Symptoms of Parental Alienation

Voice of Parental Alienation Syndrome

Symptoms of Parental Alienation

Copyright 1997 by Douglas Darnall, Ph.D.

To prevent the devastating effects of Parental Alienation, you must begin by recognizing the symptoms of PA. You will notice that many of the symptoms or behaviors focus on the parent. When the child exhibits hatred and vilifies the targeted parent, then the condition becomes parental alienation syndrome. After reading the list, don’t get discouraged when you notice that some of your own behaviors have been alienating. This is normal in even the best of parents. Instead, let the list help sensitize you to how you are behaving and what you are saying to your children.

1. Giving children choices when they have no choice about visits. Allowing the child to decide for themselves to visit when the court order says there is no choice sets up the child for conflict. The child will usually blame the non-residential parent for…

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My Side, my confession, my accusation, an open letter to my Children

An open letter to my Children, Charlene, Libby, Wanda and Daniel,

I know that you have been taught to hate me.

I feel that your hate toward me is undeserved.

I know that your father told you I left you. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Your mommy didn’t leave you babies. Your mommy loves you so much. What happened was a planned methodical excisement of me from your lives, and your hearts. What happened was your father has told lies, committed many acts of emotional abuse toward me, and has literally brainwashed you children into thinking that I am despicable.. My children, please know that I try to live by this rule: “Love your God above all others and love your neighbor as you love yourself”. I have to confess that I have such anger toward your daddy for all the pain he has caused me, for leaving me to live in squallor while he lives the life of Riley, and MOST OF ALL I have anger for his poisioning you against me.

His was such a well thought out plan that your daddy tricked to me into signing a document called it quit claim deed about 6 months BEFORE the divorce he filed. He did trick me because he brought it to me when I was in the hospital and told me I had to sign it. I was so heavily medicated I didn’t even know my name. I was on high doses of Depakote and Seraquil and Lithium when I signed that document. The document removed my rights to the house on Manningham drive.

I know your daddy told you that I was unfaithful to him. I wonder if he ever told you how many women know him intimately? Did he ever tell you that he was on a first name basis with the *ladies* at the Silverdollar gentleman’s club? Or that he slept with the lady who had the pool, the one who lives on Danny’s Street who moved to Texas? Did he tell you that when he traveled he was in the company of other women, did he tell you about the hot tubs and the saunas on his too frequent business trips? Did he tell you about the cat houses in Juarez, Mexico? Did he tell you that we thought that he fathered a son born around the same time as Charlene? As I understand it he even took a paternity test. Did he tell you that he slept with Phyllis who is now Charlie’s wife? These are only the ones I know about; imagine what I don’t know.

Don’t you stop and wonder how daddy has herpes and mommy does not? Yet still you believe that I was the only sinner in our family?

Now I will tell you about my affair. For 14 long years I never felt that Chuck loved me as he should. He never opened a door for me, he used to walk about 10 feet in front of me in public, he never wanted to hold my hand, or show any affection… he even forgot me at a mall and the airport. When I was in labor with Charlene he spent 6 hours on the phone with his old girlfriend Angela, and guess what, when I was in labor with Libby he got a call from her again! She moved to Abbingdon Downs around the time we started falling apart, coincidence? NO WAY! He never paid attention to the things that I needed and so when I met a man named Saco at a gem show in Tucson it was very easy for me to think that this was love. It was his kind nature, his consideration of me, how he treated me, like I was a person and not a piece of the furniture, that made me really foolishly fall in love with Saco.

We spent 30 days together we talked all the time we shared each other’s life stories and we became really good friends. We both had others in our lives and we never even touched until the last night of the gem show, and I honestly don’t think it would have happened except we were drunk.

Saco and I remained friends, we designed jewelry together, and we spoke frequently and sent email but not inappropriately. I kept remembering how nice it was to feel like someone cared about me. I kept wishing that your dad would show me that same consideration. You know he says he loved me but it just didn’t feel like that it felt like I was taken for granted by him. I could have been a maid for all he seemed to care.

I tried to suppress my feelings for Saco and he tried to suppress his feelings for me. We did not want to hurt anybody especially you kids his woman and my husband.

I had to go to Thailand to pick up a jewelry order for the jewelry store. I asked your dad to go with me. I asked him many times and he refused, he said he had no desire to go to Thailand. I was a little afraid to go alone and so even though, I shouldn’t of done it, I asked Saco, he agreed. We flew into Bangkok, Thailand together I think it was March 2000. It was an exciting, romantic, wonderful, joyful, and yes, sexual adventure. For 10 days we pretended that we were young lovers who hadn’t a care in the world.

Those 10 days will never be forgotten and those 10 days will be paid for, for the rest of my life. Would I do it again if I could go back in time? No way! I miss you guys so much! 10 days, 10 years, even a lifetime of romance is not worth the loss of the love of your children. If I could do it over again I would’ve stayed home. No question about it.
My darling children I love you.

If I told you that every day my heart breaks a little bit more would you believe it?

If I told you that every day I wake up and think of you and want to just cry and cry because I miss you so much would you believe it?

If I told you that not a single moment passes in which I don’t feel love for you, would you believe it?

This divorce was not about you kids at all. However, I believe that since the divorce you children have become pawns in a game designed to hurt me as much as I must have hurt your father. I personally believe that your dad is so angry with me about Saco that he cannot forgive me. I think because of his anger he has done everything in his power to ruin my life. Of course the easiest way to hurt a mother is to remove her from her children.

This is my Truth, My Confession, My turn to speak. More later.


The Attempt to get me arrested

My daughter Libby gave me reason to believe that they (the kids) were being either abused or neglected by Chuck in about 2005.  She told me many alarming things, among them that Chuck was driving them around while drinking alcohol.  She also repeatedly, over the course of months begged me to get them out of there.

My situation was far from ideal.  I was getting $500 in SSI for my disability and I would not have made it without a roommate helping with the expenses.

One night I called Chuck, he was blitzed drunk, slurring his words and well I begged him for help because my power was getting turned off.  He agreed and gave me his checking account data to pay my utilities with.  At the time he was making about $120,000 a year and I was bringing in $6,000 a year TOTAL! Paying my utilities was nothing in terms of his financial picture.

I should have realized it was a setup though because not too long after he became involved with Jill Hearn did I get a knock at my door from the Pasco County Sheriff asking me why I was stealing money from my ex.

?!?SAY WHAT?!?

Yep, he went back, added up the payments I made and got it up to felony size and then pressed charges.

I spoke with the investigator and even showed him some correspondence I had where Chuck acknowledged he knew I was making those payments and the investigator said, “Have a good day Ma’am” and never bothered me again.

Yet, in the back of my mind, I felt Chuck was going to try to have me arrested once I came back to Alabama.  He was laying in wait like a panther.

It was around this time he stopped allowing me to see my kids UNLESS I went to Madison to get them.  He even refused to put them on a plane.  I can only believe it was because he wanted me arrested so I would be a “felon” or accused of a felony.

So I wrote to the Pasco Sheriff and got a copy of the file exonerating me and sent it up to Madison, all issues were dropped.

From: Leah Talley




To: Pasco County Sheriff’s Department

Records division


Re: Case Number 06-16234


To Whom it May Concern in Records,

I spoke with Detective Mitchell this morning who advised that after completing his investigation into this matter he has determined the case as unfounded. I am in the process of taking my former husband back to court and have a feeling that when I go to court in Alabama he will have these same charges brought against me in that jurisdiction. In order to assist with that possibility; and to ease my mind, I would be grateful if I could get whatever form; case report, determination sheet, or what ever the form is called showing that this case was investigated and that no charges were assigned.


My belief is that my former spouse is holding this case out in order to intimidate me from proceeding with my issues surrounding our divorce.


I am including $2.00 to cover any copying fees.


Thank you for your time and attention,



Leah Talley


2008-05-20 011

A Letter I wrote to my Family

Sent: Thursday, April 10, 2003 12:31 AM

To: family

Subject: Hello from Leah

Hi everyone,

Well I guess I have a lot to tell you all, some of it you know..

I should start by saying that I could not be happier to be your relative… I am very proud of my brothers and our courageous birth mother.  (Even if I hate that term).

Okay so, since most of us had any in-depth conversation(s) my life has pretty much spiraled out of control and I am currently working hard at trying to piece it back together.

Chuck and I separated in May of 2002, divorced in October.  There were a lot of painful dirty tricks pulled by his cutthroat attorney and since I had no money to hire a good one I basically got a very raw deal.  Chuck has full custody of our children.  No, I was never deemed an unfit parent; it was not like that at all.  It was just the most realistic option given the fact that I had no job, had not finished college, and had nothing but myself to offer the kids; Chuck has a high salary, his mother nearly lives in with them, and they are cared for well.

In December Chuck began dating and then, in turn to use my children to hurt me.  In order to prevent him from doing this anymore I decided to move away.  Specifically what he would do is want to go on a date with his new girlfriend on a weekend that was not my visitation.  So, without calling in advance, or asking, he would get the kids packed up for an extra weekend at Mom’s and show up on my doorstep and say, in front of the kids, “I thought you would like to spend time with the kids this weekend so I brought them over”.  This was on-going behavior.  And contrary to that he would often enroll the kids in some Church activity during my visitation and I would spend a lot of the time driving them to and fro and not really being able to go do anything with them…

So I now live in Florida.

My sister offered me a space of land to put a trailer on in Arizona; and I know that any of you would have helped me if I came there or to Colorado.  However I was an emotional wreck at the time and felt that I would not be all that capable of being good company to anyone…  I have always loved the ocean and the water, and fishing – just anything at all to do with the water, and I decided to move to Florida because I knew the water was here.  Also, unlike out west, it is a mere 10-hour drive to see my kids from here.  And finally, Chuck’s project may have him living in Orlando in a few years anyhow.  So, I chose Florida.  I live about 40 miles north of Tampa Bay.

I have been suffering from an illness called Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, PTSD for short.  Yeah, it is the same thing that many veterans have so you may have heard of it.  It is caused by severe emotional trauma.

Part of PTSD is severe clinical depression.  In 2001, immediately after the World Trade Center Bombing I became very depressed and went to my room and basically stayed there for part of September and most of October.  I really could not get out of bed except for necessities.  I finally asked my husband to take me to the hospital because I just could not function and it was very scary to me.

They over medicated me and (in my opinion) nearly killed me with anti psychotic medications and anti-depressants.  I was a zombie for the rest of 2001.  In March of 2002 I stopped taking the anti psychotic drugs and began to feel somewhat better, but they had me on 850 MG of a drug called Effexor and it was that medication I had the hardest time getting off.  It took me about 8 months to get off Effexor.

You may recall that I had a business, a small boutique in Madison.  I lost it, all of it.  I take responsibility for that loss but I do harbor some animosity toward my husband who could clearly see that I was not functioning and should have, in my opinion, stepped up to the plate to see what could be done to salvage any of it.

So now I am 38 years old, no husband, my children are not with me, and I am in a strange land so to speak, and yes, all of this is my own doing.  My decision-making processes are not exactly fine tuned at the moment at all.  I hope that this note is not making you feel I want your pity or anything like that.  I am writing to you to explain what happened to put me in this place in my life.  I would ask you for help but I have no idea what help I really need.

I am buying a small ranch house on a lake in a town called Holiday, Florida.  It is the nicest I could afford and it is waterfront, something I wanted very badly.  My closing is May 9th.  I am terrified half the time.  I really do not know if buying this house was a good decision or not, I guess you could say that the past 5 years or so has eroded my own self confidence to the point that I second guess every choice I make. Chuck only pays Alimony until September 2003.  So I have anxiety related to that purchase.  Also a fair amount of guilt for not staying in Alabama, but again I felt I had no choice but to leave to protect my relationship with my kids.

I was down here less than a month when the people who rent the other side of the duplex I live in, who were all crack headed up, broke in while I was at school and took most everything of value I had.  Since then, and through my cooperation with my investigator both of them have been arrested and confessed, but I have not received any of my property back.

This neighborhood where I live now is not dangerous, but it is not the best either.  The move will give me more of a sense of security and so forth…  Also my landlord has not done much around here, the septic system is once again backed up (I had it pumped before when I first moved in) and the bathroom is missing a window… not good.  I need to move because despite written notifications and so forth she does nothing.

Well, that is pretty much what has happened over the past few years.  I could sure use some cheering up here….

I love you all so much!

Be good.

Love, Leah


My Side of a 16 year ongoing Divorce Saga

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