> No More Secrets And Lies: The Loneliest Person in the World

Monday, October 27, 2014

The Loneliest Person in the World

      Parents who feel good about themselves do not have to control their adult children. But toxic parents operate from a deep sense of dissatisfaction with their lives and fear of abandonment. Their child's independence is like the loss of a limb to them. As the child grows older, it becomes ever more important for the parent to pull the strings that keep the child dependent. As long as toxic parents can make their son or daughter feel like a child, they can maintain control.
                                                                                                 –– From the book Toxic Parents by Susan Forward.
The alienator's life must be a lonely one. It has to be, I would think, unless she (or he) is a true psychopath and can bury her actions in the past where she no longer has to think about them or can simply lie to herself and refuse to accept the truth no matter how obvious it is. But even then, I would think, the guilt from demonizing a parent in the eyes of a child would be dagger to her heart, at least once in a while.

I would think. 

And even if this person – this alienator – is good at denial and good at lying to herself and good at rationalizing how child snatching is good for the child and good for the parent and a very good thing for everyone else involved, there would still have to be moments, again I would think, when pangs of guilt touch even her hardened heart, be she psychopath, narcissist, true sociopath, or none of the above.

There would have to be some moments – rare ones undoubtedly – but still moments, even within her troubled mind, when something she encounters during the day reminds her of what she's done to her child and to her child's father.


Like maybe when she sees a father and his children all tumbling out of the family van at the park clutching little bags of bread crumbs to feed to the geese hungrily honking at the water's edge?

Or when she sees a father reading his daughter a book in the children's section of a library or popular bookstore and how that reminds her of how her own daughter and father could spend hours together in joyful abandoned bliss making games and following their whims, wherever these might lead them.

And doesn't it tug at her heart, even a little, to see a dad pushing toddlers on swings or to see a teenager giving her father one last hug before she's dropped off at school, when she's still at a young-enough age to not be embarrassed to do this?

And even if you – this alienator – can manage to avoid emotion-filled moments like these or are somehow desensitized to them if you do encounter them, wouldn't there still have to be accidental ones – unpredictable moments – that even you can't avoid? Like for instance, when a photograph you had forgotten about tumbles out of a book whose pages have held it for years and you suddenly glimpse your children and their dad cooking you your favorite breakfast on Valentine's Day morning?

Or maybe something as simple as the image evoked when you see your daughter – now fatherless – sitting at home alone because you don't have time for her, and no one else does either, and for a brief moment it occurs to you that she could just as easily be with her dad like she used to be – that is, if only at your hands the two of them hadn't been separated, and, if only at your hands, you hadn't driven a permanent wedge between them.

And maybe, then, while watching your daughter sitting there, alone, in her room you also wonder if she ever wishes she could still be with her dad and no longer had to believe all your reasons for why she's not supposed to want him in her life anymore and is not supposed to love him anymore.

Maybe you think things like this once in a while. Right?

I would like to think so.

And maybe something else happens. Maybe, in that brief interval of time before your brain kicks in and attacks your thoughts – before they have a chance to become feelings – a chord is struck and a pang of guilt twangs even the strings of your hardened heart resonating somber tones of sadness, regret, and guilt and for a brief moment you glimpse the world through your daughter's eyes and empathize with her plight and sympathize with her pain and realize how insensible and frightening it is for her have to imagine a life without her father?

I would like to think things like this happen to you, at least once in a while.

And I'm not the only one.

Many parents, just like me, wonder the same things about our children every day. We parents who wait for our children and are obsessed with them and hurt because they hurt only want to know if you share that hurt. We only want to know if you see what we see and feel what we feel

And these are just some of many questions we who miss our children ask of you who keep them. We also want to know if you have the kind of empathy for people that makes you want to ease their suffering. We want to know this because we believe having the kind of compassion for people that connects us to them and makes us feel a part of their world is good thing, and we believe the rest of the world would agree that it's a good thing. 

Even though it can cause us immense pain.

And if this doesn't happen to you, even once in a while...

If pangs of sadness and the deep hidden terror of guilt don't move you to want free your children from the prison of lies that holds them so they can return to us,

     and if it doesn't tug at your heart, even a little, to see a father and daughter reading a book together, or giving each other hugs before school,or even feeding geese together...

   ...and if empathy and sympathy are only things you've read about that other people have and you honestly don't feel hurt when someone close to you is hurting...

Then doesn't that make you the loneliest person in the world?

Doesn't that make you feel jailed in your own hedonistic, self-made prison from where you look down on the rest of the world with your false sense of superiority and entitlement, and from where you project, onto your children, your own fears of abandonment forcing your children to remain loyal to you because you know, all too well, that you'll never feel part of the world the rest of us live in?

Again, I would think so.


Michael Hartman said...

Love your blog, John. Simply stated, I would hope so, too. However, my experience has shown that no only do they lack these empathetic feelings at their very core, they achieve a sick sense of happiness from causing this horrific pain to others. It is all about winning at any cost, power, and control.

John Brosnan said...

I'm afraid you're right, Michael. But one has to wonder.. I guess. Thanks for the comment.

Anonymous said...

Good site. Well done.

Anonymous said...

The alienating parent doesn't experience guilt, because they are delusional in their belief that the targeted parent is responsibly for turning their children against that parent and that the rejection is deserved. They may know, factually, deep down, that the targeted parent was not abusive nor hurtful to their child, but they are delusional in how they interpret it all.

The mind of an alienating parent must be a lonely, dependent and paranoid place.

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