The End of Strife

Sunday, June 18, 2006

An alienator alienates

One characteristic of a child who has been subjected to parental alienation syndrome is the "Spread of the animosity to the friends and/or extended family of the alienated parent." The child becomes alienated from other people in the target parent's life. Those people might give the child a different perspective. They might the alienated parent to fight back. And they might give information about the child to the alienated parent, as well.

It makes sense, I suppose, if one is trying to eradicate the other parent from a child's life, to ensure that the ripples of alienation spread as widely as possible.

I haven't read any hard studies about this, but from conversations I've had with many, many people, I notice that men who embark on a campaign to alienate their children from their mother have almost always been emotionally and psychologically abusive towards their children's mother when the two parents were still together as a couple.

I was the one who had friends
That was certainly true in my case. I'm the one who had a good circle of friends when we met. I was popular, not in a flamboyant way, but generally well-liked by most people I knew, and I know that people found me to be steady, trustworthy, generous, responsible, and willing to listen or lend a hand whenever possible. But we were in grad school, and after grad school is over, people do go their separate ways. In our case, most of our colleagues were scattered across the country, and we, too, moved into another part of the province before moving farther away.

He didn't support relationships with others
S was never supportive of me having friends after we'd moved. It was never convenient, somehow. I'd meet someone, make plans for lunch or coffee, and things would start to move along nicely. Then S would find excuses for me to break a date, cancel plans, or be very late for a meeting. Telephone messages for me wouldn't get delivered. He told people I was very busy, or not well, sometimes. Just as often, he said that he'd given me the message, and couldn't imagine why I hadn't called (not true, of course).

After awhile, there simply were no other people in my life outside the family. I met my colleagues when we gathered a few times each year, and I counted on those meetings as a social outlet as well as working events. Other than those meetings, I rarely left home for longer than it took to pick up a child at school, run a few errands, or something like that. If I went out to do non-specific shopping, my cell phone would ring within half an hour. Something had happened, I needed to go home. S had to go out suddenly.

Not a coincidence
At first, I thought that my isolation was just a coincidence, not that it was intentional. Later, I thought that it was partly the product of working at home while raising children—there's never enough time for everything. But in the last couple of years that we were together, it was very clear to me that S simply wouldn't tolerate me going out, meeting with people, or being "unaccounted-for." When I tried to talk about it with him, he said that he thought I needed to get my priorities straight. My family had to come first, as long as the children were small. Maybe later, he said, there'd be time for me to have friends.

But later never came.

Leaving meant being just as isolated
And so, when I left him, I left alone, with no one nearby to talk to, or spend time with. He'd long since alienated my family&#8212not difficult to do, it was never an easy relationship.

I often think that the isolation I lived in helped S alienate D, and has given him quite a bit of success with J, as well.

2 comment(s):

If he had his druthers he would do the same to me.

By Blogger Antigone, at 9:07 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

By Blogger soozeekew, at 2:12 AM  

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