Parent Alienation: If you tolerate this – your children could be next.

Long before this wretched social virus spread as fast and as far as it has to infect virtually every family I know, a member of my extended family wiped her ex from her children’s life.

None of the family really took her to task about it as we were either obsessed with our own trials and tribulations or simply too embarrassed by it all and reluctant to engage. When we saw her we focused on the children, felt a bit sorry for them and tolerated her obsessive and negative ranting.

But something always struck me about this otherwise unexceptional relative, someone who had not excelled at anything, by her own admission, yet had become a mother in her late teens, twice:

  • she suddenly became obsessed and passionate about something to the extent that parenting defined her
  • her support network of so-called friends shared techniques for frustrating every attempt the children’s other parent made to be a parent
  • her resolution to “single parent” was absolute and unswerving
  • her partner had not done anything abusive or harmful, he was just struggling to adapt
  • she had the full support of her mother, in particular who seemed regenerated herself by getting hands on with babies, again
  • she was above criticism

The last point is partly explained by the second paragraph. But the rest is altogether more complex and yet fairly simple.

People imply that alienators are egotistical and/or narcissistic.

My experience of this deadly social disease is that it’s something largely perpetrated by people with low not high self-esteem. They seem to be triggered by the obsession with having given life to something wonderful and they then lose sight of parenting being life’s greatest collaboration. They want it all for themselves. That may be where the narcissism and personality disorder comes in, the inability to share and empathise?

Their pride comes from selfishness not selflessness, what they have taken not what they have given.

But I’ve seen very few alienators who are confident, proud people. Because proud people wouldn’t want to be seen as a failure either as a partner or as a parent. Alienators operate to a different set of rules. Their pride comes from selfishness not selflessness, what they have taken not what they have given.

Secondly, I recall the impact of this alienator’s network, the people who advised:

  • making “him” use a contact centre
  • meeting up in car parks not houses
  • over-booking activities so he has to keep cancelling
  • painting a picture of him as a “deadbeat”
  • making him leave presents outside and criticising them until the kids join in with the game and start to mock him
  • blocking his extended family’s communication, destroying mail etc
  • laughing at the clothes he or his family buy
  • making him go to court and pay a lawyer to get “contact” and constantly using the term
  • making all the decisions about the kids from schools to doctors but not consulting him

As well all now know, the list goes on. But you’ll notice there’s never any thought for the impact these outrageous tactics have on….the children. Its obsessed with hurting the adult and yet they are damaged the most.

I remember thinking, “It’s like there’s a handbook for this stuff,”

And now on social media there is.

Lastly, and possibly the worst from my perspective, was the fact that so many of my relatives were complicit.

I get that “blood is thicker” etc. But the point of the family elders is that you’re supposed to do what’s right by the children first, the little people, not just your grown up children.

As I confessed at the start, I too was too self-obsessed to help much. I should have drawn a line and sorted the issue out. I will always regret not having done so. Those children would have been all the better for seeing their Dad more. What my family did was wrong.

I can take responsibility for their reconciliation, however, I’m relieved to say.

When I eventually started spending more time with them, I drove up from London and took the two children to a sports tournament as they had been let down by others increasingly obsessed with their new partners. They were in their early teens.

While watching them on the field, I was distracted for a moment and noticed a face I sort of recognised the other side of the park.

he maintained contact with the schools and sometimes came to watch them at events etc. Nobody knew or at least nobody told that side of the story.

It was their Dad.

He was clearly uncomfortable seeing me but I chose to wander over and shook him by the hand. In the small talk I discovered that he had re-married and had two more kids. But, it turns out, he maintained contact with the schools and sometimes came to watch them at events etc. Nobody knew or at least nobody told that side of the story.

We then shared a beer and had a great, unscheduled afternoon with him and his kids.

It was odd as they were like strangers, but you could feel the warmth coming back.

Sadly, all hell broke loose when they relayed the tale upon their return.

I was also verbally assaulted and I left under a cloud. Nothing was ever really the same between me and the children after that.

But the moral of this story, I guess, is that parent alienation is more prevalent than any of us think.

I didn’t learn a valuable lesson despite first hand experience.

None of us are immune, even those of us with our eyes wide open.

But if we’re to combat it, we ALL need to make a stand now, because, in the words of the song “If you tolerate this then YOUR children could be next”.

9 thoughts on “Parent Alienation: If you tolerate this – your children could be next.

  1. Brilliantly written. It is a social epidemic that spreads due to a mixture of embarrassment & loyalty, but it is definitely tolerated/supported by the wider family & friends.

    Being a victim yourself brings a new perspective. Knowing what I do now about PA means I can spot it a mile off. And when other mums in my peer group display signs of similar tactics, sometimes subconsciously, sometimes truly knowingly, I do comment now.

    It doesn’t go down well. It’s hard to be tactful when they see it as absolute disloyalty. And if I lose friends, but stop them in their tracks to full PA as they think a little more about their words & actions, then I know that at least I’ve helped their children.

    Those of is in the know should speak up. We know how devastating this can be.
    We have to make it as socially unacceptable as domestic violence now is.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you Ally
      Appreciate the kind words.
      You wouldn’t happen to know a reformed alienating parent we could interview to get their perspective would you? We’re trying to learn more about the peer pressure etc and also what made them see the light.
      You mention you’ve experienced alienation too.
      Is all ok now?

      Like

  2. I am asked all the time why we aren’t able to keep scheduled visits, appts, afford what ‘most people’ can afford. The answer: Too many that all step from a corrupt court. Community, alienator, etc. Wouldn’t YOU spend every last dime to try to get your stepkids out from under the worst abuse imaginable? Because I can’t reconcile spending money on my own surgery that I know won’t immediately kill me, whereas my stepgirls are starving themselves like their Mom who is obsessed with being skinny and ‘beautiful’, like my stepdaughters now are. I can’t reconcile renovating my old house instead of fighting for a 9 and 11 year old who have already self harmed over their depression as a result of the fear their Mom has instilled and are now in survival mode; where their stepfather has already admitted to touching them inappropriately after being investigated for sexual abuse (which was quickly chalked up to dirty bathwater and expunged immediately…must have something to do with the fact his dad Vice Chairman of the county commission, his niece and buddies work in law enforcement, and his sister within the court as well as the ex wife’s bffs). And how about the money already stolen from your other chikdren, all the kids’ family’s as well; just so that an abusive and alienating ex can afford their new house, boat, atvs, snowmobiles, 4 wheelers, hot tubs, tanning beds, personal trainers, horses/lessons, trips and vacations to Disney and all over, every expensive and unnecessary extracurricular ever….among and especially your own demise along with the alienated children’s siblings to you and every other person connected to them. That’s not including the priceless costs to fight…or the therapy that you still have to pay for because the judge makes the alienated parent with the lesser amount of money to pay ALL costs for therapy, evals, court costs, child support, lawyer fees, ‘contempt’ allegations against you or the rest of the alienated family, more false allegations against you, PFAs, etc… Doesn’t matter the alienated/targeted family has more mouths to have to struggle to pay to feed, but also the alienated children, PLUS and ESPECIALLY the ex wife, stepdad, new baby sister to stepdad and mom, their new animals (including but not limited to the aforementioned), etc. Doesn’t matter you have solid, physical evidence presented to the court against the abuser/alienator, as well as multiple professionals telling the judge there is definite abuse against the kids and targeted family by the alienator and custody must be flipped with rigorous treatment for it because of the level of damage and danger the alienator has again proven to be.

    So tell me, how do you make that impossible choice with your own kids?

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    • We all have different circumstances and all have to balance out so many factors. But the way the system is currently configured, the resident parent has ALL the power, the house is the key seizing the kids, their routines and diary is the key to controlling them and their time and affection is the key to controlling the NRP, ie you. Well, that and your personal values and the more child-centric they are the more you will be milked like the proverbial ethical cash cow should you be unlucky enough that your other half is an alienator.
      In answer to your question, the only choice I make, really, is to do everything in my power to combat this while pressing on with projects and life choices that are going to restore some independence in the medium to long term.Also trying to develop the patience of a Saint and the hide of a rhino…..but it isn’t easy.
      Anyone else?

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      • I fight on two fronts with two different approaches. On a personal level, I play the system as an alienated parent and go along with these incompetent services in the interests of not pushing them away and in the interests of demonstrating that I will do whatever it takes to be reconciled with my children. Its a long and painful journey. The other front I fight is via this organisation, whereby we will fight as much as we can to support all those effected by PA and also fight as much as we can for reform.

        Like

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