Extreme Parental Alienation Conflict
By Darel L. Long
July 26, 2021
To my friends, family, loved ones, social media connections, and kind supporters during a challenging time, the stories I’m about to release will provide encouragement and actions to consider for those embattled with Parental Alienation. Sharing the story with your family, colleagues, and acquaintances will be welcomed by those enduring PA.
For me, PA began before I filed for divorce in Roanoke County court, when my daughter was just three years old. The conflict and abuse are ongoing to this day. She is now 26 years old. Twenty-three years later, the conflict continues.
The story is also about NOT GIVING UP, no matter what!
If a parent and child endure PA, the parent enduring PA has little time to correct the depravity. Even if you have a strong legal case, it’s highly probable should you properly engage the legal system, no matter how strong your case may be. The courts will slow walk your complaint. My original custody case took six years and three months to remedy. Even if you move forward swiftly through the courts, the agitating parent’s devilish wishes may prohibit you to have any meaningful relationship with your own child. This is due to their own controlling, abusive, and despotic behaviors the agitating parent holds. The non-agitating parent may never have a meaningful relationship with their child.
In my opinion, parental alienation isn’t properly addressed via the courts, nor within the school systems.
I’ve missed my daughter every day for many years. Despite this, I managed to turn loss into advocacy.
To me, the word advocacy lays the groundwork for much more. While the article will foreshadow ideas gleaned with experience, I’m currently working on my first book entitled Parental Alienation: She Changed Her Name. I began this book just before I last saw my former high school English teacher Blacksburg, VA. At that time, I wrote less than 10 pages. The details at that time were unsettling to consider while writing closer to the time of anguish.
Years later, a friend of mine who is now a judge, met with me for lunch in Roanoke City, VA. He encouraged me to write a book. I didn’t even share with him I had started writing, but his encouragement was subtle and supportive. Of course, life reveals little surprises as he brought forward an important witness in my earliest custody case, for whom I’m also very thankful to this day, who was brave to be a witness. As reflection grew, I also became friends with a woman who lives on the west coast, whom I consider a dear friend. In her situation, her husband was a police officer and had also alienated her three kids. She is estranged from her children due to the husband’s acts of family abuse, called Parental Alienation.
Sometimes life events are difficult to discuss at time when they should be discussed. However, the broad range of conflict and details required me to keep things within my mind, known to my lawyers, and those who cheered my efforts. No one else was privy to my pain. Had I been more public about the conflict, I am certain it would have escalated just as much as it had.
In total, I’ve met some amazing people who help others through this issue. I’ve meet 32 people over the many years who I believe been placed in my life to support me emotionally, and at other times, they showed a special level of kindness towards me.
Several years ago, a dear friend of mine who lived not far from me began her own pathway through PA. Her case ended in the most tragic event I’ve witnessed for PA. Her former husband began an affair with his legal assistant and began the process of alienating her kids from her. After many false allegations, which she won over time, she endured a tremendous level of conflict and harm to her status of a mother and her character. I’m sad to say that though she was an amazing woman, she took her own life, and left me a note to write about her story. Writing about her has been extremely difficult, I completed her short story, and I’m sitting on it as I make minor changes and will be release by November. I hope with all my heart the story I write about her, calling her Renee, will also bring to light the treachery of PA. One day, once her two boys are older and can understand the circumstance better, I’ll be able to tell them about their mother, the mother, they were deprived of. Oddly, I knew both their mother and father. I’ll be able to tell them how much she fought for them in court, and at some point, they will read the story I wrote about their mother. This act of kindness for her boys will be a powerful help to them. You see, when I was a young boy of 10 years old, my father committed suicide and the level of abandonment for their loss is understood.
My friend Renee was a fighter, and in the spirit of every fighter, there is a limit to what one can endure. Only for a select few other fighters continue and refuse to succumb to the ill will of anyone, no matter what.
There are two kinds of people: those who have endured PA and those who haven’t endured PA.
If you know someone who is amid fighting the issues with their children of PA, you must come to the quick realization you may never understand this life altering event, but you must be a super courageous and loving friend and help them during this period of embattled conflict. If you don’t, you may lose your friend and your friend may lose their kids. Stand with your friend during this dark time. You must urgently understand your friend is on the cliff and may be about to lose all loving possessions and more.
If you’re the parent who is being alienated from your kids, you must take a stand and realize if you don’t take firm and decisive action, the agitating parent may likely feel embolden and believe their own lies enough to distort their pool of reason. You may not have the loving relationship with your kids as you naturally agree you should have. You need to claim victory over this problem and move forward so you can win your case. Most likely, your friends and even some family members will not understand the dire circumstances you face. It’s possible you may have to walk this conflict alone. You are up to the challenge, but never allow your former spouse to play the game as the expert and make certain you confidently and boldly express the circumstances for which you believe is occurring, commonly referred to as Parental Alienation.
Sometimes our victories in life are not those we expect, and God diverts our victories into other wins later.
It’s taken over 20 years to begin to unravel the road through parental alienation and I hope my journey will help reduce the pain others will feel. The journey through PA is dark, the level of abandonment is darker than your spouse cheating and leaving you for another. You may find, as I did, the vast sum of money to support your legal timeline may destroy your greatest hopes.
Had it not been for my high school English teacher, Mr. Danny Huffman, and a few others, I may not have written about PA or other topics. Huffman always encouraged me to write but the timing was never right. While in high school, he originally entered a short story of mine into a writing event. He passed a small victory to me which I never forgot. Between Mr. Huffman, friends, and loved ones, I’m now in my 50’s and writing. Hopefully, the challenges I’ve faced will turn into a victory for a parent who suffers from PAS. Sadly, Mr. Huffman is no longer with us, but the book will list him as part of the inspiration to write about any topic. When I was his student, shy and introverted, and now as an adult, I had my own set of challenges. Until recently, I wasn’t ready to expose the hidden realities parents face when embattled with PA when at that time I was barely surviving.
There are many others whom I wish to thank. However, it’s more valuable to limit my direct thanks to Mrs. Donna Knox, who was my former lawyer. After six years of court conflict, she provided a slow win which provided a defining moment; I won shared equal custody at that time. I’m extremely thankful for the appointed Ad Litem attorney, a clinical psychologist, and three different professionals, and their final reports presented in support of shared equal time. While these events occurred long ago, there isn’t a day or week passes which affected some aspect of a life which later improved greatly.
No matter what happens to the outcome of my own relationship with my daughter, I hope my experience will help other parents funnel their fear into a positive force and take the immense effort to provide the proper remedy in their own life with their children.
Life is filled with loss and sorrow. What often happens is that we lose sight of personal victories. I was proud and thrilled to win my custody case and share physical custody of my daughter. At a time when the courts heavily favored mothers over fathers, it was nearly a year after this victory I started to experience severe medical issues. Our Lord and Savior healed me from major medical issues while at the same time my relationship with my daughter went dark.
Victory for me will be the completion of the book and advocating Parental Alienation offenders be charged with a hate crime, or family abuse, which carries the potential of time in jail. The short, proposed idea is truly intended as a deterrent, but nonetheless, the court system, social services, school counseling departments realize PAS exists, and they have all been lazy or turned a blind eye to create a solution.
The forthcoming article about PA will be a major victory to share and is also a testament to those who gave me emotional support during troubling times when I could not share the full scope of the vast conflict threatening to overwhelm me.
To friends, family, acquaintances, and those I haven’t meet or seen in a long time, we must all remember victory is neither far away, nor distant. Victory is close at hand, and we must all consider our path to victory regardless of the challenges before us.
We must all value wisdom, love and peace and remember those less fortunate so that at some point we are raised to help elevate others.
To my daughter, if you happen to find a way to this open article, I wish you love, kindness, and happiness in your own marriage. I truly hope you will reach out to me.
It’s now time to unpack the suitcase of Parental Alienation conflict to help others.
Be bold, move forward and elevate others,
Darel L. Long