Sunday, March 23, 2008

It's Easter Sunday Today

It's ironic that it is Easter Sunday today. This Easter Sunday marks the fifth anniversary of when my then-minor children departed from my life forever. I remember my father ironically remarking to me once that it was on Easter Sunday in 1945 that he waded ashore as a 20-year old into a three month crucible of horrific combat on Okinawa.

I dropped them off after our weekend together five years ago as usual. I had full joint legal custody and standard visitation, acquired after a circus of a two-day custody trial during which "they" faxed a letter to the judge's chambers from Sharon Rogers' house in Arlington stating their visitation preferences, which I guess was to never visit. This sort of parental manipulation--some call it child abuse--by the primary caregiver aimed at turning the children against the other parent is called Parental Alienation Syndrome, or PAS. Practically everyone it hasn't happened to disputes its existence or ignores it.

The following week the judge threw out a "harassment" suit wherein she had used our three minor children as her stalking horse by having "them" sue me over a supposed fiduciary matter. She was ultimately sanctioned and assessed costs of almost $50,000. The lawyers who signed the pleadings and conducted the hearings that led to this outcome for her were Joseph A. Condo (past president of the Virginia bar!) of McLean and William B. Reichhardt of Fairfax.

The Mother and these divorce lawyers "won" though, because the family was irrevocably torn apart, predictably so in my opinion. The children never visited me again after "their" suit was tossed after a full evidentiary hearing, and I have had a nugatory influence on their upbringing since that day. In effect, I haven't spoken to them or seen them since then. I wouldn't recognize any of them if I passed by them on the sidewalk. I don't want your sympathy, I just want you to know that this pernicious extra-judicial family-killer of PAS exists and is practiced in this country. For men, here and here are some resources on where to get support. It's Easter Sunday and I'm going out on for a run. Running allows me to get a new start every day.


Susan said...

I'm glad that you can run your way through this, Peter. That has to help at least a little.

Dori said...

Nothing can undo the damage already caused, but I'm sure that some day your boys will want you back in their lives. It's really a shame that their mother turned them against you. She must be a sick individual, to use her children in that way.

Bex said...

Hi Peter, Happy Easter, and I'm sorry that the day marks a sad anniversary. I'm hoping that your sons will contact you someday soon.

Sunshine said...

So sorry.

jeanne said...

I honestly can't imagine what it must be like to live thru this.

Except to hold on to the hope that someday they will shake off their brainwashing. But you'll never recover the lost years.

And that is just very very sad.

CewTwo said...

A holiday can make a person think about different times and different places. Sometimes the meories are good. Sometimes, they are not.

Hang in there, Peter!

P.O.M. said...

Parental Alienation Syndrome is definately a real thing. It seems almost (unfortunately) like a "normal" part of divorce (at least in my experience).

Hopefully, at some point, children grow older and are able to make their own decisions about their relationships with their parents.

Thank God for Running!

Jade Lady said...

Thank you for sharing your story with us. I was particularly taken by the fact that you put a link to your suit. I'm sorry that this has happened to you. I know that when I'm sad or stressed, running really helps me thru these times. I'm glad it helps you.

As for the Okinawa battle, hmm. I never heard of this myself. I still don't know how 20 year olds can handle such situations. Your father was very brave to have made it thru that, and to live to tell you the story.