I ask the question if this “forgiveness” is actually the answer?
Frankly, my way of seeing it is, not only is forgiveness no answer, but even that to ask if we could ever forgive is kind of a stupid question.
So what if we did? Parental alienation is not a set of actions based on any genuine fear or on any defensible urge to do right by a child if just a misguided one. Not even close. Parental alienation, is arrogant, selfish, dishonest, malicious and as inconsiderate of a child’s needs and future as it gets.
In the face of all these traits which inspire this abominable behavior, the callous disregard for anything but one’s own emotional gratification and the filling of one’s dysfunctional voids with sleazy unearned sympathy, the unthinkable capacity to first treat a child as one’s own personal property and then expand that into dismissing half their heritage and identity by locking out half their family, the guaranteed response to any expression to forgive such creatures would be just more arrogant contempt: “how dare you presume to forgive me when I never did anything wrong?”
I’m convinced that one of the many sick and twisted motivations in women who fire fathers, is that they are setting us up to play a hero’s role for their own gratification. Since they have spent a lifetime fantasizing about some super-hero idea of a father they never had themselves (yes, this is hereditary conduct passed from mother to daughter and has been for generations), first they find us, and set us up to be that hero.
Then they are not contented by how we go about rescuing them, because the addiction is not about being rescued at all, but about the self-pity they can wallow in for NEVER being rescued. So they make any and all attempts to be an asset in their lives utterly and toxically impossible, as a means of staying convinced that they are all on their own in life and have been all along.
When children come to be in the middle of these behaviors, they become pawns to it, hostages of it, further symbols that their mother is the beleaguered, brave heroine who has to continually rescue herself and them both because the father has failed to do so.
The more a man tries to love and coexist with and help and empathize with such a woman, the more his every effort to do so is twisted into the worst things she can accuse him of, and the more she makes his place alongside her absolutely intolerable and unsustainable. Her worst fear is not of him, it is that she might ever be happy, or that her children might be well-served by a proper daddy right in front of her when she never had one, because this would deny her the fix of continual discontent that her own mother taught her to build her life around.
A father helping her raise a child and being good at it, just gets in her way. The better he is at it, the more she needs to repel him, and cause the children to come to despise him along with her.
And the whole of society takes this same approach to a man in our situation: we are supposed to be courageous, tireless, persistent, long-suffering, and forgiving, heroes. Pay any price, bear any burden, etc, etc, and do it for years on end even when there is no progress, no reconciliation, no restoration of our parental role in the least, because that heroic fantasy of the alienated father is gratifying, entertaining, and it relieves anyone of the need to look a crime against children’s humanity in the face and yes, judge it for what it is.
What is even more unforgivable than parental alienation itself, is that it is so easily tolerated by everyone who comes into contact with the alienating parent. While sex offenders’ registries are maintained for any man who ever got caught with a photo sent to him that he neglects to delete, meanwhile perpetrators (and openly so) of parental alienation, this lowest and most commonplace form of child abuse, are all around, and treated not as the criminals they are but as folk heroines, as noble and courageous archetypes of the continuing mythology of female victimhood in general, which so many simply take at face value.
It is functionally impossible to commit parental alienation, without along the way defying court orders (contempt of court), misrepresenting events to law enforcement (false reporting of crime), lying on the witness stand (perjury), removing a child from a home without co-consent by the other parent (child abduction, a felony); not even to mention any direct physical and emotional abuses they are free to commit on the children with impunity in the bargain.
The happenstance of mothers being allowed to get away with all these crimes, is no exoneration of them. Contrarily, it implicates all parties who knowingly and willingly enable them, as accomplices to them.
Parental alienation is not just about one person and their wrongdoing, it is about an environment of immunity, of carte blanche, which requires “a whole village” to sustain.
And I am no more willing to forgive the perpetrator herself, when she will never, ever acknowledge anything in need of forgiveness, than I am to forgive an entire civilization which has given her permission to treat a child as her personal property (involuntary servitude, by the Thirteenth Amendment, aka slavery) to do with as she sees fit.
Forgiveness of the unilateral, cathartic, unreciprocated sort promoted by clergy and therapists, may be a short-term if illusory treatment for the symptoms, but it is no cure for the illness itself and never will be.
That, will take a conscientious societal will on the level of a new kind of abolitionism, which by all current indications is nowhere in sight.