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Here on my lap is my very cuddly younger granddaughter. Her father was 'snatched' at the age of 2 along with his elder brother in 1979. Back then I thought I'd never see my sons again, let alone enjoy the good strong loving relationship we have now. As for grandchildren – I never dared hope. Now I'm lucky enough to be mother of four sons, with five lovely grandchildren. It’s not a completely happy ending - this little girl’s elder brother and sister are temporarily (we hope) ‘lost’ to PAS. So it goes, from generation to generation.
This is a photo of me being reunited with my son after many months of being apart. He arrived on my birthday and I just couldn't believe it! You can see that we are both crying and laughing at the same time. It was a moment of incredible emotion. Although neither my son nor my daughter want to live with me, this day was still a breakthrough... and proof that love was still there.
This framed World War 2 poster is in my sanctuary, at home. Its wording has become my mantra and gives me hope. My two lovely girls are now teenagers doing A' levels and first term at Uni. I always expected and, even as the Family Courts system failed me, hoped that they'd return, and kept their rooms as they left them but as the years have gone by I've stored their once precious belongings including a diamante headband from Claire's Accessorize, a welcome letter to our new kitten, Paws (we had such fun with the name and my girls chose it because we already had Whiskers, the rescue cat!) a witchy wig for Halloween ("Why is my hair the same colour as a 'Witch,' Mummy?" "Because even witches have hair as beautiful as yours.") along with the complete Harry Potter series and a million photographs.
Looking back PAS was gradually taking over my son during the years of being controlled by my violent ex, when his father left to live with the other woman and her children and eventually my son moved in with his ‘new family’ - I was discarded like rubbish … my once loving son began to change towards me …. It broke my heart seeing my son at weekends after being a full time mum - I sobbed and said goodbye to him on our last weekend together, as I told him if he could not live with me, then I could not see him again…… I quickly came to my senses and apologised and I have tried my utmost in 5 years to get him back into my life.
I've lost two daughters to Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) and, of course, my grandchildren. The hardest thing - harder than anything else I've ever done - is coming to terms with this and understanding it. I've risen to the challenge to love where there is no love and to nurture myself so that I can carry on. Severe PAS is a terrible condition that grips a child's psyche like a phobia. It's also like bullying in the way that it develops its own momentum. This causes a campaign of hatred against a formerly loved parent. I want to see PAS properly understood and recognised by professionals. I'm working with MATCH and Families need Fathers to raise awareness of PAS and to support others. We help each other to never give up in loving our children.
Decade of battling my violent, manipulative ex, my depression, Court and schools for a place in the lives of my daughter (12), and son (11), Became “Weekend Mum” - heartbroken, ashamed. Ex uses contact (or lack of it) to punish me now that I’m beyond reach of his fists and verbal abuse. Legal system seemed happy to help him. Finding MATCH has been like finally finding a friend who’s been through the same as me. Myself, two younger daughters, and new husband were joined (totally unexpectedly) by my oldest daughter a year ago. The fight for good contact with my son continues.