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Sadly, if there are joint children involved, divorce in which Narcissistic Personality Disorder is at play will often lead to Parental Alienation. It is devastating for the alienated parent to watch, and it is even more devastating on the children involved who will often carry the psychological scars throughout adult life.
If you co-parent with a Narcopath, beware. We all want amazing relationships with our kids, who we want to prepare for the big wide world with confidence, life skills, qualifications and for whom we want to model healthy adult behaviour and relationships. We want to be present in their lives, and we want to be there for them when they stumble. We want a strong bond with nothing in the way of a loving, wholesome and fun relationship. And therein lies the problem.
Narcissistic Parents – their Agenda
The narcissist is on a completely different agenda. The problems exacerbate when it comes to the relationship with the healthy parent. Narcs are jealous of any healthy bond that develops between child and loving parent, they feel very threatened by this, and they are driven by their overblown sense of entitlement – “the child needs to worship me and serve my purposes – and mine alone!!” Thus from birth, the child is often programmed by the narcopath to distrust, hate and distance themselves from the loving parent through a subtle campaign of brainwashing, and through management-by-consequence (whether the child consciously knows or not, showing any love towards the targeted parent invites a backlash by the alienating one). It gets a whole load worse when the inevitable discard happens, at which point kids-in-common are used as the most potent weapon to destroy the healthy parent – a role that is confusing and devastating for the kids involved. The reality is that the healthy parent may be escape and cut ties with the narc – but they can never cut the bond of kids-in-common and thus the kids become the Achilles Heal that narcs will use mercilessly in destroying the healthy parent regardless of the detrimental impact that this will have on the kids.
- Your kids are off with you, even to the extent of being disrespectful.
- They stop enjoying cuddles and physical intimacy.
- They reduce the instances of looking to you for advice and support.
- They appear guarded and wary of enjoying your company, laughing with you.
- The strained relationship extends to the healthy parent’s birth family – thus the kids are also poisoned against the grandparents, aunts uncles, cousins etc.
- These campaigns of hate are built on a string of lies designed to brainwash the kids – lies that may come out into the open if contact between the kids and healthy parent can be maintained.
- The time that should be spent with the targeted parent as part of the agreed custody arrangements is constantly disrespected, changed and denied – and if the kids are able to spend any time with the healthy parent, it is disrupted with some form of contact from the narc.
- The healthy parent is denied all forms of input on the kids’ lives – school reports withheld, barred from parent/teacher meetings, knowledge of illnesses etc are not shared etc.
- The kids behaviour is markedly different when a long way away from the narc’s sphere of influence – they relax, become less hypervigilant, are more loving and engaging with the loving parent. In essence, they become themselves again.
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Diagnosis of Parental Alienation
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