I was listening to the song “Words” by Skylar Grey and it reminded me of parental alienation, and how ambiguous loss affects the targeted parent and the alienated child. This is my opinion of “Words“, I realize that Skylar Grey probably meant the song in another way but I think listening to it this way could offer some insight to those affected by parental alienation or Domestic Violence by Proxy, and the resulting ambiguous loss and trauma.
Ambiguous loss is a is a trauma or loss that has no closure. Without answers or an ability to put the trauma to rest, there is an agonizing, extended grief.
According to Pauline Boss, Ph.D.,”Overall, what has become clear to me is this: Ambiguous loss is a relational disorder and not an individual pathology. With ambiguous loss, the problem comes from the outside context and not from your psyche…My basic theoretical premise is that ambiguous loss is the most stressful kind of loss. It defies resolution and creates long-term confusion about who is in or out of a particular couple or family. With death, there is official certification of loss, and mourning rituals allow one to say goodbye. With ambiguous loss, none of these markers exist. The persisting ambiguity blocks cognition, coping, meaning-making and freezes the grief process.“ http://www.ambiguousloss.com/
Ambiguous loss is another devastating effect of parental alienation. A parent who is forcibly separated from a child experiences a deep grief that is just as painful as if the child had died. The loss of the child is compounded when the child is brainwashed to hate, reject, or fear the targeted parent. It can happen that a child has been separated from a parent for so long, that the child does not properly bond with the parent, and does not wish to continue the relationship. An alienated parent can never really let go of a child, or accept the loss of that child…a part of them will always be searching for the child, and hoping for a reunion. Those parents who are forced to let go, do so under great duress, and often experience guilt, shame or remorse that their child will not accept them or a relationship is just not possible. Other parents have no contact with children (for a variety of reasons) and have to try to resolve a loss with no answers, no way of making sense of something so incomprehensible.
For the child the love and the bond they once had with their parent is replaced by confusion, fear, conflicted loyal and often, a feeling that they are inadequate or somehow caused the other parent to not want them in their lives. The child is used as a pawn by an alienating parent seeking to hurt their ex partner -who will indoctrinate, punish, bribe, lie and do whatever it takes to turn that child against the targeted parent. Thus, the life of the child is based on lies and manipulation, and they lack the benefit of consistent care and nurturing. Instead, the child is useful so long as they serve the alienating parent’s agenda. The mind control used on an alienated child is so strong, and so deeply ingrained, that it can be difficult to heal from or break free from. Some children never recover.
Between a targeted parent and child, there are so many words that are never said…
“I know that you can’t hear me any more
So much to tell you
And most of all goodbye
But I know that you can’t hear me any more..”