A Kidnapped Mind by Pamela Richardson Buy book: $16.74
How do we begin to describe our love for our children? Pamela Richardson shows us with her passionate memoir of life with and without her estranged son, Dash. From age five Dash suffered Parental Alienation Syndrome at the hands of his father. Indoctrinated to believe his mother had abandoned him, after years of monitored phone calls and impeded access eight-year-old Dash decided he didn't want to be "forced" to visit her at all; later he told her he would never see her again if she took the case to court.
It is good to hear this strange kind of parental behavior described and acknowledged. I have known a custodial parent, a mother, who told her eldest daughter (the first child to be married) that she would not attend the daughter's wedding if the girl invited her father. To remove his daughter from the need to make this uncomfortable choice, the father told her he would not attend, that she needed to have her mother with her on her wedding day. Most people who knew of this wrote it off and mean/wacky behavior on the mother's part. This behavior is very difficult for most parents to understand and I'm glad someone is looking closely at it.
After the sudden end to my happy twenty-eight year marriage as a result of my husband preferring a woman twenty years younger with whom he was having an affair, I would feel the same about not attending my daughter's wedding if my ex-husband and his wife attended. It would just hurt me too much.
I am going to finish this book and then get a copy to send to my brother. He had a beautiful relationship with his daughter until his divorce. The shared custody soon showed how her mother was managing to brainwash her against her father. She has also been turned against all of her paternal family. She has survived bouts with bilumia and depression and we continue to be concerned for her. It has been over 10 years and father and daughter rarely see eachother now. Maybe we can get some insight and perhaps help to a new stage of understanding for them and for us all. Thanks for a great 'expose' of what I fear is an all to common problem.
This is absolutely breaking my heart. I find myself reading, hoping for the best, even though I know from the book jacket how it ends. I can't imagine the pain and suffering both mother and son went through. I think of my little boy, also five, and know that I would go insane if I was denied access to him.
I hate these kinds of books: the ones that disprove my belief that humans are basically good, that our justice system is basically fair. Throw children into that mix and it becomes tragic and emotionally impossible for me to take.
S i g h ... I need to go hug my babies and my (not crazy) husband.
Unfortunately, it is a heartbreaking statistic to today's society. This should not be. I will finish this book and pass it on to friends. This message must be heard for the sake of our children. There are parents who jointly care snd provide for their children while divorced or separated. I have a friend who is divorced with four daughters. She lovingly and generously brought her daughters up to respect and love their father. Even though often their father did little to deserve this.
I am puzzled by this book. I would love to read the entire book - BUT - I don't believe the author deserves my money! From whatever I have read so far, it appears to be one side's story. What about the husband's story?
More pertinently, I believe that in this materialistic society that we belong to, this concept of 'divorce and then remarry' is a vicious cycle that is the cause of these problems! And, if couples had the decency of waiting to see if they are 'made for each other' before getting pregnant and bringing forth new life into this world, we would see far fewer of these problems.
It is the instant nature of this society, instant gratification, instant love, instant fame, instant everything - that causes many of the breakdowns in families.
Sadly, I believe that couples don't think before delivering babies. They don't think about the impact a break-up will have on the fragile child.
The most mature ones politely agree that they have differences, live lives together until the kids grow up - and then go their own separate ways. It is the egos of the individuals that make up these couples that cause trauma to the children.
Even more sadly, Western society and culture has taken it for granted that individuals' lives are more important than children's upbringing.
Only time will tell whether this is 'good' or 'bad'.
You made some great points. As a mom, I'll admit that at first I felt more sympathy for the author (mom) rather than the father, but over all I'm most upset about imagining what Dash's short life was like. What a living hell. And you have to wonder about the timing of the new dude/father in the mom's life. I'm sure things would've been much different had she not been pregnant & in a new relationship before the custody arrangements were settled. You're right, we should all put our own wants & needs (& anger) aside for the sake of our kids during such crucial times like these. That's what being a parent is all about.
I can't wait to get this book to continue reading. Unfortunately, my public library doesn't have it in stock, so I will probably visit my local bookstore or order inter-library loan.
Definitely an interesting and pertinent topic for today's family. My daughter's father left her life at a very young age - even thru some very major health issues in her life, and when he knew last year he was going to die, he made no choice to contact her. Even thru my anger and disappointment, I had asked him to settle his issues with her before he didn't have a chance. Some people truly don't have the ability to face the most important role of their life and be a parent.
Indian rediff -- I can understand your wish that the husband's point of view was represented, but this is an autobiographical story, not written by a third party, so any version of his side would be biased.
Secondly, while I don't disagree that the ideal situation for a child is with two parents, in this story, the husband was violent and abusing alcohol. Frankly, I'd question her mental stability if she DIDN'T leave him. The fact that she did leave him shows a strength and a courage that should be celebrated, not denigrated. Domestic violence, often caused by the mental illness that goes along with alcohol abuse, has, at its root, some substantial control issues. The sad thing is, in this case, he was able to continue abusing her despite the dissolution of the marriage. Even more tragic was the abuse he foisted on his own child, whom he used as a pawn in abusing his ex-wife.
Marriage and parenthood are complex relationships to begin with. Throw in mental illness and a violent and controlling disposition, and you end up with a recipe for disaster. Might I suggest reading with a bit more empathy before passing judgement on a person (or an entire culture, as your post implies)?