By | May 5, 2008 869 Comments

10 tactics for child custody battles with sociopaths

Last week Dr. Liane Leedom wrote about the tragic case Dr. Amy Castillo, whose children were murdered by their psychopathic father after several judges issued rulings that failed to protect them. I hope this terrible and extreme case will be a wake-up call for family courts.

Lovefraud frequently receives e-mail from men and women involved in child custody disputes with sociopaths, who hopefully, are not murderers. Here is one of them:

I am involved in a custody case with a sociopath, however, my case is being fought in Europe where I recently relocated to (I am American, he is European). After being the sole caregiver of my children for five years, I had no choice but to leave them with their father and return to the States. When we separated he took their passports and left the country for a year. It was NOT possible to obtain new passports for children without BOTH parents’ signatures.

By the end of that year my financial situation was desperate and I had no choice. I came back to the States, got myself back on my feet and recently I started my own company as a Virtual Assistant, allowing me to work anywhere in the world. While in the States I came back to Europe every six to eight weeks to visit my children. Well one month ago, I relocated back to Europe to live and continue my fight for custody of my children.

The court case had already been ongoing since January and in typical sociopath style he has lied and forged documents. Even so, my ex was recently given sole custody (temporarily while custody is decided) and that I must pay him 900 euros (around $1,300 USD a month!). As if that could not be bad enough, he sends me on a regular basis (the most recent being today) faxes full of lies and accusations that he then turns around and uses as evidence in his court case!!! Furthermore, I do NOT have 900 euros a month to give him. I just relocated and started my own business and this is a real slap in the face with all of the financial damage he has done to me as well as my credit in the U.S.

I have fired my attorneys and hired the best Custody/Family attorney where I live. He has been in practice for 30 years and not lost a case! Also he is known to be a very strong and tough attorney. I wish I would have had him in the beginning. So with this I feel confidence.

The reason I am writing is because although I have a very positive outlook and feel that I am a strong person, as I know that most of you can agree, it is very difficult dealing with a sociopath. When I receive these horrible faxes my stomach just drops and it can make me feel very anxious for hours after. So now I have stopped reading them at all. I do not know what I am looking for by sending this email. I think I just need the support of knowing there are others out there going through the same things as me and that this is manageable and that I will make it through. I would greatly appreciate hearing what others have done in a situation like this. Thank you.

Like most parents fighting a custody battle with a sociopath, this woman faces a difficult times. Below are some general suggestions about child custody and sociopaths.

Get him or her to walk away

If your ex is a sociopath, at best, he or she will be a lousy parent. At worst, he or she will intentionally try to damage your children. Therefore, if at all possible, it may be best to cut the sociopath out of your children’s lives.

You may want to consider offering the sociopath an incentive to walk away. Tell the sociopath to give up parental rights, and he or she won’t have to pay any child support. You may feel that you need the child support payments, but chances are that you’ll never get the money, or it will always be a struggle to get it. The money isn’t worth having the predator in your family’s life. Figure out a way to support your children without it.

Sometimes this works—there are sociopaths who care more about money than kids. But many times it doesn’t, because the sociopath considers children to be possessions. Or, the sociopath just wants to win the battle with you, and destroy you in the process. In those cases, you’ll end up in court.

Tactics in custody battles

I am forever grateful that I never had children with my sociopathic ex-husband. I avoided the most tragic of circumstances involving these predators—a child custody battle. Therefore, the suggestions I make below come from my research and what Lovefraud readers have told me.

If you’re fighting a custody battle with a sociopath, here are some tactics to follow:

1. Document, document, document.
Keep a journal of everything that happens. Often, the craziness is so intense that you don’t want to remember what happens. Your journal will be important when you need to tell a cohesive story of what has been going on with the sociopath, especially if you need to tell it long after events have transpired. Save every scrap of paper, every e-mail, every fax, every receipt. Develop a way of organizing the information, whether chronological, or by topic. Keep copies in a safe place.

2. Have witnesses
It is best not to deal with the sociopath alone; every interaction then becomes he said/she said. Have a trusted friend or relative present during child exchanges or other interactions as much as you can. You may even want to consider tape recording and videotaping some of what goes on.

3. Get your own information
Do not allow the sociopathic parent to control information about your children. Make sure you get information directly from schools, doctors and others.

4. Hire an aggressive, competent attorney
Child custody cases with sociopaths are not normal cases. The sociopath will not play by the rules. Your attorney must understand this. The sociopath will lie in court, although his or her performance will appear heartfelt, like he or she is “just concerned with the welfare of the children.” The sociopath will make outrageous accusations. The sociopath is also likely to retain an attorney who is also sociopathic. Therefore, your attorney must be up for the challenge.

5. Do not allow lies to become part of the court record
Sociopaths lie. Sociopaths lie convincingly. You cannot allow unchallenged lies to become part of the court records. Once they are, they take on the aura of truth, and put you in a very bad position. Some lies, like accusations of child abuse, may haunt you forever.

6. Be cautious in stating that your ex is, in fact, a sociopath
Unfortunately, many judges really do not understand what this means to the welfare of a child. Like the general public, many judges equate “sociopath” with “serial killer,” and may consequently believe that you are overreacting. So it may not be in your best interest to prove that he or she is a sociopath. Focus on proving the behavior.

7. Stay calm in court
You must present a calm, professional image when you go to court, even as the sociopath lies. Do not allow the sociopath to make you emotional. The sociopath will accuse you of being unstable, and you will prove it by your behavior in court. Keep your emotions in check, at least in front of the judge.

8. Make sure court orders are explicit
Insist on detailed court orders. The order should not say, “parent has visitation every other weekend.” It should specify exactly which weekends, starting at what times, returning at what times, who is responsible for transporting children, who is responsible for bathing and feeding them—everything must be spelled out in detail. If there is any ambiguity, the sociopath will exploit it.

9. Make the sociopath abide by court orders
If the sociopath fails to honor the orders, do not cut him or her any slack. Record any violation. Call the police if necessary. Continue to document everything that happens, because you may need to go to court again. If you ever decide that you need to cut the sociopath out of the child’s life, you’ll need evidence to do it.

10. Take care of yourself
You will need all your resources to deal with the sociopath. Therefore, make healthy decisions in your own life. Eat right, avoid drugs and alcohol, get enough sleep, exercise and develop a support network. In order to care for your children, you must care for yourself.

Post your suggestions

I previously reviewed the book, Win Your Child Custody War, on the Lovefraud Blog. This book is full of information that may help you, from how to gather documentation to how to hire an attorney and private investigator.

If Lovefraud readers have any more suggestions that may be helpful to others involved in custody battles with sociopaths, please post it in comments below.

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Ox Drover

Thanks for some good advise as usual, Donna. I too have never had a child WITH a sociopath but have every sympathy in the world to those that do have and therefore cannot go NC with them.

I think many of us have seen cases where parents would use the child(ren) as weapons with which to punish the other parent, in ways that are horrific, and always damaging to the child(ren).

All I could add is to EDUCATE YOURSELF TO YOUR LOCAL LAWS, and to REMEMBER: S/HE IS THE LIE. Nothing that they tell you will be true, or for the reason that they state.

The other suggestion I would make is to PRETEND that you are not as upset with the things that they do as you are. THE MORE YOU APPEAR TO THE P to be upset, the more they like it.

Let the “little things” slide. Don’t mention the constant “lost” clothing, and other small things that they will do just for “drill” to irritate you like “Chinese WAter torture” one drop at a time,. If you can convincingly pretend it doesn’t bother you that the kid you sent with 5 tee shirts comes home with 2, or one shoe and not the other, they may stop doing this, but if you react to it, they will continue this “ploy” and chuckle gleefully every visitation.

I would however, photo-document clothing and other articles I sent with the child, and photo what came back, and keep a log about this as well. So that missing items can be documented.

Keep your children in the dark about things that the P can pump the information out of them to use against you.

Get therapy for your kids and you. You will both need it and the therapist can become your ally.

Keep tape recorded telephone logs or personal meetings if this is legal in your area. Find out what is legal. If your child comes home with “wild stories” you might consider taping these (again if it is legal) but I would not let the child know this as they would possibly tell the other parent.

I would always have a witness each time the children were exchanged, or if the P uses this exchange time to dig at you, then have a third party do the exchange, a good friend or one of your parents so that you can keep inteactions down to a minimum.

I would communicate with the other parent only by e mail or written, or recorded communications, so that records can be kept of every exchange.

If the parent is a foreign national and is likely to take the children and “run” I would take whatever steps are necessary to prevent this happening. (court hold passports of children or whatever safeguard is necessary)

Read and educate yourself about your children’s rights and try to keep foremost in your mind that this is all about the children, not you or him. Peace and God’s blessings.

Ox Drover


This spam has been reported to Donna, it will be quickly removed. People trying to sell us stuff should put their stuff on their own web site not spam another site. Kinda makes you think they might not have a conscience, huh?

I had some stuff for sale a while back on Craigslist and got an “order” for one of the more expensive things from a scammer, she didn’t live locally but wanted to buy the item and then arrange pick up. First off I noticed that she obviously didn’t speak english as a first language. Then I told her that yes I would take a CHECK, NO money orders (there are lots of fake ones floating around) and that as soon as the CHECK cleared she could arrange pick up or shipping.

So I get this next e mail back telling me that “her assistant” had mailed me the “wrong” amount on the MONEY ORDER and would I please cash it and keep my sales price then buy another money order and mail it back to her for the rest. She would TRUST ME to do so. LOL

The internet is a big super highway for spammers and scammers and Ps and other crooks…some of the stories just make me shake my head, but you know, I got scammed by my own family, so don’t laugh quite as hard at how “stupid” these folks are, they just get hooked by the dream and FANTASY like the rest of us, maybe they are a bit more gullible than some of us, but I think I’ve been pretty darned gullible myself so I’m not throwing rocks at anyone who falls for a scam, I just don’t want to fall for any more myself.


spam? i love how they describe the amazing capablities of the poduct without describing the product at all.

Ox Drover


Yea, it is probably like the “solar clothes dryer” that I have seen advertized ([email protected] Really!!!) and when you order it it is a piece of clothes line and some clothes pins. LOL

Or the Guarenteed Bug Killer—two blocks of wood, with one labeled A and one B and the instructions are to “Place bug on block A and strike sharply with block B”

The one on here sounded like a TAPE RECORDER to me, but like you said, they never described the product at all.

In the 1950s where I grew up some farmers were still farming with horses and mules and a “horse trader” would come through the area from time to time with a herd of horses for sale. These men were well known as crooks and would sell a horse that appeared to be a good horse, but had some terrible flaw. The “rules” around here if local people traded horses was to ALWAYS tell the truth if asked, but not to volunteer information, so the buyer had to be cagey to know the right questions to ask.

The Amish still farm with horses and mules and a friend of mine went to a horse sale in Ohio and bought a mule from the Amish that was sold at the auction. Those animals sold through a sale many times have behavioral faults so anyone buying such an animal knows that there is a good chance someone is selling the animal for a “good reason.”

My friend overheard the seller speaking to another man about the mule my friend had bought. The seller laughed that he had gotten a good price for the mule because it would do anything but PULL. As soon as you hooked it up to something to pull it would lie down and refuse to move. Even if you beat it it would not get up (typical mule behavior you can’t beat them and make them do anything if they refuse)

My friend, who is a crusty old retired farmer/school teacher, took the mule home and hooked it up to a large log to pull and the mule lay down. My friend did not beat it, but instead tied it’s feet together and left it there, over night.

The next morning when he returned and untied the mule, he could see that the mule had struggled all night to get up but was unable to because his feet were tied togehter. (a horse would kill it self trying to get loose, but a mule or donkey will not, they will struggle but not panic and hurt themselves)

When he let the mule get up, the mule never again laid down when asked to pull. I love this story and this man has taught me to train Border Colliles to work and helped me with training my Mammoth Donkeys–because first you have to be smarter and wiser than the animal before you can train it. Collies and Donkeys and Mules are VERY smart, so it isn’t always easy to be smarter than they are, or wiser.

I think we must be smarter and wiser than the Ps and the scammers, and also keep our eyes out for the RED FLAGS. In dealing with something so prescious as our children in custody battles, I think the nurturing parent must find a way to “tie the Ps’s legs together”–do something that is unexpected. To be “smarter” than the P, to know that he will NOT play by the rules. If we do not become somewhat defensively deceptive as well, they will always win. Beating on them doesn’t do a bit of good, not any more good than hitting a mule or a donkey.

You have to know the particular make up of your particular P–what will “motivate” him. What will make him “balk” and what will just make him madder and more dangerous. A person who is used to training horses has NO idea how to train or work with a mule or a donkey. They look similar but they are NOT mentally the same. A person who successfully trains one kind of dog cannot train a Border Collie, they are entirely different than other breeds…no matter what, you cannot hit a collie, but GROWLING at them wiil put them into submission.

So I would caution the person who is fighting for custody of their child to KNOW YOUR ENEMY, and what motivates him, how he or she thinks, what their motives are (power control revenge) and work with that in mind.

ALWAYS keep your cool (at least in front of them) Don’t give way and show fear or anxiety, they will pick up on it instantly and use it to increase their aggression.

I have a friend with a Jack Russell Terrier and the dog rules the house because she will not train this hard-headed but very smart breed of dog. He has her in control not the other way round. I have a Jack Russell that is quite a well trained and polite dog. My dog does not tear up the trash (I have even tempted him with meat scraps in the trash and gone off and left him and he did NOT get into the trash.) I have never hit the dog (Doesn’t do any good with Jacks) and only seldom even spoken harshly to him when he would show me his teeth when I trimmed his nails. He didn’t offer to bite but did show me his teeth which is AGGRESSIVE, and if I had let that pass he would probably have bitten me the next time I trimmed his nails.

BTW, to keep them out of trash you put one or more set spring mouse traps in a sack of trash or trash can and it gets instant “natural consequences” even without you there. Most of the time they don’t even get it on their nose, but if they do, it won’t harm them, just minor pain like being popped with a rubber band on a sensitive area on your nose and scare the dickens out of them.

Most Ps are not going to react like Amy’s P did, even in a custody fight “to the death” but they can still be very damaging to the children. My experience with Ps though is that WHATEVER you value is what they will try to take away or mess up—if it is your kids, then they use THAT so sometimes pretending that you WANT THEM to take the kids so that you can go “party” without the extra baggage of kids might work. SO INSIST THEY TAKE THE KIDS MORE–especially if you have kids in diapers. Enlist a handsome male friend to be there when the X picks up the kids, dressed to the 9s like you are just about to go out for the evening. Or pretend you are going away for the weekend.

This “reverse psychology” will work with some Ps. Others not, so KNOW YOUR ENEMY is my best advice. AND THINK SNEAKY. LOL

Thanks OxD,
My comment was meant kinda tongue-in-cheek. I didn’t even follow the link 😉

Here is a FUNNY story about scammers tho-
I noticed at one point that the x-s was using one of MY old passwords for his email. I read his emails for awhile- when I knew where he was, I knew NOT to go. (I needed to keep my daughter away from him). It actually saved me from running into him a few times.

***Bonus- I got to witness him profess his “love” and “accomplishments” and promises of money and on and on to this really hot chick who claimed an address in a very affluent neighborhood outside our local metropolitan area. But, she was on a buying trip in Africa…but needed money for customs…lol. I could tell the “English as a 2nd language” in the emails.. he apparently missed it and just kept making promises. He shunned other women in order to devote himself to the pursuit of her and her presumed house full of valuables to be stolen and pawned. I was giggling with delight in anticipation. Finally the correspondence came to a head and he realized he’d been scammed by a Nigerian GUY.

Oh the RAGE! Oh the threats! LMAO. It was FABULOUS. The scammer got scammed.

Ox Drover

Glinda, I figured as much, and that is a GREAT STORY! I am rollling on the floor holding my stomach and keeping my legs crossed (you know why old ladies keep their legs crossed when they sneeze or laugh LOL)

There have been several hr long news shows about people getting scammed by these folks in Africa and south america and sending thousands upon thousands of dollars to them, just sure they had hit the jackpot of their dreams. We at least had a LIVE, IN THE FLESH scammer, and these poor people only had a cyber-psychopath, but still fell prey to them.

It is simply amazing how many people are so starved for love (I know in your case it was not “love” but $$$ Lust he was after. Oh, how I wish he had actually sent money!

The ones who lure the children for sex or murder or both though are the ones that scare the pants off of me. Money is just stuff, but lives are at stake here and that is the scary part. I even put a profile up on a dating site and met a few guys in public places for coffee, but finally got sane again and stopped that. Scary how easy it would be…heck I KNEW my x-P for 10 years casually and still got burned! So no more cyber stuff for me.

I am really happy for you that your X “got his just deserts” though! Congratulations again!


When I fled my (cerebral) P with my 11 yo daughter, I sought the help of a medico-legal forensic psychiatrist experienced with P’s. She told me to “give him as much access as he wanted” She wrote a letter for me “As far as I am concerned, as you are her father, you can have unlimited access…. I would appreciate if you could contribute etc…” It took me ~ 1/2 in front of the post box to send it. He refrained from creepy calls and stalking for 6 mths after I sent it.

After no contact for 6 mths, I received a court order from him
The next 2 years I spent being harrassed through the courts with me all the while being absolutely reasonable and saying that he had unlimited access but I could not force my daughter. He asked for a psychologist review of my daughter so we then all had to speak with a psychologist who, incredibly knew one of the people my P had comitted fraud to and, saw through him. The court ignored his damning report on my P however the Magistrate did ask “and how you think we should force your daughter..” still he kept making excuses and I kept going to court. I did not have a lawyer as the psychiatrist told me not to spend a cent on one. She said my P wants a fight and it is all too abstract for the courts to understand. At the last hearing, my daughter now being 13 yrs and in the top 10% of the state and verbally adept, I disobeyed the court and her own (issued by the court at no charge) lawyer and she came with me. They saw that she was not the little child that could not make her mind up and, after I was reprimanded, he actually accepted the decision of contact when she wanted (she never has ) and that he new which school she was attending.

I was lucky in that my daughter, when I told her that I was leaving, said to me “Mummy, I trust you”. The psychiatrist told me that “children and dogs” seem to see through them. My daughter certainly could see that “the emperor wore no clothes.

My P had 3 degrees, two with honours, He lived an odd lifestyle racing motor bikes, driving BMW’s and playing bridge.
The ones that liked him called him “guru..”
He rep. our country at bridge. He lived in a house that people would buy into and then lose money getting out. He was incredibly charming and manipulative and loved violent movies. He had held a job for no more than 3 yrs of his 33 yr existence. At 50 yrs, his past caught up with him when he revealed himself by predatorising a 21 yr old patient of mine who had a brain tumour. He is still with her despite her parent s huge grief.

During the time I was with him, I kept him the cleanest he had been. He is so charming, eloquent and believable. He is also very clever and can do some things well.

I did what the psychiatrist told me to and chased his past history to be sure and found 8 (I am sure there are more) people he has hoodwinked financially&/or emotionally. 5 of those have degrees. One was his ex bridge partner. Two cried on the telephone and two wrote an account of his incrediblely manipulative, emotional abusive behaviour. (he never was physically violent though his cows died from starvation when he had feed in the shed).

He is now working occ. in a practice where one of the partners is unwell. I fear that they are next to be financially ruined.

Ox Drover

Dear Luisa,

I am so glad that your daughter is so smart and wise for her age. Also glad that you are such a good mother to her. She deserves at least one caring parent.

It is so good to hear a “success” story once in a while! So many times it is not so much a “success” as yours was. Congratulations to both you and your daughter! I appreciate your happy news! Score one for the good guys!


My daughter is 19 now…..she went to live with her father at age 13…when I was in the middle of the turmoil with the con-artist! I have tremendous guilt over loosing all of our assets…because my daughter and I had already gone through so much suffering….for 10 years her father faught me for custody…back in court every two years…..I didn’t know what a sociopath was at that time….I just knew that I was dealing with a pathological liar and manipulator! I wish I could have found this site back then….I was a single mother raising an infant straight to 13. When she left I nearly died!

I didn’t know if I wanted to share this part of my life with all of you….It is very emotional to talk about my daughter whom I miss so deeply.

I faught her father in court for years….at one point he tried to make me out to be a “kidnapper”…..He had a very vicious attorney…..I had moved from one end of NJ to the other. I had to move because my father had died from cancer and 6 months later my mother suffered with a severe stroke. (DURING THAT TIME MY DAD WAS ILL, MY X TOLD MY then 5-YEAR OLD DAUGHTER THAT HER POP-POP WAS DYING AND HER GRANDMA WOULD BE NEXT AND HER MOTHER WOULD NOT BE ABLE TO CARE FOR HER)…my daughter became suicidal….she took a knife to herself and I had to bring her to the hospital….It was such a stressful time as my parents were her caretakers while I went to work. I didn’t have a backuup system in place….so we sold my mothers home and we moved to south Jersey to be closer to my sisters and mother. I did go to the courts to tell them after we had moved…..and I did go “after” because I knew he would fight it in court….and he did try to make me move back even though he was years in child support arrears (and he owns a hugh limousine company in NY that services the music industry)….. go figure!
The judge saw through him and said he was not going to make me move back north to Bergen county where I couldn’t afford to live! Maybe a year and a half went by and he never came to pick up his daughter….I knew he was up to his next fight….I saved the birthday cards he mailed to Melody. We were back in court again…He still wasn’t paying child support….I keep a copy of his highest arrears on my refrigerator to this day as it reminds me what I went through! 132 weeks of no support…almost three years straight….and that was just the NY order. We lived in NY for the 1st year of My daughters life! I moved back to NJ to live with my parents! So custody was in NJ and child support was handled in NY…..anyway….I will never forget when his attorney attacked me in court “yelling” that this mother needs to be put in an orange suit and carted off to jail for kidnapping his clients daughter! His attorney Mr. Peter Panaro….knew i had not kidnapped my daughter because he was there in court when I told the judge I was moving and where I was moving a year or so before! You should have seen the look on his face when I brought the federal express package in as evidence that he knew where we lived the year earlier. And than I talked about the child support arrears….on top of the 132 weeks he had now another year + he hadn’t paid….In our last encounter with support and custody he managed to get me to agree to giving it to our daughter in her future by 2006 he was to have an account with $17,000….and health insurance…which she never had….and a life insurance policy until she was of age….so he reduced the child support from $22,000 to $17,000 and did have to pay it until 2006 She was 5 years old at that time she is 19 now….again go figure! Alot of good money after bad!

To move on with the story….they purgered themselves in court….and this was not the first time….but it was the first time I could prove it! Nothing happened to them…nothing! But after I had told the judge that my child support was now in limbo because of this agreement….He was supposed to be paying me directly now….and he didn’t….the judge now asked that they pay to the NJ courts…..they were kind of backed against a wall and they agreed! But the 1 1/2 year of arrears sat in limbo they couldn’t do anything about it because it was a NY order. I guess I could have gone to court in NY but I chose not to at that point I had had enough. So I actually went 4 years without child support back then….and then there were spuradic payments….and with the NJ order at the time he had taken me back to court for custody when she was 12 1/2 he was $8000. in arrears again on top of the $22,000 plus another $12,000 totaling close to $40,000…..and the only time I did get support was when I was bringing him to court for it! After he had brought me for custody….so in total there were 5 child support and 6 custody battles…every year I was in court for all the time I was raising my daughter!

So how did I loose custody of my daughter? It was a shock to me at the time….I think back on all of it….It was a fog….when I moved to the jersey shore…Ocean City….I didn’t know that I would become severely depressed….I moved in September of 1999…there was no work anywhere as it was the end of the summer and it was desolate back then ….I had no friends and my mother was still sick and recovering….and I couldn’t get work so I had to go on welfare! And you don’t get welfare when you are getting child support! I ended up with severe depression… and the family support was not there because they were dealing with my mother! I lived in a crap summer house with no insulation we froze our buns off that winter and I had a social worker comming to my house helping us out of this mess….I guess my daughter didn’t like that too much…than my mother got much better and in the spring I finally got a job at a spa in Atlantic City….My mother baught us a house in OC. She gave me $40,000 with a $20,000 loan….I paid off the loan…..and I put every dollar of my earning into rebuilding this house….It was a 100 year old summer bungalow….I had put a new roof, new windows, gutted the place….new electric and a new floor in the kitchen….when i learned that the kitchen would never pass inspection with the floor….Then I met the 2nd sociopath…Dennis and he was going to save me and my daughter….and we were going to live better….not in this old house with mold….he couldn’t live there….no we had to have brand new….I listened to the wrong man…the rest is history….but to get back to how I lost custody….

I think it is a number of things…but ultimately I lost because I walked out of court that day….I had no attorney…no money….I had been ripped off in every way….My daughter left to go to her 1/2 brothers birthday….she had not seen them in a year….because he father was up to his old tricks he was ordered to pay me and wasn’t and I stopped meeting him half way….because it’s just not right! And somehow he convinced my daughter that I was not a good parent….and that she should come live with him. He sent her a limousine for the first time ever….and she never came back! And than all the lies again started….and I could afford the fight….in more than one way….I did get an attorney and paid my last $5000 to him and than I had to stop because my daughter was fighting to stay with her dad….so I let her! But she was never in court…..she didn’t know what happened. What did happen is that I asked for family counciling and the judge ordered it….but her dad never called to set it up….and I was upset in court….and the judge turned to me and said you seem bitter about the courts…I agreed with him….since all I had been through…..”I said your damn straight….I said the courts don’t give a damn about familys” And I still believe that to this day! I was so overly emotional that I walked out of court that day and said do what you have to do….my daughter will be back with me in a few months…and I believed that! I heard the police officer saying to the judge should I go get her….and the judge said no ….and I didn’t see my daughter for more than a year…and I was not going to put my daughter through what he had put her through for her high school years….I was not going to drag this through court for what is supposed to be the best years of your life…high school….so I let it go…and than I only saw her a few times…and we have grown apart…she is a teen ager and she doesn’t like to be told what is what! So our relationship has been on and off all that time….She got into drugs the year after she left…she was calling my house talking jibberish! for months…I thought she was messing with me….I thought she hated she was on something…and she went to the hospital almost died and her father didn’t care to even call me! She told me this a year later! At one time I thought we were going to be together again…and I don’t mean by moving back….she wanted to stay where her new friends were…but as soon as I became her parent and not her friend she alienated me again! I just don’t know what to do! I am her mother and I care and I was just trying to help her! She just doen’t believe in my help…she doesn’t want it! The last thing I told her was that I thought we needed therapy….she is not going there….at least not yet!

Ox Drover


Thank you for being brave enough to share your pain and frustration with the courts and your x, and the pain of the messed up relationship with your daughter.

Unfortunately, the Ps don’t care about the children, they use them as clubs to hurt you with—and it is obvious that they succeed many times. Of course, in the process the “club” (children) that they use to hit you over the head and heart with is broken and damaged.

I think sometimes that children need us most when they are in the rebellious teenaged years than they do when they are in diapers. At this critical period in her life you are being kept from her, and she is being exposed to the lack of care and guideance of her Psychopathic father. Of course at this age most kids don’t really know what they need, and don’t want the very thing they do need….structure and boundaries.

I know that none of the “available” alternatives that you have many be ideal in any way, but if you thinkk your daughter is seriously getting into drugs or is possibly suicidal, you might consider calling the “children’s services” in your area and see if they will intervene. It might entail placing her into goster care, or a group facility, but it also might save her life. Sometimes people hesitate to get the child “involved in the system” but on the other hand, the situation she is in doesn’t sound exactly ideal either. Good luck and God bless you Trish. As always I keep you and your daughter in my prayers to God.



I wish I knew then what I know now about these people….Unfortunately when all of this was going on I was also in the middle of being robbed by the other one! Overwhelmed….I am only starting to see the forest for the trees now! My daughter is 19 years old….a couple of years ago she told me she was doing drugs….but that after she almost died she stopped! She does not want my advice…..I know that he has told her lies about who I am….I’m not going to get into those lies…..but he backs it up with how my life turned out….loosing everything….In the past he told her as a child that she should have been born to his new wife….that it was a mistake to be with me…..The things I would tell you would floor you….a quick flash back of my life with him….LOVE….Pregnancy….kicked in the stomach at 5 months pregnant…hammer thrown at me….POlICE…..Beat up and thrown out on Christmas Eve….no human being deserves this treatment! I will never forget the day I went to pick up a few of my things…..we started fighting again….he didn’t want to give me the babys crib….all I could take were the few nick-nacks I had that my mother and aunts had given to me….and as I was leaving he took the box from me and turned it over so everything broke….I was 28 years old then and I cried so painfully….I had never known someone to be so cruel…..he pulled my hair back and spit in my face and said that is what I think of you…and I will always make our daughter think I care about you…but I don’t….and I will have her one day.

I didn’t know what I was in for….but he will not have her forever! I believe even though my daughter went through all of this that I instilled in her the tools that she needs to see the truth! She already sees some things that she questions…..I have to get stronger to show her that I am not what he tells her I am! I haven’t spoken to him for years…..two times I tried to mend our bad relationship….for my daughter and than I soon saw that was a mistake…so really I havent had a conversation with the man since she was 2 years old…..those two times don’t count because the conversation was one sided! I just will not have a conversation with a bad person anymore!

Sometimes I think my daughter wanted to me the mediator…the mendor…but she just didn’t know it was not possible…..The first time I went to therapy….my therapist told me after hearing situation after situation….that he doesn’t usually say this to clients…that he was crossing a boundary…but that he thought My daughter and I would be better off without her father! Unfortunately I had to send her to him every other weekend and she came back a wreck….every time….. I learned that he and his now wife had studied hypnosis with Tony Robbins…. I brought all of this stuff up in court….I learned everything I could about Tony Robbins… was mind boggling to say the least!

And when I moved away I fell apart for a little while! So now he uses that as who I am to my daughter….She came one time back to Ocean City to stay with me with a girlfriend! It was her high school graduation…I threw a big family party….and she stayed a week and the first day she came in and so coldly….ransacked my apartment….looking in every closet at everything before she even sat down to talk to me….I still don’t know what that was all about….my daughter is not the same anymore….but I still love her…..

I had two seperate psychic readings done and both did not know I had a daughter and they said she will be back in her mid to late 20’s. It is all I have to hang on to! She will not let me be her parent and now she doesn’t even talk to me!

I have given her to God….and I know that my father in heaven is looking after her for me….that is all I can do…..He knows everything….and to say someting possitive about the situation….

My daughter has been working since she is 14 years old…she has paid her own way to Europe a few times with her High School Choir and now her college….she is a musician singer/songwriter….and she sang at the Montraux Jazz Festival…she is in a very good school for music….The only worry I have is that he prommised to pay her tuition and than made her take our student loans….she will end up with $60,000-$80,000 to pay back….that will take 10 years or more! She has alot going for her….and she is a good person too….I don’t see her turning into her father…..she is her own person! And I don’t believe she is doing drugs anymore. I know she misses me….the few times we did meet she lit up when she saw me and I am sure I did too! He can never take that away!


The problem I have with telling my story is that it all sounds “crazy” because it is! But I want to say that it didn’t have to be that way…we were fighting over custody of a small child…for years….and the damage is done….I just couldn’t let him get her as a young child…and I really though she would come back home….but there is no home for her with me anymore….It’s gone….I have to build a life back for myself now and maybe there will be a relationship for us in the future!

I faught because he wasn’t a good parent in my eyes…and that is why I don’t talk to him either!

I met a great man once and I let him go….because I was not sure I was going to be good for him….He had it all going on for him….and then once he got inside the gym and we worked out together he had that going on to! He had kindness, love, fun,intelligence, handsome and wealth…..and we never argued…never….and after one year he wanted to meet my daughter…and i had a horrible dream that my daughter fell down some stairs and died! She was only 2 at the time….He brought us to his upstate home and I had never been there before and there is where I saw the stairs….I hawk-eyed her that whole weekend….and looking back on it….I left him because of my fear……and I dreamed about him the year before I met him….

He is a very important person in this world….that is how successful he is…and I know that we were meant to be together for that year….and that I had to leave because the next 20 years of my life would not have been fair to him…..

I met a few other nice guys….but not my husband…it just wasn’t meant to be!

Ox Drover

Dear TrishNJ,

My dear, ALL of us have stories that are INSANE–UNBELIEVABLE– Yet they are TRUE. YOu are not alone in that, and you can tell your story here and know that you will be believed, because for most of us our stories are JUST as unbelieveable and insane! When I went to a new therapist he thought I was a paranoid delusional nut case, and I had to take in documents from the court and a witness to convince him my INSANE STORY was true. I don’t blame the therapist either, and actually laughed at him wanting more than my word as proof! I would too if a patient came to me which such a story as mine!!! So you are NOT ALONE here, Trish.

The THINGS you have lost; the money, the possessions, in the end, are not the most important losses, though sometimes we tend to focus on the losses we can SEE or measure or put a dollar value on.

Your psychopathic ex reminds me of my own biological father and how he treated his wife that was the mother of his other three children. He hit her so hard on the back of the head that he blacked both of her eyes, she fled the US for her family home in Mexico to save her own life, leaving her children behind. She had NO CHOICE to save her own life.

I can only imagine how painful it was to leave her children in the clutches of the horrible man my biiological P father was. Two of those children did well in spite of him, and one is just like him.

I hope and pray that your daughter and you may be reconciled, and that she can see how much you truly love her. Giving her over to God is the best thing you can do for yourself, and your own peace of mind. She is an adult now, and for better or worse, she is responsible for herself. Even if she has college debt, she can take responsibility for it if he doesn’t do what he promised–she’s a big girl now, but all you can do is to love her, and right now, the BEST way you can love your daughter is to HEAL YOURSELF.

I know that money is important, and things for your life are important,, but I am also learning through this that MONEY AND THINGS ARE NOT THE MOST IMPORTANT PART, it is what is INSIDE US. The Bible says that a crust of bread eaten in PEACE on a house top is better than a FEAST eaten in unhappiness, and that is so true.

My P-father thought that money and fame (he got both) would make him happy, it never did. Look at all the “rich and famous” people that you can read about in the paper each day or see on the news and how unhappy so many of them are, how into drugs, multiple affairs, etc. and how miserable a life they live in their “gold plated” lives that are so EMPTY of anything of substance.

Our media and our culture tells us that if we are “successful” in terms of money, status, etc. that we will be happy, but it is a falsehood, just like the psychopath’s falsehoods, it is an illusion. Our happiness, our contentment comes only ONLY from within. If we have a roof over our head so that we are not cold or hungry, that is all we NEED–the other things might be “nice” but they will never give us HAPPINESS or contentment.

My mother (P-by-proxy) sits with her money in her beautiful home ALONE…she has no daughter now, and one grandson is in prison forever (I hope), the other one no longer trusts her (my son C) and I am NC with her—what good did her money do her? She tried to use it to BUY “love” from the Psychopaths, to buy “respect” and fawning—and now she has NOTHING because she rejected the true caring that was available for the FALSE addoration of the Ps who were after her money. How pitiful she is now, because she put her trust in her money being able to get her what she wanted—holding it out like a carrot to the Ps and they grabbed for the money, but despised her. I tried to give her love and healthy concern (but not enabling) but she rejected that for the fawning lies of the Ps, now she has nothing.

Believe me Trish, your P is an EMPTY shell inside. He knows that some how you have something he can’t have, he’s not even sure what it is, but he knows that other people have SOMETHING he can never hope to have and he tries to smash those people out of his anger, rage and greed.

You may never have as much “stuff” or as much money as he or the other Ps, but that is not what makes life wonderful. What is wonderful about life comes from inside ourselves. As long as we focus on the external things, give them more value than they really have, as just things to make our external lives more “comfortable,” then we will never be able to focus on the INTERNAL RICHES that we all have available if we will just look inward and see those ABUNDANT RICHES.

The Bible tells us to “lay up treasures in heaven” rather than here on earth–the treasures we lay up inside ourselves will never rust, corrode, or be stolen, they are OURs forever. God bless you in your healing journey (((hugs)))) and prayers.


Dear OxDrover,

Thank you again for your wonderful insight…..I just got back from a wonderful healing massage….when we started the session she said she wanted to do some visualization with me….from head to toe we visualized my body as a vase and as it filled up with this violet, indigo gel….the murky stuff was forced to leave….and to leave it all for good! All the bad relationships…all the pain and suffering…gone….the vase filled up to my neck but for some reason I couldn’t fill it fully….maybe I’ll put some beautiful flowers into it and as you know that forces the liquid to the top…I know I am suffering….but I know the transformation is at hand…..and I have the ability to learn and change my life from all of this…and you are right….it’s just stuff….and stuff doesn’t make life wonderful…..and you certainly cannot take any of it with you when you die….and I am blessed…that I know….I am healing now from this horrific situation….but it is nothing more than that for me….and I feel even more blessed for having gone through that situation as I have become a stronger woman because of it….I am no longer a timid, gullible, little girl….or a victim….I am a stong, intelligent woman and who knows where that will take me…only God….one thing I do know is that I can see the forest for the trees now! Thank you for all your transformational insight…..((Hugs))


TrishNJ. Woweee. Stick with it girl – its all part of the transformation from the dark to the light!!! My love, respect and support to you.


One thing I learnt is that because women have the ability to give birth, they have the ability to transform. If you get into a situation, you can get out of a situation. It may be painful, but you will grow as a result of it, you will re-invent yourself.

I had my first radiotheraphy treatment today and it was fine. The thought was worse than the experience. One treatment down, 17 to go!!


TrishNJ. Your contribution has made my day. I feel as elated as you do. Thank you.



Good luck with your treatments. My housemate from Hawaii, who is a dear dear friend has gotten through Breast cancer twice. When I was trying to decide if I should make the move to Hawaii, she said, “You never know when the big yellow school bus is going to come around the corner and run you over.”

We all should remember that the Bad Man, whomever he was, is just a chapter in life and if we are still here… there are other chapters to be written.

I am working on other chpaters now… Bad Man may be a pivotal character in my life but he is not the star of this show. I am. He’s gone now and I am sure he doesn’t even think of me anymore. And you know what, I think more about the ladies at LF than I do about him.

So Beverly, this is your chapter about kicking Cancer’s ass. You have already been through Hell, right? I bet that helps you to know you are tough and you can get through anything.

I wish you all the best and I am dedicating my sail to you this evening… maybe I can take some pictures. I don’t know how to get them off my phone but I will try!



Many thanks AloaT. xxx


If there is copyright, we all know who Bad Man refers to. But as you say, he is not the star of your show anymore – you are! xxxx

Thank you, I love boats as an analogy of sailing on ‘life’s ocean’. But my big boat is a bit busted and worn out and I am trading it in for another!!! xxx

Ox Drover

Thanks, Trish, I hope my post was some comfort to you.

Beverly, good goin’! It won’t be long before the treatments are over and they are never as bad as we anticipate. I think “worry” over what will be until you know is worse than the procedure–at least for me.

Happy sailing Aloha!

Beverly, My “boat” is a beautiful birch-bark canoe–and my P son seemed to always be trying to chop a hole in the bottom and sink the family. Now he is not in the boat any more, the whole is patched and it is smooth water and smooth paddling now. No more will I let anyone ride in my canoe with an axe! And they better be prepared to paddle—no free rides!


Dear Beverly,

Thanks for your support…..I am praying for you…..I believe in God’s healing….and I have been a massage therapist for 19 years now….I know about healing….use the vase visualization that I just posted….and look for other forms of healing….this can be a bigger opening for you than you know….I had a client in the past who had final stage cancer with only 4 months to live and she was young and did not want to die….she had 3 professional opinions and one of the doctors told her that he saw unexplained miracles….and he told her that these people had gone to faith healers….and so she found a reiki master and she eventually became a reiki master….it takes 2 years to get there….alot of working on yourself and working on others…..she is cancere free today….she told me another interesting story…..after all of that she was in a car accident (she was speeding) and she heard a voice say “are you ready”….she yelled No!! and than she heard the sound of wings flapping and when the crash was over….she ended up under the passenger dash….she was originally strapped into her seat belt….somehow she ended up where she did and it was the only place in the car that did not get crushed…..she walked out with only scratches….Reiki is amazing…because you are protected by angels and guides when you are giving of yourself to others with healing! You know God is real…and so are angels…..I am a reiki level I soon to be level II….I am going to pray for you and have others send healing to you too….God bless you….


Dear TrishNJ, Thank you so much for your kindness and reassurance. I did use the vase visualisation today when laying in my garden. I am very ‘tuned into’ colour and use a similar breathing exercise, breathing in different colours. My encounter with the Narcissist and all the other stress I was encountering at the time left me so exhausted, BUT, I am feeling a whole lot better and time off work has helped. I should have taken this time off work last year, but i wanted to plough on and I didnt want my employer to know I was juggling one crisis after another. I kept thinking that if I could keep everything together, it would all pass, but alas my health problems took my out of the picture and in a strange way I was so thankful for that. I am one who doesnt buckle easily, but the down side of that is that I shoulder far too much. I think I have learned many lessons since last year. I so believe in the spiritual side of life and I think we are supported on so many levels. I thank you so dearly for your support and prayers and hope that your transformation will bring you to newer levels in yourself. (((hugs)))


I successfully got my child away from the sociopath ex husband by using the character traits of a sociopath against him. A sociopath will NOT follow court orders, and they are an abandoning parent waiting to happen.
I would ‘beg’ for child support…. if it was something I needed, the sociopath would NOT do it. The minute he was late, I filed contempt. He racked up 5 contempts in a year and a half.
After the 5th.. the judge got tired of it and ordered it garnished. (I also now had a paper trail of child support requests).
I would ‘beg’ him to call, send cards ect…go with us to therapy for our son. If I was requesting it.. he wouldnt do it.
(now I had a paper trail of un involvement).
He not only did not get involved, which was the plan all along, but he walked away. He thought he was hurting me, his target.
I also made life miserable for him to keep up his lies. His friends, family and job ….he was so busy keeping up his lies.. he didnt have time to pretend to be a parent.
I had my attorney make numerous requests for discovery… which of course, he would not turn over. Once he did not turn it over.. file contempt. Having a court paper trail is the only thing that works. Courts DONT CARE what your opinion of the sociopath is. They will only look at you as a bitter ex. Dont bother.
It was hard… it made me sick to have contact with him… but it worked.
Its been 3 years since he saw our son. Luckily, my son is now a teenager and can make his own choice should the sociopath ever want contact with him. He wont, he is too busy collecting sympathy from the new victims in his life by telling them I took his child from him. Oh well…Thank God.. it isnt my problem anymore.
Everything you need to know is in the description of a sociopath…. for once, use it to your advantage.
Good luck to all of you.


[Do psychopaths/sociopaths make choices?]

“They become as addicted to their behavior as the drug addict is to the drug, so their choices, and they do choose, become predictable”

[Benzthere] Oh did you say a mouth full!

They are so predictable to it gets funny at time. I don’t mean to be rude but OMG, I just laugh and laugh sometimes at their predictability..

And have learned over time that this “predictability” has become my greatest accessed.


I see you have learned this as well, Good for you!

Ox Drover

Dear “WhoamI?”–I KNOW WHO YOU ARE! You are ONE SHARP chick! Good for you! The good old “reverse psychology” ploy, worked like a charm I bet! Sometimes they are SO predictable it is almost laughable if it weren’t so sad. Laugh and cry at the same time. Yep, that’s them…a piece of work!



What a great story. I really enjoyed hearing about this.

I do think these people are kind of trapped in their psychosis… (that might be a misuse of the word).

Bad Man was posting ads all over Craigslist and he kept getting blasted off because word was getting out about his true character. The more he tried to sound like someone else, the more he sounded like himself. Finally, he gave up. I have heard that he now uses an “adult” website to troll for his next victim. But not to worry, I have given them a heads up. :o)

Once we see and accept the patterns in their behavior, we can be a step ahead of them… sometimes.

I don’t recommend toying with them unless you have to like “whoamI.”

Awesome story! Thanks for sharing.


I am in the process of getting an order of protection against my exboyfriend who is beyond a shadow of a doubt, a sociopath. I cannot believe all the things that are beyond the imagination that I have endured with him. He is a Dr. and has made me out to be a a gold-digger, although I am also a professional and have actually been supporting HIM for the past several years! My only hope is that the judge sees that I have been completely honest in my testomony – 3 days worth, and his attorney had only asked him a few questions because it was there for all the world to see that he was using a totally fake personality – one of his specialties, and that he could not remember his lies.

What insight I got from this and would like to share, is that anyone seeking an order of protection, be prepared to be cross examined and make sure that you give your attorney enough information and insight as to all the abuse, not just physical. I believe that I should have given examples of the mental abuse as well so that my attorney could ask questions that he would answer truthfully since he believed he was right. This will give the judge more insight.


I have been through years of court-battle nightmares with my sociopathic ex. He is a charismatic con artist and he was lucky to find another sociopathic attorney to help him perpetuate his lies. I was amazed how they were able to manipulate the system and deceive judges. The worst of it, is the pain and suffering that my children have gone through and continue to go through to this day. I also live with the fear, as he has threatened my life in the past, that if he should have any reason to become enraged with me, that he would have me killed. I ordered the book mentioned, just in case he went for full custody. Fortunately, my ex.’s drive for his other pleasures (money & deviant sex) supersede his “possessions, i.e. his children”. However, I know that I must always be on-guard. I kept detailed logs, faxes, emails, etc. and used a journal called “mr. diary” which I would highly recommend – free download, I believe. Sadly, I did not know what I was dealing with in the beginning and did not realize the importance of keeping such records from day 1. It is very important to get as much documentation from other reputable sources, i.e. teachers, doctors, restraining orders, police reports, bank records, etc. Don’t let it go as I did, initially. Because he will make mistakes. He will let down his guard. He will burn his own bridges. He will not fool everyone. He will sink his own ship in his own time. I decided to focus on something that he could not take away from me, my love and care for my children. I decided to focus my energies on being a great parent to my children and to offer them “as normal” a life as I can while they are with me, and to offer them the tools to be strong, confident, and empathetic beings.


I am the person that initially sent in this question to be added to the blog. I want to thank ALL OF YOU for your comments. I have been able to take and learn something from each posting.

To Bergie who sent in this most recent posting I feel the same as you do when you say that you can never let down your guard. I believe that after my ex has done as much psychological/financial destruction as possible he will “disappear” but it will not be permanent. He will ALWAYS be back and up to his same tricks. As for my physical safety I worry for that as well as comments have been made to insinuate the threat to my safety. I have taken self defense courses and I am going to be taking martial arts soon.

It can be very disheartening knowing that this person will always be there waiting and planning against you. I just try to stay strong and focus on the important things that I need to do and be the BEST mother I can for my children and to show them what NORMAL behavior is.

I wish you all the very best of luck.

Ox Drover


You are a brave woman! A strong woman! My prayers for you! Thank you for sharing. You are an inspiration. (((hugs))))


I am completely new to this site. The first time I read some of these blogs it was as though a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders. I suddenly realised I was not alone after all.

I met the S 12 years ago, married him and had a child with him who is now 6 years old.

The S abandoned my son financially nearly 4 years ago. I stopped his access 6 months later when he started turning up drunk to collect my son for visits.

We are English but were living in Europe. The S went back to England 3 years ago but continued to turn up here on a regular basis to try to see my son.

I have held firm and not allowed access. He wont go to court here because he knows I have so much documented evidence against him that he will be well and truly exposed if he does. He will also not want to be ordered to pay maintenance.

However, I have suffered agonies of indecision and guilt regarding taking my son away from his father. Wondering and wondering if I have made the right decision.

I have though, haven’t I? I am so lucky to be in a position whereby I live in a different country from this vile creature. This is the thing that stops him coming after my son via the courts. If ever I were in the position of having to hand my son over to this man, knowing what could happen, I just wouldn’t be able to do it. What on earth gives anyone the right (judges, courts etc) to tell me, his mother, who I should and should not hand my most precious child over to?

Ox Drover

Dear UK survivor,

Welcome to the blog. You are SO NOT ALONE!!!

I am the mother of a psychopath, and the daughter of one, but I am also the mother of other children and I can’t imagine having had to turn them over to a psychopath, knowing what I know now—yes, you are very fortunate that your X can’t get access to your child—it is tough on a kid growing up without their parent, BUT when their parent is a psychopath, it is even TOUGHER to grow up with them.

MY P-bio father also was out of the picture until I was grown, and I went to “get to know him” and boy what that a horrible experience that it took me 10 yrs to half way get over.

As your son gets to an age where he asks questions I would tell him the truth so that he will A) not be curious and B) so that he will know enough about Psychopaths that he will be “forewarned”

Dr. Leedom has a son who is also from her psychopathic x husband thre is a link here on this blog to it called “raising the at risk child” Since there are some hereditary links with psychopathic people, it might be a good idea for you to read it. My father is a psychopath and only 1 of his 4 biological children is I think one. I haven’t seen the 3 in years, but from what I understand 2 of the three are “fine.” The third one I ahve had only contact by reading things he has written on the internet, but it sure smells psychopathic.

My son got the “double whammy” with psychopathic genes on both sides, both grandfathers, and from my mother’s family as well as my p-bio dad’s so don’t despair that your son “is one” because it is not likely, but read and read and learn and learn and love your child and don’t feel the least bit guilty about keeping his father out of the picture. If your son wanted a pet viper or cobra you wouldn’t let him have one now would you? I wouldn’t let him have the human version of a poison reptile either. We know what the results would be don’t we—and we don’t even have a crystal ball! LOL Again welcome.


Thank you OxDrover.

My son had contact with his father until the age of 3. At that time he was just dreadful. He had massive temper tantrums, used foul language and used to physically attack me, kicking and biting. I have 2 older boys (19 and 15) from my first marriage and I never had any of that sort of trouble with them so i knew something was wrong. I hadn’t at that point worked out that his father was a Sociopath. The first 6 months of looking after him alone were a total nightmare, I wondered many times if I’d ever get through it. But I did and I now have a happy, loving, caring, considerate 6 year old running round the place. He sometimes still throws a tantrum, but it’s very short lived and he never, ever swears or behaves violently now. Hopefully, those first 3 years have been eradicated.

I have another question. The reason I have always allowed myself to be treated so appallingly is due to very, very low self esteem. This was caused by my upbringing. My mother was a hopeless mother. She and my father always put a roof over our heads, clothes on our backs and food on the table etc but there was no sign of any love or affection. I grew up believing myself to be an inconvenience to my mother in particular. This led me to try to find someone, anyone, to love me. Well, you can imagine the results!

I am estranged from my mother (my father is dead) and my brother because they blame me for getting myself into a mess by choosing unsuitable men. Their attitude is, ‘you’ve made your bed, lie in it’.

My question is this. Is it worth trying to get them to understand what happened with the S? I hid most of the stuff from them because I thought what was happening was my fault. I know how incredulous people become when you tell them your ex husband is a S though – they look at you as if you’re mad! So, is it worth the effort of trying to get them to understand? It’s not that I want a reconciliation with them. It’s just that I finally learned that I’m a really good person and a great Mum and that I didn’t deserve to be beaten, abused and mentally tortured for so many years and I feel like I want to say that to my mother and my brother. Or is it better to just let it go and move on?

Ox Drover

Dear UK survivor,

I wish I knew the answer to your quesstion. I am also estranged from my mother as well, She is not a psychopath but she is so toxicly enabling to my P-son and because I am no longer enabling of him, she is really enraged with me. My son is in prison for murder, and mymother’s fondest wish was for him to come home and live with her before she dies. She is 79. When I FINALLY got out of denial and accepted the fact tht my son is a MONSTER and if he ever does get out he will be a danger to society, my mother freaked out. She had others in or connected to the family telling her what an Angel he was and how he had repented etc etc….all lies and to help him and them get mom’s money. I am my mother’s only child and my 2 biological and 1 adopted sons are her only grandchildren.

Even after my mother found out the horrible truth about my P-son in prison and his plot, his sister in law (the wife of son C) and her BF, a friend of my P-sons, an exconvict sex offender, pedophile, tried to kill son C and stole money from mom–thank goodness their plot failed and they were arrested. In any case, mom still paddles her little canoe on the river DENIAL…so I went NC with her as well except for the occasional business conversation I have to have with her.

It frankly was the smartest and best thing I ever did, until I realized how TOXIC her enabling of my psychopathic son was, I could never have healed. I kept trying to please her, to convince her, to get her to love me, ya da, ya da, ya da.

Now I realize that she will never quit enbling him, and that she is so twisted with her own dysfunctional enabling that essentially she is a “psychopath by proxy” doing his bidding, punishing me for not taking up the “family fun” of enabling hard core.

I felt guilty at first, but when I realized my mom was lying to me, gaslighting me, punishing me and DELIBERTATELY trying to hurt me, saying nasty things out of malice—sheesh, I need that like I need another P-son. Nope, peace is good. Why would I want ANY one in my life that does not have my best interest at heart? Does it make a difference if they gave birth to me, or I gave birth to them, if they don’t or aren’t able to love me; I NEED THEM FOR WHAT?

Yea, there are times I would like to “tell her off” but why, she wouldn’t get it at all, and it would only make me flow vitrol, and I am doing my best to get the bitterness out of my own heart and to be at peace. I am a good person. I am a strong person. I am an independent person. I am able to love. I do love, but I reserve the right to have relationships ONLY with those that love me back and care about me. Blood is NOT “thicker than water”—it just pours out on the ground when ANY one stabs you….no matter who they are.

Good for you in living through the trauma with your child through those horrible times after he was away from the Psychopath. I would still check in with Dr. Leedom’s parenting site, it really is a good one for ANY parent, not just those with “at risk” kids geneticly. My oldest son was ADHD, and not defiant, but you just had to keep him from climbing mountains and tress when he was smaller, the “good kid” was the one that turned out to be the psychopath when he hit puberty…go figure. My ADHD son is a great man, a heart as big as a swimming pool and very kind. Easily taken advantage of is his worst fault, but he’s working on that. My adopted son is a prince so I am blessed in spite of having one son who is a psycopath. The three of us have learned some valuable lessons and I no longer even want to tell my mother, or my P-son anything. I am just glad that they can’t hurt me any more, so I am moving on.

Each of us has to make our own decisons on that sort of thing depending on the situation, and our own desires, but for me, moving on is just the easier thing to do. Less hassle, less pain.


Dear OxDrover

You know, I agree with you on the mom thing. I already knew, deep down that there’s no point in contacting her and trying to make her understand and you’ve just confirmed that. If she had any real love for me in the first place, none of this would have happened. If she couldn’t love me then, she’s not going to suddenly start now is she?! Lol.

I have read some of Dr Leedom’s words regarding at risk children, but I will certainly study it in more depth. Your son, the one who turned out to be a psychopath, were there any signs before puberty or did it just suddenly happen?

Ox Drover

Dear Uk Survivor,

The ONLY sign I saw before puberty was ONE episode in which he stole some money and checks at age 11, and traded them to another kid for a radio that he wanted and I couldn’t afford. When confronted by the other child, the other child’s parents, and the money and the checks, he still DENIED DENIED DENIED he had done it, even in the face of the evidence.

I paddled his behind for the denial and the lying, ( spanking was rarely used with him except for VERY serious things, like once when he was 3-4 and was climbing into a parked truck on the farm going after some guns that he KNEW NOT TO PLAY WITH, etc.) The night after the confrontation about the radio thing and the spanking, he ran away from home that night and we had to turn out the search and rescue to find him, and we did, he had walked miles in the dark. When I brought him home he looked me in the eye, totally determined and said “I’ll do it again and you can’t stop me, you can’t watch me 24 hours a day every day”

WOW! He was right and I knew it.

In fact, he was actually except for that one episode that I am aware of almost an “ideal” child, popular with the kids at school, teachers etc and did well in school, and seemed to want to please. When he hit puberty he started open definance and seemed to enjoy defying me and my husband, especially me. He seemed to bear me especial malice. Ieven checked with his brother to see if he knew of any earlier signs and he didn’t know of anything either. After kindergarden they were not particularly close but did share a room until Jr. High.

By 10th and 11th grades he was into criminal activities but not until he was 17 and a Senior was he actually caught. I turned him in is why he was caught then. He still bears a grudge against me for that 20+ yrs later and believes that that is the reason he is in prison now—though his last arrest was at age 20 for murder.

When he went to prison he was very arrogant and openly definant, now that he’s had 20 yrs in prison he is slicker with his manipulations and can quote the Bible and philosophy with the best of them. He is intellectually gifted and has taught himself to read and write Chinese, Japanese, Arabic and Spanish and has corresponded in Chinese with several Budust monks for years.

The letter of “remorse” her wrote to the parole board for his first parole hearing would bring tears to your eyes it was so well written. Oh, he’s a good one all right. But, like most Ps, he can’t communicate with one side of his brain with the other, and will contradict himself from time to time and actually NOT see it. One minute it is “But Mommmm, what would Jesus do?” the next it is a rageful look and “I”m proud of my crime, it is worse than the cops even know” Then immediately back to the “But mommmm, what would Jesus do?” DUH? Hare says that they know the “words” to emotions but because they can’t experience the emotions themselves, it is sort of like they know the words but not the tune.

I think of it as a color-blind person trying to teach you to paint pictures—they just don’t get it.

I am a retired mental health and medical professional so I have worked with various kiddies that were “p’s about to bloom” in in patient settings. Many were very hyperactive, but not all, and by age 10 some of them are quite dangerous and have no idea of consequences and do not fear consequences at all. You might as well be talking to a rock as one of these children as far as any effect on them.

My P son is not hyperactive. My ADHD son is not a P. (shrug shoulders) but Dr. L says that many times they are both ADHD and P. I bow to her greater experience and knowledge on that. I’ve also worked with a lot of ADHD kids in outpatient settings and the ones I dealt with were I didn’t think P-material, but a few were.

I hope for your and his sake that your child didn’t get the genes and environmental component that together make them what they are…but you can just do what you can do, and leave the rest in God’s hands. I wasn’t a perfect parent by any means, but I think over all Ii did a pretty good job considering that seven years of it was as a single parent, but I had lots of social supports and friends, male friends who were role models, my step father who was a role model, a good community etc. so it wasn’t just me agaiinst the world with my kids. We didn’t have a lot of money but we did have other things that I think were just as important for kids. My kids had horses and dogs and woods to roam, fishing poles and NO TV (not because we couldn’t afford it but because I wanted them outside learning to be kids.) I did provide private schools for both boys because of their intellectual gifts and also my older son’s ADHD, even though I had to borrow the money to do so, and I made a concerted effort to be a parent to them, not just “drag them up” but thought carefully about how I parented. After my divorce I took them to therapy for two years, so all in all, I think I did the best I could and it wasn’t lacking in too much if anything.

I don’t “blame myself” for my son’s behavior or where he is, I guess the worst “feeling” about it other than being crushed that he wasted his life and talents, was the “shame” I felt that other people would blame me and think I wasn’t a good parent. I kept his whereabouts secret (he is in prison in another state) except from close family intimates.

After his arrest for murder at age 20, I literally locked myself in my home and cried, walked the floor, and screamed for days and days, didn’t leave the house for 3 months. I guess actually I probalby should have been hospitalized, my grief was so profound and I felt so helpless. It would have been easier I thought if he was dead and the girl he killed was alive in prison. After his trial, and his attorney telling me what the EVIDENCE was (which was not a violation of client confidentality) I knew for certain that he was guilty beyond a shadow of a doubt. He hooked me in to his “repentence” act a few years ago, along with mother, and even his brothers, but once I saw that it was all a FAKE, I “buried” my child, and cut off the relationship with the MAN who is a stranger to me. He hasn’t lived with me since 1988, so he really hasn’t been part of my LIFE except in fantasy–but I built that fantasy up to where it was very important to me. Now that I know the truth, just like every one else on here, it is ALL A LIE, I can let go of it and I have.

Someone said once when you can think about it and not feel overwhelmed or sad you have healed, and I think I may be getting to that point.

No relationship on this earth with another human is “forever” and one way or another all relationships end. I’m reading a biography of Thomas Jefferson and his wife Martha, and how he became psychotic after her death. The sadness he felt at losing 4 of his 6 legitimate children, and I wonder how those people coped with so much loss, so many deaths of their children, but any time we have ANY relationship, death or some other separation can come between us at some point. WILL come between us, so loving and losing is a given, but if you don’t love you have nothing, so I love while I may, while my loved ones are here, and while I am here. I hold them close and enjoy their love and companionship because all of life is temporary and if we miss the good days worrying about the bad days or “what might happen” it’s a pretty miserable life.

Just love your son, hold him close, do the best you can and love him as long as you are able–whether one day or 100 years. From how you write I have a feeling you are a great mother, and a caring one, so I think you son is blessed with
a wonderful mom and seems to be doing well now, so thank God and just do the best you can….love him while he will still let you hug him! Oh, by the way, my two boys, one 38 and one 31 still let me hug them frequently, and unashamedly. LOL

sp in kc

I accidentally stumbled across this site while looking for something totally unrelated, and feel God brought me here for a reason. How I WISH I had found this site four years ago. It would have given me so much hope and encouragement that things could get better, as well as the knowledge that I was not the only idiot in the world to fall for someone like that. This was a hope that was in short supply for a long time.

I was married to a sociopath for 21 years – did not know it until he left, but my son informed me that his dad was a sociopath, so I read up, and sure enough, it explained my whole life. I just thought I was crazy, but it was him. Which is point number one. Your whole life feels like a crazy house, and you think it’s your fault, because you can’t stop the spinning. But when you are in a relationship with a sociopath, it’s not you, it’s him. Embrace your sanity, accept that he is not sane, and hold fast to the truth within yourself.

I want to give hope and encouragement to anyone else who accidently stumbles across this blog, which is a wonderful thing for anyone who is facing the troubled waters of a sociopathic relationship.

Your CAN have your life back, your days in the quicksand will end, there will be solid ground under your feet again some day. It is NOT going to be easy, and it will not be cheap, but it can be done. It will take every ounce of stamina and will power you possess, and every bit of support you can get. But one thing I learned when my ex left was that other people DO see through him. Not everyone, because they are charming and social and the life of the party. But there are some people who cannot be snowed, and they are the ones you need in your life now.

The other thing I want to add is that WhoAmI is absolutely correct in what they are saying about winning a sociopathic court battle. You MUST use their own mental disability against them, but you CAN win, because they are utterly predictable. Sociopaths lie constantly about everything, even when there is absolutely no reason to do so. The more you document, the better your chances of getting custody.

But the ultimate reality is, they do not bond with anyone, including their own children. So, the key is to use that against them, and make it work FOR you. I followed more or less the same strategy as WhoAmI, although I don’t have to file court docs, because he is supposed to pay through the payment center. And our youngest is now 16, so she can see him if she wants to, I couldn’t care less. He can’t corrupt her, she is totally on to him.

My last piece of advice is to echo others here who are saying to limit contact as MUCH as you possibly can with him/her. They use it against you, they are superb actors, and you are already vulnerable to them. It’s not surprising that someone would fall for another one. If you fell once, why not again? Do NOT allow them any access to you that is not controlled and documented. I finally, after a year, learned to keep all contact via e-mail, and it changed my life. When they say it, they suck you in. When you read it, you realize they aren’t saying anything at all, and it’s very easy to nail them on their lies and inconsistencies.

Anyway, I just wanted to add my words of support, and to say that your children will know, in the end, who is real, and who isn’t. If you love them and continue to do your best for them, they will eventually come around. You have to believe that, and believe in yourself.

You all take good care of yourself, and don’t forget, you are abused women. You can and should take advantage of resources in your community geared toward battered women and their families, because they also help women who have been emotionally battered.

I will be praying for each of you as you continue your battles.


While looking for the Blog you are referring to, I came across this one. Think this pertains to us in our agony. Will keep looking


KATYA…Thanks!! : )


SP in KC…
I read your blog as well as WHOamI…..and Im trying to do the same thing….paper trails…I will not speak with him…but insist on written which He does not respond!!! Its fine with me….as it doesant hurt will hurt him in court…but he doesnt respond regarding support he is behind in all he does is keep filing to lower it and not work ….


sp in kc

“The other thing I want to add is that WhoAmI is absolutely correct in what they are saying about winning a sociopathic court battle. You MUST use their own mental disability against them, but you CAN win, because they are utterly predictable. Sociopaths lie constantly about everything, even when there is absolutely no reason to do so. The more you document, the better your chances of getting custody.”

And how right you be!

The old saying applies to them so much it’s scary at times…

“Give them enough rope and they will hang themselves”

As for predictability, I can sometimes almost set my watch to it. Really they are that predictable…


James…Im just trying to get a grasp around USING it against them…so far he has lost eachtime..and now I am documenting everything logging and sending emails….I dont know how much to document and how far to push it as he hasnt responded to ANY of it..he seems to think he is going to skate in and ride thru this and have a judge lower his support and win and doesnt care about the fact that he hasnt paid anything just that he wants the court to believe he is broke….so do I continue with the emails…as I am doing what WhoAMI has done…asking him to call his son…please send money…blah blah blah…and no response at all


They are Very much like children the more a child believes they can get away with the more the child will test the limits. Funny in a way but as parents we learn to predict what our child might do whenever we set limits or expectations like taking a bath for example. We ask them to take a bath

“did you take your bath”
“yes mom”
“then son was is the tub still dry?”
“okay okay I didn’t take a bath cauz I don’t need one!!!”
“yes you do now go and take a bath right this minute young man!!!”

Just like children they will two things.
First tell a story (lie)
and then tell you they “don’t need too” (fight about it)

Whenever my ex s/p was fighting with my oldest son, it look more like brother and sister fighting. Both acting immature and only feeding the fire. I can’t tell you how many times I had to tell her to act like a parent. What person has to tell an grow person to act like one?

We do…


Endthepain, I wanted to give you my two cents worth, although it isn’t by any means a legal advise. Since you have sent him e-mails he had not responded to, I’d stop sending them and continue to document lack of communication from him and lack of response to (so many) e-mails and (such and such calls that occurred on such and such dates. The more detailed you are the better. I have whole lot documented evidence and still feel it isn’t enough. We have to keep a tight line with respect to the harassment laws, but at the end of the day, I believe the psychopaths will show their face, like James said.
I was a bit disappointed that we can’t use the diagnosis to the extant we’ve unfortunately became aware of it. But, what I have done was go by each symptom and detail each behavior that responds to the symptom.
Let’s face it: our kids’ fathers are no fathers and will not financially support them. In the face of this battle, I think it’s best to hold on to the kid. Mine loves someone to take care of him. His girlfriend is fitting the bill now. Oh well, can’t win them all…


KATYA..thank you..yes I agree….I am not going to email anything…else ….I think the 6 that were sent petaining to my son…court and enough..especially with no response…..I don’t call him…and he called my son once in 3 weeks…I know he will be back here in ca. in 2 weeks and then we got to court on the 23rd..he will be going to his mothers house so Im sure at that point…he will be playing his “good face ” on as he wants her to believe he sooooo desperately loves his son and misses him soooooo much..what a crock!! thats when Im truly going to have walk a fine line….I did let him know I wasnt going to force a 3 yr old to call his father…as my son didnt want to when he left the message the other night…again..having your mother send a truck isnt going to make you father of the year especially when you dont seem to care about his well being or his needs…so again…thank you..keep in touch..xoxox


Just having him in CA may be stressful enough. Let’s pray for each other and our kids. I think maybe, it might help: maybe, it’s stronger that way. Good luck. I am here every night Wish I could watch tv or read something other that P books. But, I feel I owe it to my son to become a total expert, whatever it takes. So, here I am. Wishing you all the best and good night. Thank you for talking to me, you are right about the only person I did not manage to P/O on this site with my strong opinions.


KATYA…Im not goin anywhere…xoxox


This is useful. I currently have full custody of my baby because custody has never been officially decided in courts. I’m allowed to leave the state or even take him out of the country if I want to do so. My ex-husband’s name is not on the birth certificate. However, since we were technically married until a month after I had my baby, my ex could sue for custody and could, in theory, get shared custody because we were technically married while I had the baby. I left him when he attacked me while I was pregnant. That was the last he heard from me until a few months ago. He has known about his son for 5 months and has not pursued legal custody yet. I know he does not want to be a father and only pretended to want to be one when we married because he knew I wanted to start a family. I had a lot of fertility issues, so I think he thought he was safe pretending that. He became very violent when I became pregnant, so I left him.

Basically, I’m wanting some advice from people who know Sociopaths and about co-parenting with them. My attorney has good advice, but knows nothing about Sociopaths. She says, that if I think he will sue for custody, it’s best for me to serve him first because the state I’m in is much harsher towards domestic violence batterers (him) than his state is. She said it’s best to have the ball in our court and be on the offensive. She said he could try to claim that I’m keeping him from developing a relationship with his son, which is true. I am.

My goal is to have his paternal rights severed because of his extreme violence. He makes a lot of money, but I never have seen a dime of it and paid for everything when we together anyone. I know he’d never pay and if he did, my child’s safety and well-being is not worth it. He presented very well in court, during my Order of Protection case. He is a master at telling lies and he is professional and charming. He seems like he has his life in order and appears to be responsible. I fear he could get shared custody or at least visitation. Since he has threatened to kidnap our child, I worry about this.

Do you think I should keep living off the radar, so that he can’t find me or do you think I should serve him with custody papers. He threatened to try to get custody or kidnap our son if I left him, but my attorney thinks it’s just a threat and he might have re-thought this plan since he has known about our son for 5 months, now has access to my mailing address (the court actually has it, not him, but he can serve me with papers through the court) and has not. I’m actually in my state’s Address Confidentiality Program for extreme domestic violence cases. Should I go through the courts, to ensure that he won’t in the future, or just keep doing what I’m doing and staying hidden from him. Currently, I’m not breaking any laws and currently, as long as he does not try to dispute it in court and until then, I have full legal custody and I have been the only caregiving parent, since the beginning. What advice would you give?


Additionally, he was married to another woman in another country when he married me. He married he in her country. I didn’t find out until after the fact. I know that he applied for her Visa to come into the country in December, so she could be coming to the US at any time. The point in mentioning this is that he might just focus on her now and stop trying to find me and making my life miserable at some point. Either that, or once she comes into the country and they make their marriage legal in the states (they married in a third-world country with a bad government, so as it stands now, the US does not recognize them as legally married while in the US), he might fight for custody because then he’ll be married and will look even more stable and fit. I just don’t know. It’s so hard to guess how he thinks. What do you think?

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