The absence of parental empathy is profoundly damaging for the child.
A damaged and manipulative parent turns the child into a weapon of revenge against the other spouse. This severely damages the child. It’s psychological child abuse.
The manipulation is strong. The court, therapists… the other parent, all focus on the child. This is spousal abuse, why is everyone looking at the weapon and not at the abuse?
The allied parent’s manipulations empower the child’s “voice” in the conflict – “we need to listen to the child’s voice” – it says. The child speaks false. Some believe the false, while others see the lie, but the conflict swirls around the child, the child is the focus, that’s the purpose, that’s the lie, make the child a battlefield.
When the lie is placed in the child, the parents battle – using the child – for the truth or the lie, one parent seeks the truth from the child, the other parent seeks the lie.
The child is the battlefield.
No one stops. Both “sides” are trying to win. For the targeted parent, it is literally a matter of life and death, if they lose, they lose the child, they become “dead” to their child. Naturally they will fight for their child… which is what the pathogen wants… the child is the battlefield.
A masterful manipulation. The court… focuses on the child. The custody evaluator, focuses on the child. The reunification therapist, focuses on the child. The targeted parent… fights for the child. The focus is on the child.
The child is the battlefield. A masterful manipulation.
We must not allow the lie to make the child a battlefield.
I know targeted parents want to “fight” for the child – but our “weapon” is empathy, authentic empathy, for the child’s self-authenticity, this will release the child from the manipulation and the lie. The directional flow of love is from parent to child, not the other way.
The current flow of love from child to parent is surface bumpy right now, but solid, I’m not worried about that direction. Easy to fix what’s on display from that direction.
I know what the child is saying and doing. None of that is true. It’s easy to find the flow of love from the child to the parent, the one we want is from parent to child.
I’m not going to make the child a battlefield over the manipulation. I’m not going to play, pathogen. Different game. Called empathy, authentic empathy.
We recover by finding, not by fighting.
Not your fault, parents. You’re supposed to have family therapists supporting you in all of this, and all of this should be getting fixed by the mental health people in six months, all done, all fixed.
We’re failing you. Professional psychology is failing you and your children.
I am very-very cross with my professional colleagues for not fixing this. We will get you the help and support you need to unlock the manipulation and unlock the lie.
You’re trying to do it on your own, and it is a masterful manipulation based on many subtle lies. It is entrapping you into fighting (defending), and it is entrapping everyone into a focus on the child.
This is not about the child, it’s about the targeted parent. This is IPV spousal abuse of the ex-spouse targeted parent by the allied parent, using the child as the weapon. The child is not the focus, the child is the weapon.
The target is… the targeted parent, targeted for severe and savage emotional abuse by the ex-spouse/allied parent, using the child as the weapon.
Our focus needs to be off the lie that is being placed into the child, and our true vision must see the authentic child, that vision is called our authentic empathy.
The pathogen in the other parent knows your triggers, knows how to activate you into fighting. It puts those triggers into the child. You respond, you fight… with your ex-… in your child… your child is the battlefield.
It is a manipulation of you. Masterful manipulation. The triggers are so embedded, and so available. Alter your triggers.
The pathogen knows where your buttons are, your ex- knows exactly what to export into the child to push those buttons, and trigger the spousal fight through the child, the child becomes the battlefield.
Shift those buttons. Lose them, hide them, make them go away… because currently, your ex- knows exactly what those triggers are. Please stop being triggered.
Exactly. That is exactly the right question that will put you exactly on the proper path.
When you alter how you show up… it changes the corresponding puzzle-piece of your child, change the other by changing me, changing how I show up for my child.
Fears. It’s all born in fears, this is a trauma pathology, and trauma is a pathology of fear, unresolved fear seeking to protect itself against the enemy. Trauma is a fear-oriented brain.
Healthy is an attachment, reaching out, bonding brain. It is a relaxed brain that allows others close, and bonds easily.
Fear destroys that, and it feeds itself. We need one of you, the child or the parent, to find and remain outside fear and in the healthy brain of attachment, reaching out, and bonding.
You’re the parent, that’s you. That’s your responsibility, not the child’s, the child’s a child, you’re the grown-up, that’s you, you’re the chosen parent. I want you to find your healthy place of relaxed.
You’re child is easy to recover. It’s you that’s hard. You’re made afraid by the manipulation, all your proper buttons have been pushed in you by your ex-… using the child.
The battlefield is a lie, it’s not real. You make it real because you believe it. The child loves you bunches and bunches, I know what the child’s saying, it’s not true, it’s the lie. And you believe that? No, don’t believe the lie.
Stay here, in reality. Your child loves you bunches, your ex- is pushing your buttons using the child. Why are you letting them do that? Please stop letting them do that. Move your buttons, make them go away, paint them different colors, something.
Because your ex- knows right where they are and is using your buttons to manipulate you using the child.
Children are not a battlefield. They are children. Don’t be triggered into your fears, stay grounded in your relaxed place of empathy, authentic empathy for the child’s experience.
You’ll hear much of Dorcy’s language in my descriptions. There are resources available to help in the reorientation to empathy, and away from the lie. She’ll help you find those resources.
Craig Childress, Psy.D.
Clinical Psychologist, PSY 18857