How to handle losing custody of your child to your ex husband

Cheri - posted on 05/04/2014 ( 1 mom has responded )

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I just happened to come across this site and decided to sign up as I need support more than anything else. I lost custody of my teenage daughter to my ex last year due to the lies he and his family told the court. He even convinced my daughter that I was trying to take her away from him, and in so doing, she no longer wants anything to do with me. I have not seen my child in over 4 months now, as she refuses to visit me. We have a nonexistent relationship with each other and I have had no contact with my ex since our last court date. I have been through the gamut of emotions from grief to anger to bitterness and now I am just numb. I make a courtesy call to my daughter once a week ... sometimes she answers, and other times she doesn't. She has lost all respect for me because of my him and I have no idea how to even begin re-establishing a relationship with her. Is there anyone else out there going through the same thing???? I feel completely alone

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[deleted account]

Like you, I happened to come across this site and have not signed up because I am not sure that I want to disclose all the details, but I do truly understand how you are feeling. I was divorced more than a decade ago and my ex left with new wife and replacement children to restart a life were we had previously lived. I was even left in the dark about the new wife. The main thing is that he was in another relationship (his 3rd) and left his job and the country without a second thought – I read it in the press and no forwarding details left for emergencies. Although he continued to provide financially for his children, he never saw either child, nor engaged in their upbringing until I found him and persuaded contact via email. When I hit the teenage years things changed with my daughters - as they did with me- and I suffered badly dealing with things. Wanting a break, I requested he have them visit because matters had reached a head and I could no longer deal with my eldest daughter's demands. He had been undermining me via email, texts, skype and financially with large sums of money. He capitalized on the breakdown happening in our home and removed two under 18s to their own flat ( he was not to be there but again abroad). The school did little to facilitate any reconciliation and rejected mediation through a trained mediator and regarded me as a dysfunctional single mother.
As I sit here four years later, I have not seen my children in all that time and have been shunned and history has been re-invented. Every day is a struggle not to think of them and look for news on social media. Their new families - previous and present -are their new families. I know how you feel - grief to anger and visa versa to bitterness and numbness and friends don't support you because they don’t know what to say ...you are made to feel that you did everything wrong..I too had a load of lies told in court.
Trust me, you are not alone. Parental Alienation is a damaging process and unfortunately most divorced couples engage in this in one way or another as do other members of both families. There are many mothers like us. It is more common than you think. I have met many. Eventually, you will cope, even on a daily basis and someday your daughter will come around. Daughters are hard on their mothers - especially in their teenage years- and want the attention of their father.
Your phone calls are a positive. Write down your thoughts in a diary as a conversation with her which means you don't have to say the things you really want to say. Focus on her world as she is at that stage when she is the centre of her world. That way she will have to respect that you have been there along the way, loving her and showing interest in her as a young woman. Eventually she will remember that you always asked her about her world even if you said nothing about your world. It will be there in the diary should you chose to leave/give it for/to her later on.
Keep busy and rebuild your life focusing on the fact that you did all the real hard work bringing her up and respect yourself. In time she will grow up and recognize that you too deserve respect for achieving so much. Mend your broken heart because she will need and want you in years to come. And find someone to love you back in the meantime. Take care of yourself.
Hugs

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