Although the rich and/or famous may have more money and resources in which to deal with life’s heartaches, it has become apparent through reality television that they don’t seem to have fewer heartaches than the general public. In some cases, they have the very same issues — or even worse issues — due to fame.
Real Housewives of Orange County star Tamra Judge has not spoken to her daughter Sidney in three years, when Sidney left her house as a teenager to go live with her father in the wake of her parents’ fractured marriage, according to WonderWall. Earlier this month, Judge posted a picture of a crying girl on Instagram with an emotional message about the absence of Sidney from her life.
“My heart hurts everyday and praying and keeping busy is all I can do to stop the tears. I’m balling my eyes out watching. I miss my daughter so much I sometimes feel like I could die of a broken heart????. It’s in God hands #iwillnevergiveuponyouSidney“
The post received over 17,000 likes and over a thousand comments, most offering support to Judge. Tamra has shared custody of her daughter Sidney, as well as her other two children, Sophia and Spencer, with ex-husband Simon Barney, who she continues to spend time with, but daughter Sidney long ago accused her mother of “mental and physical abuse” and sided with her father. The divorce was a tumultuous one, and Judge and Barney continue to not see eye to eye.
When Sidney went to live with her father in 2014, Tamra Judge says her daughter completely stopped contact with her, and Judge is saying that she is experiencing “parental alienation,” a term coined by psychologists to describe a situation in which a divorce or custody situation causes a parent to become isolated from a child that they formally had a loving relationship with. According to Heavy, Judge says she has previously tried to rectify this situation.
“As a result of [the drama], [Sidney’s] brother, Spencer, lives with me full time and he doesn’t speak to his dad. It’s a mess. I have asked, like, ‘Can the four of us sit down?’… I truly believe kids need both their parents. They need both of them to be healthy, successful, happy adults. Now, the situation is just so messed up and [Simon] won’t agree to it.”
According to Bravo, Judge has been so emotionally destroyed by the situation that she’s going to participate in a documentary about alienated parents or those whose children have “erased” them from their lives.
“Sidney chose to go live with her dad, and there was nothing I could do about that. At 16 in the court’s eyes, even at 14, they can choose whatever they want. Spencer chose to live with me. So I don’t think it’s right. I think you’re not an adult until you’re 18, so you shouldn’t have a choice. Unless you’re being abused, hurt in some way, you should not have a choice. You need both parents in your life.”
Judge says that until she experienced the heartbreak of losing contact with her own daughter, she had no idea the strain that divorce and the court system could place on the relationships between children and parents. Her participation in the documentary Erasing Family, which is scheduled to air in May, will examine the issues surrounding this topic.
“It’s so common. I didn’t know it. I thought I was the only one. I felt like, ‘Oh my God, what did I do to my daughter that she hates me so much? What did I do? And I’ve read up on it and I’ve learned so much, and if I can help somebody else… Like, don’t talk bad about your ex, especially in front of your kids. Don’t do it. Nothing good comes out of it. All it does is put them in the middle.”
Judge says she hopes her painful journey will be helpful to other parents who face the nightmare of parental alienation and estrangement from their children every day.
[Featured Image by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images]