Parental Alienation & DSM V: ‘I still feel a deep loss from not having had time with my father growing up’

Parental Alienation cases are heartbreaking, and many of the numerous letters we’ve received as part of our new Campaign to Ask DSM to Include Parental Alienation in DSM V are sad examples.

David, a Fathers & Families’ supporter, is an adult child of divorce and a participant in our campaign. He writes:

My brother, sister and myself were all subjects of Parent Alienation Disorder. This was long before it was ever heard of. I’m the youngest and I’m now in my mid-fifties. Both of my parents are still alive, now both approaching 90. Me, being the youngest, I briefly saw my father only two or three times while growing up. I listened to a constant stream about how horrible he was and the terrible things he did from my mother. My sister wouldn’t even see him on those few times he came to visit.

I finally got to really meet my father when I was in my mid-20s. We initially spent about two weeks together. I listened to him for about the first week and then began asking him all the questions that had built up over the years. I asked very pointed questions regarding the stories that had been drilled into my head.

I discovered that my father was very honest and not at all as my mother had painted him. Since then, he and I have developed a relationship. However, I still feel a deep loss from not having had time with my father growing up. The worst part are the deep scars left in my family. It would take a long time to explain those.

My mother will still go into her ranting about how horrible my father is. She and I have slowly come to an understanding that I don’t want to hear these negative stories anymore…Parental Alienation Disorder has life-long effects. It tore my family apart and caused irreparable damages to the children involved. This disorder needs to be included in the ‘Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM V).

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