One of my biggest fears for parents who suffer rejection by their children is the way in which this causes emotional and psychological vulnerability. Loss of critical thinking skills does not just happen to alienated children, it happens to rejected parents too.
This is because the problem of induced psychological splitting in an alienated child, which occurs in the child first and then radiates outward to the parents, the wider family and beyond to friends and even to family pets, is a negative projection that the rejected parent has to deal with.
Negative projections are a mechanism for dumping everything that someone cannot carry in themselves, onto others. Receiving this is a bit like being used as a trash can. Carrying all of the blame and shame of being rejected is disorientating and it is extremely anxiety provoking. Mix that up with the potential for being in contact with psychologically unwell people on the internet, having to deal with the influencing parent and carry on with day to day living and there comes a time when break-down looms for many parents.
Differentiation skills are essential for rejected parents and the rules of coping are very clear.
- Keep your own health and mental wellbeing firmly at the forefront of your mind. Choose where you put your energies and where you put your focus.
- Find others who have recovered their children and ask them for help. Do not trust any who cannot show you their own capacity for successful change.
- Take the greatest care when seeking advice from any non legal people about your court case. Too many parents have tripped into a nightmare by not knowing the very serious rules which apply in the family courts. Do not share anything from your case with anyone who does not have permission to see your paperwork.
- Do not talk about your personal case on the internet, do not name your children or the parent who is influencing.
- Take the greatest of care with your online interactions with others and in groups.
- People who lead groups should have the capacity to demonstrate their qualifications for giving guidance and should know the parameters of their role. Do not be afraid to ask for information about what qualifies someone to give you guidance.
- Campaigning is great, it is not however the antidote to your case and nor is it the antidote to the problem of induced psychological splitting in a child. Well organised campaigns work wonders, poorly organised campaigns cause devastation in the struggle to raise public consciousness of the problems affecting children in the post divorce and separation landscape.
- As I have said before, question everything, keep your critical thinking skills sharp, learn for yourself what is necessary to get through and do not put blind faith in anyone.
And finally, here are some things to keep firmly at the forefront of your mind, because it is not the case that we are all in this together, some are in it for very different reasons and as rejected parents you are vulnerable to not being able to see this.
Therefore as you navigate the online world of the rejected parent remember –
- Not all parents who claim to be rejected are.
- Not all allegations are false.
- Not all claims of expertise are based in truth.
- The problem of alienation is highly unlikely to be eradicated anytime soon, the problem is human, it has a history and like Covid 19 it is probably here to stay.
The National Association for Alienated Parents in the UK can be reached here
NAAP represents parents who have been unjustifiably rejected by a child and uses a differentiation approach to support of parents, ensuring that it is a safe and trusted space for parents who are suffering the results of rejection.
Training to members of NAAP took place in February of this year and counselling support for parents affected by alienation will be available through NAAP shortly, supported by my supervision.
NAAP is run by Peter Davies who is legally qualified and by Andrew Teague who campaigns for change across the UK, organises training and who is developing educational materials in schools in England and Wales.
This is the only group that I am involved in supporting in the UK, this is because of the qualifications and experience of the team and their proven commitment to protecting rejected parents and their children from harm.