As target parents we sometimes lose sight of how hard it is for our alienated kids to reunify with us, especially when our alienated kids are adults as it seems they should be able to easily resume treating us normally. It’s important to remember that it can take super-natural bravery for our kids to reunify with us as they face so many hard and scary scenarios to reunify with us. One of the hard and scary scenarios they must face is…What to tell people about how they’re letting you back into their life when people have been thoroughly convinced that you’re too “crazy, unsafe, unstable, etc etc etc” to have a relationship with? Maybe you’ve been alienated for years to the point that you were excluded from the child’s biggest life moments such as their wedding or the birth of a child so people really are fully immersed in the lies that you’re deserving of total rejection. After all, you MUST be a monster to have not even been included in your own child’s wedding or the birth of their child. After many years of an alienation so deep with convincing lies, it can be overwhelming for the alienated adult child to think about how to explain to people why they would let you back into their life. After all, an alienated child is not going to say “Well, to be honest, my parent was never actually a bad person or did anything wrong. I was put in the position to reject them by my other parent.”
So what can or should you say if you want to reunify with your target parent but don’t know how to explain it to people. The answer is simple. As in almost everything related to reunification, saying less is more. All the adult child needs to say to people is “We’re working things out.” That’s it. “We’re working things out.” Repeat as needed. If you’re an adult child who is reunifying with your target parent and are struggling with this specific challenge, keep a few things in mind. 1) It only takes 2 seconds to say “We’re working things out.” 2 seconds. 2) When you give such a direct and firm answer, people rarely ask more questions. It’s highly unlikely that they will ask you for specifics. If they do ask you, you can say “We can talk about it later” or you can say “”We just wanted to work things out.” You’re under no obligation to anyone to explain further unless it’s someone you want to explain it to further. 3) 99.9% of people will be HAPPY for you! Their response will mostly likely be “That’s great!” because the truth is most people know that we all naturally want good relationships with both of our parents.
While it’s “simple” to make the 2 second statement of “We’re working things out,” we need to recognize that it’s still hard to do. And this is just ONE OF the reasons it’s hard for alienated adult kids to reunify with their target parent. We need to recognize the incredible courage an alienated adult child must use to reunify with their target parent. This is a bigger brave than many people can ever imagine.