An Open Letter to the Alienating Mother of my Children

Lee Serpa Azevado
Mar 13, 2018 · 5 min read

So here we find ourselves. You living in the former matrimonial home with our three children. And I have not seen our children since July 2016. At time of writing that is now seventeen and a half months.

Between us I am estimating that we must have spent in excess of £28,000 in legal fees. On my part, the legal fees were to enable me to pursue contact through the courts in order to co-parent our children as successfully, as healthily and as appropriately as we can possibly manage between us. And I still continue to pursue this to this day.

Our children have a right to a healthy and loving relationship with their father. They had a healthy and loving relationship with me before we separated. That right should not be taken away from them just because we have parted.

On your part you have denied those children contact with me. You have in effect brainwashed them completely against me. Your alienating behaviours, if you continue in such a manner will have an incredibly long term detrimental effect on their relationship with me.

“What is it that drives these alienating behaviours of yours?”

There is a plethora of evidence that informs us that adults who endured parental alienation as children suffer low self-esteem, self-hatred, lack of trust and depression. They are also more likely to use illicit substances in an addictive manner. These studies also inform us that as young adults there is a high risk of them losing the capacity to give and accept love from trusted figures. Self-hatred is one of the most disturbing effects of parental alienation on the effected children. The children will almost always internalise the hatred targeted toward the alienated parent. This will result in them beginning to believe that the alienated parent did not want them or love them.

Whether you accept, understand or have even a little insight into the above mentioned consequences and risks to our very own children, the question I would like to ask you is what is it that drives these alienating behaviours of yours?

Fear

Is it fear? Are you fearful that by allowing me to be a part of our children’s lives, you will somehow have a lesser role as their mother. I can assure you, as I have on numerous occasions, you are their mother. You will always be their mother. No one is going to or is able to replace you. Just as they have a right to have a relationship with their father, they also have a right to a relationship with the mother. I would never deny you the right to be their mother. I do not seek full custody. If this is the reason, I can assure you, your fears are unfounded.

Anger or Hatred

Is it anger or hatred? Do you feel anger and hatred towards me, for me ending our relationship? Numerous studies inform us that anger and hatred can have long term, serious effects on the person projecting the hatred. A long term expression of hatred can result in feelings of exhaustion, sadness, chronic rage and in some cases depression and anxiety. Is this what you want for yourself. Is this what you want your future to be in terms of your own mental well being?

Revenge

Is it revenge? Is your aim to hurt me as a form of revenge for me ending the relationship? Revenge is arguably one of the deepest instincts we have. However revenge is counter-productive when such actions of revenge go to unfathomable extremes. The American academic psychologist K. Carlsmith undertook an experiment whereby a group investment game with college students was set up. The aim was that if all of the participants cooperated, all would benefit equally. However, if any one participant refused to invest his or her money, that person would benefit at the group’s expense.

Unknown to all other participants, there was ‘mole’ in each group who convinced the group members to invest equally. However when it came time to put up the money, the ‘mole’ didn’t go along with the agreed-upon plan. As such the result was that the ‘moles’ earned an average of $5.59, while the other players earned around only $2.51 each.

In terms of exploring further the concept of revenge, Carlsmith offered some of the groups the opportunity to financially punish their respective ‘moles’. Everyone that was offered the chance of revenge took Carlsmith up on his offer. All of these participants expressed an expectation to feel better after taking revenge on the ‘mole’.

The results were very interesting. Those participants who took revenge reported feeling worse than those who had not taken revenge. However they believed they would have felt worse if that hadn’t taken revenge.

The participants who were not offered the opportunity of revenge, expressed a belief that they would have felt better had they been offered the opportunity. However the results were that the group that hadn’t taken revenge were the happier group.

Carlsmith believes that the results of this experiment suggest that anger is increased by revenge due to ruminations. He claims that when people do not get revenge, they tend to minimise the event by telling themselves it wasn’t such a big deal, hence the reason why they did not take revenge. Carlsmith suggests that with this approach it is easier to forget and move on. However, as Carlsmith suggests, when people do get revenge, they are no longer able to minimise the event. In actual fact, Carlsmith claims, they ruminate on the event and as such make themselves feel worse.

So I put to you, the mother of my children. If it is revenge that drives your alienating behaviours, according to the above exploration of revenge, it is in actual fact harming yourself.

I have no issue with openly admitting the following to you. By denying me contact with our children and brainwashing them against me you are causing me incredible emotional pain. However I am much stronger than I could have ever imagined. I love our children more than I could have ever imagined.

The fabricated lies, the false allegations and the overall denigration of my character to anyone around you no longer bothers me. I now walk with my head held high. I will never give up on trying to be a part of our children’s lives.

So to conclude, lets assume, rightly or wrongly your actions are self centred and driven by your own needs. Try and think about the following if you can; whatever the reason or justification you believe makes it acceptable to you to deny those children a relationship with their father, is it ultimately worth the risks discussed above?

One day, whenever that may be, you will ultimately lose out. Your relationship with those children will be under pressure and fragile.

Not if, but when the children find out the truth, obviously such a truth will ultimately jeopardise your relationship with all of them.

And it won’t be because of you or I, it will be because of the truth.

The following quote is taken from the best-selling novel The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini “but better to get hurt by the truth than comforted with a lie.”

Lee Serpa Azevado

Written by

Scribbler of stuff, psych nurse, giant punsexual; fe/fi/fo/fum. Mental health(y), humo(u)r, politic(k)s and other such nonsense.

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