Does an alienated, psychologically abused child remember they were loved by the parent they were coerced into rejecting?

Yes. The child’s memories and emotional connection to the targeted parent may remain intact, even if they are influenced or coerced to deny or suppress those feelings.

The psychological manipulation involved in parental alienation can create a confusing and distressing situation for the child.

The alienating parent will lie, exaggerate, and distort reality to undermine the child’s relationship with the targeted parent. They do what they can to prevent all positive contact, thoughts and beliefs.

This can lead to the child experiencing conflicting emotions, cognitive dissonance, and loyalty conflicts.

While the child may display rejection or negative attitudes towards the targeted parent, deep down, they often still have feelings of love, longing, and attachment towards that parent. This is natural and what mental health and legal professionals must have at the forefront of their minds.

These feelings may resurface as the child grows older, gains more awareness, or seeks to reconcile their experiences with the truth.

It is crucial the child is provided, wherever possible with support, therapeutic interventions, and opportunities to rebuild and reconnect with the targeted parent in a positive, nurturing environment.

Often it’s a good idea to find a neutral place for this – a restaurant, a park, or a trip somewhere. Whatever helps the child rediscover and reaffirm their bond with the parent they were coerced into rejecting, and anything that promotes healing and the restoration of a healthy parent-child relationship is of great importance.