If you're an alienated parent, ie the target parent, never give up on them. No matter how tired or distressed or grieved you become, giving up on them is the single WORST thing you can do. When you feel you don't have the strength to go on, remember this: giving up on your children tells them that everything the ex says about you is right. If you give up on them, it's over.
Chances are, the alienator will also dump them at some point because their alienating tactics are about control. Sooner or later (probably later), your child/ren will realise what the alienator has done. They will also grow up eventually and the control the alienator has over them will weaken. It may even bring the alienator back to breaking point again. It did with me.
The alienator did not like that his control over me had waned because I had simply grown up. No one else in my family has a problem with me, but he could not bear that I had my own opinions, most especially my own opinions about my mother's (the target parent) family.
Something alienated children do to protect themselves is to either never speak of or never say anything nice about people the alienator hates, usually the target parent's family. I LOVED my maternal grandmother with an absolute passion. Given the state of my relationship with my mother while she was alive, my grandmother's love and acceptance was a life saver to me. My male parent, the alienator, couldn't bear that I loved her. I would never mention it to him while I was growing up or I'd never hear the end of it. "THAT WOMAN and above all her eldest daughter are to blame for our divorce! If it weren't for them, your mother and I would still be together!" Of course, they weren't to blame: they weren't even in the same country as us. My mother went home to her family once she'd made her mind up to leave.
I guess it's part of the condition of an alienator. He could never accept that the divorce was only between him and my mother. He could never accept ANY part of the blame at all, ever. Even three years ago he still carried the bitterness and, as I've mentioned before, he said her cancer was karma for leaving him and that it was her own fault.
So, faced with a rant like the one above, I never told him that my relationship with my grandmother was one of the joys of my life. He reserved his nastiest rants for the "eldest daughter" mentioned above, my Aunt. He said some AWFUL things about her when I was younger than instilled such a morbid fear of her that I couldn't bear to be in the same room as her. My aunt's husband, for example, beat her up. He said it was her own fault because she had such a big mouth. As a consequence, I've NEVER had a relationship with her. She recognized on the rare occasions that I saw her that there was a problem with me. She said as much in November of this year when I saw her. She didn't know what it was: she just saw me acting like a little demon, upsetting her sister who, like my own eldest daughter, was really quite a gentle person at heart. Mum didn't know how to discipline us by herself. Aunt knew, for example, on the day of Mum's wedding to my stepfather that I was seriously upset about it and acting hatefully (click the REMARRIAGE label to the left). No one realised the reasons (previously posted: I thought I had failed to reunite my parents, a duty I had believed was mine, partly due to the male parent's pressures and behaviours, and that I was to blame for their divorce) and, to be honest I'd probably do the same too under these circumstances, my aunt took me to one side and threatened me with trouble if I spoiled mum's special day. However, no love of me was inferred so given what the alienator had brainwashed me with about mum and her family and my stepdad, her warning to a naughty child only reinforced what the alienator had told me: that these people were evil, didn't love me, didn't want me, wanted to control me etcetera, etceterea and bloody etcetera.
So, the upshot of this is that once I grew up (and I'm talking late 20s, early 30s), I was braver about expressing myself to him. I was still afraid of him and still am now, but I was more confident about saying that I loved my grandmother. He'd argue and blame her for mistreating him by causing his divorce. I remember the blank look on his face when I said, "Well, she's never mistreated me". He shut right up. I almost laughed - and it was so empowering!! He just couldn't bear it though. It was a beginning for me and the end for him. He started picking on other areas of my life after that (he didn't like my kettle, that I don't give my ADULT cats milk, that I didn't have marmalade in the house when he came to visit (get over it! I hate the stuff!), didn't believe I could wire a plug myself: "Let me do it properly for you"), real nitpicking - and continued picking fault with my religion. He could never sit down and have a proper discussion about it. He never asked me why I chose it. He just picked fault with it via sarcastic remarks and silly comments, ignoring me when I said it was a closed subject.
I think he just didn't want me anymore when he realised he didn't have full control over my mind. So he dumped me - and my kids. Unfortunately for him, that act unravelled EVERYTHING. Within six months I realised what he had done and now there's no going back. Perhaps he knew that would happen and that's why he dumped us.
Now I'm glad he's out of our lives but I'm saddened that I have such a messed up parent who was willing to screw his child up to get revenge. I wish someone else had been my father, because he is not that. I'm ashamed that he's my parent. I'm saddened that he can't be trusted around my children or me. I'm saddened by the lack of a grandparent - my kids have, in fact, lost BOTH my parents now. However, that man will NEVER be allowed near us again. End of story. Sometimes I'm paranoid about him: I'm so desperate to keep him away from us because I am afraid of him that if some guy at the supermarket resembles him, out of the corner of my eye, I panic.