Parental alienation: Grieving the loss of a child who’s still alive


Parental alienation is a vicious form of child abuse.

If you think about the parents that have been turned against their own child or children, many of them are essentially grieving over the loss of a child who’s still alive.

Let’s be honest, many of these alienators wish you were dead. That’s the reality. By removing you from the child’s life, the children’s life, what difference is it– there’s no funeral, but you are away from them and if it was up to them there would be no father or mother for this child or children.

It’s really sick.

Let’s be honest, the parents that go full bore in a campaign of alienation, are mentally ill. Let’s call it for what it is. There’s something wrong with them, morally speaking. Their moral compass is broken. What parent, even in the midst of a break-up, wants to see that child suffer?

The alienator does.

It’s a real sick and twisted form of child abuse.

About John

John Thomas Steinbeck is a parental alienation consultant. He and his son's relationship was under attack in a deplorable campaign of parental alienation. In this blog, John shares his insights, techniques, and tools in combating emotional child abuse. He did it-- today his son's love has been restored-- and you can too!
  • Ann Marie Escamilla

    Your description of having your child tortured by PAS is dead-on; I have been mourning my daughter since she was an infant …. I cannot thank you, enough, for creating this site, and publishing the e-book. My daughter is, just, 4 years of age-the brainwashing of her has been done he “grandparents”(my parents)…She began showing signs of PAS over one year ago; in the space of the last 8 months, during which I, her 48-year-old mother, have been prevented from being with her, at all, my happy, healthy, little baby has become a ghost(during this time she has been “cared for” by, primarily, the instigator of the brainwashing, my 82-year-old sociopathic father(who just happens to be a retired M.D.) It is too painful to write any more, at present. To be legally-prevented from to saving your own child from this Hell, even when they beg you to “get me out of here,” kills both a mother and child, literally and figuratively….

  • Ann Marie Escamilla

    You are correct-the alienator(s) would rather have you dead…. I can’t believe how exactly your verbiage, in that brief, video-testimony on this matter, has mirrored my own.

  • These alienators, at the severe end, are pretty much all the same…

  • Jernae West

    My mother has been brainwashing my daughter against me for many years. My mother was very limited because my daughter was a minor and she lived with me. But now that my daughter has recently turned 18 years old, she has brainwashed my daughter to move in with her and alienate me. My daughter and I were extremely close and I didn’t think this could even happen. But now, she has to sneak to call me. She has even been scolded by my parents when they found out that she snuck to the hospital to visit me. My mom had CPS seperate my niece from her mom and convinced the doctors that my niece needed to be on multiple psychological medications. She even had my niece calling her mom and my dad, dad – instead of grandma and grandpa. The courts told my mom that they believe she was manipulating my niece’s mind. They even threatened to charge her, but was never charged. I’m seeking tips on how to reverse brainwashing. Please email me at:

  • Tila Quintero

    I thank you so much for this video. It’s something I live with every day for the past 8 years and no one really gets it.

  • Rhonda Ashmore Hammans

    My situation is a bit different. But my heart is broken and I am grieving the loss of my adult daughter. When my daughter was around nine, her sad remarried and she often begged me to go live with him. As a single parent, I knew that she would have a Vetter chance of having a Vetter childhood living with them. I was working all the time and couldn’t let her do any extra agree Scholl stuff. She went to live with them and they proceeded to brain wash my daughter, calling me names, pointing out what I did wrong. They made her call me Rhondahammans@gmail instead of mom. Her new step mom was her mom now. I shrugged it off and told her that they could not hurt me and that she should do what was easiest for her. So years have past and I have always been there for my daughter When she needed help or a place to stay. There is a lot more to this story, but recently, over the past couple of years she has been posting what a wonderful mom she has and would not be where she is today without her. She is not talking about me. She always comments and likes her symptoms posts, but never mine. I love her step mom and I am so grateful that she loves my daughter so much. The more people your children have to love them in their life the Vetter off they will be. Her father was a heavy drinker and was not nice when he was drunk. I had to go and get my daughter on several occasions and have her removed from the house. The last time was for hood. She was a senior in High school. We went with a policy escort to pick up her stuff, which he had put out by the toad. He passed away 2 years ago. Sense then she has been more distant and has criticized everything I do! She doesn’t want me around her kids because I either give them sugar, let them get too dirty, and she even said that I am a bad influence on them and that I am trying to but their love! I am a grandparent. That is what we do! She got really mad at me because I saw a lost on Facebook about her son, my grandson, and asked her to call me. She texted me back and told some details and said is that what you wanted to know, like I was some nosey neighbor or something. I let her know that she hurt my feeling and that I didn’t deserve that. She then sent me a really long message stating everything I had ever done that hurt her, I mean years of stuff She has been holding onto. Little does she realize that she has been very hurtful to me and other family’s members. Of course, I didn’t bring any of that up, but I did respond by saying I was sorry and that I never intended to cause her pain or hurt her in anyway. I told her that I loved her very much. She responds with, that at this point in her life she needs to minimize the stress in her life (she is in nursing school, has two chilfren, boy 6, girl 4 has a home based business, a husband and has recently decided to home school her son) so she feels the need to distance herself from me so I can’t hurt her anymore! I am really stuggling with this. She is my first born and all I have ever wanted for her was for her to be live, happy and successful. My sister’s and my mom have observed my daughter to be a fair-weather friend. She comes around when she needs something. I am at a loss! I never knew when I sent her to live with her sad that I was losing my daughter!

  • To Envy Those Who Grieve:

    I went to a funeral a short time ago. While nearly all funerals
    are sad, this one was particularly heartbreaking, as the deceased had
    passed away, suddenly, unexpectedly, and at a relatively young age. A
    mother, still in the prime of middle age, was taken without warning. A
    large and loving family had gathered from all over the United States to
    grieve the passing of a woman that they all had fond memories of.
    Although I didn’t know the woman at all, it was obvious that she would
    be missed by a great many people.

    While I sat and watched the family pour out their grief during the
    funeral, and then later the burial, a strange emotion came over me. It
    was an emotion I would have never expected to feel at a funeral, and it
    took me some time to identify it. It was envy. I felt envious of the
    family that had gathered to mourn the loss of someone they loved so
    much. I felt ashamed of this emotion at first, and I tried to bury it.
    I was there to support someone who had lost a close family member, this
    was not the time to be focused on myself. But later on, once I was
    alone, I began to reflect on what I had felt, and more importantly, why.

    I obviously didn’t envy the family for losing a loved one. I have
    many people in my life whom I love dearly, and I would not want to lose
    any of them. I have had loved ones die, and I certainly did not want
    that to happen to again. What I envied was not their grief, but rather
    that they were able to express it. My sons are gone. Not dead, but
    just… gone. They are gone from my life, and the lives of my family.
    When my wife filed false allegations against me, and took my children
    from me, it was terrible, but it didn’t feel like they had died. It was
    a terrible feeling, a great loss, and it was very painful, but it
    didn’t feel like death, with its shock and finality and hopelessness.
    At least, it didn’t at first.

    Unlike with death, there were moments of brief hope. For five long
    years, every occurrence was a chance at getting my sons back into my
    life. Every time I went to court, I believed the judge would hear me
    out, and award me time with my children. When my wife hit me with her
    car, I thought for sure she would be charged, and I would be able to see
    my kids. When my wife burned down her house, and the arson report
    concluded that she had done it, I thought surely something would
    change. When my daughter was taken from my wife, and I spent nearly a
    year EARNING her back from foster care, I believed that the authorities
    would force my wife to reunite us with the boys. But each time I was
    disappointed. And slowly, creeping up more and more each day, the
    feeling that they were dead formed like a malignant tumor, growing
    inside my heart.

    It feels like my sons are dead. I know that they are not, but they
    have been removed from my life as surely as if they were placed in
    wooden boxes and lowered into the ground. No voices, no pictures, no
    word of what they doing has come my way. I don’t even know what they
    look like today. I know from letters that were sent to the judge, and
    from what my daughter tells me, that they hate me. They think I am a
    terrible person, and that they want nothing to do with me. This is all
    so different from the relationship we had before. I was once their
    hero, their confidant, their champion – I was their father. The last
    time I saw Aiden he was sick, but he insisted on spending time with me,
    even though he felt awful. The last time I saw Seth, I held him while
    he cried in my arms, as I tried to console his fears about his parents
    splitting up. Now, in their minds, I am dangerous, a cancer, someone to
    avoid at all costs. Such has my wife poisoned their minds and hearts
    against me.

    Everything I knew about my sons is gone. Our relationship no longer
    exists. The children they once were no longer exist. It has been five
    years now – they are both approaching 15 years of age, well into their
    teens. To me, they are still nine years old, frozen in my mind at the
    age I last saw them. But the children I knew have grown up, and every
    connection I had with them has been severed. Even if we were reunited
    tomorrow, nothing that we once had has been preserved – we would have to
    start our relationship from scratch. I have lost my sons.

    Throughout history, our society has developed ways of dealing with
    grief. We have a funeral for the deceased. We tell stories of fond
    memories with them. We look at photographs of the ones we’ve lost, and
    we remember the joy they brought to our lives. We pour out our grief,
    and those around us acknowledge the loss, and they comfort us. Then, as
    the final gesture, we lower a casket into the ground, or present an urn
    of ashes to the family. The survivors go through the stages of denial,
    anger, bargaining, depression, and finally acceptance. And often there
    is a stone at the final resting place, a marker of the one who has been
    removed from our lives. I will see none of that.

    I will not get to hear others laugh telling stories of my sons, or
    cry over how much they will be missed. I will not be able to gather my
    family together in mourning, and watch a collage of photographs showing
    their lives. I will not see a casket lowered into the ground, or hold
    an urn, as a tangible reminder that my sons are gone. I will never
    allow myself to fully reach acceptance, because no matter how distant
    and dim hope becomes, it is always there, taunting me, just out of my
    grasp. There is no demarcation line, etched in stone, no marker to
    indicate the day my sons were taken from me.

    My sons are gone, and I must envy those who grieve.