New Jersey parents like you want what is best for your child. But even parents are only human. A grieving, angry parent can fall into the trap of wanting to distance you from your child.
This is parental alienation. Exposed children often develop parental alienation syndrome (PAS), which can have a devastating impact.
Child psychological abuse in PAS victims
Psychology Today examines the impact of parental alienation syndrome. Children often react in different ways depending on the severity of alienation. Other factors also contribute, like their age, personality and maturity level. But courts consider parental alienation a form of child psychological abuse. It has an overall negative impact no matter the target.
In early life, children often display confusion, agitation and guilt. Many do not understand why they are pushing the alienated parent away. They do not want to go against the alienating parent’s wishes, either. The idea that either parent would hurt them goes against what they know. This can lead to a mismatched view of reality versus their sense of self. Many turn to self-blame to alleviate the guilt.
Later life impacts
In later life, adults who suffered through PAS struggle with trust and connections. They cannot easily make relationships with peers. They may have reflexes that include suspicion and anxiety. This makes it hard to maintain friendships and romantic relationships alike.
Many victims also develop psychological issues like anxiety or depression. In severe cases, some may even struggle with post traumatic stress disorder. This can lead to substance use or abuse in an attempt to alleviate the mental pressure. Needless to say, this can have a huge impact on their overall quality of life.