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Beach Runaway Trip?- And Other “Everyday” Worries

Our daughter returned yesterday from her father’s house. She made many interesting comments in the 10-minute car-ride home. First of all, out of the blue, she stated,”Mommy, I don’t think Daddy loves you anymore.” She’s said this before.

I asked her, “Oh. Why do you think that?”

She said, “Because he isn’t very nice to you. He doesn’t think you and Grandma are very nice.”

I said, “Oh, what do you think about that?”

She said, “I think you’re nice.” Then she said, “It’s hard deciding who to live with all the time.”

I said, “What do you mean?”

She said, “Daddy wants me to live with him all the time.” She’s also said that he cries when she leaves, most likely a manipulation. The reason I believe this is a manipulation is this: when I called my friend, who I wasn’t “supposed to” call, he was going to leave me. When he saw that I didn’t care that he left and wasn’t going to try to stop him, he decided to take our daughter, the “thing” I cared most about, with him. It was an afterthought for him, and he probably only thought of it because I had taken her when I left the first time. He used her then to get me back. From that point forward, he’s used her.

According to my daughter, he is telling her that she will be living with him full time in the near future. He says they are going to move to the beach together and she will never see me again. This obviously causes our daughter quite a bit of stress. She’s been having nightmares that she can’t find me. I’ve assured her that this won’t happen but I have also made sure she knows my name, grandparents’ names, where she lives, who to contact for help, and how to use the phone, (even though her father’s is different) if she ever gets separated from either of us. I try to make her feel empowered if something ever DID happen but I don’t want to imply by my actions that it is likely either. The truth is, of course it could happen and I wouldn’t be totally shocked if it did.

When she was talking about it one day, I asked her which beach Daddy was wanting to go to. She didn’t know. When she returned this time, she proudly stated that she’d found out which beach he wanted to move to: Florida. So, at least that may narrow it down a bit if I have to search. She says she tells Daddy that she wants to stay with him all the time, “so his feelings won’t be hurt.” She also tells me that she wants to stay with ME all the time. I tell her that she doesn’t need to pick between us. She can see us BOTH. It’s not a decision she can make anyway, so it will stay the same as it is now. For some reason, she is feeling a lot of pressure to decide who to stay with. It seems as if he is priming her to “want” to be with him, even though in our state, children cannot decide until they are at LEAST 13. She is 4. Why is he doing this? I think he’s trying to justify in his mind kidnapping her (or something anyway), or if nothing else, he’s using her to hurt me by her not wanting to be with me. He’s definitely up to something, as all of you who have N-ex’s know. My best friend has had issues with her husband’s ex. Their lawyer reassured her that the kidnapper would have to have nearly a million dollars cash to be able to pull it off, keeping a child hidden for that long, especially with all the new amber alerts that we now have. That reassures me a little, but when it’s your child, it’s still scary. My ex has always bragged about his military connections and when the child welfare services were called on us in our state, he was planning on going to hide out with family until he could get a military flight out of the country. I discussed that they weren’t going to take her away from me (I hadn’t done anything wrong), and wouldn’t he rather her continue a normal life and he could return to live with us as soon as we got it all straightened out? No. It was clearly about what was best for HIM, that he not be away from her. And, he’s always suspected that I turned him in with child welfare. I didn’t. He was most likely trying to get back at me even then, though I didn’t realize it at the time.

When our daughter was speaking of her trip, I asked her when her daddy plans to leave. She said, “tomorrow.” How does this make me feel as a parent? Pretty terrified, I’m gonna be honest. While I doubt he’ll really do it, it has occurred to me that maybe he’s just saying it to her to try to scare me- mind games- trying to “outlast” me. It frustrates me that there’s nothing I can do to prevent this for our daughter’s sake, I just have to let it all play out before I can do anything. Most likely, he’ll leave on the first day of his visitation and I’ll know nothing for days. Is this all part of his mental manipulation? He threatened before that he could outlast me. He doesn’t know the REAL love of a mother (or father). He only knows his version, a sick and twisted game of manipulation, with the only thing he can use his own daughter! Prayers please!

Family Law Narcissism: Understanding Your Options

family law narcissism 2Family Law Narcissism

The legal divorce process is stressful, even when both parties are logical, but when there’s a personality disorder involved, it can be a nightmare! I lived through it and wouldn’t wish it on anyone! Family Court is geared for “normal” divorces. When a high-conflict divorce comes along, I believe the legal system fails us and sadly, our children suffer the most. When divorcing a psychopath, sociopath, or narcissist, divorce can be disaster. Family lawyers who aren’t educated in high-conflict divorce can make the problem worse by not understanding the situation. I felt like my lawyer didn’t believe me, my stories were so ridiculous. By the end, he finally did. Family law court can favor the more aggressive person at times and the innocent party can often “lose” in the area of child custody, a fair divorce settlement, and other areas of divorce. The more you know, the more you can help your lawyer help you.

Most lawyers (at least from my own experience) are not equipped to deal with high-conflict divorce. Since most divorces are “amicable” in comparison, the high-conflict divorce is something a typical lawyer “gets through” but doesn’t excel in. I had a lawyer with a really good reputation for child custody cases. However, he didn’t seem equipped to deal with this mess.

A high-conflict divorce begins when one party wants to “win” at all costs. In these cases, simple divorce mediation is often not possible.  In my case, that high-conflict party was my husband. I was more than willing to be reasonable. I let him live in our marital home while we were separated, even though I could have had him removed. I worked with him on sharing our office space. Before the last straw, he told me that if we get divorced, that he will NOT make it easy. He will fight for and get FULL custody of our daughter (who had always been my responsibility when we were married. He played with her when it suited him). He didn’t CARE what was best for our daughter, only what was best for him. Winning. Hurting me. That was what was best for him. Many of you reading this are likely facing this reality. The narcissist dismisses any of your needs. He/she forgets all the years of devotion and mutual companionship that you had built together. Normal people remember the good times. It creates a sense of balance and fairness during a divorce. You may be getting a divorce, but that doesn’t mean that you don’t have valuable memories and a life story together. For the narcissist, it is all gone; like it never happened. You will have to understand this if you are to deal effectively with him. The narcissist can undermine you with your friends and children. He/she will steal your money and personal possessions, all while looking sincere and generating good will among the community.

Often the party who is willing to negotiate is the party who loses, unfortunately. We settled out of court the DAY OF the trial, minutes before we walked into the courtroom. Actually, our trial was held up as our negotiations were finished up. My family law attorney recommended settling because you never know what the judge will rule. My biggest concern of course, was our daughter’s custody. I finally got my narcissistic ex to agree to him getting 5 days out of 14. In court, we were going to go for 4 days out of 14, but my lawyer didn’t think the judge would go for it. We settled on the property with my ex getting WAY more than he deserved and paying VERY little child support. (He is self-employed and, I believe, may be hiding a lot of cash).

The reasonable spouse often makes excuses for their spouse’s hostile behaviors. We are used to doing this in the marriage to “get along” (translated: get walked all over) and due to this are at a disadvantage when it comes to protecting ourselves legally and emotionally during the divorce. The spouse who is the aggressor will create conflict and the nurturing spouse will respond by attempting to solve problems and get along. The nurturing spouse often fails to realize that the “win at all costs” spouse is not interested in solutions. It is about making you PAY by creating and perpetuating conflict. In the end the nurturing spouse plays a role in the cycle of high conflict by failing to come to this realization. Fortunately for me, I had read enough about this before-hand to know what I was dealing with, and my narcissistic psychopathic ex fit this description to a “t”.

family law narcissismWARNING: There is little someone like this will not do to “win” this battle. My narcissistic ex secretly took our daughter to the doctor trying to “prove” that she got a stopped-up nose when in my care and he “fixed it” on his days. Seems comical but at the same time, sick. In two-year’s time, he still does stuff like this to try and get more custody. He tried just 2 months ago based on the “fact” that he could “devote more time to her care”. Basically, he doesn’t have to work on the 5 days he has her so he should have her more. Never mind the fact that he can only pay $110/mo. in child support. Where is he getting the money to live off of? That issue, so far, hasn’t reappeared since I refused his request. Of course, I’ve had to pay my lawyer another $150/hr. to speak on the phone with me about this and handle it legally.

My advice to anyone who finds themselves in a legal divorce process with someone like this is, be prepared, document EVERYTHING he says/does. Your desire to reach a fair divorce settlement could be a detriment when dealing with a high-conflict person. Be sure and get proper legal counsel if you can, get yourself and your children into therapy and if the struggle becomes too much emotionally, be willing to give up the fight and move on with your life. You can start over. I had very little but had a great support team of family that helped me financially after the ordeal. Your high-conflict ex will not settle for less than way more than he/she deserves. The family court system is set up in favor of in a spouse who is out to win. The Family Court System is about defining a winner and a loser. Never make the mistake of believing that the court will hold an emotionally disturbed spouse accountable. Your best bet is to negotiate through your divorce lawyers, if that doesn’t work walk away and start over.

CHILD CUSTODY: It is my belief that the central focus of divorce attorney s and judges in the family court system should be on children’s rights and protecting the children! Not mother’s or father’s rights. Custody determinations should be based solely on the best interest of the child. When there are accusations of abuse and neglect, it is imperative that these items are taken seriously and looked into by highly trained individuals.  In high conflict custody cases, with the popular presumption that equal parenting time or 50/50 custody is fair to both parents, the children’s safety, stability and best interest are too often ignored and overlooked while decisions are hastily made due to assumptions about that both parents are angry and therefore accusatory. While an equal parenting time arrangement may work between two healthy parents, it absolutely does not work when one or both parents are determined to lie, manipulate, alienate and abuse the children in the name of winning at all costs. When one parent is out for themselves and not for the best interest of their own child, the children suffer terribly and litigation is exponentially prolonged creating instability for children. In my case, though it is by far not the worst I’ve heard of, my ex refuses to let me know if our daughter has been sick. I find out if my daughter happens to mention it. Then, he is vague with the details, and of course, she only gets sick on days that she comes back from my house, implying (however ignorantly) that she “caught” the sickness from me or while in my care. Only the partners/ex-partners (or close friends) of a narcissist know where I’m coming from here. Others may think I’m making this up, it is so ridiculous. Lawyers see a lot of lies, so they are hesitant to believe anything that is said, especially as unbelievable as some of my stories were, albeit true!

My first go-to webpage source for narcissism was Tina Swithin’s, “One Mom’s Battle”. She has offered some advice to family lawyers on this issue: Family Law Narcissism

  • Investigation when words do not match actions – Swithin suggests that this could indicate manipulative tendencies. When uninvestigated, it could begin to affect the case. She suggests that court orders contain as little “wiggle-room” as possible which tends to discourage manipulation. I’ve found a strong parenting plan to be a god-send, as my narcissistic ex doesn’t want to be “discovered”, therefore wants no trouble with the law.
  • Harsher penalties for perjury – When individuals are caught lying, the offense should be taken more seriously. Currently, lying is rarely prosecuted, most likely because there is a lot of “he said, she said” in family court and truths are often hard to prove. I’ve learned to keep anything I can use as evidence, such as our work schedules at the time before the divorce (to prove custody issues), receipts from babysitters to prove who paid, and therefore show who took the child to childcare, who arranged for it, etc. I’ve kept all financial records I could get ahold of, even though he was the only one with access to the files I had saved over the years. This may take a little brainstorming on your part. Get some friends in on it. Two heads are better than one. I had past employees that could verify the childcare issues as well. Anyone who would know your past history. Remember, just the facts. That’s all the court cares about.
  • Education on Personality Disorders: I believe it would be a disservice to both parties in a couple plagued by NPD, not to educate the child custody evaluators, guardians ad litem, commissioners, judges, social workers, family lawyer s and other legal aid within the family court system. As I’ll say till I’m blue in the face, read, read, read! Educate yourself as much as possible about NPD. Together, we’ll change the system so that other mothers and fathers don’t have to suffer this fear, and children will have a more stable upbringing! Please, please, please help us! Tina Swithin has done much to change the family court system. I believe we need to

    follow her lead and help her when we can.

  • Focus on the child’s best interests versus parental rights – Swithin believes, and I wholeheartedly agree, that the best interests of the child should be what is focused on. I was “reassured” repeatedly that this was the case, that the family court system is here for the best interest of the child. I find this to be complete BS!!! I do NOT feel that the child’s best interests are the focus of the matter. Not at all. I feel lawyers, judges, etc. are focused on keeping both parties “happy” by giving equal rights, so they won’t have any “Father’s Rights” or “Mother’s Rights” activists on their case. In my opinion, if you’re not “man” (or “woman”) enough to stand behind your decision FOR AN INNOCENTCHILD, you shouldn’t have taken the position as judge! As you can tell, I feel very strongly about this, but you may have other opinions. I am but one opinion and I have been very frustrated with the family court system.

Swithin concludes, “While it takes a village to raise a child, it also takes a village to protect a child. I think the first step is to create a village within the Family Court System that is educated on personality disorders which are becoming increasingly prevalent in today’s society.”

I totally agree. I will do everything I can to help make changes in family law. For legal advice, I would advise anyone involved with a narcissist or other psychopath/sociopath to find a good lawyer. Child custody lawyers are everywhere but I believe it’s hard to find one who knows about narcissism and narcissistic abuse. You may be able to get free legal advice from a lawyer on the internet or, if you live near a law school, you may be able to receive services for reduced prices or for free. Family law has it’s shortcomings, especially when dealing with narcissists. It is my wish and hope that we can change this system soon. Family Law Narcissism Family Law Narcissism Family Law Narcissism

Family Law Narcissism Family Law Narcissism Family Law Narcissism Family Law Narcissism

The Coparenting Psychopath

Anyone who has tried to “co-parent” with a psychopath or sociopath or narcissist, if there is a difference, knows that this is an unending battle. The challenges are overwhelming at times. Having just dropped our daughter off

today with her narcissistic father, I’m more frustrated than usual. While I try to enjoy my alone time, and often do, I am left with frustration that his parenting style is harming her and there’s nothing I can do to stop it. I have said little so far in this blog about the kinds of things that she comes home saying that her father has said about me, etc., but suffice it to say that his remarks are verbally abusive to her. He HAS to know it, doesn’t he?! I’m so frustrated and horrified that someone who APPEARS to care so much about her (the crying when she leaves, the over-zealous parenting, over-protecting, etc.) can say such things to her and not know that these remarks are damaging. Counselors can’t help. I’ve resolved myself to learning all I can about narcissists and learning how to out-manipulate the manipulator. The co-parenting psychopath cares not about the child involved, or can not see that his actions could cause harm. I think that this is what is going on in “my” narcissists case. I think that he thinks that whatever he says is justified or that what he says can’t hurt her. And, maybe I’m giving him too much credit here. The coparenting psychopath is concerned only with how he can use his daughter to get to you. I don’t care enough about him to even talk about him to her much, other than the usual “did you have a good time at Daddy’s?” It surprises and frustrates me to know that after having been separated for 2 years, and divorced for 1, that he still cares enough to try to turn her against me. He still sees it as a battle and I believe that he thinks that he’ll get her to want to live with him so it will hurt me. As he said before we were separated, “if we’re not together, I won’t make things easy for you. I’ll get full custody of (our daughter) and you won’t see her.” To which I replied, “you’d take your daughter away from her mother, who has been her primary caregiver her whole life?” “Yes. Because she shouldn’t have to be brought up in this kind of environment.” “What kind of environment?” “You’re a liar!” He could never come up with anything I had actually lied about. This was apparently his justification for hurting me by using our daughter against me. That’s a good reason I think, don’t you?

The coparenting psychopath will not take your child to functions or activities that have anything to do with you. For instance, I let our daughter join a dance class on Saturday mornings for 45 minutes. Even when he lived close,The coparenting psychopath will lie to suit their fancy. There will be 8″ of snow on the ground where there is only 2″. The drive to his house will be 30 minutes when you need to drive it to accommodate him, but its a full hour when he has to drive it to accommodate you. His daughter may never be sick at his house, he may take her to the doctor without telling you that she was “sick” in order to try to prove you unfit. Yes, my N-ex (narcissistic ex) has tried all of these and more. The doctor’s appointment plan was poorly executed, therefore I found out about it, and got all of the medical records, (after I had to drive an hour to the doctor’s office to sign the release to get my daughters records. He, of course, hadn’t put me on as the mother). The medical records showed that he was trying to say that she was “always sick” when she was at my house and that her condition cleared up when she was with him. It was, of course, unfounded, and he couldn’t use it for what he wanted, which was part of his battle to get the threatened full custody. Some of the lies are comical, if you can stand to sit back and take it into perspective. It would be much easier to do so if your precious child wasn’t involved and being hurt by his lies. Unfortunately though, this was the case, so I couldn’t laugh at him at the time. At the time, I was scared as hell of what he might try to pull. I still am, though I’m starting to doubt that he can get anywhere without help. Still, he has time to devote to

The coparenting psychopath
The coparenting psychopath

nothing but my demise, which is frightening. While I’m out trying to make a living so that I can one day not live with my parents again, he’s sitting back, taking it easy. Since he lies about his income (self-employed) he pays $112 a month child support. That pays for one session of counseling to try to help undo his damage and the damage of the divorce itself.


My daughter has stopped saying she wishes her dad and I were together. Instead, she now says, “I don’t think Daddy loves you anymore!” Then says, “why did Daddy stop loving you?” to which I simply reply, “I don’t know.” What do you say to that? The co-parenting psychopath will say or do anything to turn your children against you, even, of course, at the expense of the child. He/she will keep you from getting what you deserve, what is rightfully yours, what is your child’s, etc. I made a shadowbox for our daughter when she was a tiny baby. It was an imprint of her feet and hands in plaster. 
He kept it and refuses to give it to me. I made it for her. A real man would logically give it whom it rightfully belonged. Because I was nice and let him live in our house, as he had nowhere else to go, I got screwed over for it.he refused to take her to participate. Well, I take that back. He did take her once, but he saw my sister there. Her dance recital and rehearsal falls on his time this year. It is only 20 minutes from his house. I’m going to have to worry whether he is going to take her again this year. (It fell on his time last year too. He only took her because I told our-previous-babysitter/his girlfriend/whatever when it was going to be so that our daughter’s dad would know that the babysitter knew if he didn’t take her to the dance recital. Narcissists want to look good at all times, so we can sometimes use this to our advantage. Hey, they’d do it to us in a heartbeat! Hopefully she’ll get to go. She loves dance, and even though she’s only 4, she still will notice if she doesn’t get to go to the recital like her cousin and the rest of her dance class.

You’ll see many more posts in the future about the co-parenting psychopath, I’m sure. This is my biggest challenge! Feel free to add your comments below, and please “like” me on Facebook 🙂 God bless!

 

 

Coparenting Psychopath Coparenting Psychopath Coparenting Psychopath Coparenting Psychopath Coparenting Psychopath Coparenting Psychopath Coparenting Psychopath Coparenting Psychopath

The Definition of Insanity

The Definition of Insanity
The Definition of Insanity

February 26th, 2014: The Definition of Insanity

I could use this headline for ALL my posts. Lol. As we all know, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results. Who’s been there?! I’m writing from the child psychologist’s office today. My 4-year-old daughter is currently in with the therapist. I wonder if this is doing ANY good at all. I HOPE talking to the counselor helps, but I know there’s no way I can stop my narcissistic ex from saying the things he says to her. It’s seems ridiculous to me to keep having to TRY to clean up all of is insanity toward a young innocent child when the problem is HIM. And I have no hope that it’ll stop! Lately some of the comments are: “Daddy said to tell Grandma she’s fat because she eats cheese”, “Daddy says we’re going to move to the beach, just me and him and I won’t get to see you.”, “Daddy says Mommies leave. They’re just there for a little while.” “Daddy said that you left me

Narcissists, Coparenting psychopath
So true!

(when I left him). I reassured her that I’d never leave without her and that she was in fact with me when I left. How could she know about these things if he hadn’t told her? She’s 4. She was 2 at the time. I’m SO frustrated! There’s more too, but I could write a book on what she’s come back saying. My boyfriend has offered to go kick his ass. He hates him and has never even met him. He hates him from his texts and from overhearing his conversation with my daughter over the phone. Every day, I’m closer and closer to agreeing with him about the ass-kicking. Lol. Seriously, I know it won’t help, and that’s still my daughter’s Dad. I wouldn’t want her to be upset because I’m SURE he’d tell her and he’d try even harder to turn her against me and my side of the family, including my boyfriend. I’m sure he’d use it as a pity party and she’d buy right into it, being the sensitive, wonderful girl that she is. She’d feel bad for Daddy and his stock would go way up, my boyfriend’s would go way down, score one for Daddy. Outcome: backfired! Still, it’s fun to think about sometimes.  😉

But seriously, does anyone have any suggestions for dealing with this? I’m going to post on some other blogs for some feedback as I’ve just started this one and don’t have many readers yet. I’d be thrilled to know what you’ve tried that work or didn’t work. Is ignoring the issue all that can be done when they walk the line of the law? What gets them to step over that line without causing our daughter more stress? How can I get him to direct his anger at me, NOT through her? I don’t think there IS a way, but there are some smart women out there. Maybe someone’s come up with something. Courts at least in our state won’t use child alienation or parental ability to reduce parenting time (unless deemed “unfit”, which is hard to do). I don’t see why not because the less time spent with someone like that the better! I know. I lived with him. It is very confusing and mind-numbing. I can’t imagine dealing with that as a child. I’m not saying that I want her to not know her daddy. That would be sad, for her daddy to be taken away from her, but if he can’t refrain from putting poison into her mind toward me and my family, it’s my opinion that he should have to have supervised visitation. If someone else is there, like our daughter’s old babysitter, whom he may or may not have been having an affair with, he won’t say anything in front of her so he won’t look bad. It is important that he appear to be “THE best father” at all times… well, when someone is watching. Isn’t that the definition of insanity?

Wizard of Oz-The Man Behind the Curtain

Narcissism Parallels The Wizard of Oz
Narcissists seem to see themselves as great and powerful.

“I am Oz! The great and powerful!”

When I was married to my husband, more particularly when things got increasingly rougher, I felt like Dorothea Gale in the land of Oz. Things didn’t make sense, as if I was living in a dream, or nightmare, rather. My daughter was “Toto”. I kept her close-by for her protection. I rarely left her alone with him. He rarely ever wanted me to.

Remember in The Wizard of Oz when the wizard is exposed by Toto, who pulls the curtain back, showing the wizard at the controls of his microphone/projector? I often felt like saying “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain” when he’d throw one of his fits and expose his true nature. I didn’t of course. That wouldn’t have gone over well.

Narcissists love to be admired and feared. Would we fear the wizard without the booming voice, the giant projected head and the thunder? It reminds me that the narcissist is just a little man hiding behind a curtain projecting a different (in their eyes, “better” version) of themselves to others. They want to be seen in a light of authority, of esteem, of wisdom. They want to know all, or been seen as knowing  all. They are, of course, just the man behind the curtain, but they do anything they can to not let others see that, no matter who gets hurt in the process. I’m not entirely sure they even realize consciously that they are doing it. I remember my ex saying to our marriage counselor that he didn’t know how I could just apologize so easily. I’m not sure if he was admitting a fault or keeping up an “I’m trying” image.

narcissism
“Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!” Narcissists like to distract from the truth.

He, of course, was the wicked witch of the story in my eyes; though, unlike the witch, whose intentions were never kept secret, his were insidious. He tried to look like a good guy while doing bad things. He justified his bad behavior. I always said he could justify anything: a $10,000 purchase for the house when we had very, very little money, for example. More relevantly, he justified his actions because I “made him have to act that way. If you hadn’t done X, I wouldn’t have had to do Y.” (ie. If you had thought of making my favorite meal for dinner, I wouldn’t have had to yell at you and degrade you.”

Narcissism
Being involved with a narcissist is like living in the land of Oz… bizarre.

On getting out:  As the wizard says, “You, my friend, (to the cowardly lion) are a victim of disorganized thinking. You are under the unfortunate impression that just because you run away you have no courage; you’re confusing courage with wisdom.” This is a good thing for many of us to consider, I think. I felt guilty for leaving, especially in the way that I did. I didn’t announce it on the way out the door. I couldn’t have gotten out

narcissists and sociopaths
Divorcing a Narcissist or Sociopath is much like navigating the creepy forest of Oz.

with our daughter if I had and I wasn’t going to leave her with an unstable man, whose wife had just left him. I had already been held hostage in my own home and had just regained a little bit of freedom. The cards were stacked in my favor that day and I’m SO glad I got out when I did. I can’t go into details of how I got out, as I wish to remain as anonymous as possible for my family’s privacy and safety.

And “if I ever go looking for my heart’s desire again, I won’t look any further than my own backyard; because if it isn’t there, I never really lost it to begin with.” The narcissist, or any socio- or psychopath, can make it difficult to hold on to your self-worth and life ambitions. It’s easy to feel beaten-down. Remember that they can’t MAKE you feel this way. Always hold on to yourself. It know what it’s like to walk on eggshells with someone, to give up your plans for theirs, to sacrifice yourself for their happiness so that you can then be happy. I know what it’s like to put yourself last. But remember, YOU are Oz, the great and powerful! You control your life.

Christmas Mix-up/Manipulation??

angelsDecember 24th. Christmas Eve. We have a crazy holiday schedule this year. Since this is our first Christmas under our parenting plan, we are still working out the bugs. He misunderstood our parenting plan. Then, rather than going back and reading his parenting plan, as I suggested, he tried to talk, or rather guilt, me into giving up my time with her because it was going to be hard on her to have to ride in the car for 30 minutes each way. Secretly, I agreed but it’s easier to go with the plan than to try to change anything with him, especially if I’m the one doing the asking. I texted him the following:

narcissist, sociopath, psychopath
Inside the mind of a con artist

2:11pm me: I know you must be disappointed but I already told her the plans. I think we should stick to the plan as it is written in the parenting plan. You’ll get her tomorrow at 6. Do you plan to bring her back as per the parenting plan?

Phil responds: “Disappointed has nothing to do with it. Any responsible caring parent would know how ridiculous it would be to subject a 4-year-old child to a 2 hr. car ride for a 1 hr. visit. If I made a mistake on the holiday schedule i will give up my new year to make up for it.

3:05pm me: “She’s expecting to come back tonight at 6 and to open presents tomorrow morning. I’ll see you at 6 tonight at [the usual pick up place].”

3:18pm He repeated his previous email. “Disappointed has nothing to do with it. Any responsible caring parent would know how ridiculous it would be to subject a 4-year-old child to a 2 hr. car ride for a 1 hr. visit. If I made a mistake on the holiday schedule i will give up my new year to make up for it.”

me: “I got that text twice. Will you be there at 6?”

4:14pm Phil: “As a caring parent the drive would be ridiculous. you can have new years. Her expecting to return is not valid. She has told me as well as the neighbors 3 different houses that she wants to stay here. Would you like to speak w/her about this? My preference is to keep this civil, mature, and responsible to Avery’s needs.”

4:35pm me: “You will bring her tonight at 6 or I will call the cops as you will be in violation of our court order. Please let me know what you want to do.”

He immediately replied. “I will go into town to get my copy of paperwork to confirm. I want to do what is best for Avery”

“Ok. Me too.”christmas design

5:19 Phil: “I am wrong about the schedule. Although placing Avery in the care again shows extreme disregard for her well being we are on the way.”

me: “Ok :)”

Some commentary: First of all, why didn’t he check his parenting plan as soon as I told him there was a problem? Because he thought I would cave in and give him what he wanted. Why does he keep his parenting plan at the office? Or does he? Did he know as soon as he got home and checked it then the rest was just trying to manipulate me?

I have her for New Year’s this year. He had no New Year’s days to give me.

>His quote: ‘any responsible, caring parent” implied that I’m NOT those things. Forcing her to the ‘ridiculous’ drive of 30 minutes. Well, it was a 30 minute drive last week when I had to drive her to his place but today it’s an hour each way, making it 2 hours… for a 1 hour visit. 2+1=3. Where’s the other hour? Around here, it’s rural. We drive an 30-45 minutes to get anywhere. I drive her 45 minutes when I take her to work with me then turn around and drive home. I don’t feel that’s ridiculous. He just didn’t want to be the one doing the driving, but he chose that before he moved. That wasn’t my decision.

She supposedly told neighbors at 3 different houses that she wanted to stay with him. How does that come up in

conversation while caroling at a neighbor’s house? I’m thinking he’s grossly exaggerating or he’s coached her to say this. She has told me that he doesn’t want her to talk to me. How does she know this? “He gives a mean look when I talk to you.”

Same situation if I speak to Avery while she’s at her Daddy’s house. She’s going to say what she knows he wants to hear. “I want to stay with Daddy.” Of course, when she’s here, it’s a different story. She won’t let me out of her sight. Talking to her on the phone would likely convince him that she wants to stay with him but it won’t convince me. I know the fear and the need to bow down to him.

“Her expecting to return is not valid.” What does that mean? Are her feelings not valid? Not to him. To him, only HIS feelings are valid. He needs her to give him narcissistic supply.

narcissists, psychopaths, sociopath
Fight fire with fire? 🙂

As soon as I mentioned calling the cops and didn’t back down, he started to back down. Then, he finally checked the schedule and brought her, though he still had to get in a few more jabs. He implied that I was showing an “extreme disregard for her well being” by having him fulfill his part of the parenting plan and drive the 30 minutes to bring her back. (I drive 10 minutes.) He was responsible for changing it if he didn’t see that it was going to work. I’ve found that it’s generally not worth it to try and change anything with him. He always wants more than is practical. I tried to keep it short and not give him any more supply than necessary.

My boyfriend, an ex-cop came with me. I hadn’t planned on them meeting yet. We’ve been dating for 6 months but I think my ex seeing him will only make him jealous and may make things worse. I’ve made the poor guy sit at a gas station while I deliver Avery a few times, just so I don’t stir up any trouble. He’s been very agreeable, but it’s time. There was no choice. I wanted someone with me after today’s problem, and he’s bigger than my ex. It went smoothly. Not a word was spoken to each other. I’m sure, had the bf not been there, Phil would have had something to say. Just another day when “co-parenting” (and I use the term loosely) with a narcissist/psychopath.

Why I Stayed

Even today, having been out for almost 2 years, I still find it hard to believe that I was played. He seemed so sincere. Even looking back over the last 2 years, he’d talk to me and tell me something and I totally believed him. I’m not naive. I’m not an idiot. Of course, by then, I knew not to believe it, even when I DID believe it. I’d wait it out, put off the decision or answer he was seeking. Inevitable, when I DID believe him, he was lying, or plotting something against me (like a lawsuit, for example). Now I know that when he is being nice, he is up to something. He’s either trying to get me to do something for him or he’s doing something bad to me. Now I know and I can almost always stay one step ahead of him because I know his games and his moves. I know what he will try because I know how he thinks in regards to what he can get and I know how to keep him from getting it. The truth, and proof of it, is my weapon. He triumphs in the grey areas, but loves black and white. He is an extremist that walks a fine line of breaking the law, just inches away from being caught. He breaks the parenting plan agreement by telling my daughter lies about me. (Mommy doesn’t love you. Mommy says she loves you then feeds you candy. Mommy doesn’t love you because Grandma didn’t hug her as a child and she can’t love you. Daddy took Mommy and Grandma to the cops. The list goes on.) He knows the parenting plan is hard to enforce because it’s hard to prove he has said these things. I know he said them. Our daughter knows. He knows. I know because he told me some of the things he’s now telling her when we were still together. She was only 2 at the time we separated. I never told these things to anyone. She’d have no way of knowing if he hadn’t told her. When my mother told me what my daughter had said, I knew beyond the shadow of a doubt that he had in fact said them to her. A 4-year-old wouldn’t be able to make this stuff up. I couldn’t make it up. I try to remain neutral to her. I don’t want her to see that I’m upset by what she tells me. I don’t want her to stop talking about it and keep it in, or worse, wonder if I love her and if what her Daddy says is true. What kind of sick moron TRIES to cause emotional harm to the child that they profess to love more than anything? I believe he loves her, at least, as much as he is able, but how can he not see what he is doing to her?

After a local child welfare agency had been called after our physical altercation, and we were informed about it, he stated that the only people that could have called the agency were me or my mother. He went on to say, “Don’t you think whoever did this should be made to never do this again?” I asked what he meant by that. He never would say for sure. He always liked to keep up appearances of being a good guy in his own eyes. He liked to say without saying. but judging from the look in his eyes, I thought he meant that they should be murdered or severely beat up. I said, “No. If someone thinks we are doing harm to our child, I’m glad there’s someone out there looking out for her. We didn’t do anything wrong, so what’s to worry about?” I, of course, was worried, not that they would take her away from me, but that he would find out that I was the one who inadvertently caused this call to be made. I hadn’t made the call. It never even crossed my mind that it was relevant. Our daughter was not physically harmed, though I never dreamed she would have to go through something like that. I had reported it to someone who did, and it was NOT my mother. I went to the police. They sent me to talk to someone. So, it was my report that had caused the call to be made. And I was scared as hell when I had to tell him that they wanted to speak with us. He took it okay at first. As it festered, his anger grew. When I asked him “Who is going to make them never do it again?” He replied that he “knew people.” He had bragged about his late father’s possible mob connections. I’m assuming this is what he  was talking about. He mentioned again that the only people that could have said anything were me or my mother. Is he going to try to have me killed? If he never “wins” the custody that he wants, is that my “fate”? Was this a scare tactic all along?

But, how can I look into his eyes and still see the good after all of this? When I look at him, I see a poor, pathetic man with a wounded soul. I see pain and hurt. Not the pain that he has caused me but the pain that he lives in. I stayed for a long time because I saw his pain and I wanted to help him; and for a while, I did… some. I still feel sorry for him. I still try to spare his feelings. Not for the pain that he will undoubtably  cause me when he feels it and tries to get even and hurt me back, but for the pain that I know he is feeling. No amount of hatred can overcome that feeling of guilt. Guilt that I didn’t stay, that I couldn’t take it, that I abandoned him in his pain, even though he was causing me much pain and taking my soul. I chose to be with him and I abandoned him. And I’m glad I did. I feel really guilty about that.

I added the second paragraph a while after writing this article when I was reminded of an incident that I thought was a good example of his walking the line of saying anything that could be used against him. Grey area, I call it. I was struck by the contrast between that and the third paragraph that was part of the original blog post. (The part about my perception of his pain). This is perhaps the best explanation of why I have labeled this blog “Torn”. For years I felt torn between these two emotions, even before the last stages which were increasingly more fearful. Looking back, I remember the feelings of that day after child welfare services was called, and the 3-day-weekend I spent as his prisoner. But just moments before, I had been remembering the feelings of pity for the man I once loved.

Why We Fall for Narcissists and Psychopaths

The following comes from a website dedicated to helping the victims of both narcissists and psychopathshttp://friedgreentomatoes.org/index.php I included this section of their welcome page because it summed up, in my mind, what I’ve been trying to express for so long. I felt stupid for falling for someone like this. When others said that they saw it in the beginning, it didn’t help to ease my wounded confidence on my ability to read people. The website has many helpful articles. I just discovered it myself. In a selfish way, it’s good to know that I’m not the only one who has fallen for it.

You met someone who was charming, talented and eloquent who most likely made you feel like a million bucks. And then, suddenly, at some point (usually beginning at the first moment you disagreed with him or her), you were made to feel like week-old garbage.

Hoping to restore the purity of that paradise you thought you were living in, you try everything you can think of to make it work, including closing your eyes and mind to the often vicious behavior of that person who is no longer the person you knew.  You just want the original person back; you believe that he or she is there, buried inside, behind some wall of hurt that only you can heal.  You may even see this original person from time to time, when you’ve had just enough to push you away for good – for just long enough to get you to stay and try again.

Little by little, you have to admit to yourself that what you are experiencing cannot be explained away by someone who is acting out of hurt; that what you are experiencing is just pure evil.

Charming, seductive and eloquent they are, and they use all those abilities when lying, manipulating and betraying. Psychopaths and narcissists can slash a path of human misery through lives of dozens, or hundreds, and even thousands, of people. They bring pain and suffering to nearly everyone they touch. And yet, somehow, they manage to convince their victims that it is they who are being wronged.

There is a reason for that: they actually do feel that they are victims because somewhere inside, they know that they are not like the majority of the human population, and this knowledge is coupled with a fundamental need to be in control, to be in charge. That they – a minority – cannot be in charge of the majority appears to them as a great injustice, one that they will fight to the death to right!

What you – a normal person – need now more than anything else is knowledge of what you are going through, or have been through, and an understanding of exactly what you are dealing with, in order to make sense of it all.

Psychopathy and narcissism are just two of several related and often overlapping conditions that afflict a portion of the population. These people are, effectively, human beings that are intraspecies predators; they look human, but they operate on a foundation that is more akin to that of an animal than a human.

Since all creatures seek survival, these pseudo-humans learn very early what behaviors get them what they want and need, including pretense to normal human emotions and empathy. Many of them can maintain this pretense – this “Mask of Sanity” – for a very long time; others let the mask slip sooner, or more often.

psychopaths
Learn how to deal with narcissists and psychopaths

What they want varies by individual, but the most persistent need seems to be control and those things that give them control. For the brighter members of this taxon (for that is what it surely is), that means power and money; for the lazier and less driven members, it can mean other things: control over a spouse, children, a family, or the maintenance of a parasitic lifestyle at your expense. In extreme cases, this urge for control can be expressed in murder.” From: http://friedgreentomatoes.org/index.php

sociopath, narcissist
A look inside the (scary) mind of a narcissist/sociopath.

My ex was over-the-top in the beginning on everything positive and loving. It was hard not to fall for him. He made big promises of “love that songs are written about”, love that is better than other peoples’, lives that are superior to others, yada, yada, yada. It sounded good in the beginning. I think I always knew there was something off but it felt too good to let go just because of a feeling. Seemed there was no “reason” to end it, just a feeling that it was “off”. I don’t know. I’m still trying to figure it out. He has always been over-enthusiastic about things he was involved with since I’ve known him. His profession, his motorcycle, his chosen style of healthy eating, etc. I’m sure you can relate with your own stories. Please share them!

Co-parenting with a Narcissist or Psychopath

Co-parenting with a Narcissist or Psychopath

Co-parenting with a Narcissist or Psychopath
Co-parenting with a Narcissist or Psychopath

Co-parenting with a narcissist or psychopath is never easy! The challenges of dealing with a sociopathic narcissist are never-ending. I often wonder how a father (or mother) cannot see that he is harming his child by his comments. Yesterday, in front of a friend, my daughter (4 years old) said “Mommy, Daddy says he took you and Grandma somewhere? Did he?”

“What do you mean? Where?”

“Like, to the cops? He said he took you and Grandma to the cops. Did he?”

“No, he didn’t.”

“Well, he SAID he did.”

“He didn’t.”

“He’s a liar! Tell him he’s a liar! He’s lying, isn’t he?!”

“Well, he’s not telling the truth if that’s what he told you.”

I explained that it would not help to talk to him about it. What I didn’t tell her was, if I tell him, it’s most likely going to fall back on her. He’s most likely going to say something like, “Raya, why did you tell Mommy that I said ______________ ?” and then brain-wash her until she says SHE was lying about saying it. I’ve seen this happen before when I confront him about something he has said. It’s sickening. She doesn’t see that coming. It’s been a long time, over a year, since I’ve been naive enough to confront him on anything he’s said.  Having known him for years, I can almost predict his reactions. I’m not going to put her through that, especially since it won’t help anything but will instead give him narcissistic supply. He uses our daughter for narcissistic supply regularly.

Her father will not communicate about what happens at his house. If she’s sick, he doesn’t tell me. He took her to the doctor before and didn’t tell me. I caught wind by accident and had to go in and fill out paperwork so that her records could be released to me so that I would know what he had taken her in for and what was wrong with her. This was of course, before the final divorce order so there was nothing stating that he had to inform me of trips to the doctor, etc. If he does it now, he’ll be in contempt of court, not that that means much, at least in this state.

narcissist, psychopath, sociopath
Co-Parenting Help: 

Co-parenting with a Narcissist or Psychopath

Last week, my daughter told me that she had been vomiting at her Daddy’s house. I asked him about it by text. He did verify that she was sick. He said she said her belly hurt when he picked her up and vomited that night and two nights later. “That’s why I sent the juice and applesauce with her.” I wondered why he handed me juice and applesauce when I picked her up, but he said nothing about her being sick. I am so frustrated!! How can we co-parent if I have no idea that she has even been sick on the 5 days that he has her!? The court system fails people in my situation and it is so frustrating! (Please visit One Mom’s Battle for a letter that you can send to your representative! Every letter helps!) If Raya has ever been sick, according to Phil, she always has it when he picks her up. Apparently she can’t get sick at his house. He has a germ-free environment there. You can’t get sick if you isolate yourself and your family from society forever, and there are no germs at his church or library. I’m being sarcastic of course. And, yes, in my opinion, he uses church as a mask and a source of narcissistic supply. Anyone have a solution?

Why I started this blog…

I often wonder why I even married my ex. I hope, through this blog, I’ll find resolution. I hope mostly that I can help others who are in difficult relationships, or even those that haven’t yet become that way. I hope that I can keep others from making the same mistakes I did, and if I can save just one from that life of misery, I’ll consider this endeavor a success.