What NOT to do

I will write in detail about the points below in future posts. This is a summary of what I believe is most important.

What NOT to do:

Don’t take the rejection personally. It is truly not about you. Although you are the one being ignored or attacked, it is nothing to do with the reality of who you are. Your child is projecting onto you the fantasy created by the alienator. Your child does not have the means to resist the alienator’s mind control and has been manipulated to go along with the alienator’s view. He or she may or may not be able to perceive the truth that you are not a bad person, but the alienator has made it too difficult for the child to act in accord with that truth.

Above all, do not reject your child for rejecting you! Although it may seem that this is what your child wants, and it may appear to provide peace temporarily, please don’t let anyone convince you to do this, or give in to the temptation to do so when you are being attacked. Remember that your child is the victim of the alienator’s manipulation. Your child is acting self-destructively. Your child needs to know that you still love him or her, no matter what, and that you want to reconnect, no matter what.

Do not simply accept the situation and wait for your child to “come around”. Do not expect a change when your child turns 16, or 18, or goes to college, or any particular milestone that is generally considered to signal independence or autonomy. This will not happen. It won’t happen because parental alienation is not a developmental phenomenon. It is not a stage that children grow out of. It is the result of the undermining and sabotage of your relationship by the alienator, and requires an active response.

Don’t let your child provoke you into trying to justify yourself. Don’t try to prove your case to your child with rational argument. Don’t try to show your child that he or she is wrong. It will only exhaust and diminish you, and will most likely drive your child further away.  This is because A: You have been rejected as unloving, selfish, or untrustworthy or crazy and so anything you say will be automatically dismissed, no matter how objectively true it is.  B: Your child has been forced to make a huge investment in the alienator’s version of events, and to consider the real truth is too threatening.  So what do you do instead? Just be your loving self, and let your actions speak for you.  Your child’s distorted thinking will inevitably be challenged by others, and others may be more effective than you because your child may hear them without prejudice. I do not mean that you should not address misstatements of fact when they arise. I mean that any campaign to logically prove to your child that you should not be rejected is most likely doomed, especially if the argument is made by you.

Do not suggest to your child that he or she is brainwashed. No matter how gently or sympathetically you try to say this, I guarantee it will backfire. No-one, child or adult, wants to believe they could be brainwashed. It feels insulting,  humiliating, and frightening to think that you might not have control of your own mind. Perhaps because your child secretly knows that it is true, he or she is likely to dig in deeper and go further than ever in rejecting you, coming up with new accusations and criticisms beyond those already made by the alienator, so that he or she can appear to be an independent thinker.

Don’t give up! Never, ever, ever give up. No-one can know when the seeds you have planted will bear fruit, or predict how the future will unfold.  Again, research has shown that your efforts do communicate your love to your child and make a vital difference, even when you can’t see it.


About Claire Brett-Moran

I am an alienated parent; heartbroken about the damage done, angry and frustrated at the injustice, curious and fascinated by the unfolding mystery, eager to help make things better. In order to protect my children I will not post any details about my identity at this time, but you can contact me if you want to know more.
This entry was posted in Basic Information, Personal Actions, What NOT to do. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to What NOT to do

  1. Brian Ludmer says:

    Claire, I am a lawyer who has substantial experience in PA cases and I found the materials in this blog of great insight.
    I would love to chat with you about these issues.
    Brian Ludmer

  2. Pingback: Being positive in your interactions with your alienated children: “attraction rather than promotion” | lonelyparent

  3. celticgirl53 says:

    I just gave up on my son coming around. He married this girl who says she was physically abused by her father and it seems she wants to make sure that no man will rule over her. She has a BLOG and it used to be on WORD PRESS and wrote about me on it when it used to be about religion – as she dropped her parents stifling religion of spare the rod spoil the child that seem more like a cult than be the Baptist religion I always saw with love on the Waltons. My son is a psychologist and has low self-esteem and she worked with him – she has a degree in the Bible and went to Bible college and is super religious but defamed me on her blog regardless. She wrote on there that she used to look for the weakest person in the room and get them to do what she wanted. She is a force to be reckoned with but has few friends and is socially awkward – never TRIED to be friendly with us from the time our son brought her here to meet us. As soon as they were engaged, the control became apparent to us. Suddenly,l wasn’t going to be danced with at their wedding ??? I don’t know how many times I saw her stomp her foot at the reception. She calls her blog “art”, and even the nasty stuff she wrote about me. Can you believe it. My therapist doesn’t agree it’s art – as I’ve had to seek help for all my anxiety through this. The things my son has gone along with, said – dropped ME only, and said he STILL wanted a relationship with his dad. He’s tried to come between us before as he had ODD growing up. He never did want to admit when he was wrong, but he WAS better than THIS before she came along. I just said enough and made out a Valentine’s Day card to him alone, saying this is it. Let Fate and God take over. He’s a man now and love wasn’t enough. I wished him well. I said I can’t hurt anymore and that I will always love him.

    Haven’t seen him in over a year when he dropped me on my birthday. He actually was going to go with his wife to see her friends the day of my family birthday celebration – and they see those friends once a month. THAT hurt. And I know she insisted on it. He called me up THREE WEEKS in advance to tell me when we were seeing him the next week on Thanksgiving. He is in denial. I know that. He always had low self-esteem and could be bullied before. And I think he thought if he didn’t marry her he would have no one, as he made a comment after his baby sister was getting married before him and he was almost 30. Like he was left behind and he should have been married BEFORE her….I hate this. They have done so many things to hurt me and say “You don’t like our decisions” . All which are selfish and a lot lean to her own dysfunctional family who beat her – and where they go for holidays. It makes me sick. I know you said you were one of these people, but how it goes on soooooooooooo long ? After buying myson a car when his broke down and he had nothing for his job, getting money from my aunt in a home so my son culd take his courses to get accredidation, money for his wedding – her side gave nothng – she told me off 10 days before the wedding – I know it was her that didn’t want him to dance with me. She is so jeaous that when our daughter got married, and our son was in the wedding – she didn’t like him sitting at the head table. Tough. No one gave in on that. For a psychologist though – TRAINED in this kind of manipulation – he should know BETTER. He just said a week ago that I have been miserable to him for 14 years – since he left for college . All these things that hurt a mother. Hhis ODD that was more tolerable has reared its ugly head at her urging. Lying, manipulations, threats. He has given me TIME OUTS alreayd. lol. To think I almost died having him – I had Toxemia and wound up with Grand Mal seizure 11 hours after he was born. My mother had some kind of mental illness and so did my aunt.

    Now, with my DIL provoking was was acceptable to what was left from childhood – it has become worse than ever. I am 61 years old . My mother died in her 60s. My dad had cancer twice and died at 74. I may never see my son again. My DIL is so “ill” that she writes that I abuse her when she has never even gotten to know me, Ridiculous. She knows I have her “number” from the things she has done and I was so nice to her for years inspite of the fact she wouldn’t talk.She’d sit here lilke a mute and only answer when you spoke to her. Now ? My sanity must win out over motherhood and let the chips fall.

    Was in line at Wal-Mart and the man in front of me at the checkout register had his grown son with Cerebral Palsy with him. The son tapped him on the back, the man turned around and SCREAMED at the son “WHAT DO YOU WANT ?. The son, in his 20s, whispered something back to the beligerent father. “Well, give me your money”, he said. The young man pulled out his wallet from his back pocket and dropped it on the conveyer belt with the goods his father was paying for. It made me SICK. The man, at one point, turned around and said some pleasantry to me, to which I just stared – and did not and would not show any kind of friendliness back to him. I was appauled. I couldn’t wait for this man to be done and leave the area. As he pushed the cart down toward the entrance of Walmart, I saw this man once AGAIN, yell at his disabled son. I began to cry when I got up to the check-out lady. I told her what had happepned – as she couldn’t see when the man’s back was facing her. I told her about my son. I would rather have that young man as my son, I said, than have MY son that does no talk to me, I said. I truly don’t know if in 5 years, if our son would call or show up at our door that I would take him back. I have been hurt so much that a mother shouldn’t have to endure this. His best friend – his college roommate who was also his best man – he is gone now too because of her. As the song goes, “How blind can one man be ?” Our daughter has had enough as a year ago they met to exchange Xmas presents and this past Xmas he sent her a boxed Christmas card, didn’t meet her, or call her, and put gift cards in the card that were made out “en masse”. He says he hasn’t changed. And it’s everybody else. .Classic ODD. Thanks DIL of mine.

    Anything you can shine a light on this.? Two months after the break I asked for a meeting – so I was blocked and unfriended on Facebook. That infuriated me – what a knee-jerk reaction, and my husband’s birthday was the next week and a good time for the make-up to occur. So I wrote them other ways – since they wouldn’t meet. Then i’d get blocked some other way. Now it’s been over a year – 1 Mother’s Day/Father’s Day , 2 Christmases, 4 Parent Birthdays, 2 Easters….it’s like my son died. That the people who raised him are betrayed for “that” …and he let her write in public about me. He has to be sick too. The ultimate betrayal, don’t you think ? Could you have gone along with THAT ? As husband’s go, what a wimp don’t you think 😕

    • Hi Celticgirl, thank you for writing. I’m sorry this happened to you, I hear how painful it is, and how frustrating. Has anything changed in the year since you wrote? I won’t call your son a wimp but I will agree that he is sick. Made sick by his relationship. I can’t imagine that he is happy. It sound’s like he is mentally trapped. He has made some terrible sacrifices to keep his wife happy, including alienating family members who love him, and he has behaved in ways that he knows are wrong and not sane or good, so he must be secretly ashamed. She sounds like nothing will be enough to make her content, and she wil probably make him miserable. Will she make him so miserable that he will leave? Will her basic dissatisfaction with everything cause her to eventually leave him?
      And this could take years. You can’t control what they do. You can’t make him behave decently. He is not reachable by reason or compassion at this point. All you can do is let him know, when you can, that you love him and miss him. The best thing you can do is take good care of your own health & happiness. Don’t let worry about something that is beyond your control ruin your life. Enjoy your daughter and other family members & friends. Maybe he will notice what he is missing. Either way, you deserve a good life and it’s better for everyone, including him, for you to stay sane & happy.

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