No one expects a divorce to go perfectly. Emotions run high, you make sacrifices, and life changes in a big way for everyone involved. But most co-parents will try to work through this hard time together for the sake of their child.
Some co-parents do not wish for this cooperation, though. In fact, your co-parent may not want you to have a relationship with your kid at all. Even worse, they will go to great lengths to ensure they ruin it.
Parental alienation as abuse
This is parental alienation and many victims struggle through it after a divorce. Psychology Today looks at parental alienation syndrome (PAS). It is a potential long-term repercussion of childhood parental alienation. As a child, parental alienation has a profound psychological impact. This is especially true in cases where a parent uses manipulative or even abusive techniques to isolate you from your child. You should note that many courts rule parental alienation as a form of abuse because of this.
How PAS victims direct their trauma
As with any form of abuse, parental alienation has a lasting impact in the form of PAS. PAS manifests in different ways. Some children direct their trauma inward rather than outward, resulting in feelings of guilt and blame. This can manifest in self-destructive behaviors such as drug or alcohol abuse in later years.
Some direct this trauma outwards. This can result in difficulty creating bonds with other people. They may lash out at authority figures or feel suspicious of peers. Many adult PAS victims state that they struggle to trust others in general.
These issues often stem from the childhood abuse they suffered. Needless to say, if you notice the signs of PAS early, you should consider contacting a legal professional. They can help you decide how to handle the situation moving forward.