‘It’s like a cult. I live this life in the shadows’

After staying with their father, Suzie’s boys started to behave differently towards her.

Suzie* has no words to describe the emotion she felt when her eldest child, Hudson* sat in the back of her car in November 2016. She’d been alienated from him and his younger brother, Tim* since February 2013.

“It was like seeing a ghost. I appreciate every moment I have with Hudson. I feel like I have got this amazing second chance.”

Suzie’s ordeal began shortly after ending a tumultuous five-year marriage to a man she describes as “charming, manipulative and evil”. She says once they separated he wanted nothing to do with his children, often missing access visits and not seeing them for an entire year.

When Suzie and her ex-husband formed serious relationships with other people they initially shared custody amicably. Seemingly overnight Suzie says her boys began to behave disrespectfully toward her, her boyfriend and her parents.

At ages 13 and 10, her sons refused to return home after an access visit with their father and shortly after, requested to live with him.

Suzie says, “Hudson has never been the centre of his father’s attention and that’s all he wanted. He did whatever his dad wanted him to do.”

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