Letting go is also affirming that whilst you and in particular your children have suffered a terrible and outrageous loss, you and your self-esteem are not destroyed and not solely dependent upon a relationship between you and your children.
The alienating parent often cannot own this. Letting go is your opportunity to differentiate yourself completely from the alienating parent rather than simply being the opposite. Letting go is the point at which you stop being a powerless victim.
It is the point when you realise that you have to draw a line under a relationship (or loss of a relationship) with your children that has become futile, that cannot develop any further and which the alienating parent is defining by their emotional manipulation.
Letting go is an opportunity for you to change the game. It is about saying goodbye to a relationship with your children that has come to an end with the possibility of saying hello to a new one at some point in the future when you and especially your children are in a different space.
Your alienated children may well be adults by that time, may be more independent and differentiated and may even have families of their own.
Sometimes significant life events in your children’s lives, and indeed your own, such as re-partnering, ending a long-term relationship, children, or loss of a loved one may trigger a re-evaluation of how you arrived at the place you are now at.
A new relationship cannot always be built on the wreckage of the old one. Metaphorically, it is sometimes better to demolish the house and build a new one rather than to attempt to renovate a house that is already condemned.
Letting go, leaves your children with the provocative question about how they could love you at the same time acknowledge and assume responsibility for the awful things they have done to you. They will have to engage this question for their own mental and emotional health at some point in their lives.
This is your opportunity to have some power in the game and to empower your alienated children. You can do this by making a decision to let go at the same time reinforcing your children’s responsibility for their choice.
Giving up is none of this. When you give up you abandon your alienated children to their fate, leaving you and them disempowered victims.
Giving up affirms your powerlessness and your weakness in the face of the overwhelming power and influence of the alienating parent. It demonstrates to the children that they were not worth your love and demonstrates to yourself that you are not worth much either.
When you give up you shut the door on the possibility of a new and different relationship later in the children’s lives. It is final. It is very difficult to explain to your children later in their lives why you abandoned them.