I have met and heard the tragic stories of many parents. PA is a function, by and large, of a custodial ex-partner, although some alienation can start while the couple is still together.

This blog is a story of experiences and observations of dysfunctional Family Law (FLAW), an arena pitting parent against parent, with children as the prize. Due to the gender bias in Family Law, that I have observed, this Blog has evolved from a focus solely on PA to one of the broader Family/Children's Rights area and the impact of Feminist mythology on Canadian Jurisprudence and the Divorce Industry.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Chapter 100 ~ Parental Relationships & Parenting 101

I learned recently from a relative of the ex that her Mother died sometime in 2007. I always got along OK with her Mother and when I talked to her last she couldn't understand what was going on in her daughter's head about taking off. They were estranged for most of the ex's adult life and seldom saw each other. The ex's personal history document indicates there was no closeness when she was younger as well lamenting about how her Mother wanted the ex to be her friend rather than be the Mother. The same scenario is now being acted out only this time it is the ex wanting to be the friend to Piegi, my 12 year old, rather than be a Mother. Piegi is the most alienated of the girls and the ex has to placate her or the game is over for her if Piegi doesn't get her way, thusly, my 12 year old wields a great deal of power.

As it turns out the ex didn't go to her Mother's funeral. That is a bit of a surprise as I brought the subject up last spring when I discovered her Mom was ill. I suggested she go down and visit, given the prognosis wasn't good and I would look after the girls. I explained I would need very little notice given the circumstances. She didn't go to visit her Mom even though she knew the illness was likely terminal. Evelyn, her mom, was at Ross Memorial Hospital, in Lindsay, Ontario at the time so it was within a 7 hour drive. She could have taken the bus or gotten one of her female friend(s) to help out with transportation I'm sure. She puts a lot of stock in her association with the females in the support groups so surely someone could have helped with transportation. I even offered to do it over a weekend and the girls could go with us. There was no reasonable excuse for her to not attend.

What kind of person doesn't attend the hospital when her mother is terminally ill? What kind of person doesn't attend her mother's funeral? This is the same person who didn't attend her oldest brother's or father's funerals. What kind of dysfunctions does this display within a family? Her oldest brother and father may well have been directly involved in the incestuous molestations she suffered over a 7 year period from age 7-14 so one can understand she would have no interest in going to their funeral yet she also has written as recently as 2003 about how she missed her father during her personal crises' and was sorry she didn't make any contribution to even getting him a grave marker. What kinds of social impairments would have been present, with the knowledge of the family, when the ex's mother, the ex and her brother do not even get the father a grave marker? This is the person the family court has entrusted with my children and has shunted me aside whenever I brought forth a motion for changing custody. Indeed her lawyer even convinced a judge my motions were frivolous! Such is the state of family law and justice in this jurisdiction. The ex gladly took any money from her mother's estate but she didn't care one iota about paying any respects. What makes a person like this "tick"?

She has stated she has "moved on". How can anyone possibly think they have "moved on" when they have left so much detritus in their wake? How can someone who still carries around her own childhood baggage and major parental/family/male (misandry) emotional complexities in the quantum she has possibly be fit to raise two children as the courts have deemed, even if only temporary? No one can "move on" in an appropriate manner with this kind of debris floating around in their head confusing the thought process without, heaven forbid, even including any consideration of the 4 mental health disorders she has written about that are layered onto her traumatic upbringing in that family environment. My observations of her behaviour, especially having been victim to it over and over and over (I am not a masochist but can be patient to a fault coupled with being an optimist hoping things will change) are consistent with her own diagnosis. For diagnostic criteria from the world standard DSM-IV and others relative to Aspergers Disorder (syndrome) click here. In section "A" I have seen all four behaviours from time to time. She never hugged her children until Peigi was 7, she didn't hold out her arms to receive Peigi when she was born, eye to eye contact is difficult for her, she has no empathy for others, she does not understand what impact her criminal and other behaviour has on others. Even now if she looks you directly in the eye to try and overcome her problems she may stare at you longer than normal, sometimes not even blinking, making you feel uncomfortable because she does not have any natural cues as to when it is appropriate to avert her gaze, hugging the children is a learned ritual rather than an activity based on "feelings" of warmth or affection in the same manner as taking your just born child in your arms out of love. She does not feel these emotions in the same manner we do or know naturally how to express it with her body.

Given these diagnostic criteria are for use by professionals one has to be careful with the information as it is not a recipe book, but I have over 30 years hands on, up close and personal experience of careful and systematic observational/experiential, empirically derived information stored in my head and consider myself well qualified to agree with her own conclusions. I come from the John Locke school of learning . "Locke held that our understanding of reality ultimately derives from what we have experienced through the senses." Asperger's is only one of the four she has written about with some being hereditary found in her genealogical research but it is the most pronounced and complex in her (and others including me) daily life. Her belief she is perfect comes from the Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder (OCPD) "that is characterized by a general psychological inflexibility, rigid conformity to rules and procedures, perfectionism, moral code, and/or excessive orderliness." The moral code one is a puzzler to me. She has no apparent moral compass but she is "born again" but I can't quite get the relationship. She does have the other disorders and I believe there may be dissonance caused by competition between disorders. The DSM-IV indicates there must be a certain number of symptoms present, not necessarily all of them, in order to obtain a diagnosis.

The orderliness also manifests itself in such activities as packing items in boxes or elsewhere. She is one of the best organizers of things I have ever seen whether it be in closets, cupboards, boxes, etc. One of the reasons I suggested back in 1994 she look at managing a Mail Boxes Etc. Franchise was her capabilities at packing. She is the best. Packing and shipping was one of the big profit centres at those locations. She is also incredibly inflexible (her mother used to describe it as stubborness) and despite my offer to give her all the assets to try and help our children she can't deal with it. She has her lady friend, and possibly other sexual partners, and doesn't want to change. I even made an offer that included her keeping her partner but she hates me so much it couldn't penetrate her mind and create flexibility. Yet she cannot take stress and it creates further havoc in her thinking process and behaviour. She walks out on the children when they are beating each other up - or rather the much bigger and stronger Peigi - is pummeling her much smaller and lighter sister causing bruises on her back as one of the more recent serious instances of child neglect. See the incident below where her Asperger's (it is a less severe form of autism at the high end of the autistic spectrum) kicks in and her social awkwardness coupled with a low tolerance for stress won't allow her to answer a phone or door because she knows there is the potential for having to deal with her child's behaviour which, in her mind, might have been problematic.

She has had a tragic life and despite my obvious dislike of her behaviour therein also lies the reason why I am periodically empathetic toward her and would take counselling to see if any wounds could be healed. I have an honest belief she, in many respects, cannot help her behaviour combined with the knowledge her thought process can lead her to be a cold, calculating, crafty, clever, cunning, highly intelligent foe. Unlike me the ex's mental health prevents empathy or in the words of the DSM-IV Criteria "A) 4. lack of social or emotional reciprocity". I believe it to be an understatement that my life and feelings toward this woman I had spent more than half my existence in a relationship with are complex. I still have to spend the rest of my days as a co-parent and that worries and frightens me, for the children's sake, a great deal. One of the reasons is as follows but it is typical of her behaviour and goes on frequently according to stories making the rounds in her neighbourhood. All I can do is shake my head with worry and agree with the speaker that not all is right in her thinking process and conduct.

I got an earful from the mother of one of Delia's friends last weekend about a recent incident where parental responsibility took a back seat to cowardice by the ex. Keep in mind her mental health disorders explained above. Over the Christmas holiday Delia was staying overnight at a friends house one street over from the ex. My nine year old and her friend got in an argument, as children periodically do, sometime just before 10:30 pm on this night and Delia left, ostensibly to go home. The supervising mother of Delia's friend found out a short time later when her daughter told her Delia had left the house. She was worried as she was responsible and called the ex. The ex would not answer her phone. This has also happened to me many times as well and increases a persons worry quotient more. The ex knows who is calling as she has caller ID. The ID would have showed it was Delia's friend's home phone calling. If Delia was present with her she would also have known why the call was coming in. The worried mom then went to the ex's house and knocked on the door but the ex would not answer. The worried mom was frantic as she did not know with certainty if the ex was home or of Delia's whereabouts. She should have called the Police. I certainly would have. How can someone be that irresponsible and cowardly? The ex runs from pressure or chooses to not deal with it frequently and in this case as with others in the past it is to the detriment of the children and concomitantly with their relationships with friends. Delia does have relationship difficulties but does not get appropriate and timely guidance from the ex on the correct way to deal with her conflicts. I make attempts to offer help but Delia will often retort it is none of my business as she did over the weekend when I found out about it. Once she gets into this frame of mind I cannot get through to her. The ex, over time, has convinced the children it is none of my business. The ex's behaviour only serves to exacerbate the relationships as other parents have second thoughts about their children being friends with my nine year old.

We also saw Peigi at the mall on Friday night with friends. She hasn't wanted to see me since October with the exception of Christmas when she came to get her gifts. I smiled at her and said hello. Her response was a "smart-alecky" did you stare enough" as she kept on walking with her friends. We saw her a little later near the movie theaters where it appeared the father of one of the girl's was picking them up but when she saw Delia she had a look of hatred on her face and gave her the middle finger salute. Delia called her a loser. Their sibling rivalry issues don't appear to be mending at all despite the ex's assurances she "now knows what to do." Click here to see Chapter 89 for the history of this statement. I remain a worried Dad on a daily basis.