THE BLOG
11/19/2012 10:14 pm ET Updated Jan 19, 2013

Warning: Playing The Victim In A Divorce May Be Hazardous To Your Children's Health

Victim (as defined by Merriam-Webster):
1): one that is injured, destroyed, or sacrificed under any of various conditions (2): one that is subjected to oppression, hardship, or (3): one that is tricked or duped

Have you experienced any of the above? With proper guidance and focus, it's possible for you to overcome your pain of being a victim and transform your life in amazing ways. It simply begins with a tiny seed of desire to move from being a victim to claiming victory over your adversities. As adults armed with this desire, we are capable of seeking the resources we need to help us heal and eventually triumph over our suffering.

But not all adults want to overcome their suffering. Some want to remain a victim. And sometimes in a divorce, these particular adults cause harm to their children and make their children victims in the process.

Our children depend upon us to ensure their safety and protection. Sadly for some children, it's their very own parent who victimizes them in subtle or not so subtle ways through brainwashing and manipulation.

In the process of divorce, children may be victimized when one parent plays the role of the victim to their advantage. One parent may act helpless or despondent in such a way that makes the children feel sorry for them and take on the responsibility of making the parent feel better. Or one parent may tell lies about the other parent to the children in order to gain preference. Whatever way is used, understand that playing the victim in this manner is fueled by anger, resentment and a hunger for revenge towards the ex-spouse. Regrettably, I have witnessed this very thing happen to my own children in the process of my divorce from their emotionally abusive father. Although I wished my children were never in that situation, fortunately, they were only subjected to it for a short time. We have since healed and moved on.

So while there are many different victims -- some that are willing to heal and some that aren't -- I think it's fair to say that in a divorce, just about everyone suffers. However, it's important to take notice of the type of person who purposefully plays the role of a victim. This type of victim will often:

  • • Play the role of "poor me" to their advantage. He or she will use their victimhood to gain sympathy from their children and other family members. They will also try to make the ex-spouse look bad.
  • • Manipulates their children by playing this role to gain revenge on the ex spouse. He or she will play on their children's confusion and emotions without any concern about what harm their behavior is causing their children. Their only mission is to hurt the ex-spouse.
  • • Obsess about revenge. His or her thoughts, words and actions are carefully calculated in order to execute this revenge. Their behavior is dangerous to everyone involved -- especially the children. This behavior is emotional abuse and this person should not be trusted.

So what can you to do if you're facing this scenario? Empower yourself with all the information on emotional abusers that you can gather. Seek professional help and assistance, including legal advice. Take notice of your children's behavior, words and attitudes and talk with their doctor about it. Seek psychological and spiritual counseling to help you gain strength, confidence, courage and a positive outlook. Above all, do not back down. You know the truth about what's happening to your children and with support from your advisors, you will be able stop the corruption and exploitation of your children by your ex.

Pamela Dussault, creator of www.PassageToInnerJoy.com, is a spiritual teacher, mentor, intuitive counselor and medium, soul mate relationship specialist, founder of the R.E.A.P. healing method, and author.

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