Mark Twain may or may not have said “If you don’t like the weather in New England now, just wait a few minutes.” Regardless of the source, people say it all the time about all different places, and it has been especially true in Ohio the last few weeks. One minute it’s sunny and cloudless, and the next minute it’s a drenching deluge with violent lightning.
This is also how our life works dealing with Zack’s alienating mother, Missy. (See early blog posts for background of 12 years of parental alienation. Good PA in a nutshell blog post here.)
A May court “action” stated that 13 year old Zack should be spending time with his dad, Sam, after a year of contact denial. The parenting times are every Wednesday night and every other Saturday PLUS a 7 day summer vacation. (See the previous “Play Ball” post for a partial look at this complicated tightrope walk of reunification attempts). Missy has pulled all her usual stunts to minimize and control any time Zack is supposed to spend with Sam. BUT we recently enjoyed 3 days together — playing golf, watching World Cup matches, playing board and card games, and enjoying a backyard 4th of July party with family. All sunshine, stars and stripes, and slushies.
Until Sam took Zack back to Missy’s house, and she came at Sam with all her usual tactics. (It’s also predictable that there WAS an attack after Zack spent 3 whole days with us — the most time since the summer of 2016.) There was an ugly argument about the upcoming Saturday which Missy wants with Zack even though it was originally planned as Zack’s time with Sam. Missy and Zack had clearly already discussed this change. (Excellent definition of “adultification” here.) She told Zack, as usual, to “speak for himself,” and tell his dad that he doesn’t want to be with him. And our sunny day turns immediately dark with clouds and thunder. As she’s done hundreds of times before, Missy quickly replaced Zack’s good experience and fresh positive memories with his dad with this nasty and stressful experience Zack will resent and blame Sam for. Who can’t sympathize with Zack for not wanting time with his dad if he has to worry about the potential for this turbulent storm at the end of it? Even when he KNOWS his life can be safe and good with his dad. It was just minutes ago. THIS is alienation.