A Pointillist View of Parental Alienation – One Father’s Experience

In child custody, Child Custody Issues, Child Support, Divorce, Domestic Violence, Parental Alienation, Paternity Issues, Perjury, Restraining Orders, Spousal Support, Strategy Issues on September 22, 2010 at 4:46 am

Michael Jeffries’ memoir, A Family’s Heartbreak – A Parent’s Introduction to Parental Alienation, describes his transition from beloved father, to exiled provider. It is a painful, yet engrossing read. The book is part ‘Dear Diary’, part window into the therapist/patient relationship, and part academic treatise on the various neuroses and personality disorders that led to the living hell that Jeffries experienced, and in some ways is still living.

Parental Alienation Book Cover

A Family's Heartbreak - A Parent's Introduction to Parental Alienation

Like a pointillist painting, where the further back you stand, the clearer the picture becomes, Parental Alienation is a series of seemingly innocent miscommunications, or concerns for the wellbeing of a child; and it is only when the dots are connected that you see the complete picture.

Jeffries went from the American Dream of wife, and two loving boys, to the nightmare of Parental Alienation, which is a situation where one parent, usually the mother, actively works to destroy the relationship between the other parent and a child. The at one time loving son, was turned against him by an ex-wife whose own fears of abandonment and insecurities destroyed the relationship between father and son.

When Jeffries decided it was time to move on from his marriage, he unknowingly tripped a trigger wire for his ex-wife’s emotional imbalance which led  her to enrolling their youngest son into her psychosis. It started with her having the 11 year old boy sleep in her bed, and continued to the point that the father/son bond was strained to the point of breaking.

In distressing detail, Jeffries lays out the progression of his son’s conversion from loving juvenile to emotionally exhausted teen who simply cannot tolerate the ongoing pain of contact with his father. In remarkably clear language, Jeffries explains the transformation of his son, and the tactics used by his ex-wife to create the transformation.

By detailing out the seemingly innocuous actions of a concerned parent, Jeffries is able to connect the dots of how one mother turned her son against his father. He paints a picture of the impotency of the court system to help him, based on the inherent bias of the courts in mother’s favor, and the difficulty in attacking what appears to be nothing more than a mother’s concern for the welfare of her children. No one wants to believe a mother could be so devious, deceitful and dangerous, but she can be.

This book is an excellent exploration into the “Wonderland” twistedness that is Parental Alienation. The lies, the deceits, and the volcanic eruptions of anger for seemingly minor transgressions, these are the battles in a war with no winners.

For every man who is enduring this hell, for every lawyer who fights this form of child abuse and for all the therapists who have to treat the collaterally damaged children, this book should be a first resource in their armament.

In clear, concise language, Dr. Joel Davies and Michael Jeffries explain both the real-world effects and the underlying sub-conscious motivations for this form of abuse.

These are hard cases to try, because on the surface everything looks essentially normal. It is only when you connect the dots, that you can see the whole picture. As stories like Jeffrie’s are made public, awareness will grow, and hopefully, fathers and their children can be reunited, or better yet, never separated.

The book is available at http://afamilysheartbreak.com/

  1. My son is going through this right now…he has raised an almost 4 year old son from birth and participated in a much higher percentage of his care than his mother until SHE committed domestic violence, got arrested, was awarded the child after not seeing him much at all for nearly 3 months while my son was taking care of him. My son is on the birth certificate and a lot of the people who have known him as the father have no idea that he’s not the bio father because of the unconditional love he has for the child. The mother is an unstable product of her upbringing and now has the backing of those parents (who did very little for the grandson) to take the child away from my son and our family. My son is devastated but is fighting. That family clearly does not care about the best interests of the child, they just want revenge for something their daughter did, again. The day my son had to pick the child up to take him to the sheriff’s dept. to meet up with them, was the last day he saw him. They asked if he packed a bag…they didn’t even have clothes for him. Well, my son has tons of clothing, shoes, and anything the little one needs, just shows what kind of mother she is. None of the clothing etc, that my son has came from them. It’s all been purchased by my son or us. I really wish we could get some sort of help to deal with this!!!

  2. it’s been almost a year since i’ve seen my son … raised him from 1 year old ’til 9 and am the only dad he has ever know (his father died before he turned one – DUI) … i never adopted him, had 2 other beautiful children with his mother … his mom left me for another man (married a week after divorce) and claimed DV months after the alleged event in her motion to move out of state with the kids … just in time to pull the arraignment weeks before trial on the divorce (same judge – small community) … judge didn’t go for the non-bio visitation citing my citation on the DV and lack of statutory standing to award visitation … awarded her primary physical (i get every other weekend & a weeknight every week) of my two biological kids citing the unresolved criminal trial on the DV and to keep the siblings together … i was unanimously acquitted just over a month after the civil decision … prosecutor didn’t even ask me a question nor cross-examin … not sure whether to move to modify given the acquittal (lawyer says ‘civil is a lesser standard’ is what the judge would say) … just want it to be over … she tells me i won’t see my oldest son until i admit to the DV … the DV didn’t happen … i just want to see my son & for my other two to have a stable situation in which they aren’t being pumped with the notion that daddy’s the bogie-man …

    16 more years 😦

  3. […] March 31, 2011Posted in: Perception Fathers ranging from celebrity Alec Baldwin to Average Joe Michael Jeffries report that they have certainly been through the emotional wringer. That’s because, following a […]

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