We are a group of brothers and sisters that have many labels. We are called Target Parents inside our circle. Our Alienators and their “Flying Monkeys” call us losers, weak and unfit. Our close friends and family call us fragile, frightened, and delicate. Those distant acquaintances just shake their heads for whatever reason. What I have realized is that no one really understands who we have become. One thing is for sure; we are not the same person we use to be. We have changed and we are different than we use to be. Today I want to take you into our world. I want to give parents a relatable post that they can share to the world that gives the world a peek into the existence of a parent that has lost their authentic children.

We are traumatized! As you read this we need you to remember, we have endured a lot of trauma. Think of the most precious thing in your life, for most parents it is their children. Most parents value their children more than anything in the world. Alienated parents have had their children removed from their lives, and this happened covertly over a long period of time. The only “offense” committed by us was that the marriage or union was severed, and our partner did not approve of this. Most of the time they were rejected in some way but they couldn’t manage this rejection, so they go on a campaign to hurt the one that hurt them. Sometimes they sever the relationships but they feel that their partner is not worthy enough to “co- parent”.

Whatever the case, the alienating parent is reliving a sick and twisted past experience of their own. To some degree we all have a little knowledge of narcissism. Looking deeper into the other parent, they suffer from a cluster B personality disorder. (This includes Narcissistic Personality Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder and Psychopaths). They are all damaged children themselves. They were not raised in a home filled with empathy and they were not given all of the proper tools to function in life as adults in a normal and socially acceptable way. Some of their internal systems have not, and will never mature as most of ours have. They are children in adult bodies. Imagine if you take a normal five-year-old child and put them in the body of an adult. The world sees a grown man or woman and this person has the ability to function in many aspects of life, but there are a very few important areas that they lack. When they are rejected they do not have the tools to cope with this rejection. They can’t move on. That five-year-old child within them comes out and throws a continuous fit, but they don’t have a parent to alter the behaviors. This is a recurring pattern seen over and over when one is trapped within these confusing situations.

We need you to understand what we are dealing with. We are fighting an unchecked child in a grownups body. They receive the respect and acknowledgment of an adult but they haven’t fully matured and that is what we have to combat. We sit here not wanting a fight; this battle is one-sided. We are happy to co-parent with the other parent even with their many flaws.

We know that nobody is perfect and we are willing to deal with this. It is the other parent that is creating this drama that plays out in the public view. We do not like to sling blame so we keep quiet. But today we’ll say it so you can hear the words, “The other parent is creating this drama”. They have an upper hand on us because, like a child, they resort to lies when they are trapped. These alienators will project and distort the facts in front of a judge. We are blindsided every time this happens because the lies are so outlandish and so meticulously thought out. We sit there in disbelief not able to react. In court these parents can easily convince a judge that the sky is purple. Who knows how they do it, but time after time they come up with stories and examples that shift the battle in their favor. This is devastating and confusing to us. We put our faith in our attorneys but they are part of the system that caters to the alienators. They are on our side but they allow these behaviors to go unchecked. The lawyers don’t make up the rules; they just work within them. There is no system within the courts to identify what is going on so we lose, and we lose most of the time. We cannot, and will not, lie as well as our exes and that is one simple reason we lose our children within the courts system.

We experience severe trauma. Most of us have been diagnosed (or should be diagnosed) with Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (CPTSD). We have spent months, years, and some of us even decades not having authentic access to our children. We bottle this up so that you won’t see it. We do this because we all have an attacker waiting for us to slip up. Our instincts tell us to hold ourselves together because there are too many examples of our vulnerabilities being exploited. Our exes know us well; in most of our cases we were married to them for a long time so they know a lot about us. If you want to see the power of a master manipulator then allow them to study a person for several years before they unleash their wrath of manipulations upon the world. We endure these attacks over and over again, all while not having the access to our children that we need.

Grief. We grieve the loss of our children. That is what you are seeing when you look at us. Humans have good days and bad ones. Take the last year of your life and hand pick some of the worst days out of that year. Now line the top three or four of those awful days up and have them repeat over and over again. Some days you see us strong and we appear happy. But the truth is, we are experiencing traumatic grief. So walk with us a little deeper into our world. If you have children, then imagine all of your children dying. It’s an unbearable thought isn’t it? This is one of the most unpleasant thoughts out there. This is hard for any parent to even imagine but if you allow these thoughts in just remember, they are only thoughts and they won’t actually come true just because you think them. Now to throw fuel on the fire, imagine not being able to ever overcome this feeling. We cannot process this grief because our children are still there. We live everyday as if our children have died and their ghosts are hovering amongst us, everyday. We can’t process the loss because they are still around, yet we feel that they are gone forever. We don’t have closure, we never attended a funeral, it’s like they were just gone one day and we are expected to just go on with life. Could you do it? We do the best we can.

Another issue that we deal with is our exes. Some of them have always come across as jerks and unpleasant people, but many of them aren’t. Many of our exes are pillars of the community and contributors. They are beloved by their inner circle and even admired from afar. They can be leaders and function with the best of them. But they have something in common with each other. They are victims themselves. They suffer from their own childhood traumas. These people are damaged; they weren’t given some tools growing up by their parents. They lack empathy and this is where our nightmares begin. When they feel the rejection their minds spin out of control. They turn their misery on the ones they deemed to have caused it, US! We all have our specific reasons that ended our relationship but we share one common result, our ex’s mindset is “you leave me, I’ll take your kids”. They believe they are just because they are damaged. The professionals label it as a Cluster B Personality Disorder. We know it as Narcissistic Personality Disorder and Borderline Personality Disorder. While at times beloved, you could have easily fallen into the manipulative traps set by one of these people. It’s ok, we fell for it too. Most of us wore blinders when we were with them. How could anyone stay with a person for so long if they always looked at the dark side? We quickly learn their true side when they start their campaign against us. They are brutally stupid. Many of their actions are so outlandish that we look like liars for accusing them of the actual truth. Every day a judge will look at one of us and scold us for trying to tell the truth. Can you imagine living your life inside a box like this? Trust us, it is not easy but we somehow do it every single day.

Most if not all of us are classified as suicidal at some point in this journey. If you read the definition we all experience the symptoms at some point. Not all of us attempt it but many of us walk very close to that line and some even cross it and pay the ultimate price. We lose brothers and sisters all the time. If you have even spent very much time visiting a nursing home you understand what its like when you walk in and the person you are visiting tells you about another friend that had moved on. It is a weekly occurrence but it is expected in that space. Each time we lose a mom or dad we grieve extra hard. Unlike the grief of the loss of our children, we are able to process the loss. We always remember but it gets easier over time. It is tragic because we all empathize with our now gone friend, we understand the pressures they have endured and we all wish we could have done something. We lost a brother on September 9th, 2019. One of our brothers Ryan Powell posted this video after it happened. Please click here and watch this video. His voice is authentic and he speaks for many of us.

As friends, family members and acquaintances, we want you to know what you can do to help us. In reality you can’t save us, we already know this. We do need some things from you. We will not ask you to just believe us because we say something, which is what our exes expect from you. We ask that you actually just listen, and once you hear what we have to say please assess the situation. Don’t believe them because they have a louder voice. We distance ourselves from most of you and we are sorry that our relationship isn’t what it once was. We are not crazy like they claim; we didn’t do most of what they say. We have our flaws but those flaws are often exploited and embellished. For the most part we keep our mouths shut, even to our detriment. We have to play within a dis-balanced, unfair game. We didn’t chose to play; we only chose to take a different path. Sometimes we are accused of having a “victim mentality”. We don’t, we are victims of Intimate Partner Violence (IPV). The mental abuse that we endure is overwhelming. We need you to understand that we are not weak, we don’t have a victim mentality, and we did not suddenly go crazy. We love our children. That is why we are like we are; we just love them more than anything. We do not need you to pick our side over theirs. We do not think like they do, it is not about sides. Remember, we are trapped in a one sided battle and we are not fighting like they are. We ask that you empathize with us. We hurt and we keep a lot bottled up. You can’t save us; you don’t fully understand our experience. It is normal to not understand what is going on because what is happening is unnatural. Normal people shouldn’t get this.

We are self-educated because that is all we can do. Many of us connect on social media and we all understand what each one of us is experiencing. We know that when we shift our situations that we are the ones that will lead the charge. We wish that someone like you could save us but that is only wishful thinking. We will lead our own charge when it is our turn. We will empower ourselves when our moment hits. We will use our allies and resources as needed, but until then we need you to just, “understand.”

Published by Michael Lewis

Michael Lewis is the founder of New Paradigm Family Solutions, a client-centered coaching practice located in Central Texas. Michael’s primary focus are moms and dads dealing with the emotional trauma of high-conflict divorce, but he’s equipped to help extended family members, too. Michael relates well to his clients; he understands personally how painful and destabilizing the process of divorce can be. Having been both a business owner and a Vice President in the construction field, he is very familiar with high-conflict personalities and demanding work environments, but none of this was preparation for the turmoil and debilitating pain he would experience from separation and divorce. It was a long and difficult process, full of trials and errors, but Michael was eventually able to turn his own trauma into a catalyst for personal change. Inspired to lessen the suffering of other parents, Michael traded in his hard hat, and now helps to guide other moms and dads toward their own transformations in the midst of chaos. Michael is certified by the International Coaching Association (ICA), and has been trained by Dorcy Pruter of the Conscious Co-Parenting Institute (CCPI). He collaborates with CCPI and other professionals to stabilize clients, and to create an individualized plan for each one, based upon their unique circumstances and needs.

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  1. Id like more information about getting support and hopefully learning more about CCPI. I loved the article its been my reality for way to long.


  2. Incredibly well written from a true survivor and warrior. Thank you for your inspiring words and story!


  3. Superb. I would like to state there are many of us who have never actually never had our time with our children interrupted. But the Narc is continuously alienating their hearts and minds against us just the same. They do this by lying to our children, twisting truths and making false allegations to CPS, hospitals, police, etc. every chance they get. They usually make more money than us, and promise toys, computers, clothes, vacations, etc. It’s a battle for their hearts every moment they are around them. We are met with hatred, hostility and the strangest actions from our children that they refuse to explain. Our kids feel it is their job to protect their Narc parent FROM US! They have to keep countless secrets from us (for example if the other parent gets married) bc its “none of our business.”. Our children are told to spy on us. We are routinely accused of child abuse and things like Muchausens (sp) by Proxy for “knowing” our child is ill. (Mine ended with with a severe Disease which required infusions of Remicade by age 11). Even now, a college student, she must take painful injections of Humira into her legs and stomach every two weeks. At the test that confirmed her disease, her father cried and begged the doctor not to do this “unnecessarily risky procedure” on our child right in front of her. They pit their chosen “golden child” against the “scapegoat”, and call him “mama’s boy” and punish him for showing any affection toward the target at all. Eventually, the children give in and choose to live with the alienator. In my case, all but the scapegoat child ended up living with the Alienator. Not because anything was lost legally, but because the teenager makes the choice to leave. (After a car and money are dangled in front of a teen’s face). It’s a different form of alienation, for sure, but it isn’t easy.


  4. I am a Life Skills Coach and have felt with both sides of this coin! Truest thing is that the “ex” that lies is good at it but always remember they lie to everyone and people start distrusting them and start doubting everything that comes out of their mouth! Some call it Karma I choose to call it curtain falling! After a while everything is the same story just told with a slightly different twist! I admire the strength your clients have and how they withstand all of the BS they have to contend with! Thank you for letting me vent!


    1. These parents are some of the most amazing people and their exes can be extremely manipulative to the point that they easily make the authentic parent appear to be the problematic person in the relationship. They can only lie and manipulate so much but the covertness can be hard for a lot of people to look beyond. It is relentless


  5. If I could write this well I could have signed it at the bottom as having been the author of My Story. I hope to read this in front of the Judge and witnesses in court in a couple of weeks. They all need to be confronted with this in the courtroom in front of the public. Shame on this system. Thank you for this Brilliant piece!


  6. Your article is SPOT ON! My journey with my daughter started with her fathers girlfriend 10 years ago, when she was just shy of 10. Fortunately, he finally had the epiphany as to what was transpiring and got rid of her. With work, he and I were able to rebuild our once tandem co-parenting and we functioned as a “family” again. All was right with the world. 8 years ago, he passed away very suddenly (daughter was 12). His cousin then decided I wasn’t a fit parent and started the whole regime over again. Gas-lighting, covert communications with my daughter, lies to the Judge in Court, etc. My daughter is now 20 and we have almost no communication. I only saw her in August because my father was visiting and wanted to see his granddaughter. It’s heartbreaking. I’ve had a lot of therapy to help deal. I sent this to my therapist and she agrees that I have CPTSD. I can only hope that someday, she will see the light. But I’m afraid that the damage has been forever done to her.


    1. I am sorry you had to experience this. This pathology is passed down from one generation to the next and all of our children stand a chance of continuing the cycle. Keep in mind that the human brain is still developing well into our mid 20s so there is still time to recover your authentic child even as an adult. I am always available to anyone that would like to discuss solutions to help their specific situation. All you have to do is send a quick email to action@newparadigmfamilysolutions.com and we will schedule a strategy session to discuss some solutions that fit your situation.


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