I am a second generation alienated targeted parent on the maternal side. I have three daughters and a grandson.
When I was still in my marriage and part of the family system I was unknowingly complicit with Alienating some of my family . Our kids were never allowed to sleep over at my parents house. My mom never owned a car seat because she wasn’t allowed to take the kids by herself. Additionally my sister wasn’t allowed to take the kids on any excursions by herself. I thought this was okay and that my wife just really loved our kids.
There are parts of the family system of parental alienation that I need to own. It says in our 12 step recovery literature “Alienation is a family disease, one person gets sick and the rest of the family becomes sick as well!!”
I didn’t know anything about PA when I was married. I didn’t know that their was anything irregular going on in my home several years before the divorce. My parents coming over for holidays, birthdays and other celebrations was a common. We went to their house often too. When I was young we had an open door policy family was always allowed over whenever. My wife had a closed door policy, I know now why.
It wasn’t until years after the divorce that my mom shared that she never owned a car seat because she was never allowed to take the kids by herself. That she never had the kids sleep over because my alienator wouldn’t allow it. I own responsibility and accountability in this, I was complicit with the system. This allowed these behaviors to continue and this to become the norm. So in essence I helped set the table of alienation in my kids life.
I was as sick as the alienator and helped uphold some of these dysfunctional behaviors. I am not saying all the things the alienator has done and continue to do is ok, I am saying I am responsible for some of it. This is about centering myself in my life, what the alienator is doing or not doing gets moved out of the center into a more appropriate place. This is a incredible important step in fighting alienation.
My 12 step recovery helps me look at my part and identify areas that I need to work on. Work is defined as emotional, spiritual and sometimes physical. Knowing and owning my part is liberating and empowering. I no longer have to be a victim. I can take back all aspects of my life, address my shortcomings and become the man I thought I was.
This is not a linear journey. Some days I am a much better version of myself and some days I revert back to behaviors that don’t serve me.