The parent may be diagnosed as narcissistic (self-centered), where they presume that they have a special entitlement to whatever they want. They think that there are rules in life, but only for other people, not for them.
Also, they may be called a sociopath, which means a person who has no moral conscience. These are people who are unable to have empathy or compassion for others. They are unable to see a situation from another person’s point of view, especially their child’s point of view. They don’t distinguish between telling the truth and lying in the way that others do.
In spite of admonitions from judges and mental health professionals to stop their alienation, they can’t. The prognosis for severely alienating parents is very poor. It is unlikely that they are able to “get it.” It is also unlikely that they will ever stop trying to perpetuate the alienation. This is a gut wrenching survival issue to them.”
[Source: Parents Who Have Successfully Fought Parental Alienation Syndrome, by Jayne A. Major, Ph.D. ]
Reading this article struck so many chords with us. Control was such an ongoing issue with our alienating parent. She, and only she, had the right to make decisions pertaining to HER children. She certainly did not obey court orders, since she — as mother — knew what was best for her children. Court orders did no good in our case, because they were completely ignored. Rules are meant for others to follow …. not her.
And, on many occasions, she would have her young children call their father and give him excuses as to why he would not be seeing them during his regularly scheduled visitation, or on his scheduled holidays.
Is she able to see this situation from her childrens’ point of view? That’s highly unlikely; otherwise, she would not have put her children through the ordeals that she has put them through.
Can she distinguish between telling the truth and lying? Lies roll off of her tongue so easily, we worry that she is so delirious, that she actually believes what she was saying.
Just a few days ago, someone — who has traveled with us through our journey of parental alienation, said: “she just doesn’t get it, and doesn’t see that no one is buying her version of what’s happened over all these years.” Like Dr. Major said, it’s very unlikely that she will ever stop trying to perpetuate the alienation. Even after 36 years, she can’t put her children before her feelings ….. and the alienation continues.
Parental alienation should be criminal offence, says group
Support group says children are being damaged by high-conflict separations
The Parental Alienation Awareness Association said there was a lack of understanding in Ireland of how serious this form of alienation can be and how much damage can be caused to children as a result. Photograph: Thinkstock/Getty Images
A parent who, following the breakdown of a relationship, attempts to turn their child or children against the other parent should be prosecuted, a support group has said.
The Parental Alienation Awareness Association said there was a lack of understanding in Ireland of how serious this form of alienation can be and how much damage can be caused to children as a result.
Parental alienation involves the unwarranted rejection of one, previously loved, parent by a child following a separation or divorce. It is associated with high-conflict splits and involves the child focusing undeserved and disproportionate anger toward the rejected parent, which is fed by the behaviour of the aligned parent, who most often has greater custody.
Some psychiatrists and support groups have labelled the child’s behaviour as “parental alienation syndrome” (PAS), though this is not defined as a condition by the World Health Organisation. It is also not recognised by the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the bible for mental health diagnoses.
However, family therapist Brian O’Sullivan says, whatever the label is, the dynamics of PAS have been noted since the 1950s and children are being damaged.
He said during high-conflict divorces or disputes a child might refuse contact with one parent and be extremely withdrawn and contemptuous, aligning himself or herself with the other parent.
The issues underlining this are complex, but may be partially explained by the alienating behaviours of the aligned parent, who may be emotionally needy and who offers the child warm and involved care in exchange for allegiance.
Mr O’Sullivan, who is completing a thesis on alienation at the department of child and family psychiatry in the Mater hospital, Dublin, said the child’s reasons for rejecting a parent may be scripted, lack substance and accurate detail, and may include adult phrases and language.
“This is not to be confused with realistic estrangement, where there has been neglect or abuse and a child has good reasons to be hostile to a parent,” he said.
Alienation can cause long-term psychological damage to children, as well as damaging the relationship with the alienated parent. It can also impact both parents, not just fathers, he said.
In Ireland, it is a relatively new phenomenon, because we have only had divorce since 1995, Mr O’Sullivan said.
He said in family court cases here, where the voice of the child is now being given such emphasis, it would be helpful if social workers, therapists, legal professionals and judges were aware of the dynamic.
Child’s viewsIf the child indicates they want nothing to do with a parent, with whom they have had a happy relationship, some professionals may conclude the child’s views are valid, must be respected and acted upon. However, they should consider alienation as part of their decision-making process.
“There needs to be more education about it,” he said.
The Parental Alienation Awareness Association has called for legislation to make parental alienation a criminal offence. Andries van Tonder, secretary of the organisation, said in Mexico, the parent encouraging alienation can be imprisoned for 15 years. He said there should also be State support and rehabilitation provided for PAS children.
“It is a serious form of child abuse to turn a child against a parent,” he said.
“The problem is it is so embedded in Ireland.”
He said the after-effects of parental alienation can be worse than physical or sexual abuse and have been linked to suicides and drug overdoses in Ireland.
“A PAS child may not realise the damage that has occurred and may only pick up on the effects aged 24 or 25,” he said. He said he was aware of a 69-year-old, who was a PAS child, and was still suffering from the effects. The association has quite a few adult PAS children who are members, he says, as well as parents who have been alienated.
“Our big fight is to educate on this form of child abuse; Ireland does not want to listen yet, but we hope it will listen soon.”
This is about the basic human right to thrive to prevent P.A.S. to join together network and begun a united movement .
Great job! This is the year we turn a corner. Awareness is here and Change is coming. Too many children have suffered at the hands of alienators and an incompetent, corrupt family court system. ENOUGH!
Follow us on our Cross Country Awareness Road Trip, from sea to shining sea
Call it ‘Occupy Family Court’ or ‘Fatherless Day.’ There was a protest Friday afternoon on the west steps of the State Capitol against a family court system they say automatically rules in favor of mom during a divorce, without giving dad a chance.
“I believe that PAS parents have become stuck in the first stage of child development, where survival skills are learned.
To them, having total control over their child is a life and death matter. Because they don’t understand how to please other people, any effort to do so always has strings attached. They don’t give; they only know how to take. They don’t play by the rules and are not likely to obey a court order.
Descriptions that are commonly used to describe severe cases of PAS are that the alienating parent is unable to “individuate” (a psychological term used when the person is unable to see the child as a separate human being from him or herself). They are often described as being “overly involved with the child” or “enmeshed”.
The parent may be diagnosed as narcissistic (self-centered), where they presume that they have a special entitlement to whatever…
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