For far too long we were isolated and alone. For decades, narcissistic parents tore the souls out of our innocent children that they called their sons and daughters, as if they had the right. Slowly they bled the life out of their happy and healthy partners, as if they had the right. No one believed that a person would terrify their own children into complete submission and use them as decoys and weapons to hurt the person who had pledged them their love. Pure trauma engulfed the American dream and crushed our spirits aided by the mental health and legal systems. Friends, family members, neighbors and bystanders chose to ignore or even profit from our pain and torture. We remained isolated and alone, for far too long.
Last October, a few isolated targeted parents banded together on a hope and a prayer over the Internet. Together, we faced the hard facts. First, we accepted that we had loved, trusted, married and had a family with someone who never had the capacity to care about anyone but themselves. We were not unlovable, as they tried and sometimes succeeded to convince us; they could NOT love. Second, we acknowledged that no one else was going to care enough about the health and future of our children to actually DO anything to help us. Child protective services just whined about caseloads. Law enforcement didn’t enforce the laws. Mental health professionals couldn’t recognize trauma, child psychological abuse or narcissistic patterns of behaviors and misdiagnosed us as the problem. Guardian ad litems were insecure, arrogant and uniformed. Getting to the truth, was too much work for what they were being paid. And Family Courts felt entitled to ignore state statutes, roll their eyes at our constitutional rights and punish us if we protested their misconduct or questioned their mistaken assumptions. Third, we decided that awareness and education had gotten nowhere and needed to be replaced by action. We; you and I were exactly where we needed to be at exactly the right time. We decided that this horror had to end.
None of us had any money or extra time to devote to the “good of the order,” but we had to start DOING something. Three months after a pretty shaky start, the National Alliance For Targeted Parents launched a petition to the APA demanding that they formally acknowledge that the pathology of “parental alienation” is tragically real. We didn’t care what they called it or who took credit for labeling it, we were done arguing a mute point in the face of our children’s demise. It was time for America to recognize that narcissistic parents were psychologically/emotionally abusing and neglecting their children to reject the other fit and emotionally available parent. The American Psychological Association(APA) was the avenue to acknowledge us as a special population and assert the need for protective separation between our children and the abusive parent.
It's a sad commentary that we are surprised and feel grateful to the APA for taking a strong, visible lead. At our request, the APA is moving forward to validate and address our family crisis by establishing a conference/team of experts in attachment theory, personality disorder pathology, trauma, and family systems. The goal is a short and intense conference to produce a white paper on the pathology of “parental alienation.” Our request for a conference of experts has only one more committee to hurdle before it can be presented to American Psychological Association’s Board of Directors for consideration.
Concurrent with this movement, the web page that contained the APA's position statement on "Parental Alienation Syndrome" was removed. Although we haven’t heard why it was taken down, this actionis extremely significant.
For over a decade, the published position statement has fueled a false adversarial relationship with our natural and common allies in domestic violence and stalled progress.
2008 Statement on Parental Alienation Syndrome
The American Psychological Association (APA) believes that all mental health practitioners as well as law enforcement officials and the courts must take any reports of domestic violence in divorce and child custody cases seriously. An APA 1996 Presidential Task Force on Violence and the Family noted the lack of data to support so-called "parental alienation syndrome", and raised concern about the term's use. However, we have no official position on the purported syndrome.
What is becoming abundantly clear is that narcissistic abusers have stayed under the radar by NOT battering with their fists. My ex-partner would shame me and insist that he never abused the children or me because he never “touched” us. And the fact that society focuses almost exclusively on physical and sexual violence leaves narcissistic-abusers free to savagely assault their ex-partners and children without ever being held accountable.
This is about to change!
If you haven’t had the chance yet to join us as an official member of the National Alliance for Targeted Parents, please fill in your name and email at the bottom of this page. You are no longer isolated or alone. Join us as we save our children, save the next generation, and save this nation!