I came across your post awhile ago and meant to comment on it then. Please accept my apologies for not replying sooner.
As I see this is your first posting and all though a little late; let me start out by welcoming you to our forum. Topics such as yours, whether heavy or not are welcomed all the same. We are your soundboard whenever you need talk.
I can tell by your post that this is a difficult time in your life. I sense the strain from the divorce and custody issues have taken its toll on you. I can tell because I too have gone through a messy divorce and how it became a battle to use the children as some sort of leverage tool. It looks as if your ex is using your children against you and this is very frustrating to say the least.
The pain of not seeing or having everyday interactions with your children is indeed a hard emotion to deal with, but you must focus on yourself at this juncture. It is strongly recommended that when a divorce occurs, healing must first start from within; which will allow a clear head and heart when dealing with unpleasant issues and the way of the change that has become.
You see, children are only adolescent for 18 years. They do grow up! During those years, influences from family and friends, schools and sweethearts as well as backstabbing ex-spouses unload a colossal amount of information for these kids to sort through and learn from. Most kids will take the unlikable information and place it far away in their memories to deal with another day. Then when they reach adulthood, something triggers old thoughts and feelings, and they begin to seek out the truth.
Your children may seem like they feel nothing for you, but at their present age, they realize what their mother is doing and just abiding to avoid unpleasant conflict…until they can face the truth later when they are free from obvious manipulation.
Don’t give up and certainly don’t parallel this to death without ending because it will begin again, a new day will arise when your children will seek you out to find their own truth about you…from you.
This probably isn’t parenting like you thought it would be, but they are still your children and if you must wait for them, then that is what you must do. Until then, please live a peaceful life the best you can and take care of your self.
Best of luck to you my friend,