Parental Alienation IS child abuse and emotional abuse ... the following is an outline prepared from the personal experiences of many along with much professional input and attempts to explain in laymans terms various aspects of Parental Alienation.
Parental alienation should not be confused with parental alienation syndrome (PAS) as one is the act of and the other is the result of and in Australia many courts refer to parental alienation as "alignment", parental alienation must have been practiced to have alignment happen.
Parental Alienation is the act of a parent or person coaching/convincing the Children to "break away" from the other parent by way of brainwashing the Children into thinking badly of the targeted Parent often to the point of them refusing to having anything or little to do with that parent, in most cases the Children actually not only believe the words of the Alienator unconditionally at the time but are also coached in such a way as to believe that it is themselves that have made the decission to not love or want to see the other Parent.
Alienators are cunning in their ways and will do almost anything to achieve their goal and this often includes making false allegations of harm to the Children supposedly by the targeted parent that in most cases involves expensive court time and much stress, some targeted parents even give up the fight due to not having the means to meet the expense or choosing not to endure the stress and this is what the alienator wants to happen as it usually results in the targeted parent exiting from the lives of the Children.
The alienator claims to love the Children whilst at the same time their actions are significantly detracting from the Childrens rights, best interests and long term emotional stability, the alienator usually does not care about those things, just to reach their perverted goal at almost any cost, they are acomplished liars and a disgrace to parenthood and there can be many reasons for their actions, mostly perverted and or extremely selfish.
The alienators in most cases know all to well what they are doing to the children and to the targeted parent but once they start they are driven to continue, even into becomming obsessive against the targeted parent ... all at the chidrens cost, alienators will never admit to fault and after some time can even believe themselves that they are not at fault, many even exhibit the signs of various disorders but refuse the sugestions, even professional, indicating such, some back off when they have acieved their goals and others continue for years but in their own minds they are the innocent ones but one thing does not change and that is they are emotionally abusing the children, they are abusing their own children.
The children are "under the spell" of the alienator and especially when young, follow all direction from and adopt all the opinions of the alienator and it is important to remember that ... whatever the children do or say it is not of their own free mind, it is what they are coached/instructed into saying and doing and it is only when they are mature enough that, with or without intervention, they have any chance of working out the truth and discovering their own thoughts and feelings.
Dr. Douglas Darnall in his book Divorce Casualties: Protecting Your Children from Parental Alienation, describes three categories of PA:
MILD: Naïve alienators
Naïve alienators are ignorant of what they are doing and are willing to be educated and change.
MODERATE: Active alienators Attachment Based Parental Alienation
When triggered, active alienators lose control of appropriate boundaries. They go ballistic. When they calm down, they don't want to admit that they were out of control.
SEVERE: Obsessed alienators Attachment Based Parental Alienation
Obsessed alienators operate from a delusional system where every cell of their body is committed to destroying the other parent's relationship with the child.
In the case of the Obsessed alienator, no treatment exists other than removing the child from their influence.
Here are some scenarios that could be by themselves issues or combined together to make these alienators who they are and why they do what they do.
- The alienator is so filled with anger, rage and hatred that they cannot see any further past that and their whole entire world is wrapped around making sure the other person hurts as much as they do. It is like they are blinded by their anger and hatred.
- They were raised in a home where one of their parents was an alienator and it is the only thing they know about relationships, that is one person controls everyone and if you do not have control, then you are nothing. So they would not know how to have a relationship any other way nor would they know how to handle it any other way when they loose control over everyone, because to not be in total control means that you are a looser.
- The alienator could have such low self-esteem that anyone putting them down or any inference that anything they were involved in was a failure, such as their marriage, would set them off, fighting to defend their honour and reputation. They are so protective of their image, that they will do anything to make sure that they stay looking like the perfect person and destroy everyone else around them to maintain that image.
- The alienators own parents put them down constantly and told them they would never amount to much and when their own marriage fails, they are desperate to prove their parents were wrong and will do anything to make it look like it was not their fault.
- The alienator's have warped views of themselves from low self- esteem issues. It puts them in such a fragile state of fear that they are no good unless they are seen as all good.
- The alienator cannot accept responsibility for their actions and blame them on everyone else because how could they possibly be wrong. Everyone else is wrong.
- The alienator is so narcissistic in their beliefs that they are never wrong, to protect that image, they must make sure that they are always on top and that it is everyone's problem or fault.
- The alienator was never taught to take responsibility for their own actions and to be humble when they have made a mistake. They were raised that they could do no wrong, just like their own parent/s could do not wrong and thus it is everyone else who is wrong and so Instead they were raised to blame everyone else for their mistakes.
- The alienator is so terrified of loosing their children that they have to paint this perfect picture of themselves and make the other person look so bad, to ensure that they do not loose their children and control.
- The alienator is so terrified that they are not lovable that they force others to love them.
- The alienator is not a real good sharer. In other words, they do not know how to share love and happiness. Maybe because they had to share their parents and never got to understand that sharing is a good thing and feels really good to do.
- The alienator often believes that by gaining total control of the children prior to any property settlement that they will benefit financially from same and that they will recieve maximum ongoing financial support from agencies like child support and social security should they have significant custody of the children.
- It is usually the alienator that ends the relationship with the other parent and looks to justify their decission to friends and family by making out the other parent was at fault and not worthy of any consideration in the process, they cannot accept responsability for their own actions.
- The alienator may have a disorder such as borderline personality disorder.
Eight Behaviors of a Child Being Manipulated;
- Expletives and Bad-mouthing: The child denigrates the alienated parent with foul language and severe oppositional behavior.
- Excuses without Foundation: The child offers weak, absurd or frivolous reasons for his or her anger.
- Consistently Negative: The child is sure of him or herself, never swaying from a negative connotation. He/she doesn't demonstrate confused emotions (i.e. love and hate) for the alienated parent, only the negative hate.
- Self-righteous: The child exhorts that he or she alone came up with ideas of denigration. The "independent-thinker" phenomenon is where the child asserts that no one told him to do this.
- Protective: supports and feels a need to protect the alienating parent.
- Lack of Empathy: the child does not demonstrate guilt over cruelty towards the alienated parent.
- Lying & embellishing: the child uses borrowed scenarios or vividly describes situations that he or she could not have experienced.
- Anger: Animosity is spread to the friends and/or extended family of the alienated parent.
The alienators "tools of trade".
Many alienators will not come out and degrade the targeted openly (many do), some use more subtle methods and when you think you have heard it all more come to light, although some use only a few others use many, here are some;
- Sympathy ... alienators often use sympathy to gain the loyalty of the children, this can be as simple as "he/she left us with no money and does not care about us", sympathy from friends and family is important also as the alienator sees this as loyalty, support and justification for their actions ... "I cry and miss you terribly when you stay over at his/her place", not hard to guess what the children are left with on this one, they do not want to see the alienator hurt, anyone for that matter but the targeted do not usually say things like this so the children do not think the alienator does miss them or get hurt when they are not with the targeted.
- Emotional support ... by enlisting the childrens emotional support the children become loyal at the cost of the other parent, here the alienator sets out to have the children feel sorry for the alienator and to have negative attitudes towards the targeted, the children are made to feel they have to support the alienator and in many cases are also made to feel that if they continue to love the targeted that the alienator will be let down.
- False allegations of abuse ... one of the favourites, this can be and mostly is sexual abuse against the children, this is a biggy and hits hard to the innocent targeted parent and often results in that parent not seeing the children for some time or only under supervision after some time and then court proceedings all of which are expensive and emotionally draining, here the alienator is hoping the targeted will just give up and walk away or to give in to unreasonable demands, usually financial.
- Control ... the alienator has to feel in control and will do almost anything to get it and an example here is "if you do that then this may happen (bad)", leaving the children to make the decission that the alienator wanted all along.
- The power of Suggestive comments ... "you make sure that he/she looks after you when you are there, make sure that you get enough food and tell me if you don't", when a child hears this type of comment they immediately become suspicious and concerned with the targeted parent, and will often report negatively about their stay to the alienator knowing the alienator is expecting it.
- Trying to buy love ... the alienator will most likely have the children prepared that should you give them something that they don't have at the alienators place their comment will be "you cannot buy our love with gifts", the real side of this is the children think they do not love you and that you cannot secure their love, the alienator will have gone to great lengths on this one so that whatever you do they may well refuse to love you.
- Name changing ... the alienator in many case's tries to change the childrens surnames and has the children believe that their new name is a better name and possibly that your surname has a bad reputation and that is why the change, the alienator will have justified the attempt to change their name to the children in some way.
- "Does he/she treat and speak to you properly" ... a simple thing like you raising your voice will be and indication to the children that you don't, by the time the alienator has finished with this one you will have shouted at them and the alienator will have said things like "if he/she shouted at you then he/she does not respect or love you", it is not the alienator making the decission about you, the children based on what the alienator has explained will make the decission that you do not respect or love them. This is a favourite method used by an alienator, just supply a well crafted and pointed basis for a decission and let them make it to the negative when it suits the alienator. The children will most likely be lead to feel that you are not deserving of their love and affection because you treat them badly, anything that you may do or say apart from being perfect may be used against you in this way.
- Your family and friends ... in most cases the alienator will attempt to discredit them also ... "his/her brother, your uncle, is a fat alcholic drug using nobody" ... now if this is true there may be some fair basis but by now it is true in the childrens minds, especially if the uncle is fat, and whilst the alienator has not targeted you directly they have discreditied you, by association. The alienator uses some fact to strengthen a lie and all the children see is the fact that the uncle is fat so the rest must be true. Discredit enough of your friends and family and you are discredited in the eyes of the children.
- Home is where the heart is ... and rightfully so but the alienator takes every opportunity to drive this home and that their heart really belongs at the alienators place ... "are you happier here or over there" ... the children do not want to dissapoint so they say here and if gone over enough it becomes reality, it is a lot easier for them that way and the end result is that they do not feel at home at the the other parents place hence no or little love or sense of belonging at the home of the targeted, end result is that they do not want to be there.
- "If you loved us you would just want us to be happy" ... and by now guess where they think (coached) they are the happiest ... "if you loved us you would just want us to be happy and you would not care what the judge said, you would let us go" ... this is a very difficult one as by the time they have got up the courage to say it (coached) then they really think it and then you become the baddy by not letting them go. The alienator knows you won't so again you loose.
- Holidays ... do not tell the children where you plan to take them on holidays, if you do they will most likely tell the alienator giving the alienator an opportunity to discredit the event by pointing out the dangers etc ... camping, "be carefull of all the snakes and spiders" ... in the end the children are not keen to go and the excitment of it all is gone, you have made the bookings and they do not want to go but you go and they are angry with you even after they have settled down and ultimately enjoy the holiday ... "it is dangerous to take children camping in the bush" leaves the children thinking you are willing to put them in danger, not a good parent.