Before June 1988 I had no knowledge about the term Parental Alienation. I was not even aware of its presence in this world. It was an alien concept that had never entered my life or my consciousness.
In a few dramatic and traumatic weeks this all changed. My life would never recover from the evil and destructive tentacles of this severe mental illness. My Life Voyage was to be blighted and eroded for the next thirty years.
At 1040 Tuesday 28th June 1988 I received an urgent desperate phone call at my City of London office from my wife, in tears, begging me to return home immediately due to a major family crisis. She refused to discuss any details over the phone. So the only way for me to understand the crisis was to drive the 110 miles from my London office back to my Cottage in the English Cotswolds.
Although my planned workday for that critical Tuesday was scheduled to be very busy I instructed my secretary to blank out all my diary appointments and immediately started my journey home.
At this period in my life I was particularly focused on family matters because during the previous three months my local Cotswold friends had been telling me that my wife was spreading an unbelievable story that I was leaving home and about to abandon my family. This was totally untrue and something that plagued my daily thoughts not least because she denied the rumor whenever I asked her about this gossip.
I arrived home at lunchtime to be met by my very upset wife still obviously facing some distressing event. Sitting in our dining room over a coffee I unwittingly began my horrific journey towards Parental Alienation and slowly descended into hell.
My major concern that the family crisis involved my children, who were attending school, was soon dispelled. It quickly became crystal clear that the major family crisis centered on my 25 year old marriage.
My wife slowly admitted that she was in the throes of an adulterous extra marital affair with a senior male teacher from the school attended by all our five children. In June 1988 only four were still current pupils.
She admitted that, during the previous months, she had stolen money from UK Government Social Security Benefits paid directly to her for her mother’s Residential Care at a local Secure Nursing Home. She told me that the theft was to give financial support to her lover to help him overcome a personal financial problem. She claimed that the stolen money only amounted to just over a thousand pounds sterling.
Apparently some of her friends were aware of her adulterous affair, which she admitted had lasted for over 11 months. She confirmed that she had kept the theft and adultery secret from me while she decided her own future.
The major family crisis related to a Personal Letter that she had received that Tuesday morning from the Secure Nursing Home giving her a Final Ultimatum to settle overdue accounts of a claimed £1500 by Thursday 7th July 1988. If she failed to pay the Secure Nursing Home they would evict her mother at midday on 7th July 1988 and report her theft to Police and the UK Department of Health and Social Security.
While I had driven home, she phoned her brother, on business in South Korea, for help. He had unlawfully taken all his mother’s money, amounting to tens of thousands of pounds, from her bank accounts prior to her recent Residential Care. Apparently he told my wife to ‘get lost’ and ‘no way’ would he lift a finger to help her or his mother.
This news did not come as a shock to me. My wife had behaved even more strangely during previous months. For example, in the prior six months, she had attended an extensive number of ‘Parent & Teacher Meetings’ (certainly over 30) which all ran till midnight and beyond. These meetings were always justified to me with help from her friends.
Then the bombshell.
My wife asked me for a divorce so she and her lover could get married. He was also married at that time and, sadly, when his wife found out about her husband’s affair in the following months, she suffered a mental breakdown.
My wife stated that she wanted a new start in life with her lover. She begged me to take the four children away with me, suggesting we relocate to London to all be ‘away’ from the center of problems. She did not want them to be in her ‘new’ life or around her local ‘friends’.
I asked her, for the sake of our children, to end this adulterous relationship (one of many I had to overcome over the previous 25 marriage years) and to allow us some breathing space to sort out any difficulties between us. She angrily refused and kept stating her undying love for her ‘new’ man and how lucky she was to have found such a special ‘true love’ in her 50th year.
From my viewpoint her refusal to compromise signalled the end of my marriage.
We then ‘calmly’ discussed the future impact of these events. I insisted that my role as a loving and supportive father for my children, as I had been the sole provider for the whole of the 25 year marriage, would be my priority. I was devastated by her affair and divorce request but agreed to continue to try to act reasonably for the sake of our children.
I stated that I would not help her to replace the stolen Social Security money for her mother’s Secure Nursing Home. As she was responsible for this admitted theft I insisted that she should raise money from within her family, especially from her wealthy brother, to overcome the threats posed by her actions.
I wanted to totally focus on ensuring that our children were protected. I was very concerned about the trauma they would face with the triple disaster of the break-up of their parents marriage, the admitted adultery involving a known senior teacher from their school and the potential Police criminal investigation against their mother for her admitted theft. I anticipated total turmoil in their lives.
I agreed to immediately attempt, from the next day Wednesday 29th June 1988, to find another home for our children and myself away from the Cotswold epicenter. My wife begged me not to throw her out of the Cottage. My clear impression was that she planned to move her lover in once we had all departed the Cottage.
As the local School was at the heart of the problem I agreed to approach another linked School to ensure that our children could be quickly moved. My intention was to help to protect our children and minimize their educational disruption. I also wanted to shield them from any immediate disastrous fall-out with classmates and local friends.
We agreed that I would begin my search, for a new home, round North West London as this would be convenient for the proposed new linked School. Such a move would also allow me to continue working for my employer in the City of London.
I planned to collect our children from the Cottage before the critical deadline set by the Secure Nursing Home on Thursday 7th July. We agreed to stay in touch by phone to co-ordinate plans.
We committed to jointly discuss any future new arrangements with our children before the Ultimatum Deadline when a Police investigation might commence after 7th July.
Before our children returned from school on Tuesday 28th June I left my Cotswold Cottage for London to begin my search for a new home.
It would be the last time that I ever set foot in the Cottage again.
On Tuesday evening and Wednesday 29th June my wife contacted her local friends. From these conversations she was recommended a local female lawyer, a well known ‘man hater’ with a fearsome reputation on feminine rights and a divorce lawyer who only represented women. To compound this irony, I only discovered years later, that her lawyer had briefly been my wife’s lesbian lover before she started her affair with the male teacher.
On Wednesday my wife again contacted her brother to seek help in repaying her debt. She asked him to release some money he took from their mother’s bank accounts before she was moved into the Secure Nursing Home. Her brother told her to ‘sort out her own life’ and ‘just disappear from this earth’. He also stated that he had just written an airmail letter to her. A critical letter was received within days from him which questioned her historic mental illnesses from puberty and her numerous adulterous affairs.
On Thursday 30th June my wife held her first formal meetings with her lawyer. She also visited her bank in a failed attempt to raise the financial shortfall owed to the Secure Nursing Home.
On the morning of Thursday 30th June I found a vacant fully furnished 5 bed house to rent close to the proposed new School. A Lease was to be prepared for my signature on Tuesday 5th July with immediate possession.
That Thursday afternoon I also met with senior teachers at the proposed new school who agreed to welcome our four younger children. But they insisted they start at the beginning of the next school term as the Summer Holidays were so close.
I immediately phoned my wife to update her on progress and arranged to return to the Cottage on Wednesday 6th July to collect our children (and their possessions) after I signed the new house lease on Tuesday 5th July. We also agreed to explain the future plans to our children after school on the 6th July before their move with me and before the Ultimatum Deadline.
During this phone call my wife was desperate about not meeting the re-payment deadline for the Secure Nursing Home debt as she had exhausted all her local contacts, including asking her lover to repay the stolen money. I suggested that she attempt to get an extension from the Secure Nursing Home. In addition to insist that her brother immediately release of some of the substantial money he had taken from his mother’s bank accounts.
On Friday 1st July my wife phoned the Secure Nursing Home who refused to grant her any extension on their deadline and warned that they had already informed the UK Social Security of the ‘criminal’ problems with the account. During the day she also contacted her brother who yet again turned her down and refused to help her.
On Monday 4th July my wife wrote a desperate letter to my mother with whom she had a very bad relationship stretching back many years. In the evening she then also phoned my mother to tell her about the break-up of our marriage and to explain her current situation.
She blamed all the problems on me but totally failed to tell my mother about her adulterous affair or the Social Security theft, major reasons for the marriage termination. During this phone call my wife asked for my mother’s help in meeting a ‘Nursing Home shortfall’ but now falsely claimed that the outstanding amount was over £8,000.
My mother reminded her that she had no money of her own and the only possible way she could help was to unlawfully use money from my ‘Trust Fund’ [of which my mother was then still a Trustee]. Apparently my wife was so convincing that my mother believed that all of her ‘story’ was true. However my wife, perhaps in desperation, also threatened my mother that if she failed to help her she, as a Grandmother, would never see the children ever again. In a confused state, because she was so traumatized by the threatened blackmail, my mother agreed to the financial help BUT ONLY on two conditions being met:
1 She wanted to see my wife’s letter written on Monday 4th July.
2 She insisted on confirmation from my wife’s brother that neither he, nor any other maternal family member, were willing to provide financial help. Apparently my mother was trying to ‘spread’ the impact of the £8,000 burden across the whole family bearing in mind that this financial payment was for Residential Care of my wife’s mother. My mother agreed that this confirmation could be by telephone call. [NOTE: Before her death my mother gave me my wife’s original letter as proof of the criminal fraud].
On Tuesday 5th July two critical events occurred. Firstly my mother received the 4th July letter from my wife. And secondly she received a phone call from my wife’s brother confirming that neither he nor any other family member would financially help his sister to pay the £8,000 debt. He was also unable to meet timescales because he was based overseas on business.
He blamed me for the terrible state that my wife was in and insisted it was, therefore, my family’s responsibility to settle this account. He falsely stated the outstanding amount was over £8,000. He was very rude to my mother and very abusive about me, to the extent that my mother told him that she never wanted to speak to him again. This phone call was, from my mother’s viewpoint, critical as without an ‘independent’ input from my wife’s family she was unwilling to proceed with any financial help.
On Tuesday 5th July I called into the agents to sign the Lease on the new house. But there were many mistakes, and incomplete inventory, requiring an up-dated document to be prepared. As I was due in the Cotswolds the next day it was agreed that signature would be on Thursday 7th July immediately before I moved into the new house with our children.
I phoned my wife to up-date her and we agreed that I would still travel on Wednesday 6th July and then I would leave with our children early on Thursday at the latest. My wife made no mention about contacting my mother – a likelihood I had totally dismissed because of the historic ‘bad blood’ between them.
On Tuesday 5th July my mother, without any reference or discussion with me, agreed to pay my wife’s £8,000 account from my ‘Trust Fund’. She wanted the payment made directly to the Secure Nursing Home in full settlement. But my wife insisted that she only wanted a bank check written out in her name and became very angry and abusive when my mother refused. Because of the anger on the phone my mother broke down and asked her to call her back in one hour’s time.
Within the hour my wife phoned back and now demanded that a bank check be made out to a very close female friend of hers from Painswick. After considerable heated discussion, because my mother was not clear why this significant check should be paid to a total stranger, described by my wife as acting as a ‘cut-out’ friend, my mother agreed to send the money. She wrote a ‘Trust’ check No.100399 drawn on my ‘Trust’ Bank for the sum of £8,000 and made out in the name of my wife’s friend. [NOTE: Before her death my mother gave me the original cleared check that she had kept to prove theft and criminal conspiracy].
At 0900 on Wednesday 6th July my wife met her lawyer. As the financial threats against her were now removed by my mother’s payment of £8,000 a new course of action was proposed.
They agreed a new strategy to totally destroy me and take all my money. They targeted assets from my ‘active’ Trust because the lawyer realized that the substantial ‘Trust Fund’ money might be ‘used’ to benefit my wife and also allow for significant professional fees.
The lawyer also insisted our children would now be ‘detained’ locally by my wife ‘to ensure total future control’ over me and the developing situation.
I phoned my wife at 1100 on 6th July just before leaving London for the Cotswolds to let her know that I was on my way.
This was one of the most difficult phone calls I have ever made. The whole mood had changed and there was now so much explosive anger and unbelievable bullying against me. The main points discussed were that my wife, now clearly on the front foot, and her lawyer dictated the following:
1 I was to immediately cease direct contact with my wife. I was told the debt to the Secure Nursing Home was settled [I did not know my mother was involved or a sum of £8,000]. My future contact was only to be with her lawyer.
2 My wife and her lawyer claimed that I had ‘abandoned’ my family by leaving ‘our marital home’ on 28th June 1988. Divorce proceedings against me would begin immediately.
3 I was ‘instructed’ not to return to the Cottage. Any attempt by me to return home, see or contact our children would result in my eldest teenager daughter alleging to Local Police that I had sexually abused her during her childhood. I have never done this and never would – to anyone. My wife bragged that I would be immediately arrested as her lawyer’s husband was a local Inspector of Police and would intervene against me. I was ‘instructed’ not to contact anybody from the Cotswold area. If I did I would be publicly exposed as a child sex abuser, arrested and never see my children again.
4 I was ‘instructed’ not to contact my mother as she did not want to speak to me. [This was the first time that I was aware of my mother’s involvement in the situation].
5 If I attempted to ‘involve’ the childrens’ current School or her lover in the Divorce Proceedings I would also be publicly accused as a child abuser not only of my eldest daughter but also of my youngest daughter.
6 I was to agree a ‘quickie’ divorce to allow my wife to ‘get married’ to her lover as soon as possible.
7 I was to withdraw all activities or contact with the proposed new School and I was ‘told’ never to visit it again.
8 I must ‘relocate away’ from the Cotswold area, possibly to London.
9 If I failed to abide by the ‘terms of this agreement’ my employer would be informed of my ‘criminal past sexual abuse of my daughters’.
My immediate reaction was to ignore the threats and fight for my childrens’ future.
I phoned my mother. She started by repeating totally false accusations and twisting the real facts. It was an appalling phone call during which she was totally negative. However many facts were finally discussed (including my wife’s adultery and Social Security theft) and details emerged about her help and financial support (I called it a ‘betrayal’). The phone call ended in a broken personal relationship. We never spoke again for over 18 months. Although after that period our good relationship was re-established.
I phoned my eldest daughter at her flat in London but was told by a flat mate that she refused to speak to me. These two phone calls totally devastated me.
On Thursday 7th July morning I visited a Hertfordshire lawyer to seek legal advice about the Cotswold situation. She warned me that allegations against me by my daughter(s) could result in immediate arrest and I would be treated as ‘guilty’. Her most telling piece of advice was the harm that any potential arrest would do to my young children and the immense capital that my wife could make out of it in Divorce Court hearings. She advised me to tread carefully and not to provoke the ‘team from Hell’ or my daughters and be ‘patient’.
At midday on Friday 8th July I had a totally unexpected visit at my City of London office by a close male friend of my wife and her lover. During our meeting he threatened that senior teachers from my childrens’ School, and himself, would make the lives of my young children a ‘living hell’ if I tried to involve either the School or his friend, my wife’s lover, in any divorce action. He was extremely abusive and threatening. In the end we both came close to blows. I had to call internal security to evict him from my office building. I never spoke with him or his family ever again.
Late on Friday afternoon I met with another lawyer in the City of London to get help. They advised me to tread carefully and not to attempt to provoke any further ‘backlash’ from my daughters or the Cotswold legal team. The meeting was unproductive as they were unwilling to help further unless I paid a substantial down-payment for their continuing legal services.
Later on Friday afternoon the property agents phoned me about the Hertfordshire house. I told them not to proceed with the Lease. I had to settle substantial administration and legal costs to break the contract.
On Saturday 9th July my wife phoned my mother to confirm that the £8,000 check was now in her bank account. My wife then fraudulently claimed that rent on the Cottage was unpaid for the previous six months. She asked my mother for further funds to cover this rent shortfall. My mother sent another check, dated 11th July 1988 drawn on the same Bank account but from a ‘new’ check book, directly to my wife for £1,750 to pay ‘outstanding rent’.
My wife also fraudulently claimed that I had taken the family car, an Audi Quattro, with me on 28th June. She demanded my mother buy her a replacement car as she urgently needed transport for the school run. On Monday 11th July my mother agreed to fund a new car. The next day a ‘Trust’ check for the sum of £9,000 was sent to my wife. [In fact there was no rent arrears. I did not take the Audi Quattro. I only used a company car allocated to me in 1985. My wife had historic full use of the Audi (bought by me in 1987) for school transport. By end of July, on the instruction of her lawyer, I formally transferred ownership of the Audi Quattro to my wife via the UK Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority].
I received Divorce Court Preliminary Notice of Separation addressed to my London Office dated 28th July 1988. This confirmed my wife had been awarded emergency Legal Aid to fight ‘her’ divorce. The Divorce action grounds were ‘desertion’ and ‘unreasonable conduct’. Sole Custody of the Children was granted to my wife without any Joint Custody consideration by the Court.
The Court also received an ‘Application for Emergency Financial Aid’ due to my ‘unreasonable actions’ (no mention was made of the £18,750 already paid to my wife from my Trust Fund by my mother between 6th to 13th July 1988). I was instructed by the Court to immediately pay her £3,000 to cover her immediate living expenses before any formal agreement, relating to regular future monthly alimony, was ‘put in place’. The lawyer also confirmed that my wife was claiming, both to my children, the Court and others, that I had left her penniless and without financial support (even though her current bank balance exceeded £17,000).
During the whole period from 28th June I was refused access to my children who continued to live at the Cottage. My eldest daughter refused to see me or allow contact, blaming me for all the negative things that had happened to her mother. Yet when I reminded her that I was still the only person in the family continuing financial support, all she could comment on was how inadequate my support was, and had been. All access denial was underwritten by the Courts.
The constant legal and financial pressure on myself was totally destructive. Friends of many years, many of them from my own youth, deserted me as they were told of the terrible ‘things’ that I had done against my family. The levels of unwarranted anger and bitter recrimination directed against me, from all sides, was totally difficult to comprehend.
From 28th June 1988 onward my wife, soon to be ex-wife, and my children were financially supported by myself and lived in homes owned by me. During this period the lawyers constantly demanded more and more money from me, either by direct contact or through the inadequate Law Court procedures. Their attempts to ‘acquire’ more and more of my Trust Fund required so much of my time, focus and money to combat.
For months and then years I felt totally alone, alienated and abused. These became the central elements in my life which combined into one of the most horrific cases of Parental Alienation.
One of the lasting impressions that I hold of this continuing period is the widespread anger and misrepresentation of facts by all those exposed to my ex-wife. This included the rare times when I met individuals from my family’s life for the first time. They all appeared to hold such negative views about me even though they had never previously met me.
On infrequent occasions in the next few years up to 1995 I saw my three youngest children, usually because they were visiting their Grandmother (my mother to whom I was eventually reconciled after December 1989). In total the disjointed hours spent together probably amounted to no more than a week in the period June 1988 to mid 1995. They told me nothing about their lives and any inquiries from myself elicited deception or sometimes just uncomfortable silence. They obviously resented my asking.
After 1995 I was totally alienated from the life of all my children. Only in 2015, after the death of my ex-wife, was any attempt made to contact me. But the damage done in those missing years proved too much for my children. Their denial of any alienating events that had taken place was dominant. I write this blog in June 2019, almost 31 years since that fateful day in 1988 when my life was forever changed. Even today my children defend and support the historic actions of their mother and angrily claim her ‘sainthood’. They are completely brainwashed by her. It is like a ‘cult of the mother’ that pervades every corner of their, and their childrens’, lives.
In the years between 1988 and today all of my children are either married or in long term relationships. I was never invited to the three known weddings even though my ex-wife, her family and her lawyer knew my exact contact details each day of this hell. I still have to meet sons-in-law or daughters-in-law. Let alone extended families.
I discovered in 2015, when brief contact was again made by two of my daughters, that I am a Grandfather to nine Grandchildren and Great Grandfather to two Great Grandchildren. Even to this day I remain alienated and abused not only by the generation of my children but also the generation of my Grandchildren and beyond. A sad but understandable fact is that all my Grandchildren have stayed with their Grandmother, my ex-wife, at the house, owned by me, without their parents being present. So the Parental Alienation brainwashing carried out against my children could so easily have been continued into the next generation.
This blog traces the beginnings of the Parental Alienation journey for me. Future blogs will focus on individual elements of Parental Alienation as experienced by myself. I hope that by ‘opening’ myself to the world with my story those currently within the trauma of Parental Alienation, maybe even those brave souls who help them or the global professionals who research and explain this family terror, might gain some new perception or additional knowledge.
I will never give up. But the toll of Parental Alienation has impacted so many, many people. And will go on doing so until the general public recognize the horrors of this mental illness.