Just recently my good friend was betrayed by his own family. You see, he has been in a relationship with a covert narcissist, and unfortunately, they have a son together. They share custody. However, his child is a victim of parental alienation.
My friend has been through courts seeking to become the primary carer of the child, he found therapists for his child, but his ex-declined. All he can do now is the role model for his son — love him, nurture him and help him develop into a healthy young adult.It’s hard though, for him and for his child, who is split in between the parents.
I believe that it takes a village to raise a child, but it also takes one to abuse one.
And that’s a truth of parental alienation. The problem is that parental alienation is a topic that people don’t speak about. It’s taboo. It’s too “inconvenient”. My friend tried to explain it to his closest friends and to his family.
But let’s face it, the only people that can understand Parental Alienation and relate to what it’s like are those who have gone through it.
One day he learns that his family is planning with his ex and that those days interfere with the dates that he is to spend with his son. At first, he ignores it, but months go by, and soon he realizes that his own parents have become flying monkeys. He realizes that his parents have chosen sides — they keep him out. He realizes that he is all alone. He is heartbroken just like Michael Corleone was by his younger brother’s betrayal.
To those who don’t understand the term “flying monkeys”, let me explain more in-depth:
Flying monkeys is another way of saying ‘Abuse by Proxy’ — having someone else, close to you, do their dirty work for the narcissist.
It’s a very common narcissistic tactic which includes:
- Using friends and family of the victim to spy on them, to get information, to spread gossip while painting themselves as the victim and their target as the prosecutor.
- The bad news is that these flying monkeys can be your closest friends, your mother, and father, your siblings, co-workers.
My friend is an empath, someone who doesn’t want to drag other people, and closest ones into the drama, so the narcissist gets to them first. And it gets worse if you already come from a dysfunctional family that is more vulnerable to manipulation and drama. The narcissist will employ these third parties (the closest ones) and they will use them to continue to control and manipulate you.
Narcissists are PIMPS.
They groom others around you, the same way they groom their children to dislike you, without any justifiable reason. In my personal experience, I found out that women are better at being narcissistic pimps than men because they tend to use their charm, their “vulnerability”, and they play “the poor single mother card” (even though they have a list of 15 men that they’ve slept with and 10 more that they are going to use for financing them).
They groom your family from the moment they meet them, but most importantly they test how strong your family’s ties are. They may tell things to your family such as:
- “I am trying to be reasonable with him, but he is the one who just wants to control me and our sons’ life…”.
- “All I wish for is for my son and me to have a father in his life, but his son is suffering and not wanting to see him, so I can’t allow additional contact…”;
- They will portray themselves as a “Saint” when they are Satan.
If their test works, they will tell your family and friends lies about you and this way they will plant a seed of doubt in your closest circle and your family will not believe the things you say about the narcissist anymore. The narcissist’s mask is going to be believed by your family. After all, they will always look for the weakest link in your circle of friends and family and will exploit it.
Just like in Fredo Corleone’s case — who was the weakest and most easily controlled. And that’s how the “win” in the short-term.
But why does your family become a pack of flying monkeys?
- My friend’s father did it because of his own protection. He feared losing his grandchild. So, he thought if keeps communicating with the narcissist he may actually do some good. But also, truth be told, he loves drama.
- My friend’s mother became the monkey because she also felt a victim herself: raising four kids alone. So, she fell into a rescuing role, she sympathizes with the narcissist and even defends her.
- My friend’s best friend turned out to be a narcissist himself. Flying monkeys have strong narcissistic traits such as a desire for attention and manipulation of others. Additionally, he always used to compete with my friend, obviously, now it’s evident he wasn’t his friend at all.
What can you do to preserve your sanity and protect your children?
- You must do the hard work and detach yourself from all the flying monkeys.
- You are in the warzone, my friend, and you need to know who your ally is.
The narcissist wants to mentally and emotionally cripple you, so you have no strength to be there for your children. Don’t let them bury you, because if they do — they will bury the only chance that your children have at leading a fulfilling life.
Pull back, accept the situation as it is, and don’t fight back! Don’t justify or explain — they won’t get it. You will undergo, as my friend, a terrible trauma thinking: “I must do something to change my family point of view! They don’t understand! They are harming the children!”
Let it go and do the following:
Stand strong as a mountain and don’t show any emotions.
Walk away, even when it means walking away from your family.
Surround yourself with a new family and friends — that supports and loves you.
Focus on your children — nothing else.
Because as Mario Puzo said:
Stay loyal to yourself, and to your child — always and forever.