Dr Amy Baker in her book – Breaking the Ties that Bind – studied the outcomes for 40 adults in the US who identified that they had been manipulated to reject one of their parents in childhood. She found that they experienced:
Low self-esteem. Stemming from the denigration of the targeted parent. When a parent bad-mouths someone who is half of the child’s identity, the child internalises this as criticism against themselves (65%).
Guilt. For having betrayed the targeted parent (% not documented).
Depression. For the irreplaceable time they lost with the targeted parent, extended family members and friends (28%).
Lack of trust. In themselves and others. When they realise that what they believed about the alienating parent was actually not the case. Therefore, they do not trust themselves to be good judges of other’s motives and character (40%).
Drug and alcohol problems. Adult children were drawn to substance abuse to escape the pain of their loss (35%).
Alienation from their own children. They subconsciously chose partners who were like their alienating parents and so brought about alienation in their own children (50%).
Divorce. Many said their marriages failed because of their lack of trust in their partner, their inability to be intimate and problems with depression and substance abuse (57.5%).