Parental Alienation & the Ultimate Dilemma

The following is an anonymous contribution from a parent’s experience of battling a flawed system. A system that fails to effectively challenge cases of parental alienation. 

I wonder how many of you share this particular moral dilemma?

If you are 100% alienated and your child(ren) are confined to a life enmeshed with only pathogenic parenting involving encapsulated persecutory delusions that paint you as dangerous, and contaminate developmental progression to adulthood, how large are your desires and responsibilities to ‘rescue’ your child?

Large enough for you to pursue a legal solution? Yes! Did that.

Large enough to pursue psychological examination to support the legal case? Yes! Did that.

Large enough to make huge compromises and acquiesce to outrageous demands in every effort to keep a foothold in the lives of your child(ren)? Yes! Did that.

Yet, the shortcomings of the legal system, and the psychologists combined to leave your child(ren) entirely entrapped with a psychologically abusive parent. All to no avail.

First, heartbreaking though it is, we can live without seeing our child(ren), indeed most of us have already seen nothing for half a decade. Second, heartbreaking though it is, we can live knowing that our child(ren) have the mistaken notion that we are dangerous monsters. We can skip the injustice of that slander and wonder just how much such a thought hurts our child(ren) and damages their self identity. Third, knowing that today is yet another day of distorted parenting, throwing an almighty spanner into healthy developmental nurturing and progression to adulthood, we can just about manage to retain some hope that enough of the emotional core of our child(ren) will pull through to allow a later restoration of authentic self.

“How do we look back over our record of responsibility?”

But fourth and finally we have to be realistic about the ruined long-term outcomes for our child(ren). Realising through the research of say Amy Baker, or simply from the many despairing narratives online, that our once beautiful child is now neurologically canalised in an emotionally unwholesome way, and that repair would take a lifetime or longer . How do we look back over our record of responsibility?

Surely we were right not to act rashly at the outset. That though, was when we had faith in the legal system of family justice! We were right to examine the psychological factors at play. What we discovered was deeply unsettling. Moreover, that shockingly the courts, court psychologists, CAFCASS, and social workers had not discovered it yet, was immeasurably alarming.

“We feel foolish, and completely inadequate as a parent to have ever trusted the system.”

Of course we see that the system has let our children down. Now we feel foolish, and completely inadequate as a parent to have ever trusted the system. What we had no way of knowing 5 years ago is that acting rashly wouldn’t have turned out to be rash at all! If only we had nipped this whole thing in the bud! Of course if we had done something illegal, everybody would have thought us reckless, but look how it has turned out! They would have been wrong, no matter that they would never have realised it. How could we have been so naively trusting? Not to act! Call yourself a parent? What kind of parent lets their child(ren) be discretely damaged, destroyed?

We all had that conversation when we were happy with our exes, before they turned ‘Hitleresque’. You are on a small boat. You are a strong swimmer, unlike your ex and your child. A freak wave washes all three of you into the water. Who would you choose first (and maybe only) to save? The child of course. It has a right to reach adulthood. Not only that, either one of the parents would gladly give up their own life if that meant securing the life of their child.

Now you have to balance two thoughts. On the one hand, just how damaged has your child become? On the other, how much more damaged will the child become given its present exposure? The other calculation is easy. Your child has its whole life ahead of it, whereas your ex only half, and in any case already permanently psychologically pulled out of shape. Do you have a moral responsibility to free your child(ren) even if that means eliminating the ex? Eliminating yourself? It would not be cold-blooded murder!

There is a category of crime of passion that recognises ‘slow fuse’ provocation. Fuses don’t come much slower than 5 years! It’s justifiable. It’s honourable. Not a sacrifice for your country, but for your child(ren)!

A hundred years ago women’s groups were ridiculing men who would not ‘serve their country’. This is at least comparable. Are you a real man? Well then! But still you do nothing.

Is this because you are a decent citizen? Because you haven’t the guts? Because you are too selfish to spend the rest of your life in prison? Because you are kidding yourself that the damage to your child will one day be repairable? Because you know your ex is goading you to do just this? It is all of these, but most of all it is because you are a good parent and want your child to know it.

You hope at some point to be there for your child(ren) to help steer them away from otherwise troubled distressing lives, not to be among those significant numbers destroyed by alcohol, drugs, and suicide. You model sustained gradual improvement.

But you will always be nagged by the thought that this type of good is, in some measure, cowardly.