Another Parental Alienation Awareness Day rolls around and I am thinking of all the children missing out on their parent’s love and all the parents who are thinking of their children and wondering how they are today.

Because today is Parental Alienation Awareness Day, the emphasis being upon the word awareness, I thought it might be helpful to follow on from my post, Alienation in Five Steps to focus on the awareness that helps targeted parents to understand what has happened to their children and why.

What I am about to tell you is what alienating parents already know about you but they won’t tell you they know because if they did their strategies for alienation about not quite so effective.  Here is what alienating parents know but will not tell you.

  1. Their alienating strategies are based wholly and solely upon you, they see in you what they cannot see in themselves and they don’t like it.   This IS personal, deeply personal.
  2. Whatever their strategies the core relies upon one central tenet – that you will attempt to deny what you are being accused of and the louder you deny it, the tighter the noose will become as you do.
  3. The strategies they deploy are wholly based upon aspects of you which can be exploited.  When they say you shouted it is because somewhere, sometime, you shouted – perhaps only once, perhaps only a little bit and what parent doesn’t shout at some point in their parenting. But that time you shouted? It was filed away for future use. As was every other little thing you did which is now being wheeled out as evidence for just how bad you are.
  4. The strategies they deploy are designed to capture others in the net, therefore professionals who are alienation unaware will be told that you are obsessed by parental alienation and that you will not listen to the children. In doing this they have already sown the seeds of doubt in the mind of the alienation unaware professional and prepared the trap for you to fall into.
  5. When you fall into the trap, by trying to point out to the unaware professional that this is parental alienation you will unknowingly seal your fate. The unaware professional is incapable of believing that such manipulation exists and will close their mind to the possibility that what you are saying is true.  When the alienating parent feeds the unaware professional with the information about parental alienation being a discredited issue, you will find yourself viewed as an obsessed parent who has alienated the children all by yourself.

Those are the things that alienating parents don’t want you to know. They also don’t want you to know that you have enraged them to the point of hatred, that you have prevented them from having control and that you have altered the course of the future they believed was theirs by right. Finally what they don’t want you to know is that they are, deep down inside, empty of the love that should be your children’s by right. Instead they are filled with the belief that their right to have children fulfil their needs and stave off their fears and soothe their anxieites, should not be taken away from them.

If you are an alienated father you probably had the audacity to expect that you would care for your children as well as provide for them.

If you are an alienated mother you probably had the audacity to leave him and you could not manage to take the children with you or, you left the children behind in the hope that shared care would be possible.

The reasons why your relationship ended are now the reasons why your children are alienated from you.  Bullying, fear, control, enmeshment, coercive behaviours, dramatic episodes, narcissism, personality issues, shouting, arguing, terrorism, you name it, those are the reasons why your children have become trapped and why they cannot get free.

When you understand that your attention turns from the why to the how and then from the how to the how to.  When you reach the how to, you are ready to think about building counter strategies to free your children.  Counter strategies rely upon you becoming utterly aware of the dynamic which led your children into this so that you can build a strategy to lead them out of it.

That strategy is usually court based. Where it is not it has to be otherwise constructed. This is one big psychological game of chess played in 3D and you had better become a good player because the alienating parent is a grand master, the skill they learned was passed down the generations in the relational space as they grew up. These skills are non verbal, they are manipulation at the height of its mastery and they are played with ruthless precision. This is a transgenerational game of 3D chess and the only time you win is when you manage to stop the alienator, free the children and end the passage of generational trauma for good.

There is little use pretending this is an easy game to win.  Your opponent currently has all the odds stacked in their favour. They own the mind of the child and have the ear of a huge range of alienation unaware personnel to assist them. In addition they often come to the game willing to do what it takes and spend what it takes to win.  Which means you have their legal team opposing you as well.  This is not an easy fight to win. When you go in you have to go in hard with the skill of Muhammed Ali combined with the heart of a lion and the mind of a Jedhi Master.  If you are not up for that kind of fight or if you believe that justice will prevail or you rely upon alienation unaware professionals you are in for a nasty shock. This is a long hard fight to the death of the transgenerational patterns of destruction which are used to bind your child into an impossible position. Think sleeping beauty in the thick dense forest and get your sword at the ready to hack through the undergrowth.

Actually when you get there, sleeping beauty turns out to be the alienator waiting for you and s/he will deploy all of the tricks s/he has learned to terrify you into submission, so add into your toolbox a large dose of emotional and psychological fortitude and be prepared to make like a marathon runner. When you think you are exhausted and have had enough you are about half way there. When you are on your knees and crawling you  are facing the truth of what has been done to you.

This is what alienating parents know and won’t tell you. Theirs is an inexhaustable strategy which ends just like that scene in the terminator when you think he has died and he opens his eyes and comes back to life.  Going in to fight for your children is about the most gruelling, shocking, terrifying, horrible experience you will ever face in your life.

So when you go in you must go prepared and in going prepared you must know this.

  1. You must understand how your children were captured in this position.
  2. You must understand how you are being portrayed by the alienating parent.
  3. You must seek the help of alienation aware professionals and let them do the work of understanding what has happened so that they can do the work of advocating for your children so that you do not become portrayed as an obsessed parent.
  4. You must be alienation aware and able to educate but understand that there is a time for this and a time to step back.
  5. You must explore all of the options in full, in doing so make a map of what happened so that you can see the route in because the route in is the route out for your child.
  6. Choose words carefully and battles even more carefully, wait for the right time to say what you see.
  7. All through this you must be psychologically and emotionally supported, you must let yourself get the nurture you need and you must recognise that without this you will end up hollowed out and exhausted. You MUST live your life alongside this process, if you don’t you will wither and will not be able to help your children.
  8. Know when to go forward and when to step back.
  9. Accept your role as an alienated parent and understand that your health really and truly does matter, without you, your children will be lost to what has been done.
  10. Never allow yourself to be stripped of your sense of being a parent, if you do the alienating parent has won hands down because they have alienated your children and you from your sense of yourself as a parent, a double victory they will delight in.

I am dedicating this piece for parental alientation awareness this year to Q, the parent of four beautiful children, who has shown the courage of a lion in the face of all that has been thrown through the years.  The loss has caused Q such hurt but it has not prevented the continuation of determination to stay well and stay healthy and stay there for those children. Q’s philanthropic  care for other young people is a shining example of how pain can be translated into good for others. Q exemplifies for me, the alienated parent’s journey and the courage it takes to keep going step by painful step. I have learned much from Q, most of all how a parent’s love can never ever be eroded, shifted or changed.  I hope that Q, like all the other parents and children around the world who suffer this horrible experience, will one day open the door to find those children on the doorstep.  Most do find their way home, I hope it is soon for every single one of them.