By | January 3, 2015 28 Comments

All I want is to live my life without my ex in it

Spath TalesEditor’s Note: This SPATH tale is an update to a story previously submitted by Lovefraud reader “Tina-Marie”, ‘I am getting more imprisoned daily‘.

My well connected, well moneyed sociopath ex-husband, who abandoned the children and me years ago, took every dime and signed custody over to me, resurfaced 18 months ago.

He followed me to another state despite a cease and desist letter to not do so. He has had protective orders which he violated and got arrested for.

He had two criminal charges for domestic violence with the current pending charges I just mentioned. He has sent me threatening emails and texts telling me that if I don’t drop the charges, he will bring our son to court with him to subject him to what is going on. He spent years bothering me, post divorce, but most of it was money issues. Now he has indoctrinated one of my children to do his dirty work.

He began to see my son, which resulted in weekend visitations where he never brought the child home on time, not by hours, but by days.

Last summer, he abducted my son. My child has not lived with me in five months. I have seen him ten times for a cumulative 117 hours!!!

Early in my divorce, my then attorney told me to never withhold visitation from the father as it would be, as she said, “a sure fired way to lose your kids.” My ex did not ask for scheduled visitation so we did “liberal visitation,” which ended up being a big mistake.

While with his dad, my son has been suspended from school for lying after his entire life of being an exemplary boy. His grades are slipping and as of now he is failing two classes. Prior to living with his father, he was a straight A student and received awards for honor.

His father asked for 50-50 custody. Part of asking for the change requires a custody evaluation. That worried me, not because of anything I have done, but because my ex is very wired into our court house. His brother is an attorney and my ex has contributed to judge’s campaigns and is friends with quite a few of them.

I came to my interview with the evaluator with my documentation. I documented everything.

He came with our son.

He had my son say things about me that were completely untrue. The evaluator did not interview the sources she had me sign authorizations so she could speak to them, including my son’s school counselor.

The evaluator’s report looks more like a vendetta against me. She said that my son’s failing and suspension are the “new him” and I am not “attuned to the growing teenager.” She also said that I “set high standards” (not really, just don’t like failing grades) and don’t seem to love my son unconditionally which is insane. I have texts and emails that he sent me, each one more threatening than the next. I showed them to the evaluator, but who knows if she read them.)

Bottom line — the evaluator’s recommendation is that my ex becomes primary custodial parent.

She also recommended that my ex have legal custody too. She is allowing me one day a month with my son. There will be no summer, school breaks or family events unless I get my ex’s approval.

This is the worst thing — to have the SPATH control when I see my children.

I am shocked at this recommendation.

He has criminal charges for violation of protective orders, harassment, child abduction and domestic violence.

I have no record.

He has a history of mental illness and takes medication for severe depression (that he claims was due to my abuse) and now he has adjustment disorder (whatever that is).

I have no history of mental illness.

So, like he always does, he fooled the evaluator. He dragged my beloved child into the evaluation and had him lie, downright lie.

He has taken my son on holiday. Before they left, my son has assured me that he would keep in touch with me daily and that he wanted me to contact him.

As you can imagine, his communication with me has stopped.

I am on my 4th attorney, have spent legal fees over six figures and have been fighting harder than ever several years POST divorce!

I am in a healthy wonderful relationship for two and a half years now and all I want is to live my life without my ex in it.


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Tina Marie Please do not ever give up and it is not your fault what you are going through. Of course dealing with a sociopath is something horrible and unbelievable and it is nightmare! I know it must be the most horrible feeling in the world but please never give up. Our children also get to an age that they can have their own opinion of the sociopath parent and will realize what a horrible person they are. I am rooting for you and I have faith that you will receive the justice that is yours!



Thanks for your response. I will not give up and know that this is not my fault at all. The only reason I am going through this is because I breathe.



You’re a strong person! I’m praying for you and your son!


Tina-Marie, thank you for sharing your story. I’ve gotten the same contemptuous treatment from the family courts and like you, suffered loss after devastating loss. Your son is doing what he needs to do to stay sane, survive and yes, even thrive. My relationship with my son was strained throughout the teen years, it was really awful. He’s an adult now, doing great in his career and today we have a close relationship. The love you have for your son is powerful. Your ex and the sociopaths who work in the court system are driven by envy and rage. They can’t erase the precious bond you have with your son no matter what they do, and they know it.



Why do you think your relationship with your son got better as he grew older? Simple maturity, understanding the sociopath, or what else? Did you reach out to him? Did he reach out to you?


Escapefor1, During High School, I had some visitation time. Just before he went away to college, we figured out his Dad was a sociopath and this was a turning point. We began a process of getting reacquainted, getting to know one another as adult-to-adult and in light of the realization that his Dad had smeared and alienated me. It helped that he lived away at college, removed from my ex’s daily influence, and had the legal right to decide how much contact to have with me and he wanted a lot. Making up for lost time I guess is what it is. I don’t want to make it sound like it’s all a bed of roses now, it’s not. We’re still dealing with the aftermath and there will be many issues to address in the future. It’s been a horribly traumatic experience but I’m grateful for the progress we’ve made.


Thank you for your answer. I am amidst dealing with a similar stage with my children and am looking for advice. I shared custody when my older child lived at home, but this has migrated to sole custody with very limited vacation/holiday time with my ex while my second child still is at home. My older child moved back to the area and has had a lot of contact with my ex. Even though there are issues, she keeps going back for more.

It has recently come to light that I seriously underestimated how much my ex lied to them about me and alienated them from me. Even as they live with me, they view me as he has convinced them to see me. I recently have started to tell them more of the truth, as I previously was prohibited from doing so. I am about to explain much more to them, as that is really the last thing I can do to try to bring us back into a more realistic and positive relationship, nurturing on both sides. I hope it works.

I have another friend alienated completely from his child for years by his ex, most probably sociopathic. As his child is in college now, we have been trying to see how to get them back together, but it is a challenge even to get the door open.


Hi Concern,

I am sorry that you have also gone through this type of experience. It’s daunting and consuming. My son told me last night that his life is not better since he has been at his dad’s house, but it is less stressful. I am sure it is because his father caused so much drama last year that no one could have stood another minute of it. You are absolutely correct when you say that my son is doing what it takes to stay sane and survive. On the other hand, he is failing at school and his prospects for college are getting slimmer and slimmer with each passing day. This was a child that was head for the Ivy League.

Last night my son said he wanted to have dinner with me tomorrow night. The dad is refusing that to happen stating that I have to live by the recommendation of the custody evaluator. No I don’t. That was only a recommendation. We still have a hearing. Until then, I am the custodial parent and HE, the s-path, is in contempt. Since s-paths rewrite all rules and laws, he is mssing that one very big point. HE IS IN CONTEMPT.



Yes terrorfromans-path, they are figuring out a way to survive the psycho-Dad experience. Keep in mind that you’re the one being devalued. The P must defeat you and ‘vindicate’ himself. I guess that means prove to all the world that he is good and you are bad, as in splitting. My ex’s objective, besides defeating and discrediting me, was to win the favor of the child. I kinda look at it this way, as long as my ex was venting on me, at least my son wasn’t the main target of that narcissistic rage. Not that my son wasn’t affected by living with a Sociopathic parent, but what if say, I wasn’t in the picture? I shudder to think. My ex was more careful after we were separated because he had the court looking over his shoulder. We had a judge who was a friend of his family. But still, he was answerable if anything went wrong and he knew I would report it if he did anything outrageous. So Socio-Dad was under a certain pressure to pull this off.

About Ivy League Schools, I was hoping for that too but they aren’t for everyone, the pressures are enormous especially for a young person emerging from a stressful family situation like this. If you’re in the US, a community college will accept him and as long as his credits will transfer and he improves his grades a bit, he can apply elsewhere and get his bachelor’s degree down the line. Just encourage him and let him know you have faith in his ability to find his way, and you’ll be there to support him. Please don’t despair, (like I did), the world is a big place and there are many great educational and employment opportunities out there.

I hope you didn’t miss dinner with your son today. This about sums it all up: “HE IS IN CONTEMP”. Sociopaths are full of contempt, for everyone.



I am sorry to hear about your son’s declining school performance and dashing his hopes for college, but I wanted to make a suggestion and perhaps allay some of your worries. My kids too were top-college bound, with Ivies a possibility. I unfortunately could not hang in there in my marriage until they went to college and got divorced in their teen years.

My older child was in high school through much of the divorce and the disruption surrounding it. Sometimes I feel like I should have waited to get divorced because before the divorce the custody evaluator noted there were no problems obviously indicative of abuse. But after, once we were in separate households and I was no longer a buffer, there were. She ended up with a mixed high school record and almost not graduating. As for college, not what she wanted. But once off to college, she was able to do much better and successfully transferred to the college she wanted, best in the country for the specific thing she wants to study. Unfortunately, problems have continued to plague her and we both decided that it was best for her to take some significant time off from college. I hope she will go back, but I don’t know if she will. She had wanted to take a gap year after high school, and I thought it was better for her to get away from her father, and go to college out of state. If she stayed, then I (mistakenly, as it turns out) thought the custody agreement applied until the middle of the next year and it would not help her calm down or recover, so we pushed her throught and out of the nest before she was recovered or ready to deal with anything too challenging.

With my son, who is applying to Ivy League and other top schools, he managed to keep his head down and his wits about him, despite the sometimes really crazy, mean-spirited, and damaging things going on, and despite his sister’s ups and downs. I’m proud of him for that. But the reality is that we were so busy being dominated by and coping with the shenanigans of the sociopath ex, and we were all so damaged and stressed in our own ways, that we did not do a lot of the activities and proactive things we might have done in a calmer, more supportive environment. So, he won’t look like the miracle kid the Ivies might expect. And they don’t see or understand the tremendous challenge he faced to overcome our family situation and stay on track. That is a huge plus that is not the kind of thing (with very limited essays these days) that college applications capture. The colleges say they look at the whole person, but given what they ask for, they really can’t in cases like ours. If he does not get into the schools he prefers, he plans to apply to transfer or go to a school that has an exchange program with the school her prefers. And I remind him, as he will probably go to graduate school, all he really needs is a college good enough that if he does well there, he can apply to top graduate schools. Maybe that will be the Ivy.

So, my advice to you is not to worry too much about where your son initially gets in to college. There are always transfers, exchanges, and graduate schools. But I do strongly recommend that you think about letting him take a gap year or two to come down from all the stress of living with a sociopath. If he would want to live with you, or with friends, in the meantime, maybe do something meaningful to him or related to his career interests, but not too challenging, rest and relax in a more calm environment, see a psychotherapist to help put it all in perspective, and address any stress-related medical conditions (ex. adrenal exhaustion from stress, PTSD, etc.).


I have some thoughts based on this post and your earlier post, Tina-Marie.

First off, I see that you have been through 4 lawyers and the legal fees are adding up. I went through 2. My fees and expenses were outrageous. I strongly recommend, if you did not already do so, consulting your local domestic violence shelters and asking who they can recommend as seeing many of their clients. This is how I found my lawyer. One name kept coming up as on their short list. Also, check with High Conflict Institute in Scottsdale, AZ to see whether they have trained any attorneys in your area. Finding one familiar with the shenanigans (“litigation abuse”) of sociopaths will keep you on track and your costs down.

Also, think about getting a child’s attorney to look specifically after your son’s best interests. A child attorney will look with more detail into the child’s wants and needs and may see through your ex. In a trial, they also get time, so if they do see, there are two lawyers questioning your ex. Of course it could go the other way too. But at least your son would get an opinion.

Secondly, it is not that uncommon to lose custody to the abuser, especially when they are a convincing sociopath. According to a couple of studies I saw in different states, shockingly 70% to 80% of the time the abuser gets majority custody. It does seem punitive to only see your son one day a month. It does not sound to me like your custody evaluator did a very thorough job. I would request a psychological evaluation, done by someone else, someone who has seen personality disorders of the type you think he has. This is not easy to find. Look for a forensic forensic psychologist as they are usually prepared to testify in court whereas many therapists will not. If you can, request another custody evaluation, even if you have to pay for it. Look for a PhD in psychology who follows a detailed custody evaluation procedure which includes talking with collaterals (witnesses) and looking at documentation (which should include any arrests/convictions and harrassing or threatening emails or texts, or any other written support, preferably by 3rd parties).

Thirdly, if your son is a teen, he would probably been asked who he wanted to live with and perhaps interviewed anyway as part of the custody evaluation and trial. But if your ex is inappropriately dragging him into legal battles, you can submit a motion for both parties to not discuss the case with children.

Lastly, I can only imagine how you feel, but it may turn out to be better than you think now (other than time lost with your son, which can not be replaced). I was stripped of most custody as one of two choices in my temporary custody and it hit me hard, though I took a damaging choice which nevertheless preserved more custody. As I am now emerging out of my custody agreement years later, I wonder whether I made the right choice. In some ways, things might have been better if the kids had spent more time with my N,P ex. They would have caught on to him faster and he would have lost interest sooner. He never really wanted to do the work or bear the expense of custody. Child support usually does not really cover it, especially if the children are used to an above middle class lifestyle. He continued to abuse me through them.

In my case, my children did get wise to who he really is. In the meantime, there was plenty of controversy and lots of anger and rejection towards me. It was very hard to go through that after the years of abuse and then the years of divorce stress. He alienated them towards me to a greater extent than I had seen, and now our relationship is more tenuous. It has been really hard on me and has not allowed me to move on. Like you, I am in a long-term relationship, and this situation has also been trying to this new relationship. My health has not fully recovered due to the co-parenting and the blowback from my kids. I hope that as they learn more and mature, that they will see what I did for them and how much I truly care for them in contrast to the demonstrated behavior of their father.

It sounds like your ex is alienating them. I see on the internet there is a lot of controversy about parental alienation and whether it is a real thing. I have seen it at work in situations around me and in my own case, so with these psychological types, it is real. You don’t want to let that go on. It only gets worse and can lead to a complete cutoff with so much brainwashing that your child may never return to you. It is not a reasonable process where your child reasonably sees what each parent is like and decides over time. The alienating parent brainwashes and coerces them, not unlike in cults. They learn not to think for themselves, but to adopt that parent’s point of view — to some degree anyway even with shared custody. Read some books on this topic, especially the ones from the kids’ point of view. The kids as adults say they wanted the alienated parent to fight for them harder.

In the meantime, take the extra time you have to get healthy and assist your new relationship. A break can do wonders. So, hard as it is, try to move on in peace while still fighting to return your son to you in the future.



Thank you for the very well thought out letter.

I am scouring the nation for a good attorney. I will only hire one who understands socio-psycho paths and custody battles with them. The other four referred to him as a “bad guy” or “nut case,” but those are mild descriptions and unless an attorney REALLY REALLY gets how these guys roll, women like us, don’t have a snowball’s chance in hell.

We had a best interest attorney for the kids, five years ago. She said “no sleepovers until the dad goes into reunification therapy with the children.” He fired her. Yes, he fired a court appointed BIA. Let me rephrase that — He fired a COURT APPOINTED BIA. So, no reunification therapy took place. I mentioned this to the current custody evaluator with the letter he wrote that fired the BIA. She evaluator did not even look at nor did she look at any of my evidence. There is no doubt he has her wired in.

My daughter, has never been won over by the dad since his smear campaign against us included a huge one against her. She is very aware of it. My son is different since he was very young when the dad left, and he has little recollection of the horrors of the s-path dad. When dad reappeared, my son was so grateful to have the dad that he took him lock, stock and barrel. I think my son is starting to see the dad for what he is and it is scary for him.

I am taking care of myself, as best as I can. I workout an hour a day. In warm months, I run a few miles a few times a week and I practice yoga daily.

Its hard, but I am going to continue to fight.



Yes, contempt for court decisions is a commonality. Mine put his in writing — twice.

In your search for a better lawyer who really understands the beast, Bill Eddy and his group High Conflict Institute is the closest to doing so. He trains lawyers and judges nationwide on how to deal with sociopaths, as Lovefraud defines them, actually Cluster B Personality Disorders including psychopaths, but also including many other really tough personality disorders. He points out the way they are not rational and escalate and never resolve conflict. He is aware of the litigation abuse. You could see whether he has trained any lawyers who can practice in your area. If not, we hired him to advise my first lawyer, but much more training of my first lawyer was needed than he requested. Maybe insist your lawyer take his course. My second lawyer had taken his courses and she totally got it, and saved me a lot of time and money by cutting to the chase and being aggressive when necessary.

It sounds like you have things well in hand, as well as can be given the circumstances. I really wish you the best!


Oh, and I’m still stuck on your sociopath fired the court appointed best interests attorney for your children. I did not even know that was possible. Mine would have loved to have done so. And that your custody evaluator just did not read any pertinent material! How does that even happen?!! Sorry to hear it.


This post I relate with. All I want is to be left alone. If it was financially possible for me to do so, I would move to the U.S. Virgin Islands or British Virgin Islands. SO FAR AWAY FROM THE EX. I use to allow the antics and evil to dominate my life. I have gotten better since. I have found spirituality and began a spiritual journey. (This has nothing to do with organized religion tho). It’s more about myself and me. And it’s helped me to stop feeling so victimized and helpless. I realize I am not helpless. I can’t control the ex but I can control my response and reaction and how much I allow this person to affect my emotional state.
I have been down a road I use to call HELL. Now I have learned to see it more as a learning experience – a very very painful learning experience. But nonetheless it has taught me to be a stronger, calmer, and self disciplined person. I can’t control anyone or what they do. If someone is nasty and hateful and hell bent on making my life hard. Then they are going to do that. Especially dealing with a sociopath with no conscience. I can’t stop them. As hard as it is not to be affected by the hate and venom from this person. I have grown emotionally from all this.

It’s not to say I would ever want to live it again. Of course If I had a choice I would never experience it. I Know we all wish we knew then what we know now… But that’s life. You just never really know…..


Hi sugarNgold,

It is a road to HELL. I know I can only control myself and not another person. I also know when someone targets you, there is nothing you can do about it.



I too wanted to move far, far away — just away from where he could find me. But as I had to co-parent, I couldn’t. By a couple of years later, I was ready to come out of my “cave”, my desire to isolate myself. A couple of years after that, I find I am ready to rejoin life, even in ways I had before it all fell apart. You may feel better as time goes on.

Divorced from Gaslighter

Tina-Marie: If your ex-husband has insider relationships with the local judges, spending more money on legal fees may not do you a bit of good. As your son is a teenager, he could live with you if he wanted to badly enough, as “the big dogs sleep where they want.” After months or years of his father being absent, he may have been very eager to re-connect with him. It may take him years to figure out how he has been used, and he may not ever completely figure it out. My daughters are now late 20s/early 30s, and although they realize that their father was very deeply flawed, and behaved very badly, they don’t consider him to have been a sociopath. Your son will probably never see your ex the way that you see him, and you need to come to grips with that.

I also spent a fortune on legal fees, and if I had it to do over again, I wouldn’t have, as the legal fees were simply money down the hole, and didn’t change the real-life outcome of the children spending considerable time with him, and having a crazy custody schedule for much of their childhood.

Even after he disappeared for five years and then came back (claiming that I had hidden the children from him and he had been looking for them the whole time) the court system was willing to give him another chance. The judge wanted him to have visitation and start paying child support in order to rebuild his relationship with the children and regain their trust. When he realized the judge wasn’t going to allow him to take the children out of the country, he disappeared again.

Your son is almost grown. Save your money to help him during his college years, and say goodbye to your attorneys. If your ex is anything like my ex, the minute the courtroom drama is over, his level of interest in the child will drop considerably. He is probably spending a lot of money on your son during the court fight in order to keep your son happy at his house. When the battle is over, he may turn into Scrooge and start skimping on the child’s clothing, allowance, etc., thinking that he has spent a fortune already. And after your ex wins his big victory, he may actually let the kid move back with you. Teenagers always “need a ride” somewhere, and if your ex works full time AND then has to provide taxi service to sports events and other extracurricular activities, for a child who usually doesn’t remember to express much appreciation, your ex may tire of the boy in a hurry. Sociopaths do not organize their lives around providing services for other people, nor do they routinely spend money on others that they could have spent on themselves.

Your son knows where you are, and can reach you anytime he wants. Just let it all go. You took care of your son and met all of his needs during his formative years, and if he now wants to live with his father, let him. I wish that I had disengaged from my ex and the custody battle years earlier.

Whatever you decide to do, I know how hard it all is, and I wish you the very best.


Wow you could have written this for my situation.

My fear is that not having seen my children for more than 8 days over the last 4 years and their father telling them that I hate them for them wanting to live with him and not me. He tells them that this is why I do not see them anymore when it is him who will not allow me to see them. I have been to court constantly trying to see them and he denies me this by taking up the court’s time crying poor him. he’s the victim. The court’s time is spent dealing with him and not with the access.

He two years ago was found in contempt of not allowing me to see my children and for not following the court order. The above was his explaination to my children as to why I did not see them.

Does anyone have the experience or know if after not having access to your children and them being told that you are mentally ill, have abandoned them etc… . if they will ever figure it out and seek you out when they are older?

Do the children ever learn/understand that we did all that we could do for them with the limited resources we had? By this I mean lack of funds for legal and ending up representing ourselves and becoming homeless in order to fight for them. This would also include trying to win a fight with someone who stripped us of all our credibility in the eyes of all involved. The legal system ends up being a quagmire for us and is only hospitable to the psychopath who knows how to navigate all the nooks and crannies of how to get away with destroying people/things legally.



I have been out of the relationship with my ex-spath for over 4 yrs. Just as I was getting ready file for divorce for the 2nd time from him, my yo daughter revealed that he had been molesting/ raping her since she was about 4. His biological son was at the time displaying signs of sex abuse and rape, which is what made her come forward. despite filing a graphic and detailed 4 hour videotape statement, he has never been brought to justice. BTW, he admitted the abuse to me in a tearful confession, after his attempt to lure me and my daughter into wooded area for a private talk failed. 4 yrs later – my bio son has not spoken to me. He hates me for not stopping my ex (my son has never admitted or denied if he was abused). I was gaslighted their whole lives told I was mentally unstable etc. Last year, my daughter also stopped speaking to me -= the reminders of what happened, too severe. my step son has nothing to do with me and that ok because everything I know about him shows that he is his fathers son even so far as fondling a 9 yo neighbor, whose parents are best friends with my ex and never reported the abuse. My ex step son is a con man liar and wannabe pedophile. My kids are 22 and 23. I live my life in peace and if the decide that I wasn’t crazy or unstable, they can find me. Not to sound uncaring – I’ve spent too many years tearing my heart out over them, but I can’t heal them and I cant change them. I can only hope they grow into wiser adults someday.


I’m really sorry to hear this. What a horrifying story. What is wrong with these courts?!!!


Hi Divorced from Gaslighter,

Your first paragraph is spot on. I agree that my son could come home if wanted to but, the wrath from his dad would be incredible. The dad has promised him so many things and has basically told him that he would leave him for good if he didn’t do as he said. That is a tall order to ask of a child – to just walk out. I know how scary his dad is. Remember, I was married to him.

I still have the notion that I have to fight for my son because he still communicates with me, wants to see me and tells me he loves me. If I just walk away, the dad will entrench more venom into my son and I will lose touch completely. However, I wholeheartedly agree with your advice about saving my money. I have spent so much for lawyers who have done nothing for me – except make matters worse because they don’t understand the s-path so their actions stand to antagonize my ex. Custody orders mean nothing to my ex. Protective orders are pieces of paper and he violates them anyway. When he is arrested for violation of PO’s, its just another thing he can blame on me and my son hears the brunt of it and believe that his mom is hurting his dad. Although the police have strongly advised me to obtain another protective order, for my own safety, the protective order will escalate my ex’s reasoning for keeping my son from me.

I have texts and emails where my ex writes “He does not want you.” “He does not want to see you.” Yet, on the same day I have texts where my son writes “I love you Mom” to me. It is obvious that my ex is vindictive and downright cruel.

Many times I have wondered if I just backed down would the ex be so “wonderful” to my son? My guess is he would drop into his old patterns of being negligent and non committal. However, I can’t take the chance – at least not yet.

Thanks so much for sharing your experience. It speaks loudly to mine.



Divorced from Gaslighter,

This was my experience as well. I spent boatloads on the divorce, as my then-H asked for 100% custody and I was afraid the kids would be with him, unprotected, most of the time.

But once nothing was at stake any more, my sociopathic ex (probable NPD and Psychopath, which have less empathy) progressively tuned out the kids. He also kicked one out of his house 4 times and the other 2 times. As an older teen, my younger one ended up at my house more or less full-time by his choice and at that point, as long as I did not make a big deal of it or fight for a legal re-determination of custody, my ex did not seem to mind. We just “agreed” to let that change happen as we were allowed to mutually agree on changes to the custody as we went.

The kids also progressively got wise to him, without my having to say anything bad about him or explain the situation. Doesn’t mean they did not want to spend time with him, but they did not take it as seriously.

Had I realized he would bow out so soon, I could have saved myself a lot of money and headaches in the divorce by just letting him have more custody.


To Gaslighter and Escapefor1

It was my fear of my ex which made me try to change what he he did which was to gain 100% custody despite the portrayal of abuse and admittance of abuse done by him to me and my son. My ex knew that my children were the most precious thing in my life and the most cherished. That is why I spent my life savings and became homeless trying to get them back to protect them.

The problem is we never really know how they will ultimately react/respond to something we do or don’t do. Hence if I finally walk away will he give up his hold on my children or punitively increase it?

I heard terrifying stories, when I saw my children, wherein my daughter told me that she would lock herself in her room as my son and her father fought. If I thought that he would stop his control over my children as soon as I gave up my court battle for custody and access I definitely would.

My fear is, is that he will disable my son like he did to me or worse kill him as long as my son stays with him and argues. Apparently my son is figuring out that his father and current female relation known for the past 5 years have had a long term rel. with children. There is lots of evidence of this and I am sure that my son who notices how different his sister is treated by his father than he is has picked up that the two younger boy twins who do not have a father are treated by his father.

Now don’t get me wrong, my son has told the children’s lawyer that he wants to live with his father. When it came out that my daughter may want to live with me and that he would be left all alone with his father and then asked what would you do if there is a fight my son replied that he would leave. I asked him to where? He thought for a few long moments. You could actually see him going through a list of people in his head and determining that he could not rely or depend on them. Hence they are his father’s family that he was going through in his head. He then turned to me and said well I can always come here can’t I? I then informed him that if he told the children’s lawyer that he never ever ever wanted to live with me that it would be highly unlikely that the police would allow him to stay with me if he ever showed up. It became evident to me after my son bragged that his father congratulated him for telling the children’s lawyer that he never wanted to live with me that my ex had bribed him with something to say this to the children’s lawyer.

I have not seen my children for approx. a year thus far despite going to court to try and see them with a custody order wherein I need a supervisor. Hence I am treated as if I am the criminal. I am an incomplete quadriplegic from him abuse. He got a ticker tape parade from the court system here.

It is funny, but my advocate said to me one day, if you were a murderer, you would be guaranteed to see your children every weekend in prison. Hence what he is gotten away with is making me worse than a murderer in the court. I am the victim of HIM still after being divorced and leaving him. I have serious spinal surgeries to contend with every 5-6 years in my neck because of him for the rest of my life. Each surgery has a high successive chance of death.

Would I walk away from my children if I thought that that was the answer, yes I would. Do I know if that is the answer, no I don’t.

Is it seen by him that I am antagonizing him by going to court for custody and access and by receiving alimony? Probably. I think the biggest antagonistic thing that I am doing to him in his eyes is remaining alive.

Would I phone 911 ever again? No that is something I REALLY REALLY regret doing. The police here appear to be much like him and are sympathetic to the abuser. And he is very vindictive that he was arrested and spent 4 hours in jail. In fact in a letter written to CAS he wrote that I should be put in jail after he put forth lies that I was a danger to my children. Hence that was the start of his transposing himself and his actions onto me. Although he admitted to the abuse he did to me and my son he nows denies this. A psychologist who deals with victim selection told me that I must leave and hide because he will come after me.

Would you leave your children behind? So far I have been kept from them by him but would you truly be somewhere that they could never find you if they really needed you?

Without my children I am dead in many ways already. My health has deteriorated over the past few years with stress and the worry I carry for my children. They may never ever know how much I love them nor how much I gave up to fight for them.

Although I am divorced from him, I am more tied to him now than I ever was. The abuse has continued in absentia in other ways. I long for the days when I would get beaten up, for at least I could see children and know that they are okay and taken care of. They knew I loved them once but no longer know anymore. How does one escape the psychopath finally?


I am so sorry for your situation. I did not know things like that could even happen. How can the courts get it so wrong?

In cases like yours, the problem is that there are no good answers. I don’t know what to say. If you are in physical danger for your life, you need to protect yourself. Perhaps try to protect your children in other ways from afar or from a local hidden location. But can you if you need payments from him for your medical costs/disability? There may be a way to receive payments through a clearinghouse and not have to reveal your address. I hear it is even possible to change your name and get a new SSN to further hide. So, maybe that is a way to look into if you have not already done so.

I was lucky in that I did not have to deal with overt physical or sexual abuse, though he sampled pretty much all the other forms of abuse. At various times, I have feared for my life, my childrens’ lives, and my parents’ lives. The police have even told me to warn my parents, which I have done over the years. But I know the odds of him doing something are very low, not zero though.

So, my concern for my children is for their emotional health and my relationship with them, and with my future grandchildren. I have thought about making videos for them, just in case. I would tell them how much I love them, what I have done for them, what they need to learn about their father to avoid being a victim, and just give them general life advice.

Maybe you could make videos, and either save these or send them periodically to them. It is easier now that they can be electronic. But you’d want to be sure your ex does not know or see them. Maybe wait until they are out of his home.

I wish I knew more to suggest, but I don’t. I am sending you good wishes!


I understand. I’ve been there, although not as much physically disabled as you. I actually did ‘run’ when my third attorney advised me to in order to preserve my life. It is hell on earth, even more of a hell than when we were with them because at least we could somewhat protect our children.

I’m still torn about whether I made the right choice – to live without my children instead of dying fighting a lost fight. Not many people understand. My partner does, since he’s seen it happen more than once. Even therapists and counselors don’t understand. And they’ve even made things harder for me so now I can not even get help that way. People have made false assumptions about me and not listened to what I say or see the evidence. And then I’m treated worse than a criminal because of it.

Please know that you’re not alone, even though it feels that way. If you do decide to spare your life, please choose a state that has expanded Medicaid under ACA. That way you can at least get your medical needs taken care of without him.


I went to see the children’s lawyer today and the forensic social worker was there with him. I did not see my children for Christmas and in an email he has told the children that I hate them for wanting to live with him instead of me. I told this to both the lawyer and the social worker for the children.

They asked me since I am representing myself what do I intend to do? I said the only thing I can do is file for contempt of the order. The social worker said well I wouldn’t do that, just work on trying to see your children at a supervised access centre and hopefully he will comply. The funny, as in peculiar, thing is it appears that she is totally influenced under the spell of my ex-husband.

As soon as I started to talk she said well I have no way to verify what you say since he is not here. I then said it is in the email he sent to me that he also cc’d to the children’s lawyer. As in I have the evidence of this lie.

My ex-husband has lied from beginning to end and he is the one who is looked at for supplying the truth to the court, the lawyer and anyone else involved. As she said to my mother “he appears to be more credible”. I was a librarian and research scientist in my former life meanwhile he was kicked out of university for getting f’s, he was into teen pornography, drugs, lies pathologically, physically abusive ………. etc … and apparently he is more credible. Why??? Because I am female, disabled and poor now???

I have found that women in particular in these fields have no understanding of abuse and the psychopath. I find men to be more understanding and discerning. I do not know if it is their act that they buy or they have it in for us because they view us as weak? The fact of the matter is that I have been told by a former military sergeant that is now a psychologist and deals with PTSD that I have the resolve of a prisoner of war and should have folded many years ago but have not. He’s amazed.

Please tell me if you have been ostracized by your ppth how did you survive or recover from the smear campaign. Essentially it is him transposing himself onto the victim. How have you survived this if you have gone through it??? I am finding this difficult still and do not know what to do about it.

Also has anyone on this site stayed away from their children either by choice as in walking away to get away from the ppth or the fact that they just couldn’t afford the legal to try and see their children ? And do you regret staying away in the end??? In particular if the children do not seek you out ever again??? Any regrets?


I went to see the children’s lawyer today and the forensic social worker was there with him. I did not see my children for Christmas and in an email he has told the children that I hate them for wanting to live with him instead of me. I told this to both the lawyer and the social worker for the children.

They asked me since I am representing myself what do I intend to do? I said the only thing I can do is file for contempt of the order. The social worker said well I wouldn’t do that, just work on trying to see your children at a supervised access centre and hopefully he will comply. The funny, as in peculiar, thing is it appears that she is totally influenced under the spell of my ex-husband.

As soon as I started to talk she said well I have no way to verify what you say since he is not here. I then said it is in the email he sent to me that he also cc’d to the children’s lawyer. As in I have the evidence of this lie.

My ex-husband has lied from beginning to end and he is the one who is looked at for supplying the truth to the court, the lawyer and anyone else involved. As she said to my mother “he appears to be more credible”. I was a librarian and research scientist in my former life meanwhile he was kicked out of university for getting f’s, he was into teen pornography, drugs, lies pathologically, physically abusive ………. etc … and apparently he is more credible. Why??? Because I am female, disabled and poor now???

I have found that women in particular in these fields have no understanding of abuse and the psychopath. I find men to be more understanding and discerning. I do not know if it is their act that they buy or they have it in for us because they view us as weak? The fact of the matter is that I have been told by a former military sergeant that is now a psychologist and deals with PTSD that I have the resolve of a prisoner of war and should have folded many years ago but have not. He’s amazed.

Please tell me if you have been ostracized by your ppth how did you survive or recover from the smear campaign? How have you survived this if you have gone through it??? I am finding this difficult still and do not know what to do about it.

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