It's the type of abuse that doesn't leave physical scars but emotional, lifelong ones. It obstructs the development of the self of the child, which affects how the child sees himself in all experiences through life.
I'm talking about Parental Alienation. It's the manipulation of a child’s mind and attachment bonds in a negative way and yes, it is very abusive.
Parental alienation is the process and result of psychological, manipulative control of a child for the purpose of restricting or restraining the child’s relationship with the other parent.
Common Behaviors of Alienating Parents:
The child, due to loyalty and typically fear of the alienating parent, allies with them and starts to believe what they are saying about the other parent. In order for the child to not have to face their own pain regarding their alienated parent, they shut them out and turn away.
That is the abuse right there. While conflicted, it’s much easier for them to stay away due to all the conflict and inner turmoil even into adulthood.
Children don’t turn away from the alienating parent; they are too afraid. But they will turn away from an unconditionally loving, kind, healthier parent. There is nothing to fear there. The alienating parent is the one the child is most afraid to lose; not the parent with whom they can feel consistently and unconditionally safe and loved.
Children who are being emotionally abused in this way will exhibit behaviors such as:
Facing rejection from your own kids is an extremely painful experience. Similar to the prophets: Noah, Ibrahim, Yacoub, and Yusuf - they all faced rejection from family members such as parents, siblings etc. All of their stories, though painful, had a purpose. They showed how they dealt with their tests through patience, prayer, perseverance, and steadfastness.
My two biggest insights that are comforting and aiding me in dealing with parental alienation:
When you tap into this truth and believe it with your whole heart and soul, you are secure and content in any outcome. You know Allah has your back and He is always doing what is best for you.
For what you need, not exclusively what you want. All for a divine purpose. With this belief, you have to believe that Allah is The One Who knows what is best for you, even when you don’t know. It can be very hard to see through this, during the pain of rejection.
There is a plan and purpose for your pain.
When I could SEE this truth with my heart and soul it was like a heavy weight was lifted from my mind. My mind could just be still and clear. This reinforced a belief that I knew intellectually, but once I embodied it in my heart and soul, it gave me security, peace, clarity, and confidence to take charge and action.
2. You have the power over yourself. No one has the power to make you feel or do anything. Your actions are independent and a reflection of yourself and what is inside. You don’t need permission from anyone to do the right thing for you.
The only thing to keep in mind: are your decisions and actions pleasing to Allah? If yes, then go for it! The power truly is in Allah’s hands and then your own in terms of your response.
So that means it is not OK to accept transgression of boundaries. You are within your rights to step up, take charge, push back for what is right, fair and just. The way you do that is in your hands, with firmness, equity, and justice. Allah does not tell you to be a doormat to anyone or to accept transgression. He dignified you as His creation as a human being, so honor that.
We have to tie our camel AND place our trust in Allah. That means to take action and have faith.
Being in a co-dependent, controlling, manipulative, or emotionally abusive relationship it can get really foggy and confusing navigating interactions with that person from a place of security, autonomy, and authenticity to take charge of yourself and life. The only reason why you would post-divorce is to raise your kids.
It requires recognizing your previous subconscious patterns of behavior in that relationship and then developing new conscious healthier thinking and behavior patterns from a space of resilience, healing, and higher state of consciousness and sense of self-awareness. Reactionary versus conscious response. This takes an elevated level of consciousness which you are already designed for.
We all have custom tailored, divinely inspired challenges that are designed to teach, grow and strengthen us spiritually and emotionally. An exercise in tawakkul building and innate resilience, to live life with Ehsan from your highest self rather than reacting to pain and hurt from a from a bruised ego.
My message and purpose to share this with you are that regardless of your circumstance or situation you are not a victim. You have control and power over your decisions and actions, even though the outcome is not in your hands your journey to it is. It all starts from your self-awareness which affects how you show up regardless of your circumstances.
Allah does not obligate a soul with more than he can bear.
YOU are OK.
YOU are OK even when he transgresses.
YOU are always OK even when you think you’re not OK.
It’s Not OK for him to transgress.
So you step up, take charge and responsibility for your life and well being: emotional, mental, spiritual, and physical with clarity, calm, wisdom, justice, and fearless confidence.
WHY? Because it is a form of worship. Taking care of yourself, not tolerating injustice, transgression, or oppression NOR committing it toward yourself or others.
How do you love yourself?
Can you recognize:
When’s it’s done to you or when you may be doing it to someone else?
If you or someone you know are struggling with a high conflict divorce, alienating co-parent, testing and taxing children’s behavior you don’t have to face it alone… let's talk about it.
Leave a comment and let me know - have you been the victim of parental alienation? Are you or someone you know going through this right now? Also, if you have experience with this and have a tip, feel free to share it below.