Colorado co-parents often exist harmoniously, or at the very least manage to stay out of each other’s way. This is not always the most ideal situation for a child, but it is often workable.
Unfortunately, this is not the reality every divorced couple lives with. In some cases, malicious intent can drive a parent into acting out. They may use manipulative tactics in the hopes of driving a wedge between you and your children. This is also known as parental alienation.
How does PA feel to sufferers?
Psychiatric Times looks at how parental alienation (PA) impacts all members of a family. Some writers have described PA as an “unexpected, premature death”. For you, it feels like you have lost a child. Your child may also feel like they have lost a parent. Growing up with an increasing amount of distance from your beloved child is a bitter pill to swallow. This is especially true if you were close before PA took hold.
Will the impacts last a lifetime?
Your child faces lifelong consequences, too. PA is a form of child psychological abuse. While there is no official diagnosis for it as of yet, a summary of symptoms lies within the DSM-5. As with other forms of psychological abuse, PA has lasting impacts on children. As a victim of PA, your child may suffer from trust and relationship issues throughout their life. They also have a higher chance of struggling with depression and may also develop substance abuse issues.
For the sake of your child’s safety and your well-being, you want to challenge signs of PA as soon as you see them. PA varies in degree of severity, ranging from mild to severe. If you address it while it is mild enough, you can often stave off the worst of the long-term impacts and protect your child along with your relationship.