*Nikki thought she was finally safe when she managed to escape from her psychotic ex-husband six years ago.
At the time, the American mum-of-two had no idea that the worst torture was yet to come.
That changed within a few months, as Nikki's ex began to turn their eldest son against her.
"It's one of the most excruciatingly painful things I've ever gone through,” she shared on Reddit.
"Parental alienation felt like a sort of death.
"I really wasn’t sure my son would ever come back to me.”
“My ex decided to tell him lies about me..."
From the beginning of their relationship, Nikki had been tormented by her ex.
The only reason that she didn’t leave was that he had brainwashed her so effectively that she assumed that everything was her fault.
It was only when she started going to hypnotherapy for her anxiety that she realised she was trapped in an abusive marriage.
“I had enough. I left the house. Moved into my mum’s house which was big enough for me and my boys,” she shared.
“It was then that my ex decided to share some lies about me to our then-13-year-old son.
“My son started pushing me away, yelling at me and moving out to live with his dad.”
Nikki isn't alone
During the time Nikki’s eldest son lived with his dad, she never gave up on him – letting him know how much she loved him at every opportunity.
This is something that many alienated parents find themselves doing, even if their kids don’t respond.
Last year, Kidspot spoke to a dozen parents currently alienated from their children, receiving countless screenshots of messages of their eternal love they had sent to their kids over the years.
One mum encouraged her child to call her grandma for her birthday while another asked if her daughter was tracking Santa on the TV on Christmas Eve.
Another came from a heartbroken dad begging his son to get in touch.
Heartbreakingly, most parents who Kidspot spoke to had been sending these kinds of messages for years with no response.
“Finally, I got a REAL hug from him"
In Nikki’s case, it took until her son started university for him to finally reach out.
He arrived at her home with a massive list of questions about what had really happened.
Nikki was shocked to learn that her ex had convinced their son that she had sold the family home in order to get more money from the divorce settlement.
“But it was actually his decision. My ex sold the family house to hurt me,” she said.
“He said he realises his dad has some serious problems – my sweet boy is finally seeing it.
“Finally, I got a REAL hug from him. Like the fall into my arms kind of hug. It had been years.
“If you are going through parental alienation, don’t lose hope.”
"Good for you!”
The comments were filled with grateful parents applauding Nikki for the brave decision to share her story.
“Thank you for this. I’m so glad the truth is finally coming around to set you both free. Props to you on your strength through it all!!” one mum wrote.
“My daughter is almost three and her dad is a covert narcissist, so I’m fully expecting something like this to happen over the years," another added.
“As a child raised in a similar situation, I am so sorry you had to go through that. I feel so bad for my mum all the time", one revealed.
“Even though their mind games never really worked on me I still had a lot of questions that I wish I never had to ask. And I’m sure she wished she never had to answer them.”
*Names have been changed