As a toxic relationship heads south, a narcopath parent will often try and alienate the kids from the healthy parent. The reasons for this can be numerous:
- Out of pure spite (towards the alienated parent in the main, but also towards the child);
- Because she wants to ensure that any possible whistleblower is maintained onside and controllable, usually to be brainwashed over the coming years;
- As a financial meal-ticket, ensuring that the loving parent is committed to pay child-maintenance-but-no-access, rather than a more equitable 50/50 approach to either;
- As a way to ensure an open source of narcissistic supply well into the future through the drama she inflicts on her ex using the kids as weapons. Make no mistake, she wants to see your anguish;
- As a victory trophy with which she tries to persuade the community that she must be the healthy one in order to have been awarded the kids, or that they are voluntarily siding with her;
- Sadly, in the case of a more sadistic narcopath, to ensure that she continues to have the means and the opportunity to mistreat the child – in their world their kids deserve to be abused in similar ways in which they themselves were abused as infants.
The Default Styles of Response
Typically, as they feel the kids being removed from them, the targeted (healthy) parent will respond in any combination of three ways:
- By seeking to hold the narcopath to account – by calling them out on their tactics, by appealing to the narc’s sense of decency / morality, be appealing to friends and family for support, by embarking on the long and expensive pursuit of legal recourse.
- By pleading and pressuring the alienated kids themselves into striving to see them in the hopes that the kids themselves will be able to persuade the narcopath to allow more access.
- By taking the moral high ground by maintaining a dignified distance in the hopes and expectation that once the dust settles and the emotion has subsided, a more normal solution and equitable will be prove to be acceptable.
All of these are fraught with problems and can be counter-productive, not least for the children caught in the middle for whom the battle can be very damaging psychologically. Moreover, experience tells us that the legal system is shockingly bad at protecting the kids or delivering justice, even when the truth seems blindingly obvious – many alienated parents report that the system treats parental alienation as a game for their benefit – and financial reward. In a situation in which the alienated gives an inch and plays by the rules, the narcopath will take a mile and use the rules against them to play all manner of dirty tricks in order to disadvantage the healthy parent.