I often receive letters from mothers and fathers who, after a long and difficult separation, are left with a child who used to love them unconditionally but has come to reject them, to “hate” them, in some cases to no longer want to see them.
There is a great deal of talk about PAS – Parental Alienation Syndrome – which however is not recognized at international level. So if we do not want to call it PAS – also because it is exploited by those who actually exercise PAS or is turned against those who really endure it – what do we call the slow and inexorable behaviour of children who seem to hate the other parent more and more, accusing him/her of things that – except in cases of serious violence – are not even remotely comparable to abuse?
There are chidren who go and live with one parent but then, even when there is joint custody and it is just a matter of convenient living arrangements, that same parent prevents the other from seeing the child, coming up with all kinds of excuses, thereby succeeding in making the child/adolescent miss his/her dates with the other parent. The excuses pile up, time goes by, the child does not see the other parent, he/she probably suffers for this and then grows angry, believing he/she has been abandoned. The child does not know what is going on, feels unloved, and at that point no longer wants to see the parent that does not live with him/her.
What is the cruellest absurdity? When the rejected parent goes to pick up the child/adolescent, s/he says “I don’t want to see Mom/Dad”, and at that point there’s nothing anyone can do. The Police, as well as all the legal figures who will subsequently be involved, can do nothing but take cognizance.
No-one wonders what has led up to this, no-one delves deeper!!!
It is like a fixed script: these mechanisms are familiar to those who stand in the way of the child’s/adolescent’s relationship with the other parent.
Not to speak of the constant disparaging comments, mocking smiles, criticisms made by a father/mother against the other parent: the child takes it all in, accumulates and then responds in the worse possible way. And if the disparaging parent is powerful, arrogant, wealthy or callous, or all of these things, he/she knows that he/she has an even stronger hold on the child: he/she is the winner and the other parent the loser!!! Children and adolescents are greatly attracted by models of power and fame and are easily ensnared.
So if we do not want to speak of PAS, let us at least speak of severe psychological abuse.
Let us speak of serious emotional neglect, because a child who is internally deprived of an adult parental figure of reference is bound to become an adult who has been deprived of a fundamental part of his/her Self.
The emotional abuse perpetrated against a child by taking the other parent away from him/her is called Violence!!!!!!
Dottssa Stefania Jade Trucchi