Spoiled Children of Divorce

Article on Parental Alienation Syndrome
February 16, 2008, 4:54 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Here’s an interesting article on Parental Alienation Syndrome called “I Want to Make Daddy Bleed. Children of Divorce: PAS Victims” by Joel Ledger, a psychotherapist and mediator.


I actually remember saying things like this to try to make my Mother feel better. Mostly the comments were about my Step-Mother and were actually very appropriate considering her behavior and they would have been appropriate if I had also said them about my own Mother, but what a drag to have to say this kind of thing in order to make your parent feel better.

Joel Ledger likes the idea of involving the courts in the family’s lives and discusses how Israel has laws that actually cut off visitation rights of a parent who starts to do this.

Ledger has some valuable insights into how narcissistic parents play games and he points out how the children become manipulative because of it. (I don’t agree with that, of course I wouldn’t because I can’t see into my own games.) I don’t like the idea of getting the courts and psychotherapists involved because that just turns into an a bureaucratic mess.

Lawyers tend to understand when they are being useless because they’ve got business sense and understand a bottom line. But for some reason psychotherapists never have useful insights during stressful moments, they just scribble on their clipboards usually getting in the way. They don’t get it that nobody can afford their services and that their services are usually nothing but a weekly appointment to look forward to and be let down by.  Misdiagnoses are so damaging and there’s really no reason to treat for conditions that they have no cure for but the psychotherapists keep insisting they can help. All of society keeps thinking they can do something.  If they realize that they’re not doing any good they complain that they have “burnout” from “stress” of their job and that these people don’t want help anyway, a weird way of saying that their profession is mostly useless.  Why can’t they just try to educate people through media and by offering parenting classes at local community colleges? Narcissists are extremely tricky people to deal with and there’s no way to deal with them openly. They are very good at drawing their kids into a very tight little web.  If someone had removed me from my Mother’s home I really would have killed them.  It took years for me to get used to being around my Father and after all that effort I now realize that most of what my Mother complained about him for was true anyway.

Both parents play into this Parental Alienation Thing. It’s rooted in the parents’ relationships both with each other and with their own parents. Since my Mother played these games while my Father was still living in the house with us and then sort of turned in the other direction during the divorce, I personally suspect that the alienating parent doesn’t really have any interest in being a parent and is compensating through extremes of the opposite behavior. I know this was true of my Mother. Her Father had died when she was 7 and she was raised by an abusive alcoholic who had been through the same thing. They learned to survive through men who like having a fun, charming narcissistic woman around.  Narcistics make everyone around them feel special (for a while).  My Father married my Mother and then he turned around and married my Step-Mother, an even scarier version of a Narcissist because she had the sociopathy going on as well.

These problems are often passed down through generations which have distorted the behaviors and insecurities beyond compare. The kids know all these stories and can forgive the parents until it’s too late and the patterns are ingrained. Outsiders really don’t know what’s going on until it’s too late. Wouldn’t it be better if psychotherapists worked to bring these kinds of stories out into the open so that these parents who are suffering in silence and over compensating in stupid ways find out that they are not necessarily alone? In the end the greatest gift a parent can give his child is to figure out what’s wrong and to try to remedy it. This is a true life lesson. This is what should be encouraged.

And then again narcissists never change.  They just moved on to another host.

So “Parental Alienation Syndrome” and its “cures”…  Get the courts involved, if you can find a lawyer and a psychotherapists who aren’t also narcissists themselves.

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