Child or Weapon? The Psychological Dynamics of Parental Alienation

One parent holds hand of child looking up trustingly while other parent faces other direction, arms crossedParental alienation syndrome (PAS), a term coined by Richard A. Gardner in the 1980s, describes a condition—usually generated in the context of divorce or child custody disputes—in which a parent creates an alliance with their child against the other (non-abusive, nurturing, protective) parent. The child, influenced in part by the alienating parent, contributes to the dynamic by denigrating the targeted parent.

Parental Alienation as Created Drama Theory

According to Dr. C.A. Childress, attachment-based parental alienation is created when a person with narcissistic tendencies gets their child to reject the other parent as a way to modulate the narcissistic parent’s anxiety. According to Childress, this anxiety is threefold:

  1. Narcissistic anxiety: Tremendous anxiety over the threatened collapse of the narcissistic defense against the experience of deep personal inadequacy.
  2. Borderline anxiety: Intense anxiety surrounding overwhelming fear of abandonment.
  3. Trauma anxiety: Reactivated anxiety (emotional flashback) of childhood attachment trauma.

In essence, the parent with narcissism is trying to resolve these anxieties by creating a drama involving themselves (the perceived “competent/good” parent), the other parent (the “abusive” parent), and the child (the “victim” of the “abusive” parent). (Quotation marks are used to emphasize these are perceptions being created by the person with narcissism.)

The other parent is pitted against their child in order to regulate the anxieties of the alienating parent. The parent with narcissism essentially uses the child as a regulatory object to assuage deep anxieties via this created drama, wherein the narcissistic parent gets to be perceived as the “normal” or “good” parent while “rescuing” the child from the other, “crazy,” alienated parent.

The created drama “resolves” the alienating parent’s childhood unconscious narrative of abuse whereby the person, as a child, had to split off their perception of the abusiveness of their own parent(s) from cognitive recollection—thereby divorcing themselves from having to feel the rejection of their own misattuned parent(s).

Why does the child go along with this drama? Because they mistake normal feelings of grief as a sign the non-abusive parent is causing the child to feel bad because of the non-abusive parent’s supposed abuse.

This shifts the alienating parent’s focus away from feelings of inadequacy and abandonment, replacing them with feelings of superiority, particularly relative to the other parent in the scenario. Thus, this reenactment of trauma is the alienating parent’s attempt to achieve psychological mastery over their childhood trauma narrative. In the pathologically created scenario, the child (perceived “victim”) gets to be rescued from the “bad” parent by the parent with narcissism, aka the “hero.” This artificially resolves the alienating parent’s own early attachment trauma.

Why does the child go along with this drama? Because they mistake normal feelings of grief as a sign the non-abusive parent is causing the child to feel bad because of the non-abusive parent’s supposed abuse.

When a child’s family experiences divorce or separation, the child typically experiences feelings associated with grief. The parent with narcissistic tendencies is able to capitalize on these negative feelings by attributing them to the so-called abuse of the other (non-narcissistic) parent. The alienating parent will wage war against their ex in order to temper feelings of rejection and inadequacy, using the child as a pawn.

Parental Alienation as Domestic Violence by Proxy Theory

Parental alienation syndrome is not recognized as a disorder within mental health or legal circles, and not everyone agrees it is a “thing.” Tina Swithin of One Mom’s Battle describes what occurs as domestic violence by proxy. In other words, the alienating parent is really just trying to abuse their ex by using children as weapons.

While the parent with narcissism, prior to divorce, could not have cared less about the children’s school events, etc., post-separation they act like “super parent,” showing great attention to activities previously ignored. This is impression management.

Domestic violence by proxy is a pattern of behavior rather than a set of specific actions. The underlying motives for abusers are power and control. While in the relationship, the abusive person can abuse in more ways than one, usually directly. Once separation occurs, the children become the most effective means of abuse.

According to this theory, the abuser knows they are abusing and the actions are specific and intentional. Other people, such as therapists, attorneys, or child protection agents, are often duped by the narcissistic person’s behaviors and may come out against the non-abusive parent. An abusive parent may even end up with primary custody of children as a result.

What an Alienated Parent Can Do

If you are the target of parental alienation, what can you do to protect yourself and salvage your relationship with your children?

Realize you must keep yourself strong and hopeful and do not become defeated. Be creative in your strategies, keep your energy strong, and never let your ex or your children know how victimized you feel. Many people with narcissism are to weakness as sharks are to blood. You may get eaten alive if you let your children or your ex know how defeated you feel.

Don’t let your fears keep you from action. Don’t catastrophize. Stay in the present and try the strategies below:

  • Never react in anger. This only reinforces the alienating parent’s point of view you are unstable.
  • Empower yourself. Do not allow yourself to take the position of helplessness. Persevere and never give up. Let your children see you believe in yourself.
  • Live a victor’s life. Do not see yourself as a victim. Take care of yourself and live well.
  • Stop triangulating. Do not put your children in the middle. Let your child love the other parent without influence.
  • Take initiative in solving the problem. It may only get worse if you don’t, and no one else is going to do it for you.
  • Document everything. For legal purposes, make sure you keep accurate records of any violations you experience with the alienating parent.
  • Keep your cool. As mentioned above, any evidence you are upset can and likely will be used against you. Can’t you just visualize the other parent gloating, “I told you she was crazy”?
  • Always take the “high road,” but be as sly as a fox in the process. Do not allow yourself to be unethical or naïve.
  • Do not underestimate the parent with narcissism. They may stop at nothing to “win” this battle for their children’s allegiance.
  • Be the best parent you can be. Incorporate a parenting style that balances discipline, clear family structure, and flexibility.
  • Be an example and teacher to your children. Because they are exposed to narcissistic qualities, your children may have a skewed view of reality. Teach them healthy relationship skills, particularly empathy. In addition to this, teach them healthy morality and character development skills.
  • Enjoy your children. When they are with you, be a safe presence for your children to relax with.
  • Consider therapy. If the emotional toll becomes too burdensome, reach out to a mental health professional who can help you develop coping strategies and a plan of action.


  1. Childress, C.A. (2015, May 28). An attachment-based model of parental alienation: Foundations. Claremont, CA: Oaksong Press.
  2. Major, J. A. (n.d.). Parents who have successfully fought parental alienation. Retrieved from
  3. Simon, G. (2011). Character disturbance. Marion, MI: Parkhurst Brothers Publishers Inc.
  4. Swithin, T. (2017, February 4). Domestic violence by proxy. Retrieved from

© Copyright 2017 All rights reserved. Permission to publish granted by Sharie Stines, PsyD, Topic Expert

The preceding article was solely written by the author named above. Any views and opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by Questions or concerns about the preceding article can be directed to the author or posted as a comment below.

  • Leave a Comment
  • Heather

    June 15th, 2017 at 8:40 AM

    Good grief if you are using a child as a weapon then you don’t even deserve to have one
    But unfortunately I am sure that this is done on a regular basis

  • Billy D

    June 17th, 2017 at 9:17 AM

    My ex wife has completely turned both of our kids against me. They do not ever want to have anything to do with me and it feels so forced the time that we do have that we spend together. I know they don’t want to be there. It has made it hard for me to have any kid of relationship with them because who wants to work so hard when you know that it is all one sided.
    I never thought that she would do this to me.

  • ana

    June 21st, 2017 at 11:31 AM

    Yep – this is cruel punishment to the targeted parent (the other loving parent) and is theft to the child’s integrity to who they are in their parent-child relationship with you. I suffer from Maternal Alienation in which my children (3 girls) have been brainwashed by their father (very much a covert narcissist, whose alter ego portrays him to being their mother) meaning I, as a mother, am no longer needed since he is both dad and mom. He’s gone further to split my children’s maternal side of the family, deceiving my family into believing I am dead (a drama they have taken on to give him honor as if he were entitled to replace me within the family nucleus). This drama allowed him to take my children last summer to go visit my family, without my consent or approval (screwing up everyone else as a result of his deception, and to which they all betrayed their family loyalty to me, knowing I its a lie because I am not dead). He is threatening to do the same again this summer – its nothing but a game of manipulation and control for what he does not have, since the trust has been broken. “Hang in there, and stay strong” because your children will one day recognize their grave mistake to dishonoring you, they will see true love of who you are to them and will come find you. My children are in darkness still, but I have faith they will find light. Hope is what keeps me in contact with my children from a distance (emails and texting) whether they block it or not, because if they don’t read it immediately I know they eventually will; it is my hope they will care to share the value and love of their parent-child relationship with me (their other loving parent). I hope the same is for you, so take it to heart, the pronlem is not you (the targeted parent), rather its your ex (the alienator, to who is turning your children away from you). STAY STRONG! !

  • lexi

    June 19th, 2017 at 2:15 PM

    It is sad but there are children who were raised being used as a weapon against the other parent and now they do the same thing to their own children because this is the version of normal that they grew up with when they were younger.
    Now even though they are old enough to have children of their own, they have never been taught that this is wrong.

  • Ryder

    June 25th, 2017 at 8:24 AM

    Usually I don’t look to Hollywood to know what is right or wrong but it seems that recently there are some clear parenting goals that some are setting for the rest of us. See Chris Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow. This is how co parenting should be done. I know that we only get the parts of the story that they want us to hear but I do think that they are both making a strong effort to not let their divorce come between raising their children in a thoughtful and loving environment with both of them equally involved.

  • Tammy y.

    July 6th, 2017 at 1:35 PM

    This is being done to my brother and our entire family by my brother’s daughters mom ,it’s truly sad that a parent would lie and use a child like this.She is afraid of us even her own brother.My brother doesn’t want to be with her so this is what she does.

  • Daniel N.

    July 12th, 2017 at 12:04 AM

    My ex has turned narcistic took into her custody our only daughter. It’s one year now never seen my daughter, i wonder whether i’ve to go court in order to support my family.

  • Kenyada T

    January 25th, 2019 at 7:59 PM

    My ex husband is doing this as of now and has been for the last 13yrs but what I dont get is he is abusive to the new girl as he was to me and he’s also been arrested for possession recently so I don’t understand why the courts continue to drag me and my daughter along with his escapades. He decided to make attempts to hurt me and refused her last year breaking her heart and now he wants back in and she does not want anything to do with him so now he’s trying to force visits through court’s since his daughter refuses to text or call him back and tells the court’s I am refusing him to see her. I dont know what to do , I left him due to abuse and now he’s using my daughter as an access to abuse

  • Margo

    June 27th, 2019 at 12:21 PM

    I know a woman who actually hired a surrogate (because she had lost her uterus after her first child and had a child) with a man five years into their marriage, simply to get even with him. She brought her son up from day one to distrust and fear his father. The father and his entire family were not allowed to hold or touch the child. Only when she filed for divorce did the father have any actual possible influence with the son. By then it was too late. The child was 9 and the hate for his father was palpable. In this case both the mother and father are highly NPD and the poor kid seems to suffer with it too. Anyone accidentally getting involved with either parent in a romantic relationship are in for some serious twisted, completely ridiculous and hateful scenarios.

  • Sherine P

    September 24th, 2019 at 4:12 AM

    I am a grandparent, and this is happening to me : (

  • Dona M

    June 6th, 2020 at 7:48 AM

    courts have to wake up and protect children. They stand by and buy the lies, they dont get the manipulation. At age 12 my ex took her to his lawyer to tell her she did not have to listen to me and he was going to take her from me to ” protect her”. She then stood up and told the court exactly what he told her to say. Turned her into my coabuser by proxy. Now she hates me, I lost her at age 12. She is a full blow narc now and told me she hated children and wanted to be sterilized, I thought good the cycle ends with her. Surprise she told me this month she had a child in secret . She just contacted me after 6 years to tell me I will never see my grandchild because I would be a bad influence. So she is already using her baby as a weapon, God help this child.

  • Jill

    July 19th, 2020 at 8:11 PM

    I finally have some insight into what took place over the past decade when I finally decided to leave my ex and took my children with me. It may be too late for me to ever repair the damage my ex has done, but I can never stop hoping. When I left my ex my kids were 14 and 11. I first noticed that when they came back from weekends with their dad, they were openly hostile toward me. I knew my ex and figured he was slandering me, but I never realized my kids would fall for his lies. My daughter and I had been inseparable when we lived with her father, I was an at-home mom and this kid had the biggest most giving heart of anyone I had ever known. Her younger brother is autistic and she loved and doted on him like no other sibling I had witnessed. Once I left their father, I noticed a gradual change in behavior towards me. I was struggling with my own demons and didn’t understand the depression I felt after leaving my ex was due to 14 years of living with an abusive narcissistic man. The depression lasted about a year and I was finally myself again, but my daughter from that moment on has wanted little or nothing to do with me. She is now 25 and I now understand that her father pitted her against me so much so that she has no clue who I am as a person and she truly believes I was never there for her. She views me as incompetent, stupid, weak, and someone who doesn’t deserve respect. She often humiliates me in front of others and talks down to me like I am some child that doesn’t understand what she is saying. Her memories are completely erased and replaced and substituted with lies. She doesn’t remember me being an at-home mom for the first 14 years of her life, she has these memories of me being out at the bars and coming home drunk, which couldn’t be the furthest thing from the truth. She stole my son from me last year. She found out he was getting a large disability check so when the opportunity came to take him for a couple of weeks while I looked for a new place to live, she grabbed it and changed the payee information with social security. And my son, who couldn’t wait to come back and be with me and his dogs all of the sudden decided he wanted to live with his sister. He treats me with a coldness now I can’t describe. I am devastated. My daughter now might be a narcissist, she shows all the symptoms: gaslighting, triangulation, and a complete lack of empathy (which is so strange since she was so empathetic as a child). She is cruel and cutting with me. She has turned my son against me. She treats him horribly and he doesn’t seem to know that she is mocking him and abusing him. She doesn’t even hide this. She has managed to turn my family against me (my sister is a narcissist and they are buddy buddy and gang up against me). Ironically when she was younger my daughter would get very upset with my sister for the way she treated me and my daughter would call her out on it, now the two of them are almost identical. To the world and even my parents, she looks perfect because she puts on a good act. I lost my corporate job and had a tough time finding work, and my daughter convinced everyone in my family that I am at fault. I finally left the state in which they reside and had to cut off my whole family. I am devastated by what she has done to my son. I am devastated by what my ex did to the sweetest girl in the world who is no more. Is there any way to get through to her or is it just too late. I have tried talking to her and sending her articles, she disregards them. I wish I had known about PAS ten years ago so I may have been able to get her some help, now I feel like all is lost. I was an awesome mom and loved my kids with everything in me. Everything I did was for them, how can such an evil man wreak such havoc and get away with it. My life has been destroyed, I never thought something so horrific could happen. One man destroyed three lives and no one seems to care.

  • Antony

    November 16th, 2020 at 10:09 PM

    Jill. I read your story & “no one seems to care” most people don’t understand this is even happening to parents & are in their own world, and it’s only people that are suffering the same that are reading these comments. I donated parents who are reading these blogs do care, but care about their own traumas. Everyone knows it is an awful situation. I’m now involved in the court process but because of the virus situation everything is delayed and I have anxiety thinking about what might or might not happen because like everything else in the justice system it seems to be broken.

  • Claire

    June 9th, 2021 at 1:13 PM

    Hi Antony,
    I was just wondering how your proceedings are going? Im suffering from PAS and I’m at the medication stage. Is there hope?

  • Laura

    July 11th, 2021 at 10:53 AM

    How does one handle when an adult child decides to alienate themselves from you? My daughter did that and won’t discuss with me why or tell me what I did wrong. Her father left us on her 16th birthday after 22 years of marriage. He move out of state to live with his mother who began meddling in our relationship after our kids were older. Anyway I went to work full time and had three part time jobs to keep a roof over our heads for myself and my daughter. Found out he had lied about numerous things and am actually better off without him. Though my daughter publicly blamed me on her TikTok stating I was at fault but never gave a valid reason. How do I handle this?

  • AL

    September 23rd, 2021 at 9:17 AM

    I have been enduring for almost a decade now.
    My ex has been making up stories of abuse to alienate me from my children (and claim benefits of course). Her dedication and creativity to make me look inadequate are quite impressive and incessant. My ex favorite tactic is to link my kids’ physicial/psychological ailments (real or made up) to my contacts with them and somehow try to make me look inadequate. It would be comical if it didn’t damage my children. It’s extremely hard not to react when you know your children are being abused that way..missing school for no reason, being jerk around the medical system (doctor shopping), instilling fear into them about their father, seeing their own self-esteem drop each time your ex belittles you, etc. Who wouldn’t react to their children getting abused? But sadly, any reaction is weaponized against you and makes the situation exponentially worst, when more often than not, the reaction is legitimate. I recommend listening to Steve Miller, MD interviews. It helped me tremendously to not take things personal when I couldn’t seem to get a break in the legal system. In the end, it’s really just a silly game of who reacts the less, which is a pretty stupid barometer to judge family dynamics if you ask me. It’s just theater and narcissists excel at it. You still have to set limits and be firm with the narcissic parent or else they will just constantly cross boundaries. Anyway, if you are out there and you are a victim of parental alienation, stay hopeful my friend :-) Kids get older and they wind shifts slowly. Do not lower yourself to the level of the alienating parent. Try to laugh it off. Alienating parents make up so many insane stories that it makes for great comedy.

  • Ja

    September 23rd, 2021 at 9:47 PM

    My ex is also a narcissist. He took my son away from me because he did not want him to live abroad with me for a year. So, since then he has been telling him bad things about me. My ex was the one that constantly reminded me of how much a failure I am, how ugly I am, and that I am weak and cannot survive anywhere. He has also threaten me on numerous occasions. Mind you that he abandoned us shortly after my son was born. He told me it is my fault because it is the woman’s responsibility to follow the man. The woman’s place is at home and I should be happy with whatever job (I have a graduate degree by the way, and worked hard to put myself through college and my education. Not that it is important to the matter, but he is an immigrant with no high school diploma. He married me to stay in the USA). When I try to call my son, I have to call my ex’s phone. He will not permit my son to give me his phone number (my son is 12 now), he doesn’t answer the phone, or has some other excuse. Before he took him, he never paid child support, and one day he told me that he needed money and if I cared about our son, I would send him (meaning my ex) money. Every day I worry about my son becoming like that narcissistic emotionally misogynistic man. He even told my son that if he plays the violin, piano, dances, or paints then he is a homosexual. Since them, my son quit all of those activities. Covid 19 did not help the situation and the courts did nothing to to help.

  • wpw

    September 28th, 2021 at 3:46 PM

    It appears

  • wow

    September 28th, 2021 at 3:49 PM

    @Kenyada T It appears that you are the alienating parent. It’s unatural for children to reject their parents, even unfit ones. Your ex is trying to contact his daughter and you should encourage this instead of fighting him on this. He probably doesn’t care about you. If he wanted to abuse you, he’d contact you directly and certainly wouldn’t go through the hassle of going to court and through his daughter. Chances he doesn,t care about you and you are interpreting his persitance to have visitation as harassment towards you, but could it be that he just does this because he loves his child and want to build a relationship with her?

  • Andrea

    October 1st, 2021 at 11:28 AM

    I am currently going through this situation with my fiance and his ex-wife has succeeded in alienating him from his child and we are at the point of hopelessness. My fiance has been separated for over 5 years and finally filed for divorce which was finalized in May of this year. Almost immediately, the ex-wife refused to follow the order for their 16 year old daughter ( no phone calls were answered and if they were, the call would be on speaker with the mother present). We tried to compromise and only communicated through text and the teenager acknowledged that her mother takes her phone so we know she reads every text and email we send. Next, she had issues with who picked her up (we chose my fiance’s father to avoid going to her house to avoid any verbal or physical altercations from her). After the ex-wife refused to allow the teenager to visit in June for the summer (alternating weeks) we decided to file a complaint with the police and it worked or so we thought. This action only fueled her need to control the visits and manipulate the legal system. We went on for nearly three months with no issues and the teenager even commented that she looked forward to spending the holiday with us and wanted to live with us once she turned 18. Last week, we began receiving emails from the teenager vaguely saying she wouldn’t be visiting for a while and she was old enough to make her own decisions. Based on the language and previous hostile emails from the ex-wife, we knew it was not her sending the emails. However, we still responded by saying that unfortunately she is still a minor and cannot make those types of decisions, especially missing several visits at a time. So we contacted a police escort to the ex-wife’s home and the officer (didn’t even allow the child to come outside) said she didn’t want to go and he could not force her. At that point we knew the situation had taken a turn for the worse and the teenager was forced to lie by her mother. The following day, the attorneys offered no solution: refused to call the mother to try to enforce the court order, address the complaint we had filed with police, nor address the profanity laced emails the mother sent bad-mouthing the father. All we got was ” you can go back to court but by the time it is addressed your daughter may be 18 and it will be more expensive than the first time.” We knew then we were doomed because she has brainwashed the child into lying and may even have her allege abuse charges if we take it to court. So now here we are, with a court order, parenting plan, and formal complaint with the police and she still wins. We are reduced to sending emails/texts to the teenager with no response, visitation refusals, and paying nearly $600 a month for a child we will never see. Mind you, during the divorce process we have numerous emails of the mother slandering me and my fiance and outright refusing visitation showing her pattern of non-compliance (we never responded because we knew it would help us in court). We did everything right and things are almost just as bad as when we started. I’m open to any feedback that anyone has!

  • Jaron Battle

    October 3rd, 2021 at 1:32 PM

    My only child, a daughter has been alienated against me by way of sabotage through the court systems before and after she was born. My daughter’s mom aided by her mom, had me locked up for domestic violence. She cut one of her own lock out the back of her head, and framed me like I snatched her hair out. I never hit her, and only restrained her from harming me or herself. Once she was released, she fabricated a story to her mother in another state over the phone. Her mother moved our furniture in our apt without our permission while we were working, and her daughter came home and checked her mother about it. Her mother never apologized, got mad, and jump the highway going back to Birmingham, Al. There’s no blood, redness, or indication that her story add up, but I’m currently fighting simple battery family violence charges in Atlanta, GA. The judge installed a order to remove me from around my daughter’s mom, but not my child. I told her that if my daughter need anything or need she need me to get my child anytime to reach out to me, because I have an order not to contact her directly or through 3rd party contact. She ran right to the child support office once I left the apartment. Never contacted me in regards to our child, only on face time or over the phone to taunt, and use the child as a pawn. It got to the point, I told her to stop calling me and harassing me if it’s not about my child. She not trying to drop the falsified charges or child support order so I can raise my baby. The courts don’t care, they just want money. Haven’t saw my child this year, her birthday just passed, and she has Christmas gifts from me, and her grandparents never opened, because she never got them. All this to assassinate my character, because I grew up with both of my parents who are still married almost 40 years now, and raise me to be a man and take care of my responsibilities, and I won’t bend to feminism involving my baby. I have been denied the privilege of being a father to my child by way of pathogenic parenting. The court system don’t care to recognize the patterns or behavior. My daughter is a victim of the system, and identity has been stolen before she could walk or say daddy. Stockholm Syndrome and Munchausen Syndrome should be accounted for too. Thank the Title IV-D Family Collection Agency for helping to destroy families too talking about the betterment of the child is to be alienated from the father, but go with mothers even when their unstable and/or unfit. I have not been able to speak nor present concrete evidence. My child was almost suffocated by her own mother and DHR don’t care either. I have video, text messages, and confessions, but no one will help. I’ll never stop fighting for my child and children going through this covert disease in our communities. Mark my words, the world will know about it.

  • Cindy

    November 8th, 2021 at 2:22 PM

    I didn’t realize I was child victim of parental alienation until I became a parent victimized by parental alienation. This lead me to a faith based discipleship group called Celebrate Recovery for emotional healing. When I completed the step on self inventory, I began to see the patterns. I realized that my mother was a narcissist and had used manipulation against our father for decades. None of us four kids had anything to do with him for DECADES, he missed EVERYTHING! By the time we tried, it was so awkward that you just gave up. Of course now my mother questions why he isn’t there for us and my siblings continue to resent him for that but, still have nothing to do with him. Yes, my mother even turned his own family against him and shows up at his family funerals. It’s a nightmare. Sadly, I was my mom’s biggest fan/protector after she left my dad when I was a teenager; until I found recovery but, before that; I married a narcissist. Who walked out on me and our four children. From the day he left, “everything was my fault and I was crazy!” It didn’t take long before he started influencing our children and one by one they all ended up moving with him. Similar to everything the article describes. Some talk to me , some don’t. Holidays and birthdays are the hardest but it gets easier. I try to remember how I saw things at their age and not take it so personal. Since I found recovery, I have gone back and reconciled my relationship with my dad, funny thing is that I’m so much like him it’s unbelievable. He is also very supportive for what I’m dealing with now with my own children. As for my mom and ex-husband, I forgive them but I don’t trust them and use healthy boundaries when I have to engage or associate with them. With my kids, I just continue to try to be the best me that I can be. I love my children and pray for them daily but also have to remember that I’m more than just a mom. I have a God given purpose that needs to be fulfilled. My trust is in the Lord, He is my refuge. <3

  • Caleb

    December 9th, 2021 at 1:49 AM

    Great information! Accurate to my situation.

  • Tim

    January 7th, 2022 at 1:57 AM

    How do I know if I’m not really the POS, selfish, and my favorite the un- grownup? I still can’t put them in a negative light to believe that they went all out for me? To hurt me? No, no, no NOBODY hurts me and let me find out my child was treated as inadequate by you and it’ll be me that turns into the bette NARCISSISTIC NIGHTMARE.

  • Adefiranye

    February 19th, 2022 at 12:35 AM

    Am Abimbola, from Sango ota, I have 4 children, my first wife give birth to me a boy, my mother said she too old with me and she sent her away, and I got another wife and the second wife give birth to me a girl, and my mom said she worked at hotel and she sent her away, all this while am confused, and I run away from my mother to have some one and I got married with the third wife and she born twins for me and my mother told my wife to drop the twins for her and live, my wife now carry my twins to her parents, but now am single, what can I do?

  • Brooke

    April 7th, 2022 at 9:13 AM

    I still can’t wrap my head around this. Lawmakers and mental health professionals are in disagreement about parental alienation and how it should be punished. The behavior is blatantly criminal and should be treated as such.
    Perpetrators of domestic violence, murder, rape, thievery, – all criminals – have some sort of underlying mental health issue which has typically been unaddressed and untreated. These individuals negatively impact the lives of others. There is no difference in these people and the person who purposefully and willfully alienates their child from another healthy, loving parent – while inflicting emotional and physical harm over the course of years. Children and adults of childhood alienation must put in a lifetime of hard work to recover from their abuse.

    My bonus daughters came to live with their dad (and me) almost 2 years ago, after 7 years of alienation. The female judge was clearly on the side of their mother. Every judgement was in favor of the mother, no matter how outlandish and frivolous the allegations. We are now in continuing litigation to reverse custody, have child support compensated, request a psychological evaluation, pursue potential criminal charges, and address the incompetence of Child Protective Services in our county. It’s painstaking work, but all necessary to validate what happened to these children and give them a voice that they’ve never had.
    Please don’t hesitate to reach out as our journey continues…

  • Jessica

    April 9th, 2022 at 1:48 AM

    I went through this exact same thing and I wish I was stronger then and knew what I know now. I ended up losing my daughter cause after nearly a decade of the most unimaginable abuse and not even getting that small victory of leaving on my own but finally defending myself against his beatings and instead of getting a victory I got jail and divorce papers and he had his perfect setup to play victim and turn me into ultimate monster and to make it worse his mother was actually wore his mother did the same thing to my daughter and used her as weapon against me and for whatever reason she wanted to take her from me and wanted her to hate me and have her to herself. I wish I had a happy ending but after years of fighting for her and finally having her father drop her off on me that damage was already done and she abused me like them and left me on her own and went back to his mother’s. That was worst then when she was taken cause she made the choice and choose them. I grief and live with regret with things I can never change .

  • Andrea

    April 14th, 2022 at 11:31 AM

    Brooke, I totally understand your journey as I am a stepmother like you with no other children. It is so hard to watch a mother intentionally ruin a relationship with her father, especially when he wants to be involved. You must remember that they don’t posses empathy or concern for others (even their own children). I highly recommend that you continue to educate yourself on whatever mental health issue that the mother has. For me, my husband’s ex-wife suffers from Narcissistic Personality Disorder which there is no medication or cure, meaning she will never change. We have shifted our focus on preparing our stepdaughter for adulthood since she will be 17 next month.

  • Rob

    October 8th, 2022 at 2:30 PM

    The courts will do nothing about PA unless their lack of action puts them in the spotlight. Until then, family courts are there to condone alienation by creating deadbeat dads. Handing out 1% visitation custody rulings like it is candy. Why? There is money to be made. Social Security Title 4D has given people like this the green light to behave like this.

  • Karen

    October 26th, 2022 at 2:24 AM

    I hope you realize that both YOU and YOUR EX caused these issues with your Kids.
    Its never a “one-sided” cause Sweetie. Until you come to this realization you’ll never make progress

  • Joeline

    January 23rd, 2023 at 12:06 PM

    Karen you are exactly right. It is never one sided. It takes two. We all have a past that involves how we were treated as children which influences how we have relationships, parent, etc. Today we are living in a society that condones parents separating from each other and still raising their children “together” but separately. The legal system is then the tool society demands these parents use to establish parenting together but separately. The legal system is an adversarial system. There are a few smart parents that figure this out and don’t buy (no pun intended) into it. Unfortunately those parents are few and far between. What the legal system does is use the child by putting it on a pedestal (it’s all about the best interests of the child) and watches two stupid parents tear each other apart fighting over the child. The children and the parents lose all dignity and dollar signs at the same time. May the parent with the most money or legal connections win. There is a comment from a person called Brooke dated April 7th , 2022 who refers to having “bonus daughters”, her boyfriends children from a previous relationship. Any biological mother reading this immediately recognizes this woman for what she represents. Shame on the man involved here.. Likely he doesn’t want to pay child support. So many lives are being negatively and permanently impacted here and it is not Brooke. She has nothing to lose and only everything to gain by taking those children away from their biological mother and she knows it. Unfortunately only a women would willfully do this to another woman. I haven’t heard of too many men using the legal system to remove a child from a child’s biological father. It just doesn’t happen. Why would he want to use his money to raise some other man’s offspring? He wouldn’t. Brooke on the other hand is only too happy to round up her boyfriend’s children from another relationship so he doesn’t have to pay child support. Women truly are stupid and men and the legal system are more than happy to sit back and use them. I’m becoming nauseated as I write this. Parental alienation is about broken people ( and that includes Brooke). And the legal system that makes money off of these vulnerable broken people. I am now vomiting. So what is the answer? The obvious short answer is don’t have children. However if you do have them hopefully you have them with a person who would never use the child to hurt you with which in the end is also hurting the child. Children want to have a relationship with both their biological mother and their biological father. Why? They likely already have a relationship with both their biological mother and their biological father. We are living in a throw away society. Sadly that includes relationships where biological children are involved. We are living in a society that sees only one solution when parents are not getting along. Dissolution. What parents are starting to realize is that dissolving a family does not make things better or solve anything. In fact the legal systems intervention actually compounds family problems. Most young people today know to stay away from the legal system when it comes to family issues. Why? Because the cure (the legal system) is worse than the disease (parents going through tough times). So rather than turning to the the system to solve everything (which clearly it doesn’t) they are learning to turn to each other and keep their issues private and deal with them respectfully where some degree of dignity can be maintained.

  • JJ

    February 27th, 2023 at 1:43 AM

    You just described my mother perfectly. Destroyed all three of her kids. One committed suicide. She is still the devil at 80 years old and everyone still believes her. Why do ALL the doctors believe her???

  • John

    March 12th, 2023 at 8:19 PM

    Jill, my heart aches for you. I am going through it right now. It had been going on for years with my kids, behind my back but also in front of me, but I was blind to it. I didn’t want to admit what I was seeing. By the time I realized what was happening, one son was completely alienated, and a daughter was well on her way. After a lot of research, prayer, and discreet conversations with people I trust, I started deploying the countermeasures listed above. I think finally after several years of effort, the alienation has stopped, and maybe the tide is starting to turn. But its never the end. My wife, having seen that I am on to her, just turns up the heat: the lies, the smear campaigns, the slander and gossip, the provocations. Its like living in a constant state of Cold War. I think of myself as a Little Ukraine. Never, never, never give up. Hold fast to the truth, and believe that God’s justice will prevail.

  • Jeff

    March 22nd, 2023 at 2:41 AM

    Brooke, I can’t agree more with what you said. I am sadden by how many of us there are that has had this happen to them. My belief is that children are a gift from god , not a weapon or dollar sign these people put on them. My ex is a pathological liar and a narcissist. Who with help, from child services and her parents , has made me out to be this dead beat dad who left and didn’t want to see his children, and who abused them. None of it is true and I don’t understand why people (even my family at first) just go along with the first statement they hear. We live in a world where your GUILTY until proven ,10 times, your not. By then it wont matter , damage is done. I have been working on repairing the damage the 5 years has done. It took over a year to even get my daughter to message with me without anger. I am guilty of one thing and that not believing in myself enough to stop what happened. The system is broken and so far no one has been able to change it. I would love to see changes that would improve our country’s family unit values. and bring those parents that need to be to justice. I am hopefully to see that the things Brooke commented about come into play, because they are needed more now than ever with the way one parent takes advantage of system with lies to hurt the other.

  • Jean

    April 25th, 2023 at 6:22 AM

    Divorce was only legal for 5 years in Ireland when my husband and I separated 20 years ago.
    It came out of the blue to me and looking back I was in complete shock. I found the name of a solicitor in the telephone directory
    and that was a terrible move. Some of the manipulative things that had happened were so awful I did not allow myself to confide in my parents, (and 20 years later still wouldnt). I fixated when my x kept the kids after a weekend visit with them at their grandparents, that the only thing I could do was let him have the house because at least the kids would have stability. O was fixated on not bad mouthing him to to my daughters, with the result that in adulthood I have accepted the blame for many things. with no money I could not afford councelling and in retrospect, with no family or friend ship support I made horrifically bad decisions. With guilt and shame I admit to doing almost the opposite of each of the 7 directives given above for alienated parents, always knowing I was sabotaging myself, never able to realign myself. any advice for writing some kind of letter of apology to my daughter who has alientated herself from me. ( I dont blame her for that).

  • Noreen

    September 18th, 2023 at 11:23 PM

    I am going through this. Does anybody have any experiences of it getting better? Positive experiences- it is beyond painful

  • Pamela

    March 26th, 2024 at 3:56 PM

    It looks like no no one has replied to Noreen’s queston on Sept 18 2023. I have been searching for any information that could provide insight or guidance. I found an article that relates to your question, Noreen. I agree that it is beyond painful. Alienation from children we love and had a normal bond with is devastatingly heartbreaking….and it is very hurtful to the children too; they are vulnerable and cannot typically find anyone who will allow their voices to be heard and respected. My DIL has abruptly alienated my granddaughter and me.

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