It’s often said that “Parental Alienation” is the root cause of family dysfunction in High Conflict Divorces. However, Parental Alienation may become the eventual outcome after years of brainwashed programming by one controlling parent and / or his or her affiliate family members on their side of the family tree. Parental Alienation is more of a child’s perspectives that were changed or reshaped after many years of negative programming inflicted upon them by one side of the family tree in an attempt to turn the child away from the other loving parent.
Hostile Aggressive Parenting (HAP) strategies are typically the first step in the process that later leads to subliminally programming a young child, teenager, or even a young adult to feel neutral or negative feelings towards the other parent for no valid reason. To visualize HAP strategies used by a controlling parent, please think of someone pouring acid on the roots of a tree for days, weeks, months, or years. At some point, parts of that tree may die off like how a child’s positive loving emotions for the controlled parent may be neutralized or negated almost completely. If the controlled parent continues to offer love and support to the shared children, the strong connected roots will likely continue to flourish and grow.
Common Signs of Hostile Aggressive Parenting (HAP)
- The controlling parent, and his or her parents, siblings, and other family members, will continually badmouth and belittle the other parent to the child(ren).
- The controlling parent “sees” the other parent as an “object” more so than a person (or the other parent is “objectified”). As a result, the controller personality tends to have minimal empathy skills for the other parent.
- The controlling parent is statistically the most likely party to file for divorce first as the petitioner (also referred to as a claimant or plaintiff) as a way to control the other parent and shared children.
- Effectively, “family” courts generally award sole custody to the filing party (woman or man) who files for divorce first partly as a show of thanks for generating more fees for the courthouses, judges, therapists, minor’s counsel, guardian ad litem, children’s supervising monitors, and other third parties assigned to the case. Ironically, the “emotional splitting” trigger for many controlling parents is based upon an overwhelming subliminal abandonment trigger (the most common fear for people), so they must “abandon or be abandoned” first to better take control of the family dispute.
- People with severe anxiety related to unbearable negative emotions have an absolute need to control others partly due to their abandonment triggers (i.e., “if they don’t control their spouse or former spouse and children, then they will all leave them” is the subliminal perception that really drives their actions even if it financially hurts them in the process). People who text others 100 times in a day is one example because they are fearful that their love interest is cheating on them.
- The controlling parent is not willing to resolve any differences (minor or major points). As such, they tend to make “mountains out of molehills” over typically relatively small matters that many people would just laugh about.
- The controller parent tells the other parent to only speak through their attorney while avoiding any direct communication with the other parent. The “Silent Treatment” is a likely outcome once the controlling parent has been triggered. Divorce attorneys want silence or no communication between both parents so that there’s no resolution or closure for much higher legal fees for them over a longer period of time.
- The controlling parent makes it very difficult for the other controlled parent to directly contact the children with methods such as not answering the phone, hiding or destroying cards and letters, and blocking any attempts to share time alone with the children with or without an appointed children’s supervision monitor.
- Controller personalities tend to be hypersensitive and adversely affected by loud noises and crowds while “seeing” their version of bad in typically benign or trivial situations that few other people see at the time. They don’t usually like to attend large social gatherings partly since they feel that “others are out to get them” or don’t like them.
- Paranoia (or thinking that the other person has very bad intentions) typically begins first against the person who is closest to the controller personality (or their spouse) because they “see” the other person as a shattered mirror version of their projected anxious emotions as opposed to interactions with strangers. Or, what they see in themselves, they see in their spouse or former spouse. Paranoia is a major component that is typically involved with extreme controller personality behaviors. Drug usage (prescription pills and street drugs), and the subsequent “chemical lobotomies” or personalty changes, is a primary cause of the paranoid perceptions and actions that later follow prior to dividing up relationships.
- A person cannot treat others any better than they treat themselves. As such, controllers are usually hard on themselves, first and foremost, prior to projecting outward and being hard on others around them (i.e., they may be perfectionists, think that very few people like or love them, and / or they feel slighted by harmless comments, bad jokes, or basic or regular actions that had no negative intent against the controller personality).
- The controlling parent, who usually battles with severe anxiety issues themselves, will tell the children that the other parent is “anxious”, “paranoid”, “stupid”, “mean”, or does “inappropriate” things that the children likely has never seen in person.
- Some controller parents may have multiple romantic affairs with various partners outside of their marriage while blaming their faithful spouse for cheating on them instead and sharing these details with the children for sympathy. On a subconscious level, the controller personality felt unlovable and unworthy of love from their spouse, so they sought new romantic interests outside of the marriage while blaming the spouse for “causing” them to cheat on them. Additionally, many controller personalities feel “defective” and unworthy of love from others, so they perceive their spouse as “crazy” for loving them.
- The controlling parent threatens the children with taking away their toys, video games, smartphones, cars, and access to allowances if they spend any time with the other parent and his or her entire side of the family tree.
- Some controller parents will not let their children have any close friends outside of their classroom, join any sports teams or school clubs, or even find local part-time jobs. Many controller parents are fearful that if their children start earning money on their own then they may move out or abandon them. Money can be used as a type of “puppet strings” to control the children.
- Some extreme controller parents will treat one or more of their children as akin to their spouse (or “parentify” them) even if the children are under 10 years of age. If so, it may cause much more stress for the children to have to deal with so many adult issues (e.g., bill payment amounts) at such a young age.
- Many controller parents have few close friends. Due to their relationship disorder perceptions, they may eventually push others away due to their “abandon or be abandoned” mentality. If so, they may see their child as their “best friend” in life.
- The controlling parent will likely be the one to initiate the bulk of the “family” court filings while blaming the other parent for their high legal expenses even if the controlled parent tries to settle out of court to resolve the family dispute partly to save money for both parents and the children. Most court orders are modifiable, especially visitation time with children, even after the final trial decision.
- A controlled parent may spend every last cent, either with their own attorney or as a Pro Per or Pro Se self-represented party, to modify court orders for more time with their children. In many courts, upwards of 80% of all divorce cases usually involve at least one party who represents themselves due to costs. However, the judge is much likelier to listen to a client represented by an attorney who they may personally know than a self-represented Pro Per party.
- The controlling parent will blame the controlled parent for their financial problems, emotional health challenges, or other mild to serious issues.
- The controlling parent may ask the children for most or all details about spoken conversations, recent visits, or overnight stays with the other parent. Their biggest true fear is that their lies will be exposed.
- The controlling parent may attempt to block access to schools for the controlled parent and his or her entire side of the family tree for sporting events, school plays, and access to their teachers and grades.
- The controlling parent typically uses DARVO (Deny, Attack, Reverse Victim and Offender) and F.O.G. (Fear, Obligation, Guilt) strategies to weaken the children so that they are easier to control and manipulate while blaming the controlled parent for the bulk of their daily struggles.
- Most often, the controlling parent tells the children that the controlled parent doesn’t love them and is actually the one who abandoned the entire family. In many cases, the controlled parent spends years and the bulk of their life savings fighting to spend more time with their children.
- The controlling parent will demand that the controlled parent follows the court orders exactly as written up. Most often, the court orders are written up exactly as demanded by the controller parent while just being rubber-stamped by the judge. However, the controller parent may constantly violate court orders on their end in a hypocritical sort of way.
- The controller parent will often tell the children that the court orders “can’t be changed” or “it was decided by the court and we must follow the rules” when it was the controller parent’s attorney who demanded and drafted the strict court rules that usually minimized time (if any) with the children. However, many court orders can be changed by agreement outside of court or by way of mailed documents.
- Most judges aren’t familiar with the details of the hundreds or thousands of cases that they see each year in their courtroom, so they rely upon the “family” law attorneys to draft the documents. It’s almost as if the divorce attorneys have more power than the sitting judges in these lengthy divorce cases partly since many judges rotate courtrooms every year or two. It’s not uncommon for a divorce case to have three, four, or five different judges who work on the same case over several years.
- 80% to 90% of divorces (depending upon the state) are settled through mediation or arbitration outside of courtrooms for much lower expenses, quicker resolution time periods, and much less emotional pain.
- It has been suggested by various legal and health experts that any divorce case which lasts more than two years in a courtroom statistically is likely to have a controlling person with Borderline and / or Narcissistic Personality Disorder traits in charge of the legal conflict. Additionally, any person who is still as upset two or more years later about the divorce as they were at the start of the divorce is likely to be classified as having some type of severe personality disorder (or “relationship disorder”) trait. The descriptive phrase “High Conflict Personality” (HCP) needs no formal medical diagnosis because it just describes the incredibly common controlling behaviors.
- Many children who have been brainwashed into believing their controlling parent that the controlled parent left them and didn’t love any of them may feel “neutral” or “anger” (other side of fear) about the controlled parent even if the controlled parent never stopped trying to reconnect with them.
- Some children feel guilty for loving the controlled parent while staying the most connected to their controlling parent in a Stockholm Syndrome sort of way.
- If the controlling parent was controlled themselves as a young child, it is quite common for their parents (children’s grandparents) to also engage in the controlling or Erasing Family-type of strategies against the controlled parent and his or her entire side of the family tree. An apple doesn’t fall far from the family tree, for better or worse.
- Controller personalities will often play the role of the “victim” and “hero” at the same time (or other controlling family members on their side of the family tree) who is doing their best to save the family in spite of them being the one who broke up the family in a high percentage of these High Conflict Divorce Cases. It’s akin to a bully punching you in the nose for no valid reason while blaming you for it at the same time.
- A controller personality may hide their own assets while claiming that the person being controlled by them actually is hiding the assets. Or, the controller blames the other person for their own personal actions.
- A controller personality typically files a restraining order at the start of the family conflict as a way to easily “win” the court battle prior to grabbing the bulk of the assets and children while avoiding having to pay any type of financial support to the other parent. Upwards of 2 to 3 million restraining orders are filed each year. It is the primary and most preferred “weapon of choice” in a high percentage of these legal battles. All the controller needs to do is claim “fear” (their most consistent emotion they feel almost every minute of the day) to be granted a restraining order request, regardless of whether or not this core emotion (love and fear are the two core emotions) originates from within.
- Even if the controller personality grabs 100% of the shared family assets prior to filing for divorce and spends most of this money on legal fees for their own attorney, the controller is likely to tell the children that the other parent was “bad” for making them spend what was once shared spousal assets.
- The controlled parent is in a type of “no win” situation with a legal battle against the controller parent. For example, if the controlled parent spends most or all of their personal money fighting to see their children before eventually running out of cash, the controlled parent has the option to continue fighting as a Pro Per party on their own or giving up. If they give up fighting to see their children, the controller parent may tell their parent that the controlled parent doesn’t love them and ran off without them.
- Narcissistic controller males can be especially cruel in High Conflict Divorce Cases involving shared children. This is especially true for highly educated males like lawyers or Wall Street executives. The controlling male may be having multiple affairs on the side, hiding the bulk of their assets over a relatively long period of time while they strategize how to start the divorce while keeping the assets and children, and effectively destroying their wife at the same time.
- Additionally, the controlling Narcissist male may tell others that his wife was “crazy” or having multiple affairs (or doing exactly what the male was doing). In some extremely bad situations where the wife and mother ends up penniless and homeless while her children are brainwashed to hate her for no valid reasons, the truly innocent and victimized loving Mom may end up committing suicide (the ultimate final abandonment) as hundreds of parents do each year primarily because of the pain related to separation from their beloved children, sadly. If so, the Narcissistic male will look for sympathy for himself while the children suffer and believe that maybe their Mom was “crazy”, “evil”, and didn’t really love them after all. No, it was the crazy and controlling Narcissist who was truly evil and a weak, fearful coward bully.
- Controller personalities usually have severely diminished empathy skills for self and others around them. As such, many of them end up in prison, or as incredibly mean bosses, abusive spouses, serial killers, bullies, and / or as the least favorite person in your life who can make your life seem like a living Hell while blaming you for their vengeful and malicious actions. Because their internal negative emotions are seemingly uncontrollable to them, they must attempt to control others around them so that they won’t be abandoned and as a way to try to stabilize their own personal fearful emotions.
- Controller personality types tend to act more alike than not, so their traits are easy to spot once you understand their strategies that are inspired by their subliminal fears dating back to their own childhood traumas in many cases.
- For more details in regard to very common Hostile Aggressive Parenting traits that can later lead to negative Parental Alienation perceptions in children, please visit this very informative UK website:
(Family) Tree Quotes
“The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Love the trees until their leaves fall off, then encourage them to try again next year.”
― Chad Sugg
“Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.”
― Warren Buffett
“What we are doing to the forests of the world is but a mirror reflection of what we are doing to ourselves and to one another.”
― Chris Maser
“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”
― Chinese proverb
“When trees burn, they leave the smell of heartbreak in the air.”
― Jodi Thomas
“Love is like a tree, it grows of its own accord, it puts down deep roots into our whole being.”
― Victor Hugo
“This oak tree and me, we’re made of the same stuff.”
― Carl Sagan
Never forget that the best way to get someone else to change their own mind is to help them focus more on questioning their own perspectives, first and foremost. The constant supply of “seeds” of information and details will likely eventually help the child’s (or others) mind to fully blossom and grow in a more loving direction prior to fully reattaching to the other half of the divided family tree. All human beings first begin by way of the Father’s “seeds”, so the comparison of divided or united family trees can be taken both literally and figuratively. We can all only change our reactions to other people as opposed to changing anyone else’s mind.
Stockholm Syndrome and breaking free from the programming chains meant to keep the children connected and obedient to the controlling parent: To learn more about Stockholm Syndrome perception outcomes that are directly related to controlling relationships and Hostile Aggressive Parenting strategies, please watch this very interesting and inspiring video:
What is STOCKHOLM SYNDROME? Abusive Relationships, psychology & mental health help with Kati Morton
Healthy Roots, Healthy Children
It’s been said by many people who have been, directly or indirectly, part of a split family tree situation (former spouses, siblings, parents and children, etc.) that it was the most painful experience in the world. For many, it’s akin to chopping off half of the family tree as well as taking an ax to the healthy roots that connected the tree to the fertile soil. If the children are visualized as limbs from a solid oak tree that formed when two parents reunited for a previously loving relationship, then how may these limbs (or children) cut from the tree after years or decades of a brutal Hostile Aggressive Parenting situation ever live a long lasting happy and healthy life if they don’t reconnect with all sides of the family tree?
For every negative programming seed sprinkled onto a child, a positive programming seed can neutralize these actions. To best repair and heal the children who are the primary victims in these family disputes as well as other family members disconnected from one another, they must be reconnected with their core roots on all sides. If and when this later happens, the child and other family members will stand tall and proud like a giant Sequoia tree with solid roots at their true core.