Parent Alienator Psych 101: How I Knew The Signs

You Don’t Know Crazy Chapter 1

Crazy can describe everyone and is a term used flippantly. Some people use “psycho” inferring MORE than crazy but due to overuse it has lost its status and is just a close relative to “crazy” now . My daughter used that term a lot when she refers to me but in reality I’m really just her Mom and it is a way to act dismissively to my comments, concerns and responses.

Nathan, my then boyfriend at the time, said to me in the first couple of years of our blissful courtship where everyday was wonderful and you had a smile on your face for no particular reason at that moment, “You don’t know crazy.”

In hindsight, he was really good at compartmentalizing the simmering crazy that would be bestowed on him and me. His, “ You don’t know crazy,” comment was a way to gently get me use to the idea of the inevitable, what he knew all too well, that was about to come.

Nathan calls himself a realist and never afraid of telling the truth and although his comments were short and to the point, I would let it pass over me, but knew. It was the truth.  It was what I loved about him.  

He is also fun and light-hearted. He loves kids and kids love him. Kids have the innate sense about him that makes them talk with him in the grocery store or just plain stare at the aura around him as he flashes a genuine beaming smile of appreciation at them. He exuded authenticity and children felt that which is why telling the truth came so easily for him.

The truth makes you steadfast, reliable, rock solid, that was Nathan. If you have all the information of something then there are no “surprises” , you can prepare yourself but……I didn’t know crazy no matter how much he said it. He was right.

I met him six months after his daughter “kidnapping.” He said I had given him, “Faith in humanity,” again. He referred to me as his “girlfriend” to his handful of close friends, shock and awe would leave them in disbelief but also knew he was dead serious. 

They truly believed he was off women for good and he truly believed that all women were the same and always wanted something from him. The possibility of finding someone who supportive, giving and truthful was not realistic.


Which brings us to Crazy, but his ex was more than crazy. She was dangerous.

After experiencing her actions, I truly believe she would be capable of murder. I am not one to be overdramatic nor do I care for it but it is something I feel in my gut with this woman the more I thought about it.

I first met her before a court hearing in the waiting room and she actually stared up at me and introduced herself like we were at a party and gave me a big smile extending her hand to me, keeping her wrist close to her chest keeping her arm recoiled, an insincere gesture.

I was much taller her and she looked right at me with her dark brown eyes keeping her stoic smile on her face like, “The Joker” in the Batman movies. She had that 1,000 mile stare !!!

I could SEE the crazy. She intended the stare to be intimidating but I just looked in fascination and realization. 

Nathan was so right, I didn’t know crazy but  I was taking it in like a side show.

I then took her small hand pulling it toward me and downward forcing her to extend her arm leaving her heart exposed. I shook her hand vigorously but not aggressively and calming said, looking at her and then Nathan, “ Is she for real ?!” Then back to her and stated, “You are not a very nice person.” 

She got the message there were be no more sizing me up. I shut her down.


In the beginning of their courtship, she would show up at Nathan’s place and hang around for hours as he worked. He found it strange, she kept doing it till it just became familiar. There was no asking or telling, she just did. 

She told him of her upbringing with a severely chronic alcoholic mother, this was true. I had personal experience with her mother. It’s a small town. 

Jan also claimed  she was sexually abused by the boyfriend of her mom.

Her strengths were knowing Nathan was a good thing. She played the victim, preying on his heart of gold. He thought he could fix her. He had just immigrated from England and was 23 years old. He was new to the country and its culture. Nathan admitted his was naive at the time.

She gloated on her accomplishments of extortion. She received $14,000 dollars because she was able to convince NYS Department of Disability that she was incapable of working due to trauma as a child and her short stint in a psychiatric facility as a teen due to her severe abuse of alcohol . Her anger was palpable. She felt the world owed her everything and making them pay was her right. This news left Nathan astounded and at a loss of words.

Nathan’s relationship with Jan continued to progress to violence. One night they got into an argument and she took one of Nathan’s golf irons and proceeded to hit him on the back repeatedly, letting her, till he didn’t, grabbing the golf club in mid-swing from her hands and leaning his chest into her face. She was 5 feet 4 inches and about 98 pounds and he stood at a lean muscular 6’2” weighing in at 185 lbs. It took all his energy not to hit her back but he knew better. 

Nathan has a visceral reaction to pain in general and has led him to be physically reactive so he forced himself to leave the house. The club left welts on his back when he showed the imprints of the weapon to his best friend.


He married her for his green card and liked the possibility of having a child. She told him she didn’t want children because of her upbringing but then gave in out of fear of him leaving her.

She figured out her hook to keep a guaranteed spot of the receiving end because she was the mom. She also knew how to use it to her advantage with the court system. Taking people to court and suing them was her specialty. Nathan called her “second income.”

Toward the end of the marriage, Nathan agreed to go to marriage counseling, upon her request, to work out “their” problems. They went through several because they were all wrong for her, also they would not want to side with her wholly which was a problem.

The last appointment with a new therapist ,who politely listened to Jan’s grievances first. The therapist then turned to Nathan and asked what he wanted out of the session. Nathan blatantly replied, “A divorce.” 

Jan ran out of the office and drove off leaving Nathan in the drive way with no ride. It was all down hill from there.

In hindsight there were many red flags but we all choose to ignore them when we are entrenched in emotion and some kind of security or familiarity.

Little did he know he was married to a classic “Alienator” to get what she wanted out of him, his attention by using their daughter as a pawn, to extort money and inflict emotional pain by withholding his daughter from him.

After all, misery loves company,…….as so the saga continues….for her.

There will be installments to my story, to be continued…..

Some names have been changed.

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