Some people going through a divorce can suffer from what has been called ‘Malicious Mother Syndrome’ or ‘Malicious Parent Syndrome’.
It may have been the case that she was more distraught than the average because she had been estranged from her father for a number of years and had only recently found out that what she was ‘holding against him’ were all falsehoods; distorted memories from a very young childhood, fuelled by a mother with a deep hatred of her ex-husband, my friend’s father.
There was some comfort, but only small, in the fact that she had in some way built bridges with him in his final months. But that didn’t make up in any way for the lost years. Her friends, including me, had tried to encourage her to see her father, to visit and to speak to him for years, but she kept saying ‘it doesn’t matter, he left us’.
Some people going through a divorce can suffer from what has been called ‘Malicious Mother Syndrome’ or ‘Malicious Parent Syndrome’. Although not a recognised mental disorder, the syndrome describes the abnormal behaviour that people going through a divorce can display.
Sadly, through similar situations or through the death of a parent many families become estranged, my own included. There is only so much anyone can do in these situations but without support, understanding or communications on both sides efforts can more often than not prove futile.
Kathryn Maile is stepmum to three children and mum to one of her own. She will happily share more ‘food for thought’ on step-parenting and the challenges faced throughout in her blog, www.mystepmumandme.co.uk. If anyone would like to get in touch please do so via her email [email protected].