Posted in Parental Alienation & Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Cults and Parental Alienation: A conversation with Steve Hassan | the alienation experience

By the way, If you want to hear a real story that shows cults and abuse and Parental Alienation all in action together, here’s one of many many examples of how the coercion of a cult covers up and creates the other family coercions. In Nick French’s case, it’s finished off with a double whammy of alienation – being cut off from your loved ones by the cult’s punishment of shunning you for daring to disagree with them and leave.

Nick Child, Edinburgh

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A very secure Attachment | the alienation experience

Unfortunately, while securing themselves a safe Attachment to bury their fears, the controlling or Alienating parent kills off the healthier love in the highly conditional relationship with them as well as with the other parent.

In this account, Peter is described as controlling his wife while Sarah as willingly devoted to him. But the dynamics of coercive control are to take you in, not just to cut you off. Is Sarah taken in by her father or a willing partner for him? Even if she is willing, is this kind of loving ethical or healthy for a teenage girl or her father? If this relationship served sexual needs rather than just emotional ones, we would certainly know what to think of it.

These are very tricky issues to tease apart: What is good influence, and what is harmful influence? What is mindfully intentional and done on purpose, and what is unconsciously driven unintended consequences? What is a conditional coerced controlling recruited relationship, and what is a voluntary genuinely loving liberating Attachment? (Steve Hassan’s ‘Influence Continuum‘ helps separate what is healthy from what is unhealthy.)

Sarah may have been, probably still is, convinced that she is responsible for her own choices. But she has lost her authentic identity beneath the devoted loyalty. She is married, but still significantly cut off from the rest of the world and the more complete life she could have had. This is unconsciously intended coercive control of Sarah as much as of her mother. Maybe if Sarah has children of her own, she will suddenly recognise that something wrong happened to her and change. But:

The deadly pattern has every chance of being repeated in each generation too. This short Brazilian video aptly calls this: A Morte Inventada. An invented death. Instead of working through the pain of life, it buries it. Parental Alienation is an invented death to the lives and relationships of all those involved: the children, the Alienated parent … and the Alienator too.

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Why does a coercive controller do it? | the alienation experience

My husband, Peter, alienated my daughter, Sarah, within our intact marriage of over 40 years. Shortly after we lost our first child, aged five, he told me “If you ever leave me I will fight you for custody and I will win!” He was referring to our toddler daughter, Sarah.

I stayed with him and we had many happy times but he was becoming more and more a controller and a bully. By the time Sarah was in her mid teens he had been made redundant, had a crisis of status and decided he didn’t much like me any more. He told me he preferred Sarah. Peter said she was more grounded and I was emotional. It was at that point that my beautiful daughter changed towards me. Sarah had to protect her dad and give him back the status he’d lost. She became his best friend, protector and wingman.

“I stayed within the family because of that old threat: I knew for certain that if I ever left him I would never see my daughter again – she would always choose him over me. Your question and answer struck me because I had already suspected the reason why my husband took my daughter from me.

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Why does a coercive controller do it? A very secure Attachment | the alienation experience

Here we get a full – sympathetic even – emotional understanding of the Alienating parent, of one kind of various Attachment traumas that can shape up a parent to control and Alienate a child. (Names and details have been changed).

We can see clearly why this coercive controller does it: He gets a very secure Attachment in a relationship that takes his daughter in and cuts her off. But of course this is a disturbed and disturbing solution to the controller’s problems. And it is positively harmful to his entrapped if happy looking child.

Alienation can take a life-time

“I have just watched the video you linked to and I have hung on to every word. You have managed to put into words what I have instinctively felt for over 20 years.

“The following question was asked in the video: What’s in it for the controller? (8.10) The reply (8.41) was: “What’s in it for the controller is an attachment that is very secure” followed by (8.46) : “The controller has had some kind of trauma in their background that makes them fearful of losing an attachment and so they go to great lengths to keep someone close”.

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The Sociopath Next Door

You know them. They look just like us. They eat the same foods we eat, wear the same clothes we wear, and sleep under the same stars we sleep under—you could even be sleeping next to one of them and not even know it. You’ve seen these people in action, working their nefarious brand of charm, wit, and charisma. They operate largely unnoticed—until they don’t, at which point it’s usually too late, because they’ve already insidiously laid claim to your faith, your livelihood, or maybe even your life. No, we’re not talking about Canadians. We’re talking about sociopaths, those creatures who, through their grand schemes of contrivance, manipulation, and deceit, seek to undermine the very fabric of it all because, well, they can. Clinical psychologist and former Harvard Medical School instructor Dr. Martha Stout has spent a good portion of her working life attempting to crack the mystery of what makes someone a sociopath—she says it has something to do with having a conscience, or not having one. Stout has even authored a book on the subject, The Sociopath Next Door, and is at work on a sequel, tentatively titled Conquering the Sociopath Next Door: Courageous Resistance to Lies, Scams, Mind Games, and Murder, which is expected out next year. Here, she offers a thumbnail sketch of the nature of sociopathy, and how regular folks can best prevent themselves from falling prey to the dangerous games that sociopaths play.

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Narcissistic Mothers Play the Victim While Vilify the True Victim

First, a brief discussion of manipulation with pity, followed by an example of a pity ploy con for money. Then, a more in-depth discussion of narcissistic mother playing the victim while vilifying true victims, followed by a closer look at what this accomplishes for the narcissist. Finally, learning to recognize narcissistic mother’s victim stunt so you can keep your head out of the washing machine! Truly, it helps so much to recognize the maneuver, which will then allow you to anticipate the moves ahead of time. It is also helpful and healing to be able to not only recognize the tactic of playing the victim while vilifying true victims, but to name it, and be able to articulate it.

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Framing the story

Framing the story

Narcissists also like to truncate the story and present only the bit where the aggrieved party reacted to their toxic behavior, framing it as if that’s where the story started (see picture).

Or they twist it by using euphemisms and deceiving language (“I’m not controlling, I just want what’s best for you.”).

For example, if a narcissist dislikes you and tries to bully you but you stand up for yourself, they will frame it as if they are the ones being a victim of bullying. In their narrative they were just doing their thing or joking around and you started being mean to them. Meanwhile, they simply left out what happened beforehand when they bullied you, so actually you “being mean” to them is a normal response to toxic behavior.

Here, by leaving out or downplaying their aggression they simply frame you engaging in self-defense as vile aggression against them. And then they think: “How dare you react or challenge me! You’re so sensitive and unfair! That’s why you deserve everything that’s coming!”

https://blogs.psychcentral.com/psychology-self/2018/07/narcissist-delusion/

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Closer analysis

Closer analysis

If you actually examine the narcissist’s narrative, you quickly notice that they are full of crap.

For instance if you examine a narcissistic parent who tells others how you hurt them and say mean things, you quickly notice that they are the one who constantly demeans, disrespects, and manipulates the adult-child. And when the child becomes more assertive and stops giving them resources (time, money, attention), they see it as aggression because they feel entitled to those resources.

If you examine further, you notice that not only the narcissistic parent was initially disrespecting the adult-child’s boundaries, but is also retaliating further now by manipulating others into siding with them.

The same is the case in professional environments or personal relationships. The narcissistic party does something toxic, the aggrieved party reacts and stops the perpetrator or distances from them, and then the narcissist retaliates by trying to shape the social opinion into a narrative where they are the good, righteous party. Sometimes they even convince others to bully and intimidate the target further.

These methods often rely on the target not having a support system or being isolated. This increases the narcissist’s chances of others siding with them and not with the victim.

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Slander, triangulation, character assassination

Slander, triangulation, character assassination

There are several ways how the narcissist employs their lies and projections, and the goal is always to turn others against you in hope that they won’t try to figure out the truth.

One of the ways to do that is triangulation. In psychology, it means controlling and manipulating communication between two parties. It is related to gossiping, smearing, and slandering, where the narcissist spreads false information around. A more extreme version of all of that is character assassination, where the lies are much more severe and damaging.

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How Narcissists Play the Victim and Twist the Story | The Psychology of Self

Lying

While delusion is more of an internal process, lying and denial is often in the context of other people.

Regular people deal with their problems by themselves, internally. Or they discuss it in a very private setting: in therapy or among very close, healthy people. Narcissists don’t have people like that in their life and are not really interested in actually resolving anything or being introspective.

Narcissists simply want to know that they are in the right. For that, they need other people’s false validation to regulate their shaky self-esteem. They need to find people who would agree with them. And in order for others to agree with them, these other people either need to be terribly unhealthy and unable to recognize their toxic tendencies, or the narcissist needs to lie and present a different story than what is actually true.

Here, they tend to flip the roles where they are good, noble, caring, virtuous and the other person is evil, cruel, selfish, and immoral. Which brings us to the next point….

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