Siblings in Parental Alienation: Super Hero Siblings
In families affected by parental alienation, it’s not uncommon for one or more of the children in the family to be alienated from the target parent while one or more of their siblings are not alienated. This is a confusing surprise to people who have not experienced parental alienation or who don’t understand parental alienation. But for many of us target parents, we know and understand this all too well.
We will talk about the “confusing” part, “Why Some Siblings Are Alienated And Some Are Not” in another article in this 3 part series about “Siblings in Parental Alienation.”
When one sibling is alienated but other siblings are resistant to the alienator’s tactics, alienators will almost always attempt to use the alienated child as a pawn to try to get them to assist in alienating their non-alienated siblings. There are many ways alienators control and manipulate a child to use them as a pawn against their siblings. We will talk about that in “How Alienators Use Siblings Against Each Other” in another article in this series.
Those of us involved in parental alienation awareness, education and support often hear the heartbreaking stories of an alienated child carrying out the alienator’s desires by bullying, harassing, persuading and manipulating a non-alienated sibling. Sadly, sometimes the alienator’s use of the alienated child as a weapon against their own sibling works and they recruit their sibling into the parental alienation cult. (A parental alienation family operates exactly the same as a cult – more about that another time.) If you are a target parent who is alienated from some of your children but not all of them, this is a fear you might live with daily and you might think that there are only inevitable bleak outcomes in this scenario.
I want to share some good news with you. All hope is not lost. There are some super hero siblings out there! I know this because I’ve met several of them. I want to share one of their stories with you.
Because my advocacy work in parental alienation awareness, education and support is highly public, I get contacted by people who have been touched by parental alienation in many various ways. A few years ago a young man in his late 20’s, who worked with my son, sent me a Facebook message that said “I saw your Facebook and the advocacy work you do. I would like to talk with you sometime about what happened in my family. I didn’t know there was a name for it.” Of course I was anxious to hear what he wanted to share with me. The next time I saw him ended up being an opportune time for us to talk. I told him I had received his message and would love to hear what he wanted to share.
He shared with me that when he was in high school, his parents went through a very bad divorce. It was what many might call “high conflict.” He said that his dad engaged in many alienating behaviors to try to alienate him and his older brother from their mom. He and his brother were only a few years apart in age. Fortunately, the alienating behaviors didn’t work on him and he maintained a good relationship with their mom. Unfortunately, the alienating behaviors did work on his brother and his brother became alienated from their mom.
Years passed. The boys grew up. They both got married. His brother refused to have a relationship with their mom and even refused to be anywhere near her. It hurt and angered the non-alienated son that his mom was treated so badly by his brother. She was excluded from family gatherings. Holidays were especially hard. After years of this, the non-alienated son decided to take a stand. His brother was hosting the family Christmas gathering that year. He called his brother and said “If you don’t invite mom, I’m not coming to Christmas.” I asked him if he was nervous or scared to do that. He said wasn’t nervous or scared because he was sick and tired of seeing his mom being hurt in such a cruel and undeserving way. He said he told his brother, “ Enough is enough. You need to do the right thing and stop being manipulated by dad. How you treat mom is wrong. From now on, if you exclude her from things, I won’t be there either.” I was dying to know the outcome and asked him what happened. He said “It worked.” His brother invited his mom to that year’s family Christmas gathering. Yes, it was awkward. Yes, his dad was mad. But everyone survived. Not only did they survive, his brother and his mom started to have a relationship again. Now both of the sons have relationships with both of their parents.
One brave act led to another. The non-alienated son was very brave to take a stand with his brother. The alienated son was very brave to invite his mom to Christmas that year. His brave act of inviting his mom to Christmas that year boosted his confidence and courage to be able to have a relationship with her again. Bravery wasn’t the only important component. Truth was another very important component. The alienated son needed someone to speak the truth to him – to tell him that he needed to stand up to the alienator’s manipulations and to be his own person and to “do the right thing” by having a relationship with his mom. Who better to show someone such courage and honesty as a sibling? A sibling who loves them enough to be that courageous and honest! Yes, that is a super hero sibling!
If you’re reading this and you’re recognizing these dynamics in your family, did you know that you have super powers?! I hope you’ll choose to use them! Do it out of love for your sibling so they can be free to be their own person! Do it out of love for the alienated parent so they don’t continue to suffer such undeserved cruelty! Do it because it’s the right thing to do! All you need is integrity, honesty and a little courage! If you need support with this, please feel free to contact me. I would love to help you with this. You could be a super hero sibling! No cape required!
Co-parenting and Parental Alienation Education and Support
“Parental alienation can happen to ANYONE so it should matter to EVERYONE!”
Wendy’s blog is http://www.targetparent.com. On her blog, you’ll find articles about parental alienation and general motivation. Her blog has something for everyone. Please visit Target Parent and subscribe!