Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

Parental alienation

A friend asked me to include parental alienation in my recent blog The people we love the most can hurt us the most. This sensitive topic needs a separate blog. If only for this 2022 Guardian article, entitled: UN to investigate use of ‘parental alienation’ tactic in custody cases.

Parental alienation is a pathological phenomenon in which a child is convinced by one parent that his or her other parent is unworthy and dangerous and should be rejected. The child is convinced through a variety of tactics and maneuvers by the alienating/offending parent.”

Psychiatric Times, 2022: A Silent Epidemic: Parental Alienation in a Child is on Par With Physical and Sexual Abuse

The above quote covers my experience. However, I also know examples that cover parental alienation towards a surviving parent. The surviving parent is being blamed by some or all of the children for not having performed a good job as a single parent. Sometimes, even during an eulogy !

The above does not even include grandparent alienation, which “is a type of elder abuse, a term for the mistreatment of older people in a society. It occurs when grandparents are unreasonably denied meaningful opportunities to have a relationship and spend time with their grandchildren.”

The above shows the complexity of the causes for (grand) parental alienation. However, the consequences are simple and similar: emotional distancing between family members, or family estrangement.

Wikipedia claims that parental alienation is a “theorized process”. To some extent, I must agree. It’s almost impossible to show the hostile intentions (ie, input) that cause this output. Often, it’s not enough to use deeds and/or words as evidence (eg, mistake, not a trend, misinterpreted).

Hence, parental alienation is neither recognised by medical doctors nor by the legal system. It’s like the proverbial bleeding heart: invisible from the outside and inside. Only you can feel it and no one else.

The “UN special rapporteur on violence against women and girls” focuses on women as the victim of parental alienation in family courts (eg, Guardian, Lexology). This focus is quite remarkable because family courts usually view the mother as the primary caretaker, and seldom the father.

“Parental Alienation is an emotional act of violence that is aimed at an adult, but critically wounds a child.”

A quote by Steve Maraboli (b.1975), “an internet radio commentator, motivational speaker and author” (source).

Love & Hate (2016) by Michael Kiwanuka
artist, lyrics, video, Wiki-artist, Wiki-album+song

[Chorus]
You can’t take me down
You can’t break me down
You can’t take me down

Note: all markings (bolditalicunderlining) by LO unless in quotes or stated otherwise.

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