I am not going to go into all of the details about why this is true or important, but since so many people have spent so much time advocating for these words, I did want you to know why Gardner himself would carry this sign, if he were here today.
When Dr. Gardner first saw one parent trying to alienate the children from the other parent, he didn’t recognize the narcissistic/borderline personality disorder of that parent (sound familiar?).
Gardner didn’t know that divorce caused this parent narcissistic injury that it triggered a psychological “melt down” into persecutory delusions. He saw the illogical dynamics but that wouldn’t have given him a clue that the mentally disturbed parent was reenacting his or her childhood attachment trauma. Gardner described the symptoms of a child who was being coerced and exploited to enmesh with the parent who had no empathy for anyone else, and would do anything, like make false allegation of abuse, just to win. He saw this dynamic over and over again. He knew it was horribly wrong, he pointed it out and he called it, parental alienation.
But, Dr. Gardner didn’t have the big picture, like we do now. If we stand back, we will see the same episode play out with every narcissistic/borderline parent at the time that they get a divorce. This predictable sequence of events cannot be sliced away from the parent’s personality disorder, attachment trauma, or the abusive family systems strategies they use to severely harm their family.
Look what happened when we did.
Mental health providers were unable to recognize narcissistic/borderline personality disorder, attachment trauma, delusions, or the painfully obvious severe child psychological abuse. In family court, targeted parents were/are blamed or at the very least were/are considered partially responsible. Some of us were/are found guilty of abusing our own children! Innocent parents got/get blamed for the horrific child psychological abuse that can only come from a delusional parent with a narcissistic/borderline personality who is reenacting their childhood attachment trauma. But we were blamed, we were re-victimized, we were shamed. And then we would watch and listen as the courts indulged the dangerous parent and listened intently to what the children wanted. Children, who were so terrified of the abuser and so psychologically corrupted that they would say whatever the abusive parent told them to say.
It didn’t matter whether the courts only gave the abuser 50% placement, he or she had 100%, because we knew before we even left the court room, that we wouldn’t see our children again. What did the courts base their decisions on? Where was the proof? Where was the evidence? There couldn’t have been any. None.
As loving parents we have been tortured beyond words, some of us to death, all of us to a point of irreparable harm. We sacrificed everything to pay the professionals who wouldn’t listen to us. We were slaughtered along with our children under the all-powerful authorities.
Good bye parental alienation, you cannot hurt us anymore.
Hello Attachment trauma reenactment, we are going to expose you, because, we know where you are.