The Obsessed Alienator “I love my children. If the court can’t protect them from their abusive father, I will. Even though he’s never abused the children, I know it’s a matter of time. The children are frightened of their father. If they don’t want to see him, I’m notgoing to force them. They are old enough to make up their own minds.
“The obsessed alienator is a parent, or sometimes a grandparent, with a cause: to align the children to his or her side and together, with the children, campaign to destroy their relationship with the targeted parent. For the campaign to work, the obsessedalienator enmeshes the children’s personalities and beliefs into their own.This is a process that takes time but one that the children, especially theyoung, are completely helpless to see and combat. It usually begins well beforethe divorce is final.
The obsessed parent is angry, bitter or feels betrayed bythe other parent. The initial reasons for the bitterness may actually bejustified. They could have been verbally and physical abused, raped, betrayedby an affair, or financially cheated. The problem occurs when the feelings won’t heal but instead become more intense because of being forced to continue the relationship with a person they despise because of their common parenthood.Just having to see or talk to the other parent is a reminder of the past and triggers the hate. They are trapped with nowhere to go and heal.
The characteristics ofobsessed alienators are:
· They are obsessed with destroying thechildren’s relationship with the targeted parent.
· They having succeeded in enmeshing the children’s personalities and beliefs about the other parent with their own.
· The children will parrot the obsessed alienator rather than express their own feelings from personal experience with the other parent.
· The targeted parent and often the children cannot tell you the reasons for their feelings.
Their beliefs sometimes becoming delusional and irrational. No one, especially the court, can convince obsessed alienators that they are wrong. Anyone who tries is the enemy.
· They will often seek support from family members, quasi-political groups or friends that will share in their beliefs that they are victimized by the other parent and the system. The battle becomes”us against them.” The obsessed alienator’s supporters are often seen at the court hearings even though they haven’t been subpoenaed.
· They have an unquenchable anger because they believe that they have been victimized by the targeted parent and whatever they do to protect the children is justified.
· They have a desire for the court to punish the other parent with court orders that would interfere or block the targeted parent from seeing the children. This confirms in the obsessed alienator’s mind that he or she was right all the time.
· The court’s authority does not intimidate them.
· The obsessed alienator believes in a highercause, protecting the children at all cost.
· The obsessed alienator will probably not want to read what is on these pages because the content just makes them angrier. There are no effective treatments for either the obsessed alienator or the children. The courts and mental health professionals are helpless. The only hope for these children is early identification of the symptoms and prevention. After the alienation is entrenched and the children become “true believers” in the parent’s cause, the children are lost to the other parent for years to come. We realize this is a sad statement, but we have yet to find an effective intervention, by anyone, including the courts that can rehabilitate the alienating parent and child.
Stage 3 – A Severely Alienated Child of Parental Alienation Syndrome
TheHonorable Judge Gomery of Canada stated, “Hatred is not anemotion that comes naturally to a child. It has to be taught. A parent whowould teach a child to hate the other parent represents a grave and persistentdanger to the mental and emotional health of that child.”
A Severely Alienated
Child of Parental Alienation Syndrome
In severe PAS the child is often fanatic or obsessional in his/her hatred of the target parent. For this reason alone the PAS-inducing parent no longer needs to be active, although the PAS–inducing parent will resort to
anything to prevent the child maintaining a relationship with the targeted parent. The child takes on the PAS-inducing parent’s desires, emotions and hatreds and verbalises them all as its own. The child views the history of the targeted parent and the targeted parent’s family as all negative and is unable to either remember or express any positive feelings for the target parent.
The child is very likely to refuse Contact, make false allegations of abuse, threaten to run away, threaten to commit suicide or even murder – if forced to see the targeted parent. The PAS-inducing parent will hold little or no value for the targeted parent and hatred may be completely overt. The child and the alienating parent have a pathological bond that is invariably based on shared paranoid fantasies of the targeted parent, sometimes to the point of folie a deux.
What Does a Severely Alienated Child look like?
- They have a relentless hatred for towards the
- They parrot the Obsessed Alienator.
- The child does not want to visit or spend any time with the targeted parent.
- Many of the child’s beliefs are enmeshed with the alienator.
- The beliefs are delusional and frequently irrational.
- They are not intimidated by the court.
- Frequently, their reasons are not based on personal experiences with the targeted parent but reflect what they are told by the Obsessed Alienator. They have difficulty making any differentiate between the two.
- The child has no ambivalence in his feelings; it’s all hatred with no ability to see the good.
- They have no capacity to feel guilty about how they behave towards the targeted parent or forgive any past indiscretions.
- They share the Obsessed Alienators cause. Together, they are in lockstep to denigrate the hated parent.
- The children’s obsessionalhatred extends to the targeted parent’s extended family without any guilt
- They can appear like normal healthy children until asked about the targeted parent that triggers their hatred.
Children in the severe category are generally quite disturbed and are usually fanatic. They join together with their alienating parent in a folie à deux relationship in which they share her paranoid fantasies about the alienated parent. All eight of the primary symptomatic manifestations are likely to be present to a significant degree, even more prominent than in the moderate category. Children in this category may become panic-stricken over the prospect of visiting with their alienated parent. Their blood-curdling shrieks, panicked states, and rage outbursts may be so severe that visitation is impossible. If placed in the alienated parent’s home they may run away, become paralyzed with morbid fear, or may become so continuously provocative and so destructive that removal becomes necessary. Unlike children in the moderate and mild categories, their panic and hostility may not be
reduced in the alienated parent’s home, even when separated from their alienating parents for significant periods. Whereas in the mild and moderate categories the children’s primary motive is to strengthen the stronger, healthy psychological bond with the alienating parent, in the severe category the psychological bond with the alienating parent is pathological (often paranoid) and the symptoms serve to strengthen this pathological bond.
Symptom’s of Parental Alienation Syndrome
There are various symptoms of alienation, this is by no means an inclusive list. To prevent the devastating effects of Parental Alienation, you must begin by recognizing the symptoms of Parental Alienation.After reading the list, don't get discouraged when you notice that some of your own behaviors have been alienating. This is normal in even the best of parents. Instead, let the list help sensitize you to how you are behaving and what you are saying to your children. 1. Giving children choices when they have no choice about visits. Allowing the child to decide for to visit, because when the court order says there is no choice sets up the child for conflict. The child will usually blame the non-residential parent for not being able to decide to choose whether or not to visit. The parent is now victimized regardless of what happens; not being able to see his children or if he or she sees them, the children are angry. 2. Telling the child "everything" about the marital relationship or reasons for the divorce is alienating. The parent usually argues that they are "just wanting to be honest" with their children. This practice is destructive and painful for the child. The alienating parent's motive is for the child to think less of the other parent. 3. Refusing to acknowledge that children have property and may want to transport their possessions between residences. 4. Resisting or refusing to cooperate by not allowing the other parent access to school or medical records and schedules of extracurricular activities. 5. A parent blaming the other parent for financial problems, breaking up the family, changes in lifestyle, or having a girlfriend/boyfriend, etc. 6. Refusing to be flexible with the visitation schedule in order to respond to the child's needs. The alienating parent may also schedule the children in so many activities that the other parent is never given the time to visit. Of course, when the targeted parent protests, they are described as not caring and selfish. 7. Assuming that if a parent had been physically abusive with the other parent, it follows that the parent will assault the child. This assumption is not always true. 8. Asking the child to choose one parent over another parent causes the child considerable distress. Typically, they do not want to reject a parent, but instead want to avoid the issue. The child, not the parent, should initiate any suggestion for change of residence. 9. Children will become angry with a parent.This is normal, particularly if the parent disciplines or has to say "no". If for any reason the anger is not allowed to heal, you can suspect parental alienation. Trust your own experience as a parent. Children will forgive and want to be forgiven if given a chance. Be very suspicious when the child calmly says they can not remember any happy times with you or they cannot say anything they like about you. 10. Be suspicious when a parent or stepparent raises the question about changing the child's name or suggests an adoption. 11. When children can not give reasons for being angry towards a parent or their reasons are very vague without any details. 12. A parent having secrets, special signals, a private rendezvous, or words with special meanings are very destructive and reinforce an on-going alienation. 13. When a parent uses a child to spy or covertly gather information for the parent's own use, the child receives a damaging message that demeans the victimized parent. 14. Parents setting up temptations that interfere with the child's visitation. 15. A parent suggesting or reacting with hurt or sadness to their child having a good time with the other parent will cause the child to withdraw and not communicate. They will frequently feel guilty or conflicted not knowing that it's "okay" to have fun with their other parent. 16. The parent asking the child about his or her other parent's personal life causes the child considerable tension and conflict. Children who are not alienated want to be loyal to both parents. 17. When parents physically or psychologically rescue the children when there is no threat to their safety. This practice reinforces in the child's mind the illusion of threat or danger, thereby reinforcing alienation. 18. Making demands on the other parent that is contrary to court orders. 19. Listening in on the children's phone conversation they are having with the other parent. 20. One way to cause your own alienation is making a habit of braking promises to your children. In time, your ex-spouse will get tired of having to make excuses for you.