I will write in depth about the points below in future posts, so please consider this just a summary of what I believe is most important.
What to do:
Educate yourself . Learn all you can about parental alienation, and about the legal and therapeutic resources available where you live.
Get personal support. Living with alienation is intensely stressful. Take extra good care of yourself. You won’t be able to help your kid(s) if you don’t make your own strength and well-being a priority.
Enlist appropriate help when indicated. This could be another adult that your child trusts, or you might be looking for lawyers and therapists. It is critical that you do your research. Parental alienation is a difficult challenge for even the wisest and most experienced professionals. Many therapists, lawyers, judges and others know very little about it, and there is the potential for things to be made much worse. Take this very seriously.
Launch appropriate interventions. After you have done your research and considered your options, take the action that seems best to you.
Keep reaching out to your child. Research shows that even if your child continues to reject you and expresses anger at or ignores your attempts to connect, it secretly matters deeply and makes a critical impact. You are letting your child know that you love him or her no matter what, and this is immeasurably helpful for your eventual reconnection and for your child’s mental and emotional health.
Keep living the best life you can. I don’t mean that you should pretend that everything is fine, but seek to live an engaged, active and fulfilling life in spite of this tragedy. You will gain nothing by putting your life on hold. You will also be more attractive to your child if you have friends, treat yourself and others with respect, do interesting things, and contribute to your community.
Talk about it. You may be tempted to avoid this because it can be painful and awkward, but in my experience it pays rich rewards. It helps to raise awareness and understanding , and it can benefit you directly. You will be amazed at how many people will tell you about a friend or relative in a similar situation. You may be introduced to people who can help you, and you may find yourself being a lifeline for someone else who is being alienated and doesn’t understand what is happening. My favourite personal example: I was taking a class and had become friendly with a classmate. She was probably 22 and I, maybe 45. She noticed a photo of my kids and expressed surprise because I hadn’t talked about them before. I hesitated, and then thought “what the hell”, and gave her the shortest summary I could. Her response? She told me about her own alienation from her mother from age 10 to 17. We have stayed friends, and hearing about her experiences influenced my decision to keep fighting when I might have quit.
Never 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.