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Old 05-28-2010, 06:26 AM
 
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I actually just ran across the term recently while researching some stuff online. It fits my wife and her stepdaughters situation perfectly.
The incredible thing is how strong the brainwashing can be, there have been some situations were we have showed her the truth and she still believes my wifes ex. It a very sad situation. I see my wife and her daughters relationship get worse and worse as the time goes on. The odd thing is her and I get along very well, better in some cases than her mother. I plan on doing some research on this and hopefully can find a therapist that specializes in this issue here in Michigan so we can get her some help, before it's too late. She is already 15 , we are fairly confident that by the time she is 18 she will just leave and go with him. Which would not be a good thing for her.
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Old 05-28-2010, 07:48 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scarabchuck View Post
I actually just ran across the term recently while researching some stuff online. It fits my wife and her stepdaughters situation perfectly.
The incredible thing is how strong the brainwashing can be, there have been some situations were we have showed her the truth and she still believes my wifes ex. It a very sad situation. I see my wife and her daughters relationship get worse and worse as the time goes on. The odd thing is her and I get along very well, better in some cases than her mother. I plan on doing some research on this and hopefully can find a therapist that specializes in this issue here in Michigan so we can get her some help, before it's too late. She is already 15 , we are fairly confident that by the time she is 18 she will just leave and go with him. Which would not be a good thing for her.
I'm so confused by your post, but I think I figured it out. Your wife has a 15 year old daughter from a previous marriage who lives with you and your wife. And the biological father is brainwashing your step daughter and turning her against her mother (your wife). But you have a great relationship with your stepdaugther. In other words, the biological father has turned the daughter against her biological mother, not you the stepfather. Interesting.

I'm not familiar with the term, but I do know many divorced parents that brainwash their children. It can be the parent who has custody or the one who just has visitation. Often it's both parents brainwashing the children. It's just sick what many parents do to their children after divorce.

The daughter's feelings are a reality even if they are rooted in untruths. Don't expect the therapist to unearth the lies unless she's working with EVERYONE---including the biological father.

I think you would have more success hoping therapy might help mend the relationship between the mother and daughter. It's not healthy to expect the therapy to turn the daughter against her father. Ideally, therapy should help the daughter have a healthy relationship with both parents.
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Old 05-28-2010, 07:53 AM
 
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I just read the Wiki and it validates what my instincts were telling me about this therapy approach you seek.

Quote:
PAS has been criticized for making clinical work with children who are alienated more confusing[8] and Gardner's analysis has been criticized for inappropriately assigning all responsibility of the child's behavior to one parent when the child's behavior is oftentimes, but not always, the result of a dynamic in which both parents and the child play a role.

Parental alienation syndrome - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
I think regular therapy would be more beneficial than finding a therapist who specializes in this syndrome that isn't recognized by the mental health community.
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Old 05-28-2010, 08:25 AM
 
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Parenting in itself is brainwashing. Kids grow up with keen knowledge of their parents' way of thinking, and for the most part, their lives are molded by how their parents convince them what is right and wrong, how to behave, etc..

When that conflicts, it confuses the child or children. Almost never would I suggest therapy (as therapy is another form of brainwashing), and maybe not even now, but I think if you have an impartial outsider (NOT clergy, because they have their own agenda) assess what is happening, it may help sort out what needs to be done to help the step daughter.
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Old 05-28-2010, 08:34 AM
 
Location: In the real world!
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I have seen children of these kind of parents grow up, 2 cases of it close to me and once the children have grown up they completely avoid the parent who did the critizing of the other parent. Once grown, the child starts seeing things and putting 2 and 2 together and realize they have been lied to for a lot of years. It will backfire on their mother one day...

Prime example was my daughter who's father walked out when she was 2 months old. At the age of 17, he came back into her life and they met. She wanted to go live with him and she did after she graduated. He immediately started bashing me to her, telling her all kind of lies and stories. She called me crying and confused wanting to know if all this was true.. I just laughed and told her "YOU know me a LOT better than he does, I raised you so you KNOW what kind of person I am, AM I capable of doing what he says? The truth is inside of you, you do not need me to tell you, you already know."

In all her life, she never heard me say one single negative thing about her Dad, I only said how handsome I thought he was and how much I loved him and that was it.

That relationship ended right after that phone call and she came home to me, also, he died right after that anyway.
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Old 05-28-2010, 08:43 AM
 
Location: San Antonio
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My Dad and Stepmom did the same thing, I'm not sure I would call it brainwashing. They would both tell me things about the other that they swore up and down were the truth. As I got older I realized it was the truth based on their perceptions. At that point I realized that I had to take what they said regarding that particular subject with a grain of salt.

And btw your relationship with your stepdaughter isn't an odd thing. It's obviously something you've worked at and should be very proud of.

Best of luck to you and your family.
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Old 05-28-2010, 08:47 AM
 
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Hopes,
I apologize for being sort of vague in my description, It would have been easier to use names but I don't like saying things in too much detail over the net. And I agree with you, it would be benificial to my stepdaughters well being to see everyone getting along. I'm afraid that won't happen. We have tried to work with him and nothing gets done, even friend of the court didn't help much. We ended up getting investigated by the child protective services because of him. At his goading she was writing notes about alleged abuses to her and leaving them in her desk at school. Well after the investigation was done and a visit to the court they found that she is better suited staying with us and it was suggested that he (the ex) should take some parenting classes and some therapy. Which he never did.
Now here's the crazy thing, the divorce was 9 years ago ! What happened in their marriage was a lot of emotional abuse/controlling which eventually ended up with some physical abuse which is when my now wife left the marriage. My SD on occasion will blame her mom for everything , and when my wife explains that it got physical and that is the reason , her daughters reply was "we , he had a bad day" How scary is that ? What is going to happen when she grows up and gets into her own relationships..
Oh we have tried some counceling , after the investigation. They basically told us "we see it all the time, it's such a shame" but after a year things started to get better. We ended up not doing the counceling anymore and for the most part things did get better (we had not been married at that point) with an occasional issue here and there. We got married in Dec. (dated for 3.5years) and things really got better, we even had teachers at her school telling us to keep up what we are doing because they saw a total improvment in her attitude and schoolwork. She was talking positive about us and everything. And then about a week ago there was a big blowout between her and her mom. I guess her mom and I are just really disappointed because it feels like we've gone backwards. The ex and his mother are really such bad influences on her. He barely keeps jobs , when he does work it's 4 days a week. And everything is all about him, he never does what his daughter asks him , like going to movies or bowling etc. All they do is hang out at the house ,watch tv and listen to her dad bad mouth her mother, she has no rules over there at all. And her grandmother is an alcoholic, and constantly badmouths us. It's like all the ex and his mother do is dwell on the divorce, and blame their situations in life on it. It's really pathetic. It hurts me to see what it is doing to my wife, it really hurts her deeply. We don't want to turn our daughter against her dad , I've often told her that she has a great opportunity in this situation, that she has two families that love her but she just doesn't see it that way. She has told us in the past that she feels sorry for her dad, and that her mom has done this to him.
Sorry for the long post.
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Old 05-28-2010, 08:55 AM
 
10,145 posts, read 6,270,142 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laura707 View Post
I have seen children of these kind of parents grow up, 2 cases of it close to me and once the children have grown up they completely avoid the parent who did the critizing of the other parent. Once grown, the child starts seeing things and putting 2 and 2 together and realize they have been lied to for a lot of years. It will backfire on their mother one day...

Prime example was my daughter who's father walked out when she was 2 months old. At the age of 17, he came back into her life and they met. She wanted to go live with him and she did after she graduated. He immediately started bashing me to her, telling her all kind of lies and stories. She called me crying and confused wanting to know if all this was true.. I just laughed and told her "YOU know me a LOT better than he does, I raised you so you KNOW what kind of person I am, AM I capable of doing what he says? The truth is inside of you, you do not need me to tell you, you already know."

In all her life, she never heard me say one single negative thing about her Dad, I only said how handsome I thought he was and how much I loved him and that was it.

That relationship ended right after that phone call and she came home to me, also, he died right after that anyway.
We keep hearing that and want to believe that she will someday see the truth but after 9 years and now her being 15 she would start to see things. We have never said anything bad about him or her grandmother, we do correct her when she says something that is completely wrong that she was told. I guess in the end all we can do is love her, support her and hopefully she will grow up and see things for what they are.
A little about me. This is my first marriage, I am 41 and an only child myself. So being a parent is a new thing to me. We are actually currently trying to have a baby. Things will really be fun then ! LOL

Last edited by scarabchuck; 05-28-2010 at 09:07 AM..
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Old 05-28-2010, 10:10 AM
 
Location: So Ca
15,763 posts, read 15,003,424 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scarabchuck View Post
The incredible thing is how strong the brainwashing can be, there have been some situations were we have showed her the truth and she still believes my wifes ex.
My neighbor went through this; it's very damaging.
Link, PAS is child abuse: Home (http://www.parentalalienation.com.au/pages/04alhome.html - broken link)
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Old 05-28-2010, 10:17 AM
 
Location: Sacramento
2,568 posts, read 5,989,886 times
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A couple of things I would do. On is have your wife tell your daughter not to tell her whatever her father tells her about her. That will take a lot of the drama out of the relationship. The mother should have an standard answer like you know me and do you think I am capable of that. No more discussion, no defending herself.
You as a male role model need to address her acceptance of violence in the relationship. Whenever you see a teachable moment inject your anti-domestic violence comments. Like you are watching the news and they mention abuse, you say something like how can a man that loves his wife ever do that to her. Or hitting someone is being a coward. Or there is no excuse to ever hit anyone, etc...
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