Parental Alienation

There are myriad things that threaten to eat us, but worst of all is to be consumed by fear. Faced alone and uncertain, fear can become default, the unquestioned background of a life half-lived – and learning how to process and confront fear is one of the major hurdles of childhood. To a kid, things loom. They threaten, lurk, growl gravely the dread promise of injury and worse. They haunt the idle mind, crowding out space that would be better spent on the childlike splendor of becoming. Because to a kid, the world is still one of suspension in an untested universe of potential – and to any fecund young mind, too much fear begets but more in an endless collapsing loop, for what else can a mind predict beyond its own experience?

Yet, there is no eradication of fear. It is a fact, a shadow perpetual that waxes and wanes in relation to one’s own reaction. There is facing it, coping with it, dealing with it, succumbing to it, being graceful in it, but there is no nullity here; only response. So, what to do? Thankfully there happens to be a natural solution to teaching a child how to understand fear, one born of million years of iterative process: the parent. Buffered by a parent, a kid can experience the frights of the world and return from them stronger. A parent’s protection gives them license to foray out into reality with the assurance that they will survive, no matter how scary things may be. From this they can learn that fear is not the end but merely a signal, and in this freedom they can learn to live.

This is why it is such a needless mutilation to deprive a child of either parent, and it is catastrophic for one parent to alienate their child from the other without cause. Alienation is fear. It is a particularly invidious form of fear, one wielded as a cudgel by tyrants to instill compliance. It disallows a kid, prone to the terrors of the world already, to test themselves vis-a-vis reality and grow; instead it imposes the subjective, antipathetic neuroses of an adult onto a mind that has yet to develop the ability to defend itself. Alienation promotes loss of self, of personal agency, in favor of the total dominion of one parent’s will – and ironically, it is the parent who has weaponized emotion against their own child who often holds custody and is allowed to continue sowing unabated their poison and manipulation. The alienator is left unchecked, perpetually trying the other parent in absentia in a courtroom of solipsistic hatred to a jury composed of their own victims.

In a word, parental alienation is evil. It is a threat to the social fabric, in that anything that propagates fear, loss and domination fundamentally works towards unspooling the ideals of society. When a child is afraid of monsters, of being eaten, it is the parent’s task to reassure them and teach them that they within themselves have the power to persevere. Through leading by example, the parent teaches the child that while there will inevitably be bumps and bruises in the years ahead, they will survive and be stronger for it – and that the unconditional love of both parents will forever be a source of support.

When one parent pointlessly turns the other parent into a monster, they are acting profoundly against the well being of their own child. This is not parenting. It is an injustice and a crime that demands recourse.