Over the last few years I have attempted to follow the multiple definitions and analyses of Parental Alienation from the skilled global professionals and researchers who study this phenomenon. Each time I read another analysis or description of this severe mental illness I realize how much more is understood from the various research activities being undertaken world-wide.
But there are many people who start their journey towards Parental Alienation with little or no knowledge about this horrific experience.
Indeed they might have never heard about, let alone understand, this classification of severe mental illness. This was the case at the beginning of my experience. It is highly likely that they might not appreciate what is being done to them and their children. And they might not be able to clearly assess the variety of genuine advice available.
When anyone is immersed in the maelstrom of the actions of an Alienator it is sometimes difficult to know where this cycle of evil begins, how to understand it and how to end it.
From my front line experience over the last thirty years of Parental Alienation, involving both my five children and also the next generation of brainwashed and manipulated Grandchildren, I have developed a basic protocol when I try to explain the building blocks which contribute towards the construction of this ‘House of Horrors’.
I speak as a non-professional. I am an unqualified individual in this specific sphere but a ‘targeted parent’ bearing the real scars of actual experience. So let me try, in my small way, to help to set out the building blocks of Parental Alienation which can be recognized and monitored.
Parental Alienation at the foundation level is reasonably easy to define. For it to occur there needs to be two ‘parents’ and at least one child. I deliberately use the ‘parent’ definer because this can involve a man and a woman, a man and another man or a woman and another woman. The traditional definition usually encompasses the ‘parents’ as being a man and a woman, mainly in a marriage or at least being in a long term relationship. But even this eventuality should not be taken as hard and fast.
There must be a child involved in the Parental Alienation equation.
The child is usually, but not exclusively, the offspring of the two ‘parents’. But again this is not set in concrete. Perhaps an easier quantifier would be to state that the ‘parents’ have a common responsibility for the welfare and well-being of the child.
Then a break-up of the marriage or long term relationship takes place.
At this point it is easy to quantify this break-up if it does not involve a child. Relationship termination occurs daily around the world and follows different norms from country to country or within conventional religious, and non religious, strictures. So it is easy to say Parental Alienation does not occur without a child being a member of the equation.
Now we come to the central tenant of Parental Alienation. One ‘parent’ must embark on a premeditated campaign of manipulation and brainwashing of the child against the other ‘parent’. It is this campaign of hate that has to exist for Parental Alienation to take place. It is generally accepted that one of the major targeted outcomes of this campaign is to remove the other ‘parent’ from the life of the child.
It is this campaign that is in fact the most public element of Parental Alienation. And it should be the most recognizable event to look out for when combating Parental Alienation. It is the bad mouthing and hate fueled invective that a school, neighbor, family member or caring friend/colleague should identify to enable interpretation and stimulate intervention.
Far too often there is a concentrated focus on the individuals involved be they Child, Alienating Parent or Targeted Parent. But by focusing on the individuals, which appears to be the normally accepted professional response, outsiders might miss the opportunity to readily identify the hate campaign used by both Alienator and child against the ‘target’ parent.
In my case, and I believe in the case of many others, it was my inability to monitor and understand this hate campaign which caused so much misunderstanding and pain.
Associated with the manipulation was explosive anger and bullying by the Alienator. But I, like so many, was totally ignorant of all this negative activity. One of the main reasons for this failure was that the hate campaign occurred beyond my presence. Usually it occurred behind locked doors involving not only the children but also friends and family who were receptive to the manipulation and brainwashing. What I failed to realize was that this apparent acceptance by friends and family underlined to the children that I, the alienated parent, was always in the ‘wrong’.
Perhaps anybody at the beginning of the journey towards Parental Alienation should ‘listen out’ for this campaign of hate, manipulation and alienation even if it occurs beyond their presence or knowledge. I believe that we should educate responsible individuals from the community to be aware and quickly respond to any apparent bullying or manipulation.