What is it like for targeted parents, victims of PA as much as their innocent children? I have written extensively on the plight of alienated children but far less on the struggles of alienated—or targeted— parents. Targeted parents are those who are rejected by the children.
Targeted parents tremendously suffer due, among many things, to the oftentimes horrific and cruel treatment inflicted upon them by their own children: disrespect, lying, name calling, refusal to talk to them or having them completely reject them, expressions of unbridled hatred and malice towards them, ghosting, etc.
I have experienced this myself; it is unspeakably brutal and painful. In fact, I have experienced each and every one of the aforementioned negative expressions myself from my own alienated children. And it has gone on for so long now my heart has been necessarily hardened—for sanity’s sake—against any further abuse.
Though for many years none of my children want anything to do with me, psychologically I have had to steel my own emotions against any further abuse or hope for reconciliation with them. Of course, I desire to have contact with them, but I simply would not be enthusiastic about them contacting me if first there was not first a sea change of attitude towards their opinion and treatment of me. No more lies, false allegations, disrespect, name calling, outbursts of anger, gaslighting, etc.
Targeted parents, myself included, understand our children have been severely psychologically traumatized and are victims of their own hell and intensive brainwashing at the hands of their pathologically disturbed alienating parent. Knowing this, we give them as much slack and unconditional love as possible, but there comes a point when the abuse suffered at our own children’s hands become unbearable and we reach a point where we “hit the glass” and can endure no more abuse.
From my personal experience in dealing with severely damaged and alienated children for now going on 20 years, I believe there comes a point for parents who share my unfortunate situation to let go and begin the process of moving on with life.
Recently, I read a quote that perfectly captures this desperate sentiment: “Letting go is a part of moving on.” There comes a point in a parent’s life when, after repeatedly trying to reach out and reconnect with our estranged children, only to be met with constant rejection, hatred, and disrespect, we are left with only one choice for our own survival: that of letting go and moving on.
The short video below is from Dr. Childress explaining the “power dynamics” of what happens with children affected by PA and how it affects the targeted parent(s):
Here’s another video from the same Youtube channel that goes into additional information. I’ve found both of these videos to contain excellent information: