Hello James!

Yes, it is definitely wonderful to find a fellow kindred spirit!

I am really sad to see this alienation was a consequence of your marriage, though also not surprising. I have read a lot about this phenomenon, though have unfortunately not seen enough people researching it or even talking about it. I also agree more needs to be done to understand the nuances here in these dynamics. It is great you are holding this torch!

I have done some work with clients around parental alienation, from both the child and the alienated adult’s perspectives, in this context.

This is a slightly different perspective, but my dissertation was on researching the experiences of adult-children who were raised with one or more primary caregivers with Asperger’s Syndrome. Though AS is very different than NPD, it does have some similarities, and people report feeling as though their lived experience of having a primary caregiver like this, was very very similar to having a parent with Narcissism. In fact, many people reported experiencing this same parental alienation dynamic, where the AS parent sought to divide the household and use the child as a (political and ego) extension of their self. This makes sense considering the marked lack of empathy and mind sight in many AS people, where as a means of relating and for their experience of survival, they engage in attempting to turn the children against the non-AS parent. They don’t seem to come from the same psychological space or with the exact same intentions as someone with NPD though, as they seem to be more innocent, but the external result can look very similar.

These conversations are SO important as we more fully begin to understand the impact NPD folks have on whole systems, and not just one other person.


Coach. Psychologist. Writing about new perspectives, love, relationships, Narcissism, healing, transformation, & culture. www.avapommerenkphd.com

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store