The shadow on the wall – Interview with a self-confessed (but reformed) parent alienator.

You’ve heard the phrase “it takes two to tango?” Well parent alienation requires an antagonist and an antagonised, a targeter and a target and a resident parent and a non-resident, in that order.

While there are a few exceptions to the rule, because parent alienation is the act of one parent turning the children against the other parent in order to exclude them from their lives, the alienator’s greatest weapons are time and proximity to the kids. So, for that reason, they tend to be the resident parent, often the one who has used the children to acquire the combined assets of the family. This tends to cause a great deal of ill will.

That is why it is such a lucrative but frankly filthy business and why alienators are so reviled by those in the know. So no surprise that no-one wanted to step forward for this interview as they’re either in denial or hiding in plain sight.

So much credit to Lizzy (not her real name), who describes herself as reformed following over a decade of war with her ex over parenting their children.

Q1: Why did you do it?

So straight to the point? It wasn’t something I decided on lightly. I’ve also given it lots of thought since. But there were a number of reasons. Firstly, I still loved him but my family didn’t after a big row about another family matter. Having a baby is stressful and my parents were not the easiest. He is not a man to be pushed around and I guess, my mother in particular took offence when she didn’t get to spend as much time with her first and then second grandchild. They lived far away and I used to be so close to them.

Secondly. my lawyer was worried that he would be a very good litigant in Family Court. My lawyer was my Dad’s friend and he suggested we start a storyline about him being a bully. He had shouted at me in the past and I him but there had never been any real fighting. If anything I had the temper. It would also get me legal aid. I thought that would save us money. But what the approach did was start a war.

“What the approach did was start a war.”

Thirdly, I was still getting over the birth of our second child, a boy. I was full of hormones and struggling to cope and not thinking straight. I went to see my mum for a week and the relief was so huge I just stayed. I didn’t think about the impact on him and my mother didn’t exactly help.

Q2: Why did you continue it for so long?

It’s a bit like telling a lie. Once you start then you invent anther and another and soon it becomes your life. I was surrounded by other women who had divorced and got rid of their exs. They had long lists of the things to do and when and there’s loads on online sites, you know, for abused women and stuff? Everyone knows you just have to say “I won’t do that with my children” and refuse everything saying you’re scared and the court and lawyers and social workers will side with you.

But it was tough. My ex is charming, a great role model and intelligent. He fought and fought and spent everything while I was getting legal aid.

“Refuse everything saying you’re scared and the court and lawyers and social workers will side with you.”

Q3: Didn’t you feel anything toward him in many years of fighting?

It seems odd but I was terrified he would win. He’s actually been better at me at so many things at work and stuff and I thought he would take the kids from me. But he was on his own while I had a lawyer, a barrister, my whole family, friends, other mums and everyone believed me first. A lot of people resented him and seemed to be on my side. And I was pretty messed up. The lawyers get in your head and make you do things you wouldn’t normally.

Q4: Why didn’t you both focus on the kids?

Well, that’s the thing, I thought he was, that he was after them, They adored him when they were little and I couldn’t compete. I was the one who wiped bums all week and put up with their moods while he was “good time parent”. I know I made it that way, but still.

It was a case of the more he tried the more I pulled and actually, it annoyed me that he didn’t try that hard to keep me. Yes, that annoyed me a lot.

Q5: How did you turn the kids against him?

It’s no one thing but it’s not that hard, When kids are young they will go to the one who offers the best sweets and presents. When older, they stick to the one who arranges things with their friends and takes them to activities. To go to his they would have to miss out and at 10 or 11 that really annoys them. So after a while they get embarrassed and annoyed and tired of the drama and all you then have to say is “you don’t need to go” or “would you rather go for that sleepover”. It’s easy really and no-one can prove you’ve done it. After that you just cut off all lines of communication. It’s called stonewalling. He’s left grasping at shadows.

Q6: Did you never feel guilty?

“It’s easy really and no-one can prove you’ve done it. After that you just cut off all lines of communication. It’s called stonewalling. He’s left grasping at shadows.”

All the time. I came close to breaking during tough nights alone. But they’re your kids and they’re worth it, And he had someone new by then anyway.

Q7: So what changed you?

Most of the women I know in this situation never stop and the kids don’t re-connect until they’re maybe late teens or at Uni. But for me, well my Mum passed away and he found out and despite everything, not seeing the kids for years, he was kind. Also I saw how the kids were so like him as they grew, Used to hate that at first but that changed. Also I started a new career and money wasn’t such an issue any more, I started going out more and he seemed an obvious choice to help out and I didn’t want the kids to blame me in future.

Q8: So if you had that time again would you……?

Do it again?

Well I don’t regret having the kids to myself and my family. It saved lots of arguments and compromises. I regret paying lawyers so much. But I knew that he would survive and he has proved me right. So I guess it turned out ok in the end.

In conclusion:

I agreed to publish her words without editing.

I also agreed not to add any interpretation or critical take.

The interview was offered in good faith by a friend of a friend.

She is aware of the site and wants her perspective to be used to help others understand both sides of the wall.

We hope this insight has been useful.

Feel free to comment below.

 

9 thoughts on “The shadow on the wall – Interview with a self-confessed (but reformed) parent alienator.

  1. Thank you for such an honest q & a session. It must have taken a lot of soul searching to look at the situation so frankly. What is so noticeable about the session is how alone the other person feels, and that perhaps for the sake of all concerned, some committed work with both sides of an embittered breakup would have helped. Hindsight being such a precise art, perhaps we should ask ourselves, how do we equate this valuable experience, and use it to help others? I wonder if using the techniques of groups may help. Firstly perhaps the court should enforce contact through a non involved scenario so that all three parties are supported. In groups this is called Forming. They could allow them to work through their problems or storming , in a supported non judgemental environment. This would allow them to normalise the experiences, rather than listen to conflicting advice from others. This leads to performing, and hopefully a more conducive and productive relationship for all in volved. It would also support families at a time when they need support so much and when clearly people’s self image makes them say and do things that leave lasting damage. I would rather pay money to this system than solicitors and would free up courts to deal with justice. If apparently you can have a legal divorce over the internet in 20 minutes, why do we need them? In the 21st century should we not be looking towards a less blaming and barbaric way of dealing with a problem, and work together to sort this out for all? It would appear from this interview that we all just need to sort this out for everyone’s benefit.

    Liked by 2 people

    • A post in which the obvious catalyst for the alienation was dodgy advice from corrupt lawyers and up pops a lawyer using it as marketing?

      Shows what this is all about….selfishness.
      Lawyers are selfishly chasing fees and are like vultures, all over this.
      We live in tough times which puts pressure on familes and they feed off it.
      Can this person claim to have helped a single absent parent see their kids and end pas?

      As for the post, commendable to speak out but it reeks of selfishness and personal issue that were taken out on other people. What misery one person can cause so many others. How the target parent survived? And having done so what a waste of their lives as he could have done so much more for those kids.

      I hope no-one reads this and thinks pas is ok…coz it’s not. It is a “disease” and those kids now have the virus. Sorry but what are we teaching kids?

      Liked by 2 people

    • We have removed the link to your site advertising the services of attorneys from this comment and your follow ups as you appear to be using posts like this as opportunities to market the services of attorneys without adding any value or regard for the contents of the posts (which is ironic). Would you like to comment on the post and perhaps give examples of where your allegedly (conscience-based) legal team have actually acknowledged and addressed the concerns of parents destroyed by #PA?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wanted to share this response from a passionate commentator on Twitter and on our Facebook Page:
    Jo Hatty Artist
    All I can read in her words are me, me, me, a justification rather than any kind of remorse.
    The excuse that she loved her ex and was angry he did not love her anymore is inductive of extreme selfishness. PA is selfish and controlling. (Probably why they didn’t stay together) If you truly love someone you can let them go as you want them to be happy even if you are sad it’s not with you. If you truly love someone you do not try and destroy them emotionally and financially and sustain that actively for years, aware you are lying, aware of the damage you are doing to that person and not caring about the damage you are doing to your children.
    People can react/behave badly in the heat of the moment, at the beginning of a break up but to sustain doing what you know is wrong for years and years is not love, it’s hate, anger and jealousy. It’s pathologically selfish.
    If you love your children you do not turn them against/deprive them of their other parent.
    I see no love in any of this ‘helpful’ insight. But it is helpful as it affirms the fact that PA is appalling easy to get away with and is pathologically selfish.

    I suspect she is ‘reformed’ because she can no longer get away the lies and manipulations as her kids are older and see and know their dad for themselves. In my opinion it’s just another self motivated tactic.
    The last paragraph reveals her, she is not sorry for keeping the children to herself, she is not sorry for wasting courts time, wasting legal aid (tax payers money) making life extremely stressful emotionally and financially for her ex dragging out court and making him fight to be allowed to see his kids Alienated parents suffer depression/grief/suicidal thoughts and sadly often do commit suicide
    But
    It’s all ok, because “it all turned out alright in the end” She is dismissive of effects of her appalling actions and in denial of the suffering she has caused and the abuse she has inflicted on her children. “The severe effects of parental alienation on children are well-documented—low self-esteem and self-hatred, lack of trust, depression, and substance abuse and other forms of addiction are widespread, as children lose the capacity to give and accept love from a parent. Self-hatred is particularly disturbing among affected children, as children internalize the hatred targeted toward the alienated parent, are led to believe that the alienated parent did not love or want them, and experience severe guilt related to betraying the alienated parent. Their depression is rooted in feelings of being unloved by one of their parents, and from separation from that parent, while being denied the opportunity to mourn the loss of the parent or to even talk about them. Alienated children typically have conflicted or distant relationships with the alienating parent also, and are at high risk of becoming alienated from their own children: Baker reports that fully half of the respondents in her study of adult children who had experienced alienation as children were alienated from their own children.”

    There is no excuse/justification for PA
    In my opinion PA’s are narcissists of varying degrees. One in twenty people may be narcissists, which would explain a lot of the evil in this world and why PA is so common! They are incapable of reform by their very nature. On the rare occasion where they want to change, it takes years and years of therapy.
    They are damaged and their abuse damages their children. To stop this perpetuating PA needs to be acknowledged, understand and not allowed to thrive. Targeted parents and children need help and support to cope/deal with having this kind of person in their lives to minimise the damage it can do.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. All I can read in ‘reformed’ abusers words below are me, me, me, a justification rather than any kind of remorse.
    The excuse that she loved her ex and was angry he did not love her anymore is inductive of extreme selfishness. PA is selfish and controlling. (Probably why they didn’t stay together) If you truly love someone you can let them go as you want them to be happy even if you are sad it’s not with you. If you truly love someone you do not try and destroy them emotionally and financially and sustain that actively for years, aware you are lying, aware of the damage you are doing to that person and not caring about the damage you are doing to your children.
    People can react/behave badly in the heat of the moment, at the beginning of a break up but to sustain doing what you know is wrong for years and years is not love, it’s hate, anger and jealousy. It’s pathologically selfish.
    If you love your children you do not turn them against/deprive them of their other parent.
    I see no love in any of this ‘helpful’ insight. But it is helpful as it affirms the fact that PA is appalling easy to get away with and is pathologically selfish.

    I suspect she is ‘reformed’ because she can no longer get away the lies and manipulations as her kids are older and see and know their dad for themselves. In my opinion it’s just another self motivated tactic.
    The last paragraph reveals her, she is not sorry for keeping the children to herself, she is not sorry for wasting courts time, wasting legal aid (tax payers money) making life extremely stressful emotionally and financially for her ex dragging out court and making him fight to be allowed to see his kids Alienated parents suffer depression/grief/suicidal thoughts and sadly often do commit suicide
    But
    It’s all ok, because “it all turned out alright in the end” She is dismissive of effects of her appalling actions and in denial of the suffering she has caused and the abuse she has inflicted on her children. “The severe effects of parental alienation on children are well-documented—low self-esteem and self-hatred, lack of trust, depression, and substance abuse and other forms of addiction are widespread, as children lose the capacity to give and accept love from a parent. Self-hatred is particularly disturbing among affected children, as children internalize the hatred targeted toward the alienated parent, are led to believe that the alienated parent did not love or want them, and experience severe guilt related to betraying the alienated parent. Their depression is rooted in feelings of being unloved by one of their parents, and from separation from that parent, while being denied the opportunity to mourn the loss of the parent or to even talk about them. Alienated children typically have conflicted or distant relationships with the alienating parent also, and are at high risk of becoming alienated from their own children: Baker reports that fully half of the respondents in her study of adult children who had experienced alienation as children were alienated from their own children.”

    There is no excuse/justification for PA
    In my opinion PA’s are narcissists of varying degrees. One in twenty people may be narcissists, which would explain a lot of the evil in this world and why PA is so common! They are incapable of reform by their very nature. On the rare occasion where they want to change, it takes years and years of therapy.
    They are damaged and their abuse damages their children. To stop this perpetuating PA needs to be acknowledged, understand and not allowed to thrive. Targeted parents and children need help and support to cope/deal with having this kind of person in their lives to minimise the damage it can do.

    Liked by 1 person

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