I just stumbled on something related to my last post, something that wasn’t even looking for, and I didn’t realize had a name: parental alienation. It occurs in a divorce when a parent manipulates a child into siding with (or only spending time) them and excluding the other. One parent might suggest that the other isn’t to be trusted. My mom did our visitation with my father, making sure the visits were brief and in “safe locations.” It all seems so crazy now, because there was no basis to the claim, and I missed out on spending more time with my dad.
Parental Alienation is a stain on what might’ve been my best clothes. Though I wish I could’ve been more for my dad, it wasn’t really in my abilities at the time, age twelve. Although I was naturally timid and withdrawn, my father became as a subject to be feared; my mother use it as a punishment, “Why don’t you go ahead and live with John!” When my mother’s lips, traded “your father” for “John,” on my own lips “dad” began sounding odd.
There’s no way to change the past but sometimes we can learn from it, and perhaps, help others who might have gone (or be going) through some of the same things. Here are the articles I found on the website for Psychology Today: