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Greenwood Village, CO, USA

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  • Erin Custer

Erin's Grief Blog: Parental Alienation Syndrome

Updated: Feb 21

January was long because it hurt. There was grief that felt like nothing I've ever felt; it was a physical pain with a black hole center that sucked the hope right out of me. That was the only way I could describe it. After several weeks and during a meditation, my intention was to remove that pain. I couldn't, no matter what. It wasn't budging. I realized that the grief was staying put to teach me something, but I had to be ready to listen. I acknowledged it, I spoke to it, and I told it that I was ready to listen. I literally saw the gift in the suffering like I've never experienced before. As much grief that I was overwhelmed with, I believe that this was the final act that I'd have to live through. Maybe... I still don't completely trust that the entire truth will ever be revealed or that justice will prevail.


As much as it hurt, this was the tragedy that I needed and waited so long for! How could I have missed this?! I was flooded with answers, understanding and clarity little by little to replace the grief and angst. How could I have missed all of the signs? I knew exactly why. The "truth" was shaped by a belief system that was created by someone else with the purpose of placing the shame that they had about their own self, onto me. This projection has been so effective over nearly two decades. My mistakes have been magnified by taking small bits of truth and manipulating the details so that they could pretend to be the victim and stay safe from relationship abandonment from a child. Every mistake I have ever made has been used as a means to put a wedge between my children and me. This person has had abandonment and codependency issues with their parent their entire life. Now they were doing it to my children. This is the most painful mental illness to know and has no boundaries, even with children.


While my work remains in end of life education, my experiences surviving a rare personality disorder in an individual that will likely be in my life for a long time, my story has a place in a group of people who are making changes in our family court system by bringing awareness to Parental Alienation and mental illness. I couldn't believe that there were people who have experienced the exact same tragedies, with the same professionals, at different times. Some of them were recovering from substance abuse issues after a lifetime of exposer to the confusion, blame, shame and abuse from the Alienating Parent. I felt heard for the first time in a long time, I felt home.


In January, I FINALLY made sense of the 18 years of confusion and pain. As I was gaining clarity, a very unexpected email came from someone, whom I thought was just another professional who believed this crazy projection as fact. I was so wrong! The most unsuspecting person of all sent a 5 word email that literally brought me to my knees! They said, "You are heard. Be patient." Followed by a another 3 word email, "I will help you". My grief was transformed into motivation, love and patience in an instant. Someone heard me after never being heard before. When those who can help you, don't.... Its so easy to resign your grief as fate. Having someone tell me that they hear me was like the trap door was lifted and the light of day was shining down on my soul for the first time. I am almost free. I know this is the final test because it has literally tested every limit of my sanity to the point where I thought I might fall over dead from


Please educate yourself, especially if you work with children or parents. It is your responsibility to be able to recognize the signs and screams of Parental Alienation Syndrome happing all around us. 22 MILLION parents and 4 MILLION children have been victimized by parental alienation. 47% have contemplated suicide in the past 12 months. This is an emergency situation and the mental health implications are devastating. Someday that child will mature enough to deconstruct the lies and then likely alienate themselves from the abusive parent, leaving a soul with a lifelong assignment of grieving the parentless life.


What is PAS?


What dangerous Mental Illness breeds PAS?


PAS Education at Thrive Global

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