The Red Flag of Hatred (Part One)

“Hatred is not an emotion that comes naturally to a child. It has to be taught. A parent who would teach a child to hate the other parent, represents a grave and persistent danger to the mental and emotional health of that child”.

From the Honourable Judge Gomery of Canada

The above quote is taken from this article, titled “Emotional Abuse of Children Due to Implacable Hostility Between Parents (Is it PA or something else?)”

In my continuing research into Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) and Parental Alienation (PA), I have recently discovered several articles on this and related psychological issues originating out of Europe. These discoveries have been simultaneously illuminating and heart wrenching due to the pain and suffering innocent children experience when exposed to this insidious form of emotional child abuse at the hands of a vindictive and oftentimes hate-filled alienating parent.

As elsewhere stated in this section of my “Divorce and PAS” blog, I have spent almost 20 years researching this particular topic; both myself and my estranged children have suffered from the toxic effects of this complicated and often overlooked form of intimate partner violence and child abuse.

Alienated parents like myself often experience, from one or more of their PAS/PA affected children, a shocking and overpowering display of hatred directed against them that has little to any foundation in a rational basis. And the intensities of such outbursts can be overwhelmingly painful to such parents to experience when trying to understand why these powerfully negative emotions are being directed towards them in the first place.

I believe parents who have not been subjected to these onslaughts of unbridled hatred from one of their children will find it difficult—if not impossible—to comprehend the bizarre nature of such emotional outbursts of pure hatred and rage directed against them; they are surreal, far out of the bounds of normal negative emotions that any well-balanced and emotionally healthy individual would manifest toward anyone they might have an issue with.

“Hatred is not an emotion that comes naturally to a child. It has to be taught. A parent who would teach a child to hate the other parent, represents a grave and persistent danger to the mental and emotional health of that child”.

This is another excellent article that shows how damaging and destructive the effects of PAS/PA can have on children who unknowingly become brainwashed by a hateful parent. But how can that child recognize they have been manipulated and brainwashed against the alienated parent? By the bizarre, irrational and implacable hatred they carry for the parent they once loved and enjoyed spending time with.

The word “implacable” is noteworthy, meaning: “used to describe (someone who has) strong  opinions or feelings that are impossible to change…” (Cambridge Dictionary)

The Collins Dictionary states it this way: “If you say that someone is implacable, you mean that they have very strong feelings of hostility or disapproval that nobody can change.”

This kind of emotion toward a parent is—for the most part and in the vast majority of cases—impossible to justify or rationalize; it is not normal but abnormal. It it something so outside the bounds of normality, especially towards a once beloved parent, that its manifestation in an estranged child directed toward the parent should be a red flag of concern for the mental health of that child or adult child.

Any estranged child vehemently and continually hating a parent is a red flag requiring professional help.

And from where does this implacable hatred come from? Where does it begin? How is it formed? The article above provides the following insight:

“It frequently occurs in reaction to an acrimonious divorce or separation leading in turn to implacable hostility by the custodial parent. One of the parents has left the home and both, before as well as after the parting, show bitterness toward one another. Both parents love the child but only one has custody. If bitterness remains, this results in the child becoming a weapon with which to beat the opposite parent. The results are that one parent, usually the mother or custodial parent, turns the child against the other parent, and frequently punishes or rejects a child who opposes such ‘brain-washing’. The hatred which continues against the other parent leaves the child with but one parent which the child wishes to please or appease and to whom the child clings, fearing the possible loss of that parent also. This is usually the one who has gained custody and, on the whole, it tends to be the mother…” (punctuation improved by Roy Spears).

As I have pointed out in other postings on this blog site, one of the earth shattering moments in an alienated child’s life is that “eureka moment” when it begins to dawn on them that the one person they wholeheartedly believed loved them more than anyone else (usually the alienating mother) turns out to be the very person which has manipulated and used them as a pawn against the other parent.

This eureka moment is devastating to the child or children when they realize how they have been used and abused by this other parent in a coordinated campaign of hatred and vilification against their other parent whom at one time they loved. Their hatred against this other parent has been implanted in them (usually from their mother) who, in many cases, is mentally and psychologically damaged herself from trauma suffered in her childhood.

"...To (Immanuel) Kant one of the worst forms of immorality is to use a person as an instrument while making the person believe that you are doing good to him or her for that person's own sweet sake..."

The quote above, taken from “Foundations of Moral Obligation: the Stockdale Course,” is a powerful insight from philosopher Immanuel Kant which has helped me see the horrific pathology that undergirds this “implacable hatred” that many children traumatized by PAS/PA suffer at the hands of a vindictive, alienating parent.

Kant correctly identifies the immoral and evil nature of any individual—and more so when such evil germinates from a parent—who uses another person as an “instrument” against someone else by cloaking this immorality as something good for the person used as the “instrument.” It is beyond comprehension and far outside all bounds of normal decency.

Here is how I have taken what I believe Kant is saying and personalizing it specifically to PAS/PA affected children:

“One of the worst forms of immorality is for an alienating mother to use a child—alienated against her father—as an instrument of implacable hatred against him while making that child believe that the alienating mother is doing good to that child for that child’s own wellbeing.”

And it is only when the alienated child “wakes up” and begins to understand what has been done to him or her by their alienating parent against the other parent in a purposeful campaign of hatred with the sole intent of separating the children from that other parent by brainwashing that child against him or her that the process of healing can begin—for both the alienated child and the alienated parent.