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Letting Go: When Alienated Parents Give Up
When a parent endures parental alienation, various emotions materialize. Some are angry and others feel helpless. On the other hand, a number of rejected parents evolve into dedicated empowered advocates, but just as many are depleted both physically and financially. Some parents may ask, when do I let go? Clearly, alienated parents (also known as rejected parents) are grieving parents. In 2002 Dr. Richard Gardner wrote, “For some alienated parents the continuous heartache is similar to living death.” Sadly, for many rejected parents, the sorrow never ends.
Most are familiar with Elisabeth Kubler-Ross’ Five Stages of Grieving. First is Denial. Denial is not recognizing reality. As noted by Dr. Gardner (2002), denying reality is obviously a maladaptive way of dealing with a situation. In fact, denial is generally considered to be one of the defense mechanisms, mechanisms that are inappropriate, maladaptive, and pathological…
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