Certain Alienator Personality Types Lead To Parental Alienation
I lost my oldest daughter when she was 14. For over ten years I have been haunted by the inability to understand why I lost her and how abusers perpetrate alienation. She is now in her mid 20’s and, although I sometimes still blame myself I have always known that the real story is a mystery tied to my ex-husband and his overt, malicious campaign to promulgate revenge against me. His success is reflected in her penchant for sending emails reminding me how completely she has rejected me and how deeply she hates me. At one point she even threatened to seek a restraining order if I continued to try to contact her.
I recently received an email with a long list of reasons justifying her shutting me out of her life. I was astounded that almost all the accusations were complete fabrications totally detached from reality. I was equally astounded by the passion with which she wrote. And, I realized that she truly believed her fantasies. But, then I realized her words were really her father’s. She had totally lost herself to hispathological narcissism, his nonsensical need for revenge, and his overwhelming compulsion to hurt me. I also came to realize that Parental Alienation will be successful if perpetrated by a certain alienator personality type.
Now, ten years later I have lost my youngest daughter and I am experiencing the same process of denigration. As I have tried to fight back I have learned a great deal about how spouses and ex-spouses perpetrate Parental Alienation but perhaps the most important but elusive piece of the puzzle has been beyond my grasp. The missing piece is an explanation of exactly how the alienator personality successfully conditions children to become tools of his abuse. What are the mechanisms used to cause loving children to turn so completely to hate?
The three topics introduced below and linked to more comprehensive descriptions may be helpful in understanding the alienation mechanisms. Also, psychological disorders are consistently persistent in an alienator personality.
Steven Hassan is an escapee from the psychological hold of Sun Myung Moon’s Unification Church cult. In describing how he first became a “Moonie” he wrote that a person doesn’t just go out and join a cult. Rather, you come in contact with some members and slowly get sucked in until the charismatic leader closes the deal. I found that qualities found in cult leaders are pervasive in the alienator personality. Read more about how a cult leader mentality can perpetrate parental alienation.
The great sociologist, Max Weber, coined the term Charismatic Authority. It develops from a set of unique personality characteristics that define the relationship between leaders and their followers. The unique personality traits inspire certain vulnerable individuals who become obedient followers. Today, we tend to think of charisma as a good personality trait but Weber believed that individuals derived their Charismatic Authority not because they are kind but because their followers view them as almost superhuman. It is not coincidental that people with Charismatic Authority tend to also display very powerful traits of Narcissism. Click on the link to read more about how people with Charismatic Authority can perpetrate parental alienation.
Brainwashing is a term that we tend to use loosely when referring to a severe form of influencing a person’s set of values and beliefs. Initially, it seems to fit well with a description of how a person can perpetrate parental alienation. But, there are some problems. There is no doubt that the alienator influences change in the attitudes and beliefs of the child but most definitions of brainwashing involve isolation of the victim and/or either real or threatened physical coercion. It is difficult to determine the extent to which either technique may play in a child’s alienation but there are enough relevant threads to investigate how brainwashing may be used in parental alienation.