I’ve been working on a post about when I was alienated, as an adult, from my parents. I’ve been writing for weeks, it’s way too long and it’s still not finished. I really want to remember accurately and convey clearly how I was convinced to hate people I had always loved and who did not deserve hate at all, and how I maintained that irrational hatred.
I’ll follow up with the details later, but here is a summary:
What caused the alienation? Nothing my parents did. It was completely, 100%, caused by my ex demanding that I reject them.
Why did I comply? I loved him. I wanted his love. I wanted to believe in him. I wanted to keep my family together. I wanted to maintain a happy relationship with him for my children’s sake. I felt I had no choice.
How exactly did he get me to shun and hate people whom I really loved, and when I knew that shunning and hating are wrong? 1. Relentless, persistent, unceasing messaging. 2. Suppression of argument by any means necessary – sympathy, flattery, gentle coaxing and “discussion”, later, anger and outrage, criticism and emotional abuse, and the threat of being shunned and rejected myself. 3. Isolation from others, removal of outside support and influence, increasing my dependence on him. 4. Requiring me to INVEST in my “choice”, to make sacrifices and commit more and more heavily to that choice.
What ended it? His criticism and emotional abuse of me finally became intolerable and I had no hope that things would improve. (Which provokes the horrible thought that I might have stayed alienated from my parents to this day if he had treated me just a little better.)
How did the alienator react to my defection? With intense anger and outrage that continues today, and by alienating our children from me.