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A discussion group on PAS (Parental Alienation Syndrome)

Discussion of Parental Alienation Syndrome

If you are a parent who is estranged from your child, whether or not you are divorced from their other parent, many of the stories described in this discussion group will sound familiar.

Years ago when I first read about PAS, I sent a copy of a book on PAS to both my ex and my daughter. I doubt that either of them read it. My daughter probably threw the package away without even looking inside.

I don't think it is possible to give those who might be affected by PAS information about it and expect them to recognize that PAS is the cause of how they feel and why they are acting as they are. It seems to be part of the package that those who might suffer from PAS are the least likely to be objective about it, certainly not objective enough to recognize it in themselves.

Is there anyone who can clearly say what PAS is? It isn't a clearcut psychiatric condition as so many other conditions are. I view it as a sort of familial Stockholm Syndrome where children, whether minors or adults, forge alliances with those who they see most often and are geographically and physically closest to, even if the physically closest parent is not the mentally healthiest parent. The reason that I believe that PAS exists is that there are too many instances of similar stories of unjustified estrangements by the children of parents who have divorced and where feelings were particularly bitter by at least one of the parents. Something interesting is going on that fails to obey the laws of logic and fairness.

But then there are other instances of estrangements that sound so much like these and the parents who were estranged by their children were never divorced and are happily married for many years. So PAS can't be involved in those estrangements, can it? Or can it? Is there a condition of alienation that can occur generally when children become involved in relationships with others who discourage their relationships with one or both parents? The "other" involved could be a religious group? Their other parent? A significant other? A political party? Anything that involves a high degree of closeness and involvement with the person and that somehow campaigns against a closer relationship with a parent? Or it may not be a campaign against the parent so much as a perception on the part of the person who does the estranging that a relationship with their parent would threaten this other new relationship that they are valuing highly. Regardless of whether there is a real threat or not? It has been said that "perception is everything."

People, both married longterm and divorced, have described to me estrangements that are so much like the one that exists between myself and my daughter. There must be some common denominator for a number of these parental rejections. Maybe there is a general condition that describes a human reaction to certain life conditions where the person alienates themselves from others whom they see as threatening, despite the reality of no plausible threat existing. A general Alienation Syndrome that can occur between parents and children as well as between any person and the society and/or people they used to trust.

Whether or not you are a parent who was divorced, if you are estranged from your child, chances are that you will find similarities to your own story in the stories at the link I included above.

Wishing you Peaceful Holidays,


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