Originally published on Medium 9/23/2019 / Revised September 16, 2023

In the control room that fateful day, the world changed.

It was May 22, 2011.

Over 13 years in radiology, most in emergency rooms nationwide.

I’d seen it all—trauma, violence, catastrophe.

But nothing prepared me for this.

Joplin, obliterated by an EF-5 tornado.

A mile-wide monster, unthinkable destruction.

Twenty surgeons, silent, uncertain.

Pagers blaring, chaos unfolding.

A record number of cat scans, each revealing terror.

A family chased by the tornado in Walmart’s aisles.

A couple barely escaping a home devoured by the beast.

Reunions amid the rubble, agonizing deaths.

And a friend, missing until days later.

Exhaustion weighed me down, physically and mentally.

Tears threatened as I crossed the parking lot.

A traumatized bird, alive but broken.

I dialed my husband, unable to speak.

His advice: bring the bird home.

For days, I cared for her, comforting her.

Telling her she wasn’t alone.

Parental alienation, a tornado in our lives.

Some with minor damage, some tortured slowly.

Reunifications and waiting for answers.

But we all remember when the EF-5 Parental Alienation Tornado struck.

The toll it took, the wreckage it left.

No matter the damage, we’ve all suffered, and someday hope for restoration.

1 thought on “Parental Alienation: The EF-5 Tornado of Devastation

  1. After 16 years my husband finally had a name for what he knew was an evil destruction of his relationship with his daughter. She remains alienated to this day and is now 33 years old. He got 1 letter from her after he told her the truth of what happened. She says he crushed all her hopes because of the letters he wrote to his ex’s family explaining the lies, affairs, false accusations, etc. She said she went through years of therapy trying to make sense of her childhood, and some therapists thought they should force her to remember and certain “memories” emerged that she now says may or may not be true, felt true, may have been invented or suggested to her. I say shame on those therapists. She says she will maintain “silent separation” due to my husband’s angry reaction to what he found out – there was a pattern of this behavior that continues through her mother’s 3rd marriage, same lies, different spouse: sexual perversion and molestation, false allegations, even a federal crime and attempt at murder by proxy. She escapes all consequences and is probably serving sweet tea on her front porch, has thrown her daughter under the bus while she takes the blame for saying “you’re dead to me”. It has been devastating to my husband. He tried sending her apology letters, beautiful letters of love, forgiveness, anad she said to stop all correspondence because she does not open them. Now he will try to send her a postcard saying he loves her unconditionally. He feels guilt over abandoning her after 5 years of failed attempts and then threats by the ex. We pray every day for his daughter and her mother . If we had known about PAS sooner, he may have taken a different tack before exposing his ex to her family.

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