Robert did not obey Ruth and Ava’s direction, she had a meltdown in the middle of the night. She called her mother first thing in the morning and I was asked to get my son and move him out. He didn’t want to leave without the baby, and I insisted on taking the baby with us so that Ruth could rest. 4 days followed when Ruth kept calling Robert and abusing him and demanding the child back. There was a very stressful and traumatic time, followed by real hell. Ruth kicked my son out, very unexpectedly, and without knowing where Leslie was. He could not take Leslie. He didn’t know that legally she could not just kick him out of the family home, without any reason.
My son moved in with me, he was deeply traumatized by the situation. This is a real emotional abuse that must not be allowed to happen to anybody, that must be punished. This child was his everything and suddenly he was cut out of her life, and Ruth messaged him telling him that he can’t have anything to do with Leslie, Ruth and her mother will raise her. Both sociopaths.
I am not sure how we survived the next 6 months while we had no access to the baby. Robert cried every single day when out in the community: he was jealous of parents who were with their children out and about. His pain was triggered every minute. Then Ruth was torturing him mentally in the worse and most cruel ways possible. My son often said that he felt he was dealing with a demon, not a human being. He couldn’t understand how a woman who said she loved him and adored him and declared will stay with him forever, and claimed that she shared his values and interests, suddenly became the total opposite.
Working to protect a child from parental alienation
Not until we found Lovefraud that he could get a closure and some peace. He purchased your webinar about what to do when the child has to go back to the disordered parent, and he watched it twice within 24 hours. He watched the other videos and read the blogs. He wants to purchase more webinars, as your site brought him the help and insight he so desperately needed. I will start a FB site and a web site/blog to share our experience with the world. I have many diary entries and I have educated myself all the way.
The first court case supported my son. All assessments were supporting him. Now we are in the middle of mediation and we are fighting for this 4 year old angel who has been abused emotionally, psychologically, sexually under the mother’s care. It broke our hearts million times, but we learned from experts how to balance it for the child while she was with us. She is with us 42% of the time, but the mother does everything to cut her off and minimize our time with her.
It is hard to prove that abuse is really happening. We know, we watched it happen, the child was scared to return to the mother all these 4 years, even as a baby. She knew she was safe here. The mother started a new campaign against us, a child psychologist is involved, but she is manipulating the information, lies effortlessly and turns everything around. Whatever she does wrong blames it on us, claims that we are doing it. Without constant education and learning what to do to counteract the evil, we would have been destroyed by now.
A new battle is ahead still. I am already managing a FB site called, “When Parental alienation is child abuse.” I try to share all the knowledge with people who need help. We battled alienation successfully because we knew what was going on and how to support the child without talking negatively about the other parent, by learning to disconnect our anger and focus 100% on the child when she was with us. That worked wonders. She always had a safe place with us to feel whatever she felt and to vent.
We need to learn how to go to the court again if we have to. We need evidence and we hope somebody will talk about all the abuse that this child experienced. Unfortunately, whichever professional asks about Robert’s opinion, he can’t say that he is not confident about child’s safety while under the mother’s care. If he says what he has experienced, he will be labeled as nasty, if he doesn’t talk about it, the court will think everything is OK.
This is most frustrating. The child gets traumatized and brainwashed regularly and will become mentally affected for life. She already is showing issues at kinder: relationship difficulties, strong drive to dominate the kids, play activities, the teachers, does not want to share but wants others’ things, has intense meltdowns that are hard to settle…Robert kept expressing his concerns while Ruth kept saying that he is paranoid, the child is happy and well adjusted, and she misinterpreted the child psychologist’s comments too. Robert insisted on child psychologist assessment, the whole process was delayed and then when the psychologist refused to play Ruth’s games, Ruth disengaged saying that the psychologist was not well trained. The court appointed an expensive family assessment by a high profile professional. She found Ruth as a source of problem. Then Ruth attacked the validity of that report and questioned the Family Therapist’s credentials. She attacks everyone who does not agree with her. It is draining and very stressful.
Listening to your webinar and videos it is clear that we need to minimize the information we give about the child. We started using Family Wizard in March as a communication platform. At least there is evidence. Whenever Robert asks for something, Ruth doesn’t respond, Strangely enough there is a note that she never viewed that message in which Robert asked for something. Not sure how she knows which messages to open…a Horrible person.
We have opposite values, we will not lie no matter what and we will not burden the child with adult issues. No way. It would break my heart burdening her further. She loves us but the mother frightens her. She doesn’t know what to do to please the mother. She knows that she needs to take sides, but she is worried that she will lose us.
I could talk a lot about emotional abuse that I have been witnessing every week. Not sure what to do next, because the child is being brainwashed more intensely during this time when the mediation is happening and we are waiting for a new child psychologist to start seeing the child. Ruth already took over the payment, she wants to pay for the sessions and the report: she does this because she has the money and she wants to control what the report will be like. She is in contact with the psychologist, manipulates her, like she does with everybody. It is a very difficult situation.
I will write a book very soon, we have to stop these human evils from destroying lives. This is just not OK.