Why Parental Alienation is 1 Subject Worth a Ghostwriter’s Time


Third in an occasional series about ideas and stories that are worth telling.

I get pitched story ideas all the time. Many come from people who have overcome some great adversity in their lives and feel a desire to share it with the world. Sometimes, the story doesn’t interest me, and since I don’t want to ghostwrite stories that don’t interest me, I pass.

But then I get pitched a story about a subject matter I know nothing about, and it sounds so unusual that I just want to explore it with the client.

A year ago, a man found me online and wanted me to help him tell his story about how he married a “psycho bitch from hell” (my description but he agreed) and they had two daughters. The marriage fell apart, and the woman started telling her daughters that their father had molested them when they were younger. This wasn’t true, the man told me, but his ex-wife planted stories in their minds that created false memories. The end result is the guy lost his kids. It has been close to a decade now. Being a father myself, I can’t imagine the horror he must be living daily, and I suspect many other fathers would feel the same way.

But he had proof that it was all a lie: emails that showed that his ex was conniving and scheming to do this, perhaps out of spite at the marriage ending, perhaps because she was a narcissist (his description of her, not mine), perhaps she really was a “psycho bitch from hell.” Regardless, the emails show that it was all an act and he didn’t do anything she alleged.

When I met and talked to him, he showed a lot of emotion. There was rage at his ex-wife, regret at the time lost with his kids, sadness that they think badly of him, frustration that he can’t yet convince them otherwise, determination to win them back, and hope that things will end all right.

In the meantime, he joined men’s support groups and has helped himself and others understand how to fix the situation, mend fences, and win his kids back, or at least have a meaningful relationship with them based on honesty, trust, and reality. He also is moving cautiously because he has learned how difficult it will be for his kids to learn the truth. He doesn’t want them to hate their mother the way she got them to hate him.

When he told me this story, I was moved. I believed that, since parental alienation is real and affects more men than women, it’s a story that needs to be told. Then I looked on Amazon and found a lot of books on the subject — except they’re all written by professionals such as social workers and researchers and lawyers. I didn’t find any obviously written by the person suffering from parental alienation — and that’s unique, and ghostwriters always want to tell unique stories, or at least stories with unique perspectives.

This is a story that needs to be told. According to Psychiatric Times, between 20% and 25% of parents engage in alienating behavior as long as six years after divorce. To me, that means the subject matter isn’t so common as to be seen on the news. Its story comes from a unique perspective — the victim — that is full of heartbreak, frustration, sadness, and helplessness I think any father can relate to, even if parental alienation isn’t involved.

I have previously written that a compelling story is unique, relatable, vivid, and emotional. This guy’s story checks all the boxes. His story could be a cautionary one: Be careful who you marry, and if things go horribly wrong, here is a guide to getting your life back together.

Are you ready to tell your story but don’t know where to start? Contact a ghostwriter in New York and work with Lee today!

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