I had always sheltered my son from my childhood pain resulting the Parental Alienation and the scapegoating I had endured from peers due to obesity. My son, on the other hand, fortunately experienced a very different childhood: he had three loving and dedicated parents----a mother, a father, and a stepfather, from the age of three----who all worked cooperatively to co-parent him. He was also Mr. popularity and enjoyed many close and meaningful friendships throughout his childhood. Of course, I could not shield him from what he observed and concluded for himself about the family relationships.
But after hearing this comment from my son, I realized I needed to be more revealing with him about what I have lived. I turned to him and stated, “It seems that I must make you aware of how my childhood has affected me. As a result of what I had live, I have experienced anxiety, depression, and anger ever since. (For the reader, I assert categorically that these symptoms were situationally and not bio-chemically caused). And because energy is finite, I had to make a determination as to how I would expend it among the many demands upon me, such as sublimating these three emotions as well as being the best possible wife, mother, and therapist. So, ultimately, I sacrificed sublimating anxiety because that was the least objectionable option.
My son had no verbal response, but he conveyed all that was necessary in his hug and in his tears.
Shortly after my son departed for home, my doorbell rang. I received a bouquet of flowers. The attached note read as follows, “To the best mother I could have ever wished for. I regret the pain you had endured and which I had not known. Now I know. Love, me.”
I love my life now, but the saddest part of my life is this: it would be a stretch of credulity to the point of psychosis for me to recollect even one pleasant childhood memory.
Each of us who has suffered the Parental Alienation, either as a child or as an alienated parent, has a decision to make as to how to expend one's energies. Although it is true that venting one’s anger may serve a purpose, it surely produces only very limited results. It is a lot of sound and fury, signifying nothing. That is, it does not produce change and may well alienate allies. It is akin to mental masturbation. So while I had a choice to make as to whether to turn my son against his grandmother and great grandmother, who were the alienators of my father, I wondered what purpose it would serve. Did I wish to demonize two out of the three women in my son's life (his paternal grandmother passed away when he was only 2) thereby risking the possibility of making him suspicious and mistrusting of women? Such an attitude would surely have been transferred to his peer relationships with women and with his eventual wife.
We should not underestimate the impact and influence we have on our children: they observe, interpret, and mimic everything we say and do. So when alienated fathers rail against the corrupting influence of “feminism” and when alienated mothers blaspheme all men as potential abusers, they are impacting their children's perceptions of the opposite gender. Is that the legacy any of us would wish to leave to our children? Yes, I understand the anger that alienated parents have for their alienated children because they have maltreated you so badly. Yet, they are being manipulated by the ventriloquist alienating parent upon whom they are so dependent. Do not think that alienated children are not following all the comments of their alienated parents on Facebook and everywhere else that comments are posted. Like all children, they are playing out their curiosity about their parents by following their posts. Count on this as surely as the sun will tomorrow. And also count on the alienator to be rubbing the child's nose in all these comments.
This therapist suggests, instead, that it is self-preserving to express anger in a letter that never gets mailed. Expressing gender-directed and stereotyping anger and hostility on Facebook will be sound and fury that will signify only that your alienated child will almost surely use it to justify the unjustifiable alienation. And it may permanently cement for them a warped, stereotyped evaluation of male-female relationships.