Alienation

I’ve wanted to write about this for some time but its been very emotional. I often wonder what kind of person would tell my kids that I’m bad, or I don’t love them, or I won’t be there for them? My parents have consciously and willfully interfered with my relationship with my children. My parents have always had a vision of how my kids would grow up and they have interjected themselves to make sure their vision is realized, with or without me. My ex-wife has consciously and willfully interfered with my relationship with my children. First my son, telling him that his Dad thinks he’s nuts, and that all his Dad wants is for him to take care of him since he’s disabled. Then my daughter, and I’m still not exactly sure but something along the lines that you can’t count on your Dad to be there.

I’ve known most of my life that I’m am a disappointment and embarrassment to my parents because of my disability. My relationship with the person that has called themselves my father can be illustrated by a couple of incidents, during a bench clearing brawl at a hockey game the last thing I remember seeing are the three men coming to beat up my Dad as his ass is running leaving me to stop the attackers, I was nine or ten. Another is my “Dad” leaving me in the custody of a known pedophile. What saved me was other victims coming to avenge themselves on the perpetrator. I used to be my Mom’s confidant but that ended when I was upset on the handling of a event at school, where an innocent ignorant teacher called me “blind Bergum”. In retrospect I think this fellow didn’t know any better he was fired, he was my friend we played chess together. I told my parents I didn’t like how this issue was handled. Since this time I’ve not had much of a relationship with my mother either.

I know with the level of interference in my life that my parents don’t think I’m a good person or capable of living a good life. They have always interjected themselves in my life with out invitation or permission totally disrespecting my boundaries and myself. During high school they interfered with my girlfriends and repeatedly contacted my friends to try and influence my wicked ways. It never stopped, during my life the interference in my relationships and marriage has been debilitating. I’ve spend several tens of thousands of dollars getting away from them and their meddling. There are a number of woman I owe apologies to for the meddling of my parents and a number of relationships that ended because my significant other would feel the pressure; “you’re not good enough”. Since I’ve disconnected totally from my parents this noise has gone away for me and my partner, thank god.

My parents want to control my interaction with my broader family, my aunts and uncles and cousins as well. To filter and manage me and my messages, I suppose, or to manage their perceived level of embarrassment. When I moved back to Canada from the US I was told who I was allowed to and who I wasn’t allowed to connect with. I didn’t listen but got tired of taking the verbal abuse over it. Then dealing with the active alienation my parents worked on the family to squash my interactions with them. Its too painful for me, I have people in my family that want to connect but I can’t deal with the verbal abuse I get for doing it. Or the feedback loops to my parents about where I’m at and what I’m doing, then the verbal abusive feedback. Regardless i am left estranged, expunged from my family of origin. One of my original motivations for the blog www.blindmancan.com was to reach out to my extended family of origin and share what I have learned about our genetic disorder. I wanted to stop the families betrayal of us all by their choice of ignoring the genetic disorder and their choice not to give it language or not to give the congenital condition acknowledgement. The problem is that my relatives continue to have blind babies, ignorance is bliss I suppose. I think its criminal, having to deal with the betrayal of not being told by people that have chosen to insert their heads in their ass. Having to explain to my child that they have the genes that could be passed on to their own child resulting in that child being disabled is not a lot of fun.

I’ve written about this before, I wish I knew then what I knew now. When I married the first time I settled. I thought being blind that I wouldn’t find, love. Something I regret for myself and my ex-wife, it’s not the relationship context I was looking for and I’m sure she wasn’t either. It all created a very bad context. I could only show her that I cared for her by letting her do things for me and over the years it went from, “Let me help you” to “your nothing without me”. Not a good context for either of us or for the children we brought into it. For all of that I will take my share of the blame, exactly half of it.

I left my first wife for about a year a few years before the divorce. During that time there was the “threat,” “you will never see your kids again if you leave me”. I was a fool and bought in and went back. This in my mind started it all, the poisoning of my relationship with my children. It started first with my son. The messages I picked up on are: “Dad I don’t want to take care of you because your disabled,” “Dad’s not interested in you because he doesn’t help you with your homework”, “Dad’s not interested in you because Dad won’t play video games”, “Dad won’t be there for you”, and my favourite, “Dad thinks your nuts”. No consideration for my disability and the things I can and can’t do, its hard to play video games when you can’t see them.

Some of the worst advice I’ve ever received is from my old family doctor in Calgary. She told me, when I was asking her what to do about a bad marriage. My doctor told me to suck it up buttercup and get a job where I travel, travel a lot. So lacking anything else that was acceptable, being raised catholic and being the son of the only siblings in their respective families still married, divorce was unacceptable. I didn’t get divorced, stupid me, totally my bad. Take it from me if your unhappy get out of the bad context it will only make things way worse for everyone if you stay. Settling or learning to live with it lead to disaster, get out run, go and learn about yourself and get the life you want. The life that will make you happy.

When my ex-wife and I finally separated and divorced it was fun and games. My son would come over as long as his anger didn’t get the better of him. I felt so bad for him and tried to reach him but I couldn’t. I probably still don’t have the tools to help him, or reach him. I’m doing my best to learn. My son is such a lovely person with such a good heart. It’s sickening to me he is caught up in this crap. My daughter decided she wanted to be with me full time, and the lady I was with at the time and I went through some interesting hell to make this happen, including dealing with stalking and inappropriate public displays of abuse on my daughter by her mother. This was status quo for some time then I was out of work for over nine months and when I did get a job my daughter ejected and went back to her mother. Interesting really, as the reason I received was my daughter didn’t want to be near my parents. Now my kids apparently summer with my parents. Go figure but in divorce, if the divorce is bad, not a surprise with how bad the marriage was its every man for himself. Go where I can get the most for me.

There are many things I wish I could do with my children that I can’t because of my disability, homework was a big one. My children and I really never found things that we both liked that we could do together. I tried the video game thing but I suck at them and don’t really care for them. My kids hate going for coffee, which I like doing. Through it all though I do love my children I would do almost anything for my children, I am there for my children. I know I was there for them when fire took everything from them. My daughter told me so, but since then things have returned to status quo, no contact. I am fully aware that in my children’s current context it does not pay to talk kindly of Dad. If my children did talk kindly of me I know that there is active retribution. My son emailed me some time ago to see if I was as bad as he was being told I was. The communications had to be clandestine he would only email me at 3am after everyone was asleep. I think someone found out, one of my son’s last emails indicated that he had been beaten up for contacting me, needless to say contact ceased. At the end of it all, all I can do and all I have to offer is my genuine love for my children, which will never cease.

So here I am estranged from my parents which makes me happy. I asked my parents for a year to straighten out relationships with my kids before they interjected themselves. Well, my request was shall we say ignored. I have learned that my parents have engaged in behaviour interfering with my relationship with my children that is illegal. There are no grandparent rights in Washington State. If my children had expressed an interest in seeing my parents I would not have stood in their way. I am generally a very forgiving person but when so to speak a leopard shows their spots. When my parents beyond a doubt showed their character I can forgive, but forgetting is well beyond my current capabilities. I hope to never see these people again in this world or the next. Harsh perhaps but as I mentioned already I’ve been happy since I haven’t seen them, correlation, absolutely!!!

So here I am estranged from my children. People who were significant in my life have told them: “your Dad is bad”, “your Dad won’t be there,” “you Dad doesn’t love you,” and god knows what else. These people have acted in deliberate malicious ways that are frankly illegal. I hope one day not too far off the legal context and the medical context will be in place to do something proactive about all of this.

There is some hope on the horizon, parental alienation is being considered for recognition as a metal disorder, the problem being the deprogramming of the children at the end of it all. Frightening. It begs some questions of a person and their character. How long can you be a victim? How long can you punish me for things you think I’ve done to you? How long can you hate me? The real answer which gives me absolutely no hope is well, “For life”. Its very sad but hate, punishment, revenge are powerful motivations to live. Using my children and inflicting your beliefs on them for your own benefit is beyond reproach, its shameful. People like my ex-wife and my parents bent on hatred and revenge are very hard to reach and rationally, objectively, discuss things with. You give someone those motivations disabled or not and if they themselves are no more or have nothing else to hang on to, these are powerful reasons to have meaning, focus and purpose, and a reason to live. I’m glad my disability is mere blindness and I don’t need hate or vengeance to motivate me to live. By the way I am disabled, and I didn’t become disabled on purpose and I definitely didn’t do it to hurt you, even if you think I did. I’m not sure I could live with myself if I was handicapped in such a pathetic shameful way. I suggest that the greatest disability of all is living life as an ignorant ass.

Am I perfect? Am I blameless? Absolutely note to both questions, but I am about living and letting others live. I like to think I learn from my mistakes make amends when I can and move on and live. I don’t like to ask myself if I”ll. ever see my children again in any context I suspect that the answer at the end of it all is very likely, “NO”.

The impacts of alienation on children are not very different from formal brain washing. Lawyers, doctors, physiologists are coming to consensus that the impacts of parental alienation are a classifiable mental disorder. My hope is that through life and life experiences my children will have the opportunity to come to their own conclusions about me and a relationship with me. At that point whatever decision they come to I can wholly support. I am here for my children, I love them and long to have a place in their life that is meaningful and acceptable to them. If that moment comes after my death no problem as I have no grievances against my children, there is nothing to forgive, I love them and continue to love them.

Posted in: Living
Kyle Bergum

About the Author:

Kyle has ocular albinism and has been legally blind since birth. Kyle leads a very active live and is besides his professional career involved in many projects for persons who are different.

Post a Comment