This is not going to be a popular article with women who claim their child(ren)’s father is a deadbeat dad. The truth is that a clever woman who has fully mastered the art of Parental Alienation can drive a good man and loving father away. He has not abandoned his children; he has been forced into so-called abandonment.
I’m talking about a situation where a child will be actually harmed by their custodial parents, siblings, etc. if they continue to visit, speak to or even love their father. A situation where a man cannot win, regardless of how much he does, how hard he tries or how many times he brings solid, concrete proof of abuse to court.
It happens. It happened to my husband, Rhys. Within fifteen years of his ex-wife’s suing Rhys for divorce after embarking she embarked on a sordid affair with a drug dealer, she had successfully turned all of his children against him. All of his children, except Terrwyn, his youngest son.
When all of Terrwy’s siblings had been thoroughly brainwashed to believe their Da was a lying deadbeat who didn’t care about them nor contribute to their well-being, Terrwyn held out. He didn’t swallow all the lies. He didn’t believe the tales. He reserved judgment. He still loved his da, my husband Rhys.
How he was punished for that! His family told him that everyone hated him. His brothers and sister beat him unmercifully. Once he was down, they kicked him savagely in the groin. Terrwyn bore the brunt of all their own pain, disappointment and rage for years. Silently, without hitting back or seeking vengeance.
Yes, we reported the abuse to Child Protection. Repeatedly. But, just as in the case of the deceased Baby Elsie, they determined that no abuse had occurred and no child was in danger.
Through it all, Terrwyn still loved his Da because Rhys, supposedly the villain, was the only person in Terrwy’s life who was actually kind to him. The only person who gave him hugs. And I was the only ‘mam’ who tucked him in. He loved the rare times he was allowed to come for visitation. He ate our food like he was starving for nutrition (which he was.) Was grateful when I mended his torn, outgrown hand-me-down clothes. And cherished being tucked-up and kissed g’nite. When his siblings thought I wasn’t looking, they beat him at my house. I caught them, more than once. Rhys spoke firmly to them, more than once.
As they grew older, my other step-children were vocal in their hatred of their father. Again and again, they insulted him over the phone and on social media. A good father can only take so much. If you’re hated, if you’re not wanted, you step away. Gracefully. You stop answering the calls from those who are verbally abusing you and are old enough to know better. Rhys stepped away, gracefully. No father is required to be a verbal punching bag, to be disrespected. And forcing a child to maintain a relationship against their wishes will only make them hate you more.
But he kept talking to Terrwyn. And that’s when things got really bad. I discovered a post on social media where Terrwyn stated that his drunk siblings were beating him, spitting on him, slamming his hand in doors. Still he called.
So his siblings took his phone away. Sometimes they used Terrwyn’s phone to call, proving that Rhys was screening their calls and would speak to Terrwyn, but not to them. They flew into a rage and, again, beat Terrwyn to a pulp. Even Rhys letters’ to his son were taken by his birth mother, hidden from Terrwyn and returned to sender. Terrwyn never knew his Da was writing him letters.
With all avenues exhausted, Rhys had to make a hard decision. Four of his children hated him and Terrwyn was in grave danger if he continued to speak to his father. That’s when Rhys stepped back. He hugged his children goodbye and disappeared from their lives.
He was driven into so-called ‘abandonment’ by Parental Alienation. He’d done his best. His youngest son was in danger of permanent physical harm while Rhys had almost lost his own sanity and health striving, trying, defending, loving, supporting and bearing all the child-on-parent and ex-wife abuse silently, strongly and serenely. A bad woman can create an impossible situation for a good man. She triumphed, at least, for now.
The good thing about children is they grow up quickly. The four eldest are grown, gone and yes, still hate their father. But we recently saw Terrwyn again.