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True Story of Parental Alienation

8 January 2009 1,692 views No comments

Parental Alienation in Action – How Mike’s wife got rid of him for good – or so she thought!

My name is Mike, I’m Australian. Twenty years ago I worked for a few years in England for an engineering company and while I was there, I met and fell in love with a local girl, Susan. We married six months later and were soon lucky enough to have a baby girl, Claudia.

Things were blissful for a couple of years, but then started to go wrong and we realised we just couldn’t go on living together. We agreed to separate and that Claudia would live with her mum, but Susan said she’d never stop me seeing Claudia.

We separated, Susan had the house (and most of my money!) but I was happy as I was still able to see Claudia and had her to stay in my flat a couple of nights a week.

Then, about six months later, Susan found a new boyfriend and soon he’d moved into her house. Things then began to go very quickly downhill. Suddenly my two overnight stays a week with Claudia became one night, later then this turned into me taking her home to sleep at her mother’s after I’d given Claudia her tea after collecting her from nursery.

I was not happy at all about the way the new arrangements were going, but reluctantly agreed to them as I didn’t want to rock the boat – I knew it would be much better for Claudia if I could stay on good terms with Susan.

But things went from bad to worse. Susan started complaining that I was not looking after Claudia properly, though this wasn’t true at all and she was obviously just trying to make things as difficult as possible for me.

Eventually I had no choice but to go to court to try and get my access to Claudia restored but the system did not help me at all, they just listened to her mother – who by now was saying she thought I was a bad influence on Claudia and I could not properly care for her. I did get one day a fortnight contact ordered by the court but Susan soon stopped even that by being ‘out’ whenever I went to collect her.

To cut a long story short, this carried on for a couple of years and I was hardly seeing Claudia at all. It was so upsetting for me when I did see her as it was obvious how confused she was to see daddy only once every couple of months for burger and chips. By then I knew she was calling Susan’s new partner ‘daddy’.

By this time I had ran out of money and lost my job due to stress and decided I couldn’t stay in England for ever fighting to see my daughter. I returned to Australia to try and rebuild my life, hoping to be able to continue some sort of relationship with Claudia by letter.

For the next thirteen years, I sent a letter once a month to Claudia, and birthday and Christmas cards and presents; but I never had a response, not once. I wrote to Susan many times but never had anything back from her either. I was determined not to give up completely, but realised that – for now – she had me beaten.

The week after Claudia’s eighteenth birthday, I decided to try and find her and re-establish contact now that her mother could no longer stop her seeing me. Tracking her down was fairly difficult, but after six months or so I managed to find an address for Claudia by employing an English solicitor and private investigation firm from Australia.

I wrote to Claudia, via my solicitor, saying I would like to get back in touch with her and hoped maybe I could eventually come over and see her if she would agree to that. I obviously knew it was going to be difficult for her to see me after so much time, I didn’t even know if she was going to remember me as the last time I saw her she was just four years old! Maybe she’d heard so many bad stories about me she’d never want to see me at all?

The next few weeks waiting for a reply were the longest weeks of my life. Each day I waited for a phone call, letter or email; praying she would get in touch. Eventually, after about six weeks, I got a reply from my English solicitor, saying that Claudia had been in touch with them and that she did want to meet me. Of course, I was overjoyed to hear this.

Imagine my shock though, when my solicitor told me that Claudia’s mother had always told her that her father was dead!

Susan had told Claudia that I had died when she was four years old. It suddenly became clear why I had never received replies to any of my letters or presents, Susan must have intercepted them for all those years. I could hardly believe anyone could do such a terrible thing to their own daughter, or expect to get away with it for ever.

I’ve been over to England twice now to see Claudia since we got in touch and she’s coming over this summer to stay with me in Australia for a few weeks and do some travelling.

So at least my story ends fairly happily, even though the intervening years have been full of despair and heartache. She’s a lovely girl – though she’s a young woman now of course – it’s hard for me not to think of her as that little baby girl I used to hold all those years ago. Claudia is very angry with her mother and hasn’t spoken to her for six months.

In her last letter Claudia said she was thinking of coming over to work in Australia in her gap year and stay with me for a while longer.

I do so hope she does.

(Identifying features have been changed to protect the individuals involved).

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