People who have not been touched by Parental Alienation by a malignant narcissist can find it impossible to understand a victim’s suffering. Yet, victims find it difficult to understand why friends, family, Family Courts, etc. etc. If you are the targeted parent it is so clear and obvious what is happening to you and your child. But, the experience is so far beyond the normal relationship between parents and children that unaffected people find it almost impossible to comprehend it exists. So, they often inadvertently support the abuser by blaming the victim.
Victimized parents often withdraw from their own families and potential support groups. The abuser in these situations has succeeded in making the victim believe the problem with the affected child is his/her creation. The shame and guilt felt by victims drives them to an unwarranted lifetime suffering from the belief they have somehow been cruel or abusive or have even gone insane. They may not understand but some are manipulated to believe they have actually abused the children they so much love. Unfortunately, there are too few sources of professional support.
The lonely, painful isolation of victimized adults (and children) has resulted in the severe depression sometimes leading to suicide.
This process making an ex-spouse believe he/she is insane is often referred to as Gaslighting, an insidious strategy described in the great 1944 film, Gaslight. It is a beautiful depiction of a woman manipulated by her husband intent on convincing her she has gone insane.
Speaking of films, a nonprofit group on the West Coast is in the process of making a film called “Erasing Family.” Previously, they created “Erasing Dad.” Check out their website at www.erasingfamily.org.