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Jenna Noble and Monique Mason, Co-founders, Pathways Family Coaching

Meet Jenna Noble and Monique Mason, Co-founders, Pathways Family Coaching

Jenna Noble
Jenna Noble, Co-parenting and Reunification Coach, Co-Founder, Pathways Family Counseling
Monique Mason
Co-parenting and Reunification Coach, Co-Founder, Pathways Family Coaching

 

One of the most (if not the most) heartbreaking divorce scenarios is parental alienation: when one parent tries to destroy the relationship of their children with their ex, and/or get that person completely out of the picture. Unfortunately, I’ve seen it happen to so many people, including someone very close to me.

So, when I heard there were two women whose entire coaching practice was dedicated to helping victims of parental alienation, it really hit home. Jenna and Monique are “Reunification Coaches,” meaning they can help victims of parental alienation reconnect with their kids. Specifically, they can teach you how to approach and talk to your children, and how to break through a child’s resistance after they have been brainwashed.

I know someone personally who worked with Pathways and told me the experience was extremely helpful and useful, and that he felt hopeful about reconnecting with his kids.

I absolutely love the work that Jenna and Monique are doing, and am so proud to have them as Divorced Girl Smiling trusted professionals.

Sincerely,

Jackie Pilossoph, Founder, Divorced Girl Smiling

Jenna’s Story:

My story is like an onion.  There are so many layers to it that it’s almost impossible to share it effectively without opening a novel.

I grew up in a high-conflict broken home with my earliest memories being of my mom and dad screaming and fighting.  By the age of 3, my parents separated and, to make matters even worse, my dad died when I was only 8 years old. One thing that I didn’t understand growing up is that I came from a long line of generational trauma, which included my mom being alienated from her own father. I had to learn this in my adulthood, which has helped me a lot now, but certainly didn’t help me growing up.

Over 17 years ago I fell in love with a man that was a father to beautiful twin girls. The dedication and warmth he displayed to his children was one of the many reasons that I loved him, and we looked forward to a one family, two household structure we would share with their mother. Never would I have thought that saying “yes” to taking this journey with him would interlace me in a battle that felt like was for his life and for the lives of his children. What seemed like petty games of withholding the children and then allowing time lead to his journey as an alienated parent, losing all contact from his children and being completely erased from their lives.

Watching your spouse being erased from their children’s lives is like watching your spouse drown. A crowd gathers as spectators (including family) do nothing. You scream to the crowd, begging for help as they move towards him to watch, while some laugh and say, “He’s not drowning!”  Some even come along to hold his head under. You cannot swim and the person holding the life preserver is the other parent.

This was the chaotic two-step we desperately tried to join without ever knowing exactly when to step left or step right.  The music track playing was called “doubt”, and was a powerful tool used to manipulate and change our lives forever.

After we first met, my husband and I began receiving threats and were the targets of vandalism.  From the inside, my husband was repeatedly and persistently told by the mother of his children that they were never his.  The outside world, however, was hearing a much different version of events.  My husband was painted as a “dead-beat” dad who was “refusing to believe” to all his friends, family, co-workers, and even his bosses…to the outside world, he was someone who had abandoned his family for having left the relationship with his children’s mother.

Imagine repeating words that you were continually told, “they’re not my kids” while spectators only scoff in judgement at your callousness and lack of ownership of your ultimate responsibility.  He did succumb to the pressure of needing to be responsible for his girls for some time, as friends began to mysteriously turn on him and family would say, “Don’t be like your father!”  He was very involved with them at first, all while their mother continued to whisper into his ear that he was raising someone else’s children.

The persistent hum of doubt in the background ultimately affected the attachment he developed with his girls; however, the judgement placed on him by those closest to him and the thought of him being a “dead-beat” like his dad – the ultimate insult – encouraged him to remain in the fight even after separating from his children’s mother.  But the message continued throughout the years…”They’re not yours.  I don’t even know why you care.”

Eventually, she filed for sole custody and, on the poor advice of our lawyer that we trusted, we agreed to her terms in the interim.  We were told this would make his fight for custody easier because he would appear cooperative.  Before the ink was dry on the page, their mother stopped all contact completely, and one day, the phone on the other end didn’t have a ring tone, but rather, a “this line is not in service” message.  They were gone.

My husband asked his mom for help in locating them, but she refused to get involved and we later found out that she was seeing the children the whole time and knew their whereabouts.  Little did we know that the pictures of my husband were taken off his mother’s piano and he was being erased.

12 years into this journey of alienation, we were able to finally reconnect with his beloved girls. Relieved, I thought this was the end of this horrific journey, but it was only the beginning. I experienced first-hand the unbearable pain an alienated child endures, the ignorance of the legal system to the topic of parental alienation, and the negative effects that well-meaning mental health professionals and lawyers can have.

After finding the girls on social media, we heard stories of the horrific abuse and neglect they were subjected to, and they begged for myself and my husband to help them. We discovered that they were raised to believe their stepfather was their biological father.  They were told we were “bad people” who used to be friends with their mother, and their names were changed.  My husband had been completely erased.

At the age of 15, we were granted a protective separation from the court and the girls came into our care for 10 months.  This was the hardest 10 months of my life! Don’t get me wrong… we had amazing weeks with them, but a protective separation does not heal parental alienation. This is a splitting pathology, and the reality of what happened was far too painful for the girls because they love both parents…even the one doing the erasing.  We just didn’t have the skills we needed at that time to navigate what was ahead of us and the twins eventually ran away to my husband’s family, who, we discovered, kept their location secret from us yet again.

Taking what we thought was the only available path out pushed my husband’s children further from accepting the love they want from their father, myself and their siblings and further into a life riddled with attachment related pathology, anger and misplaced identity.

To further the grief the twins endured being raised in pathology, they lost their mother in death. Many think that the death of an alienating parent will end the legacy of alienation. This is not the case.  It only ingrains the transmission of the delusional narrative further.

Imagine losing someone you love (because all children love both parents despite their shortcomings), and feeling the guilt of only having a living parent that was alienated from you. Knowing that that parent who is living was hated by the parent you were grieving.  Would it not feel like the final and ultimate betrayal to your lost parent to accept the alienated parent’s love?

Pathogenic parenting is not a one-person problem. It does not end with that parent. It is a family pathology, a trans-generational transmission of trauma. So not even hours had passed following the death of my step-children’s mother, when family from both sides of his twins’ family stepped into their mother’s role and continued the alienation. Imagine losing both your parents in death…one physically and one psychologically. It is the ultimate in grief.

After witnessing my husband deal with the most painful loss a parent can experience for a second time, and my health seriously diminishing due to the stress, I made the decision to help children like my step-daughters receive the love they deserve from both parents. Knowing what I know now, I strongly feel that if I’m not part of the solution, I’m part of the problem.

Now are you ready for a plot twist?  Remember that “dead-beat dad” my husband didn’t want to be like?  Well, it was through experiencing this nightmare of a journey as an alienated parent that my husband realized that he, too, was an alienated child.

Have you ever felt so isolated that you didn’t notice there were people standing right beside you?  Or felt so ashamed you couldn’t look those closest to you in the eye and just wanted to melt away into nothingness?  Or so helpless with all hope completely depleted that you were plotting how to end the pain?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions…it’s okay!  …and I get it!

My story began in Saskatchewan longer ago than I’d like to admit.  Although I’d like to say I had a glorious childhood, I did not.  During the first several years of my life, I was witness to domestic violence, and seized the first opportunity to leave home right after high school in search of a higher education in beautiful British Columbia.

For the first time in my life, I felt free and in charge of my life.  What I didn’t realize is that my childhood set me up for a series of decisions that only led to more abuse, more of feeling trapped in an inescapable situation, and a more ingrained sense of unworthiness.

I met my first husband in first year university…and he doted on me like no one had before.  I became the center of his affections, and felt truly special for the first time in my life!  He was incredibly charming, and quite handsome.  He was the man every girl couldn’t wait to introduce to her mother.

Over time, his affections turned to criticisms, his “love” to blame, and his pride to spite.  I became caught in a cycle of not feeling like I was ever enough, regardless of how much I tried.  My insecurities led to me marrying the man whom I could never placate, and within a year my son was born.

Our relationship continued to crumble, all the while my son bore witness to our dysfunctional relationship.   After completing university (in which I spent all of my time with my ex), we moved to find jobs in the same small city in the interior of BC.  For the first time in years, I was spending more waking hours away from home than in it.  Slowly and surely, I began to view myself differently.

I finally made the decision to leave my marriage; however, this decision did not come easily to me.  Although I felt I deserved better, I was incredibly insecure and concerned there was something mentally wrong with me.  This stemmed from the fact that my view on reality was always very different than the “facts” presented to me by my ex.

Regardless, for the second time in my life, I felt free!  …but I was not prepared for the emotional turmoil yet to come.

Let’s be real for a moment…regardless of the circumstances, divorce is painful!  BUT…honestly, nothing prepared me for the anguish of losing my child.  You see, after my divorce, my son became a pawn…the rope in a decade-long tug of war…and my relationship with him slowly and methodically eroded away from me “being the best mom in the world” to me losing all contact with him.

For years, I found myself caught in the revolving door to the courtroom.  I was stuck in a never-ending convince and resist cycle of pleading to the court, all while defending myself against false claims made simply for wanting to spend time with my son.  I struggled to find a lawyer who could actually help.  I found myself at the mercy of three different psychologists hoping that one of them would acknowledge what was happening to my family.  I was literally fighting to remain a part of my son’s life…and it was costing me my life savings.

All the while, I witnessed the destruction of my son’s innocence.  He began to fear spending time with me.  He became disrespectful and made disparaging remarks.  He struggled with stomach pain for years.  Ultimately, he was brainwashed to hate me…all because my ex was determined to “win”.  My son was reduced to a possession…a trophy.

I spent many years feeling alone, hopeless and ashamed.  Going out in public became painful, as I was forced to watch other parents enjoy time with their children.  I was constantly reminded of milestones missed.  I had to endure acquaintances asking me how my son was doing when just trying to buy a half dozen apples from the grocery store.  Over time, I came to the painful realization that no one was really all that interested in my story.  So…I learned to cleverly craft and steer conversations away from my son to avoid the awkwardness that inevitably followed my honest answer.

…but there is more to my story than just me…

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Testimonials:

“I am a client of Pathways coaching best money spent so far…and let me tell u all the money I’ve wasted on lawyers doesn’t even compare to the amazing help I’ve received thru Pathways.”

“I am so glad to have found Jenna on my search for true help dealing with an extremely toxic ex who is using our kids as weapons against me. Jenna gets right to the point providing amazing coaching techniques designed to help with your current situation. No matter what you may be facing, rest assured, she has seen it, and rest assured she has the answers! After 9 painful months of hardly any messages from my daughter I am pleased to say we had a wonderful Christmas visit taking many pictures together. I was really scared that the time absent would be tense and filled with awkward silence but it’s as if no time had passed at all. A visit that never would’ve happened without Jenna’s thoughtful coaching. I am finally on the right path to rekindling my relationship with my beautiful daughter. We can’t say it enough Jenna, you are a Godsend!”

 

 

 

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