Why do PAS parents act like they do?

“I believe that PAS parents have become stuck in the first stage of child development, where survival skills are learned.

To them, having total control over their child is a life and death matter. Because they don’t understand how to please other people, any effort to do so always has strings attached. They don’t give; they only know how to take. They don’t play by the rules and are not likely to obey a court order.

Descriptions that are commonly used to describe severe cases of PAS are that the alienating parent is unable to “individuate” (a psychological term used when the person is unable to see the child as a separate human being from him or herself). They are often described as being “overly involved with the child” or “enmeshed”.

The parent may be diagnosed as narcissistic (self-centered), where they presume that they have a special entitlement to whatever they want. They think that there are rules in life, but only for other people, not for them.

Also, they may be called a sociopath, which means a person who has no moral conscience. These are people who are unable to have empathy or compassion for others. They are unable to see a situation from another person’s point of view, especially their child’s point of view. They don’t distinguish between telling the truth and lying in the way that others do.

In spite of admonitions from judges and mental health professionals to stop their alienation, they can’t. The prognosis for severely alienating parents is very poor. It is unlikely that they are able to “get it.” It is also unlikely that they will ever stop trying to perpetuate the alienation. This is a gut wrenching survival issue to them.”
[Source: Parents Who Have Successfully Fought Parental Alienation Syndrome, by Jayne A. Major, Ph.D. ]

Reading this article struck so many chords with us. Control was such an ongoing issue with our alienating parent. She, and only she, had the right to make decisions pertaining to HER children. She certainly did not obey court orders, since she — as mother — knew what was best for her children. Court orders did no good in our case, because they were completely ignored. Rules are meant for others to follow …. not her.

And, on many occasions, she would have her young children call their father and give him excuses as to why he would not be seeing them during his regularly scheduled visitation, or on his scheduled holidays.

Is she able to see this situation from her childrens’ point of view?  That’s highly unlikely; otherwise, she would not have put her children through the ordeals that she has put them through.

Can she distinguish between telling the truth and lying?  Lies roll off of her tongue so easily, we worry that she is so delirious, that she actually believes what she was saying.

Just a few days ago, someone — who has traveled with us through our journey of parental alienation, said: “she just doesn’t get it, and doesn’t see that no one is buying her version of what’s happened over all these years.” Like Dr. Major said, it’s very unlikely that she will ever stop trying to perpetuate the alienation. Even after 36 years, she can’t put her children before her feelings ….. and the alienation continues.

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