Written by Karen Woodall, Trans-Generational Psychotherapist Treating Parental Alienation
“When a child is alienated they are suffering from induced psychological splitting which causes them to shut down part of their internalised experience of self and dismiss it as being wholly bad and negative. They then project these negative beliefs onto you as the rejected parent and hide from you so that they do not have to encounter that which they have ‘decided’ to reject.”
If you are a rejected parent listen carefully because what I am about to tell you is an important piece of surviving this nightmare of losing your living child.
I write this directly after working all week with families affected by a child’s induced psychological splitting, I write it in my spare time on a Saturday morning in London. Outside the sky is low and grey and it is cold.
The words you read on this blog come from my experience of working with families and from my training of clinicians. These words are not from a book, nor are they from my imagination. They are directly from my experience of working with people affected by parental alienation.
When a child is alienated they are suffering from induced psychological splitting which causes them to shut down part of their internalised experience of self and dismiss it as being wholly bad and negative. They then project these negative beliefs onto you as the rejected parent and hide from you so that they do not have to encounter that which they have ‘decided’ to reject.
That makes you a simple by product of a process which has been created by the parent who has caused this problem to arise in the child. It does not mean that you are to blame.
What it does do is make you very vulnerable to mind control. Just as children who are pressured into using the defence of psychological splitting, so too are you, when the alienation reaction is in play in your family. You too become vulnerable to splitting. And in a world where you are the villain of the piece, you will also start to see the world in black and white terms. You know you are not the villain and so the parent who has caused this must be the villain. You know that you are not what your child says you are and so anyone who comes near you must be educated to know that.
When a child enters into the state of induced psychological splitting and around them people are seeking to find out who has caused this, the finger most often points at you. The fact that it is not you, causes you to feel angry, upset, anxious and afraid, you become defensive and begin to see the world in terms of good and bad. You too are vulnerable to the split state of mind.
So vulnerable in fact that words can easily be used to manipulate your mind. I am going to show you how easy it is to do that.
First of all I want you to watch this video.
Can you see how easy the substitution of words can cause recall to change? Can you see how, in times of heightened emotion, how easy it is for your memory to be manipulated leading you to believe something which isn’t true?
As a rejected parent you are constantly on high alert. Your fear response in the brain is activated because you are constantly concerned for the child you have lost and the harm that is being done to them. That makes you vulnerable to mind control and what you read and what you hear in this state of mind can be manipulated.
Now I would like you to read the following two paragraphs.
‘In this respect the rejection of a parent is a simple by-product of what is going on in the relationship between the parent to whom the child is aligned, although that is not to say that the parent who is rejected has not also played a role on the road to the alignment becoming fixed and fused.
This is the complexity of the dynamic, which encircles the child like a slow gathering fog and which causes the unaware rejected parent to flounder around looking for footholds in an increasingly opaque existence. If that parent slips into the traps set by the influencing parent, the entry into psychological splitting can be inadvertently speeded up. This is not to say that the rejected parent is to blame, it is to say that the risks to them in this landscape are also immense.’
What meaning do you make of those two paragraphs? Do you read them and believe that I am saying that the rejected parent is to blame or do you read them and believe that I am saying that a rejected parent is vulnerable to being tricked or trapped by the alienating parent and that the risks to them are high?
What if I remove the second paragraph and tell you that I am blaming the rejected parent for the alienation of their child? Now what sense do you make of it?
‘In this respect the rejection of a parent is a simple by-product of what is going on in the relationship between the parent to whom the child is aligned, although that is not to say that the parent who is rejected has not also played a role on the road to the alignment becoming fixed and fused.’
Do you immediately jump to the conclusion that I am a bad person and that I am blaming you for the alienation of your child?
Of course you do.
Taken out of context and told that you are being blamed for the alienation of your child, you, as a rejected parent will become outraged and react accordingly. Just like the use of the words, ‘smash and bump‘ in the video, your mind, already vulnerable, can be easily manipulated by being presented with words taken out of context.
How easy it is for people to manipulate reality and use their role unwisely.
Did I say that you are to blame for your child becoming alienated? No I did not. What I said was that you have a role to play and that can be either the helpless parent who is staggering around in the fog created by the alienating parent (read the paragraphs again) or it can be the aware and savvy parent who thinks for themselves and doesn’t get drawn into the heroes and villains narrative.
Don’t be fooled into seeing the world in black and white. Don’t lose your perspective or your critical thinking skills.
Be alert, be curious, question everything.