is often a reality when the child is alienated from a target parent. The alienation extends to the family including siblings, grandparents and other relatives. My daughter doesn’t recognize this. The power and control the alienators have over me and my family is really difficult to witness. My family, especially my Mother is so scared to “rock the boat” or say anything to my daughter that she is paralyzed by this. I don’t blame her, I feel so sorry for her. She is very cautious and treads lightly when she has the opportunity to visit with her granddaughter. The visits are very sporadic and the conversations are very little. My Mother speaks about how much E*** has changed. She is very closed and very quiet.
To describe the relationship before the alienation, my daughter talked to my Mother (her Grandma) about everything. They spent a lot of time together. When I worked my Mother was her caregiver. I dropped my daughter off on the mornings of my work day – my Mother would feed her breakfast and get her ready for school. After my one year maternity leave ended, while my daughter was not in school, I chose to work part-time. I worked two days one week and three days the next week. My Mother covered those days by coming over in the morning, getting my daughter ready to spend the day over at her Grandma’s. My daughter’s Father always worked shift-work so my Mom came over to our place – this gave him the opportunity to sleep and get his rest. This was our routine – my daughter had the best of both worlds. After my ex and I split up – the routine when I had her (which was every other week) was my daughter going to my parent’s house before school. I am describing this so you get a picture of the closeness that my daughter and her Grandmother had.
This year – my daughter has seen my Mother – maybe once a month. When my daughter is at my parent’s house, my Mother lets me know and these are the times that I see my daughter. I go over to my parents to visit my daughter. The control is this – my daughter has received the information that it is ok to see Grandma sometimes – your Mother however is only allowed to visit you when you are at your Grandmother’s house – perhaps they don’t even know that she sees me then. It is ridiculous and sick and has created a pathetic scenario for everyone. If this is the only time I can see my child then I will do that. The secret visits that have occurred in the past year have been very little.
My Mother doesn’t speak much to my daughter about why she isn’t seeing me because she is afraid that if she upsets my daughter she will NEVER see her or the visits will be reduced even more. She is paralyzed by fear! It is sick that the alienation is so deeply entrenched with my daughter that it has affected her ability to be open and honest with her Mother, Grandmother and siblings. This is my family’s reality.
E***’s older siblings have very little contact with her. My son (he is 21) only sees his sister when there are family events. E*** has been allowed to attend my birthday dinner (with time limits) – she did not attend her brother’s birthday dinner/celebration. He is very angry with her – he has told her that she has two parents who love her and what she is doing is wrong. Because he has done that, she does not contact him at all. He spoke the truth and it apparently was twisted into something negative by either my daughter or the hateful controllers. My older daughter has seen her sister on occasion – definitely more than her brother has. My older daughter is 30 years old and is a social worker. She has a busy job and a life aside from all the drama. She remains neutral in everything and feels if she does that then she will be able to continue her relationship with her little sister. This has worked sometimes and other times it hasn’t.
We all cope by taking what we can get – however minimal it is. We cling to those times – this is our reality. I have been told by my daughter and her Father that my daughter feels abandoned by us because we don’t support her decision. I ask . . . how can a decision to wipe out a family be something to support?
My Mother has said she feels like we are all garbage – it is as though my daughter has forgotten about everything and her memory has been erased. An eloquent description from someone who has never experienced anything like this during her long life on this earth. I saw a quote the other day about erasing family that really hit the mark . . . “children who lose half of their family as a result of alienation suffer a tragic loss that compromises their present and future happiness and well-being.”
Alienation tactics: extending the alienation beyond the target parent/erasing family/brainwashing and manipulation