For people who have been in family court battling domestic abuse, it’s no secret that the children are the real causalities.
Typically, the perpetrator will use the legal system to perpetuate domestic abuse upon the spouse he/she is divorcing. And the children are, more often than not, the convenient way in which to carry out the abuser’s agenda to maintain control over the family.
Accusations of parental alienation, whether real or not, are often the maneuver that batterers use to separate protective parents from their children. Funny thing though is that what’s being set in motion is a lifetime of parental alienation by the abuser.
Children of Lies
Then, once the protective parent is walled out of their children’s lives, the children are given a convenient “story” to explain their absence or restricted contact. As is often the case for young children, they internalize their loss of their parent’s disappearance as being their fault.
That’s quite a burden for a child to bear, and often they encounter serious psychological and emotional consequences. In adolescence, they can spiral out of control. The so-called “helpers” that are brought in to correct the behavioral issues are led to believe that all of the mishaps in the children’s lives are because of the absence of the missing parent.
This of course is relayed to the acting-out children as well. So they grow to believe that their life problems all stem from something the missing parent did or, shall we say, didn’t do.
Grown Children of Confusion
Now at some point, the day comes when they become young adults and they can either hold to the family stories that have been dished out along the way. Or, they can sort out their own truths. Often it’s something in-between.
Let’s say they seek out the estranged parent, and all is well between the two of them. The grown child then shares this satisfaction with the alienating parent, and you’re back where you started—another round of parental alienation later in life.
Why? Because, in order to insure that the earlier lies are kept hidden, one must resurrect what keeps them undercover. The child could be told, “Remember all the bad that came into your life because of that missing parent.” This being a memory no young adult would want to rekindle then becomes the cause to engage in round two of parental alienation.
I’m sure by now that you see how and why these children are the true casualties of family court when domestic abuse abounds before, during and after. If you are an estranged parent, don’t ever give up hope of having a healthy and satisfying relationship with your child if he/she is a causality of family court. Something or someone could cross his/her path and inspire breaking the cycle of parental alienation.
For information on healing parental alienation, visit us on Instagram @DrJeanneKingPhD. Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D. helps people nationwide recognize, end and heal from domestic abuse.
© Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D. – Domestic Violence Prevention and Intervention
Dr. Jeanne King is a licensed psychologist and domestic abuse consultant. Feel free to contact us if you need help with physical and/or emotional pain, stress-related illnesses, or relationship abuse issues at home or in court. Contact Us to reach Dr. King.